The American Indian as Participant in the Civil War
Annie Heloise Abel

Part 2 out of 9

faith and allegiance to the United States.

They say also that John Ross is not a Secessionist, and that there are
more than four thousand patriots among the Cherokees, who are true to
the Government of the United States. This agrees, substantially, with
my own personal knowledge, unless they have changed within a very
short time, which is not at all probable, as the Cherokees, of this
class, are pretty fully and correctly informed about the nature of the
controversy. And I may add, that much of their information is, through
one channel and another, communicated to the Creeks, and much of their
spirit too.

On the whole, judging from the most reliable information, I have been
able to obtain, I feel assured that the Full Indians of the Creeks,
Cherokees, Seminoles, and the small bands living in the Creek Nation,
are faithful to the Government. And the same, to a great extent, is

moreover, on recognizably loyal ground, causes for dissatisfaction
among Kansas emigrant tribes to be

[Footnote 141: (cont.) true of the Choctaws and Chickasaws. And were
it not for the proximity of the rebel force, the loyal Indians would
put down the Secession movement among themselves, at once. Or rather,
they would not have suffered it to rise at all.

The loyal Indians say, they wish "to stand by their Old Treaties." And
they are as persistent in their adherence to these Treaties, as we
are, to our Constitution. And I have no doubt that, as soon as the
Government can afford them protection, they will be ready, at the
first call, to manifest, by overt action, the loyalty to which they
are pledged.

They are looking, with great anxiety and hope, for the coming of the
great army. And I have no doubt that a friendly communication from the
Government, through the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, would have a
powerful effect in removing any false impressions, which may have been
made, on the ignorant and unwary, by the emissaries of Secession, and
to encourage and reassure the loyal friends of the Government, who, in
despair of timely aid, may have been compelled to yield any degree of
submission, to the pressure of an overwhelming force. I was expecting
to see these Indians again, and to have had further conversation with
them. But I am informed by Charles Johnnycake that they have gone to
Fort Leavenworth and expect to go on to Washington. Hearing this, I
hesitated about troubling you with this letter at all, as, in that
case, you would see them yourself. But I have concluded to send it, as
affording me an opportunity to express a few thoughts, with which it
would hardly be worth while to occupy a separate letter.

Hoping that the counsels and movements of the Government may be
directed by wisdom from above, and that the cause of truth and right
may prevail, I remain with great respect, Dear Sir, Your Obedient

P.S. I rec. a note from Mr. Carruth, saying that he was going to
Washington, with a delegation of Southern Indians, and I suppose Mico
Hatki and his companions are that Delegation, or at least a part of

I will just say in regard to Mr. Carruth that I was acquainted with
him, several years ago, as a teacher in the Cherokee Nation. He
afterwards went to the Creek Nation, I _think_, as teacher of a
Government school, and I believe, has been there ever since. If so,
he must know a good deal about the Creeks. Mr. Carruth bore a good
character. I think he married one of the Missionary ladies of the
Presbyterian Mission.

[Indian Office Special Files, no. 201, _Southern
Superintendency_, J 530 of 1861.]

(b). Wichita Agency, L.D., December 15, 1861.

All well and doing well. Hear you are having trouble among
yourselves--fighting one another, but you and we are friendly. Our

removed and drastic measures taken with the indigenous of the plains.

The appointment of Hunter to the command of the

[Footnote 141: (cont.) brothers the Comanches and all the other tribes
are still your friends. Mode Cunard and you were here and had the talk
with Gen. Pike; we still hold to the talk we made with Gen. Pike, and
are keeping the treaty in good faith, and are looking for him back
again soon. We look upon you and Mode Cunard and Gen. Pike as
brothers. Gen. Pike told us at the council that there were but few
of us here, and if any thing turned up to make it necessary he would
protect them. We are just as we were when Gen. Pike was up here and
keeping the treaty made with him. Our brothers the wild Comanches have
been in and are friendly with us.

All the Indians here have but one heart. Our brothers, the Texans,
and the Indians are away fighting the cold weather people. We do not
intend to go North to fight them, but if they come down here, we will
all wait to drive them away. Some of my people are one-eyed and a
little crippled, but if the enemy comes here they will all jump out
to fight him. Pea-o-popicult, the principal Kiowa chief, has recently
visited the reserve, and expressed friendly intentions, and has gone
back to consult the rest of his people, and designs returning.

Hoseca X Maria} Ke-Had-a-wah } Chiefs of the Camanches Buffalo Hump }
Te-nah Geo. Washington Jim Pockmark

[Indian Office, Confederate Papers, Copy of a letter to John Jumper,
certified as a true copy by A.T. Pagy.]

(c). LEROY, COFFEY CO., KANSAS, NOV. 4, 1861.

Washington, D.C.

Dear Sir: Enclosed I send you a statement of delegation of Creeks,
Chickasaw, and Kininola who are here for assistance from the
Government. You will see by the enclosed that I have held a Council
with them the result of which I send verbatim. They have travelled
some 300 or 400 miles to get here, had to take an unfrequented
road and were in momentary fear of their lives not because the
secessionists were stronger than the Union party in their nation, but
because the secessionists were on the alert and were determined that
there should be no communication with the Government.

They underwent a great many privations in getting here, had to bear
their own expenses, which as some of them who were up here a short
time ago have travelled in coming and going some 900 miles was

I am now supplying them with everything they need on my own
responsibility. They dare not return to their people unless troops

Department of Kansas was open to certain objections, no doubt; but, to
Lane, whose forceful personality had

[Footnote 141: (cont.) are sent with them and they assure me the
moment that is done, a large portion of each of the tribes will rally
to the support of the Government and that their warriors will gladly
take up arms in its defence.

I write to you from Topeka and urge that steps be taken to render them
the requisite protection. I am satisfied that the Department will
see the urgent necessity of carrying out the Treaty stipulations and
giving these Indians who are so desirous of standing firm by the
Government and who have resisted so persistently all the overtures of
the secessionists, the assistance and protection which is their due. I
am informed by these Indians that John Ross is desirous of standing by
the Government, and that he has 4000 warriors who are willing to do
battle for the cause of the Union.

They also inform me, that the Washitas, Caddos, Tenies, Wakoes,
Tewakano, Chiekies, Shawnees, and Kickapoos are almost unanimously
Union. Gen. Lane is anxious to do something to relieve the Union
Indians in the southern tribes, by taking prompt and energetic steps
at this time--it can be done with little expense and but little
trouble, while the benefit to be derived will be incalculable. Let me
beg of you and more that the matter be laid before the Department and
the proper steps be taken to give the Indians that protection which is
their due and at the same time take an important step in sustaining
the supremacy of the Government. Your obedient Servant, GEO.A. CUTLER,
_agent_ for the Indians of the Creek agency.


At a Council of the Creeks, held at Leroy in Coffey County, Kansas, at
the house of the Agent of said Indians, Maj. Geo. A. Cutler, who was
unable to visit their Country owing to the rebellion existing in the
Country, the following talk was had by the Chiefs of said nation,
eight in number--Four Creeks, Two Seminoles, Two Chickasaws.

Oke-Tah-hah-shah-haw-choe, Chief of Creek Upper District says, he will
talk short words this time--wants to tell how to get trouble in Creek
nation. First time Albert Pike come in he made great deal trouble.
That man told Indian that the Union people would come and take away
property and would take away land--now you sleep, you ought to wake up
and attend to your own property. Tell them there ain't no U.S.--ain't
any more Treaty--all be dead--Tell them as there is no more U.S. no
more Treaty that the Creeks had better make new Treaty with the South
and the Southern President would protect them and give them their
annuity--Tell them if you make Treaty with southern President that he
would pay you more annuity and would pay better than the U.S. if they
the Indians would help the Southern President--Mr. Pike makes the half

impressed itself, for good or ill, upon the trans-Missouri region, it
was, to say the least, somewhat

[Footnote 141: (cont.) breeds believe what he says and the half breeds
makes some of the full blood Indians believe what he says that they
(the Indians) must help the secessionists. Then that is so--but as for
himself he don't believe him yet. Then he thought the old U.S.
was alive yet and the Treaty was good. Wont go against the U.S.
himself--That is the reason the Secessions want to have him--The
Secessionists offered 5000$ for his head because he would not go
against the U.S. Never knew that Creek have an agent here until he
come and see him and that is why I have come among this Union people.
Have come in and saw my agent and want to go by the old Treaty.
Wants to get with U.S. Army so that I can get back to my people as
Secessionists will not let me go. Wants the Great Father to send the
Union Red people and Troops down the Black Beaver road and he will
guide them to his country and then all his people will be for the
Union--That he cannot get back to his people any other way--Our Father
to protect the land in peace so that he can live in peace on the land
according to the Treaty--At the time I left my union people I told
them to look to the Beaver Road until I come. Promised his own people
that the U.S. Army would come back the Beaver Road and wants to go
that way--The way he left his country his people was in an elbow
surrounded by secessions and his people is not strong enough against
them for Union and that is the reason he has come up for help--Needed
guns, powder, lead to take to his own people. Own people for the Union
about 3350 warriors all Creeks--Needed now clothing, tents for winter,
tools, shirts, and every thing owned by whites,--wants their annuity
as they need it now--The Indians and the Whites among us have done
nothing against any one but the Secessionists have compelled us to
fight and we are willing to fight for the Union. Creek half breeds
joined secessionists. 32 head men and leaders-27 towns for the Union
among Creeks

_Signed_: Oke-tah-hah-shah-haw Choe
his X mark.

_Talk of Chickasaw Chief, Toe-Lad-Ke_

Says--Will talk short words--have had fever and sick--Secessionists
told him no more U.S. no more Treaty--all broken up better make new
Treaty with Secessionists--Although they told him all this did not
believe them and that is reason came up to see if there was not still
old U.S.--Loves his country--loves his children and would not believe
them yet--That he did not believe what the Secessionists told him and
they would not let him live in peace and that is the reason he left
his country--The secessionists want to tie him--whip him and make him
join them--but he would not and he left.

100 warriors for secession--
2240 do " Union


disconcerting, not because Lane was hostile to Hunter personally--the
two men had long had a friendly acquaintance

[Footnote 141: (cont.) The secessionists plague him so much talk he
asks for his country that the army go down and that is what his people
wants same as Creek and Seminole--Have seen the agent of the Creeks
but have not seen our agent but want to see him--wants agent sent--He
has always done no wrong--Secessionists would not let him live in
peace--and if have to fight all his people will fight for Union--That
is all the chance that he can save his lands and property to
children--by old U.S. and Treaty--Chickasaw--Seminoles and Creeks all
in no difference--all for the Union--all want annuity and have had
none for some time--Now my Great Father you must remember me and my
people and all our wants. _Signed_: TOE-LAD-KE, his X mark.

