War of the Rebellion: Serial 102 Page 0567 Chapter LX. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. -UNION.

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the British Possessions. By British subjects these Indians are supplied with arms, ammunition, and all other articles they need, and are encouraged and incited to keep up hostilities. So long as these Indians are at war with the people of the United States, the British settlements monopolize the trade with them. Again and again their unfriendly acts, to call them no worse, have been brought to the notice of British officials without eliciting any satisfactory results. Permission has been asked to pursue these hostile Indians, who have murdered women and children, into the uninhabited portions of the British Possessions, but permission has been refused by the English Government, which will neither protect our frontier from hostile savages harboring in British territory nor permit the United States Government to do so in the only territory nor permit the United States Government to do so in the only manner possible. I shall send a force to Devil's Lake, but the Indians will only retreat a few miles across the British line, where they will be safe. We are compelled, in fact, to occupy a line of frontier posts in Minnesota to protect the settlements against small raiding bands of these Indians. There is not and cannot be anything like an Indian war. There seems to me to be troops enough in Minnesota with ordinary care for complete security. The fact is, in relation to the Indian tribes on the plains, that we are now reaping the harvest of the bad management and bad policy which have characterized our Indian system for so many years. The Indians are every day in the hope that a treaty of peace, such as [has] hitherto been made, will be offered them, thus securing them immunity for what they have done and supplies of good and money and arrangements for yearly annuities of both. They keep up hostilities in this view, and, in the light of their past experience, they are doubtless right enough. It has long been a saying of the Sioux Indians along the Platte River that whenever they wded blankets and powder and lead, they had only to go down on the overland routes and kill a few white men, and so bring about a treaty which would supply their wants for a time. The effects of this system we are now enjoying.

There is, however, another and a wider view of our present relations with the Indians of the plains and of the Rocky Mountains which should engage serious attention and enlist and earnest effort to arrive at some definite and permanent policy. The great development of mining regions in Colorado, Montana, and Idaho has attracted enormous numbers of emigrants, who are crowding over the plains in every direction and on every route. The Indian country is penetrated every-where they are less able every day to subsist themselves by hunting. Of course they are becoming exasperated and desperate and avail themselves of every opportunity to rid their country of the whites. The opportunities are numerous enough, owing to the carelessness and eagerness to reach the mines of the white emigrants. They have been in the habit of traveling without precaution in the smallest parties, and striving with each other to arrive first in the mining regions. The Indians, always watchful and alert, lose no opportunity in attacking them. We can, by sending troops enough, beat these Indians wherever they appear, but what is to become of them? Every day is reducing them more and more to actual suffering for food, and with this rush of emigrants continued for a few years their game will become so scarce that they cannot live at all. Of course we fight them to protect our people. They keep up hostilities in the expectation every day of making treaties which will supply their necessities for a time, and as these