Reynolds: “This department is daily filling up with predatory bands and stragglers”

Gen. Pope forwarded to me the following dispatch from Gen. Reynolds in Arkansas.  He is having trouble keeping the area free from lawlessness and fears that when his troops’ enlistment periods expire that he will have further problems.  He writes,

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF ARKANSAS,

Little Rock, Ark., May 31, 1865.

ADJUTANT-GENERAL OF THE ARMY:

There are now on the rolls of this department about 20,000 effective men, including 4,500 colored troops. We require for the present to garrison the depots about 14,000, which number can be gradually diminished. White River country requires about 2,500 men. Arkansas, including railroad and Fort Gibson, about 9,000. Camden and other points in the south part of this State, say Washington or Fulton, about 2,500. The terms of service of the white troops in the department expire before September 30, and their muster-out is suspended until they can be replaced by other troops. This replacement is recommended, and should take place at once, as the fact of the existence of orders entitling them to muster-out cannot be kept from the troops, and impartial treatment is essential to harmony. This department is daily filling up with predatory bands and stragglers, rendering immediate and prompt action necessary. Will send complete lists by mail. No account is herein taken of Alexandria and Shreveport, which must soon be garrisoned.

J. J. REYNOLDS,

Major-General.

I replied,

HEADQUARTERS ARMIES OF THE UNITED STATES,

Washington, June 1, 1865-10 a. m.

Major General J. J. REYNOLDS,

Little Rock, Ark.:

Troops will be sent to you from Sherman’s army as soon as they can be paid, to enable you to carry out the order for mustering out troops. Have rolls prepared, as far as practicable, so there shall be no delay.

U. S. GRANT,

Lieutenant-General.

The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 15, p 119-20

O.R., I, xlviii, part 2, p 699, 720

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