sell at cost and transportation such of the commissary stores as he can, and with the remainder of the public property to proceed to Fort Rice by boat. There is here stationed a company of U. S. Volunteers which I suppose must be relieved according to general order. I have no troops to relieve them with, except Brackett's (Minnesota) battalion, which does not belong to my district, and I do look on this post as one of great importance, as it stops the trading with hostile Sioux. I request to know if I am to understand General Orders, Numbers 2, as taking Fort Rice and Fort Union out of my command. The former post is west of the Missouri and the latter in Montana. Fort Randall and Keya Paha are also west and south of the Missouri. I shall not so consider the order till I get further orders.
With much respect, Your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS NORTHWEST INDIAN EXPEDITION,
Fort Berthold, August 13, 1865.
ASST. ADJT. General, DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI:
SIR: In my last report, dated August 8, and directed to the Department of the Northwest, I stated that I had heard that a large war party had left the hostile camp across the river for Fort Rice. Since then I have heard of them through the commanding officer at Fort Rice and through Indians from the camp. The commanding officer states they approached the herding party, and that there was quite a skirmish with the troops sent out to attack them. Two soldiers were killed, and it is thought quite a number of Indians were killed or wounded. It is also stated that Captain Moreland, Sixth Iowa Cavalry, with part of his company, behaved very handsomely. It is also said that some of them were dressed in soldiers' clothes, which they must have got from the Platte; also new patent fire-arms, and Indian scouts say the Cheyennes have large numbers of American horses. The Indian report is very much the same. Some 300 warriors went to Rice. They stole some twelve horses, and that about nine of their number were badly wounded, and of course they say they killed a great many whites. About the time this war party returned to the camp they got the news. I was only a few days' march from Berthold (how they got this news I can't tell). The whole camp then fled south, the friendly Indians feeling sure I would never make peace with them after the Rice affair. A trusty Indian, half ARickaree and half Uncpapa, followed their trail across the Bad Lands, the Little Missouri, to Beaver Creek, which empties into the Little Missouri, and found their trail still going southwest toward powder River. I telegraphed this to You, and also telegraphed to Fort Laramie for the information of general Connor, who I suppose is marching down the Powder. Of course I could not follow, for there are no means here of my crossing the river. It would take me over a week to build rafts and do so. On my arrival here I learned that a party of Cut-Heads and north Yanktonnais and some Santees, about 300 to 500 lodges, were somewhere up the country between the White Earth and Little Muddy Rivers. Where they exactly are I could not learn, but fear they are near the British line, which of course will prevent all hopes of my reaching the. And here I beg leave again to repeat what I have before stated. It is perfectly impossible for any Indian to be captured north of this part of the Missouri until the English Government grant us permission to cross