unfortunately, sustained that opinion, and it is proper yo should know that he has so entirely lost the confidence of the Indians that it will be impossible to hold them together under his command. I have been heretofore, and am yet, willing to make any personal sacrifice for the interests of the country, but when I know the sacrifice will avail nothing, am discouraged. I inclose letter from President Davis,* from which you will see the matter has been laid before the Adjutant-General, and probably decided, but, cite off as we are from intercourse with Richmond, your decision is virtually a denial of redress.
It is with you to continue General Steele in command at the hazard of losing our Indian allies, and with them the Indian Territory. I shall endeavor to do my duty as long as any Indian troops remain in our service, which, I fear, will not be long under General Steele's administration.
I am, general, respectfully, your obedient servant,
DOUGLAS H. COOPER,
DECEMBER 11, 1863.
Respectfully submitted to the President.
Brigadier-General Steele was appointment October 3, 1862, to take rank September 12, 1862. Brigadier-General Cooper was appointed June 23, 1863, to take rank May 2, 1863, and has not yet been nominated for confirmation. There is no order in this office which required his appointment at an earlier date, although it is believe he was acting in the capacity of brigadier-general early in 1862. As by the inclosed papers+ it appears to be the united wish of the various Indian tribes who have been so long serving under his command that he should continue to exercise control over them, and in whom they appear to have the most implicit confidence, I respectfully suggest that, in nominating him for the rank of brigadier-general, it e recommended that he take back rank, to correspond to date of his former command, and that in the mean time he be placed in the entire command of the Indian Department, and that General Steele be withdrawn from that command.
Adjutant and Inspector General.
WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A.,
Richmond, Va., October 10, 1863.
General E. KIRBY SMITH, Commanding, &c.:
GENERAL: Your dispatches by ---- to the President and the Department have been duly received. The President, being on the eve of a trip to the armies of the West (this side the Mississippi), after giving them consideration, has intrusted to me the duty of reply. The unanimity which characterized the deliberations of the council of Governors and other leading functionaries assembled by you at Marshall, Tex., as well as the results of their deliberation, have given great satisfaction. The effect of their united and patriotic action must prove salutary and encouraging to the people of your department, and, with the confidence so fully manifested to yourself, must strength and aid your military operations. It is not meant to commit the Executive here to the sanction
*Not found; but see indorsement, below.
+See Boudinot to Davis, with inclosures, pp. 1103-1108.