The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

Lt. August V. Kautz
For more on Kautz, see Rodney Glisan's Journal of Army Life.

Fort Orford O.T.
    May 11th 1855
My Dear Cousin:
    It no doubt would be [a] waste of time in me to attempt to expose that woman's tact, which you possess, it seems, in as great perfection as anyone of your sex, with which you seek to put all the blame on my shoulders because you have not heard from me in so long a time, for you would no doubt with that same tact that I should seek to expose, turn the tables on one from an opposite direction. I will therefore only try to remind you that when you wish to hear from your cousin you have [to] but answer his letters, as he never allows a letter to go unanswered when one is required, and a letter put in the post office with Lieut. A. V. Kautz, 4th Infantry on it, even if you don't know my station, will find me out finally. I assume always that if my letter is not worth answering it is not worth writing, and my unanswered letters are therefore a source of regret to me, because I should have art [sic] so much time in penning them. Your letter seems to make up in warmth and promises what past indifference and neglect you may have been guilty of, and after so long a silence it comes with the greater force, reminding me how kind you might have been, but would not. Your promises seem earnest, and it will afford me much pleasure if you adhere to them and prove a faithful correspondent hereafter. I was in San Francisco when I received your letter. I paid that city a visit of three weeks, which was quite a holiday for me who had been shut up here in this place for eighteen months. I enjoyed myself very much, though I must say I suffered much going and coming from seasickness. I was very sick, and did not get over it for several days after I got to San Francisco & although I have been back five days now, I feel the influence of the ship yet and am quite sick sometimes. You may be sure that I stared when I saw San Francisco or "Frisco" as we call it for short, for it had improved so since I saw it last, and the wonders of the place entertained me all the time I was there. I have seen many cities much larger, but in its peculiar features none like San Francisco. You should see it, to know what it is, for I cannot describe its peculiarities. Its inhabitants are from every clime and you see creatures on the sidewalks sometimes and wonder if they are human beings. The recklessness of everyone, money is spent like kings disburse it, and the ladies dress like princesses. It contains more theaters, churches, gambling saloons and houses of public resort than any city of its size in the world. It is just a fast city, almost too fast, as the crashing of the banks too truly indicates, but nobody seems to be interrupted in their mad career and everything goes on full tilt as before. You may be sure that I came away poorer than I went, at least so far as money is concerned, and I am very moderate, for you know I have not been brought up in an extravagant school. I was therefore rather [more] pleased than otherwise to get back to the quiet and obscurity of Fort Orford and shall probably have the good sense to remain content where I am until the powers that be see fit to send me elsewhere. I have laid in a supply of books, music, colors &c. which will serve to pass the time even if I do not learn anything. The coming summer however I expect to spend in the mountains making a reconnaissance of the country, which duty I shall like very much, as I am fond of field service occasionally, particularly after having rested here so long as I have. I saw Genl. Wool when I was down, to whom I reported the state and condition of my post, and he was so well pleased with my services that he does not contemplate removing me, notwithstanding that the officers of my regiment have been making very strenuous efforts to have me returned to my proper command, which is at present at Fort Vancouver. But the General objects, so I see no prospects of getting away from this post whilst I remain in the country. I do not object, for when I know how long I am to remain in a place, I know what to do to make myself comfortable. At present I am leading a quiet and domestic life. I have comparatively little duty to do; the Indians give me no trouble, and the whites have learned to behave themselves. I have twenty-four men whom I manage to keep in pretty good order. I have pigs, goats & chickens & a nice garden so that my table if not elegantly supplied is at least abundantly provided for. I have a pleasant companion in the post surgeon, and being the only officers at the post of course [we] are obliged to be very sociable. We have no society whatever. There is one young lady in the place, but she is said to be engaged, and of course it would be cruelty to captivate her, or folly for us to fall in love under such circumstances. It is true we have plenty of Indians who undoubtedly belong to the first families of Oregon, but speaking a different language and possessing different customs and manners as they do we find it rather difficult to assimilate ourselves to their society, particularly in the matter of dress, for though a simple blanket forms a very picturesque costume, still it requires some experience to adjust it properly, besides among them the ladies do all the work and it shocks our idea of gallantry to have them carrying immense baskets of fish or potatoes whilst we walked with them carrying nothing. I must close. Remember your promise to write, and give my love to your father and mother and write soon too.
    Your cousin August.
Beinecke Library

