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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.


[Footnote 83: John Hay records in his _Diary_, "The White House is turned into barracks. Jim Lane marshaled his Kansas warriors to-day at Willard's and placed them at the disposal of Major Hunter, who turned them to-night into the East Room. It is a splendid company--worthy such an armory. Besides the Western Jayhawkers it comprises some of the best _material_ in the East. Senator Pomeroy and old Anthony Bleecker stood shoulder to shoulder in the ranks. Jim Lane walked proudly up and down the ranks with a new sword that the Major had given him. The Major has made me his aid, and I labored under some uncertainty, as to whether I should speak to privates or not."--THAYER, _Life and Letters of John Hay_, vol. i, 92.]

[Footnote 84: It would seem to have communicated itself to Carl Schurz, although Schurz, in his _Reminiscences_, makes no definite admission of the fact. Hay says, "Going into Nicolay's room this morning, C. Schurz, and J. Lane were sitting. Jim was at the window, filling his soul with gall by steady telescopic contemplation of a Secession flag impudently flaunting over a roof in Alexandria. 'Let me tell you,' said he to the elegant Teuton, 'we have got to whip these scoundrels like hell, C. Schurz. They did a good thing stoning our men at Baltimore and shooting away the flag at Sumter. It has set the great North a-howling for blood, and they'll have it.'

"'I heard,' said Schurz, 'you preached a sermon to your men yesterday.'

"'No, sir! this is not time for preaching. When I went to Mexico there were four preachers in my regiment. In less than a week I issued orders for them all to stop preaching and go to playing cards. In a month or so, they were the biggest devils and best fighters I had.'

"An hour afterwards, C. Schurz told me he was going home to arm his clansmen for the wars. He has obtained three months' leave of absence from his diplomatic duties, and permission to raise a cavalry regiment. He will make a wonderful land pirate; bold, quick, brilliant, and reckless. He will be hard to control and difficult to direct. Still, we shall see. He is a wonderful man."--THAYER, _Life and Letters of John Hay_, vol. i, 102-103.]

[Footnote 85: In Connelley's _James Henry Lane, the "Grim Chieftain" of Kansas_, the following is quoted as coming from Lane himself:

"Of the fifty-six men in the Legislature who voted for Jim Lane, five-and-forty now wear shoulder-straps. Doesn't Jim Lane look out for his friends?"]

[Footnote 86: John Brown's rating of Pomeroy, as given by Stearns in his _Life and Public Services of George Luther Stearns_, 133-134, would show him to have been a considerably less pugnacious individual than was Lane.]

[Footnote 87: Morton, war governor of Indiana, who had taken tremendous interest in the struggle for Kansas and in the events leading up to the organization of the Republican party, was one of the most energetic of men in raising troops for the defence of the Union, especially in the earliest stages of the war. See Foulke's _Life of Oliver P. Morton_, vol. i.]

[Footnote 88: Some doubt on this point exists. John Speer, Lane's intimate friend and, in a sense, his biographer, says Lane claimed Lawrenceburg, Indiana, as his birthplace. By some people he is thought to have been born in Kentucky.]

[Footnote 89: As Villard tells us [_Memoirs_, vol. i, 169], Lane was in command of the "Frontier Guards," one of the two special patrols that protected the White House in the early days of the war. There were those, however, who resented his presence there. For example, note the diary entry of Hay, "Going to my room, I met the Captain. He was a little boozy and very eloquent. He dilated on the troubles of the time and bewailed the existence of a garrison in the White House 'to give _éclat_ to Jim Lane.'"--Thayer, op. cit., vol. i, 94. The White House guard was in reality under General Hunter [_Report of the Military Services of General David Hunter_, 8].]

[Footnote 90: _Official Records_, vol. iii, 453, 455.]

[Footnote 91: A letter from Superintendent W.G. Coffin of date, July, 30, 1861 [Indian Office Special Files, no. 201, _Schools_, C. 1275 of 1861] bears evidence of this as bear also the following letters, the one, private in character, from Augustus Wattles, the other, without specific date, from William Brooks:


MONEKA, KANSAS, May 20, 1861. MR. DOLE

Dear Sir, A messenger has this moment left me, who came up from the Osages yesterday--a distance of about forty miles. The gentleman lives on the line joining the Osage Indians, and has, since my acquaintance with him about three years.

A short time ago, perhaps three weeks, a number of lawless white men went into the Nation and stole a number of ponies. The Indians made chase, had a fight and killed several, reported from three to five, and retook their ponies.

A company of men is now getting up here and in other counties, to go and fight the Indians. I am appealed to by the Indians to act as their friend.

They represent that they are loyal to the U.S. Government and will fight for their Great Father, at Washington, but must be protected from bad white men at home. The Government must not think them enemies when they only fight thieves and robbers.

Rob't B. Mitchell, who was recently appointed Maj. General of this State by Gov. Robinson, has resigned, and is now raising volunteers to fight the Indians. He has always been a Democrat in sympathy with the pro-slavery party, and his enlisting men now to take them away from the Missouri frontier, when we are daily threatened with an attack from that State, and union men are fleeing to us for protection from there, is certainly a very questionable policy. It could operate no worse against us, if it were gotten up by a traitor to draw our men off on purpose to give the Missourians a chance when we are unprepared. I presume you have it in your power to prevent any attack on the Indians in Kansas till such time as they can be treated with. And such order to the Commander of the Western Division of the U.S. Army would stop further proceedings.

I shall start to-morrow for Council Grove and meet the Kansas Indians before General Mitchell's force can get there. As the point of attack is secret, I fear it may be the Osages, for the purpose of creating a necessity for a treaty with himself by which he can secure a large quantity of land for himself and followers. He is acquainted with all the old Democratic schemes of swindling Indians.

