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The accompanying tables exhibit the general distribution of the army in the several military departments. The 10th infantry has been replaced in Minnesota by four companies of the 2d infantry from the upper Missouri, and two companies of artillery from the seaboard. Two companies of the 7th infantry have been transferred from Fort Smith, Arkansas, to Fort Laramie, on the Oregon route.
It was the intention of the department to relieve the 4th infantry on the Pacific coast by the 6th infantry, and orders were issued early in March last directing the 4th infantry to concentrate at Fort WallaWalla, Washington Territory, and proceed from that point to Fort Benton, on the upper Missouri, and thence by water, to Fort Leavenworth, Arkansas, constructing the road upon its route provided for by the act of Congress of February 6, 1855. The companies of the 6th infantry then stationed at Forts Kearny and Laramie were ordered to proceed to the Pacific by the route through the South Pass, and the companies of that regiment serving in Kansas to follow the route indicated for the 4th infantry. But after a very careful examination of the subject, it was considered that before the troops would be ready for the march, and the necessary arrangements could be made for the construction of the road, the season would be too far advanced to execute successfully, during the present year, the movements contemplated, and it was with reluctance accordingly deferred.
The state of affairs in the Territory of Utah being such as in the opinion of the government to require the presence of a military force in that quarter, an expedition was organized in June last, consisting of the 2d dragoons, a battery of artillery, and the 5th and 10th regiments of infantry, and ordered to march to, and take up a position at or near Salt Lake City. Brevet Brigadier General W. S. Harney was originally named as the commander of this force, but it was subsequently deemed inadvisable to detach that officer from the special and highly important duties to which he had been assigned in Kansas, and the troops sent to Utah have been placed under the orders of Colonel A. S. Johnson, 2d cavalry. The instructions given the commanding officer of this expedition for his guidance accompany this report, and the statement of Captain S. Van Vliet, of the quartermaster's department, who was detached to Salt Lake City to obtain information as to the practicability of procuring military supplies at that point, is also annexed.
The Cheyenne Indians having committed numerous depredations upon the emigrants and other parties passing over the Oregon route, an expedition has been made into their country during the past summer by a body of troops under the command of Colonel E. V. Sumner, 1st cavalry, composed of a squadron of the 2d dragoons, three squadrons of the 1st cavalry, and three companies of the 6th infantry. On the 29th of July Colonel Sumner came suddenly upon a large body of the Cheyennes, drawn up in battle array; in the conflict which ensued nine Indians are reported killed, and many wounded. On our part two men were killed, and one officer and eight men wounded. Colonel Sumner's reports of this affair are herewith submitted.
A column, consisting of two squadrons of the 1st cavalry and two
companies of the 6th infantry, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel J. E. Johnson, 1st cavalry, has been employed under the act of Congress of July 8, 1856, in the survey and demarcation of the southern boun dary of Kansas, and incidentally, in the preservation of the peace of the plains within the limits of its operations. This duty has been performed with great promptitude.
The unsettled state of affairs in Kansas during the past year has made it necessary to concentrate a large body of troops in that Territory for the preservation of the public peace. At the present time two companies of the 2d dragoons, the 1st cavalry, three batteries of light artillery, thirteen companies of foot artillery, and seven companies of the 6th infantry are serving in Kansas, under the immediate orders of Brevet Brigadier General W. S. Harney. Copies of the instructions issued to that officer, and of papers narrating the progress of events in the Territory, are appended.
The Indians in Texas have continued to commit depredations upon the exposed settlements, and upon the persons and property of travellers passing through that State. The scouting parties sent out from time to time from the military posts have, however, in several instances, inflicted summary punishment upon the offenders. Many Indians have been killed, and much stolen property has been recaptured.
In the department of the Pacific no hostilities of a serious nature have been reported. The troops are so posted as to afford adequate protection against our own Indians, but apprehensions are constantly felt by the inhabitants on Puget's Sound on account of the incursions of the British and Russian Indians. These Indians are very warlike in character, and move about the Sound with great rapidity in very large and well managed canoes, and can only be kept in subjection by the employment of an efficient war steamer upon the waters adjacent to their territory. This measure has been strongly recommended by the department commander and the general-in-chief.
Indian disturbances have been of occasional occurrence in the department of New Mexico, although in general of a less formidable aspect than heretofore. A campaign was made during the spring and summer against the Mogollon, Gila, and Coyotero Apaches, located west of the Rio Grande, in the progress of which an action took place on the 27th June, on the Gila river, between a part of the troops under the command of Colonel B L. E. Bonneville, 3d infantry, and the Coyotero Indians, resulting in the complete discomfiture of the latter. Twenty warriors were left dead on the battle field. The details of this engagement will be found in the accompanying papers.
