With the thought of that ingratitude still rankling in his breast, Pike noted additional features of Hindman’s first instructions to him, which were, that he should advance his Indian force to the northern border of Indian Territory and hold it there to resist invasion from Kansas. He was expected to do this unsupported
[Footnote 393: Van Dorn would seem to have been a gross offender in this respect. Similar charges were made against him by other men and on other occasions [Official Records, vol. liii, supplement, 825].]
[Footnote 394: It was matter of common report that Van Dorn despised Pike’s Indians [Ibid., vol. xiii, 814-816]. The entire Arkansas delegation in Congress, with the exception of A.H. Garland, testified to Van Dorn’s aversion for the Indians [Ibid., 815].]
[Footnote 395: How great was that stigma can be best understood from the following: “The horde of Indians scampered off to the mountains from whence they had come, having murdered and scalped many of the Union wounded. General Pike, their leader, led a feeble band to the heights of Big Mountain, near Elk Horn, where he was of no use to the battle of the succeeding day, and whence he fled, between roads, through the woods, disliked by the Confederates and detested by the Union men; to be known in history as a son of New Hampshire—a poet who sang of flowers and the beauties of the sunset skies, the joys of love and the hopes of the soul—and yet one who, in the middle of the 19th century, led a merciless, scalping, murdering, uncontrollable horde of half-tame savages in the defense of slavery—themselves slave-holders—against that Union his own native State was then supporting, and against the flag of liberty. He scarcely struck a blow in open fight.... His service was servile and corrupt; his flight was abject, and his reward disgrace.”—War Papers and Personal Recollections of the Missouri Commandery, 232.]
by white troops, the need of which, for moral as well as for physical strength, he had always insisted upon.
It is quite believable that Van Dorn was the person most responsible for Hindman’s interference with Pike, although, of course, the very seriousness and desperateness of Hindman’s situation would have impelled him to turn to the only place where ready help was to be had. Three days prior to the time that Hindman had been assigned to the Trans-Mississippi Department, Roane, an old antagonist of Pike and the commander to whose immediate care Van Dorn had confided Arkansas, had asked of Pike at Van Dorn’s suggestion all the white forces he could spare, Roane having practically none of his own. Pike had refused the request, if request it was, and in refusing it, had represented how insufficient his forces actually were for purposes of his own department and how exceedingly difficult had been the task, which was his and his alone, of getting them together. At the time of writing he had not a single dollar of public money for his army and only a very limited amount of ammunition and other supplies.