James P. Goodall
WAR AGAINST THE MODOCS.. . . In 1856, John D. Cosby and David D. Colton, respectively major general and brigadier general of the California militia, put their heads together at Yreka and concocted a scheme for a campaign which, for the acquisition of political influence, glory and renown, should throw all other and previous Indian campaigns into the shade, from the time of Mad Anthony Wayne down to the Humbug War, which men were not yet done laughing about down in Siskiyou. This campaign was to be thorough; it was to be expensive; it was to leave no form or occupation for succeeding campaigners. What was done was never so well told as is set forth below by Capt. Goodall, who like Ulysses, might have said, "All of which I saw and part of which I was." The captain held a position upon the staff of Cosby, who was well surrounded by generals, colonels, majors, captains, adjutants and quartermasters, to such an extent that it has often been said in joke that all grades were well represented in this campaign excepting privates. Capt. Goodall's account, while doing more than justice to the conduct and results of the expedition, has the merit of being a most concise relation, unsurpassable for vigor and point:
MODOC INDIAN DISTURBANCES OF 1856.Early in the summer of 1856, Maj. Gen. John D. Cosby and Brig. Gen. Colton, at the mining camp of Yreka, held a conference about repressing Modoc hostilities, which had been going on more or less since the close of the Ben Wright campaign against these Indians in the summer and fall of 1852. These Indians had evinced implacable hostility to the whites from the earliest influx of the latter--to dig gold and develop the rich valleys of the mountain and lake region lying on the watershed of Klamath and Pit rivers. In alliance with the Klamath River and lake Indians to the north and west of them, and of the Pit River Indians to their south and southeast, who were equally hostile and implacable, and occupying the tules of Tule Lake for themselves, with Lost River and its rich valley for hunting and fishing, as well as Tule Lake itself, into which they could retreat in canoes to islands constructed of masses of tule, with the lava beds immediately adjacent to the lake on the south to fall back into, their position and surroundings were rather formidable in a military point of view, or to use a frontier phrase the "Injuns was hard to get at, and when you kotch him he wuzzent thar." Under these well-known circumstances and difficulties of the situation, the general commanding, who was determined to protect the settlements at all hazards, determined to call for volunteers and picked men, and to appoint an able and efficient staff, all of which was immediately done, and with three companies under Captains Martin, Williams and Ballard, and a fair equipment of arms, ammunition and horses, the troops being all mounted for scouting service, and a good supply of subsistence and boats, taken in wagons, the command headed by the general in person marched promptly to the Lost River country, distant seventy miles, and took post at Willow Springs, on Clear Lake, in close juxtaposition to the Modoc stronghold and in the heart of their country. During this march, which lay along the line of Little Klamath Lake, and thence across Lost River at the natural bridge, and thence across the desert to the north and in front of Tule Lake, the general sent out strong scouting parties to feel of the Indians, in which Lieut. Warmouth and John Alban were killed. Alban, an intrepid scout and frontiersman, was deeply regretted, and was buried with the honors of war. He had served under Jo Lane in the disturbances in Rogue River Valley in 1853, and had been in that war one of the picked scouts whenever Lane wanted important information.
Gen. Cosby's plan of operations were carried on by sending out detachments in the direction of Pit River in the southeast, to the east and northeast towards Goose Lake--and to the north and west to the country of Lalakes, a chief of the Klamaths, living on Wocus Lake. In one of these expeditions the wigwam of Lalakes was burnt and an Indian camp nearby was surprised and destroyed, and a day or two after on the march to Big Klamath Lake, through a country magnificent and grand in mountain scenery, lakes, portages, valleys, mammoth springs of sparkling water, fish and Indian roots used as food, an almost perfect paradise for Indians or anybody else--we succeeded in destroying another Indian fishing and hunting camp and in killing one buck Indian, on the river that debouches into Big Klamath Lake, and just above the lake. Camping for the night on the left bank of this river in front, just before dark a mounted Indian, evidently a chief, approached the camp, having the river in his front for protection, and in classic Chinook jargon told us that we had invaded his country and had that day killed one of his braves and destroyed a camp. That his heart was good to the whites, and his hands and the hands of his tribe were unstained by the blood of any white man. In reply to this the general informed the chief that he was at war with the Modocs and their allies, and if the chief's heart was as good as he said it was he would send a mounted detachment, early in the morning, to inspect his camp in the tules of the lake, and, if the chief's heart was good, a favorable and friendly reception of the detachment would prove it.
