week nor with Halleck for long time; now too deep; thermometer 43 below zero at 9 this morning. Great suffering of men and animals. Down mail snowed in at Mud Springs and must return. Probably cannot get one through for several weeks.
W. O. COLLINS,
Lieutenant -Colonel, Commanding.
HDQRS. DIST. OF MINN., DEPT. OF THE NORTHWEST,
Saint Paul, Minn., January 5, 1864.
Major E. A. C. HATCH,
Independent Battalion Pembina:
MAJOR: Your dispatch of the 21st ultimo has been received at these headquarters. The success of Lieutenant Cross in killing 6 Sioux Indians of the hostile bands is very satisfactory. Your detachments should be instructed to do no injury to the women and children when it can be avoided. You will, of course, be cautious not to confound the men from the Sisseton bands,who may be dispatched to you with a peaceful errand with the hostile Indians, as it may well happen that an attempt may be made to communicate you with the promise made to Standing Buffalo, Sweet Corn, and some of the principal men, that they would not be molested if bearing a message from those who are desirous to learn the terms upon which peace will be vouchsafed to the upper bands.
No terms will be made with the murdering remnant of the lower bands now at or near Fort Garry. The men must surrender at discretion, to be dealt with for their crimes, in which case the women and children will, of course, be spared. Major Kemble, paymaster, goes to-morrow to pay your command, and you will please extend to him any facility in your power to enable him to perform his duties as speedily as practicable. Father Andre, n his last dispatch, dated 2nd ultimo, expressed himself in warm terms with regard to the kind entertainment he has received from you. You will please make a full report of all the occurrences in your vicinity, and especially of all information relative to the movements of the different bands of Indians, as I desire to be advised of the situation, views, and intentions of the several bands of Sioux, so far as they could be ascertained, with a view to operations in the spring.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. H. SIBLEY,
HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY,
Washington, January 6, 1864.
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
SIR: I return herewith the Secretary;y of the Navy's confidential letter of the 2nd instant.* I am of that all of our available forces not required to hold positions now in our possession should be sent to Louisiana and Texas, where they are now very much needed, and where they can operate with advantage during the winter. The occupation of Texas was not simply a military measure; it was one of State policy, decided upon by the President. General
* See Vol. XXXIII, p. 326.