[Footnote 156: (cont.) muster a Brigade of Kansas Indians into the service of the United States, to assist the friendly Creek Indians in maintaining their loyalty. Had this permission been promptly granted, I have every reason to believe that the present disastrous state of affairs, in the Indian country west of Arkansas, could have been avoided. I now again respectfully repeat my request.”—Indian Office General Files, Southern Superintendency, 1859-1862.]
[Footnote 157: To the references given in Abel, The American Indian as Slaveholder and Secessionist, add Thomas to Hunter, January 24, 1862, Official Records, vol. viii, 525.]
[Footnote 158: The St. Louis Republican credited Halleck with characterizing Hunter’s command, indiscriminately, as “marauders, bandits, and outlaws” [Daily Conservative, February 7, 1862]. In a letter to Lincoln, January 6, 1862, Halleck said some pretty plain truths about Lane [Official Records, vol. vii, 532-533]. He would probably have had the same objection to the use of Indians that he had to the use of negroes in warfare [Daily Conservative, May 23, 1862, quoting from the Chicago Tribune].]
[Footnote 159: On marauding by Lane’s brigade, see McClellan to Stanton, February 11, 1862 [Official Records, vol. viii, 552-553].]
legitimately resented executive interference with his rights. His protest had its effect and he was informed that it was entirely within his prerogative to lead the expedition southward himself. He resolved to do it. Lane was, for once, outwitted.
The end, however, was not yet. About the middle of January, Stanton became Secretary of War and soon let it be known that he, too, had views on the subject of Indian enlistment. As a matter of fact, he refused to countenance it. The disappointment was the most keen for Commissioner Dole. Since long before the day when Secretary Smith had announced to him that the Department of War was contemplating the employment of four thousand Indians in its service, he had hoped for some means of rescuing the southern tribes from the Confederate alliance and now all plans had come to naught. And yet the need for strenuous action of some sort had never been so great. Opoeth-le-yo-ho-la and his defeated followers were refugees on the Verdigris, imploring help to relieve their present
[Footnote 160: Note this series of telegrams [Indian Office Special Files, no. 201, Southern Superintendency, D 576 of 1862]:
“Secretary of War is unwilling to put Indians in the army. Is to consult with President and settle it today.”—SMITH to Dole, February 6, 1862.
“President cant attend to business now. Sickness in the family. No arrangements can be made now. Make necessary arrangements for relief of Indians. I will send communication to Congress today.”—Same to Same, February 11, 1862.