14th instant, giving a full account of General Sully's proposed departure on the next day. I had arrived just in time to see him and apprise him of matters relating to the same subject. The Minnesota papers were filled with comments on the Indian difficulties and proposed movements on Devil's Lake, including a communication from General Sibley, which he published to quiet public feeling in his State, giving considerable details as to the position and disposition of troops. The article you saw was compiled from such documents, all which I have tried to restrain within facts, and especially to avoid intelligence as to our strength and our proposed movements. No one understands and detests more than I do the publicity of strength and movements of troops in my command, and I give you copies of some of my orders and letters to convince you of my fidelity to this principle. I have seen also with regret the magnified efforts of some of the press to over-estimate Indian depredations in Minnesota, and the bitter assaults on officers for not having done impossibilities, and I have not failed to correct, as far as I could, all such errors. But the people were terribly excited, and had to vent their watch in some way, I suppose, but are now becoming more reasonable. I have done all I could to allay needless alarm and direct proper arrangements to avoid future troubles, as far as human foresight can avoid such things. But as long as we have Indians and white men we will have some strife and some trouble, and it is not right, either, to blame the people for being extremely sensitive on this subject. They are almost surrounded with Indians, some of whom are and always will be desperate savages. I fully appreciate all you suggest concerning needless excitement, and do not take first rumors for facts. My troops are just as you ha directed in your letter to General Sibley of last February, except that I hurried forward a movement above Fort Ridgely to look after Indians reported near Big Stone Lake.
The idea of a movement to Devil's Lake was fully ordered by you in your letter of which I have spoken, which letter you called to my attention when I took this command. You say to General Sibley, "Please bear in mind in this arrangement that I wish you to send not lee than six companies of cavalry with a couple of pieces of artillery to Devil's Lake as early as practicable after the grass is sufficient for animals. " You then go on to say how this force may be drawn from the posts of "Abercrombie, Wadsworth (probably), and Ridgely. At all events you can make up this force without interfering with the establishment of these small posts. " I quote this in reply to your speaking of this as my proposal, which is yours, although I am perfectly willing to father it, for it seems to me wise and perhaps still expedient. But I have no earthly desire to press it if occasion does not seem to require it. My suggestions written from Saint Paul on the 11th were iations. I admit that all our movements up so far are attended with great expense, but we must, I suppose, have a considerable force up at Wadsworth and Rice, and Devil's Lake is not far from the salient angle of the Missouri below Berthold. In the summer such troops as may be necessary to garrison those upper forts and guard the country can as well be moving, and I am inclined to repeat my suggestion that General Sully better operate in that direction, sending, if you desire it, some other officer with Brackett's battalion to the Black Hills. That you may better understand what I have done and what I think of matters in my command (which I have carefully studied since my last personal interview with you), I send extracts from some of my letters relating