[Sub-inclosure Numbers 2.]
COW CREEK RANCH, KANS.,
Sixty Miles east of Fort Larned, Kans., May 6, 1865.
Honorable W. P. DOLE,
Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Washington, D. C.:
SIR: I have the honor to inclose a copy of a letter just received from the headquarters of the District of the Upper Arkansas. In order that you may know the position of affairs in your department on the Upper Arkansas, I would state that, as soon as I got in communication with the Indians of the Upper Arkansas (which fact I communicated to you in February, 1865), I visited General Ford and consulted him as to what course the military would pursue. He referred the matter to General Dodge. General D[odge] said "the military had no authority to treat with the Indians, but their duty was to make them keep the peace. " Finding such the case, I felt it my duty to visit Washington and try and have these things understood. I did so, and with Honorable Senator Doolittle visited General Halleck. He assured us the military did not fight friendly Indians, and telegraphed General Dodge to be cautious, and advised me to see General Dodge. I did so at Saint Louis. He said he would not fight friendly Indians, and telegraphed General J. H. Ford, commanding this district, to be careful and not come in conflict with the Comanches and Little Raven's band of Arapahoes. After I accomplished this I came without delay to this frontier, and have been diligently at work since getting the Indians together, so as to have a full understanding with them. In this I had succeeded and was looking for them every day. I had heard from them twice, ana all were friendly. White men were in their camps and represented them all quiet. Now I am obliged to send them word not to come. What the effect will be is more than I can tell. If all the tribes combine it will be a troublesome war. They had promised me not to come on this line of trave, nor molest any white men. This promise they have kept, I believe, for there is no evidence of the south. However, a few days since a train of Mexicans were attacked at Plum Buttes (where an Indian was killed last fall, supposed to be a Cheyenne or Sioux) near here and four Mexicans killed and scalped. The mail stock with some other stock at this place and Little Arkansas was driven off by Indians. I could not account for this unexpected outbreak, and at once repaired to Fort Zarah, at which place I met General Ford, and after looking the matter all over and taking everything into account-such as a small party of Indians having been seen north of Fort Larned, the arrows found, the moccasin tracks, and more particularly the fact that the Southern Indians having been seen north of Fort Larned, the arrows found, the moccasin tracks, and more particularly the fact that the Southern Indians will not kill Mexicans, they having so many Mexican prisoners-we are satisfied it was a band of Northern Indians. And the general said he should not move his forces against the Indians. And the general said he should not move his forces against the Indians, but await orders. I supposed he would not report all the facts to General Dodge, and that I would be allowed to go on with my plan of getting the Indians together; then through the chiefs and headmen I would soon have found out who had committed these murders. But now, as no peace movements are to be entertained, I await your orders. I have nearly the half of the goods for the Indians of the Upper Arkansas of last year here for distribution. The balance is at Leavenworth City. The goods are not sage here; there is no storage at Fort Larned or Fort Zarah. What shall I do with them? I do not know unless I taken back to Leavenworth. The goods