War of the Rebellion: Serial 032 Page 0357 Chapter XXXIV. THE SIOUX EXPEDITION, DAK.

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portation, including carts, wagons, and other vehicles, had been left behind in the woods. I transmitted, through Mr. Beaver, a volunteer aide on my staff, an order to Colonel Crooks to return to the main column with his regiment, the object I had in view in detaching him being fully attained. The order was received, and Mr. Beaver was intrusted with a message in return, containing information desired by me, when, on his way to headquarters, he unfortunately took the wrong trail, and was the next day found where he had been set upon and killed by an outlying party of the enemy. He death occasioned much regret to the command, for he was esteemed by all for his devotion to duty and for his modest and gentlemanly department. A private of the Sixth Regiment, who has taken the same trail, was also shot to death with arrows, probably by the same party.

There being no water to be found on the prairie, I proceeded down the Missouri to the nearest point on Apple River, opposite Burnt Boat Island, and made my camp. The following day Colonel Crooks, with a strong detachment of eleven companies of infantry and dismounted cavalry, and three guns, under the command of Captain Jones, was dispatched to destroy the property left in the woods, which was thoroughly performed, with the aid of Lieutenant Jones and a portion of the pioneer corps. From 120 to 150 wagons and carts were thus disposed of. During this time the savages lay concealed in the grass on the opposite side of the river, exchanging occasional volleys with our men. Some execution was done upon them by the long-range arms of the infantry and cavalry, without injury to any one of my command.

I waited two days in camp, hoping to open communication with General Sully, who, with his comparatively fresh mounted force, could easily have followed up and destroyed the enemy we had so persistently hunted. The long and rapid marches had very much debilitated the infantry, and as for the horses of the cavalry and the mules employed in the transportation, they were utterly exhausted. Under all the circumstances, I felt that this column had done everything possible within the limits of human and animal endurance, and that a farther pursuit wold not only be useless, as the Indians cold cross and recross the river in much less time than could my command, and thus evade me, but would necessarily be attended with the loss of many valuable lives. For three successive evenings I caused the cannon to be fired and signal rockets sent up, but all these elicited no reply from General Sully, and I am apprehensive he has been detained by insurmountable obstacles. The point struck by me on the Missouri is about 40 miles by land below Fort Clarke, in latitude 46^12', longitude 100^35'.

The military results of the expedition have been highly satisfactory. A march of nearly 600 miles from Saint Paul has been made, in a season of fierce heats and unprecedented drought, when even the most experienced voyagers predicted the impossibility of such a movement. A vigilant and powerful, as well as confident, enemy was found, successively routed in three different engagements, with a loss of at least 150 killed and wounded of his best and bravest warriors, and his beaten forces driven in confusion and dismay, with the sacrifice of vast quantities of subsistence, clothing, and means of transportation, across the Missouri River, many, perhaps most of them, to perish miserably in their utter destitution during the coming fall and winter. These fierce warriors of the prairie have been taught by dear-brought experience that the long arm of the Government can reach them in their most distant haunts, and punish them for their misdeeds; that they are utterly powerless to resist the attacks of a disciplined force, and that but for the