Port Orford       
    I share quarters with Dr. [John] Milhau, a surgeon in the army, and who is my only associate. There is but one young lady in the post, who is quite pretty and intelligent. It is a pleasure for us to go and see her occasionally and to take her riding when the weather permits. The wonder is that we don't fall in love. The Dr. says I am and I say he is, but everyone else says she is going to marry Mr. Dart, who keeps a store in the place. We do not often go hunting, for game is scarce, but plenty of fish are to be caught in the bay. The Dr. and I mess together and have a soldier to cook for us. In Jan. our rum bill was $42, but everything is very dear, prices very different from those in the East, beef 25 cts. lb., butter 75 cts., eggs 1.50, potatoes 4 cts.
    When the steamer stops on the way up, we have time to answer our letters by the time she stops on her return, but very often when it is stormy she doesn't put in and then we must wait until her next trip.

June 1855       
    I saw Gen. Wool and reported to him the condition of post. He seems so well pleased with my services that there is no prospect of my being relieved for a long time.
    The surgeon has been ordered to the Rocky Mts. for the summer, and I am entirely alone.
    The mail goes every two weeks.

    We arrived at Port Orford one night, and disembarked Lieut. Kautz and eight mules belonging to the 4th U.S. Infantry. Lieut. Kautz commands the military post at Port Orford I was told, but what the military post is I am not informed; probably they use it to tie the mules to. Port Orford is a small place, a very small place. I heard that the Columbia once got up steam and left here without casting off one of her stern lines, and accidentally towed the whole city up the coast about forty miles before the line parted, very much to the confusion of one Tichenor, who, having been elected a member of the Oregon Legislature, sailed off in a small schooner to find that body, but being unsuccessful attempted to return to Port Orford but did not get in for some time owing to that accident.

Signed "Amos Butterfield" but attributed to "Prof. Phoenix" in the San Francisco Herald, reprinted in "A Trip to Oregon," Puget Sound Courier, Steilacoom, Washington, November 16, 1855, page 1

    Port Orford, a point some distance farther north, is the depot and landing place of the Gold Beach and Rogue River miners. It is pretty well "gone in" now, though there are some fifty persons yet remaining. There is also a company of the 3rd artillery garrisoned there. They are under the command of Lieut. Kautz. A party of ten from the garrison, under the same officer, recently had an engagement with the Indians on Rogue River. Privates Gill and Adams were killed and Lieut. Kautz and private Egly wounded. Lieut. Kautz had a thick memorandum book in his pocket which saved his life as the ball struck him full in the breast. The Indians were armed with good rifles and are well provided with ammunition, which articles it is supposed are obtained through the Indians who hang about the towns.
'Oregon Correspondence," Daily Alta California, San Francisco, January 4, 1856, page 1

Mucklechute Prairie, Steilacoom, March 1856       
    In time to join the troops as they moved into the field against the hostile Indians.
    On the 1st of March I was sent out to open the road with fifty men. The Inds. attacked us and we fought all day protecting ourselves on the driftwood on a bar in White River. In the afternoon a reinforcement of 50 Inds. [sic] came to my assistance.and we drove the Inds. before us. One man killed and nine wounded, loss of Inds. unknown. I escaped with a flesh wound in right thigh. The Inds. were discovered yesterday a few miles from this camp. The troops set out to attack them and if they meet it may end the war.
    We have better troops to fight with and betters officers than in the previous fights, and if we can only meet the Inds. we can beat them.
Dec. '56       
    Some of the ringleaders in the Ind. war are arrested for trial but legally they can do nothing to them so that the people who have had friends killed take resort to private and personal revenge. An unnecessary excitement is still kept up, notwithstanding that we have whipped the Inds., and they have not perpetrated a single outrage of any kind for nine months.
    An Ind. was killed in the gov. office who had come in and surrendered himself for trial. The man who is supposed to have killed him had lost a father-in-law during the war and believed he was killing the Ind. who killed him, although he could know nothing about it. Some Inds. come from the north in canoes into our possessions and commit depredations and require to be chastised. A party of them was recently attacked by the U.S. steamer Massachusetts and 2 of [them] were killed and 21 wounded and 80 taken prisoners. Quite an achievement for the navy, as they only lost one man.
Aug. 1858       
    Mr. Campbell, commissioner of N.W. boundary survey, has returned from the East and brings an order with him for all to report for duty.
    I will go to Simiahmoo where the commissioner is encamped where we will remain until next spring when [we] will probably go up the Columbia R. to continue survey in Rocky Mts. I do not want to go, as it will keep me west for several years longer.
    The Inds. are all quiet and peaceable, but over the mts. they are still fighting excessively. Lt. Allan was killed a few days ago.
    Two large commands are in the field, one on each side [of] the Columbia.
August V. Kautz Papers