The necessity for prompt action on the part of the Indian Department increases every day. The element of discord in the community here now, was once, the pro-slavery party. I see their intention to breed disturbances with the Indians is malicious and selfish. They are active and unscrupulous, and must be met promptly and decisively.

I hope you will excuse this, as it appears necessary for me to step a little out of my orders to notify you of current events. I am very respectfully Your Ob't Ser'vt AUGUSTUS WATTLES, _Special Agent_

[Indian Office Special Files, no. 201.]


Hon. Sir: Permit me to inform you, by this means, of the efforts that have been and are now being made in Southern Kansas to arouse both the "Osages" and "Cherokees" _to rebel_, and bear arms against the U.S. Government--At a public meeting near the South E. corner of the "Osage Nation" called by the settlements for the devising of some means by which to protect themselves from "unlawful characters," Mr. John Mathis, who resides in the Osage Nation and has an Osage family, also Mr. "Robert Foster" who lives in the Cherokee Nation and has a Cherokee family endeavered by public speeches and otherwise to induce "Osages", "Cherokees", as well as Americans who live on the "Neutral Lands" to bear arms against the U.S. Government--_aledging that there was no U.S. Government_. There was 25 men who joined them and they proceeded to organise a "_Secession Company_" electing as Capt R.D. Foster and 1st Lieutenant James Patton--This meeting was held June 4th 1861--at "McGhees Residence"--The peace of this section of country requires the removal of these men from the Indian country, or some measures that will restrain them from exciting the Indians in Southern Kansas.

Yours Respectfully WM BROOKS.

You will understand why you are addressed by a private individual on this subject instead of the Agent, since A.J. Dorn, the present Indian Agent, is an avowed "Secessionist" and consequently would favor, rather than suppress the move. WM BROOKS.

[Ibid., _Southern Superintendency_, B567 of 1861]]

[Footnote 92: Branch to Mix, June 22, 1861, enclosing letter from Agent Elder, June 15, 1861 [Indian Office Files, _Neosho_, B 547 of 1861].]

[Footnote 93:--Ibid., _Cherokee_, C 1200 of 1861].

[Footnote 94: _Official Records_, vol. iii, 405.]

[Footnote 95:--Ibid., 397, 408.]

[Footnote 96:--Ibid., 428.]

[Footnote 97: _Official Records_, vol. iii, 430.]

[Footnote 98:--Ibid., 446.]

[Footnote 99: The Daily Conservative (Leavenworth), October 5, 1861.]

[Footnote 100:--Ibid., August 30, 1861, quoting from the Fort Scott _Democrat_.]

[Footnote 101: Britton, _Civil War on the Border_, vol. i, 122.]

[Footnote 102: _Official Records_, vol. iii, 465.]

[Footnote 103: The following letter, an enclosure of a report from Branch to Dole, August 14, 1861, gives some slight indication of its insecurity:

OFFICE OF NEOSHO AGENCY Fort Scott, July 27, 1861.

Sir--I deem it important to inform the Department of the situation of this Agency at this time. After entering upon the duties of this office as per instructions--and attending to all the business that seemed to require my immediate attention--I repaired to Franklin Co. Kan. to remove my family to the Agency.

Leaving the Agency in care of James Killebrew Esq the Gov't Farmer for the Quapaw Nation. Soon after I left I was informed by him that the Agency had been surrounded by a band of armed men, and instituted an inquiry for "_that Abolition Superintendent and Agent_." After various interrogatories and answers they returned in the direction of Missouri and Arkansas lines from whence they were supposed to have come. He has since written me and Special Agent Whitney and Superintendent Coffin told me that it would be very unsafe for me to stay at that place under the present excited state of public feeling in that vicinity. I however started with my family on the 6th July and arrived at Fort Scott on the 9th intending to go direct to the Agency. Here I learned from Capt Jennison commanding a detachment of Kansas Militia, who had been scouting in that vicinity, that the country was full of marauding parties from Gov. Jackson's Camp in S.W. Mo. I therefore concluded to remain here and watch the course of events believing as I did the Federal troops (cont.)] [Footnote 103: (cont.) would soon repair thither and so quell the rebellion as to render my stay here no longer necessary. But as yet the Union forces have not penetrated that far south, and Jackson with a large force is quartered within 20 or 25 miles of the Agency--I was informed by Mr. Killebrew on the 23d inst. that everything at the Agency was safe--but the house and roads were guarded--Hence I have assumed the responsibility of establishing my office here temporarily until I can hear from the department.

And I most sincerely hope the course I have thus been compelled to pursue will receive the approval of the department.

I desire instructions relative to the papers and a valuable safe (being the only moveables there of value) which can only be moved _at present_ under the protection of a guard. And also instructions as to the course I am to pursue relative to the locality of the Agency.

I feel confident that the difficulty now attending the locality at Crawford Seminary will not continue long--if not then I shall move directly there unless instructions arrive of a different character.

All mail matter should be directed to Fort Scott for the Mail Carrier has been repeatedly arrested and the mails may be robbed--Very respectfully your Obedient Servant

PETER P. ELDER, _U.S. Neosho Agent_.

H.B. BRANCH Esq, Superintendent of Ind. Affairs C.S. St. Joseph, Mo. [Indian Office Files, _Neosho_, B 719 of 1861].]

[Footnote 104: For additional information about the Dry Wood Creek affair and about the events leading up to and succeeding it, see _Official Records_, vol. liii, supplement, 436; Britton, _Civil War on the Border_, vol. i, chapter x; Connelley, _Quantrill and the Border Wars_, 199.]

