War of the Rebellion: Serial 033 Page 0305 Chapter XXXIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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lation of foreigners along the frontier (Norwegians and Germans) may not abandon their villages and farms and pour into the river towns. General Sully moves up the Missouri, with 2,000 cavalry and some light howitzer batteries, to a point southwest of Devil's Lake, and will then cross the country to that place to meet Sibley, thus cutting off any retreat of the Indians toward the Missouri River. He is directed to move a portion of his command up the south side of the Missouri River, in case there is any apprehension of Indian troubles on the frontier of Nebraska. Late advices from there certainly contradict any report of trouble in that region. As soon as operations against the Indians near Devil's Lake and on James River are completed, Sully is directed to return to the Missouri River, to traverse the whole country on both sides of the river as far as the Black Hills, visiting all the Sioux tribes he possibly can. He will be supplied with rations for four months, to be kept on the steamers which accompany his expedition up the river. He has a small train of wagons, and can move with great celerity. Sibley is instructed to move east from Devil's Lake to Pembina, one portion of his command returning on the west side of Red River, whilst the other visits Red Lake and all the Chippewa tribes between that place and the Mississippi at the mouth of Crow Wing River. He will take such [forces] as are necessary to insure quiet in that region for some time to come. My own belief is that there will be no considerable, if, indeed, there be any, fight. Most of the Indians assembled near Devil's Lake and on James River are planting Indians, who have been accustomed to depend upon their crops of corn for a large pat of their supply of food. The moment they find they will be prevented from raising any crops at all by the advance of our forces, and that they must fight so large a force successfully, I do not doubt that a very large part of them will come on and deliver themselves up. It will be well for the Government to consider carefully in advance what disposition had best be made of such Indians. There is no sort of use to make a treaty of peace with them; such treaties amount to nothing, as they are only kept by Indians as long as they find it convenient; but such a condition of things will give the Government the opportunity to make a final and favorable disposition of a large number of troublesome Indians, so as to secure perfect quiet in the future. I therefore invite attention to the subject at this early day, as I do not doubt that much of what is here stated as my belief is true. My own views as to the disposition of these Indians I have already laid before the Government, and it is unnecessary to repeat them here. A portion of the Indians will, without doubt, take refuge in the British possessions, and such must be left to be dealt with as the Government determines hereafter. It is possible that I may be mistaken in this view of the conduct of the Indians, but even if they are united and give battle, or make war in any other way, there is abundant force to deal with them. The Missouri River is lower than it has been for thirty years, and as little snow fell in the mountains, the June rise will be slight. I fear, therefore, that Sully may be delayed somewhat, though I have done all that is possible to prevent it. After the expedition leaves the frontier, nothing more will be needed by them, and we shall probably hear but seldom from the during their absence. I hope early in the autumn to be able to send nearly the whole of these forces south.

I am, colonel, respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major-General, Commanding.