west of north for two days. On the second day (the 31st) a party of Cherokees, consisting of 3 men and 2 women, were intercepted on the road from Key's settlement, on Caney, to the Big Bend, 1 of whom was killed in single combat by Captain W. R. McIntosh, of the Creek regiment; 2 made their escape; the women were taken prisoners.
Again following the trail, we overtook several Seminole women and children, from whom we learned that Hopoeithleyohola had gone on two days in advance. Having followed the trail nearly if not quite to the Kansas line, we turned across towards the Arkansas, and intercepted several parties of Creeks, Osages, and Cherokees on their way to Walnut Creek, Kansas. After an exciting chase by the advance guard, under Major N. W. Townes, of the Fourth [Ninth] Texas cavalry, and Major Whitfield's battalion, several of the enemy were killed and a large number of prisoners taken, mostly women and children. A few cattle were also captured by the Creeks.
The weather was exceedingly cold; sleet fell in considerable quantities during the day, and there being every appearance of a snow-storm, we pushed for the timber. Several new trails were discovered during the evening, all leading in the direction of Walnut Creek. The next morning, finding the earth covered with sleet, I resolved to return to my train, and marched the main body of my command down the Arkansas. Sending Colonel Drew with his regiment to examine a wagon-trail we had discovered the evening previous, he found a small camp of Cherokees, which he broke up, wounding 1 man and taking several prisoners. Late in the evening of the same day the advance guard discovered an encampment of Creeks directly under a rocky, preciptions bluff which overhung the Arkansas River, and by rapidly pushing down the bluff and into the river we were enabled to charge the camp and break it up, killing 1 man and taking 21 prisoners, women and children. Several men made their escape across the river. Turning to the top of the bluff we encamped for the night, without food for ourselves or horses. The next day we reached Skia Tooka's settlement, in the Big Bend, where an abundance of meat and some corn was obtained. Next day reached Tulsey Town, by a forced march, where we found our train.
This fatiguing scout of seven days, embracing the entire country lately occupied by Hopoeithleyohola's forces, accomplished over an exceedingly rough and bleak country, half the time without provisions, the weather very cold (during which 1 man was frozen to death), was endured with great fortitude by the officers and men under my command. Its results were 6 of the enemy killed and 150 prisoners taken, mostly women and children, the total dispersing in the direction of Walnut Creek, Kansas, of Hopoeithleyohola's forces and people, thus securing the repose of the frontier for the winter. It also demonstrated that the capture of the whole of those who remained on Shoal Creek up to the 26th of December, including Hopoeithleyohola himself, could have been easily effected had Colonel James McIntosh waited until the forces under my command reached a position in the rear of the enemy, or even if Colonel Stand Watie had been sent up Delaware Creek or up Bird Greek and thence to the rear of Hopoeithleyohola's position, the same result would have been attained and the machinations of the arch old traitor forever ended.
The trails on Bird Creek on the Arkansas also showed that large numbers of Indians had descended to Hopoeithleyohola's camp before the battle on Bird Creek and December 9, and that still larger numbers had returned up those two steams before the battle on Shoal Creek of December 26. It was also apparent that not more than 1,000 had gone