United States Government and bound us to observe amity and peace alike with all the States. Neutrality was proper and wise so long as there remained a reasonable probability that the difficulty between the two sections of the Union would be settled, as a different course would have placed all our rights in jeopardy and might have led to the sacrifice of the people. But when there was no longer any reason to believe that the Union of the States would be continued there was no cause to hesitate as to the course the Cherokee Nation should pursue. Our geographical position and domestic institution allied us to the South, while the developments daily made in our vicinity and as to the purposes of the was waged against the Confederate States clearly pointed out the path of interest.
These considerations produced a unanimity of sentiment among the people as to the policy to be adopted by the Cherokee Nation, which was clearly expressed in their general meeting held at Tahlequah on the 21st of August last. A copy of the proceedings of that meeting is submitted for your information.
In accordance with the declarations embodied in the resolutions then adopted the Executive Council deemed it proper to exercise the authority conferred upon them by the people there assembled. Messengers were dispatched to General Albert Pike, the distinguished Indian Commissioner of the Confederate States, who, having negotiated treaties with the neighboring Indian nations, was then establishing relations between his Government and the Comanches and other Indians in the Southwest, who bore a copy of the proceedings of the meeting referred to, and a letter from the executive authorities, proposing on behalf of the nation to enter into a treaty of alliance, defensive and offensive, with the Confederate States.
In the exercise of the same general authority, and to be ready as far as practicable to meet any emergency that might spring up on our northern border, it was thought proper to raise a regiment of mounted men and tender its services to General McCulloch. The people responded with alacrity to the call, and it is believed the regiment will be found with alacrity to the call, and it is believed the regiment will be found as efficient as any other like number of men. It is now in the service of the Confederate States for the purpose of aiding in defending their homes and the common rights of the Indian nations about us. This regiment is composed of ten full companies, with two reserve companies, and, in addition to the force previously authorized to be raised to operate outside of the nation by General McCulloch, will show that the Cherokee people are ready to do all in their power in defense of the Confederate cause, which has now become their own. And it is to be hoped that our people will spare no means to sustain them, but contribute liberally to supply any want of comfortable clothing for the approaching season.
In years long since past our ancestors met undaunted those who would invade their mountain homes beyond the Mississippi. Let not their descendants of the present day be found unworthy of them, or unable to stand by the chivalrous men of the South by whose side they may be called to fight in self-defense. The Cherokee people do not desire to be involved in war, but self-preservation fully justifies them in the course they have adopted, and they will be recreant to themselves if they should not sustain it to the utmost of their humble abilities.
A treaty with the Confederate States has been entered into and is now submitted for your ratification. In view of the circumstances by which we are surrounded and the provisions of the treaty it will be