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Brigadier-General U. S. GRANT.
JOHN A. RAWLINS,
prising the remainder of the troops of the ex-out further molestation. While waiting for the pedition, commanded by Colonel John Dough- arrival of this regiment, and to get some of our erty, will follow. The entire force will debark wounded from a field hospital near-by, the eneat the lowest point on the Missouri shore, where my, having crossed fresh troops from Columbus, a landing can be effected in security from the again made his appearance on the river bank, rebel batteries. The point of debarkation will and commenced firing upon our transports. The be designated by Captain Walke, commanding fire was returned by our men from the decks of naval forces. the steamers, and also from the gunboats, with By order of terrible effect, compelling him to retire in the direction of Belmont. In the meantime, Colonel Buford, although he had received orders to return with the main force, took the Charleston road from Belmont and came in on the road leading to Bird's Point, where he had formed a line of battle in the morning. At this point, to avoid the effects of the shells from the gunboats that were beginning to fall among his men, he took a blind path direct to the river, and followed a wood road up its bank, and thereby avoided meeting the enemy, who were retiring by the main road. On his appearance on the river bark, a steamer was dropped down and took his command on board, without his having participated or lost a man in the enemy's attempt to cut us off from our transports.
Promptly at the hour designated, we proceeded down the river to a point just out of the range of the rebel batteries at Columbus, and debarked on the Missouri shore. From here the troops were marched, with skirmishers well in advance, by flank, about one mile toward Belmont, and there formed in line of battle. One battalion had been left as a reserve near the transports. Two companies from each regiment were thrown forward as skirmishers, to ascertain the position of the enemy, and about nine o'clock met and engaged him. The balance of my force, with the exception of the reserve,was promptly thrown forward, and drove the enemy foot by foot, and from tree to tree, back to his encampment on the river bank, a distance of over two miles. Here he had strengthened his position by felling the timber for several hundred yards around his camp, making a sort of abattis. Our men charged through this, driving the enemy under cover of the bank, and many of them into their transports in quick time, leaving us in possession of everything not exceedingly portable.
Belmont is situated on low ground, and every foot is commanded by the guns on the opposite shore, and of course could not be held for a single hour after the enemy became aware of the withdrawal of his troops. Having no wagons with me, I could move but little of the captured property, consequently gave orders for the destruction of everything that could not be moved, and an immediate return to our transports. Tents, blankets, &c., were set on fire and destroyed, and our return march commenced, taking his artillery and a large number of captured horses with us. Three pieces of artillery being drawn by hand, and one by an inefficient team, were spiked and left on the road; two were brought to this place.
We had but fairly got under way, when the enemy, having received reinforcements rallied under cover of the river bank, and the woods on the point of land in the bend of the river above us, and made his appearance between us and our transports, evidently with a design of cutting off our return to them.
Notwithstanding the crowded state of our transports, the only loss we sustained from the enemy's fire upon them was three men wounded, one of whom belonged to one of the boats.
Our loss in killed on the field was eighty-five, three hundred and one wounded (many of them, however, slightly), and ninety-nine missing. Of the wounded, one hundred and twenty-five fell into the hands of the enemy. Nearly all the missing were from the Seventh Iowa regiment, which suffered more severely than any other. All the troops behaved with great gallantry, which was in a great degree attributable to the coolness and presence of mind of their officers, particularly the Colonels commanding.
General McClernand was in the midst of danger throughout the engagement, and displayed both coolness and judgment. His horse was three times shot under him.
Colonel Dougherty, Twenty-second Illinois volunteers, commanding the second brigade, by his coolness and bravery, entitles himself to be named among the most competent of officers for command of troops in battle. In our second engagement he was three times wounded, and fell a prisoner into the hands of the enemy.
Among the killed was Lieutenant-Colonel A. Wentz, Seventh Iowa volunteers, and among the wounded were Colonel J. G. Lauman, and Major E. W. Rice, of the Seventh Iowa.
The reports of sub-commanders will detail more fully particulars of the engagement, and the conduct of both officers and men.
To my staff, Captain John A. Rawlins, Assistant Adjutant-General; Lieutenants C. B. LaOur troops were not in the least discouraged, gow and William S. Hillyer, Aides-de-Camp; but charged the enemy and again defeated him. and Captain R. B. Hatch, Assistant QuarterWe then, with the exception of the Twenty-master, I am much indebted for the promptiseventh Illinois, Colonel N. B. Buford command-tude with which they discharged their several ing, reached our transports and embarked with- duties.
