a battalion of cavalry on the Missouri River, near the mouth of Heart River, about 40 miles below the old trading post near Fort Clarke. Fourth. A port (garrison and place to be determined during thte summer) on Yellowstone River, southwest of Fort Clarke.
Devil's Lake is in the center of the Yanktonias country, is supplied abundantly with timber, is surrounded by fine meadown, and receives tribute from many clear streams. This late has been the rendezvous of this powerful tribe of Sioux Indians, and its occupation by a sufficient force will hold them completely in check by occupying their principal place of refuge. All of the Minnesota (Sisseton) Sioux having been driven from the upper Minnesota and lower Red River by last summer's campaign, are now in the Yanktonias country, and with that tribe have wintered at Devil's Lake.
The post at this point will therefore cover the whole valley of the lower Red River. The post on James River, west of Fort Abercrombie, covers the lower valley of that river and the valley of the upper Minnesota, and interposes between the Yanktonais Sioux and the Minnesota and Iowa frontier. These two posts, with the post at Fort Pierre, on the Missouri Rivere, form a line of posts covering at a considerable distance the entire valley of Red River and the frontier of Iowa and Minnesota. They are located in the very heart of the Indian country and amongst their most valuable hunting grounds. To the northwest of this line the Indians have retreated, and have remained since the campaign of last summer without an attempt to commit hostilities, and I think without the purpose of committing any. It is the intention to keep them northwest of this line.
The post near old Fort Clarke, on the Missouri River, is placed there for several reasons. First, it protects to a considerable extent the navigation of the upper Missouri; second, in conjunction with Fort Pierre, lower down on the river, it interposes between the Uncpapas, Teton Sioux, west of the Missouri River, and the Minnesota and Dakota Sioux, and renders combined hostilities very difficult; third, it finishes a safe point on the Missouri River at which emigrants to the gold mines of Idaho, of whom many thousands will st out this summer, can complete their preparations and commence their journey across the plains, and, fourth, it is the depot for the supply of the post at Devil's Lake, from which it will be distant about 100 miles. It is proposed to keep nearly all the cavalry horses and draft animals belonging to the post at Devil's Lake at the post near Fort Clarke, during the winter. Supplies of all kinds can be delivered there at small expense by steamer during the months of June and July. The post on James River will be in like manner supplied from the Missouri River at Fort Pierre, the cavalry horses and draft animals being kept during winter at Fort Pierre. I shall have trails opened between the post near Fort Clarke and at the posts at Devil's Lake and on James River at once. The route of emigrants to the mines of Idaho, setting out from Minnesota, will be by way of the post on James River to the post on Missouri River near Fort Clarke, and thence by way of the Yellowstone.
The post on the upper Yellowstone will be established by General Sully during the summer, if the thinks it practicable and judicious, but will not be more than 150 miles west of the post near Fort Clarke. Whilst the infantry companies which are to garrison these posts are marching to and establishing them, the regiment of Minnesota
17 R R - VOL XXXIV, PT II