to build and sustain this post, should one be established, I would suggest that the supplies be sent up the Missouri to the mouth of Painted Woods Creek, which is opposite nearly to old Fort Clarke; this is the nearest point on the Missouri to Devil's Lake, and is the best road; and from there to be transported in Pembina carts by half breeds of the north. I asked them what they would charge to transport stores, and they thought about 3 cents per pound, but would make no positive agreement. They said they could furnish me 2,000 carts if needed, and would be glad to take the job. This would be altogether the cheapest mode of transporting, always provided a contractor is not employed to hire these said carts, for of course he would be obliged to charge about twice as much as he paid the half breeds, in order to pay for his contract. I would also beg leave to suggest in regard to the troops to garrison this post, in case they should be volunteers, that men be selected who would prefer this service, and that a commanding officer be selected who would not only keep up strict discipline, but would teach the Indian to respect him by his daily habits, firmness, and the interest he would take in their welfare. He should have a thorough knowledge of the Indian character. An officer once selected for that duty should, if possible, be kept on duty as commandant for a number of years, as long as he conducted his duties properly, and should, moreover, be required to become perfectly acquainted with the language of the Indians, and not be obliged to use an interpreter, thereby taking into his confidence one he can not depend on, which is too frequently the case. The half-breed interpreter of the post is, in fact, the commanding officer, as far as the Indians are concerned, for, if he chooses, he will interpret the Indian speech just as it suits him, or is to his interest.
I am, sir, with much respect, Your obedient servant,
Brevet Major-General, Commanding.
HEADQUARTERS NORTHWEST INDIAN EXPEDITION,
Camp 33, August 4, 1865.
Captain M. NORTON,
CAPTAIN: In compliance with General Orders, Numbers 21, headquarters Northwest Indian Expedition, directing me to make a topographical reconnaissance of Devil's Lake from Camp 29 to Chantee Hill and to ascertain the best point near the lake to locate a post, I respectfully submit the following: I proceeded from Camp 29, as marked down on the accompanying sketch, as far east as Chantee Hill, in longitude 980 50' west of Greenwich and latitude 470 50'.
I found the water in the lake most everywhere the same, strongly impregnated with salt and nitrate of soda, unfit to use, although the horses seemed to drink it freely. The lake contains several islands, some of them covering an area of about twenty-five square miles and mostly covered with timber, apparently of good size and quality (hard wood). There are also is in most places sandy, with low banks and a gradual descent. Same heavy boulders, most all of them granite, are lying near the lake. The greatest portion of the southeastern shore is covered with heavy tim-
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