Post by tubman13 on Apr 22, 2015 6:45:35 GMT -5
Much changed in the 14 years between this letter and 6/25/76, however the living up to treaties remained the same. Responses interesting as well, not posted here.
Here is a letter from Major John Pattee (1820-1901) summarizing the information that he had on the population of the Sioux:
Fort Randall, D.T.
Sept 19th, 1862
Major Genl. John Pope
St. Paul, Minn.
The intense excitement that exists all over the country in regard to the probabilities of a general Indian war, and the erroneous ideas that prevail concerning the strength of these Indians, and their efficiency, has induced me to communicate to you directly, such information as I have obtained during my stay at this post (which has been since December 4, 1861).
The great Sioux Nation is divided into ten bands -- each of these ten bands are ostensibly governed by one head chief, and each is subdivided into bands with petty chiefs to rule over them.
These ten bands are not very friendly with each other, unless they are combined against a common foe. They can all very readily be combined against the Pawnees or any and all of the Kansas Indians, and they are enemies of the tribes of the Upper Missouri, the Blackfeet, Crows, Assynaboins, Mandans, Gros Ventres, and Rees. And I am certain that no alliance can be formed between the Sioux and any of these tribes for two reasons. First, they are inveterate enemies and in the second place all of these latter tribes are friendly towards the whites.
Newspaper reports go to show that the Chipewas (or Ojibays) are in arms to some extent against the whites of Minnesota & Wisconsin. Of them, I cannot speak as I have not been among them for many years.
The Sioux and Chipewas have been enemies for a good many generations, and I do not believe that there is any concerted plan between the Isannties Sioux of western Minnesota and the Chipewas of the north in the late attacks upon whites.
I am informed by many very intelligent mountaineers and traders of the country along the Missouri river above here that for the last year an effort has been made by traders from the British possessions to alienate the Indians and turn them against our government. The treatment they have received for a number of years from the Government has in some degree estranged the, especially those of the Upper Missouri. Last year the annuity goods sent by government to those Indians, or a portion of them were stolen by those entrusted wit their distribution. This is susceptible of the most positive proof. Again this year the goods intended for the Crows have been stolen and I am informed by men just from that country. A portion of the Sioux have for some years refused to take the annuity goods sent out by the government for them under the Laramie Treaty of 1851.
The Unc-papa Sioux are divided and part of them under the Chief called "Bears Rib" received their goods last spring and the chief was killed a few days after by the other portion of that tribe for being the friend of the white man and receiving goods from them. This old chief has always been noted as a good man. He has been succeeded by his son a young man of little or no influence. He left here two days ago and went up the river and dare not at present return to the country of the Unc-papas though the probability is that before next spring, discouraged as he is and unfitted to command by reason of his age and inexperience he will make friends with the balance of his tribe, and join them against the whites. This band has 450 lodges and can furnish probably 900 warriors. I had a long talk with this young man above mentioned and am satisfied that he prefers to live at peace with the whites, but the majority of his tribe is against him and I fear he will not be able to stand up against them. With this tribe resides most of the time that notorious old Ink-pah-du-tah, the outlaw chief of the Isannties who committed the depredations at Spirit Lake Iowa in 1857-58. He is probably the worst Indian now on the continent. This band of Indians live on the west side of the Missouri river above the Sheyenne river and roam over all the country between that river and the Yellow Stone. Associated with them is a small band of Sioux called "Itazipchos" or "men without bows." This band can furnish about 150 warriors.
Immediately opposite them on the east side of the river are the Yanctonias or "Unc-pah-tees" with about 750 lodges who can muster about 1500 warriors. East of these are the Sannties with from 1200 to 2000 men. These three tribes of Sioux are and have been quite friendly and visit frequently. A combination of these against the whites is quite probable. I endeavored through Dept. Hd Qrs. to enlist the attention of government in regard to these two bands o the river, above here about two months ago and asked permission to establish a military post between the two tribes at or very near the mouth of Cannonball river. There is no point in the Indian country where a small garrison would prove so efficient as at that point.
Two companies would have been sufficient if started by the first of last month from here. Now it can not be undertaken until next Spring.