Surgeon J. H. Brinton, United States volunteers, chief medical officer, was on the field during the entire engagement, and displayed great ability and efficiency in providing for the wounded, and in organizing the medical corps.
Major J. D. Webster, Acting Chief-Engineer, also accompanied me on the field, and displayed soldierly qualities of a high order.
My own horse was shot under me during the engagement.
OPERATIONS IN THE NORTH-WEST.
REPORT OF GENERAL POPE.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE NORTH-WEST, }
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN, November 3, 1804. GENERAL: I have the honor to submit the following report of operations in this department during the past year:
The two great Indian nations which occupy this military department are the Chippewas, who inhabit the region between Lake Superior and Rainy Lake river on the east, and the Red River of the North on the west, and the power
The gunboats Tyler, Captain Walke, and Lexington, Captain Stembolt, convoyed the expedition, and rendered most efficient service. Immediately upon our landing they engaged the enemy's batteries on the heights above Colum-ful bus, and protected our transports throughout. For a detailed account of the part taken by them, I refer with pleasure to the accompanying report of Captain H. S. Walke, senior officer.
In pursuance of my request, General Smith, commanding at Paducah, sent, on the seventh instant, a force to Mayfield, Kentucky, and another in the direction of Columbus, with orders not to approach nearer, however, than twelve or fifteen miles of that place. I also sent a small force on the Kentucky side toward Columbus, under Colonel John Cook, Seventh Illinois volunteers, with orders not to go beyond Elliott's Mills, distant some twelve miles from Columbus. These forces having marched to the points designated in their orders, returned, without having met any serious resistance.
On the evening of the seventh, information of the result of the engagement at Belmont was sent to Colonel Oglesby, commanding expedition against Jeff. Thompson, and orders to return to Bird's Point by way of Charleston, Missouri. Before these reached him, however, he had learned that Jeff. Thompson had left the place where he was reported to be when the expedition started (he having gone toward New Madrid or Arkansas), and had determined to return. The same information was sent to the commanding officer at Cape Girardeau, with directions for the troops to be brought back that had gone out from the place.
Sioux or Dakota nation which, divided into several strong and warlike tribes, claims and roams over the vast region from the western frontier of Minnesota on the east, to the Rocky Mountains on the west, and from the frontier of Iowa and the line of the Platte river on the south to the British possessions on the north. There are some small fragments of tribes on the Upper Missouri who belong to neither nation, but they are few in number, insignificant in strength or influence, and have always been at peace with the whites.
With the Chippewas there have been no difficulties which have led to hostilities, although there have been and continue to be, the constant misunderstanding, dissatisfaction and controversy, which naturally arise under our defective Indian system, between the Indians on the one side, and Indian agents and traders on the other. So far, these difficulties have not culminated in actual hostilities, but unless the Indian system be remodelled they are likely to do so at any moment. The war up to this time has been entirely confined to the Sioux nation.
It will be remembered that the campaign of last year terminated, so far as field operations were concerned, with the defeat of the Sioux by General Sully, near the James river, on the third September, 1863.
The high latitude of the theatre of war in this department, the immense region of uninhabited country covered by military operations, and the vast distances from the frontier to be traversed before the enemy can be reached, of necessity very much shorten the season during which it is possible to carry on actual field
From all the information I have been able to obtain since the engagement, the enemy's loss in killed and wounded was much greater than We captured one hundred and seventyfive prisoners, all his artillery and transporta-operations. tion, and destroyed his entire camp and garrison equipage. Independent of the injuries inflicted upon him, and the prevention of his reinforcing Price, or sending a force to cut off the expedition against Jeff. Thompson, the confidence inspired in our troops in the engagement will of incalculable benefit to us in the future. Very respectfully,
Your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General SETH WILLIAMS,
Washington, D. C
After reaching the Indian country not more than three months are left in which it is practicable to keep troops in the field.
