Battle of Pea Ridge
(Official Records, Series I, Volume XIII, page 824)
His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS
SIR: I have the honor to forward to you copies of proceedings of the council of the Cherokee Nation, as follows:
1st. An act authorizing the calling out of volunteers for the purposes therein named.
2d. Joint resolutions asking your kind offices in obtaining the release of the prisoners therein named, who were captured by U.S. forces at the battle of Pea Ridge.
In transmitting these papers I embrace the occasion to add very respectfully that the Cherokee people have allied themselves to the Confederate States in good faith and expect to abide the issue of the great struggle in which they are now engaged. A very large proportion of their effective men are now in the service, but their efficiency is much impaired by the want of suitable arms, which have not been furnished according to treaty. The unprotected state of the country makes this circumstance the cause of more regret and solicitude. The only troops left for the protection of all the Indian country south of Kansas and west of Arkansas, besides the Indians themselves, are the few regiments from Texas and Arkansas under the command of General Pike, whose headquarters are not far north of Red River, in the Choctaw Nation, and more than 200 miles south of the northern boundary of the Cherokee Nation. At this time United States troops are in the extreme southwest corner of Missouri, on the immediate border of the Cherokee lands, if not within their limits. I mention these facts through no disposition to complain or to question the propriety or necessity of the virtual abandonment of the country by the officers of the Confederate States, but to show our true condition, in the hope that we may be supplied if possible with means to defend ourselves as far as may be in our humble power. The determined resistance of even a weak people might prevent the overrunning of the country and the introduction of an army of occupation which it would become difficult hereafter to expel.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Principal Chief Cherokee Nation.
AN ACT authorizing the calling out of volunteers for the purposes therein named.
Be it enacted by the National Council, That whenever it may become necessary to repel invasion, suppress insurrection, or raise the quota of troops that may be called for from time to time by the President of the Confederate States under the forty-first article of the treaty of 7th October, 1861, the Principal Chief is hereby authorized and empowered to issue his proclamation calling for such number of volunteers as may be required by the circumstances of the case. And the volunteers so raised shall be organized into companies, battalions, or regiments, as may be proper, and which shall be composed of the like number of commissioned officers, non-commissioned officers, and privates, companies and battalions, as are respectively provided for and required in the like branch of service to which they may be assigned by the laws of the Confederate States.
Be it further enacted, That the field and staff officers of volunteers called out under the provisions of this act, and vacancies that may occur in the same, shall be appointed and commissioned by the Principal Chief, by and with the advice and consent of the members of the Executive Council; but the commissioned officers of companies shall be elected by a majority of the votes of all the members of the company, and vacancies that may occur therein filled in like manner. All noncommissioned officers shall be appointed by the officer in command of the company, battalion, or regiment, as the case may be. The rank of officers shall be determined by the date of commission, the oldest commission having precedence in the grade to which it belongs. All troops raised under the provisions of this act shall be amenable to the civil <ar19_826> laws of the land and subject to the rules and articles of war governing the Army of the Confederate States, so far as the same may be applicable, and they shall be required to take an oath to support and defend the constitution of the Cherokee Nation and the laws and treaties made in conformity thereto.
Tahlequah, C. N.
President National Council.
Clerk National Council.
T. B. WOLFE,
[Inclosure No 2]
Whereas, at the battle of Pea Ridge, in Benton County, Arkansas, on the 7th and 8th of March last, between the forces of the Confederate States and the United States, Capt. Richard Fields, Surg. James P. Evans, Hospital Steward W. N. Evans, and Private James Pidey, members of the regiment of Cherokee Mounted Rifles, commanded by Col. John Drew, and William Reese, a member of the regiment of Cherokee Mounted Rifles, commanded by Col. Stand Watie, were taken prisoners by the United States and are still held as such; and whereas 7 United States soldiers were taken prisoners on the 6th of the same month, near Bentonville, Ark., by the command of Col. John Drew, and were delivered to the officers of the Confederate States, and it is believed were subsequently exchanged: Therefore be it
Resolved, That the Principal Chief be requested to present these facts to the President of the Confederate States, and solicit his interference and aid in obtaining the release, by exchange or otherwise, of the before-named officers and privates, and any others, if there be such, belonging to said Cherokee regiments.
Resolved, That in the opinion of the National Council, the war now existing between the said United States and the Confederate States and their Indian allies should be conducted on the most humane principles which govern the usages of war among civilized nations, and that it be and is earnestly recommended to the troops of this nation in the service of the Confederate States to avoid any acts toward captured or fallen foes that would be incompatible with such usages.
Tahlequah, C. N., April 30, 1862.
President, National Council
T. B. WOLFE,
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