_Talk of Seminole Chief, Choo-Loo-Foe-Lop-hah-Choe_

Says: Pike went among the Seminoles and tell them the same as he
told the Creek. The talk of Pike he did not believe and told him
so himself--Some of my people did believe Pike and did join the
secessionists also he believed the old U.S. is alive and Treaty not
dead and that is the reason he come up and had this talk--Never had
done any thing against Treaty and had come to have Great Father
protect us--Secession told him that Union men was going to take away
land and property--could get no annuity old U.S. all gone--come to
see--find it not so--wants President to send an agent don't know who
agent is--wants to appoint agent himself as he knows who he wants.
Twelve towns are for the Union

500 warriors for the Union
100 do " Secession

All people who come with Billy Bowlegs are Union--Chief in place of
Billy Bowlegs Shoe-Nock-Me-Koe this is his name--Need everything that
Creeks need--arms clothing, etc. etc. wants to go with army same way
and same road with Creek--This is what we ask of our Great Father live
as the Treaty says in peace--and all Seminole warriors will fight for
the Union. This is the request of our people of our Great Father They
need their annuity have not had any for nearly a year and want it

_Signed_: CHOO-LOO-FOE-LOP-HAH-CHOE, his X mark.

We the Chiefs of the three nations Creeks, Chickasaws and Seminoles
who are of this delegation and all for the Union and the majority of
our people are for the Union and agree in all that has been said by
the Chiefs who have made this talk, and believe all they have said to
be true--

WHITE CHIEF his X mark Creek

BOB DEER his X mark Creek
PHIL DAVID his X mark Creek


with each other[142]--but because he had had great hopes of receiving
the post himself.[143] The time was now drawing near for him to repair
to Washington to resume his senatorial duties since Congress was to
convene the second of December.

To further his scheme for Indian enlistment, Lane had projected an
inter-tribal council to be held at his own headquarters. E.H. Carruth
worked especially to that end. The man in charge of the Southern
Superintendency, W.G. Coffin, had a similar plan in mind for less
specific reasons. His idea was to confer with the representatives of
the southern tribes with reference to Indian Territory conditions
generally. It was part of the duty appertaining to his office.
Humboldt[144] was the place selected by him for the meeting;
but Leroy, being better protected and more accessible, was soon
substituted. The sessions commenced the

[Footnote 141: (cont.)

TOE-LAD-KE his X mark Chickasaw
CHAP-PIA-KE his X mark Chickasaw

CHOO-LOO-FOE-LOP-HAH-CHOE his X mark Seminole
OH-CHEN-YAH-HOE-LAH his X mark Seminole

_Witness_: C.F. Currier
W. Whistler

LEROY, COFFEY CO. KAN., Nov. 4 1861.

I do certify that the within statement of the different chiefs were
taken before me at a council held at my house at the time stated and
that the talk of the Indian was correctly taken down by a competent
clerk at the time.

GEO.A. CUTLER, _Agent_ for the Creek Indians.

[Indian Office Special Files, no. 201, _Southern
Superintendency_, C 1400 of 1861.]]

[Footnote 142: Their acquaintance dated, if not from the antebellum
days when Hunter was stationed at Fort Leavenworth and was not
particularly magnanimous in his treatment of Southerners, then from
those when he had charge, by order of General Scott, of the guard at
the White House. _Report of the Military Services of General David
Hunter_, pp. 7, 8.]

[Footnote 143: _Daily Conservative_, November 13, 1861.]

[Footnote 144: Coffin to Dole, October 2, 1861, Commissioner of Indian
Affairs, _Report_, 1861, p. 39.]

sixteenth[145] of November and were still continuing on the
twenty-third.[146] It had not been possible to hold them earlier
because of the disturbed state of the country and the consequent
difficulty of getting into touch with the Indians.

Upon assuming command of the Department of Kansas, General Hunter took
full cognizance of the many things making for disquietude and turmoil
in the country now under his jurisdiction. Indian relations became, of
necessity, matters of prime concern. Three things bear witness to this
fact, Hunter's plans for an inter-tribal council at Fort Leavenworth,
his own headquarters; his advocacy of Indian enlistment, especially
from among the southern Indians; and his intention, early avowed, of
bringing Brigadier-general James W. Denver into military prominence
and of entrusting to him the supervisory command in Kansas. In some
respects, no man could have been found equal to Denver in conspicuous
fitness for such a position. He had served as commissioner of Indian
affairs[147] under Buchanan and, although a Virginian by birth,
had had a large experience with frontier life--in Missouri, in the
Southwest during the Mexican War, and in California. He had also
measured swords with Lane. It was in squatter-sovereignty days when,
first as secretary and then as governor of Kansas Territory, he
had been in a position to become intimately acquainted with the
intricacies of Lane's true character and had had both occasion and
opportunity to oppose some of that worthy's autocratic and thoroughly

[Footnote 145: _Daily Conservative_, November 17, 1861.]

[Footnote 146:--Ibid., November 23,1861.]

[Footnote 147: Denver was twice appointed Commissioner of Indian
Affairs by Buchanan. For details as to his official career, see
_Biographical Congressional Directory_, 499, and Robinson,
_Kansas Conflict_, 424.]

maneuvers.[148] As events turned out, this very acquaintance with Lane
constituted his political unfitness for the control that Hunter,[149]
in December, and Halleck,[150] in the following March, designed to
give him. With the second summons to command, came opportunity for
Lane's vindictive animosity to be called into play. Historically, it
furnished conclusive proof, if any were needed, that Lane had supreme
power over the distribution of Federal patronage in his own state and
exercised that power even at the cost of the well-being and credit of
his constituency.

When Congress began its second session in December, the fight against
Lane for possession of his seat in the Senate proceeded apace; but
that did not, in the least, deter him from working for his brigade.
His scheme now was to have it organized on a different footing from
that which it had sustained heretofore. His influence with the
administration in Washington was still very peculiar and very
considerable, so much so, in fact, that President Lincoln, without
taking expert advice and without consulting either the military men,
whose authority would necessarily be affected, or the civil officials
in Kansas, nominated him to the Senate as brigadier-general to have
charge of troops in that state.[151] Secretary Cameron was absent from
the city

[Footnote 148: Robinson, _op. cit_., 378 ff., 424 ff.]

[Footnote 149: _Official Records_, vol. viii, 456.]

[Footnote 150:--Ibid., 832.]

[Footnote 151: The Leavenworth _Daily Conservative_ seemed
fairly jubilant over the prospect of Lane's early return to military
activity. The following extracts from its news items and editorials
convey some such idea:

"General Lane of Kansas has been nominated to the Senate and
unanimously confirmed, as Brigadier General, to command Kansas troops;
the express understanding being that General Lane's seat in the Senate
shall not be vacated until he accepts his new commission, which he
will not do until the Legislature of Kansas assembles, next month. He
has no idea of doing anything that shall oblige Governor Robinson and
his appointee (Stanton) (cont.)]

at the time this was done and apparently, when apprised of it, made
some objections on the score, not so much of an invasion of his own
prerogative, as of its probable effect upon Hunter. Cameron had his
first consultation with Lane regarding the matter, January second, and
was given by him to understand that everything had been done in strict
accordance with Hunter's own wishes.[152] The practical question of
the relation of Lane's brigade to Hunter's command soon, however,
presented itself in a somewhat different light and its answer required
a more explicit statement from the president than had yet been made.
Lincoln, when appealed to, unhesitatingly repudiated every suggestion
of the idea that it had ever been his intention to give Lane an
independent command or to have Hunter, in any sense, superseded.[153]

The need for sending relief to the southern Indians, which, correctly
interpreted meant, of course, reasserting authority over them and thus
removing a menacing and impending danger from the Kansas border, had
been one of Lane's strongest arguments in gaining his way with the
administration. The larger aspect of his purpose was, however, the one
that appealed to Commissioner Dole, who, as head of the Indian Bureau,
seems fully to have appreciated the responsibility that

[Footnote 151: (cont.) who has been in waiting for several months to
take the place."--_Daily Conservative_, January 1, 1862.

"Rejoicing in Neosho Battalion over report that Lane appointed to
command Kansas troops."--Ibid., January 4, 1862.

"General Lane will soon be here and General Denver called to another
command."--Ibid., January 7, 1862.]

[Footnote 152: Cameron to Hunter, January 3, 1862, _Official
Records_, vol. liii, supplement, 512-513.]

[Footnote 153: Martin F. Conway, the Kansas representative in
Congress, was under no misapprehension as to Lane's true position;
for Lincoln had told him personally that Lane was to be under Hunter
[_Daily Conservative_, February 6, 1862].]

assuredly rested in all honor upon the government, whether conscious
of it or not, to protect its wards in their lives and property. From
the first intimation given him of Lane's desire for a more energetic
procedure, Dole showed a willingness to cooeperate; and, as many things
were demanding his personal attention in the West, he so timed a
journey of his own that it might be possible for him to assist in
getting together the Indian contingent that was to form a part of the
"Southern Expedition."[154]

The urgency of the Indian call for help[155] and the

[Footnote 154: Lane's expedition was variously referred to as "the
Southern Expedition," "the Cherokee Expedition," "the great jayhawking
expedition," and by many another name, more or less opprobrious.]

[Footnote 155: Representations of the great need of the Indians for
assistance were made to the government by all sorts of people. Agent
after agent wrote to the Indian Office. The Reverend Evan Jones wrote
repeatedly and on the second of January had sent information, brought
to him at Lawrence by two fugitive Cherokees, of the recent battle in
which the loyalists under Opoethle-yo-ho-la had been worsted, at
the Big Bend of the Arkansas [Indian Office Special Files, no. 201,
_Southern Superintendency_, J 540 of 1862]. In the early winter,
a mixed delegation of Creeks and others had made their way to
Washington, hoping by personal entreaty to obtain succor for their
distressed people, and justice. Hunter had issued a draft for their
individual relief [Ibid., J523 of 1861], and passes from Fort
Leavenworth to Washington [Ibid., C1433 of 1861]. It was not so
easy for them to get passes coming back. Application was made to the
War Department and referred back to the Interior [Ibid., A 434
of 1861]. The estimate, somewhat inaccurately footed up, of the total
expense of the return journey as submitted by agents Cutler and
Carruth was,

"11 R.R. Tickets to Fort Leavenworth by way of New York City
$48 $ 528.00

11 men $2 ea (incidental expenses) 22.00

2 1/2 wks board at Washington $5 137.50

Expenses from Leavenworth to Ind. Nat 50.00

Pay of Tecumseh for taking care of horses 25.00

[Ibid., C 1433 of 1861]. $ 960.50"

Dole had not encouraged the delegation to come on to Washington.
He pleaded lack of funds and the wish that they would wait in Fort
Leavenworth and attend Hunter's inter-tribal council so that they
might go back to their people carrying definite messages of what was
to be done (cont.)]

evident readiness of the government to make answer to that call before
it was quite too late pointed auspiciously to a successful outcome for
Senator Lane's endeavors; but, unfortunately, Major-general Hunter had
not been sufficiently counted with. Hunter had previously shown much
sympathy for the Indians in their distress[156] and also a realization
of the strategic importance

[Footnote 155: (cont.) [Indian Office _Letter Book_, no. 67,
p. 107]. Dole had been forwarned of their intention to appear in
Washington by the following letter:

FORT LEAVENWORTH KAN., Nov. 23rd 1861.
HON WM.P. DOLE, Com. Indian Affs.

