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[418] prairie battery of two sections, commanded by Captain N. Pope. This formed the First brigade. Ten companies of the Eighth Minnesota infantry, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Rodgers; six companies of the Second Minnesota cavalry, under Colonel McLaren, and two sections of the Third Minnesota battery, under Captain Jones, formed the Second brigade, under command of Colonel Thomas. The whole of my force numbering on the field about two thousand two hundred men.

Finding it was impossible to charge, owing to the country being intersected with deep ravines filled with timber, I dismounted and deployed six companies of the Sixth Iowa on the right, and three companies of the Seventh Iowa, and on the left six companies of the Eighth Minnesota infantry; placed Pope's battery in the centre, supported by two companies of cavalry; the Second cavalry on the left, drawn up by squadrons; Brackett's Minnesota battalion on the right in the same order; Jones' battery and four companies of cavalry as a reserve. The few wagons I had closed up, and the rear guard, composed of three companies, followed. In this order we advanced, driving in the Indians until we reached the plain between the hills and mountains. Here large bodies of Indians flanked me; the Second cavalry drove them from the left. A very large body of Indians collected on my right for a charge. I directed Brackett to charge them. This he did gallantly, driving them in a circle of about three miles to the base of the mountains and beyond my line of skirmishers, killing many of them. The Indians, seeing his position, collected in large numbers on him, but he repelled them, assisted by some well directed shots from Jones' battery. About this time a large body of Indians, who we ascertained afterward had been out hunting for me came up on my rear. I brought a piece of Jones' battery to the rear, and with the rear guard dispersed them.

The Indians seeing that the day would not be favorable for them, had commenced taking down their lodges, and sending back their families. I swung the left of my line round to the right and closed on them, sending Pope with his guns and the Dakota cavalry (two companies) forward. The artillery fire soon drove them out of their strong positions in the ravines, and Jones' battery, with Brackett's battalion moving upon the right, soon put them to flight, the whole of my line advancing at the same time.

By sunset no Indians were on the ground. A body, however, appeared on top of the mountain over which they had retreated. I sent Major Camp, Eighth Minnesota, with four companies Eighth Minnesota forward; they ascended to the top of the hill putting the Indians to flight, and killing several. The total number of killed, judging from what we saw, was from one hundred to one hundred and fifty. I saw them during the fight carry off a great many dead or wounded. The very strong position they held, and the advantages they had to retreat over a broken country prevented me from killing more. We slept on the battle-ground that night.

The next morning before daylight we started to go round the mountain, as I could not get up it with wagons and artillery in front. After six miles' march I came in sight of the trail on the other side of the mountain, but could not get to it. One sight of the country convinced me there was no use trying to follow up the Indians through such a country and find them. I went on to the top of the hill, and as far as I could see with my glass (some thirty miles), the country was cut up in all directions by deep ravines, sometimes near one hundred feet deep, filled with timber, the banks almost perpendicular. I therefore thought the next best thing to do was to destroy their camp. This I did, ordering Colonel McLaren, Second cavalry, on that duty. I enclose you a report of property destroyed by him. That afternoon I marched six miles from the battle-ground and camped. About dark a large body of Indians came on to my pickets and killed two. A command was immediately sent after them, but they fled in all directions. They made no further demonstrations on my march to this point, which I reached yesterday, my animals well tired out, having made a march of over one hundred and sixty-five miles in six days one day being occupied in the fight.

The officers and men of my command behaved well, and all appeared desirous to carry out my instructions as well as they could.

My thanks are due to the officers of my staff for communicating my orders promptly, sometimes being obliged to expose themselves very much in so doing. Captain Pell, Adjutant. General; Major Wood, Fifteenth New York cavalry, chief of cavalry; Captain Marsh, Sixth Iowa cavalry, Inspector-General; Captain Von Winden, Brackett's batallion, acting Topographical Engineer; Lieutenant Ellison, Sixth Iowa cavalry, acting Ordnance Officer; Lieutenant Bacon, Dacotah cavalry, acting Assistant Quartermaster; and I was also obliged to accept the services of Surgeon Freeman, Medical Director, to carry orders.

I shall march towards the Yellowstone in two days, bearing a little south, and I expect to overtake the enemy again on my way.

I would beg leave also to add that the day after the fight, when I returned to the enemy's camp, some Indians came forward and planted a white flag on the hill-side, some men, however, fired on them and they retreated. I saw the flag too late.

I enclose you the list of killed and wounded and reports of different commanders.

With much respect,

Your obedient servant,

Alfred Sully, Brigadier-General, Assistant Adjutant General, Department of the Northwest.

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