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

Part 4 out of 9

to accomplish his purposes, no wonder that he instituted martial
law[438] in a seemingly refractory country, no wonder that he took
desperate measures to force Pike to activity. Pike's leisurely way of
attending to business was in itself an annoyance and his leisurely way
of moving over the country was a positive offence. He had been ordered
to proceed with dispatch to Fort Gibson. The expiration of a month and
a half found him still at Fort McCulloch. He really did not move from
thence until, having sent in his resignation, he made preparations for
handing over his command to Colonel Cooper. That he intended to do at
some point on the Canadian and thither he wended his way.[439] By the
twenty-first of July, "he had succeeded in getting as far as Boggy
Depot, a distance of 25 miles;[440] but then he had not left Fort
McCulloch until that very morning.[441]

Pike's definite break with Hindman was, perhaps, more truly a
consummation of Hindman's wishes than of Pike's own. On the third
of July, as if regretting his previous show of temper, he wrote to
Hindman a long letter,[442] conciliatory in tone throughout. He
discussed the issues between them in a calm and temperate spirit,

[Footnote 437: In September, Hindman declared he had never had any
knowledge of the order creating Pike's department [_Official
Records_, vol. xiii, 978].]

[Footnote 438: He instituted martial law, June 30, 1862 and, although
he believed he had precedent in Pike's own procedure, Pike criticized
him severely. See Pike to J.S. Murrow, Seminole Agent, October 25,
1862, Ibid., 900-902. Hindman had authorized Pearce, June 17,
1862, to exercise martial law in the cities of Fort Smith and Van
Buren and their environs [Ibid., 835].]

[Footnote 439: Pike to Hindman, July 15, 1862.]

[Footnote 440: Hindman's Report [_Official Records_, vol. xiii,

[Footnote 441: Pike to the Secretary of War, July 20, 1862
[Ibid., 859].]

[Footnote 442:--Ibid., 954-962.]

changing nothing as regarded the facts but showing a willingness to
let bygones be bygones. Considering how great had been his chagrin,
his indignation, and his poignant sense of ingratitude and wrong, he
rose to heights really noble. He seemed desirous, even anxious, that
the great cause in which they were both so vitally interested should
be uppermost in both their minds always and that their differences,
which, after all, were, comparatively speaking, so very petty, should
be forgotten forever. It was in the spirit of genuine helpfulness that
he wrote and also in the spirit of great magnanimity. Pike was a man
who studied the art of war zealously, who knew the rules of European
warfare, and a man, who, even in war times, could read Napier's
_Peninsular War_ and succumb to its charm. He was a classicist
and a student very much more than a man of action. Could those around
him, far meaner souls many of them than he, have only known and
remembered that and, remembering it, have made due allowances for his
vagaries, all might have been well. His generous letter of the third
of July failed utterly of its mission; but not so much, perhaps,
because of Hindman's inability to appreciate it or unwillingness
to meet its writer half-way, as because of the very seriousness
of Hindman's own military situation, which made all compromises
impossible. The things he felt it incumbent upon him to do must be
done his way or not at all. The letter of July 3 could scarcely have
been received before the objectionable orders of July 8 had been

The last ten days of July were days of constant scouting on the part
of both the Federal and Confederate Indians but nothing of much
account resulted. Colonel W.A. Phillips of the Third Indian Home

whose command had been left by Furnas to scout around Tahlequah and
Fort Gibson, came into collision with Stand Watie's force on the
twenty-seventh at Bayou Bernard, seven miles, approximately, from the
latter place. The Confederate Cherokees lost considerably in dead
and prisoners.[443] Phillips would have followed up his victory by
pursuing the foe even to the Verdigris had not Cooper, fearing that
his forces might be destroyed in detail, ordered them all south of the
Arkansas and thereby circumvented his enemy's designs. Phillips
then moved northward in the direction of Furnas's main camp on Wolf

Pike had his own opinion of Cooper and Watie's daring methods of
fighting and most decidedly disapproved of their attempting to meet
the enemy in the neighborhood of Fort Gibson. That part of the Indian
Territory, according to his view of things, was not capable of
supporting an army. He discounted the ability of his men to conquer,
their equipment being so meagre. He, therefore, persisted in advising
that they should fight only on the defensive. He advised that,
notwithstanding he had a depreciatory[445] regard for the Indian
Expedition, and, both before and after the retrograde movement
of Colonel Salomon, underestimated its size and strength. He Was
confident that Cooper would have inevitably to fall back to the
Canadian, where, as he said, "the defensible country commences." Pike
objected strenuously to the courting of an open battle and, could he
have followed the bent of his own inclinations, "would have sent only

[Footnote 443: Phillips to Furnas, July 27, 1862, _Official
Records_, vol. xiii, 181-182.]

[Footnote 444: Same to same, August 6, 1862, Ibid., 183-184.]

[Footnote 445: Cooper reported that Pike regarded the Indian
Expedition as only a "jayhawking party," and "no credit due" "for
arresting its career" [Cooper to Davis, August 8, 1862, Ibid.,
vol liii, supplement, 821].]

small bodies of mounted Indians and white troops to the

No doubt it was in repudiation of all responsibility for what Cooper
and Watie might eventually do that he chose soon to bring himself,
through a mistaken notion of justice and honor, into very disagreeable
prominence. Discretion was evidently not Pike's cardinal virtue. At
any rate, he was quite devoid of it when he issued, July 31, his
remarkable circular address[447] "to the Chiefs and People of the
Cherokees, Creeks, Seminoles, Chickasaws, and Choctaws." In that
address, he notified them that he had resigned his post as department
commander and dilated upon the causes that had moved him to action. He
shifted all blame for failure to keep faith with the Indian nations
from himself and from the Confederate government to the men upon whom
he steadfastly believed it ought to rest. He deprecated the plundering
that would bring its own retribution and begged the red men to be
patient and to keep themselves true to the noble cause they had

Remain true, I earnestly advise you, to the Confederate States
and yourselves. Do not listen to any men who tell you that the
Southern States will abandon you. They will not do it. If the
enemy has been able to come into the Cherokee country it has not
been the fault of the President; and it is but the fortune of war,
and what has happened in Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee,
and even Arkansas. We have not been able to keep the enemy from
our frontier anywhere; but in the interior of our country we can
defeat them always.

Be not discouraged, and remember, above all things, that you can
have nothing to expect from the enemy. They will have no mercy on
you, for they are more merciless than wolves and more rapacious.
Defend your country with what help you

[Footnote 446: Pike to the Secretary of War, July 20, 1862,
_Official Records_, vol. xiii, 859-860.]

[Footnote 447:--Ibid., 869-871.]

can get until the President can send you troops. If the enemy ever
comes to the Canadian he cannot go far beyond that river. The war
must soon end since the recent victories near Richmond, and no
treaty of peace will be made that will give up any part of your
country to the Northern States. If I am not again placed in
command of your country some other officer will be in whom you
can confide. And whatever may be told you about me, you will soon
learn that if I have not defended the whole country it was because
I had not the troops with which to do it; that I have cared for
your interest alone; that I have never made you a promise that I
did not expect, and had not a right to expect, to be able to keep,
and that I have never broken one intentionally nor except by the
fault of others.

The only fair way to judge Pike's farewell address to his Indian
charges is to consider it in the light of its effect upon them,
intended and accomplished.[448] So little reason has the red man had,
in the course of his long experience with his white brother, to trust
him that his faith in that white brother rests upon a very slender
foundation. Pike knew the Indian character amazingly well and knew
that he must retain for the Confederacy the Indian's confidence at all
cost. Were he to fail in that, his entire diplomatic work would have
been done in vain. To stay the Cherokees in their desertion to
the North was of prime necessity. They had already gone over in
dangerously large numbers and must be checked before other tribes
followed in their wake. Very possibly Pike had been made aware

[Footnote 448: Pike gives this as the effect of his proclamation:

"... it effected what I desired. The Choctaw force was immediately
increased to two full regiments; the Creek force to two regiments
and two companies; the Seminole force was doubled; the Chickasaws
reorganized five companies and a sixth is being made up. The Indians
looked to me alone, and for me to vindicate myself was to vindicate
the Government. We lost half the Cherokees solely because their moneys
and supplies were intercepted..."--Ibid., 904-905. See also
Pike to Holmes, December 30, 1862. Another effect was, the creation of
a prejudice self-confessed in General Holmes's mind against Pike.]

of Chief Ross's complaint to Hindman. If so, it was all important
that he should vindicate himself. So maligned had he been that his
sensitiveness on the score of the discharge of his duties was very
natural, very pardonable. After all he had done for the Confederacy
and for the Indians, it seemed hardly right that he should be blamed
for all that others had failed to do. His motives were pure and could
not be honestly impugned by anybody. The address was an error of
judgment but it was made with the best of intentions.

And so the authorities at Richmond seem to have regarded it; that is,
if the reference in President Davis's letter[449] to Pike of August 9
is to this affair. Pike wrote to the president on the same day that he
started his address upon its rounds, but that letter,[450] in which
he rehearsed the wrongs he had been forced to endure, also those more
recently inflicted upon him, did not reach Richmond until September
20. His address was transmitted by Colonel D.H. Cooper, who had
taken great umbrage at it and who now charged the author with having
violated an army regulation, which prohibited publications concerning
Confederate troops.[451] Davis took the matter under advisement and
wrote to Pike a mild reprimand. It was as follows:

Richmond, Va., August 9, 1862.

Brig. Gen. Albert Pike,

Camp McCulloch, Choctaw Nation:

General: Your communication of July 3 is at hand. I regret the
necessity of informing you that it is an impropriety for an
officer of the Army to address the President through a printed
circular.[452] Under the laws for the government of

[Footnote 449: Official Records, vol. liii, supplement, 822.]

[Footnote 450:--Ibid., vol. xiii, 860-869.]

[Footnote 451:--Ibid., vol. liii, supplement, 820-821.]

[Footnote 452: It is possible that the printed circular here referred
to was some other one that was directly addressed to the president but
none such has been found.]

the Army the publication of this circular was a grave military
offense, and if the purpose was to abate an evil, by making an
appeal that would be heeded by me, the mode taken was one of the
slowest and worst that could have been adopted.

Very respectfully, yours, Jefferson Davis.

The sympathy of Secretary Randolph was conceivably with Pike; for, on
the fourteenth of July, he wrote assuring him that certain general
orders had been sent out by the Adjutant and Inspector General's
Office which were "intended to prevent even the major-general
commanding the Trans-Mississippi Department from diverting from their
legitimate destination (the Department of Indian Territory) munitions
of war and supplies procured by 'him' for that department."[453]
That did not prevent Hindman's continuing his pernicious practices,
however. On the seventeenth he demanded[454] that Pike deliver to
him his best battery and Pike, discouraged and yet thoroughly beside
himself with ill-suppressed rage,[455] sent it to him.[456] At
the same time he insisted that he be immediately relieved of his
command.[457] He could endure the indignities to which he was
subjected no longer. The order for his relief arrived in due course
and also directions for him to report in person at Hindman's
headquarters.[458] He had not then issued his circular; but, as

[Footnote 453: _Official Records_, vol. xiii, 903; Pike to
Holmes, December 30, 1862, Pike _Papers_, Library of the
Supreme Council, 33. Pike did not receive Randolph's letter of July
fourteenth until some time in August and not until after he had had an
interview with Holmes. See Pike to Holmes, December 30, 1862.]

[Footnote 454: Official Records, vol. xiii, 970.]

