Southwestern Historical Quarterly
/ ei cCioC letters
Edited by EDWARD M. COFFMAN
THE three following letters of Ben McCulloch were pre-
sented to the famous Confederate spy Captain Thomas
H. Hines by General Albert Pike, an Arkansas journal-
ist and lawyer. Hines was studying law in Pike's office at the time.
Each letter bears the notation in Hines' writing: "Presented to
me by General Albert Pike Memphis, Tenn, Nov 28th '66. T.
Henry Hines." They are a part of the Hines Manuscript Collec-
tion at the Margaret I. King Library of the University of Ken-
In the early months of the Civil War the Confederacy was
making every effort to obtain an alliance with the Indians.
Albert Pike was appointed commissioner to the Indian tribes
in May, 1861. When he reached the West, he was joined by
the famed Indian fighter Ben McCulloch of Texas. Together
they talked with John Ross, the Cherokee chief; then McCulloch
returned to take over the defense of northern Arkansas.
The first two of these letters were written by McCulloch to
Pike during the period in which Pike was carrying on treaty
negotiations alone. He did not succeed in signing a treaty until
July o (with the Creeks); however, the other tribes soon came
to terms and by October 7 the Cherokees finally reached an
agreement with the Confederate government.
The last letter was written over a month after McCulloch's
victory at Wilson Creek. Pike had been commissioned a briga-
dier general in August, hence McCulloch no longer addressed
him by his Mexican War rank.
Private Fort Smith June 17th 1861
Say to the Indians He that sits between two stools comes to
the ground. We only wish them to assist in defending their own
rights & Teretorries. They will not be marched out of theirs into
any whites [sic.] mans country to make war. We want them to
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 60, July 1956 - April, 1957. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101163/. Accessed July 6, 2015.