[Footnote 105: In ridicule of Lane's fortifications, see Spring, _Kansas_, 275.]

[Footnote 106: As soon as the citizens, panic-stricken, were gone, the detachment which Lane had left in charge, under Colonel C.R. Jennison, commenced pillaging their homes [Britton, _Civil War on the Border_, vol. i, 130.]]

[Footnote 107: H.C. Whitney to Mix, September 6, 1861, Indian Office Consolidated Files, _Neosho_, W 455 of 1861.]

[Footnote 108: By the fifth of September, Lane had credible information that Price had broken camp at Dry Wood and was moving towards Lexington [Britton, _Civil War on the Border_, vol. i, 144].]

[Footnote 109: (a)


HON. WM.P. DOLE, Com. of Ind. Af'rs

Dear Sir, We have just returned from a successful expedition into the Indian Country, And I thought you would be glad to hear the news.

Probably you know that Mathews, formerly an Indian Trader amongst the Osages has been committing depredations at the head of a band of half breed Cherokees, all summer.

He has killed a number of settlers and taken their property; but as most of them were on the Cherokee neuteral lands I could not tell whether to blame him much or not, as I did not understand the condition of those lands.

A few days ago he came up to Humbolt and pillaged the town. Gen. Lane ordered the home guards, composed mostly of old men, too old for regular service, to go down and take or disperse this company under Mathews.

He detailed Lieut. Col. Blunt of Montgomery's regiment to the command, and we started about 200 strong. We went to Humbolt and followed down through the Osage as far as the Quapaw Agency where we came up with them, about 60 strong.

Mathews and 10 men were killed at the first fire, the others retreated. We found on Mathews a Commission from Ben. McCulloch, authorizing him to enlist the Quapaw and other Indians and operate on the Kansas frontier.

The Osage Indians are loyal, and I think most of the others would be if your Agents were always ready to speak a word of confidence for our Government, and on hand to counteract the influence of the Secession Agents.

There is no more danger in doing this than in any of the Army service. If an Agent is killed in the discharge of his duty, another can be appointed the same as in any other service. A few prompt Agents, might save a vast amount of plundering which it is now contemplated to do in Kansas.

Ben. McCulloch promises his rangers, and the Indians that he will winter them in Kansas and expel the settlers.

I can see the Indians gain confidence in him precisely as they loose it in us. It need somebody amongst them to represent our power and strength and purposes, and to give them courage and confidence in the U.S. Government.

There is another view which some take and you may take the same, i.e. let them go--fight and conquer them--take their lands and stop their annuities.

I can only say that whatever the Government determines on the people here will sustain. The President was never more popular. He is the President of the Constitution and the laws. And notwithstanding what the papers say about his difference with Frémont, every heart reposes confidence in the President.

So far as I can learn from personal inquiry, the Indians are not yet committed to active efforts against the Gov. AUG. WATTLES.

[Indian Office Special Files, no. 201, _Central Superintendency_, W 474 of 1861.]


SACK AND FOX AGENCY, Dec. 17th 1861.

HON.W.P. DOLE, Commissioner of Indian Affairs

Dear Sir: After receiving the cattle and making arrangements for their keeping at Leroy I went and paid a visit to the Ruins of Humboldt which certainly present a gloomy appearance. All the best part of the town was burnt. Thurstons House that I had rented for an office tho near half a mile from town was burnt tho his dwelling and mill near by were spared. All my books and papers that were there were lost. My trunk and what little me and my son had left after the sacking were all burnt including to Land Warrents one 160 acres and one 120. Our Minne Rifle and ammunition Saddle bridle, etc.... About 4 or 5 Hundred Sacks of Whitney's Corn were burnt. As soon as I can I will try to make out a list of the Papers from the Department [that] were burnt. As I had some at Leavenworth I cannot do so til I see what is there. As Mr. Hutchinson is not here I leave this morning for the Kaw Agency to endeavour to carry out your Instructions there and will return here as soon as I get through there. They are building some stone houses here and I am much pleased with the result. The difference in cost is not near so much as we expected but I will write you fully on a careful examination as you requested. Very respectfully your obedient Servant

W.G. COFFIN, _Superintendent of Indian Affairs_ Southern Superintendency

[Indian Office Files, _Southern Superintendency_, C 1432 of 1861]]

[Footnote 110: _Official Records_, vol. iii, 468-469.]

[Footnote 111:--Ibid., 483.]

[Footnote 112:--Ibid., 490.]

[Footnote 113:--Ibid.]

[Footnote 114:--Ibid., 196; vol. liii, supplement, 743; Britton, _Civil War on the Border_, vol. i, 147-148; Connelley, _Quantrill and the Border Wars_, 208-209, 295.]

[Footnote 115: _Official Records_, vol. iii, 500.]

[Footnote 116:--Ibid., 505-506.]

[Footnote 117:--Ibid., 516.]

[Footnote 118: Spring, _Kansas_, 272.]

[Footnote 119: _Daily Conservative_, November 22, 1861.]

[Footnote 120: Woodburn, _Life of Thaddeus Stevens_, 183.]

[Footnote 121: Lane's speech at Springfield, November 7, 1861 [_Daily Conservative_, November 17, 1861].]

[Footnote 122: For a full discussion of the progress of the movement, see Abel, _American Indian as Slaveholder and Secessionist_, 227 ff.]

[Footnote 123: _Official Records_, vol. iii, 525, 526, 527.]

[Footnote 124:--Ibid, 527.]

[Footnote 125: _Daily Conservative_, October 9, 10, 1861.]

[Footnote 126: _Official Records_, vol. iii, 529.]

