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The Indian Expedition had its beginnings, fatefully or otherwise, in "Lane's Kansas Brigade." On January 29, 1861, President Buchanan signed the bill for the admission of Kansas into the Union and the matter about which there had been so much of bitter controversy was at last professedly settled; but, alas, for the peace of the border, the radicals, the extremists, the fanatics, call them what one may, who had been responsible for the controversy and for its bitterness, were still unsettled. James Lane was chief among them. His was a turbulent spirit and it permitted its owner no cessation from strife.

With President Lincoln's first call for volunteers, April 15, 1861, Lane's martial activities began. Within three days, he had gathered together a company of warriors,[83] the nucleus, psychologically speaking, of what was to be his notorious, jayhawking, marauding brigade. His enthusiasm was infectious. It communicated itself to reflective men like Carl Schurz[84] and was probably the secret of Lane's mysterious influence with the temperate, humane, just, and so very much more magnanimous Lincoln, who, in the first days of the war, as in the later and the last, had his hours of discouragement and deep depression. For dejection of any sort, the wild excitement and boundless confidence of a zealot like Lane must have been somewhat of an antidote, also a stimulant.

The first Kansas state legislature convened March 26, 1861, and set itself at once to work to put the new machinery of government into operation. After much political wire-pulling that involved the promise of spoils to come,[85] James H. Lane and Samuel C. Pomeroy[86] were declared to be elected United States senators, the term of office of each to begin with the first session of the thirty-seventh congress. That session was the extra one, called for July, 1861. Immediately, a difficulty arose due to the fact that, subsequent to his election to the senatorship and in addition thereto, Lane had accepted a colonelcy tendered by Oliver P. Morton[87] of Indiana, his own native state.[88] Lane's friends very plausibly contended that a military commission from one state could not invalidate the title to represent another state in the Federal senate. The actual fight over the contested seat came in the next session and, quite regardless of consequences likely to prejudice his case, Lane went on recruiting for his brigade. Indeed, he commended himself to Frémont, who, in his capacity as major-general of volunteers and in charge of the Western Military District, assigned him to duty in Kansas, thus greatly complicating an already delicate situation and immeasurably heaping up difficulties, embarrassments, and disasters for the frontier.

The same indifference towards the West that characterized the governing authorities in the South was exhibited by eastern men in the North and, correspondingly, the West, Federal and Confederate, was unduly sensitive to the indifference, perhaps, also, a trifle unnecessarily alarmed by symptoms of its own danger. Nevertheless, its danger was real. Each state gave in its adherence to the Confederacy separately and, therefore, every single state in the slavery belt had a problem to solve. The fight for Missouri was fought on the border and nowhere else. The great evil of squatter sovereignty days was now epidemic in its most malignant form. Those days had bred intense hatred between Missourian and Kansan and had developed a disregard of the value of human life and a ruthlessness and brutality in fighting, concomitant with it, that the East, in its most primitive times, had never been called upon to experience. Granted that the spirit of the crusader had inspired many a free-soiler to venture into the trans-Missouri region after the Kansas-Nebraska bill had become law and that real exaltation of soul had transformed some very mercenary and altogether mundane characters unexpectedly into martyrs; granted, also, that the pro-slavery man honestly felt that his cause was just and that his sacred rights of property, under the constitution, were being violated, his preserves encroached upon, it yet remains true that great crimes were committed in the name of great causes and that villains stalked where only saints should have trod. The irregular warfare of the border, from fifty-four on, while it may, to military history as a whole, be as unimportant as the quarrels of kites and crows, was yet a big part of the life of the frontiersman and frightful in its possibilities. Sherman's march to the sea or through the Carolinas, disgraceful to modern civilization as each undeniably was, lacked the sickening phase, guerrilla atrocities, that made the Civil War in the West, to those at least who were in line to experience it at close range, an awful nightmare. Union and Confederate soldiers might well fraternize in eastern camps because there they so rarely had any cause for personal hostility towards each other, but not in western. The fight on the border was constant and to the death.

The leaders in the West or many of them, on both sides, were men of ungovernable tempers, of violent and unrestrained passions, sometimes of distressingly base proclivities, although, in the matter of both vices and virtues, there was considerable difference of degree among them. Lane and Shelby and Montgomery and Quantrill were hardly types, rather should it be said they were extreme cases. They seem never to have taken chances on each other's inactivity. Their motto invariably was, to be prepared for the worst, and their practice, retaliation.