Sir: On my arrival in St. Louis I found Gen'l Hunter at the Planters
House and delivered the message to him that you had placed in my hands
for that purpose. He seemed fully satisfied with your letter and has
acted on it accordingly. I recd from Gen'l Hunter a letter for Mr.
Cutler, and others of this place, all of which I have delivered.
Having found Cutler here, he having been ordered by Lane to move the
council from Leroy to Fort Scott. But from some cause (which I have
not learned) he has brought the chiefs all here to the Fort, where
they are now quartered awaiting the arrival of Gen'l Hunter. He has
with him six of the head chiefs of the Creek, Seminole and Cherokee
Nations, and tells me that they are strong for the Union. He also says
that John Ross (Cherokee) is all right but dare not let it be known,
and that he will be here if he can get away from the tribe.

These chiefs all say they want to fight for the Union, and that they
will do so if they can get arms and ammunition. Gen'l Hunter has
ordered me to await his arrival here at which time he will council
with these men, and report to you the result. I think he will be
here on Tuesday or Wednesday. Cutler wants to take the Indians to
Washington, but I advised him not to do so until I could hear from
you. When I met him here he was on his way there.

You had better write to him here as soon as you get this, or you will
see him there pretty soon.

I have nothing more to write now but will write in a day or two.

Yours Truly R.W. DOLE.

P.S. Coffin is at home sick, but will be here soon. Branch is at St.
Joe but would not come over with me, cause, too buissie to attend to

[Indian Office Special Files, no 201, _Southern Superintendency_,
D 410 of 1861].]

[Footnote 156: In part proof of this take his letter to
Adjutant-general Thomas, January 15, 1862.

"On my arrival here in November last I telegraphed for permission to

of Indian Territory. Some other explanation, therefore, must be found
for the opposition he advanced to Lane's project as soon as it was
brought to his notice. It had been launched without his approval
having been explicitly sought and almost under false pretences.[157]
Then, too, Lane's bumptiousness, after he had accomplished his object,
was naturally very irritating. But, far above every other reason,
personal or professional, that Hunter had for objecting to a command
conducted by Lane was the identical one that Halleck,[158] Robinson,
and many another shared with him, a wholesome repugnance to such
marauding[159] as Lane had permitted his men to indulge in in the
autumn. It was to be feared that Indians under Lane would inevitably
revert to savagery. There would be no one to put any restraint upon
them and their natural instincts would be given free play. Conceivably
then, it was not mere supersensitiveness and pettiness of spirit that
moved General Hunter to take exception to Lane's appointment but
regard for the honor of his profession, perchance, also, a certain
feeling of personal dignity that

[Footnote 156: (cont.) muster a Brigade of Kansas Indians into the
service of the United States, to assist the friendly Creek Indians in
maintaining their loyalty. Had this permission been promptly granted,
I have every reason to believe that the present disastrous state of
affairs, in the Indian country west of Arkansas, could have been
avoided. I now again respectfully repeat my request."--Indian Office
General Files, _Southern Superintendency_, 1859-1862.]

[Footnote 157: To the references given in Abel, _The American Indian
as Slaveholder and Secessionist_, add Thomas to Hunter, January 24,
1862, _Official Records_, vol. viii, 525.]

[Footnote 158: The St. Louis _Republican_ credited Halleck with
characterizing Hunter's command, indiscriminately, as "marauders,
bandits, and outlaws" [_Daily Conservative_, February 7, 1862].
In a letter to Lincoln, January 6, 1862, Halleck said some pretty
plain truths about Lane [_Official Records_, vol. vii, 532-533].
He would probably have had the same objection to the use of
Indians that he had to the use of negroes in warfare [_Daily
Conservative_, May 23, 1862, quoting from the Chicago

[Footnote 159: On marauding by Lane's brigade, see McClellan to
Stanton, February 11, 1862 [_Official Records_, vol. viii,

legitimately resented executive interference with his rights. His
protest had its effect and he was informed that it was entirely within
his prerogative to lead the expedition southward himself. He resolved
to do it. Lane was, for once, outwitted.

The end, however, was not yet. About the middle of January, Stanton
became Secretary of War and soon let it be known that he, too, had
views on the subject of Indian enlistment. As a matter of fact, he
refused to countenance it.[160] The disappointment was the most keen
for Commissioner Dole. Since long before the day when Secretary Smith
had announced[161] to him that the Department of War was contemplating
the employment of four thousand Indians in its service, he had hoped
for some means of rescuing the southern tribes from the Confederate
alliance and now all plans had come to naught. And yet the need
for strenuous action of some sort had never been so great.[162]
Opoeth-le-yo-ho-la and his defeated followers were refugees on the
Verdigris, imploring help to relieve their present

[Footnote 160: Note this series of telegrams [Indian Office Special
Files, no. 201, _Southern Superintendency_, D 576 of 1862]:

"Secretary of War is unwilling to put Indians in the army. Is to
consult with President and settle it today."--SMITH to Dole, February
6, 1862.

"President cant attend to business now. Sickness in the family. No
arrangements can be made now. Make necessary arrangements for relief
of Indians. I will send communication to Congress today."--Same to
Same, February 11, 1862.

"Go on and supply the destitute Indians. Congress will supply the
means. War Department will not organize them."--Same to Same, February
14, 1862.]

[Footnote 161: Smith to Dole, January 3, 1862 [Indian Office Special
Files, no. 201, _Central Superintendency_, I 531 of 1862;
Commissioner of Indian Affairs, _Report_, 1862, p. 150].]

[Footnote 162: On the second of January, Agent Cutler wired from
Leavenworth to Dole, "Heopothleyohola with four thousand warriors is
in the field and needs help badly. Secession Creeks are deserting him.
Hurry up Lane."--Indian Office Special Files, no. 201, _Southern
Superintendency_, C 1443 of 1862.]

necessities and to enable them to return betimes to their own
country.[163] Moreover, Indians of northern antecedents and sympathies
were exhibiting unwonted enthusiasm for the cause[164] and it seemed
hard to have to repel them. Dole was, nevertheless, compelled to do
it. On the eleventh of February, he countermanded the orders he had
issued to Superintendent Coffin and thus a temporary quietus was put
upon the whole affair of the Indian Expedition.

[Footnote 163: Their plea was expressed most strongly in the course of
an interview which Dole had with representatives of the Loyal Creeks
and Seminoles, Iowas and Delawares, February 1, 1862. Robert Burbank,
the Iowa agent, was there. White Cloud acted as interpreter [_Daily
Conservative_, February 2, 1862].]

[Footnote 164: Some of these had been provoked to a desire for war by
the inroads of Missourians. Weas, Piankeshaws, Peorias, and Miamies,
awaiting the return of Dole from the interior of Kansas, said,
"they were for peace but the Missourians had not left them alone"
[Ibid., February 9, 1862].]


The thing that would most have justified the military employment of
Indians by the United States government, in the winter of 1862, was
the fact that hundreds and thousands of their southern brethren were
then refugees because of their courageous and unswerving devotion to
the American Union. The tale of those refugees, of their wanderings,
their deprivations, their sufferings, and their wrongs, comparable
only to that of the Belgians in the Great European War of 1914, is
one of the saddest to relate, and one of the most disgraceful, in the
history of the War of Secession, in its border phase.

The first in the long procession of refugees were those of the army
of Opoeth-le-yo-ho-la who, after their final defeat by Colonel James
McIntosh in the Battle of Chustenahlah, December 26, 1861, had fled up
the valley of the Verdigris River and had entered Kansas near Walnut
Creek. In scattered lines, with hosts of stragglers, the enfeebled,
the aged, the weary, and the sick, they had crossed the Cherokee Strip
and the Osage Reservation and, heading steadily towards the northeast,
had finally encamped on the outermost edge of the New York Indian
Lands, on Fall River, some sixty odd miles west of Humboldt. Those
lands, never having been accepted as an equivalent for their Wisconsin
holdings by the Iroquois, were not occupied throughout their entire
extent by Indians and only here and there

encroached upon by white intruders, consequently the impoverished
and greatly fatigued travellers encountered no obstacles in settling
themselves down to rest and to wait for a much needed replenishment of
their resources.

Their coming was expected. On their way northward, they had fallen
in, at some stage of the journey, with some buffalo hunters, Sacs and
Foxes of the Mississippi, returning to their reservation, which lay
some distance north of Burlington and chiefly in present Osage County,
Kansas. To them the refugees reported their recent tragic experience.
The Sacs and Foxes were most sympathetic and, after relieving the
necessities of the refugees as best they could, hurried on ahead,
imparting the news, in their turn, to various white people whom they
met. In due course it reached General Denver, still supervising
affairs in Kansas, and William G. Coffin, the southern
superintendent.[165] It was the first time, since his appointment the
spring before, that Coffin had had any prospect of getting in touch
with any considerable number of his charges and he must have welcomed
the chance of now really earning his salary. He ordered all of the
agents under him--and some[166] of them had not previously entered
officially upon their duties--to assemble at Fort Roe, on the
Verdigris, and be prepared to take charge of their

[Footnote 165: These facts were obtained chiefly from a letter, not
strictly accurate as to some of its details, written by Superintendent
Coffin to Dole, January 15, 1862 [Indian Office Special Files, no.
201, _Southern Superintendency_, C 1474 of 1862].]

[Footnote 166: For instance, William P. Davis, who had been appointed
Seminole Agent, despairing of ever reaching his post, had gone into
the army [Dole to John S. Davis of New Albany, Indiana, April 5, 1862,
Indian Office _Letter Book_, no. 68, p. 39]. George C. Snow of
Parke County, Indiana, was appointed in his stead [Dole to Snow,
January 13, 1862, Ibid., no. 67, p. 243].]

several contingents; for the refugees, although chiefly Creeks, were
representative of nearly every one of the non-indigenous tribes of
Indian Territory.

It is not an easy matter to say, with any show of approach to exact
figures, how many the refugees numbered.[167] For weeks and weeks,
they were almost continually coming in and even the very first reports
bear suspicious signs of the exaggeration that became really notorious
as graft and peculation entered more and more into the reckoning.
Apparently, all those who, in ever so slight a degree, handled the
relief funds, except, perhaps, the army men, were interested in
making the numbers appear as large as possible. The larger the need
represented, the larger the sum that might, with propriety, be
demanded and the larger the opportunity for graft. Settlers, traders,
and some government agents were, in this respect, all culpable

There was no possibility of mistake, however, intentional or
otherwise, about the destitution of the refugees. It was inconceivably
horrible. The winter weather of late December and early January had
been most inclement and the Indians had trudged through it, over
snow-covered, rocky, trailless places and desolate prairie, nigh three
hundred miles. When they started out, they were not any too well
provided with clothing; for they had departed in a hurry, and, before
they got to Fall River, not a few of them were absolutely naked. They
had practically no tents, no bed-coverings, and no provisions. Dr.
A.B. Campbell, a surgeon sent out by General Hunter,[168] had reached

[Footnote 167: Compare the statistics given in the following:
Commissioner of Indian Affairs, _Report_, 1861, p. 151; 1862,
pp. 137, 157; Indian Office Special Files, no. 201, _Southern
Superintendency_, C 1525 of 1862; General Files, _Southern
Superintendency_, C 1602 of 1862.]

