it had were in the most wretched condition. It seemed as if nothing of the kind had been sent into the Indian country that was fit to be sent anywhere else. We had emphatically been receiving the refuse, the crumbs that fell from General McCulloch's table. With what has since been purchased by ourselves and by Captain Ogden at Forth Smith, we are still deficient, as is proven by the fact that it is but a few days since we received the last of our fragments of supplies from Fort Smith.
When I received the appointment of brigadier-general, with the order placing me in the Indian country, I accepted with great reluctance, because it was easy to foresee what odium would attach to me as the commander of troops popularly regarded as savages; that as a general of Indians I could expect but little consideration, and should be regarded as hardly entitled to rank with other officers of the same grade, and that, managing Indians formed into companies and regiments, instead of being in bands of different numbers under their chiefs and captains, with officers who could neither write nor speak English, while they would be expected to prepare papers, make reports and returns, and keep up all our immense paper system, with scarcely and officer or clerk competent to prepare or even fill up the simplest paper blank, I should have to bear the burden of an amount of labor, responsibility, and trouble from which I might well wish to be excused.
I accepted this unpleasant and, as I expected and as it is proven, thankless task from a simple sense of duty, because I knew of no one in whom the Indians would have the same confidence, and because of the immense value in every way of the Indian country to the Confederacy, and the grave consequences to Western Arkansas and Northern Texas of the alienation or even lukewarmness of the Indians. How I have performed the duty let the present condition of the Indian country, with no enemy within its limits, the wild prairie tribes at peace, and 5,500 of the civilized red men in arms on our side, testify. When I returned to the country, in February, I brought with me, besides the funds for the quartermaster, the moneys due the Indians under treaties. These moneys, partly specie and partly Treasury notes, the superintendent refused to receive, and I was compelled to retain them, pay out part myself, and send the others by private hands to be paid, and thus assume another and too heavy responsibility, or have the Indians disappointed and deceived, the whole country in an uproar, and all the Indian troops disbanded.
While in Richmond, I labored assiduously to collect together arms, ammunition, and supplies for this department. Though the Indians had been promised the presence, aid, and protection of three regiments of white troops, not one had been placed in their country. They had the positive promise of the Secretaries of State and War that the troops they raised should be armed, and that the arms were being purchased. They had received, and have as yet received, only about 700 small-bore rifles, of very little value, furnished the First Choctaw and Chickasaw Regiment. Some 500 or 600 others of the same kind, sent to them, were taken by General McCulloch, and given to his own troops. To most of the Indians no ammunition had been furnished, and most of them had not even been mustered into the service. I procured from the ordnance officer, on my requisition and receipt, $25,000, with which to purchase small-arms, and sent an agent to North Carolina, and others afterward into the southern part of Arkansas, to procure them. About $20,000 has been expended, and I have not been allowed to receive a single gun, except those purchased by Colonel Dawson with $5,000 of the money. Part were issued to volunteers going to join General Price, and those