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Among the manifold requests put forward by the refugees, none was so insistent, none so dolefully sincere, as the one for means to return home. It is a mistake to suppose that the Indian, traditionally laconic and stoical, is without family affection and without that noblest of human sentiments, love of country. The United States government has, indeed, proceeded upon the supposition that he is destitute of emotions, natural to his more highly civilized white brother, but its files are full to overflowing with evidences to the contrary.

Everywhere among them the investigator finds the exile's lament. The red man has been banished so often from familiar and greatly loved scenes that it is a wonder he has taken root anywhere and yet he has. Attachment to the places where the bones of his people lie is with him the most constant of experiences and his cry for those same sacred places is all the stronger and the more sorrowful because it has been persistently ignored by the white man.

The southern Indians had not been so very many years in the Indian Territory, most of them not more than the span of one generation, but Indian Territory was none the less home. If the refugees could only get there again, they were confident all would be well with them. In Kansas, they were hungry, afflicted with disease, and dying daily by the score.[193] Once at home all the ills of the flesh would disappear and lost friends be recovered. The exodus had separated them cruelly from each other. There were family and tribal encampments within the one large encampment,[194] it is true, but there were also widely isolated groups, scattered indiscriminately across two hundred miles of bleak and lonely prairie, and no amount of philanthropic effort on the part of the government agents could mitigate the misery arising therefrom or bring the groups together. The task had been early abandoned as, under the circumstances, next to impossible; but the refugees went on begging for its accomplishment, notwithstanding that they had neither the physical strength nor the means to render any assistance themselves. Among them the wail of the bereaved vied in tragic cadence with the sad inquiry for the missing.

When Dole arrived at Leavenworth the latter part of January, representatives of the loyal Indians interviewed him and received assurances, honest and well-meant at the time given, that an early return to Indian Territory would be made possible. Lane, likewise interviewed,[195] was similarly encouraging and had every reason to be; for was not his Indian brigade in process of formation? Much cheered and even exhilarated in spirit, the Indians went away to endure and to wait. They had great confidence in Lane's power to accomplish; but, as the days and the weeks passed and he did not come, they grew tired of waiting. The waiting seemed so hopeless to them miserable, so endlessly long. Primitive as they were, they simply could not understand why the agents of a great government could not move more expeditiously. The political and military aspects of the undertaking, involved in their return home, were unknown to them and, if known, would have been uncomprehended. Then, too, the vacillation of the government puzzled them. They became suspicious; for they had become acquainted, through the experience of long years, with the white man's bad faith and they had nothing to go upon that would counteract the influence of earlier distrust. And so it happened, that, as the weary days passed and Lane's brigade did not materialize, every grievance that loomed up before them took the shape of a disappointed longing for home.

So poignant was their grief at the continued delay that they despaired of ever getting the help promised and began to consider how they could contrive a return for themselves. And yet, quite independent of Lane's brigade, there had been more than one movement initiated in their behalf. The desire to recover lost ground in Indian Territory, under the pretext of restoring the fugitives, aroused the fighting instinct of many young men in southern Kansas and several irregular expeditions were projected.[196] Needless to say they came to nothing. In point of fact, they never really developed, but died almost with the thought. There was no adequate equipment for them and the longer the delay, the more necessary became equipment; because after the Battle of Pea Ridge, Pike's brigade had been set free to operate, if it so willed, on the Indian Territory border.

