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The Indian alliance, so assiduously sought by the Southern Confederacy and so laboriously built up, soon revealed itself to be most unstable. Direct and unmistakable signs of its instability appeared in connection with the first real military test to which it was subjected, the Battle of Pea Ridge or Elkhorn, as it is better known in the South, the battle that stands out in the history of the War of Secession as being the most decisive victory to date of the Union forces in the West and as marking the turning point in the political relationship of the State of Missouri with the Confederate government.

In the short time during which, following the removal of General Frémont, General David Hunter was in full command of the Department of the West--and it was practically not more than one week--he completely reversed the policy of vigorous offensive that had obtained under men, subordinate to his predecessor.[1] In southwest Missouri, he abandoned the advanced position of the Federals and fell back upon Sedalia and Rolla, railway termini. That he did this at the suggestion of President Lincoln[2] and with the tacit approval of General McClellan[3] makes no difference now, as it made no difference then, in the consideration of the consequences; yet the consequences were, none the less, rather serious. They were such, in fact, as to increase very greatly the confusion on the border and to give the Confederates that chance of recovery which soon made it necessary for their foes to do the work of Nathaniel Lyon all over again.

It has been most truthfully said[4] that never, throughout the period of the entire war, did the southern government fully realize the surpassingly great importance of its Trans-Mississippi District; notwithstanding that when that district was originally organized,[5] in January, 1862, some faint idea of what it might, peradventure, accomplish did seem to penetrate,[6] although ever so vaguely, the minds of those then in authority. It was organized under pressure from the West as was natural, and under circumstances to which meagre and tentative reference has already been made in the first volume of this work.[7] In the main, the circumstances were such as developed out of the persistent refusal of General McCulloch to coöperate with General Price.

There was much to be said in justification of McCulloch's obstinacy. To understand this it is well to recall that, under the plan, lying back of this first appointment to the Confederate command, was the expectation that he would secure the Indian Territory. Obviously, the best way to do that was to occupy it, provided the tribes, whose domicile it was, were willing. But, if the Cherokees can be taken to have voiced the opinion of all, they were not willing, notwithstanding that a sensationally reported[8] Federal activity under Colonel James Montgomery,[9] in the neighborhood of the frontier posts, Cobb, Arbuckle, and Washita, was designed to alarm them and had notably influenced, if it had not actually inspired, the selection and appointment of the Texan ranger.[10]

Unable, by reason of the Cherokee objection thereto, to enter the Indian country; because entrance in the face of that objection would inevitably force the Ross faction of the Cherokees and, possibly also, Indians of other tribes into the arms of the Union, McCulloch intrenched himself on its northeast border, in Arkansas, and there awaited a more favorable opportunity for accomplishing his main purpose. He seems to have desired the Confederate government to add the contiguous portion of Arkansas to his command, but in that he was disappointed.[11] Nevertheless, Arkansas early interpreted his presence in the state to imply that he was there primarily for her defence and, by the middle of June, that idea had so far gained general acceptance that C.C. Danley, speaking for the Arkansas Military Board, urged President Davis "to meet the exigent necessities of the State" by sending a second general officer there, who should command in the northeastern part.[12]

McCulloch's relations with leading Confederates in Arkansas seem to have been, from the first, in the highest degree friendly, even cordial, and it is more than likely that, aside from his unwillingness to offend the neutrality-loving Cherokees, the best explanation for his eventual readiness to make the defence of Arkansas his chief concern, instead of merely a means to the accomplishment of his original task, may be found in that fact. On the twenty-second of May, the Arkansas State Convention instructed Brigadier-general N. Bart Pearce, then in command of the state troops, to coöperate with the Confederate commander "to the full extent of his ability"[13] and, on the twenty-eighth of the same month, the Arkansas Military Board invited that same person, who, of course, was Ben McCulloch, to assume command himself of the Arkansas local forces.[14] Sympathetic understanding of this variety, so early established, was bound to produce good results and McCulloch henceforth identified himself most thoroughly with Confederate interests in the state in which he was, by dint of untoward circumstances, obliged to bide his time.

