ing mountain stream, had fallen almost to its ordinary dimensions and volume, so that the infantry were much less inconvenienced in crossing and re-crossing it than when we came out on the 27th.
They were nearly three days on the march to Rhea's Mills.
Most of the cavalry, however, got in on the evening of the 30th.
Thus ended the expedition to Van Buren, and in fact the campaign of the Army of the Frontier in northwestern Arkansas.
An expedition of nearly two thousand men, mostly Indians, and a section of light artillery, were sent out under Col. W. A. Phillips, about the time we left Rhea's Mills, in the direction of Fort Gibson.
After a short engagement, Col. Phillips captured and destroyed Fort Davis near Fort Gibson, on which the Confederate Government expended upwards of a million dollars. In point of importance, the success of his expedition deserves to be set down among the splendid achievements of the campaign.
I bid you adieu.
When some future hist
cent are the actions of men!
Even the pyramids of Egypt must in time crumble to dust.
We do not know but that if the light of the past could be thrown upon these grounds and over these regions, we should see hostile armies of even greater magnitude than ours or that of the enemy, operating against each other.
It is now considered by those who ought to be competent authority, that this western country was once occupied by a race of people quite different, in some respects, to our present Indians.
At various places in the Mississippi valley mounds are found which are known to have been thrown up by human hands; and in some instances there have also been found human skeletons, pieces of pottery and implements indicative of their domestic life.
These mounds are believed to be of high antiquity and not to have been made by any of the existing races of North America.
If a numerous people inhabited the Mississippi valley at some distant age of the past, they also probably spread over
hostile intentions towards us, and that they are fed by their families clandestinely.
Lieutenant Masterton of the Second Indiana battery, was assassinated by just this class of men when we were encamped near here last fall.
A number of other officers and soldiers of our division met a similar fate, and we feel that men who flee from us are our enemies, and not to be trusted.
No doubt many of the people of this section have exaggerated notions of our troops, particularly Kansas troops and Indians.
That the people might not be kept in ignorance of our purposes and actions, I have sometimes thought it should not be regarded as exceeding his duty if our military commander should issue a proclamation to the people of the section we occupy, defining our duties, and setting forth the treatment that will be extended to all who may wish to come in and surrender and renew their allegiance to the Government.
If such proclamation were made, and some pains taken to have it put into the hands
d with it in nearly all the large cities of Christendom.
A detachment of this division just arrived from Park Hill, Cherokee Nation, reports that seven of our Indians, known as Pins, were killed at that place a few days ago by a party of rebels wearing the federal uniform.
By this deception and dastardly act the enemy were perll-pox patients.
A skirmish took place yesterday, the 10th, at Fort Gibson between a battalion of our Indian soldiers and a small force of Standwaitie's Rebel Indians, resulting in the capture of half a dozen prisoners and the killing and wounding of five of tie enemy, the remainder having made their escape by swimming across tto. We have heard a good deal of him ever since we came into this country last June, but have been unable to meet him. When we have had a skirmish with any of his Indians, it has always turned out that he was not with them.
We do not quite regard him as a mythical character, but we do not believe him to be such a brave and dashin
r Lynch's Mills on Spavinaw Creek, about sixteen miles below Standwaitie's Mills.
At this place we saw one of our loyal Indians, who was at home with his family.
He told us that, about a week ago, a party of ten loyal Indians, of whom he was one, Indians, of whom he was one, had a fight with about an equal number of rebel Indians, a mile below this place, and that they killed half of the rebel party, but got four of their own men badly wounded in the affair.
He spoke very good English, and seemed to be telling a straigIndians, a mile below this place, and that they killed half of the rebel party, but got four of their own men badly wounded in the affair.
He spoke very good English, and seemed to be telling a straightforward story.
A grain of allowance, however, should, perhaps, be made for exaggeration.
But from the information which we receive from time to time, there is no doubt but that such bloody contests are quite common in different parts of the Natiowskin prairie we received information through our scouts that Colonel Standwaitie, with a force of four or five hundred Indians, was in this vicinity.
