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Letter signed J.J. Clarkson, Richmond, to General S. Cooper, February 29, 1864

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Identifier: D04772

Title: Letter signed J.J. Clarkson, Richmond, to General S. Cooper, February 29, 1864


Recounts his military service in the Missouri State Guard and later in the Cherokee country; his capture while en route to Fort Smith, Ark., as a result of Colonel Stand Watie's disobedience of his orders; and his subsequent imprisonment.

Transcription: Richmond Feby 29th 1864


Genl. S. Cooper

A [and] J. Genl.


I have the honor to report that I was originally colonel of the 5th Regiment of Infantry, 8th Division Missouri State Guard duty Commissioned by the Governor of Missouri to take rank from the 12th day of July 1861. and served as such until 15th day of March 1862 — I was subsequently order my Maj Genl Van Dorn to raise and organize a regiment of six companies for the Confederate Service which I did and was assigned to duty with my command of six companies duly mustered into the service [of?] the Confederate States on or about the 1st day of June April 1862. My field of operations was west of the State of Missouri extending as far west as Santa Fe New Mexico. Whilst in the Cherokee Country, I ascertained that it was important for me to remain for the reasons of dissatisfaction existing among the indians arising from the impression that they were entitled to the protection from the C.S. and presence of two regiments of Confederate Troops in their Country in virtue of certain treaty stipulations with the Confederate States. Col Waite[Stand Watie] and Drew’s[John Drew] regiments (indians) were somewhat divided and moved not to co-operate without my [word unclear] and both insisted that I should take command, which I di[d] in order to harmoni[ze] all differences & th[letters unclear] concentrated including my own command about 2500 men. I subsequently increased my own command to a full regiment by the consolidation of Major Livingston’s battalion which raised my regiment to nine Companies of whites and one Company of Indians (Osages).

About the 25th June 1862 Maj Genl T.C. Hindman ordered me to return to Fort Smith, Arkansas, with my regiment which order renewed dissatisfaction [page damaged, words missing] [In]dians particularly with [page damaged, words missing] (Ross Indians) a greater [page damaged, words missing] whom soon after joined the enemy.

After travelling with my forces about forty miles in the direction of Fort Smith in [word unclear] of orders, I learned that the enemy were advancing. Being sick at this time, I detached to Col Waite[Stand Watie] to a portion of my regiment to return the advances of the enemy, retaining with me about seventy-five men in charge of the baggage of both my own & Col Waite’s command. I ordered Col Waite[Stand Watie] to cross to the west side of Grand river and watch the enemy, I being on the east side of that river. This order was not obeyed and the consequence was the enemy cam down the west side of the river, crossed about a mile above me [and] captured myself [and] 48 men together with all the baggage and transportation, which Col Waite[Stand Watie] was resting about fifty miles above me distant upon the same side of the river.

I was taken by the enemy first to Fort Leavenworth Kansas, where I was confined in a cell 7 x 3 feet until Oct 1862 when I was turned over to the Civil Authorities and taken to St Louis Mo. I remained there until the 29th January 1864, when I was again transfered to the Military Authorities when and I was forward[ed] to this city pursuant to an order of Col W. Hoffman, Commissary General of Prisons dated Washington City Jany 15th 1864 an official Copy whereof is herewith enclosed.

My regiment was Cavalry duly mustered [and] swo[r]n into service of the Confederate States for one year. All rolls and other paper evidence[?] were captured by the enemy. The condition of my health incident to long [and] close in prisonment have prevented my making an earlier report for orders...

Rights: NoC-US

Place: United States

Dates: 1864-02-29

Type(s): Letter

Maker/Creator: Clarkson, J. J.

Subjects: Civil War, 1861-1865
Indians of North America
Armed Forces


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