War of the Rebellion: Serial 062 Page 0075 Chapter XLVI. CORRESPONDENCE,ETC.-UNION.

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HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF NEBRASKA, Omaha City, January 13, 1864.

His Excellency NEWTON EDMUNDS,

Governor of Dakota, Superintendent of Indian Affairs, Yankton, Dak. Ter.:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt [last evening] of your communication of the 7th instant, inclosing a report by Major J. B. Hoffman, U. S. Indian agent at the Ponca Agency, in reference to alleged criminal conduct of a party of soldiers near Niobrara, toward some Indians belonging to his agency. A thorough investigation of the whole matter extending to all persons implicated will be made, as you suggest, and the parties, if guilty, punished. It was reported to me that some ponies and other property had been captured in a skirmish with a party of Poncas, and under that view of the case instructions were given to the officer commanding the company to turn over the property, if practicable, to the agent, or any one designated to a treaty tribe, and investigation was commenced with a view to ascertain the circumstances connected with the affair before the late storm interrupted travel. The investigation will be continued until the whole matter shall be properly disposed of. If, in consequence of the absence of the agent and the obstacles to travel, the property has not yet been turned over to the agent, it will be as soon practicable.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

THOS. J. McKEAN,

Brigadier-General, Commanding District.

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF NEBRASKA, Omaha City, January 13, 1864.

Captain JOHN WILCOX,

Company B, Seventh Iowa Cav., Dakota, Nebr. Ter.:

CAPTAIN: The general commanding the district directs me to say that if you have not turned over to the U. S. Indian agent for the Ponca Indians the ponies and other property taken from the Indians near Niobrara, as directed in a communication from these headquarters, dated December 12, 1863, you will take the necessary steps to do so immediately. The general is informed that other property than the ponies, guns, &c., reported, was taken from the Indians, such as buffalo robes, beaver skins, and other private property. He directs that you collect and return all such property to Major J. B. Hoffman, U. S. agent for the Poncas.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEORGE S. HAMPTON,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

SPECIAL ORDERS, HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF, No. 12. New Orleans, La., January 14, 1864.

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12. The Twenty-sixth Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers is hereby converted into cavalry, subject to the approval of the War Department; the organization to correspond with that prescribed for