War of the Rebellion: Serial 102 Page 1096 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI. Chapter LX.

Search Civil War Official Records

who were not citizens of the Indian nations, to report to the paroling officers at Marshall, Tex., Fort Smith, Ark., or other military post nearest to them; and wrote letters to General Cooper and Governor Colbert that paroles from the individuals of the Indian nations with whom we had formed temporary treaties would not be required. On the 19th instant I received Colonel William P. Adair and Colonel James M. Bell, commissioners appointed by Stand Watie, principal of the Cherokee Nation (south), to confer with me as to condition of the Cherokees, and to ask assistance from the United States for the destitute Indians of their nation. After a friendly talk over the affairs of their nation they submitted in writing inquiries in relation to 'supplying the destitute Indians," paroling the troops of the Cherokee Nation," and " public property in the hands of the nation at the time of the surrender. " A copy of their communication and my answer are attacked to this report. They also kindly furnished me with a copy of a treaty entered into between the Cherokees, Choctaws, Muscogees, Seminoles, Chickasaws, Reserve Caddos, Osages, Comanches, and the Indians of the plains, at Camp Napoleon, on Washita River, on the 26th of May, 1865.

It appears from the statements of Colonels Bell and Adair that there is a general desired among all the tribes to return to their homes and live in peace with each other and the United States, and the only cause likely to disturb the quiet and peace of the country will be the wants of the Indians who have lost what little they owned by the war, and have raised no crops the present season, and are left without any means of subsistence.

They represent that there are about 4,000 Cherokees and about the same number of Creeks, Osages, and Seminoles, making 8,000 or 9,000 persons that will have to be fed by the Government or left to take what they need by force. The citizens of Texas, near the Red River, are now sending them supplies as chas, but prompted, no doubt, more by a sense of fear of marching bands than from any real charitable feeling. I most respectfully urge the necessity of sending some officer or agent immediately to the Indian country to make proper provision for their wants. As a time question of economy it is vastly cheaper to feed people than to send troops there to keep them in order, or punish them for disturbing the country by steeling and marauding against their neighbors. A grand council of the tribes has been convened to meet at Armstrong Academy, in the Indian Territory, on the 1st day of September. They will expect to meet officers or agents of the United States fully empowered to settle all questions between the Indian nations and the Government. Governor Colbert, of the Chickasaw, Nation, and General Cooper, lately commanding C. S. forces in the Indian Territory, urge the necessary of the necessity of the United States Government providing for defraying the expenses of the council and providing presents for the Indians of the plains. From the information received I regard it very important to the interests of the Government that the expenses of the council be provided for. It is not likely that any one of the tribes or nations will make adequate preparations for entertaining so large a number of persons as will be likely to be present on the 1st of September. It would be difficult transacting business with them unless they were well supplied and made comfortable while attending the councils, and the will bands always expect presents on such occasions. I may have gone beyond my authority in assuming control of any of the matters connected with