scouts as the movements of the Indians, &c. Such was the determination of General Sibley as communicated to Captain Fisk. Your order to the commanding officer of Company I to report to Major Clowney was, therefore, proper and well conceived.
Occasional complaints are made unofficially to these headquarters that there is a want of activity in the quartermaster's department at your post in carrying out orders, which occasions delay and is detrimental to the service. The brigadier-general commanding cannot appreciate the necessity of delaying Major Clowney's command for repairs of wagons, &c., which should have been pressed forward with all dispatch. The contractors for transportation to Fort Wadsworth represent that their train was kept inactive for eight days, in consequence, and a claim for a compensation will doubtless be preferred by them for demurrage. Orderly hours may be proper enough in the ordinary daily proceeding at a post, but officers of the several branches of the service should be ready at all hours of the day and of the night to discharge any duty that may be required of them by the occurrence of a contingency demanding prompt action.
Inclosed herewith upon will find a dispatch addressed to Major Clowney,which you will please dispatch without delay to him by scouts or other special messengers. The building at Fort Ridgely, which can be appropriated temporarily and in part for the storage of supplies for Fort Wadsworth,is partly occupied with quartermaster's stores belonging to Fort Ridgely,so it is represented at these headquarters by Mr. Prince,one of the contractors for transportation, and he further prefers a request that the sentinel in charge of the quartermaster's stores be instructed to have an eye over the property in transit while in the same building, which you will order accordingly; but this is not to be understood as releasing the contractors from the responsibility for any such property,but merely as an additional safeguard. Mr. Thompson has been employed by the contractors to take immediate charge of the stores for Fort Wadsworth.
By command of Brigadier-General Sibley:
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. C. OLIN,
HDQRS. DIST. OF MINNESOTA, DEPT. OF THE NORTHWEST, Saint Paul, Minn., July 19, 1864.
Major JOHN CLOWNEY,
Commanding Detachment En Route to Fort Wadsworth:
MAJOR: Company I of Second Minnesota Cavalry is ordered to escort Captain Fisk's expedition as far as Fort Wadsworth and will report to you for further orders. Should you deem it prudent, after obtaining all the information you can from the scouts at the headquarters of the Coteau de Prairie relative to the whereabouts of the hostile Indians, to dispatch Company I a part of the way across from James River to the Missouri with Captain Fisk's cavalcade, your are authorized to do so; but in such case you will please bear in mind that such duty is merely incidental and is not intended to interfere with that of escorting the returning train to Fort Ridgely to reload with supplies for your post. It is probable a few days will be required in fixing the side of the fort, during which the train will be necessarily detained, and this time may be