It was scarcely to be supposed that a man like Lane, who had never known moderation in the course of the long struggle for Kansas or been over scrupulous about anything would, in the event of his adopted state's being exposed anew to her old enemy, the Missourian, be able to pose contentedly as a legislator or stay quietly in Washington, his role of guardian of the White House being finished.[89] The anticipated danger to Kansas visibly threatened in the summer of 1861 and the critical moment saw Lane again in the West, energetic beyond precedent. He took up his position at Fort Scott, it being his conviction that, from that point and from the line of the Little Osage, the entire eastern section of the state, inclusive of Fort Leavenworth, could best be protected.[90]

Fort Scott was the ranking town among the few Federal strongholds in the middle Southwest. It was within convenient, if not easy, distance of Crawford Seminary which, situated to the southward in the Quapaw Nation, was the headquarters of the Neosho Agency; but no more perturbed place could be imagined than was that same Neosho Agency at the opening of the Civil War. Bad white men, always in evidence at moments of crisis, were known to be interfering with the Osages, exciting them by their own marauding to deviltry and mischief of the worst description.[91] As a tribe, the Osages were not very dependable at the best of times and now that they saw confusion all around them their most natural inclination was to pay back old scores and to make an alliance where such alliance could be most profitable to themselves. The "remnants" of tribes, Senecas, Shawnees, and Quapaws, associated with them in the agency, Neosho, that is, although not of evil disposition, were similarly agitated and with good reason. Rumors of dissensions among the Cherokees, not so very far away, were naturally having a disquieting effect upon the neighboring but less highly organized tribes as was also the unrest in Missouri, in the southwestern counties of which, however, Union sentiment thus far dominated.[92] Its continuance would undoubtedly turn upon military success or failure and that, men like Lyon and Lane knew only too well.

As the days passed, the Cherokee troubles gained in intensity, so much so that the agent, John Crawford, even then a secessionist sympathiser, reported that internecine strife might at any hour be provoked.[93] So confused was everything that in July the people of southeastern Kansas were generally apprehensive of an attack from the direction of either Indian Territory or Arkansas.[94] Kansas troops had been called to Missouri; but, at the same time, Lyon was complaining that men from the West, where they were greatly needed, were being called by Scott to Virginia.[95] On August 6 two emergency calls went forth, one from Frémont for a brigade from California that could be stationed at El Paso and moved as occasion might require, either upon San Antonio or into the Indian Territory,[96] the other from Congressmen John S. Phelps and Francis P. Blair junior, who addressed Lincoln upon the subject of enlisting Missouri troops for an invasion of Arkansas in order to ward off any contemplated attack upon southwestern Missouri and to keep the Indians west of Arkansas in subjection.[97] On August 10 came the disastrous Federal defeat at Wilson's Creek. It was immediately subsequent to that event and in anticipation of a Kansas invasion by Price and McCulloch that Lane resolved to take position at Fort Scott.[98]

The Battle of Wilson's Creek, lost to the Federals largely because of Frémont's failure to support Lyon, was an unmitigated disaster in more than one sense. The death of Lyon, which the battle caused, was of itself a severe blow to the Union side as represented in Missouri; but the moral effect of the Federal defeat upon the Indians was equally worthy of note. It was instantaneous and striking. It rallied the wavering Cherokees for the Confederacy[99] and their defection was something that could not be easily counterbalanced and was certainly not counterbalanced by the almost coincident, cheap, disreputable, and very general Osage offer, made towards the end of August, of services to the United States in exchange for flour and whiskey.[100]

The disaster in its effect upon Lane was, however, little short of exhilarating. It brought him sympathy, understanding, and a fair measure of support from people who, not until the eleventh hour, had really comprehended their own danger and it inspired him to redouble his efforts to organize a brigade that should adequately protect Kansas and recover ground lost. Prior to the battle, "scarcely a battalion had been recruited for each" of the five regiments, the Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Kansas, which he had been empowered by the War Department to raise.[101] It was in the days of gathering reinforcements, for which he made an earnest plea on August 29,[102] that he developed a disposition to utilize the loyal Indians in his undertaking. The Indians, in their turn, were looking to him for much needed assistance. About a month previous to the disaster of August 10, Agent Elder had been obliged to make Fort Scott, for the time being, the Neosho Agency headquarters, everything being desperately insecure at Crawford's Seminary.[103]

