stated to you, that I have not come to make war upon those who are innocent, but upon the guilty. I have waited here one day, and intended to wait still another day to hear from the friendly half-breeds and Indians, because I feared that if I advanced my troops before you could make your arrangements the war party would murder the prisoners.
Now that I learn from Joseph Campbell that most of the captives are in safety in your camp I shall move on to-morrow, so that you may except to see me very soon. Have a white flag displayed so that my men my not fire upon you.
H. H. SIBLEY,
HEADQUARTERS WOOD LAKE, September 24, 1862.
Chief of the Sisseton-wans and Tah-ton ka-na-ken-yan, soldiers of Wa-na-tams Band, Red Irons Village:
If you are the friends of your Great American Father you are may friends also. I have not come up to make war upon any bands who have not been concerned in the horrible murders upon the white people, who depended upon the good faith of the Indians. You would do well, therefore, to advise your bands not to mix yourselves together with the bands that have been guilty of these outrages, for I do not wish to injure any innocent person; but I intend to pursue the wicked murderers with fire and sword until I overtake them. Another large body of troops will meet these bad men if they attempt to escape either to the Red River or to the Missouri. Such of the Indians as have not had anything to do with the murders of the whites will not be injured by my troops; but, on the contrary, they will be protected by me when I arrive, which will be very soon. Those who are our friends must raise a white flag when they see me approaching, that I may be able to know my friends from my enemies. Take these words to your bands, that they may know that they are in safety as long as they remain friends of your Great Father.
H. H. SIBLEY,
Colonel, Commanding Military Expedition.
SAINT LOUIS, MO., September 25, 1862.
General-in-Chief, U. S. Army:
I took command yesterday. As yet I know but little of strength and position of forces. They seem to be too much scatted. Please send copies of late instructions to commanders in the several districts in my command, so I may know your views. The Arkansas rebels, under General Holmes, have been moving this way, probably to invest Helena. Hindman was in vicinity of ---, trying to rally forces. General Schofield thinks two large armies are moving on Missouri, but I think he overrates the forces of the enemy. I will keep you advised, and hope your general success in the East may have so relieved you from care in that quarter as to enable you to spare more time in this.