I beg respectfully to urge this matter upon the attention of the Government. By establishing a post here the river trade is effectually protected and during this year the trade has increased very much, and the prospect is that it will be much larger next year.
Four steamboats have ascended the river this summer as far as Fort Benton and one as far as Milk River. The latter returned by here last week after having been dogged every inch of the triop up and down through the Sioux country. The boat had to be moored out in the middle of the stream every night except three, during the entire trip and was fired into a number of times.
I will now give the number of warriors in the Sioux nation, according to the best information I can get and I think it is reliable.
Ogelalla Sioux 700
Se-chun-gu Sioux 1000
Itaz-ip cho 150
Mine Kanze Sioux 600
Unc-pah-tees or Isaunties Sioux 1600
making a total of 7585 warriors, about one hald of whom are armed with guns, mostly double barreled shot guns, and the rest with bows and arrows.
I would rather meet them with their guns than with their bows and arrows although they load with three Buckshot and a half ounce ball. The arrow is an effective weapon and it takes much less time to discharge an arrow than to load and fire a gun. I have seen during the past winter, arrows shot entirely through the body of a large buffalo so as to protrude from the opposite side from whence it entered one half the length of the shaft of the arrow. Their arrows are always pointed with a flat piece of iron about three inches in length and near an inch in width at the back and tapering forward to a point.
x x x x x x x
Since the above was written, five barges containing 60 men in the aggregate have arrived from Fort Benton a trading post on the upper Missouri. Major Reed U.S. Ind Agt to the Blackfeet was with them. He informs me that the Assynaboins stopped some of the boats and robbed 3 of them. One was fired into and landed on the south side of the river to get away from them, but they swam the river and took the boat across and then robbed them of all they had: money, provisions and clothing. This occurred about 800 or 1000 miles above.
There are stationed here 3 companies of Iowa Vol (Infy) numbering 286 men rank and file, who have been drilling for near a year and are well disciplined. Our arms are old muskets, but Belgian Rifles are on their way here, and I am just informed that they are now at Sioux City 150 miles below here. For these arms we have about 79000 elongated ball cartridges. We have 3 12pd mt Howitzers and 276 spherical case shot, 52 canister, 128 of shell fixed rounds. The garrison is an open cantonment constructed of wood and will accommodate 600 men. It is spread out over nearly 160 acres of land. A small outlay would make stable room for 200 and they are very much needed.
Sixty five mile below here is Capt. Miners Co of Dacotah Cavalry numbering 84 rank, armed with French revolvers, Halls carbines and in regard to this company, I beg leave to say it is composed of the best of frontier men mainly, but they are completely demoralized in consequence of the inefficiency of the Capt and 1st Lieut. who are totally unfit to command and suffer their men to curse in their presence and refuse to obey orders. I am sorry to be compelled to give this information, but the necessity demands it.
The three companies under my command were musterd into service last October and were Co A, B & C 14 Iowa Infy, but in consequence of the balance of the regt (nearly) having been taken prisoners or killed at Pittsburgh Landing, the war Department has detached us from that Regt. and we are now known as a Battalion of the 41st Regt.
Now I beg respectfully to request that one company be raised by the governor of Iowa and sent here also and that two hundred horses be sent here that two of the companies may serve as Cavalry because it is useless in the prairie country to attempt to follow these Indians with men on foot. We should also be furnished with revolvers.
I have the honor to be Respectfully
Your Obt Servant
Maj Batt 41st Iowa Inft
For John Pattee's account of his experience on the upper Missouri, see his reminiscences in South Dakota History Collections Vol. 5 (1910). CLICK HERE TO READ
Last Edit: Jan 3, 2015 at 8:43pm by ephriam
I support indigenous tribes and their lands. I am very active with projects to preserve the Earth!
Major Pattee's Description of the Sioux, 1862 Jan 5, 2015 at 2:28pm
Post by dT on Jan 5, 2015 at 2:28pm
Read more: amertribes.proboards.com/thread/2207/major-pattees-description-sioux-1862#ixzz3Y2NcUHiP