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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the commissioner of Indian affairs, for the year 1863
([1863])

Report of the commissioner of Indian affairs,   pp. [5]-40 PDF (14.2 MB)


Page 26

26                         REPORT OF THE 
of much sickness and mortality. I am happy, however, to state that their
health has been much improved during the present season. 
Recent information from refugees and other sources, believed by Coloneli..
Phillips and others to be entirely reliable, indicates that a strong Union
element 
exists among the Chickasaws and Choctaws; that Union leagues are formed in
their midst, and that a very considerable portion of the people are prepared
to 
throw off the authority of the rebels as soon as a Union force shall appear.
It 
is said that even now the rebel authorities are obliged to keep a battalion
of 
troops constantly stationed in their country to watch the movements of our
friends. 
I have now, so far as I can from the information in my possession, presented
the present condition of the various tribes of this superintendency, and
in closing 
this portion of my report desire to invite your attention to the singular
unanimity 
with which the agents and superintendent join in urging the importance of
the 
prompt return to and protection of the loyal Indians in the possession of
their 
homes. No one who has not visited and conversed with these destitute people,---
can fully appreciate their intense desire and longing for a return to the
country 
from which they have been driven. The indescribable sufferings and privations
they have endured, the sacrifices they have made, the patience with which
they 
have submitked to the dire evils which have come upon them, and, above all,
the heroism, fidelity, and zeal with which nearly every able-bodied man among
them has fought for our common cause, fully demonstrate their loyalty and
de- 
votion to the government, and justly entitle them to the most generous considera-
tion. The present indications are that the power of this most unrighteous
rebel- 
lion is broken, and that it is fast hastening to its complete and final overthrow.
I trust that no delay will be permitted, or effort spared, in an endeavor
to wrest 
the homes of these people from the hands of their spoilers, and, so far as
may 
be in our power, restore them to the comforts of their former possessions.
CENTRAL SUPERINTENDENCY. 
No marked change in our relatiotns with the Indians of this superintendency
has occurred during the past year, though it will be quite evident, upon
a com- 
parison of the annual reports of the several agents for this year with those
of 
the last, that a gradual improvement is being effected in the condition of
most, 
if not all, the tribes. 
Within the limits of the superintendency there are some sixteen tribal organ-
izations, viz: the Pawnees, Omahas, Ottoes and Missourias, Iowas, Sacs and
Foxes of the Missouri, Kickapoos, Pottawatomies, Sacs and Foxes of the 
Mississippi, Chippewas and Munsees, Ottawas, Kansas, Miamies, confederated
bands of Kaskaskias, Peorias, Weas and Piankeshaws, Delawares, Wyandots 
and Shawnees. Of these, the three first named are located in the Territory
of 
Nebraska, and the others in Kansas. The aggregate number is about thirteen
thousand. 
It would unnecessarily prolong this report were I to attempt a statement
of 
the present condition, resources, and prospects to the several tribes. I
shall, 
therefore, confine myself to a few of the most prominent. 


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