The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

My Rogue River Indian War Pages

Takelma, Latgawa, Chasta Costa
Early ethnographic information trying to untangle who's who.

Pioneering in Southern Oregon
Setting the scene. A 1924 history of Southern Oregon, up to 1853.

Diary of America Rollins Butler
She lived right on the road during the 1853 war, so she got all the news.

Diary of Joel Palmer
1853-54 journal of the Oregon Superintendent of Indian Affairs.

Rogue River Indian War, 1854
Relevant papers assembled in 1858--covering every other Indian trouble as well.

Rogue River Indian War, 1851-56
From the Army's point of view.

Rogue River Indian War, 1847-56
From the volunteers' point of view. An 1860 history.

Rogue River Indian War, 1836-56
Albert G. Walling's comprehensive--and startlingly modern and even-handed--1884 history.

The War of '55
An 1888 account of the war.

John Beeson
The voice crying in the wilderness.

A Plea for the Indians
Beeson's screed, with his history of the 1855-56 war.

Rogue River Indian War, 1851
Newspaper and first-person accounts of the troubles of 1851.

Phil Kearny Diary 1850-51
Major Kearny's notes on his surprise attacks in 1851.

Rogue River Indian War, 1852
The trouble at Big Bar.

Memoirs of Daniel Giles
Giles' Indian friends warned him about the coming war in 1853.

Rogue River Indian War, 1853
Newspaper and first-person accounts of the troubles of 1853.

Rostel's Indian War, up to 1853
A 1926 history mostly derived from Walling and other documents transcribed here, with local lore and input from sons of the pioneers.

Stephen Palmer Blake, 1853-54
Letters home defending the Indians in 1853 and 1854.

George Crook, 1853-59
Defending and fighting the Indians.

Henry L. Abbot, 1855
Accidental witness to the aftermath of Hungry Hill and the siege at the Harris cabin.

Michael Kinny
Survivor of Fort Lane, Hungry Hill, Big Bend and the Steptoe Expedition

The Humbug War
Trouble on the Klamath and a standoff at Fort Lane in the runup to the war of 1855-56.

Prelude, October 1855
Touring from Crescent City to Coos Bay as the Rogue Valley was erupting into war.

Rogue River Indian War, 1855-56
Newspaper and first-person accounts of the troubles of 1855-56.

Capt. T. J. Cram's Report, 1855-56
Drawn largely from interviews with army officers, it should not be relied upon as military history.

Joel Palmer Diaries
Diaries of the Oregon Superintendent of Indian Affairs.

The Dowell Papers
Rogue River Indian War correspondence June 14 through November 11, 1855, collected by B. F. Dowell.

Lieutenant Sweitzer's Memoirs
From Fort Lane to the Battle of Big Bend.

Benjamin Allston
The life and Indian war letters of the Fort Lane lieutenant.

Oregon Generals
First-person assessments of the august personages--complete with snide asides.

Volunteers vs. the Regulars
A volunteer's memoir, critical of the army.

Battle Rock, 1851
First-person, contemporary, reminiscent and contradictory accounts of the battle.

1853 Spoliation Claims
Affidavits detailing damages during the 1853 war.

Northern California
Notes on the Northern California troubles.

The Siskiyou Massacre
The September 25, 1855 event that precipitated the 1855-56 war.

The Lupton Massacre
Retribution for the above event, made the 1855-56 war inevitable.

The Breakout
The part of the 1855-56 war you've heard about.

Tichenor's Side
Speaking of massacres . . . brace yourself.

Martin Angel
One of the many villains of the Indian wars. Or was he?

Mrs. Harris
One of the most mythologized stories of the war. Conflicting versions.

Mrs. Belknap
Another story like Mrs. Harris'. Why isn't Mary Belknap remembered?

The Wounded
Treating the wounded at the hospital in Jacksonville.

The Battle of Hungry Hill, 1855
Contemporary and reminiscent accounts.

Siege of Galice Creek, 1855
White and Chinese miners against the Indians.

The Meadows Campaigns
Hunting for the Indians after Hungry Hill.

The Battle of the Cabins
The January 1856 battle in the Applegate Valley.

The Geisels
Massacre above Gold Beach.

Fort Miners
Contemporary and later accounts of the trouble at Gold Beach.

The Battle at Fort Hay
The March 23, 1856 battle in Illinois Valley.

The Battle at Fort Hay and More
An earlier version of the above account, as well as accounts of the Battle of the Cabins and Harris cabin siege.

Battle of Big Bend
The last battle of the Rogue River Indian Wars.

The Rogue River Indian Wars
Various accounts, varying viewpoints.

1855-56 Indian War Claims
Reports and correspondence concerning victims', volunteers' and suppliers' war claims.

The Oregon Superintendency
Thirty pages. Correspondence with the Oregon Office of Indian affairs.

Chief John
War general of the Rogue Rivers.

War general, killer of Ben Wright, mystery man.

Robert Baylor Metcalfe
Interpreter of the Table Rock Treaty, presided over the starvation at the Coast Reservation.

The Gore Stockade
Notes on one of the Rogue Valley forts.

Autobiography of Jo Lane
Autobiographies from the pen and mouth of General Lane.

Jo Lane Biographies
Some early biographies.

Letters to Jo Lane
Hundreds of letters written to the general, governor and senator, 1849-81.

August Valentine Kautz
A few letters from one of the principals of Hungry Hill.

The Earliest Histories
Some of the earliest attempts to write a history of the Rogue River Indian Wars.

Drew's Views
Charles S. Drew's one-sided history of the Rogue River Indian Wars.

Ripped from the Headlines, 1855-56
Early newspaper reports.

Soldiering in Oregon
Two grunts' points of view.

Harvey Robbins' Diary
Freezing and starving with the Northern Battalion.

Mulkey's Story
Cyrenius Mulkey's fight on Hungry Hill.

Captain Ord's Diary, 1856
Including the surrender of Chief John and the action at the Mikonotunne village, March 26, 1856.

The Legends of Table Rock
Debunking the myths associated with the landmark.

The Table Rock Treaty
First-person accounts and the text of the treaty.

Port Orford, 1856
Accounts of the massacre and the murder of Ben Wright.

The T'Vault Accounts
Accounts of his disastrous Port Orford expedition.

William Green T'Vault
T'Vault biographical documents.

Uncle Jimmy Twogood
The life and times of the first white man to live on Grave Creek.

George H. Abbott
Indian protector, Indian killer. Also the battle of Pistol River.

General John K. Lamerick
Some shreds of information about one of the mystery men of the Indian wars.

Tyee George and Skookum John
The 1863 coda to the 1855-56 war.

Samuel Stillman Mann
The quartermaster of volunteers, reporting from Coos Bay with both ears to the ground.

The Casualty List
The white ones, of course. If you should put together a list of the Indian dead, I'd be happy to post it.

and last--and definitely least:

Reminiscences of Ezra Hamilton
How not to do history.

Last revised March 13, 2024