HDQRS. DIST. OF MINNESOTA, DEPT. OF THE NORTHWEST,
Saint Paul, December 10, 1864.
Major General JOHN POPE,
DEAR GENERAL: I trust you will pardon me for addressing you thus privately, with entire frankness, in a manner which deeply interests me, and in which I believe myself to have suffered unintentional injustice at your hands.
When in Milwaukee I was assured by you, on two or three separate occasions, that General Sully and myself would be, or had been, alike recommended by you for promotion. Upon perusing your late report of military operations in your department I was no less surprised than mortified to find that, while you had warmly urged the promotion of General Sully you had not included me in the same recommendation, although our names appeared in the context and in juxtaposition in other portions of your dispatch, so as to make the omission of my name referred to the more prominent and remarkable. In fact, no one can read your published report without drawing the inference that you did not deem me as much entitled to promotion as was General Sully. I have sufficient confidence in your magnanimity and sense of right to be correct in the statement of my claim to be equally considered with General Sully, although it may be difficult, if not impossible, to place me rectus in curia in the minds of those who have perused your report, as that has been extensively copied, particularly the concluding paragraphs, in the newspapers throughout the country. I do not intend to trespass upon your time and patience by going into a detail of operations since the inception of the Indian war. You are too familiar with its details to render that necessary. I may justly assert, however, that the part I have been called upon to perform has been in no particular secondary in importance or success to that of General Sully, for I had met and defeated the lower bands of Sioux in 1862, and the concentrated forces of the lower and upper bands in 1863, before General Sully had encountered any Indians in the field. The campaign of 1862 was undertaken in the face of an entire want of preparation on the part of the Government or the State, and of difficulties almost insuperable; yet the results were pronounced by yourself to have been entirely successful in general orders of a highly complimentary character to myself and to my command. The enemy, flushed with success,was defeated in a pitched battle, between 200 and 300 captives rescued from their clutches, and the greater part of the warriors concerned in the outbreak taken prisoners. The prestige of white superiority over the red man was fully restored.
In 1863 I performed far more than my appointed share in the programme of military movements connected with the joint campaign of that year under your general direction, and I received for myself and my column another generous tribute from you in general orders for the energy and skill with which the enemy was followed to his remote haunts in the upper prairies, despite every obstacle of unprecedented heat and drought, and badly whipped in three separate engagements, with heavy loss in warriors and the sacrifice of all their subsistence, clothing, and transportation, our own loss being comparatively trifling. Whatever could be done to benefit the service since that time in my appointed sphere, by incessant labor and vigilance, in the enforcement of discipline, and of strict economy in the expenditures of public money,