Subsistence was ordered to be procured and transported into our country last summer and fall, sufficient to subsist our troops through the winter; superior officers countermanded them and prevented their being carried out. Our transportation was taken, leaving us not a sufficiency to transport the baggage of the troops, and then, in the depth of winter, when it was almost impossible to procure transportation, and no forage for animals between Red River and the Arkansas, and neither flour nor corn, in the country for bread for the people, the same officer who countermanded the order in the summer and fall ordered supplies to be brought up from Texas without furnishing means to transport it,and, finally, after the Van Buren and Fort Smith stampede,we were left to take care of ourselves,with but 7,000 pounds flour, on the Canadian River, for the whole brigade, and none between there and Red River. White troops were allowed to remain in our country until after the hard-fought battle of Newtonia, Mo., where General Rains, who was within 25 miles with near 5,000 men, and who was neither a State nor Confederate States officer, was placed in command by General T. C. Hindman, failed or refused to support General D. H. Cooper after being repeatedly asked, but ordered him back into Arkansas; then took away from him all the white troops, including those raised expressly for defense of the Indian country, except one battalion, and then ordered him to Kansas. A superior force captured the only remaining battery and drove us to the south side of the Arkansas River to winter, without subsistence, pay, or clothing, with the exception of a few suits given us out of our own supplies. Although the funds for pay of troops and their clothing reached our border, yet while we were rejoicing in the prospect of comfort, they passed into other hands in Arkansas, against the protest against it and demand for them of General Cooper, as Superintendent of Indian Affairs, and we were left to clothe ourselves as best we could, without funds, and without the goods in the country to do it with.
Our country has been treated as a mere appendage of Arkansas, where needy politicians and proteges of Arkansas members of Congress must be quartered. The commanding officer of the Trans-Mississippi Department is so remote from us that he is never fully informed of our condition and our wants,and,consequently, is liable to call away troops for our defense at the very time we most need them, as was done but a few days ago in ordering back to Red River the Second Brigade (Speight's) when the enemy is within our midst, strengthening his position by intrenchment, from which we are unable to dislodge him for want of artillery. To remedy the evil, we respectfully ask you to have the Indian country again created a separate department. We have every confidence in the skill and ability of Brigadier General D. H. Cooper. With him as our leader and director, and communication direct with Richmond (our supplies could be obtained without their passing through so many hands), and the troops necessary for the defense of the Indian country not subject to be removed at the caprice of distant commanding officers, we may be able still to defend our country and shield Northern Texas, the great granary for the army of the West, from invasion and devastation.
Done in council at Camp Stonewall, this 18th day of May, A. D. 1863.
Principal Chief, District of Arkansas,
Principal Chief, Canadian District,