At daylight a detachment under Bob Williams were in the saddle, crossed the river above at a shoal, and proceeded to the Indian camp at the tules, proceeding to the latter part of the way on foot, the muck and mire being impracticable for horses. Their reception in the Indian camp was friendly. They proffered hospitalities and protested friendly feelings for the whites, and the result was that Tu-tup-carks, a chief, promised to come to our camp speedily for a peace talk and treaty of amity, and that he would confer with the Modoc chiefs on his way, as there were relations between his tribe and the Modocs, and friendly relations with all the tribes might in this way be brought about.
In one of the expeditions to Pit River a camp was destroyed and some prisoners brought in, and in a scout one day along the line of Tule Lake a strong south wind forced some Indian canoes within range of our rifles, and we captured two canoes with squaws and papooses, the squaws telling us afterwards that the bucks, to escape our rifles, had got into the water and clung to the tule with only their heads out. This was very near the scene of the Bloody Point massacre of immigrants in 1852, which called out the campaign of Ben Wright. As we all got wet in this skirmish and were nearly chilled to death by the cold, stiff breeze, the bucks concealed in the tule must have had a merry old time, and as we remained some time on the ground the bucks must have thought the Bostons wake klose ["Americans not good"].
The boat operations were carried on by a special detachment, the boats, working with both oars and paddles, being made to hold six men with arms and subsistence, and every dry tule-bed island that could be found was burned to the water's edge. The greatest loss, however, to the Modocs was the burning of their winter houses, built in the surrounding hills, with cellars for warmth in winter and deep snow, and with considerable pretensions to architecture and especially to comfort. It seemed a pity to burn these winter houses and leave the poor Modocs out in the cold, but Gen. Cosby decided to do it and detailed Capt. Goodall to perform the duty with a special detachment, and it was effectually done by drumming around in the hills and in concealed places and setting them on fire.
The most arduous and fatiguing of these scouts was the one to Little Klamath Lake. Connected to this lake is a vast bed of tule, interspersed with lagoons and patches of water, and in the midst a mountain, a very Indian stronghold.
The general headed the expedition to this point in person, and quite a lot of the mats, baskets and fishing tackle was taken and destroyed, but halo siwash ["no Indians"]--that is, the Indians had flown, expired or evaporated--that is, taken to the lake in their canoes and hid in the tule, and, fortunately for the Indians, but unfortunately for us, our boats were all over in Tule Lake. So the Indians, who have eyes, got away this time also.
When this campaign was over Gen. Cosby, as a state senator, from his place in the senate, modestly and properly asked an appropriation to pay the troops for their gallant and arduous services. The discussion on this subject was short and sweet. One senator asked Gen. Cosby how many Indians he had killed, and the general answered: "Sir, more than you have--and more than you ever saw, perhaps!" and with this the house came down, and an appropriation of $200,000 was readily had from the great Gold State. It is true this was paid in scrip, and the faith and credit of the state pledged, but at the instance of Governor Low the United States assumed it and it was paid in greenbacks from the office of the proper state officer at the capitol at Sacramento in 1866, or ten years after.
Before closing this true account of the "Modoc disturbances of 1856," it is correct to say that old Tu-tup-carks, the chief, true to his word, went over to Tule Lake, stirred up the Modocs, had a long talk and some big powwows with the Modoc chief and braves, and then put in an appearance in our camp. Cosby being absent on a scout, the preliminaries of a treaty were drawn up, written out and signed, and on Gen. Cosby's return, approved and confirmed, and Tu-tup-carks himself accompanied us to Yreka, and with all due formality placed the treaty of peace with the Modocs on record.