    We had not proceeded far until we met Capt. Smith, who had returned from the Hungry Hill fight with his wounded. There I met old Dutch Kautz for the first time since we parted in 1852 in San Francisco. It seemed he had started out from Fort Orford to find a road to the Rogue River country. He met some Indians in the woods, and saluted them with compliments of the season, when they answered his salute with a volley at close range. One ball struck him in the chest, and would certainly have killed him but for two books he had in his pocket. The ball struck the corner of one, going through it, but was stopped by the other, knocking him down. The soldiers started to run, saying the Lieutenant was killed, but he jumped up and prevented the stampede. As it was a thick, bushy country he had no trouble in getting away. Kautz came into Fort Lane and reported the whole affair to Capt. Smith, who went out with some Regulars and was joined by some Volunteers.
Martin F. Schmitt, ed., General George Crook, His Autobiography, 1946, page 26-29

    GEN. KAUTZ, THE CAPTOR OF JOHN MORGAN.--General August V. Kautz, the leader of the expedition against the Richmond and Weldon Railroad, is a native of Ohio, and a graduate of West Point. Although his name is not familiar in the East, he is well and favorably known among our Western soldiers as the man who captured John Morgan.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, July 2, 1864, page 2

    GEN. KAUTZ.--This dashing and successful cavalry officer was a few years ago a resident of Washington Territory. He held the position of lieutenant while connected with the army on this coast. His raid into Petersburg, a short time since, was one of the most daring feats of the war, and had he been properly supported by infantry would have been successful. His late raid in the rear of Richmond, on the Danville and Weldon Railroad was eminently successful as far as the destruction of the road was concerned, but attended with quite a loss of men, twelve cannon and his train.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, July 6, 1864, page 2

A. V. Kautz.
    This brings me to the subject of my chronicle of this day--A. V. Kautz having been at one time stationed at Fort Orford and kept all the Indian tribes within his district in complete subjection with only a detachment of twenty men. From Fort Humboldt up to Coos Bay the traveler and the miner could proceed in entire security, such was the prestige of his name over the numerous tribes of Indians in Southern Oregon and Northern California. Born in Germany, he emigrated to the United States with his parents and was living with them in Ohio at the breaking out of the Mexican War. He was then but a boy, and followed one of the Ohio regiments as a drummer. He distinguished himself to that extent that at the close of the Mexican War as a reward for his bravery he was sent to West Point, where he graduated in 1853 as a second lieutenant of the Fourth Infantry. He served in that capacity in Captain Augur's company until December 1855, when by the death of Lieutenant Slaughter, killed by Indians in Washington Territory, he was promoted [to] first lieutenant of Captain Kane's Company (C), of the same regiment. While in Captain Augur's company, he was entrusted with the command of Fort Orford during 1854 and 1855, and when he joined his new company he was assigned to duty as quartermaster and commissary at Steilacoom. Of his efficiency as a subordinate officer, no better proof can be given than the little pamphlet published by him since the war, and known as "The Company Clerk." To inexperienced volunteer officers it has proved a safe guide, to the regular officers a most valuable reference, and the whole service has been greatly benefited by its publication.
"Reminiscences of a Soldier," Sacramento Daily Union, July 13, 1864, page 3

    GEN. KAUTZ.--This dashing and successful cavalry officer was a few years ago a resident of Washington Territory. He held the position of lieutenant while connected with the army on this coast. His raid into Petersburg, a short time since, was one of the most daring feats of the war, and had he been properly supported by infantry would have been successful. His late raid in the rear of Richmond, on the Danville and Weldon railroad, was eminently successful as far as the destruction of the road was concerned, but attended with quite a loss of men, twelve cannon and his train.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, July 16, 1864, page 2

Gen. Kautz--His Oregon Adventures
and Something of His Early Life and Character.

