HEADQUARTERS NORTHWEST INDIAN EXPEDITION,
Comp Numbers 22, July 20, 1865.
ASST. ADJT. General, DEPARTMENT OF THE NORTHWEST:
SIR: I have day after to-morrow. I give up all hopes of any new Indians coming into this place. Since I held my council last Sunday a few straggling lodges have come in from the hostile camp-some fifty or sixty. They say nearly all the Indians want to come in, but are afraid of this place. They would meet me anywhere else, so I designated Fort Berthold. I cannot get at any positive information why they should have such antipathy to Fort Rice, but such is undoubtedly the case. Some of the half-breeds interested in trading establishments elsewhere may have something to do with this trying to induce the Indians to come in at a certain place whereby they may profit by the trade. To show this, night before last some one-the Indians say he was a white man-rode through their camp just after a steam-boat had crossed from Fort Rice to may camp to bring me some rations, "that a boat had gone over to me to bring me and my soldiers to kill them all that night. " In a movement the lodges were struck and there was the greatest confusion. Colonel Dimon, the commanding officer, and some of the chiefs went to the camp and succeeded in quieting the disturbance, but not before some of the young bucks had mounted their horses and were off. No doubt by this news is spread all over the hostile camp. The general will see what see what trouble I have to accomplish my ends. All the Indians have crossed the river at this point and have gone in a northeast direction, where the buffalo are said to be plenty. I believe them to be sincere in their desire for peace. I shall march from here to Devil's Lake. The route I will take will not be in a straight line, and I judge it will take me nine days to march there. From there I shall go to Mouse River, and from there to Berthold. I will take me near a month to make the march. At Brethold I shall have stores shipped for me. By this march I am in hopes of coming on to some of the Santee, Cut-Head, and half-breed camps. I do not think from what I hear there are any number of hostile Santees east of Devil's Lake, but if a small force could be sent in that direction it might quiet the fears of the inhabitants of Minnesota, and they might fall in with some scattering bands. There are plenty of Indians between the Missouri and James, probably over 3,000 warriors, but they are all Indians who have made peace with me, and I feel sure they will molest on one. It was absolutely necessary to send them there to subsist. I have not the rations to give them, and if they Remained here they would starve. I am much concerned in regard to the health of this garrison the coming winter. Last winter they suffered terribly by death and sickness, and all the medical officers agree that they fear they will suffer more next winter. At the urgent recommendation of medical officers I have directed two companies of the Fourth U. S. Volunteers to relieve the companies at Union and Berthold. The two experiments we have made this year to get potatoes have failed. The last year's potatoes will not stand transportation. There is only one way, and that is if possible procure potatoes of this year as soon as they are ripe, and ship them on a very light-draft steamer not drawing two feet water. I would recommend this to be done. It may be the means of saving the lives of a good many men. A large quantity of garden seed was shipped here by the first boat up, and the commanding officer planted a large garden. Everything came up finely, and the garden was doing remarkably well, but the grasshoppers came in clouds and a few days finished the garden. Seeds were again planted,