ox. The Indians afterward attacked a party of soldiers in the woods cutting timber, but were repulsed with loss. The commanding officer had no cavalry to pursue the Indians. Colonel Dimo, the commanding officer, in retaliation ordered the two Minnesota Indian prisoners shot. One was a chief called Big Thunder. The commanding officer also reports that there has been some firing on his pickets, and he has learned that the Cheyennes from the Platte compose a part of these war parties. He also states that 3,000 lodges, composed of various tribes, are now on the Upper Heart River, and have sent in word that they will be in soon to see me and hear the decision of their Great Father. I would also state that he reports the sickness in his command is fearful-scurvy and diarrhea. There are now 207 on the sick list and 11 per cent, of his command have died this winter. From this it appears that the Cheyennes, who were driven from the Platte River last fall, have moved north of the Black Hills and are trying to unite themselves with those Sioux who still remain hostile, the Santees, or Minnesota Indians, and Northern Yanktonnais, who have an asylum in the English Possessions, and other small roving bands.
The Indians who have made peace with me still show their disposition to deep it and in every way to assist the soldiers. I would recommend that some small tokens of regard be presented the chiefs of these friendly bands, and with very little inducement they could be made to turn against these hostile bands, and either rid the country of them or force them to become peaceable. I feel confident if I had the authority and the means I could soon regulate them. I would get the friendly Indians to fighting the hostile party, assisting them with all my troops, and by presents of provisions, blankets, and ammunition, with the promise they should have the exclusive right to hunt over the lands they now live in. The great amount of sickness and death at Fort Rice is terrible. The soldiers of that garrison are composed of rebel prisoners; men who had been a long time confined as prisoners of war, and of course they are now predisposed to such sickness as scurvy and diarrhea. As soon as possible I will have a more thorough investigation of the causes. I have been obliged to order two of the companies to garrison Forts Union and Berthold. This with the great amount of sickness will weaken that garrison too much. I shall, however, be up in that neighborhood before long, and will better be able to judge. I highly commend the conduct of the commanding officer and men of the garrison at Fort Rice. I send this direct to headquarters Military Division of the Missouri, as I consider it important, and as I know that the commander of the department is absent
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF MISSISSIPPI,
Vicksburg, May 14, 1865.
Lieutenant Colonel C. T. CHRISTENSEN,
Asst. Adjt. General, Division of West Mississippi:
COLONEL: I have the honor to inform you of my arrival here and my assumption of the command of this department, in obedience to General Orders, Numbers 78, Adjutant-General's Office, War Department, dated May 1, 1865.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
G. K. WARREN,