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The Sand Creek Massacre
War of the Rebellion Records - March 1864
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9.11.01
We'll never forget
March 1864


Series I, Vol. XXXIV, Part II

Page 510 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI. Chapter XLVI.


HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF KANSAS,
Fort Leavenworth, March 5, 1864.

Lieutenant Colonel WILLIAM O. COLLINS,

Eleventh Ohio Cavalry, Commanding, Fort Laramie:

COLONEL: Yours of the 17th ultimo is just received. No inclination exists on my part to change your troops, but I wish
heartily your regiment was full. I anticipate a great rush of armed goldhunters to your neighborhood, and we may have
to escort them. I have made a requisition for mountain howitzers, to be used in strengthening posts and saving men on
the stage route, so more of the troops could be used on escort duty.

You may always write direct to these headquarters, on any and all matters of interest to your regiment and the posts
you command, but at the present continued to report as you have been latterly assigned, to the Denver district. I do not
know why you were shifted from the Nebraska. I suppose your supplies can be obtained most economically from the
nearest supplies, which are in Iowa. I also agree with you that good ponies are best for our mounted men on the plains,
and I shall so present the matter to the Quartermaster-General; but as to sending troops up the Missouri, I do not see
where they could be landed better than at Omaha or Sioux City, to join

Page 511 Chapter XLVI. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.   

you by marching across. We have not the troops, however, and I fear if we would try to raise them we would be filled up
with goldhunters that desert to the mines the moment they come near them. Many think you will suffer greatly by
desertions.

I shall continue to feel great anxiety about your command, and therefore support you by every means in my power. All
the intelligence you can give of routes and probable truth of reports as to the mines may be of use to me in my spring
and summer arrangements. If other duties do not prevent I may drop in on you when the snow is gone. I have just
returned from the south portion of my department. What you say concerning snow is important, and I will be glad to
know its progress in melting and any extraordinary floods you may hear of; also the friendly or hostile conduct of
Indians north of you. All these matters are important to the successful administration of your and my commands. I will
also present to the pay department the necessity of a visit to your troops as soon as circumstances will allow.

I remain, colonel, very truly, yours,

S. R. CURTIS,

Major-General.


Series I, Vol. XXXIV, Part II

Page 606 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI. Chapter XLVI.

WASHINGTON, March 14, 1864-3.30 p. m.

Lieutenant-General GRANT,

Nashville, Tenn.:

General Curtis applies to retain the Seventh Kansas, now on furlough in his department. Numerous applications of the
same kind have been made. I shall order every furloughed regiment back to its former command till you direct otherwise.

H. W. HALLECK,

Major-General.

WASHINGTON, March 14, 1864-2 p. m.

Major-General CURTIS,

Fort Leavenworth, Kans.:

The Secretary of War directs that the Seventh Kansas Regiment immediately return to its former command.

H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief.

WASHINGTON, D. C., March 14, 1864-10.30 a. m.

General CURTIS,

Leavenworth City, Kans.:

Neither yourself nor any officer under your command will exercise authority over any troops not within the limits of your
department when the order establishing it was issued. If any orders have been issued assuming command of troops
outside of such boundaries, they will be immediately revoked.

H. W. HALLECK,

General-in-Chief.



Series I, Vol. XXXIV, Part II

Page 621 Chapter XLVI. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

FORT LEAVENWORTH, KANS., March 15, 1864.

(Received 9.50 p. m.)

Major General H. W. HALLECK:

Please inform me upon what ground you caution me against assuming command of troops outside of my boundaries.
General Blunt, using the words of my order, has assumed command of the Indian Territory, including the military post of
Fort Smith, proceeds the ambiguity relating to military post of Fort Smith and troops, purporting it has been submitted to
headquarters for explanation [sic]. Pending that issue, the troops report to Brigadier-General Thayer, out of my
command. All the troops that were in this department, near Fort Smith on the organization of the department, have
been moved into Arkansas, and will of course require orders from you to bring them back.  The posts of Laramie and
Fort Halleck, on the overland mail route, have been reporting through the District of Colorado to these headquarters,
although they are probably north of my department. Are these troops excluded from my control, or shall they, as
formerly, continue to so report?

