proclaimed at divers places by General Bragg, and at Murfreesborough, during the retreat from Kentucky I proclaimed it, and was fully sustained by General Albert Sidney Johnston. But if there had been no precedent at all I should nevertheless have taken the responsibility, risking myself upon the justice of my country and the rectitude of my motives.
In the latter part of July alarming intelligence reached me from the upper Indian country. The Federal Indian expedition was moving from Fort Scott and its advance had crossed the Cherokee line. To meet this force, 5,000 strong, we had only the brave Stand Watie, with his faithful regiment of half-breed Cherokees; Drew's regiment of full-bloods, many of whom were disaffected, and Clarkson's battalion of Missourians, raised under my orders, and sent there at the urgent request of Watie and Drew, as communicated through the lieutenant-colonel of Drew's regiment. This small command encountered the enemy and was defeated. Clarkson was captured, with his train, and many of his men dispersed. Except a small body, under the gallant Captain Pickens Benge, Drew's regiment deserted to the enemy. With a courage never surpassed, Stand Watie still resisted. On one occasion a portion of his regiment, under Major E. C. Boudinot, repulsed the Federal advance of fivefold greater strength. But it was not possible to make head against such odds, and he was at length compelled to fall back behind the Arkansas. The full-bloods, or Pin Indians, now rose in rebellion and committed horrid excesses. John Ross, the Cherokee Chief, was pretendedly taken prisoners, but, as afterward appeared, really went over to the enemy with the archives and money of the nation.
Looking forward to this invasion, I had, on May 31, the day of taking command, ordered General Pike to advance his force to the Kansas border for the protection of the Indian country. He was then at Fort McCulloch, about 25 miles from the extreme south line of that country, fortifying in an open prairie, with the Red River just in his rear.
The order reached him on June 8. Receiving no information that it had been obeyed I repeated it on June 17, directing him to move at once to or near Fort Gibson, in the Cherokee Nation. He received this order on June 24.
On July 8, he being still at Fort McCulloch, I again ordered him forward, instructing him to go by the way of Fort Smith, assume command of the troops in Northwestern Arkansas, in addition to his own, and make the best disposition of them possible to repel invasion. He acknowledged the receipt of these instructions on July 15, writing still from Fort McCulloch, and advised me that a part of his troops had already marched and that he would soon follow with the remainder.
On July 21 he had succeeded in getting as far as Boggy Depot, a distance of 25 miles. In the mean time he had forwarded his resignation of the officer of brigadier-general, and applied to me to relieve him from duty. In his letter of July 21, when he had approached 25 miles nearer the enemy, he said:
I repeat my request to be immediately relieved of this command. If I do not receive an order to that effect in fourteen days I shall eave the command in the hands of Colonel Cooper.
In his letter of July 3, speaking of the unfavorable impression existing as to his conduct in the battle of Elkhorn, he said;
There has been a regular deluge of lies poured out about me in Arkansas and Texas, and the men of the regiments of Darnell and Dawson, who owe me nothing but favors