Omaha, Nebr., April 27, 1861.
Hon SIMON CAMERON,
Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.:
SIR: I feed it to be my duty to call your attention to the condition of this Territory, arising out of the general troubles of the country and the withdrawal of the U. S. troops from Fort Randall and Fort Kearny. I need not say to the Department that a necessity exists for military defenses at many assailable points between the Missouri River and the mountains. The forces taken from Randall and Kearny could be but illy spared. I have not only corresponded, but have seen and conversed, with Colonel Miles, lately in command at Fort Kearny, and he agrees with me that something should be promptly done for the protection of our frontier. Besides, there are large amounts of arms of all kinds at Fort Kearny belonging to the United States, and only one single company of troops there.
I do not doubt but that serious troubles will result to this Territory from Indians and others unless we are in some way re- enforced or furnished with the means of defense. To the flag and Constitution of the United States the people of Nebraska are loyal and true. Volunteer companies are now organized, and other are organizing in different parts of the Territory, and I respectfully recommend and urge that provisions be made for mustering as many as may be necessary into the service of the United States. It occurs to me that they might be of great service to the Government, and that through them not only the safety of the people would be secured, but that all the public property would thus be rendered entirely safe. On very short call Nebraska Territory could furnish seven or eight companies - one or two of dragoons and the remainder of infantry. I am informed by Colonel Miles that there are arms enough at Fort Hearny for at least eight companies.
Although I have been superseded in office, my successor has not yet arrived in the Territory, and will not be here for several weeks. Believing it to be vitally important that something should be done at once, I have taken the liberty of writing this letter. If in any way I can be of service in carrying out the plans of the Government, or your wishes or suggestions, please consider that I am ready at your service.
SAML. W. BLACK.
P. S.- Since writing the above I have received reliable information that hostile Indians in very large numbers have made their appearance in the Platte Valley. They are reported to be bands of Cheyennes, and some of the worst of the Sioux. One of the mail stations of the Western Stage Company has been entirely destroyed. This intelligence is brought by the Denver express messenger who arrived to-day.
HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY,
Washington, D. C., May 9, 1861.
It is understood that Nebraska is called upon for a quota of volunteers under the new call. The General-in-Chief is in favor of posting those volunteers, as in Minnesota, at the military posts, and withdrawing the regulars to where they are much more necessary.
E. D. TOWNSEND,