HEADQUARTERS MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSOURI,
Saint Louis, Mo., May 22, 1865.
Major General A. PLEASANTON,
Hdqrs. Military Division of the Missouri, Saint Louis, Mo.:
GENERAL: You will please proceed without delay to Minnesota and examine into the condition and disposition of the troops in that State. A short time since sixteen Indians, according to the largest estimate, passed the line of outer posts without the knowledge of anybody and came over 100 miles to the settlements near Mankato without being discovered. They killed several persons, and at last accounts had neither been killed or captured. General Sibley has eighteen companies of cavalry, four of infantry, and one of artillery in Minnesota, yet nothing concerning the Indian raiding party was know until they began to commit murders near Mankato. Cavalry was sent after them, and of course easily overtook them, as the Indians were on foot, but seems to have done nothing whatever to them: These are the last such inefficiency (to call it no worse) when this small party of Indians was overtaken, that I am wholly at a loss to understand it. I desire you to look into this whole matter, and if you find it necessary, in order to put a stop to these Indian depredations and stampedes, you are directed to assume command in Minnesota, and make such changes and movements of troops as may be necessary. Keep me advised by telegraph frequently.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE NORTHWEST,
Milwaukee, May 22, 1865.
Brigadier General H. H. SIBLEY,
Saint Paul, Minn.:
GENERAL: Yours of the 17th, inclosing copy of a dispatch of P. S. Gardner, lieutenant, commanding a camp at Chengwatona, concerning hostilities of Indians in that region, and saying also that there is "a vast amount of denunciation for not performing the impossible task of detecting and destroying all of these vermin who crowd through the woods and prairies on their nefarious mission of death," is duly received. We must do the best we can, and time will correct all the erroneous impressions which grow out of the excitement of the times. In reply to my letter written in your office on the 11th urging a movement on Devil's Lake, General Pope expresses a disapproval on the ground of expense, and because the Indians could easily retreat across the line, where we have been refused permission to follow. He also thinks my force sufficient without Brackett's battalion, from which I infer that he proposes to withdraw that from this department, and we must do the very best we can with what force we have. General Sully will probably go up to Fort Rice, where considerable hostilities were being displayed at last advices. I have requested permission to visit Washington, but as yet the matter has been deferred till General Pope gets intelligence from Red River. I do not see what more I can do at present, and do not see that you can better arrange your forces. Scouting in the neighborhood of your strongest posts in various directions will constantly annoy the war parties that come near, and if the hostilities increase in magnitude we must again ask for re-enforcements or draw in our outer lines to fight the war parties that get this side of them. I telegraphed you Sat-