It was far otherwise as respected relations between McCulloch and the Missouri leaders. McCulloch had little or no tolerance for the rough-and-ready methods of men like Claiborne Jackson and Sterling Price. He regarded their plans as impractical, chimerical, and their warfare as after the guerrilla order, too much like that to which Missourians and Kansans had accustomed themselves during the period of border conflict, following the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Bill. McCulloch himself was a man of system. He believed in organization that made for efficiency. Just prior to the Battle of Wilson's Creek, he put himself on record as strongly opposed to allowing unarmed men and camp followers to infest his ranks, demoralizing them.[15] It was not to be expected, therefore, that there could ever be much in common between him and Sterling Price. For a brief period, it is true, the two men did apparently act in fullest harmony; but it was when the safety of Price's own state, Missouri, was the thing directly in hand. That was in early August of 1861. Price put himself and his command subject to McCulloch's orders.[16] The result was the successful engagement, August 10 at Wilson's Creek, on Missouri soil. On the fourteenth of the same month, Price reassumed control of the Missouri State Guard[17] and, from that time on, he and McCulloch drifted farther and farther apart; but, as their aims were so entirely different, it was not to be wondered at.

Undoubtedly, all would have been well had McCulloch been disposed to make the defence of Missouri his only aim. Magnanimity was asked of him such as the Missouri leaders never so much as contemplated showing in return. It seems never to have occurred to either Jackson or Price that coöperation might, perchance, involve such an exchange of courtesies as would require Price to lend a hand in some project that McCulloch might devise for the well-being of his own particular charge. The assistance was eventually asked for and refused, refused upon the ground, familiar in United States history, that it would be impossible to get the Missouri troops to cross the state line. Of course, Price's conduct was not without extenuation. His position was not identical with McCulloch's. His force was a state force, McCulloch's a Confederate, or a national. Besides, Missouri had yet to be gained, officially, for the Confederacy. She expected secession states and the Confederacy itself to force the situation for her. And, furthermore, she was in far greater danger of invasion than was Arkansas. The Kansans were her implacable and dreaded foes and Arkansas had none like them to fear.

In reality, the seat of all the trouble between McCulloch and Price lay in particularism, a phase of state rights, and, in its last analysis, provincialism. Now particularism was especially pronounced and especially pernicious in the middle southwest. Missouri had always more than her share of it. Her politicians were impregnated by it. They were interested in their own locality exclusively and seemed quite incapable of taking any broad survey of events that did not immediately affect themselves or their own limited concerns. In the issue between McCulloch and Price, this was all too apparent. The politicians complained unceasingly of McCulloch's neglect of Missouri and, finally, taking their case to headquarters, represented to President Davis that the best interests of the Confederate cause in their state were being glaringly sacrificed by McCulloch's too literal interpretation of his official instructions, in the strict observance of which he was keeping close to the Indian boundary.

President Davis had personally no great liking for

Price and certainly none for his peculiar method of fighting. Some people thought him greatly prejudiced[18] against Price and, in the first instance, perhaps, on nothing more substantial than the fact that Price was not a West Pointer.[19] It would be nearer the truth to say that Davis gauged the western situation pretty accurately and knew where the source of trouble lay. That he did gauge the situation and that accurately is indicated by a suggestion of his, made in early December, for sending out Colonel Henry Heth of Virginia to command the Arkansas and Missouri divisions in combination.[20] Heth had no local attachments in the region and "had not been connected with any of the troops on that line of operations."[21] Unfortunately, for subsequent events his nomination[22] was not confirmed.

