unanimous in their fondness for me; but officers who cannot be rejected, aspiring men who cannot get commands, and disaffected soldiers are all hunting excuses to cover up their own defeat, and many of them make me their stumbling block. If I can have but little encouragement in the way of outfit-tents and arms-I can have 2,500 men in the field by the 1st of February, and they will be picked men and enlisted "for the war."
The good people of New Orleans have been sending us many presents, and I understand that there is &10,000 in bank there now to be expended as I may desire for my men. If this is continued, which by honest efforts to deserve I hope it will be, we will require from the Confederacy but tents and arms, and then by putting my headquarters again at Bloomfield I can protect all Southeastern Missouri and again keep 10,000 men watching me.
I may probably start down to New Orleans on Monday, to return with Governor Jackson and the commissioners who will come to pay my troops, as the business, which now engages my attention is but a little wearisome detail settlement, which I had probably better let the quartermasters and commissaries do, as it will learn them to keep their accounts straighter hereafter, and as long as I am about all and everything, down to feeding a courier, is laid before me.
Should I start I will telegraph to you from Memphis, and if you disapprove the trip I will immediately return.
Yours, most respectfully,
M. JEFF. THOMPSON,
Brigadier-General, Mo. S. G.
Fort Smith, Ark., January 4, 1862.
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant-General C. S. Army, Richmond, Va.:
GENERAL: The night I arrived in Fort Gibson, C. N., John Ross, the Chief of the Cherokees, held a council, and in the most emphatic language expressed his determination to stand firm to the Government of the Confederate States. He stated that he had made treaties with them and he would live and die by them. A day or two before my arrival serious fears were entertained that all was not right, and what gave grounds for this fear was that the flag of the Confederacy which floated over Fort Gibson had been reversed.
I think the march of our force into the nation has had a most happy effect. It has shown them that we are able and willing to act in their behalf, and the result of our short campaign has intimidated many who probably meditated mischief. I think John Ross is sincere and is too far committed now to recede. Colonel Cooper has a force of nearly 3,000 Indians. He is sufficiently strong to protect the Territory against any combination of Indians hostile to us. Trouble may arise in the Cherokee Nation between the full-bloods and half-breeds, but with a little determination this can be nipped in the bud. Mr. Frank C. Armstrong will inform you fully upon the state of affairs here and in the Indian Territory.
I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,