rule the many, and these few to a man believe it. I have heard no intimation that our Government has been faithless, but unable to comply, and this latter reason with this sort of people is as strong as the former. They were to be protected. An insignificant handful of white troops is sent, and the natives in a great degree left unarmed.
To make matters worse, the annuity is due and has for some time been expected with Commissioner Scott; neither the commissioner nor the money has come. The argument used with this people, more potent than any other, one that I myself used with them at the outset of our difficulties, was that the United States was by treaty bound to protect them and had voluntarily fled the country, abandoning them to their fate; that it was bound by treaty to pay the annuity and had failed, neglected, and refused to pay it. Violating the treaty in these essentials, they were absolved from its obligations, and left free to act as to them might seem best. Let use beware that these potent arguments are not used against ourselves. Looking at it in this light, I have thought it my duty to urge upon you the importance of placing any guns in your possession to the extent of my need at my disposal.
Notwithstanding we have not complied with the treaty, these people are yet true and would hail you as a benefactor of their race if you would but arm them. I have told them of your promises. I have indorsed every word you have said, but this promise ought on no account to be broken. I know that you will not misunderstand me. I only desire to urge that if you have any guns they should be sent here. Look at my command. Gano's fraction of a small brigade loudly calling for arms; but 48 of Burnet's men armed, and they with guns I gave them on the other side; Martin's regiment, the largest of all, kept in the background, and the Indians with scarcely any effective arms; and yet I know that this is one of the most important of all the lines in your department, and should it give way, results will make this fact history. With guns to fight with I will defend my post as long as any man in the Confederacy, and I am rejoiced that you know it.
As a support to the argument I have used I call your earnest attention to the very able letters of Colonel Watie, which I inclose.* I also call your attention to the reports of the chief of ordnance and inspector-general. If I believed you had less judgment than I know you to have I would not write this letter. A fool would fly into a rage at my importunity. You will give it serious thought, for you know I write sincerely and truthfully. Mattes all along the line are now quiet. How long they will remain so is to be seen. I have urged General Cabell, who has the strength, to move on Waldron and take it, and make demonstrations in that way toward Fort Smith, and thus relieve the left of my line until I get guns, for if he threatens Waldron and Fort Smith, that place cannot re-enforce Fort gibson or aid much, if any, in a demonstration from that point toward Texas by way of Boggy Depot on the overland road. I inclose you what the says about it. I am now getting interested in this command, and I want to succeed and can do it with anything like adequate means.
There are many other subjects in which I feel a deep interest, but which I will present through the regular channels. I send Captain
*See Vol. XXII, Part II, pp. 961, 1105, 1106.