Fort Wadsworth, Dak. Ter., August 3, 1864.
Captain R. C. OLIN,
Assistant Adjutant-General, District of Minnesota:
SIR: Please find inclosed report of Captain L. S. Burton, Thirtieth Wisconsin Volunteers, commanding detachment for the purpose of examining the James River, in accordance with instructions from headquarters District of Minnesota, dated June 14, 1864. Also copy of Special Orders, Numbers 16, dated July 25, 1864, and instructions of the same date from headquarters Garrison for Fort Wadsworth, all of which is respectfully forwarded to the commanding general.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major Thirtieth Regiment Wisconsin Volunteers, Commanding.
[Inclosure Numbers 1.]
IN CAMP ON KETTLE LAKE, ON THE COTEAU DES PRAIRIES, DAK. TER.,
August 1, 1864.
Lieutenant THOMAS PRIESTLEY,
Acting Adjutant, Garrison for Fort Wadsworth:
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of an expedition from this camp to James River and return:
In accordance with Special Orders, Numbers 16, dated at headquarters Garrison for Fort Wadsworth, Camp on Kettle Lake, Dak. Ter., July 25, 1864, and written instructions from the same headquarters of the same date, I left the said camp at 5 a. m. July 26, with seventy-five infantry, sixty cavalry, one mountain howitzer, and ten scouts, with seven days' rations. My instructions were "to examine the country along the James River between the mouth of Elm River and the mouth of Bone Hill River, to ascertain whether timber of sufficient amount and proper quality for the use of a military post can be found between those points." We accordingly took a southwesterly course in order to strike the James River at the mouth of the Elm, which lies in that direction. At 11.30 a. m. we reached the Apple Stone Creek, a small stream of good, clear water, which runs southwesterly into the James River. It is seventeen miles from the camp on Kettle Lake and four from the foot of the Coteau. Went into camp at this spot. Grazing good along the creek, and the men found springs of clean and cool water by digging a few feet. Pierre Bottineau, our guide, reports that Indians have left here, probably not more than half an hour previous to our arrival. Their camp-fires were still smoking. Mr. Bottineau thinks from the appearances of their camp that there were about ten of them-Sioux. 27th, broke camp at 4 a. m. At 11 a. m. flankers report seeing Indians on the right. Having a long march before us, did not deem it advisable to pursue them. At 12.30 p. m. Mr. Bottineau sent back word that there were Indians ahead and wanted cavalry sent to the front. Ordered the whole of the cavalry forward, feeling confident that the infantry and the howitzer could defend themselves against a larger force of Indians than would likely be in the vicinity. About n hour later Bottineau sent word back that the Indians were friendly. At 2.45 p. m. reached James River about five mile south of the Elm. Marched to-day twenty-eight miles; no water on the route; some fine spots of grass. Found the Indians (four men and fourteen women, with their children) here in camp. They had a letter written by Lieutenant ---, dated at