War of the Rebellion: Serial 102 Page 1158 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI. Chapter LX.

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moment I think it safe to let a regiment go I shall muster it out; or if Government considers the force too large or the expenses too great, let it designate who shall be discharged and how expenses shall be cut down. The requisitions that have come in from the plains have appeared enormous, and I have cut them down as much as I dared to do. The officers of the quartermaster's and commissary departments on the plains should know what is required, and they complain that I am crippling them. Government does not take into consideration that never before have we had so extensive a war on the plains. Never before have we had one-half or one-third the country that we now have to protect. Never before have the Indians been allowed for eighteen months to have their own way to murder, rob, and allowed for eighteen months to have their own way to murder, rob, and plunder indiscriminately and successfully, without check or hindrance (until within the last three months), and never before have there been so large and such a perfect combination of hostile Indians on the plains, so well armed and supplied as now. They seem confident of success, fight well, and believe to-day that one Indian is equal to five white soldiers. It takes almost man to man tow hip them, and will until the conceit is taken out of them by severe chastisement. If we cannot conquer them this summer and fall we must this winter; that is, I hold that now we have got after them we should not stip summer, fall, or winter until they are glad to sue for peace and behave themselves. I am confident we can strike some of them now, and in the winter I know I can catch them all. They are now on the warpath and are not making any provisions for winter; are not hunting, planting, laying in meat, or in any way providing for the future as they usually do. The consequence will be that we will in the fall and winter have them at great disadvantage. I am in hopes, however, that the matter will be settled before winter. Be that so or not, I have made provisions for carrying on the campaign in winter. In all these matters I supposed I was carrying out the instructions and the intentions of Government. I certainly have concealed nothing, but have endeavored to fully inform and press upon the attention of Government the magnitude of these operations and difficulties attending them. I have often fully presented my views and plans in this matter, but if Government now differs with me it has only to indicate its policy and wishes for me to carry them out to the best of my ability. The amount of trade and traffic seeking its way across the plains is doubling every year. This year it is immense, 5,000 teams per month having crossed. The development of the mines indicates its rapid increase yearly. My understanding is that this travel must be protected at all hazards, as thus far this year it has been. I inclose herewith copy of my statement showing the amount of supplies that has been or will be sent to the plains, which is much smaller than the amount called for by officers commanding on the plains. I leave here to-morrow for Fort Laramie to give my personal attention and supervision to affairs, and will be on the ground where I can have personal knowledge of all matters there. I shall leave no stone unturned to bring matters to an issue and the war to a successful end. All I ask is that Government be patient with us, not ask us to do too much in too short a time. Let it consider as it should that operating 15,000 troops on the plains requires more labor and care than to operate 100,000 where there is water and railroad communication and a settled country, &c.

I am, general, very respectfully, Your obedient servant,

G. M. DODGE,

Major-General.