Standing Buffalo some distance above Devil's Lake. Standing Buffalo went west. He talked of giving himself up, but appeared to be afraid to make the attempt on account of being so closely watched, but thought he might be down after snow flies. Red Feather says that many of his nation would be in if they were not in such a destitute condition; that it is all they can do to sustain themselves by keeping in hunting grounds. He heard that two Yanktonais chiefs had gone to Fort Berthold to give themselves up; that many of the Indians from the other side of the Missouri River are coming on to this side. They are in a starving condition. No buffalo on the west side. He thinks they are disposed to make peace, and have no intention of hostilities; are scattered in small parties of from ten to forty lodges. I had a long talk with him and was much pleased with his style and general manner. There appeared to be no attempt at effect. Was very particular in distinguishing between what he told for fact from hearsay. I presented him with 500 rations. He had hunter but very little while on the way down, so did not have much meat on hand, but he made no intimation of wishing for such a present, and after it was made he said he had no expected any. Did not come for that purpose, but was much pleased. I told him that such Indians as might come in and surrender must not expected to be fed by us; that we were too far from our supplies, and that I wished them to distinctly understand that they must not look to us for food, but must hunt for it; that all we had to promise them was if they came in and by their enemies and in their hunting grounds. Gabriel Renville informs me that We-a-na-tan and fifty lodges are about surrendering. He sent his brother to Renville's camp to tell him they were on their way down. Renville says that he thinks a band of Yanktonais, consisting of thirteen lodges, will soon be in. He says he understands that Joseph Campbell and John Moore are trading at Redwood, and have invited the Indians from the Missouri, and that some of them are now there. I also know that they have promised to meet some of those Indians at Lake Kampeska. Would it not be advisable to have troops sent up from Fort Ridgely, break up the trading establishment, and drive the Indians back to their proper place? Redwood is too far for me to send a force, and I have not yet been able to send and drive off those that are on the Coteau, but expect to in a few days. Have a good deal for the boys to do now. Gabriel Renville wishes me to request the general to have the old arrangement resumed. He prefers to draw rations for all he had in his band and no pay, than to draw rations and pay for but part, and I would respectfully recommend the change except for those that I have and require at the fort, which are thirteen, one to act as chief, four to attend to carrying the mail, and two sets of two each to patrol every day. By taking alternate days they will give their horses rest, and there will always be four patrolling and four in camp for any special duty that may turn up. I start the patrols out every morning before daylight and have them patrol around and near the fort for several hours, then go back into the country and examine all places of concealment and crossings until about two hours of sun, when they return and patrol again around the fort until after dark. Renville thinks, and I agree with him, that he can have more influence by having all of his band on the same footing, and I consider by far the best place to keep Renville is out in some camp were he can keep a general watch over both friendly and hostile Indians.
In reference to the management of the Indians that surrender and seek our protection, as they are not very ornamental, I propose to make