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blished. Every season during the spring rise of the Arkansas River, light draft steamers have not only run to this point, but sometimes for nearly a hundred miles above here on the Grand River. I saw an inscription on a tombstone yesterday, that a Lieutenant of the Regular Army was drowned at the mouth of the Neosho river in 1836, from having fallen overboard a steamboat at that point. The point where the military road to Fort Scott crosses the Neosho river is nearly a hundred miles from Gibson. But I have heard from those who have lived here for many years, that there has been very little steamboating above this place. There has been no great inducements, no great commercial interests involved, to make it worth while to keep the river in a navigable condition. It requires a considerable rise in the Arkansas to enable boats to pass Webber's Falls. Below that point light draft steamers can probably run on the river the greater part of the year. How far it is possible to remove
Chapter 11: Fort Gibson the key to the Indian country the enemy showing signs of activity the troops at Gibson commence to build bake ovens anxiety for the supply train Creek Indians coming in the enemy concentrating at Webber's Falls celebrating the event of hoisting the United States Flag at Fort Gibson a sad accident arrival of supply train from Fort Scott part of Neosho burned the enemy attack Fayetteville and are defeated a young man as a spy caught dressed in a woman's suit the troops commence to throw up fortifications at Fort Gibson strength of the Federal position engagement at Webber's Falls capture of the enemy's camp assassination of Dr. Gillpatrick they are on business in connection with exchanging of prisoners arrival of rebel officers under a Flag of truce reconnaissance of Colonel Schaurte to the Arkansas line Colonel Harrison abandons Fayetteville Colonel Phillips reviews his division. The importance of this position is not likely
some having very elegant forms and beautiful plumage. They can have matters all their own way in this region if they can avoid their enemies of the hawk tribe, and some wingless enemies among the lower animals, for there are now very few Indian families living in this section. When we halted this morning on a secluded spot near Locust Grove, to graze our horses and to allow the men to refresh themselves by a short nap, we had not passed more than three houses with occupants, since leaving Gibson. The country seems as silent as a graveyard, except as to the songs of birds and the humming of insects. No sounds are heard from people plowing in the fields, or the yelping of hounds chasing the deer, or of chickens cackling in the barnyard. As soon as it was light this morning we carefully examined the dim road for fresh horse tracks; but we saw none, which satisfied us that the enemy had not crossed or been on our path since the rain. We did not know but that the enemy had sent out s
ge forces of the enemy have crossed the river yet or not, there are certainly strong reasons for believing that they are making preparations to attack our train at some point above here. The heavy firing along the river the past few days is doubtless intended as a feint, to occupy our attention, and to( prevent us from reinforcing the train's escort. But they will find that Colonel Phillips is not so easily too be thrown off his guard. The name of this post has been changed from Fort. Gibson to Fort Blunt, in honor of Major General James G. Blunt, our division commander of last winter, but who is at present commanding the District of Kansas. If Fort Blunt is not to be abandoned almost as, soon as named, the General should use his influence in getting reinforcements sent down here at once, and in having Colonel Phillips made a Brigadier General. After the Colonel has, by continual skirmishing with the enemy, marched his forces down here and took possession of this country, and
shall have been better informed of the operations of the two, opposing forces on the river north of us. The train and escort arrived at Fort Gibson, July 5th, just before twelve o'clock, although .we heard, early in the morning, that they would get in during the day. I made a good many inquiries concerning the cause of delay since they crossed the Neosho River at Hudson's ford. But we may now go back of the Neosho River to Fort Scott, and trace the progress of the train to Fort Blunt or Gibson. The train left Fort Scott with the following troops as an escort: One company of the Third Wisconsin cavalry, company C Ninth Kansas cavalry; six companies of the Second Colorado infantry; one section of Blair's battery, and one twelve-pound mountain howitzer. This force and the train reached Baxter Springs, on the 26th of June, where they were joined by Major Foreman of this division, with the six hundred men and one twelve-pound howitzer, which I have already mentioned as having left he
an opportunity of meeting the enemy on the field. He will have when he arrives at Fort Blunt (Gibson), eight field pieces and four howitzers, and between three and four thousand cavalry and infantrs. It is General Blunt's intention to move against General Cooper immediately on his arrival at Gibson. Those who know General Blunt, do not doubt his fighting qualities. It is safe, therefore, to his present position undisturbed many days longer, even if General Blunt were not on the way to Gibson, for, as I have already stated, we had reasons for believing that it was the intention of Coloneble to rout the enemy, there can be scarcely a shadow of doubt. If General Blunt goes on now to Gibson, and takes the troops there, and attacks and routs the enemy, his friends will no doubt claim foup without a harder struggle than they made. From reports that have reached us since we left Gibson, we have expected that we should be obliged to fight General Cabell's force in this vicinity. W
the Third Wisconsin cavalry was ordered by Colonel Blair to Baxter Springs, on the morning of the 17th, for the purpose of occupying that place as a regular station. Several months ago, in looking over the route of our trains from Fort Scott to Gibson, I remarked, that there was great need of a detachment of cavalry at Baxter. There is no point between this place and Gibson, where a small force of cavalry can be stationed to better advantage. And had not all his cavalry that could be spared Gibson, where a small force of cavalry can be stationed to better advantage. And had not all his cavalry that could be spared been; employed on escort duty, Colonel Blair would have ordered several companies there months ago. Some sort of fortifications have already been constructed, and one or two companies of colored infantry and a piece of light artillery are stationed there to defend the place. With this detachment of cavalry also stationed there, to scout the surrounding country, guerrilla depredations should shortly almost cease. At any rate the guerrillas in that section can be watched more closely, and perha