Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

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

Part 3 out of 9

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 1.0 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

Militia Cavalry and proved to be a case where the wily and nimble
Indian had taken the Anglo-Saxon completely by surprise.[271] From
Neosho, Stand Watie moved down, by slow and destructive stages,
through Missouri and across into Indian Territory. His next important
engagement was at Cowskin Prairie, June 6.

Meanwhile, the organization of the Indian Expedition, or Indian Home
Guard, as it was henceforth most commonly styled, was proceeding
apace.[272] The

[Footnote 268: _Official Records_, vol. xiii, 61-63; Britton,
_Civil War on the Border_, vol. i, 281-282.]

[Footnote 269: Stand Watie's whole force was not engaged and he,
personally, was not present. Captain Parks led Watie's contingent and
was joined by Coffee.]

[Footnote 270: _Official Records_, vol. xiii, 90-92, 94-95.]

[Footnote 271:--Ibid., 92-94, 409. Watie, although not
present, seems to have planned the affair [Ibid., 95].
Lieutenant-colonel Mills, who reported upon the Neosho engagement, was
of the opinion that "the precipitate flight" of the Federals could
be accounted for only upon the supposition that the "screaming and
whooping of the Indians" unnerved them and "rendered their untrained
horses nearly unmanageable."--Ibid., 93.]

[Footnote 272: The progress in organization is indicated by these
communications to the Indian Office:


The enrollment, organizing etc. etc. of the Indians, and preparations
for their departure, are progressing satisfactorily, though as I
anticipated, it will be difficult to raise two Regiments, and I have
some fears of our success in getting the full number for the 2nd
Regiment. But if we get one full company of Delawares and Shawnees,

completion of the first regiment gave little concern. It was composed
of Creeks and Seminoles, eight companies of the former and two of the
latter. The second regiment was miscellaneous in its composition and
took longer to

[Footnote 272: (cont.) as promised, and four companies of Osages,
which the chiefs say they can raise, I think we shall succeed.

Two Regiments of white troops and Rabb's Battery have already started
and are down by this time in the Cherokee Nation. Col. Doubleday, who
is in command, has notified the officers here to prepare with all
possible despatch, for marching orders. We are looking for Aliens
Battery here this week and if it comes I hope to make considerable
addition to the Army from the loyal Refugee Indians here, as they have
great confidence in "_them waggons that shoot_," this has been a
point with them all the time.

We were still feeding those that are mustered in and shall I suppose
have to do so until the requisitions arive. The Dellawares and
Shaw-nees also, I had to make arrangements to feed from the time of
their arrival at the Sac and Fox Agency. But from all the indications
now we expect to see the whole Expedition off in ten days or two
weeks.--Coffin to Dole, June 4, 1862, Indian Office General Files,
_Southern Superintendency_, 1859-1862, C 1661.


It has been some time since I wrote you and to fill my promise I again
drop you a line. I presume you feel a lively interest in whatever
relates to the Indians. The 1st. Regt. is now mustered into the
service and will probably to-day number something over a minimum Regt.
It is composed entirely of Creeks and Seminoles, eight companys of the
former and two of the latter.

I have understood that the report of the Creek Agent gave the number
of Creek men at 1990--If this is a fact it is far from a correct
statement--The actual number of Creek men over 14 years of age
(refugees) will not number over 900. Some of these are unable to be
soldiers. The actual number of Seminoles (men) will not excede 300
over 14 years of age, many of them are old and disabled as soldiers.
Thus you will see that but one Regt. could be raised from that
quarter. You are aware that the Creeks and Seminoles speak one
language nearly and are thus naturally drawn together and they were
not willing to be divided.

The second regt. is now forming from the various other tribes and I
have no doubt will be filled, it would have been filled long ago, but
Col. Ritchie did not repair here for a long time in fact not till
after our Regt. was raised--Adjutant Dole came here promptly to do his
duty--but in the absence of his Col. could not facilitate his regt.
without assuming a responsibility that would have been unwise. I
regret that he could not have been placed in our regt. for he will
prove a faithful and reliable officer and should I be transfered to

organize, largely because its prospective commander, Colonel John
Ritchie, who had gone south to persuade the Osages to enlist,[273] was
slow in putting in an appearance at Humboldt. The Neosho Agency, to
which the Osages belonged, was in great confusion, partly due to

[Footnote 272: (cont.) any other position which I am strongly in hopes
I may be, I hope you will exercise your influence to transfer him
to my place, this will be agreable to all the officers of the 1st.
regiment and desirable on his part.

The condition of the Indians here at the present writing is very
favorable, sickness is abating and their spirits are reviving. I
think I have fully settled the fact of the Indians capability and
susceptibility to arive at a good state of military disipline. You
would be surprised to see our Regt. move. They accomplish the feat of
regular time step equal to any white soldier, they form in line with
dispatch and with great precission; and what is more they now manifest
a great desire to learn the entire white man's disiplin in military
matters. That they will make brave and ambitious soldiers I have no
doubt. Our country may well feel proud that these red men have at
last fell into the ranks to fight for our flag, and aid in crushing
treason. Much honor is due them. I am sorry that Dr. Kile did
not accept the appointment of Quartermaster but owing to some
misunderstanding with Col. Ritchie he declines.

You will please remember me to Gen'l Lane and say that I have not
heard from him since I left Washington.--A.C. ELITHORPE to Dole, June
9, 1862, Indian Office General Files, _Southern Superintendency_,
1859-1862, C 1661.


The Indian Brigade, consisting of about one thousand Creeks and
Seminoles, sixty Quapaws, sixty Cherokees and full companies of wild
Delawares, Kechees, Ironeyes, Cadoes, and Kickapoos, left this place
(Leroy) yesterday for Humboldt, at which place I suppose they will
join the so much talked of Indian expedition. Although I have not as
yet fully ascertained the exact number of each Tribe, represented in
said Brigade, but they may be estimated at about Fifteen Hundred,
all of the Southern Refugee Indians who have been fed here by the
Government, besides sixty Delawares from the Delaware Reservation, and
about two Hundred Osages, the latter of which I have been assured will
be increased to about four or five hundred, ere they get through the
Osage Nation ...

The news from the Cherokee Nation is very cheering and encouraging; it
has been reported that nearly Two Thousand Cherokees will be ready to
join the expedition on its approach into that country....--Coffin to
Dole, June 15, 1862, Ibid., C 1684.]

[Footnote 273: Coffin to Dole, June 4, 1862, Ibid.,
_Neosho_, C 1662 of 1862. See also Carruth to Coffin, September
19, 1862, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, _Report_, 1862,

the fact that, at this most untoward moment, the Osages were being
approached for a cession of lands, and partly to the fact that
Indians of the neighborhood, of unionist sympathies, Cherokees and
Delawares[274] from the Cherokee country, Shawnees, Quapaws,[275] and
Seneca-Shawnees, were being made refugees, partly, also, to the fact
that Agent Elder and Superintendent Coffin were not working in harmony
with each other. Their differences dated from the first days of their
official relationship. Elder had been influential, for reasons most
satisfactory to himself and not very complimentary to Coffin,
in having the Neosho Agency transferred to the Central
Superintendency.[276] Coffin had vigorously objected and with such
effect that, in March, 1862, a retransfer had been ordered;[277] but
not before Coffin had reported[278] that everything was now amicable
between him and Elder. Elder was evidently of a different opinion and
before long was asking to be allowed again to report officially
to Superintendent Branch at St. Joseph.[279] There was a regular
tri-weekly post between that place and Fort Scott, Elder's present
headquarters, and the chances were good that Branch would be in a
position to attend to mail more promptly than was Coffin.[280] The
counter arguments

[Footnote 274: F. Johnson to Dole, April 2, 1862, Indian Office,
_Central Superintendency_, Delaware, J 627 of 1862.]

[Footnote 275: The propriety of permitting the refugee Quapaws to
"return to their homes by accompanying the military expedition" was
urged upon the Indian Office in a letter from Elder to Coffin, May
29, 1862 [Coffin to Dole, June 4, 1862, Ibid., _Southern
Superintendency_, Neosho, C 1663 of 1862].]

[Footnote 276: Office letter of June 5, 1861.]

[Footnote 277: Mix to Branch, March 1, 1862, Indian Office _Letter
Book_, no. 67.]

[Footnote 278: Coffin to Dole, February 28, 1862, Ibid.,
General Files, _Southern Superintendency_, 1859-1862, C 1541 of

[Footnote 279: Elder to Dole, May 16, 1862, Ibid., Neosho, E
106 of 1862.]

[Footnote 280: Coffin was spending a good deal of his time at Leroy.
Leroy was one hundred twenty-five miles, so Elder computed, from
Leavenworth, where he (cont.)]

of Coffin[281] were equally plausible and the request for transfer

The outfit for the Indians of the Home Guard was decidedly inferior.
Opoeth-le-yo-ho-la wanted batteries, "wagons that shoot."[282] His
braves, many of them, were given guns that were worthless, that would
not shoot at all.[283] In such a way was their eagerness to learn the
white man's method of fighting and to acquire his discipline rewarded.
The fitting out was done at Humboldt, although Colonel William
Weer[284] of the Tenth Kansas Infantry, who was the man finally
selected to command the entire force, would have preferred it done at
Fort Scott.[285] The Indians had a thousand and one excuses for not
expediting matters. They seemed to have a deep-seated distrust of what
the Federal intentions regarding them might be when

[Footnote 280: (cont.) directed his mail, and sixty or seventy from
Fort Scott. His communications were held up until Coffin happened to
go to Leavenworth. Moreover, Coffin was then expecting to go soon
"into the Indian country."]

[Footnote 281: Coffin complained that Elder neglected his duties. It
was Coffin's intention to remove the headquarters of the Southern
Superintendency from Fort Scott to Humboldt. It would then be very
convenient for Elder to report to him, especially if he would go back
to his own agency headquarters and not linger, as he had been doing,
at Fort Scott [Coffin to Dole, June 10, 1862, Ibid., C 1668 of

[Footnote 282: _Daily Conservative_, May 10, 1862.]

[Footnote 283: Weer to Doubleday, June 6, 1862, _Official
Records_, vol. xiii, 418; Coffin to Dole, June 17, 1862, Indian
Office General Files, _Southern Superintendency_, 1859-1862.]

[Footnote 284: Weer was one of the men in disfavor with Governor
Robinson [_Daily Conservative_, May 25, 1862]. He had been
arrested and his reinstatement to command that came with the
appearance of Blunt upon the scene was doubtless the circumstance that
afforded opportunity for his appointment to the superior command
of the Indian Expedition. Sturgis had refused to reinstate him. In
December, 1861, a leave of absence had been sought by Weer, who was
then with the Fourth Kansas Volunteers, in order that he might go
to Washington, D.C., and be a witness in the case involving Lane's
appointment as brigadier-general [Thomas to Hunter, December 12, 1861,
_Congressional Globe_, 37th congress, second session, part i,

[Footnote 285: Weer to Moonlight, June 6, 1862, _Official
Records_, vol. xiii, 419.]

once they should be back in their own country. They begged that some
assurance be given them of continued protection against the foe and
in their legal rights. And, in the days of making preparations, they
asked again and again for tangible evidence that white troops were
really going to support them in the journey southward.