[Footnote 168: The army furnished the first relief that reached them.
In its issue (cont.)]

towards the end of January and their condition was then so bad, so
wretched that it was impossible for him to depict it. Prairie grasses
were "their only protection from the snow" upon which they were
lying "and from the wind and weather scraps and rags stretched upon
switches." Ho-go-bo-foh-yah, the second Creek chief, was ill with a
fever and "his tent (to give it that name) was no larger than a small
blanket stretched over a switch ridge pole, two feet from the ground,
and did not reach it by a foot from the ground on either side of
him." Campbell further said that the refugees were greatly in need of
medical assistance. They were suffering "with inflammatory diseases
of the chest, throat, and eyes." Many had "their toes frozen off,"
others, "their feet wounded." But few had "either shoes or moccasins."
Dead horses were lying around in every direction and the sanitary
conditions were so bad that the food was contaminated and the
newly-arriving refugees became sick as soon as they ate.[169]

Other details of their destitution were furnished by Coffin's son
who was acting as his clerk and who was among the first to attempt
alleviation of their misery.[170] As far as relief went, however, the
supply was so out of proportion to the demand that there was never
any time that spring when it could be said that they were fairly
comfortable and their ordinary wants satisfied. Campbell frankly
admitted that he "selected the nakedest of the naked" and doled out to
them the few articles he

[Footnote 168: (cont.) of January 18, 1862, the _Daily
Conservative_ has this to say: "The Kansas Seventh has been ordered
to move to Humboldt, Allen Co. to give relief to Refugees encamped on
Fall River. Lt. Col. Chas. T. Clark, 1st Battalion, Kansas Tenth, is
now at Humboldt and well acquainted with the conditions."]

[Footnote 169: Commissioner of Indian Affairs, _Report_, 1862,
pp. 151-152.]

[Footnote 170: O.S. Coffin to William G. Coffin, January 26, 1862,
Indian Office Special Files, no. 201, _Southern Superintendency_,
C 1506 of 1862.]

had. When all was gone, how pitiful it must have been for him to see
the "hundreds of anxious faces" for whom there was nothing! Captain
Turner, from Hunter's commissary department, had similar experiences.
According to him, the refugees were "in want of every necessary of
life." That was his report the eleventh of February.[171] On the
fifteenth of February, the army stopped giving supplies altogether
and the refugees were thrown back entirely upon the extremely limited
resources of the southern superintendency.

Dole[172] had had warning from Hunter[173] that such would have to
be the case and had done his best to be prepared for the emergency.
Secretary Smith authorized expenditure for relief in advance of
congressional appropriation, but that simply increased the moral
obligation to practice economy and, with hundreds of loyal Indians on
the brink of starvation,[174] it was no

[Footnote 171: Commissioner of Indian Affairs, _Report_, 1862,
pp. 152-154.]

[Footnote 172: Dole had an interview with the Indians immediately upon
his arrival in Kansas [Moore, _Rebellion Record_, vol. iv, 59-60,
Doc. 21].]

[Footnote 173: Hunter to Dole, February 6, 1862, forwarded by Edward
Wolcott to Mix, February 10, 1862 [Indian Office General Files,
_Southern Superintendency_, 1859-1862, W 513 and D 576 of 1862;
Commissioner of Indian Affairs, _Report_, 1862, p. 150].]

[Footnote 174: Agent G.C. Snow reported, February 13, 1862, on the
utter destitution of the Seminoles [Indian Office General
Files, _Seminole_, 1858-1869] and, on the same day, Coffin
[Ibid., _Southern Superintendency_, 1859-1862, C 1526] to
the same effect about the refugees as a whole. They were coming in,
he said, about twenty to sixty a day. The "destitution, misery and
suffering amongst them is beyond the power of any pen to portray, it
must be seen to be realised--there are now here over two thousand men,
women, and children entirely barefooted and more than that number that
have not rags enough to hide their nakedness, many have died and they
are constantly dying. I should think at a rough guess that from 12 to
15 hundred dead Ponies are laying around in the camp and in the river.
On this account so soon as the weather gets a little warm, a removal
of this camp will be indespensable, there are perhaps now two thousand
Ponies living, they are very poor and many of them must die before
grass comes which we expect here from the first to the 10th of March.
We are issuing a little corn to (cont.)]

time for economy. The inadequacy of the Indian service and the
inefficiency of the Federal never showed up more plainly, to the utter
discredit of the nation, than at this period and in this connection.

Besides getting permission from Secretary Smith to go ahead and supply
the more pressing needs of the refugees, Dole accomplished another
thing greatly to their interest. He secured from the staff of General
Lane a special agent, Dr. William Kile of Illinois,[175] who
had formerly been a business partner of his own[176] and, like
Superintendent Coffin, his more or less intimate friend. Kile's
particular duty as special agent was to be the purchasing of supplies
for the refugees[177] and he at once visited their encampment in order
the better to determine their requirements. His investigations more
than corroborated the earlier accounts of their sufferings and
privations and his appointment under the circumstances seemed fully
justified, notwithstanding that on the surface of things it appeared
very suggestive of a near approach to nepotism, and of nepotism Dole,
Coffin, and many others were unquestionably guilty. They worked into
the service just as many of their own relatives and friends as they
conveniently and safely could. The official pickings were considered
by them as their proper perquisites. "'Twas ever thus" in American
politics, city, county, state, and national.

The Indian encampment upon the occasion of

[Footnote 174: (cont.) the Indians and they are feeding them a
little...." See also Moore, _Rebellion Record_, vol. iv, 30.]

[Footnote 175: Dole was from Illinois also, from Edgar County; Coffin
was from Indiana [Indian Office Miscellaneous Records, no. 8, p.

[Footnote 176: _Daily Conservative_, February 8, 1862.]

[Footnote 177: Indian Office Consolidated Files, _Southern
Superintendency_, D 576 of 1862; _Letter Book_, no. 67, pp.

Kile's[178] visit was no longer on Fall River. Gradually, since first
discovered, the main body of the refugees had moved forward within the
New York Indian Lands to the Verdigris River and had halted in the
neighborhood of Fort Roe, where the government agents had received
them; but smaller or larger groups, chiefly of the sick and their
friends, were scattered all along the way from Walnut Creek.[179] Some
of the very belated exiles were as far westward as the Arkansas, over
a hundred miles distant. Obviously, the thing to do first was to get
them all together in one place. There were reasons why the Verdigris
Valley was a most desirable location for the refugees. Only a very few
white people were settled there and, as they were intruders and had
not a shadow of legal claim to the land upon which they had squatted,
any objections that they might make to the presence of the Indians
could be ignored.[180]

For a few days, therefore, all efforts were directed, at large
expense, towards converting the Verdigris Valley, in the vicinity of
Fort Roe, into a concentration camp; but no precautions were taken
against allowing unhygienic conditions to arise. The Indians
themselves were much diseased. They had few opportunities for personal
cleanliness and less ambition. Some of the food doled out to them was
stuff that the army had condemned and rejected as unfit for use. They
were emaciated, sick, discouraged. Finally, with

[Footnote 178: Indian Office Land Files, 1855-1870, _Southern
Superintendency_, K 107 of 1862.]

[Footnote 179: Some had wandered to the Cottonwood and were camped
there in great destitution. Their chief food was hominy [_Daily
Conservative_, February 14, 1862].]

[Footnote 180: For an account of the controversy over the settlement
of the New York Indian Lands, see Abel, _Indian Reservations in
Kansas and the Extinguishment of their Title_, 13-14.]

the February thaw, came a situation that soon proved intolerable. The
"stench arising from dead ponies, about two hundred of which were
in the stream and throughout the camp,"[181] unburied, made removal
imperatively necessary.

The Neosho Valley around about Leroy presented itself as a likely
place, very convenient for the distributing agents, and was next
selected. Its advantages and disadvantages seemed about equal and had
all been anticipated and commented upon by Captain Turner.[182] It
was near the source of supplies--and that was an item very much to
be considered, since transportation charges, extraordinarily high in
normal times were just now exorbitant, and the relief funds very, very
limited. No appropriation by Congress had yet been made although one
had been applied for.[183] The great disadvantage of the location was
the presence of white settlers and they objected, as well they might,
to the near proximity of the inevitable disease and filth and,
strangely enough, more than anything else, to the destruction of the
timber, which they had so carefully husbanded. The concentration on
the Neosho had not been fully accomplished when the pressure from the
citizens became so great that Superintendent Coffin felt obliged to
plan for yet another removal. Again the sympathy of the Sacs and
Foxes of Mississippi manifested itself and most opportunely. Their

[Footnote 181: Annual Report of Superintendent Coffin, October 15,
1862, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, _Report_, 1862, p. 136.
Compare with Coffin's account given in a letter to Dole, February 13,

[Footnote 182: February 11, 1862, Commissioner of Indian Affairs,
_Report_, 1862, p. 153; Indian Office Special Files, no. 201,
_Southern Superintendency_, D 576 of 1862.]

[Footnote 183: _Congressional Globe_, 37th congress, second
session, part I, pp. 815, 849. Dole's letter to Smith, January 31,
1862, describing the destitution of the refugees, was read in the
Senate, February 14, 1862, in support of joint resolution S. no. 49,
for their relief.]

lay about twenty-five miles to the northward and they generously
offered it as an asylum.[184] But the Indians balked. They were
homesick, disgusted with official mismanagement[185] and indecision,
and determined to go no farther. They complained bitterly of the
treatment that they had received at the hands of Superintendent Coffin
and of Agent Cutler and, in a stirring appeal[186] to President
Lincoln, set forth their injuries, their grievances, and
their incontestable claim upon a presumably just and merciful

The Indians were not alone in their rebellious attitude. There was
mutiny seething, or something very like it, within the ranks of the
agents.[188] E.H. Carruth

[Footnote 184: Coffin to Dole, March 28, 1862 [Indian Office Special
Files, no. 201, _Southern Superintendency_, C 1565 of 1862].]

[Footnote 185: Mismanagement there most certainly had been. In no
other way can the fact that there was absolutely no amelioration in
their condition be accounted for. Many documents that will be cited in
other connections prove this point and Collamore's letter is of itself
conclusive. George W. Collamore, known best by his courtesy title of
"General," went to Kansas in the critical years before the war under
circumstances, well and interestingly narrated in Stearns' _Life and
Public Services of George Luther Stearns_, 106-108. He had been
agent for the New England Relief Society in the year of the great
drouth, 1860-1861 [_Daily Conservative_, October 26, 1861] and
had had much to do with Lane, in whose interests he labored, and who
had planned to make him a brigadier under himself as major-general
[Stearns, 246, 251]. He became quartermaster-general of Kansas
[_Daily Conservative_, March 27, 1862] and in that capacity made,
in the company of the Reverend Evan Jones, a visit of inspection to
the refugee encampment. His discoveries were depressing [Ibid.,
April 10, 1862]. His report to the government [Indian Office General
Files, _Southern Superintendency_, C 1602 of 1862] is
printed almost _verbatim_ in Commissioner of Indian Affairs,
_Report_, 1862, 155-158.]