[Footnote 127: _Daily Conservative_, October 9, 15, 1861.]

[Footnote 128: Chief among the papers against Robinson, in the matter of his longstanding feud with Lane, was the _Daily Conservative_ with D.W. Wilder as its editor. Another anti-Robinson paper was the Lawrence _Republican_. The Cincinnati _Gazette_ was decidedly friendly to Lane.]

[Footnote 129: _Daily Conservative_, October 15, 1861.]

[Footnote 130: _Official Records_, vol. iii, 529-530. Lane outlined his plan for a separate department in his speech in Stockton's Hall [_Daily Conservative_, October 9, 1861]. Robinson was opposed to the idea [Ibid., November 2, 6, 1861].]

[Footnote 131: _Official Records_, vol. iii, 530.]

[Footnote 132: Martin, _First Two Years of Kansas_, 24; _Biographical Congressional Directory_, 1771-1903.]

[Footnote 133: _Daily Conservative_, November 1, 1861, gives Robinson the credit of inciting Stanton to contest the seat.]

[Footnote 134: _Daily Conservative_, October 30, 1861.]

[Footnote 135: Secretary Cameron's reply to Secretary Smith's first request was uncompromising in the extreme and prophetic of his persistent refusal to recognize the obligation resting upon the United States to protect its defenceless "wards." This is Cameron's letter of May 10, 1861:

"In answer to your letter of the 4th instant, I have the honor to state that on the 17th April instructions were issued by this Department to remove the troops stationed at Forts Cobb, Arbuckle, Washita, and Smith, to Fort Leavenworth, leaving it to the discretion of the Commanding Officer to replace them, or not, by Arkansas Volunteers.

"The exigencies of the service will not admit any change in these orders." [Interior Department Files, _Bundle no. 1 (1849-1864) War_.]

Secretary Smith wrote to Cameron again on the thirtieth [Interior Department _Letter Press Book_, vol. iii, 125], enclosing Dole's letter of the same date [Interior Department, _File Box, January 1 to December 1, 1861_; Indian Office _Report Book_, no. 12, 176], but to no purpose.]

[Footnote 136: Indian Office _Report Book_, no. 12, 218-219.]

[Footnote 137: Although his refusal to keep faith with the Indians is not usually cited among the things making for Cameron's unfitness for the office of Secretary of War, it might well and justifiably be. No student of history questions to-day that the appointment of Simon Cameron to the portfolio of war, to which Thaddeus Stevens had aspirations [Woodburn, _Life of Thaddeus Stevens_, 239], was one of the worst administrative mistakes Lincoln ever made. It was certainly one of the four cabinet appointment errors noted by Weed [_Autobiography_, 607].]

[Footnote 138: Indian Office _Report Book_ no. 12, 225.]

[Footnote 139: Dole to Hunter, November 16, 1861, ibid., _Letter Book_, no. 67, pp. 80-82.]

[Footnote 140: On conditions in Colorado Territory, the following are enlightening: ibid., _Consolidated Files_, C 195 of 1861; C 1213 of 1861; C 1270 of 1861; C 1369 of 1861; V 43 of 1861; _Official Records_, vol. iv, 73.]


[Footnote 141: In addition to what may be obtained on the subject from the first volume of this work, two letters of slightly later date furnish particulars, as do also the records of a council held by Agent Cuther with certain chiefs at Leroy.

(a). LAWRENCE, KANSAS, Dec. 14th, 1861.

HON.W.P. DOLE, Commissioner of Ind. Affairs

Dear Sir, It is with reluctance that I again intrude on your valuable time. But I am induced to do so by the conviction that the subject of our Indian relations is really a matter of serious concern: as involving the justice and honor of our own Government, and the deepest interests--the very existence, indeed--of a helpless and dependent people. And knowing that it is your wish to be furnished with every item of information which may, in any way, throw light on the subject, I venture to trouble you with another letter.

Mico Hat-ki, the Creek man referred to in my letter of Oct. 31st has been back to the Creek Nation, and returned about the middle of last month. He was accompanied, to this place, by one of his former companions, but had left some of their present company at LeRoy. They were expecting to have a meeting with some of the Indians, at LeRoy, to consult about the proper course to be pursued, in order to protect the loyal and peaceable Indians, from the hostility of the disaffected, who have become troublesome and menacing in their bearing.

With this man and his companion, I had considerable conversation, and find that the Secessionists and disaffected Half-breeds are carrying things with a high hand. While the loyal Indians are not in a condition to resist them, by reason of the proximity of an overwhelming rebel force.

From them (repeating their former statements, regarding the defection of certain parties, and the loyalty of others, with the addition of some further particulars) I learn the following facts: Viz. That M Kennard, the Principal Chief of the Lower Creeks, most of the McIntoshes, George Stidham, and others have joined the rebels, and organized a military force in their interest; for the purpose of intimidating and harrassing the loyal Indians. They name some of the officers, but are not sufficiently conversant with military terms to distinguish the different grades, with much exactness. Unee McIntosh, however, is the highest in rank, (a Colonel I presume) and Sam Cho-co-ti, George Stidham, Chilly McIntosh, are all officers in the Lower Creek rebel force.

Among the Upper Creeks, John Smith, Timiny Barnet and Wm. Robinson, are leaders.

Among the Seminoles, John Jumper, the Principal Chief, is on the side of the rebels. Pas-co-fa, the second chief, stands neutral. Fraser McClish, though himself a Chickasaw, has raised a company among the Seminoles in favor of the rebellion. They say the full Indians will kill him.

The Choctaws are divided in much the same way as the other Tribes, the disaffected being principally among the Half-breeds.

