Today in History:

50 Series I Volume XLVIII-II Serial 102 - Powder River Expedition Part II


sent to Memphis and which is being detained by General Washburn, and in regard to which I telegraphed you on the 28th of March. The want of transportation has very much delayed the shipment of the cavalry to Mobile Bay. I have organized it as effectually as possible with the material at hand, but we are very much in need of arms, and I hope the Spencer carbines and accouterments for which I applied on arrival here have been forwarded. Very few horses have been received since my arrival and nearly all the cavalry left I the Departments of the Mississippi and Gulf is entirely dismounted. There are now at Memphis eleven regiments of cavalry, mostly veteran troops. If it is deem best to keep a force of cavalry there and if all the cavalry applied for by General Canby cannot be spared, I hope the following regiments at least may be ordered to join us in the field: The First Iowa, Twelfth Illinois, and Eleventh New York, and, if consistent with your views, I would request that the Eighth Missouri be ordered here also from the Department of Arkansas.

Relying upon your assistance and necessary orders for the material to fully equip and render effective the cavalry of this military division, I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brevet Major-General.


Lieutenant General U. S. GRANT,


GENERAL: I have just returned from Arkansas, and have the honor to report as follows: There are in that department 17,000 effective men, of whom about 7,000 are cavalry. The cavalry is nearly all dismounted, the horses having been taken south by General Canby and not yet replaced. There are required 5,000 cavalry horses, and they should be supplied as soon as possible, in view of any cavalry raid toward Kansas or Missouri by Price. I respectfully request that orders be given to furnish these horses to General Reynolds with as little delay as possible. All other arms of service in Arkansas are well supplied, and quartermaster's and subsistence supplies for six months are on hand. There is also abundant transportation for any service for the troops now in that department. I propose to reorganize the Cherokees (numbering about 2,500) now in garrison at Fort Gibson, and whose terms of service is about to expire, and to mount them on Canadian ponies for service hereinafter designated. In the Department of the Missouri, after leaving the force necessary to protect overland routes to the Pacific and for some police duty in Missouri, there will be left about seven regiments, nearly all new troops. These include the new regiments now organizing in Iowa, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, which have been ordered to the Department of the Missouri. In the Department of the Northwest there is barely force sufficient for absolutely necessary defensive purposes. The Missouri State Militia will be disbanded in June. If necessary their duties can be performed by the State militia, organized by late act of the State legislature, and who serve under the orders of the governor, wholly independent of the General Government. I hope very soon to turn over the State of Missouri to the civil authorities, who are even now an abundantly able to maintain peace and enforce the laws. The troops in Arkansas, therefore, constitute almost the entire disposable force in this division for any forward