S. R. CURTIS,

Major-General.



Series I, Vol. XXXIV, Part II

Page 633 Chapter XLVI. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

FORT LEAVENWORTH, [March] 16, 1864.

Colonel W. A. PHILLIPS,

Fort Gibson, via Fayetteville.

Have directed General Blunt, now commanding district at Fort Smith, troops in my department must not move out
without my orders, orders from my superiors, or on some temporary duty or necessity, from which they should return as
soon as possible.

S. R. CURTIS,

Major-General.

EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, COLORADO TERRITORY,

Denver, March 16, 1864.

Colonel J. M. CHIVINGTON,

Commanding District of Colorado:

SIR: I inclose for your consideration extracts from a letter received from Major S. G. Colley, Indian agent, Upper
Arkansas, relating to threatened Indian hostilities, and request that a copy thereof be sent to department headquarters.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

JNO. EVANS,

Governor and Ex Officio Superintendent of Indian Affairs.

[Inclosure.]

Extracts from a letter received by Governor Evans from Major S. G. Colley, Indian Agent, Upper Arkansas Agency,
dated March 12, 1864.

I found the Indians all quiet at Fort Larned, but the Arapahoes and Cheyennes still insist the the Sioux will make a raid
on the settlements on the Arkansas and Platte Rivers some time during the spring or early in the summer. A small party
of Arapahoes and Cheyennes went against a party of Utes who were encamped on the Saint Charles and succeeded in
running off 50 or 60 ponies belonging to the Utes. The Utes pursued them and overtook them on an island, some 5 or 6
miles above this place, killed 3 Cheyennes and 1 Arapahoe, and retook all their ponies.

While at Fort Larned I learned that there was a prospect of a war between the Arapahoes and the Kiowas. Last fall 4
Arapahoes accompanied the Kiowas on one of their raids into Texas. The Kiowas returned without the Araphoes and
brought one scalp, which they said belonged to a Shawnee which they had killed. The Arapahoes

Page 634 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI. Chapter XLVI.   

have found some of the ponies among the Kiowas which belonged to their friends, and say if they do not return when
the grass grows, they will then know that the Kiowas have killed them. Both tribes are making preparations for war, and
if it comes all the tribes will become involved.

I would recommend that the garrisons at Forts Kearny and Lyon and Larned be strengthened, so that if necessary the
settlements may be protected. If the Indians go to war among themselves, I fear that it will extend much farther.


Series I, Vol. XXXIV, Part II

Page 670 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI.

PUEBLO, March 20, 1864.

Colonel J. M. CHIVINGTON,

Commanding District of Colorado:

COLONEL: Having started for Fort Garland to inspect the troops at that post, I learned that the scurvy had broken out
at Fort Lyon and that the command was in serious danger; and when at Hicklan's

Page 671 Chapter XLVI. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.   

Ranch, on the Greenhorn, I received a report of the inspection of the troops at that post, I concluded to first visit Fort
Lyon and then if I had sufficient time to visit Fort Garland, which I am now about doing, and for which reason I will not be
able probably to make my report as early in the month as usual. I therefore take this opportunity to inform you that the
surgeon at Fort Lyon reports to me that there is not an officer or man at that post who is not affected with the scurvy,
and that many of the cases are serious and need immediate attention.

As I cannot learn that there is a sufficient supply of vegetables, &c., anti-scorbutics, to be obtained this side of the
divide, and as the danger of freezing in crossing the divide is so great, I would most respectfully suggest the removal of
these troops to the Platte or that vicinity, and their places supplied by the troops now stationed at Camps Weld,
Sanborn, and Collins. The surgeon at Camp Fillmore also stated that a large portion of Company L, First Colorado
Cavalry, is also affected, many of them seriously.

Hoping, colonel, that this will meet your immediate consideration, I most respectfully remain, yours,

J. DOWNING,

Major First Colorado Cavalry and District Inspector.


Series I, Vol. XXXIV, Part II

Page 684 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI. Chapter XLVI.

