the result of an investigation, I can but say that I am thoroughly convinced that there was cause for the petition of citizens forwarded from that township, a copy of which I took with me, and that the prayer of the petitioners should be heard.
I am, very respectfully, Your obedient servant,
W. M. TAYLOR,
Captain and Commissary of Subsistence of Volunteers.
HEADQUARTERS NORTHWEST INDIAN EXPEDITION,
Fort Sully, Dak. Ter., September 14, 1865.
ASST. ADJT. General, DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI:
SIR: I reached this point yesterday. I could not camp near the Fort for the want of grass. Northing worth mentioning occurred on my march down from Rice. When I reached Swan Lake I found Indians encamped and there are camps of them all the way down the river on both sides. These are the Indians who have made peace with me. Some of the chiefs visited my camp and promised to send word to all the camps when I sent them word the commissioners were coming. Some of the men whose term of service has expired, or will expire in a few days, about 150 in number, I send to Sioux City to be mustered out. I shall send all of the Sixth Iowa I have with me in a few days, and shall send the three companies of the Seventh Iowa and the part of the Dakota cavalry I have with me also below to relieve posts occupied by the Sixth Iowa, so that all the regiment will be at Sioux City in about two weeks ready to be mustered out. I telegraphed to know where I should send it. My first order directed them to go to Davenport, but a telegraphic order directs all troops to Leavenworth. I cannot think it is the wish to march the regiment all the way down to Leavenworth and then pay their transportation back again to Iowa. I would respectfully ask what disposition I shall make with the horses and mules I have. Most of these animals are superior to what are generally met with in the service and if sold at Sioux City will bring nothing in comparison to their value. If they must be sold I would recommend they be divided up into gangs and sent to different towns in the interior of the State of Iowa, where many can be found able and willing to pay something like a decent price for them, but I would above all recommend I be allowed to select the very best horses and mules out of the lot and keep them till they may be wanted at some other point. I can keep them very cheap at Webster City. Last winter it cost me about $5 per head per month to keep my stock and keep theased from the farmers around in open market and hauled my forage sometimes twenty miles. This leaves me Brackett's (Minnesota) battalion, over 300 strong, which I shall keep here a short time and will myself remain to see what the Indians interred to do. A few days will decide. I received the letter of instructions in regard to the force I shall have, and also about reducing expenditures. I shall attend to this matter and see that our expenses are reduced as low as possible. I am glad the general has ordered troops up here to relieve the First U. S. Volunteers. Though I would be sorry to part with the regiment on account of their being well-disciplined troops, yet I would do all I could to relieve them from their present position. The grave-yard at Fort Rice tells a fearful tale of sickness and death, and already scurvy is again beginning to show itself. The men are so disheartened and have such a perfect fear of staying up here