The main portion of the Indian Expedition auxiliary white force had
all this time been more or less busy, dealing with bushwhackers and
the like, in the Cherokee Neutral Lands and in the adjoining counties
of Missouri. When Blunt took command of the Department of Kansas,
Colonel Frederick Salomon[286] of the Ninth Wisconsin Volunteer
Infantry was in charge at Fort Scott and the troops there or reporting
there were, besides eight companies of his own regiment, a part of
the Second Ohio Cavalry under Colonel Charles Doubleday, of the Tenth
Kansas Infantry under Colonel William F. Cloud, and the Second Indiana
Battery.[287] Blunt's first thought was to have Daubleday[288] lead
the Indian Expedition, the auxiliary white force of which was to be
selected from the regiments at Fort Scott. Doubleday accordingly made
his plans, rendezvoused his men, and arranged that the mouth of Shoal
Creek should be a rallying point and temporary headquarters;[289] but
events were already in train for Colonel

[Footnote 286: Salomon was born in Prussia in 1826 [Rosengarten,
_The German Soldier in the Wars of the United States_, 150]. He
had distinguished himself in some of the fighting that had taken place
in Missouri in the opening months of the war and, when the Ninth
Wisconsin Infantry, composed solely of German-Americans, had been
recruited, he was called to its command [Love, _Wisconsin in the War
of the Rebellion_, 578].]

[Footnote 287: _Official Records_, vol. xiii, 371-372, 377.]

[Footnote 288: for an account of Doubleday's movements in April that
very probably gained him the place, see Britton, _Civil War on the
Border_, vol. i, 296.]

[Footnote 289: _Official Records_, vol. xiii, 397, 408.]

Weer to supersede him and for his own assignment to the Second Brigade
of the expedition.

Previous to his supersedure by Weer, Doubleday conceived that it might
be possible to reach Fort Gibson with ease,[290] provided the
attempt to do so should be undertaken before the various independent
secessionist commands could unite to resist.[291] That they were
planning to unite there was every indication.[292] Doubleday[293] was
especially desirous of heading off Stand Watie who was still hovering
around in the neighborhood of his recent adventures, and was believed
now to have an encampment on Cowskin Prairie near Grand River.
Accordingly, on the morning of June 6, Doubleday started out, with
artillery and a thousand men, and, going southward from Spring River,
reached the Grand about sundown.[294] Watie was three miles away
and, Doubleday continuing the pursuit, the two forces came to an
engagement. It was indecisive,[295] however, and Watie slipped away

[Footnote 290: Doubleday to Moonlight, May 25, 1862, _Official
Records_, vol. xiii, 397.]

[Footnote 291: Doubleday to Blunt, June 1, 1862, Ibid., 408.]

[Footnote 292: General Brown reported on this matter, June 2
[Ibid., 409] and June 4 [Ibid., 414], as did also
General Ketchum, June 3 [Ibid., 412]. They all seem to have had
some intimation that General Pike was to unite with Stand Watie as
well as Coffee and others, and that was certainly General Hindman's
intention. On May 31, the very day that he himself assumed command,
Hindman had ordered Pike to advance from Fort McCulloch to the Kansas
border. The order did not reach Pike until June 8 and was repeated
June 17 [Ibid., 40].]

[Footnote 293: The idea seems to have obtained among Missourians that
Doubleday was all this time inactive. They were either ignorant of or
intent upon ignoring the Indian Expedition. June 4, Governor Gamble
wrote to Secretary Stanton asking that the Second Ohio and the Ninth
Wisconsin, being at Fort Scott and unemployed, might be ordered to
report to Schofield [Ibid., 414, 438], who at the instance of
politicians and contrary to the wishes of Halleck [Ibid., 368]
had been given an independent command in Missouri.]

[Footnote 294: Doubleday to Weer, June 8, 1862 [Ibid., 102].]

[Footnote 295: Doubleday reported to Weer that it was a pronounced
success, so did Blunt to Schofield [Ibid., 427]; but subsequent
events showed that it was (cont.)]

cover of the darkness. Had unquestioned success crowned Doubleday's
efforts, all might have been well; but, as it did not, Weer, who had
arrived at Fort Scott[296] a few days before and had been annoyed
to find Doubleday gone, ordered him peremptorily to make no further
progress southward without the Indians. The Indian contingent had in
reality had a set-back in its preparations. Its outfit was incomplete
and its means for transportation not forthcoming.[297] Under such
circumstances, Weer advised the removal of the whole concern to Fort
Scott, but that was easier said than done, inasmuch, as before any
action was taken, the stores were _en route_ for Humboldt.[298]
Nevertheless, Weer was determined to have the expedition start before
Stand Watie could be reinforced by Rains.[299] Constant and insistent
were the reports that the enemy was massing its forces to destroy the
Indian Expedition.[300]

[Footnote 295: (cont.) anything but that and the _Daily
Conservative_ tried to fix the blame upon Weer [Weer to Moonlight,
June 23, 1862, Ibid., 446]. The newspaper account of the whole
course of affairs may be given, roughly paraphrased, thus: Doubleday,
knowing, perhaps, that Weer was to supersede him and that his time for
action was short, "withdrew his detachment from Missouri, concentrated
them near Iola, Kansas, and thence directed them to march to the
mouth of Shoal Creek, on Spring River, himself taking charge of the
convoying of a train of forty days supplies to the same place ..." He
arrived June 4. Then, "indefatigible in forwarding the preparations
for a blow upon the camp of organization which the rebels had occupied
unmolested on Cowskin Prairie," he made his plans for further advance.
At that moment came the news that Weer had superseded him and had
ordered him to stop all movement south. He disregarded the order and
struck, even though not fully prepared [_Daily Conservative_,
June 13, 1862].]

[Footnote 296: Weer to Moonlight, June 5, 1862, _Official
Records_, vol. xiii, 418.]

[Footnote 297:--Ibid.; Weer to Doubleday, June 6, 1862,
Ibid., 418-419.]

[Footnote 298: Weer to Moonlight, June 13, 1862, Ibid., 430.]

[Footnote 299: Same to same, June 7, 1862, Ibid., 422.]

[Footnote 300: The destruction of the Indian Expedition was most
certainly the occasion for the massing, notwithstanding the fact that
Missourians were apprehensive for the safety of their state only and
wanted to have Weer's white troops diverted to its defence. Curtis,
alone, of the commanders in Missouri seems to have surmised rightly in
the matter [Curtis to Schofield, Ibid., 432].]

Weer, therefore, went on ahead to the Osage Catholic Mission and
ordered the Fort Scott troops to meet him there. His purpose was to
promote the enlistment of the Osages, who were now abandoning the
Confederate cause.[301] He would then go forward and join Doubleday,
whom he had instructed to clear the way.[302]

Weer's plans were one thing, his embarrassments, another. Before the
middle of June he was back again at Leroy,[303] having left Salomon
and Doubleday[304] at Baxter Springs on the west side of Spring
River in the Neutral Lands, the former in command. Weer hoped by his
presence at Leroy to hurry the Indians along; for it was high time the
expedition was started and he intended to start it, notwithstanding
that many officers were absent from their posts and the men of
the Second Indian Regiment not yet mustered in. It was absolutely
necessary, if anything were going to be done with Indian aid, to get
the braves away from under the influence of their chiefs, who were
bent upon delay and determent. By the sixteenth he had the warriors
all ready at Humboldt,[305] their bullet-proof medicine taken, their
grand war dance indulged in. By the twenty-first, the final packing
up began,[306] and it was not long thereafter before the Indian
Expedition, after having experienced so many vicissitudes, had
definitely materialized and was on its way south. Accompanying Weer
were the Reverend Evan Jones, entrusted with

[Footnote 301: Weer to Moonlight, June 13, 1862.]

[Footnote 302: Weer to Doubleday, June 6, 1862.]

[Footnote 303: Weer to Moonlight, June 13, 1862.]

[Footnote 304: On the twentieth, General Brown requested Salomon to
send Doubleday to southwest Missouri [_Official Records_, vol.
xiii, 440] and Salomon so far complied with the request as to post
some companies of Doubleday's regiment, under Lieutenant-colonel
Ratliff, at Neosho [Ibid., 445, 459].]

[Footnote 305:--Ibid., 434.]

[Footnote 306:--Ibid., 441.]

a confidential message[307] to John Ross, and two special Indian
agents, E.H. Carruth, detailed at the instance of the Indian Office,
and H.W. Martin, sent on Coffin's own responsibility, their particular
task being to look out for the interests and welfare of the Indians
and, when once within the Indian Territory, to take careful stock of
conditions there, both political and economic.[308] The Indians were
in fine spirits and, although looking

[Footnote 307: The message, addressed to "Mutual Friend," was an
assurance of the continued interest of the United States government
in the inhabitants of Indian Territory and of its determination to
protect them [Coffin to Ross, June 16, 1862, Indian Office General
Files, _Southern Superintendency_, 1859-1862, C 1684].]

[Footnote 308: "... You will assure all loyal Indians in the Indian
Territory of the disposition and the ability of the Government of the
United States to protect them in all their rights, and that there is
no disposition on the part of said government to shrink from any of
its Treaty Obligations with all such of the Indian Tribes, who
have been, are now, and remaining loyal to the same. Also that the
government will, at the earliest practicable period, which is
believed not to be distant, restore to all loyal Indians the rights,
privileges, and immunities, that they have enjoyed previous to the
present unfortunate rebellion.

"If, during the progress of the Army you should find Indians in a
suffering condition whose loyalty is _beyond doubt_, you will,
on consultation with the officers, render such assistance, as you may
think proper, with such aid as the officers may render you.

"You will carefully look into the condition of the country, ascertain
the quantity of Stock, Hogs, and Cattle, also the quantity of Corn,
wheat etc. which may be in the hands of the loyal Indians, and the
amount of the crops in the ground the present season, their condition
and prospects.

"You are requested to communicate with me at this office at every
suitable opportunity on all the above mentioned points, in order to
enable me to keep the Hon. Com'r of Indian Aff'rs well advised of the
condition of affairs in the Indian Territory, and that the necessary
steps may be taken at the earliest possible moment, consistent with
safety and economy, to restore the loyal Indians now in Kansas to
their homes.

"Should any considerable number of the Indians, now in the Army,
remain in the Indian Territory, or join you from the loyal Indians,
now located therein you will very probably find it best, to remain
with them, until I can get there with those, who are now here. But of
these matters you will be more able to judge on the ground."--Extract
from Coffin's instructions to Carruth, June 16, 1862, Ibid.,
Similar instructions, under date of June 23, 1862, were sent to H.W.

somewhat ludicrous in their uniforms,[309] were not much behind their
comrades of the Ninth and Tenth Kansas[310] in earnestness and in
attention to duty.[311] Nevertheless, they had been very reluctant to
leave their families and were, one and all, very apprehensive as to
the future.

