“I think it will be well to designate one to relieve General Sully in the Northwest”

I received the following from U.S. Delegate Walter A. Burleigh of the Dakota Territory,

I have the honor to lay before you, herewith, a report which I made to the Com’r. of Indian Affairs on the 18th day of February 1865—with accompanying papers. A copy of this report was laid before Maj. Gen’l. Halleck, who after a careful examination of the same, assured me that the charges therein contained relating to the conduct of Brev. Maj. Gen’l. Sully, should be, thoroughly and impartially investigated, and that if found to be true, he should be removed from his present command.I believe this whole matter was referred to Maj. Gen’l. John Pope, who ordered Col. John N. Du Bois—a member of his Staff—, to inquire into the matter.

These charges against Gen’l. Sully have not been investigated in the manner in which Gen’l. Halleck assured me they should be. The investigation ordered by Genl. Pope was not thorough, but extremely partial and imperfect,—and I have in my possession the means of showing that it was extremely unfair, if not fraudulent. I did not make these charges against Gen’l. Sully from any feelings of personal ill will, but simply because I knew that he had failed to discharge his duty as a commanding officer,— and I now reassert that the charges against this officer, contained in that report are strictly, true, and I can prove them to be so, whenever I can have a fair opportunity.

I ask that this matter may receive at your hands, the attention which it deserves,—and that Gen’l. Sully be removed from his present command, and a suitable officer assigned thereto.

I wrote to Sherman,

WASHINGTON, July 20, 1865-12 m.

Major General W. T. SHERMAN,

Saint Louis, Mo.:

Direct the discharge of all troops that can possibly be dispensed with in Your military division, and especially reduce the cavalry force as much as possible. Now that we have so many officers of known merit, I think it will be well to designate one to relieve General Sully in the Northwest.



The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 15, p 276-8

O.R., I, xlviii, part 2, p 1108

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