War of the Rebellion: Serial 019 Page 0868 MO., ARK., KANS., IND., T. AND DEPT. N. W. Chapter XXV.

Search Civil War Official Records

one command. Even without that he takes without scruple out of this department whatever he or his subordinates need, no matte how much it is needed here; and if he had the matter arranged as he wishes the whole of this command, headquarters and all, would at once be transferred into Northwest Arkansas. These are so infinitely far from being my views, and I think them not only so unwise, but so palpably unjust to the Indians, that I could not but choose to resign rather than co-operate actively with General Hindman, as he demanded I should do, in carrying them out by transferring my headquarters to Fort Smith and Northwest Arkansas. I was placed in command here because the President approved of my opinion on this very point, and had it been otherwise I should not have accepted the command. To take charge of Northwest Arkansas would be for me, as it was for General McCulloch, to give up all care of the whole Indian country except a part of that held by the Cherokees. I could not be asked to assist in renewing the very mischief to put an end to which this country was taken out of McCulloch's command, disconnected from Arkansas, made a department, and placed in my keeping, and I have retired that General Hindman may have his way. Apart from all other considerations, the necessity, if I had taken command of Northwest Arkansas, of distributing the little ammunition I had to troops raised there, and for taking for them the moneys on their way to me for the Indians, would have made it impossible for me to accept that command if I had any regard for justice and right or any desire not entirely to alienate our allies, already sufficiently ill-treated and plundered. I respectfully assure the President that it is not my wish to be reinstated in command here. Nothing could induce me to take that command again except the same of duty which constrained me reluctantly to accept it at first. I have resigned it because I was no longer of use when deprived of the means of defending the country-a mere automaton, to obey orders sent from a distance, unable to comply with my promises to the Indians, weary, disheartened, disgusted, plundered at every turn, and every effort I made rendered unavailing by malign influences from without.

I earnestly hope that my resignation may be accepted at an early day. In the men time it is necessary for me to remain in this country, notwithstanding General Hindman's order. I only wish to add to this letter, already too long, that I have at all times, in my explanations and excuse to the Indians, taken the greatest pains to satisfy them that neither the Government nor the President were to blame for the spoliation by which they have suffered nor for the intolerable delays that have occurred in the payment of the troops and of claims for supplies furnished by the people.

I have the honor to be the President's most obedient servant,


AUGUST 3, 1862.

P. S.-SIR: Since so much of this letter was written information has reached me that the Comanches and Kiowas, disappointed at not meeting me on July 4 (I was prevented from going to the agency by General Hindman's orders to go to Fort Gibson), and dissatisfied at the course of the agent, Mr. Leeper, nearly all turned against us, and are preparing to enter and devastate the frontier of Texas, while the Reserve Indians are leaving the leased country, and the entire destruction of the reserve is looked for; and information also comes that the families of the Seminoles are all leaving their country; that a large force of Hopoeithleyohola and his people and white troops are coming down