Veterans of the Confederate service who saw action along the Missouri-Arkansas frontier have frequently complained, in recent years, that military operations in and around Virginia during the War between the States receive historically so much attention that, as a consequence, the steady, stubborn fighting west of the Mississippi River is either totally ignored or, at best, cast into dim obscurity. There is much of truth in the criticism but it applies in fullest measure only when the Indians are taken into account; for no accredited history of the American Civil War that has yet appeared has adequately recognized certain rather interesting facts connected with that period of frontier development; viz., that Indians fought on both sides in the great sectional struggle, that they were moved to fight, not by instincts of savagery, but by identically the same motives and impulses as the white men, and that, in the final outcome, they suffered even more terribly than did the whites. Moreover, the Indians fought as solicited allies, some as nations, diplomatically approached. Treaties were made with them as with foreign powers and not in the farcical, fraudulent way that had been customary in times past. They promised alliance and were given in return political position—a fair exchange. The southern white man, embarrassed, conceded much, far more than he really believed in, more than he ever could or would have conceded, had he not himself been so fearfully hard pressed. His own predicament, the exigencies of the moment, made him give to the Indian a justice, the like of which neither one of them had dared even to dream. It was quite otherwise with the northern white man, however; for he, self-confident and self-reliant, negotiated with the Indian in the traditional way, took base advantage of the straits in which he found him, asked him to help him fight his battles, and, in the selfsame moment, plotted to dispossess him of his lands, the very lands that had, less than five and twenty years before, been pledged as an Indian possession “as long as the grass should grow and the waters run.” From what has just been said, it can be easily inferred that two distinct groups of Indians will have to be dealt with, a northern and a southern; but, for the present, it will be best to take them all together. Collectively, they occupied a vast extent of country in the so-called great American desert. Their situation was peculiar.