driven from our homes, endured cold and hunger, and had our friends murdered by an inhuman and inexorable foe. All this we have borne with patient fortitude, without once, as soldiers, exhibiting the least mutinous spirit; and unless we wish to convince the people of the States that we are really a race of tame cowards, we ought not longer to endure such treatment in silence, while our women are stripped of their very clothing, and whipped, knocked down, and shamefully maltreated by our implacable and savage enemies.
Our troops are forced to defend Fort Smith, a filthy sink of corruption and iniquity, inhabited chiefly by a foul, speculating horde, our enemies at heart, who sell the comforts of life to Confederate soldiers at ten prices. It is, doubtless, a point of inestimable military value, especially to Arkansas and Texas. Let Arkansians and Texans defend it. I would not have you suppose that I attach censure to Generals Steele and Cooper. I am satisfied that nothing short of the most absolute military necessity would have forced either of them to send our men there. I believe General Steele, since he assumed command of the department, with the troops disaffected and disbanded,without transportation and without supplies, has done everything that he could. We can, I am satisfied, rely upon him for justice, as far as he has it in his power to give it us, and I know he would have appreciated, as a soldier (and his antecedents bespeak him one in the highest acceptation of the term), the cheerfulness and alacrity with which our ill fed, ragged, and barefooted boys responded to his call a few nights ago when he ordered us to Fort Smith.
There is no one better acquainted with Indian affairs, our nature and wants, and no one more willing to protect us than General Cooper. A kinder, a more humane man, or a better officer we could not wish. But we have no guarantee that these officers are to continue with us long; and I am in favor of laying a fair statement of our previous treatment, from their predecessors and superiors, before the authorities at Richmond, in order to prevent, as far as in us lies, the recurrence of such ill usage. I am none the less a Southerner, nor is my faith lessened in the least degree in the final success of our cause, neither do I less abhor the negro-fraternizing spirit of abolitionism of the North, but we must confess that Federals treat their perfidious allies better than the Confederate Government, through its officers, has treated its most devoted and loyal Indians. I will not enter the convention with that cordial feeling toward the South that I had two years ago. Quid pro quo is human nature. Use me well, I love you; abuse me, and I don't.
With much respect, I remain, your friend,
J. A. SCALES.
The letter of which the above is a copy was written to the colonel of the Second Cherokee Regiment, who remarks, 'The letter needs no comment. So far as I have learned, it breathes the sentiments of the great majority of our people."
CAMP MARMADUKE, April 16, 1863.
Major HENRY EWING,
Assistant Adjutant- General:
MAJOR: Captain Surridge, who was lately at Doniphan, informs me that it will require a half day to cross the ford at that place, and that he thinks it unsafe to cross the ammunition. He suggests that the am