June 26, 1861: Plans to invade Missouri or Kansas

Benjamin McCulloch
Benjamin McCulloch

The Confederacy encouraged McCulloch to act in Missouri, if necessary via Kansas. With fugitive governor Jackson fleeing toward the southwest corner of Missouri, support from Arkansas was becoming a more urgent necessity if there was to be any chance of bringing the state into the Confederate fold. At the same time, they couldn’t take any chances on alienating the Cherokee. From the OR Vol 1 Ser III Part 1 p. 599:

Richmond, June 26, 1861.
Brigadier General BEN. McCULLOCH,
Commanding, &c., Fort Smith, Ark.:

GENERAL: In reply to your communication of the 14th instant, addressed to the Secretary of War, I am instructed to say that you are authorized, should you think proper, to take position at Fort Scott, and that you may give such assistance to Missouri as will subserve the main purpose of your command. If an invasion of Kansas is rendered necessary for that purpose, it will be a question for you to determine, after fully considering the consequences as affecting the neutrality of the Cherokees, which should not be disregarded if it is possible by diplomacy to prevent it; the great object of your command being not only to conciliate the Indian nations, but to obtain their active co-operation with us in prosecuting the war. You will perceive that by exciting the hostility of the Cherokee Nation the prospect of a successful termination of your command will be greatly diminished.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Adjutant and Inspector General.

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