[Footnote 186: Coffin's letter to Dole of April 21, 1862 [Indian
Office General Files, _Wichita_, 1862-1871, C 1601 of 1862] seems
to cast doubt upon the genuineness of some of the signatures attached
to this appeal and charges Agent Carruth with having been concerned in
making the Indians discontented.]

[Footnote 187: Opoeth-le-yo-ho-la and other prominent refugees
addressed their complaints to Dole, March 29, 1862 [Indian Office Land
Files, _Southern Superintendency_, 1855-1870, O 43 of 1862] and
two days later to President Lincoln, some strong partisan, supposed by
Coffin to be Carruth, acting as scribe.]

[Footnote 188: On the way to the Catholic Mission, whither he was
going in order (cont.)]

who had been so closely associated with Lane in the concoction of the
first plan for the recovery of Indian Territory, was now figuring as
the promoter of a rising sentiment against Coffin and his minions, who
were getting to be pretty numerous. The removal to the Sac and Fox
reservation would mean the getting into closer and closer touch with
Perry Fuller,[189] the contractor, whose dealings in connection with
the Indian refugees were to become matter, later on, of a notoriety
truly disgraceful. Mistrust of Coffin was yet, however, very vague in
expression and the chief difficulty in effecting the removal from the
Neosho lay, therefore, in the disgruntled state of the refugees,
which was due, in part, to their unalleviated misery and, in part, to

[Footnote 188: (cont.) to cooeperate with Agent Elder in negotiating
with the Osages, Coffin heard of "a sneaking conspiracy" that was "on
foot at Iola for the purpose of prejudicing the Indians against us
[himself and Dole, perhaps, or possibly himself and the agents]."
The plotters, so Coffin reported, "sent over the Verdigris for E.H.
Carruth who" was "deep in the plot," which was a scheme to induce the
Indians to lodge complaint against the distributers of relief. One of
the conspirators was a man who had studied law under Lane and who had
wanted a position under Kile. Lane had used his influence in the man's
behalf and the refusal of Coffin to assign him to a position was
supposed to be the cause of all the trouble. Coffin learned that
his enemies had even gone so far as to plan vacancies in the Indian
service and to fill them. They had "instructed Lane, Pomeroy, and
Conway accordingly," leaving graciously to Lane the choice of
superintendent. A Mr. Smith, correspondent of the Cincinnati
_Gazette_ was their accredited secretary [Coffin to Dole,
April 2, 1862, Indian Office Consolidated Files, _Southern
Superintendency_, C 1571 of 1862].

Further particulars of the disaffection came to Coffin's ears before
long and he recounted them to Dole in a letter of April 9, 1862
[Ibid., General Files, _Southern Superintendency_,

[Footnote 189: Perry Fuller had been in Kansas since 1854 [U.S.
House _Reports_, 34th congress, first session, no. 200, p. 8 of
"Testimony"]. The first time that his name is intimately used in the
correspondence, relative to the affairs of the refugees, is in a
letter from Kile to Dole, March 29, 1862 [Indian Office Consolidated
Files, _Southern Superintendency_, K 113 of 1862, which also
makes mention of the great unwillingness of the Indians to move to the
Sac and Fox reservation.]]

tribal discord. There was a quarrel among them over leadership, the
election of Ock-tah-har-sas Harjo as principal chief having
aroused strong antagonistic feeling among the friends of
Opoeth-le-yo-ho-la.[190] Moreover, dissatisfaction against their agent
steadily increased and they asked for the substitution of Carruth; but
he, being satisfied with his assignment to the Wichitas,[191] had no
wish to change.[192]

[Footnote 190: Carruth gave particulars of this matter to Dole, April
20, 1862 [Indian Office General Files, _Wichita_, 1862-1871, C
1601 of 1862].]

[Footnote 191: Dole to Carruth, March 18, 1862 [Indian Office
_Letter Book_, no. 67, pp. 493-494].]

[Footnote 192: Carruth to Dole, April 10, 1862 [Ibid.,
General Files, _Wichita_, 1862-1871, C 1588 of 1862; _Letters
Registered_, vol. 58].]


Among the manifold requests put forward by the refugees, none was so
insistent, none so dolefully sincere, as the one for means to return
home. It is a mistake to suppose that the Indian, traditionally
laconic and stoical, is without family affection and without that
noblest of human sentiments, love of country. The United States
government has, indeed, proceeded upon the supposition that he is
destitute of emotions, natural to his more highly civilized white
brother, but its files are full to overflowing with evidences to the
contrary. Everywhere among them the investigator finds the exile's
lament. The red man has been banished so often from familiar and
greatly loved scenes that it is a wonder he has taken root anywhere
and yet he has. Attachment to the places where the bones of his people
lie is with him the most constant of experiences and his cry for those
same sacred places is all the stronger and the more sorrowful because
it has been persistently ignored by the white man.

The southern Indians had not been so very many years in the Indian
Territory, most of them not more than the span of one generation, but
Indian Territory was none the less home. If the refugees could only
get there again, they were confident all would be well with them. In
Kansas, they were hungry, afflicted with disease, and dying daily by
the score.[193] Once at home

[Footnote 193: And yet they did have their amusements. Their days of
exile were not filled altogether with bitterness. Coffin, in a letter
to the (cont.)]

all the ills of the flesh would disappear and lost friends be
recovered. The exodus had separated them cruelly from each other.
There were family and tribal encampments within the one large
encampment,[194] it is true, but there were also widely isolated
groups, scattered indiscriminately across two hundred miles of bleak
and lonely prairie, and no amount of philanthropic effort on the part
of the government agents could mitigate the misery arising therefrom
or bring the groups together. The task had been early abandoned as,
under the circumstances, next to impossible; but the refugees went on
begging for its accomplishment, notwithstanding that they had
neither the physical strength nor the means to render any assistance
themselves. Among them the wail of the bereaved vied in tragic cadence
with the sad inquiry for the missing.

When Dole arrived at Leavenworth the latter part of January,
representatives of the loyal Indians interviewed him and received
assurances, honest and well-meant at the time given, that an early
return to Indian Territory would be made possible. Lane, likewise
interviewed,[195] was similarly encouraging and had every reason to
be; for was not his Indian brigade in process of formation? Much
cheered and even exhilarated in spirit, the Indians went away to
endure and to wait. They had great confidence in Lane's power to
accomplish; but, as the days and the weeks passed and he did not come,
they grew tired of waiting. The waiting

[Footnote 193: (cont.) _Daily Conservative_, published April 16,
1862, gives, besides a rather gruesome account of their diseases, some
interesting details of their camp life.]

[Footnote 194: On their division into tribal encampments, see Kile
to Dole, April 10, 1862 [Indian Office General Files, _Southern
Superintendency_, 1859-1862, K 119 of 1862].]

[Footnote 195: They had their interview with Lane at the Planters'
House while they were awaiting the arrival of Dole. Opoeth-le-yo-ho-la
(Crazy Dog) and a Seminole chief, Aluktustenuke (Major Potatoes) were
among them [_Daily Conservative_, January 28, February 8, 1862].]


seemed so hopeless to them miserable, so endlessly long. Primitive as
they were, they simply could not understand why the agents of a great
government could not move more expeditiously. The political and
military aspects of the undertaking, involved in their return home,
were unknown to them and, if known, would have been uncomprehended.
Then, too, the vacillation of the government puzzled them. They became
suspicious; for they had become acquainted, through the experience of
long years, with the white man's bad faith and they had nothing to go
upon that would counteract the influence of earlier distrust. And so
it happened, that, as the weary days passed and Lane's brigade did not
materialize, every grievance that loomed up before them took the shape
of a disappointed longing for home.

So poignant was their grief at the continued delay that they despaired
of ever getting the help promised and began to consider how they could
contrive a return for themselves. And yet, quite independent of Lane's
brigade, there had been more than one movement initiated in their
behalf. The desire to recover lost ground in Indian Territory, under
the pretext of restoring the fugitives, aroused the fighting instinct
of many young men in southern Kansas and several irregular expeditions
were projected.[196] Needless to say they came to nothing. In point of
fact, they never really developed, but died almost with the thought.
There was no adequate equipment for them and the longer the delay,
the more necessary became equipment; because after the Battle of Pea
Ridge, Pike's brigade had been set free to operate, if it so willed,
on the Indian Territory border.

[Footnote 196: In addition to those referred to in documents already
cited, the one, projected by Coffin's son and a Captain Brooks, is
noteworthy. It is described in a letter from Coffin to Dole, March 24,

Closely following upon the Federal success of March 6 to 8, came
numerous changes and readjustments in the Missouri-Kansas commands;
but they were not so much the result of that success as they were
a part of the general reorganization that was taking place in the
Federal service incident to the more efficient war administration of
Secretary Stanton. By order of March 11, three military departments
were arranged for, the Department of the Potomac under McClellan,
that of the Mountain under Fremont, and that of the Mississippi under
Halleck. The consolidation of Hunter's Department of Kansas with
Halleck's Department of Missouri was thus provided for and had long
been a consummation devoutly to be wished.[197] Both were naturally
parts of the same organic whole when regarded from a military point
of view. Neither could be operated upon independently of the other.
Moreover, both were infested by political vultures. In both, the army
discipline was, in consequence, bad; that is, if it could be said to
be in existence at all. If anything, Kansas was in a worse state than
Missouri. Her condition, as far as the military forces were concerned,
had not much improved since Hunter first took command and it was then
about the worst that could possibly be imagined. Major Halpine's
description[198] of it, made by him in his capacity as assistant
adjutant-general, officially to Halleck, is anything but flattering.
Hunter was probably well rid of his job and Halleck, whom Lincoln much
admired because he was "wholly for the service,"[199] had asked for
the entire command.[200]

[Footnote 197: Halleck, however, had not desired the inclusion of
Kansas in the contemplated new department because he thought that
state had only a remote connection with present operations.]

[Footnote 198: _Official Records_, vol. viii, 615-617.]

[Footnote 199: Thayer, _Life and Letters of John Hay_, vol. i,

[Footnote 200: Badeau, _Military History of U.S. Grant_, vol. i,
53, _footnote_.]

Halleck's plans for remodeling the constituent elements of his
department were made with a thorough comprehension of the difficulties
confronting him. It is not surprising that they brought General Denver
again to the fore. Hunter's troubles had been bred by local politics.
That Halleck well knew; but he also knew that Indian relations were a
source of perplexity and that there was no enemy actually in Kansas
and no enemy worth considering that would threaten her, provided her
own jay-hawking hordes could be suppressed. Her problems were chiefly
administrative.[201] For the work to be done, Denver seemed the
fittest man available and, on the nineteenth, he, having previously
been ordered to report to Halleck for duty,[202] was assigned[203] to
the command of a newly-constituted District of Kansas, from which
the troops,[204] who were guarding the only real danger zone,
the southeastern part of the state, were expressly excluded. The
hydra-headed evil of the western world then asserted itself, the
meddling, particularistic spoils system, with the result that Lane and
Pomeroy, unceasingly vigilant whenever and wherever what they regarded
as their preserves were likely to be encroached upon, went to
President Lincoln and protested against the preferment of Denver.[205]
Lincoln weakly yielded and wired to Halleck to suspend

[Footnote 201: Halleck to Stanton, March 28, 1862, _Official
Records_, vol. viii, 647-648.]

