[From the Chicago Tribune.] The present Sioux war, precipitated by Sitting Bull and his large and formidable gang of roving and desperate savages, ought to be the last Indian war the Government will be called on to prosecute. There is one way, and only one way, to make it so. It is to drive the Indians now occupying the northern Territories into a common reservation in the Indian Territory, and to exterminate all the savages who refuse to go. The temporizing policy may as well be abandoned once for all.
The overflow of people from Europe and the Eastern States has already begun to spread over Colorado, Wyoming, Dakota, and Montana. Already Kansas and Nebraska are pretty well settled, and after passing the 100th degree of longitude, a far larger area per family is necessary for the support of those who locate on the western plains, on account of the barrenness of the country and the scarcity of rain. The attractions of the minerals and the opportunities for stock raising in the Territories will increase the emigration there steadily and rapidly. It would be folly to resist it, and cruel to subject the emigrants to an unequal frontier struggle with roving bands of hostile Indians. These Territories can only be made safely inhabitable by ridding them of the savages, and the interest of civilization demand that this shall be done.
Fortunately, this policy may be carried out without doing the Indians any injustice; on the contrary, it will be the most humane to them, and will provide for their future more permanently than any other. The Indian Territory, lying between Kansas and Texas, and just west of Arkansas, has a larger area than the State of Illinois, and is ample for the accommodation and support of all the aboriginal population of America, which does not number more than 300,000 persons. The climate is warm and well suited to the outdoor life which the Indian pursues. Having them all together, they can be better and more cheaply supported; the Territory can be thoroughly guarded and the excursions of wild Indians quickly checked; the climate, soil, and associations will make the Indians incline more rapidly to agricultural pursuits; and all the civilizing influences of education and religion can be brought to bear upon them in a degree not possible while they are scattered about in small tribes and at large distance.
This is the plan upon which the war against the Sioux should be prosecuted. Having conquered them into submission, all the other Indian tribes of these Northern Territories will peacefully submit to the change, glad of the assurance of protection against the outlaw Indians which it will carry with it. As to Sitting Bull and his followers, there is no excuse for the development of the slightest sentimentalism. His present force consists of all the hostile bands that have been harassing the whites and the peaceful Indians in that country for the last twelve or fifteen years. They have been marauding, plundering, and murdering ever since the Spirit Lake massacre in Iowa and the Sioux massacre in Minnesota. They have made war on the commerce of the Upper Missouri for years. They have frequently attacked the Crows, Shoshones, and other friendly tribes. They have absorbed the appropriations of millions to use as resources for further fighting.
The present war, indeed, has grown out of the confession of the Peace Commission that they are powerless to do anything more with the Sioux, and is prosecuted at the special request of the Indian Department. Had he not been vigorously attacked now, Sitting Bull would probably have induced the entire Sioux Nation to join him, and this might easily have led to a general Indian war. Such a result can be surely avoided by the policy of concentrating or "corralling" all the Indians of these several Territories into the Indian Territory, giving them separate and adequate reservations, and exterminating those who will not acquiesce. The peaceable treaty Indians will probably rejoice at the change, as it will give them for the first time something like certain protection against the savage Indians. If this policy be adopted, the necessary regiments should be filled up to their full strength, and such a force thrown against the hostile tribes as will bring them into quick submission.
"Now, Custer, don't be greedy, but wait for us." General Gibbon "No, I will not." Custer, noon, June 22, 1876 passing in review.