irruption upon us of the Cherokees unless they are diverted by movements east of them. New Mexico is reported fully awake, armed, and safe. This large addition to our stock of prisoners, and consequently to our responsibilities and to the public expense of keeping them, leads me to ask the advice of the Government as to what shall be done with them. We can imprison most of them in our prison here with the assistance of a military guard, and I will try, convict, and sentence them, if it is the pleasure of the Government. But I am inclined to doubt the propriety of trying and convicting any of them except the leaders until we are along further into the future.
I shall need instructions sooner than they can reach me by mail, and as the telegraph extends to Julesburg, ninety miles from here, a telegram will reach men in twenty-four hours. If it shall suit the President in respect to these prisoners by telegraph, I think it will come to me safely now, as the operator at and the messenger from the Julesburg officer are loyal.
There is not much difference in effect here between malcontented office-seekers whom Governor Gilpin cannot appoint to office and the secessionists or open rebels. They seem to have no idea of loyalty either to the General or Territorial government. If one of them get an order or contract for rations the rest turn in and fight him and the Governor. They number some 5,000 of the border ruffians of Kansas and the destroying angels of Brigham Young. I presume that they are the worst people on the face of the earth to govern.
* * * * *
BENJ. F. HALL.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NEW ENGLAND,
Boston, November 13, 1861.
Honorable SIMON CAMERON:
DEAR SIR: Will you have Brigadier General J. W. Phelps detailed upon my expedition? I have great confidence in him. You will remember that you saw him at Newport News. He has been there now six months. General Wool has Brigadier-General Mansfield with him, whom he can put at Newport News. I shall have 2,500 men ready to sail by Wednesday for the points agreed upon with the Secretary of the Navy, with provisions for three months. I should like to have Phelps go with them; he has had so much experience in fortifying a post.
In fifteen days more, as soon as I can get arms and ammunition for them, 2,500 more will be ready to sail, and I will go with them, if I can get the recruiting done here, as I hope to do. I have made every proper proposition to Governor Andrew consistent with the dignity of the United States. He refuses them all, and has now gone to Washington to see you and the President and get you to interfere with me. I assure you that in everything I am laboring for the best interests of the service. I have caused my rations to be bought for 15 3/4 cents each. I have chartered my steamers one-third less than the same service has been done upon the other expedition. I have ventured upon this every stake that I have in the country, and you shall be proud of my work, but pray do not let me be crippled.
BENJ. F. BUTLER.