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

Report of the commissioner of Indian affairs,   pp. [5]-40 PDF (14.2 MB)


Page 19

COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS. 
19 
them, have suffered severely from the drought of the past summer, but being
more wealthy, and having had good success in their hunts, it is believed
that 
with the supplies already provided by their agent they will be enabled to
pass 
the winter without any great amount of suffering. 
The Sioux and Winnebagoes, removed from Minnesota under the act of 
Congress passed at its last session, although within the limits of this superin-
tendency, are included in that portion of this report which relates to the
northern superintendency, they being still under the charge of Superintendent
Thompson. 
In regard to the friendly Indians of the Upper Missouri and Blackfeet 
agencies, I am able to give you but little information, for the reason that
the 
agents, as hereafter stated, were unable to reach and remain at their posts.
Referring to my last annual report, it will be seen that at that date we
were 
warned by Governor Jayne, then ex officio superintendent of Indian affairs
for 
Dakota, by each of our agents, and by all the friendly Indians, that the
danger 
of hostilities on the part of the Sioux was imminent, and that nothing but
the 
most prompt action on our part would be efficient in averting so great a
calamity. These various warnings were, however, suffered to pass unheeded,
andno measures adopted looking to an effort to adjust the disturbed relations
between this powerful and disaffected nation and the general government.
Since that time, the Sioux, driven from Minnesota: in consequence of the
horri- 
ble atrocities perpetrated by them in that State during the autumn of last
year, 
have taken refuge among their brethren of Dakota, and neither expecting nor
deserving forbearance at our bands until they have received the chastisement
their crimes have merited, they have doubtless done all in their power, and
it 
would appear with success, to induce their brethren to make common cause
with them in an endeavor to exterminate and drive all whites from the Terri-
tory. 
A very large proportion of the Sioux of Dakota were already hostile, or at
least far from friendly, and the remainder or friendly portion being deprived
of 
that protection to which under the provisions of the Fort Laramie treaty
of 
185-1 they were entitled, and being in the minority, have now doubtless 
yielded to the various influences brought to bear upon them, and we now have
upon our hands, in addition to the great rebellion, an Indian war of no mean
proportions. 
In January last, and again in March, I forwarded to you copies of communi-
cations received at this office, representing in the strongest manner the
urgent 
necessity for the immediate establishing of military posts upon the Upper
Mis- 
souri. These communications were by you laid before the War Department, 
from which I learned through you, on the 26th of March last, that the subject
had been referred to the commander of that military department for the neces-
sary action. What action was had I am uninformed, but certain it is that
the 
posts were not established, nor were Agents Latta and Reed enabled to obtain
an escort to accompany them to their respective agencies. 
It is understood that the expedition under Brigadier General Sully, in conse-
quence of the extreme drought, and the burning of the prairies by the retreat-


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