previous next

[177] not exceed one hundred. We captured one thousand prisoners, and such public property as the rebels had not time to destroy. After the capture of Little Rock, and while our cavalry were driving the main force of rebels south, the enemy attempted the recapture of Pine Bluff, but was repulsed with heavy loss. On the twenty-eighth of October, our troops occupied Arkadelphia, the enemy retreating to Red River.

A large part of the military force in the Department of the Missouri has been employed during the past year in repelling raids, and in repressing the guerrilla bands of robbers and murderers who have come within our lines, or been organized in the country. Most of these bands are not authorized belligerents under the laws of war, but simply outlaws from civilized society.

It is exceedingly difficult to eradicate these bands, inasmuch as the inhabitants of the country, sometimes from disloyalty, and sometimes from fear, afford them a subsistence and concealment. They usually hide themselves in the woods, and being well mounted, move rapidly from one point to another, supplying themselves by the way with provisions and fresh horses. They rob and murder wherever they go. In a recent raid of one of these bands into Kansas, they burned the city of Lawrence, and murdered every one they could, without regard to age or sex, committing atrocities more inhuman than those of Indian savages. These are the terrible results of a border contest, incited at first for political purposes, and since increasing in animosity by the civil war in which we are engaged, till all sense of humanity seems to have been lost in the desire to avenge with blood real or fancied grievances. This extraordinary condition of affairs on that frontier seems to call for the application of a prompt and severe remedy. It has been proposed to depopulate the frontier counties of Missouri, and to lay waste the country on the border, so as to prevent its furnishing any shelter or subsistence to these bands of murderers.

Such measures are within the recognized laws of war; they were adopted by Wellington in Portugal, and by the Russian armies in the campaign of 1812, but they should be adopted only in case of overrunning necessity. The execution of General Schofield's order on this subject has been suspended, and it is hoped that it will not be necessary hereafter to renew it.

Department of the North-West.

As soon as the season was sufficiently advanced for a campaign against the Indians, General Pope sent a column, under Brigadier-General Sibley, up the Mississippi River to near our northern boundary, and thence across the country to the Missouri, and another of cavalry, under Brigadier-General Sully, from Sioux City, up the latter river, to cut off the retreat of the hostile Indians whom General Sibley might drive before him from Minnesota and Eastern Dacotah. Unfortunately, these movements were not well timed, and no junction was effected. A portion of the savages driven north took refuge within British territory, where our troops were not permitted to follow them. Some fled westward, and were overtaken by General Sibley near Missouri Coteau, where he encountered a force of Minnesota and Dacotah warriors, estimated at from two thousand two hundred to two thousand five hundred.

In the engagements which followed at Big Mound and Dead Buffalo Lake, the Indians were completely routed, with a heavy loss in killed and wounded, and in the destruction of their provisions and means of transportation. Our loss was five killed and four wounded. The savages who escaped crossed to the west side of the Mississippi, and General Sibley reached that river about forty miles below Fort Clark, on the twenty-ninth July, having marched the distance, some six hundred miles, from St. Paul.

On the third September, General Sully encountered and defeated, at Whitestone Hall, about one hundred and thirty miles above the Little Cheyenne, a body of Indians, a part of which had previously been engaged against Sibley's column. The savages were defeated with a heavy loss in killed and wounded, and one hundred and fifty-six prisoners. Our loss was twenty killed and thirty-eight wounded. With these operations the present Indian campaign was terminated. Recent hostilities in Idaho may render it necessary to send a military expedition into that territory early in the spring.

Department of the Pacific.

This department has been most signally exempt from the evils of civil war, and consequently has enjoyed unexampled prosperity. Some thefts and robberies having been committed by roving bands of Indians on the overland stage route in January last, General Connor marched with a small force to Bear River, Idaho, where, on the twenty-sixth, he overtook and completely defeated them in a severe battle, in which he killed two hundred and twenty-four of the three hundred, and captured one hundred and seventy-five of their horses. His own loss in killed and wounded was sixty-three out of two hundred. Many of his men were severely injured by the frost. Since this severe punishment, the Indians in that quarter have ceased to commit depredations on the whites.

Department of the Ohio.

In December last, Brigadier-General S. P. Carter made a cavalry raid into Eastern Tennessee and destroyed the Union and Wakuka Railroad bridges, a considerable amount of arms, rolling stock, etc. He returned to Kentucky with the loss of only ten men.

On the thirtieth of March, Brigadier-General Gillmore engaged and defeated a large rebel force under General Pegram, near Somerset, Kentucky. Our loss in killed, wounded, and missing was only thirty; that of the enemy is estimated at five hundred.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Sibley (5)
Sully (2)
Wellington (1)
Schofield (1)
John Pope (1)
Pegram (1)
Apache Indians (1)
Q. A. Gillmore (1)
Connor (1)
S. P. Carter (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1812 AD (1)
December (1)
October 28th (1)
September 3rd (1)
July 29th (1)
March 30th (1)
January (1)
26th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: