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.
all the Indian troops should be commanded, in toto, by Cooper.[900] One feature of great importance in its favor it had in that it did not ostensibly run counter to the Indian understanding of their treaties that white troops should be always associated with Indian in the guaranteed protection of the Indian country, which was all very well but scarcely enough to balance an insuperable objection, which Cooper, when consulted, pointed out.[901] The Indians had a strong aversion to any military consolidation that involved the elimination of their separate tribal characters.  They had allied themselves with the Confederacy as nations and as nations they wished to fight.  Moreover, due regard ought always to be given, argued Cooper, to their tribal prejudices, their preferences, call them what one will, and to their historical neighborhood alliances.  Choctaws and Chickasaws might well stay together and Creeks and Seminoles; but woe betide the contrivance that should attempt the amalgamation of Choctaws and Cherokees.

[Footnote 900:  This is given upon the authority of Maxey [Official Records, vol. xxxiv, part ii, 857].  It seems slightly at variance with Smith’s own official statements.  Smith would appear to have entertained a deep distrust of Cooper, whose promotion he did not regard as either “wise or necessary” [Ibid., vol. xxii, part ii, 1102].]

[Footnote 901:  Cooper to T.M.  Scott, January, 1864 [Ibid., vol. xxxiv, part ii, 859-862].]


It seems a little strange that the Indians should so emphasize their national individualism at this particular time, inasmuch as six of them, the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Cherokee, Creek, Seminole, and Caddo, professing to be still in strict alliance with the Southern States, had formed an Indian confederacy, had collectively re-asserted their allegiance, pledged their continued support, and made reciprocal demands.  All these things they had done in a joint, or general, council, which had been held at Armstrong Academy the previous November.  Resolutions of the council, embodying the collective pledges and demands, were even at this very moment under consideration by President Davis and were having not a little to do with his attitude toward the whole Maxey programme.

In the matter of army reorganization, Smith was prepared to concede to Maxey a large discretion.[902] The brigading that would most comfortably fit in with the nationalistic feelings of the Indians and, at the same time, accord, in spirit, with treaty obligations and also make it possible for Cooper to have a supreme command of the Indian forces in the field was that which Cooper himself advocated, the same that Boudinot took occasion, at this juncture, to urge upon President Davis.[903] It was a plan for three distinct Indian brigades, a Cherokee, a Creek-Seminole, and a Choctaw-Chickasaw.  Maxey thought “it would be a fine recruiting order,"[904] yet, notwithstanding, he gave his

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