[Footnote 202:--Ibid., 612]

[Footnote 203:--Ibid., 832.]

[Footnote 204: Those troops, about five thousand, were left under
the command of George W. Deitzler, colonel of the First Kansas
(Ibid., 614), a man who had become prominent before the war in
connection with the Sharpe's rifles episode (Spring, _Kansas_,
60) and whose appointment as an Indian agent, early in 1861, had been
successfully opposed by Lane (Robinson, _Kansas Conflict_, 458).
There will be other occasions to refer to him in this narrative. He is
believed to have held the secret that induced Lane to commit suicide
in 1866 [Ibid., 457-460].]

[Footnote 205: Stanton to Halleck, March 26, 1862 [_Official
Records_, vol. liii, supplement, 516].]

the order for Denver's assignment to duty until further notice.[206]
Stanton, to whom Halleck applied[207] for an explanation,
deprecated[208] the political interference of the Kansas senators and
the influence it had had with the chief executive, but he, too, had to
give way. So effective was the Lane-Pomeroy objection to Denver that
even a temporary[209] appointment of him, resorted[210] to by Halleck
because of the urgent need of some sort of a commander in Kansas, was
deplored by the president.[211] Denver was then sent to the place
where his abilities and his experience would be better appreciated, to
the southernmost part of the state, the hinterland of the whole Indian
country.[212] Official indecision and personal envy pursued him
even there, however, and it was not long before he was called
eastward.[213] The man who succeeded him in command of the District of
Kansas[214] was one who proved to be his ranking officer[215] and his
rival, Brigadier-general S.D. Sturgis. Blunt succeeded him at Fort

[Footnote 206: Lincoln to Halleck, March 21, 1862, _Official
Records_, vol. liii, supplement, 516.]

[Footnote 207: Halleck to Stanton, March 26, 1862, Ibid.]

[Footnote 208: "Deprecated" is, perhaps, too mild a word to describe
Stanton's feeling in the matter. Adjutant-general Hitchcock is
authority for the statement that Stanton threatened "to leave the
office" should the "enforcement" of any such order, meaning the
non-assignment of Denver and the appointment of a man named Davis
[Davies?], believed by Robinson to be a relative of Lane [_Kansas
Conflict_, 446], be attempted [Hitchcock to Halleck, March 22,
1862, _Official Records_, vol. viii, 832-833].]

[Footnote 209:--Ibid., vol. liii, supplement, 519.]

[Footnote 210:--Ibid., vol. viii, 647-648.]

[Footnote 211:--Ibid., vol. liii, supplement, 519.]

[Footnote 212: Concerning the work, mapped out for Denver, see Halleck
to Sturgis, April 6, 1862 [_Official Records_, vol. viii, 668]
and Halleck to Stanton, April 7, 1862 [Ibid., 672].]

[Footnote 213: May 14, 1862 [Ibid., vol. iii, part i,
supplement, 249].]

[Footnote 214:--Ibid., vol. liii, supplement, 520.]

[Footnote 215: "It is stated that the commission of Gen. Sturgis is
dated April 10 and that of Gen. Denver Aug. 14 and consequently Gen.
Sturgis is the ranking officer in this military District."--_Daily
Conservative_, April 10, 1862.]

The elimination of Kansas as a separate department marked the revival
of interest in an Indian expedition. The cost of supporting so huge
a body of refugees had really become a serious proposition and, as
Colonel C. R. Jennison[216] had once remarked, it would be economy to
enlist them.[217] Congress had provided that certain Indian annuity
money might be diverted to their maintenance,[218] but that fund was
practically exhausted before the middle of March.[219] As already
observed, the refugees very much wished to assist in the recovery of
Indian Territory.[220] In fact they were determined to go south if the
army went and their disappointment was likely to be most keen in the
event of its and their not going.[221] It was under circumstances such
as these that Commissioner Dole recommended to Secretary Smith, March
13, 1862, that he

Procure an order from the War Department detailing two
Regiment of Volunteers from Kansas to go with the Indians
to their homes and to remain there for their protection as long
(as) may be necessary, also to furnish two thousand stand of
arms and ammunition to be placed in the hands of the loyal

Dole's unmistakable earnestness carried the day. Within less than a
week there had been promised[222] him all that he had asked for and
more, an

[Footnote 216: Jennison, so says the _Daily Conservative_,
March 25, 1862, had been ordered with the First Cavalry to repair to
Humboldt at the time the Indian Expedition was under consideration the
first of the year and was brevetted acting brigadier for the purpose
of furthering Dole's intentions.]

[Footnote 217: _Daily Conservative_, February 18, 1862.]

[Footnote 218: _Congressional Globe_, 37th congress, second
session, part i, 835, 878.]

[Footnote 219: Dole to Smith, March 13, 1862 [Indian Office _Report
Book_, no. 12, 331-332].]

[Footnote 220: Coffin to Dole, March 3, 1862 [Ibid.,
Consolidated Files, _Southern Superintendency_, C 1544 of 1862;
_Letters Registered_, no. 58].]

[Footnote 221: _Daily Conservative_, March 5, 1862.]

[Footnote 222: Commissioner of Indian Affairs, _Report_, 1862,

expeditionary force of two white regiments and two[223] thousand
Indians, appropriately armed. To expedite matters and to obviate any
difficulties that might otherwise beset the carrying out of the plan,
a semi-confidential agent, on detail from the Indian Office, was sent
west with despatches[224] to Halleck and with an order[225] from the
Ordnance Department for the delivery, at Fort Leavenworth, of the
requisite arms. The messenger was Judge James Steele, who, upon
reaching St. Louis, had already discouraging news to report to Dole.
He had interviewed Halleck and had found him in anything but a helpful
mood, notwithstanding that he must, by that time, have received and
reflected upon the following communication from the War Department:


WASHINGTON CITY, D. C, March 19, 1862.

Commanding the Department of Mississippi:

General: It is the desire of the President, on the application of the
Secretary of the Interior and the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, that
you should detail two regiments to act in the Indian country, with a
view to open the way for the friendly Indians who are now refugees in
Southern Kansas to return to their homes and to protect them there.
Five thousand friendly Indians will also be armed to aid in their
own protection, and you will please furnish them with necessary

Please report your action in the premises to this Department. Prompt
action is necessary.

By order of the Secretary of War:

L. THOMAS, Adjutant-general[226]

[Footnote 223: Two thousand was most certainly the number, although
the communication from the War Department gives it as five.]

[Footnote 224: Dole to Halleck, March 21, 1862 [Indian Office
_Letter Book_, no. 67, 516-517].]

[Footnote 225:--Ibid., 517-518.]

[Footnote 226: _Official Records_, vol. viii, 624-625.]

Steele inferred from what passed at the interview with Halleck that
the commanding general was decidedly opposed to arming Indians. Steele
found him also non-committal as to when the auxiliary force would be
available.[227] Dole's letter, with its seeming dictation as to
the choice of a commander for the expedition, may not have been to
Halleck's liking. He was himself at the moment most interested in the
suppression of guerrillas and jayhawkers, against whom sentence of
outlawry had just been passed. As it happened, that was the work in
which Dole's nominee, Colonel Robert B. Mitchell,[228] was to render
such signal service[229] and, anticipating as much, Halleck may have
objected to his being thought of for other things. Furthermore, Dole
had no right to so much as cast a doubt upon Halleck's own ability to
select a proper commander.

A little perplexed but not at all daunted by Halleck's lack of
cordiality, Steele proceeded on his journey and, arriving at
Leavenworth, presented his credentials to Captain McNutt, who was in
charge of the arsenal. Four hundred Indian rifles were at hand, ready
for him, and others expected.[230] What to do next, was the question?
Should he go on to Leroy and trust to the auxiliary force's showing up
in season or wait for it? The principal part of his mission was yet
to be executed. The Indians had to be enrolled and everything got in
train for their expedition southward. Their homes

[Footnote 227: Steele to Dole, March 27, 1862 [Indian Office General
Files, _Southern Superintendence_, 1859-1862, S 537 of 1862].]

[Footnote 228: Robert B. Mitchell was colonel, first of the Second
Kansas Infantry, then of the Second Kansas Cavalry. He raised the
former, in answer to President Lincoln's first call, 1861 [Crawford,
_Kansas in the Sixties_, 20], chiefly in Linn County, and the
latter in 1862.]

[Footnote 229: Connelley, _Quantrilt and the Border Wars_, 236

[Footnote 230: Steele to Dole, March 26, 1862 [Indian Office General
Files, _Southern Superintendence_, 1859-1862].]

once recovered, they were to be left in such shape as to be able to
"protect and defend themselves."[231]

Halleck's preoccupation, prejudice, or whatever it was that prevented
him from giving any satisfaction to Steele soon yielded, as all
things sooner or later must, to necessity; but not to the extent of
sanctioning the employment of Indians in warfare except as against
other "Indians or in defense of their own territory and homes." The
Pea Ridge atrocities were probably still fresh in his mind. On the
fifth of April, he instructed[232] General Denver with a view to
advancing, at last, the organization of the Indian expedition and
Denver, Coffin, and Steele forthwith exerted all their energies in
cooeperating effort[233]. Some time was spent in inspecting arms[234]
but, on the eighth, enough for two thousand Indians went forward in
the direction of Leroy and Humboldt[235] and on the sixteenth were
delivered to the superintendent[236]. Coffin surmised that new
complications would arise as soon as the distribution began; for all
the Indians, whether they intended to enlist or not, would try to
secure guns. Nothing had yet been said about their pay and nothing
heard of an auxiliary force[237]. Again the question was, what,

[Footnote 231: Dole to Steele, March 21, 1862, Indian Office _Letter
Book_, no. 67, 508-509.]

[Footnote 232: _Official Records_, vol. viii, 665.]

[Footnote 233: Dole's name might well be added to this list; for he
had never lost his interest or relaxed his efforts. On the fifth of
April, he communicated to Secretary Smith the intelligence that he
had issued instructions to "the officers appointed to command the two
Regiments of Indians to be raised as Home Guard to report at Fort
Leavenworth to be mustered into service ... "--Indian Office _Report
Book_, no. 12, 357.]

[Footnote 234: Steele to Dole, April 7, 1862 [Ibid., General
Files, _Southern Superintendency_, 1859-1862, S 538 of 1862].]

[Footnote 235: Denver to Halleck, April 8, 1862 [_Official
Records_, vol. viii, 679].]

