with the Pembina and Red Lake bands of Chippewas, for an escort of two companies of cavalry and one of infantry, or a section of artillery, which I shall, of course, furnish. I shall detach the Tenth Regiment from the column there, with orders to scour the country along the line of posts of Fort Ridgely, and like orders to Colonel McPhaill will be sent him to-morrow, who, with five companies of cavalry detached to sweep the region from James River to Fort Ridgely, has doubtless reached that post, to visit the lines of posts south to the Iowa line.
I have no reason to believe that the Indians will make any immediate raid along the border, but the people fear it, and the steps proposed will at least tend to reassure them.
I have as yet received no dispatch from General Pope or yourself informing me of the receipt of my communications detailing the movements of my immediate command since the engagement with the hostile Indians. I trust to receive one very soon.
Major Camp, commanding Fort Abercrombie, has sent a special messenger to overtake me with information received from Captain Donaldson, who left Pembina on the 27th instant. Standing Buffalo, a Sisseton chief, who has uniformly been opposed to the war, had visited Saint Joseph with a few of his men. He reports that the Indians had recrossed the Missouri, and were now on the Missouri Coteau, near the scene of our first battle; that they intend to winter at Devil's Lake; that they are in a state of utter destitution, and 7 of the chiefs are desirous to make peace, and deliver up the murderers as the price for obtaining it. He represents the Indians to be very much frightened at the results of operations against them. They have, however, murdered 24 miners and 1 woman, who were on their way down the Missouri in a flat-boat. They acknowledge a loss of 30 men in the affair. A child was spared, and retained as prisoner. Standing Buffalo further states that the Indians lost many drowned in crossing the Missouri when we were in chase of them, but they deny that they lost more than 13 in battle. The remarkable dislike to acknowledge how many are killed in action is characteristic of the race. Forty-six dead bodies were found by my command, and doubtless many more were concealed of carried off, and a large number were wounded, who were also transported from the field by their comrades.
No blow ever received by them has created such consternation, and I trust and believe that if General Sully takes their fresh trail inland, and delivers another stroke upon them, they will be for peace at any price.
I would respectfully suggest that Major Hatch's battalion be ordered to garrison a post at Saint Joseph or Pembina. They may do good service there. I shall probably leave the column in three or four days and proceed to Saint Paul, where I will again address you.
I am, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. H. SIBLEY,
J. F. MELINE,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Milwaukee.
HDQRS. DIST. OF MINNESOTA, DEPT. OF THE NORTHWEST,
Saint Paul, Minn., September 12, 1863.
MAJOR: I have the honor to report that the portion of the expeditionary force remaining undetached encamped a few miles above Fort