results of these proposed operations are so important, and the force needed is so small, that I do not doubt the Government need only be satisfied that the operations are feasible to accord a ready and willing assent to the plan.
I submit it for consideration as embodying my well-considered views on the subject. It is for me to state that all the forces on duty in this department consist of three infantry regiments and two cavalry regiments. I propose to send one of the infantry regiments south early in the spring, and retain the others to execute these proposed operations. I have thought it well to append to this letter a communication to the War Department in relation to the policy to be pursued toward these Indians, which I have the honor to request be submitted to the Secretary of War for his action, with such indorsement as the General-in-Chief may think judicious.
I have the honor to be, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
[Inclosure Numbers 2.]
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE NORTHWEST,
Milwaukee, Wis., February 6, 1864.
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.:
SIR: I have submitted to the General-in-Chief, by this mail, a plan of operations against the Indians in the Territoried of Dakota and Idaho, and in the same connection I have the honor again to invite your attention to some suggestions as to the policy to be pursued toward the hostile Indians who were directly or indirectly concerned in the Minnesota massacres, as well as toward those tribes of wild Indians with whom treaties halve never been made, but with whom the troops as well as emigrants will be brought into contact during the proposed military movements. Upon the policy adopted will largely depend the successful results of any military operations.
The system of Indian policy hitherto pursued seems to have been the result of temporary expedients, and not of well-considered examination of the subject, and, with its results, is briefly as follows, viz: As soon as the march of emigration began to press upon land claimed or roamed over by wild tribes of Indians, a treaty was made with them which provided for the surrender of a alrage part of the lands and the location of small reservations for the exclusive occupation of the Indians, or for the purchase of that limited portion of the Indian country bordering on the white settlements, leaving the Indian the larger part of the region claimed by him. In consideration of this surrender, considerable money annuities, as well as annuities of goods, arms, ammunition, &c., were granted to the Indians and an Indian agent appointed as special custodian and disbursing agent of the funds and goods.
By this operation we were placed in contact with two classes of Indians-first, the Indians entirely surrounded by white settlements and living on small reservations; and, second, the Indians who still maintained their roving life and their relation with the wild scribes on the one hand, whilst they, on the other, were connected with the whites through the annuities of money and goods paid annually for the surrender of that small portion of their lands bordering on the