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Reestablishment of the Department of Kansas

 Native American Nations | Participant in the Civil War                     

 

Colonel John Ritchie247 of the inchoate Second Regiment Indian Home Guards did the same248.

The reëstablishment249 of the Department of Kansas, at this critical moment, while much to be regretted as indicative of a surrender to politicians250 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 reestablished, under orders251 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, into, 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I. General Orders, No. 8, dated Headquarters District of Kansas, April 25, 1862, is hereby rescinded.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 cooperate with the Indian Office, but also of his intention utterly to block the organization of the Indian Expedition, is revealed in a letter254 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 minimum255 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 entrenched 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 recommended264 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 report266 of May 4,

... The Cherokee267 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 men269 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 Delawares274 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 reported278 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 Coffin281 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 Weer284 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 Salomon286 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 Daubleday288 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 supersede 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 Doubleday293 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 Scott296 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 Doubleday304 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 message307 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 Kansas310 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.


247: For an inferential appraisement of Ritchie's character and abilities, see Kansas Historical Collections, vol. iii, 359-366.
248: Ritchie to Dole, April 26, 1863 [Indian Office Miscellaneous Files, 1858-1863].
249: The reestablishment, considered in the light of the first orders issued by Blunt, those set out here, was decidedly in the nature of a reflection upon the reactionary policy of Halleck and Sturgis; but Halleck had no regrets. Of Kansas, he said, "Thank God, it is no longer under my command." [Official Records, vol. xiii, 440.] Ever since the time, when he had been urged by the administration in Washington, peculiarly sensitive to political importunities, not to retain, outside of Kansas, the Kansas troops if he could possibly avoid it, there had been more or less of rancor between him and them. His opinion of them was that they were a "humbug" [ibid., vol. viii, 661].
250: Almost simultaneously, Schofield was given independent command in Missouri, a similar surrender to local political pressure.
251: Official Records, vol. xiii, 368-369.
252: The promotion of Blunt to a brigadier-generalship had caused surprise and some opposition. Referring to it, the Daily Conservative, April 12, 1862, said, "Less than three months ago Mr. Lincoln informed a gentleman from this State that no Kansas man would be made a Brigadier 'unless the Kansas Congressional delegation was unanimously and strenuously in his favor' ... Either the President has totally changed his policy or Lane, Pomeroy and Conway are responsible for this most unexpected and unprecedented appointment ..."
253: Official Records, vol. xiii, 370.
254: Indian Office General Files, Southern Superintendency, 1859-1862, F 363 of 1862.
255: The regiment, according to the showing of the muster roll, comprised one thousand nine men. Fifteen hundred was the more usual number of a regiment, which, normally, had three battalions with a major at the head of each.
256: The remainder of the letter deals with the muster roll of the First Regiment Indian Home Guards, which was forwarded to Dole, under separate cover, the same day, and of which Dole acknowledged the receipt, May 16, 1862 [Indian Office Letter Book, no. 68, pp. 240-241]. The roll shows the captain and number of each company as here:

Company A Billy Bowlegs 106
Company B A-ha-luk-tus-ta-na-ke 100
Company C Tus-te-nu-ke-ema-ela 104
Company D Tus-te-nuk-ke 100
Company E Jon-neh (John) 101
Company F Mic-co-hut-ka (White Chief) 103
Company G Ah-pi-noh-to-me 103
Company H Lo-ga-po-koh 94
Company I Jan-neh (John 100
Company J Lo-ka-la-chi-ha-go 98

257: Coffin to Dole, May 8, 1862, Indian Office General Files, Southern Superintendency, 1859-1862.
258: Same to Same, May 13, 1862, ibid., Land Files, Southern Superintendency, 1855-1870.
259: Dole to Coffin, May 20, 1862, ibid., Letter Book, no. 68, p. 252.
260: "I visited the War Department today to ascertain what orders had been forwarded to you and your predecessor relative to the organization of two thousand Indians as a home guard, which when so organized would proceed to their homes in the Indian country in company with a sufficient number of white troops to protect them at their homes.
"I learn from Adjutant General Thomas that all necessary orders have been forwarded to enable you to muster these Indian Regiments into the service as an irregular force; and to send such white force with them as in your judgment may be deemed necessary, also that the difficulties we experienced while the expedition was under the control of Gen'l Halleck are now removed by your appointment, and that you will designate the general to command the whole expedition and see that such supplies for the transportation and subsistence as may be necessary are furnished to the whole expedition (Indians as well as whites). Lieut. Kile informs me that there was doubt whether the Quarter Master would be expected to act as Commissary for the Regiment. I suppose that you fully understand this was the intention...."—Dole to Blunt, May 16, 1862, Indian Office Letter Book, no. 68, pp. 241-242.
261: Daily Conservative, May 9, 1862.
262: "... General Albert Pike retreated from the battle of Pea Ridge, Arkansas, a distance of 250 miles, and left his new-made wards to the mercy of war, stringing his army along through the Cherokee, Creek and Choctaw Nations, passing through Limestone Gap, on among the Boggies, and halted at Carriage Point, on the Blue, 'away down along the Chickasaw line.' Cherokee Knights of the Golden Circle followed Pike's retreat to Texas ... "—Ross, Life and Times of Hon. William P. Ross, p. viii.
263: These two letters from John Ross are offered in evidence of this. They are taken from Indian Office Miscellaneous Files, John Ross Papers:

(a)

Executive Department, Park Hill, March 21st, 1862.

SIR: I am in receipt of your favor of the 23rd. inst. I have no doubt that forage can be procured for Col. Drew's men in this vicinity by hauling it in from the farms of the surrounding Districts. The subject of a Delegate in Congress shall be attended to so soon as arrangements can be made for holding an election. I am happy to learn that Col. Drew has been authorized to furlough a portion of the men in his Regiment to raise corn. I shall endeavor to be correctly informed of the movements of the enemy and advise you of the same. And I shall be gratified to receive any important information that you may have to communicate at all times. I am very respectfully and truly, Yours, etc. John Ross, Prin'l Chief, Cherokee Nation.

(b).

Executive Department, C.N. Park Hill, April 10th, 1862.

SIR: I beg leave to thank you for your kind response to my letter of the 22nd ulto and your order stationing Col. Drew's Regiment in this vicinity. Though much reduced by furloughs in number it will be useful for the particular purposes for which it was ordered here. The unprotected condition of the country however is a source of general anxiety among the People, who feel that they are liable to be overrun at any time by small parties from the U.S. Army which remains in the vicinity of the late Battle Ground. This is more particularly the case since the removal of the Confederate Forces under your command and those under Major Gen'l Price. Without distrusting the wisdom that has prompted these movements, or the manifestation of any desire on my part to enquire into their policy it will be nevertheless a source of satisfaction to be able to assure the people of the country that protection will not be withheld from them and that they will not be left to their own feeble defense. Your response is respectfully requested, I have the honor to be Sir with high regards, Your Obt Servt. JOHN ROSS, Prin'l Chief, Cherokee Nation.

To Brig. Gen'l A. Pike Com'dg, Department Indian Territory, Head Qrs. Choctaw Nation.