Shortly after the main body of Modocs--old men, squaws and papooses--came into Yreka to receive presents from Gen. Cosby, and from that time to the opening of hostilities again in 1872, or for more than fifteen years, peace was had with the Modocs under the Cosby treaty.
At this time disturbances in Oregon were going on, and Capt. A. J. Smith of the dragoons, a gallant officer commanding at Fort Lane, was powerless to suppress them with his small force. At Fort Jones in Scotts Valley, Capt. Judah, another brave and gallant officer, was in a like fix, with a small infantry force, totally inadequate to keep order and suppress disturbances on the frontier. Under this state of things, Gen. Cosby (since dead) was deserving of this country and of the esteem of his compatriots in gallantly taking the field in person and gathering around him an able and efficient corps of picked men and officers, to aid him in protecting the frontier.
"The Debatable Land," Sunday Oregonian, Portland, December 8, 1885, page 3
Capt. J. P. Goodall, an old resident of this place, returned the other day, after an absence of 17 years. He has been almost all over the world and is still able to talk half a dozen men to death.
"Brief Mention," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 26, 1877, page 3
Grants PassC. C. Beekman,
6th Sept. '77
I am building a school house & got a district school made up on R. River 5 miles above Galice Creek & teaching school now.
I want 25 or 50 dollars till I get a 1st payment & will give 1 percent per mo. to you or Andy Davison. Show this to Andy. The money can be sent in registered letter to Grants Pass to me in gold or greenbacks. I want the money to buy some tools & other things & can send up my note when I get the money.
In haste &c.
James P. Goodall
C. C. Beekman Papers Mss 916, Box 12 Miscellaneous Papers, Oregon Historical Society
Capt. Goodall, an old pioneer of this county, who used to be in good circumstances in early days, is now old and crippled, making his home at our county hospital as one of the indigent poor. He served in the war against the Modocs, and was also Gen. Colton's second in a duel to be fought with Dr. Cabaniss across the Oregon line, but which was settled by the intervention of the attending surgeon selected by both sides.--Yreka Journal.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, January 22, 1879, page 1
Mr. Goodall, one of Southern Oregon's earliest pioneers, is stopping with Mr. Grooms on Applegate. He is quite aged and feeble; he was with Lane at the Rogue River fight and was at one time, I think, a captain in the volunteer army.
"Applegate Items," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, February 18, 1880, page 1
Having devoted some of the best years of my life to the service of my country in Texas, as a soldier during the Revolution, and the war with Mexico, having shown I think in this section of the country as much public spirit as anyone; having made as many personal & pecuniary sacrifices according to my means as anybody about here, for the peace, quiet & welfare of the country, having at all times been ready at a moment's notice to "turn out" for the suppression of Indian hostilities, and of promoting peaceful relations and subjecting them to our laws, as well as for aiding in punishing renegade whites, and having no other ambition but that of pursuing my peaceful avocations, you will do me the justice to attribute, General, the motives that prompt me to thus write to you to a respectful friendship for yourself, and for the progress & quiet of the country.
If anything I have written or done shall have conduced to this object, I will have been amply & sufficiently rewarded.
I have the honor to be, sir,Hon. Jos. Lane
Very respectfully, your most
James P. Goodall
Joseph Lane Papers, Lilly Library. Undated, apparently a fragment. This document is found on the last reel of microfilm, the undated papers. Lane died in 1881.
Col. Jas. P. Goodall is an Independent candidate for state senator for Jackson County at the ensuing June election, and will speak in the grove at Ashland May 6th, at Phoenix May 8th, at Central Point May 9th, at Eagle Point May 10th, at Rock Point May 11th, at Grants Pass May 12th, at Evans Creek May 14th, at Uniontown May 16th, at Sterling May 17th, and at Jacksonville May 18th, and will discuss the political subjects of the day from an Independent standpoint, especially on matters pertaining to the Pacific Coast.
