The Indiana troops are by no means well supplied with small-arms, although by means of captured made by them at Poison Springs, in Arkansas, last April, and recently in the vicinity of Fort Smith, they are in much better condition in this respect than they were when I was in this country twelve months ago. The 3,000 stand for which an order was obtained in Richmond about the beginning of last February by Campbell Le Flore, one of the delegates sent on by the grand council, &c., were not brought over by him, as was expected both by the Government and the Indians. This wa unfortunate, as the want of reliable arms has long been the most prolific subject of complaint with the nations.
There are sixteen pieces of artillery in the Indiana country, four of which were brought in, I believe, in the last day or two. Of these three are so small as to be of but little value - two mountain howitzers and one 4-pounder rifled gun.
In the way of clothing the condition of the Indiana troops has not been very good. They have, however, never suffered. Although the supply has not been as great as was desired it has not been shorter with them than with the army generally on this side of the river. I have heard no complaint on this subject.
The enemy still hold possession of the Cherokee country and portions of the Choctaw and Creek countries. The families of the Cherokees, Creeks, Choctaws, and Seminoles who have thus been forced from their homes are encamped in different portions of the Choctaw and Chickasaw country in the vicinity of Red River and within easy reach of the grain of Northern Texas. These refugees, as well as many who are not refugees, are in a state of the greatest destitution, and have to be fed by the Government. Everything has been done that could be done to render them comfortable, but with all this I fear there will be much suffering among them during the coming winter.
On the 8th instant I saw the treasures of the Creeks, Seminoles, and Chickasaws at Fort Washita, and turned over to them the annuities, &c., due their respective nations. I also met in council at the same time and place all of the leading men of the Creek and Seminole nations, including the principal chiefs. They seemed much pleased with the representations made by me to them of the views and designs of the Government in their behalf, and expressed the greatest satisfaction with its action in the past.
The letter addressed by the President to the chiefs of the several nations February 22, 1864, which was printed by order of General Maxey and scattered all over the country, who, it may be well to remark, in addition to other improvements, has a printing press put up at his headquarters for the dissemination of news amongst the Indians, was read everywhere with demonstration of delight.
The Choctaw and Cherokee treasures will meet me at this point in a few days, when I will make the necessary payments to them. I shall, before I return to Shreveport, see and confer with as many of the leading men of all the nations and tribes as possible, and do whatever may be in my power, having at the same time a strict regard to the line of my duty, to keep them and their people contended.
I have in the foregoing endeavored to give you a clear idea of the condition of the Indian country without wearying you with details.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. S. SCOTT,