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ward to learn the cause of the shot that was fired there. The men told me that when they heard the report of the shot or two that was fired on the island, one got on a tree, and discovered an Indian run'ning towards them to get his canoe. Four of them ran down the trail to wait in ambush for him, when one of my men's gun went off accidentally, and shot one of the party, (Jesse Turnipseed,) through the thigh. The Indian heard the report of the gun, and changed his course. I then came to the depot, and got the balance of my men and boats, and arrived at Fort Myers on the 23d, and delivered the fifteen Indians to the commanding officer of that place.
Your obedient servant,
JACOB E. MICKLER,
FORT JOSEPHINE, August 26, 1857.
SIR: I started from this place on the morning of the 23d instant with twenty-five of my command, with the intention of exploring the country between this place and the head of Fish Eating creek. Had not marched more than four or five miles before we discovered Indian signs that had not been made more than three or four days. We took the trail, which led for the south of Istokpoya. Notwithstanding there had been several hard rains on the tracks we managed to trail them about twelve miles the first day, and encamped on the trail.
Morning of the 24th took the trail but found it impossible to keep it in the flat woods nearing the lake. Near night I took a few men with the intention of examining the southern bank of the lake. Thinking, perhaps, the Indians might have embarked in canoes, if so, we might know the fact, had kept up the side of the lake, through a very dense swamp, without discovering any sign at all, when, to our gratification we discovered a small party of Indians running through the swamp, it being so very thick that we only got one sight of them. At that time I ordered a charge. The Indians then stopped and made fight. At least three of them took trees and snapped at us, but they found that we were still making for them, took to their heels again. We fired at them as they ran through the thickest swamp I ever saw; killed one, a young warrior about twenty-five years old, and captured one child between three and four years old. We got all their plunder, which consisted in cooking utensils, axes, hoes, bear skins, buck skins, knives, clothing, &c., &c., &c. It being nearly night I left the swamp and encamped. Was on the trail next morning at sunrise; found that the Indians had not returned to the battle ground during the night, and had so scattered, there being but very few of them, perhaps not more than six. We found it very hard to ascertain the route they had taken, but, perhaps, should have succeeded had it not have been on account of the tremendous rain that commenced falling about ten o'clock and continued during the whole day, which so obliterated the sign that I could follow it no further. I then returned to where we had met those the evening before, and took their back trail, and followed it about eight miles, through
swamp, in mud and water waist deep. When we came to the town that they had left we found it entirely abandoned, and the houses all torn down. It was on one of the islands in the marsh, south of the lake about six miles. They were evidently moving to higher grounds. The Indian child I have here, and will send her in when I get more to send with her, which I hope will be in a few days. The Indian we killed, I think, was the chief of this party, from his superior dress.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
G. W. HAGGARD,
WM. H. KENDRICK, Captain Commanding company F. M. V.
A. A. A. G., Fort Brooke, Fla.
FORT RIDGELY, MINNESOTA, April 9, 1857.
SIR: On the morning of the 19th of March last I received from the headquarters of this post an order to proceed with the effective force of my company to Spirit lake, on the southern border of Minnesota, where, it was reported, certain houses had been plundered and citizens killed by a band or bands of Sioux Indians. The call for assistance came from Des Moines City, on the Des Moines river, some fifteen miles north of Spirit lake. At 12 p. m. my company, numbering forty-eight, rank and file, was en route to its destination, taking, by advice of experienced guides, a long and circuitous route down the valley of the Minnesota as far as South Bend for the purpose of following as long as possible a beaten track. The season was unpropitious for military operations; the snow lay in heavy masses on the track which I was following, but those masses were thawing and could not bear the weight of the men much less that of the heavy sleds with which I was compelled to travel. The narrative of a single day's march is the history of the whole-wading through deep drifts, cutting through them with the spade and shovel, extricating mules and sleighs from sloughs, or dragging the latter up steep hills or over bare spaces of prairie, the men wet from morning till night and sleeping on the snow; such were the obstacles I encountered while still on the beaten track, the terminus of which was at a farm belonging to a man by the name of Slocum. From this point to the Des Moines was an unbroken waste of snow. An attempt had been made to carry provisions through but had failed.
