Below is a request by the Indian Agent asking for guns and ammunition for the "Friendly" Indians of the Missouri River. At the time, there was a general prohibition on ammunition, and the Red River Metis were selling ammunition to the River Tribes. Those who bought the ammunition were considered "Hostile".
During my recent trip to Fort Sully and Fort Rice, I found the universal complaint of friendly Indians to be regarding the prohibition of the sale of ammunition. Under the date of 15th September last, I wrote the Hon. Commissioner of Indian Affairs upon the subject. I have the honor to again draw attention of the Commissioner to that communication.
I have advised with all the military, and I have advised with all the others within this agency from Crow Creek to Fort Rice, and I have not yet found one not in favor of setting this order aside. The Indians who gather at these different points are friendly to the government and enemies to the hostile Indians. and fear them as enemies. They say they are willing to help protect the whites if they can only be permitted to purchase the means with which to do it. The Indians inimical (hostile) to the government procure all the ammunition they desire from traffic with the Red river half-breeds. This the friendly Indians understand, and tell me this prohibition has driven many of their young mean into the hostile camp; and again, it is now approaching the season of the year when the Indians, settled along the Missouri river, must subsist to a great extent upon such small game as cannot be successfully hunted with bows and arrows.
Justice to these Indians requires that the order be immediately abrogated. I think it a very dangerous order to enforce among these Indians. At this place, Fort Sully and Fort Rice the Indians of known friendship should be permitted to purchase ammunition in small quantities, sufficient for hunting purposes. An arrangement as to the quantity and manner of purchase can easily be made between the commander of the district, with whom I have conferred upon this subject, and the agent. I trust this subject may be regarded of sufficient importance to command immediate attention.
J. R. HANSON,
United States Indian Agent of the Upper Missouri Sioux.
"Letter of Secretary of the Interior Communicating, in Compliance with a Resolution of the Senate of the 8th Instant, Information Touching the Origin and Progress of Indian Hostilities on the Frontier" Date: Jan 01, 1867 - Dec 31, 1867
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