War of the Rebellion: Serial 019 Page 0041 Chapter XXV. GENERAL REPORTS, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

and kindness, have sown them broadcast, over these two State to such an extent that I should be very obtuse not to know the immense disadvantages under which I labor in endeavoring to effect anything. The poison is in the minds of the men of my own command, and I should be sincerely rejoiced to have the opportunity of retiring to private life.

In the same letter, speaking of certain suggestions he had made to the President at an early day of the war in relation to Indian affairs, he said:

The response to my recommendation was my own appointment, which I did not anticipate and did not wish, and I am altogether too corpulent to ride much on horseback,and, besides, am subject to neuralgia in the back, which, seizing me suddenly, utterly disables me for days at a time. I only consented to take the d----d command because I had made the treaties, felt personally responsible for the security of the country here, and knew it was supposed I could manage better with the Indians than any one else. I am sure I wish somebody else would take it.

Under these circumstances it seemed that the interest of the service would be promoted and his own desires gratified by complying with General Pike's request. I therefore forwarded his resignation to Richmond, with my approval, and at the same time relieved him from duty.

On the receipt of my order to that effect he issued and distributed a printed circular, addressed to the Indians and equally likely to reach the enemy, in which, under pretense of defending the Confederate Government, he evidently sought to excite prejudice against it, and endeavored thoroughly to disgust and dishearten our Indian allies by suppressing or perverting facts where their publication would be beneficial to our cause and openly proclaiming them when they should have been concealed. This extract will illustrate the character of the paper:

I tried in vain to get men enough from Arkansas and Texas to prevent an invasion of the Cherokee country. You can see now at Cantonment Davis all the white troops I was allowed to have. You will plainly see that with them, if they had al been in the Cherokee country, 2,000 or 3,000 of the enemy could at any time have driven them away; and while they were there, if I could have fed them there, what would have kept the Northern troops and hostile Creeks and other Indians from coming down to the Deep Fork and North Fork of the Canadian and driving out our friends from the Creek and Seminole country?

Colonel (now Brigadier General) D. H. Cooper, who was next in rank and had succeeded to the command, deemed it his duty to place General Pike in arrest, and so informed me, inclosing a copy of the circular, and expressing the opinion that the author was insane or a traitor. I approved his action, and ordered General Pike sent to Little Rock in custody. I also forwarded Colonel Cooper's letter to Richmond, with an indorsement, asking to withdraw my approval of General Pike's resignation, that I might bring him before a court-martial on a charges of falsehood, cowardice, and treason. He was also liable to the penalties prescribed be section 29 or the act of Congress regulating intercourse with the Indians and to preserve peace on the frontiers, approved April 8, 1862, as follows:

If any person shall send, make, or carry, or deliver any talk, speech, message, or letter to any Indian nation, tribe, band, chief, or individual, with intent to * * * make such nation, tribe, band, chief, or Indian dissatisfied with their relations with the Confederate States or uneasy or discontented, the person so offending shall, on conviction, be punished by fine not exceeding $10,000 nor less than $2,000, and by imprisonment not less than two nor more than ten years, and the intent above mentioned shall be conclusively inferred from knowledge of the contents of any such talk, speech, message, or letter in writing.

But his resignation had been accepted, after which Mr. Pike reappeared at Fort McCulloch, issued an order as brigadier-general commanding, and prevented the march of troops from there toward the