"Local Items," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, April 15, 1882, page 3
Capt. Goodall received four votes in Jackson County for the office of state senator--all in Jacksonville.
"Local Notes," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, June 17, 1882, page 3
A CARD.Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, August 22, 1885, page 2
KANAKA FLAT, Aug. 14, 1885.County Clerk Parker,
Dear Sir:--The three Doctors Robinson, Lempert and Aiken have all been spoken to me at the instance and ipse dixit of his "royal highness" the county judge, and Robinson observed that a considerable and unusual mode of procedure seemed to have been adopted in my case. What I know myself is that I am sick with chronic rheumatism and in want of proper medicines, food and clothing; and have handed in the usual affidavit, so stating the facts. Can it be possible that because I have led an active frontier life and kept the Indians from scalping the people here (a long time ago) that the county officials think I am a god or demigod and feed in the famed and fabled garden of Hesperides where the gods feed only. I am only a mortal--like themselves--subject to the same natural laws of heat and cold, and of life and death.
JAMES P. GOODALL.
Capt. Goodall's communication to the County Commissioners took effect and he is allowed $4 a month for his maintenance.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 18, 1885, page 3
Capt. J. P. Goodall of Jackson Creek has furnished the Oregonian with a well-written article on the Indian wars which prevailed here in early times.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, December 18, 1885, page 3 Goodall's account is of hostilities in Northern California in the summer of 1856, printed in the Oregonian of December 8, 1885, page 3, column 7.
Capt. Jas. P. Goodall of this place, a veteran of the Mexican War, has been granted a pension.
"Her and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 16, 1887, page 3
Mrs. O. S. Pollock of Virginia, who has been spending the summer with her brother, Capt. Goodall of this precinct, has accepted a position as teacher of English literature and elocution at the Albany collegiate institute. She will no doubt fill it creditably.
"Personal Mention," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 14, 1887, page 3
JAMES P. GOODALL.--There are some hundreds of men upon our coast whose life experiences embrace as much of romance and adventure as was ever told in the pages of Marryat, Irving, or of Smollett. For a full recital of this, we must refer the inquirer to such men as the genial gentleman whose name appears above, that he may in his own home, in the beautiful city of Jacksonville, Oregon, recount as to us the stories of his life upon this coast.
He was born at Milledgeville, Georgia, in 1818, and at that city and at Columbus in the same state, and at Montgomery, Alabama, received his education. In 1835-36, while but a youth of seventeen, he began his active career by joining the column under Scott to quiet the Creeks and the Seminole Indians, and, after service there was ended, entered Texas as a revolutionist under Lamar and Houston, serving an active army life from the Sabine to the Rio Grande, and north to the Red River, and the northwest of Texas in the Comanche region.
In 1846 the war with Mexico took him with the advance of Wool's column to the Mexican borders, to Presidio, Rio Grande, to Monclova, Monterey and other interior towns. At the close of hostilities, having served a whole term, and having experienced several skirmishes and actions, he performed an overland trip in 1849 via Durango, to the Pacific at Mazatlan, and thence by sea to the gold fields of California. Ten years were spent in the exciting pursuits of the miner, and in hard brushes with the Indians of Northern California and Southern Oregon. In 1853, while mining at Yreka, he raised a company of ninety men to quell the Indian disturbances of that season in the Rogue River Valley. This was a notable fighting company, serving under General Lane and losing a quarter of its number. More than twenty years after this Mr. Goodall passed over some of the same ground, inspecting the lava beds of the Modoc country, where he had acted with Ben Wright's expedition in 1852, performing effective and hard service.
Temporarily quitting life on the Pacific Coast, he returned in 1859 to New York, making a trip to Washington, District of Columbia, and throughout the South as far as Texas. He thence arranged a trip to Europe and the Mediterranean, leaving New York City in the summer of 1860 on a tour extending to Cairo, Egypt, thence along the north coast of Africa to Tunis, across the Mediterranean to Marseilles, and thence overland to Bayonne, taking ship home from that French port to New York.