The exigencies of the service in Kansas and Utah compelled the department to withdraw the 4th artillery and the 5th infantry from Florida, at a time when the operations being prosecuted by these regiments appeared to give good promise of a speedy and successful termination of the campaign against the hostile Seminoles, in which they were engaged. The companies of the 1st artillery remaining in Florida, and the volunteers which, on the transfer of so large a portion of the regular force to other duties, it was found necessary to call into the service of the general government, have been actively em
ployed during the past season. The hiding places resorted to by the Indians have been penetrated, and hostile parties have, in several instances, been so closely pressed by the troops as to barely escape capture.
Early in March last a small band of outlaws from the Yancton Sioux Indians, under a chief named Ink-pah-du-tah, attacked a settlement near Spirit Lake, Minnesota, destroying the houses and murdering several persons. The scene of these outrages is on the Iowa line, about one hundred miles west of south, direct from Fort Ridgely. Colonel Alexander, 10th infantry, the commanding officer of Fort Ridgely, on being informed of the outbreak, forthwith despatched a company of forty-eight men under Captain Bee, 10th infantry, to render assistance to the settlers, and, if possible, to overtake and chastise the Indians. The annexed extract from Captain Bee's report af April 9 gives a full account of the difficulties of his march through unbeaten snows, which prevented him from cutting off the hostile party, and also of the origin and extent of the depredations committed. It was feared that collisions would occur between parties of whites, who had armed themselves for defence against apprehended attacks, and the bands of friendly Indians who were pursuing their usual avocations of hunting and making sugar near the settlements. Orders were immediately issued from the department to the commanding officers of Forts Ridgely and Snelling to send out detachments to punish the murderers; and, in consequence of reports which were received that the large numbers of Indians assembled at the Sioux agencies for the payment of their annuities were in a state of excitement, threatening serious disturbances, four companies of artillery were hastened from the seaboard to Fort Snelling.
In compliance with instructions from the War Department, caused by apprehensions of Indian hostilities, Brevet Major G. W. Patten, with his company of the 2d infantry, on the 12th September, re-occupied Fort Ripley, on the Crow-Wing river, which post had been abandoned July 8. Major Patten's report, dated October 7, which is annexed, presents an account of the disturbances which led to the desertion of the missions at Leech and Gull lakes. I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Hon. JOHN B. FLOYD,
A.-Organization of the regular army
Corps of engineers...
Corps of topographical engineers.
1st regiment of dragoons
2d regiment of dragoons
Aggregate of dragoons....
1st regiment of cavalry.. 2d regiment of cavalry.
Aggregate of cavalry
Regiment of mounted riflemen...
Aggregate of artillery.
1st regiment of infantry... 2d regiment of infantry.. 3d regiment of infantry.. 4th regiment of infantry.. 5th regiment of infantry. 6th regiment of infantry.. 7th regiment of infantry..
8th regiment of infantry..
9th regiment of infantry.
10th regiment of infantry.......
Aggregate of infantry......
Non-commissioned staff, unattached to regiments....
222350 246 *5 ||19|||19| 280 212 40 22 19 19 25 10 ††72 168 802 802 100 298 60 96 19044 250 1098 11665 12763
the minimum or fixed organization is given, viz: 50 privates to a company of dragoons, 64 to a company of light artillery or riflemen, and 42 to one of artillery or infantry. By right of the authority vested in him, the President has directed that the number of privates be carried up to 74 in the several companies serving in the peninsular of Florida and on the island of Key West, in the same State; in Texas, New Mexico, California, Oregon and Washington Territories, as well as in those stationed at Forts Snelling and Ripley, on the Upper Mississippi; Fort Ridgely, on the Minnesota river; Fort Riley, on the Kansas; Fort Arbuckle, on the False Washita river; Forts Kearny and Laramie, on the Oregon route; the several companies engaged in the Utah expedition, and those serving in Kansas. There being 178 companies serving at, or in route to, these distant stations, the authorized increase in the number of private is 5,112, making the "total enlisted" (as the troops are posted or in route) 16,777, and the "aggregate" 17,875 If all the companies belonging to "regiments" (198) were serving at the distant stations described, the additional number of privates allowed would then be 5,686, thus increas ing the "total enlisted" to 17,351, and the "aggregate" to 18,449.
**Two companies in the 1st and one in each of the other regiments of artillery being equipped as light artil lery, are allowed in consequence, "64" instead of 42 privates per company. See act "to increase the rank and file of the army," &c., approved June 17, 1850, section 1.
By the act of April 5, 1832, section 2, "providing for the organization of the ordnance department," the number of ordnance sergeants cannot exceed one for each military post."
By the act of August 16, 1856, section 2, "providing for a necessary increase and better organization of the medical and hospital department of the army," the number of hospital stewards cannot exceed "one for each military post." S. COOPER, Adjutant General.
ADJUTANT General's Office, Washington, November 28, 1857.