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I am in hopes, from Ulay's action, that the war will not be general. Some young men with all the bands will probably go on the war path, but, with discretion, I hope to avoid the greater evil.
It will be better for the people of Colorado not to commence hostilities with the Tabequaches until they see what they intend to do, as I believe they intend to keep peaceable.
All the Indians that come in here of course I shall have to feed. Write at once and tell me what funds of the Interior Department you have on hand to spare for this purpose, as I wish to report at once to the commanding general. Respectfully yours,
Brevet Brigadier General U. S. Volunteers. Governor CUMMINGS,
Denver, Colorado Territory.
TRINIDAD, COLORADO TERRITORY, October 3, 1866. DEAR CARROLL: I wrote you this morning, but, as I have had a severe skirmish since with the Indians, I do not send the note. I killed about thirteen of them, and lost private Bruxson killed, and privates Cooley and Willis wounded, not dangerously. I had them handsomely whipped, but unfortunately got out of ammunition and stopped. Just as I had finished the enclosed to General Carleton, a citizen came and told me they were going to fight. I immediately mounted and took the gallop. Upon reaching a point five miles up the river, I saw them attack a ranch. They, however, retreated, when they saw me coming, leisurely towards the mountains. I pressed them sharply, and had them on the sharp when my amipunition gave out.
They did not follow me, except a few men to try and get their dead, which I brought off.
A. J. ALEXANDER. Lieutenant CARROLL, Fort Stevens.
SUPERINTENDENCY OF INDIAN AFFAIRS, COLORADO TERRITORY,
Denver, October 11, 1866. GENERAL: I received your letters, enclosing one from Colonel Alexander relating to the Indian troubles. The government, as well as myself personally, are under obligations for your prompt information, as well as for your valuable services in quieting, so far as possible, the Indians in your vicinity.
I send to-day a special messenger with a view to the security of the annuity goods, which are on the road to Pueblo, and will reach there probably by the 14th instant. My judgment accords with yours as expressed in your letter of the 7th instant, and I will issue the goods at or near the time appointed, if it can be accomplished. The difficulty in the way, however, is that the contract for delivery of the goods is for the Huerfano, near the crossing. The party having the contract is unwilling, in the present uncertain condition of affairs, to undertake to deliver the goods across the mountains. The wagons are loaded for the roads of the plains country, and he says are not in a condition to cross the mountains. I would suggest, therefore, that you send a sufficient escort immediately to Pueblo, where the trains will remain until the escort arrives there, as I deem it entirely unsafe, from what I learn, to permit them to go unprotected from Pueblo to the crossing.
Then, in addition, if you were to send, with some other troops, as many Indians as you could safely confide in, with their ponies, say fifty to one hundred, they could relieve the train of much of the weight of blankets or other goods, and the wagons would then be so relieved as to enable the contractor to convey the remainder to the fort without difficulty.
I submit this matter to your better judgment, and am sure you will adopt the wisest course under the circumstances. I will meet you at the crossing, as originally agreed upon, and hope that by our joint efforts some plan will be adopted to secure the peace of the neighborhood, and enable the government to maintain its faith with the Indians who remain deserv.. ing of its consideration.
You will oblige me by communicating the contents of this letter to Agent Head, who will of course, be present according to appointment. Your obedient servant,
Governor and Superintendent of Indian Affairs. General C. CARSON,
Commanding Fort Graham.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF MINNESOTA,
DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI,
St. Paul, January 11, 1866. MAJOR: For the information of the major general commanding I beg to report that five Indians, from the upper Missouri, came in to one of my scouting stations some time ago and reported that a general desire existed among all the Indians, except those engaged in the massacre, to make peace with the whites. Since that event eleven lodges (I am informed) have surrendered to the scouts at one of the stations on James river. With the same report I also learn that many of those engaged in the massacre are anxious to come in and surrender, but they are apprehensive of ill treatment. I have directed Indians to be sent out to encourage them to surrender themselves, with the assurance that no harm shall accrue to them by that act.
The Medawakantons are now encamped at Turtle mountain, on the British line. The Sissitons, with Standing Buffalo and Warrata, are encamped on White Earth river. The locality of the latter stream I do not exactly know, but think it to be a river near the international line, north of Turtle mountain, and emptying into White lake.
A gentleman from Fort Garry reports that some of the Indians (about sixty) engaged in the insurrection are now in the employ of settlers along the Red river, in British territory; that an effort was made by the balance to unite with the Blackfeet and Assinaboines, but the latter declined, and the negotiations terminated in trouble.
