Embracing documents received too late for insertion in proper sequence.
JUNE 16-SEPTEMBER 13, 1863.- The Sioux Expedition, Dakota.*
HDQRS. DIST. OF MINNESOTA, DEPT. OF THE NORTHWEST,
In the Field, 60 miles west of Fort Abercrombie,
Camp Stevens, August 16, 1863.
MAJOR: My last dispatch of the 7th instant from Camp Carter contained a report of my operations against the hostile Sioux, and of their complete discomfiture in three separate engagements, and their hurried flight across the Missouri River, with the loss of large quantities of provisions, clothing, and other indispensable articles. So severely were they punished also by the fall in battle of many of their bravest and most distinguished warriors, that they made none of their customary when encamped on the banks of the Missouri. A volley was fired into my camp about an hour after midnight, without any injury being the result, excepting the killing of 1 mule and wounding of 2 others. The fire was promptly returned by the men on guard, and no further demonstration was made by the savages.
From Camp Carter I proceeded to the intrenched portion of Camp Atchison, and, breaking up the encampment, I took up the line of march with the column toward Fort Abercrombie, and am thus far advanced on the route.
I dispatched Colonel McPhaill, with four companies of Mounted Rangers and a section of mountain howitzers, from Camp Atchison, with the directions to proceeded to the mouth of Snake River, a tributary of the James River, where a small but mischievous band of E. Yanktonnais Sioux are supposed to have planted corn, to make prisoners of the adult males, or destroy them, if resistance was made; thence to sweep the country to the head of the Redwood River, and down that stream to the Minnesota River, and proceed to Fort Ridgely and await further orders.
The region traversed by my column between the first crossing of Cheyenne River and the Coteau of the Missouri is for the most part uninhabitable. If the devil were permitted to select a residence upon the earth, he would probably choose this particular district for an abode, with the redskins' murdering and plundering bands as his ready ministers, to verify by their ruthless deeds his diabolical hate to all who belong to a Christian race. Through this vast desert lakes fair to the eye abound, but generally their waters are strongly alkaline or intensely bitter and brackish. The valleys between them frequently reek with sulphurous and other disagreeable vapors. The heat was so intolerable that the earth was like a heated furnace, and the breezes that swept
*See also p. 352.