War of the Rebellion: Serial 019 Page 0956

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956 MO., ARK., KANS., IND. T., AND DEPT. N. W. [CHAP. XXV.

ward, and perhaps take position near Evansville, with my right flank resting on Boston Mountain. But my cannon ammunition was all taken; my two regiments of infantry were taken; Darnell's regiment was such a nuisance that I gladly sent it off to lie ad libitum, and found my force too weak for any forward movement. I still had two Texas regiments, and I made them and Dawson's work on the field-works, which was hard to effect, but I did effect it.

You know my present force. It would be nothing in the field, but it is a good deal as a nucleus to rally troops around, so long as it remains near Texas; get 150 miles away, and not one of them will come.

I inclose you a printed paper containing my views, as explained by me to the Indians' colonels. It satisfied them all. Colonel Watie wrote me that he fully understood and appreciated it. Lieutenant Colonel William P. Ross came here enraged at "the abandonment" of the Cherokee country, and without a word from me confessed that it was the wisest thing that could nave been done, and afforded more security even to the Cherokees than a position farther north. Major Boudinot was equally satisfied, and in a few weeks I had 2,500 Indians more in the field.

Of all the arms purchased for me with moneys charged against me in the Treasury, I have only received 211, which Colonel Dawson had bought, and which I retained to arm part of the new Choctaw regiment. I have expended $20,000. Three hundred and eleven guns, purchased in North Carolina, General Van Dorn got. Major Pearce expended $2,700 at Fort Smith, and turned over the guns to Major Clarke, who issued them out. A large number purchased by Judge Quillin, General Roane seized-some 900, I believe; and I heard, some two weeks since, that 2,000 Enfield rifles, which the Secretary of War promised me, in December, out of the first arms that should be received, had arrived at Little Rock, and you had taken them. I suppose from your letter that such is not the case. I confess I thought it pretty hard to lose them also, after all my trouble; and that to deprive me of everything and then order me to move, was like cutting off a man's feet and then telling him to walk.

I suppose your Texas brigades got the guns purchased for me. I am not much surprised to hear your account of their conduct. Two things are constantly rung in my ears-leave to go home and money-until I am worn out. You have a fine company and a good battery in Woodruff's I hated to lose it, but you are welcome to it, needing it as badly as you do. Dawson's regiment is worth very little; I was glad it went. I hope you will make it do something; I could not.

I have sent Colonel Douglas H. Cooper, of the First Choctaw and Chickasaw Regiment, the ranking colonel here, to take command of all the troops north of the Canadian. Colonel Sampson Folsom's new regiment of Choctaws goes with him, and is on the way. Captains Seanland's and Witt's companies of Texans also go there. The former is off; the latter debating about bounty and pay. If they give me any trouble I will drive them across Red River, if I have to open on them with West's guns. They provoke me beyond endurance. Stevens' regiment, late Taylor's, is getting ready. Three companies move to-morrow. I send them to Martin Vann's, north of the Arkansas, and 9 or 10 miles north of Fort Gibson, beyond the Verdigris, near the main Kansas road.

I have no objection to making my headquarters at Frozen Rock, near Fort Gibson. It is the place I selected at first. The grand objection to it was the abandonment of Western Arkansas by our troops, and that with a small force there our rear could be gained either from above or below, and we be cut off from Red River, whence our supplies must