264: Cooper to Van Dorn, May 6, 1862, Official Records, vol. xiii, 823-824.
265: Journal of the Congress of the Confederate States, vol. v, 285.
266: Official Records, vol. xiii, 819-823.
267: This situation, so eminently satisfactory to John Ross, did not continue long, however, and on May 10, the Cherokee Principal Chief had occasion to complain that his country had been practically divested of a protecting force and, at the very moment, too, when the Federals were showing unwonted vigor near the northeastern border [Ross to Davis, May 10, 1862, Official Records, vol. xiii, 824-825].
268: Official Records, vol. xiii, 61-63; Britton, Civil War on the Border, vol. i, 281-282.
269: Stand Watie's whole force was not engaged and he, personally, was not present. Captain Parks led Watie's contingent and was joined by Coffee.
270: Official Records, vol. xiii, 90-92, 94-95.
271: Ibid., 92-94, 409. Watie, although not present, seems to have planned the affair [ibid., 95]. Lieutenant-colonel Mills, who reported upon the Neosho engagement, was of the opinion that "the precipitate flight" of the Federals could be accounted for only upon the supposition that the "screaming and whooping of the Indians" unnerved them and "rendered their untrained horses nearly unmanageable. "Ibid., 93.
272: The progress in organization is indicated by these communications to the Indian Office:

(a).
The enrollment, organizing etc. etc. of the Indians, and preparations for their departure, are progressing satisfactorily, though as I anticipated, it will be difficult to raise two Regiments, and I have some fears of our success in getting the full number for the 2nd Regiment. But if we get one full company of Delaware and Shawnee, as promised, and four companies of Osages, which the chiefs say they can raise, I think we shall succeed.

Two Regiments of white troops and Rabb's Battery have already started and are down by this time in the Cherokee Nation. Col. Doubleday, who is in command, has notified the officers here to prepare with all possible dispatch, for marching orders. We are looking for Aliens Battery here this week and if it comes I hope to make considerable addition to the Army from the loyal Refugee Indians here, as they have great confidence in "them wagons that shoot," this has been a point with them all the time.

We were still feeding those that are mustered in and shall I suppose have to do so until the requisitions arrive. The Delaware and Shawnee also, I had to make arrangements to feed from the time of their arrival at the Sac and Fox Agency. But from all the indications now we expect to see the whole Expedition off in ten days or two weeks.—Coffin to Dole, June 4, 1862, Indian Office General Files, Southern Superintendency, 1859-1862, C 1661.

(b).
It has been some time since I wrote you and to fill my promise I again drop you a line. I presume you feel a lively interest in whatever relates to the Indians. The 1st. Regt. is now mustered into the service and will probably to-day number something over a minimum Regt. It is composed entirely of Creeks and Seminoles, eight companies of the former and two of the latter.

I have understood that the report of the Creek Agent gave the number of Creek men at 1990—If this is a fact it is far from a correct statement—The actual number of Creek men over 14 years of age (refugees) will not number over 900. Some of these are unable to be soldiers. The actual number of Seminoles (men) will not exceed 300 over 14 years of age, many of them are old and disabled as soldiers. Thus you will see that but one Regt. could be raised from that quarter. You are aware that the Creeks and Seminoles speak one language nearly and are thus naturally drawn together and they were not willing to be divided.

The second regt. is now forming from the various other tribes and I have no doubt will be filled, it would have been filled long ago, but Col. Ritchie did not repair here for a long time in fact not till after our Regt. was raised—Adjutant Dole came here promptly to do his duty—but in the absence of his Col. could not facilitate his regt. without assuming a responsibility that would have been unwise. I regret that he could not have been placed in our regt. for he will prove a faithful and reliable officer and should I be transferred to any other position which I am strongly in hopes I may be, I hope you will exercise your influence to transfer him to my place, this will be agreeable to all the officers of the 1st. regiment and desirable on his part.

The condition of the Indians here at the present writing is very favorable, sickness is abating and their spirits are reviving. I think I have fully settled the fact of the Indians capability and susceptibility to arrive at a good state of military discipline. You would be surprised to see our Regt. move. They accomplish the feat of regular time step equal to any white soldier, they form in line with dispatch and with great precision; and what is more they now manifest a great desire to learn the entire white man's discipline in military matters. That they will make brave and ambitious soldiers I have no doubt. Our country may well feel proud that these red men have at last fell into the ranks to fight for our flag, and aid in crushing treason. Much honor is due them. I am sorry that Dr. Kile did not accept the appointment of Quartermaster but owing to some misunderstanding with Col. Ritchie he declines.

