of such matters I must leave to yourself. West of Platte Bridge it may be desirable to establish a post in the valley of the Sweetwater, perhaps at the highest point on that stream, where timber and grass can be found. Of this You can judge when You have looked over the ground. It is proper to inform You that General Connor is now north of Laramie, in command of several columns moving against the Sioux in the direction of the Yellowstone. He has orders to establish a post on or near Powder River, about 125 miles north of Fort Laramie. If established, this post will also be in Your command and will be supplied from Laramie. All the Sioux tribes, as also the Cheyennes, are now hostile, but General Sully, with considerable force, is north of them on the Missouri, whilst General Connor is moving up in five columns from various points on the Platte. At last accounts he was on Powder River, moving toward Panther Mountain. It is hoped that before You reach Laramie the hostilities with these Indians will have been settled.
In any event, however, it is the purpose to return to a purely defensive arrangement for the security of the overland routes to Salt Lake. For Your district I have decided that one cavalry and two infantry regiments will be sufficient force. I suggest (though without binding You further than as a suggestion) the following distribution of these forces: Fort Kearny, Cottonwood, Julesburg, Laramie, and Platte Bridge should be garrisoned by three infantry and two cavalry companies. If the Powder River posts is established, it should be garrisoned by four infantry companies this winter, to which a cavalry company can be added in the spring. If You decide to establish a post on Sweetwater, You will have left to garrison it one infantry and one cavalry company. These dispositions are merely suggested to You as my general impression of the necessities of the situation in Your district; to be charged or modified as You may find judicious after looking over the ground. e designated for Your district I consider sufficient, and I desire especially, general, to impress upon You the absolute necessity of the strictest economy in Your expenditures. It is essential that You return without delay to a peace basis, and to the economical arrangements which obtained before the rebellion. As soon as You have selected the cavalry regiment and two infantry regiments for Your district You will please at once relieve all other troops and send them to Fort Leavenworth for muster out of service.
Staff officers of various departments seem to me to abound on the plains, and all such as are not absolutely needed must be ordered to Leavenworth to report by letter to these headquarters. Reduce troops and expenditures to the standard herein indicated delay. It is expected that by the 15th of October Your district will be in all respects organized, and the troops reduced to the force herein designated. Report by letter to Major-General Dodge, who has general command west and south of the Missouri River, and send all reports direct to him. He is now on the plains, but will probably be on his return to Leavenworth before You reach Kearny. General Connor, with the troops operating north of the Platte, will probably come in to Laramie. He is ordered to comply with Your requisition for troops, and to send all You do not want to Fort Leavenworth immediately for muster out. You will, however, find troops enough ahead along the Overland Route from Omaha to Laramie to furnish the force designated for Your district. My belief is that the best disciplined and most trustworthy troops to be retained for the winter are regiments of U. S. volunteers which You will find along the route. There is so much dissatisfaction and insubordination in the volunteer regiments now serving in