You were sent out to Arkansas with certain positive orders, which you were immediately to enforce. You knew that “Gen Hindman never was the commanding General of the Trans. Mississippi Department,” and was not sent there by the War Department; and that, therefore and of course, all his orders were illegal, for want of power. You knew that he never had any right to interfere with my command in the Department of Indian Territory, to take away my troops and ordnance, or to send me any orders whatever; and that therefore I was wholly in the right, in all my controversy with him. You knew, also, that in stripping the Indian Country of troops, artillery, arms and ammunition, he had been guilty of multiplied outrages, contrary to the will and policy of the President, forbidden by the Secretary of War for the future, and hostile to the interests of the Confederacy.
I had been advised by the Secretary of War, on the 14th of July, before you were unfortunately thought of [in] connection with the Trans. Mississippi Department, that Gen. Magruder was assigned to the command of it; and that although I would be under his command, it was not doubted that my relations with him would be pleasant and harmonious, and that I would have such latitude in command of the Indian country, as might be necessary for me to
[Footnote 976: Scottish Rite Temple, Pike Papers.]
act to the best advantage in its defence. And by the same letter I was advised, that it was regretted I had met with so many embarrassments in procuring supplies; and that an order had been issued from the Adjutant and Inspector General’s Office, to prevent the pursuing of such courses as I had complained of, in the seizure of what I had procured; and the Secretary said it was to be hoped that neither I nor any other officer would hereafter have cause to complain of supplies being diverted from their legitimate destination. And that Gen. Magruder might fully understand my position, &c., a copy of my letter of 8th June, to General Hindman, stating in detail the plundering process to which the Indian Service had before then been subjected, was furnished to the former officer. Three several copies of this letter were sent me, that it might be certain to reach me.
I do not repeat the substance of that letter, for your benefit. You have known it, no doubt, ever since you left Richmond. You told me in August, that the War Department was fully informed in regard to the matters between myself and Generals Van Dorn and Hindman. You spoke it in the way of a taunt, and as if the Department justified them and condemned me. You meant me so to understand it. You are a very ingenious person; inasmuch as you knew the exact contrary to be true. When I afterwards received the Secretary’s letter, I remembered your remark, and did not doubt, and do not now doubt, that when you were substituted for Gen. Magruder, you received the same instructions that had been given him and were yourself furnished with a copy of the same letter, for the same purpose.