command of Companies G and H, Sixth Regiment Cavalry, Missouri State Militia, on the evening of 25th December, 1863, and proceeded to Nesho as per order. I arrived on the evening of the 27th, and found all quiet. The forces stationed at this post, together with 100 of the Seventh Provisional Militia, Colonel Allen in command came in a short time after my arrival and reported Stand Waitie's forces all gone south, but, as the colonel had not penetrated far enough south to verify these I ordered Lieutenant Allison, of Company L and Lieutenant Goucher to take 36 men of the Sixth and Eight Cavalry, Missouri State Militia, with four days' rations, and make an thorough reconnaissance of Maysville and vicinity, and ascertain if possible the true locality of the rebel chief. The scout returned on yesterday evening, and Lieutenant Allison submitted the following report: Colonel Stand Watie had been in the vicinity of Maysville with a force of about 200 or 300 men. He left Cowskin Sunday, December 27, 1863; moved in a southeastern direction, and took with them about 100 rebel families, which seemed to be the object of his expedition. That region is nearly depopulated and destitute of forage.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HDQRS. DIST. OF MINN., DEPT OF THE NORTHWEST,
Saint Paul, Minn., January 2, 1864.
Major J. F. MELINE,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
MAJOR: Your dispatch of the 29th ultimo, relative to the action taken at department headquarters with reference to the three companies of Sixth Minnesota Volunteers, composing escort to Indian Department train to the Missouri Reservation, has been received. Inconsequence of the information therein contained and the statements of returning teamsters that the troops would be retained on the Missouri during the winter, I issued orders countermanding previous instructions, given to the commanding officer of the Second Sub-district to send out a train with rations and forage to meet the returning expedition. Since then apparently intelligence from Mankato indicates that the companies of the escort are on their return march and were expected to reach Fairmont by 30th ultimo. These conflicting statements occasion me much perplexity, especially as the snow is quiet deep and the weather for the past three days has been excessively severe. I sincerely hope that none of my command have been on the march during this inclement period.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. H. SIBLEY,
OFFICE CHIEF QUARTERMASTER, DEPT. OF THE GULF,
New Orleans, La., January 3, 1864.
Brigadier General C. P. STONE,
Chief of Staff:
GENERAL: The Catawba has been sent to Texas. It is against my judgment considering everything bearing on the subject. First. Because the Catawba, Continental, McClellan, and Thomas A. Scott are assigned to the line between New York City and New Orleans