I will keep all Indians beyond my exterior line of posts except those that, having participated in the massacre, come in and surrender themselves for protection. The tribes that desire to negotiate for permanent peace I will encourage, but not enter into any terms with them, except to have them understand that as long as they behave themselves I will not engage in hostilities against them.
Any further instructions the major general commanding may have will be very acceptable at this time, as I am inclined to believe the Indian question, as far as it is practicable, may be settled by treaty before spring. I am, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN M. CORSE,
Brevet Major General. Major J. P. SHERBURN, Adj'l Gen'l Department of the Missouri, St. Louis, Mo. HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI,
SI. Louis, January 18, 1866. Official:
JOHN P. SHERBURN,
Assistant Adjutant General. Hon. SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR,
Washington, D. C.
Yankton, February 15, 1866. Sir: I beg leave to transmit herewith copies of letters just received from United States Indian Agent J. M. Stone and Captain Samuel G. Sewail, in relation to the condition of the Upper Sioux Indians, still at the Crow Creek agency; also copy of my instructions to Agent Stone for supplying them temporarily with food; and copy of my letter to Captain Sewall, in reply to his communication to me of the 6th instant.
You will observe that I urge upon Agent Stone the importance of getting the Yankton Indians down to their own reservation at the earliest practicable moment. My object in this is to reduce, by every possible means, the numbers to be fed at Crow creek, where the ex. pense of feeding them is vastly more than at their own agency, owing to the extreme se verity of the weather and the increased depth of snow as you get up the country. I think it extremely doubtful about my being able to get teams to go through to the Crow Creek agency at this time, if indeed I am able to get them to start out at all. Day before yester day I undertook to get the letter to Agent Stone (copy herewith) expressed io Fort Randall by special messenger. The messenger was on horseback, and after getting about ten miles on his road from this place was met by the most terrific snow and wind storm we have had this winter. The atmosphere was so perfectly filled with snow, for more than sixteen hours,
that it was not possible to see twenty feet into it. The messenger lost his way, and, after drifting about on the prairie for several hours, finally returned to this place about eight o'clock p. m., thoroughly exhausted and badly frozen. Nothing but the sagacity of his horse saved his life.
The storm was so severe that several of our citizens who were out to their neighbors, but a few rods from their own houses, and thoroughly familiar with the roads, could not find their way home; and two gentlemen, who undertook to reach home, missed their road, brought up at a barn, and spent the whole night within one hundred feet of a house, not knowing where they were, with the thermometer 150 to 20% below zero. I mention these facts only to show you the difficulties and danger to be overcome in getting subsistence to these starving Indians at this time.
I had supposed, indeed I felt confident, that provisions enough were at Crow creek to last the Indians proper of that agency (and feed them comfortably) to past the middle of April next; but to feed five or six hundred extra Indians, of course, will rapidly shorten their supplies, and if they are to be fed for any considerable length of time I fear their supply will become exhausted before I can possibly get teams through there with additional supplies.
I have just received advices that there are also from seventy-five to one hundred lodges of these Upper Sioux Indians at the Dirt Lodges on the James or Dakota river, nearly east of Crow creek, (distant from Crow creek about seventy-five or eighty miles.) These are also said to be starving, simply on account of the severity of the winter and the extraordinary depth of snow. I shall endeavor to get reliable information from these people as soon as possible. I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Governor and er-officio Superintendent Indian Affairs. Hon. D, N. COOLEY,
Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Washington, D. C.
CROW CREEK AGENCY, D. T., February 5, 1865. SIR : There has been, for the past four weeks, between five and six hundred Indians, counting of Brulés, Tetons or Two Kettles, and Yanktons, on this reservation in a starving condition. More are coming in from the upper Missouri daily, all entirely destitute. They crowd into the lodges of the Indians who belong here, and beg so piteously for something to eat that they are obliged to divide the food which they have, and which is scarcely sufficient for their own subsistence, thus entailing great suffering among the Indians of this agency.
Most of these unwelcome visitors will remain with us until the middle of next month, and perhaps longer, as the snow is from fifteen to thirty inches deep throughout this section of ihe country. The weather at present and for the past month has been unusually cold, the mercury varying from 100 to 230 below zero.
I cannot hope that they will move off until the weather moderates and the snow partially disappears. Even then the Tetons and Brulés will not leave unless there is a fair prospect of finding buffalo within a few days' journey.
While they remain here their situation is every day becoming worse, and they more des. perate ; they threaten to attack and destroy the post if food is not given to them. Captain Smith, with his small force of thirty men, is taking every precaution to defend the place.
