I have 236 in the camp below, who are more or less obnoxious to suspicion, who, in accordance with my orders to Captain Whitney, have been disarmed and confined and will be secured in the same manner. Apart from these there will be some 50 or 60 who have been friendly to the whites throughout the whole affair sent down with the women and children without being subjected to the same treatment. They will simply be placed under guard. There are doubtless some innocent men in the number I have secured in fetters, but there is no time to examine so large a number, and I have therefore through it proper to place them beyond the hope of escape until their guilt or innocence is established by the tribunal to be appointed by you for their trial.
The proceedings of the military commission who tried and sentenced the 20 already reported will, after having been acted upon by me, be dispatched to your headquarters for your consideration. These men, as I before wrote you, will be sent below with the others, as I construe your order of the 7th instant to be peremptory to send all.
Can a member of my staff now occupying temporarily the position of acting assistant adjutant-general under State authority serve as a member or as judge-advocate of a court-martial if you decide I have the power to appoint one?
There is nothing later than a report yesterday morning from the detachment sent out in pursuit of the Indians, when officers and men were in good spirits and traveling rapidly. The report, which is the latest received from the extreme upper Indians, received from a young Wahpeton Indian I myself found about 2 miles from camp yesterday and brought in as prisoner, is that the Yanktons, 600 lodges in number, are encamped 30 miles above the end of the coteau, or about 120 miles from here, and the Sissetons, some of whom are implicated in the attack on Abercrombie, still farther northwest. With the Yanktons, or rather the Eastern Yanktonnais, we have had thus far no recent causes for quarrel, as it is extremely doubtful whether they have harbored or even seen Little Crow and his small band of refugees.
The young Sioux referred to reports that a principal man among the Sissetons, who had a son killed in the battle of Wood Lake, has assembled his friends and relatives to the number of 20 lodges, and gone in pursuit of Little Crow with the avowed intention of killing him, as he holds him responsible as the cause of his son's death. This may or may not be true, but is probable and in accordance with the Indian notions. I have as yet no dispatch from you later than the 7th. I yesterday received notice of my appointment as brigadier-general from the Secretary of War.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. H. SIBLEY,
HEADQUARTERS MILITARY EXPEDITION,
Camp Release, October 15, 1862.
Major General JOHN POPE,
Commanding Department of the Northwest, Saint Paul, Minn.:
GENERAL: After my dispatch of to-day had been sent I had the honor to receive your two communications of 10th instant, which countermand in part your previous orders relative to the disposition of the prisoners who may be proved guilty before the military commission, which I will se to work as soon as possible.