vinced that the only way to effectually settle these troubles is for us to move our columns directly into their country, punish when we find them, show them our power, and at the same time give them to know that we are ready to make peace with them - not, however, by paying them for murdering our people and plundering our trains and posts, but by informing them that if they will refrain from further hostilities they shall not be molested; that neither agents nor citizens shall be allowed to go among them to swindle them; that we will protect them in their rights; that we will enforce compliance with our part of the treaty, and will require them to do the same on their part. Let them ask for peace. We should keep citizens out of their country. The class of men sent among them as agents, &c., go there for no good purpose. They take positions for the sole purpose of making money out of the Indians by swindling them, and so long as they can do this they shield them in their crimes.
Colonel Leavenworth, who stands up so boldly for the Southern Indians, was dismissed from the U. S. service. He "blows hot and cold" with singular grace. To my officers he talks war to the knife, to Senator Doolittle and others he talks peace. Indeed, he is all things to all men. When officers of the Army deal with these Indians, if they mistreat them, we have a certain remedy for their cases. They can be dismissed and disgraced, while Indian agents can only be displaced by others perhaps no better. Now, I am confident we can settle these Indian difficulties in the manner I have indicated. The Indians say to me that when they treat they want to treat with an officer of the Army (a brave), in all of whom they seem to have confidence, while they despise and suspect civilian agents and citizens, by whom they say they have been deceived and swindled so much that they put no trust in their words. I have given orders to the commanders of each of my columns that when they have met and whipped these Indians, or even before, if they have an opportunity, to arrange, if possible, an informal treaty with them for a cessation of hostilities, and whatever they agree to do, to live to strictly, allowing no one, either citizen or soldier, to break it. I shall myse plains in a few weeks and try to get an interview with the chiefs, and if possible effect an amicable settlement of affairs; but I am utterly opposed to making any treaty that pays them for the outrages they have committed, or that hires them to keep the peace. Such treaties last just as long as they think for their benefit, and no longer. As soon as the sugar, coffee, powder, lead, &c., that we give them is gone, they make war to get us to give them more. We must first punish them until we make them fear us and respect our power, and when we must ourselves live strictly up to the treaties made. No one desires more than I do to effect a permanent peace with these Indians, and such is the desire of every officer under me, all of whom agree in the method suggested for bringing it about.
Very many of these officers on the plains have been there for years, and are well acquainted with these Indians and their character, and my own opinions in this matter are founded not alone from my experience and observations since I have commanded here, but also with intercourse with them on the plains during a number of years prior to the war, in which time I met and had dealings with nearly every tribe east of the Rocky Mountains. Until hostilities cease I trust You will keep all agents, citizens, and traders away from them. When peace is made with them, if civilian agents and citizens are sent among them, send those who You know to be of undoubted integrity. I know You desire to do so, and from the appointments You have already made I believe