against the strongest array of Indians which now remains hostile to the whites. All accounts concur in locating the remaining hostile Minnesota Indians and many other hostile Sioux north of this State of Minnesota and near the British line, probably on both sides of it. These Indians have their lodges at various points between the Missouri and Red Rivers, not united, but occupying several localities and representing different bands, more or less hostile to each other. Of these hostile band (mainly Sioux) their are about 3,000 lodges, a dn probably 15,000 Indians, men, women and children. it is from these hives predatory bands come occasionally to threaten ad annoy the settlements, and it is these hostile lodges that I have directed General Sully to move against. They can, and no doubt will, retreat northward, but that will get them so far away from our frontier as to render our settlements much more secure and therefore more tranquil. No doubt there are also hostile Sioux west of the Missouri River, and General Sully apprehends some trouble from those if he goes far north of the Missouri River. If danger of this kind should seem imminent I may have to re enforce Fort Sully, if forces for that purpose can be secured. I think, however, the force north is the most demonstrative and most dangerous to our settlements, and therefore most worthy of immediate attention.
My directions to General Sully are, to move with all his available force to Fort Rice, and demonstrate against the Indians in the region of Devil's Lake, but when he gets to Fort Rive I direct him to give me timely notice, so that I may order a halt or change his direction if circumstances develop important changes in the attitude of the foe. My telegraphic order to General Sully of the 23rd was received by him on the 26th ultimo, so there must be some mistake in Your understanding, expressed in telegraph day before yesterday, that he had not received orders up to 1st instant, for I have his letter of the 26th ultimo ledging the receipt of my order, saying, " I regret exceedingly the necessity of my going up to Devil's Lake. " He must have meant I had not sent special or full instructions, which he also must have received very soon, for I sent by mail and other telegrams all needful directions concerning his movement, leaving details to himself. Indeed, the dispatch directing him to demonstrate in the direction of Devil's Lake in connection with my interview with him at Dubuque was all sufficient. I am sorry to hear of four boat disasters on the Missouri, which seems to delay his departure; but I trust these are being compensated and his movement must soon commence. I expressed another letter yesterday by scouts to urge him forward, as You suggested there might be miscarriage by mail. I find so much intelligence concerning my command concerted here I feel it my duty to spend much of my time her, and during the summer I think my headquarters should be here. Milwaukee is so much more agreeable I want to hang on to as long as I can in justice to the service. In winter a point within railroad communications would be better than this point, but just now this seems a better point of command. I go in via Fort Ridgely, Mankato, and Winona to Milwaukee to- morrow. My desire is to quiet the very great fears in the region of Mankato without making public exposures of our movements against the foes that so much alarm the settlers on the Minnesota River. It will take me five or six days to make the trip.
I have the honor to be, general, Your obedient servant,
S. R. CURTIS,