And so the authorities at Richmond seem to have regarded it; that is, if the reference in President Davis’s letter to Pike of August 9 is to this affair. Pike wrote to the president on the same day that he started his address upon its rounds, but that letter, in which he rehearsed the wrongs he had been forced to endure, also those more recently inflicted upon him, did not reach Richmond until September 20. His address was transmitted by Colonel D.H. Cooper, who had taken great umbrage at it and who now charged the author with having violated an army regulation, which prohibited publications concerning Confederate troops. Davis took the matter under advisement and wrote to Pike a mild reprimand. It was as follows:
Richmond, Va., August 9, 1862.
Brig. Gen. Albert Pike,
Camp McCulloch, Choctaw Nation:
General: Your communication of July 3 is at hand. I regret the necessity of informing you that it is an impropriety for an officer of the Army to address the President through a printed circular. Under the laws for the government of
[Footnote 449: Official Records, vol. liii, supplement, 822.]
[Footnote 450:—Ibid., vol. xiii, 860-869.]
[Footnote 451:—Ibid., vol. liii, supplement, 820-821.]
[Footnote 452: It is possible that the printed circular here referred to was some other one that was directly addressed to the president but none such has been found.]
the Army the publication of this circular was a grave military offense, and if the purpose was to abate an evil, by making an appeal that would be heeded by me, the mode taken was one of the slowest and worst that could have been adopted.
Very respectfully, yours, Jefferson Davis.
The sympathy of Secretary Randolph was conceivably with Pike; for, on the fourteenth of July, he wrote assuring him that certain general orders had been sent out by the Adjutant and Inspector General’s Office which were “intended to prevent even the major-general commanding the Trans-Mississippi Department from diverting from their legitimate destination (the Department of Indian Territory) munitions of war and supplies procured by ‘him’ for that department." That did not prevent Hindman’s continuing his pernicious practices, however. On the seventeenth he demanded that Pike deliver to him his best battery and Pike, discouraged and yet thoroughly beside himself with ill-suppressed rage, sent it to him. At the same time he insisted that he be immediately relieved of his command. He could endure the indignities to which he was subjected no longer. The order for his relief arrived in due course and also directions for him to report in person at Hindman’s headquarters. He had not then issued his circular; but, as
[Footnote 453: Official Records, vol. xiii, 903; Pike to Holmes, December 30, 1862, Pike Papers, Library of the Supreme Council, 33º. Pike did not receive Randolph’s letter of July fourteenth until some time in August and not until after he had had an interview with Holmes. See Pike to Holmes, December 30, 1862.]