separate them from the hostile bands. The Indians now in hostility need some exhibition of force and some punishment for the atrocities they have committed before they will be peaceful. I transmit copies of my orders and instructions to commanders on the frontier. My views and opinions on this subject are well known to the War Department. They were communicated long since and at various times through Major-General Halleck, first as General-in-Chief and then as chief of staff, and are doubtless now on file. The exact course I am pursuing I long since notified him that I intended to pursue, and all the information needed will be found in his office. The treaty of peace which Governor Edmunds proposes to make, and which he thinks the Indians will be willing to make, is, I presume, such a treaty as it has been the unvarying practice of the Indian Department to make heretofore. A supply of food and presents to induce the Indians to assemble and to satisfy them during negotiations is just bought and transported to the place where the Indians are to meet the negotiators. A treaty is then made which provides that the United States Government shall pay certain annuities of goods and money so long as the Indians remain in peace; in other words, the Indians are brided not to molest the whites. Past experience show very conclusively what the Indians think of such a transaction. No country ever yet preserved peace either with foreign or domestic enemies by paying them for keeping it.
It is a common saying with the Sioux that whenever they are poor and need powder and lead they have only to go down to the overland routes and murder a few white men and they will have a treaty to supply their wants. If such is the kind of treaty which will be satisfactory to the Government I do not doubt that Governor Edmunds is right in saying he can make one, either with the Sioux or any other Indians whatever. He has only to notify the Indians, hostile or not, that it they will come to a certain place he will insure their safety going and coming, and will give them presents and food and make arrangements for continuing to supply them, provided only they will sign a paper promising to keep the peace toward the whites. But the very Indians with whom he now proposes to treat have signed such a paper and gone through the same absurd performance once before, at least, some of them oftener. Is there any reason to suppose that they are going now to keep their than they did them? Of one thing we may be sure, and that is that they will now demand a higher price for singing such a promise than they did before, and in six months or less will be ready for another treaty at a still higher priced. It seems idle to pursue the subject. It seems to me that no man can fail to understand, if wishes to understand the matter at all, that such a practice as this only encourages Indians to commit hostile acts. Every time they do it they are thus paid for it. The treaties I have directed military commanders to make are simply an explicit understanding with the Indians that so long as they keep the peace the United States will keep it, but as soon as they commit hostilities the military forces will attack them, march through their country, establish military posts in it, and as a natural consequence their game will be driven off or killed; that the Indians can avoid this be keeping peace, and in no other manner. This is a peace which involves no expenditure of public money for annuities or presents, and is no doubt objectionable to Indian officials on that account, but as it certainly will not involve any more Indian wars than have hitherto occurred and have the merit at least of greater economy. Indians will keep the peace