HDQRS. DIST. OF MINNESOTA, DEPT. OF THE NORTHWEST,
Saint Paul, Minn., December 6, 1864.
Major J. F. MELINE,
A. A. A. G., Hdqrs. Dept. of the Dept. of the Northwest, Milwaukee, Wis:
MAJOR: You are respectfully informed that the official communication of the adjutant- general of the State of Wisconsin addressed to Major- General Pope, referred to me for investigation nd report, has been duly received. In reply I beg leave to inform you that the report of the murder of a Swede by the Chippewa Indians, as represented in the accompanying slip from a newspaper published in Polk County, was no doubt a canard, as I have not received any confirmation of the first rumor. I am in frequent communication with reliable persons in the Chippewa country and have no reason toe anticipate any further difficulty with those Indians in the Saint Croix Valley, at least for the present. I have stationed a subaltern and forty men of the Second Minnesota Cavalry at Chengwatona, which is very near the line between the two military districts of Wisconsin and Minnesota, and I consider that force sufficient to deter the Chippewas from the commission of any more outrages upon the whites. I have also a detachment of about fifty men at Princeton, in Pine County [Mili Lacs], to appease the apprehensions of the settlers on that portion of the Chippewa border. Since my report of 26th September, inclosing that of Captain Olin, assistant adjutant-general, who was dispatched by me to different points along the Saint Croix River to ascertain the true condition of things, no changes of importance have occurred in that quarter, and I have reason to believe that the alarm of the citizens has altogether subsided. I dispatched Captain Olin, assistant adjutant-general, to Stillwater on the 11th ultimo to obtain all the information possible preparatory to the posting of troops ont he Saint Croix, and his verbal report confirms the intelligence received from other quarters of the abatement of the previously existing panic among the people of the valley. With the question of the removal of those bands of Indians who are at peace with the United States to other localities, the military authorities have, of course, nothing to do, as that appertains to the Indian Department of the Government exclusively.
I am, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. H. SIBLEY,
CITY POINT, VA., December 7, 1864- 4 p. m.
(Received 7 p. m.)
His Excellency A. LINCOLN,
President of the United States:
The best interest of the service require that the troops of the Northwest (Departments of the Northwest, Missouri, and Kansas) should all be under one head. Properly they should all be in one department. Knowing, however, the difficulty in displeasing department commanders, I have recommended these departments be thrown together into a military division, and General Pope put in command. This is advisable from the fact that as a rule only one point is threatened at a time, and if all that territory is commanded by one men he can take troops from one point to satisfy the wants of another. With separate department