Colonel Jewell, with about three hundred cavalry, was directed by Colonel Weir to make a reconn
to have command of all the rebel troops operating against us, and they are reported to be composed mainly of Texans and Indians, estimated at from five to seven thousand men, with one or two batteries of artillery.
Our scouts report that some two fled in the direction they came from.
We heard that a shell from one of our guns burst in the midst of a body of rebel Indians, killing and wounding quite a number, and throwing the others into a panic.
It is often remarked that Indians have a grsection suitable animals for remounts.
Indian ponies could perhaps be had, but in my opinion they are only suitable for Indians, and would answer only as temporary remounts for the white soldiers.
One of our Indians, a herder or picket, who wasIndians, a herder or picket, who was killed by the enemy, had his clothing set on fire and his body burned to a crisp.
He was brought in this afternoon with the other killed and wounded, and he presented a ghastly sight.
It was a barbarous act on the part of the enemy, and we had su
enemy are reported to have had upwards of fifteen hundred men in the engagement, but I am inclined to think that they had at least two thousand white soldiers and Indians, composed of Texans, Choctaws and Cherokees.
Though they seem to have been well-informed in regard to the movements of the trains, perhaps through Livingston's g
A scouting party of the enemy was seen on June 1st, near Green Leaf, about eight miles east of this post.
They are supposed to be apart of Standwaitie's rebel Indians, and to be moving in the direction of Tahlequah and the northern part of the Cherokee Nation.
As all that part of the Nation adjacent to Arkansas is unoccupied b been in that section very little recently.
It is reported, also, that the rebels shot one of their own men, because he endeavored to save the life of one of our Indians.
It has been suggested, however, that this story be taken with a grain of allowance.
Our loss in this instance is probably due to the fact that our Indians were
the 14th instant, from Major Foreman, who was sent out a few days ago, with a force of about three hundred and twenty-five Indians and white men stating that he is in hot pursuit of Standwaitie's Indians, who for upwards of a week, have been committing numerous depredations in the country to the northeast of us. While Standwaitie is permitted to remain in the nation, most of his followers return to their homes in the section in which he operates, and coming in contact with some of our loyal Indians, who have also returned to their homes, a kind of private war springs up between the belligerent parties, generally resulting in bloody contests.
The reputation Major Foreman has as a fighting officer, justifies us in believing that he would either bring the rebel Indians to an engagement, or drive them out of the Nation.
But from the information received, it does not seem likely that they will make a stand north of the Arkansas River.
They have shown very little disposition to come into
days yet. Fresh beef without salt would likely undermine the health of our troops in a short time.
A considerable quantity of wheat has been obtained recently, which under a stress can be cooked and used for food.
But the soldiers, whites and Indians, appear very cheerfully; and we do not apprehend that we shall be obliged to kill the dogs, and mules and horses here, before our provisions reach us. The shortness of rations and the isolation of our position sometimes causes the soldier to jocble zeal, too, in keeping him advised of the movements of the enemy.
And from my own observations since I have been with this command, I believe it would have been impossible for any other officer to have won such affectionate regard from these Indians.
To-day (July 3rd) was very quiet along the Arkansas; the enemy's pickets were in suspense as well as our troops at this post.
They do not even seem to have heard of the artillery and musketry firing of Wednesday evening. Or if they have, t
had seen our Indian soldiers a year ago, that they could have been brought under such discipline, as to make them such efficient soldiers as they have recently shown themselves to be under Colonel Phillips.
When I saw hundreds of men, women and children, bathing perfectly nude in the Neosho River a little over a year ago, the thought never entered my mind that the men could be used as soldiers to fight an enemy, except Indians of the same character.
But under Colonel Phillips, these same Indians, during the spring and summer, have contended successfully, and in point of numbers, less than man for man, mainly with white troops of the enemy.
Were it not for the white troops of the enemy, there would now be no armed resistance to the authority of the Government in this whole region, so skillfully has Colonel Phillips managed the Indian affairs of this Territory.
The commissary train finished unloading on the 6th, and was all ferried over Grand River during the night, to be in rea