I am obliged to draw every man who can be spared from the Indian frontier to operate against rebels who have devastated this State of Kansas and should be kept south of the Arkansas, and I hope you will advise me both of danger and no danger, so I can use every man you can spare in assisting to crush out the infernal rebellion. I congratulate you, Governor, on the prospect of your early admission as a State, and shall always glory in having participated in Congressional efforts to secure your first territorial organization.
I have the honor to be, Governor, your very obedient servant,
S. R. CURTIS,
SAINT LOUIS, March 26, 1864
Major General H. W. HALLECK,
SIR: As the Government is organizing a military expedition against the Sioux Indians of the upper Missouri, we deem it our duty to place before you facts received by this day's mail from Idaho, and it may not be inopportune in us to make certain suggestions which our long experience in that section of country has taught us.
Major G. E. Upson, Blackfoot agent, writes us from Fort Benton, dated 1st of February, as follows:
In your contemplated trip up the Yellowstone River it will be necessary for you to make provisions for the meeting of hostile bands of Indians, as no doubt you will meet them. The Sioux are now on Powder River and threaten to clear out all the whites, besides Fort Union and Fort Berthold. I have scouts amongst them, and will send all the information that can be got about their movements and forward them down the river to meet your boats.
Mr. Andrew Dawson, our agent at Fort Union, dated four days later, says:
One day out from Fort Union to Fort Galphi (situated at the mouth of Milk River) my train was attacked by a large party of Sioux, but without damage to either party. Fort Charles had been attacked two days before, but without loss of properly. My train from Fort Andrew (situated at mouth of Muscleshell) to Fort Galphin was completely overpowered, and 100 packs of buffalo robes and $4,088 worth of goods carried off. Dauphin was killed in the engagement. This whole section of country is in a terrible foment. The Sioux are centering in large crowds in the angle formed by the Yellowstone and Missouri.
Mr. Gerard, our agent at Fort Berthold, whose letter is dated 27th January, reports:
The friendly Sioux who have visited this post for the purposes of trade inform me that our enemies are all in the neighborhood of the Yellowstone; no signs of Sioux have been seen on the north side of the river this winter by any of our hunting parties.
These lettes fix the locality of the disaffected Indians and the section of country they intend operating in. We are informed that it is the intention of Government to locate military posts at Devil's Lake, head of James River, and at Long Lake, thence up Heart or Grand River, for the purpose of opening and protecting an immigrant route to the Yellowstone. The very short space of time that this proposed route can be traveled by immigrants, viz, from June to latter end of August, cannot justify the enormous expense and inconvenience this route would entail on the Government. Besides, the greater portion of the country between the Missouri and Yellowstone on that line is known as Les Mauvais Terres, or Bad Lands; no grass nor wood, and water exceedingly brackish.