War of the Rebellion: Serial 019 Page 0717 Chapter XXV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

Search Civil War Official Records


Camp Release, October 7, 1862.

Major General JOHN POPE,

Commanding, &c., Saint Paul:

GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your dispatch announcing my appointment by the President as brigadier-general, for which I have no doubt I am indebted mainly to your friendly offices in my behalf, for which please receive my thanks.

You may deem it strange that I am still in Camp Release instead of pushing forward; but when I state how admirably matters are working I have no doubt you will be fully satisfied. I announced to you in my communication of yesterday that I had sent messages to the camps of Indians above who had abandoned the fortunes of Little Crow to come in at once and encamp at a spot I would indicate. The messengers were directed to deliver my demand to all of the amps to be found, and at the same time to communicate with the Sissetons at Big Stone Lake, and to state to them that their friendly conduct in refusing to countenance or harbor Little Crow would be appreciated; while I did not promise that the young men of their bands who appreciated; while I did not promise that the young men of their bands who participated in the attack on Fort Abercrombie should not be punished, for I intend they shall be so soon as I can get them in my power. The fruits of my policy in awaiting the movements of the Indians are developing themselves already.

To-day 37 lodges have arrived with a flag of truce, and I have placed them within short range of my guns, and 20 other lodges are within 10 or 12 miles, and I have just dispatched a peremptory message to them to be here to-morrow at latest. These lodges contain a large number of desperate scoundrels, but I dare not take them into custody until a still larger camp of upward of 50 lodges, which i expect to arrive in two or three days, shall be in my power, when I will at once disarm them and take all but the very old men prisoners. If I succeed in securing them, as I hope to do, I shall have in my hands three-fourths of those principally concurred in the outbreak, and I promise you they will receive but small mercy at may hands. I have 20 prisoners under sentence of death by hanging. I have not yet examined the proceedings of the military commission, but although they may not be exactly in form in all the details I shall probably approve them, and hang the villains as soon as I get hold of the others. It would not do to precipitate matters now, for fear of alarming those who are coming forward to take their chances.

My dispatch of yesterday will have informed you of the position of the bands of the Lake Shetek murderers and others. With the mounted men, part of whom will arrive to-morrow, I shall be enabled, I hope, to find and exterminate them, although they are a long distance from here, probably more than 100 miles.

I still labor under the difficulty of lacking forage and rations. I have to use my own teams, which should be kept for active operations in the field to transport provisions from Ridgely, and they are barely able to keep the command from actual suffering. Some speedy measures should be taken to correct this, for if an advance is made we must be supplied from the rear. Luckily thus far, as I have shown, the delay has been most favorable, not only in saving the lives of the captives, but in greatly advancing the objects of the expedition. So soon as I have secured all those who are coming in voluntarily I will go in search of the others, and find them if that be possible. The whole nest of savages who have