over 60 paces, pouring on them a murderous fire in the ravine where the enemy were posted. The slaughter, therefore, must have been immense. My officers and the guides I have with me think 150 will not cover their loss. The Indian reports make it over 200. That the general may know the exact locality of the battle-field, I would state that it was, as near as I could judge, about 15 miles west of James River, and about half-way between the latitudes of Bone Bute and headwaters of Elm River, as laid down on the Government map. The fight took place near a hill called by the Indians White Stone Hill.
In conclusion, I would state that the troops of my command conducted themselves well; and though it was the first fight that nearly all of them had ever been in, they showed that they are of the right material, and that in time, with discipline, they will make worthy soldiers. It is to be regretted we lost so many valuable lives as we did, but this could not be helped; the Indians had formed line of battle with good judgment, from which they could be dislodged only by a charge. I could not use my artillery without greatly endangering the lives of my own men; if I could, I could have slaughtered them.
I send you, accompanying, the reports of Colonel Wilson, Sixth Iowa, and Colonel Furnas, Second Nebraska, also official reports of a killed and wounded, and take this occasion to thank both those officers for the good conduct and cheerfulness with which they obeyed my order on the occasion. Both of them had their horses shot in the action. I would also request permission to state that the several members of my staff rendered me every possible assistance.
On the morning of the 6th, I took up my line of march for Fort Pierre. If I could have remained in that section of country some two or three weeks I might have accomplished more; but I was satisfied by the reports of my scouts that the Indians has scattered in all directions - some toward the James River; some, probably the Blackfeet, to recross the Missouri; and a part of them went north, where the Indians say they have friends among the half-breeds of the north. My rations were barely sufficient with rapid marches to enable me to reach Fort Pierre. The animals, not only the teams I have already reported to you as worthless, but also the cavalry horses, showed the effect of rapid marching and being entirely without grain.
I brought with me all the prisoners I had, and tried to question them to gain some information. The men refused to say much, except that they are all "good Indians," and the other bad ones joined their camp without their will.
The squaws, however, corroborate the report I have already given you in regard to the destruction of the people on board the Mackinaw boat and the fights with General Sibley, in which these Indians had a part. They also state that the Indians, after recrossing to this side of the Missouri, sent a party to follow Sibley until he went to the James River, then returned to their camp near Long Lake to procure a large quantity of provisions and other articles they had "cached" there, and then came to the camp where I met them.
After marching about 130 miles we reached the mouth of the Little Cheyenne on the 11th, where I found the steamboat I had ordered to be there on the 8th instant. It was lucky she was there, for without the grain she brought up I could not have brought my empty wagons back, for some miles north of Cheyenne and to Pierre the grass now is about all gone. I placed my wounded on the boat, and as many empty wagons as she could carry. I am afraid the loss of horses and mules will be