Confederate operations in Indian Territory through May and June had been, as already described, confined to sporadic demonstrations against Federal herds and Federal supply trains, all having for their main object the dislodgment of Phillips from Fort Gibson. What proved to be their culmination and the demonstration most energetically conducted occurred at Cabin Creek, while far away Vicksburg was falling and
[Footnote 797: For an official report of the action at Cabin Creek, see Official Records, vol. xxii, part i, 378-382. While, as things eventuated, it was an endeavor (cont.)]
Gettysburg was being fought. A commissary train from Fort Scott was expected. It was to come down, escorted by Colonel Williams who was in command of the negro troops that Blunt had stationed at Baxter Springs. To meet the train and to reinforce Williams, Phillips despatched Major Foreman from Fort Gibson. Cooper had learned of the coming of the train and had made his plans to seize it in a fashion now customary. The plans were quite elaborate and involved the cooeperation of Cabell’s Arkansas brigade, which was to come from across the line and proceed down the east side of the Grand River. Thither also, Cooper sent a
[Footnote 797: (cont.) to cut off the supply train, there was throughout the possibility that it might also result in heading off Blunt, who was known to be on his way to Fort Gibson [Steele to Cooper, June 29, 1863; Duval to Cooper, June 29, 1863; Duval to Cabell, June 29, 1863].]
[Footnote 798: Steele to Cabell, June 25, 1863 [Confederate Records, chap. 2, no. 268, p. 97; Official Records, vol. xxii, part ii, 885].]
[Footnote 799: Steele to Cabell, June 29, 1863 [Confederate Records, chap. 2, no. 268, p. 105; Official Records, vol. xxii, part ii, 893-894].]
[Footnote 800: Of W.L. Cabell, the Confederate Military History, vol. x, has this to say: “Maj. W.L. Cabell, who had been sent to inspect the accounts of quartermasters in the department, having well acquitted himself of this duty, was, in March 1863, commissioned brigadier-general and requested to collect absentees from the service in northwestern Arkansas. Given Carroll’s and Monroe’s regiments, he was directed to perfect such organizations as he could ...” He collected his brigade with great rapidity and it soon numbered about four thousand men. Even, in April, Steele was placing much reliance upon it, although he wished to keep its relation to him a secret. He wrote to Cooper to that effect.