No. 274.
Mr. Frelinghuysen to Mr. West.

Sir: You will remember that the recent correspondence between this Department and your legation touching the movements of hostile Indians [Page 482] on either side of the northwestern boundary led to an understanding that this Government and that of the Dominion of Canada should, as far as possible, co-operate to preserve peace and repress depredations on that frontier by giving notice to each other of the movements of the hostiles.

In this sense I have the honor to transmit herewith a copy of a telegram of the 4th instant from the commanding officer of the United States forces at Poplar River, Montana Territory, reporting that the Milk River country is overrun with half-breeds, Crees, hostile Sioux, and armed Yanktonnais, and that a collision between them and white hunters “would not be surprising.”

As a collision might involve the interference of the military force and the possible pursuit of the hostiles to the Dominion border, it seems proper to bring this intelligence to your notice, to the end that the authorities of the Dominion may be advised and prepared for any necessary action in protection of Canadian interests or otherwise.

I have, &c.,


To Breck, Assistant Adjutant-General, Fort Snelling, Minn.:

First Sergeant Neeland, Company B, with Sergeant Boost, Company F, and two Indian scouts, struck camp of half-breeds and Crees near Campbell’s houses on Milk River Saturday night. Breeds and Indians fled with their horses, leaving in Neeland’s hands 58 carts and harnesses, 20 hides, 10,000 pounds meat, and other property. Have ordered Neeland to destroy all he cannot bring with him and return at once to post, as I fear breeds may get reinforcements of Crees and attack him. Scout Culbertson reports Milk River country overrun with half-breeds, Crees, and “Lame Brulé’s” band of hostile Sioux, Yanktou Indians; and I presume others are getting arms, ammunition and whisky in unlimited quantities at Norris’s place, thirty miles above Dry Fork. White hunters are in close proximity to Indian camps, and a collision would not be surprising. Intend, if possible, to make trip through that country myself in few days and make full report.


Captain Read, Camp Poplar River, Montana:

Dispatch to Breck received. Your orders to destroy property are approved. I shall be glad if the weather permits you to make the trip which you propose, and shall defer action till I hear further from you.


Official copies respectfully forwarded to the headquarters Military Division of the Missouri.

Brigadier-General U. S. A., Commanding.


Respectfully forwarded to the Adjutant-General of the Army, for the information of the General of the Army.

Lieutenant-General, Commanding.