War of the Rebellion: Serial 033 Page 0405 Chapter XXXIV. CORRESPONDENCE,ETC.-UNION.

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never felt apprehensions before, immediately find troops absolutely necessary for their protection, and nearly believe it to be so. Every means is, therefore, used to prevent their removal, unless it is demonstrated there is no longer danger, even remote. This apprehension and this reluctance to the removal of troops once posted among them has been ludicrously illustrated this spring. Although Sibley left a very large force behind him along the frontier settlements (five times as large as ever was in Minnesota before, when powerful tribes of Indians were still encamped on the Mississippi and surrounded the sparse settlements then existing in the Territory),and although he was marching against the very Indians of whom they were apprehensive, and was constantly interposed between them and the white settlements, there came up a terrible outcry from the whole people west of the Mississippi, through the newspapers, that they were being abandoned; that Sibley was marching away, and the Indians would attack the settlements behind, ridiculing the movement one moment and the next protesting against the expedition, &c. That much of this storm was stimulated by a few persons, for very different reasons, and to accomplish their own purpose, I have abundant reason to know; but that the mass of the people believed themselves in danger I have no doubt. Under such circumstances constant alarm and "stampedes" were expected as soon as Sibley got out of sight, but they have been really fewer than I expected. They inclosed slip,* from a paper which has been very active in giving circulation to these wild and alarming rumors, will show you just what such stories amount to.

Objection has been made to the size of Sibley's expedition, but without much reason and little or no knowledge of the facts. Wonderful statements have been made of his difficulty in getting along, of the dreadful suffering of his men, of the breaking [down] of his animals by thirst and starvation, of conferences about abandoning the expedition, &c. These stories were put in circulation while Sibley was without the means of communicating with Saint Paul. There was not one word of truth in any of them. The expedition has been no difficulty; it is large enough completely to accomplish the purpose, and to make such demonstration of force on the plains as utterly to put an end to the belief among the Indians that all the fighting men had gone south, and that the white settlements along the frontier were at their mercy, a belief circulated by Little Crow, and which, doubtless, prompted the outbreak last summer. No force much, if any, smaller would have accomplished the purpose. If I had kept the body of troops at these posts, and sent out cavalry or infantry expeditions, no result would have been accomplished which would have induced the people of Minnesota to listen to the idea of sending troops south. The truth is, in plain words, that there are in this State many people who are determined that the troops shall not be taken out of it. They are clearly entitled to some of the Government expenditures which they can only get in this way. As long as the apprehensions of the people can be kept up, the troops will be kept in the State. Of course, no expedition must be successful enough to destroy all danger from Indians; hence Sibley's expedition must fail, and must be embarrassed and belied and misrepresented, so as to make it fail if possible. Whilst some are actuated by these motives, others of whom I have written act in the same direction, with a different object in view.

I believe that the expeditions are properly organized, and that they will accomplish their purposes, and enable the Government to send the troops composing them to the south at the earliest possible moment. They were organized with this view, and I am confident of the result.


*Not found.