Being in full sympathy with the South from 1861 to 1865, he did service in the main from Corpus Christi to Brazos Santiago, and after the unpleasantness was over made once more the journey to the Pacific by Durango and Mazatlan to San Francisco. The gold fields of the Upper Columbia lured him to their mineral deposits; and he made a protracted tour of all the leading mines in Idaho and Nevada--at the Comstock and elsewhere. From 1871 to 1873, he made explorations for mines in Arizona and Southern California in the vicinity of San Diego. In 1877 he came up again to Oregon; and at length, as the most desirable spot for a home, he brought to Jacksonville his lares and penates, and is now living in serene age under his own vine and fig-tree, and in the midst of his peach and apricot groves--a sunny spot to spend the sunset years of a life not without its tempests, and a part of which had been spent as a seeker after gold with the pick, shovel and sluicebox.
History of the Pacific Northwest, Oregon and Washington, volume 2, Portland, Oregon 1889, pages 345-346
Captain J. P. Goodall this week sold on his mining property on Jackson Creek and shook the dust of Jacksonville from his feet for the time being, going to Texas for the winter, and may conclude to remain there. He was formerly a Texas Ranger, and will be thoroughly at home down south. His familiar figure will be missed from his accustomed haunts.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 7, 1892, page 3
G. H. McEwan and family, who came to this section from Washington recently, have procured themselves a home by purchasing the Capt. Goodall property on Kanaka Flat.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 17, 1893, page 3
The great and only Goodall--Capt. Jas. Polk Goodall--dropped in on us this week like a hawk upon a June bug, and has concluded to remain. He says that Texas is a state of boundless resources, but that he was compelled to return, as our mountain air is the only panacea he has found for his rheumatic pains.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, July 7, 1893, page 3 The "Polk" is apparently a joke. His name seems to have been James Pleasant Goodall.
Capt. Jas. P. Goodall, one of the earliest pioneers of the coast, after a short stay in Jacksonville, started on his return to Texas during the week, to remain permanently.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, July 7, 1893, page 3
Capt. Jas. P. Goodall, of Jacksonville, a veteran of the Mexican War, has had his pension increased to $12 per month.
Medford Mail, August 1, 1902, page 3
Cambria, Va.Dear Judge Day:
Nov. 24, 1902.
Immediately after mailing my letter to you of the 20th inst., I rec'd. the enclosed information from the Bureau of Pensions at Washington D.C., from which it seems to me that bro. James is entitled to pensions for his services in the Indian wars of the South as well as those of the West.
If it is in your line of official work, or if you can spare time from your regular work and can secure the pensions referred to and will remunerate yourself for the work from the pensions when secured, it will not only be a kindness to my brother in his needy old age, but a favor most highly appreciated by me. If, however, it is impossible for you to undertake the matter and push it through at once, will you kindly suggest an efficient person to take it up and let me hear from you as promptly as possible?
I notice in the enclosed application blank, just received from Washington, that the marriages of pension applicant must be stated. Bro. James told me that his first wife (who was an Oregon lady, I think) died several years after their marriage & that her name was (as I remember it) Miss Mary [Jane] Johnson. In 1872 when bro. James was in Georgia he was married to a lovely lady, Mrs. Margaret Sams, a well-to-do widow who lived on a good farm with her two young sons. The marriage was a most happy one until bro. James developed his incapacity for managing and furthering the interests of a Southern farm. The sons, feeling that their property was decreasing in value, persuaded their mother to give them the management of the farm. Bro. James went west again, with the understanding between himself and wife that when he was able to support her & his (then) infant daughter he would send for them. You know with my brother's unfrugal habits of a miner and soldier that time never came. None of his sisters, except Mrs. Wardlaw, have ever seen this lady. His daughter, "Miss Mary Lee Goodall," developed into a lovely Christian woman and died in 1898 at the age of twenty-five, having been born in 1873, all of which I learned through her obituary, which appeared in the Georgia Methodist Church paper published in Atlanta, Ga. I do not know the maiden name of bro. James' second wife, nor do I know whether she is still living, but I will take immediate measures to find out if possible, as it will be necessary or at least helpful for you to have this information in order to fill out the blanks in his pension application. I send you the obituary above referred to, and as it is the only one in the family I wish you please to return it to me after you have let bro. James read it. Do not leave it with bro. James, as he will in all probability lose it. I should be very glad if bro. James will consent to have you write the names of his first wife and of his second wife opposite his name in the family paper I sent you in regard to our Revolutionary ancestor, as it would make the family record more complete.
