[JUNE 27, 1865. -For Sully to Assistant Adjutant-General, Department of the Northwest, relating to Indian affairs about Fort Rice, &c., see p. 916. There are two copies of this communication, one dated June 17 and the other June 27. The latter seems to be the correct date.]
CAMP NEAR FORT PIERRE, June 27, 1865.
Brigadier General H. H. SIBLEY,
GENERAL: Your communication dated 21st reached me this morning at 10 o'clock, not quite six days from Saint Paul. I allow the horses of the express to rest will send this to-morrow. Please telegraph in my name the following answer: "As an independent commander, I will send the list of officers with me. I have not the means of examining other officers in my district. " I have no important Indian news to tell You. There were some 1,000 lodges of the Western Sioux here (about 3,000 warriors) waiting to see me, but four of my boats sunk, and hence my delay. These Indians have gone after buffalo and toward Wadsworth. They told the commanding officer here (Fort Sully) to send word to them when I came, as they wished to hear what the President had to say to them. Nearly all these are the same who gave themselves up to me last year, parts of all the Western bands. Most of the other Western Sioux who are out wish to come in, and no doubt there would have been perfect peace out here had not the Cheyenne and other Platte River Indians been driven up into this section. They have told the Sioux that they whipped out all the white soldiers below, and if they will join them they will wipe me out, &c. I am waiting here for the last of my ox wagons with supplies, when in compliance with orders I will move on to Fort Rice and Devil's Lake. General Dodge has the Cheyennes to attend to, and is, I understand, marching with a large force after them. I hope his wagon train is large enough, for if he has not an immense amount of supplies with him, he will never reach where the Indians are. A very large body of Indians, Cheyennes and Sioux, approached Fort Rice to attack, but the commanding officer, with his command (four small companies of infantry), assisted by about seventy mounted Yanktonnais, Two Bear's band, marched out of the Fort and attacked them and drove them off. No one hurt on our side. I believe I have told You all the news I have. When at Fort Rive I think I shall communicate by Wadsworth.
With much respect, Your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS THIRD SUB-DISTRICT,
Fort Abercrombie, Dak. Ter., June 27, 1865.
Captain R. C. OLIN,
Assistant Adjutant-General, District of Minnesota.
CAPTAIN: On the 12th instant I sent Acting Chief of Scouts William Quinn with the scouts under his command on a scouting expedition to the upper waters of the Cheyenne Rive. The detachment left with ten days' rations, but were absent fourteen days, returning yesterday afternoon. The delay was occasioned by encountering one of the most terrific storms of rain and snow ever visiting the prairies of the North-west at this season of the year. The snow fell to the depth of one inch and a half in the vicinity of Devil's Lake on the 19th instant.