AUGUST 20-22, 1862.-Actions with Indians at Fort Ridgely, Minn.
Numbers 1.-Lieutenant Timothy J. Sheehan, Fifth Minnesota Infantry.
Numbers 2.-Ordnance Sergt. John Jones, U. S. Army.
Numbers 1. Report of Lieutenant Timothy J. Sheehan, Fifth Minnesota Infantry.
HEADQUARTERS FORT RIDGELY, MINN.,
August 26, 1862.
GENERAL: I have the honor to report that this post was assaulted by a large force of Sioux Indians on the 20th instant. The small remnant of Company B, Fifth Regiment Minnesota Volunteers, together with a detachment of Company C, Fifth Regiment Minnesota Volunteers, and the Renville Rangers, a company just organized for one of the regiments of this State, were the only troops I had under my command for its defense, and nobly did they do their duty. The engagement lasted until dusk, when the Indians, finding that they could not effect a lodgment, which was prevented in a great measure by the superior fire of the artillery, under the immediate charge of Ordnance Sergt. J. Jones, U. S. Army, which compelled them to evacuate the ravines by which this post is surrounded, withdrew their forces, and the gallant little garrison rested on their arms, ready for any attack.
During the night several people, remnants of once thriving families, arrived at the post in a most miserable condition, some wounded--severely burned--having made their escape from their dwellings, which were fired by the Indians. The people in the immediate vicinity fled to the post for protection, and were organized and armed, as far as practicable, to aid in the defense.
On the 22nd they returned with a much larger force and attacked us on all sides, but the most determined was on the east and west corners of the fort, which are in the immediate vicinity of ravines. The west corner was also covered by stables and log buildings, which afforded the Indians great protection, and, in order to protect the garrison, I ordered them to be destroyed. Some were fired by the artillery, and the balance by the Renville Rangers, under the command of First Lieutenant J. Gorman, to whom, and the men under his command, great credit is due for their gallant conduct. The balls fell thick all over and through the wooden building erected for officers' quarters. Still the men maintained their ground. The Indians prepared to storm, but the gallant conduct of the men at the guns paralyzed them, and compelled them to withdraw, after one of the most determined attacks ever made by Indians on a military post.
The men of Companies B and C, Fifth Regiment Minnesota Volunteers, aided by citizens, did good execution, and deserve the highest praise for their heroic conduct.
I beg leave also to bring to your notice Dr. Muller, the acting assistant surgeon of this post, who, assisted by his excellent lady, attended the wounded promptly; and I am happy to say that, under his careful treatment, most all of them are prospering favorably. Mr. Wykoff and party, of the Indian Department, with many other citizens, rendered efficient service.
Our small-arms ammunition nearly failing, on consultation with