PAOLA, December 29, 1864.
Major General S. R. CURTIS:
I am just in receipt of official copy of General Orders, Numbers 63, relieving the Eleventh Kansas. This leaves me only three companies in this sub-district, one of the Fifteenth and two of the Fifth. I do not think it prudent to take away troops from Colonel Blair's sub-district, as the outposts and escort duty requires them, and protecting the large amount of public property requires all his force. I would like very much if you could send me two or three companies of the Sixteenth Kansas and Lieutenant-Colonel Walker to command this sub-district. I do not think that it will require many troops on the border this winter between the Kaw River and Fort Scott, but it is difficult to make the people believe that they are safe without the presence of troops.
JAS. G. BLUNT,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE NORTHWEST,
Milwaukee, Wis., December 29, 1864.
Brigadier General H. H. SIBLEY,
Commanding District of Minnesota, Saint Paul, Minn.:
GENERAL: I have delayed until this time to answer your letter of the 10th instant in the hope that you would reconsider and recall it; but as you have not done so, and as it embodies very grave complaints of injustice and wrong done you by me in my official capacity, I do not consider it proper to treat your letter as private, but shall place it, together with this reply, on the records of this office. I proceed to reply to your communication in order of date instead of the order of your complaints. Your brief campaign of 1862, terminating in the fight of Wood Lake, was, I think, duly considered and acknowledged by the Government in your appointment as brigadier-general in the Army. I supposed the account of 1862 to be entirely settled, and so much to your credit and in your favor that I did not imagine that you would refer to it as grounds for any further claims upon the Government. Your campaign of 1863 was, I think, duly and very fully acknowledged by me in general orders, which (as a large part of the people of Minnesota and the papers in Saint Paul did not agree with me) brought upon me a great deal of unfavorable comment. Certainly I sustained your campaign much more openly and decidedly than did the citizens of your own State. But General Sully also performed equally valuable services during the summer of 1863, though he was detained by unexpected obstacles too long for the success of the joint operations I had proposed. Yet I think it will not be disputed that he inflicted quite as much damage upon the hostile Indians as you did.
After reporting the result of military operations for the seas of 1863 I wrote an official letter to the General-in-Chief, a copy of which is inclosed, recommending yourself and General Sully for promotion for services during the campaign of that year. So far I think you deceive yourself in supposing that you have been unjustly dealt with by me. The official report to which you particularly refer in your letter of the 10th instant is my report of military operations for the year 1864. During the whole of the operations of this year you remained at Saint Paul in accordance with your own wishes expressed to me. General Sully organized and conducted a most successful campaign
61 R R - VOL XLI, PT IV