Closely following upon the Federal success of March 6 to 8, came numerous changes and readjustments in the Missouri-Kansas commands; but they were not so much the result of that success as they were a part of the general reorganization that was taking place in the Federal service incident to the more efficient war administration of Secretary Stanton. By order of March 11, three military departments were arranged for, the Department of the Potomac under McClellan, that of the Mountain under Frémont, and that of the Mississippi under Halleck. The consolidation of Hunter's Department of Kansas with Halleck's Department of Missouri was thus provided for and had long been a consummation devoutly to be wished.[197] Both were naturally parts of the same organic whole when regarded from a military point of view. Neither could be operated upon independently of the other. Moreover, both were infested by political vultures. In both, the army discipline was, in consequence, bad; that is, if it could be said to be in existence at all. If anything, Kansas was in a worse state than Missouri. Her condition, as far as the military forces were concerned, had not much improved since Hunter first took command and it was then about the worst that could possibly be imagined. Major Halpine's description[198] of it, made by him in his capacity as assistant adjutant-general, officially to Halleck, is anything but flattering. Hunter was probably well rid of his job and Halleck, whom Lincoln much admired because he was "wholly for the service,"[199] had asked for the entire command.[200]

Halleck's plans for remodeling the constituent elements of his department were made with a thorough comprehension of the difficulties confronting him. It is not surprising that they brought General Denver again to the fore. Hunter's troubles had been bred by local politics. That Halleck well knew; but he also knew that Indian relations were a source of perplexity and that there was no enemy actually in Kansas and no enemy worth considering that would threaten her, provided her own jay-hawking hordes could be suppressed. Her problems were chiefly administrative.[201] For the work to be done, Denver seemed the fittest man available and, on the nineteenth, he, having previously been ordered to report to Halleck for duty,[202] was assigned[203] to the command of a newly-constituted District of Kansas, from which the troops,[204] who were guarding the only real danger zone, the southeastern part of the state, were expressly excluded. The hydra-headed evil of the western world then asserted itself, the meddling, particularistic spoils system, with the result that Lane and Pomeroy, unceasingly vigilant whenever and wherever what they regarded as their preserves were likely to be encroached upon, went to President Lincoln and protested against the preferment of Denver.[205] Lincoln weakly yielded and wired to Halleck to suspend the order for Denver's assignment to duty until further notice.[206] Stanton, to whom Halleck applied[207] for an explanation, deprecated[208] the political interference of the Kansas senators and the influence it had had with the chief executive, but he, too, had to give way. So effective was the Lane-Pomeroy objection to Denver that even a temporary[209] appointment of him, resorted[210] to by Halleck because of the urgent need of some sort of a commander in Kansas, was deplored by the president.[211] Denver was then sent to the place where his abilities and his experience would be better appreciated, to the southernmost part of the state, the hinterland of the whole Indian country.[212] Official indecision and personal envy pursued him even there, however, and it was not long before he was called eastward.[213] The man who succeeded him in command of the District of Kansas[214] was one who proved to be his ranking officer[215] and his rival, Brigadier-general S.D. Sturgis. Blunt succeeded him at Fort Scott.

The elimination of Kansas as a separate department marked the revival of interest in an Indian expedition. The cost of supporting so huge a body of refugees had really become a serious proposition and, as Colonel C. R. Jennison[216] had once remarked, it would be economy to enlist them.[217] Congress had provided that certain Indian annuity money might be diverted to their maintenance,[218] but that fund was practically exhausted before the middle of March.[219] As already observed, the refugees very much wished to assist in the recovery of Indian Territory.[220] In fact they were determined to go south if the army went and their disappointment was likely to be most keen in the event of its and their not going.[221] It was under circumstances such as these that Commissioner Dole recommended to Secretary Smith, March 13, 1862, that he

  Procure an order from the War Department detailing two Regiment of Volunteers from Kansas to go with the Indians to their homes and to remain there for their protection as long (as) may be necessary, also to furnish two thousand stand of arms and ammunition to be placed in the hands of the loyal Indians.

