this department will pay promptly to such as deliver deserters the sum of $5 for each deserter, together with the cost of transportation(including the guard, if there be one) to and from the place of arrest.
By command of Major- General Curtis:
H. Z. CURTIS,
Assistant Adjutant- General.
Brigadier General H. H. SIBLEY, Commanding District of Minnesota:
GENERAL: Your letter of the 19th, to Major Selfridge, has been received. All stores, &c., will be sent you as soon as the river opens. The information concerning Little Crow and the intentions of the Sioux Indians is very conflicting, as it reaches me from different quarters. From Fort Randall I learn positively that Little Crow is encamped on the Missouri River, 150 miles above Fort Pierre, and that the attack of the Sioux tribes (if any attack be made) will be upon the settlements along the Missouri. About 2,500 men, most of them mounted, will be assembled at Fort Randall as soon as the Missouri can be navigated, for operations up the river, in conjunction with your operations in Minnesota. If, as you apprehend, there is likely to be a formidable movement against Abercrombie, it seems to me that in your movement toward Devil's Lake you had best send a large detachment by way of the post, instead of Big Sioux or James River, to unite with you near Devil's Lake. It will not be necessary to keep any large garrison at Abercrombie after you commence your movement, nor do I think it at all necessary or desirable that you should keep up the small posts you have established for the winter along the frontier. Don't put yourself on the defensive, but on the offensive. With the force you have, it seems clear to me that you can organize two columns, each of sufficient strength to deal with the whole body of Indians. One of these columns you can send, if you think best, by way of Abercrombie and the valley of the Red River, but in order to do this you must abandon the idea of maintaining all these small posts through the country. Five or six hundred men will be enough to leave at Fort Ripley to keep the Chippewas quiet. All the other(or most of the other) posts I would break up, and take the troops with you as you pass beyond them in your march north. Make your preparations complete. I will do all I can to forward your plans. There are no troops in this State except those now under orders for the South, where they are greatly needed, and I cannot bring myself to believe that you lack troops in Minnesota. I have written fully to the Department concerning the Indian prisoners,* both the condemned and those at Snelling. I will have you relieved of them before you move.
Major- General, Commanding.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI,
Saint Louis, February 26, 1863.
Major General H. H. HALLECK, General-in Chief:
GENERAL: I am in receipt of two letters of recent date from you on the subject of economy of force: one relating to Missouri, dated the 17th instant,+ and the other relating to Colorado, dated the 19th instant.++
*See p. 117
+See p. 113
++See p. 118