The Indian Territory in the Civil War Message Board

Hindman to Roane, Nov. 1, 1862

Head Quarters District of Arkansas

Camp on Mulberry & etc., Nov 1, 1862


I desire to remain in camp here several days. The troops and animals and much worn, having been marched over rough roads, almost in a starving condition. Time is needed for rest, repairs, the accumulation of subsistence and forage, and for effecting a complete reorganization. It will be a great, if not irreparable, misfortune if I cannot have it. The work in hand shall be pushed forward with all the rapidity possible.

In the meantime, very heavy labor will be devolved on you. Your command proper is to be put in shape and made as efficient as possible, the material will admit of and you are also to cover my front from the Frog Bayou road to Gibson. For your assistance in this, Marmaduke’s Cavalry division has been pleased under your orders.

Occupy a line as far advanced as practicable, get as accurate information of the enemy’s movement’s as can be obtained, resist him if he moves south, to the last moment, and have your whole force in readiness, should it be driven back to the river to move rapidly around the mountains, through the Cherokee nation, and fall upon his trains while I move up and give him battle in front. Carroll is posted with a cavalry force upon the saddle and main Ozark roads and will attempt a movement similar to that prescribed for you, in the second contingency. In that way perhaps, one half the enemy’s troops will be kept north of the mountains, to protect his trains and I believe I will be able to whip the other half.

It is absolutely necessary that every road, large and small from the enemy’s line to ours shall be effectively covered, not only to prevent surprise but to cut off all communications whatever. For this purpose you may use the Independent companies of the Provost Marshal’s Department under Capt. Sparks, as your advanced line of picket, and the cavalry of Marmaduke’s division for the second. Have a third line of reserves, upon the roads on which a force is most likely to move. Your knowledge of the country will enable you to execute these orders perfectly, and to establish certain communication and Carroll, between whom and yourself there should be constant concert of action. Dispatches between you should pass by this place to avoid all danger of interception, and to enable one to know precisely your operations. Be especially vigilant I preventing communication with the enemy. I hanged a spy north of the mountains. Instruct your guards and pickets to allow no person whatever to pass without your written order, or Marmaduke’s and execute rigidly the enclosed order as to stragglers, camp followers, refugees, & etc. Sending those not subject to conscription away from all our camps and posts, southward, or the south side of the river. Give Special instructions about stopping flags of truce at your advanced pickets. Communicate with me daily.

When I left Little Rock, there were about 1,500 mounted Texans about Fort McCulloch, who were ordered by Genl. Holmes to report immediately to Col. Cooper. Col. Lanes Texas regiments in addition, was enroute to the Creek Agency. Ascertain the whereabouts of these commands, and get them in hand, remembering the importance, just now, of keeping a good force in striking distance of the route upon which Hopohlyohola might enter the Creek country, and also at or near Fort Gibson. Confer with Brig. Genl. Cooper as to this.

The four Texan regiments under Marmaduke are worthless as cavalry and I have ordered them dismounted. The sooner this is done the better. The horses are to be sent home at once, in charge of men detailed for the purpose, allowing say one man to ten horses. You also authorized to dismount say portions, or all, of your command proper except Lane’s regiment and Bryans battalion and I think it should be done as fast as you get your hands on them, man by man, or company by company - always remembering to send off the horses forthwith.

Many of Coopers men are straggling through the country in your rear, and perhaps near you. Instruct Capt. Sparks, and Maj. Folsom, Division Provost Marshal, to arrest them wherever found, and take them to your Head Quarters. Say to those officers that I desire them to execute that instruction with special promptness, sparing no labor.

All furloughs are prohibited, deal with furloughed officers and men, as stragglers, unless actually sick in hospital’s.

T. C. Hindman

Brig. Genl. J. S. Roane Maj. Genl. Comd’g

Comd’g & etc. Fort Smith, Arks.