The Chickasaw Governor, Harris, is a Secessionist; and so are most, if not all, the Colberts. The full Indians are loyal to the Government, as are some of the mixed bloods also, and here, I remark, from my own knowledge, that this Governor Harris was the first to propose the adoption of concerted measures, among the Southern Tribes, on the subject of Secession. This was instantly and earnestly opposed by John Ross, as being out of place, and an ungrateful violation of the Treaty obligations, by which the Tribes had placed themselves under the exclusive protection of the United States; and, under which, they had enjoyed a long course of peace and prosperity.

They say, there are about four hundred Secessionists, among the Cherokees. But whether organized or not, I did not understand. I presume they meant such as were formerly designated by the term Warriors, somewhat analogous to the class among ourselves, who are fit for military duty, though they may or may not be actually organized and under arms. So that the _Thousands of Indians_ in the secession papers, as figuring in the armies, are enormous exaggerations; and most of them sheer fabrications.

Albert Pike, of Little Rock, boasts of having visited and made treaty alliances with the Comanches, and other tribes, on behalf of the "Confederate States," but the Indians do not believe him. And, in blunt style, say "he tells lies."

They make favorable mention of O-poth-le-yo-ho-lo, an ex-Creek Chief, a true patriot of former days. But, it seems, he has been molested and forced to leave his home to avoid the annoyance and violence of the rebel party. There are, however, more than three thousand young men, of the warrior class, who adhere to his principles, and hold true faith and allegiance to the United States.

They say also that John Ross is not a Secessionist, and that there are more than four thousand patriots among the Cherokees, who are true to the Government of the United States. This agrees, substantially, with my own personal knowledge, unless they have changed within a very short time, which is not at all probable, as the Cherokees, of this class, are pretty fully and correctly informed about the nature of the controversy. And I may add, that much of their information is, through one channel and another, communicated to the Creeks, and much of their spirit too.

On the whole, judging from the most reliable information, I have been able to obtain, I feel assured that the Full Indians of the Creeks, Cherokees, Seminoles, and the small bands living in the Creek Nation, are faithful to the Government. And the same, to a great extent, is true of the Choctaws and Chickasaws. And were it not for the proximity of the rebel force, the loyal Indians would put down the Secession movement among themselves, at once. Or rather, they would not have suffered it to rise at all.

The loyal Indians say, they wish "to stand by their Old Treaties." And they are as persistent in their adherence to these Treaties, as we are, to our Constitution. And I have no doubt that, as soon as the Government can afford them protection, they will be ready, at the first call, to manifest, by overt action, the loyalty to which they are pledged.

They are looking, with great anxiety and hope, for the coming of the great army. And I have no doubt that a friendly communication from the Government, through the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, would have a powerful effect in removing any false impressions, which may have been made, on the ignorant and unwary, by the emissaries of Secession, and to encourage and reassure the loyal friends of the Government, who, in despair of timely aid, may have been compelled to yield any degree of submission, to the pressure of an overwhelming force. I was expecting to see these Indians again, and to have had further conversation with them. But I am informed by Charles Johnnycake that they have gone to Fort Leavenworth and expect to go on to Washington. Hearing this, I hesitated about troubling you with this letter at all, as, in that case, you would see them yourself. But I have concluded to send it, as affording me an opportunity to express a few thoughts, with which it would hardly be worth while to occupy a separate letter.

Hoping that the counsels and movements of the Government may be directed by wisdom from above, and that the cause of truth and right may prevail, I remain with great respect, Dear Sir, Your Obedient Ser'v EVAN JONES.

P.S. I rec. a note from Mr. Carruth, saying that he was going to Washington, with a delegation of Southern Indians, and I suppose Mico Hatki and his companions are that Delegation, or at least a part of them.

I will just say in regard to Mr. Carruth that I was acquainted with him, several years ago, as a teacher in the Cherokee Nation. He afterwards went to the Creek Nation, I _think_, as teacher of a Government school, and I believe, has been there ever since. If so, he must know a good deal about the Creeks. Mr. Carruth bore a good character. I think he married one of the Missionary ladies of the Presbyterian Mission.

[Indian Office Special Files, no. 201, _Southern Superintendency_, J 530 of 1861.]

(b). Wichita Agency, L.D., December 15, 1861.

All well and doing well. Hear you are having trouble among yourselves--fighting one another, but you and we are friendly. Our brothers the Comanches and all the other tribes are still your friends. Mode Cunard and you were here and had the talk with Gen. Pike; we still hold to the talk we made with Gen. Pike, and are keeping the treaty in good faith, and are looking for him back again soon. We look upon you and Mode Cunard and Gen. Pike as brothers. Gen. Pike told us at the council that there were but few of us here, and if any thing turned up to make it necessary he would protect them. We are just as we were when Gen. Pike was up here and keeping the treaty made with him. Our brothers the wild Comanches have been in and are friendly with us.

All the Indians here have but one heart. Our brothers, the Texans, and the Indians are away fighting the cold weather people. We do not intend to go North to fight them, but if they come down here, we will all wait to drive them away. Some of my people are one-eyed and a little crippled, but if the enemy comes here they will all jump out to fight him. Pea-o-popicult, the principal Kiowa chief, has recently visited the reserve, and expressed friendly intentions, and has gone back to consult the rest of his people, and designs returning.

Hoseca X Maria} Ke-Had-a-wah } Chiefs of the Camanches Buffalo Hump } Te-nah Geo. Washington Jim Pockmark

[Indian Office, Confederate Papers, Copy of a letter to John Jumper, certified as a true copy by A.T. Pagy.]

(c). LEROY, COFFEY CO., KANSAS, NOV. 4, 1861.


