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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the commissioner of Indian affairs, for the year 1863

Dakota superintendency,   pp. 152-172 PDF (8.8 MB)

Page 152

152                 DAKOTA SUPERINTENDENCY. 
No. 67. 
Yankton, September 23, 1863. 
SIR: In compliance with the regulations of the Indian department, I have
the honor to submit my annual report of the affairs of this superintendency.
. During the present year this superintendency has been 1he field of military
operations against hostile Indians, and has been, more than heretofore, subject
to Indian depredations; yet I am happy to say that the annuity Indians have
remained loyal to the government and friendly to the whites. In consequence
of the ultimate connexion between the Sioux of Minnesota and various tribes
in Dakota, the outbreak which occurred last fall in Minnesota could not but
have a' serious effect on the Indians in this Territory. While some tribes
this superintendency have spurned the flattering proposals for an alliance,
indignantly refused to join in hostilities against the whites, yet others
gladly accepted their offers, and have already committed depredations upon
whites, and met our forces in battle. 
The incidents of the past year have given those Indians who are disposed
be hostile an opportunity to give vent to their real feelings, and we can
clearly distinguish and separate the friendly from the hostile Indians; and
while the former have a right to claim respect and protection, the latter
be hunted down and punished until they are made to respect and fear the power
of this government. 
Last fall and winter, subsequent to the annual report of this superintendency,
there were no Indian depredations, except in the Upper Missouri agency. On,
the upper Missouri, while persons were returning from the mining country,
they were, in several instances, attacked by hostile bands of Indians; and
last winter, traders at Fort Pierre and other trading posts on the Missouri
were frequently attacked by Indians, and were at no time safe while out from
the trading posts. 
The massacre in Minnesota greatly alarmed the inhabitants in this Territory,
and during last fall, in consequence of tbis, we lost about one-fourth of
our pop- 
ulation. With the approach of spring the settlers feared a renewal of hostilities.
To guard against which, on the 8th of April last I addressed to Brigadier
General John Cook, commanding this district, a communication, a copy of which
is hereto attached, marked A, to which I received no reply, On the 6th day
of May following, I addressed a second communication to the general, a copy
of which is hereto attached, marked B; and on the following day I received
reply, a copy of which is hereto attached, marked C. Soon after this General
Cook was superseded by Brigadier General A. Sully, to whom I made a verbal
request for troops to protect the settlement, which was at once granted;
and the 
vigilant scouting of the two companies of Dakota cavalry has given very sat-
isfactory protection. Without this protection the Territory would, I believe,
have been nearly depopulated. 
i The only depredations committed this season in the settled portions of
superintendency are the following: On the 6th of May last Mr. Jacobson was
killed, as mentioned in my second communication to General Cook; and during
the months of August and September some twenty horses have been stolen; 
and on the 3d instant, Sergeant Eugene F. Trask, of the 7th Iowa cavalry,
while en route for Sioux* City in the mail stage, was murdered by a band
of In- 
dians, about forty miles west from this place; the driver was also shot at,
escaped. About twelve miles from here, in Nebraska, Mr. Wiseman's family
five children were murdered in July last, their mother being at the time

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