The cold was so severe that the scouts could not move, and consequently had to remain in camp, where they could keep warm by their camp-fires. Quinn went as far as Devil's Lake, but found no Indians. The Red River half-breeds at Devil' Lake informed him that the Indians had all left there about three weeks before. They moved north and west. All having ponies went on the Missouri Coteau, west of Turtle Mountain, driving immense herds of buffalo before them. Those without ponies were going to Turtle Mountain and La Butte de Bois, and were reported to be in a state of actual starvation, being without fire-arms of any kind, and in many instances without bows and arrows. The half-breeds above referred to lived with the Indians all winter at Devil's Lake and Turtle Mountain, and informed Quinn that early in the spring, or about the close of winter, five Indians left Devil's Lake for the frontier on a horse-stealing raid. They stole each a horse, and on their return were overtaken on the plains by the terrible storm of April 6 and all froze to death. The bodies of the Indians, as well as the horses, have since been found.
Twelve Indians left the camps about Turtle Mountain some weeks ago for a raid on Red River below here, and have not been heard from since. My object in sending my scouts so far into the Indian country was to ascertain the precise location of their camp preparatory to making application to district headquarters for permission to make a raid upon them with all the mounted men in my command. If the information received by Quinn is reliable in relation to the condition and equipment of the hostile Sioux about Turtle Mountain and La Butte de Bois, an expedition composed of 200 or 300 cavalry and a section of mountain howitzers fitted out at this post, unencumbered by any more baggage or train than was absolutely necessary for the most economical demands of men and animals-thus giving it the greatest possible mobility-could, in my opinion, inflict a terrible blow upon them. I would like permission to try the experiment. It would teach these red devils that they can no longer commit depredations with impunity along our frontier without being subject themselves to like visitations. I have a provisional section of light artillery organized and well drilled at this post. The section is composed of twenty men, a large majority of whom have seen active service in that arm in the field. If I had one more company of cavalry at my command I could fit out and expedition of the strength indicated in five days.
Very respectfully, yours, &c.,
C. POWELL ADAMS,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Third Sub-District.
NEW ORLEANS, LA., June 28, 1865.
Bvt. Major General JOHN A. RAWLINS,
Chief of Staff:
I returned here this morning from a hurried trip to Texas. Galveston, Houston, Columbus, Indianola, and Corpus Christi are now occupied by our troops, and General Steele is advancing a force up the Rio Grande as far as Roma as soon as troops can be supplied that far up. I will send this evening or to-morrow morning all the information which I was able to obtain of the condition of affairs in Texas and along the Rio Grande.
P. H. SHERIDAN,