HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE NORTHWEST,
Milwaukee, Wis., March 31, 1864.
Brigadier General A. SULLY, Commanding District of Iowa:
GENERAL: Your letter of the 28th instant is received. The arrangements and dispositions you propose are approved, but I am somewhat doubtful about your permitting single boasts to ascend the Missouri above Pierre without satisfactory information from above. Of that you must be the judge. I am unwilling also that your stay in the Yellowstone country should be prolonged so much as to render it doubtful whether you can reach the post at Long Lake in time to assure yourself that the post at Devil's Lake is in a fair way of supply. It is probable, however, that you can give such definite instructions before you leave the Missouri as will render the matter certain.
Of course it is my purpose to have the posts established on James River, Fox Lake, and Devil's Lake, as specified in the instructions sent you. Brackett's battalion I will send you as soon as it is possible to supply them properly. They will be mounted on Canadian ponies, as will also the entire regiment of Minnesota cavalry. It is probable that some of the mounted infantry sent you will also be thus mounted. You can, of course, make such changes of the mount of these troops as you think judicious. I agree with you and wrote to General Halleck that the post on Powder River can best be located and supplied from Laramie. Idaho is not in this department according to the order organizing it, nor is it likely that our military operations will extend much, if at all, into the Territory. I am instructed, however, to disregard department lines in my operations and dispositions. The post on Yellowstone ought not to be above the head of navigation on that river, but as near as practicable to it.
The selection of a reservation at or near Fort Union I think judicious. I will let you know as soon as I can just when Brackett's battalion can move from Minnesota. In all this matter, however, general, one thing is of paramount importance, and must be held steadily in view, and that is that the power of the Indians must be broken before we can hope for a permanent settlement of the Indian question in your district, and that is the point to be made certain. I have every confidence that you fully appreciate the whole matter and will act accordingly. Everything you desire and every aid in my power to give you, you shall have. It is of the last importance to the Government, as well as to ourselves, that this whole Indian question, as far as this military department is concerned, should be settled this season.
I am, general, respectfully, your obedient servant,
HDQRS. DIST. OF MINN., DEPT. OF THE NORTHWEST,
Saint Paul, Minn., March 31, 1864.
Lieutenant Colonel F. MYERS, Chief Quartermaster, Milwaukee:
COLONEL: I have received your dispatch of the 24th instant, relative to the horses for which requisitions were made for this military district. It would be much more economical, as well as advantageous in other respects, if the animals could be transported from La Crosse by steamer, as the streams to be crossed in the overland trip