It is gratifying to be able to state that they have recently evinced no great disposition to wage war upon the Confederate States. Indeed, with the exception of the Cai-a-was, they have never done so. This band, one of the most powerful and warlike of all the tribes leading a nomadic life upon the prairies and Staked Plain, refused all propositions of peace made to them in July, 1861, by the commissioner sent from this Government to treat with the Indians west of Arkansas, and endeavored to prevail upon the Comanches to pursue a similar course. They were induced to act thus by Northern emissaries, who at the same time provided them with rifles, six-shooters, and knives to be used in murdering and scalping defenseless women and children. In their wicked and bloody designs they failed to obtain the co-operation of the Comanches, several of the bands of which made a treaty with the commissioner. Latterly, however, even this fierce tribe has manifested some desire to cultivate friendly relations with the Confederate States.
On the 4th of July last some of the Cai-a-wa chiefs accompanied the Comanches in their visit to the reserve agency to sign the treaty which had heretofore been made with a part of them, and while there they also entered into a convention with the Confederate Government. That they really wished to be at peace and intended to abide by the obligations of this convention is strongly indicated by the fact of Tes-toth-cha, their principal chief, having come to the reserve some time before to select a home for his band and pointing out Elk Creek, in the vicinity of the Wichita Mountains, as the place desired by him for the purpose.
The recent breaking up to the reserve has interfered with all these arrangements-arrangements looking to the establishment of friendly relations with all the wild Indians, their permanent settlement, and cultivation of the arts of peace; but it is hoped that this may be speedily remedied by the return of the reserve Indians to their homes and the wise management henceforth of the affairs of the agency.
The importance of this reserve agency to the Confederate States is scarcely to be overestimated. The labor and expense necessary to keep it up, at least for some years, will be great; but it may well be urged that peace on our extensive western frontier-which would, no doubt, result from its maintenance on a sound and healthful basis-the preservation of the lives and property of thousands of our citizens, and withal the gradual civilization of the roving pagans of the prairies, offer the most ample remuneration for all the labor and all the expense to which the Government may be subjected, should each be doubly as heavy as there is any likelihood of its being.
Permit me to remark in this connection that a white and Indian force adequate to the protection of the reserve should be constantly kept there, and that the necessary steps should at once be taken to rebuild the agent's house, which was destroyed as hereinbefore stated.
In portions of the Indian country excessive drought and some of during the last two seasons. The crops were cut short and some of the friendly Indians are therefore suffering. Corn, however, has been and is still being supplied as far as practicable to the most needy among them by the generals in command. These facts are mentioned that Congress may adopt such action on the subject as in its judgment shall seem best.
I had intended to suggest for your consideration certain modifications of the law regulating trade and intercourse with the Indians, but have upon reflection deemed it inexpedient to do so. It contains