issue instructions to them until there, not knowing what may transpire to charge present plans of operation. As a large band of Indians have recently come down on telegraph line, it may be found profitable and advantageous to purpose them. The strength of the columns is as follows: Right column, commanded by Colonel N. Cole, Second Missouri Light Artillery, composed of Second Missouri Light Artillery, 797 officers and men; Twelfth Missouri Cavalry, 311 offices and men; total, 1,108 officers and men. Center column, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Samuel Walker, Sixteenth Kansas Cavalry, composed of Sixteenth Kansas Cavalry, 600 officers and men. Left column, commanded by Colonel J. H. Kidd, Sixth Michigan Cavalry, composed of Seventh Iowa Cavalry, 90 officers and men; Eleventh Ohio Cavalry, 90 officers and men; Sixth Michigan Cavalry, 200 officers and men, and Pawnee Scout, 95 officers and men: total, 475 officers and men. West column, commanded by Captain Albert Brown, Second California Cavalry, composed of Second California Cavalry, 116 officers and men, and Omaha Scouts, 84 officers an men; total, 200 officers and men. Each of these columns is supplied with artillery. The center column takes forty day's supplies on pack-mules. All supplies by wagon transportation go with left column, which I will accompany. I expect to establish a post on headquarters of either Tougue or Powder River near present road to Virginia City, M. T. I will proceed down Tongue River to the general rendezvous of the columns of Rosebud River; expert to direct movements of the different columns by means of fire signal. If I do not succeed in finding and punishing Indians before arriving at general rendezvous, and can there ascertain their whereabouts, I intend to go after them, even if it is so Heart River. Should Indians show no disposition to take risk of a general engagement I will against distribute the columns, carrying rations on horses, and scour the country thoroughly. Circumstances may, however, arise when I arrive on the ground which will cause me to change my plans somewhat. The right, left, and west columns are now en route. I start to-morrow and will overtake column before it arrives at La Bont. I have left instructions with my adjutant-general in reference to the disposition of troops coming into the district, and expect to be able to communicate with him frequently by means of express and vedettes.
I have the honor to remain, with much respect, You obedient servant,
P. EDW. CONNOR,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF THE PLAINS,
Fort Laramie, July 28, 1865.
Sixteenth Kansas Cavalry:
You will proceed with the companies of Your regiment, now at this post, as the center column of the Powder River Indian expedition by the route marked on the map herewith transmitted, via Rawhide Creek through the Black Hills, across the headquarters of the Little Missouri, in a northwesterly direction to Powder River; down Powder River to a point nearly opposite to north end of Panther Mountain, and thence in a westerly direction to the general rendezvous of the four columns of the expedition on Rosebud River. You will see be the red lines marked on the map the routes taken by the several columns. A list of fire signal is herewith transmitted. The Indians will endeavor to impede Your progress by burning the grass in Your advance and stampeding Your stock; the former You cannot prevent, but the latter You can by side hobbling Your horse. You will always have pickets out and scouting parties on Your front,