GENERAL ORDERS,
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF KANSAS, Numbers 14.
Fort Leavenworth, Kans., March 21, 1864

I. Commanders of districts and their subordinates will not inaugurate or send out military expeditions without orders from
these headquarters, but the movement of troops within their own proper neighborhood should be frequent and always
reported through the proper district to department headquarters, so as to give due credit for good or bad behavior of
commands and preserve the history of the service. It is also expected that commanders of troops will attack or intercept
foes when on a raid or otherwise they pass near or menace the vicinity.

II. Commanders of regiments will immediately make out and forward to these headquarters a list of all persons
belonging to their respective regiments who are detailed on recruiting service, with length of time each one has been
on such service and number of recruits obtained, if known, where stationed, and the propriety or otherwise of his return
to duty with his command.

III. The following instructions, having been received at these headquarters, are published for the information and
guidance of all concerned:

WASHINGTON, D. C., March 16, 1864.

Major-General CURTIS,

Fort Leavenworth:

So much of paragraph V of General Orders, Numbers 376, of 1863, from this office, as orders the assignment of men
not re-enlisting as veteran volunteers to duty in other companies and regiments until the expiration of their term of
service, is revoked, and all enlisted men assigned or transferred to other companies or regiments under this provision
will be returned to their original company or regiment at once, if in the field; or in case the regiment is on furlough, as
soon as it returns.

By order of the Secretary of War:

E. D. TOWNSEND,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

Page 685 Chapter XLVI. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.   

IV. Some commanders of this department have failed to comply with the provisions of General Orders, Numbers 6, from
these headquarters. Strict and immediate compliance with that order is enjoined.

V. The following officers are announced on the staff of the major-general commanding:

Major F. E. Hunt, paymaster, U. S. Army, chief paymaster.

Major C. S. Charlot, assistant adjutant-general.

VI. At the request of Major General W. S. Rosecrans, Brigadier-General Ewing, U. S. Volunteers, is relieved from duty in
this department, and will report at department headquarters, Saint Louis, Mo.

VII. All of this department lying north of the 40th degree of north latitude is placed in the District of Nebraska.

VIII. Any person having signed enlistment papers and taken the enlistment oath is a soldier, and can only be
discharged according to regulations and general orders. Any officer inducing or allowing such a person to enlist again
brings himself within the provisions and penalties of the Twenty-second Article of War.

By command of Major-General Curtis:

JOHN WILLANS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.


Series I, Vol. XXXIV, Part II

Page 742 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI. Chapter XLVI.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF KANSAS,
Fort Leavenworth, Kans., March 26, 1864.

His Excellency Governor JOHN EVANS, Denver City, Colo.:

GOVERNOR: I am in receipt of a communication, forwarded by Your Excellency, coming from Major S. G. Colley, Indian
agent, Upper Arkansas, concerning threatened hostilities among Indian tribes. I am glad to have transmitted to my
notice all intelligence of a credible nature Your Excellency can send me, and I will take due notice and govern myself
accordingly.

Page 743 Chapter XLVI. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.   

I am obliged to draw every man who can be spared from the Indian frontier to operate against rebels who have
devastated this State of Kansas and should be kept south of the Arkansas, and I hope you will advise me both of
danger and no danger, so I can use every man you can spare in assisting to crush out the infernal rebellion. I
congratulate you, Governor, on the prospect of your early admission as a State, and shall always glory in having
participated in Congressional efforts to secure your first territorial organization.

I have the honor to be, Governor, your very obedient servant,

S. R. CURTIS,

Major-General.



Series I, Vol. XXXIV, Part II

Page 789 Chapter XLVI. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF THE FRONTIER,
Fort Smith, March 30, 1864.

Major General S. R. CURTIS,

Commanding Department of Kansas:

GENERAL: In your of the 18th instant you remark that you are in receipt of a latter from the honorable Secretary of the
Interior, in which he speaks of his ' misadventures," caused last year by promises or expeditions held out by commands
in the Indian Territories which were not realized." Since my official connection with the Indians and Indian troops,
knowing well the Indian character, I have been very to make them no promises except such as I knew I could fulfill; and
having always complied with all my prisoners, I believe that I have had and still continue to have their entire confidence,
as expressed in the resolutions of the Cherokee council last winter, copies of which I inclose.

I am aware that promises have been made the Indian at a different times by their immediate commanders, Colonels
Phillips and Ritchie, that never were fulfilled; but such promises were made without my knowledge or direction. I will see
that they do not cause the same difficulty again. I am not at a loss to understand the reason why the Secretary of the
Interior in times that General Mitchell would be preferred to command the Indian Territories. While lately in

Page 790 Chapter XLVI. LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI.   

Washington I observed that General Mitchell was importuning the Secretary of War and the Indian Department to be
assigned to this command. The latter you refer to from the honorable Secretary of the Interior is doubtless the result of
his (General Mitchell's) efforts, and the reason assigned for the preference was the best that could be found.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAS. G. BLUNT,

Major-General.


Series I, Vol. XXXIV, Part II

Page 792 Chapter XLVI. LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE NORTHWEST,
Milwaukee, Wis., March 30, 1864.

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

Chief of Staff of the Army, Washington, D. C.:

GENERAL: I send you to-day an extract from a letter just received from General Sibley, with an indorsement thereon. In
addition thereto I desire to in time your attention to a few points in relation to affairs in Minnesota, which are doubles
familiar t you in relations to the state of affairs everywhere on the frontier. The efforts now being made to have troops
sent South from Minnesota are made, first by person connected with our unfortunate Indian system, agents, Indian
traders, whisky seller, contractions, &c. Every one of these person desires to perpetuate Indian hostilities and the
resulting Indian treaties, involving the payment by Government of large sums of money and the purchase an
transportation of quantities of goods. When the Indian war is really ended by driving the Indians entirely beyond reach
of the settlements of Minnesota the business of such people is brought to an end. They therefore do not desire to get
rid of the Indians, nor do they favor any maecenas which will bring their connection with the Indians to an end. The
military operations in this department during the coming season promise to separate the Indians entirely from any
communication with Minnesota, and to place them far beyond reach of the people of that State. Hence the persons I
have mentioned are opposed to the operations which promise so complete a success, and

Page 793 Chapter XLVI. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.   

seek to bring the military purpose to an unsuccessful issue. This can now be done only by inducing the War
Department to order off a sufficient number of troops to prevent success. Second, these applications for removing
troops are made thought the influence and by the agency of the political opponents of the Government, who seek
means to make war upon the Administration. A continuance of Indian hostilities, and the number of emigrants crossing
the plains, will furnish them with abundant material. Hence, they also are anxious to send away troops from the frontier.

Your experience in California has no doubt made you familiar with these difficulties which surround every military
commander on the frontier. The very persons to raise a clamor against the Government for removing troops from the
frontier and leaving the inhabitants and the emigrants to the mercy of hostile. Indians are the people who are now
unaging the authorities in Washington to do the very thing they will hereafter complain of. The force inn this department
is very small, not exceeding 3,800 men all told. Such a force would not add much to any army in the South, whilst here
they can, during the prevent summer, settle the Indian question throughout the Northwest, from Minnesota to the Rocky
Mountains, on a foundation which will last many years and save the Government millions of dollars. These questions
must ve settled some time.

We can do it now. Is it not best?

I am obliged to send to General Sully nearly the whole force in Minnesota to furnish him with the force he deems
absolutely necessary to deal with the hostile bands which are combining to prevent the navigation of the Missouri River
and the passage of emigrants across the plains. Only 700 man all together will be left in Minnesota, all of whom I shall
send South as soon as I can possibly take them away. You may rely confidently on my not retaining a men in this
department more than in needed, nor a moment after he can be spared.

I would suggest respectfully that of necessity I must be better acquainted with the necessities of this department and
the whole field of operations than irresponsible parties from Saint Paul or elsewhere in Minnesota, who neither know the
condition of affairs west of them nor force stationed there. Whilst these people in Minnesota are unaging that troops be
sent South, the people farther west and the great horde of emigrants are applying here and at Washington for more
troops and more post to protect the emigration. I know that I shall do the best I can for the public interests, and I hope I
am not actuated in the views herein expressed by any sort of wish to keep troops in this department which are not
needed here. I beg, general, that you will give this letter some consideration, and, if you think it necessary, that you will
refer it to the Secretary of War.

I am, general, respectfully, your obedient servant,

JNO. POPE,

Major-General, Commanding.
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