Captains Pope and Atchison, Lieutenants Pratt and Hawthorne, and Captain Cox, temporarily attached to my staff, his company having been left at Camp Atchison.
The quartermaster of the expedition, Captain Corning, and Captain Kimball, assistant quartermaster, in charge of the pioneer train, have discharged their laborious duties faithfully and satisfactorily; and for Captain Forbes, commissary of subsistence, I can bear witness that but for his activity, attention, and business capacity, the interests of the Government would have suffered much more than they did, by the miserable state in which many of the packages containing subsistence stores were found.
Chief guides, Major J. R. Brown and Pierre Bottineau, have been of the greatest service, by their experience and knowledge of the country; and the interpreter, Rev. Mr. Riggs, has also rendered much assistance in the management of the Indian scouts. The scouts, generally, including the chiefs, McLeod and Duley, have made themselves very useful to the expedition, and have proved themselves faithful, intrepid, and intelligent.
I have the honor to transmit herewith the reports of Colonels Crooks, Baker, and Lieutenant-Colonel Marshall, commanding, respectively, the Sixth, Tenth, and Seventh Regiments of Minnesota Volunteers, and of Colonel McPhaill, commanding First Regiment Mounted Rangers.
I am, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. H. SIBLEY,
Major J. F. MELINE,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Department of the Northwest.
Numbers 2. Report of Colonel Samuel McPhaill, First Minnesota Mounted Rangers.
IN CAMP ON THE PLAINS, August 5, 1863.
GENERAL: On the 24th of July, 1863, pursuant to your order to recover the body of Dr. J. S. Weiser, surgeon First Minnesota Mounted Rangers, murdered by the Indians, I proceeded to the hills in rear of Camp Sibley with Companies A and D, of my regiment. When some 500 yards from camp, we were fired upon by the Indians occupying the summit of the hill. I immediately ordered Company A, under Captain E. M. Wilson, to advance and fire upon the enemy, which was done in good style. The ground being rocky and broken, Companies A, D, and E were ordered to dismount and skirmish the hills, Companies B and F, under major [O. T.] Hayes, and Company L, under Captain [P. B.] Davy, to support them. The First Battalion, under Major [J. H.] Parker, cleared the hills and drove the Indians some 2 miles, followed by Companies B and F, mounted. Here I met Lieutenant Colonel W. R. Marshall, Seventh Minnesota Volunteers, and requested him to protect my right flank, which he did in gallant style. Major Parker was then ordered to rally the companies of his battalion and prepare to engage the enemy, mounted. I then moved forward of the Skirmishers with Companies B and F, and ordered a charge upon the enemy posted on the highest peak of the range known as the "Big Hills." This order was promptly obeyed, and the Indians dislodged from their position and driven toward the plains