oak, fine water, fine clay for making bricks, and excellent limestone, while the land itself is of good quality. In my judgment there can be no better site for a commanding military post than the head of the Coteau de Prairie, and failing to find the essential material for one on the James River I trust you will be pleased with the location selected. A detailed report will be received here, probably within a week, from Major Clowney, via Fort Abercrombie, copy of which will be made and sent you. Major Adams reports that a few Indians have been reported as being discovered near the Cheyenne River.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. H. SIBLEY,
HEADQUARTERS NORTHWESTERN INDIAN EXPEDITION,
Camp Fort Rice, Dak. Ter., July 15, 1864.
Brigadier General H. H. SIBLEY, Commanding District of Minnesota:
GENERAL: As Major Brown is about to cross over to Minnesota, at his own request, I write you a few lines to inform you we are all getting on well. We are now loading wagons with stores, we having been delayed by the non-arrival of some necessary stores. We see Indians now and then, and some have sent word they want to give themselves up, but I have not time to attend to them. I shall push on to the camp near the Yellowstone, where I expect a fight. The troops are in good health. The post is a beautiful location for Dakota Territory, but grass is rather light this year.
With respect, yours,
HDQRS. DIST. OF MINNESOTA, DEPT. OF THE NORTHWEST,
Saint Paul, Minn., August 8, 1864.
Major JOHN CLOWNEY, Commanding Fort Wadsworth:
MAJOR: Your several dispatches, three dated 29th ultimo, and two 1st instant, have been delivered by Mr. Brackett at these headquarters. General Sibley would have preferred that more men had been sent with Captain Fisk, as escort to the Missouri, as fifty men is but a small number to traverse so wild and dangerous a country. He trusts, however, to your good judgment in only dispatching so weak a force after having received so full and satisfactory information of the absence of any large camps of hostile Indians within striking distance of the route. The result of Captain Burton's examination of the James River valley between the two points indicated, in not finding timber sufficient for a post, was anticipated by the brigadier-general commanding, but it was necessary to have the exploration made to accord with General Pope's instructions before locating the new post elsewhere. From the very meager outline thus far received, General Sibley is disposed to regard your selection of the site on the Coteau de Prairie as being very proper and judicious, but he awaits the promised report in detail, to be received by the Fort Abercrombie route, with some impatience, that he may be informed of the distance of the spot chosen from the head of the Coteau, whether it is nearest to the eastern or western slope of the Coteau, the scope of vision of the surrounding country, and other points which are equally important in enabling him to decide the eligibility of the site. Of course, all this information will be furnished by your, also the dis-