The operations of last year ended with such defeats of the Indians occupying the vast rebegions east of the Missouri river as forced them for a time to take refuge in the British possessions, and relieved the entire frontier settlements of Minnesota, Iowa, and Dakota from any danger of Indian hostilities. During last winter, however, the whole Dakota nation from the Rocky mountains to the Minnesota frontier, and from the Platte river and the Iowa line to the
to command the Indian trails toward the frontier settlements, so as to detect the passage even of the smallest parties attempting to make raids upon the settlers, and to follow them up;
British possessions on the north, succeeded in combining their various and scattered tribes for a final effort against the whites, and by the opening of spring had slowly concentrated their whole force on and near the Upper Mis-and, so far as military necessities would allow, souri, to resist the navigation of the Missouri river, prevent the passage of emigrants across the great plains, and to deliver, with their combined forces, a final battle against the United States troops under General Sully.
to protect an emigrant route from the Upper Mississippi river to the territories of Idaho and Montana. The details of this plan of operations were submitted to you and approved in February last, and immediate preparations made to carry them into execution.
This Indian force was then estimated by competent authorities, and so reported by me to the War Department early in the spring, at about six thousand warriors, and this estimate was subsequently confirmed by General Sully, after his battles with them near the Little Mis-only such detachments as were necessary to souri.
It was also reported at the time, and has been confirmed since by undoubted testimony, that ammunition and other necessary supplies were brought to the Indian camps during the winter by half-breeds and traders from the British settlements on the Red River of the North. It is hardly necessary for me to repeat what I have so often reported, that Indian hostilities in this department have been fomented and encouraged and the Indians supplied with the means to continue the war by the halfbreeds, and other British subjects of the Selkirk settlements.
General Sully collected the forces under his command from the various posts and stations in his district early in the spring, and commenced to move up the Missouri river, leaving cover the frontier from small Indians raids during his absence. He was reinforced by about one thousand five hundred mounted men from Minnesota, leaving General Sibley with about seven hundred effective men to protect the frontier settlements of Minnesota during the summer. The mouth of Burdache creek, on the Upper Missouri, was selected as the point where the Minnesota troops should join the forces of General Sully moving up the Missouri, and the junction of these forces was made on the thirtieth of June. The spring rise in the Missouri river did not come down until very late in the season, and Sully only reached the mouth of Canon Ball river, at which point he was to establish a strong post, which was to be his depot of supplies, on the seventh of July. He established Fort Rice at that point, distant from Sioux City four hundred and fifty miles, and garrisoned it with five companies of the Thirtieth Wisconsin volunteers. Indians, who had been concentrated on and near the Missouri river, about fifty miles above this post, had meantime crossed to the south-west side of the river and occupied a strong position in a very difficult country near the Little Missouri river, due west, and about two hundred miles from Fort Rice.
As I was satisfied that this combination of the whole of the numerous and widely-dispersed tribes of the Sioux (or Dakota) nation, who occupy the vast region north of the Platte, and the northern boundaries of Iowa, from the Rocky mountains to the vicinity of the Great Lakes, would be the final effort of the great Indian nation to continue hostilities against the whites, and as I felt sure that if once their entire force of warriors could be met and defeated this Indian war in the North-west on any considerable scale would be closed, preparations for an active campaign during the summer of 1864 were made during the close of last winter. The plan of operations consisted in putting On the twenty-sixth of July, General Sully into the field under the command of Brigadier-marched upon these Indians with the following General A. Sully, an active column of about forces: Eighth Minnesota volunteers (mounted) two thousand five hundred men, entirely caval- and six companies of Second Minnesota cavalry, to advance against the Indians wherever ry, with four light guns, under command of they could be found and deliver battle with Colonel M. T. Thomas, Eighth Minnesota volunthem, and at the same time to follow up the teers; eleven companies Sixth Iowa cavalry, movement of this force with detachments of in- three companies Seventh Iowa cavalry, two fantry large enough to establish strong posts in companies Dakota cavalry, four companies the Indian country. Brackett's battalion cavalry, one small company of scouts, and four mountain howitzers, all under command of numbering in all two thousand two hundred men. A small emigrant train for Idaho, which had accompanied the Minnesota troops from that State, followed the movement of Sully's force. At the head of Heart river he corralled his trains, and leaving a sufficient guard with them, he marched rapidly to the north-west, to the point where the combined forces of the Indians were assembled. On the morning of July twenty-eighth, he came upon them-between five and six thousand war
These posts were so located as to cover the frontier of Iowa and Minnesota and the frontier settlements of Dakota territory, at a long distance; to interpose between the different tribes so as to prevent concerted action; to cominand the hunting grounds of the Indians so that they would be constantly under the supervision and in the power of the military forces, which by concerted action could easily and promptly march a heavy force of cavalry upon any portion of the region in which the Indians are obliged to hunt for subsistence;
riors strongly posted in a wooded country, very much cut up with high, rugged hills and deep, impassable ravines. He had an hour's talk with some of the Indian chiefs, who were very defiant and impudent, after which he moved rapidly forward against their strong po
The action for a time was sharp and severe, but the artillery and long-range small-arms of the troops were very destructive, and the Indians began to give way on all sides. They were so closely pressed by Sully's forces that they abandoned their extensive camps, leaving all their robes, lodges, colts and utensils of every description, and and all the winter supply of provisions which they had been so long collecting. The action resulted in a running fight of nine miles, the Indians finally scattering completely, and escaping with nothing but their wounded, which, according to Indian custom, they carried off, as also as many of their killed as they could. One hundred and twenty-five dead warriors were left on the field. I have transmitted heretofore the reports of General Sully and of the various commanders of his force, as also a statement of the immense quantity of Indian goods and supplies destroyed by General Sully in the captured camp of the Indians.
