the service here had been unmitigated evil and the leaving us destitute of everything. It was subordinating my quartermaster and commissary to an officer of less rank at Fort Smith, degrading them, and an insult to me, and, what was of more consequence, it was a victory of certain contractors over me after I had succeeded in once getting their hands off of the public throat. I would not have served one hour under that system reinstated, and I would not have taken the moneys which I received soon after the order came to my knowledge from the Indians, to whom it belonged, and sent it to Fort Smith if I had been ordered to do it a thousand times over. I have, on the contrary, sent up $400,000 of it to pay the Indian troops now on the Arkansas and have been paid out near $100,000 of it to them here. A few days after the receipt of the order to go to Fort Smith, riding night and day, I received by express another order of the same date, a copy of which is inclosed, marked C,* directing me to go in all haste to the northern part of the Indian Territory there to organize troops in half a dozen counties of Arkansas. Neither order gave the least indication which was first issued or which revoked the other and was meant to be obeyed. I suppose it was intentionally so done in order to embarrass me; but the orders were alike in this, that each, undertook to send me into Arkansas, there to organize new levies of men, unarmed, for the most part, wholly unsupplied with ammunition, and unwilling to serve, to take the place of the troops raised for me, for which I had procured arms and ammunition, and which had been taken from me. I accepted this command unwillingly and with the distinct understanding that this department was not to be subordinated to Arkansas or Missouri. It should never have been included in the Trans-Mississippi District, because the moment it was so the forces in it were regarded only as auxiliaries to assist operations carried on elsewhere in the district. The difference between myself and the district generals has been that they look only to the interests of themselves and their immediate commands, and care nothing for the Indians, except as auxiliaries, while I look to the interests of the Indians, and am concerned for them alone. There ought to be one person at least to care for them on their own account.
Generals Van Dorn and Hindman never reflected and probably never cared that I occupied a somewhat different position from that which one would occupy sent here by them to take mere military command of this country. I had made the treaties with these Indians, and was personally bound to them the most solemn promises and pledges to see them protected. I had assured them in the name of the President that the Confederate States would risk their last man and last dollar to protect them and hold their country. Not only I, but the Secretary of War, had promised them that if they would raise troops for service in their own country three good regiments of white troops should be placed in it and kept to protect them. They were not to be asked to aid us, nor were the troops to be placed in their country to be subject to the orders of officers at a distance whenever imperative necessity required that the Indian country should be left defenseless, in order to protect Northeastern Arkansas or Little Rock, or Southwestern Missouri, or to make up a respectable command for a general going to Corinth, or one at Little Rock, or for a colonel at Fort Smith. I do not like to use exaggerated epithets, but truth sometimes demands them, and upon my soul I think the course of General Van Dorn in seizing the supplies of this command, taking the troops raised for service here, and coolly
* See Inclosure Numbers 1 to Pike's letter of July 20, p. 856.