HDQRS. DIST. OF MINNESOTA, DEPT. OF THE NORTHWEST,
Saint Paul, Minn., June 28, 1865.
Colonel R. H. CARNAHAN,
Commanding Third Illinois Cavalry, in Camp near Fort Snelling:
COLONEL: You will proceed on 1st proximo without unnecessary delay with the regiment of cavalry under Your command to Fort Ridgely, where You will be joined by two sections of the Third Minnesota Battery under Captain John Jones. As soon as all necessary arrangements are completed You will take up the line of march by the trail made by the expedition under General Sibley, in 1863, to the Cheyenne River, and ascending that stream by the most practicable route to the vicinity of Devil's Lake You will scour the country from there to the British line, if the information You can glean from half-breeds and other sources should lead to the supposition that hostile Sioux camps are to be found in that region. Should it appear, however, that these savages have moved in the direction of the Missouri Coteau, You will make a demonstration in that quarter and endeavor to overtake and attack them. It may well be that You will fall in with some Sioux Indians whose intentions are peaceful and who desire a restoration of friendly relations with the Government. If such there be, You will not molest them, but state to them that Your mission is the punishment of the guilty only, and that the Government is not disposed to treat otherwise than kindly such of the bands of Sioux as were not implicated in the massacres of the whites in 1862 and since that period. The scouts and guides who will accompany You will be able to afford You much useful information relative to the general character of the bands who roam in the Devil's Lake region, and thus enable You to adjust Your course to the exigencies which may arise. The object of the movement is twofold: Firs, to attack and punish those bands who continue inimical; and, second, to prevent by a threatening movement toward their camps their detaching warriors on raiding excursions to the settlements. In case of an encounter with hostile Indians You will of course avoid injury to the women and children as far as practicable. As a matter of policy, no less than of humanity, these savages should be taught that the troops of their Great Father are as merciful to the helpless and unresisting as they are formidable to an armed foe. Your command will be furnished with sixty days' full rations, which will be sufficient in all probability for the service You are to perform; but should You be detained longer than is anticipated You can replenish Your supplies at Fort Abercrombie or Fort Wadsworth.
In Your march upward You will not visit Fort Wadsworth with Your command, as that post is not on Your line of march. The commanding officer of that post will, howvised of the movement and instructed to communicate with You, and afford such aid as may be in his power. He will be directed to dispatch Major Brown, special military agent at Fort Wadsworth, to accompany You. Major b. has had many years' knowledge of the country You are to visit, and of all the Indians, and as he is a man of great intelligence and good judgment You will find him to be a most valuable counselor and guide. Mr. Pierre Bottineau, an old and experienced guide, will also be sent with You, also some of the men as scouts who are well acquainted with the country. These men should be placed under the immediate charge and command of Bottineau, who will, of course, be subject to Your general orders and direction. You will please to observe strictly the following general instructions: First. After leaving Fort Ridgely You will choose for Your camp at night ground which is not commanded by timber,