HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE NORTHWEST, Milwaukee, Wis., November 23, 1864.
Brigadier General H. H. SIBLEY,
Commanding District of Minnesota, Saint Paul:
GENERAL: I desire you to report to me in writing as soon as practicable your opinion upon the following points:
First. Is our present Indian system conductive to the best interests of government and of Indians; and if not, state in what respects it is a failure.
Second. Is not the present system of treaty-making, involving as it does large presents of various kinds to Indians, rather an incentive to hostilities than a security of peace? Is it not also attended with frauds upon the Government and upon the Indians?
Third. What is your opinion as to doing away with our Indians system and turning over the whole charge of the Indians to the military authorities?
Fourth. In relation particularly to the Indian tribes who have been hostile for the last two years, is it not judicious, in view of a permanent peace with them, that the whole question of their future management and control be left exclusively to the military authorities?
Fifth. Would not the relations with the Chippewas be more secure and satisfactory if these Indians were wholly under control of the military authorities without interposition of Indian agents and traders?
Sixth. Ought not the whole question of trading with Indian tribes be left to the military authorities to regulate and control?
Seventh. Report concerning Sioux and Winnebago Reservation on Upper Missouri River and difficulties that have occurred in consequence; necessity of sending escorts with trains of supplies for them at very unseasonable times of year, and return of many of the Indians from the reservation to Minnesota; in fact, all that is important in this matter.
Eighth. I wish you to state freely the condition of our relations with the Chippewas and the cause of the dissatisfaction and hostility among them.
I do not wish you to enter into very much detail in answering any of these inquiries, as your letter will be submitted for the information of the War Department and the shorter it is the better. Please answer as soon as you can.
I am, general, respectfully, your obedient servant,
HDQRS. DIST. OF MINNESOTA, DEPT. OF THE NORTHWEST, Saint Paul, Minn., November 23, 1864.
Lieutenant Colonel WILLIAM PFAENDER,
Commanding Second Sub-District, Fort Ridgely, Minn.:
COLONEL: Your two several dispatches of 17th instant and that of 18th instant have been duly received at these headquarters. General Sibley is gratified to learn of the safe return of the detachment under Lieutenant McGrade after their long and well-performed service as escort to the Indian Department train to the Missouri Reservation. You will receive an order herewith discharging all the scouts in your sub-district on 30th instant, excepting Lasher, Weymouth, and Stevens. Two hostile Indians belonging to Six's and Red Leg's bands of Sioux, respectively, have been killed by the scouts near Fort Wadsworth, Dak.