that Colonel McIntosh, who is an honorable gentleman, was really sick of the rebel service, and had always been a lukewarm supporter of it. The rebel Choctaws, the only Indians that have done real hard fighting for the rebels, are dissatisfied and disgusted, and could be brought over by proper effort. To open the Indian Nation and clear the way to Texas through a country of friends I concluded was a wise and true policy. I submit what was has been done, and await orders.
I burned Fort Davis, to root the rebel army out of "house and home," on the south bank of the Arkansas River, and as an exhibit of power to affect the Indians. It was no mere wanton destruction. I treated the private property of even rebels scrupulously, so as to pave the way for negotiations, and spared the house of Colonel McIntosh, near Fort Davis, although sold by him to the rebel Government, through Albert Pile. In a note to him I told I spared the house as private property,not regarding the sale. Of course, you will understand that I acted in the premises merely with the necessary delicacy required to facilitate negotiations. I had no personal interview with Colonel McIntosh. I had an interview with two of his intimate friends, and would have met him at 10 o'clock next day, but at 12 o'clock at night I got General Blunt's order to hurry down the Arkansas to guard his flank,and started at 12.30, and marched 50 miles before next night. I dissuaded Colonel McIntosh from making an immediate demonstration for the Government. I foresaw that the scarcity of all forage and staples might render it impossible that [we?] could be close to him before spring, and the experience of the Cherokees satisfied me that it was as unwise as cruel to invite such a demonstration before we could protect it. From what I did, and tried to do, I am satisfied that where we do with the Choctaws must be by second class men and the people themselves; and yet everything can be done by proper management. It requires an exhibit of power. Our own soldiers should be well clad and fed, and proper measures furnished to clothe and take care of those who may be taken into the service. A little means judiciously applied can accomplish a great deal.
Besides these facts, I have had communication with several parties who belong to a secret Union league in Western Texas. This is a significant matter. Captain [F. W.] Miner,now a prominent member of Cooper's staff, is an influential member of it. More than half of the men and officers of Colonel [J. G.] Stevens' (and [A. M.] Alexander's) Texas regiment belong to it. The same is true of other regiments.
Into whatever hands the management of these very delicate matters may fall, let me instruct you to preserve with the strictest secrecy what I now communicate. It is, and ought to remain, a Government secret.
I shall be happy to communicate anything further that I know or may learn, and remain, with great respect,
WM. A. PHILLIPS,
Colonel, Commanding Third Brigade, Army of the Frontier.
CAMP OPPOSITE FORSYTH, MO., January 19, 1863.
Commanding Army of the Frontier:
GENERAL: We arrived here at 12 o'clock this day. I met Captain Julian, Fourteenth Missouri State Militia Cavalry, at Forsyth, with dispatches for you; the bearer also has dispatches for your; and I have