War of the Rebellion: Serial 086 Page 1089 Chapter LIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - CONFEDERATE.

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turbed condition of the country, &c., and although it is a matter that belongs to the Department of Justice, I would respectfully suggest that measures ought to be immediately taken to correct it. I make the suggestion with the less hesitation because the want of these courts, as well as the want of reliable small-arms, the scarcity of good clothing, the irregularity with which the troops are paid, matters over which I have no sort of control and with which I have nothing to do as Commissioner of Indian Affairs, are the grounds and the only grounds of dissatisfaction on the part of many of the Indians with me, and have been made frequent subjects of complaint. The Indians in alliance with the Confederate States, especially those composing the five principal nations, were never more loyal than at the present time. This of course is generally known to be true of the Choctaws, Chickasaws, and that portion of the Cherokee Nation which has followed during this struggle the fortunes of the gallant Stand Watie; but the Creeks and Seminoles, about whose faithfulness some doubts may perhaps have been entertained, are in no respect behind the others in devotion to the Southern cause and Southern principles. On the 9th of August last I met all the principal men of these nations and many of their warriors in council at Fort Washita, in the Chickasaw country. To show the sentiment of these people, I give below extracts from the talks of the chiefs on that occasion. Samuel Chekote, principal chief of the Creeks, among other things in his address to me, said:

In reply to your encouraging remarks today I must say that it affords me more than ordinary pleasure to have an opportunity of seeing you, hearing you talk, and speaking to you face to face. I feel encouraged by your presence, esteeming your long and perilous journey to the Indian country to be prompted by no other motives than the welfare of the Indian people. And the assurances you have given us today, as on former occasions, of the good feelings and faith of the President and Government toward us, is an additional source of great encouragement. These manifest tokens of friendship I assure you, in behalf of the Creek people, are duly appreciated, and shall ever esteem it our high prerogative to cherish such feelings.

After alluding briefly to the sufferings of his people during the last year because of their having been driven from their homes by the enemy, he continues:

These misfortunes and calamities I deem necessary incidents in the path of war. I am assured that many of my white brethren are suffering likewise. I, therefore, make no complaint, but assure you in behalf of my people that the cause of the South is our cause, he hopes, and whatever her misfortunes may be it shall be our pleasure to bear them patiently with her, even unto death. If she falls we fall, and if she prospers we only desire it to be our privilege to enjoy her prosperity. Being thus actuated we are enrolling every able-bodied man in the service for the war. Although many of those already enlisted are without arms, we shall persevere with the hope of getting them hereafter. I take this occasion to express my approbation of the officers over us in this department. I believe them to be men of patriotic and generous principles, willing to sacrifice personal ease and sectional feelings for the welfare of the Indians, and our common cause. Our numerous wants are, in a measure, being supplied. We believe that all is being done that can be done conveniently. We can see and appreciate the exigency of the times, and are willing to endure all that cannot be remedied.

Hemla Micco or John Jumper, the principal chief of the Seminoles. a pure patriot, thus eloquently wrote me:

In the fall of 1862 I first met you at Fort Arbuckle. You asked me if I had any requests to make of the President of the Confederate States. I told you I had none. We were then by our firesides, living in comparative quite; but war came to our country and drove us from these pleasant homes; we are now wanderers and strangers, yet the Confederate States have not deserted us; we have been provided for; our women and children are fed; our soldiers get all they should expect; the Government is engaged in a great war, she cannot do any more for us now than she is doing. Perhaps when the war is over we will be perfectly satisfied with her bounty;

69 R - VOL XLI, PT IV