May 9, 1864, Fort
Major General S. R. Curtis to Brigadier General S. N. Wood
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF KANSAS,
Fort Leavenworth, May 9, 1864.
Brig. Gen. S. N. WOOD,
Kansas Militia, Council Grove:
GENERAL: Yours of the 1st, with slip requiring the militia to organize and muster, is duly received. I was glad to see you had moved in that direction. In case of the invasion of Kansas I could not mass a regiment of Federal troops without calling militia to guard posts and stores where companies now guard them. I am particularly anxious about the Santa Fé travel and transports, and will be glad to hear of the arrival at Larned of troops I have moving from Colorado. Your town is an important outpost, and I hope you will have the citizens so armed and equipped as to hold it and support my other forces that move against the enemy if occasion requires. It is impossible to get cavalry arms. I have several cavalry companies which I am arming with Springfield muskets for want of cavalry arms.
Quantrill is evidently in Missouri, where he seems to be murdering and robbing without much resistance. Several other gangs of rebels are reported in Missouri border counties, but they have so far kept shy of my side of the line. General McKean has most of his forces distributed and ready to give them a warm reception if they come this way.
I have requested the Secretary of War to mobilize the militia of Kansas, as he has done in Missouri and in other border States, for defense of our frontier and other purposes as circumstances may demand. Mean time any preparatory efforts by the officers and men of the militia is the more necessary, since we hear of disasters in Arkansas that will retain troops that have been drawn away from Fort Smith, and which I hoped to have distributed along the Arkansas River, our best line of defense. Keep me advised of everything doing in your vicinity, and go ahead with your organization and arming the militia in Southwest Kansas.
S. R. CURTIS,
visits since 02/04/2004
page revised 05/25/2006