War of the Rebellion: Serial 128 Page 0352 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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Richmond, January 12, 1863.


Secretary of War:

SIR: I have the honor most respectfully to submit for your consideration the following report in regard to the operations of this office, and the condition of the Indians west of Arkansas:

On the 3d day of April, 1862, at the first session of the First Congress, commencing on the 18th day of the previous February, the sum of $389,725. 42 was appropriated to carry into effect treaty stipulations made with these Indians, and to meet current and contingent expenses of the superintendency of Indian Affairs and the different agencies to November 30, 1862. The amount expended for the purposes intended has been $213,597. 73, leaving of said appropriation, unexpended and unrequited, $176,127. 69.

The appropriation under considerations was based upon estimates prepared and submitted by this office, and, as will be perceived by the figures above given, largely exceeded the amount required. This was owing to the failure of agents to supply this office as is provided for by law with quarterly estimates of the sums necessary for distribution within the limits of their respective districts, and to meet the expenses of their several agencies. Reference is made to this fact simply to account for the large overplus in the appropriation, and is not intended as a complaint against those officers-the difficulty of communication between the seat of government and the Indian country and other circumstances incident to the present war being sufficient grounds of justification for non-compliance with this branch of their official duty. The same causes, too, it is proper to state in this connection, have no doubt operated to prevent them from promptly settling their accounts and keeping this office fully informed of the condition and sentiments of the Indians confided to their care.

In the month of August of the year that has just closed, information from sources entitled to credit was communicated to the Confederate Government of a nature calculated to excite some apprehension on its part with regard to the permanency of its relations with certain of the Indian nations and tribes. In view of this fact it was deemed advisable for me to proceed at once to the Indian country, and orders to that effect were issued from the War Department early in the ensuing month. I was instructed to carry with me for disbursement the Indian moneys appropriated by Congress April 3, 1862, to which allusion has hereinbefore been made; to acquaint myself as far as practicable during my stay in the Indian country with the wants and conditions of its people, and to use all proper and legitimate means to satisfy them of the determination of this Government to fulfill all of its promises and obligations to them; to pay them as regularly as possible their annuities, &c., and to protect them and their homes from the encroachments of all enemies.

In obedience to these orders, on the morning of the 13th of September, I left Richmond, but owing to misconnection of trains upon certain railroads and the difficulty at times of procuring suitable transportation, I did not enter the Indian country until the middle of October. I left it upon my return to this place about the 1st of December, having reMained within its limits about a month and a half.