pitals here, capable of bearing arms in an emergency. I have ordered their organization in provisional companies, one in each hospital, with arms, accouterments, and ammunition, to be kept ready for use in a room in each hospital.
There are about seventy-five of the above number of convalescents whom the surgeon in charge reports as capable of duty in going out mounted on a scout of a few days, should it be necessary. The quartermaster has twelve horses here, and I shall endeavor to have about thirty more brought here from Davenport, to remain here for a few weeks. This arrangements will cause little trouble or expense; and though I anticipate little possibility of any such service as indicated being required, it is better to be prepared. There is needed here also an energetic and capable, acting as provost-marshal, and employing a Saint Louis detective, acquainted as far as may be with the names and history of men in Price's army, or residents in this section, formerly active rebels, and who are living here under the protection they have gained by taking the oath of allegiance. I respectfully ask that if consistent a detective of the kind named be obtained from Saint Louis and ordered to report here to me, A few after my arrival here last evening about 9 p. m., I was reliable informed that two mounted rebel soldiers from Price's army, who had been skulking for some days past in Iowa, had just passed over into Illinois by the ferry, and were to pass the night at the house of a political friend seven miles from here in Illinois. It being evident that these men would proceed on their way early in the morning, and there being no time to advise the military authorities in Illinois to secure their arrest, I sent a small squad which arrested them and brought them back here this morning. The men confessed that they belonged to Elliott's battalion, Jeff. Thompson's brigade, Shelby's division, of Price's army. I have advised General Cook of this proceeding and have asked to be advised of his wishes in the premises, saying to him that unless he should wish their more direct custody, I would send them men as prisoners of war to Rock Island, with the affidavits and other papers in the case.
With great respect, major, your obedient servant,
T. C. H. SMITH,
HDQRS. DIST. OF MINNESOTA, DEPT. OF THE NORTHWEST,
Saint Paul, Minn., October 28, 1864.
Lieutenant Colonel WILLIAM PFAENDER,
Commanding Second Sub-District, Fort Ridgely, Minn.:
COLONEL: A small detachment of Indian women and children were dispatched from the vicinity of Fort Snelling, by direction of the brigadier-General commanding, to join the train for the Missouri Reservation at Lake Shetek. Henry Belland, chief of the expressmen, was sent with them and has just returned. He reports that Lieutenant McGrade failed to find any scouts at the camp, and only fell in with one lodge of Indians, the tenants of which he took along with him, and the supposition is that the scouts who should be on duty at the designated spot have, without any authority, scattered for the purpose of hunting buffalo, and that the Indians ordered to be sent to the Missouri have accompanies them. General Sibley directs that you cause an investigation into this conduct and report the facts as soon as ascertained, with a view to the prompt discharge of all the scouts who have,