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the agent; and then the Indians demanded two beeves as a recompense, which also was granted. Before this time a call was made on Major Sherman to send troops to the agency about the 5th of July, the time for the payment of the annuities. He proceeded from this post with his battery, and was joined by a detachment of Captain Bee's company. His presence was of the first importance, for when the Indians were informed they must deliver up Inkpadutah and his band before they would be paid their excitement was great. You may judge of the effect upon the whites when informed that many of the employés of the Indian department went off entirely without receiving their pay. But for the presence of the troops it is thought the agency would have been attacked and pillaged. Colonel Abercrombie's arrival at Fort Ridgely with four companies 2d infantry was most opportune; and the Indians, being entirely ignorant of this movement, were greatly surprised. Major Patten's company was detached to the agency to relieve the detachment of the 10th infantry, and Major Sherman was further reinforced by a second company (Sully's.) The Indians were called to council on several different days, but they presented themselves armed, and they were accordingly dismissed. In the evening of one of the days a soldier of Major Patten's company, going a short distance from the camp, was stabbed in the back by a Sisseton. About this time Little Crow came up with some of his friendly Indians, and going to Major Sherman offered his assistance in case of an attack, which, it was reported, would be made that night. Major Sherman put no faith in the report. After examination showed that the Sisseton who stabbed the soldier acted without the knowledge of his people. He, though a Sisseton, was, on the side of one of his parents, a Yancton. On the day referred to the superintendent gave the Sissetons some provisions, and this Indian wished his people to share with the Yanctons, which was not done. High words passed between the chief and this man, and the former called him a coward, when the latter said he would show him before night whether he was a coward. The Indian was disarmed, but it seems his knife was overlooked. He lurked about the camp of the troops, and seeing a single soldier stabbed him. This act caused considerable excitement amongst the troops, and Lieutenant Spencer, 2d infantry, with a small command, was sent to demand the Indian. He was received by an armed party of Indians, who cocked their guns as he approached. He dismounted from his horse, halted his men, gave his pistol to a soldier, and advanced alone. A peremptory refusal was given to his demand. Next day the chiefs, after much delay, agreed to deliver up the man, and he was brought; but when Major Sherman went to receive him, the young men took possession of the Indian and carried him off. This was a critical moment for the major, for had he then opened a fire, which he might have done, war was inevitable. To further demands the Indian was given up and placed in charge of the guard. The night previous to this Little Crow passed in the Sisseton camp, and by his entreaties induced these Indians to agree to the terms of the superintendent, by sending two warriors from each band (all to be under Little Crow) after the murderers.
In the council which followed the arrangements were made; but
near its close the Indian in confinement, sitting in front of the guard tent, sprang to his feet and ran in the direction of the council, supposing, no doubt, that the guard would be afraid to fire lest the balls would take effect upon the officers and others in council. The guard saw the danger, but fired low, and six balls pierced the legs of the Indian. Major Sherman afterwards told the Indians that he cared nothing further about the man. After the council was over the Indians broke up their camp and moved off. Major Sherman remained at the agency three days thereafter, and on the 27th instant commenced his return march.
Inkpadutah's people, few in number, are very much scattered, and Little Crow may have difficulty in capturing any of them. Even if he should fail, I would think it good policy to pay the annuities; for the annuity bands, as they are called, have nothing to do with the murderers.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant, L. THOMAS, Assistant Adjutant General.
Lieutenant General WINFIELD SCOTT,
FORT SNELLING, August 10, 1857
GENERAL: I have the honor to report my return to this place yes terday from Fort Ridgely, after an absence of seven days.
Whilst at the fort I had a full conversation with Lieutenant Colonel Abercrombie, the commanding officer, and also with Mr. Cullen, the superintendent of Indian affairs, who arrived from the agency about the same time I reached the post. According to all I could learn, I judge that the Indians are perfectly quiet, and will comply, as far as they can, with the demands of the superintendent in reference to Inkpadutah's band. Little Crow had just returned to the agency from his expedition against their people. Towards the evening of July 28, I think, he found a party of them on Skunk lake and attacked them, and after about twenty minutes drove them into the water. Three men were killed, (one of them another son of Inkpadutah,) one badly wounded and taken prisoner; he managed to escape during the night. Two women and one child were taken prisoners and brought in; one the discarded wife of a brother of Inkpadutah; the other now the widow of one of the men killed. All the property of the party was taken. Inkpadutah was not with this party, but the report is that he and his immediate family have gone to the vicinity of the Missouri river, in the country of the Yanktons, and perhaps has crossed that river. The band who committed the murders on Spirit lake consisted of twelve men and two boys; four men have been killed and one badly wounded. The wounded man was shot in both arms (breaking the bone of one,) and in the side.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant General WINFIELD SCOTT,
P. S.-The Indian who stabbed the soldier at the agency has since died of his wounds.
HEADQUARTERS, FORT RIPLEY, M. T.
SIR The report of the intended abandonment of Fort Ripley in June last spread like wildfire among the Indians, producing a marked change in their conduct. They became insolent and reckless in their bearing towards the whites. No sooner had the troops left the garrison in July last than their outbreaks commenced. They attacked the mission buildings of the Rev. Mr. Breck at Leech lake; broke in his windows and demanded whatever they wanted.
After the lapse of a day or two the same thing was repeated, and, bent on violence, they seized a calf and killed it. Two others (nude with the exception of the breach apron) and flourishing their knives, demanded Mr. Breck, and when he would not come out (as he thought they intended murdering him) they attempted to get in at the window and were only prevented from accomplishing their purpose by some squaws, who, as often as they attempted to get in, pulled them back.
