HEADQUARTERS COOPER'S DIVISION,
Fort Washita, Ind. Ter., February 29, 1864.
His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS,
President C. S. A., Richmond, Va.:
SIR: I have to call attention to the inclosed copies of extract Special Orders, Adjutant and Inspector General's Office, Nos. 227, 1862, and 7, 1864; also copy of letter from Colonel S. S. Anderson, assistant adjutant-general, Trans-Mississippi department, in answer to a letter from myself, asking what construction Lieutenant General E. Kirby Smith put upon the two special orders from Richmond.
According to Lieutenant-General Smith's understanding of Special Orders, Numbers 7, it was the intention of the Secretary of War to reduce my command, which consisted at the date of said order of the Indian troops and De Morse's regiment, Martin's regiment, Wells' battalion, and Howell's battery and Lee's light howitzer battery, all Texan troops, to that of the Indian troops, leaving me still under General Maxey's command, and he ex officio superintendent of Indian affairs.
It seems to me that the intention to relieve General Steele, and place me in command of the district then under his orders, is evident. I shall be greatly obliged, at you earliest convenience or that of the Secretary of War, to be informed of the true intentions of yourself and the War Department.
The order placing me on duty as superintendent of Indiana affairs seems to have been ignored by Lieutenant-General Holmes and his successor in command of the Trans-Mississippi Department. While I have always been ready to serve in any capacity, even in the ranks, for the good of the cause in which we are engaged, it is not agreeable or just to be unceremoniously thrust aside by others more in favor with the command officers of this department. When General Hindman retreated from Fort Smith, leaving me to shift for myself, General Holmes hastily sent General Steele to take command of the Indian Territory, and when he could no longer maintain his position, in the face of the indignation of the people of the Indian Territory and North Texas, and asked to be relieved, General Maxey was sent to assume command. Then it was well known the entire population and authorities of the six Indian tribes in alliance with the Confederate States had petitioned for General Steele's removal and for my assignemet to the command of the Indian Territory, and for an adequate white force to enable me to defend it, to be placed under my control.
I make no complaint and shall make none and will do all in any power to defend this country, but should be glad to know my true status. Nothing but my pledges to the Indians when I induced them to furnish troops for the Confederate States service, and the belief that my continuance with them under the circumstances was and is necessary at least for a while longer, coulder reconcile me to submission to the indignities which have been heaped upon me at the instigation of a band of speculator of whom I have heretofore frequently written you.
With renewed expressions of gratitude for the kindness and favors which you have evidently intended to bestow upon me,
I am, sir, respectfully,
DOUGLAS H. COOPER,