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92 Series I Volume XLVIII-I Serial 101 - Powder River Expedition Part I


tional force-at least 500 men to the present aggregate of this sub-district. This would give us a defensive system of protection to transit of material over the great Platte route; but, to make the route more secure, offensive operations on a large scale should be vigorously carried on against these hostile Indians, and the war should be so conducted as to compel very warrior to defend his own wigwam instead of leaving it in security while engaged in plundering and murdering our citizens on these Indian raids. Various conjectures have been made as to the present locality of these hostile Indians. My scouts and Colonel Collins', who were on the trail, believe them to have gone toward L'Eau-qui-court, or Niobrara River, ultimately to reach the Mauvaise Terre country; but that is only conjecture and I am of the opinion that the way to find them, encumbered as they are with plunder opinion that the way to find them, encumbered as they are with plunder and cattle they cannot travel with rapidity and I have no doubt, unless their proverbial cunning misleads us, they will be easily found, inasmuch as they seem defiant and made no exertions to keep out of Colonel Collins' way, but, on the other hand, confidently charged his command at Rush Creek.

I am, Captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

ROBERT R. Livingston,

Colonel First Regiment Nebraska Cavalry Veteran Volunteers,

Commanding Eastern Sub-District of Nebraska.


Asst. Adjt. General, District of Nebraska Omaha Nebr., Ter

Numbers 2. Report of Lieutenant Colonel William O. Collins, Eleventh Ohio Cavalry, commanding Western Sub-District of Nebraska. HEADQUARTERS WESTERN SUB-DISTRICT OF NEBRASKA. Fort Laramie, Nebr., Ter., February 15, 1865.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that about 4 o'clock on the evening of Saturday, the 4th instant, I was informed by telegraph that Mud Springs, a telegraph station 105 miles east of Fort Laramie, was attacked by Indians. There were at Mud Springs Station at that time nine soldiers and five citizens, one of the latter connected with the telegraph company and the others herding stock in the vicinity for Messrs. Creigton and Hoel. I immediately ordered Lieutenant Ellsworth, commanding Company H, Eleventh Ohio Volunteer Cavalry, then at Camp Mitchell, a post fifty miles east of Fort Laramie and fifty-five miles west of Mud Springs, to proceed without delay, with all the men he could spare, to the relief of Mud Springs Station; to travel all night, and if possible reach there by morning. He obeyed the order promptly, and was at Mud Springs by daylight the morning of the 5th, with thirty-six men making the distance in twelve hours without stopping. In the meantime I left Fort Laramie about 7 p. m. on the 4th instant, with about 120 men, consisting of detachments of different companies of the Eleventh Ohio Volunteer Cavalry and part of Company D, Seventh Iowa Cavalry Volunteers, being all that could be mounted and spared from Fort Laramie. My command traveled all night and reached Camp Mitchell during the forenoon of the 5th instant. The night was severely cold and several men were so much frozen as to be unable to proceed any farther. After a short rest I took twenty-