by the War Department to furnish me with troops, arms, ammunition, light and heavy artillery, money, and supplies, and I have never received any intimation from the Secretary or President that my views or plans were disapproved; but, on the contrary, the diversion of all these from their legitimate destination has been marked with their decided disapprobation, although it is still persisted in. I inclose a copy of a letter from Colonel Douglas H. Cooper to me of February 10 as containing the views od one long in the Indian country in regard to the necessity for white troops, but still more because it states what the positive pledges of the Government were on that subject. It is my deliberate opinion that if the policy announced in behalf of General Holmes in pursued we shall lose the Indian country. A column of 10,000 men of all arms cold now march with all ease from Kansas to Galveston or San Antonio. It is reasonable to infer (from our forces being compelled to move from Elm Springs to Huntsville and Colonel McIntosh's regiment being pushed westward into the Cherokee country) that the enemy, under General Schofield, known to be some 18,000 to 20,000 strong, were advancing in the direction of Van Buren by some road near the Indian line. We have advices from Fort Smith that negroes from the Arkansas River are being employed in opening the road from Ozark to Huntsville, which indicates a contemplated retreat toward Little Rock. In the mean time Colonel Cooper, with a small Indian force, is either in Kansas or retreating from it. The Indian troops are all in a very destitute condition. Almost no clothing has ever been furnished them. I procured for them in all last winter and this summer about 13,000 suits. The troops of Generals Van Dorn and Price got almost the whole of the first lot in March. The supply procured by me in Georgia to replace this was at Monroe, in Louisiana, on September 3, and is now at Fort Smith. I send a quartermaster to-day to see if it can be had, but I greatly it will be all used for other troops than the Indians. As to shoes, I have not been able to procure any. I shall in a few days have some 400 pairs by advancing my own funds to pay for them, and I could get some 600 additional pairs if I had more money of my own.
The moneys lately sent out from Richmond by Mr. Charles B. Johnson were taken by him (I do not know why) by the way of Little Rock to Fort Smith. At Little Rock he loaned the acting quartermaster there $350,000 of the money, and before he reached Fort Smith an order was there from General Holmes requiring Major Quesenbury, quartermaster of brigade of this department, to turn over all the moneys as soon as he should receive them to Major N. B. Pearce, assistant commissary of subsistence at that post. From him I believe they went into the hands of Major Crump, a quartermaster, and were and are being disbursed for general purposes. The Seminoles under Jumper have never received a dollar of pay or allowance. They have been in service more than a year. The Creeks under Chilly McIntosh have received $45,000; the Chickasaws $45,000. Large arrears of pay are due all the others. Winter is coming on and the Indians are half naked, literally so to such a degree as to be ashamed to show themselves, while their clothing stays at Fort Smith. Agents are sent by General Hindman into Texas to try to procure clothing for him after I had sent all over Texas for it in vain months ago. They know that the money and clothing were on their way to them.
The know when I sent for both. They have been promised both over and over again since last June. God knows what excuse I can make to them that they will believe. They certainly will not believe that the President cannot compel officers to permit supplies obtained for them