to be on amicable terms with the whites by surrendering themselves to the commanding officer of Fort Wadsworth, Dak. Ter. (which post is within this military district), to the number of 150 or 160 lodges, embracing some 600 souls, and others of the same bands express a desire to pursue a similar course when permitted to leave the camps of the hostile Indians. The Sisseton Sioux were recipients of annuities from the Government under treaty stipulations previous to the outbreak, but the act of Congress declaring a forfeiture of all payments to the Sioux engaged in hostilities extended to them and they are now left in a very destitute condition. I have employed many of these men during the last two or three months as scouts in the military service and they have manifested much zeal and fidelity, having intercepted and killed quite a number of the hostile savages going toward or returning from the settlements. Among those destroyed by them were four out of the five of the party engaged in the murder of an entire family by the name of Jewett, in Blue Earth County in this State, in the month of April last.
It is not within the province or authority of the military commanders of this department or district to make proper provision for the wants of so large a number of these surrendered Sissetons, although I have instructed the commanding officer of Fort Wadsworth to issue rations sufficient to prevent actual suffering. The withdrawal of these people from among the evil-disposed bands and their active co-operation with the U. S. troops in the defense of the frontier effectually prevent them from hunting the buffalo, as they would doubtless be attacked by the superior numbers of the disaffected and hostile, and they consequently are in a deplorable condition for the lack of clothing and food. While writing this I have received a dispatch from Major Rose, commanding Fort Wadsworth, dated 18th instant, a copy of which I take the liberty to inclose. He reports forty-three lodges of the Yanktonnais Sioux as having given themselves up and others are expected, but that there is great destitution in the general camp. In reply to my application to the department commander I was authorized to procure a limited quantity of corn, potatoes, and other vegetables for seed, which were sent to Fort Wadsworth some weeks since, together with 400 hoes, which You were kind enough to order the Indian Department to furnish, in accordance with the application of Major-General Curtis made to yourself. I have the honor respectfully to suggest that you will direct an immediate supply of good and clothing to be furnished the Indians referred to, now in camp under military protection near Fort Wadsworth. The exigency admits of no delay, and surely policy, not less than justice, demands at the hands of this great Government that those bands of Indians who have proved their friendship by deeds as well as words should be placed beyond the danger or perishing for the want of the necessaries of life. There is also a small number of the lower bands of Sioux who proved faithful to the Government during the outbreak and since, saving the lives of many whites. They deserve to be liberally dealt with, and I take the liberty to commend them also to Your generous attention. I have preferred to make this communication directly to yourself, to avoid the delay and circumlocution attendant upon letters sent through the regular channels. General Curtis feels a like solicitude with myself upon the subject, as when he was here a few days since I laid the whole matter before him and urged him to address You, which I hope he had done.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, Your obedient servant,
H. H. SIBLEY,