War of the Rebellion: Serial 019 Page 0974

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

My other duties here were as legitimate and important as my military duties. Great responsibility was imposed on me when the proper officer refused to receive the Indian moneys, and resigned, leaving me to pay them out; and the public interest imperatively requires that these matters should be closed.

My services cannot be greatly needed elsewhere for the brief time that will elapse before the pleasure of the President is known in regard to my resignation, and I think my continued presence in the country may be of benefit in the mean time, especially with the Reserve Indians and wild tribes, among whom I shall have to go.

Another duty, still imposed upon me, is that of examining and passing on, under special act of Congress, the claims created by acting quartermasters and commissaries of Indian troops, a few of them being regularly mustered into the service. By the act, no one else can do it, nor can the claims be otherwise paid.

I therefore respectfully renew my request for leave of absence until my resignation is acted on, and also beg to be informed if you have forwarded that resignation to the President.

I am, very respectfully, yours,

ALBERT PIKE.

FORT WASHITA, July 31, 1862.

Major General T. C. HINDMAN,

Commanding Trans-Mississippi District:

GENERAL: Upon receiving, at Boggy Depot, on the 22d of July, instant, your order to send my best battery, with a squadron or company of cavalry, to Colonel Charles A. Carroll, at Fort Smith, I was very willing, as I had resigned, to see you take the last available gun and the last armed man from Arkansas out of the Indian country,. and I accordingly sent orders to Captain West, who was a day's march ahead of me to proceed, with his and Howell's half companies, to Fort Smith, and gave the same order to Captain Corley's company, from Helena, which overtook me at Boggy, just after I received your order. The day after, I reflected that the order to send my best battery implied that I had more than one available and that I would still be allowed to retain the worst battery for myself and, as I had but one, I thought it but just to you to suppose that you did not mean to take the only battery in the Indian country and present it to Colonel Carroll. I therefore sent orders to Captains West and Corley to return and take the road by Perryville to the Canadian, which they did; and when I learned that I was relieved of the command here, I informed both captains that I had no further orders to give them, and that they could either obey my first order, and go to Fort Smith, or report to Colonel Cooper for orders, as they might think proper.

In view of Colonel Cooper's urgent clamor for artillery, I thought it safest to let the only six guns available go as far, anyhow, as the Canadian, in the direction of Fort Gibson, from which place you could, if you wished, still direct them to Fort Smith. The remaining guns-a bronze 6-pounder and howitzer and twelve Parrott guns-are at Fort McCulloch, in charge of a few recruits, and without horses. I declined a second advance of my private funds to purchase horses when Woodruff's battery left here. General Van Dorn has the caissons of the Parrot t guns, and most of the harness, also, was appropriated at Fort Smith.

I am, very respectfully, yours,

ALBERT PIKE.