In this starving condition occasional efforts of a few may be made to your annoyance, and you may be sometimes approached by straggling Indians from other bands; all our frontier States are so annoyed. But the great rebellion being closed, our Federal Government will be better able to afford assistance, and your frontier will therefore hereafter have as good or better protection than usually occurs in the settlements of frontier States. I have also received a letter from Mr. Wise and from others of your neighbors. I may not have time to answer all that I would like to answer, but by writing you very fully I hope my views may be understood by the leading men of your place. Some delay of troops on the Missouri is occasioned by the loss of two steamers and by low water on the Mississippi, but this will shortly be overcome. General Sibley's troops are well located, and he is most earnestly and anxiously pressing every detachment to the utmost effort. We must not ignore all use of Indian antagonisms, and General Sibley's knowledge of individualities and tries has been of great use to the Government in diverting Indian hostilities against Indian foes. The Sioux are now surrounded by hostile tribes of Indians, and this is likely to give the Minnesota foes ample employment. The Governor, too, seems anxious to do all he can, and I think so many different energies cannot fail to give your people protection and confidence; but, as before intimated, I must implore patience and a general confidence toward those who are in position. Mistakes and misfortunes attend military efforts everywhere; war is only an approximate service. Everybody has to divide upon some doubtful expedients, and antagonizing forces constantly try to baffle opposing designs. No mortals are more capable of doing this that Indians. They have more caution, because they are great cowards, and more cunning, because they practice crafty enterprise as their main chance. We are therefore very sure to r efforts on many occasions, but this should not be the occasion for such disparaging demonstrations as seem to dishearten officers and soldiers. Indian warfare is generally very thankless sort of service, and yet no soldier should shrink from it, for in time of national peace that seems to be the only legitimate service. I go into it as a business and duty, and shall know all about it if I am able to comprehend it. I expect to visit all parts of my command, and may be in your place before a day transpires after you rad his. I am cordially and earnestly supported by my comrades, and the idea of any negligence on my part and that of my command shall never enter into the calculation. It is not my style. I am going to work steadily, anxiously, but will most cautiously and cooly sift the confiding motives of men who act under local excitement which may mislead their cooler judgments. I have the honor to be, judge, your very obedient servant,
S. R. CURTIS,
QUARTERMASTER- GENERAL'S OFFICE,
Washington, D. C., June 7, 1865.
Lieutenant General U. S. GRANT,
Commanding Armies of the United States:
GENERAL: The Weitzel fleet is ordered to rendezvous in Mobile Bay. It may have some difficulty in filling up with fresh water, which I understand it cannot approach within twenty- five miles. If the vessels arriving at Mobile can be telegraphed to repair to the mouth of the Mississippi and there await the collection of the whole fleet, it will be