by another entire regiment, which does not now seem practicable or probable. The whole force now in this district is barely sufficient to enable me to carry out your programme of operations, and to do this I shall be obliged greatly to reduce the number of troops in garrison at the regular posts and abandon entirely most of the temporary stations.
I am, general, with high respect, your obedient servant,
H. H. SIBLEY,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE NORTHWEST,
Milwaukee, March 30, 1864.
Respectfully transmitted to the Secretary of War, through Major-General Halleck.
Whilst I am urged on all sides to furnish protection to emigrants across the plains, by giving them escorts and establishing military posts, a set of people ignorant of all the facts and perfectly unacquainted with the necessities of the department are besieging the authorities at Washington to deprive me of the very means necessary to do precisely what they seek with constant persistence.
Nevertheless, even if they succeed in having these means taken away from me and the natural result follows, they will be the very first to raise a clamor against the Government and the military authorities for a result occasioned altogether by themselves.
I trust that the War Department will see that it is advisable to leave these matters to my own judgment. I know I need not assure the Secretary of War or yourself that I will not retain a man here who can be sent away, and I will notify, you the very moment troops can be sent off without destroying all hope of a successful solution of Indian difficulties in the Northwest. The men who urge the withdrawal of troops either do it ignorantly or for the purpose of producing results which will give them the means of making war upon the administration. The force is so small in this department, and a proper use of it will tend to make complete and satisfactory settlement of our Indian difficulties in the Northwest for a long time to come that it seems to me the highest wisdom to let matters alone for the present in regard to the applications referred to in this letter of General Sibley.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,
Alexandria, March 27, 1864
ADJUTANT-GENERAL OF THE ARMY,
Washington, D. C.:
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 7th instant, relating to the organization of the negro troops in this department, under General Orders, No., 47, and to state in reply thereto that the order was issued while the army was on the march at Opelousas. Up to the date of the order, three regiments of negroes had been organized according to the provisions of the Army Regulations.
These regiments absorbed all the material that was available at