War of the Rebellion: Serial 102 Page 0358 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI. Chapter LX.

Search Civil War Official Records

you that there are no Sioux Indians in Dakota Territory with whom it is judicious to make such treaties of peace as you propose. The hostile Sioux still in arms against the Government are public enemies who are not entitled to any consideration until they themselves express a desire to cease hostilities. They are in a state of war and are therefore under the proper jurisdiction of the military authorities and not of the civil officers of the Indian Department. There certainly can be no good reason for rewarding such Indians for the massacres and outrages they have committed by giving them presents of goods, money, &c., and thus encouraging them to further hostilities every time they need more supplies. However the policy of such treaties as have been made by the Indian Department may be viewed and acted upon at Washington in relation to other Indian tribes, it is [certain] that the hostile Siouxs in Dakota are not now in such a condition of mind as would justify the making of a treaty such as you suggest with them. Being in a state of war they must be dealt with by the military authorities, and I regret, therefore, to inform you that for the present I do not feel authorized to assist or permit any arrangements for a treaty with them. Whenever they choose to have peace instead of war the commanding officers on the frontier are instructed as to the terms, which do not involve the giving of presents or making of treaties, nor any expenditure whatever of public money. Those Indian lately hostile who have already come into the military posts and begged for peace are prisoners of war to the United States and are under the control of the military authorities. With such prisoners of war I do not understand that the Indian Department has anything to do. The Indians who have delivered themselves up at the military posts or who have sent in to ask for peace have been met kindly and informed that there will be peace with them so long as they keep the peace; that any hheir part toward any white man or friendly Indian will be visited by immediate hostilities against their tribe by the troops from all the military posts in their country. This arrangement the Indians thoroughly understand and it furnishes them much stronger inducements to keep the peace than can be offered by presents of goods and money annuities. Such is my belief and understanding of these matters, so far as relates to the Sioux Indians in Dakota Territory, and I regret that I feel obliged to decline acceding to the arrangements for making a treaty with them, set forth in your letter, unless I am otherwise ordered by superior military authority.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN POPE,

Major-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE NORTHWEST,

Milwaukee, May 8, 1865.

Captain JOS. McC. BELL,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Saint Louis, Mo.:

CAPTAIN: The points suggested by General Pope, for a line of forts along the northern border of Iowa and Dakota, April 10, 1865, does not connect with the Minnesota line, and I shall direct General Sully to modify his positions accordingly, reporting for the general's approval. We must have a line from the settlement on Niobrara to Spirit Lake. The massacre in Blue Earth County, Minn., and the news of other hostile Sioux movements induce me to make a hasty visit to Saint Paul to