which will be occupied by the four mounted companies of Hatch's battalion, and two or three companies of infantry, and to push Fort Abercrombie due west, or nearly so, to the James River, on the Upper Cheyenne. These two pots, with one on the Missouri River (Fort Pierre), will from a chain of posts from Devil's Lake to the Missouri River, to the northwest of which the Sioux tribes east and north of the Missouri will be pushed. This line of posts completely covers the whole valley of the Red River from the Sioux Indians, and at a great distance from settlements. The posts will be supplied by way of the Missouri River, with much shorter land transportation that is now necessary to Fort Abercrombie, and they will to a great extent be separated from connection with Minnesota.
On the east side of Red River there are only Chippewa Indians, who have always been peaceful, and, thus separated from other Indian tribes, are likely to remain so always. Their number is not large, and very recently a treaty has been made with them by Governor Ramsey, of Minnesota, with yields up to the United States the whole valley of the Lower Red River for many miles on each side of the river.
Fort the winter, Fort Abercrombie, on the Red River, with a very sufficient garrison, will be kept up, and Hatch's battalion will winter at Pembina. There is not the slightest possibility of any danger from Indians this winter in the valley of the Red River; but, even if there were danger, the forces designated are fully sufficient.
I do not consider it at all advisable to expend a large number of money to build a post on the Red River. It is not needed, nor likely to be. Neither to I consider it advisable anywhere on this frontier to make appropriations or to expend any considerable amounts for building posts. In the nature of things, such posts are temporary stations of troops, constantly changed and pushed farther to the west, either by the advance of white settlements or the withdrawal of the Indians as the game grows scarce by the establishment of posts. The troops can in all cases build such temporary barracks as they need, and can be, as they have been, made entirely comfortable. The length of time these posts are occupied is so short that it would be a waste of money to put up buildings of an expensive and permanent character. If I find it necessary, I will use a part of the sum appropriated for the post on Red River in the construction of the post of Devil's Lake, which will much better cover and protect the valley and navigation of the river than any post on the river itself. If the Chippewas on the east side of the river become troublesome (they are not the least likely to go to war), I can very readily send troops to occupy a temporary post at a proper point on river, or, better still, among the Indians in their own country.
Unless, therefore, there are reasons not connected with Indian affairs, and of which I know nothing, I would respectfully advise that the money for the post on Red River be not at present expended.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE NORTHWEST, Numbers 45.
Milwaukee, Wis., December 4, 1863.
I. All general orders from these headquarters, constituting the military districts of Iowa and Dakota, are hereby revoked.
II. The District of Iowa is hereby constituted to include the State of