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[425] south of the Arkansas. The small Federal troop was in possession of the entire left bank of this river; it occupied Gibson; then, satisfied with its success, and fearing to compromise it, it proceeded up the Neosho to join the rest of the Indian brigade, which was encamped upon the upper course of this river.

As we have just remarked, the departure of the volunteers who had been raised on the frontier of the North-western States was calculated to rouse the warlike and vindictive spirit of all the Indian tribes, even including those who were out of reach of the Confederate emissaries. The most powerful was the tribe of Sioux, which still possesses a vast territory in the north-west of the United States, although the inroads of the whites have wrested from it the finest hunting-grounds of which it was in peaceful possession fifty years ago. One of the military posts established for the protection of the conquests of civilization is Fort Ridgely, situated on Minnesota River, a tributary of the right bank of the Mississippi. Above the fort the Minnesota receives the waters of Red Wood River, and farther on those of Yellow Medicine Creek; on the borders of these two watercourses there are Indian agencies of the Federal government. A little below the fort there stood at that time the village of New Ulm. These establishments were a tempting prey for the Sioux, who could not see without bitterness the prosperity of those settlers who had defrauded them. On the 19th of August the Indian warriors surprised at once both the agencies, where they massacred all the employes, and the village of New Ulm, where they ruthlessly put to death about one hundred women and children. Avoiding Fort Ridgely, they afterward retired to their camps, not far from the Yellow Medicine.

The safety of all the settlers could only be assured by a speedy punishment. Colonel Sibley was entrusted with this duty, with detachments from the Third, Sixth and Seventh regiments of Minnesota and some militia, about a thousand men in all, and two guns. On the 19th of September he proceeded from Fort Ridgely against the Indians, who, to the number of more than eight hundred, had remained near the Yellow Medicine with their booty and some prisoners. At the news of his approach the chief of the tribe, called Little Crow, called a council of war, and proposed

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