have reached Fort Ridgely ere this, every man that could be spared from the garrison at Fort Snelling having been dispatched to you. It would be well to have a few infantry at each out-station sufficient to hold it, so as to leave the cavalry free to act when required at all intermediate points. The limited force disposable for the protection of the settlements along the extensive line must make up by unremitting vigilance and activity for the lack of numbers until a larger number of troops can be made available for that purpose. It is to be hoped that Lieutenant McGrade, with the cavalry detachment under his command, will be able to give a good account of any savages he may fall in with. The fifteen head of cattle mentioned as having been found by him should be brought to Fort Ridgely and turned over to the acting commissary of subsistence at that post and taken up by him on his returns, as it is altogether probable that they compose a part of those lost from Camp Atchison last year, and have wandered down the James and Big Sioux Rivers to the region where they were discovered. Should, however, any other claimant interpose a claim to these cattle, the question as to the disposal to be made of them will remain in abeyance until properly decided. You make no report of the movements of the scouts on the Coteau at the head of the Redwood since the information conveyed in your dispatch of the 15th instant. They can and should be on the alert and render valuable service.
By command of Brigadier-General Sibley:
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. C. OLIN,
FORT ABERCROMBIE, DAK. TER., August 25, 1864.
Captain R. C. OLIN,
Asst. Adjt. General, District of Minnesota, Saint Paul, Minn.:
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report my arrival, with my command, at this post yesterday, having been absent twenty-one days. I left camp near this post on the morning of the 6th instant. At Georgetown I heard that Sioux had been seen about Goose River. I marched to the crossing; then followed up the Goose River west of the old Red River trail some distance; then crossed and marched north toward Saint Joseph about forty miles; then struck back to the North Branch of the Goose River, following this to the red River. I scouted over the whole country through which I passed thoroughly, but fond no signs or trace of Sioux whatever. At Goose river I met several Red Lake and Pembina Chippewas hunting for elk. After striking the Red River I returned to Georgetown; then struck up the Cheyenne and Maple Rivers. I saw some signs of Sioux between the two rivers, but could find no Indians. At the old crossing of the Cheyenne I met Major Adams, with a scouting party, in search of the murderers of the three men near Lewiston. I marched from this point to the fort the next day. I start to-morrow morning for Pembina direct. I will endeavor to learn the extent of the dissatisfaction existing among the Chippewas of Red Lake and Pembina relative to the late treaty.
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. S. DONALDSON,
Captain Company D, Independent Battalion Minnesota Vols.