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[33] their immediate neighbor, and of which the conservation and perpetuity of slaveholding was the most cherished idea. Some of those Chiefs have since insisted that they were deceived by the Confederate emissaries, and especially by Gen. Albert Pike, chief Commissioner for Indian Affairs of the Confederacy, who had led them to confound that concern with the Union. What is certain is, that, directly after tidings reached them of the battles of Bull Run and Wilson's creek — the latter reported to them from that side as a complete discomfiture of the North, which view the undoubted death of Lyon and abandonment of Springfield tended strongly to corroborate — the Chiefs of most of the tribes very generally entered into a close offensive and defensive alliance with the Confederacy; even so cautious and politic a diplomatist as John Ross throwing his weight into that scale. It is said that, after the death of Lyon, Pen McCulloch's brigade of Texans was marched back to the Indian border, and that the Creeks and Cherokees were impressively required to decide quickly between the North and the South; else, betwixt Texas on the one side and Arkansas on the other, a force of 20,000 Confederates would speedily ravage and lay waste their country. They decided accordingly. Yet a very large minority of both Creeks and Cherokees rallied around the Chief Opothleyolo, made head against the current, and stood firm for the Union. Assembling near the Creek Agency, they tore down the Rebel flag there flying and replanted the Stars and Stripes; and a letter1 from Col. McIntosh to the Trute Democrat2 called loudly for reenforcements to the Rebel array in the Indian Territory, and expressed apprehension that the Northern party might prove the stronger. A battle between the antagonistic Indian forces took place Dec. 9th, 1861, on Bushy creek, near the Verdigris river, 180 miles west of Fort Smith, the Confederates being led by Col. Cooper, the Unionists by Opothleyolo. The result was not decisive, but the advantage appears to have been with the Rebel party, the Unionists being constrained soon after to make their way northward to Kansas, where they received the supplies they so much needed, and where a treaty of close alliance was negotiated3 between Opothleyolo and his followers on one side, and Col. Dole, U. S. Commissioner of Indian Affairs, on the other.

The Rebels were thus left in undisputed possession of the Indian Territory, from which they collected the four or five thousand warriors who appeared at Pea Ridge; but, though the ground was mainly broken and wooded, affording every facility for irregular warfare, they do not seem to have proved of much account, save in the consumption of rations and massacre of the Union wounded, of whom at least a score fell victims to their barbarities. Their war-whoop was overborne by the roar of our heavy guns; they were displeased with the frequent falling on their heads of great branches and tops of the trees behind which they had sought shelter; and, in fact, the whole conduct of the battle on our part was, to their apprehension disgusting. The amount of effort and of profanity expended

1 Oct. 17, 1861.

2 Little Rock, Arkansas.

3 At Leavenworth, Feb. 1, 1862.

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