The American Indian as Participant in the Civil War eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 459 pages of information about The American Indian as Participant in the Civil War.

[Footnote 893:  Steele to Gov.  Samuel Garland, Nov. 30, 1863, Official Records, vol. xxii, part ii, 1082.  Col.  McCurtain of the Choctaw militia reported to Cooper that he expected to have fifteen hundred Choctaws assembled by December first [Steele to Cano, December 2, 1863, Ibid., 1085].  The Second Choctaw regiment continued scattered and out of ammunition [Steele to Cooper, December 22, 1863, Ibid., 1109].  The Seminole battalion was ordered to report to Bourland for frontier defence [Duval to Cooper, December 20, 1863, Ibid., 1102].]

[Footnote 894:  Britton, Civil War on the Borde, vol. ii, 236.]

[Footnote 895:  Official Records, vol. xxii, part i, 781-782.]

[Footnote 896:—­Ibid., part ii, 722, 746, 752.]


The assignment of General Maxey to the command of Indian Territory invigorated Confederate administration north of the Red River, the only part of the country in undisputed occupancy.  Close upon the assumption of his new duties, came a project[897] for sweeping reforms, involving army reorganization, camps of instruction for the Indian soldiery, a more general enlistment, virtually conscription, of Indians—­this upon the theory that “Whosoever is not for us is against us”—­the selection of more competent and reliable staff officers, and the adoption of such a plan of offensive operations as would mean the retaking of Forts Smith and Gibson.[898] To Maxey, thoroughly familiar with the geography of the region, the surrender of those two places appeared as a gross error in military technique; for the Arkansas River was a natural line of defence, the Red was not.  “If the Indian Territory gives way,” argued he, “the granary of the Trans-Mississippi Department, the breadstuffs, and beef of this and the Arkansas army are gone, the left flank of Holmes’ army is turned, and with it not only the meat and bread, but the salt and iron of what is left of the Trans-Mississippi Department."[899]

[Footnote 897:  Maxey to Anderson, January 12, 1864, Official Records, vol. xxxiv, part ii, 856-858.]

[Footnote 898:  To this list might be added the proper fitting out of the troops, which was one of the first things that Maxey called to Smith’s attention [Ibid., vol. xxii, part ii, 1112-1113].]

[Footnote 899:  This idea met with Smith’s full approval [Ibid., vol. xxxiv, part ii, 918].]

Army reorganization was an immense proposition and was bound to be a difficult undertaking under the most favorable of auspices, yet it stood as fundamental to everything else.  Upon what lines ought it to proceed?  One possibility was, the formation of the two brigades, with Stand Watie and Cooper individually in command, which had already been suggested to General Smith and favored by him; but which had recently been found incompatible with his latest recommendation that

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