[Footnote 236: Commissioner of Indian Affairs, _Report_, 1862,

[Footnote 237: "... I fear we shall have trouble in regard to the guns
as many will take guns that will not go and whether they will give up
their arms is doubtful. I had a long talk with Opothly-Oholo on that
point and told (cont.)]

in the event of its not appearing, should the Indian agents do?[238]

The time was propitious for starting the expedition; for not the
shadow of an enemy had been lately seen in the West, unless count be
taken of Indians returning home or small roving bands of possible
marauders that the people of all parties detested[239]. But the order
for the supplanting of Denver by Sturgis had already been issued,
April sixth[240], and Sturgis's policy was not yet

[Footnote 237: (cont.) him you could only get 2000 guns and you wanted
every one to go and an Indian with it and that if any of them got guns
that did not go they must give up their guns to those that would go
but I know enough of the Indian character to know that it will be next
thing to an impossibility to get a gun away from one when he once gets
it and I shall put off the distribution of the guns till the last
moment and it would be best to send them on a day or two before being
distributed but that would make them mad and they would not go at all
and how we are to know how many to look out for from others than those
we have here I am not able to see but we will do all that we can but
you may look out for dificulty in the matter they all seem anxious now
to go and make no objections as yet nor have they said anything about
their pay but as they were told before when we expect them to go into
the Hunter Lane expedition that they would get the same pay as white
troops and set off a part of it for their families it was so indelibly
impressed upon their minds that I fear we will have a blow up on that
score when it comes up we hear nothing yet of any troops being ordered
to this service and I very much fear they will put off the matter so
long that there will be no crop raised this season ... the mortality
amongst them is great more since warm weather has set in than during
the cold weather they foolishly physic themselves nearly to death danc
[dance] all night and then jump into the river just at daylight to
make themselves bullet proof they have followed this up now every
night for over two weeks and it has no doubt caused many deaths
Long Tiger the Uchee Chief and one of the best amongst them died
to-day--yesterday we had 7 deaths and there will not be less
to-day"--Coffin to Dole, April 7, 1862, Indian Office General Files,
_Southern Superintendency_, 1859-1862, C 1578 of 1862.]

[Footnote 238: This was the query put to Dole by Steele in a letter of
the thirteenth of April, which acknowledged Dole's of the third and
ventured the opinion that Postmaster-general Blair "must be imitating
General McClellan and practicing strategy with the mails." Steele
further remarked, "Gen'l Denver, Maj. Wright and I are in the dark as
to the plans of the Indian Expedition. Gen. Denver thinks I
should proceed at once to Leroy without waiting for your
instructions."--Ibid., S 539 of 1862.]

[Footnote 239: Curtis to Halleck, April 5, 1862 [_Official
Records_, vol. viii, 662].]

[Footnote 240: Sturgis, upon the receipt of orders of this date,
assumed command of (cont.)]

known. It soon revealed itself, however, and was hostile to the whole
project that Dole had set his heart upon. Apparently that project, the
moment it had been taken up by Denver, had ceased to have any interest
for Lane on the score of its merits and had become identified with
the Robinson faction in Kansas politics. At any rate, it was the
anti-Robinson press that saw occasion for rejoicing in the complete
removal of Denver from the scene, an event which soon took place[241].

The relieving of Denver from the command of the District of Kansas
inaugurated[242] what contemporaries described as "Sturgis' military
despotism,"[243] in amplification of which it is enough to say that
it attempted the utter confounding, if not the annihilation, of the
Indian Expedition, a truly noble undertaking to be sure, considering
how much was hoped for from that expedition, how much of benefit and
measure of justice to a helpless, homeless, impoverished people and
considering, also, how much of time and thought and

[Footnote 240: (cont.) the District of Kansas; but Denver was not
called east until the fourteenth of May. On the twenty-first of April,
it was still expected that he would lead an expedition "down the
borders of Arkansas into the Indian country." [KELTON to Curtis, April
21, 1862, Ibid., vol. xiii, 364].]

[Footnote 241: The _Daily Conservative_, for instance, rejoiced
over this telegram from Sidney Clark of May 2, which gave advanced
information of Denver's approaching departure: "Conservative: The
Department of Kansas is reinstated. Gen. Blunt takes command. Denver
reports to Halleck; Sturgis here." The newspaper comment was, "We
firmly believe that a prolongation of the Denver-Sturgis political
generalship, aided as it was by the corrupt Governor of this
State, would have led to a revolution in Kansas ..."--_Daily
Conservative_, May 6, 1862.]

[Footnote 242: General Sturgis assumed command, April 10, 1862
[_Official Records_, vol. viii, 683], and Denver took temporary
charge at Fort Scott [Ibid., 668].]

[Footnote 243: Quoted from the _Daily Conservative_ of May 20;
but not with the idea of subscribing thereby to any verdict that would
bear the implication that all of Sturgis's measures were arbitrary
and wrong. Something strenuous was needed in Kansas. The arrest of
Jennison and of Hoyt [Ibid., April 19, 23, 1862] because of
their too radical anti-slavery actions was justifiable. Jennison had
disorganized his regiment in a shameful manner [Ibid., June 3,

energy, not to mention money, had already been expended upon it.

Sturgis's policy with reference to the Indian Expedition was initiated
by an order[244], of April 25, which gained circulation as purporting
to be in conformity with instructions from the headquarters of the
Department of the Mississippi, although in itself emanating from those
of the District of Kansas. It put a summary stop to the enlistment
of Indians and threatened with arrest anyone who should disobey its
mandate. Superintendent Coffin, in his inimitable illiteracy, at once
entered protest[245] against it and coolly informed Sturgis that, in
enrolling Indians for service, he was acting under the authority, not
of the War, but of the Interior Department. At the same sitting, he
applied to Commissioner Dole for new instructions[246].

[Footnote 244: _Official Records_, vol. xiii, 365.]

[Footnote 245:

BRIG. GENL S.D. STURGIS, Fort Leavenworth Kansas

Dear Sir: A Special Messenger arrived here last night from Fort
Leavenworth with your orders No. 8 and contents noted. I would most
respectfully inform you that I am acting under the controle and
directions of the Interior and not of the War Department. I have
been endeavoring to the best of my humble ability to carry out the
instructions and wishes of that Department, all of which I hope will
meet your aprobation.

Your Messenger reports himself Straped, that no funds were furnished
him to pay his expenses, that he had to beg his way down here. I have
paid his bill here and furnished him with five dollars to pay his way
back. Very respectfully your Obedient Servant

W.G. COFFIN, _Sup't. of Indian Affairs_, Southern
Superintendency. [Indian Office Special Files, no. 201, _Southern
Superintendency_, C 1612 of 1862].]

[Footnote 246: LEROY COFFEY CO., KANSAS, April 29th, 1862.

SIR: Enclosed please find a communication from Brigadier General
Sturgis in regard to the organising of the Indians and my reply to the
same, the officers are here, or at least four of them. Col Furnace
Agutant Elithurp Lieutenant Wattles and Agutant Dole I need scarcely
say to you that we shall continue to act under your Instructions til
further orders, the Officers above alluded to have been untiring in
their efforts to get acquainted with and get the permanent (cont.)]

Colonel John Ritchie[247] of the inchoate Second Regiment Indian Home
Guards did the same[248].

The reestablishment[249] of the Department of Kansas, at this critical
moment, while much to be regretted as indicative of a surrender to
politicians[250] and an abandonment of the idea, so fundamentally
conducive to military success, that all parts must contribute to the
good of the whole, had one thing to commend it, it restored vigor
to the Indian Expedition. The department was reestablished, under
orders[251] of May second, with James G. Blunt in command. He entered
upon his duties, May fifth, and on that selfsame day authorized the
issue of the following most significant instructions, in toto, a
direct countermand of all that Sturgis had most prominently stood for:

[Footnote 246: (cont.) organization of the Indians under way and have
made a fine impression upon them, and I should very much regret any
failure to carry out the programe as they have been allready so
often disappointed that they have become suspicious and it all has a
tendency to lessen their confidence in us and to greatly increase
our dificulties All of which is most Respectfully Submitted by your
obedient Servant

W.G. COFFIN, Sup't of Indian Affairs. [Indian Office Special Files,
no. 201, _Southern Superintendency_, C 1612 of 1862].]

[Footnote 247: For an inferential appraisement of Ritchie's character
and abilities, see Kansas _Historical Collections_, vol. iii,

[Footnote 248: Ritchie to Dole, April 26, 1863 [Indian Office
Miscellaneous Files, 1858-1863].]

[Footnote 249: The reestablishment, considered in the light of the
first orders issued by Blunt, those set out here, was decidedly in
the nature of a reflection upon the reactionary policy of Halleck and
Sturgis; but Halleck had no regrets. Of Kansas, he said, "Thank God,
it is no longer under my command." [_Official Records_, vol.
xiii, 440.] Ever since the time, when he had been urged by the
administration in Washington, peculiarly sensitive to political
importunities, not to retain, outside of Kansas, the Kansas troops
if he could possibly avoid it, there had been more or less of rancor
between him and them. His opinion of them was that they were a
"humbug" [Ibid., vol. viii, 661].]

[Footnote 250: Almost simultaneously, Schofield was given independent
command in Missouri, a similar surrender to local political pressure.]

[Footnote 251: _Official Records_, vol. xiii, 368-369.]

No. 2. Fort Leavenworth, Kans., May 5, 1862.

I. General Orders, No. 8, dated Headquarters District of Kansas, April
25, 1862, is hereby rescinded.

II. The instructions issued by the Department at Washington to the
colonels of the two Indian regiments ordered to be raised will be
fully carried out, and the regiments will be raised with all possible

By order of Brig. Gen. James G. Blunt,[252]

and Assistant Adjutant-general_.[253]

The full extent, not only of Sturgis's failure to cooeperate with
the Indian Office, but also of his intention utterly to block the
organization of the Indian Expedition, is revealed in a letter[254]
from Robert W. Furnas, colonel commanding the First Regiment Indian
Home Guards, to Dole, May 4, 1862. That letter best explains itself.
It was written from Leroy, Kansas, and reads thus:

Disclaiming any idea of violating "Regulations" by an "Official
Report" to you, permit me to communicate certain facts extremely
embarrassing, which surround the Indian Expedition.

In compliance with your order of Ap'l 5th. I reported myself
"forthwith" to the U.S. mustering officer at Ft. Leavenworth and
was "mustered into the service" on the 18th. of April. I "awaited
the orders from Genl Halleck" as directed but rec'd none. On the
20th. Ap'l I rec'd detailed

[Footnote 252: The promotion of Blunt to a brigadier-generalship had
caused surprise and some opposition. Referring to it, the _Daily
Conservative_, April 12, 1862, said, "Less than three months ago
Mr. Lincoln informed a gentleman from this State that no Kansas man
would be made a Brigadier 'unless the Kansas Congressional delegation
was unanimously and strenuously in his favor' ... Either the President
has totally changed his policy or Lane, Pomeroy and Conway are
responsible for this most unexpected and unprecedented appointment

[Footnote 253: _Official Records_, vol. xiii, 370.]

