October 15, 1863, Camp Sabine, Texas,
Brigadier-General Wm. Steele to Brigadier General Henry E. McCulloch, Confederate

Camp Sabine, October 15, 1863

Commanding Northern Sub-District of Texas:

GENERAL: Your communications of the 12th and two of the 13th instant were received by last express. I have not yet had the satisfaction of hearing, officially, from General Cooper, and am so much perplexed on this account that, unless I hear something satisfactory from him to-morrow, I shall go forward immediately and assume a personal direction of movements, &c. I trust that you have been misinformed as regards the action taken by the Choctaw Council. Reports reach me, unofficially, that, so far from adopting the policy of neutrality, the Council have passed a resolution declaring the penalty of death to attach to all persons in the Nation who should advocate such a policy. I cannot hear of Captain Young in the Nation, and, were I to hear of him, I have no other mounted force to send to arrest him than a detachment of his own company, stationed at Fort Washita. As soon as I can see or get in communication with Colonel Martin, I will endeavor to provide for his arrest, as asked for by you. I am at a loss to know why the receipt of my order for Colonel Martin's regiment to report to your headquarters has not been acknowledged. I shall hurry it down as rapidly as possible as soon as I can hear of it. The regiment (Martin's) is reported, unofficially, within 15 miles of Fort Smith at last accounts. Quantrill is reported to have brought with him some 300 well-equipped men. I am anxious to see him, as I am confident that he is better posted as regards the enemy in Southwestern Missouri and Western Arkansas than any one else. If you have later intelligence from the Choctaw Council, and feel that your presence would do good, go by all means. I beg to assure you, general, that I am no stickler for ceremony or etiquette when the good of the service is involved. Would it not be well to send an intelligent messenger over and ascertain how things stand?

Your obedient servant,



P. S.--I understand that Colonel Scott, the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, is in attendance on the Council. I am sure he will advise me of the result.


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