[ASP, Mil. Aff., v.6, p. 765]
Fort Mitchell, Alabama, December 3, 1834.
I have the honor to report to you that the whole number of Indians who shall emigrate this fall will not exceed six or seven hundred. Colonel Hill arrived here on the 16th of November, after an absence of four weeks in the upper part of the nation, and sent about two hundred and eighty-six at or near Centreville, Alabama, there to remain until what few in this vicinity could join them. I had never rendezvoused them, and of course they had to be collected after his return. Our prospect being dull, and I presumed unless he met with better success than he had, that he would give it up for the present time, as our instructions say from two to five thousand. I could not tell or know whether it was his intention to start with so small a party, which are now nearly all collected, and will start in two or three days. He had no reason to depend on me to make up a party sufficient to make it an object to emigrate this fall. One month ago I could have started from this place a much larger number than I now shall. I told him they were strongly opposed to emigrating this fall, as the season was so far advanced; what few are going are generally very poor and destitute of clothing, and it would be a prudent and humane act to give it up till spring; when, if the proper measures are taken, they would emigrate very willingly. I know six or seven hundred out of twenty-odd thousand was no object. I believe he has appointed assistant agents enough, and had them stationed in the upper part of the nation, to have emigrated ten thousand, and all they have collected, from what I can learn, are two hundred and eighty-six. I do not know what number of assistant agents he has got, but I know of eight or nine, and they are all with his small party at or near Centreville, unless he has discharged them, except Mr. Sommerville, who is bringing in camp those I have been amongst. Colonel Hill is also with him. I returned from the nation a few day since, and expected Colonel Hill would have been here before this. We shall not get to Tuscaloosa till January, probably the 20th.
With respect, I am your most obedient servant,
JOHN PAGE, Captain and Disbursing Agent.
Brigadier General George Gibson, Commissary General of Subsistence.