Dear Sir: Enclosed I send you a statement of delegation of Creeks, Chickasaw, and Kininola who are here for assistance from the Government. You will see by the enclosed that I have held a Council with them the result of which I send verbatim. They have travelled some 300 or 400 miles to get here, had to take an unfrequented road and were in momentary fear of their lives not because the secessionists were stronger than the Union party in their nation, but because the secessionists were on the alert and were determined that there should be no communication with the Government.

They underwent a great many privations in getting here, had to bear their own expenses, which as some of them who were up here a short time ago have travelled in coming and going some 900 miles was considerable.

I am now supplying them with everything they need on my own responsibility. They dare not return to their people unless troops are sent with them and they assure me the moment that is done, a large portion of each of the tribes will rally to the support of the Government and that their warriors will gladly take up arms in its defence.

I write to you from Topeka and urge that steps be taken to render them the requisite protection. I am satisfied that the Department will see the urgent necessity of carrying out the Treaty stipulations and giving these Indians who are so desirous of standing firm by the Government and who have resisted so persistently all the overtures of the secessionists, the assistance and protection which is their due. I am informed by these Indians that John Ross is desirous of standing by the Government, and that he has 4000 warriors who are willing to do battle for the cause of the Union.

They also inform me, that the Washitas, Caddos, Tenies, Wakoes, Tewakano, Chiekies, Shawnees, and Kickapoos are almost unanimously Union. Gen. Lane is anxious to do something to relieve the Union Indians in the southern tribes, by taking prompt and energetic steps at this time--it can be done with little expense and but little trouble, while the benefit to be derived will be incalculable. Let me beg of you and more that the matter be laid before the Department and the proper steps be taken to give the Indians that protection which is their due and at the same time take an important step in sustaining the supremacy of the Government. Your obedient Servant, GEO.A. CUTLER, _agent_ for the Indians of the Creek agency.


At a Council of the Creeks, held at Leroy in Coffey County, Kansas, at the house of the Agent of said Indians, Maj. Geo. A. Cutler, who was unable to visit their Country owing to the rebellion existing in the Country, the following talk was had by the Chiefs of said nation, eight in number--Four Creeks, Two Seminoles, Two Chickasaws.

Oke-Tah-hah-shah-haw-choe, Chief of Creek Upper District says, he will talk short words this time--wants to tell how to get trouble in Creek nation. First time Albert Pike come in he made great deal trouble. That man told Indian that the Union people would come and take away property and would take away land--now you sleep, you ought to wake up and attend to your own property. Tell them there ain't no U.S.--ain't any more Treaty--all be dead--Tell them as there is no more U.S. no more Treaty that the Creeks had better make new Treaty with the South and the Southern President would protect them and give them their annuity--Tell them if you make Treaty with southern President that he would pay you more annuity and would pay better than the U.S. if they the Indians would help the Southern President--Mr. Pike makes the half breeds believe what he says and the half breeds makes some of the full blood Indians believe what he says that they (the Indians) must help the secessionists. Then that is so--but as for himself he don't believe him yet. Then he thought the old U.S. was alive yet and the Treaty was good. Wont go against the U.S. himself--That is the reason the Secessions want to have him--The Secessionists offered 5000$ for his head because he would not go against the U.S. Never knew that Creek have an agent here until he come and see him and that is why I have come among this Union people. Have come in and saw my agent and want to go by the old Treaty. Wants to get with U.S. Army so that I can get back to my people as Secessionists will not let me go. Wants the Great Father to send the Union Red people and Troops down the Black Beaver road and he will guide them to his country and then all his people will be for the Union--That he cannot get back to his people any other way--Our Father to protect the land in peace so that he can live in peace on the land according to the Treaty--At the time I left my union people I told them to look to the Beaver Road until I come. Promised his own people that the U.S. Army would come back the Beaver Road and wants to go that way--The way he left his country his people was in an elbow surrounded by secessions and his people is not strong enough against them for Union and that is the reason he has come up for help--Needed guns, powder, lead to take to his own people. Own people for the Union about 3350 warriors all Creeks--Needed now clothing, tents for winter, tools, shirts, and every thing owned by whites,--wants their annuity as they need it now--The Indians and the Whites among us have done nothing against any one but the Secessionists have compelled us to fight and we are willing to fight for the Union. Creek half breeds joined secessionists. 32 head men and leaders-27 towns for the Union among Creeks

_Signed_: Oke-tah-hah-shah-haw Choe his X mark.

_Talk of Chickasaw Chief, Toe-Lad-Ke_

Says--Will talk short words--have had fever and sick--Secessionists told him no more U.S. no more Treaty--all broken up better make new Treaty with Secessionists--Although they told him all this did not believe them and that is reason came up to see if there was not still old U.S.--Loves his country--loves his children and would not believe them yet--That he did not believe what the Secessionists told him and they would not let him live in peace and that is the reason he left his country--The secessionists want to tie him--whip him and make him join them--but he would not and he left.

  100 warriors for secession--2240    do    "   Union

The secessionists plague him so much talk he asks for his country that the army go down and that is what his people wants same as Creek and Seminole--Have seen the agent of the Creeks but have not seen our agent but want to see him--wants agent sent--He has always done no wrong--Secessionists would not let him live in peace--and if have to fight all his people will fight for Union--That is all the chance that he can save his lands and property to children--by old U.S. and Treaty--Chickasaw--Seminoles and Creeks all in no difference--all for the Union--all want annuity and have had none for some time--Now my Great Father you must remember me and my people and all our wants. _Signed_: TOE-LAD-KE, his X mark.