Dole's unmistakable earnestness carried the day. Within less than a week there had been promised[222] him all that he had asked for and more, an expeditionary force of two white regiments and two[223] thousand Indians, appropriately armed. To expedite matters and to obviate any difficulties that might otherwise beset the carrying out of the plan, a semi-confidential agent, on detail from the Indian Office, was sent west with despatches[224] to Halleck and with an order[225] from the Ordnance Department for the delivery, at Fort Leavenworth, of the requisite arms. The messenger was Judge James Steele, who, upon reaching St. Louis, had already discouraging news to report to Dole. He had interviewed Halleck and had found him in anything but a helpful mood, notwithstanding that he must, by that time, have received and reflected upon the following communication from the War Department:



Commanding the Department of Mississippi:

General: It is the desire of the President, on the application of the Secretary of the Interior and the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, that you should detail two regiments to act in the Indian country, with a view to open the way for the friendly Indians who are now refugees in Southern Kansas to return to their homes and to protect them there. Five thousand friendly Indians will also be armed to aid in their own protection, and you will please furnish them with necessary subsistence.

Please report your action in the premises to this Department. Prompt action is necessary.

By order of the Secretary of War:

L. THOMAS, Adjutant-general[226]

Steele inferred from what passed at the interview with Halleck that the commanding general was decidedly opposed to arming Indians. Steele found him also non-committal as to when the auxiliary force would be available.[227] Dole's letter, with its seeming dictation as to the choice of a commander for the expedition, may not have been to Halleck's liking. He was himself at the moment most interested in the suppression of guerrillas and jayhawkers, against whom sentence of outlawry had just been passed. As it happened, that was the work in which Dole's nominee, Colonel Robert B. Mitchell,[228] was to render such signal service[229] and, anticipating as much, Halleck may have objected to his being thought of for other things. Furthermore, Dole had no right to so much as cast a doubt upon Halleck's own ability to select a proper commander.

A little perplexed but not at all daunted by Halleck's lack of cordiality, Steele proceeded on his journey and, arriving at Leavenworth, presented his credentials to Captain McNutt, who was in charge of the arsenal. Four hundred Indian rifles were at hand, ready for him, and others expected.[230] What to do next, was the question? Should he go on to Leroy and trust to the auxiliary force's showing up in season or wait for it? The principal part of his mission was yet to be executed. The Indians had to be enrolled and everything got in train for their expedition southward. Their homes once recovered, they were to be left in such shape as to be able to "protect and defend themselves."[231]

Halleck's preoccupation, prejudice, or whatever it was that prevented him from giving any satisfaction to Steele soon yielded, as all things sooner or later must, to necessity; but not to the extent of sanctioning the employment of Indians in warfare except as against other "Indians or in defense of their own territory and homes." The Pea Ridge atrocities were probably still fresh in his mind. On the fifth of April, he instructed[232] General Denver with a view to advancing, at last, the organization of the Indian expedition and Denver, Coffin, and Steele forthwith exerted all their energies in coöperating effort[233]. Some time was spent in inspecting arms[234] but, on the eighth, enough for two thousand Indians went forward in the direction of Leroy and Humboldt[235] and on the sixteenth were delivered to the superintendent[236]. Coffin surmised that new complications would arise as soon as the distribution began; for all the Indians, whether they intended to enlist or not, would try to secure guns. Nothing had yet been said about their pay and nothing heard of an auxiliary force[237]. Again the question was, what, in the event of its not appearing, should the Indian agents do?[238]

The time was propitious for starting the expedition; for not the shadow of an enemy had been lately seen in the West, unless count be taken of Indians returning home or small roving bands of possible marauders that the people of all parties detested[239]. But the order for the supplanting of Denver by Sturgis had already been issued, April sixth[240], and Sturgis's policy was not yet known. It soon revealed itself, however, and was hostile to the whole project that Dole had set his heart upon. Apparently that project, the moment it had been taken up by Denver, had ceased to have any interest for Lane on the score of its merits and had become identified with the Robinson faction in Kansas politics. At any rate, it was the anti-Robinson press that saw occasion for rejoicing in the complete removal of Denver from the scene, an event which soon took place[241].