Lane, conjecturing rightly that Price, moving northwestward from Springfield, which place he had left on the twenty-sixth of August, would threaten, if he did not actually attempt, an invasion of Kansas at the point of its greatest vulnerability, the extreme southeast, hastened his preparations for the defence and at the very end of the month appeared in person at Fort Scott, where all the forces he could muster, many of them refugee Missourians, had been rendezvousing. On the second of September, the two armies, if such be not too dignified a name for them, came into initiatory action at Dry Wood Creek,[104] Missouri, a reconnoitering party of the Federals, in a venture across the line, having fallen in with the advance of the Confederates and, being numerically outmatched, having been compelled to beat a retreat. In its later stages, Lane personally conducted that retreat, which, taken as a whole, did not end even with the recrossing of the state boundary, although the pursuit did not continue beyond it. Confident that Price would follow up his victory and attack Fort Scott, Lane resolved to abandon the place, leaving a detachment to collect the stores and ammunition and to follow him later. He then hurried on himself to Fort Lincoln on the north bank of the Little Osage, fourteen miles northwest. There he halted and hastily erected breastworks of a certain sort[105]. Meanwhile, the citizens of Fort Scott, finding themselves left in the lurch, vacated their homes and followed in the wake of the army[106]. Then came a period, luckily short, of direful confusion. Home guards were drafted in and other preparations made to meet the emergency of Price's coming. Humboldt was now suggested as suitable and safe headquarters for the Neosho Agency[107]; but, most opportunely, as the narrative will soon show, the change had to wait upon the approval of the Indian Office, which could not be had for some days and, in the meantime, events proved that Price was not the menace and Fort Scott not the target.

It soon transpired that Price had no immediate intention of invading Kansas[108]. For the present, it was enough for his purpose to have struck terror into the hearts of the people of Union sentiments inhabiting the Cherokee Neutral Lands, where, indeed, intense excitement continued to prevail until there was no longer any room to doubt that Price was really gone from the near vicinity and was heading for the Missouri River. Yet his departure was far from meaning the complete removal of all cause for anxiety, since marauding bands infested the country roundabout and were constantly setting forth, from some well concealed lair, on expeditions of robbery, devastation, and murder. It was one of those marauding bands that in this same month of September, 1861, sacked and in part burnt Humboldt, for which dastardly and quite unwarrantable deed, James G. Blunt, acting under orders from Lane, took speedy vengeance; and the world was soon well rid of the instigator and leader of the outrage, the desperado, John Matthews.[109]

As soon as Lane had definite knowledge that Price had turned away from the border and was moving northward, he determined to follow after and attack him, if possible, in the rear. Governor Robinson was much opposed[110] to any such provocative and apparently purposeless action, no one knowing better than he Lane's vindictive mercilessness. Lane persisted notwithstanding Robinson's objections and, for the time being, found his policies actually endorsed by Prince at Fort Leavenworth.[111] The attack upon Humboldt, having revealed the exposed condition of the settlements north of the Osage lands, necessitated his leaving a much larger force in his own rear than he had intended.[112] It also made it seem advisable for him to order the building of a series of stockades, the one of most immediate interest being at Leroy.[113] By the fourteenth of September, Lane found himself within twenty-four miles of Harrisonville but Price still far ahead. On the twenty-second, having made a detour for the purpose of destroying some of his opponent's stores, he performed the atrocious and downright inexcusable exploit of burning Osceola.[114] Lexington, besieged, had fallen into Price's hands two days before. Thus had the foolish Federal practice of acting in detachments instead of in force produced its own calamitous result. There had never been any appreciable coördination among the parts of Frémont's army. Each worked upon a campaign of its own. To some extent, the same criticism might be held applicable to the opposing Confederate force also, especially when the friction between Price and McCulloch be taken fully into account; but Price's energy was far in excess of Frémont's and he, having once made a plan, invariably saw to its accomplishment. Lincoln viewed Frémont's supineness with increasing apprehension and finally after the fall of Lexington directed Scott to instruct for greater activity. Presumably, Frémont had already aroused himself somewhat; for, on the eighteenth, he had ordered Lane to proceed to Kansas City and from thence to coöperate with Sturgis,[115] Lane slowly obeyed[116] but managed, while obeying, to do considerable marauding, which worked greatly to the general detestation and lasting discredit of his brigade. For a man, temperamentally constituted as Lane was, warfare had no terrors and its votaries, no scruples. The grim chieftain as he has been somewhat fantastically called, was cruel, indomitable, and disgustingly licentious, a person who would have hesitated at nothing to accomplish his purpose. It was to be expected, then, that he would see nothing terrible in the letting loose of the bad white man, the half-civilized Indian, or the wholly barbarous negro upon society. He believed that the institution of slavery should look out for itself[117] and, like Governor Robinson,[118] Senator Pomeroy, Secretary Cameron, John Cochrane,[119] Thaddeus Stevens[120] and many another, fully endorsed the principle underlying Frémont's abortive Emancipation Proclamation. He advocated immediate emancipation both as a political and a military measure.[121]