You will please remember me to Gen'l Lane and say that I have not heard from him since I left Washington.—A.C. ELITHORPE to Dole, June 9, 1862, Indian Office General Files, Southern Superintendency, 1859-1862, C 1661.

(c).
The Indian Brigade, consisting of about one thousand Creeks and Seminoles, sixty Quapaw, sixty Cherokees and full companies of wild Delaware, Kechee, Ironeye, Caddo, and Kickapoo, left this place (Leroy) yesterday for Humboldt, at which place I suppose they will join the so much talked of Indian expedition. Although I have not as yet fully ascertained the exact number of each Tribe, represented in said Brigade, but they may be estimated at about Fifteen Hundred, all of the Southern Refugee Indians who have been fed here by the Government, besides sixty Delaware from the Delaware Reservation, and about two Hundred Osages, the latter of which I have been assured will be increased to about four or five hundred, ere they get through the Osage Nation ...

The news from the Cherokee Nation is very cheering and encouraging; it has been reported that nearly Two Thousand Cherokees will be ready to join the expedition on its approach into that country....—Coffin to Dole, June 15, 1862, ibid., C 1684.

273: Coffin to Dole, June 4, 1862, ibid., Neosho, C 1662 of 1862. See also Carruth to Coffin, September 19, 1862, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Report, 1862, 164-166.
274: F. Johnson to Dole, April 2, 1862, Indian Office, Central Superintendency, Delaware, J 627 of 1862.
275: The propriety of permitting the refugee Quapaws to "return to their homes by accompanying the military expedition" was urged upon the Indian Office in a letter from Elder to Coffin, May 29, 1862 [Coffin to Dole, June 4, 1862, ibid., Southern Superintendency, Neosho, C 1663 of 1862].
276: Office letter of June 5, 1861.
277: Mix to Branch, March 1, 1862, Indian Office Letter Book, no. 67.
278: Coffin to Dole, February 28, 1862, ibid., General Files, Southern Superintendency, 1859-1862, C 1541 of 1862.
279: Elder to Dole, May 16, 1862, ibid., Neosho, E 106 of 1862.
280: Coffin was spending a good deal of his time at Leroy. Leroy was one hundred twenty-five miles, so Elder computed, from Leavenworth, where he directed his mail, and sixty or seventy from Fort Scott. His communications were held up until Coffin happened to go to Leavenworth. Moreover, Coffin was then expecting to go soon "into the Indian country."
281: Coffin complained that Elder neglected his duties. It was Coffin's intention to remove the headquarters of the Southern Superintendency from Fort Scott to Humboldt. It would then be very convenient for Elder to report to him, especially if he would go back to his own agency headquarters and not linger, as he had been doing, at Fort Scott [Coffin to Dole, June 10, 1862, ibid., C 1668 of 1862.]
282: Daily Conservative, May 10, 1862.
283: Weer to Doubleday, June 6, 1862, Official Records, vol. xiii, 418; Coffin to Dole, June 17, 1862, Indian Office General Files, Southern Superintendency, 1859-1862.
284: Weer was one of the men in disfavor with Governor Robinson [Daily Conservative, May 25, 1862]. He had been arrested and his reinstatement to command that came with the appearance of Blunt upon the scene was doubtless the circumstance that afforded opportunity for his appointment to the superior command of the Indian Expedition. Sturgis had refused to reinstate him. In December, 1861, a leave of absence had been sought by Weer, who was then with the Fourth Kansas Volunteers, in order that he might go to Washington, D.C., and be a witness in the case involving Lane's appointment as brigadier-general [Thomas to Hunter, December 12, 1861, Congressional Globe, 37th congress, second session, part i, 128].
285: Weer to Moonlight, June 6, 1862, Official Records, vol. xiii, 419.
286: Salomon was born in Prussia in 1826 [Rosengarten, The German Soldier in the Wars of the United States, 150]. He had distinguished himself in some of the fighting that had taken place in Missouri in the opening months of the war and, when the Ninth Wisconsin Infantry, composed solely of German-Americans, had been recruited, he was called to its command [Love, Wisconsin in the War of the Rebellion, 578].