[Footnote 455: This is inferred from the very peculiar _General
Orders_ that issued from Fort McCulloch that selfsame day. They
were sarcastic in the extreme. No general in his right senses would
have issued them. They are to be found, Ibid., 970-973.]

[Footnote 456:--Ibid., 973, 974.]

[Footnote 457:--_Ib id_., 973.]

[Footnote 458: Pike to Hindman, July 31, 1862, Ibid., 973.]

soon as he had, the whole situation changed. He had deliberately put
himself in the wrong and into the hands of his enemies. The address
was, in some respects, the last act of a desperate[459] man. And there
is no doubt that General Pike was desperate. Reports were spreading in
Texas that he was a defaulter to the government and, as he himself in
great bitterness of spirit said, "The incredible villainy of a slander
so monstrous, and so without even any ground for suspicion," was
"enough to warn every honest man not to endeavor to serve his

Not until August 6 did General Pike's circular address reach Colonel
D.H. Cooper, who was then at Cantonment Davis. Cooper wisely
suppressed all the copies he could procure and then, believing Pike to
be either insane or a traitor, ordered his arrest,[461] sending out
an armed force for its accomplishment. Hindman, as soon as notified,
"indorsed and approved" his action.[462] This is his own account of
what he did:

... I approved his action, and ordered General Pike sent to Little
Rock in custody. I also forwarded Colonel Cooper's letter to
Richmond, with an indorsement, asking to withdraw my approval
of General Pike's resignation, that I might bring him before a
court-martial on charges of falsehood, cowardice, and treason. He
was also liable to the penalties prescribed by section 29 of the
act of Congress regulating intercourse with the Indians and to
preserve peace on the frontiers, approved April 8, 1862....

But his resignation had been accepted....[463]

[Footnote 459: And yet, August 1, 1862, Pike wrote to Davis one of the
sanest papers he ever prepared. It was full of sage advice as to the
policy that ought to be pursued in Indian Territory [_Official
Records_, vol. xiii, 871-874].]

[Footnote 460: Pike to S. Cooper, August 3, 1862, Ibid., 975.
See also Pike to Newton, August 3, 1862, Ibid., 976.]

[Footnote 461: D.H. Cooper to Hindman, August 7, 1862, ibid., 977.]

[Footnote 462: Pike to Anderson, October 26, 1862, Ibid., 903.]

[Footnote 463: Hindman's Report, Ibid., 41.]


The mismanagement of southern Indian affairs of which General Pike so
vociferously complained was not solely or even to any great degree
attributable to indifference to Indian interests on the part of
the Confederate government and certainly not at all to any lack of
appreciation of the value of the Indian alliance or of the strategic
importance of Indian Territory. The perplexities of the government
were unavoidably great and its control over men and measures, removed
from the seat of its immediate influence, correspondingly small.
It was not to be expected that it would or could give the same
earnestness of attention to events on the frontier as to those nearer
the seaboard, since it was, after all, east of the Mississippi that
the great fight for political separation from the North would have to
be made.

The Confederate government had started out well. It had dealt with the
Indian nations on a basis of dignity and lofty honor, a fact to be
accounted for by the circumstance that Indian affairs were at first
under the State Department with Toombs at its head;[464] and, in this
connection, let it be recalled that it was under authority of the
State Department that Pike had

[Footnote 464: Toombs did not long hold the portfolio. Among the
Pickett _Papers_, is a letter from Davis to Toombs, July 24,
1861, accepting with regret his resignation [Package 89].]

entered upon his mission as diplomatic agent to the tribes west of
Arkansas.[465] Subsequently, and, indeed, before Pike had nearly
completed his work, Indian affairs were transferred[466] to the
direction of the Secretary of War and a bureau created in his
department for the exclusive consideration of them, Hubbard receiving
the post of commissioner.[467]

The Provisional Congress approached the task of dealing with Indian
matters as if it already had a big grasp on the subject and intended,
at the outset, to give them careful scrutiny and to establish, with
regard to them, precedents of extreme good faith. Among the

[Footnote 465: In evidence of this, note, in addition to the material
published in Abel, _The American Indian as Slaveholder and
Secessionist_, the following letters, the first from Robert Toombs
to L.P. Walker, Secretary of War, dated Richmond, August 7, 1861;
and the second from William M. Browne, Acting Secretary of State, to
Walker, September 4, 1861:

1. "I have the honor to inform you that under a resolution of
Congress, authorizing the President to send a Commissioner to the
Indian tribes west of Arkansas and south of Kansas, Mr. Albert Pike of
Arkansas was appointed such Commissioner under an autograph letter of
the President giving him very large discretion as to the expenses
of his mission. Subsequent to the adoption of the resolution, above
named, Congress passed a law placing the Indian Affairs under the
control of your Department and consequently making the expenses of
Mr. Pike and all other Indian Agents, properly payable out of
the appropriation at your disposal for the service of the Indian
Bureau."--Pickett _Papers_, Package 106, Domestic Letters,
Department of State, vol. i, p.86.

2. "The accompanying letters and reports from Commissioner Albert Pike
addressed to your Department are respectfully referred to you,
the affairs to which they relate being under your supervision and
control."--Ibid., P-93.]

[Footnote 466: A re-transfer to the State Department was proposed
as early as the next November [_Journal of the Congress of the
Confederate States_, 489].]

[Footnote 467: President Davis recommended the creation of the
bureau, March 12, 1861 [Richardson, _Messages and Papers of the
Confederacy_, vol. i, p. 58: Journal of the Congress of the
Confederate States, vol. i, p. 142]. On the sixteenth, he nominated
David Hubbard of Alabama for commissioner [Pickett Papers, Package
88]. The bill for the creation of the bureau of Indian Affairs was
signed the selfsame day [Journal, vol. i, 151]. S.S. Scott became
Acting Commissioner of Indian Affairs before the year was out.]

things[468] it considered and in some cases favorably disposed of
were, the treaties of amity and alliance negotiated by Albert Pike,
the transfer of Indian trust

[Footnote 468: The preliminaries of the negotiations with the Indians
have not been enumerated here, although they might well have been. On
the twentieth of February, 1861, W.P. Chilton of Alabama offered a
resolution to inquire into the expediency of opening negotiations
[_Journal_, vol. i, 70]. March 4, Toombs urged that a special
agent be sent and offered a resolution to that effect [Ibid.,
105]. The day following, Congress passed the resolution [Ibid.,
107]: but left the powers and duties of the special agent, or
commissioner, undefined. Davis appointed Pike to the position and,
after Congress had expressed its wishes regarding the mission in the
act of May 21, 1861, had a copy of the act transmitted to him as his
instructions [Richardson, vol. i, 149].

The act of May 21, 1861, carried a blanket appropriation of $100,000,
which was undoubtedly used freely by Pike for purposes connected
with the successful prosecution of his mission. In December, the
Provisional Congress appropriated money for carrying into effect the
Pike treaties. The following letter is of interest in connection

Richmond, Va., 9" December 1861.

Sir: On the 1st or 2nd of August 1861, after I had made Treaties with
the Creeks and Seminoles, I authorized James M.C. Smith, a resident
citizen of the Creek Nation, to raise and command a company of Creek
Volunteers, to be stationed at the North Fork Village, in the Creek
country, on the North Fork of the Canadian, where the great road from
Missouri to Texas crosses that river, to act as a police force, watch
and apprehend disaffected persons, intercept improper communications,
and prevent the driving of cattle to Kansas.

The Company was soon after raised, and has remained in the service
ever since. At my appointment George W. Stidham acted as Quartermaster
and Commissary for it, and without funds from the Government, has
supplied it.

By the Treaty with the Seminoles, made on the 1st of August, they
agreed to furnish, and I agreed to receive, five companies of mounted
volunteers of that Nation. Two companies, and perhaps more, were
raised, and have since been received, I understand, by Col. Cooper,
and with Captain Smith's company employed in putting down the
disaffected party among the Creeks. Under my appointment, Hugh
McDonald has acted as Quartermaster and Commissary for the Seminole
companies, and made purchases without funds from the Government. After
I had made the Treaties with the Reserve Indians and Comanches, in
August 1861, Fort Cobb being about to be abandoned by the Texan
Volunteers who had held it, I authorized M. Leeper, the Wichita
agent, to enlist a small force, of twenty or twenty-five men, under a
Lieutenant, for the security of the Agency. He enlisted, (cont.)]

funds from the United to the Confederate States government,[469] the
payment of Indian troops and their pensioning.[470] Its disposition to
be grateful and generous came out in the honor which it conferred upon
John Jumper, the Seminole chief.[471]

A piece of very fundamental work the Provisional Congress did not have
time or opportunity to complete.

[Footnote 468: (cont.) I learn, only some fifteen, and he has had them
for some time in the service.

I also appointed a person named McKuska, formerly a soldier, to take
charge of what further property remained at Fort Cobb, and employed
another person to assist him, agreeing that the former should be paid
as Ordnance Sergeant, and the latter as private; and directing the
Contractor for the Indians to issue to the former two rations, and to
the latter one.

In consequence of the collection of some force of disaffected Creeks
and others, and an apprehended attack by them, Col. Douglas H. Cooper
called for troops from all the Nations, and I understand that several
companies were organized and marched to join his regiment. I think
they are still in the service.

I am now empowered to receive all the Indians who offer to enter the
service. To induce them to enlist, what is already owing them must be
paid; and I earnestly hope that Congress will pass the bill introduced
for that purpose. Respectfully your obedient servant

Albert Pike, _Brig. Genl Commd Dept of Ind. Terr'y_.
Hon. W. Miles, Chairman Com. on Mil. Affs.

[War Department, Office of the Adjutant-General, Archives Division,
_Confederate Records_.]]

[Footnote 469: Journal, vol. i, 650, 743, 761. The Confederate
government took, in the main, a just, reasonable, and even charitable
view on the subject of the assumption of United States obligations.
Pike had exceeded his instructions in promising the Indians that
monetary obligations would be so assumed. See his letter to Randolph,
June 30, 1862.]

[Footnote 470: This matter went over into the regular Congress,
which began its work, February 18, 1862. For details of the bill for
pensions see _Journal_, vol. i, 43, 79.]

[Footnote 471: "_The Congress of the Confederate States of America
do enact_, That the President of the Confederate States be
authorized to present to Hemha Micco, or John Jumper, a commission,
conferring upon him the honorary title of Lieutenant Colonel of the
army of the Confederate States, but without creating or imposing the
duties of actual service or command, or pay, as a complimentary mark
of honor, and a token of good will and confidence in his friendship,
good faith, and loyalty to this government...."--_Statutes at Large
of the Provisional Government_, 284.]

That work was, the establishment of a superintendency of Indian
Affairs in the west that should be a counterpart, in all essentials,
of the old southern superintendency, of which Elias Rector had been
the incumbent. Elias Rector and the agents[472] under him, all
of whom, with scarcely a single exception, had gone over to the
Confederacy, had been retained, not under authority of law, but
provisionally. The intention was to organize the superintendency
as soon as convenient and give all employees their proper official
status. Necessarily, a time came when it was most expedient for army
men to exercise the ordinary functions of Indian agents;[473] but
even that arrangement was to be only temporary. Without doubt, the
enactment of a law for the establishment of a superintendency of
Indian affairs was unduly delayed by the prolonged character of Pike's
diplomatic mission. The Confederate government evidently did not
anticipate that the tribes with which it sought alliance would be so
slow[474] or so wary in accepting the protectorate it offered. Not
until January 8, 1862, did the Provisional Congress have before it
the proposition for superintendency organization. The measure was
introduced by Robert W. Johnson of Arkansas and it

[Footnote 472: Quite early a resolution was submitted that had in
view "the appointment of agents to the different tribes of Indians
occupying territory adjoining this Confederacy..." [_Journal_,
vol. i, 81.]]

