pense in which they have been left, and some of the younger women freed from the loathsome attentions to which they down to-day, together with the best I can for them, and will send them down to-day, together with a large number of half-breeds, who have been also kept in restraint here. The first mentioned are pure white women and children, two or three of the latter being very small orphans, all their relatives having been killed. A list of them will accompany this communication.
After the disastrous result to himself [Little Crow] and the bands associated with him at the battle of Wood Lake the half-breeds report that falling back to this point they hastily struck their tents and commenced retreating in great terror.
I must now await the arrival of a provision train from below, and it may not reach me for three or four days, in which case my command will be reduced to the verge of starvation.
In conclusion, general, as I have accomplished two of the objects of the expedition, to wit, checking and beating the Indians and relieving the settlements, and secondly the delivery of the prisoners held by them (with a few exceptions, for it seems the hostile party have still a few them, supposed to be not over 12 or 15), I respectfully ask that you will relieve me of the command of the expedition, and place at its head some one of your offices who is qualified to follow up the advantages already gained and conduct it to a successful issue. Having borne the burden and fatigue incident to the organization of the forces in the field, and there being nothing left to do but to follow up the Indians vigorously and exterminate them, I am of the opinion that a strictly military commander would be better fitted for the task then myself. Besides, my private affairs are left in utter confusion and require my presence.
I have issued an ordered appointing a military commission, consisting of 2 field officers and the senior captain of the Sixth Regiment, Colonel Crooks, Lieutenant-Colonel Marshall, and Captain Grant, for the examination of all the men, half-breeds as well as Indians, in the camp near us, with instructions to sift the antecedents of each, so that if there are guilty parties among them they can be arrested and properly dealt with. I have no doubt we shall find some such in the number. I will report the result in due time. I have a wounded prisoner in my camp.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. H. SIBLEY.
N. B.-I append as a part of my dispatch, giving a detailed of the battle of Wood Lake, the official report of Lieutenant-Colonel Averill, commanding Sixth Regiment, which you will find inclosed.*
N. B.-The number of half-breeds who were retained by the hostile Indians as prisoners and now under my protection will considerably exceed 100, but the exact number cannot now be given.
HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, A. G. O., Numbers 265.
Washington, September 27, 1862.
I. Brigadier General John Cook, U. S. Volunteers, is assigned to duty in the