There was no doubt by this time that Lane had it in mind to utilize the Indians. In the dog days of August, when he was desperately marshaling his brigade, the Indians presented themselves, in idea, as a likely military contingent. The various Indian agents in Kansas were accordingly communicated with and Special Agent Augustus Wattles authorized to make the needful preparations for Indian enlistment.[122] Not much could be done in furtherance of the scheme while Lane was engaged in Missouri but, in October, when he was back in Kansas, his interest again manifested itself. He was then recruiting among all kinds of people, the more hot-blooded the better. His energy was likened to frenzy and the more sober-minded took alarm. It was the moment for his political opponents to interpose and Governor Robinson from among them did interpose, being firmly convinced that Lane, by his intemperate zeal and by his guerrilla-like fighting was provoking Missouri to reprisals and thus precipitating upon Kansas the very troubles that he professed to wish to ward off. Incidentally, Robinson, unlike Frémont, was vehemently opposed to Indian enlistment.

Feeling between Robinson and Lane became exceedingly tense in October. Price was again moving suspiciously near to Kansas. On the third he was known to have left Warrensburg, ostensibly to join McCulloch in Bates County[123] and, on the eighth, he was reported as still proceeding in a southwestwardly direction, possibly to attack Fort Scott.[124] His movements gave opportunity for a popular expression of opinion among Lane's adherents. On the evening of the eighth, a large meeting was held in Stockton's Hall to consider the whole situation and, amidst great enthusiasm, Lane was importuned to go to Washington,[125] there to lay the case of the piteous need of Kansas, in actuality more imaginary than real, before the president. Nothing loath to assume such responsibility but not finding it convenient to leave his military task just then, Lane resorted to letter-writing. On the ninth, he complained[126] to Lincoln that Robinson was attempting to break up his brigade and had secured the coöperation of Prince to that end.[127] The anti-Robinson press[128] went farther and accused Robinson and Prince of not being big enough, in the face of grave danger to the commonwealth, to forget old scores.[129] As a solution of the problem before them, Lane suggested to Lincoln the establishment of a new military district that should include Kansas, Indian Territory, and Arkansas, and be under his command.[130] So anxious was Lane to be identified with what he thought was the rescue of Kansas that he proposed resigning his seat in the senate that he might be entirely untrammelled.[131] Perchance, also, he had some inkling that with Frederick P. Stanton[132] contesting the seat, a bitter partisan fight was in prospect, a not altogether welcome diversion.[133] Stanton, prominent in and out of office in territorial days, was an old political antagonist of the Lane faction and one of the four candidates whose names had been before the legislature in March. In the second half of October, Lane's brigade notably contributed to Frémont's show of activity and then, anticipatory perhaps to greater changes, it was detached from the main column and given the liberty of moving independently down the Missouri line to the Cherokee country.[134]

Lane's efforts towards securing Indian enlistment did not stop with soliciting the Kansas tribes. Thoroughly aware, since the time of his sojourn at Fort Scott, if not before, of the delicate situation in Indian Territory, of the divided allegiance there, and of the despairing cry for help that had gone forth from the Union element to Washington, he conceived it eminently fitting and practicable that that same Union element should have its loyalty put to good uses and be itself induced to take up arms in behalf of the cause it affected so ardently to endorse. To an ex-teacher among the Seminoles, E.H. Carruth, was entrusted the task of recruiting.

