placed in the hands of the regiments raised for the Confederate States the moment these regiments are raised and mustered in. Nothing short of the imperative necessity of the case before me would induce me to trouble you with this request; but believing as I do that it is a matter of the highest importance to the successful defense of the Confederate States, as well as the State of Tennessee, I feel that it is a duty to urge it.
ISHAM G. HARRIS.
Have the kindness to answer by telegraph. *
I. G. H.
FORT SMITH, ARK., May 29, 1861.
Hon. ROBERT TOOMBS,
Secretary of State, Confederate State of America:
SIR: I leave this morning for Tahlequah, the seat of government of the Cherokee Nation, and Park Hill, the residence of Governor Ross, the principal chief. Since 1835 there have always been two parties in the Cherokee Nation, bitterly hostile to each other. The treaty of that year was made by unauthorized persons, against the will of the large majority of the nation and against the will of the large majority of the nation and against that of the chief, Mr. Ross. Several years ago Ridge, Boudinot, and others, principal men of the treaty party, were killed, with, it was twenty years ago. The full-blooded Indians are mostly adherents of Ross, and many of them-1,000 to 1,500 it is alleged-are on the side of the North. I think that number is exaggerated. The half-breeds or white Indians [as they call themselves] are to a man with us. It has all along been supposed, or at least suspected, that Mr. Ross would side with the North. His declarations are in favor of neutrality. But I am inclined to believe that he is acting upon the policy [surely a wise one] of not permitting his people to commit themselves until he has formal guarantees from an authorized agent of the Confederate States. These I shall give him if he will accept them. General McCulloch will be with me, and I strongly hope that we shall satisfy him, and effect a formal and firm treaty. If so, we shall have nearly the whole nation with us, and those who are not will be unimportant. If he refuses he will learn that his country will be occupied; and I shall then negotiate with the leaders of the half-breeds who are now raising troops, and who will meet me at the Creek Agency on Friday of next week. Several of those living near here I have already seen.
On Wednesday of next week I will meet the chiefs of the Creeks at the North Fork of the Canadian. I will then fix a day for a council of the Creeks, and go on to meet the Choctaws at Fort Washita. When I shall have concluded an arrangement with them I will go to the Chickasaw Country, and thence to the Seminoles.
I hope to meet the heads of the Wichitas, Caddos, Iowas, Toncawes, Delawares, Kickapoos, and Reserve Comanches at Fort Washita. I have requested their agent to induce them to meet me there. The Creek chiefs have a council with the wild Indians, Comanches and others, high up on the North Fork of the Canadian, on the 10th proximo. I shall endeavor, through the Creek chiefs, to have an interview with the heads of the wild tribes at Fort Washita and induce
*Reply, if any, not found.