War of the Rebellion: Serial 102 Page 0568 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI. Chapter LX.

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necessities will grow greater every day and the supplies will last for a less and less time, we seem likely to have an endless Indian war under the present system. If we now make one of the usual treaties with them, it will only encourage them to another outbreak as soon as the supplies given them under such a treaty are exhausted. I still think that the plan proposed in my letter to the Secretary of War, referred to in previous letters to you, is the best both for the sake of the Government and of the Indian.

Wisdom and humanity alike seem to demand some policy which shall save the Indian from complete and violent extinction. This question is now directly and barely presented. Either the extermination of the Indian tribes by force of some policy of supporting them by the General Government at places, where, deprived of arms and of the power to do injury ro indulge their wandering habits, they can be subsisted and protected and subjected, under the most favorable circumstances, to all the influences of education and Christianity. This generation of Indians might not profit by such a system, but the next would; and even this generation could be made harmless members of a community under charge of the General Government. This subject demands and should receive serious attention. Your own experience on the frontier and in Indian service makes you as familiar as I am with this whole matter. You know the means which Indian agents, Indian traders, and other unscrupulous white men more or less directly engaged in Indian trade, will resort to in the newspapers or otherwise to thwart any effort to change the present deplorable condition of affairs. You know how officers exposing these abuses and seeking to bring about needed reforms will be abused and denounced, and how every sort of effort will be made to depreciate them and secure their removal from command. With all such proceedings your experience has made you familiar, and you know very well that in these Indan can make a movement toward reform without paying the penalty in abuse and misrepresentation. How much influence with the authorities such attacks on an officer thus seeking honestly to inform his Government and reform abuses has had or is likely to have it would be difficult to say, but I trust that the report of the Congressional committee, lately sent out to examine into the abuses of the present Indian system and the conduct of Indian officials, will go far to enlighten the public mind and destroy the effect of malicious abuse. I care little for such attacks coming from such people except as they affect the authorities at Washington and through them the best interests of the public service.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major-General, Commanding.

PINE BLUFF, May 23, 1865.

His Excellency the Honorable ISAAC MURPHY,

Governor of Arkansas:

DEAR SIR: We noticed an address in the Journal of the 17th instant to the citizens of the counties that had not organized under the new constitution to hold meetings and to recommend to your honor good and loyal men to fill the several offices. As for the county of Ashley, which we are citizens thereof, we make know to your honor that it is impossible to hold meetings, for the offices are filled by rebels of the deepest dye. They have petitioned one Colonel Champbell [Chappell?],