Two days later, December 5, 1861, General McCulloch was granted[23] permission to proceed to Richmond, there to explain in person, as he had long wanted to do, all matters in controversy between him and Price. On the third of January, 1862, the Confederate Congress called[24] for information on the subject, doubtless under pressure of political importunity. The upshot of it all was, the organization of the Trans-Mississippi District of Department No. 2 and the appointment of Earl Van Dorn as major-general to command it. Whether or no, he was the choice[25] of General A.S. Johnston, department commander, his appointment bid fair, at the time it was made, to put an end to all local disputes and to give Missouri the attention she craved. The ordnance department of the Confederacy had awakened to a sense of the value of the lead mines[26] at Granby and Van Dorn was instructed especially to protect them.[27] His appointment, moreover, anticipated an early encounter with the Federals in Missouri. In preparation for the struggle that all knew was impending, it was of transcendent importance that one mind and one interest should control, absolutely.

The Trans-Mississippi District would appear to have been constituted and its limits to have been defined without adequate reference to existing arrangements. The limits were, "That part of the State of Louisiana north of Red River, the Indian Territory west of Arkansas, and the States of Arkansas and Missouri, excepting therefrom the tract of country east of the Saint Francis, bordering on the Mississippi River, from the mouth of the Saint Francis to Scott County, Missouri...."[28] Van Dorn, in assuming command of the district, January 29, 1862, issued orders in such form that Indian Territory was listed last among the limits[29] and it was a previous arrangement affecting Indian Territory that was most ignored in the whole scheme of organization.

It will be remembered that, in November of the preceding year, the Department of Indian Territory had been created and Brigadier-general Albert Pike assigned to the same.[30] His authority was not explicitly superseded by that which later clothed Van Dorn and yet his department was now to be absorbed by a military district, which was itself merely a section of another department. The name and organization of the Department of Indian Territory remained to breed confusion, disorder, and serious discontent at a slightly subsequent time. Of course, since the ratification of the treaties of alliance with the tribes, there was no question to be raised concerning the status of Indian Territory as definitely a possession of the Southern Confederacy. Indeed, it had, in a way, been counted as such, actual and prospective, ever since the enactment of the marque and reprisal law of May 6, 1861.[31]

Albert Pike, having accepted the appointment of department commander in Indian Territory under somewhat the same kind of a protest--professed consciousness of unfitness for the post--as he had accepted the earlier one of commissioner, diplomatic, to the tribes, lost no time in getting into touch with his new duties. There was much to be attended to before he could proceed west. His appointment had come and had been accepted in November. Christmas was now near at hand and he had yet to render an account of his mission of treaty-making. In late December, he sent in his official report[32] to President Davis and, that done, held himself in readiness to respond to any interpellating call that the Provincial Congress might see fit to make. The intervals of time, free from devotion to the completion of the older task, were spent by him in close attention to the preliminary details of the newer, in securing funds and in purchasing supplies and equipment generally, also in selecting a site for his headquarters. By command of Secretary of War, Judah P. Benjamin, Major N.B. Pearce[33] was made chief commissary of subsistence for Indian Territory and Western Arkansas and Major G.W. Clarke,[34] depot quartermaster. In the sequel of events, both appointments came to be of a significance rather unusual.

The site chosen for department headquarters was a place situated near the junction of the Verdigris and Arkansas Rivers and not far from Fort Gibson.[35] The fortifications erected there received the name of Cantonment Davis and upon them, in spite of Pike's decidedly moderate estimate in the beginning, the Confederacy was said by a contemporary to have spent "upwards of a million dollars."[36] In view of the ostensible object of the very formation of the department and of Pike's appointment to its command, the defence of Indian Territory, and, in view of the existing location of enemy troops, challenging that defence, the selection of the site was a reasonably wise one; but, as subsequent pages will reveal, the commander did not retain it long as his headquarters. Troubles came thick and fast upon him and he had barely reached Cantonment Davis before they began. His delay in reaching that place, which he did do, February 25,[37] was caused by various occurrences that made it difficult for him to get his materials together, his funds and the like. The very difficulties presaged disaster.