Finding the country nearly impracticable, having only a small supply of provisions or means to carry them, and ascertaining that the retreat of the mass of the Indians was toward the south-west, Sully returned to his train at the head of Heart river, and resumed his march westward, through an unknown and unexplored region, toward the Yellowstone, which he expected to reach near Fort Alexander, at which point it had been proposed to establish a military post.
the distance at sunset, it looked exactly like the
In this difficult and almost impassable region, a portion of the Indians whom Sully had defeated on the twenty-eighth of July attempted to offer resistance, but were badly defeated, leaving over one hundred dead on the field.
After this hopeless effort, in which General Sully reports that they exhibited none of the spirit and audacity which characterized the fight on the 28th of July, the Indians scattered, and broke up their combination entirely. The Tetons, separated into small fragments, fled toward the south-west; the Yancktonnais, with other confederated tribes from the north and east sides of the Missouri, crossed the Missouri river, and retreated rapidly into the British possessions by way of Mouse river. General Sully followed them nearly to the British line.
Finding the country west of Fort Rice, in the direction of the Yellowstone, impracticable for wagon roads, Sully decided not to establish a post so high up on that river, but placed a garrison at mouth of Yellowstone and another at the trading post of Fort Berthold, lower down on the Missouri river. These posts, in connection with Fort Rice, will keep open the Missouri river, render travel along the valley secure, and separate the Indian tribes so that another concentration will be impracticable even should the
On the fifth of August he came in sight of the Bad Lands, which border the Little Missouri on both sides. The country was exceedingly rug-Indians seek it. ged and difficult, and so cut up with deep, perpendicular ravines, that it was with the utmost labor and loss of time that a narrow, winding way between the ravines, in places barely ten feet wide, was found for his wagons. I cannot convey a better idea of the country than is contained in the following extract from Sully's report, which will be full of interest to the scientific world:
"I have not sufficient power of language to describe the country in front of us. It was grand, dismal, and majestic. You can imagine a basin, six hundred feet deep and twenty-five miles in width, filled with a number of cones and oven-shaped knolls of all sizes, from twenty-five to several hundred feet high, sometimes by themselves, sometimes piled up into large heaps on top of each other, in all conceivable shapes and confusion. Most of these hills were of a gray clay, but many of a light brick color of burnt clay-little or no vegetation. Some of the sides of the hills, however, were covered with a few scrub cedars. Viewed in
Sully returned slowly by way of the Missouri river valley to Fort Rice. After leaving that post well garrisoned and in good condition, and sending the Thirtieth Wisconsin volunteers to the Mississippi, to go south to Sherman's army, Sully came slowly down to Sioux City, where his last despatches are dated.
To Fort Randall, and also to Fort Pierre, chiefs of the combined Sioux tribes which he had defeated, came in and asked for peace, acknowledging that they could not fight against the whites, that they had lost everything, robes, lodges, provisions, &c., and would be in a starving condition. They were informed by the commanding officers of those posts that the only conditions of peace required from them were that they would behave themselves and not molest the whites. The Indians were both surprised and gratified that peace on such easy terms was to be had, and immediately returned to their tribes to bring in the principal chiefs to meet General Sully at Fort Randall. It is expected that peace with all the tribes west of the