The only thing which should be thought of at the present moment is the entire subjugation of hostile bands of Indians. Immigrants will adapt themselves to the route most convenient from their starting point. The most practicable and shortest route from Saint Paul to the gold mines of Idaho is to strike for Fort Randall or north of
Nebraska, up that stream to Laramie, thence through the Valley of the Big Horn Mountains and Black Hills. Each immigrant train ought to be organized under a proper officer, and if well conducted can defend themselves against any hostile band of Indians. It is exceedingly difficult to suggest the best points for the establishment of military posts. The subjugation of Indians will have first to be effected and the Government determine what to do with them afterward.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
P. CHOUTEAU & CO.
MARCH 31, 1864.
Respectfully referred to Major-General Pope, for his information.
H. W. HALLECK,
Major-General, Chief of Staff.
HDQRS. DIST. OF MINN., DEPT. OF THE NORTHWEST,
Saint Paul, Minn., March 26, 1864
Major General JOHN POPE,
GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your dispatch of 22nd instant, and your instructions relative to Brackett's battalion will be fully complied with, and in order to equip the men of that command I have to-day telegraphed you requesting that your order immediately 360 horses, with cavalry equipments complete; 250 Sharps carbines, with accouterments complete; 250 Colt navy revolvers, with accouterments complete; 200 light cavalry sabers, with accouterments complete.
Only about 100 men, those who re-enlisted, are now supplied with arms, &c., the remainder of the battalion, being composed of recruits and of the thirteenth company, originally raised for the Second Cavalry, but transferred by order of the War Department to Brackett's battalion, have only a few sabers among them and no other arms. The above are necessary fully to equip them. If the requisitions to complete the expeditionary force from this district are filled in time so that no delay is occasioned by their non-receipt, I assure you, general, that you need feel under no apprehension that the column will not move as soon as the season will permit. I have written General Sully, at Saint Louis, that inn all probability that will not be later than 1st June, perhaps sooner if there is grass to subsist the animals.
I notice that I am expected to dispatch 1,600 men instead of 1,400, as understood between General Sully and myself independent of Brackett's battalion. Please inform me if it is a clerical error or so intended by you as stated in my copy of your instructions. There is a strong effort on the part of the public journals of this city and of private individuals to effect the removal of the Sixth Regiment Minnesota Volunteers South. I beg leave to request that you will not consent to any such arrangement, unless they can be replaced