I send you a specimen of a series of letters that fell into my possession, written in red ink, all of them by Colonel W. A. Phillips, commanding at Fort Gibson. I have one addressed to the council of the Choctaw Nation, one to Colonel Jumper, chief of Seminoles, one I send you to Colonel Una (D. N.) McIntosh, Second Creek Regiment. One was written to Governor Colbert, of the Chickasaw Nation, whose house they burnt, which I have not yet got. I shall this evening prepare an address denouncing the infamous old scoundrel for this dishonorable trick, and have it printed and circulated. These letters have produced no effect, being turned over at once. The twenty-ninth, thirtieth, thirty-first, and thirty-second section of the international treaty denounce any man who knowingly brings into the Territory or circulates such papers as a spy. I have the man in custody who drought them. The enemy retired to or in the direction of fort Gibson, evidently in a great hurry, caused doubtless by the rapid gathering of our forces in his front.
I had been uneasy about Boggy Depot for some time, and had taken several weeds ago all the necessary precautions for its protection. Our forces are now between Boggy Depot and Fort Gibson, with guards and scouts on the Fort Smith road. The great trouble is forage. I gave several weeks ago ordes to put corn at Boggy without fail, and at any price it could be obtained. The great difficulty was transportation. To obviate this I asked for that an other pressing needs that the transportation at Paris should be placed at my disposal, without the delay always attending routine. This was refused. I then directed the quartermaster to hire or get any way he could wagons and haul corn, which he is trying to do. In the mean time, knowing the very great importance of keeping our lines advanced, I directed all the horses of the men to be sent to the ear, which means here Texas. This will be done as rapidly as circumstances will admit. I directed Colonel Watie to get on Phillips' trail, and if he had not gone back to Gibson to drive him back, and if the cavalry attempted to return to Fort Smith to fight it and smash it up.
The arrangements for that end of the line are as satisfactory as circumstances admit. I have the only infantry I have, about 150 all told, at Boggy Depot. Burnet has 250 more in camp at Bonham, but they have no guns. A force of that kind would be worth a great deal just now. I now desire again to call your attention to a matter which is too grave to pass over lightly. I deem it due to yourself as well as me that your should be advised of all the facts on this most important question, I mean guns. The arms in the hands of most of the troops are miserable apologies, the guns of the country. I would be safe in saying that not exceeding two-thirds of the command are armed. Military prudence would say these men ought by all means to be armed or disbanded; but as your supply is, as I judge from your letters, inadequate to the demand, then military prudence would say distribute these guns where they are most needed and to the best troops. In that views of the case, it would likely be long before I got a supply.
But there is a far graver question, involving not only the honor of the Confederacy, but the future relations of the Indians toward our Government. It is useless to blink the question. There is a widespread belief among these people that the Government not only has not but does not design complying with its treaty stipulations. This, as I have heretofore said to you, is in fact an aristocracy; the few