[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 eclat 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.]
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. As a
[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.
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. (cont.)]