The Brulés who are here say they made a treaty with the peace commissioners at Fort Sully last fall, and, because of having done so, they are as much entitled to the provisions here as the Indians who belong on the reservation. This seems to be the belief of all the Indians here from the upper Missouri
, and may yet cause us much trouble and perhaps bloodshed. A fight with them within a few days would not surprise me.
My supplies on hand are barely sufficient to subsist the Sioux of the Mississippi until the month of April, and we cannot hope to get supplies here by boat until the last of May, and to bring them by teams any time between now and the first of May will be attended with great expense. This state of things causes me to hesitate in issuing provisions to Indians who do not belong here. Humanity dictates that we should do something for these starving Indians.
I would respectfully ask for authority to issue to them provisions, in limited quantities weekly, until it is practicable for them to leave. I have determined to increase the quantity of beef issued weekly to the agency Indians while the others remain here, or until you order otherwise. Please advise me as soon as possible what course you think it best to pursue. I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. M. STONE,
United States Indian Agent. His Excellency NEWTON EDMUNDS,
Gorernor and ex-officio Superintendent Indian Affairs.
HEADQUARTERS MILITARY COMMANDANT,
Crow Creek Agency, D. T., February 6, 1866. Sir: I have the honor to inform you that during the last four or five weeks this post has been surrounded by large numbers of Indians in a state of great destitution, many of them almost in a starving condition; they have beset me day after day, begging piteously for something to eat. In many instances I have complied with their requests, and have issued to them, from the stores at my disposal, to as great an extent as my limited supplies will allow, and, finally, have been compelled to decline to issue to them any more. There is no doubt that they are suffering extremely from hunger, and it is feared that, in their desperation, some of them may be induced to make an attack, with a view of plundering the warehouses of the post. I have no doubt of being able to defend the post in case of an attack; but if a collision can be avoided by a timely and judicious issue of some of the provisions belonging to the Santees in the hands of the agent, Major Stone, I think it would be better to do so, and would respectfully suggest that he be authorized to inake such an issue. The snow in this section of the country is very deep, and the weather during the last month has been extremely cold, so much so as to prevent the Indians from supplying themselves with provisions by hunting. I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
SAMUEL G. SEWALL,
Captain 4th United States Volunteers, Commanding Post. His Excellency Newton EDMUNDS,
Gorernor of Dakota Territory.
CROW CREEK AGENCY, D. T., March 5, 1866. Sir: In pursuance of the instructions, in your letter of February 17, to come to this place and get information in relation to the present condition and numbers of the Upper Sioux Indians now at the Crow Creek agency, and those reported to be at or near the Dirt Lodges, so called, on James river, also those at Fort Suily, I have the nor to report as follows:
I was delayed a short time on account of transportation, but, by the kindness of Colonel Thornton, commanding at Fort Randall, I arrived here on the 25th ultimo. I found at this place, of the Upper Sioux Indians, only eight lodges, numbering sixty-one persons, of the Yanktonais tribe, under a chief known as the Buck. These Indians are still here, but will probably leave soon, as they say they have a cache on the prairies and will go as soon as they can get to it. They have subsisted on the few antelopes and rabbits they could kill, and the rations issued to them by Agent Stone, of this agency.
About the middle of December there had gathered about this agency two hundred and forty-nine lodges of Indians, as follows: thirty-one lodges of Brulés, eighteen lodges of Two Kettle, eight lodges of Yanktonais, and one hundred and ninety-two of Yanktons. It is estimated that there were about seven persons per lodge. The snow was too deep and the weather too cold and stormy for them to go out. They were in a suffering condition, literally starving, living on bark, dead horses and cattle, killing a few antelopes, and begging of the Indians of this agency.
Agent Stone issued provisions to them as their necessities actually required, and urged them to leave as soon as possible, as he could not feed them from his scanty supply of provisions. By the 20th of February they had all left here but the Yanktonais before men. tioned, the Ynnktons, most of them, going down to their agency, a few to James river.
The Two Kettle band, comprising eighteen lodges, estimated at one hundred and twenty. six persons, under the chief Spotted-Horse, went to Fort Randall only a few days previous to my arrival here. The Brulés went up the river.
As there has been no one here from the Dirt Lodges since the cold weather set in, I have not been able to get any information from that section.
