magnified and exaggerated with every telling, fancy that they are also in danger, and these very apprehensions will originate rumors and wild stories utterly without foundation. The publication of reports and rumors which reach your office officially simply keeps up excitement in the public mind which makes everybody on the frontier uneasy, and cannot possibly do good. I have never permitted such publications to be made and have specially instructed General Sibley on this subject. It seems to me that it will be sufficient for the military to take steps to prevent or punish such raids without notifying the public. The stories from Fort Rice are greatly overstated. My last news from there reports the arrival of runners from some 3,000 lodges of Indians at that post to notify General Sully that they are coming to see him and make peace. Of course, some outrages and disturbances, on a small scale, must occur where so many whites and Indians are assembling, but form no sufficient reason for the alarm which the publications in the Milwaukee Sentinel must necessarily give rise to. I trust, therefore, that you will hereafter refrain from allowing such publications to be made, as they are altogether opposed to my judgment and wishes, and to the best interests of the service. They are also, in my opinion, violations of the orders of the War Department. I think you will find that the alarms in Minnesota will soon die away if you will only let it alone and confine yourself to making such movements and disposition of your forces as are needed. These small raids will always be made as long as there are Indians in that region. We can make no campaign to Devil's Lake until permission can be obtained from the British Government to pursue the hostile Indians into British territory. I have written to the General-in-Chief on this subject, and we may now be able to obtain the permission, which has heretofore been refused, or require the English Government to keep hostile Indians out of their country.
I am, general, respectfully, your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS ARMIES OF THE UNITED STATES,
Washington, D. C., May 21, 1865.
Major General F. STEELE,
Commanding Rio Grande Expedition:
GENERAL: By assignment of the President, General Sheridan takes general command west of the Arkansas. It is the intention to prosecute a vigorous campaign in that country until the whole of Texas is reoccupied by people acknowledging allegiance to the Government of the United States. Sheridan will probably act offensively from the Red River; but it is highly important that we should have a strong foot-hold upon the Rio Grande. You have been selected to take that part of the command. In addition to the force you take from Mobile Bay you will have the Twenty-fifth Corps and the few troops already in Southwest Texas. Any directions you may receive from General Sheridan you will obey, put in the absence of instructions from him you will proceed without delay to the mouth of the Rio Grande and occupy as high up that river as your force and means of supplying them will admit of. Your landing will probably have to be made at Brazos, but you will learn more fully upon that matter on your arrival. We will have to observe a strict neutrality toward Mexico in the French and English