The arming of the Pawnee Indians, without further proof of their friendly character, would be of doubtful policy, if there were no other objections. If Nebraska can raise more than her quota of volunteers I should advise their acceptance.
H. W. HALLECK,
WASHINGTON, September 13, 1862.
Honorable CHARLES E. MIX, Acting Commissary Indian Affairs:
SIR: Before leaving Nebraska much apprehension prevailed among the settlers there that the existing Indian troubles in Minnesota might extend to the former Territory. Since my arrival here I have received information from my agency that an attack of a serious character had been made upon it by the Brule and Yankton Sioux, indicating that a combined effort on the part of the unfriendly Indians is meditated against the entire frontier region.
In view of the threatening aspect of affairs, and as the United States are bound by treaty stipulations to protect the Pawnee Indians in the possession of their reservation, I feel it my duty to the Pawnees, as well as to other friendly and the whites in Northern Nebraska, to make the following suggestions for their protection to the Government:
1st. That the proper authority be given me for organizing the effective warriors of the Pawnee tribe of Indians. They number from 400 to 500, and would from a very efficient body of mounted men, properly equipped and officered by whites, and would be of great service as scouts to one or two infantry regiments. They are well supplied with horses, and the effect of their being employed in Government service would be salutary.
2nd. That authority be granted by the War Department to a proper person to raise a regiment of infantry, composed of citizens of the Territory, to be mustered into the United States service for the protection of the frontier. These troops could be used in strengthening Fort Kearny and such other localities as are most exposed, including the overland emigrant route as far west as practicable.
In conclusion I can but express the opinion, maturely formed, that unless some such precautionary measures as I have indicated are speedily adopted the entire settled portion of Nebraska will be devastated, our friendly Indian tribes scattered, and the Government property on their reservations totally destroyed.
Respectfully and hastily, yours,
B. F. LUSHBAUGH,
United States Indian Agent.
P. S.-Since writing the foregoing I have received a letter from my farmer, dated September 3, giving me an account of the approach of the Sioux to the settlements in the vicinity of the reservation; an extract from which reads as follows:
Before night it was reported that they had killed a white man a few miles above, and that they were intending to have a big fight with the Pawnees. It was represented that the Sioux were in large bodies, of 500 each, at various distances on all sides of the Pawnee village. The greatest excitement prevailed. Scouts were sent over the river to ascertain the truth as to the number of the Sioux there. All the families from across the river and around Cleveland moved into Columbus about dark.
B. F. LUSHBAUGH.