the fort, which will be cut down in a few days, and the ground cleared of all brush. The fort will front to the south, and in front has a fine slope, rising from a neck (which could be ditched through) between two lakes. There is a fine view in front, with nothing to cover an enemy for half a mile. The block-house on the southeast corner will have a good range of both south and east, and the block-house on the northwest corner will have a clear range to the north and west. There is a grove about three-quarters of a mile to the northwest, and one half a mile to the southeast. The entrance to the lakes is a mile to the southwest of the fort and in clear view. By the kindness of Captain Fisk I have ascertained the point I have selected for the fort to be latitude 45 dec. 45 sec. and longitude 97 dec. 30 sec. The water is good and can be obtained with little labor inside of the inclosure. The fort will be almost surrounded with water. After examining Buffalo Lake and the coulees on the east side of the coteau in person, I think the selection the best that could be made, securing more advantages and fewer disadvantages, perhaps, than any other point in the Northwest. I shall have a sketch of the location made as soon as possible, but without instruments it will be hard to get correct distances. As soon as Captain Burton returned from James River I selected this point and commenced intrenching and making preparations for putting up the buildings in accordance with instructions. I would respectfully state that, from all the information I can obtain, there are no unfriendly Indians in the vicinity of this post; still I keep up the guards as if I expected an attack.
I will send the mail to Fort Abercrombie to-morrow and shall keep the communication open by that post at least once a week unless otherwise instructed.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major Thirtieth Regiment Wisconsin Volunteers, Commanding
HDQRS. DIST. OF MINNESOTA, DEPT. OF THE NORTHWEST,
Saint Paul, Minn., August 13, 1864.
Major General JOHN POPE,
Commanding Department of the Northwest, Milwaukee:
GENERAL: I have the honor to inclose herewith copy of a dispatch received by Governor Miller from Colonel B. F. Smith, Minnesota State Militia, giving information of a raid by hostile Sioux upon the settlements on the Blue Earth River, near Vernon, about twenty-five miles from Mankato. Several murders have been committed, but not intelligence has yet reached here which enables me to judge of the extent of the foray or of the numbers engaged in it. The people are very much alarmed and excited, as usual. I have taken all possible measures to destroy the murderers and protect the settlers. These raids have not been unexpected by me, for I wrote you on the 8th instant that I apprehended such would occur as soon as the Indians were informed that our Minnesota troops had crossed the Missouri River. I will keep you advised of the progress of events in the region visited by these red ruffians.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. H. SIBLEY,