Pike's great purpose--and, perhaps, it would be no exaggeration to say, his only purpose--throughout the full extent of his active connection with the Confederacy was to save to that Confederacy the Indian Territory. The Indian occupants in and for themselves, unflattering as it may seem to them for historical investigators to have to admit it, were not objects of his solicitude except in so far as they contributed to his real and ultimate endeavor. He never at any time or under any circumstances advocated their use generally as soldiers outside of Indian Territory in regular campaign work and offensively.[38] As guerrillas he would have used them.[39] He would have sent them on predatory expeditions into Kansas or any other near-by state where pillaging would have been profitable or retaliatory; but never as an organized force, subject to the rules of civilized warfare because fully cognizant of them.[40] It is doubtful if he would ever have allowed them, had he consulted only his own inclination, to so much as cross the line except under stress of an attack from without. He would never have sanctioned their joining an unprovoked invading force. In the treaties which he negotiated he pledged distinctly and explicitly the opposite course of action, unless, indeed, the Indian consent were first obtained.[41] The Indian troops, however and wherever raised under the provisions of those treaties, were expected by Pike to constitute, primarily, a home guard and nothing more. If by chance it should happen that, in performing their function as a home guard, they should have to cross their own boundary in order to expel or to punish an intruder, well and good; but their intrinsic character as something resembling a police patrol could not be deemed thereby affected. Moreover, Pike did not believe that acting alone they could even be a thoroughly adequate home force. He, therefore, urged again and again that their contingent should be supplemented by a white force and by one sufficiently large to give dignity and poise and self-restraint to the whole, when both forces were combined, as they always ought to be.[42]

At the time of Pike's assumption of his ill-defined command, or within a short period thereafter, the Indian force in the pay of the Confederacy and subject to his orders may be roughly placed at four full regiments and some miscellaneous troops.[43] The dispersion[44] of Colonel John Drew's Cherokees, when about to attack Opoeth-le-yo-ho-la, forced a slight reörganization and that, taken in connection with the accretions to the command that came in the interval before the Pea Ridge campaign brought the force approximately to four full regiments, two battalions, and some detached companies. The four regiments were, the First Regiment Choctaw and Chickasaw Mounted Rifles under Colonel Douglas H. Cooper, the First Creek Regiment under Colonel D.N. McIntosh, the First Regiment Cherokee Mounted Rifles under Colonel John Drew, and the Second Regiment Cherokee Mounted Rifles under Colonel Stand Watie. The battalions were, the Choctaw and Chickasaw and the Creek and Seminole, the latter under Lieutenant-colonel Chilly McIntosh and Major John Jumper.

Major-general Earl Van Dorn formally assumed command of the newly created Trans-Mississippi District of Department No. 2, January 29, 1862.[45] He was then at Little Rock, Arkansas. By February 6, he had moved up to Jacksonport and, a week or so later, to Pocahontas, where his slowly-assembling army was to rendezvous. His call for troops had already gone forth and was being promptly answered,[46] requisition having been made upon all the state units within the district, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, also Texas. Indian Territory, through Pike[47] and his subordinates,[48] was yet to be communicated with; but Van Dorn had, at the moment, no other plan in view for Indian troops than to use them to advantage as a means of defence and as a corps of observation.[49] His immediate object, according to his own showing and according to the circumstances that had brought about the formation of the district, was to protect Arkansas[50] against invasion and to relieve Missouri; his plan of operations was to conduct a spring campaign in the latter state, "to attempt St. Louis," as he himself put it, and to drive the Federals out; his ulterior motive may have been and, in the light of subsequent events, probably was, to effect a diversion for General A.S. Johnston; but, if that were really so, it was not, at the time, divulged or so much as hinted at.

Ostensibly, the great object that Van Dorn had in mind was the relief of Missouri. And he may have dreamed, that feat accomplished, that it would be possible to carry the war into the enemy's country beyond the Ohio; but, alas, it was his misfortune at this juncture to be called upon to realise, to his great discomfiture, the truth of Robert Burns' homely philosophy,

  The best-laid schemes o' mice and men Gang aft a-gley.

