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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the commissioner of Indian affairs, for the year 1864

Montana superintendency,   pp. 293-303 PDF (4.8 MB)

Page 302

compels me to reiterate the recommendation contained in my letter of the
ultimo that a military force be stationed at some point on the Missouri not
from Fort Union. 
I am, respectfully, your obedient servant, 
United States Indian Agent. 
H:on. W. P. DOLE, 
Commissioner of Indian Ifairs, Washington, D. C. 
No. 141. 
Fort Benton, February 19, 1864. 
SiR: I have the honor to submit the following information received from 
Antoine Frenier, who returned from Fort Union on the 15th. He left Fort 
Benton on the 29th December last, and has been gone forty-eight days. He
has seen and talked with some of the hostile Sioux, and he reports to me
following as the true state of affairs among these Indians. 
The Yanctonais and Mississippi Sioux to the number of fourteen hundred 
lodges, and a few of the Teton Sioux, are moving north; they are now at the
mouth of White river, on their way to Mouse river, sixty miles north of Fort
Union. One hundred and fifty lodges of the Assinaboines that made peace 
with these Sioux last fall are moving north with them, and are now in their
The Teton Sioux are at the mouth of Powder river, a tributary of the Yellow
Stone. They number some six hundred lodges. It is their intention to meet
the Yanctonais and Mississippi Sioux at their camp-ground on Mouse river,
the spring, as soon as grass starts. A few lodges of the Little Crow's band
(this band is a part of those connected with the murder of the citizens of
nesota) are already encamped at this place. Mouse river has been selected
the general rendezvous for all the Sioux hostile to the government. From
place they will form predatory bands, scour the country, and commit all kinds
depredations, if not prevented by the vigilance of the whites. 
At the present time they have but little ammunition, and it is their intention
to attack some of the trading posts, in order to secure this article. 
They threaten Fort Union, and possibly may attack it on their way north.
If they find that General Sully is closely pursuing them, their intention
is to 
go further north, in the vicinity of the Hudson Bay Company's forts. They
expect to get ammunition of them, if they fail to get it elsewhere. It is
believed by the whites at Fort Union (and Frenier is of the same opinion)
the Assinaboines will join them. The Sioux are exasperated to the highest
point, and are determined to do their worst. There has been no communication
below Fort Ution since last fall. It is hardly possible for General Sully
know where these Indians are. The snow is deep, and the distance and dangers
to encounter so great that his scouts would hardly venture on so hazardous
There is a camp of Assinaboines five miles from Fort Union, and daily com-
munication is kept up with the Sioux at the mouth of White river. Frenier
says scarcely one hour passes but some one goes out or returns from these
Frenier also says the whole Cree nation encamped at the Park or Wood, sixty
miles from Fort Union. They number fifteen hundred lodges, and are making
preparation to fight the Gros Ventres this spring. He also thinks it will
dangerous travelling the Missouri during the months of March and April; that

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