United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the commissioner of Indian affairs, for the year 1863
Report of the commissioner of Indian affairs, pp. -40 PDF (14.2 MB)
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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