tection of the coal miners. The chief quartermaster of the district will be directed to dispatch for forage to Fort Ridgely without unnecessary delay. Meantime the purchases of forage by the assistant quartermaster at the post should be in as limited quantities as are consistent with the necessities of the animals employed in active service. The former information from the scouts on the head of the Redwood of the passage down of nine Indians and other small parties, as contained in your previous dispatch, does not seem to be warranted by the facts. These scouts should be advised to be very particular and precise in their intelligence as to the movements of hostile Indians, and they are sufficiently numerous to follow and destroy any small parties of raiders stationed on the Redwood merely to watch and transmit information; that, indeed, as an important part of their duty, but in addition they must be moving constantly and watching the usual avenues of approach of the Indians, and attack and drive back or kill any party of savages inferior in numbers to themselves who may be discovered. You are directed to inform the scouts that any want of activity or vigilance on their part will occasion their immediate discharge from the service. The stragglers from the Missouri Reservation will be turned over to the U. S. Indian department as son as preparation can be made to receive them, and until such time they will not be allowed to suffer for want of necessary food, being regarded in the light of prisoners of war. You will instruct the scouts that these people will be kept in proper surveillance by them and not permitted to straggle from their camp.
By command of Brigadier-General Sibley:
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEO. W. PRESCOTT,
Lieutenant 6th Minn. Vols., Aide-de-Camp, and Actg. Asst. Adjt. General
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF WEST MISSISSIPPI,
New Orleans, La., July 3, 1864.
Major General N. P. BANKS,
Commanding Department of the Gulf, New Orleans, La.:
GENERAL: The major-general commanding directs that the sick and wounded of the regiments indicated in my communication of the 1st instant, now in general hospitals in this department, be immediately examined and separated into two classes: First. Those who will be fit for duty within twenty days. Second. All those who will not be fit for duty within that period. The first class will be sent with as little delay as possible to Fort Monroe, Va. The second class will be sent as fast as a safe and comfortable opportunity occurs to the harbor of New York for transfer to such general hospitals as may be designated by the medical director of the Department of the East. The object of this classification and the destination will not be indicated until after the detachments have been prepared for the transfer. Special care will be taken in the classification and organization and preparation of the detachments. Each detachment will be accompanies by regimental officers in proportion to its strength, and one or more medical officers to be taken from the invalid officers of the regiments above indicated and from regimental surgeons or assistant surgeons who may be on hospital duty. A nominal list of officers and men will be furnished department headquarters, and in the column of remarks it will be noted
3 R R-VOL XLI, PT II