War of the Rebellion: Serial 019 Page 0861 Chapter XXV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

Search Civil War Official Records

Indian country who should have no other object than to hold it for the Confederacy. I remarked that General McCulloch, who had been placed in command of this country alone, had never had a soldier in it, but had engaged himself in the defense of Northwestern Arkansas and Southwestern Missouri; did not know what was passing in the Indian country, and paid no attention whatever, nor could pay any, to the many matters needing his attention here, and I said that what was wanted was an officer with the rank of brigadier-general, having the sole control of this country, and who could be content to defend it alone, whether he should or should not gain any glory in so doing. The reply to this was my own appointment, which I neither sought, wished, nor expected. In December the Indian Territory was made a department, and I was formally assigned to the command of it. I procured authority to raise infantry regiments, the promise of 2,000 Enfield rifles, orders for sufficient artillery, and an ample outfit of ammunition, clothing, and other supplies, and actually procured all these things by my own exertions before I returned to Arkansas. The beginning of mischief was the creation of the Trans-Mississippi District, embracing the Indian Territory, and the assigning to the command of that district of Major General Earl Van Dorn. He told me, however, at Little Rock, on his way out, that he left me the sole control of the Indian country, and agreed that I should have three regiments of infantry then being raised in Arkansas; but his first act was to order me, with my whole force, to join him near Fayetteville, and his next, to order all my guns, ammunition, and supplies to be retained at Fort Smith, and after the action at Elkhorn he ordered the whole to Little Rock, and took most of them to Memphis with him. I think it was the coolest procedure I ever knew for him, with one hand to seize on a battery of my guns, cast for me in New Orleans; on every ounce (3,000 pounds) of my cannon powder; on a steamboat load of fixed ammunition; on the caissons for my twelve Parrott guns; on three hundred and eleven rifles, purchased by my agent in North Carolina with money drawn by me from the Treasury; on all my supply of percussion caps, while authorizing the men of his and General Price's commands to break open the boxes of clothing and shoes and other supplies belonging to the Indians and help themselves to nearly the whole, and to almost all their tents, and with the other hand to write to me what I was expected to maintain myself in the Indian country independent of his army. As all this spoliation was unaccompanied by any notice or apology whatever to me, and I was left to find it out as I could, I am bound to suppose that none was required by any rule of courtesy, and that the whole procedure was eminently proper and in accordance with military etiquette and usage, as it was with the dictates of justice and generosity. At the same time he seized on two of the infantry regiments raised for me and carried them also across the Mississippi. I was thus left with a single regiment of mounted Texans, one regiment of infantry, and one company of artillery to defend the Indian country. By falling back to the Choctaw country, near Red River, I succeeded in raising my force to two regiments and three unattached companies of mounted men, and in adding to it two partial companies of artillery, having eight bronzed guns and twelve Parrott guns, in addition to Woodruff's excellent battery, which was invaluable to me.

I satisfied the Indians as best I could in regard to the "appropriation" of their clothing, by which they were left half naked and unshod.

I had brought with me their annuities, and also $445,734 for the quartermaster, which with the aid of $100,000 Indian money loaned him