other than the public interests. If the General-in-Chief thinks differently, I am prepared to obey any order he may give me, and I will, on his order, send off all or as many troops from the department as in his opinion can be spared. As I have before stated, it is my own opinion, in view of all the facts in my possession, that no part of the small force on duty in this department can be sent away at present without imminent danger to all the frontier settlements until the troops sent off are replaced by others. As soon as the First U. S. Volunteers reaches me a number of troops equally great will be sent South, to be allowed by others as soon as possible. All troops now in this department are so far out on the frontier that the time specified in my letter of the 12th will be needed to assemble them at the nearest points where transportation can be furnished.
I am, general, respectfully, your obedient servant,
HDQRS. DIST. OF MINNESOTA, DEPT. OF THE NORTHWEST,
Saint Paul, Minn. August 17, 1864.
Major General JOHN POPE,
Commanding Department of the Northwest, Milwaukee, Wis.:
GENERAL: On the 8th instant I had the honor to address you a dispatch in which this paragraph occurs: "I am fearful that these wretches (White Lodge's, Sleepy Eyes', &c., bands) upon learning that all of the expeditionary force has crossed the Missouri may attempt some demonstrations on the frontier." The apprehension has been verified to the letters, as you will perceive by reference to my dispatch of 13th instant and of the copy of information from my scouts' camp on the head of the Redwood River, which is herewith inclosed.* Not less than fifty of the warriors of these bands were in the vicinity of our settlements three days ago in one body, and there may be other parties from the large camp on the Missouri Coteau mentioned by me in the dispatch of the 8th instant, to which I have referred. To guard the long line between Sauk Centre on the north and the Iowa line, I have an available force, exclusive of the requisite garrison of Fort Ridgely, of less than 300 men, and if the Indians seize the opportunity to precipitate themselves upon the frontier in force they may do an immense amount of mischief. I shall, of course, use all the means at my command to check and punish any attempts of this kind, but neither you nor myself can be held justly responsible for the outrages that may be perpetrated, for both of us remonstrated time and again against the removal of the Sixth Regiment from the State before the return of the troops dispatched from this district to re-enforce General Sully. It will not answer to make light of the Indian war in which we are engaged in the face of the fact that north and east of the Missouri River there are now not less than 2,000 or 2,500 Sioux warriors, four-fifths of whom are our determined and bitter enemies, rendered desperate by the losses they have sustained. I dispatched a detachment of forty cavalry from Fort Snelling on the night of the date when the first intelligence of the late raid was received, and they are now available for service where they are most needed, in addition to those stationed at the outposts south of Fort Ridgely.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. H. SIBLEY,
*See p. 725.