panies of that regiment, so that they may be stationed at the several regular posts where other troops are posted. Your prompt movement in forwarding grain for the battalion of Major Brackett was proper and well timed. You will receive herewith copy of orders for that officer to proceed forthwith to Fort Ridgely with his command, and also for the march to Fort Snelling of Companies L and H, Second Minnesota Cavalry. The 200 men who can be quartered along the line of outposts, as stated by you, should include all of the reliable men of Company G, First Connecticut Cavalry, and Captain Barton's company of Brackett's battalion. The latter should be stationed at the points most convenient to Fort Ridgely, so as to allow of their more speedy concentration. The force thus stationed will, of course, be dismounted, there being already probably as many animals at these small stations as can be stabled and fed. In case Captain Barton desires to keep the horses he now has, a number of the men of his company sufficient to take charge of them, and properly attend to them at Fort Ridgely, may be detailed for that purpose, and the captain or one of his subalterns stationed there to see that the duty is properly performed. To make up the number of 200 men specified to be posted along the line it may be necessary to detach same additional force from Fort Ridgely, but General Sibley desires such to be taken from outside of the three companies Brackett's battalion and of Company I, U. S. Volunteers, and the two sections of Third Minnesota Battery, all of which should be kept in garrison at that post, with a view to having the collected strength effective for an early spring movement, and to this end drill and discipline must be stringently enforced. A competent officer from your immediate command should be dispatched along the line of outposts at least once a month, or oftener, to make a rigid inspection and report all disorders and delinquencies, that immediate steps may be adopted to punish should be arrangements made to provide the stations with sixty days' full rations before the cold weather and deep snows of winter occur, and the transportation necessary for that purpose will be furnished upon requisition by the chief quartermaster of the district, if there is not already a sufficiency on hand. Such of the horses and other animals as cannot conveniently be stabled at Fort Ridgely will be dispatched under the charge of a commissioned officer to Fort Snelling to be turned over to the quartermaster of that post. The brigadier-general commanding relies on your known discretion and energy to make the designated arrangements without unnecessary delay, as the season is already sufficiently advanced to require expedition, so as to save men and animals from unnecessary exposure to cold weather.
You will report to these headquarters immediately the date when the companies ordered to Fort Snelling will march from Fort Ridgely, so that measures may be adopted to meet them with forage for the horses, &c., and state whether they will be dispatched by Saint Peter or Henderson. a train of fifty wagons, laden with quartermaster' and commissary stores for Fort Ridgely, will move in a day or two, and the chief quartermaster will be ordered to give such instructions as will authorize the turning over of six of the teams for post purposes. If more will be needed you will have the requisition made immediately.
By command of Brigadier-General Sibley:
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEO. W. PRESCOTT,
Lieutenant, Aide-de-Camp, and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.