He is said to speak both the Sioux and Chippewa languages, is dressed in leather, and is altogether an astute and intelligent man. He is said to have been with those Indians since December last, and as he has no family connections with them and his conduct is singular in itself you will endeavor quietly to obtain evidence or information of his object in remaining in that part of the country. Should circumstances be such as to indicate that he is a rebel emissary, or engaged in any manner in stirring up disaffection among the Indians, you will not hesitate to arrest him, should he venture within reach of your command, and send him under guard to Fort Snelling, making a minute report of all the facts. He is designated among the Chippewas by a name which signifies "the last comer," or "the man who comes last." The investigation into this man's conduct, &c., must be prosecuted so quietly and carefully as to preclude all suspicion of the object, otherwise the individual, who is doubtless on the watch if he is really an improper character, would take the alarm and decamp. You will be expected to make frequent reports to these headquarters embodying all the information of importance you may obtain from time to time relative to the movements of the Indians, the general condition of things, &c. Captain Donaldson, commanding Company D of your battalion, has been assigned with his company to special service to patrol the region along the Red River and keep open the communication on that route.
By command of Brigadier-General Sibley:
I am, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. C. OLIN,
HEADQUARTERS POST OF PORT HUDSON,
July 21, 1864.
Major GEORGE B. DRAKE,
Assistant Adjutant-General, New Orleans, La.:
In obedience to instructions from department headquarters, July 14, 1864, I have the honor to state my views of the subject-matter of the report of Brigadier General T. W. Sherman on the defenses of Port Hudson, May 14, 1864. A becoming deference for the dicta of an old and accomplished officer like General Sherman might lead me to too ready compliance with his views, but the few and simple suggestions he has made are so obvious to even an unpracticed observed that I would respectfully recommend their immediate adoption. The platforms, hewn timber, sand-bags, and hurdle revetments referred to have been removed, except at a few guard posts. I would recommend that the removal and destruction be made complete, and that line of works be abandoned except for use as rifle-pits in case of an attack. The general's mention of the radical defect on the river-side defenses will be readily appreciated by the departmental commandant, who will recollect the effect of his own batteries when directed on that point while in the enemy's occupation. Having no accurate military knowledge of my own, I referred the report of General Sherman to Colonel J. C. Cobb, officer late in charge of engineering and construction at this post. I submit his hastily prepared views herewith as received from him under date of yesterday. I concur with Colonel Cobb in his suggestions for cutting out the ravines, but would advise that the rifle-pits on the crests of the ravines be made part of the plain instead of an alternative. The colonel states the exact present state of preparation of the river-side
20 R R-VOL XLI, PT II