[Footnote 309: "I have just returned from Humboldt--the army there
under Col. Weer consisting of the 10th Kansas Regiment 4 Companys of
the 9th Kansas Aliens Battery of Six Tenths Parrot Guns and the first
and second Indian Regements left for the Indian Territory in good
stile and in fine spirits the Indians with their new uniforms and
small Military caps on their Hugh Heads of Hair made rather a Comecal
Ludecrous apperance they marched off in Columns of 4 a breast singing
the war song all joining in the chourse and a more animated seen is
not often witnessed. The officers in command of the Indian Regements
have labored incessantly and the improvement the Indians have made in
drilling is much greater than I supposed them capabell of and I think
the opinion and confidence of all in the eficency of the Indian
Regements was very much greater when they left than at any previous
period and I have little doubt that for the kind of service that will
be required of them they will be the most efecient troops in the
Expedition."--COFFIN to Dole, June 25, 1862, Indian Office General
Files, _Southern Superintendency_, 1859-1862, C 1684.]

[Footnote 310: Weer took with him as white anxiliary "the Tenth
Kansas, Allen's battery, three companies Ninth Kansas..." [_Official
Records_, vol. xiii, 441]. It seems to have been his intention to
take the Second Kansas also; but that regiment was determined to stay
at Humboldt until it had effected a change in its colonels in favor of
Owen A. Bassett [Ibid., 434].]

[Footnote 311: Weer was disgusted with conditions surrounding his
white force. This is his complaint, on the eve of his departure:

"Commissions to officers from the Governor are pouring in daily. I am
told that the Tenth is rapidly becoming a regiment of officers. To add
to these difficulties there are continual intrigues, from colonels
down, for promotions and positions of command. Officers are leaving
their posts for Fort Leavenworth and elsewhere to engage in these
intrigues for more prominent places. The camps are filled with rumors
of the success of this or that man. Factions are forming, and a
general state of demoralization being produced..."--WEER to Moonlight,
June 21, 1862, Ibid., 441-442.]


Towards the end of June, the various elements designed to comprise the
First Indian Expedition had encamped at Baxter Springs[312] and two
brigades formed. As finally organized, the First Brigade was put under
the command of Colonel Salomon and the Second, of Colonel William
R. Judson. To the former, was attached the Second Indian Regiment,
incomplete, and, to the latter, the First. Brigaded with the Indian
regiments was the white auxiliary that had been promised and that the
Indians had almost pathetically counted upon to assist them in their
straits. Colonel Weer's intention was not to have the white and red
people responsible for the same duties nor immediately march together.
The red were believed to be excellent for scouting and, as it would
be necessary to scout far and wide all the way down into the Indian
Territory, the country being full of bushwhackers, also, most likely,
of the miscellaneous forces of General Rains, Colonel Coffee, and
Colonel Stand Watie, they were to be reserved for that work.

The forward movement of the Indian Expedition began at daybreak on the
twenty-eighth of June. It was then that the First Brigade started, its
white contingent, "two sections Indiana Battery, one battalion of

[Footnote 312: Baxter Springs was a government post, established on
Spring River in the southwest corner of the Cherokee Neutral Lands,
subsequent to the Battle of Pea Ridge [Kansas Historical Society,
_Collections_, vol. vi, 150].]

Second Ohio Volunteer Cavalry, and six companies of Ninth Wisconsin
Volunteer Infantry,"[313] taking the military road across the Quapaw
Strip and entering the Indian Territory, unmolested. A day's journey
in the rear and travelling by the same route came the white contingent
of the Second Brigade and so much of the First Indian as was
unmounted.[314] Beyond the border, the cavalcade proceeded to Hudson's
Crossing of the Neosho River, where it halted to await the coming of
supply trains from Fort Scott. In the meantime, the Second Indian
Regiment, under Colonel John Ritchie, followed, a day apart, by the
mounted men of the First under Major William A. Phillips,[315] had
also set out, its orders[316] being to leave the military road and to
cross to the east bank of Spring River, from thence to march southward
and scour the country thoroughly between Grand River and the Missouri
state line.

The halt at Hudson's Crossing occupied the better part of two days and
then the main body of the Indian Expedition resumed its forward march.
It crossed the Neosho and moved on, down the west side of Grand River,
to a fording place, Carey's Ford, at which point, it passed over to
the east side of the river and camped, a short distance from the ford,
at Round Grove, on Cowskin Prairie, Cherokee ground, and the scene of
Doubleday's recent encounter with the enemy. At this

[Footnote 313: Salomon to Weer, June 30, 1862, _Official
Records_, vol. xiii, 458.]

[Footnote 314: James A. Phillips to Judson, June 28, 1862 [_Official
Records_, vol. xiii, 456].]

[Footnote 315: William A. Phillips, a Scotsman by birth, went out to
Kansas in the autumn of 1855 as regular staff correspondent of the New
York _Tribune_ [Kansas Historical Society _Collections_,
vol. v, 100, 102]. He was a personal friend of Dana's [Britton,
_Memoirs_, 89], became with Lane an active Free State man and
later was appointed on Lane's staff [_Daily Conservative_,
January 24, 31, 1862]. He served as correspondent of the _Daily
Conservative_ at the time when that newspaper was most guilty of

[Footnote 316: James A. Phillips to Judson, June 28, 1862, _Official
Records_, vol. xiii, 456.]

place it anxiously awaited the return of Lieutenant-colonel Ratliff,
who had been despatched to Neosho in response to an urgency call from
General E.B. Brown in charge of the Southwestern Division of the
District of Missouri.[317]

The Confederates were still in the vicinity, promiscuously wandering
about, perhaps; but, none the less, determined to check, if possible,
the Federal further progress; for they knew that only by holding the
territorial vantage, which they had secured through gross Federal
negligence months before, could they hope to maintain intact the
Indian alliance with the Southern States. Stand Watie's home farm was
in the neighborhood of Weer's camp and Stand Watie himself was even
then scouting in the Spavinaw hills.[318]

In the latter part of May, under directions from General
Beauregard[319] but apparently without the avowed knowledge of the
Confederate War Department and certainly without its official[320]
sanction, Thomas C.

[Footnote 317: Weer to Moonlight, June 23, 1862, _Official
Records_, vol. xiii, 445, and same to same, July 2, 1862,
Ibid., 459-461.]

[Footnote 318: Anderson, _Life of General Stand Watie_, 18.]

[Footnote 319: _Official Records_, vol. xiii, 28.]

[Footnote 320: The emphasis should be upon the word, _official_,
since the government must assuredly have acquiesced in Hindman's
appointment. Hindman declared that the Secretary of War, in
communicating on the subject to the House of Representatives, "ignored
facts which had been officially communicated to him," in order to
convey the impression that Hindman had undertaken to fill the post
of commander in the Trans-Mississippi Department without rightful
authority [Hindman to Holmes, February 8, 1863, Ibid., vol.
xxii, part 2, p. 785]. The following telegram shows that President
Davis had been apprised of Hindman's selection, and of its tentative

BALDWIN, June 5, 1862.

(Received 6th.)


Do not send any one just now to command the Trans-Mississippi
District. It will bring trouble to this army. Hindman has been sent
there temporarily. Price will be on to see you soon.

EARL VAN DORN, Major-General.

[Ibid., vol. lii, part 2, supplement, p. 320.]]

Hindman had assumed the command of the Trans-Mississippi
Department.[321] As an Arkansan, deeply moved by the misfortunes and
distress of his native state, he had stepped into Van Dorn's place
with alacrity, intent upon forcing everything within his reach to
subserve the interests of the Confederate cause in that particular
part of the southern world. To the Indians and to their rights,
natural or acquired, he was as utterly indifferent as were most other
American men and all too soon that fact became obvious, most obvious,
indeed, to General Pike, the one person who had, for reasons best
known to himself, made the Indian cause his own.

General Hindman took formal command of the Trans-Mississippi
Department at Little Rock, May 31. It was a critical moment and he was
most critically placed; for he had not the sign of an army, Curtis's
advance was only about thirty-five miles away, and Arkansas was yet,
in the miserable plight in which Van Dorn had left her in charge of
Brigadier-general J.S. Roane, it is true, but practically denuded of
troops. Pike was at Fort McCulloch, and he had a force not wholly to
be despised.[322] It was to him, therefore, that Hindman

[Footnote 321: _Department_ seems to be the more proper word
to use to designate Hindman's command, although _District_ and
_Department_ are frequently used interchangeably in the records.
In Hindman's time and in Holmes's, the Trans-Mississippi Department
was not the same as the Trans-Mississippi District of Department No.
2 [See Thomas Jordan, Chief of Staff, to Hindman, July 17, 1862,
_Official Records_, vol. xiii, 855]. On the very date of
Hindman's assignment, the boundaries of his command were defined as

"The boundary of the Trans-Mississippi Department will embrace the
States of Missouri and Arkansas, including Indian Territory, the
State of Louisiana west of the Mississippi, and the State of
Texas."--Ibid., 829.]

[Footnote 322: Yet Hindman did, in a sense, despise it and, from the
start, he showed a tendency to disparage Pike's abilities and efforts.
On the nineteenth of June, he reported to Adjutant-general Cooper,
among other things, that he had ordered Pike to establish his
headquarters at Fort Gibson and added, "His force does not amount to
much, but there is no earthly need of its (cont.)]

made one of his first appeals for help and he ordered him so to
dispose of his men that some of the more efficient, the white, might
be sent to Little Rock and the less efficient, the red, moved upward
"to prevent the incursions of marauding parties," from Kansas.[323]
The orders were repeated about a fortnight later; but Pike had already
complied to the best of his ability, although not without protest[324]
for he had collected his brigade and accoutered it by his own energies
and his own contrivances solely. Moreover, he had done it for the
defence of Indian Territory exclusively.

Included among the marauders, whose enterprises General Hindman was
bent upon checking, were Doubleday's men; for, as General Curtis
shrewdly surmised,[325] some inkling of Doubleday's contemplated
maneuvers had most certainly reached Little Rock. Subsequently, when
the Indian Expedition was massing at Baxter Springs, more vigorous
measures than any yet taken were prepared for and all with the view
of delaying or defeating it. June 23, Pike ordered Colonel Douglas H.
Cooper to repair to the country north of the Canadian River and to
take command of all troops, except Jumper's Seminole battalion, that
should be there or placed there.[326] Similarly, June 26, Hindman, in
ignorance of Pike's action, assigned Colonel J.J. Clarkson[327] to the
supreme command, under

[Footnote 322: (cont.) remaining 150 miles south of the Kansas line
throwing up intrenchments." [_Official Records_, vol. xiii,

[Footnote 323: Hindman to Pike, May 31, 1862 [Ibid., 934].]

[Footnote 324: Pike to Hindman, June 8, 1862 [Ibid., 936-943].]

[Footnote 325:--Ibid., 398, 401.]

[Footnote 326: General Orders, Ibid., 839, 844-845.]

[Footnote 327: Of Clarkson, Pike had this to say: "He applied to me
while raising his force for orders to go upon the Santa Fe' road and
intercept trains. I wrote him that he could have such orders if
he chose to come here, and the next I heard of him he wrote for
ammunition, and, I learned, was going to make (cont.)]

Pike, "of all forces that now are or may hereafter be within the
limits of the Cherokee, Creek, and Seminole countries."[328] As fate
would have it, Clarkson was the one of these two to whom the work in
hand first fell.