    Gen. Kautz, the distinguished cavalry officer and railroad raider of the Army of the Potomac, was formerly stationed at Port Orford in Oregon. Then he belonged to the Fourth Infantry, and was a sous lieutenant. In the summer of 1855, being inclined to do something more than merely go through the spiritless routine of an obscure post with a lieutenant's command, he spent much of his time in exploring the Coast Mountains in search of a road from Port Orford to the Rogue River and Umpqua countries. Here for weeks at a time, with a few men and some pack animals, he was completely isolated from the outside world, and in such times battles might have [been] lost and won without his being aware of it. On the 8th of October of that year the Indian war broke out in Oregon, on Rogue River, on the east side of the Coast Range. Kautz was in the mountains, west and not far from the troubles, nothing dreaming of the war or his proximity to it. But not so the wily Indians, who, well aware of his whereabouts, waylaid him and his party one day in the woods. The first intimation of the approach of the Indians was a volley of rifle shots, and Kautz found himself on the ground badly stunned. Soon recovering himself he arose, and keeping his little party in the protection of the timber, kept his red foes at bay and made his way to a place of safety without material loss. [Two of his men were killed.] Upon subsequent examination he ascertained that at the first fire when he fell to the ground, that he was struck in the left breast with a minié ball [sic]. At the time in the side pocket of his coat there was a small memorandum book about half an inch thick. The ball struck this somewhat slantingly, and after cutting nearly through it passed off under his arm. I saw the memorandum book soon afterwards, and had an account of the adventure from Kautz. My first acquaintance with him was in the early part of that year, when we two journeyed afoot up the beach from Coos Bay to Umpqua, a distance as the crow flies of 18 miles, but which pedestrians who follow the ceaseless curves of the water line, to avoid the deep sand, reckon at about 25 miles--often Irish miles at that. He is a man of brains, square built, of medium height, heavy set and substantial; somewhat fond of an argument, and when well committed, dogged and obstinate--would "cavil with the devil in a matter of right for the ninth part of a hair." But take him all in all, he is an agreeable companion and a man of sterling worth, as I knew him here. He is generally represented as a Buckeye, but this is a mistake. He came with his father when a child from Germany to Baltimore, where his father settled and followed his trade of carpenter. Subsequently he moved to Ohio and settled in Gen. Hamet's district. Young Kautz went to the Mexican War in Hamet's regiment, as a private, and rose to the rank of sergeant of his company. At the close of the war, Hamet procured his nomination to West Point, where he graduated and was appointed brevet 2nd lieutenant 4th Infantry, July 1st, 1852.
"Letter from Portland," San Francisco Bulletin, August 9, 1864, page 1

    MRS. CHARLOTTE KAUTZ, wife of General KAUTZ, and daughter of Ex-Governor TOD, of Ohio, died at Columbus, Mississippi--where her husband is stationed--a day or two ago.
"The News," Cincinnati Commercial, June 5, 1868, page 4

