DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,
Washington, D. C., May 29, 1865.
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
SIR: I have the honor to inclose a copy of a communication under date of the 10th instant, recently received by this Department from Newton Edmunds, Governor of Dakota Territory and Ex officio superintendent of Indian affairs, also other papers. On page539, Statutes at Large, volume 13, page539, will be found the legislative provision he refers to, which makes an appropriation to enable him to negotiate a treaty of peace with the hostile Sioux and other hostile tribes allied with them. This provision affords conclusive evidence of the desire of Congress for the restoration of friendly relations with those Indians, and of a belief in the practicability of negotiating a treaty by which that desirable object shall be accomplished. You will perceive that Governor Edmunds feels confident that a majority of those Indians "earnestly desire peace. " He states the significant fact that about 4,000 of them on the Missouri River near Fort Pierre are "ready and anxious to treat for peace," and that they are rapidly being joined by other bands. He has not been able to secure the co-operation of the military authorities. Indeed, they evince a settled determination to oppose the negotiation of any treaties with those Indians. In Major General Pope's letter, by which the action of General Sully is controlled, it is announced that the policy therein indicated will be maintained within the limits of General Pope's command until it is overruled by superior authority. It is a subject of regret that there should be any conflict of action between the officers responsible to this Department and those commanding the military force in that region. It is of the highest importance that the civil and military authorities should alike conform to the policy adopted in relation to the Indian tribes. I invite your early attention to the facts and views communicated in these papers, and I have the honor to request that any instructions or orders emanating from your Department relating to the Indians to which these papers refer may be communicated to me.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
[Inclosure Numbers 1.]
DAKOTA TERRITORY, EXECUTIVE OFFICE,
Yankton, May 10, 1865.
Honorable JAMES HARLAN,
Secretary of the Interior, Washington, D. C.:
SIR: The circumstances which induced the last Congress just at the close of its session to pas an appropriation for making a treaty of peace with the hostile Indians of this Territory are doubtless yet familiar to you. Immediately on my return to the Territory from Washington I took such steps in relation thereto as I believed calculated to bring about that very desirable object-desirable not only to our own citizens, but especially in a pecuniary point of view to the Government, feeling confident from information then in my possession that a very large majority of the hostile Indians earnestly desire peace. Indeed I fully believe that they very reluctantly joined the Sioux of Minnesota (Sioux of Mississippi) in hostilities against the Government, and could not have been induced by those Indians to have done so but for the co-operating influence of disloyal men (rebels at heart) from the State of Missouri