War of the Rebellion: Serial 033 Page 1106 MO., ARK., KANS., IND. T., AND DEPT. N. W. Chapter XXXIV

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elsewhere, so that the only expectation of the North to conquer the Indian Nation is in the traitors that have deserted us, the negroes they have stolen from us, and a few Kansas jayhawkers they can spare from that detestable region. Shall we suffer ourselves to be subjugated and enslaved by such a class? Never!

I have written to Lieutenant General E. Kirby Smith and the Commissioner of Indian Affairs upon these matters. I hope soon to know positively whether we are to receive effective assistance from the Confederacy Government,or whether the Indians must defend themselves alone and unaided.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Principal Chief o the Cherokees.

[Inclosure Numbers 3.]


August 9, 1863.

His Excellency the Governor of the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations:

SIR: I wish, through you, to present to the people of your country a few thoughts, which the present condition and future prospects of the Indians have brought to my mind. I have entertained the confident, but delusive, hope for the last year that ordinary energy and activity would take the place of sluggishness and delay in the military movements in this country, and that a proper use of the means in our power would enable us to regain that portion of our territory which has been overrun by our enemies. Relief and protection, so often cheeringly promised, has not been afforded us; but our strength has been frittered away without accomplishing any good. Every day drives the conviction to my mind that we, the Indians true to the South, must place small reliance upon the promises of assistance from abroad; indeed, I am of opinion that we should cast behind us all expectation of adequate aid from the Confederate Government, and test our whole strength to defend our homes alone. An insignificant force of the enemy has been allowed to hold the Cherokee Nation for five months, and every day's delay renders it more difficult to repel them. I do not think all is lost because officers in control here will make no effort to regain the country. We have suffered much, and, I fear, are destined to suffer more, by reason of their culpable delay. If we are still to be the victims of incapable and slothful leaders, and our whole country devastated by a ruthless foe, we may have one consolation in knowing that, by a united and unyielding opposition of our Indian forces alone, we can make our fair country an unpleasant, if not an untenable, home for our enemies. The gallant Seminoles have shown what folly it is to try to subjugate and destroy a people determined to defend their rights. The bravery of the Choctaw and Chickasaw troops in this war has not been excelled by any troops in the service, and, by a proper understanding among ourselves, our country may yet be saved, despite the inertness and criminal delays of those who have promised to protect us. It is a mistake that the occupation by the enemy of the Cherokee country is of small personal consequence to the Choctaw people. If the Cherokee Nation is abandoned to the enemy, the Creek country falls the next victim, and, in speedy turn, your own country will share the same fate.

I shall be glad to hear from you on this subject, and receive any suggestions as to the course most proper to pursue in the present discouraging state of affairs. I have written a full statement of the condition