The Indian Expedition was prepared to find its way contested; for its
leaders believed Rains,[329] Coffey, and Stand Watie to be all in the
immediate vicinity, awaiting the opportunity to attack either singly
or with combined forces; but, except for a small affair between a
reconnoitering party sent out by Salomon and the enemy's pickets,[330]
the march was without incident worth recording until after Weer had
broken camp at Cowskin Prairie. Behind him the ground seemed clear
enough, thanks to the very thorough scouting that had been done by the
Indians of the Home Guard regiments, some of whom, those of Colonel
Phillips's command, had been able to penetrate Missouri.[331] Of
conditions ahead of him, Weer was not so sure and he was soon made
aware of the near presence of the foe.

Colonel Watie, vigilant and redoubtable, had been on the watch for the
Federals for some time and, learning of their approach down the east
side of Grand River, sent two companies of his regiment to head off
their advance guard. This was attempted in a surprise movement at
Spavinaw Creek and accomplished with some measure of success.[332]
Colonel Clarkson was at

[Footnote 327: (cont.) forays into Missouri. I had no ammunition for
that business. He seized 70 kegs that I had engaged of Sparks in Fort
Smith, and soon lost the whole and Watie's also. Without any notice
to me he somehow got in command of the northern part of the Indian
country over two colonels with commissions nine months older than
his."--Pike to Hindman, July 15, 1862, _Official Records_, vol.
xiii, 858.]

[Footnote 328: _Official Records_, vol. xiii, 845-846.]

[Footnote 329: Rains had made Tahlequah the headquarters of the Eighth
Division Missouri State Guards.--PIKE to Hindman, July 15, 1862,
Ibid., 858.]

[Footnote 330:--Ibid., vol. xiii, 458, 460.]

[Footnote 331:--Ibid., 460.]

[Footnote 332: Anderson, _Life of General Stand Watie_, 18. This
incident is most (cont.)]

Locust Grove and Weer, ascertaining that fact, prepared for an
engagement. His supplies and camp equipage, also an unutilized part of
his artillery he sent for safety to Cabin Creek, across Grand River
and Lieutenant-colonel Lewis R. Jewell of the Sixth Kansas Cavalry
he sent eastward, in the direction of Maysville, Arkansas, his
expectation being--and it was realized--that Jewell would strike
the trail of Watie and engage him while Weer himself sought out

The looked-for engagement between the main part of the Indian
Expedition and Clarkson's force, a battalion of Missourians that had
been raised by Hindman's orders and sent to the Indian Territory "at
the urgent request of Watie and Drew,"[334] occurred at Locust Grove
on the third of July. It was nothing but a skirmish, yet had very
significant results. Only two detachments of Weer's men were actively
engaged in it.[335] One of them was from the First Indian Home Guard
and upon it the brunt of the fighting fell.[336]

[Footnote 332: (cont.) likely the one that is referred to in Carruth
and Martin's letter to Coffin, August 2, 1862, Commissioner of Indian
Affairs, _Report_, 1862, p. 162.]

[Footnote 333: Britton, _Civil War on the Border_, vol. i,

[Footnote 334: Report of General Hindman, _Official Records_,
vol. xiii, 40.]

[Footnote 335: Weer to Moonlight, July 6, 1862, Ibid., 137.]

[Footnote 336: Carruth and Martin reported to Coffin, August 2, 1862,
that the Indians did practically all the fighting on the Federal side.
In minor details, their account differed considerably from Weer's.

"When near Grand Saline, Colonel Weer detached parts of the 6th,
9th, and 10th Kansas regiments, and sent the 1st Indian regiment in
advance. By a forced night march they came up to the camp of Colonel
Clarkson, completely surprising him, capturing all his supplies, and
taking one hundred prisoners; among them the colonel himself.

"The Creek Indians were first in the fight, led by Lieutenant Colonel
Wattles and Major Ellithorpe. We do not hear that any white man fired
a gun unless it was to kill the surgeon of the 1st Indian regiment.
We were since informed that one white man was killed by the name of
McClintock, of the 9th Kansas regiment. In reality, it was a victory
gained by the 1st Indian regiment; and while the other forces would,
no doubt, have acted well, it is the height of injustice to claim
this victory for the whites...."--Commissioner of Indian Affairs,
_Report_, 1862, p. 162.]

The Confederates were worsted and lost their train and many prisoners.
Among the prisoners was Clarkson himself. His battalion was put to
flight and in that circumstance lay the worst aspect of the whole
engagement; for the routed men fled towards Tahlequah and spread
consternation among the Indians gathered there, also among those who
saw them by the way or heard of them. Thoroughly frightened the red
men sought refuge within the Federal lines. Such conduct was to be
expected of primitive people, who invariably incline towards the
side of the victor; but, in this case, it was most disastrous to the
Confederate Indian alliance. For the second time since the war began,
Colonel John Drew's enlisted men defected from their own ranks[337]
and, with the exception of a small body under Captain Pickens
Benge,[338] went boldly over to the enemy. The result was, that the
Second Indian Home Guard, Ritchie's regiment, which had not previously
been filled up, had soon the requisite number of men[339] and there
were more to spare. Indeed, during the days that followed, so many
recruits came in, nearly all of them Cherokees, that lists were opened
for starting a third regiment of Indian Home Guards.[340] It was not
long before it was organized, accepted by Blunt, and W.A. Phillips
commissioned as its colonel.[341] The regular mustering in of the new
recruits had to be done at Fort Scott and thither Ritchie sent the
men, intended for his regiment, immediately.

The Indian Expedition had started out with a very definite preliminary
programme respecting the

[Footnote 337: _Official Records_, vol. xiii, 138.]

[Footnote 338: Hindman's Report, Ibid., 40.]

[Footnote 339: Ritchie to Blunt, July 5, 1862, Ibid., 463-464.]

[Footnote 340: Weer to Moonlight, July 12, 1862, Ibid., 488.]

[Footnote 341: Blunt to Salomon, August 3, 1862, Ibid., 532;
Britton, _Civil War on the Border_, vol. i, 304.]

management of Indian affairs, particularly as those affairs might
be concerned with the future attitude of the Cherokee Nation. The
programme comprised instructions that emanated from both civil and
military sources. The special Indian agents, Carruth and Martin, had
been given suitable tasks to perform and the instructions handed them
have already been commented upon. Personally, these two men were very
much disposed to magnify the importance of their own position and
to resent anything that looked like interference on the part of the
military. As a matter of fact, the military men treated them with
scant courtesy and made little or no provision for their comfort and
convenience.[342] Colonel Weer seems to have ignored, at times, their
very existence. On more than one occasion, for instance, he deplored
the absence of some official, accredited by the Indian Office, to take
charge of what he contemptuously called "this Indian business,"[343]
which business, he felt, greatly complicated all military
undertakings[344] and was decidedly beyond the bounds of his peculiar

[Footnote 342: Pretty good evidence of this appears in a letter, which
Carruth and Martin jointly addressed to Coffin, September 4, 1862,
in anticipation of the Second Indian Expedition, their idea being to
guard against a repetition of some of the experiences of the first.
"We wish to call your attention," wrote they, "to the necessity of
our being allowed a wagon to haul our clothing, tents, etc. in the
Southern expedition.

"In the last expedition we had much annoyance for the want of
accommodations of our own. Unless we are always by at the moment of
moving, our things are liable to be left behind, that room may be made
for _army baggage_ which sometimes accumulates amazingly....

"The cold nights of autumn and winter will overtake us in the next
expedition and we ought to go prepared for them. We must carry many
things, as clothing, blankets, etc."--General Files, _Southern
Superintendency_, 1859-1862.]

[Footnote 343: _Official Records_, vol. xiii, 460.]

[Footnote 344:--Ibid., 487.]

[Footnote 345: Weer, nevertheless, was not long in developing some
very pronounced ideas on the subject of Indian relations. The earliest
and best indication of (cont.)]

The military instructions for the management of Indian affairs
outlined a policy exceedingly liberal, a policy that proceeded upon
the assumption that stress of circumstances had conditioned the Indian
alliance with the Confederacy. This idea was explicitly conveyed in
a communication from Weer, through his acting assistant
adjutant-general, to John Ross, and again in the orders issued
to Salomon and Judson. Ross and his people were to be given an
opportunity to return to their allegiance, confident that the United
States government would henceforth protect them.[346] And the military
commanders were invited to give their "careful attention to the
delicate position" which the Indian Expedition would occupy

In its relation to the Indians. The evident desire of the
government is to restore friendly intercourse with the tribes and
return the loyal Indians that are with us to their homes. Great
care must be observed that no unusual degree of vindictiveness be
tolerated between Indian and Indian. Our policy toward the rebel
portion must be a subject of anxious consideration, and its
character will to a great degree be shaped by yourself (Judson) in
conjunction with Colonel Salomon. No settled policy can at
present be marked out. Give all questions their full share of
investigation. No spirit of private vengeance should be

After the skirmish at Locust Grove, Colonel Weer deemed that the
appropriate moment had come for approaching John Ross with suggestions
that the Cherokee Nation abandon its Confederate ally and return to
its allegiance to the United States government. From

[Footnote 345: (cont.) that is to be found in his letter of July
twelfth, in which he gave his opinion of the negroes, whom he found
very insolent. He proposed that the Cherokee Nation should abolish
slavery by vote.]

[Footnote 346: J.A. Phillips to Ross, June 26, 1862, _Official
Records_, vol. xiii, 450.]

[Footnote 347: Phillips to Judson, June 28, 1862, Ibid., 456.
Orders, almost identically the same, were issued to Salomon. See
Phillips to Salomon, June 27, 1862, Ibid., 452.]

his camp on Wolf Creek, therefore, he addressed a conciliatory
communication[348] to the Cherokee chief, begging the favor of an
interview and offering to make full reparation for any outrages or
reprisals that his men, in defiance of express orders to the contrary,
might have made upon the Cherokee people through whose country they
had passed.[349] Weer had known for several days, indeed, ever since
he first crossed the line, that the natives were thoroughly alarmed at
the coming of the Indian Expedition. They feared reprisals and Indian
revenge and, whenever possible, had fled out of reach of danger, many
of them across the Arkansas River, taking with them what of their
property they could.[350] Weer had done his best to restrain his
troops, especially the Indian, and had been very firm in insisting
that no "outrages perpetrated after Indian fashion" should occur.[351]

Weer's message to Ross was sent, under a flag of truce, by Doctor
Gillpatrick, a surgeon in the Indian Expedition, who had previously
served under Lane.[352] Ross's reply,[353] although prompt, was
scarcely satisfactory from Weer's standpoint. He refused pointblank
the request for an interview and reminded Weer that the Cherokee
Nation, "under the sanction and authority of the whole Cherokee
people," had made a formal alliance with the Confederate government

[Footnote 348: Weer to Ross, July 7, 1862, _Official Records_,
vol. xiii, 464.]

[Footnote 349: That there had been outrages and reprisals, Carruth and
Martin admitted but they claimed that they had been committed by white
men and wrongfully charged against Indians [Commissioner of Indian
Affairs, _Report_, 1862, 162-163].]

[Footnote 350: Weer to Moonlight, July 2, 1862, _Official
Records_, vol. xiii, 460.]

[Footnote 351:--Ibid., 452, 456, 461.]

[Footnote 352: _Daily Conservative_, December 27, 1861.]

[Footnote 353: Ross to Weer, July 8, 1862, _Official Records_,
vol. xiii, 486-487; Moore, _Rebellion Record_, vol. v, 549.]

proposed to remain true, as had ever been its custom, to its treaty
obligations. To fortify his position, he submitted documents
justifying his own and tribal actions since the beginning of the
war.[354] Weer was naturally much embarrassed. Apparently, he had had
the notion that the Indians would rush into the arms of the Union
with the first appearance of a Federal soldier; but he was grievously
mistaken. None the less, verbal reports that reached his headquarters
on Wolf Creek restored somewhat his equanimity and gave him the
impression that Ross, thoroughly anti-secessionist at heart himself,
was acting diplomatically and biding his time.[355] Weer referred[356]
the matter to Blunt for instructions at the very moment when Blunt,
ignorant that he had already had communication with Ross, was
urging[357] him to be expeditious, since it was "desirable to
return the refugee Indians now in Kansas to their homes as soon as

There were other reasons, more purely military, why a certain haste
was rather necessary. Some of those reasons inspired Colonel Weer
to have the country around about him well reconnoitered. On the
fourteenth of July, he sent out two detachments. One, led by Major
W.T. Campbell, was to examine "the alleged position of the enemy south
of the Arkansas," and the other, led by Captain H.S. Greeno, to repair
to Tahlequah and Park Hill.[358] Campbell, before he had advanced far,
found out that there was a strong Confederate force at Fort Davis[359]
so he halted at Fort Gibson and was

[Footnote 354: Weer to Moonlight, July 12, 1862, _Official
Records_, vol. xiii, 487. The documents are to be found
accompanying Weer's letter, Ibid., 489-505.]

[Footnote 355: Blunt to Stanton, July 21, 1862, Ibid., 486.]

[Footnote 356: Weer to Moonlight, July 12, 1862, Ibid.,

[Footnote 357: Blunt to Weer, July 12, 1862, Ibid., 488-489.]

[Footnote 358: Weer to Moonlight, July 16, 1862, Ibid.,

[Footnote 359: Campbell to Weer, July 14, 1862, Ibid., 161.]

there joined by Weer. Meanwhile, Greeno with his detachment of one
company of whites and fifty Cherokee Indians had reached Tahlequah and
had gone into camp two and one-half miles to the southward.[360] He
was then not far from Park Hill, the residence of Chief Ross. All the
way down he had been on the watch for news; but the only forces he
could hear of were some Indian, who were believed to be friendly to
the Union although ostensibly still serving the Confederacy. It was a
time of crisis both with them and with him; for their leaders had just
been summoned by Colonel Cooper, now in undisputed command north
of the Canadian, to report immediately for duty at Fort Davis, his
headquarters. Whatever was to be done would have to be done quickly.
There was no time to lose and Greeno decided the matter for all
concerned by resorting to what turned out to be a very clever
expedient. He made the commissioned men all prisoners of war[361] and
then turned his attention to the Principal Chief, who was likewise in
a dilemma, he having received a despatch from Cooper ordering him,
under authority of treaty provisions and "in the name of President
Davis, Confederate States of America, to issue a proclamation calling
on all Cherokee Indians over 18 and under 35 to come forward and
assist in protecting the country from invasion."[362] Greeno thought
the matter over and concluded there was nothing for him to do but to
capture Ross also and to release him, subsequently, on parole. These
things he did and there were many people who thought, both then and

[Footnote 360: Greeno to Weer, July 15, 1862, _Official Records_,
vol. xiii, 473; Carruth and Martin to Coffin, July 19, 1862,
Commissioner of Indian Affairs, _Report_, 1862, 158-160.]

[Footnote 361: Greeno to Weer, July 17, 1862, _Official Records_,
vol. xiii, 161-162.]

[Footnote 362: _Official Records_, vol. xiii, 473.]

afterwards, that the whole affair had been arranged for beforehand and
that victor and victim had been in collusion with each other all the
way through.

Up to this point the Indian Expedition can be said to have met with
more than a fair measure of success; but its troubles were now to
begin or rather to assert themselves; for most of them had been
present since the very beginning. Fundamental to everything else was
the fact that it was summer-time and summer-time, too, in a prairie
region. Troops from the north, from Wisconsin and from Ohio, were
not acclimated and they found the heat of June and July almost
insufferable. There were times when they lacked good drinking
water, which made bad matters worse. The Germans were particularly
discontented and came to despise the miserable company in which they
found themselves. It was miserable, not so much because it was largely
Indian, but because it was so ill-equipped and so disorderly. At
Cowskin Prairie, the scouts had to be called in, not because their
work was finished, but because they and their ponies were no longer
equal to it.[363] They had played out for the simple reason that they
were not well fitted out. The country east of Grand River was "very
broken and flinty and their ponies unshod." It has been claimed,
although maybe with some exaggeration, that not "a single horse-shoe
or nail" had been provided for Colonel Salomon's brigade.[364]

The supplies of the Indian Expedition were insufficient and, although
at Spavinaw Creek Colonel Watie's entire commissary had been
captured[365] and Clarkson's at Locust Grove, there was great
scarcity. Weer had

[Footnote 363: _Official Records_, vol. xiii, 460.]

[Footnote 364: Love, _Wisconsin in the War of Rebellion_, 580.]

[Footnote 365: Anderson, Life of General Stand Watie, 19.]

been cautioned again and again not to cut himself off from easy
communication with Fort Scott.[366] He had shown a disposition to
wander widely from the straight road to Fort Gibson; but Blunt had
insisted that he refrain altogether from making excursions into
adjoining states.[367] He had himself realized the shortness of his
provisions and had made a desperate effort to get to the Grand
Saline so as to replenish his supply of salt at the place where the
Confederates had been manufacturing that article for many months. He
had known also that for some things, such as ordnance stores, he would
have to look even as far as Fort Leavenworth.[368]

The climax of all these affairs was reached July 18, 1862. On that
day, Frederick Salomon, colonel of the First Brigade, took matters
into his own hands and arrested his superior officer. It was
undoubtedly a clear case of mutiny[369] but there was much to be said
in extenuation of Salomon's conduct. The reasons for his action, as
stated in a _pronunciamento_[370] to his associates in command
and as submitted to General Blunt[371] are here given. They speak for

Headquarters Indian Expedition,
Camp on Grand River, July 18, 1862.

To Commanders of the different Corps constituting Indian Expedition:

Sirs: In military as well as civil affairs great and violent wrongs
need speedy and certain remedies. The time had arrived, in my
judgment, in the history of this expedition when the greatest wrong
ever perpetrated upon any troops was about

[Footnote 366: Consider, for example, Blunt's orders of July 14
[_Official Records_, vol. xiii, 472].]

[Footnote 367: Blunt to Weer, July 3, 1862, Ibid., 461.]

[Footnote 368: Weer to Moonlight, July 2, 1862, Ibid.]

[Footnote 369: As such the Indian agents regarded it. See their
communication on the subject, July 19, 1862, Ibid., 478.]

[Footnote 370: Ibid., 475-476.]

[Footnote 371: Ibid., 484-485.]

to fall with crushing weight upon the noble men composing the command.
Some one must act, and that at once, or starvation and capture were
the imminent hazards that looked us in the face.

As next in command to Colonel Weer, and upon his express refusal to
move at all for the salvation of his troops, I felt the responsibility
resting upon me.

I have arrested Colonel Weer and assumed command.

The causes leading to this arrest you all know. I need not reiterate
them here. Suffice to say that we are 160 miles from the base of
operations, almost entirely through an enemy's country, and without
communication being left open behind us. We have been pushed forward
thus far by forced and fatiguing marches under the violent southern
sun without any adequate object. By Colonel Weer's orders we were
forced to encamp where our famishing men were unable to obtain
anything but putrid, stinking water. Our reports for disability and
unfitness for duty were disregarded; our cries for help and complaints
of unnecessary hardships and suffering were received with closed ears.
Yesterday a council of war, convened by the order of Colonel Weer,
decided that our only safety lay in falling back to some point from
which we could reopen communication with our commissary depot. Colonel
Weer overrides and annuls the decision of that council, and announces
his determination not to move from this point. We have but three days'
rations on hand and an order issued by him putting the command on half
rations. For nearly two weeks we have no communication from our rear.
We have no knowledge when supply trains will reach us, neither has
Colonel Weer. Three sets of couriers, dispatched at different times
to find these trains and report, have so far made no report. Reliable
information has been received that large bodies of the enemy were
moving to our rear, and yet we lay here idle. We are now and ever
since our arrival here have been entirely without vegetables or
healthy food for our troops. I have stood with arms folded and seen my
men faint and fall away from me like the leaves of autumn because I
thought myself powerless to save them.

I will look upon this scene no longer. I know the responsibility I
have assumed. I have acted after careful thought

and deliberation. Give me your confidence for a few days, and all that
man can do, and with a pure purpose and a firm faith that he is right,
shall be done for the preservation of the troops.

F. Salomon, _Colonel Ninth Wis. Vols_.,
_Comdg. Indian Expedition_.

Headquarters Indian Expedition,
Camp on Wolf Creek, Cherokee Nation, July 20, 1862.
Brig. Gen. James G. Blunt,

_Commanding Department of Kansas_:

Sir: I have the honor to report that I have arrested Col. William
Weer, commanding the Indian Expedition, and have assumed command.
Among the numerous reasons for this step a few of the chief are as

From the day of our first report to him we have found him a man
abusive and violent in his intercourse with his fellow-officers,
notoriously intemperate in habits, entirely disregarding military
usages and discipline, always rash in speech, act, and orders,
refusing to inferior officers and their reports that consideration
which is due an officer of the U.S. Army.

Starting from Cowskin Prairie on the 1st instant, we were pushed
rapidly forward to the vicinity of Fort Gibson, on the Arkansas River,
a distance of 160 miles from Fort Scott. No effort was made by him to
keep communication open behind us. It seemed he desired none. We
had but twenty-three days' rations on hand. As soon as he reached
a position on Grand River 14 miles from Fort Gibson his movements
suddenly ceased. We could then have crossed the Arkansas River, but it
seemed there was no object to be attained in his judgment by such a
move. There we lay entirely idle from the 9th to the 19th. We had at
last reached the point when we had but three days' rations on hand.
Something must be done. We were in a barren country, with a large
force of the enemy in front of us, a large and now impassable river
between us, and no news from our train or from our base of operations
for twelve days. What were we to do? Colonel Weer called a council of
war, at which he stated that the Arkansas River was now impassable
to our forces; that a train containing commissary stores had been
expected for three days; that three different sets of couriers sent
out some time previous had

entirely failed to report; that he had been twelve days entirely
without communication with or from the department, and that he had
received reliable information that a large force of the enemy were
moving to our rear via the Verdigris River for the purpose of cutting
off our train.

Upon this and other information the council of war decided that our
only safety lay in falling back to some point where we could reopen
communication and learn the whereabouts of our train of subsistence.
To this decision of the council he at the time assented, and said that
he would arrange with the commanders of brigades the order of march.
Subsequently he issued an order putting the command on half rations,
declaring that he would not fall back, and refused utterly, upon my
application, to take any steps for the safety or salvation of his
command. I could but conclude that the man was either insane,
premeditated treachery to his troops, or perhaps that his grossly
intemperate habits long continued had produced idiocy or monomania.
In either case the command was imperiled, and a military necessity
demanded that something be done, and that without delay. I took the
only step I believed available to save your troops. I arrested this
man, have drawn charges against him, and now hold him subject to your

On the morning of the 19th I commenced a retrograde march and have
fallen back with my main force to this point.

You will see by General Orders, No. 1, herewith forwarded, that I have
stationed the First and Second Regiments Indian Home Guards as a corps
of observation along the Grand and Verdigris Rivers; also to guard the
fords of the Arkansas. Yesterday evening a courier reached me at Prior
Creek with dispatches saying that a commissary train was at Hudson's
Crossing, 75 miles north of us, waiting for an additional force as an
escort. Information also reaches me this morning that Colonel Watie,
with a force of 1,200 men, passed up the east side of Grand River
yesterday for the purpose of cutting off this train. I have sent out
strong reconnoitering parties to the east of the river, and if the
information proves reliable will take such further measures as I deem
best for its security.

I design simply to hold the country we are now in, and will make
no important moves except such as I may deem necessary for the
preservation of this command until I receive specific

instructions from you. I send Major Burnett with a small escort to
make his way through to you. He will give you more at length the
position of this command, their condition, &c.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
F. Salomon, _Colonel Ninth Wis. Vols_.,
_Comdg. Indian Expedition_.

Salomon's insubordination brought the Indian Expedition in its
original form to an abrupt end, much to the disgust and righteous
indignation of the Indian service. The arrest of Colonel Weer threw
the whole camp into confusion,[372] and it was some hours before
anything like order could be restored. A retrograde movement of the
white troops had evidently been earlier resolved upon and was at once
undertaken. Of such troops, Salomon assumed personal command and
ordered them to begin a march northward at two o'clock on the morning
of the nineteenth.[373] At the same time, he established the troops,
he was so brutally abandoning, as a corps of observation on or near
the Verdigris and Grand Rivers. They were thus expected to cover his
retreat, while he, unhampered, proceeded to Hudson's Crossing.[374]

With the departure of Salomon and subordinate commanders in sympathy
with his retrograde movement, Robert W. Furnas, colonel of the First
Indian, became the ranking officer in the field. Consequently it was
his duty to direct the movements of the troops that remained. The
troops were those of the three Indian regiments, the third of which
had not yet been formally recognized and accepted by the government.
Not all of these troops were in camp when the arrest of Weer took
place. One of the last official acts of Weer as

[Footnote 372: Carruth and Martin to Blunt, July 19, 1862.]

[Footnote 373: Blocki, by order of Salomon, July 18, 1862, _Official
Records_, vol. xiii, 477.]

[Footnote 374: Carruth and Martin to Coffin, August 2, 1862.]

commander of the Indian Expedition had been to order the First Indian
to proceed to the Verdigris River and to take position "in the
vicinity of Vann's Ford." Only a detachment of about two hundred men
had as yet gone there, however, and they were there in charge of
Lieutenant A.C. Ellithorpe. A like detachment of the Third Indian,
under John A. Foreman, major, had been posted at Fort Gibson.[375]
Salomon's _pronunciamento_ and his order, placing the Indian
regiments as a corps of observation on the Verdigris and Grand Rivers,
were not communicated to the regimental commanders of the Indian Home
Guard until July 22;[376] but they had already met, had conferred
among themselves, and had decided that it would be bad policy to take
the Indians out of the Territory.[377] They, therefore agreed to
consolidate the three regiments into a brigade, Furnas in command,
and to establish camp and headquarters on the Verdigris, about twelve
miles directly west of the old camp on the Grand.[378]

The brigading took place as agreed upon and Furnas, brigade commander,
retained his colonelcy of the First Indian, while Lieutenant-colonel
David B. Corwin took command of the Second and Colonel William
A. Phillips of the Third. Colonel Ritchie had, prior to recent
happenings, been detached from his command in order to conduct a party
of prisoners to Fort Leavenworth, also to arrange for the mustering in
of Indian recruits.[379] But two days' rations were on hand, so jerked
beef was accepted as the chief article of diet until other supplies
could be obtained.[380] There was likely to be plenty of

[Footnote 375: Furnas to Blunt, July 25, 1862, _Official
Records_, vol. xiii, 512.]

[Footnote 376:--Ibid., 512.]

[Footnote 377: Britton, _Civil War on the border_, vol. i, 309.]

[Footnote 378: _Official Records_, vol. xii, 512; Commissioner of
Indian Affairs, Report, 1862, 163.]

[Footnote 379: Commissioner of Indian Affairs, _Report_, 1862,

[Footnote 380: Carruth and Martin to Coffin, July 25, 1862,
Ibid., 160.]

that; for, as Weer had once reported, cattle were a drug on the market
in the Cherokee country, the prairies "covered with thousands of
them."[381] The encampment on the Verdigris was made forthwith; but it
was a failure from the start.

The Indians of the First Regiment showed signs of serious
demoralization and became unmanageable, while a large number of the
Second deserted.[382] It was thought that deprivation in the midst of
plenty, the lack of good water and of the restraining influence of
white troops had had much to do with the upheaval, although there had
been much less plundering since they left than when they were present.
With much of truth back of possible hatred and malice, the special
agents reported that such protection as the white men had recently
given Indian Territory "would ruin any country on earth."[383]

With the hope that the morale of the men would be restored were they
to be more widely distributed and their physical conditions improved,
Colonel Furnas concluded to break camp on the Verdigris and return to
the Grand. He accordingly marched the Third Indian to Pryor Creek[384]
but had scarcely done so when orders came from Salomon, under cover of
his usurped authority as commander of the Indian Expedition, for
him to cross the Grand and advance northeastward to Horse Creek and
vicinity, there to pitch his tents. The new camp was christened Camp
Wattles. It extended from Horse to Wolf Creek and constituted a point
from which the component parts of the Indian Brigade did

[Footnote 381: Weer to Moonlight, July 12, 1862.]

[Footnote 382: Furnas to Blunt, July 25, 1862.]

[Footnote 383: Commissioner of Indian Affairs, _Report_, 1862,

[Footnote 384: Named in honor of Nathaniel Pryor of the Lewis and
Clark expedition and of general frontier fame, and, therefore,
incorrectly called Prior Creek in Furnas's report.]

extensive scouting for another brief period. In reality, Furnas was
endeavoring to hold the whole of the Indian country north of the
Arkansas and south of the border.[385]

Meanwhile, Salomon had established himself in the neighborhood of
Hudson's Crossing, at what he called, Camp Quapaw. The camp was on
Quapaw land. His idea was, and he so communicated to Blunt, that he
had selected "the most commanding point in this (the trans-Missouri)
country not only from a military view as a key to the valleys of
Spring River, Shoal Creek, Neosho, and Grand River, but also as the
only point in this country now where an army could be sustained with a
limited supply of forage and subsistence, offering ample grazing[386]
and good water."[387] No regular investigation into his conduct
touching the retrograde movement, such as justice to Weer would seem
to have demanded, was made.[388] He submitted the facts to Blunt and
Blunt, at first alarmed[389] lest a complete abandonment of Indian
Territory would result, acquiesced[390] when, he found that the Indian
regiments were holding their own there.[391] Salomon, indeed, so far
strengthened Furnas's hand as to supply him with ten days rations and
a section of Allen's battery.

[Footnote 385: For accounts of the movements of the Indian Expedition
after the occurrence of Salomon's retrograde movement, see the
_Daily Conservative_, August 16, 21, 26, 1862.]

[Footnote 386: On the subject of grazing, see Britton, _Civil War on
the Border_, vol. i, 308.]

[Footnote 387: Salomon to Blunt, July 29, 1862, _Official
Records_, vol. xiii, 521.]

[Footnote 388: H.S. Lane called Stanton's attention to the matter,
however, Ibid., 485.]

[Footnote 389: Blunt to Salomon, August 3, 1862, Ibid.,

[Footnote 390: He acquiesced as, perforce, he had to do but he was
very far from approving.]

[Footnote 391: In November, Dole reported to Smith that Salomon's
retrograde movement had caused about fifteen hundred or two thousand
additional refugees to flee into Kansas. Dole urged that the Indian
Expedition should be reenforced and strengthened [Indian Office
_Report Book_, no. 12, 503-504].]


The retrograde movement of Colonel Salomon and the white auxiliary of
the Indian Expedition was peculiarly unfortunate and ill-timed since,
owing to circumstances now to be related in detail, the Confederates
had really no forces at hand at all adequate to repel invasion. On the
thirty-first of May, as earlier narrated in this work, General Hindman
had written to General Pike instructing him to move his entire
infantry force of whites and Woodruff's single six-gun battery to
Little Rock without delay. In doing this, he admitted that, while
it was regrettable that Pike's force in Indian Territory should be
reduced, it was imperative that Arkansas should be protected, her
danger being imminent. He further ordered, that Pike should supply the
command to be sent forward with subsistence for thirty days, should
have the ammunition transported in wagons, and should issue orders
that not a single cartridge be used on the journey.[392]

To one of Pike's proud spirit, such orders could be nothing short
of galling. He had collected his force and everything he possessed
appertaining to it at the cost of much patience, much labor, much
expense. Untiring vigilance had alone made possible the formation of
his brigade and an unselfish willingness to advance his own funds had
alone furnished it with quartermaster and commissary stores. McCulloch
and Van

[Footnote 392: _Official Records_, vol. xiii, 934.]

Dorn[393] each in turn had diverted his supplies from their destined
course, yet he had borne with it all, uncomplainingly. He had even
broken faith with the Indian nations at Van Dorn's instance; for,
contrary to the express terms of the treaties that he had negotiated,
he had taken the red men across the border, without their express
consent, to fight in the Pea Ridge campaign. And with what result?
Base ingratitude on the part of Van Dorn, who, in his official report
of the three day engagement, ignored the help rendered[394] and left
Pike to bear the stigma[395] of Indian atrocities alone.

With the thought of that ingratitude still rankling in his breast,
Pike noted additional features of Hindman's first instructions to him,
which were, that he should advance his Indian force to the northern
border of Indian Territory and hold it there to resist invasion from
Kansas. He was expected to do this unsupported

[Footnote 393: Van Dorn would seem to have been a gross offender in
this respect. Similar charges were made against him by other men and
on other occasions [_Official Records_, vol. liii, supplement,

[Footnote 394: It was matter of common report that Van Dorn despised
Pike's Indians [Ibid., vol. xiii, 814-816]. The entire Arkansas
delegation in Congress, with the exception of A.H. Garland, testified
to Van Dorn's aversion for the Indians [Ibid., 815].]

[Footnote 395: How great was that stigma can be best understood from
the following: "The horde of Indians scampered off to the mountains
from whence they had come, having murdered and scalped many of the
Union wounded. General Pike, their leader, led a feeble band to the
heights of Big Mountain, near Elk Horn, where he was of no use to
the battle of the succeeding day, and whence he fled, between roads,
through the woods, disliked by the Confederates and detested by the
Union men; to be known in history as a son of New Hampshire--a poet
who sang of flowers and the beauties of the sunset skies, the joys of
love and the hopes of the soul--and yet one who, in the middle of the
19th century, led a merciless, scalping, murdering, uncontrollable
horde of half-tame savages in the defense of slavery--themselves
slave-holders--against that Union his own native State was then
supporting, and against the flag of liberty. He scarcely struck a blow
in open fight.... His service was servile and corrupt; his flight
was abject, and his reward disgrace."--_War Papers and Personal
Recollections of the Missouri Commandery_, 232.]

by white troops, the need of which, for moral as well as for physical
strength, he had always insisted upon.

It is quite believable that Van Dorn was the person most responsible
for Hindman's interference with Pike, although, of course, the very
seriousness and desperateness of Hindman's situation would have
impelled him to turn to the only place where ready help was to be had.
Three days prior to the time that Hindman had been assigned to the
Trans-Mississippi Department, Roane, an old antagonist of Pike[396]
and the commander to whose immediate care Van Dorn had confided
Arkansas,[397] had asked of Pike at Van Dorn's suggestion[398] all the
white forces he could spare, Roane having practically none of his own.
Pike had refused the request, if request it was, and in refusing it,
had represented how insufficient his forces actually were for purposes
of his own department and how exceedingly difficult had been the task,
which was his and his alone, of getting them together. At the time of
writing he had not a single dollar of public money for his army and
only a very limited amount of ammunition and other supplies.[399]

Pike received Hindman's communication of May 31 late in the afternoon
of June 8 and he replied to it that same evening immediately after
he had made arrangements[400] for complying in part with its

The reply[401] as it stands in the records today is a strong
indictment of the Confederate management of Indian

[Footnote 396: Pike had fought a duel with Roane, Roane having
challenged him because he had dared to criticize his conduct in
the Mexican War [Hallura, _Biographical and Pictorial History of
Arkansas_, vol. i, 229; _Confederate Military History_, vol.
x, 99].]

[Footnote 397: Maury to Roane, May 11, 1862, _Official Records_,
vol. xiii, 827.]

[Footnote 398: Maury to Pike, May 19, 1862, Ibid.]

[Footnote 399: Pike to Roane, June 1, 1862, Ibid., 935-936.]

[Footnote 400: General Orders, June 8, 1862, Ibid., 943.]

[Footnote 401: Pike to Hindman, June 8, 1862, Ibid., 936-943.]

affairs in the West and should be dealt with analytically, yet also as
a whole; since no paraphrase, no mere synopsis of contents could ever
do the subject justice. From the facts presented, it is only too
evident that very little had been attempted or done by the Richmond
authorities for the Indian regiments. Neither officers nor men had
been regularly or fully paid. And not all the good intentions, few as
they were, of the central government had been allowed realization.
They had been checkmated by the men in control west of the
Mississippi. In fact, the army men in Arkansas had virtually exploited
Pike's command, had appropriated for their own use his money, his
supplies, and had never permitted anything to pass on to Indian
Territory, notwithstanding that it had been bought with Indian funds,
"that was fit to be sent anywhere else." The Indian's portion was the
"refuse," as Pike so truly, bitterly, and emphatically put it, or, in
other words of his, the "crumbs" that fell from the white man's table.

Pike's compliance with Hindman's orders was only partial and he
offered not the vestige of an apology that it was so. What he did send
was Dawson's[402] infantry regiment and Woodruff's battery which went
duly on to Little Rock with the requisite thirty days' subsistence and
the caution that not a single cartridge was to be fired along the way.
The caution Pike must have repeated in almost ironical vein; for the
way to Little Rock lay through Indian Territory and cartridges like
everything else under Pike's control had been collected solely for its

Respecting the forward movement of the Indian troops, Pike made not
the slightest observation in his

[Footnote 402: C.L. Dawson of the Nineteenth Regiment of Arkansas
Volunteers had joined Pike at Fort McCulloch in April [_Fort Smith

reply. His silence was ominous. Perhaps it was intended as a warning
to Hindman not to encroach too far upon his department; but that is
mere conjecture; inasmuch as Pike had not yet seen fit to question
outright Hindman's authority over himself. As if anticipating an echo
from Little Rock of criticisms that were rife elsewhere, he ventured
an explanation of his conduct in establishing himself in the extreme
southern part of Indian Territory and towards the west and in
fortifying on an open prairie, far from any recognized base.[403] He
had gone down into the Red River country, he asserted, in order to be
near Texas where supplies might be had in abundance and where, since
he had no means of defence, he would be safe from attack. He deplored
the seeming necessity of merging his department in another and larger
one. His reasons were probably many but the one reason he stressed
was, for present purposes, the best he could have offered. It
was, that the Indians could not be expected to render to him as a
subordinate the same obedience they had rendered to him as the chief
officer in command. Were his authority to be superseded in any degree,
the Indians would naturally infer that his influence at Richmond had
declined, likewise his power to protect them and their interests.

During the night Pike must have pondered deeply

[Footnote 403: His enemies were particularly scornful of his work
in this regard. They poked fun at him on every possible occasion.
Edwards, in _Shelby and His Men_, 63, but echoed the general

"Pike, also a Brigadier, had retreated with his Indian contingent out
of North West Arkansas, unpursued, through the Cherokee country, the
Chickasaw country, and the country of the Choctaws, two hundred and
fifty miles to the southward, only halting on the 'Little Blue', an
unknown thread of a stream, twenty miles from Red river, where he
constructed fortifications on the open prairie, erected a saw-mill
remote from any timber, and devoted himself to gastronomy and poetic
meditation, with elegant accompaniments..."]

over things omitted from his reply to Hindman and over all that was
wanting to make his compliance with Hindman's instructions full and
satisfactory. On the ninth, his assistant-adjutant, O.F. Russell,
prepared a fairly comprehensive report[404] of the conditions in and
surrounding his command. Pike's force,[405] so the report stated, was
anything but complete. With Dawson gone, there would be in camp, of
Arkansas troops, one company of cavalry and one of artillery and, of
Texas, two companies of cavalry. When men, furloughed for the wheat
harvest, should return, there would be "in addition two regiments
and one company of cavalry, and one company of artillery, about 80
strong."[406] The withdrawal of white troops from the Territory would
be interpreted by the Indians to mean its abandonment.

Of the Indian contingent, Russell had this to say:

The two Cherokee regiments are near the Kansas line, operating on
that frontier. Col. Stand Watie has recently had a skirmish there,
in which, as always, he and his men fought gallantly, and were
successful. Col. D.N. McIntosh's Creek Regiment is under orders to
advance up the Verdigris, toward the Santa Fe road. Lieut. Col.
Chilly McIntosh's Creek Battalion, Lieut. Col. John Jumper's
Seminole Battalion, and Lieut. Col. J.D. Harris' Chickasaw
Battalion are under orders, and part of them now in motion toward
the Salt Plains, to take Fort Larned, the post at Walnut Creek,
and perhaps Fort Wise, and intercept trains going to New Mexico.
The First Choctaw (new)[407] Regiment, of Col. Sampson Folsom,
and the Choctaw Battalion (three companies), of Maj. Simpson (N.)
Folsom, are at Middle Boggy, 23 miles northeast of this point.
They were under orders to march northward to

[Footnote 404: _Official Records_, vol. xiii, 943-945.]

[Footnote 405: For tabulated showing of Pike's brigade, see
Ibid., 831.]

[Footnote 406: Compare Russell's statement with Hindman's
[Ibid., 30]. See also Maury to Price, March 22, 1862
[Ibid., vol. viii, 798].]

[Footnote 407: The parentheses appear here as in the original.]

the Salt Plains and Santa Fe road; but the withdrawal of Colonel
Dawson's regiment prevents that, and the regiment is now ordered
to take position here, and the battalion to march to and take
position at Camp McIntosh, 17 miles this side of Fort Cobb, where,
with Hart's Spies, 40 in number, it will send out parties to
the Wichita Mountains and up the False Wichita, and prevent, if
possible, depredations on the frontier of Texas.

The First Choctaw and Chickasaw Regiment, of Col. Douglas H.
Cooper, goes out of service on the 25th and 26th of July. It is
now encamped 11 miles east of here.... The country to the westward
is quiet, all the Comanches this side of the Staked Plains being
friendly, and the Kiowas[408] having made peace, and selected
a home to live at on Elk Creek, not far from the site of Camp
Radziwintski, south of the Wichita Mountains.

The Indian troops have been instructed, if the enemy[409] invades
the country, to harass him, and impede his progress by every
possible means, and, falling back here as he advances, to assist
in holding this position against him.

Included in Russell's report there might well have been much
interesting data respecting the condition of the troops that Pike
was parting with; for it can scarcely be said that he manifested any
generosity in sending them forth. He obeyed the letter of his order
and ignored its spirit. He permitted no guns to be taken out of the
Territory that had been paid for with money that he had furnished.
Dawson's regiment had not its full quota of men, but that was scarcely
Pike's fault. Neither was it his fault that its equipment was so
sadly below par that it could make but very slow progress on the nine
hundred mile march between Fort McCulloch and Little Rock. Moreover,
the health of the

[Footnote 408: Pike had just received assurances of the friendly
disposition of the Kiowas [Bickel to Pike, June 1, 1862, _Official
Records_, vol. xiii, 936].]

[Footnote 409: The enemy in mind was the Indian Expedition. Pike had
heard that Sturgis had been removed "on account of his tardiness in
not invading the Indian country...." [Ibid., 944].]

men was impaired, their duties, especially the "fort duties, throwing
up intrenchments, etc.,"[410] had been very fatiguing. Pike had no
wagons to spare them for the trip eastward. So many of his men had
obtained furloughs for the harvest season and every company, in
departing, had taken with it a wagon,[411] no one having any thought
that there would come a call decreasing Pike's command.

So slowly and laboriously did Dawson's regiment progress that Hindman,
not hearing either of it or of Woodruff's battery, which was slightly
in advance, began to have misgivings as to the fate of his orders of
May 31. He, therefore, repeated them in substance, on June 17, with
the additional specific direction that Pike should "move at once to
Fort Gibson." That order Pike received June 24, the day following his
issuance of instructions to his next in command, Colonel D.H. Cooper,
that he should hasten to the country north of the Canadian and there
take command of all forces except Chief Jumper's.

The receipt of Hindman's order of June 17 was the signal for Pike
to pen another lengthy letter[412] of description and protest.
Interspersed through it were his grievances, the same that were
recited in the letter of June 8, but now more elaborately dwelt upon.
Pike was getting irritable. He declared that he had done all he could
to expedite the movement of his troops. The odds were unquestionably
against him. His Indians were doing duty in different places. Most
of the men of his white cavalry force were off on furlough. Their
furloughs would not expire until the

[Footnote 410: Dawson to Hindman, June 20, 1862, _Official
Records_, vol. xiii, 945-946.]

[Footnote 411: Dawson had allowed his wagons to go "of his own motion"
[Pike to Hindman, June 24, 1862, Ibid., 947].]

[Footnote 412:--Ibid., 947-950.]

twenty-fifth and not until the twenty-seventh could they be
proceeded against as deserters. Not until that date, too, would the
reorganization, preliminary to marching, be possible. He was short of
transportation and half of what he had was unserviceable.