[Footnote 473: _Journal_, vol. i, 245.]

[Footnote 474: Pike was not prepared beforehand for so extended a
mission. In November, he wrote to Benjamin, notifying him that he was
enclosing "an account in blank for my services as commissioner to the
Indian nations west of Arkansas.

"It was not my intention to accept any remuneration, but the great
length of time during which I found it necessary to remain in the
Indian Country caused me such losses and so interfered with my
business that I am constrained unwillingly to present this account. I
leave it to the President or to Congress to fix the sum that shall
be paid me...."--Pike to Benjamin, November 25, 1861, Pickett
_Papers_, Package 118.]

went in succession to the Judiciary and Indian Affairs committees; but
never managed to get beyond the committee stage.[475]

February 18, 1862, saw the beginning of the first session of the
first congress that met under the Confederate constitution. Six
days thereafter, Johnson, now senator from Arkansas, again took
the initiative in proposing the regular establishment of an Indian
superintendency.[476] As Senate Bill No. 3, his measure was referred
to the Committee[477] on Indian Affairs and, on March 11, reported
back with amendments.[478] Meanwhile, the House was considering a
bill of similar import, introduced on the third by Thomas B. Hanly,
likewise from Arkansas.[479] On the eighteenth, it received Senate
Bill No. 3 and substituted it for its own, passing the same on April
Fool's day. The bill was signed by the president on April 8.[480]

The information conveyed by the journal entries is unusually meagre;
nevertheless, from the little that is given, the course of debate on
the measure can be inferred to a certain extent. The proposition as
a whole carried, of course, its own recommendation, since the
Confederacy was most anxious to retain the Indian friendship and it
certainly could not be retained were not some system introduced into
the service. In matters of detail, local interests, as always in
American legislation, had full play. They asserted themselves most
prominently, for example, in the endeavor made

[Footnote 475: _Journal_, vol. i, 640, 672, 743.]

[Footnote 476:--Ibid., vol. ii, 19.]

[Footnote 477: The Committee on Indian Affairs, at the time, consisted
of Johnson, chairman, Clement C. Clay of Alabama, Williamson S. Oldham
of Texas, R.L.Y. Payton of Missouri, and W.E. Simms of Kentucky.]

[Footnote 478: _Journal_, vol. ii, 51-52.]

[Footnote 479: _Journal_, vol. v, 47.]

[Footnote 480:--Ibid., 210.]

to make Fort Smith, although quite a distance from all parts of the
Indian Territory except the Cherokee and Choctaw countries, the
permanent headquarters, also in that to compel disbursing agents to
make payments in no other funds than specie or treasury notes. The
amendment of greatest importance among those that passed muster was
the one attaching the superintendency temporarily to the western
district of Arkansas for judicial purposes. It was a measure that
could not fail to be exceedingly obnoxious to the Indians; for they
had had a long and disagreeable experience, judicially, with Arkansas.
They had their own opinion of the white man's justice, particularly
as that justice was doled out to the red man on the white man's
ground.[481] Taken in connection with regulations[482] made by the War
Department for the conduct of Indian affairs, the Act of April 8 most
certainly exhibited an honest intention on the part of the Confederate
government to carry out the provisions of the Pike treaties. The
following constituted its principal features: With headquarters at
either Fort Smith or Van Buren, as the president might see fit to
direct, the superintendency was to embrace "all the Indian country
annexed to the Confederate States, that lies west of Arkansas and
Missouri, north of Texas, and east of Texas and New Mexico." A
superintendent and six agents were immediately provided for,
individually bonded and obligated to continue resident during the term
of office, to engage in no mercantile pursuit or gainful occupation

[Footnote 481: The Confederacy, as a matter of fact, never did keep
its promise regarding the establishment of a judiciary in Indian
Territory. Note Commissioner Scott's remarks in criticism, December i,
1864 [_Official Records_, vol. xli, part iv, 1088-1089].]

[Footnote 482: The regulations referred to can be found in
_Confederate Records_, chap. 7, no. 48.]

whatsoever, and to prosecute no Indian claims against the government.
In the choice of interpreters, preference was to be given to
applicants of Indian descent. Indian trade privileges were to be
greatly circumscribed and, in the case of the larger nations, the
complete control of the trade was to rest with the tribal authorities.
In the case, also, of those same larger nations, the restrictions
formerly placed upon land alienations were to be removed. Intruders
and spirituous liquors were to be rigidly excluded and all payments
to Indians were to be carefully safeguarded against fraud and graft.
Indian customs of citizenship and adoption were to be respected. No
foreign interference was to be permitted. Foreign emissaries were to
be dealt with as spies and as such severely punished. The Confederate
right of eminent domain over agency sites and buildings, forts, and
arsenals was to be recognized, as also the operation of laws against
counterfeiting and of the fugitive slave law. In default of regular
troops, the Confederacy was to support an armed police for protection
and the maintenance of order. The judicial rights of the Indians were
to be very greatly extended but the Confederacy reserved to itself the
right to apprehend criminals other than Indian.

The intentions of the Confederate government were one thing, its
accomplishments another. The act of April 8 was not put into immediate
execution, and might have been allowed to become obsolete had it not
been for the controversy between Pike and Hindman. On the first of
August, while the subject-matter of the address, which he had so
imprudently issued to the Indians, was yet fresh in his mind, General
Pike wrote a letter of advice, eminently sound advice, to President
Davis.[483] Avoiding all captiousness, he set forth a

[Footnote 483: _Official Records_, vol. xiii, 871-874.]

programme of what ought to be done for Indian Territory and for the
Indians, in order that their friendly alliance might be maintained. He
urged many things and one thing very particularly. It was the crux
of them all and it was that Indian Territory should be absolutely
separated from Arkansas, in a military way, and that no troops
from either Arkansas or Texas should be stationed within it. Other
suggestions of Pike's were equally sound. Indeed, the entire letter of
the first of August was sound and in no part of it more sound than in
that which recommended the immediate appointment of a superintendent
of Indian affairs for the Arkansas and Red River Superintendency, also
the appointment of Indian agents for all places that had none.[484] It
was high time that positions in connection with the conduct of Indian
affairs should be something more than sinecures.

Aspirants for the office of superintendent had already made their
wants known. Foremost among them was Douglas H. Cooper. It was not in
his mind, however, to separate the military command from the civil
and he therefore asked that he be made brigadier-general and _ex
officio_ superintendent of Indian affairs in the place of Pike
removed.[485] His own representations of Pike's grievous offence had
fully prepared him for the circumstance of Pike's removal and he
anticipated it in making his own application for office. Subsequent
knowledge of Pike's activities and of his standing at Richmond must
have come to Cooper as a rude awakening.

Nevertheless, Cooper did get his appointment. It

[Footnote 484: In his message of August 18, 1862 [Richardson, vol. i,
238], President Davis remarked upon the vacancies in these offices and
said that, in consequence of them, delays had occurred in the payment
of annuities and allowances to which the Indians were entitled.]

[Footnote 485: _Official Records_, vol. liii, supplement, 821.]

came the twenty-ninth of September in the form of special orders from
the adjutant-general's office.[486] Pike was still on the ground, as
will be presently shown, and Cooper's moral unfitness for a position
of so much responsibility was yet to be revealed. The moment was
one when the Confederacy was taking active steps to keep its most
significant promise to the Indian nations, give them a representation
in Congress. The Cherokees had lost no time in availing themselves of
the privilege of electing a delegate, neither had the Choctaws
and Chickasaws. Elias C. Boudinot had proved to be the successful
candidate of the former and Robert M. Jones[487] of the latter. Over
the credentials of Boudinot, the House of Representatives made some
demur; but, as there was no denying his constitutional right, under
treaty guarantee, to be present, they were accepted and he was given
his seat.[488] Provisions had, however, yet to be determined for
regulating Indian elections and fixing the pay and mileage, likewise
also, the duties and privileges of Indian delegates.[489] Perhaps it
is unfair to intimate that the provisions would have been determined
earlier, had congress not preferred to go upon the assumption that
they would never be needed, since it was scarcely likely that the
Indians would realize the importance of their rights and act upon

[Footnote 486: War Department, _Confederate Records, Special Orders
of the Adjutant and Inspector General's Office_, C.S.A., 1862, p.
438; _Official Records_, vol. xiii, 885.]

[Footnote 487: See document of date, October 7, 1861, signed by
Douglas H. Cooper, certifying that Robert M. Jones had received the
"greatest number of votes cast" as delegate in Congress for the
Choctaws and Chickasaws [Pickett _Papers_, Package 118].]

[Footnote 488: _Journal_, vol. v, 513, 514.]

[Footnote 489:--Ibid., vol. ii, 452, 457, 480; vol. v, 514,
523, 561.]

[Footnote 490: Davis had thrown the responsibility of the whole matter
upon Congress, when he insisted that the "delegate" clauses in the
treaties should (cont.)]

While Congress was debating the question of Indian delegate
credentials and their acceptance, a tragedy took place in
Indian Territory that more than confirmed General Pike's worst
prognostications and proved his main contention that Indian affairs
should be considered primarily upon their own merits, as an end in
themselves, and dealt with accordingly. Had the Arkansas and Red River
Superintendency been regularly established, the tragedy referred to
might never have occurred; but it was not yet established and for
many reasons, one of them being that, although Douglas H. Cooper's
appointment had been resolved upon, he had not yet been invested with
the office of superintendent.[491] His commission was being withheld
because charges of incapacity and drunkenness had been preferred
against him.[492]

General Pike's disclosures had aroused suspicion and grave
apprehension in Richmond, so much so, indeed, that the War Department,
convinced that conditions in Indian Territory were very far from being
what they should be, decided to undertake an investigation of its own
through its Indian bureau. Promptly, therefore, S.S. Scott, acting
commissioner, departed for the West. General Pike was in Texas.

Now one of the contingencies that Pike had most constantly dreaded was
tribal disorder on the Leased

[Footnote 490: (cont.) be so modified as to make the admission of the
Indians dependent, not upon the treaty-making power, but upon the
legislative. See his message of December 12, 1861, Richardson, vol. i,

[Footnote 491: Elias Rector, who had been retained as superintendent
under the Confederate government, seems never to have exercised the
functions of the office subsequent to the assumption by Pike of his
duties as commander of the Department of Indian Territory. He
was probably envious of Pike and resigned rather than serve in a
subordinate capacity. He seems to have made some troube for Pike
[_Official Records_, vol. xiii, 964, 976].]

[Footnote 492:--Ibid., 906, 908, 910-911, 927-928.]

