War of the Rebellion: Serial 102 Page 0328 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI. Chapter LX.

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frontier of this State against the incursions of hostile Indians, with a view of appeasing the apprehensions of the settlers in t he border counties. First, it was represented to me that the line of stations occupied by the troops last year did not sufficiently cover the settlements made and contemplated. Lieutenant-Colonel Pfaender was instructed, therefore, to take up a new line from twenty to twenty-five miles farther west, extending from Alexandria south to the Iowa line, and the positions were indicated in my instructions to him. Fourteen posts, including Alexandria, constitute the new line, some of them fifteen or sixteen miles apart, but generally the interval is but ten to twelve miles between them. Detachments of fifteen or twenty men are directed to be stationed at each, mostly of cavalry, and daily communication kept up along the whole line. Besides these Colonel Pfaender was instructed to keep other cavalry parties in motion along the posts north and south of the Minnesota River to detect the passage of Indians at any point and follow their trail and to destroy utterly any raiders who might be overtaken, taking no prisoners under any raiders who might be overtaken, taking no prisoners under any circumstances. Second, a second line was directed to be formed, extending from Fort Abercrombie to the James River, by the way of Fort Wadsworth, to be held by trusty scouts in such force as to enable them to intercept and destroy or drive back any war parties who were on their way to the border. The position assigned to them are on the usual approaches by way of the great water-courses and the Coteau des Prairies to the Minnesota and Iowa settlements, and if in full operation it seems hardly possible that any number of Indians could penetrate through both of these lines of defense without discovery. The same orders to take no prisoners have been given to Major Rose, commanding Fort Wadsworth, under whose command all the scouts are acting. It is true, notwithstanding the known vigilance and efficiency of the two officers named, that one or more small parties of savages have made their way undiscovered through the double lines or have turned them by proceeding south through Western Iowa and have committed brutal murders, which no one can deplore more deeply than I do, and it is quite possible that during the movements of troops, &c., to their new stations these Indians may have passed through between them without detection, and I am frank to confess that, notwithstanding every precaution and the exercise of the utmost vigilance on the part of officers and men, small parties may again succeed in the hazardous undertaking of reaching the settlements and perpetrating similar outrages to those already committed, but I would reasonably ask of those who are ever ready to cavil at and find fault with the management of affairs to be good enough to indicate a better plan of defense before they proceed further in that direction.

Every one that I know of at all acquainted with the subject, and I have consulted with very many frontiersmen, has expressed an unqualified approval of the arrangement. I claim, therefore, that the military authorities have done and are doing everything practicable to afford protection to our citizens to the extent of the means at their command. And now a word to the dealers in periodical panics, who unfortunately are found in numbers along the borders. If, instead of fleeting in terror at the appearance of a few Indians, these men would seize their muskets and show a bold front, my word for it, in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred they would be left undisturbed. A few resolute men would suffice to clear out a neighborhood of these prowlers who lie in wait to murder unresisting women and children and unarmed or timid