His own schemes and plans were all rendered utterly futile by the unexpected movement of the Federal forces from Rolla, to which safe place, it will be remembered, they had been drawn back by order of General Hunter. They were now advancing by forced marches via Springfield into northwestern Arkansas and were driving before them the Confederates under McCulloch and Price.

The Federal forces comprised four huge divisions and were led by Brigadier-general Samuel R. Curtis. Towards the end of the previous December, on Christmas Day in fact, Curtis had been given "command of the Southwestern District of Missouri, including the country south of the Osage and west of the Meramec River."[51] Under orders of November 9, the old Department of the West, of which Frémont had had charge and subsequently Hunter, but for only a brief period, had been reorganized and divided into two distinct departments, the Department of Missouri with Halleck in command and the Department of Kansas with Hunter. Curtis, at the time when he made his memorable advance movement from Rolla was, therefore, serving under Halleck.

In furtherance of Van Dorn's original plan, General Pike had been ordered to march with all speed and join forces with the main army. At the time of the issuance of the order, he seems to have offered no objections to taking his Indians out of their own territory. Disaster had not yet overtaken them or him and he had not yet met with the injustice that was afterwards his regular lot. If his were regarded as more or less of a puppet command, he was not yet aware of it and, oblivious of all scorn felt for Indian soldiers, kept his eye single on the assistance he was to render in the accomplishment of Van Dorn's object. It was anything but easy, however, for him to move with dispatch. He had difficulty in getting such of his brigade as was Indian and as had collected at Cantonment Davis, a Choctaw and Chickasaw battalion and the First Creek Regiment, to stir. They had not been paid their money and had not been furnished with arms and clothing as promised. Pike had the necessary funds with him, but time would be needed in which to distribute them, and the order had been for him to move promptly. It was something much more easily said than done. Nevertheless, he did what he could, paid outright the Choctaws and Chickasaws, a performance that occupied three precious days, and agreed to pay McIntosh's Creek regiment at the Illinois River. To keep that promise he tarried at Park Hill one day, expecting there to be overtaken by additional Choctaws and Chickasaws who had been left behind at Fort Gibson. When they did not appear, he went forward towards Evansville and upward to Cincinnati, a small town on the Arkansas side of the Cherokee line. There his Indian force was augmented by Stand Watie's regiment[52] of Cherokees and at Smith's Mill by John Drew's.[53] The Cherokees had been in much confusion all winter. Civil war within their nation impended.[54] None the less, Pike, assuming that all would be well when the call for action came, had ordered all the Cherokee and Creek regiments to hurry to the help of McCulloch.[55] He had done this upon the first intimation of the Federal advance. The Cherokees had proceeded only so far, the Creeks not at all, and the main body of the Choctaws and Chickasaws, into whose minds some unscrupulous merchants had instilled mercenary motives and the elements of discord generally, were lingering far in the background. Pike's white force was, moreover, ridiculously small, some Texas cavalry, dignified by him as collectively a squadron, Captain O.G. Welch in command. There had as yet not been even a pretense of giving him the three regiments of white men earlier asked for. Toward the close of the afternoon of March 6, Pike "came up with the rear of McCulloch's division,"[56] which proved to be the very division he was to follow, but he was one day late for the fray.

The Battle of Pea Ridge, in its preliminary stages, was already being fought. It was a three day fight, counting the skirmish at Bentonville on the sixth between General Franz Sigel's detachment and General Sterling Price's advance guard as the work of the first day.[57] The real battle comprised the engagement at Leetown on the seventh and that at Elkhorn Tavern[58] on the eighth. At Leetown, Pike's Cherokee contingent[59] played what he, in somewhat quixotic fashion, perhaps, chose to regard as a very important part. The Indians, then as always, were chiefly pony-mounted, "entirely undisciplined," as the term discipline is usually understood, and "armed very indifferently with common rifles and ordinary shot-guns."[60] The ponies, in the end, proved fleet of foot, as was to have been expected, and, at one stage of the game, had to be tethered in the rear while their masters fought from the vantage-ground of trees.[61] The Indian's most effective work was done, throughout, under cover of the woods. Indians, as Pike well knew, could never be induced to face shells in the open. It was he who advised their climbing the trees and he did it without discounting, in the slightest, their innate bravery.[62] There came a time, too, when he gave countenance to another of their peculiarities. He allowed Colonel Drew's men to fight in a way that was "their own fashion,"[63] with bow and arrow and with tomahawk.[64] This, as was only meet it should, called down upon him and them the opprobrium of friends and foes alike.[65] The Indian war-whoop was indulged in, of itself enough to terrify. It was hideous.

