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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF INDIAN
Fort McCulloch, June 27, 1862.
Hon. GEORGE W. RANDOLPH,
Secretary of War :
SIR: I am advised that Major-General Hindman has taken possession
of two thousand rifles forwarded to me in pursuance of the promise of your predecessor,
and has used them to arm troops of his command. This has been done without any notice
given to me.
I also learn from the quartermaster at Fort Smith that the same officer has caused
to be sent to Little Rock from Fort Smith a small quantity of powder which I had caused to
be procured by the quartermaster, I having none for artillery, and also some boxes of
cartridges procured by me and on the way to this post.
Seven hundred guns purchased by my agent, John Quillin, with $5,000 furnished him
by me of moneys received by me from and receipted for to the Ordnance Bureau, were also
lately seized at Little Rock by Brig. Gen. John S. Roane, and no receipt whatever sent me,
General Roane did, however, advise me by letter that he had taken them.
General Van Dom had endeavored in March to send all my supplies from Fort Smith to
Little Rock. Fragments of them were received, but I lost the caissons of twelve Parrott
guns, every ounce of my cannon powder [3,000 pounds), an(l nearly all the clothing, shoes,
and tents provided me for the Indian troops. My whole supply of medicines would have gone
but for General Price, and all my powder for small-arms, but for the rescue of it by my
assistant adjutant-general. A battery of bronze guns at Little Rock was taken and sent to
Memphis, and a large quantity of small-arms, including three hundred and eleven purchased
with money furnished by me in North Carolina, and those purchased by Maj. N. B. Pearce
with $3,000 placed by me in his hands, with others purchased by Colonel Dawson, and eighty
shot-guns receipted for by me to the military store-keeper at Little Rock, have been taken
and distributed at Fort Smith and Little Rock. As there seems to be no probability
that this system of despoiling this command will ever end, I beg to be informed whether
other officers have a right, with or without even a notice to me and always without
forwarding receipts, to seize upon and appropriate arms, ammunition, and supplies procured
by me on my requisitions and receipts, and even purchased with moneys drawn by me from the
Treasury and for which I must account.
I am particularly desirous to know this, because in March no small quantity of my
own private stores and property failed to reach me, disappearing in the general scramble,
and of which I am sadly in want.
I may also add that two boxes of stationery, purchased by me in Richmond for the
brigade quartermaster; a box of stationery, &c., purchased by Captain Fitzhugh,
Engineer Corps; a box of quartermasters' blanks and a box of commissary blanks were
forwarded from Richmond in December by freight train and express, consigned to Maj. George
W. Clark at Fort Smith, and have never reached this command, leaving us wholly without
supplies of that kind. I suppose they inured also to the benefit of some other command.
It seems to me that this mode of availing one's self of the fruits or another's
labor and pains and prudent forethought is simply intolerable and indecent. I know that it
is exceedingly unjust, and that it has sadly crippled this command, and made it and the
Government contemptible in the eyes of the Indians, thus robbed of the supplies intended
for them. I do not know what remedy there is for it.
I am, very respectfully, yours,
Brigadier-General, Comdg. Department of Indian Territory.