War of the Rebellion: Serial 125 Page 0403 UNION AUTHORITIES.

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in British territory, the only answer ever given has been a pointed refusal by the English Government to permit U. S. forces to follow these outlaws into British territory. When it is remembered that for hundreds of miles the common boundary is an imaginary line, running through a nearly uninhabited country, that these Indians can lie in wait at any point along this great distance, and that it would require many thousands of soldiers to guard with any hope of success so long a line; and when it is further coheltered, subsisted, and protected by English subjects are outlawed for their crimes both by whites and their own race, and are only seeking security under the English flag to wait an opportunity to massacre innocent and defenseless women and children in Minnesota and Dakota, it is difficult to restrain the feeling of horror and indignation at such conduct on the part of the English Government and of civilized English subjects. It is to be considered, also, that whilst such has been the extraordinary course of the English Government and of the English subjects of the Selkirk settlements, goods of all kinds, ammunition included, are permitted to pass in original packages through the United States to Saint Paul, Minn., and are from that place transported to the Selkirk settlements for the benefit and profit of the English subjects who countenance and shelter these outlawed Indians. Worse still, these Indian outlaws are absolutely furnished from these very supplies, thus permitted to be sent through the United States, with ammunition and subsistence to commit indiscriminate massacres and outr5ages upon citizens of the United States. It is difficult in an official communication to characterize in fitting terms the conduct of the English Government and of British subjects in this matter. It will be sufficient to say that it is abhorrent to every feeling of humanity and to every principle of justice and fair dealing. As it seems impossible to obviate this condition of things through the action of the English Government, or through the sense of right of the British subjects of the Selkirk settlements, I desire, with the permission of the President, to issue the inclosed order, which, if it do not remedy the existing state of affairs, will at least prevent foreign subjects from furnishing arms and supplies to Indians who commit massacres upon citizens of the United States without sacrificing great pecuniary and personal interests of their own. That the present condition of affairs on this be permitted do decisive action on the part of the United States Government is not to be believed, and I therefore propose the only means which occur to me to protect the interests of the United States in a legitimate manner, and, as far as is now practicable, from the unfriendly and unjustifiable conduct of the English Government and its subjects in this region.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major-General, Commanding.

[First indorsement.]

MAY 28, 1864.

Respectfully forwarded to the Secretary of War. Approval of order not recommended.


Major-General and Chief of Staff.