eighteen of the twenty mounted men to go through to the Missouri, and ordered that all the dismounted men, thirty-nine in number and two mounted, with the balance of the cattle, should return to the valley of the James River, where feed for animals was good, select a camping-ground, and there await my return. This arrangement was carried out.
I reached Fort Thompson the afternoon of the 5th of November, three days after separating my command at Washington Springs and nineteen days from Fort Ridgely, three of which I lay in camp as before mentioned. The train was unloaded the day we arrived and ten days' rations for the enlisted men of my command drawn from the acting assistant commissary of subsistence at that post, and started on my return trip the following morning. On reaching James River I found the detachment there all well and the animals much recuperated. The sergeant in charge here reported some Yankton Indians coming near his camp in my absence, who started that they saw no hostile Sioux since they were out. A Winnebago was met one day's march before coming to the Sioux, who started that he had been out from Fort Thompson five weeks and had seen no hostile Indians. I reached Fort Ridgely on the afternoon of the 18th instant with my command in excellent health. No accidents or loss of life or property occurred on the way. Messrs. Hubbell and Hawley expressed their entire satisfaction with the conduct of the soldiers composing the escort. First Assistant Surgeon Vervais failed to accompany my command. The scouts reported to me without having any clothing, tents, or rations, other than their ordinary wearing apparel. For this reason I was obliged to discharge them at Washington Springs on the out march after providing them with rations sufficient to return to their camp. The total number of Indians turned over by me to Major Balcombe at Fort Thompson was twenty-two, three of them men, the others women and children. One woman and child taken up near Fort Ridgely was released by my order at Lake Benton at the request of her son-in-law, named Antoine Renville a scout in La Framboise's camp, and upon my being assured by the latter that she had written permission from General Sibley to remain with her said son-in-law in Minnesota. I reached Fort Ridgely on the afternoon of the 18th instant, being the thirteenth day from Fort Thompson, making the round trip in thirty-two days. I was then ordered by Lieutenant-Colonel Pfaender, commanding, to take up my line of march for this post with my command in charge of a lot of condemned U. S. horses. This order was strictly complied with. I reached this post yesterday afternoon.
I have the honor to submit this report direct under verbal orders from Lieutenant Colonel William Pfaender, commanding Fort Ridgely.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
First Lieutenant Company L, Second Minnesota Cavalry Vols.
WASHINGTON, D. C., November 21, 1864.
Please direct Major General William F. Smith, major of engineers, to report in person to the Adjutant-General of the Army for orders.
H. W. HALLECK,
Major-General and Chief of Staff.