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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the commissioner of Indian affairs, for the year 1864

Colorado superintendency,   pp. 216-258 PDF (17.3 MB)

Page 221

COLORADO SUPERINTENDENCY.                       221 
with the military authorities until peace; in which case alone they will
be in 
proper position to treat with the government in relation to the future. 
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 
Governor C. T., and ex-officio Sup't Indian Affairs. 
Major S. G. COLLEY, 
U. S. Indian Agent, Upper Arkansas. 
A telegraphic despatch from Major General Curtis, commanding the depart-
ment, to Colonel Chivington, received subsequently to the mailing of the
letter, indicates an approval of the policy pursued in dealing with these
The following is a copy of the despatch: 
FORT LEAVENWORTH, September 28, 1864. 
I shall require the bad Indians delivered up; restoration of equal numbers
of stock-also hostages, to secure. I want no peace till the Indians suffer
more. "Left-Hand" is said to be a good chief of the Arapahoes ;
but " Big 
Mouth" is a rascal. I fear agent of Interior Department will be ready
to make 
presents too soon. It is better to chastise before giving anything but a
tobacco to talk over. No peace must be made without my directions. 
S. R. CURTIS, Major General. 
Colonel J. M. CHIVINGTON. 
Whatever may be the result of this negotiation in effecting that most de-
sirable end, the consummation of a permanent and lasting peace with the 
Indians, the rescue of the prisoners was a great act of humanity; and the
formation obtained by it can but be of great utility, in admonishing the
ment of the formidable array of savage hostility with which it has to contend.
I have taken great pains, in my intercourse with the Indians, and those 
connected with them who understand their plans, to ascertain whether there
were any parties connected with the great rebellion acting in concert with
them, or urging them on; but, so far, no positive evidence has been elicited
from them. And yet it is a remarkable fact, that an emigrant of strong sym-
pathy with the rebellion, who left southern Missouri last spring, should
stated that it was the plan of the rebels, under Price, to invade Missouri
autumn, at the time when our forces should be drawn away to fight the Indians
on the plains; a statement Which the subsequent facts would seem to indicate
had been based upon information of an alliance between the Indians and the
rebel army, and which is further strengthened by professions, on the part
of the 
Indians, that they have been offered the assistance and friendship of the
if they would continue their war. 
Such an alliance would gain for the rebellion, at a moderate outlay of means
and effort, such palpable advantages that I am disposed to credit the common
belief, that the arguments used by the Indians among themselves in favor
hostilities, to the effect that while the whites were fighting among themselves
the Indians could easily drive them from their country, were prompted by
who desired to aid the rebellion. 
It is exceedingly unfortunate that the exigencies of the service have thus
been such as to prevent the organization of such a force against this powerful
alliance of hostile Indians as not only to protect our lines of communication,
but promptly to pursue them to their hiding-places and to punish and intimidate
them, for this is the only means of procuring safety from their depredations,
augurating a permanent peace, commanding their regard for authority, and
curing their enduring friendship. 
The forces now in the field are totally inadequate to accomplish this object.
Up to this time the Indians have had the advantage of securing large amounts

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