The service that the Cherokees rendered at different times during the two days action was not, however, to be despised, even though not sufficiently conspicuous to be deemed worthy of comment by Van Dorn.[66] At Leetown, with the aid of a few Texans, they managed to get possession of a battery and to hold it against repeated endeavors of the Federals to regain. The death of McCulloch and of McIntosh made Pike the ranking officer in his part of the field. It fell to him to rally McCulloch's broken army and with it to join Van Dorn. On the eighth, Colonel Watie's men under orders from Van Dorn took position on the high ridges where they could watch the movements of the enemy and give timely notice of any attempt to turn the Confederate left flank. Colonel Drew's regiment, meanwhile, not having received the word passed along the line to move forward, remained in the woods near Leetown, the last in the field. Subsequently, finding themselves deserted, they drew back towards Camp Stephens, where they were soon joined by "General Cooper, with his regiment and battalion of Choctaws and Chickasaws, and" by "Colonel McIntosh with 200 men of his regiment of Creeks."[67] The delinquent wayfarers were both fortunate and unfortunate in thus tardily arriving upon the scene. They had missed the fight but they had also missed the temptation to revert to the savagery that was soon to bring fearful ignominy upon their neighbors. To the very last of the Pea Ridge engagement, Stand Watie's men were active. They covered the retreat of the main army, to a certain extent. They were mostly half-breeds and, so far as can be definitely ascertained, were entirely guiltless of the atrocities charged against the others.

General Pike gave the permission to fight "in their own fashion" specifically to the First Cherokee Mounted Rifles, who were, for the most part, full-blooded Indians; but he later confessed that, in his treaty negotiations with the tribes, they had generally stipulated that they should, if they fought at all, be allowed to fight as they knew how.[68] Yet they probably did not mean, thereby, to commit atrocities and the Cherokee National Council lost no time, after the Indian shortcomings at the Battle of Pea Ridge had become known, in putting itself on record as standing opposed to the sort of thing that had occurred,

    _Resolved_, That in the opinion of the National Council, the war now existing between the said United States and the Confederate States and their Indian allies should be conducted on the most humane principles which govern the usages of war among civilized nations, and that it be and is earnestly recommended to the troops of this nation in the service of the Confederate States to avoid any acts toward captured or fallen foes that would be incompatible with such usages.[69]

The atrocities committed by the Indians became almost immediately a matter for correspondence between the opposing commanders. The Federals charged mutilation of dead bodies on the battle-field and the tomahawking and scalping of prisoners. The Confederates recriminated as against persons "alleged to be Germans." The case involving the Indians was reported to the joint committee of Congress on the _Conduct of the Present War_;[70] but at least one piece of evidence was not, at that time, forthcoming, a piece that, in a certain sense, might be taken to exonerate the whites. It came to the knowledge of General Blunt during the summer and was the Indians' own confession. It bore only indirectly upon the actual atrocities but showed that the red men were quite equal to making their own plans in fighting and were not to be relied upon to do things decently and in order. Drew's men, when they deserted the Confederates after the skirmish of July third at Locust Grove, confided to the Federals the intelligence "that the killing of the white rebels by the Indians in" the Pea Ridge "fight was determined upon before they went into battle."[71] Presumptively, if the Cherokees could plot to kill their own allies, they could be found despicable enough and cruel enough to mutilate the dead,[72] were the chance given them and that without any direction, instruction, or encouragement from white men being needed.

