No. 290.
Mr. Frelinghuysen to Mr. West.

Sir: With reference to previous correspondence concerning the incursions of British Indians into Montana Territory, I have the honor to inclose herewith extracts from reports received by my colleague, the Secretary of War, in regard to the recent hostile actions of a party of Cree Indians, who invaded that Territory from Canada, and who escaped pursuit by crossing the boundary.

Requesting you to call the attention of the Canadian Government to this matter in connection with my note of yesterday on the subject of Indian raids,

1 have, &c.,

[Page 498]

Adjutant-General, Department Dakota, Fort Snelling, Minn.:

Following received:

Fort Benton, March 22, 1883.

“Large war party Crees fighting herders and Piegans at Kipp’s, on Marias 19th. Stole forty horses, killed nine work cattle, two Piegans, and several horses. Two Crees killed: moving towards Walsh. Can’t you have them intercepted?

“J. G. BAKER & CO.,

“T. C. POWER & BROS., and others.”

Orders were sent on receipt of the above dispatch to Fort Assinnihoine for the cavalry to try to intercept the Crees. The commanding officer at Assinniboine was also directed to communicate as to the matter with the commanding officer at Fort Walsh.

Commanding District.

(Mail Bismarck.)

Adjutant-General, Department of Dakota, Fort Snelling, Minn.:

Sir: I have the honor to say with reference to the subject of the accompanying dispatch that had the information been sent at once from Kipp’s ranch to Benson, distant about 80 miles, to be telegraphed to Assinnihoine or here, there would have been some chance of overtaking the Crees; but as three days had passed before the dispatch was sent here, and the Crees were at most not over 50 miles from the boundary, they were probably across before the troops started.

In another account it is stated that some cattle were found on the 18th to have been killed not far from Kipp’s ranch, and a party of Piegans camped near the ranch, located “the Crees that evening.”

The next morning about twenty Piegans, of “Little Dog’s” band, and two whites, attacked the Crees with result, as stated, “of two Crees killed, and two Piegans wounded,” but the Crees carried off some forty horses. Further report will be made when definite information is obtained.

Very respectfully, &c.,

Colonel Eighteenth Infantry, Commanding District of Montana.

Adjutant-General Department of Dakota, Fort Snelling, Minn.:

Sir: The following copy of dispatch is respectfully forwarded in connection with paper relating to the same subject forwarded yesterday. The statement from Mr. Rowe I think may be relied upon as correct with reference to what took place in the vicinity of Kipp’s ranch on the Marias.

With reference to truth of the report by the mail carrier, as stated by Mr. Rowe, of loss of horses at the agency and Willow Round, I have no information yet.

Fort Benton, Montana,
March23, 1883.

“General Ruger, commanding, Helena:

“E. X. Beidler having left town, I took the trouble to find out the facts of the case, and have got the evidence of Mr. Tingley and John Harris, both stockmen, that are familiar with case.

“On the 18th of March, 1883, in the morning, Mr. Tingley’s herder on the Marias about five miles below Joe Kipp’s ranch rounded up his work oxen, and in the afternoon of the same day he discovered that six of them had been shot and butchered. He then started to Kipp’s ranch for help. James Pickett, the herder, and some Piegan Indians, went to where the cattle were butchered and found that more had been killed. The Indians returned to Kipp’s ranch, and Pickett and two others went to look for their mules and horses. They found the mules and some of the horses, and [Page 499] discovered the Indians with the balance of the horses, about forty head in number. Some shots were exchanged, and in the excitement the Indians dropped the meat they had taken from the oxen they butchered. Later in the night a party of Piegans, about twenty in number, started in pursuit, and about daylight in morning of the 19th they overtook the Crees and killed two of them; also two Piegans were wounded in the fight, and a half-breed had his horse shot under him. Another mail arrived today, having left Kipp’s yesterday and traveled all night, Indians having been seen around Pend d’Oreille and at the Knees during the day. The driver reports that the horses are stolen at the Willow Round and at the Blackfeet Agency; also some of J. G. Baker & Co.’s work oxen were killed. The Indians when last seen were making for Fort Walsh. Joseph Pickett and two other men have gone to Fort Walsh to try and recover the horses and find out what Crees were engaged in the raid.

Deputy United States Marshal.”

Very respectfully, &c.,

Colonel Eighteenth Infantry, commanding District of Montana.