in accordance with my previous orders, as soon as they can be reached by detachments from Forts Wadsworth and Ridgely. I have directed all establishments intended for trade with these stragglers to be broken up by the troops.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. H. SIBLEY,
Extract of dispatch from Major J. R. Brown, special military agent, Fort Wadsworth, Dak. Terr., of date December 9, 1864.
Gabriel Renville visited this agency since my return and represents the camp of the friendly Sissetons under his charge to be doing well, the buffalo being abundant along the James and Elm Rivers. Red Feather and other chiefs and principal men who have surrendered since last spring are anxious to sign the obligations demanded of those who surrendered at Abercrombie. They say they fear that without some official act between the Government and them they will not be recognized as friends, and they see too many advantages resulting to them, in renewing their intercourse with the Government, to leave their position in any doubt if it can be avoided. They say they have had an opportunity of realizing the blessings they enjoyed previous to the outbreak, and of which they have been deprived through the evils acts of others, and without any participation whatever in the commission of those acts. They are now and ever have been friendly to the whites, and have ever been kindly treated by the governmental authorities, and it was under a force of circumstances wholly beyond their control that they joined the hostile camp and remained so long with it. They say that had they alone they would have long since abandoned te hostile camp, but they had with them their wives, children, mothers, and sisters, all of whom they must have abandoned to the tender mercies of the hostile Indians. Mr. Renville feels satisfied that there is not a man of any character or influence in the camp on the James that would not any moment take sides with the whites in a conflict with the hostile Sioux. They have been guarded, driven, scoffed at, and ridiculed by those connected with the hostile camp, until even Indian patience has given way, and a feeling of enmity against those Indians has taken deep root in the breasts of all who have suffered the insults and degradations heaped upon those who were derisively termed the "White Sioux." I have informed Mr. Renville that he might allow all the chiefs and headmen, who have not yet entered into a contract in regard to their future connection with the Government, to come to this agency when he sends up for his supplies for this month.
I deem it very unfortunate that the Indians from the Missouri who are hunting at different points on the Coteau have not been removed west of the James, both on account of the dissatisfaction created among the Indians who are kept in the camp on the James, while those Missouri Indians are permitted to roam over the country at pleasure, and on account of the effect which a failure to carry out the regulations of the Government will have upon the Missouri Indians themselves. Indians expect that all promises made by the whites, whether of reward or punishment, should be carried out, and to the unfulfilled promises and threats made by and in the name of the Government may be attributed most, if not all, of the Indian trouble which have occurred