War of the Rebellion: Serial 084 Page 0767 Chapter LIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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river, where I can get batter grass for my stock. Please send instructions on this point. Forage for horses I think can be procured in this country at very fair rates even now, and probably much cheaper later in the season. The Indians that murdered that party are without doubt the same band or party that stole twenty-eight head of stock the day before at Point of Rocks, and killed the stage stock at the station, and as near as I can learn they numbered about forty or fifty, and probably a wandering war party and many miles away by this time, but how soon they will return is another things. I left ten men with Lieutenant Hill at the Point of Rocks and I have sent for him to come up as soon as possible and join his company, for it is very small at the best. I have but thirty-eight me with my command, sick and all. I had an order to send ten men with Major Fillmore. What veterans I have ut have joined some company near Denver. I really need my whole company at the present, and I do not know but that more men are needed than them. Captain Pollock's corn train came up the river with me, which was very fortunate in regard to our forage. I do not know what we would do without it. You will please send me some instructions in regard to matters.

Sir, I am your obedient servant,

ISAAC GRAY,

Captain Co. E, First Cavalry of Colorado, Commanding Camp Fillmore.

P. S.-I forgot to mention that the houses or quarters and stables and corrals at Camp Fillmore have been entirely destroyed by fire and the floods.

I. GRAY,

Captain, &c.

HEADQUARTERS NORTHWESTERN INDIAN EXPEDITION,

Fort Union, August 18, 1864.

Major-General POPE:

GENERAL: You have before this time received my official report of my fight and operations last July, and of my march to Yellowstone with accompanying skirmishers.* I now write you, unofficially, my opinion about matters and things in genera. I am perfectly satisfied of the impracticability of a road for emigrants over the route I took. The guides, half-breeds, and Indians tell me the route is much better farther south, along the Cannon Ball and then toward the Powder River, but I place little reliance in what they say, of their judgment in such matters is not good. All the country in the vicinity of the Little Missouri is very much broken, I might say tumbled to pieces. It affords an excellent protection in every part of it for twenty-five miles for a small body of Indians to torment, worry out, and exterminate an unprotected emigrant train. At the same time the Indians have every opportunity to escape from any force at their pleasure. There will certainly be no safety in traveling there till the Indians are exterminated. Peace might be made with them, yet there would be always plenty that the head of the bands could not control, who would do mischief. This country is as bad, if not worse, than Florida, to hunt the Indians in, and one year's campaign can't finish the war. It is late in the season before troops can reach this country, then when you march through the country the Indians on top of the hills can see you for miles. I am

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*See Part I, p. 141.

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