District,[493] a disorder that might at any moment extend itself to
Texas and to other parts of the Indian Territory, imperiling the whole
Confederate alliance. So long as there was a strong force at Fort
McCulloch and at the frontier posts of longer establishment,
particularly at Fort Cobb, the Reserve Indians could be held in check
with comparative ease. Hindman, ignorant of or indifferent to the
situation, no matter how serious it might be for others, had ordered
the force to be scattered and most of it withdrawn from the Red River

The so-called Wichita, or Reserve, Indians, to call them by a
collective term only very recently bestowed, had ever constituted a
serious problem for the neighboring states as well as for the central
government. It was with the Confederacy as with the old Union. The
Reserve Indians were a motley horde, fragments of many tribes that
had seen better days. They were all more or less related, either
geographically or linguistically. Some of them, it is difficult
to venture upon what proportion, had been induced to enter into
negotiations with Pike and through him had formed an alliance with
the Confederacy. Apparently, those who had done this were chiefly
Tonkawas. Other Reserve Indians continued true to the North. As time
went on hostile feelings, engendered by living in opposite camps,
gained in intensity, the more especially because white men, both north
and south, encouraged them to go upon the war-path, either against
their own associates or others. Reprisals, frequently bloody, were
regularly instituted. With Pike's departure from Fort McCulloch an
opportunity for greater vindictiveness offered, notwithstanding the
fact that the Choctaw and Chickasaw

[Footnote 493: _Official Records_, vol. xiii, 868.]

troops had been left behind and were guarding the near-by country,
their own.

Sometime in the latter part of August or the early part of September,
Matthew Leeper, the Wichita agent under the Confederate government, a
left-over from Buchanan's days, went from the Leased District,[494]
frightened away, some people thought, perhaps afraid of the inevitable
results of the mischief his own hands had so largely wrought, and
sojourned in Texas, his old home. The sutler left also and a man named
Jones was then in sole charge of the agency. The northern sympathizers
among the Indians thereupon aroused themselves. They had gained
greatly of late in strength and influence and their numbers had
been augmented by renegade Seminoles from Jumper's battalion and by
outlawed Cherokees. They warned Jones that Leeper would be wise not to
return. If he should return, it would be the worse for him; for they
were determined to wreak revenge upon him for all the misery his
machinations in favor of the Confederacy and for his own gain had cost
them. Presumably, Jones scorned to transmit the warning and, in course
of time, Leeper returned.

The twenty-third of October witnessed one of the bloodiest scenes ever
enacted on the western plains. The northern Indians of the Reserve
together with a lot of wandering Shawnees, Delawares, and Kickapoos,
many of them good-for-nothing or vicious, some Seminoles and Cherokees
attacked Leeper unawares, killed him,[495] as also three white male
employees of the agency.

[Footnote 494: _Official Records_, vol. liii, supplement, 828.]

[Footnote 495: On the murder of Agent Leeper, see Scott to Holmes,
November 2, 1862, _Official Records_, vol. xiii, 919-921; Holmes
to Secretary of War, November 15, 1862, Ibid., 919: F. Johnson
to Dole, January 20, 1863, Abel, _American Indian as Slaveholder and
Secessionist_, 329-330, _footnote_; (cont.)]

They then put "the bodies into the agency building and fired it." The
next morning they made an equally brutal attack upon the Tonkawas and
with most telling effect. More than half of them were butchered. The
survivors, about one hundred fifty, fled to Fort Arbuckle.[496] Their
condition was pitiable. The murderers, for they were nothing less than
that, fled northward, they and their families, to swell the number of
Indian refugees already living upon government bounty in Kansas.

Commissioner Scott then at Fort Washita hurried to the Leased District
to examine into the affair. He had made many observations since
leaving Richmond, had talked with Pike, now returned from Texas,
and had come around pretty much to his way of thinking. His
recommendations to the department commander that were intended to
reach the Secretary of War as well were in every sense a corroboration
of Pike's complaints in so far as the woeful neglect of the Indians
was concerned. Better proof that Hindman's conduct had been highly
reprehensible could scarcely be asked for.

[Footnote 495: (cont.) Moore, _Rebellion Record_, vol. vi, 6;
W.F. Cady to Cox, February 16, 1870, Indian Office _Report Book_,
no. 19, 186-188; Coffin to Dole, September 24, 1863, Commissioner of
Indian Affairs, _Report_, 1863, 177.]

[Footnote 496: S.S. Scott asked permission of Governor Winchester
Colbert, November 10, 1862, to place the fugitive Tonkawas
"temporarily on Rocky or Clear Creek, near the road leading from Fort
Washita to Arbuckle." Colbert granted the permission, "provided they
are subject to the laws of the Chickasaw Nation, and will furnish
guides to the Home Guards and the Chickasaw Battalion, when called
upon to do so."]


The tragedy at the Wichita agency brought General Pike again to the
fore. His resignation had not been accepted at Richmond as Hindman
supposed was the case at the time he released him from custody. In
fact, as events turned out, it looked as though Hindman were decidedly
more in disrepute there than was Pike. His arbitrary procedure in the
Trans-Mississippi District had been complained of by many persons
besides the one person whom he had so unmercifully badgered.
Furthermore, the circumstances of his assignment to command were being
inquired into and everything divulged was telling tremendously against

The irregularity of Hindman's assignment to command has been already
commented upon in this narrative. Additional details may now be given.
Van Dorn had hopes, on the occasion of his own summons to work farther
east, that Sterling Price would be the one chosen eventually to
succeed him or, at all events, the one to take the chief command of
the Confederate forces in the West. He greatly wished that upon him
and upon him alone his mantle should fall.[497] The filling of the
position by Hindman was to be but tentative, to last only until
Price,[498] perhaps also Van Dorn,

[Footnote 497: Van Dorn to President Davis, June 9, 1862, _Official
Records_, vol. xiii, 831-832.]

[Footnote 498: Price was preferred to H.M. Rector; because Van Dorn
felt that Rector's influence with the people of Arkansas had greatly
declined. The truth was, Governor Rector had become incensed at the
disregard shown for Arkansas by Confederate commanders. In a recent
proclamation, he had announced that the state would henceforth look
out for herself.]

could discuss matters personally with the president and remove the
prejudice believed to be existing in his mind against Price; but the
War Department had quite other plans developed, a rumor of which soon
reached the ears of Van Dorn. It was then he telegraphed, begging
Davis to make no appointment for the present to the command of the
Trans-Mississippi District and informing him that Hindman had been
sent there temporarily.[499] The request came to Richmond too late. An
appointment had already been resolved upon and made. The man chosen
was John Bankhead Magruder, a major-general in the Army of Northern
Virginia. However, as he was not yet ready to take up his new duties,
Hindman was suffered to assume the command in the West; but Magruder's
rights held over. They were held in abeyance, so to speak, temporarily

The controversy between Pike and Hindman would seem to have impelled
Secretary Randolph to wish to terminate early Magruder's delay; but
Magruder was loath to depart. His lack of enthusiasm ought to have
been enough to convince those sending him that he

[Footnote 499: The orders for Hindman to repair west, issuing from
Beauregard's headquarters, were explicit, not upon the point of the
temporary character of his appointment, but upon that of its having
been made "at the earnest solicitation of the people of Arkansas."
[_Official Records_, vol. x, part ii, 547].]

[Footnote 500: Price, nothing daunted, continued to seek the position
and submitted plans for operations in the West. His importunities
finally forced the inquiry from Davis as to whether Magruder's
appointment had ever been rescinded and whether, since he seemed in
no hurry to avail himself of it, he really wanted the place. Randolph
reported that Magruder had no objection to the service to which he had
been ordered but desired to remain near Richmond until the expected
battle in the neighborhood should have occurred. Randolph then
suggested that Price be tendered the position of second in command
[Randolph to Davis, June 23, 1862, _Official Records_, vol.
xiii, 837], an arrangement that met with Magruder's hearty approval
[Magruder to R.E. Lee, June 26, 1862, Ibid., 845].]

was hardly the man for the place. His acquaintance with
Trans-Mississippi conditions was very superficial, yet even he found
out that they were of a nature to admonish those concerned of their
urgency, especially in the matter of lack of arms.[501] By the
fourteenth of July his indecision was apparently overcome. At any
rate, on that day Randolph wrote Pike that Magruder, the real
commander of the Trans-Mississippi District, would soon arrive at
Little Rock and that the offences of which Pike had had reason to
complain would not be repeated.

Letters travelled slowly in those days and Randolph's comforting
intelligence did not reach Pike in time to avert the catastrophe of
his proclamation and consequent arrest. And it was just as well, all
things considered, for Magruder never reached Little Rock. He was a
man of intemperate habits and, while _en route_, was ordered back
to Richmond to answer "charges of drunkenness and disobedience of
orders."[502] His appointment was thereupon rescinded. The man
selected in his place, to the total ignoring of Price's prior claims,
was Theophilus H. Holmes, a native of North Carolina.[503] President
Davis was still possessed of the notion that frontier affairs could be
best conducted by men who had no local attachments there. Late events
had all too surely lent weight to his theory. Nevertheless, in holding
it, Davis was strictly inconsistent and illogical; for loyalty to
the particular home state constituted the strongest asset that the
Confederacy had. It was the lode-star that had drawn Lee and

[Footnote 501: Magruder to Randolph, July 5, 1862, _Official
Records_, vol. xiii, 851-852.]

[Footnote 502: Clark to Price, July 17, 1862, _Official Records_,
vol. liii, supplement, 816-817.]

[Footnote 503: Wright, _General Officers of C.S.A_., 15-16.]

many another, who cared not a whit for political principles in and
for themselves, from their allegiance to the Union. It was the great
bulwark of the South.

Holmes was ordered west July 16;[504] but, as he had the necessary
preparations to make and various private matters to attend to, August
had almost begun before it proved possible for him to reach Little
Rock.[505] The interval had given Hindman a new lease of official life
and a further extension of opportunity for oppression, which he had
used to good advantage. The new department commander, while yet in
Richmond, had discussed the Pike-Hindman controversy with his superior
officers and had arrived at a conclusion distinctly favorable to Pike.
He frankly confessed as much weeks afterwards. Once in Little Rock,
however, he learned from the Hindman coterie of Pike's Indian
proclamation and immediately veered to Hindman's side.[506] Pike
talked with him, recounted his grievances in a fashion that none could
surpass, but made absolutely no impression upon him. So small a thing
and so short a time had it taken to develop a hostile prejudice in
Holmes's mind, previously unbiased, so deep-seated that it never,
in all the months that followed, knew the slightest diminution.
Conversely and most fortuitously, a friendliness grew up between
Holmes and the man whom he had supplanted that made the former, either
forget the orders given him in Richmond or put so new a construction
upon them that they were rendered nugatory. It was a situation,
exceedingly fortunate for

[Footnote 504: _Official Records_, vol. xiii, 855.]

[Footnote 505: He had reached Vicksburg by the thirtieth of July and
from that point he issued his orders assuming the command [ibid.,

[Footnote 506: Pike to Holmes, December 30, 1862 (Appendix);
_Confederate Military History_, vol. x, 121-122.]

the service as a whole, no doubt, but most unhappy for Indian

It finally dawned upon Pike that it was useless to argue any longer
upon the matters in dispute between him and Hindman, for Holmes had
pre-judged the case. Moreover, Holmes was beginning to appreciate the
advantage of being in a position where he could, by ignoring Pike's
authority and asserting his own, be much the gainer in a material way.
How he could have reconciled such an attitude with the instructions
he had received from Randolph it is impossible to surmise. The
instructions, whether verbal or written, must have been in full accord
with the secretary's letter to Pike of the fourteenth of July, which,
although Pike was as yet ignorant of it, had explicitly said that no
supplies for Indian Territory should be diverted from their course and
that there should be no interference whatever with Pike's somewhat
peculiar command.[507] All along the authorities in Richmond, their
conflicting departmental regulations to the contrary notwithstanding,
had insisted that the main object of the Indian alliance had been
amply attained when the Indians were found posing as a Home Guard.
Indians were not wanted for any service outside the limits of their
own country. Service outside was to be deprecated, first, last, and
always. Indeed, it was in response to a suggestion from Pike, made in
the autumn of 1861, that the Indian Territory ought to be regarded as
a thing apart, to be held for the Confederacy most certainly but not
to be involved in the warfare outside, that Pike's department had been
created and no subsequent

[Footnote 507: Pike to Holmes, December 30, 1862. The same assurance
had apparently been given to Pike in May [_Official Records_,
vol. xiii, 863].]

arrangements for the Trans-Mississippi Department or District,
whichever it may have been at the period, were intended to militate
against that fundamental fact.[508]

Despairing of accomplishing anything by lingering longer in Little
Rock, Pike applied to Holmes for a leave of absence and was granted
it for such time as might have to elapse before action upon his
resignation could be secured.[509] The circumstance of Hindman's
having relieved Pike from duty was thus ignored or passed over in
silence. General Pike had come to Little Rock to see his family[510]
but he now decided upon a visit to Texas. Exactly what he expected to
do there nobody knows; but he undoubtedly had at heart the interests
of his department. He went to Warren first and later to Grayson
County. At the latter place, he made Sherman his private headquarters
and it was from there that he subsequently found it convenient to pass
over again into Indian Territory.

Pike was in Arkansas as late as the nineteenth of August and probably
still there when Randolph's letter of the fourteenth of July, much
delayed, arrived.[511] If angry before, he was now incensed; for he
knew for a certainty at last that Hindman had been a sort of usurper
in the Trans-Mississippi District and, with power emanating from no
one higher than Beauregard, had never legally possessed a flicker of
authority for doing the many insulting things that he had arrogantly
done to him.[512] Next, from some source, came the

[Footnote 508: _Official Records_, vol. xiii, 861, 864, 868.]

[Footnote 509: Holmes to the Secretary of War, November 15, 1862
[ibid., 918].]

[Footnote 510: For an account of Pike's movements, see _Confederate
Military History_, vol. x, 126.]

[Footnote 511: Abel, _American Indian as Slaveholder and
Secessionist_, 356.]

[Footnote 512: Pike to Holmes, December 30, 1862, "Appendix."]

news that President Davis had refused positively to accept Pike's
resignation.[513] What better proof could anyone want that Pike was
sustained at headquarters? What that view of the matter may have meant
in emboldening him to his later excessively independent actions must
be left to the reader's conjecture. It never occurred to Pike that if
his resignation had been refused, it had probably been refused upon
the supposition that, with Hindman out of the way, all would be well.
One good reason for thinking that that was the Richmond attitude
towards the affair is the fact that no record of anything like
immediate and formal action upon the resignation is forthcoming.
Pike heard that it had been refused and positively, which was very
gratifying; but it is far more likely that it had been put to one side
and purposely; in order that, since Pike was unquestionably the best
man for Indian Territory, all difficulties might be left to adjust
themselves, the less said about Hindman's autocracy the better it
would be for all concerned.

But it was soon apparent that Hindman was not to be put out of the
way. It was to be still possible for him to work mischief in Indian
Territory. With some slight modifications, the Trans-Mississippi
District had been converted into the Trans-Mississippi Department and,
on the twentieth of August, orders[514] issued from

[Footnote 513: There is something very peculiar about the acceptance
or non-acceptance of Pike's resignation. Randolph wrote to Holmes,
October 27, 1862, these words: "... General Pike's resignation having
been accepted, you will be left without a commanding officer in the
Indian Territory..." [_Official Records_, vol. xiii, 906]. A
letter endorsement, made by Randolph, on or later than September 19th,
was to this effect: "General Pike's resignation has not yet been
accepted" [Ibid., liii, supplement, 821], and another, made by
him, November 5th, to this: "Accept General Pike's resignation, and
notify him of it" [Ibid., 822].]

[Footnote 514: _Official Records_, vol. xiii, 877.]

Little Rock, arranging for an organization into three districts, the
Texas, the Louisiana,[515] and the Arkansas. The last-named district
was entrusted to General Hindman and made to embrace Arkansas,
Missouri, and the Indian Territory. Hindman took charge at Fort Smith,
August twenty-fourth and straightway planned such disposition of his
troops as would make for advancing the Confederate line northward of
the Boston Mountains, Fort Smith, and the Arkansas River. The Indian
forces that were concentrated around Forts Smith and Gibson were
shifted to Carey's Ferry that they might cover the military road
southward from Fort Scott. To hold the Cherokee country and to help
maintain order there, a battalion of white cavalry was posted at
Tahlequah and, in each of the nine townships, or districts, of the
country, the formation of a company of home guard, authorized.[516]

The maintaining of order in the Cherokee Nation had come to be
imperatively necessary. John Ross, the Principal Chief, was now
a prisoner within the Federal lines.[517] His capture had been
accomplished by strategy only a short time before and not without
strong suspicion that he had been in collusion with his captors. Early
in August, General Blunt, determined that the country north of the
Arkansas should not be abandoned, notwithstanding the retrograde
movement of Colonel Salomon, had ordered Salomon, now a brigadier in
command of the Indian Expedition, to send

[Footnote 515: Not all of Louisiana was in Holmes's department and
only that part of it west of the Mississippi constituted the District
of Louisiana. Governor Moore had vigorously protested against a
previous division, one that "tacked" "all north of Red River" "onto
Arkansas" [_Official Records_, vol. liii, supplement, 819].]

[Footnote 516:--Ibid., vol. xiii, 46-47.]

[Footnote 517: Nominally, Ross was yet a prisoner, although, as a
matter of fact, he had started upon a mission to Washington, his
desire being to confer with President Lincoln in person regarding the
condition of the Cherokees [Blunt to Lincoln, August 13, 1862, ibid.,

back certain white troops in support of the Indian.[518] Dr.
Gillpatrick, who was the bearer of the orders, imparted verbal
instructions that the expeditionary force so sent should proceed to
Tahlequah and complete what Colonel Phillips had confessed he had not
had sufficient time for, the making of diplomatic overtures to the
Cherokee authorities.[519]

Blunt's expeditionary force had proceeded to Tahlequah and to Park
Hill and there, under the direction of Colonel William F. Cloud, had
seized John Ross and his family, their valuables, also official papers
and the treasury of the Cherokee Nation.[520] The departure of the
Principal Chief had had a demoralizing effect upon the Cherokees;
for, when his restraining influence was removed, likewise the Federal
support, political factions, the Pins, or full-bloods, and the
Secessionists, mostly half-breeds, had been able to indulge their
thirst for vengeance uninterruptedly.[521] Chaos had well-nigh

The departure of the expeditionary force had meant more than mere
demoralization among the Indians. It had meant the abandonment of
their country to the Confederates and the Confederates, once realizing
that, delaying nothing, took possession. The secessionist Cherokees
then called a convention, formally deposed John Ross, and elected
Stand Watie as Principal Chief in his stead.[522] Back of all such
revolutionary work, was General Hindman and it was not long before
Hindman himself was in Tahlequah.[523] Once there, he proceeded to set
his stamp upon things with customary

[Footnote 518: _Official Records_, vol. xiii, 531-532.]

[Footnote 519:--Ibid., 182.]

[Footnote 520:--Ibid., 552.]

[Footnote 521:--Ibid., 623, 648.]

[Footnote 522: _Confederate Military History_, vol. x, 129.]

[Footnote 523: _Official Records_, vol. xiii, 42.]

vigor and order was shortly restored both north and south of the
Arkansas. Guerrilla warfare was summarily suppressed, marauding
stopped, and the perpetrators of atrocities so deservedly punished
that all who would have imitated them lost their taste for such
fiendish sport. As far north as the Moravian Mission, the Confederates
were undeniably in possession; but, at that juncture, Holmes called
Hindman to other scenes. A sort of apathy then settled like a cloud
upon the Cherokee Nation[524]. Almost lifeless, it awaited the next

One part of the programme, arranged for at the time of the
re-districting of the Trans-Mississippi Department, had called for a
scheme to reenter southwest Missouri. Hindman was to lead but Rains,
Shelby, Cooper, and others were to constitute a sort of outpost and
were to make a dash, first of all, to recover the lead mines at
Granby. The Indians of both armies were drawn thitherward, the one
group to help make the advance, the other to resist it. At Newtonia on
September 30 the first collision of any moment came and it came and it
ended with victory for the Confederates[525]. Cooper's Choctaws and
Chickasaws fought valiantly but so also did Phillips's Cherokees. They
lost heavily in horses[526], their own poorly shod ponies; but they
themselves stood fire well. To rally them after defeat proved,
however, a difficult matter. Their

[Footnote 524: Report of M.W. Buster to Cooper, September 19, 1862,
_Official Records_, vol. xiii, 273-277.]

[Footnote 525: For detailed accounts of the Battle of Newtonia, see
Ibid., 296-307; Edwards, _Shelby and his Men_, 83-89;
Britton, _Civil War on the Border_, vol. i, 355-363; Anderson,
_Life of General Stand Watie_, 20; Crawford, _Kansas in the
Sixties_, 54; _Confederate Military History_, vol. x, 132.]

[Footnote 526: Evan Jones to Dole, January 8, 1864, Indian Office
General Files, Cherokee, 1859-1865, J 401.]

disciplining had yet left much to be desired.[527] Scalping[528] of
the dead took place as on the battle-field of Pea Ridge; but, in other
respects, the Indians of both armies acquitted themselves well and far
better than might have been expected.

The participation of the Indians in the Battle of Newtonia was
significant. Federals and Confederates had alike resorted to it for
purposes other than the red man's own. The Indian Expedition had now
for a surety definitely abandoned the intention for which it was
originally organized and outfitted. As a matter of fact, it had long
since ceased to exist. The military

[Footnote 527: "Since leaving the Fugitive Indians on Dry Wood Creek,
nothing has occurred of material interest other than you will receive
through official Dispatches from the Officers of our Army. The Indians
under Col. Phillips fought well at the Battle Newtonia, they have at
all times stood fire. The great difficulty of their officers is in
keeping them together in a retreat, and should such be necessary on
the field in presence of an enemy in their present state of discipline
it would be almost impossible to again return them to the attack in
good order--Another Battle was fought at this place in which the enemy
were defeated with considerable loss, four of their guns being taken
by a charge of the 2d Kansas.

"In this Contest the Indians behaved well, the officers and soldiers
of our own regiments now freely acknowledge them to be valuable Allies
and in no case have they as yet faltered, untill ordered to retire,
the prejudice once existing against them is fast disappearing from our
Army and it is now generaly conceded that they will do good service
in our border warfare. This we have never doubted and confident as we
have been of their fitness for border warfare we have been content to
await, untill they had proven to the country not only their loyalty
but their ability to fight. Since their organization they have been
engaged in several battles and in every case successfully, one of us
will start in a day or two for Tahlequah and may find something of
interest on the march. We are now in the Cherokee Nation. An effort
is now being made by Gen'l Blunt to punish plundering in the country.
Union People have suffered from this as much as rebels. We have before
called the attention of our Army Officers to this fact; with our
Fifteen Hundred Cherokee Warriors in the service of our government--we
feel that every possible protection should be extended to them as a
people" [Carruth to Coffin, October 25, 1862, enclosed in Coffin to
Dole, November 16, 1862, Indian Office General Files, _Southern
Superintendency_ 1859-1862].]

[Footnote 528: _Official Records_, vol. xiii, 894.]

organization, of which the Indian regiments in the Federal service now
formed a part, was Blunt's division of the Army of the Frontier and
it had other objects in view, other tasks to perform, than the simple
recovery of Indian Territory.

It is true General Blunt had set his heart upon that particular
accomplishment but he was scarcely a free agent in the matter. Men
above him in rank had quite other aims and his, perforce, had to be
subordinated to theirs. In August, Blunt had planned a kind of second
Indian Expedition to go south to Fort Gibson and to restore the
refugees to their homes.[529] It had started upon its way when the
powers higher up interposed.

General Schofield, anticipating the renewed endeavor of the
Confederates to push their line forward, had called upon Blunt for
assistance and Blunt had responded with such alacrity as was possible,
considering that many of the troops he summoned for Schofield's use
were those that had been doing hard service within and on the border
of the Indian country for full two months. During all that time their
horses had been deprived entirely of grain feed and had been compelled
to subsist upon prairie grass. They were in a bad way.[530] Once
outside the Indian Territory, the Indian regiments, begrudging the
service demanded of them, were kept more fully occupied than were the
white; for there was

[Footnote 529: "Orders have been given by General Blunt for the Indian
Expedition to go South soon; he says the families of the Indians may
go"--CARRUTH to Coffin, August 29, 1862, enclosed in Coffin to
Mix, August 30, 1862, Indian Office General Files, _Southern
Superintendence_, 1859-1862.

"Enclosed you will find an order from General James G. Blunt in
regard to the removal of the Indian families to their homes. I start
to-morrow for Fort Scott, Kansas, to overtake the second Indian
expedition, commanded by General Blunt in person."--Carruth to Coffin,
September 19, 1862, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Report, 1862, p.

[Footnote 530: Britton, _Civil War on the Border_, vol. i, 337.]

always scouting[531] for them to do and frequently skirmishing. On
Cowskin River, Phillips's Third Indian and, near Shirley's Ford on
Spring River, Ritchie's Second had each engaged the Confederates with
success, although not entirely with credit. Ritchie had allowed his
men to run amuck even to the extent of attacking their comrades in
Colonel Weer's brigade, which was the second in Blunt's reorganized
army. On account of his lack of control over his troops, Ritchie was
reported upon for dismissal from the service.[532]

The Battle of Newtonia was inconclusive. Subsequent to it, the
Federals were greatly reenforced and, in the first days of October,
Schofield and Blunt, who had both arrived recently upon the scene,
coming to the aid of Salomon, who had been the vanquished one at
Newtonia, were able, in combination with Totten, to deprive Cooper of
all the substantial fruits of victory. He was obliged to fall back
into Arkansas, whither a part of Blunt's division pursued him and
encamped themselves on the old battle-field of Pea Ridge.[533]

Cooper was far from being defeated, however, and, under orders from
Rains, soon made plans for attempting an invasion of Kansas; but
Blunt, ably seconded by Crawford of the Second Kansas, was too quick
for him. He followed him to Maysville and then a little beyond the
Cherokee border to old Fort Wayne in the present Delaware District of
the Nation. There, on the open prairie, a battle was fought,[534] on
October 22, so

[Footnote 531: Phillips to Blunt, September 5, 1862, _Official
Records_, vol. xiii, 614-615.]

[Footnote 532: Weer to Moonlight, September 12, 1862, ibid., 627; Weer
to Blunt, September 24, 1862, ibid., 665-666; Britton, _Civil War on
the Border_, vol. i, 352.]

[Footnote 533: Britton, _Civil War on the Border_, vol. i, 366;
Crawford, _Kansas in the Sixties_, 54.]

[Footnote 534: Anderson, _Life of General Stand Watie_, 20;
Crawford, _Kansas in the_ (cont.)]

disastrous to the Confederates, who, by the by, were greatly
outnumbered, that they fled, a demoralized host, by way of Fort Gibson
across the Arkansas River to Cantonment Davis,[535] Stand Watie and
his doughty Cherokees covering their retreat. The Federals had then
once again an undisputed possession of Indian Territory north of the

Such was the condition of affairs when Pike emerged from his
self-imposed retreat in Texas. The case for the Confederate cause
among the Indians was becoming desperate. So many things that called
for apprehension were occurring. Cooper and Rains were both in
disgrace, the failure of the recent campaign having been attributed
largely to their physical unfitness for duty. Both were now facing an
investigation of charges for drunkenness. Moreover, the brutal attack
upon and consequent murder of Agent Leeper had just shocked the
community. Hearing of that murder and considering that he was still
the most responsible party in Indian Territory, General Pike made
preparations to proceed forthwith to the Leased District. His plans
were frustrated by his own arrest at the command of General Holmes.

His unfriendliness to Pike was in part due to Holmes's own
necessities. It was to his interest to assert authority over the man
who could procure supplies for Indian Territory and when occasion
offered, if that man should dare to prove obdurate, to ignore his
position altogether. Nevertheless, Holmes had not seen fit in early
October to deny Pike his title of

[Footnote 534: (cont.) _Sixties_, 56-62; Edwards, _Shelby and
his Men, 90; Official Records, vol. xiii, 43, 324. 325, 325-328,
329-331, 331-332, 332-336, 336-337, 759_; Britton, _Civil War on
the Border_, vol. i, _364-375_.]

[Footnote 535: _Official Records, vol. xiii, 765_.]

[Footnote 536: Blunt was ordered "to clean out the Indian country"
[Ibid., 762].]

commander and had personally addressed him by it.[537] Yet all the
time he was encroaching upon that commander's prerogatives, was
withholding his supplies, just as Hindman had done, and was exploiting
Indian Territory, in various ways, for his own purposes. Rumors came
that Pike was holding back munition trains in Texas and then that
he was conspiring with Texan Unionists against the Confederacy. To
further his own designs, Holmes chose to credit the rumors and
made them subserve the one and the same end; for he needed Pike's
ammunition and he wanted Pike himself out of the way. He affected to
believe that Pike was a traitor and, when he reappeared as brigade
commander, to consider that he had unlawfully reassumed his old
functions. Accordingly, he issued an order to Roane,[538] to whom
he had entrusted the Indians, for Pike's arrest; but he had already
called Pike to account for holding back the munition trains and had
ordered him, if the charge were really true, to report in person at
Little Rock.[539]

The order for General Pike's arrest bore date of November 3. Roane,
the man to whom the ungracious task was assigned, was well suited to
it. He had been adjudged by Holmes himself as absolutely worthless
as a commander and, being so, had been sent to take care of the
Indians,[540] a severe commentary upon Holmes's own fitness for
the supreme control of anything that had to do with them or their
concerns. Others had an equally poor opinion of Roane's generalship
and character. John S. Phelps, indeed, was writing at this very time,
the autumn of 1862, to Secretary

[Footnote 537: _Official Records_, vol. xiii, 924.]

[Footnote 538:--Ibid., 923, 980, 981.]

[Footnote 539:--Ibid., 904.]

[Footnote 540:--Ibid., 899.]

Stanton in testimony of Roane's unsavory reputation.[541]

The arrest of Pike took place November 14 at Tishomingo in the
Chickasaw country and a detachment of Shelby's brigade was detailed
to convey him to Little Rock.[542] Then, as once before, his reported
resignation saved him from long confinement and from extreme
ignominy. On the fifth of November, President Davis instructed the
adjutant-general to accept Pike's resignation forthwith and five days
thereafter,[543] before the arrest had actually taken place, Holmes
advised Hindman that he had better let Pike go free so soon as he
should leave the Indian country; inasmuch as his resignation was now
an assured thing.[544] Holmes evidently feared to let the release take
place within the limits of Pike's old command; for some of the Indians
were still devotedly attached to him and were still pinning their
faith upon his plighted word. John Jumper and his Seminole braves were
among those most loyal to Pike; and Holmes was afraid that wholesale
desertions from their ranks would follow inevitably Pike's
degradation. Many desertions had already occurred, ostensibly because
of lack of food and raiment. Commissioner Scott had complained to
Holmes of the Indian privations[545] and Holmes had been forced to
concede, although only at the eleventh hour, the Indian claim to some
consideration. He had arbitrarily shared tribal quota of supplies,
bought with tribal money, with white troops and had lamely excused
himself by saying that he had done it to prevent

[Footnote 541: _Official Records_, vol. xiii, 752.]

[Footnote 542:--Ibid., 921.]

[Footnote 543:--Ibid., vol. liii, supplement, 821.]

[Footnote 544:--Ibid., vol. xiii, 913.]

[Footnote 545:--Ibid., 920.]

grumbling[546] and the charge of favoritism. One other offence of
which Holmes was guilty he did not attempt to palliate, the taking of
the Indians out of their own country without their consent. To the
very last Pike had expostulated[547] against such violation of treaty
promises; but Holmes and Hindman were deaf alike to entreaty and to

General Pike, poet and student, was now finally deprived of his
command and the Indians left to their own devices or at the mercy of
men, who could not be trusted or were not greatly needed elsewhere. No
one attempted any longer to conceal the truth that alliance with the
Indians was a supremely selfish consideration, and nothing more,
on the part of those who coveted Indian Territory because of its
geographical position, its strategic and economic importance. For a
little while longer, Pike contended with his enemies by means of the
best weapon he had, his facile pen. His acrimonious correspondence
with the chief of those enemies, Hindman and Holmes, reached its
highest point of criticism in a letter of December 30 to the latter.
That letter summed up his grievances and was practically his last
charge. Having made it, he retired from the scene, not to reappear
until near the close of the war, when Kirby Smith found it
advantageous to reemploy him for service among the red men.

[Footnote 546: _Official Records_, vol. xiii, 928.]

[Footnote 547:--Ibid., 905, 963.]


General Blunt's decision to restore the Indian refugees in Kansas to
their own country precipitated a word war of disagreeable significance
between the civil and military authorities. The numbers of the
refugees had been very greatly augmented in the course of the summer,
notwithstanding the fact that so large a proportion of the men had
joined the Indian Expedition. It is true they had not all stayed with
it. The retrograde movement of Colonel Salomon and his failure later
on to obey Blunt's order to the letter[548] that he should return
to the support of the Indians had disheartened them and many of the
enlisted braves had deserted the ranks, as chance offered, and had
strayed back to their families in the refugee camps of southern

[Footnote 548: Blunt to Caleb Smith, November 21, 1862 [Indian Office
General Files, _Southern Superintendency_, 1859-1862, I 860].]

[Footnote 549: One of the first notices of their desertion was the

"We are getting along well, very well. The Indians seem happy and
contented, and seemingly get enough to eat and wear. At least I hear
no complaint. For the last two or three days the Indian soldiers have
been stragling back, until now there are some three or four hundred
in, and they are still coming. I held a council with them to-day to
try and find out why they are here. But they don't seem to have any
idea themselves. All I could learn was that Old George started and the
rest followed. The Col. it seems told them to go some where else. I
shall send an express to Col. Furness in the morning to find out if
possible what it means. It seems to me it will not do to give the
provisions purchased for the women and children to the soldiers....

"The soldiers look clean and hearty, and complain of being
treated like dogs, starved etc, which I must say their looks
belie...."--GEO.A. CUTLER to Wm. G. Coffin, August 13, 1862,

Then the numbers had been augmented in other ways. The Quapaws, who
had been early driven from their homes and once restored,[550] had
left them again when they found that their country had been denuded of
all its portable resources. It was exposed to inroads of many sorts.
Even the Federal army preyed upon it and, as all the able-bodied male
Quapaws were gradually drawn into that army, there was no way of
defending it. Its inhabitants, therefore, returned as exiles to the
country around about Leroy.[551]

It was much the same with near neighbors of the Quapaws, with the
Senecas and the Seneca-Shawnees. These Indians had been induced to
accept one payment of their annuities from the Confederate agent[552]
but had later repented their digression from the old allegiance to
the United States and had solicited its protection in order that they
might remain true. Some of them stayed with Agent Elder near Fort
Scott,[553] others moved northward and lived upon the charity of the
Shawnees near Lawrence.[554] But those Shawnees were doomed themselves
to be depredated upon, especially that group of them known as Black
Bob's Band, a band that had been assigned a settlement in Johnson

[Footnote 550: Coffin to Elder, August 9, 1862; Coffin to Mix, August
16, 1862, Indian Office General Files, _Neosho_, C 1745 of 1862.]

[Footnote 551: Some of the Quapaws that went to Leroy were not _bona
fide_ refugees. Elder reported them as lured thither by the idea
of getting fed [Elder to Dole, July 9, 1862, Ibid., E 114 of

[Footnote 552: Coffin to Dole, May 31, 1862, Indian Office General
Files, _Neosho_.]

[Footnote 553: Coffin to Mix, July 30, 1862, Ibid., C 1732 of

[Footnote 554: J.J. Lawler to Mix, August 2, 1862, Ibid.,
_Shawnee_, 1855-1862; Abbott to Branch, July 26, 1862,
Ibid. Some of the Senecas, about one hundred twenty-three, went
as far as Wyandot City. For them and their relief, the Senecas in
New York interceded. See Chief John Melton to Commissioner of Indian
Affairs, September 2, 1862, Ibid., _Neosho_, H 541; Mix to
Coffin, September 11, 1862, Indian Office _Letter Book_, no. 69,

County, adjoining the Missouri border.[555] In August[556] and again
in the first week of September[557] guerrillas under Quantrill,[558]
crossed over the line and raided the Black Bob lands, robbing the
Indians of practically everything they possessed, their clothing,
their household goods, their saddles, their ponies, their provisions,
and driving the original owners quite away. They fired upon them as
they fled and committed atrocities upon the helpless ones who lagged
behind. They then raided Olathe.[559] Somewhat earlier, guerrillas
had similarly devastated the Kansas Agency, although not to the same
extent.[560] The Black Bob Shawnees found a refuge in the western part
of the tribal reserve.[561]

[Footnote 555: This group of Shawnee refugees must be distinguished
from the so-called _Absentee Shawnees_, who also became refugees.
The Shawnees had been very much molested and disturbed during the
period of border strife following the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska
Bill. Black Bob's Band was then exceedingly desirous of going south to
dwell with the Seneca-Shawnees [Rector to Greenwood, January 6, 1860,
enclosing Dorn to Greenwood, December 30, 1859, Indian Office General
Files, _Neosho_, R 463 of 1860]. The Absentee Shawnees had
taken refuge in Indian Territory prior to the war, but were expelled
immediately after it began. They obtained supplies for a time from the
Wichita Agent and lived as refugees on Walnut Creek [Paschal Fish and
other Shawnee delegates to Cooley, December 5, 1865, Indian Office
Land Files, _Shawnee_, 1860-1865]. Later on, they seem, at least
some of them, to have gone up to the Shawnee Reserve [Dole to Coffin,
July 27, 1863, Indian Office _Letter Book_, no. 71, 195; Dole
to Usher, July 27, 1863, Ibid., _Report Book_, no. 13,

[Footnote 556: H.B. Branch to Dole, June 19, 1863, enclosing
various letters from Agent Abbott, Indian Office General Files,
_Shawnee_, 1863-1875, B 343.]

[Footnote 557: Branch to Dole, October 3, 1862, transmitting
letter from Abbott to Branch, September 25, 1862, Ibid.,
_Shawnee_, 1855-1862, B 1583.]

[Footnote 558: Connelley, _Quantrill and the Border Wars_, 269,
says that, from' August 15, 1863, the Confederate government was
directly responsible for the work of Quantrill. From that day, the
guerrillas were regular Confederate soldiers. They were not generally
regarded as such, however; for, in November, 1863, Price was trying
to prevail upon Quantrill and his men to come into the regular army
[_Official Records_, vol. liii, supplement, 907-908].]

[Footnote 559: Governor Robinson issued a proclamation, on the
occasion of this emergency for volunteers against guerrillas.]

[Footnote 560: Farnsworth to Dole, July 23, 1862 [Indian Office
General Files, _Kansas_, 1855-1862, F 386].]

[Footnote 561: Letter of Agent Abbott, June 5, 1863, Ibid.,
_Shawnee_, 1863-1875, B 343.]

Some Wyandot Indians, who before the war had sought and found homes
among the Senecas,[562] were robbed of everything they possessed by
secessionist Indians,[563] who would not, however, permit them to go
in search of relief northward.[564] When all efforts to induce them to
throw in their lot with the Confederacy proved unavailing, the strict
watch over them was somewhat relaxed and they eventually managed to
make their escape. They, too, fled into Kansas. And so did about one
hundred Delawares, who had been making their homes in the Cherokee
country. In the spring of 1862, they had begun to return destitute to
the old reservation[565] but seem not to have been counted refugees
until much later in the year.[566] The Delaware Reservation on the
northern bank of the Kansas River and very near to Missouri was
peculiarly exposed

[Footnote 562: Indian Office General Files, _Neosho_, I 81 of

[Footnote 563: Lawrence and others, Wyandots, to Dole, December 23,
1862, ibid., Land Files, _Shawnee_, 1860-1865, L 12 of 1862. This
letter was answered January 20, 1863, and, on the same day, Coffin was
instructed to relieve their distress.]

[Footnote 564: "Being personally acquainted with the condition of the
Wyandots ... would here state, that a portion of them are living among
the Senecas bordering on the Cherokee Country, and they are in a
suffering condition. The rebel portion of the Senecas and Cherokees
have robbed them of all of their ponies, and in fact all the property
they had, and will not allow them to leave to come to Wyandott, which
is about 2 hundred miles in distance, and their friends in Wyandott
are unable to relieve them (on account of the rebel forces) without
protection of our armies. The Wyandotts that are here are anxious to
go and relieve their friends, and would respectfully request that they
be allowed to form into a military company and be mustered into Gov'nt
service and go with the expedition south to relieve their friends and
assist in reclaiming the rebel Indians. A few of the Wyandotts are in
service ... They are all very anxious to be transferred into a company
by themselves for the purpose above stated...."--CHARLES MOORE to
Dole, February 9, 1862, Indian Office Special Files, no. 201, D 576.]

[Footnote 565: Johnson to Dole, April 2, 1862, Indian Office General
Files, _Delaware_, 1862-1866.]

[Footnote 566: Johnson to Dole, November 5, 1862, ibid., _Southern
Superintendency_, 1859-1862.]

to ravages, horses and cattle being frequently stolen.[567] For that
reason and because so much urged thereto by Agent Johnson,[568] who
was himself anxious for service, the Delawares were unusually eager to

The Osages had been induced by Ritchie and others to join the Indian
Expedition or to serve as independent scouts.[569] Their families,
consequently, found it safe and convenient to become refugees.[570]
In July, they formed much the larger part of some five hundred from
Elder's agency, who sought succor at Leroy. That did not deter the
Osages, however, from offering a temporary abiding-place, within their
huge reserve, to the homeless Creeks under Opoeth-le-yo-ho-la.[571]

[Footnote 567: Johnson to Dole, May 28, 1862, Indian Office General
Files, _Delaware_, I 667 of 1862.]

[Footnote 568: Johnson wished to retain his agency and also hold a
commission as colonel of volunteers, Department of the Interior,
_Register of Letters Received_, no. 4, pp. 214, 357. James H.
Lane endorsed his request and it was granted.]

[Footnote 569: The Osages rendered occasionally some good service.
They and the Comanches plundered the Chickasaws very considerably
[Holmes Colbert to N.G. Taylor, April 14, 1868, Indian Office
Consolidated Files, _Chickasaw_, C 716 of 1868. See also Office
letter to Osage treaty commissioners, May 4, 1868]. In October, the
Osage force advanced as far as Iola and then retreated [Henning to
Blunt, October 11, 1862, _Official Records_, vol. xiii, 726].
Soon after that they were mustered out and in a very disgruntled
condition. They claimed that the government had used them very badly
and had never paid them anything [Henning to Chipman, November 13,
1862, Ibid., 790]. They knew little of the discipline of war
and left the army whenever they had a mind to.]

[Footnote 570: The Osages joined the Indian Expedition only upon
condition that their families would be supported during their absence
[Coffin to Dole, June 4, 1862, Indian Office Consolidated Files,
_Neosho_, C 1662 of 1862]. The families were soon destitute.
Coffin ordered Elder to minister to them at Leroy; but he seems to
have distrusted the southern superintendent and to have preferred to
keep aloof from him. Coffin then appointed a man named John Harris as
special Osage agent [Coffin to Dole, July 7, 1862, Ibid., C
1710]. Elder tried to circumvent Coffin's plans for the distribution
of cattle [Coffin to Elder, July 16, 1862, ibid., C 1717] and Coffin
lodged a general charge of neglect of duty against him [Coffin to
Dole, July 19, 1862, Ibid.].]

[Footnote 571: The invitation was extended by White Hair and Charles
Mograin [Coffin to Dole, November 16, 1862, Ibid., C 1904].
Coffin was anxious for (cont.)]

During the summer the wretched condition of the Indian refugees
had, thanks to fresh air, sunlight, and fair weather, been much
ameliorated. Disease had obtained so vast a start that the medical
service, had it been first-class, which it certainly was not, would
otherwise have proved totally inadequate. The physicians in attendance
claimed to have from five to eight thousand patients,[572] yet one
of them, Dr. S.D. Coffin, found it possible to be often and for
relatively long periods absent from his post. Of this the senior
physician, Dr. William Kile, made complaint [573] and that
circumstance marked the beginning of a serious estrangement between
him and Superintendent Coffin.[574]

In August, General Blunt announced his intention of returning the
Indian families to their homes.[575] He was convinced that some of the
employees of the Indian Office and of the Interior Department were
personally profiting by the distribution of supplies to the refugees
and that they were conniving with citizens of Kansas in perpetrating
a gigantic fraud against the government. The circumstances of the
refugees had been well aired

[Footnote 571: (cont.) Opoeth-le-yo-ho-la who had been rather
obstreperous, to accept [Coffin to Dole, November 14, 1862, Indian
Office General Files, Southern Superintendency, 1859-1862].]

[Footnote 572: Dr. S.D. Coffin, to Dole, July 5, 1862, ibid., General
Files, Southern Superintendency, 1859-1862; J.C. Carter to Dole July
22, 1862, ibid.]

[Footnote 573: Kile to Dole, ibid.]

[Footnote 574: The estrangement resulted in the retirement of Kile
from the service. In September, Dr. Kile asked for a leave of absence.
Shortly afterwards, Secretary Smith instructed Charles E. Mix, the
acting commissioner, that the services of Kile were no longer
needed, since the superintendent could attend to the purchasing and
distributing of supplies [Smith to Mix, September 22, 1862, Indian
Office General Files, Southern Superintendency, 1859-1862]. Mix
promptly informed Kile that his resignation was accepted [Mix to Kile,
September 22, 1862, ibid., Letter Book, no. 69, p. 133].]

