On the 24th, we marched due north 18 miles, and encamped on a small creek called Bois Cache. Here we came into the buffalo country, and I formed a hunting party for the command, which I had soon to disband, as they disabled more horses than buffaloes. We continued our march north about 22 miles, and reached a small stream called Bird Ache Creek. This day the hunters succeeded in killing many buffaloes, and reported that they saw Indians near the Missouri.
Early on the morning of the 26th, I sent out a small scouting party, who captured two squaws and some children, and brought them in to me. These Indians reported that General Sibley had had a fight near the head of Long Lake, and that they were on their way to the agency at Crow Creek, but were lost, and were alone; but the scouts found tracks of lodges going up the Missouri. I therefore immediately detailed Companies F and K, of the Second Nebraska Cavalry, under command of Captain [D.] La Boo, ordering them to go to the Missouri and follow up the trail, with orders to capture some Indians if possible, and bring them in, so that I might get information; if they could not do that, to kill them and destroy their camps. I continued the march with the rest of the command that day, passing through large herds of buffaloes, and was obliged to make a march of 35 miles before I could reach water. The weather was very hot, and it was night before we reached camp on the Beaver River.
On the 27th, I started late, having had some difficulty in crossing the river, making a march of 5 miles, still in a northerly direction, and encamped on another branch of the same river. Company K, of the Second Nebraska, joined me this day, having been separated from the other company. The next day we had to make some deviations to the west on account of hills and sloughs, and made the outlet of Long Lake, a march of about 20 miles. On the way we saw numerous signs of Indians in large numbers having been recently there, and sound an old lame Indian concealed in the bushes, who was well known by many of the men of the command as having for some years resides near Sioux City. He had the reputation of being what is called a "good Indian." He stated that his horse had been taken away from him, and that he had been left there. He looked almost starved to death. He gave me the following details, which have since mostly turned out to be correct: He stated that General Sibley had fought the Indians at the head of Long Lake, 50 miles northeast from me, some weeks ago; that he followed them down to the mouth of Apple Creek; that the Indians attacked him on the way, and that there was some skirmishing. At Apple Creek Sibley had another fight, and that in all the fights about 58 Indians were killed; that General Sibley fortified his camp at Apple Creek, and after a while returned to James River that a few days after General Sibley left, the Indians, who had their scouts out watching, recrossed the Missouri, and while doing so discovered a Mackinaw boat on its way down. They attacked the boat, fought the entire day until sundown, sunk her, and killed all on board - 21 men, 3 women, and some children; that before she was sunk, the fire from the boat killed 91 Indians and wounded many more; that a small war party followed Sibley some days; returned with the report that he had crossed the James River; then some of the Indians went north; the larger portion, however, went toward the head of Long Lake, and that he thought a portion of them were encamped on the missouri River west of me.
This report was so much in keeping with the Indian mode of warfare that, though it came from an Indian, I was led to give it some consideration, particularly the part that stated the Indians, after watching