will be sent to Fort Pierre from the post on James River, and from Devil's Lake to the post below Fort Clarke. This latter post will be the depot for the supply of Devil's Lake; Fort Pierre for the supply of the post on James River. The trains will be loaded and sent back from the Missouri to their new posts by General Sully, and if necessary to supply the garrison they must make several trips during the season.
Let me know your views upon this subject, and report to me fully the means of transportation to carry out these movements. Forts Abercrombie, Ridgely, and Ripley will be maintained, with garrisons hereafter to be designated. Something of a line of frontier stations along the outer settlements of Minnesota will be temporarily kept up until the foregoing movements are fully completed. I have not yet decided whether a post at Pembina will be necessary after these arrangements have been fully completed. Write me fully on the subject herein set forth.
I am, general, respectfully, your obedient servant,
I omitted to state that a trail should be opened, as soon as possible after the establishment of the new posts, between the post on James River and the post on the Missouri near Fort Clarke. This trail will be nearly on the direct route from Minnesota to Dakota mines.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE NORTHWEST,
Milwaukee, Wis., January 18, 1864
Brigadier General A. SULLY,
Commanding District of Iowa, Davenport, Iowa:
GENERAL: It is my purpose with the opening of spring to establish the following posts in the Indian country: First. A post of three companies of infantry and five of cavalry at Devil's Lake. Second. A post of three companies of infantry and five companies of cavalry on James River, nearly west of Fort Abercrombie. Third. A post of four companies of infantry and at least a battalion of cavalry at or near Fort Clarke, on the upper Missouri. Fourth. A post somewhere on Yellowstone River, southwest or nearly so of Fort Clarke. The garrison of this post will be determined during the summer campaign.
The post near Fort Clarke had best be as far below that post a is expedient, in view of its being the depot for the supply of the post at Devil's Lake. Will you please give this subject such careful examination immediately as is in your power, and report to me as soon as practicable your views on the subject? The posts at Devil's Lake and on James River will be established by General Sibley and garrisoned by troops from Minnesota; the post below Fort Clarke by yourself. If necessary (and I suppose it will be) I will send four infantry companies from here, to escort the steamers carrying up supplies, which companies will constitute the garrison of the post near Fort Clarke.
As I have hitherto informed you, the posts at Devil's Lake and on James River will be supplied, the first from the post near Fort Clarke, the second from the post of Farm Island. You will be charged with their supply and will accordingly take the necessary