Mr. Flandreau, the agent for the Sioux, and Mr. Prescott, an experienced guide and interpreter, started with me from the fort and pushed on as far as Slocum's to try and discover the truth or falsity of the report upon which my march was ordered. On their return they stated that nothing definite could be learned, that the roads were almost if not quite impassable, and that as I must necessarily be absent several weeks it behooved them to return. I proceeded to South Bend, on the Minnesota river, where I purchased additional rations, and moved on to Slocum's. On arriving there I learned that the
sleighs which had attempted to cross over to the Des Moines were still on the prairie, at an immense drift some seven miles off. I therefore sent my guide, Joseph La Framboise, to examine this drift and report as to the practicability of my turning or crossing it. He returned and reported that it could not be passed without work. This determined me to remain at Slocum's the next day while a working party should clear the road; by so doing I obtained time to send for a couple of beeves in the vicinity. On the morning of the 26th of March I left Slocum's and commenced the most arduous part of my journey, but before my camp was struck two settlers from the Des Moines came in, ostensibly after provisions, and reported that the Indians (some thirty lodges) were encamped at a grove some eight miles above the settlement, where a half-breed by the name of Coursoll, or "Caboo," as he is known among the Sioux, had located a claim. This report determined me at once to strike for this grove, and I so directed my guide. I scoured the whole grove without success, but finally met Caboo, who informed me that Inkpadutah's band had "wiped out" the settlement and gone to Heron lake, some twenty-five miles off, in the direction of the Yankton country; that he was confident the Indians were there, although their determination was to join the Yankton's who were fighting the troops on the Missouri. Weary from my long march I made my camp, and after reflection concluded that I would still leave the settlement unvisited until I made an endeavor to overtake this band of Sioux. The approach to the lake was somewhat concealed; everything was still and quiet; the guide went ahead, a shot was fired and he turned back; in an instant my men were deployed as skirmishers, and advancing a little quicker on the flanks encircled the grove, but again were we doomed to disappointment. The camp was there, with all its traces of plunder and rapine; books, scissors, articles of female apparel, furs, and traps, were scattered on the ground; the marks of some six or seven tepis (lodges) were there, but they had been struck Friday night or Saturday morning. This was Sunday afternoon-there remained a single chance; some four miles distant was another lake and grove, towards which led the trail of the Indians. I directed Lieut. Murray to mount at once and dash for this grove, but if the signs which he might find there were as old as those before me to lose no time in unavailing pursuit, but to return. This last he soon did with the report that a stop had been made there, but that the guide reported the signs two days' old.
I now present the following as the facts. Some six weeks or two months since Inkpadutah's band, mustering some twelve or thirteen warriors, were hunting in Iowa, on the Inyan Yankey, or Little Sioux river. A dog belonging to one of the settlers attacked an Indian and was killed by him. The owner punished the Indian, and other citizens probably fearing the consequences took the guns away from the whole band, leaving them no means of providing their daily subsistence. These Indians bore no great love to the whites at best; two of the chief's daughters had married Sioux of the Yankton nation, both of whom were with the party. They, determined on revenge, returned to the place where their guns had been stored, found it unguarded, got possession of their arms, and swept the valley of the
Little Sioux up to Spirit lake. On this lake were several houses scattered at wide intervals through the grove; all of these they plundered, killing the inhabitants and probably bearing off with them some women. A man by the name of Markham had been absent from Spirit lake; on his return he went to the house where he boarded, or was employed, and found its inhabitants lifeless on the floor; he ran to another house and found Indian lodges pitched before its door, he then made his way to the small settlement called Springfield, or Des Moines City, and gave the alarm; the inhabitants collected in two houses on the east bank of the river; on the west was a single house belonging to a man by the name of Wood, who carried on a large traffic with the Indians, many of whom resort to the Des Moines during the winter and spring for the purpose of hunting. While the settlers on the east bank sent to Fort Ridgely for assistance this man Wood, with his brother, remained on the west bank, ridiculed their fears, and when Inkpadutah's band came in from Spirit lake, traded with the members until a few days before the troops arrived, and then told them they had better keep out of the way for soldiers were coming. This brought affairs to a crisis; the Indians crossed the river, plundered the vacant houses, found one house unfortunately occupied, its owner, Josiah Stewart, having left the house where the settlers had congregated, and returned to his own homestead with his wife and three children. Here the savages revelled in blood. When I visited the spot the father lay dead on his threshold, the mother with one arm encircling her murdered infant lay outside the door, and by her side was stretched the lifeless body of a little girl of three summers; the eldest, a boy of ten, escaped. Attacks were then made on the two houses of which I have spoken. In one, no damage was done; in the other, a man by the name of Thomas had his arm broken, his son, some ten years of age was killed, and a young woman was slightly wounded. The Indians then crossed the river, killed probably both of the Woods, although I only succeeded in finding the body of one of them, plundered the trading house, and hurried off with an abundance of guns, powder, lead, and provisions, to ascend the Des Moines and join the Yanktons.