287: Official Records, vol. xiii, 371-372, 377.
288: for an account of Doubleday's movements in April that very probably gained him the place, see Britton, Civil War on the Border, vol. i, 296.
289: Official Records, vol. xiii, 397, 408.
290: Doubleday to Moonlight, May 25, 1862, Official Records, vol. xiii, 397.
291: Doubleday to Blunt, June 1, 1862, ibid., 408.
292: General Brown reported on this matter, June 2 [ibid., 409] and June 4 [ibid., 414], as did also General Ketchum, June 3 [ibid., 412]. They all seem to have had some intimation that General Pike was to unite with Stand Watie as well as Coffee and others, and that was certainly General Hindman's intention. On May 31, the very day that he himself assumed command, Hindman had ordered Pike to advance from Fort McCulloch to the Kansas border. The order did not reach Pike until June 8 and was repeated June 17 [ibid., 40].
293: The idea seems to have obtained among Missourians that Doubleday was all this time inactive. They were either ignorant of or intent upon ignoring the Indian Expedition. June 4, Governor Gamble wrote to Secretary Stanton asking that the Second Ohio and the Ninth Wisconsin, being at Fort Scott and unemployed, might be ordered to report to Schofield [ibid., 414, 438], who at the instance of politicians and contrary to the wishes of Halleck [ibid., 368] had been given an independent command in Missouri.
294: Doubleday to Weer, June 8, 1862 [ibid., 102]
295: Doubleday reported to Weer that it was a pronounced success, so did Blunt to Schofield [ibid., 427]; but subsequent events showed that it was anything but that and the Daily Conservative tried to fix the blame upon Weer [Weer to Moonlight, June 23, 1862, ibid., 446]. The newspaper account of the whole course of affairs may be given, roughly paraphrased, thus: Doubleday, knowing, perhaps, that Weer was to supersede him and that his time for action was short, "withdrew his detachment from Missouri, concentrated them near Iola, Kansas, and thence directed them to march to the mouth of Shoal Creek, on Spring River, himself taking charge of the convoying of a train of forty days supplies to the same place ..." He arrived June 4. Then, "indefatigable in forwarding the preparations for a blow upon the camp of organization which the rebels had occupied unmolested on Cowskin Prairie," he made his plans for further advance. At that moment came the news that Weer had superseded him and had ordered him to stop all movement south. He disregarded the order and struck, even though not fully prepared [Daily Conservative, June 13, 1862].
296: Weer to Moonlight, June 5, 1862, Official Records, vol. xiii, 418.
297: Ibid.; Weer to Doubleday, June 6, 1862, ibid., 418-419.
298: Weer to Moonlight, June 13, 1862, ibid., 430.
299: Same to same, June 7, 1862, ibid., 422.
300: The destruction of the Indian Expedition was most certainly the occasion for the massing, notwithstanding the fact that Missourians were apprehensive for the safety of their state only and wanted to have Weer's white troops diverted to its defense. Curtis, alone, of the commanders in Missouri seems to have surmised rightly in the matter [Curtis to Schofield, ibid., 432].
301: Weer to Moonlight, June 13, 1862.
302: Weer to Doubleday, June 6, 1862.
303: Weer to Moonlight, June 13, 1862.
304: On the twentieth, General Brown requested Salomon to send Doubleday to southwest Missouri [Official Records, vol. xiii, 440] and Salomon so far complied with the request as to post some companies of Doubleday's regiment, under Lieutenant-colonel Ratliff, at Neosho [ibid., 445, 459].
305: Ibid., 434.
306: Ibid., 441.
307: The message, addressed to "Mutual Friend," was an assurance of the continued interest of the United States government in the inhabitants of Indian Territory and of its determination to protect them [Coffin to Ross, June 16, 1862, Indian Office General Files, Southern Superintendency, 1859-1862, C 1684].
