War of the Rebellion: Serial 019 Page 0495 Chapter XXV. CORRESPONDENCE,ETC.- UNION.

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been declared by the United or Confederate States. It may not be. I most devoutly hope it might not be. Your difficulties may be ended soon by compromise or peaceful separation. What will then be our situation if we now abrogate our rights, when no one else is or can just now be bound for them? All these questions present themselves to us and constrain us to avow a position of strict neutrality. That position I shall endeavor honestly to maintain. The Cherokee Nation will not interfere with you right nor invade your soil, nor will I doubt that the people of Arkansas and other States will be alike just toward the Cherokee people.

With my best for your personally, I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your friend and obedient servant,

JNO. ROSS,

Principal Chief Cherokee Nation.

Messrs. MARK BEAN, W. B. WELCH, E. W. MacCLURE, JOHN SPENCER, J. A. McCOLLOCH, JOHN M. LACY, J. P. CARNAHAN, and others.

[Inclosure No. 12.]

HEADQUARTERS McCULLOCH'S BRIGADE, Fort Smith, Ark., June 12, 1861.

His Excellency JOHN ROSS, Chief of the Cherokee Nation:

SIR: Having been sent by my Government (the Confederate States of America) to take command of the district embracing the Indian Territory and to guard it from invasion by the people of the North, I take the first opportunity of assuring you of the friendship of my Government, and the desire that the Cherokees and other tribes in the Territory unite their fortunes with the Confederacy. I hope that you as Chief of the Cherokees, will meet with the same feelings of friendship that actuate me in coming among you,and that I may have your hearty co-operation in our common cause against a people who are endeavoring to deprive us of our rights.

It is not my desire to give offense or interfere with any of your rights or wishes, and shall not do so unless circumstances compel me. The neutral position you with to maintain will not be violated without good cause. In the mean time those of your who are in favor of joining the Confederacy must be allowed to organize into military companies as home guards, for the purpose of defending themselves in case of invasion from the North. This of course will be in accordance with the views you expressed to me, that in case of an invasion from the North you would lead your men to repel it.

Should a body of men march into your Territory from the North, or if I have an intimation that a body is in line of march for the Territory from that quarter, I must assure you that I will at once advance into your country if I deem it advisable.

I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,

BEN. McCULLOCH,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

[Inclosure No. 13.]

EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, Park Hill, June 17, 1861.

Brigadier General BEN. McCULLOCH,

Commanding Troops of Confederate States, Fort Smith, Ark.:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge by the first return mail the