HDQRS. FIRST BRIGADE, INDIAN TERRITORY, Fort Towson, January-, 1864.
Captain T. M. SCOTT,
Assistant Adjutant-General, District Indian Territory:
CAPTAIN: In reply to that portion of General Maxey's communication, dated 3rd instant, relative to the organization of the Indian troops into brigades, I have to say that the subject is one of great difficulty, owing to the national pride of the different tribes in alliance with the Confederate States: If three brigades could be authorized there would not, I think, be much, if any, trouble in filling up and arranging so as to attain the objects the general has in view, viz, to bring about harmonious action and their full fighting strength into the field.
The three principal tribes or nations are the Choctaws, Cherokees, and Creeks. the Seminoles were originally a part of the Creek Nation, and speak the same language as the most of what is know as the Muscogees or Creeks. First, a brigade under Colonel Stand Watie, comprising the Cherokees and whites attached to his command and such other troops as he may raise under the authority given him by the Secretary of War; second, a brigade composed of Creeks and Seminoles, under Colonel D. N. McIntosh, and, third, a brigade of Choctaws and Chickasaws [who speak the same language], under Colonel Tandy Walker, would be the arrangement most likely to give satisfaction to the Indians. The Osages might be placed under Colonel Watie and the Reserve Indians attached to the Choctaw Brigade at any time, if deemed advisable. The Osages are well acquainted [with] Colonel Watie, and their interest lies in the same direction as that of the Cherokees. The Reserve Indians, being located in the Choctaw country, would be properly classed with them and the Chickasaws. The Osages, Reserves, and Chickasaws, or such of them s may be needed, could be detached for frontier defense, and placed under a suitable officer, in conjunction with a small white force to be stationed at Fort Arbuckle, to act as occasion might require from that point. If, however, only two brigades are to be formed, the Cherokees and Creeks should be associated, under command of Colonel Stand Watie, and the Choctaws under Colonel Tandy Walker. The Chickasaws might be added to the Choctaw Brigade, leaving the Reserve Indians and Osages, in conjunction with a white force under a suitable officer, for frontier defense. It is important, I think, to place a small reliable force of white men at Arbuckle, under an officer capable of directing the troops intended exclusively for frontier defense. In this connection I would respectfully suggest Lieutenant-Colonel Wells, with a portion of his battalion [Scanland's squadron, who are frontier men], as well suited, from his long service among the Indians and knowledge of their character and mode of warfare, for the command of the frontier force. This suggestion is made upon the assumption that Colonel Bourland's services in that direction cannot be secured. With every disposition to defer to the opinions of superior officers, and habitually to yield ready obedience to orders and full support to whatever measures may be adopted by them, I desire respectfully to say that in my opinion three brigades-one for each of the principal tribes, provided they will each