Today in History:

25 Series I Volume XXXIV-IV Serial 64 - Red River Campaign Part IV


LAWRENCE, May 24, 1864.

General CURTIS:

The bearers, Messrs. Spicer, Stotler, and Heritage, visit you as s delegation from Emporia, Lyon County, for the purpose of procuring the cantonment in that vicinity of a sufficient number of troops to act as pickets, patrols, &c., to guard against the approach of guerrillas from the southwest. From what I know of the condition of that section and the exposed position of its people, I very cheerfully and earnestly second their request. A very large proportion of the people whose homes are there are now in the service so many, indeed, that not enough are left to till the land and produce the subsistence that is actually required of that region. To require them to perform the necessary military duty to insure them against surprise would be very hard, still further reducing the industrial energy of the country.

That section constitutes a very wide gap, extending from Fort Riley to the posts on the Verdigris, and affords ingress to one of the richest and hitherto undisturbed regions of the State, and is comparatively well supplied with stock and such booty as would be peculiarly attractive to roving bands of guerrillas. The gentlemen bearing this application are personally well and favorably known to me, and their statements will be entirely to your consideration. If it would be possible in the disposition of the troops of your department to grant their request, you would afford relief from serious apprehension to a community which has furnished more material for the army, in proportion to its strength, than any settlement in the United States.

I am, general, your most obedient servant,


Saint Paul, Minn., May 24, 1864.

Major General JOHN POPE, Milwaukee:

GENERAL: I have the honor to inclose herewith translation of letters* I have received from Gabriel Renville, dated at Two Lakes, not far from the Head of the Coteau, 14th and 15th instant. They contain information of a somewhat conflicting character, but from the tenor of his last-mentioned dispatch I am led to believe that there is some serious breach among the bands referred to, and the statement that they have been invited to remove to British territory may be correct, especially as the Tetons are reported to have communicated with the Sissetons, while the Yanktonais are not refugee Medawakantons had determined to keep near the British boundary, so as to take refuge across the line in case of pursuit by our troops, and it may be that other bands, including some of the Yanktonais, are disposed to pursue the same course.

If there is truth in the statements of the Indians as given to Renville, it will make it the more necessary that the force destined for Devil's Lake shall be strong and well provided with supplies, for any evidence of weakness in that quarter would be a strong temptation to the numerous warriors within striking distance to attack


*Not found.