As I could not get any satisfactory knowledge of the Indians at Fort Sully; I addressed a letter to Lieutenant Colonel Pattee, commanding post, who has kindly furnished me the desired information, as follows: "The number of Indians at this post, and within ten miles of bere, are as follows, as near as can be estimated : Brulé Sioux, about sixty lodges, or four hundred and twenty persons; Yanktonais, (lower,) about thirty-five lodges, or two hundred and forty persons; Two Kettle, about thirty-three lodges, or two hundrel and thirtyone persons; Minne Kanjous, about eighteen lodges, or one hundred and twenty-six persons; Blackfeet, about twenty-one lodges, or one hundred and forty-seven persons; SansArc, about twenty lodges, or one hundred and forty persons; Unk-pa-pa, about twelve lodges, or eighty-four persons : Ogel-lal-la, about twelve lodges, or eighty-four persons; Santoe, about ten lodges, or forty persons; Ogel-lal-la widows and children, three hundred persons.” He also reports: "These last came from Laramie during the winter, and claim to be war-widows." * The Brulé Sioux that are here act very different from all others, and
I regard them as the worst Indians now in the country; I can see hostilities in every look and gesture. I have made weekly issues of rations to all the Indians since the 1st of Feb. ruary of about three rations per week.” He also says: “Omahocta, a chief of the Lower Yanktonais, is camped at Dirt Lodges, on James river, but cannot say how many are with him. The snow is now fast going, and I shall drive away these Indians in a few days."
So far as I have been able to learn the Brulé Sioux are not regarded as of a friendly disposition and are looked upon with suspicion, but the other Indians seem anxious to preserve their amicable relations and treaties in every respect. As it is now difficult to transport provisions, it would be impossible to do anything for their subsistence before the time comes that the Indians can take care of themselves. In a short time the snow will have melted away sufficiently to enable them to go out and hunt buffalo. I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
F. A. L. DAY. His Excellency Newton EDMUNDS,
Goo, and ex-officio Supt. Ind. Affairs, Yankton, D. T.
Executive Office, Yankton, March 7, 1866. Sir: I have the honor to enclose, for your information, copy of a letter received yesterday from Colonel John Pattee, in command at Fort Sully, showing his issues for one week to the Indians about that post. You will observe that they amount in the aggregate to seventeen thousand nine hundred and seventy-five pounds.
I am in receipt, by same mail, of a private letter from Agent Stone, notifying me that he had forwarded an official report of the number of Upper Sioux Indians at the Crow Creek agency to whom he had made issues of provisions, and that up to the date of his letter, February 22 last, he had issuedo them upwards of sixty thousand pounds of beef, and flour and corn in proportion; and that, in addition to this amount, of which he has an exact account, at first, or when they arrived there, in order to satisfy their hunger, he for several weeks issued to the Indians under his charge largely in excess of their usual allowance, with the understanding that they were to divide the excess with the Upper Indians, thinking this the only way he could properly feed the outsiders and obtain the requisite receipt from the chiefs of the bands properly under his charge. On the arrival of the reports mentioned above. I will promptly forward copies for your information.
The issues made by the military authorities the department of Indian affairs I suppose will have nothing to do with, beyond proper acknowledgments for their generous and prompt co-operation in providing for the sufferers. In reference to the last paragraph of Colonel Pattee's letter, I desire to state that no such statement as is represented was made to the Brulé Indians by the commission to my knowledge; this matter is pnrely an invention of these Indians, having not the slightest foundation in fact, as the records of the proceedings of the commission will show; they are hungry now, and make these statements thinking it helps their appeal for relief. The amount, however, expended out of the provisions provided for feeding the Crow Creek Indians I should think it would be proper to restore, or at least credit to the fund so provided, in order that the office having charge of these Indians may not be liable to a charge of extravagance in sustaining them. Judging by the figures herewith, I think I may safely say that had these provisions all been paid for by the department which have been issued to these Indians prior to February 20, it would not have cost much less than $12,000, perhaps more. What is being done by Colonel Pattee I feel confident will go a long way towards cementing the friendship between the government and these Indians, and will be remembered by sufferers for many years.
The season is now rapidly approachin, when, in the ordinary course of events, the immense accumulations of snow in this country will rapidly disappear, and these Indians be able to subsist themselves by the chase as usual, though, to enable them to do so, it will doubtless be necessary to furnish them with sufficient provisions to reach a buffalo country. I greatly fear, however, they will have to be fed until about the 1st of April next. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Gorernor and ex-officio Superintendent Indian Affairs. Hon. D. N COOLEY,
Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Washington.
FORT SULLY, February 18, 1866. SIR: I wish you could be here to-morrow and see me issue to Indians. Last week I issued 4,412 pounds hard bread, 5,263 pounds flour, 3,600 pounds jowls and pigs' feet, 700