_Talk of Seminole Chief, Choo-Loo-Foe-Lop-hah-Choe_

Says: Pike went among the Seminoles and tell them the same as he told the Creek. The talk of Pike he did not believe and told him so himself--Some of my people did believe Pike and did join the secessionists also he believed the old U.S. is alive and Treaty not dead and that is the reason he come up and had this talk--Never had done any thing against Treaty and had come to have Great Father protect us--Secession told him that Union men was going to take away land and property--could get no annuity old U.S. all gone--come to see--find it not so--wants President to send an agent don't know who agent is--wants to appoint agent himself as he knows who he wants. Twelve towns are for the Union

  500 warriors for the Union 100     do    "  Secession

All people who come with Billy Bowlegs are Union--Chief in place of Billy Bowlegs Shoe-Nock-Me-Koe this is his name--Need everything that Creeks need--arms clothing, etc. etc. wants to go with army same way and same road with Creek--This is what we ask of our Great Father live as the Treaty says in peace--and all Seminole warriors will fight for the Union. This is the request of our people of our Great Father They need their annuity have not had any for nearly a year and want it sent.

_Signed_: CHOO-LOO-FOE-LOP-HAH-CHOE, his X mark.

We the Chiefs of the three nations Creeks, Chickasaws and Seminoles who are of this delegation and all for the Union and the majority of our people are for the Union and agree in all that has been said by the Chiefs who have made this talk, and believe all they have said to be true--

  OKE-TAH-HAH-SHAH-HAW-CHOE          his X mark       Creek WHITE CHIEF                        his X mark       Creek

  BOB DEER                           his X mark       Creek PHIL DAVID                         his X mark       Creek

[Footnote 141: (cont.)

  TOE-LAD-KE                 his X mark    Chickasaw CHAP-PIA-KE                his X mark    Chickasaw

  CHOO-LOO-FOE-LOP-HAH-CHOE  his X mark    Seminole OH-CHEN-YAH-HOE-LAH        his X mark    Seminole

  _Witness_: C.F. Currier W. Whistler

LEROY, COFFEY CO. KAN., Nov. 4 1861.

I do certify that the within statement of the different chiefs were taken before me at a council held at my house at the time stated and that the talk of the Indian was correctly taken down by a competent clerk at the time.

GEO.A. CUTLER, _Agent_ for the Creek Indians.

[Indian Office Special Files, no. 201, _Southern Superintendency_, C 1400 of 1861.]]

[Footnote 142: Their acquaintance dated, if not from the antebellum days when Hunter was stationed at Fort Leavenworth and was not particularly magnanimous in his treatment of Southerners, then from those when he had charge, by order of General Scott, of the guard at the White House. _Report of the Military Services of General David Hunter_, pp. 7, 8.]

[Footnote 143: _Daily Conservative_, November 13, 1861.]

[Footnote 144: Coffin to Dole, October 2, 1861, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, _Report_, 1861, p. 39.]

[Footnote 145: _Daily Conservative_, November 17, 1861.]

[Footnote 146:--Ibid., November 23,1861.]

[Footnote 147: Denver was twice appointed Commissioner of Indian Affairs by Buchanan. For details as to his official career, see _Biographical Congressional Directory_, 499, and Robinson, _Kansas Conflict_, 424.]

[Footnote 148: Robinson, _op. cit_., 378 ff., 424 ff.]

[Footnote 149: _Official Records_, vol. viii, 456.]

[Footnote 150:--Ibid., 832.]

[Footnote 151: The Leavenworth _Daily Conservative_ seemed fairly jubilant over the prospect of Lane's early return to military activity. The following extracts from its news items and editorials convey some such idea:

"General Lane of Kansas has been nominated to the Senate and unanimously confirmed, as Brigadier General, to command Kansas troops; the express understanding being that General Lane's seat in the Senate shall not be vacated until he accepts his new commission, which he will not do until the Legislature of Kansas assembles, next month. He has no idea of doing anything that shall oblige Governor Robinson and his appointee (Stanton) (cont.)]

[Footnote 151: (cont.) who has been in waiting for several months to take the place."--_Daily Conservative_, January 1, 1862.

"Rejoicing in Neosho Battalion over report that Lane appointed to command Kansas troops."--Ibid., January 4, 1862.

"General Lane will soon be here and General Denver called to another command."--Ibid., January 7, 1862.]

[Footnote 152: Cameron to Hunter, January 3, 1862, _Official Records_, vol. liii, supplement, 512-513.]

[Footnote 153: Martin F. Conway, the Kansas representative in Congress, was under no misapprehension as to Lane's true position; for Lincoln had told him personally that Lane was to be under Hunter [_Daily Conservative_, February 6, 1862].]

[Footnote 154: Lane's expedition was variously referred to as "the Southern Expedition," "the Cherokee Expedition," "the great jayhawking expedition," and by many another name, more or less opprobrious.]

[Footnote 155: Representations of the great need of the Indians for assistance were made to the government by all sorts of people. Agent after agent wrote to the Indian Office. The Reverend Evan Jones wrote repeatedly and on the second of January had sent information, brought to him at Lawrence by two fugitive Cherokees, of the recent battle in which the loyalists under Opoethle-yo-ho-la had been worsted, at the Big Bend of the Arkansas [Indian Office Special Files, no. 201, _Southern Superintendency_, J 540 of 1862]. In the early winter, a mixed delegation of Creeks and others had made their way to Washington, hoping by personal entreaty to obtain succor for their distressed people, and justice. Hunter had issued a draft for their individual relief [Ibid., J523 of 1861], and passes from Fort Leavenworth to Washington [Ibid., C1433 of 1861]. It was not so easy for them to get passes coming back. Application was made to the War Department and referred back to the Interior [Ibid., A 434 of 1861]. The estimate, somewhat inaccurately footed up, of the total expense of the return journey as submitted by agents Cutler and Carruth was,

