War of the Rebellion: Serial 102 Page 1216 Chapter LX. LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI.

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to the conclusion to take his advise and not go after his people. He appeared to be much pleased at this, and said he would go out to his camp and would surely bring them in. I also got the report of two Indians from the camp on the other side of the river, who were sent in by the Sans-Are and Minneconjous Sioux, disclaiming having had anything to do with the late raid on Rice, and wishing to make peace. They said as soon as they got through with their hunt and dried their meat they would come to me. As their country is near Fort Pierre, I told them I would meet them there. I feel perfectly sure that during this fall and winter the greater part of the Indians will come in to make peace, and I shall issue instructions to the commanders of posts as regards terms, &c. I cannot issue such instructions to the commanders of Forts Rice and Randall, as General Dodge has assumed command over these posts. There is one matter of great trouble in regard to peace. The Indians have got a large amount of animals stolen down on the Platte, and are afraid they will have to give them up. The question was put to me in council. I evaded it as well as I could, telling them if I did not see the animals I could not know that they had them. As a matter of policy I thought it best to waive the question for the present. It can be better attended to hereafter. In fact, I think it better to compromise than make war any longer for the present. The idea that these Indians had a few years ago, that united they were more than a match for all the whites in our country, has been taken out of them. They will never try a combination again to resist our troops, for they frankly admit it is useless for them to fight us, for we are better mounted and armed. If a war is kept up it will be a sort of guerrilla war, whereby citizens who live on the borders or are traveling unconscious of danger will be the sufferers more than the troops. By keeping up the present garrisons, letting the Indians know they will be well treated if they behave themselves, and that the Government has no idea of taking from them their land, I think there will be no more serious troubles. I do not predict perfect peace immediately, for should the war be continued against the Indians, or should a treaty be made, or should they be ll be the same. There will be for some time small war parties of young bucks, who have northing to lose by war, who will continue to rob when they get a good chance; but in time this can also be stopped if peas is made with the major portion of the Indians, and particularly if the posts in the Indian country are commanded by officers of sound judgment and some little knowledge of the Indian character. I have received several orders in regard to mustering out troops in my command. I am informed that the Sixth and Seventh Iowa Cavalry, the First and Fourth U. S. Volunteers, are ordered to be mustered out. This will leave me without any troops except about 300 of Brackett's (Minnesota) battalion. It will be impossible for me to take the garrison from Fort Rice. There are no means of transporting the stores down the river, and the amount of property here is immense-more than I can place under cover at present-for it was the intention to keep here a very large force this winter. I shall therefore leave these troops up here till further orders. The time of the Sixth Iowa has already commenced to expire, and I am fast losing the services of that regiment. I shall, therefore, have to hurry down what few troops I have left to garrison the posts vacated and protect public property there. I am waiting the return of a messenger to the Indian camp, and expect to move to Fort Pierre in about five days.

I am, with much respect, Your obedient servant,


Brevet Major-General.