numbering from 300 to 500. Major Ransom, with 250 men, broke up and destroyed their camp on Saturday, the 25th instant, and scattered the force. I am advised, on undoubted authority, that Todd, with 160 men, or thereabouts,left the neighborhood of that camp yesterday for his old campaign place on High Blue, near High Grove. I want you to rout him out of that, and for this purpose I will send one or two companies, to be at Little Santa Fe to-night. You had better, not start out with less than 125 men, and should keep after him until you get a fight, if possible.
I send to-day two companies of infantry to Pleasant Hill and Aubrey, by way of Little Santa Fe.
If you think it necessary, you may keep Company D, Eleventh Kansas, at Little Santa Fe until you get back from your scout; but if you do so, send word to companies at Aubrey, Coldwater Grove, and Rockville as to Todd's force, and have them to keep a very sharp lookout. Company A, Eleventh Kansas, however, must go over to Pleasant Hill to-morrow, unless your advices from there are such as to convince you that there is no danger to the companies of the Fourth Missouri stationed there. Those companies have only revolvers and sabers. Company A will want some cavalry for advance and rear guard; so you will furnish it to them. You will judge of the amount of such guard required. Send full report of your scout.
THOMAS EWING, JR.,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE NORTHWEST, Milwaukee, July 27, 1863.
Major General H. W. HALLECK, Washington, D. C.:
GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the letter of William F. Lockwood on the subject of apprehended Indian troubles in Nebraska, with your indorsement thereon.
Mr. Lockwood is doubtless right when he says that "protection to the settlers is the leading consideration," but when he says that protection can best be rendered by keeping the troops assigned to that duty amongst the settlements, he is stating what is contradicted by all military experience on the frontier for the last twenty years. Nothing is better known than the fact that is requires five times as many troops to protect in this way a line of frontier settlements as the Indians can possibly bring against them, and that so long as this system of defensive operations is kept up just that long this greatly superior force of white troops must be maintained. Besides this, under such a system, the frontier farms and small settlements not actually occupied by a military force are constantly subjected to encroachments of small parties of Indians, who, having no fear of the invasion of their own country and homes, spend their time in stealing into the settlements to commit depredations. I suppose if there is one fact demonstrated clearly by and experience in Indian warfare it is that no such defensive policy is wise, and that it only leads to great and increasing expense, and to the constant alarm and uneasiness of frontier settlers. Our troops on the frontier have of late years certainly been posted, not in the settlements, but at points as near as possible to the Indians, and in such positions that their garrisons can be most readily concentrated. When Indian hostilities break out, campaigns are at once made against them, and in nearly every case with sufficient success to restore peace for some time at least.