At Sioux City I found a large portion of the settlers from Eastern and Southern Dakota. Most of them had left in great haste, and in many instances left their stock, together with their corps. Many also from Woodbury, Ida, and Sac Counties, Iowa. In fact nearly the whole settlements of Dakota and Northwest Iowa are at Sioux City and this side.
As regards Indians, their depredations, and the present danger from others, I believe, upon the best of information, that there are at the present time no hostile Indians within 100 miles of Sioux City. There have been no depredations in this State, and with two exceptions in Dakota-the murder of 2 men at Sioux Falls, and the burning of some houses and stacks of grain 8 miles above Vermilion, Dak., and killing some stock there; this last was done last Wednesday. With these two exceptions there has been nothing done as yet in Iowa or Dakota. All the whites left in Dakota are at Fort Randall or at Yankton Agency, which has been fortified. Bon Homme, Vermillion, and in fact every other town and settlement is deserted. At Sioux City they have nearly completed a fort 300 feet square, with block-house at each corner. They are still at work completing it, fir even the bravest and calmest among them believe there is considerable prospective danger.
I found Captain Millard in command of a part of the Sioux City cavalry, the balance being at Spirit Lake settlement. He reports that settlement well supplies with arms and fortified at some point, so that they feel perfectly secure. About one-half of the Sioux City cavalry are at Spirit Lake; the balance at Sioux City and scouting above and east from there. They report no Indians or depredations. I placed the three companies from here under command of Captain Millard to be used at Sioux City and surrounding country as guards and relieving his cavalry, which are being used wholly as scouts, upon the earnest calls of the settlers on the Floyd, north of Sioux City, that their crops were left without any protection and large quantities of wheat in the stack, and no one could be induced to go and assist in thrashing it without a guard. I had 25 men detailed to go with two thrashing-machines up the Floyd as a guard. This will secure some 12,000 bushels of wheat, which might be destroyed any time, as there is not a single settler left there.
Aside from this the troops that went from here are in Sioux City and about the city as pickets. They are in good quarters in the court-house and other vacant buildings. The two companies from here took fourteen days' rations; the Harrison County company none. I made a contract for rations at 22 cents for the Harrison County company, and for the balance if they remain there long enough to need it. I thought this cheaper than to take the rations from Camp Dodge at 15 cents and transport them to Sioux City. The troops have good quarters, and until needed here to muster will drill and improve as much as at Camp Dodge. As to keeping them there, I am fully satisfied that there is no more danger at Sioux City than here from Indians at present, but still such is the feeling, among the women particularly. I fully believed that has I brought these 300 men away from Sioux City I should have brought every woman and child at least, and most of the men. They feel that the troops give them security, and many are even returning to their farms; but such is the real alarm, that any new excitement would bring the frontier to Harrison County at least.
I supposed when I left there that some portion of the 500 cavalry recently authorized to be raised would be in Sioux City this week, and I directed Captain Millard, as soon as any of them were raised and