The Confederate defeat at Pea Ridge was decisive and, as far as Van Dorn's idea of relieving Missouri was concerned, fatally conclusive. As early as the twenty-first of February, Beauregard had expressed a wish to have him east of the Mississippi[73] and March had not yet expired before Van Dorn was writing in such a way as to elicit the consummation of the wish. The Federals were in occupation of the northern part of Arkansas; but Van Dorn was very confident they would not be able to subsist there long or "do much harm in the west." In his opinion, therefore, it was incumbent upon the Confederates, instead of dividing their strength between the east and the west, to concentrate on the saving of the Mississippi.[74] To all appearances, it was there that the situation was most critical. In due time, came the order for Van Dorn to repair eastward and to take with him all the troops that might be found available.

The completeness of Curtis's victory, the loss to the Southerners, by death or capture, of some of their best-loved and ablest commanders, McCulloch, McIntosh, Hébert, and the nature of the country through which the Federals pursued their fleeing forces, to say nothing of the miscellaneous and badly-trained character of those forces, to which, by the way, Van Dorn ascribed[75] much of his recent ill-success, all helped to make the retirement of the Confederates from the Pea Ridge battle-ground pretty much of a helter-skelter affair. From all accounts, the Indians conducted themselves as well as the best. The desire of everybody was to get to a place of safety and that right speedily. Colonel Watie and his regiment made their way to Camp Stephens,[76] near which place the baggage train had been left[77] and where Cooper and Drew with their men had found refuge already. Some two hundred of Watie's Indians were detailed to help take ammunition back to the main army.[78] The baggage train moved on to Elm Springs, the remainder of the Indians, under Cooper, assisting in protecting it as far as that place.[79] At Walnut Grove, the Watie detail, having failed to deliver the ammunition because of the departure of the army prior to their arrival, rejoined their comrades and all moved on to Cincinnati, where Pike, who with a few companions had wandered several days among the mountains, came up with them.[80]

In Van Dorn's calculations for troops that should accompany him east or follow in his wake, the Indians had no place. Before his own plans took final shape and while he was still arranging for an Army of the West, his orders for the Indians were, that they should make their way back as best they could to their own country and there operate "to cut off trains, annoy the enemy in his marches, and to prevent him as far as possible from supplying his troops from Missouri and Kansas."[81] A little later, but still anterior to Van Dorn's summons east, more minute particulars of the programme were addressed to Pike. Maury wrote,

    The general commanding has decided to march with his army against the enemy now invading the northeastern part of the State. Upon you, therefore, will devolve the necessity of impeding his advance into this region. It is not expected that you will give battle to a large force, but by felling trees, burning bridges, removing supplies of forage and subsistence, attacking his trains, stampeding his animals, cutting off his detachments, and other similar means, you will be able materially to harass his army and protect this region of country. You must endeavor by every means to maintain yourself in the Territory independent of this army. In case only of absolute necessity you may move southward. If the enemy threatens to march through the Indian Territory or descend the Arkansas River you may call on troops from Southwestern Arkansas and Texas to rally to your aid. You may reward your Indian troops by giving them such stores as you may think proper when they make captures from the enemy, but you will please endeavor to restrain them from committing any barbarities upon the wounded, prisoners, or dead who may fall into their hands. You may purchase your supplies of subsistence from wherever you can most advantageously do so. You will draw your ammunition from Little Rock or from New Orleans via Red River. Please communicate with the general commanding when practicable.[82]

It was an elaborate programme but scarcely a noble one. Its note of selfishness sounded high. The Indians were simply to be made to serve the ends of the white men. Their methods of warfare were regarded as distinctly inferior. Pea Ridge was, in fact, the first and last time that they were allowed to participate in the war on a big scale. Henceforth, they were rarely ever anything more than scouts and skirmishers and that was all they were really fitted to be.