The relieving of Denver from the command of the District of Kansas inaugurated[242] what contemporaries described as "Sturgis' military despotism,"[243] in amplification of which it is enough to say that it attempted the utter confounding, if not the annihilation, of the Indian Expedition, a truly noble undertaking to be sure, considering how much was hoped for from that expedition, how much of benefit and measure of justice to a helpless, homeless, impoverished people and considering, also, how much of time and thought and energy, not to mention money, had already been expended upon it.

Sturgis's policy with reference to the Indian Expedition was initiated by an order[244], of April 25, which gained circulation as purporting to be in conformity with instructions from the headquarters of the Department of the Mississippi, although in itself emanating from those of the District of Kansas. It put a summary stop to the enlistment of Indians and threatened with arrest anyone who should disobey its mandate. Superintendent Coffin, in his inimitable illiteracy, at once entered protest[245] against it and coolly informed Sturgis that, in enrolling Indians for service, he was acting under the authority, not of the War, but of the Interior Department. At the same sitting, he applied to Commissioner Dole for new instructions[246]. Colonel John Ritchie[247] of the inchoate Second Regiment Indian Home Guards did the same[248].

The reëstablishment[249] of the Department of Kansas, at this critical moment, while much to be regretted as indicative of a surrender to politicians[250] and an abandonment of the idea, so fundamentally conducive to military success, that all parts must contribute to the good of the whole, had one thing to commend it, it restored vigor to the Indian Expedition. The department was reëstablished, under orders[251] of May second, with James G. Blunt in command. He entered upon his duties, May fifth, and on that selfsame day authorized the issue of the following most significant instructions, in toto, a direct countermand of all that Sturgis had most prominently stood for:


General Orders,                HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF KANSAS, No. 2.                         Fort Leavenworth, Kans., May 5, 1862.

I. General Orders, No. 8, dated Headquarters District of Kansas, April 25, 1862, is hereby rescinded.

II. The instructions issued by the Department at Washington to the colonels of the two Indian regiments ordered to be raised will be fully carried out, and the regiments will be raised with all possible speed.

By order of Brig. Gen. James G. Blunt,[252]

THOS. MOONLIGHT, _Captain and Assistant Adjutant-general_.[253]

The full extent, not only of Sturgis's failure to coöperate with the Indian Office, but also of his intention utterly to block the organization of the Indian Expedition, is revealed in a letter[254] from Robert W. Furnas, colonel commanding the First Regiment Indian Home Guards, to Dole, May 4, 1862. That letter best explains itself. It was written from Leroy, Kansas, and reads thus:

    Disclaiming any idea of violating "Regulations" by an "Official Report" to you, permit me to communicate certain facts extremely embarrassing, which surround the Indian Expedition.

    In compliance with your order of Ap'l 5th. I reported myself "forthwith" to the U.S. mustering officer at Ft. Leavenworth and was "mustered into the service" on the 18th. of April. I "awaited the orders from Genl Halleck" as directed but rec'd none. On the 20th. Ap'l I rec'd detailed instructions from Adjt. Gen'l Thomas, authorizing me to proceed and raise "from the loyal Indians now in Kansas a Regiment of Infantry." I immediately repaired to this place and in a very few days enrolled a sufficient number of Indians to form a minimum[255] Regiment. I am particularly indebted to the Agts. Maj. Cutler of the Creeks and Maj. Snow of the Seminoles, for their valuable services. Immediately after the enrolling, and in compliance with my instructions from Adjt. Gen'l Thomas, I notified Lieut. Chas. S. Bowman U.S. mustering officer at Ft. Leavenworth of the fact, to which I have rec'd no answer.

