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[420] when, after a little skirmishing, the Indians went up the mountains, which were in front of the command.

We then halted, and soon after returned and compared with the rest of the command. On the battle field, at an early hour next morning, after ascertaining that it was impossible to follow the Indians further with any prospect of success, I went to the Indian camp with both companies of my command, in accordance with orders, for the purpose of destroying the property of said Indians, and although several other companies were at work destroying the property of the Indians my two companies destroyed some seven hundred skin lodges, a large quantity of buffalo robes, camp equipage, and provisions.

The casualties in my command was only one soldier of company A, slightly wounded. In conclusion, I beg leave to state that in my opinion great wisdom was displayed in the conducting of said battle by our most worthy General.

I am sir,

Your most obedient servant,

Nelson Miner, Captain Commanding Dakota Cavalry. Brigadier-General Alfred Sully, Commanding Expedition.

headquarters Prairie battery, camp on heart river, August 1, 1864.
Captain: I have the honor to report that, in the late fight with Indians at Tah-kah-o-kuty, on Thursday, July twenty-eight, I was ordered to take position with my battery in advance and fifty yards in rear of the line of skirmishers in front, with orders to fire when I got within range. I advanced slowly to within about nine hundred yards of the Indians, when I run one piece forward in front of the skirmishing line and fired three rounds of spherical case shot, killing five or six and wounding several Indians. I was then ordered to move to the left, with instructions to head them off and drive them towards the right. I advanced at a full run, supported by four companies of cavalry, sending one section of the battery and two companies of cavalry on either side of the high butte to the left of our line of battle, wheeling and firing as often as I got within range. The line of skirmishers was a mile in rear of the battery. We succeeded in clearing the knolls on the left and driving the Indians into the ravines under the mountains. I shelled them out of there and forced them into the hills, where it was impossible to follow with either artillery or cavalry. We moved again to the left, hoping to find an opening to get the battery on top of the hills, but unfortunately did not succeed in finding a road.

It is impossible to say how many Indians were killed in this movement, as the dead were carried off as soon as they fell; but from what I saw and from information since received, I think the number will not fall below thirty killed and wounded; my loss was nothing.

Great praise is due the detailed men on duty with the Prairie battery for their coolness and prompt obedience of orders; and it may not be improper here to mention Captain Miner's and Tripp's companies of Dakota cavalry, Captain Williams's company of the Sixth Iowa cavalry, and the Nebraska scouts, who gave me all the assistance in their power and were very efficient. I am, Captain, with great respect, your obedient servant,

Naith Pope, Captain Commanding Prairie Battery. Captain John H. Pell, A. A. G.

headquarters Third battalion, Seventh Iowa cavalry, camp No. 36, N. W. Indian expedition, August 2, 1864.
Captain: I have the honor to report that on the twenty-eighth of July, 1864, the command broke camp on a branch of the Knife river at an early hour, and marched in a northwestern direction. My battalion was marching in rear of the left column of the first brigade. At about ten o'clock, A. M., information was brought in by the guides that a large body of Indians had been discovered a few miles directly in our front. I was ordered to move my men to the head of the left column. After marching a short distance the Indians appeared in large numbers in front, and I was ordered to dismount my men and deploy them in front as skirmishers. My formation was in the centre, the Sixth Iowa cavalry being on my right and the Eight Minnesota on the left. As soon as the formation was completed the whole line commenced advancing, and after marching from one and a half to two miles a still larger number of Indians could be seen maneuvering on the base of a large and abrupt range of wooded hills a few miles in front. They soon advanced to meet our line, which continued steadily to advance, and a scattering fire was commenced, the first volley being fired at an Indian who appeared in front brandishing a war club and apparently directing the movements of the others, this being the opening fire of the fight. The fire then became general and continued with intervals along our whole line. Although my men had never before been under fire, they continued to advance steadily and deliberately, and met and repelled the charges made by the Indians from time to time with great firmness and composure.

The advance continued in this way about one hour when the Eighth Minnesota, being severely pressed, fell back leaving my left entirely unsupported and a large break in the line. This I attempted to obviate for some time by extending my intervals and allowing my left to bend slightly to the rear until a battery and its supports taking up their position on our left, I reformed my line and continued to advance. At this time a battery with its support took up its position on our left, and a force of cavalry on our right, and advancing in front of our line drove the Indians out of our reach, when we


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