Of his available Indian force, he had made what disposition to
him seemed best. He had ordered the newly-organized First Choctaw
Regiment, under Colonel Sampson Folsom, to Fort Gibson and had
assigned Cooper to the command north of the Canadian, which meant,
of course, the Cherokee country. Cooper's own regiment was the First
Choctaw and Chickasaw, of which, two companies, proceeding from
Scullyville, had already posted themselves in the upper part of the
Indian Territory, where also were the two Cherokee regiments, Watie's
and Drew's. The remaining eight companies of the First Choctaw and
Chickasaw were encamped near Fort McCulloch and would have, before
moving elsewhere, to await the reorganization of their regiment, now
near at hand. However, Cooper was not without hope that he could
effect reorganization promptly and take at least four companies
to join those that had just come from Scullyville. There were six
companies in the Chickasaw Battalion, two at Fort Cobb and four on the
march to Fort McCulloch; but they would all have to be left within
their own country for they were averse to moving out of it and were
in no condition to move. The three companies of the Choctaw Battalion
would also have to be left behind in the south for they had no
transportation with which to effect a removal. The Creek commands,
D.N. McIntosh's Creek Regiment, Chilly McIntosh's Creek Battalion, and
John Jumper's Seminole Battalion, were operating in the west, along

the Santa Fe Trail and towards Forts Larned and Wise.

June 17 might be said to mark the beginning of the real controversy
between Pike and Hindman; for, on that day, not only did Hindman
reiterate the order to hurry that aroused Pike's ire but he encroached
upon Pike's prerogative in a financial particular that was bound,
considering Pike's experiences in the past, to make for trouble.
Interference with his commissary Pike was determined not to brook,
yet, on June 17, Hindman put N. Bart Pearce in supreme control at
Fort Smith as commissary, acting quartermaster, and acting ordnance
officer.[413] His jurisdiction was to extend over northwestern
Arkansas and over the Indian Territory. Now Pike had had dealings
already with Pearce and thought that he knew too well the limits of
his probity. Exactly when Pike heard of Pearce's promotion is not
quite clear; but, on the twenty-third, Hindman sent him a conciliatory
note explaining that his intention was "to stop the operations of the
commissaries of wandering companies in the Cherokee Nation, who"
were "destroying the credit of the Confederacy by the floods of
certificates they" issued and not "to restrict officers acting under"
Pike's orders.[414] All very well, but Pearce had other ideas as to
the functions of his office and lost no time in apprising various
people of them. His notes[415] to Pike's officers were most
impertinently prompt. They were sent out on the twenty-fourth of June
and on the twenty-sixth Pike reported[416] the whole history of his
economic embarrassments to the Secretary of War.[417]

[Footnote 413: _Official Records_, vol. xiii, 967.]

[Footnote 414:--Ibid., 946.]

[Footnote 415:--Ibid., 968, 968-969, 969.]

[Footnote 416:--Ibid., 841-844.]

[Footnote 417: George W. Randolph.]

His indignation must have been immense; but whether righteously so or
not, it was for others higher up to decide. That Pike had some sort of
a case against the men in Arkansas there can be no question. The tale
he told Secretary Randolph was a revelation such as would have put
ordinary men, if involved at all, to deepest shame. Hindman, perforce,
was the victim of accumulated resentment; for he, personally, had
done only a small part of that of which Pike complained. In the main,
Pike's report simply furnished particulars in matters, such as the
despoiling him of his hard-won supplies, of which mention has already
been made; and his chief accusation was little more than hinted at,
the gist of it being suggested in some of his concluding sentences:

... I struggled for a good while before I got rid of the curse of
dependence for subsistence, transportation, and forage on officers
at Fort Smith. I cannot even get from that place the supplies I
provide myself and hardly my own private stores. My department
quartermaster and commissary are fully competent to purchase what
we need, and I mean they shall do it. I have set my face against
all rascality and swindling and keep contractors in wholesome
fear, and have made it publicly known by advertisement that I
prefer to purchase of the farmer and producer and do not want any
contractors interposed between me and them. My own officers will
continue to purchase subsistence, transportation, forage, and
whatever else I need until I am ordered to the contrary by you,
and when that order comes it will be answered by my resignation.
Mr. White's[418] contract will not be acted under here. I have
beef enough on hand and engaged, and do not want any from him. I
have had to buy bacon at 20 to 26 cents, and he ought to be made
to pay every cent of the difference between that price and fifteen
cents. I also strenuously object to receiving mules or anything
else purchased at Fort Smith.

[Footnote 418: "George E. White, formerly a partner, I believe, of
Senator Oldham of Texas..."--_Official Records_, vol. xiii, 842.]

I could get up a mule factory now with the skeletons I have,
and there are a few miles from here 600 or 800 sent up by Major
Clark[419] in even a worse plight.

I know nothing about Major Pearce as a quartermaster nor of
any right Major-General Hindman has to make him one. He is an
assistant commissary of subsistence, with the rank of major, and
Major Quesenbury, my brigade or department quartermaster, is major
by an older commission....

While I am here there will be no fine contracts for mules, hay,
keeping of mules, beef on the hoof at long figures, or anything of
the kind. Fort Smith is very indignant at this, and out of this
grief grows the anxious desire of many patriots to see me resign
the command of this country or be removed....[420]

Subsequent communications[421] from Pike to Randolph reported the
continued despoiling of his command and the persistent infringement of
Pearce upon his authority, in consequence of which, the Indians were
suffering from lack of forage, medicines, clothing, and food.[422]
Pearce, in his turn, reported[423] to Hindman Pike's obstinacy and
intractability and he even cast insinuations against his honesty. Pike
was openly defying the man who claimed to be his superior officer,
Hindman. He was resisting his authority at every turn and had already
boldly declared,[424] with special reference to Clarkson, of course,

No officer of the Missouri State Guard, whatever his rank, unless
he has a command adequate to his rank, can ever exercise or assume
any military authority in the Indian country, and much less assume
command of any Confederate troops or

[Footnote 419: George W. Clark, _Official Records_, vol. xiii.]

[Footnote 420: For an equally vigorous statement on this score, see
Pike to Randolph, June 30, 1862 [Ibid., 849].]

[Footnote 421:--Ibid., 846-847, 848-849, 850-851, 852.]

[Footnote 422: Chilly McIntosh to Pike, June 9, 1862, Ibid.,
853; Pike to Chilly McIntosh, July 6, 1862, Ibid., 853-854.]

[Footnote 423: July 5, 1862 [Ibid., 963-965]; July 8, 1862
[Ibid., 965-967].]

[Footnote 424:--Ibid., 844-845.]

compare rank with any officer in the Confederate service. The
commissioned colonels of Indian regiments rank precisely as if
they commanded regiments of white men, and will be respected and
obeyed accordingly.

With the same confidence in the justness of his own cause, he
called[425] Pearce's attention to an act of Congress which seemed "to
have escaped his observation," and which Pike considered conclusively
proved that the whole course of action of his enemies was absolutely

In some of his contentions, General Pike was most certainly on strong
ground and never on stronger than when he argued that the Indians were
organized, in a military way, for their own protection and for the
defence of their own country. Since first they entered the Confederate
service, many had been the times that that truth had been brought home
to the authorities and not by Pike[426] alone but by several of his
subordinates and most often by Colonel Cooper.[427] The Indians had
many causes of dissatisfaction and sometimes they murmured pretty
loudly. Not even Pike's arrangements satisfied them all and his
inexplicable conduct in establishing his headquarters at Fort
McCulloch was exasperating beyond measure to the Cherokees.[428] Why,
if he were really sincere in saying that his supreme duty was the
defence of Indian Territory, did he not place himself where he could
do something, where, for instance, he could take precautions against
invasions from

[Footnote 425: Pike to Pearce, July 1, 1862, _Official Records_,
vol. xiii, 967.]

[Footnote 426: One of the best statements of the case by Pike is to
be found in a letter from him to Stand Watie, June 27, 1862
[Ibid., 952].]

[Footnote 427: For some of Cooper's statements, illustrative of his
position, see his letter to Pike, February 10, 1862 [Ibid.,
896] and that to Van Dorn, May 6, 1862 [ibid., 824].]

[Footnote 428: It was at the express wish of Stand Watie and Drew that
Hindman placed Clarkson in the Cherokee country [Carroll to Pike, June
27, 1862, ibid., 952].]

Kansas? And why, when the unionist Indian Expedition was threatening
Fort Gibson, Tahlequah, and Cherokee integrity generally, did he not
hasten northward to resist it? Chief Ross, greatly aggrieved because
of Pike's delinquency in this respect, addressed[429] himself to
Hindman and he did so in the fatal days of June.

In addressing General Hindman as Pike's superior officer, John Ross
did something more than make representations as to the claims, which
his nation in virtue of treaty guaranties had upon the South. He urged
the advisability of allowing the Indians to fight strictly on the
defensive and of placing them under the command of someone who would
"enjoy their confidence." These two things he would like to have done
if the protective force, which the Confederacy had promised, were not
forthcoming. The present was an opportune time for the preferring
of such a request. At least it was opportune from the standpoint of
Pike's enemies and traducers.[430] It fitted into Hindman's scheme of
things exactly; for he had quite lost patience, granting he had ever
had any, with the Arkansas poet. It was not, however, within his
province to remove him; but it was within his power so to tantalize
him that he could render his position as brigade and department
commander, intolerable. That he proceeded to do. Pike's quick
sensibilities were not proof against such treatment and he soon lost
his temper.

His provocations were very great. As was perfectly

[Footnote 429: Ross to Hindman, June 25, 1862, _Official
Records_, vol. xiii, 950-951. A little while before, Ross had
complained, in a similar manner, to President Davis [Ibid.,

[Footnote 430: Pike had his traducers. The Texans and Arkansans
circulated infamous stories about him. See his reference to the same
in a letter to Hindman, July 3, 1862 [Ibid., 955].]

natural, the Confederate defeat at Locust Grove counted heavily
against him.[431] On the seventh of July, Hindman began a new attack
upon him by making requisition for his ten Parrott guns.[432] They
were needed in Arkansas. On the eighth of July came another attack in
the shape of peremptory orders, two sets of them, the very tone of
which was both accusatory and condemnatory. What was apparently the
first[433] set of orders reached Pike by wire on the eleventh of July
and commanded him to hurry to Fort Smith, travelling night and day,
there to take command of all troops in the Indian Territory and in
Carroll's district.[434] Almost no organization, charged Hindman, was
in evidence among the Confederate forces in the upper Indian country
and a collision between the two Cherokee regiments was impending. Had
he been better informed he might have said that there was only one of
them now in existence.

The second[435] set of orders, dated July 8, was of a tenor much the
same, just as insulting, just as peremptory. The only difference of
note was the substitution of the upper Indian country for Fort Smith
as a point for headquarters. In the sequel, however, the second
set proved superfluous; for the first so aroused Pike's ire that,
immediately upon its receipt, he prepared his resignation and sent it
to Hindman for transmission to Richmond.[436]

Hindman's position throughout this affair was not

[Footnote 431: July 3.]

[Footnote 432: _Official Records_, vol. xiii, 854.]

[Footnote 433: First, probably only in the sense that it was the first
to be received.]

[Footnote 434: _Official Records_, vol. xiii, 857.]

[Footnote 435:--Ibid., 856-857.]

[Footnote 436: Pike to Hindman, July 15, 1862 [Ibid., 858];
Pike to Secretary of War, July 20, 1862 [Ibid., 856].]

destitute of justification.[437] One has only to read his general
reports to appreciate how heavy was the responsibility that rested
upon him. It was no wonder that he resorted to questionable expedients

Book of the day: