is within four days' travel from this post to-night and in very bad condition. Captain Davy, with the detachment of Minnesota cavalry sent to the relief of Captain Fisk, is with them; also a portion of Fisk's Idaho train, which was found safe and conducted back to Fort Rice. Captain Fisk is reported to have gone down the Missouri River. If no news should have reached you of the result of the expedition sent out to the relief of the captain and his train I can inform you that according to unofficial reports received on their arrival they found no more Indians, but the cavalry of the First Brigade lost some 16 or 18 horses, reported to have been taken by Indians through a stampede. As the grass is all burned from here to Lac-qui-Parle, it would be almost impossible to get the much exhausted animals to this post without feed, and I shall therefore dispatch three teams with grain early in the morning to meet the train about Yellow Medicine. They are directed to put on as much hay as they can possibly carry at Colonel McPhaill's, and as soon as we get transportation I shall send more grain and hay to meet the last train, excepted to be here in about eight or nine days. The transportation at the disposition of the assistant quartermaster at this post has for some time past been entirely inadequate. Company F, First U. S. Volunteers, intended to re-enforce the outposts south of here and to relieve the State Minute Men, cannot march for want of transportation, and in order to enable Lieutenant McGrade to proceed on his escort duty I was obliged to order the assistant quartermaster to take possession of five ox teams belonging to Captain Smith, and which had come up with the two companies First U. S. Volunteers. According to your communication of the 13th instant I expected instructions for the final disposition of troops now here and to come in by to-night's mail, but have received none, and would respectfully call your attention to the fact that within about a week or ten days I shall have about 650 men at this post, with quarters for about 500, and that I am therefore very anxious to be informed how many troops will remain here, in order to be fully prepared. For various urgent reasons I deem it necessary to relieve Company F, Second Minnesota Cavalry, and if no orders to the contrary are received I shall order Captain Nix, of Company G, to relieve Captain Smith on the line sought of Fort Ridgely. If the commanding general should intend to make a different disposition of these two companies i shall promptly make the necessary changes, but the moving of Company G from this post will give me a change to provide some other troops coming in temporarily with quarters, and this is an important point at the lateness of the season.
Hoping that my action in the several matters referred to has the approval of the commanding general, I am, captain, your obedient servant.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE NORTHWEST,
Milwaukee, Wis., October 19, 1864.
Major E. P. TEN BROECK,
In charge of District Headquarters, Davenport, Iowa:
MAJOR: I have the honor to transmit inclosed a letter from the mayor of Keokuk, communicating information concerning present condition of a part of Souther Iowa border. You will please give the matter