to the subjects you have referred to. * I do not see any difference in our views or opinions, except that I attach more importance to the movement against the hostile Indians who have collected near Devil's Lake than you do. Much of this Devil's Lake news has arrived since you were ordered to Saint Louis, and perhaps you have not had so much on the subject as I have. The press and people of Minnesota are possessed of the idea of combinations in that region designed to come down on the settlements. But I am very ready to admit your longer experience in this departments may enable you to better forma right judgment, and I shall, as you suggest, do all in my power to keep my troops on an active defensible line of operations, hoping always that we may prevent incursions of our foes.
I have the honor to be, general, your obedient servant,
S. R. CURTIS,
P. S. -Since writing the foregoing I have received your dispatch of this date informing me that you have ordered General Sully to change his movements as I suggested in my letter of the 11th instant, and suggesting Fort Rice as the best point to start for striking Devil's Lake. I will, nevertheless, send this letter, and assure you that I shall cordially comply with your wishes as far as I can. If I think improvement can be suggested, I shall certainly propose it, and you must not conceive of any design on my part to foster a personal theory adverse to yours, but always to guard against every emergency that threatens my command. I shall write again very soon.
S. R. CURTIS,
[Inclosure Numbers 7.]HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE NORTHWEST, Milwaukee, Wis., May 20, 1865.
Honorable CYRUS ALDRICH, Minnesota, Minn.:
MY DEAR SIR: Yours of May 14 is received. It seemed necessary for me to hurry down to direct the movement of General Sully's troops in the right path against the Indians, so my stay at Saint Paul was shorter than I desire. I was sorry I did not see you, but hope to be there again.
General Pope had ordered Sully to move a force to the Black Hills, but in view of the danger and great anxiety in Minnesota I consider it necessary to prefer a different disposition of those forces and to secure the approval of the division commander. I have myself urged the use of Fort Snelling as a permanent depot for all necessary army supplies for any and all future possible necessities in your State. Your position as a State, almost surrounded by Indians, backed by the wilderness and hunting-grounds of the British Possessions, will always render it incumbent on our Government-Federal and State-to preserve a cautious and powerful readiness for any Indian resentments. As your settlements increase and our people crowd the Indians, their hunting-grounds will grow less and their resentments and necessities will increase. Some conflicts will always be likely to occur. All we can do is to check and punish Indians, as we do other criminals, by making ample provision so certainly successful as to deter as far as possible.
*For inclosures Nos. 1 to 6, see Sibley, February 20 and 28, and April 3, Part I, pp. 924, 1015, and p. 26, ante; Curtis to Sully, March 29, Part I, p. 1297; and Curtis to Malmros and Finch, May 16, pp. 473, 474, ante.
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