Leaving to your good judgment & kindness of heart the best means of accomplishing what is mentioned in my letters of this date & the 20th inst. I remain
Very gratefully yours
J. S. Pollock
Copy of statements made for me by my brother, James P. Goodall, in his own handwriting during my visit to him in Oregon 1887-'90 in reference to my request to give me the history of his life--
James P. Goodall born 19 Feb. 1818 at Milledgeville, Georgia, educated at Columbus, Georgia & Montgomery, Ala., did service under Scott and Jessup in the Creek and Seminole disturbances in Ala., Ga. & Florida in 1835 & 1836 during Jackson's presidency. * * * Went to Texas under Pres. Sam Houston and Pres. Lamar, served in Indian & frontier wars & skirmishes as lieut., captain [and] major of ordnance &c. until annexation in 1845 & '6 and then served in the volunteer army of Texas during the whole of the Mexican War as an officer of said volunteers both in Texas & Mexico.
In 1849 left Corpus Christi for California to hunt gold & with Col. Jake Snively & Major Ben McCulloch (afterwards Genl. McCulloch of the Confederate army); went with a party of thirty via Durango & Mazatlan & thence by sea to San Francisco & dug gold on the American River in Dec. 1849 * * * thence to Yuba & dug gold, thence to Trinity River and dug gold & thence to Yreka & dug gold for 7 or 8 years.
During my mining operations at Yreka found time to operate against hostile Indians in Rogue River Valley, Oregon, & under Gen. Jo Lane did some of what was said to be effective service at the head of a compy. of 90 or 100 Yreka volunteers, who were mostly miners who on short notice armed and mounted themselves for said service, which was soon over after some short, sharp & quick service, in which Gen. Lane & Capt. Alden of the army were severely wounded and quite a number of my own compy. were shot to pieces with arrows & bullets, all of which occurred in Augt. & Sept. 1853.
In 1856 served on the staff of Major Gen. Cosby of the California volunteers for 6 months, with the rank of inspector general & the title of colonel, against the Modoc Indians, these same Indians having broken out 4 years before in 1852, when they were beaten by Capt. Ben Wright, who had very material aid & comfort from me in planning and carrying out the campaign. * * *
This closed out my military operations in Oregon & California, & years and years after I saw a notice & account of my operations in [Walling's] History of Southern Oregon, and also in Bancroft's History of Oregon, & in regard to which I have to say these two histories were in the main correct.
I recall something which bro. J. told me & which may help in getting data to secure the pension for him. He said that after the Rogue River or the Modoc Indian War that he wrote the official account of the campaign, including the payroll (I think) and forwarded it to the Secretary of War, Jefferson Davis, & that Mr. Davis in acknowledging its reception complimented him on the conciseness and accuracy of the report. He also stated that he was in Montgomery, Alabama several years after when Mr. Davis was inaugurated President of the Confederate States (1861) and that after his inauguration he introduced himself to Mr. Davis as one of the "Oregon Indian fighters," and that Mr. Davis immediately recognized his name and complimented him again on his Indian war report that he had received when Sec. of War under Franklin Pierce.
Silas J. Day Papers, Lilly Library, Indiana University. Ellipses are in the original.
Estate of James P. Goodall. Inventory approved, showing money amounting to $36.
"Probate Court," Medford Mail, February 16, 1906, page 1
Last revised April 29, 2019