We have received some 1,500 Cherokee recruits since entering the Indian country. I have authorized the formation of another regiment (now filled to the maximum) to be submitted to headquarters,and, if approved, mustered into service. I am feeding and supplying with ammunition the men. I am satisfied that if the Government will authorize it a vast majority of the tribes will enter the United States service, and can then take care of themselves with a small force of whites stationed at certain points. They will not ask pay, only to be fed and armed, and perhaps a little clothing. It is the most economical and certain way of restoring the Indian country to the complete domination of the Government. Its effect upon Arkansas and Louisiana you can well imagine.
This point would be admirable for a post. Water, timber, grass, salt-works, and coal banks are all convenient. It commands the Creek Agency, Fort Gibson, Fort Smith,and Tahlequah. Slight fortifications might be thrown up and a small garrison could defend it.
I would earnestly recommend that the general establish through the postal department daily or tri-weekly mails from Kansas to Fort Gibson; also issue a proclamation,inviting the merchants to bring stocks of goods here to sell. Cattle are a drug here. The prairies are covered with thousands of them. The Indians are suffering for the commonest necessaries. The effect of these matters of policy would be to bind the people to the Government.
Please order an express arrangement between here and Fort Leavenworth. The best route is by Humboldt and down Cabin Creek. I am almost entirely cut off from news. I have ordered the Kansas Second to Baxter Springs to protect trains.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
P. S.- I inclose you copies of proclamations (of which I have not duplicates), correspondence, proceedings, message, and a letter from Ross to myself. A few howitzers would be of very valuable service. I am now about to send a party of spies into the Creek and Choctaw country.
[Inclosure No. 3.]
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF KANSAS, Fort Leavenworth, Kans., July 12, 1862.
Colonel WILLIAM WEER,
Commanding Indian Expedition:
COLONEL: As it is desirable to return the refugee Indians now in Kansas to their homes as soon as practicable, you will therefore take measures to ascertain if the corn crop in the Indian Territory of the present season will be sufficient to subsist them. I would also suggest that you communication, at as early a day as possible, with John Ross and the leading me of the other tribes upon the subject of their relations of the Federal Government.
If among those who have joined the rebel cause there are any whose ignorance and credulity have been taken advantage of by Confederate agents, you will endeavor to impress upon them the fact that the United States Government is able and willing to protect them and to fulfill all its treaty stipulations while they remain loyal. No doubt that when these facts are made known to them many who have been deceived