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N sending General Hunter to relieve Frémont the President did not intend that he should remain in charge of the Department of the West. Out of its vast extent the Department of Kansas was created a few days afterward, embracing the Nov. 9, 1861. State of Kansas, the Indian Territory west of Arkansas, and the Territories of Nebraska, Colorado, and Dakota, with headquarters at Fort Leavenworth, and Hunter was transferred to its command. General Halleck was assigned to the Department of the Missouri, embracing the States of Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Arkansas, and that portion of Kentucky west of the Cumberland River, to become the more permanent successor of Frémont. By this division the Government had a i., p. 567. special object in view, namely, to organize a column which should march southward along the Western frontier, and by such a march bring about several results, each of them important in itself and of cumulative influence upon the general plan of Western operations then in contemplation. It would protect the State of Kansas. It would serve to hold or repossess the Indian Territory. It would, by a comparatively short route, reach and
W. R. Vol.
CHAP. V. enter the northeastern corner of the State of Texas, where it might perhaps encourage the overawed and suppressed Union sentiment; or, in the alternative, effect a junction with an expedition to be sent by sea, and thus hold the Lone Star State to her Federal allegiance. But all this would be contingent upon unchecked success.
It was known that such an enterprise would encounter serious obstacles. The Confederate Government had, among its earliest movements, reached out boldly to secure the Indian Territory. Under shelter of the Arkansas insurrection General Albert Pike, with flatteries and promises, secured a nominal adhesion of the principal Indian chiefs to the Confederacy. It was, perhaps, not unknown to him that, with the usual fickleness of savage policy, some of them were making equally ardent and equally untrustworthy protestations on the other side. On the whole, the rebellion had the better prospect of retaining their support, since for the moment it was in practical possession of the Indian Territory, with four regiments of Indians organized as the nucleus of a Confederate army. This, however, was the highest stage of its success. No strong Confederate forces made their appearance; no Confederate battles were won; the promised. annuities did not arrive from the Confederate Treasury; and the faith and coöperation of the Indians began to wane. As elsewhere in the South, loyalty to the Union was not wholly extinguished. A loyal Creek chief, Hopoeithleyohola, raised the banner of revolt against secession, gathered something over two thousand adherents, and fought several battles during the months of No
vember and December, 1861. It required all the CHAP. V. available Indian forces in Confederate pay to suppress and hold in check this armed demonstration in favor of the flag which, for half a century, had brought to the red men the voice of friendship and stated instalments of money and goods to redeem the promise of old and solemn treaties.
In addition to the danger in its intended pathway the proposed expedition encountered fatal obstacles in its very organization. Among the earliest calls for troops President Lincoln had given Senator James H. Lane authority to raise a brigade in Kansas. The regiments composing it contained much of that free and reckless fighting material of the frontier, which had been educated by the Missouri border ruffians to guerrilla methods. The necessity of defending the Kansas border against secession bushwhackers from Missouri kept these regiments at home and continued their predatory habits; and in their rapid forays Halleck to they often failed to discriminate between friend and foe. Halleck, the new commander of the Department of the West, several times had occasion to complain of their mischief. He protested against Lane's appointment as brigadier-general. He not only disavowed the lawlessness committed by Lane's men, but issued orders to drive them from his department; or, if caught, to disarm them and hold them prisoners. "They are no better," he wrote, "than a band of robbers; they cross the line, rob, steal, plunder, and burn whatever they can lay their hands upon. They disgrace the name and uniform of American soldiers and are driving 1862. W. R. good Union men into the ranks of the secession
with Lincoln Endorsement, Dec. 27,
pp. 449, 450.