I am taking into custody suspected individuals every day, and the new phase which matters have assumed may prevent me from leaving to report to you in person, as I mentioned in my last dispatch, for some days.
It is probable I shall not order any execution of the guilty until I can get those understood to be coming down to surrender themselves in my power, as otherwise they might be deterred from returning. I shall send the Indians composing the friendly camp to the lower agency, in charge of a detachment of troops, to collect the corn and potatoes in the fields, which have remained hitherto undisturbed. This camp is composed of about 1,200 men, women, and children; mostly the latter there being but about 250 men among them. How they are ultimately to be disposed of is a question for the determination of the proper authorities. They comprise perhaps nine-tenths of those who have not been actively engaged in the war. There are still some guilty parties among them, who will be apprehended as fast as testimony can be procured against them. I have had a list taken of the entire camp, and have informed the chiefs that I would hold them personally responsible for keeping the men from absenting themselves. I have also assured those who are said to be returning that if any more murders or depredations are perpetrated by their young men I would fall upon their camp with my entire force, and destroy men, women, and children alike.
I have thus given you, general, the condition of things up to this time. I have 107 white captives and 162 half-breeds rescued from the Indians, making a total of 269, the most of whom I shall send down to be provided for, as they are very destitute, and I have but few means at hand to make them comfortable. There are a few person still with the absent bands, probably not over 12 or 15, all of whom with one exception, that of a boy taken along by Little Crow, I expect to release from their captivity.
I shall give no opinion as to the results of the expedition thus far attained, but leave you to draw your own conclusions-whether or not they are not fully commensurate with the means placed at my command. It is unnecessary to make a further advance at preset; indeed it would be folly to attempt it without more supplied of provisions than are at present to be looked for. I am now nearly 70 miles above Fort Ridgely and 120 from the base of operations at Saint Peter, from whence alone we can depend for rations to be obtained.
I have just learned unofficially that a provision train is on the way from Henderson to Fort Ridgely. I hope it is so, but regret to learn that flour is sent instead of hard bread, as we have but little conveniences for cooking in the command.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. H. SIBLEY,
HEADQUARTERS CAMP RELEASE,
October 3, 1862.
WANATUA, STANDING BUFFALO, TAH-TON-KA-NANGEE, and WA-MUNDEE-ON-PE-DU-TAH, Chiefs of the Sisseton Sioux:
MY FRIENDS: I am sorry to hear that you allowed Little Crow and the bad men to escape into your country. After I had beaten them and killed many of their number you should have stopped him until I could have overtaken him and his band and destroyed them. Now