Today in History:

38 Series I Volume XLI-III Serial 85 - Price's Missouri Expedition Part III


Saint Paul, Minn., September 2, 1864.

Major General JOHN POPE,


GENERAL: I have the honor to inform you that I have received official dispatches from Fort Wadsworth of 22nd ultimo inclosing an official communication from Major Brown, special military agent, copy of which is inclosed herewith. The suggestions therein contained have been anticipated so far as to direct that all Indian stragglers from Fort Thompson, on the Missouri Reservation, should be required to keep on the west side of James River, but it requires more mounted force than I now have at my disposal to hunt them up in their scattered camps, to enable me to have that order enforced. The escort of fifty cavalry dispatched as an escort to Captain Fisk's train to the Missouri had not yet returned to Fort Wadsworth, but were daily expected. I am not without some apprehensions that they may have been attacked by hostile savages in their passage through that dangerous region, and I shall be greatly relieved when I learn of their safe arrival. Dispatches from Major Adams, commanding Independent Battalion, dated Fort Abercrombie 26th ultimo, express some fears that the late outrages beyond that post may be followed by others along the line on this side from the same camps in the direction of Devil's Lake, to which I referred in my communication of yesterday. I have received a letter from the U. S. Chippewa agent, dated at the agency 30th ultimo, in which he states that there is considerable excitement among the Indians in his charge in consequence of the enlistment of some of the young men of the bands after being plied with liquor by substitute brokers. I have sent a copy of his statement to the acting assistant provost-marshal and superintendent of recruiting in this city, with a request that the evils presented be promptly corrected, and he has verbally promised to do so. Major Morrill, the agent, makes a requisition on me for twenty-five soldiers to act as a guard during the annuity payment to be made at the Red Lake River Crossing on 1st proximo. I am doubtful of the propriety of risking so small a detachment at so remote a point, and I have not the men at hand much to increase the number designated. I respectfully ask for instructions in the case. I trust that Colonel Thomas will soon return with his command to this district, for the knowledge that we have so few troops to guard so long a line of frontier emboldens the savages to repeat their raids and disturb very seriously the peace of the border settlements. Major Clowney reports that the work on the new post is progressing rapidly and satisfactorily. I have ordered Company E, Thirtieth Wisconsin Volunteers, now in garrison at Fort Ridgely, to escort the supply train to leave for Fort Wadsworth on 5th instant, and on arrival to report to Major Clowney for duty. I can ill spare that force at present, but it was necessary that it should be done to enable me to comply with your orders as to the movements of the battalion on being relieved by a portion of Colonel Thomas' command as directed in sealed orders dispatched to the latter at Fort Wadsworth. I applied to you yesterday by telegraph to have the additional companies of Hatch's independent battalion turned over for service in this district, but as yet I have received no response. I hope it will be done without delay.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding.