with the greatest reluctance and for the reasons stated by me in my letter of the 23rd of October to the assistant adjutant-general of General Holmes, a copy of which I inclose, marked C.
For these reasons I felt constrained to do so in obedience to the will of the President, and it seems to me that my letter required some response very different from that which it has received, since my apprehension is the only reply with which I have been honored.
I have received but one order from General Holmes since he granted me leave of absence. That order was that if I had detained any ammunition in Texas I should at once forward it to its destination and then report at Little Rock. I had not detained any, and if it was intended that I should go in any event to Little Rock, not to say so without equivocation was to set a trap to ensnare an unwary man.
The course pursued by Generals Holmes and Hindman in regard to the Indian troops and country has produced the results which I long ago predicted. The Cherokee country is lost; the reserve is broken up and abandoned; the loyal Creeks are fleeing to Texas; the Choctaw troops, disgracefully routed under Colonel Cooper, are disbanding; the Chickasaws will soon do the same. The money and clothing procured by the for them have been diverted from their legitimate destination by General Holmes in defiance of your orders. Their troops remain unpaid, unshod, half naked. The people all over the Indian country are destitute of food, and to ascertain how many need to be fed we may take the whole census. No Confederate troops are left in the country to protect them. The Federal officers are making them propositions of peace and alliance at the moment when our promises are being shamelessly violated; nd at this moment, when I had returned to the country in the hope of being able to still do something to save it, I am pursued as a felon by 250 Missourians, who, by their own confessions, to leave nothing undone that can alienate the Indians, break open and plunder the houses of the Choctaws on their march to arrest me, and I am seized and carried by force out of the country. If immense rewards had been offered to induce the doing of all that could be done to lose the Indian country nothing more could be done to that end than has been done by Generals Holmes and Hindman.
The charges and specifications which I to-day forward against General Holmes will show what has been done to alienate the Indians. The success of these efforts will soon prove their efficiency. In my opinion the Indian country is lost.
At any rate, Mr. President, it is too late for me to save it. Some other man may perhaps be found who can do so. The only purpose for which I accepted the appointment of brigadier-general has failed, and my commission has as little served to shield me from the indignities I am enduring as have my constant efforts to carry out the wishes of the President. This is the second time that General Hindman has sent an armed force to arrest me.
At the first moment when I shall be no longer in custody I shall repair to Richmond to account for the public moneys placed in my hands, to demand that justice be administered upon the criminals who have set the orders of the President at naught and incited the Indians to revolt, and imperiled the welfare of the Republic, and to show how the Indian country, worth more to the Confederacy than the State of Virginia, has been wantonly thrown away.
I am, the President's most obedient servant,
Brigadier-General Provisional Army, C. S. A.