duty to obey orders, unless I should receive others from higher authority to proceed. Second, the horses on which my men are mounted are entirely unfitted for a march of that distance. Having been obliged to select them from a few horses which had been rejected by other companies, and the feed having been very poor, and having no grain for them, they are in a very poor condition, and entirely unfitted for such a march. Therefore, begin situated as I am, I consider it mu duty to obey the orders of Major Clowney, and shall,unless I receive different orders from higher authority, act accordingly.
I am, sir,very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. F. PHILLIPS,
Lieutenant, Commanding Detachment Company I, Second Regiment Minnesota Vols.
On receipt of my protest Captain Fisk excused me at once, and on the 18th instant, at 2 p.m., I took up my line of march for Fort Wadsworth. While at Fort Rice it was reported that General Sully had fought a heavy battle near the mouth of the Big Horn and defeated the Indians. The Indians were so confident of victory that they went into battle with their teepes standing. The exact loss could not be ascertained. It was also reported that there was a large [force] of hostile Indians on Devil's Lake. Some scouts reported 1,500 Indians, and others 1,500 lodges. The second day after we left Fort Rice two of our scouts met some friendly Indians, who cautioned them not to stray far from the company, as the country was full of hostile Indians. We followed the back trail back to the James, which we struck on the 24th instant. We left that river on the 26th and struck north of any previous route, establishing a new trail from there to this post, which we reached on the evening of the 28th.
I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. F. PHILLIPS,
Lieutenant, Commanding Detachment.
[Inclosure No. 2.]
HDQRS. COMPANY M, SECOND MINNESOTA CAVALRY, Fort Wadsworth, Da. Ter., August 29, 1864.
Major JOHN CLOWNEY, Commanding Post:
SIR: In accordance with Special Orders, No. 20, from your headquarters, I proceeded with ten men and thirteen scouts to James River. I left this at 2 p.m. on the 25th of August, 1864, and arrived at the old crossing on James River about 5 a.m. the 26th of August, 1864. Thence traveling south about five miles I discovered an Indian camp. The Indians I found were from Fort Thompson and had permission from Lieutenant Balcombe to hunt through that country. From thence we traveled southeast until we struck the Coteau. Thence we changed our course northeast and discovered two Indians. These we found, on questioning, were friendly and from Fort Wadsworth. Returning, I arrived at Fort Wadsworth on the 29th of August, 1864, after being absent five days,inclusive.
Your obedient servant,
P. S. GARDNER,
First Lieutenant Company M, Second Minnesota Cavalry Vols.
CHIPPEWA AGENCY, CASS COUNTY MINN., August 30, 1864.
Brigadier General H. H. SIBLEY, Saint Paul Minn.:
SIR: I have to inform you, in compliance with your request, that the Indians under my charge are all quiet and at present well disposed. Hole-in-the-Day is now with me and in very good spirits, although not