holding the Indian country, and solicitous for the welfare of its people. My representations were well received, and, with the most commendable energy and promptness, he undertook to supply the deficiencies in that portion of his department, as far as his power extended. He immediately ordered a battery of four guns to be sent to the Indian country, which, at the request of General Steele, he subsequently increased to six, by the addition of two rifle pieces. He also ordered General Bankhead, who was at the time in command of the Northern Sub-District of Texas, with about 1,200 efficient men, finely armed and equipped, to move up to the assistance of General Steele. General Smith informed me that he had no small-arms to spare, but expressed the determination of furnishing them to the Indians as soon as they could be had.
3rd. The statement as to the Creek troops being "bare-headed, bare-footed, without bread, and body in rags" is simply a piece of the greatest exaggeration. There have been times, no doubt, since this was began when the Indian troops were in want of clothing, but never, I suppose, of food, and although they may not be as well clad now as is desired, they seemed to me while I was with them to be tolerably comfortable in this respect. The Creeks, at any rate were, as well clothed as the Cherokees, and Colonel Watie, in a letter addressed to me August 8, 1863, which has been made a part of my report to Congress, says, "I am glad to be able to state that my command has been better provided for than formerly."
Permit me to take advantage of the present opportunity to allude to one or two other points, although they are not immediately connected with the subjects which have been referred to me in the accompanying letter. Mr. Vore, who has been appointed Creek agent, as before stated, I have ascertained is General Cooper's brigade quartermaster.
General Cooper and Major [John] Crawford, both of whom were agents under the old Government, one for the Choctaws and Chickasaws and the other for the Cherokees, were continued in their respective offices by the act of May 21, 1861, "for the protection of certain Indian tribes." These gentlemen are consequently each filling a military and a civil position. But little importance has heretofore been attached to this matter, as they have received no pay as agents while in the military service, and as the discharge of the duties imposed by law upon such officers has been rendered impossible or unnecessary by the war, with the exception of those referring to the payment of annuities, &c., and of these they have heretofore been relieved, the first payment under the treaties of 1861 having been made by General Pike, and all subsequent ones by myself.
I have alluded to the scarcity of good arms in the Indian country. This is a misfortune, and has been the source of much dissatisfaction and complaint among the different Nations. I would, therefore, suggest that about two thousand stand of muskets or rifles be sent to the Trans-Mississippi Department especially for the Indian troops. It is my opinion that such a step would do more toward removing discontent from the minds of the Indians and satisfying them of the good will of the Confederate States than any other that could be taken. This being a matter of a purely military nature, I make the suggestion with great hesitation, and I trust my desire to save this beautiful country for the Confederate States, as well as my interest in the welfare of its people will be a sufficient warrant for it.
S. S. SCOTT,
Commissioner of Indian Affairs.