War of the Rebellion: Serial 086 Page 0633 Chapter LIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

Search Civil War Official Records

commanded by Joseph La Framboise. I found that the camp had been there, but recently moved, and a board left tried to a pole written upon in the Sioux language, as interpreted by Mr. Mansfield (who was sent from the main train with two wagons to transport the Indians on), that they had gone to the Big Sioux River to kill buffalo. I then believed that I could not get the scouts spoken of in your letter of instructions to me. I here communicated with Hubbell and Hawley, who were with the main train at Lake Shetek, and designated the Pipe Stone Quarry as the place of meeting. I procured the services of an Indian then in camp to act as guide. I here crossed the Redwood. After traveling six miles met a scout, who informed me of the location of the scouts' camp, which I found to be on the North Branch of the Redwood River, then about three mils distant. I went there immediately with the mounted portion of my command, but found no Indians there of the class mounted portion of my command, but found no Indians there of the class that I was looking for. I here found that Joseph La Framboise and all his scouts except two had gone off on a buffalo hunt. The scouts present were named, respectively, Daniel Renville and Joseph Renville. I asked of these men for one to become my guide to the Pipe Stone. They refused to leave their camp with me. First stated that they did not know the way, and afterward the they would not unless ordered by their chief scout. During this afternoon while proceeding with my command I met Joseph and Alexis La Framboise returning from their hunt. I served the order from Colonel Pfaender on Joseph, directing that the scouts be detailed to accompany my command. Alexis La Framboise and two others reported tome for duty the next day at noon near Lake Benton. On reaching the Pipe Stone I found that the train had not arrived. I lay here one day and a half in camp, when the train came up. I here received two boxes of clothing direct from Quartermaster Carver, at Saint Paul,which was in part immediately issued to the enlisted men of my command. I here took up the escort. On reaching the Sioux River we were overtaken by a severe storm of rain and wind. This, with the advantages of good feed for the animals, induced me to lay in camp here for another day and a half. No Indians or late sings were seen up to this time. On reaching Inkpaduta Lake, about midway between the Sioux and James Rivers, the signs of eight lodges very recently moved were found, but no Indians seen. At the crossing of the James River late signs of seventeen lodges were found and no Indians of any character seen. We crossed the James at 2 p. m. of the 1st instant, and camped on a creek three miles beyond. We reached Washington Springs, at the base of the Missouri Coteau, the following day. This point is about twenty-five miles from the crossing of the James River. I here concluded to continue the escort through and back to Minnesota for the following reasons, to wit: First. The signs of Indians in considerably large numbers without any opportunity to determine their character or intentions. Second. A disposition was manifested by the citizen teamster to commit violence to the property under escort if the presence of superior force did not exist to prevent it. The correctness of my opinions in this regard was made more manifest on the return trip. Some of the teamsters asked my soldiers what they supposed I would do if they pitched in to break some wagons. They said in my hearing that if it was not for my presence some of those wagons would never reach Mankato. An alleged breach of contract on the part of their employers, Hubbell and Hawley, was assigned as the cause of their violent disposition. Third. That the oxen sent to transport my supplies were of an inferior quality, and on reaching Washington Springs several of them were unable to travel farther without rest. I selected my best team and