white settlements, and it will be well to provide in time against such an outbreak. I have accordingly instructed General Sibley to organize two columns, if possible, to consist of not less than 2,500 men each, with six pieces of artillery to each column, and to be in readiness to take the field as soon as the grass is sufficiently advanced to subsist his animals. One column will move north from the Saint Peter's (Minnesota) River, at the mouth of Yellow Medicine, the other along the Big Sioux or between that stream and the James River. The Indians are said to be assembled in the vicinity of Devil's Lake, on the northern line of Minnesota, and these columns will move against them. At the same time I desire to move a third column, under General Cook, up the Missouri River from Fort Randall, so as to intercept any retreat of the Indians to the south side of the Missouri. The attack of the Indians will doubtless be made upon the settlements along the Missouri and James Rivers, if their movements be not anticipated. The only troops I can give to General Cook for this purpose are three companies of the Forty-first Iowa Infantry, now at Sioux City, and part of the regiment of cavalry in Iowa, the organization of eight companies having been completed. I have written to Governor Kirkwood to send up the eight companies of cavalry to report to General Cook at Sioux City, and I have suggested to him that he should fill up the Forty-first Regiment by organizing as soon as possible the remaining seven companies. In view of these operations in the spring, I request that the mounted regiments in Nebraska be placed at the disposal of General Cook for his movement up the Missouri. Under all views of the Indian question, I think it very necessary that demonstration in some force will be sufficient. I will transmit to the Department copies of the reports of Generals Cook and Sibley.
I am, colonel, your obedient servant,
Major- General, Commanding.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE NORTHWEST,
Milwaukee, February 18, 1863.
Colonel J. C. KELTON,
Assistant Adjutant- General, Headquarters of the Army:
COLONEL: I desire again to invite the attention of the General-in Chief and the Government to the condition of the Indian prisoners now held in custody by the military authorities in the State of Minnesota. There are two classes of these prisoners. The first class numbers about 270, and consists of those Indians immediately engaged in the outrages during the late Indian outbreak in Minnesota. The second class numbers about 1,800, and consists of the women and children and old men of Little Crow's band of Sioux, who surrendered themselves to General Sibley during his campaign of last autumn. The care of these prisoners is, under the circumstances, very embarrassing to the military authorities, and will interfere considerably with the projected spring campaign. It is also attended with much expense, which, by right, falls upon the Indian Department. A considerable force is required to guard these prisoners, not only to prevent escape, but to protect them against the inhabitants of the State, who are so influenced by the atrocities committed by the Indians that it has been with difficulty, and only by the use of considerable force, that they have been prevented