    At this point in my procedure a special messenger from Gen'l Sturgis reached this place with a copy of his "Order No. 8," a copy of which I herewith send you. On the next day Maj. Minor in command at Iola, Kansas, and who had been furnished with a copy of General Sturgis' "Order" came with a company of Cavalry to this place "to look into matters." I showed him my authority, and informed him what I had done. He made no arrest, seeming utterly at a loss to understand the seemingly _confused_ state of affairs. Whether Gen'l Sturgis will on the reception of my notice at the Fort arrest me, or not, I know not. I have gone to the limits of my instructions and deem it, if not my duty, prudent at least to notify you of the condition of affairs, that you may be the better enabled to remove obstacles, that the design of the Department may be fully and promptly executed....[256]

It soon developed that General Halleck had been equally at fault in disregarding the wishes of the government with respect to the mustering in of the loyal Indians. He had neglected to send on to Kansas the instructions which he himself had received from Washington.[257] It was incumbent, therefore, upon Blunt to ask for new. He had found the enlisted Indians with no arms, except guns, no shot pouches, no powder horns, although they were attempting to supply themselves as best they could.[258] Blunt thought they ought to be furnished with sheath, or bowie, knives; but the Indian Office had no funds for such a purpose.[259] The new instructions, when they came, were found to differ in no particular from those which had formerly been issued. The Indian Home Guards were to constitute an irregular force and were to be supported by such white troops, as Blunt should think necessary. They were to be supplied with transportation and subsistence and Blunt was to "designate the general to command." Blunt's own appointment was expected to remove all difficulties that had stood in the way of the Indian Expedition while under the control of Halleck.[260] On May 8 came the order from Adjutant-general Thomas, "Hurry up the organization and departure of the two Indian regiments,"[261] which indicated that there was no longer any question as to endorsement by the Department of War.

As a matter of fact, the need for hurry was occasioned by the activity of secessionists, Indians and white men, in southwest Missouri, which would, of itself, suggest the inquiry as to what the Indian allies of the Confederacy had been about since the Battle of Pea Ridge. Van Dorn had ordered them to retire towards their own country and, while incidentally protecting it, afford assistance to their white ally by harassing the enemy, cutting off his supply trains, and annoying him generally. The order had been rigidly attended to and the Indians had done their fair share of the irregular warfare that terrorized and desolated the border in the late spring of the second year of the war. Not all of them, regularly enlisted, had participated in it, however; for General Pike had, with a considerable part of his brigade, gone away from the border as far as possible and had intrenched himself at a fort of his own planning, Fort McCulloch, in the Choctaw Nation, on the Blue River, a branch of the Red.[262] Furthermore, Colonel Drew and his men, later converts to secessionism, had, for a good part of the time, contented themselves with guarding the Cherokee Nation,[263] thus leaving Colonel Cooper and Colonel Stand Watie, with their commands, to do most of the scouting and skirmishing. So kindly did the Indians take to that work that Colonel Cooper recommended[264] their employment as out-and-out guerrillas. That was on May 6 and was probably suggested by the fact that, on April 21, the Confederate government had definitely authorized the use of partisan rangers.[265] A good understanding of Indian military activity, at this particular time, is afforded by General Pike's report[266] of May 4,

    ... The Cherokee[267] and Creek troops are in their respective countries. The Choctaw troops are in front of me, in their country, part on this side of Boggy and part at Little Boggy, 34 miles from here. These observe the roads to Fort Smith and by Perryville toward Fort Gibson. Part of the Chickasaw battalion is sent to Camp McIntosh, 11 miles this side of the Wichita Agency, and part to Fort Arbuckle, and the Texan company is at Fort Cobb.

    I have ordered Lieutenant-colonel Jumper with his Seminoles to march to and take Fort Larned, on the Pawnee Fork of the Arkansas, where are considerable stores and a little garrison. He will go as soon as their annuity is paid.

    The Creeks under Colonel McIntosh are about to make an extended scout westward. Stand Watie, with his Cherokees, scouts along the whole northern line of the Cherokee country from Grand Saline to Marysville, and sends me information continually of every movement of the enemy in Kansas and Southwestern Missouri.

