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[248] situations. The number of fighting men in the lower bands is five hundred and seventeen, according to actual enumeration; of Wahpetons, about two hundred and fifty, and that they have been reenforced by six hundred men from the Yankton and Sissiton bands, and that the Ehanktons, or Cut Heads, will be down as soon as they arrive from their hunt.

We have, therefore, to meet, according to Mr. Riggs, and other competent authority, twenty-seven hundred or twenty-eight hundred men, and I have, from the beginning, believed and acted from the conviction, that the lower bands would not attempt to escape, but would make a determined stand. Their main camp is at Yellow Medicine, and it is said by the Robinsons, that the upper Sioux have refused to allow them to go to their country, but tell them they must fight where they are.

From what I can gather, I am satisfied that they will make a desperate fight, and that we must expect night attacks, ambuscades, and every species of annoyance in our advance. In view of the great importance of the results of the movements of this column, and the fact that I am without any disposable force of mounted men, (there are not more than sixty or seventy left,) I must urge the absolute necessity of having cavalry, fully armed and equipped, to the number of at least one regiment, and the infantry force increased to two thousand men. This expedition, if properly supplied with men and materials, can crush this emeute at a blow, and wipe out the murderers, but should it meet with a repulse, or take the field against a vigilant and desperate enemy, without sufficient support, no one can foresee the horrible results.

The scouts, as well as the bearers of the flag of truce, assert that all outlying parties have been called in, in view of the menacing position of this corps, and the latter further state that the party that attacked Major Brown's camp consisted of three hundred and nineteen men, who left the Yellow Mediaine with the intention of separating into two columns at this point, and simultaneously attacking St. Peter and Mankato, and they had no idea of the force which met and repulsed them in the neighborhood.

I hope the Third regiment will be ordered to join this column at once, and that men, and cartridges, and rations, and clothing will be passed forward with all expedition. Let us exterminate these vermin while we have them together. I will report to you in my next the amount and description of ammunition on hand, and what is still wanted. In accordance with your suggestion, I have sent to New Ulm eighty-three muskets, of different kinds, and twenty-eight hundred cartridges, which have been turned over to the sheriff of the county for arming the settlers.

I learn from Colonel Flandreau that he would leave for St. Paul to hurry up reenforcements and supplies for the south side of the river. While I concur in his report of the necessity of adding to his strength, I hope you will not forget that, in all probability, this corps must meet the main attack, and that the Third regiment, being disciplined, is indispensable as a nucleus and an example to the entirely raw officers and men comprising the large majority of the Sixth and Seventh regiments.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. H. Sibley, Colonel, commanding.

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