[Footnote 254: Indian Office General Files, _Southern
Superintendency_, 1859-1862, F 363 of 1862.]

instructions from Adjt. Gen'l Thomas, authorizing me to proceed
and raise "from the loyal Indians now in Kansas a Regiment of
Infantry." I immediately repaired to this place and in a very
few days enrolled a sufficient number of Indians to form a
minimum[255] Regiment. I am particularly indebted to the Agts.
Maj. Cutler of the Creeks and Maj. Snow of the Seminoles, for
their valuable services. Immediately after the enrolling, and
in compliance with my instructions from Adjt. Gen'l Thomas, I
notified Lieut. Chas. S. Bowman U.S. mustering officer at Ft.
Leavenworth of the fact, to which I have rec'd no answer.

At this point in my procedure a special messenger from Gen'l
Sturgis reached this place with a copy of his "Order No. 8," a
copy of which I herewith send you. On the next day Maj. Minor in
command at Iola, Kansas, and who had been furnished with a copy of
General Sturgis' "Order" came with a company of Cavalry to this
place "to look into matters." I showed him my authority, and
informed him what I had done. He made no arrest, seeming utterly
at a loss to understand the seemingly _confused_ state of
affairs. Whether Gen'l Sturgis will on the reception of my notice
at the Fort arrest me, or not, I know not. I have gone to the
limits of my instructions and deem it, if not my duty, prudent at
least to notify you of the condition of affairs, that you may be
the better enabled to remove obstacles, that the design of the
Department may be fully and promptly executed....[256]

[Footnote 255: The regiment, according to the showing of the muster
roll, comprised one thousand nine men. Fifteen hundred was the more
usual number of a regiment, which, normally, had three battalions with
a major at the head of each.]

[Footnote 256: The remainder of the letter deals with the muster roll
of the First Regiment Indian Home Guards, which was forwarded to Dole,
under separate cover, the same day, and of which Dole acknowledged the
receipt, May 16, 1862 [Indian Office _Letter Book_, no. 68, pp.
240-241]. The roll shows the captain and number of each company as

Company A Billy Bowlegs 106
Company B A-ha-luk-tus-ta-na-ke 100
Company C Tus-te-nu-ke-ema-ela 104
Company D Tus-te-nuk-ke 100
Company E Jon-neh (John) 101
Company F Mic-co-hut-ka (White Chief) 103
Company G Ah-pi-noh-to-me 103


It soon developed that General Halleck had been equally at fault
in disregarding the wishes of the government with respect to the
mustering in of the loyal Indians. He had neglected to send on
to Kansas the instructions which he himself had received from
Washington.[257] It was incumbent, therefore, upon Blunt to ask for
new. He had found the enlisted Indians with no arms, except guns, no
shot pouches, no powder horns, although they were attempting to supply
themselves as best they could.[258] Blunt thought they ought to be
furnished with sheath, or bowie, knives; but the Indian Office had no
funds for such a purpose.[259] The new instructions, when they came,
were found to differ in no particular from those which had formerly
been issued. The Indian Home Guards were to constitute an irregular
force and were to be supported by such white troops, as Blunt should
think necessary. They were to be supplied with transportation and
subsistence and Blunt was to "designate the general to command."
Blunt's own appointment was expected to remove all difficulties that
had stood in the way of the Indian Expedition while under the control
of Halleck.[260] On

[Footnote 256: (cont.)

Company H Lo-ga-po-koh 94
Company I Jan-neh (John 100
Company J Lo-ka-la-chi-ha-go 98]

[Footnote 257: Coffin to Dole, May 8, 1862, Indian Office General
Files, _Southern Superintendency_, 1859-1862.]

[Footnote 258: Same to Same, May 13, 1862, Ibid., Land Files,
_Southern Superintendency_, 1855-1870.]

[Footnote 259: Dole to Coffin, May 20, 1862, Ibid., _Letter
Book_, no. 68, p. 252.]

[Footnote 260: "I visited the War Department today to ascertain what
orders had been forwarded to you and your predecessor relative to the
organization of two thousand Indians as a home guard, which when
so organized would proceed to their homes in the Indian country in
company with a sufficient number of white troops to protect them at
their homes.

"I learn from Adjutant General Thomas that all necessary orders have
been forwarded to enable you to muster these Indian Regiments into the
service as an irregular force; and to send such white force with them
as (cont.)]

May 8 came the order from Adjutant-general Thomas, "Hurry up the
organization and departure of the two Indian regiments,"[261] which
indicated that there was no longer any question as to endorsement by
the Department of War.

As a matter of fact, the need for hurry was occasioned by the activity
of secessionists, Indians and white men, in southwest Missouri, which
would, of itself, suggest the inquiry as to what the Indian allies of
the Confederacy had been about since the Battle of Pea Ridge. Van
Dorn had ordered them to retire towards their own country and, while
incidentally protecting it, afford assistance to their white ally by
harassing the enemy, cutting off his supply trains, and annoying him
generally. The order had been rigidly attended to and the Indians had
done their fair share of the irregular warfare that terrorized and
desolated the border in the late spring of the second year of the war.
Not all of them, regularly enlisted, had participated in it, however;
for General Pike had, with a considerable part of his brigade, gone
away from the border as far as possible and had intrenched himself at
a fort of his own planning, Fort McCulloch, in the Choctaw Nation, on
the Blue River, a branch of the Red.[262] Furthermore,

[Footnote 260: (cont.) in your judgment may be deemed necessary, also
that the difficulties we experienced while the expedition was under
the control of Gen'l Halleck are now removed by your appointment, and
that you will designate the general to command the whole expedition
and see that such supplies for the transportation and subsistence as
may be necessary are furnished to the whole expedition (Indians as
well as whites). Lieut. Kile informs me that there was doubt whether
the Quarter Master would be expected to act as Commissary for
the Regiment. I suppose that you fully understand this was the
intention...."--Dole to Blunt, May 16, 1862, Indian Office _Letter
Book_, no. 68, pp. 241-242.]

[Footnote 261: _Daily Conservative_, May 9, 1862.]

[Footnote 262: "... General Albert Pike retreated from the battle of
Pea Ridge, Arkansas, a distance of 250 miles, and left his new-made
wards to the mercy (cont.)]

Colonel Drew and his men, later converts to secessionism, had, for a
good part of the time, contented themselves with guarding the Cherokee
Nation,[263] thus leaving Colonel Cooper and Colonel Stand Watie, with
their commands, to do most of the scouting and

[Footnote 262: (cont.) of war, stringing his army along through the
Cherokee, Creek and Choctaw Nations, passing through Limestone Gap, on
among the Boggies, and halted at Carriage Point, on the Blue, 'away
down along the Chickasaw line.' Cherokee Knights of the Golden Circle
followed Pike's retreat to Texas ... "--Ross, _Life and Times of
Hon. William P. Ross_, p. viii.]

[Footnote 263: These two letters from John Ross are offered in
evidence of this. They are taken from Indian Office Miscellaneous
Files, John Ross _Papers_:



SIR: I am in receipt of your favor of the 23rd. inst. I have no doubt
that forage can be procured for Col. Drew's men in this vicinity by
hauling it in from the farms of the surrounding Districts. The subject
of a Delegate in Congress shall be attended to so soon as arrangements
can be made for holding an election. I am happy to learn that Col.
Drew has been authorized to furlough a portion of the men in his
Regiment to raise corn. I shall endeavor to be correctly informed of
the movements of the enemy and advise you of the same. And I shall be
gratified to receive any important information that you may have to
communicate at all times. I am very respectfully and truly, Yours,
etc. John Ross, _Prin'l Chief_, Cherokee Nation.



SIR: I beg leave to thank you for your kind response to my letter of
the 22nd ulto and your order stationing Col. Drew's Regiment in this
vicinity. Though much reduced by furloughs in number it will be
useful for the particular purposes for which it was ordered here. The
unprotected condition of the country however is a source of general
anxiety among the People, who feel that they are liable to be overrun
at any time by small parties from the U.S. Army which remains in the
vicinity of the late Battle Ground. This is more particularly the case
since the removal of the Confederate Forces under your command and
those under Major Gen'l Price. Without distrusting the wisdom that has
prompted these movements, or the manifestation of any desire on my
part to enquire into their policy it will be nevertheless a source
of satisfaction to be able to assure the people of the country that
protection will not be withheld from them and that they will not
be left to their own feeble defense. Your response is respectfully
requested, I have the honor to be Sir with high regards, Your Obt
Servt. JOHN ROSS, _Prin'l Chief_, Cherokee Nation.

To Brig. Gen'l A. Pike Com'dg, Department Indian Territory, Head Qrs.
Choctaw Nation.]

skirmishing. So kindly did the Indians take to that work that Colonel
Cooper recommended[264] their employment as out-and-out guerrillas.
That was on May 6 and was probably suggested by the fact that, on
April 21, the Confederate government had definitely authorized the
use of partisan rangers.[265] A good understanding of Indian military
activity, at this particular time, is afforded by General Pike's
report[266] of May 4,

... The Cherokee[267] and Creek troops are in their respective
countries. The Choctaw troops are in front of me, in their
country, part on this side of Boggy and part at Little Boggy, 34
miles from here. These observe the roads to Fort Smith and by
Perryville toward Fort Gibson. Part of the Chickasaw battalion is
sent to Camp McIntosh, 11 miles this side of the Wichita Agency,
and part to Fort Arbuckle, and the Texan company is at Fort Cobb.

I have ordered Lieutenant-colonel Jumper with his Seminoles to
march to and take Fort Larned, on the Pawnee Fork of the Arkansas,
where are considerable stores and a little garrison. He will go as
soon as their annuity is paid.

The Creeks under Colonel McIntosh are about to make an extended
scout westward. Stand Watie, with his Cherokees, scouts along the
whole northern line of the Cherokee country from Grand Saline to
Marysville, and sends me information continually of every movement
of the enemy in Kansas and Southwestern Missouri.

The Comanches, Kiowas, and Reserve Indians are all peaceable and
quiet. Some 2,000 of the former are encamped about three days'
ride from Fort Cobb, and some of them come in at intervals to
procure provisions. They have sent to me to know

[Footnote 264: Cooper to Van Dorn, May 6, 1862, _Official
Records_, vol. xiii, 823-824.]

[Footnote 265: _Journal of the Congress of the Confederate
States_, vol. v, 285.]

[Footnote 266: _Official Records_, vol. xiii, 819-823.]

[Footnote 267: This situation, so eminently satisfactory to John Ross,
did not continue long, however, and on May 10, the Cherokee Principal
Chief had occasion to complain that his country had been practically
divested of a protecting force and, at the very moment, too, when the
Federals were showing unwonted vigor near the northeastern border
[Ross to Davis, May 10, 1862, _Official Records_, vol. xiii,

if they can be allowed to send a strong party and capture any
trains on their way from Kansas to New Mexico, to which I have no
objection. To go on the war-path somewhere else is the best way to
keep them from troubling Texas ...

Stand Watie's scouting had brought him, April 26,[268] into a slight
action with men of the First Battalion First Missouri Cavalry at
Neosho, in the vicinity of which place he lingered many days and where
his men[269] again fought, in conjunction with Colonel Coffee's, May
31.[270] The skirmish of the later date was disastrous to the Federals
under Colonel John M. Richardson of the Fourteenth Missouri State


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