  "11 R.R. Tickets to Fort Leavenworth by way of New York City $48                                                        $ 528.00

  11 men $2 ea (incidental expenses)                            22.00

  2 1/2 wks board at Washington $5                             137.50

  Expenses from Leavenworth to Ind. Nat                         50.00

  Pay of Tecumseh for taking care of horses                     25.00 -------

  [Ibid., C 1433 of 1861].                             $ 960.50"

Dole had not encouraged the delegation to come on to Washington. He pleaded lack of funds and the wish that they would wait in Fort Leavenworth and attend Hunter's inter-tribal council so that they might go back to their people carrying definite messages of what was to be done (cont.)] [Footnote 155: (cont.) [Indian Office _Letter Book_, no. 67, p. 107]. Dole had been forwarned of their intention to appear in Washington by the following letter:

FORT LEAVENWORTH KAN., Nov. 23rd 1861. HON WM.P. DOLE, Com. Indian Affs.

Sir: On my arrival in St. Louis I found Gen'l Hunter at the Planters House and delivered the message to him that you had placed in my hands for that purpose. He seemed fully satisfied with your letter and has acted on it accordingly. I recd from Gen'l Hunter a letter for Mr. Cutler, and others of this place, all of which I have delivered. Having found Cutler here, he having been ordered by Lane to move the council from Leroy to Fort Scott. But from some cause (which I have not learned) he has brought the chiefs all here to the Fort, where they are now quartered awaiting the arrival of Gen'l Hunter. He has with him six of the head chiefs of the Creek, Seminole and Cherokee Nations, and tells me that they are strong for the Union. He also says that John Ross (Cherokee) is all right but dare not let it be known, and that he will be here if he can get away from the tribe.

These chiefs all say they want to fight for the Union, and that they will do so if they can get arms and ammunition. Gen'l Hunter has ordered me to await his arrival here at which time he will council with these men, and report to you the result. I think he will be here on Tuesday or Wednesday. Cutler wants to take the Indians to Washington, but I advised him not to do so until I could hear from you. When I met him here he was on his way there.

You had better write to him here as soon as you get this, or you will see him there pretty soon.

I have nothing more to write now but will write in a day or two.

Yours Truly R.W. DOLE.

P.S. Coffin is at home sick, but will be here soon. Branch is at St. Joe but would not come over with me, cause, too buissie to attend to business.

[Indian Office Special Files, no 201, _Southern Superintendency_, D 410 of 1861].]

[Footnote 156: In part proof of this take his letter to Adjutant-general Thomas, January 15, 1862.

"On my arrival here in November last I telegraphed for permission to (cont.)]

[Footnote 156: (cont.) muster a Brigade of Kansas Indians into the service of the United States, to assist the friendly Creek Indians in maintaining their loyalty. Had this permission been promptly granted, I have every reason to believe that the present disastrous state of affairs, in the Indian country west of Arkansas, could have been avoided. I now again respectfully repeat my request."--Indian Office General Files, _Southern Superintendency_, 1859-1862.]

[Footnote 157: To the references given in Abel, _The American Indian as Slaveholder and Secessionist_, add Thomas to Hunter, January 24, 1862, _Official Records_, vol. viii, 525.]

[Footnote 158: The St. Louis _Republican_ credited Halleck with characterizing Hunter's command, indiscriminately, as "marauders, bandits, and outlaws" [_Daily Conservative_, February 7, 1862]. In a letter to Lincoln, January 6, 1862, Halleck said some pretty plain truths about Lane [_Official Records_, vol. vii, 532-533]. He would probably have had the same objection to the use of Indians that he had to the use of negroes in warfare [_Daily Conservative_, May 23, 1862, quoting from the Chicago _Tribune_].]

[Footnote 159: On marauding by Lane's brigade, see McClellan to Stanton, February 11, 1862 [_Official Records_, vol. viii, 552-553].] [Footnote 160: Note this series of telegrams [Indian Office Special Files, no. 201, _Southern Superintendency_, D 576 of 1862]:

"Secretary of War is unwilling to put Indians in the army. Is to consult with President and settle it today."--SMITH to Dole, February 6, 1862.

"President cant attend to business now. Sickness in the family. No arrangements can be made now. Make necessary arrangements for relief of Indians. I will send communication to Congress today."--Same to Same, February 11, 1862.

"Go on and supply the destitute Indians. Congress will supply the means. War Department will not organize them."--Same to Same, February 14, 1862.]

[Footnote 161: Smith to Dole, January 3, 1862 [Indian Office Special Files, no. 201, _Central Superintendency_, I 531 of 1862; Commissioner of Indian Affairs, _Report_, 1862, p. 150].]

[Footnote 162: On the second of January, Agent Cutler wired from Leavenworth to Dole, "Heopothleyohola with four thousand warriors is in the field and needs help badly. Secession Creeks are deserting him. Hurry up Lane."--Indian Office Special Files, no. 201, _Southern Superintendency_, C 1443 of 1862.]

[Footnote 163: Their plea was expressed most strongly in the course of an interview which Dole had with representatives of the Loyal Creeks and Seminoles, Iowas and Delawares, February 1, 1862. Robert Burbank, the Iowa agent, was there. White Cloud acted as interpreter [_Daily Conservative_, February 2, 1862].]

[Footnote 164: Some of these had been provoked to a desire for war by the inroads of Missourians. Weas, Piankeshaws, Peorias, and Miamies, awaiting the return of Dole from the interior of Kansas, said, "they were for peace but the Missourians had not left them alone" [Ibid., February 9, 1862].]