[Footnote 575: "Orders have been given by General Blunt for the Indian
Expedition to go South soon; he says the families of the Indians may
go. They wish to do so but no provision is made for their
subsistence or conveyance. We wish immediate instructions in this
particular."--Carruth to Coffin, August 29, 1862, ibid., General
Files, Southern Superintendency, 1859-1862.]

in Congress, first in connection with a Senate resolution for their
relief.[576] On July fifth, Congress had passed an act suspending
annuity appropriations to the tribes in hostility to the United States
government and authorizing the president to expend, at discretion,
those same annuities in behalf of the refugees.[577] At once, the
number[578] of refugees increased and white men rushed forward to
obtain contracts for furnishing supplies.

There was a failure of the corn crop in southern Kansas that year and
Dr. Kile, appreciating certain facts, that the Indian pony is dear,
as is the Arabian horse, to his master, that the Indian ponies were
pretty numerous in spite of the decimation of the past winter, and
that they would have to be fed upon corn, advised a return to Indian
Territory before the cold weather should set in.[579] He communicated
with Blunt[580] and found Blunt of the same opinion, so also
Cutler[581] and Coleman.[582] Contrariwise was Superintendent
Coffin,[583] whose view of the case was strengthened by E.H. Carruth,
H.W. Martin,[584] and A.C. Ellithorpe.[585]

[Footnote 576: _U.S. Congressional Globe_, 37th congress, second
session, part i, 815, 849, 875, 891, 940.]

[Footnote 577: _U.S. Statutes at Large_, vol. xii, 528.]

[Footnote 578: In October, Coffin put the number of refugees,
inclusive of the Cherokees on Drywood Creek, at almost seven thousand
five hundred [Commissioner of Indian Affairs, _Report_ 1862,
p. 137] and asked for sixty-nine thousand dollars for their support
during the third quarter of 1862 [Coffin to Mix, September 16,
1862, Indian Office General Files, _Southern Superintendency_,

[Footnote 579: Kile to Dole, July 25, 1862, Ibid.]

[Footnote 580: Kile to Blunt, September 2, 1862, Ibid.]

[Footnote 581: Cutler to Coffin, September 30, 1862, Commissioner of
Indian Affairs, _Report_, 1862, 139.]

[Footnote 582: Coleman to Coffin, September 30, 1862, Ibid.,

[Footnote 583: Coffin to Mix, August 30, 1862, Indian Office General
Files, _Southern Superintendency_, 1859-1862: same to same,
September 13, 1862, Ibid.]

[Footnote 584: Carruth and Martin to Coffin, September 28, 1862,
Commissioner of Indian Affairs, _Report_, 1862, 167.]

[Footnote 585: "In replying to the several interrogatorys contained in
your letter of the 11th inst, I shall base my answer entirely upon my
own (cont.)]

In the contest that ensued between the military and civil authorities
or between Blunt and Coffin,[586] Coffin triumphed, although Blunt
made no concealment of his

[Footnote 585: (cont.) observations and experience, obtained during a
six months campaign with the Indians, and in the Creek and Cherokee
countries. Taking a deep interest in the welfare of these loyal
refugee Indians, who have sacrificed _all_, rather than fight
against our Flag, I shall be cautious and advise no policy but that
which will insure their safe restoration to their homes.

"The important question in your letter and that which embodies the
whole subject matter is the following--'Would it be safe in the
present condition of the country to restore the southern refugee
Indians now in southern Kansas, the women and children, the old,
feeble and infirm to their homes in the Indian country?'

"I answer--It would not be safe to take the women and children to the
Creek or Cherokee countries this fall for the following reasons, 1st
The corn and vegetable crop north of the Arkansas River will not
afford them subsistence for a single month. The excessive drouth has
almost completely destroyed it, and what little would have matured is
laid waste by the frequent foraging parties of our own Army, or those
of the Rebels.

"The amount of Military force necessary to restore and safely protect
this people in their homes would far exceed what is at present at the
disposal of the Department of Kansas; and should they be removed to
the Indian country, and our forces again be compelled to fall back for
the protection of Missouri or Kansas, it would again involve their
precipitate flight, or insure their total destruction.

"Again--the effectiveness of our troops would be materially embarased
by the presence of such a vast number of timid and helpless
creatures--I base my judgment upon the following facts--viz.:

"The expedition which I have been with during the summer, exploring
this country, consisted of three Brigades but containing actually only
about 6 thousand men. We routed, captured, and pursued the fragments
of several Rebel commands, driving them south of the Arkansas River,
opposite to, and in the vicinity of Fort Gibson. This done, we found
the whole of Western Arkansas alive, and the numerous rebel squads
were at once reinforced from the guerila parties of Missouri,
Arkansas, Texas, and the various rebel Indian tribes, until they now
number a force of from 30 to 40 thousand strong, under the command of
Pike, Drew, McIntosh, Rains, Stand Watie and others, ready to contest
the passage of the Arkansas River at any point and in fact capable of
crossing to the north side of the river and possessing the country we
have twice passed over. Why did our command fall back? Simply because
we had not force sufficient to cross the Arkansas River and maintain
our position and because we were to remote from our dipo of supplies.

"The Creek country west of the Verdigris River is almost destitute

[Footnote 586: A dispute between Blunt and Coffin had been going on
for some time. In August, Coffin wrote to Mix that "The contrariness
and (cont.)]

suspicions of graft and peculation[587] and the moment, following the
defeat of the Confederates at old Fort Wayne, seemed rather auspicious
for the return of the refugees. In reality, it was not, however; for
the Federals were far from possessing Indian Territory and they had no
force that they could devote to it exclusively.

[Footnote 585: (cont.) of forage for man or beast, owing to the
drouth--Hence to remove these families would involve to the gov't
great additional expense, not only to subsist but to protect
them--Where they are they need no military protection and food is

"You will bear in mind that a large portion of the Indian country is
south of the Arkansas River and is at present the stronghold of the
Rebels. Many portions of it mountainous and rugged, affording secure
retreats that will require a powerful army to dislodge."--A.C.
ELLITHORPE to Coffin, September 12, 1862, Indian Office General Files,
_Southern Superintendency_, 1859-1862.]

[Footnote 586: (cont.) interference manifested by the military
authorities in the Indian Country towards those who are having
charge of the Indians within the Cherokee Nation is so annoying and
embarrassing that it has become unpleasant, difficult, and almost
impossible for them to attend to the duties of their official
capacities with success. If the Military would only make it
their business to rid the Indian Territory of Rebels instead of
intermeddling with the affairs of the Interior Department or those
connected with or acting for the same, the Refugee Indians in
Kansas might have long since been enabled to return to their homes
..."--Indian Office General Files, _Southern Superintendency_,
1863-1864, C 466.]

[Footnote 587: It was not long before the Indians were complaining
of the very things that General Blunt suspected. For instance, in
December, the Delawares begged President Lincoln to remove Agent
Johnson because of his peculations and ungovernable temper. They also
asked that the store of Thomas Carney and Co. be ordered away from
their reservation. The latter request had been made before, the
Delawares believing that Leavenworth and Lawrence were sufficiently
near for them to trade independently [Indian Office General Files,
_Delaware_, 1862-1866]. Coffin made a contract with Stettaner
Bros. November 29, 1862, and Dole confirmed it by letter, December 13,
1862 [ibid., _Southern Superintendency_, 1863-1864]. Secretary
Smith was not very well satisfied with the Stettaner bids. They were
too indefinite [Ibid., 1859-1862, 1837]. Nevertheless, Dole,
who was none too scrupulous himself, recommended their acceptance
[Dole to Smith, December 11, 1862]. Number 201 of Indian Office
_Special Files_ is especially rich in matter relating to
transactions of Stettaner Bros., Carney and Stevens, and Perry
Fuller, so also are the files of the Indian Division of the Interior
Department, and also, to some extent, the House Files in the Capitol
Building at Washington, D.C.]

Aside from pointing out the military inadequacy, Coffin had chiefly
argued that provisions could easily be obtained where the refugees
then were; but his opposition to Blunt's suggestion was considerably
vitiated by recommendations of his own, soon given, for the removal of
the refugees to the Sac and Fox Agency upon the plea that they could
not be supported much longer to advantage in southern Kansas. The
drouth was the main reason given; but, as Kile had very truly said,
the settlers were getting pretty tired of the Indian exiles, whose
habits were filthy and who were extremely prodigal in their use of
timber. The Sac and Fox Agency was headquarters for the Sacs and Foxes
of Mississippi, for the Ottawas, and for the confederated Chippewas
and Munsees. C.C. Hutchinson was the agent there and there Perry
Fuller, Robert S. Stevens, and other sharpers had their base of

The removal northward was undertaken in October and consummated in a
little less than two months; but at an expense that was enormous and
in spite of great unwillingness on the part of most of the Indians,
who naturally objected to so greatly lengthening the distance between
them and their own homes.[588] The refugees were distributed in tribal
groups rather generally over the reserves included within the Sac and
Fox Agency. At the request of Agent Elder, the Ottawas consented to
accommodate the Seneca-Shawnees and the Quapaws, although not without
expressing their fears that the dances and carousals of the Quapaws
would demoralize their young men[589] and, finally, not without
insisting upon a mutual agreement that no

[Footnote 588: Coffin to Dole, November 14, 1862, Ibid., Indian
Office General Files, _Southern Superintendency_, 1859-1862.]

[Footnote 589: C.C. Hutchinson to Dole, August 21, 1863, Indian Office
General Files, _Ottawa_, 1863-1872, D 236.]

spirituous liquors should be brought within the limits of their
Reserve under any circumstances whatsoever.[590] The Creeks, Choctaws,
and Chickasaws found a lodgment on the Sac and Fox Reservation and the
Seminoles fairly close at hand, at Neosho Falls. That was as far north
as they could be induced to go.

Of the Cherokees, more needs to be said for they were not so easily
disposed of. At various times during the past summer, Cherokees,
opposed to, not identified with, or not enthusiastic in the
Confederate cause, had escaped from Indian Territory and had collected
on the Neutral Lands. Every Confederate reverse or Federal triumph,
no matter how slight, had proved a signal for flight. By October, the
Cherokee refugees on the Neutral Lands were reported to be nearly two
thousand in number, which, allowing for some exaggeration for the sake
of getting a larger portion of relief, was a goodly section of the
tribal population.[591] At the end of October, Superintendent Coffin
paid them a visit and urged them to remove to the Sac and Fox Agency,
whither the majority of their comrades in distress were at that very
moment going.[592] The Cherokees refused; for General Blunt had given
them his word that, if he were successful in penetrating the Indian
Territory, they should at once go home.[593] Not long after Coffin's
departure, their camp on Drywood

[Footnote 590: J.T. Jones to Dole, December 30, 1862, Indian Office
General Files, _Sac and Fox_, 1862-1866. The precautions proved
of little value. Whiskey was procured by both the hosts and their
guests and great disorders resulted. Agent Hutchinson did his best
to have the refugees removed, but, in his absence, the Ottawas were
prevailed upon by Agent Elder to extend their hospitality for a while

[Footnote 591: Commissioner of Indian Affairs, _Report_, 1862,

[Footnote 592:--Ibid., 1863, 175.]

[Footnote 593: Coffin to Dole, November 10, 1862, enclosing copies of
a correspondence between him and a committee of the Cherokee refugees,
October 31, 1862, Indian Office General Files, _Cherokee_,


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