The policy of feeding such Indians as had been driven from their homes, and whose country was in the occupation of the enemy, had been inaugurated prior to my arrival. The total failure of the corps throughout the entire Indian Territory had increased the number dependent upon the commissariat to many thousands. It became necessary to give these people bread or have them thrown themselves upon the charity of the enemy, who lost on opportunity to gain ground by holding out liberal inducements of pardon, and of supplies of clothing and food. To resist to moral effect of these inducements held out by the enemy, I was compelled to yield with as much show of cheerfulness as possible to the very heavy demands that were made upon me, and, to meet these demands, large draughts were constantly being made upon stores accumulated for military purposes.
An experience of twelve months in the command of the Indian country has convinced me that, with a few exceptions, the Indians are wholly unreliable as troops of the line. The officers, as a general rule, are ignorant, void of moral tone of character, and indisposed to enforce discipline among their men. Their allegiance to the Government seems to be regarded more in the light of a voluntary contribution on their part, susceptible of being withheld at their option, than the performance of an obligatory duty. In order to acquire the reputation derived from success, in the administration of the affairs of the Territory (according to the somewhat doubtful standard, success) it is necessary to pander to the opinions and sentiments of Indianized white men, and through such to coax and demagogize with the Indians, rather than attempt the enforcement of discipline among the troops and system in the various departments. The ignorance of the main body of the Indians naturally subjects them to the influence for good or evil of a class of whites and educated half-breeds, who, living among them and having a knowledge of their language, feelings, prejudices, &c., find no difficulty in molding the masses to their generally interested views. In became satisfied that with those exercising the chief influence among the Indian there was a settled design to subordinate white officers and white troops to Indian officers and Indian troops.
In suggesting these views, I would take occasion to state that there are serving in the Indian country a few striking exceptions. Among these I amy mention Colonel Stand Watie, whom I found to be a gallant and daring officer, but, as was the case in all other instances among the Indian troops, without the slightest discipline in his regiment. For some time prior to making the movement in the direction of Fort Smith, already referred to, I had discerned a growing disinclination on the part of the Indian troops to serve under my command. The ingenuity of the defamers had been taxed to the utmost in giving circulation to of the most reckless falsehoods. I was charged with a determination to take the white troops out of their country and abandon them to their fate; that I only awaited a favorable opportunity to go over to the enemy in person;t hat I was Northern-born, and had no true feeling of sympathy with the South. With another class of troops such calumnies could have been successfully met, and my influence as a commander not, perhaps, have been thereby materially impaired; but among the Indian troops, with the influence mentioned operating against me, the consequence will be patent. An improper and unjust construction was given to almost every step I deemed it necessary to take for the good of the service; in short, nothing seemed to have been left undone by designing men and knaves to excite the most violent prejudice and district on the part of the Indians. The dark side of my picture, painted