308: "... You will assure all loyal Indians in the Indian Territory of the disposition and the ability of the Government of the United States to protect them in all their rights, and that there is no disposition on the part of said government to shrink from any of its Treaty Obligations with all such of the Indian Tribes, who have been, are now, and remaining loyal to the same. Also that the government will, at the earliest practicable period, which is believed not to be distant, restore to all loyal Indians the rights, privileges, and immunities, that they have enjoyed previous to the present unfortunate rebellion.
"If, during the progress of the Army you should find Indians in a suffering condition whose loyalty is beyond doubt, you will, on consultation with the officers, render such assistance, as you may think proper, with such aid as the officers may render you.
"You will carefully look into the condition of the country, ascertain the quantity of Stock, Hogs, and Cattle, also the quantity of Corn, wheat etc. which may be in the hands of the loyal Indians, and the amount of the crops in the ground the present season, their condition and prospects.
"You are requested to communicate with me at this office at every suitable opportunity on all the above mentioned points, in order to enable me to keep the Hon. Com'r of Indian Aff'rs well advised of the condition of affairs in the Indian Territory, and that the necessary steps may be taken at the earliest possible moment, consistent with safety and economy, to restore the loyal Indians now in Kansas to their homes.
"Should any considerable number of the Indians, now in the Army, remain in the Indian Territory, or join you from the loyal Indians, now located therein you will very probably find it best, to remain with them, until I can get there with those, who are now here. But of these matters you will be more able to judge on the ground."—Extract from Coffin's instructions to Carruth, June 16, 1862, ibid., Similar instructions, under date of June 23, 1862, were sent to H.W. Martin.
309: "I have just returned from Humboldt—the army there under Col. Weer consisting of the 10th Kansas Regiment 4 Companies of the 9th Kansas Aliens Battery of Six Tenths Parrot Guns and the first and second Indian Regiments left for the Indian Territory in good stile and in fine spirits the Indians with their new uniforms and small Military caps on their Hugh Heads of Hair made rather a Comical Ludicrous appearance they marched off in Columns of 4 a breast singing the war song all joining in the course and a more animated seen is not often witnessed. The officers in command of the Indian Regiments have labored incessantly and the improvement the Indians have made in drilling is much greater than I supposed them capable of and I think the opinion and confidence of all in the efficiency of the Indian Regiments was very much greater when they left than at any previous period and I have little doubt that for the kind of service that will be required of them they will be the most efficient troops in the Expedition."—COFFIN to Dole, June 25, 1862, Indian Office General Files, Southern Superintendency, 1859-1862, C 1684.
310: Weer took with him as white anxiliary "the Tenth Kansas, Allen's battery, three companies Ninth Kansas..." [Official Records, vol. xiii, 441]. It seems to have been his intention to take the Second Kansas also; but that regiment was determined to stay at Humboldt until it had effected a change in its colonels in favor of Owen A. Bassett [ibid., 434].
311: Weer was disgusted with conditions surrounding his white force. This is his complaint, on the eve of his departure:

"Commissions to officers from the Governor are pouring in daily. I am told that the Tenth is rapidly becoming a regiment of officers. To add to these difficulties there are continual intrigues, from colonels down, for promotions and positions of command. Officers are leaving their posts for Fort Leavenworth and elsewhere to engage in these intrigues for more prominent places. The camps are filled with rumors of the success of this or that man. Factions are forming, and a general state of demoralization being produced..."—WEER to Moonlight, June 21, 1862, ibid., 441-442.

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The American Indian as Participant in the Civil War, 1919

Participant in the Civil War

 

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