    The Comanches, Kiowas, and Reserve Indians are all peaceable and quiet. Some 2,000 of the former are encamped about three days' ride from Fort Cobb, and some of them come in at intervals to procure provisions. They have sent to me to know if they can be allowed to send a strong party and capture any trains on their way from Kansas to New Mexico, to which I have no objection. To go on the war-path somewhere else is the best way to keep them from troubling Texas ...

Stand Watie's scouting had brought him, April 26,[268] into a slight action with men of the First Battalion First Missouri Cavalry at Neosho, in the vicinity of which place he lingered many days and where his men[269] again fought, in conjunction with Colonel Coffee's, May 31.[270] The skirmish of the later date was disastrous to the Federals under Colonel John M. Richardson of the Fourteenth Missouri State Militia Cavalry and proved to be a case where the wily and nimble Indian had taken the Anglo-Saxon completely by surprise.[271] From Neosho, Stand Watie moved down, by slow and destructive stages, through Missouri and across into Indian Territory. His next important engagement was at Cowskin Prairie, June 6.

Meanwhile, the organization of the Indian Expedition, or Indian Home Guard, as it was henceforth most commonly styled, was proceeding apace.[272] The completion of the first regiment gave little concern. It was composed of Creeks and Seminoles, eight companies of the former and two of the latter. The second regiment was miscellaneous in its composition and took longer to organize, largely because its prospective commander, Colonel John Ritchie, who had gone south to persuade the Osages to enlist,[273] was slow in putting in an appearance at Humboldt. The Neosho Agency, to which the Osages belonged, was in great confusion, partly due to the fact that, at this most untoward moment, the Osages were being approached for a cession of lands, and partly to the fact that Indians of the neighborhood, of unionist sympathies, Cherokees and Delawares[274] from the Cherokee country, Shawnees, Quapaws,[275] and Seneca-Shawnees, were being made refugees, partly, also, to the fact that Agent Elder and Superintendent Coffin were not working in harmony with each other. Their differences dated from the first days of their official relationship. Elder had been influential, for reasons most satisfactory to himself and not very complimentary to Coffin, in having the Neosho Agency transferred to the Central Superintendency.[276] Coffin had vigorously objected and with such effect that, in March, 1862, a retransfer had been ordered;[277] but not before Coffin had reported[278] that everything was now amicable between him and Elder. Elder was evidently of a different opinion and before long was asking to be allowed again to report officially to Superintendent Branch at St. Joseph.[279] There was a regular tri-weekly post between that place and Fort Scott, Elder's present headquarters, and the chances were good that Branch would be in a position to attend to mail more promptly than was Coffin.[280] The counter arguments of Coffin[281] were equally plausible and the request for transfer refused.

The outfit for the Indians of the Home Guard was decidedly inferior. Opoeth-le-yo-ho-la wanted batteries, "wagons that shoot."[282] His braves, many of them, were given guns that were worthless, that would not shoot at all.[283] In such a way was their eagerness to learn the white man's method of fighting and to acquire his discipline rewarded. The fitting out was done at Humboldt, although Colonel William Weer[284] of the Tenth Kansas Infantry, who was the man finally selected to command the entire force, would have preferred it done at Fort Scott.[285] The Indians had a thousand and one excuses for not expediting matters. They seemed to have a deep-seated distrust of what the Federal intentions regarding them might be when once they should be back in their own country. They begged that some assurance be given them of continued protection against the foe and in their legal rights. And, in the days of making preparations, they asked again and again for tangible evidence that white troops were really going to support them in the journey southward.

The main portion of the Indian Expedition auxiliary white force had all this time been more or less busy, dealing with bushwhackers and the like, in the Cherokee Neutral Lands and in the adjoining counties of Missouri. When Blunt took command of the Department of Kansas, Colonel Frederick Salomon[286] of the Ninth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry was in charge at Fort Scott and the troops there or reporting there were, besides eight companies of his own regiment, a part of the Second Ohio Cavalry under Colonel Charles Doubleday, of the Tenth Kansas Infantry under Colonel William F. Cloud, and the Second Indiana Battery.[287] Blunt's first thought was to have Daubleday[288] lead the Indian Expedition, the auxiliary white force of which was to be selected from the regiments at Fort Scott. Doubleday accordingly made his plans, rendezvoused his men, and arranged that the mouth of Shoal Creek should be a rallying point and temporary headquarters;[289] but events were already in train for Colonel Weer to supersede him and for his own assignment to the Second Brigade of the expedition.

Previous to his supersedure by Weer, Doubleday conceived that it might be possible to reach Fort Gibson with ease,[290] provided the attempt to do so should be undertaken before the various independent secessionist commands could unite to resist.[291] That they were planning to unite there was every indication.[292] Doubleday[293] was especially desirous of heading off Stand Watie who was still hovering around in the neighborhood of his recent adventures, and was believed now to have an encampment on Cowskin Prairie near Grand River. Accordingly, on the morning of June 6, Doubleday started out, with artillery and a thousand men, and, going southward from Spring River, reached the Grand about sundown.[294] Watie was three miles away and, Doubleday continuing the pursuit, the two forces came to an engagement. It was indecisive,[295] however, and Watie slipped away under cover of the darkness. Had unquestioned success crowned Doubleday's efforts, all might have been well; but, as it did not, Weer, who had arrived at Fort Scott[296] a few days before and had been annoyed to find Doubleday gone, ordered him peremptorily to make no further progress southward without the Indians. The Indian contingent had in reality had a set-back in its preparations. Its outfit was incomplete and its means for transportation not forthcoming.[297] Under such circumstances, Weer advised the removal of the whole concern to Fort Scott, but that was easier said than done, inasmuch, as before any action was taken, the stores were _en route_ for Humboldt.[298] Nevertheless, Weer was determined to have the expedition start before Stand Watie could be reinforced by Rains.[299] Constant and insistent were the reports that the enemy was massing its forces to destroy the Indian Expedition.[300]

Weer, therefore, went on ahead to the Osage Catholic Mission and ordered the Fort Scott troops to meet him there. His purpose was to promote the enlistment of the Osages, who were now abandoning the Confederate cause.[301] He would then go forward and join Doubleday, whom he had instructed to clear the way.[302]

Weer's plans were one thing, his embarrassments, another. Before the middle of June he was back again at Leroy,[303] having left Salomon and Doubleday[304] at Baxter Springs on the west side of Spring River in the Neutral Lands, the former in command. Weer hoped by his presence at Leroy to hurry the Indians along; for it was high time the expedition was started and he intended to start it, notwithstanding that many officers were absent from their posts and the men of the Second Indian Regiment not yet mustered in. It was absolutely necessary, if anything were going to be done with Indian aid, to get the braves away from under the influence of their chiefs, who were bent upon delay and determent. By the sixteenth he had the warriors all ready at Humboldt,[305] their bullet-proof medicine taken, their grand war dance indulged in. By the twenty-first, the final packing up began,[306] and it was not long thereafter before the Indian Expedition, after having experienced so many vicissitudes, had definitely materialized and was on its way south. Accompanying Weer were the Reverend Evan Jones, entrusted with a confidential message[307] to John Ross, and two special Indian agents, E.H. Carruth, detailed at the instance of the Indian Office, and H.W. Martin, sent on Coffin's own responsibility, their particular task being to look out for the interests and welfare of the Indians and, when once within the Indian Territory, to take careful stock of conditions there, both political and economic.[308] The Indians were in fine spirits and, although looking somewhat ludicrous in their uniforms,[309] were not much behind their comrades of the Ninth and Tenth Kansas[310] in earnestness and in attention to duty.[311] Nevertheless, they had been very reluctant to leave their families and were, one and all, very apprehensive as to the future.