War of the Rebellion: Serial 019 Page 0959

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CHAP. XXV.] CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE. 959

and more active, and more peremptory than I am. I care nothing for command and nothing for rank. God knows all I do care for is to save this Indian country to the Confederacy.

As for arms, 1 have not yet been able to arm all the Indians. My efforts to do so have been frustrated. I shall soon have an additional supply of cannon powder I have secured it in Texas. Send to Shreveport and get 3,000 pounds of a quantity on its way to me. Do not take any more; so much you are welcome to. Have you caps enough? I have some on the way from Texas. I had 800,000 at Fort Smith early in April. My adjutant-general saw them, secured them, and thought they were started to me in a wagon. God knows what became of them. I arranged with the authorities at Richmond to procure my moneys direct from the Treasury. I do not think I shall have to ask you to divide with me. I have messengers enough on the way, I think, to get what I need. As to supplies, my credit is excellent in Texas. I can get any quantity of flour, bacon, corn, oats, and barley in that State. I think I can even get 300 or 400 sacks of coffee, and I am arranging for 10,000 suits of clothing and shoes from Mexico. I can buy four times as much beef as I want here or anywhere in the Indian country at 6 1/2 cents, butchered. Corn is costing me $1.50, bacon 25 cents, and flour $6.30 a hundred. Hay I can have made for myself. I can hire the mowers and the laborers, and it will not cost $5 a ton. I neither need nor want to have anything to do with that nest of speculators at Fort Smith. 1 know enough about their hay contracts and beef contracts. I have an honest quartermaster and an honest commissary, and both competent, and I would not remain in command an hour if I had to depend for supplies on an officer who sent my commissary $5,000 only out of $350,000 sent to him for the Indian commands and McCulloch's forces together.

The Indians are wasteful, and it is very hard to enforce regularity among them in the matter of supplies; but still I believe this is the most economical department in the Confederacy, and you may find the secret of the constant abuse of myself in the fact that I have set my face against contracts intended as swindles, and that by act of Congress I have to audit all the accounts created by the acting quartermasters and commissaries of the Indian commands before the commands were regularly mustered into the service. Why, only last summer, when George Stidham offered to furnish hay in the Creek country at $6, and Jobe, equally as good a man, at $5 or $5.50 a ton, a contract was let at $12, and 5 and 6 tons were pretended to be loaded on a common ox wagon, and part of the hay cut right in the Indian camp, too.

Majors Quesenbury and Lanigan have commissions as majors, and that of the former is older than that of Major Pearce. I especially beg that you will direct Major Pearce to refrain from making any contracts to supply the troops of my command with anything; from meddling with my transportation, of which I have not half enough; from undertaking the settlements of accounts in this country, and especially from attempting to get into his hands moneys in the hands of my officers, estimated for special purposes, pledged in advance, and to withhold which from the Indians would ruin our influence with them. I should be sorry to have to do it, but I had determined to forbid my officers sending any moneys to Major Pearce, if it even cost me my position, or more beside.

If I should not remain under your command, I should still as readily aid you with all might in carrying out your views, and co-operate with you as efficiently as I could.

When General McCulloch left Fort Smith, I immediately ordered