at the same time stating that he wished to maintain a neutral position, and would endeavor to keep his country from being occupied by either party.
There are two parties in the Cherokee Nation-one in favor of immediate secession, the other represented by John Ross, and wishing to be neutral. This party is in the majority, and consists of all the fullbloods and a part of the half-breeds. To give offense to this party now by marching into their country would injure our cause, and might unite the whole nation against us.
This chief has assured me that in the event of an invasion from the North, he will put himself at the head of his people and march to repel it, and he has also assured Captain Pike (commissioner) that he will call his executive council together this month, for the purpose of conferring with them on the subject. Under these circumstances I have deemed it advisable to respect his wishes, and have addressed him a letter, a copy of which is herewith inclosed.
The command at my disposal would not warrant me in advancing at present, especially as most of the supplies are still behind. The Louisiana regiment has arrived, and seven companies of Churchill's regiment, but the latter are entirely without tents or camp equipage of any kind. The Texas regiment and the expected transportation from that quarter will not be here in less than three weeks. There are a number of State troops (nearly 2,000) in and around this post belonging to the western division of the State. I think it very essential for the success of a command on this frontier that this military division and the Confederate troops here be put under our control. I therefore apply, respectfully, for authority to command it. The State is divided into two military divisions, the eastern and western. This western division should be put under my command, as under the above circumstances I may be obliged to act in the northwestern corner of the State to repel an attack from the North.
From the best authority I can gain I believe all the other Indians in the Territory are with us. They only want arms to be of immediate service to us.
I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS McCULLOCH'S BRIGADE,
Fort Smith, Ark., June 12, 1861.
His Excellency JOHN ROSS,
Chef of the Cherokee Nation:
SIR: Having been sent by my Government (the Confederate States of America) to take command of the district embracing the Indian Territory, and to guard it from invasion by the people of the North, I take the first opportunity of assuring you of the friendship of my Government, and the desire that the Cherokees and other tribes in the Territory unite their fortunes with the Confederacy. I hope that you, as chief of the Cherokees, will meet me with the same feelings of friendship that actuate me in coming among you, and that I may have your hearty co-operation in one common cause against a people who are endeavoring to deprive us of our rights. It is not my desire to give offense, or interfere with any of your rights or wishes, and shall not do