War of the Rebellion: Serial 019 Page 0951 Chapter XXV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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Attacks made on Federal troops and Union men in Missouri by Colonel Watie's command and Missourians who have come into the Cherokee Nation begat retaliation, and a small Federal force stole into the nation, came upon Colonel Watie's regiment, and the Missourians under Colonel Coffee, unexpectedly, dispersed them, captured a large number of horses and cattle, took some prisoners, and returned before a force could be rallied and concentrated to move against them.

I mention these things thus circumstantially through no mere captious spirit, but to invite your attention, very respectfully, first, to the destitute condition of the Cherokee troops and of their families; second, to the great necessity of a force for the protection promised the nation; third, in case that force cannot be furnished, that the policy to be pursued by the Indian troops should be strictly defensive; fourth, that white men roaming through the Indian country be brought under the provisions of the conscript law, and, fifth, that the Indian troops in this nation be placed under command of an officer who will enjoy their confidence, and establish his headquarters on the northern border of the nation.

I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN ROSS,

Principal Chief, Cherokee Nation.

EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT,

Park's Hill, Cherokee Nation, June 25, 1862.

Major General T. C. HINDMAN, C. S. Army,

Commanding Trans-Mississippi District:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 5th instant, which came to hand only a few days since.

Your proposed gratuity of cotton to destitute Indians is most opportune and extremely liberal. The terms upon which it is donated are reasonable and proper, and I accept them gratefully in behalf of many among my own people, who feel the effects of scarce supplies and extortionate prices. I now give you the pledge that the oath shall be administered, and I will not allow the cotton to fall into improper hands knowingly. I will appoint an agent to receive the cotton and distribute it, informing Colonel Carroll of the fact promptly.

It will not be in my power to send any salt, as the works are not supplying the demand at present. They are capable of much heavier yields, however, and any plan to render them effective and consistent with national and individual rights will meet my cordial co-operation.

For further information in regard to affairs generally among the Cherokees, I respectfully refer you to the bearer, Lieutenant Colonel William P. Ross.

I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN ROSS,

Principal Chief, Cherokee Nation.

HEADQUARTERS,

Fort Smith, June 27, 1862.

General PIKE:

SIR: I am instructed by General Hindman to urge the necessity of a forward movement of your command as rapidly as practicable. Send