The situation in Indian Territory was more than delicate. It was precarious and had been so almost from the beginning. The withdrawal of troops from the frontier posts had left the Territory absolutely destitute of the protection solemnly guaranteed its inhabitants by treaty with the United States government. Appeal[135] to the War Department for a restoration of what was a sacred obligation had been without effect all the summer. Southern emissaries had had, therefore, an entirely free hand to accomplish whatever purpose they might have in mind with the tribes. In September,[136] the Indian Office through Charles E. Mix, acting commissioner of Indian affairs in the absence of William P. Dole, who was then away on a mission to the Kansas tribes, again begged the War Department[137] to look into matters so extremely urgent. National honor would of itself have dictated a policy of intervention before the poor neglected Indians had been driven to the last desperate straits. The next month, October, nothing at all having been done in the interval, Dole submitted[138] to Secretary Smith new evidence of a most alarmingly serious state of affairs and asked that the president's attention be at once elicited. The apparent result was that about the middle of November, Dole was able to write with confidence--and he was writing at the request of the president--that the United States was prepared to maintain itself in its authority over the Indians at all hazards.[139]

Boastful words those were and not to be made good until many precious months had elapsed and many sad regrettable scenes enacted. In early November occurred the reorganization of the Department of the West which meant the formation of a Department of Kansas separate and distinct from a Department of Missouri, an arrangement that afforded ample opportunity for a closer attention to local exigencies in both states than had heretofore been possible or than, upon trial, was subsequently to be deemed altogether desirable. It necessarily increased the chances for local patronage and exposed military matters to the grave danger of becoming hopelessly entangled with political.

The need for change of some sort was, however, very evident and the demand for it, insistent. If the southern Indians were not soon secured, they were bound to menace, not only Kansas, but Colorado[140] and to help materially in blocking the way to Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. Their own domestic affairs had now reached a supremely critical stage.[141] It was high time for the Federal government to do something to attest its own competency. There was need for it to do that, moreover, on recognizably loyal ground, causes for dissatisfaction among Kansas emigrant tribes to be removed and drastic measures taken with the indigenous of the plains.

The appointment of Hunter to the command of the Department of Kansas was open to certain objections, no doubt; but, to Lane, whose forceful personality had impressed itself, for good or ill, upon the trans-Missouri region, it was, to say the least, somewhat disconcerting, not because Lane was hostile to Hunter personally--the two men had long had a friendly acquaintance with each other[142]--but because he had had great hopes of receiving the post himself.[143] The time was now drawing near for him to repair to Washington to resume his senatorial duties since Congress was to convene the second of December.

To further his scheme for Indian enlistment, Lane had projected an inter-tribal council to be held at his own headquarters. E.H. Carruth worked especially to that end. The man in charge of the Southern Superintendency, W.G. Coffin, had a similar plan in mind for less specific reasons. His idea was to confer with the representatives of the southern tribes with reference to Indian Territory conditions generally. It was part of the duty appertaining to his office. Humboldt[144] was the place selected by him for the meeting; but Leroy, being better protected and more accessible, was soon substituted. The sessions commenced the sixteenth[145] of November and were still continuing on the twenty-third.[146] It had not been possible to hold them earlier because of the disturbed state of the country and the consequent difficulty of getting into touch with the Indians.

Upon assuming command of the Department of Kansas, General Hunter took full cognizance of the many things making for disquietude and turmoil in the country now under his jurisdiction. Indian relations became, of necessity, matters of prime concern. Three things bear witness to this fact, Hunter's plans for an inter-tribal council at Fort Leavenworth, his own headquarters; his advocacy of Indian enlistment, especially from among the southern Indians; and his intention, early avowed, of bringing Brigadier-general James W. Denver into military prominence and of entrusting to him the supervisory command in Kansas. In some respects, no man could have been found equal to Denver in conspicuous fitness for such a position. He had served as commissioner of Indian affairs[147] under Buchanan and, although a Virginian by birth, had had a large experience with frontier life--in Missouri, in the Southwest during the Mexican War, and in California. He had also measured swords with Lane. It was in squatter-sovereignty days when, first as secretary and then as governor of Kansas Territory, he had been in a position to become intimately acquainted with the intricacies of Lane's true character and had had both occasion and opportunity to oppose some of that worthy's autocratic and thoroughly lawless maneuvers.[148] As events turned out, this very acquaintance with Lane constituted his political unfitness for the control that Hunter,[149] in December, and Halleck,[150] in the following March, designed to give him. With the second summons to command, came opportunity for Lane's vindictive animosity to be called into play. Historically, it furnished conclusive proof, if any were needed, that Lane had supreme power over the distribution of Federal patronage in his own state and exercised that power even at the cost of the well-being and credit of his constituency.

When Congress began its second session in December, the fight against Lane for possession of his seat in the Senate proceeded apace; but that did not, in the least, deter him from working for his brigade. His scheme now was to have it organized on a different footing from that which it had sustained heretofore. His influence with the administration in Washington was still very peculiar and very considerable, so much so, in fact, that President Lincoln, without taking expert advice and without consulting either the military men, whose authority would necessarily be affected, or the civil officials in Kansas, nominated him to the Senate as brigadier-general to have charge of troops in that state.[151] Secretary Cameron was absent from the city at the time this was done and apparently, when apprised of it, made some objections on the score, not so much of an invasion of his own prerogative, as of its probable effect upon Hunter. Cameron had his first consultation with Lane regarding the matter, January second, and was given by him to understand that everything had been done in strict accordance with Hunter's own wishes.[152] The practical question of the relation of Lane's brigade to Hunter's command soon, however, presented itself in a somewhat different light and its answer required a more explicit statement from the president than had yet been made. Lincoln, when appealed to, unhesitatingly repudiated every suggestion of the idea that it had ever been his intention to give Lane an independent command or to have Hunter, in any sense, superseded.[153]

The need for sending relief to the southern Indians, which, correctly interpreted meant, of course, reasserting authority over them and thus removing a menacing and impending danger from the Kansas border, had been one of Lane's strongest arguments in gaining his way with the administration. The larger aspect of his purpose was, however, the one that appealed to Commissioner Dole, who, as head of the Indian Bureau, seems fully to have appreciated the responsibility that assuredly rested in all honor upon the government, whether conscious of it or not, to protect its wards in their lives and property. From the first intimation given him of Lane's desire for a more energetic procedure, Dole showed a willingness to coöperate; and, as many things were demanding his personal attention in the West, he so timed a journey of his own that it might be possible for him to assist in getting together the Indian contingent that was to form a part of the "Southern Expedition."[154]

The urgency of the Indian call for help[155] and the evident readiness of the government to make answer to that call before it was quite too late pointed auspiciously to a successful outcome for Senator Lane's endeavors; but, unfortunately, Major-general Hunter had not been sufficiently counted with. Hunter had previously shown much sympathy for the Indians in their distress[156] and also a realization of the strategic importance of Indian Territory. Some other explanation, therefore, must be found for the opposition he advanced to Lane's project as soon as it was brought to his notice. It had been launched without his approval having been explicitly sought and almost under false pretences.[157] Then, too, Lane's bumptiousness, after he had accomplished his object, was naturally very irritating. But, far above every other reason, personal or professional, that Hunter had for objecting to a command conducted by Lane was the identical one that Halleck,[158] Robinson, and many another shared with him, a wholesome repugnance to such marauding[159] as Lane had permitted his men to indulge in in the autumn. It was to be feared that Indians under Lane would inevitably revert to savagery. There would be no one to put any restraint upon them and their natural instincts would be given free play. Conceivably then, it was not mere supersensitiveness and pettiness of spirit that moved General Hunter to take exception to Lane's appointment but regard for the honor of his profession, perchance, also, a certain feeling of personal dignity that legitimately resented executive interference with his rights. His protest had its effect and he was informed that it was entirely within his prerogative to lead the expedition southward himself. He resolved to do it. Lane was, for once, outwitted.

The end, however, was not yet. About the middle of January, Stanton became Secretary of War and soon let it be known that he, too, had views on the subject of Indian enlistment. As a matter of fact, he refused to countenance it.[160] The disappointment was the most keen for Commissioner Dole. Since long before the day when Secretary Smith had announced[161] to him that the Department of War was contemplating the employment of four thousand Indians in its service, he had hoped for some means of rescuing the southern tribes from the Confederate alliance and now all plans had come to naught. And yet the need for strenuous action of some sort had never been so great.[162] Opoeth-le-yo-ho-la and his defeated followers were refugees on the Verdigris, imploring help to relieve their present necessities and to enable them to return betimes to their own country.[163] Moreover, Indians of northern antecedents and sympathies were exhibiting unwonted enthusiasm for the cause[164] and it seemed hard to have to repel them. Dole was, nevertheless, compelled to do it. On the eleventh of February, he countermanded the orders he had issued to Superintendent Coffin and thus a temporary quietus was put upon the whole affair of the Indian Expedition.