Major Miller is now within a few miles of the German neighborhood in Montgomery County, mentioned in your message, and no doubt after the men that created the trouble there. I will have my whole force in that region on the war-path.
CONFIDENTIAL.] HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE NORTHWEST,
Milwaukee, Wis., August 29, 1863.
Honorable E. M. STANTON:
MY DEAR SIR: The returning column of General Sibley reached Abercrombie, on the Red River of the North, on the 22nd instant. At that point the force was divided into several bodies, which are now engaged in scouring the country down the Big Sioux and James Rivers, as far as the Iowa line, west of Kid river, and visiting the Chippewas at Red Lake, Otter Tail Lake, &c., east of Kid River, so that the whole Territory of Dakota, the northern and eastern portions of Minnesota, and, in fact, the whole country east of the Missouri, will be thoroughly visited and searched by our troops. I do not suppose that there are now ten hostile Sioux Indians east of the Missouri River. The large force of Indians, three times defeated and driven across the Missouri River, with the loss of all their winter supplies of provisions and all the robes and furs for winter clothing, will not be able to return to Minnesota this winter, if ever, in a body.
General Sully reached the point on the Missouri where they crossed only a few days after, and will undoubtedly follow them up. As he has only cavalry, he can do this with the utmost rapidity. At all events, which a large cavalry force he has constantly interposed between the hostile Sioux of Minnesota (now south of the Missouri river) and the State of Minnesota, a glance at the map will exhibit how difficult, if not impossible, it will be for these Indians, in any numbers, to return to the Minnesota frontier this winter. I do not myself believe that there is the slightest likelihood that any Indian hostilities will occur again in that State from Sioux Indians. Small parties of eight or ten men may possibly, at great risk, traverse this long distance and commit some slight depredations; but with the mounted force patrolling the frontier the risk would be so great that I doubt if the Indians would even attempt this much. I propose to leave one entire regiment of cavalry (the Sixth Iowa) this winter on the Upper Missouri, at Fort Randall and Fort Pierre, as an additional precaution against any attempt of the Sioux to recross to the north (east) side of the Missouri River, and again in the spring to visit the entire Indian Nation east of the Rocky Mountains. I also propose to leave in Minnesota an infantry regiment, distributed at the several post along the frontier, with the mounted force of Hatch and 500 men of the Mounted Rangers to patrol the whole line of frontier between these stations. I do not myself believe such a force necessary, but in deference to the natural anxiety of the people after the atrocities of last autumn, and to give them the confidence necessary to induce them to remain on their farms, I think it well to keep such a force in Minnesota. All the rest of the force in that State I propose to send south within a few weeks.
I have thought it well to write you thus fully concerning affairs in Minnesota that you may not be misled by representations that will certainly be made to you. Of course, it is not necessary to tell you that there will be an influence used to keep all the forces in Minnesota; for