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Union Orders, Reports and Letters -- Atrocities Against Native Americans

OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 50, Part 2 (Pacific) OPERATIONS ON THE PACIFIC COAST. Chapter LXII. Page 458


Fort Lapwai, Idaho, Ter., July 31, 1863.

Headquarters District of Oregon;

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge that since my communication of yesterday I have received per special messenger your letter of instructions of the 22nd instant modifying instructions of the 3rd instant. I have addressed a communication to Governor Wallace, who is now in Lewiston, requesting his interpretation of the second clause of the new treaty. From conversation with him I have no doubt but his views will be that no part of the new treaty can be carried into effect until ratified by the Senate, and that the provisions of the former treaty should be executed as heretofore. If so, I apprehend no difficulty with the Nez Perces. They are quiet and peaceable, and very little if any inform me if any more of the Indians get liquor, and I shall endeavor to put and effectual stop to the traffic, as nearly all the difficulties here between the whites and Indians have resulted from the sale of liquor to them. I have been unable to learn of a single instance of the sale of liquor, or to hear of a drunken Indian for the last eight days, though diligent inquiries have been made. Nearly all the grass has been burned for several miles around this post. Doctor Newell supposed it was the work of the Indians but I have good reason to believe that the prairies have been set on fire by white men. One white man was seen by two sergeants of this command on horseback, and was seen to dismount several times and set fire to the prairie. We lost between twenty-five and thirty tons of hay in the cock in consequence. I think the fires were set out through mercenary motives.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Major, First Cavalry Oregon Volunteers, Commanding.

OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 50, Part 2 (Pacific) OPERATIONS ON THE PACIFIC COAST. Chapter LXII. Page 550


San Francisco, Cal., August 1, 1863.

Captain A. W. STARR,
Second Cavalry California Volunteers, Chico, Cal.:

SIR: Your telegram of yesterday reporting your arrival at Chico has been received. It is the general's desire that you remain in the vicinity of Chico, giving all needful protection to whites from incursions of hostile Indians, and to friendly Indians, particularly, those residing on the ranches of citizens, against the brutish assaults of bad white men. The general desires you to consult frequently with Major Bidwell, both on account of his large experience in these difficulties and also from the fact that he is the representative of the Indian Department in that portion of the State. You will find the major reliable and truly loyal.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 50, Part 2 (Pacific) Chapter LXII. CORRESPONDENCE- UNION AND CONFEDERATE. Page 551 - 552


San Francisco, August 3, 1863.

Brigadier-General WRIGHT, U. S. Army,

Commanding Deapartment of the Pacific:

SIR: Inclosed please find copy of a letter from the supervisor of Mendocino Indian Reservation. I would be gratified, dear general, if you would give orders that no unneessary loss of human life should be caused in expeditions for Indians. Nineteen times out of twenty the innocent Indians suffer for the acts of the guilty, and equaly as often o the barbarous acts of the savage grow out of the equally inhuman acts of some bad white men.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,


Superintending Agent of Indian Affairs,
Northern District of California.


[Inclosure.] MENDOCINO INDIAN RESERVATION, Thursday, July 23, 1863.

Honorable G. M. HANSON,

Superintending Agent of indian Affairs,

northern District of California:

DEAR SIR: I acknowledge the receipt of to commuinicatins from you under date of the 13th instant, covering copies of communications of W. P. Dole, under date of june 1, 1863. I will give them due attention at the proper time. It is reported here that a house and its contents were burned by Indians on the ranch of Fred. Geltt, of Bear River, about a week ago. The house was locat4d several miles above Beall's Ranch, on the coast, and I understand from Captain W. E. Hull, commander at Fort Bragg, that he with a squad of soldiers will leave the fort on Monday or Tuesday next to go into the mountians to chastise the Indians for burning the house. The chaastisement intended you know is to kill any Indians they may see int he mountains, whether they are the guilty ones or not. There is no evidence even that Indians burnt the house at all. The men who lived at the house were absent at the time of the burning, and whether it was set fire by Indisns or bad white men is not knowm, but in all probability a dozen Indians will have to pay the penalty for burning up a shanty, when I all probability it may have been the effect of carelessness of those who occupied it, or if it was burnt by Indians innocent ones are more likely to be shot than the guilty ones, for the guilty ones will be on the alert to evade their pursuers, while the inocent not knowing anything of th arson will not be suspecting any danger. It does seem that somethingshould be doneto put a stop to the indiscriminate massacre of Indians upon such flimsy pretexts. Order reigns here now and has for th past week among the Indians until last Monday night was made hideous here by the drunken soldies going to the Indian lodges for the squaws, and it was impossible for us during the night on acount of the complaints of the Indians against the soldiers. Upon frequent complaints to Captain Hull, and he making post orders to keep the soldiers from the lodges, which were ineffectual, he finally placed a guard around the lodges, and no white man ecept the doctor and myself are permitted to the camps, and now we have peace. The guard will be removed when the captain leaves for the Indian hunt I have spoken of above. I will probably be at San Francisco on the 11th of August next, and shall be pleased to consult with you about Indian affairs here and in reference to those int he mountains.

I have the honor to remain, veryrespectfully, your obedient servant,

Supervisor of Mendocino Reservation.