and have brought him along with us here. General Ford made and attempt to cross the Arkansas, but failed; lost some of his stock. His pack-mules were worn out. We met them on their way to Fort Riley to recruit. The pack-mules driver stated that so far from getting anything from the Indians, the wily rogues ran off a lot of our mules and horses. Had he succeeded in going over he would perhaps have been beaten and compelled to retreat, as Kit Carson, we learn, was beaten last winter in his expedition gotten up by Carleton against the Comanches. Kit had 300 or 400 veteran California troops, but the Indians whipped him, and he was glad enough to retreat. It is time the authorities at Washington realize the magnitude of these ward which some general gets up on his own hook, which may cost hundreds and thousands of lives, and millions of dollars. Leavenworth has just received word from Chisin, the interpreter and guide, of his farther (a Creek, I think, but who has a vast influence among the Indians), that all the chiefs desire peace, except the Cheyennes, who are still for war to the knife; and it is believed that through their influence, with some proposition of atonement, which justice to the Cheyennes and decent respect for ourselves demands at our hands to the Cheyennes, we can have peace, and the Indians kept south of the Arkansas and east of Fort Bascom. I telegraphed for authority from the President to make peace if we could. As a matter of policy, even, as well as of duty, I would propose terms to the Cheyennes for their losses at Sand Creek. It is just. Besides, if we offer it, and they refuse it, we may detach the other tribes from them. Write and telegraph me at Denver, and have the President telegram me also.
J. R. DOOLITTLE.
[Inclosure Numbers 2.]
DEPT. OF THE INTERIOR, OFFICE INDIAN AFFAIRS,
June 12, 1865.
Honorable JAMES HARLAN,
Secretary of the Interior:
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt, by reference from You, of the letter from Honorable J. R. Doolittle, U. S. Senator and chairman of the Select Committee to Investigate Indian Affairs, dated at Fort Larned, May 31, furnishing valuable information as to the pending hostilities with the tribes of the souther plains and making suggestions as to a method of obtaining peace. Upon this subject You desire a report from this office. I do not hesitate to express my entire concurrence with the views expressed by Senator Doolittle as to the practicability of avoiding, by friendly and just treatment of the Indians, the enormously expensive military expeditions against them, and particularly with his suggestions as to the duty of atoning to the Cheyennes for the wanton slaughter of their people made by the troops under the direction of Colonel Chivington last year. By the letter of Colonel Leavenworth, under date of May 6, recently transmitted to You for Your information, it appeared that the Comanches and a portion of the Arapahoes had kept their promise of avoiding the Santa Fe road, and by his letter of the 10th of May he makes the same remark as to the Kiowas. From the tenor of Honorable Mr. Doolittle's communication I conclude that the expedition of General ford was, to that date, fruitless, in fact a failure; yet it appears that more troops are being sent to that quarter, in great part composed on infantry, and the result, if this policy is continued, will probably be a grand failure, at great expense to the Gov-