for permitting the post to be at any time without sufficient fuel to meet the contingencies of snow-storms or of an attack, which should always be provided against. In other words, there should be every provision made for articles that are indispensable in their character, at least for a few days' supply in advance, and my previous dispatch, written by his directions, was intended to apply to the future rather than to the past.
General Sibley desires it to be further understood, without imputing blame or attaching censure to any particular officer of the company of cavalry referred to, in the absence of any information on that point, that full-grown and well-clothed men should be able, with proper precaution and management, to save themselves from serious injury by freezing, on a short march, where wood can be obtained at convenient distances, as it the case between Saint Peter and Fort Ridgely, no matter how severe or inclement the weather may be. The companies composing the escort to the Missouri Reservation were exposed to the same weather, and under quite as unfavorable circumstances, and if any of the men were even slightly frost-bitten the fact has not been made known to these headquarters.
It was supposed that seven 6-mule teams were ample to meet the requirements of a post with but two or three companies of infantry in the required, the necessary orders would have been given to the chief quartermaster of the district upon a proper representation of the facts. A supply of stoves was ordered after a previous requisition had been disapproved, upon information being communicated to these headquarters that stoves left by order of the brigadier-general commanding at Fort Ridgely in the fall of 1862 had been improperly delivered to the Indian agent by the officer then in command of the post.
The condition of affairs at the post at present, as specified by you, is satisfactory, and the general commanding is fully convinced that under your efficient supervision there will be no more suffering for the lack of indispensable supplies of fuel, &c. The garrison will be larger that that of any other post in the district, with the single exception of Fort Snelling, and whatever is absolutely required for their comfort will be provided for. An ice-house for the general purposes of the hospital should be erected at once if the materials are on hand and the building can be constructed without extra cost to the Government.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. C. OLIN,
BATON ROUGE, LA., January 16, 1864-11.30 a.m.
Brigadier General C. P. STONE:
Reports are received that the enemy have marched to Whitestown. They are now stated to be about 3,000. The Kentucky regiments arrived from Plaquemine last night. They have no tents. Three gunboats are here. One on its way above. Lieutenant Earl and 14 privates of Fourth Wisconsin are prisoners in Clinto.
P. ST. GEO. COOKE,