As the mission under these circumstances could only sustain itself by meeting violence by violence, and this probably only for a short time, and the occupants thinking themselves in imminent danger of their lives, Mr. Breck, the mission family, and most of the government employés left and arrived at Fort Ripley on the 12th of July. This was followed by several instances of plunder. One Mr. Miracle, at Otter Tail lake, was robbed of all his provisions and groceries by a band of the "Pillagers." A party of about fifteen men, getting out lumber in the employ of a citizen of St. Anthony, were attacked, robbed of all their provisions, and forced to return to Crow Wing. On the 11th of August, a party of Indians killed a cow, stated by the Rev. Mr. Peake as belonging to the Gull lake mission. A portion of the cow, the Rev. Mr. Maney was credibly informed, (as he states,) was sent by the Indians as a present to Hole-in-the-Day, the head chief.
On the 15th of the same month an inoffensive German was murdered within a few hundred yards of the mission buildings at Gull lake by two Indians and a half-breed. The three murderers were arrested by members of the mission and brought the next day (Sunday) to Fort Ripley, under the idea (as the Rev. Mr. Peake states) that troops had already arrived at the garrison. As such was not the case, the Rev. Mr. Maney, the chaplain, who was still residing at Fort Ripley, hired a team and gave instructions to the young men who had the murderers in charge, to take them to Belle Prairie before Justice Hamilton, the nearest committing magistrate, and have them duly committed; and as the sheriff resided at Little Falls, about five miles beyond, it would be best that they themselves should deliver the criminals into the hands of the sheriff. They accordingly did so. Sheriff Pugh left Little Falls with the murderers shortly before noon on Monday, having them well secured, for the purpose of safe confinement either at St. Paul or Fort Snelling. When about seventeen miles from Little Falls the sheriff was overtaken by a mob of armed men who rescued the prisoners, brought them back to Swan river, and hung them about nine o'clock in the evening. In the morning they cut
them down and buried them in one hole, chained together as they were hung. Immediately on these things being known there was intense excitement among all the Indians, accompanied by threats of revenge. Man for man could alone satisfy them. As the murderers were arrested by members of the mission at Gull lake, these Indians seemed to hold them responsible for the lynching and hanging of the prisoners, and consequently they were the first to feel the fury of the storm. Fearing that the lives of some of them would be sacrificed, Mr. Peake, with the other members of the mission, again left Gull lake on the morning of the 20th and arrived at Fort Ripley the same day.
On the 22d (Saturday) Mr. Maney and Mr. Peake rode to Crow Wing. About 3 p. m. Crow Feather, the principal brave of Hole-inthe Day, a man whose bravery and truthfulness are proverbial among the whites and Indians, came into town slightly intoxicated. He communicated to Mr. Clement Beauleau, his nephew, Hole-in-the-Day's plan, as made known to some six or eight of his braves on the night previous, viz: that he and one other should proceed to Crow Wing and kill the first white man they met, and that six others should proceed immediately to Gull lake and burn the mission buildings, church, and other property.
It is said of Crow Feather that he refused to enter into the plan of murdering the white men, saying that he had been among the whites a great deal, and had received nothing but kindness from them.
About this time another Indian was seen skulking through the bushes, naked all but his breech-apron, a convincing proof to the whites that his purpose was that of murder.
To prevent, if possible, the murder of any white man, and the destruction of the mission buildings, a note signed by the Rev. Mr. Maney, Beaulieu Fairbanks, and some half dozen others of the principal persons about Crow Wing was immediately addressed to Holein-the-Day, to the effect that they were aware of his intentions, and knew that he was inciting a number of Indians to deeds of violence and murder, and if he persisted in carrying out his intentions he would be brought to a speedy and summary punishment. This note was delivered and read to him that afternoon. A party of Indians, however, had gone to Gull lake for the purpose, it was suspected, of burning the mission, and were found secreted around the buildings by an Indian who had been left in charge of them. Through his persuasion they were induced to desist from their purpose, he remarking, that if Hole-in-the-Day wished the mission burned he had better come and do it himself.
Crow Feather further stated that Hole-in-the-Day had addressed his braves, or some of them, in this wise: "That they were fools, or they would first burn the agency, then Crow Wing, and then Little Falls and Swan river."
I am told by the Rev. Mr. Maney that the excitement, resulting from the lynching and hanging of the Indians who committed the murder, during its highest pitch, was greatly allayed by the report (premature) that troops were on their way to Fort Ripley, and that the prisoners had been taken and hung by the troops, instead of by a mob of citizens.
They are, at present, apparently quiet, although among them are many turbulent young men, whom their chiefs seem unable to restrain. Major Heniman informs me that the reason assigned by the Indians for plundering is, that the property, &c., at the Mission belongs to them, it having been purchased by funds intended by the government for their use and benefit, and which has not been so appropriated.
However this may be, it can hardly be deemed an excuse for murdering in cold blood an inoffensive citizen in nowise connected with the Mission.
Very respectfully, I am, sir, your most obedient servant,
Capt. 2d Artillery, Brevet Major, Com'g Post.
ASSISTANT ADJUTANT GENERAL,
Headquarters Department of the West, St. Louis, Missouri.
REPORT OF THE QUARTERMASTER GENERAL.
QUARTERMASTER GENERAL'S OFFICE,
Washington City, November 21, 1857.
SIR: In obedience to your instructions, I have the honor to submit a report of the operations of the quartermaster's department during the fiscal year commencing on the 1st of July, 1856, and ending on the 30th of June last.
At the date of my last report, the balance in the hands of the officers and agents of the department to be accounted for was......
From which are to be deducted the following sums allowed by act of Congress to the officers named below, viz :
To Captain L. C. Easton............
To Captain F. Steele.........
To Major J. Belger......
To Captain A. Montgomery....
Leaving actually to be accounted for.
To which is to be added: 1. Remittances, viz: