HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE NORTHWEST,
Milwaukee, June 15, 1865.
Major General JOHN POPE, Commanding Division, Saint Louis, Mo.:
GENERAL: Dispatches of the 6th, 7th, and 9th are received from General Sully. He had commenced the movement of his troops toward Fort Rice, which place he expects to reach in about one month. He takes about 1,000 men and four pieces of light artillery. In response to an inquiry made pursuant to telegraph orders received by me from Washington, asking the number of troops that would be mustered out under the order directing muster out of all troops whose term of service expires on the 31st of September next, General Sully reported "approximately 400," which number as directed and reported to Washington as ordered on the 3rd instant with a further statement, "but they are under orders to move against hostile Indians, and I respectfully request that this order be suspended as to this Northwest Department. " This request has not been granted, so that General Sully's forces, as reason of this matter out, and the expiration of the term of service of the Sixth Iowa in December, and the term of many of the Seventh Iowa expiring this year. I desire the attention of the general to be called to these facts at this early period so that troops campaigning elsewhere during the summer may be sent to the Iowa District in time to supply these probable and inevitable depletions. The general also expresses some apprehensions that grasshoppers will annoy his troops and possibly destroy vegetation, as they seem to devour even tents and wagon covers and attack the men's persons when sleeping,. It seems, also, a fourth steam-boat loaded with supplies has been lost. This, he thinks, is owing to the employment of boats not suited to the river and officers who do not understand it. Such a multitude of disasters seem to render the cost of supplies on the Upper Missouri almost too great to justify operations on that line. I respectfully request that the quartermaster's special attention be called to this matter of expense; and if, as I fear, it is too great by boats on the Missouri, some more economical arrangement of transportation must be adopted. The Third Illinois Cavalry will as soon as possible after it arrives at Saint Paul move it two separate columns, one up the Mississippi and the other up the Minnesota, uniting at some convenient point between these streams as circumstances may seem to require. These movements being thus fairly projected, and probably needing no direction for some time, I respectfully desire that the general's memory be refreshed in relation to my request to avail myself of any apparent leisure for ten days to go and meet my wife somewhere east and accompany het to my headquarters. It is not likely I should now desire to go farther than Ohio.
I have the honor to be, Your obedient servant,
S. R. CURTIS,
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE SOUTHWEST,
June 16, 1865. (Received 17th.)
Lieutenant-General GRANT, Washington:
Your dispatch of 3 [1. 30] p. m., June 15, has been received and will be attended to at once. I have directed General Steele to make a report and to hold no intercourse with the authorities at Matamoras.
P. H. SHERIDAN,
57 R R - VOL XLVIII, PT II