While expressing my regret and disappointment that the object of my expedition was not attained, viz: the punishment of the Indians, I would be doing injustice to the officers and men of my company were I not to bring to the notice of the commanding officer the cheerfulness and patience with which they encountered the fatigues of no ordinary march; and perhaps I would be doing injustice to myself did I not assert that I used the best energies of my nature to carry out the instructions which I received.
And am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
BARNARD E. BEE,
Captain Commanding Company "D," 10th Infantry. First Lieut. H. E. MAYNADIER,
Adjutant, 10th Infantry.
HEADQUARTERS, FORT RIDGELY, April 14, 1857.
HENRY E. MAYNADIER, Adjutant.
A true copy.
FORT SNELLING, August 3, 1857.
GENERAL: Major Sherman, 3d artillery, came in yesterday evening in advance of his company, coming to this post by easy marches from the upper agency, at the mouth of the Yellow Medicine river, about forty miles above Fort Ridgely.
This company is under orders for Fort Leavenworth, and will embark for St. Louis in a few days after its arrival here. The company is expected to arrive the 5th instant.
I have had much conversation with Major Sherman, and also Captain Bee, in relation to Indian affairs.
The Indians, after much difficulty, have agreed to the terms of the superintendent, Mr. Cullen; and Little Crow, a friendly chief of the lower bands, is now out with 130 warriors to capture Inkpadutah and his band. All the Indians have left the agency and gone to their respective homes. The number collected amounted to 5,000, and Major Sherman estimates the warriors, all fully armed, at 2,000. Others carry this number up to 2,500, and even 3,000. The lowest estimate is no doubt the most correct.
About fifty lodges were Yanctons, who do not receive annuities, but were present to demand part of the annuity to be paid the Sissetons, on the alleged ground that the latter, in their treaty, sold some of the lands belonging to the former. A similar demand was made the year previous, and the Sissetons gave the Yanctons part of the goods, but
In order, general, to give you a correct idea of the temper of the Indians, I must be somewhat minute in my detail. After the massacre at Spirit lake the son of Inkpadutah took possession of Miss Gardner; whereupon his wife, belonging to Sleepy Eye's band, left him and returned to her people. When Miss Gardner was delivered up, Inkpadutah's son visited Sleepy Eye's camp to seek and obtain, as some suppose, his wife. Others take the ground that this band sympathized with the murderers and harbored this Indian, who was afterwards killed.
With this latter view of the case, under the instructions from Washington, payment of the annuities was withheld.
This measure exasperated the Indians, especially the Sissetons, who say they should not be held responsible for the acts of Inkpadutah and his followers, for they are not allied to them by blood, or in any manner whatever.
Judge Flandreau, then the agent, learning that Inkpadutah's son was in Sleepy Eye's camp, requested of Captain Bee, commanding at Fort Ridgely, some troops to take the Indian captive. Lieutenant Murray, 10th infantry, with a small detachment, was sent with instructions to make the capture, but not to molest any women and children. A charge having been made upon the camp by the troops, the Indian ran, but was subsequently found and killed.
The agent then desired to capture the wife, which the lieutenant objected to, but she was taken; and this greatly exasperated the Indians, a number of whom armed themselves, proceeded to the agency, and demanded the return of the woman, which was done by