Was born in the Grand Duchy of Baden, in Germany, January 5, 1828. Emigrated to America during early childhood, and settled in Georgetown, Brown County, Ohio, in 1834. He was educated at West Point Military Academy, where he graduated in 1852.
    Entered military service as brevet Second Lieutenant Fourth Regiment United States Infantry, July 1, 1852; promoted to full Second Lieutenant, March 24, 1853; to First Lieutenant, December 4, 1855; Captain of the Sixth Regiment United States Cavalry, May 14, 1861; Colonel Second Regiment Ohio Volunteer Cavalry, September 2, 1862; Brigadier-General of Volunteers, May 7, 1864, and Major-General by brevet, October 28, 1864.
    Before entering West Point Kautz entered service as a private soldier in the First Regiment Ohio Volunteers in 1846, and took part in the war with Mexico. Immediately after graduating and joining the regular army, he was sent in an expedition against the Indians on Rogue River, where he remained during 1853. In 1855-6 he was engaged in the Indian wars of Oregon and Washington Territories.
    In the war of the Rebellion Kautz served in the campaign on the Peninsula under McClellan; in Kentucky, Tennessee, Maryland and Western Virginia. Participated in the battles of Monterey, Mexico, September 21, 1846; Hungry Hill, Oregon, November 21, 1855; White River, Washington Territory, March 1, 1856; Hanover Courthouse, Mechanicsville, Malvern Hill, and succeeding battles of the Peninsular campaign in Virginia; and in many contests in Kentucky and Tennessee.
    Commanded the advance of General Hobson's cavalry at Buffington's Island, in which John Morgan's forces were routed and dispersed, July 19, 1863. Commanded cavalry division in Army of the James in a successful raid on the
Petersburg and Weldon Railroad, May 8 and 9, 1864; against the Danville and Southside Railroad, May 18, 1864. Commanded First Division Twenty-fifth Army Corps, and was among the first of the National troops to enter Richmond after its evacuation by the Rebels, April 3, 1865.
    In October, 1855, Kautz, in command of a detachment of ten men, was reconnoitering on a military road in Southern Oregon, when the party was ambushed and unexpectedly fired on by a large body of Indians, supposed, until that moment, to be entirely friendly to the whites. A bullet struck Kautz (at that time a Lieutenant in the regular army) in the breast and would doubtless have proved instantly fatal but for a small memorandum-book in his pocket, which turned its course and saved the life of the future cavalry leader. He was wounded in the thigh in a battle with the Indians on White River in Washington Territory, March 1, 1856.
    In 1863 General Kautz was made Chief of Cavalry of the Twenty-third Army Corps, and rendered invaluable service in Kentucky and Tennessee.
    While in camp and on the field General Kautz has written several books on military subjects, which exhibit great learning and unremitting industry. A young man, he has displayed in the past first-class abilities; while his true devotion to the country of his adoption, his courage, efficiency and brilliant successes, indicate much promise for the future. At the close of the Rebellion he quit the volunteer service and resumed his place in the regular army.
C. J. Wood, M.D., Reminiscences of the War; Biography and Personal Sketches of All the Commanding Officers of the Union Army, 1880, page 224

    Of all the officers of whom this discourse is, but one rose from the ranks. This solitary individual was a German, August V. Kautz, who served as a private during the Mexican War, and afterward became lieutenant of infantry. He was stationed in Southern Oregon, mainly at Fort Orford, in 1855, and in the following year was in the Puget Sound region, and participated in Keyes' battle at Puyallup with the Indians. He was uncommonly unfortunate in his bush fighting, having been twice surprised by the savages, and at the Puyallup contest severely wounded. He entered the Rebellion as colonel of an Ohio regiment and was promoted to brigadier in 1864. Distinguished in the siege of Richmond. Was colonel of the 8th Infantry in 1874.
H. O. Lang, "Army Officers in Oregon," Sunday Oregonian, Portland, July 11, 1886, page 2

Col. Augustus V. Kautz, Eighth Infantry, Succeeds Gen. John Gibbon.

    WASHINGTON, April 20.--Col. Augustus Valentine Kautz, eighth infantry, was today appointed brigadier general in the place of Gen. John Gibbon, who retired at noon today at the age of sixty-four years. General Kautz is at present president of the small arms board, which meets in New York. The new brigadier general has a brilliant record as a fighter, and is a veteran of several wars. He is a German by birth, and was brought to this country by his parents before he was a year old. When a youth he enlisted as a private in the First Regiment, Ohio Volunteers, and served in the Mexican War. Upon his discharge he was appointed to the United States Military Academy, and upon graduation was assigned to the fourth infantry. He was wounded in the Rogue River wars in 1853-5, and again in the Indian war on Puget Sound in 1856. In 1855 he received his first promotion, becoming first lieutenant, and after that his record is brilliant with achievements. General Scott commended him for gallantry in 1857. In 1861 he was appointed captain in the sixth United States cavalry, and in a year was appointed colonel of the second Ohio cavalry as a result of the hard service in the peninsula campaign and in the seven days' fighting before South Mountain. In 1863 he led a cavalry brigade into Kentucky and took part in the capture of Monticello, for which he was brevetted major. He was instrumental in the pursuit and capture of John Morgan, and in May 1864 was made a brigadier general of volunteers and assigned to the command of the cavalry division, Army of the James, so that in 1864 General Kautz held a rank in the volunteer army similar to that conferred upon him today, twenty-eight years later. For entering Petersburg with a small cavalry command he was brevetted lieutenant colonel. He led the advance in the Wilson raid, which cut off Richmond from the south, was brevetted major general of volunteers in October 1864, and marched into Richmond on the succeeding year, commanding a division of colored troops. He maintained his reputation for gallantry and activity, it appears, for he was brevetted colonel in the regular service for gallant and meritorious service at Darbytown Road, Va., and also brigadier and major general for gallant field service in March 1865. After the Civil War, Lieutenant Colonel Kautz, as he was then, entered vigorously into the Mescalero Apache campaign and succeeded in placing them permanently upon their reservation. In June 1874 he was promoted colonel of the eighth infantry, and in 1875 was placed in command of the department of Arizona. When he relinquished the command of the department of Arizona, Colonel Kautz proceeded to Fort Niobrara, in the northwest [in Nebraska], where he remained with his regiment until detailed for temporary special duty in New York. Whether or not General Kautz will be appointed to the command of the department of Dakota, just vacated by General Ruger, is not yet determined. General Kautz is nearly sixty-four years of age, and will retire on that account January 5 next.
The Sun, Baltimore, April 21, 1891, page 1

Distinguished Soldier Stopping in Seattle.
Services on Puget Sound in Days of Indian Wars--Present Condition of Army.

    General August Valentine Kautz, one of the most distinguished soldiers in the United States army, arrived at the Rainier Hotel yesterday. He has many acquaintances in Seattle, and will spend several days here looking over property which he holds in this vicinity.
    General Kautz is a soldierly looking man, not very tall, but compactly built. His hair is almost white, and a mustache and imperial, also turning to the white, somewhat cover the firm lines about his mouth.
    He was born in Ispringen, Baden, Germany, January 5, 1828. In the same year his parents came to this country, and four years later they settled in Brown County, Ohio. The son served as a private in the First Regiment of Ohio volunteers in the Mexican War, and in his discharge was appointed to the United States military academy, where he was graduated in 1852, and assigned to the Fourth Infantry. He served in Oregon and Washington Territory till the Civil War, and in the Rogue River wars of 1853-55, and was wounded in the latter. He was also wounded in the Indian war on Puget Sound in 1856. In 1855 he was promoted first lieutenant, and in 1857 commended by General Scott for gallantry. In 1859-60 he traveled in Europe. He was appointed captain in the Sixth United States cavalry in 1861, and served with the regiment from its organization through the Peninsular campaign of 1862, commanding it during the seven days, until just before South Mountain, when he was made colonel of the Second Ohio cavalry. His regiment was ordered to Camp Chase, Ohio, to remount and refit, and he commanded that post from December 1862 to April 186, 3. when he led a cavalry brigade in Kentucky, forming a part of General Carter's division of the army of the Ohio. He took part in the capture of Monticello, Ky., May 1, 1863, and on June 9 was brevetted major for commanding in an action near there. He was engaged in the pursuit and capture of John Morgan, in July, 1863, preventing him from crossing the Ohio. Afterward Colonel Kautz served as chief of cavalry of the Twenty-third Corps.
    On May 7, 1864, he was made brigadier general of volunteers and assigned to the command of the cavalry division of the army of the James. He entered Petersburg with his small cavalry command June 9, 1864, for which attack he was brevetted lieutenant colonel. Later he led the advance of the Wilson raid, which for more than forty days cut the roads leading into Richmond from the south.
    On October 28, 1864, he was brevetted major general of volunteers, and in March, 1865, was assigned to the command of a division of colored troops, which he marched into Richmond April 3. He was brevetted colonel in the regular service for gallant and meritorious service in action on the Derbyshire road, Virginia, October 7, 1864; also brigadier and major general for gallant service in the field March 13, 1865.
    General Kautz was appointed lieutenant colonel of the Thirty-fourth Infantry in 1866, transferred to the Fifteenth in 1869, and commanded the regiment on the Mexican frontier till 1874. He organized several successful expeditions against the Mescalero Apaches, who had fled from their reservation in 1864, and in 1870-1 he succeeded in establishing the tribe on its reservation, where it has since remained. In June, 1874, he was appointed colonel of the Eighth Infantry, and in 1875 was placed in command of the Department of Arizona. He served in California from 1878 till 1886, and then in Nebraska. He is now stationed in New York, a member of the magazine gun board, appointed last December, which has for its duty the choosing of the best magazine system for the guns used in the fortifications and warships of the United Slates.
    Genera! Kautz has written extensively on military subjects, being the author of "The Company Clerk," "Customs of Service for Non-Commissioned Officers and Soldiers," "Customs of Service for Officers," and other works.
    "I came to Seattle," said he last evening. " from Walla Walla, where I have been active as a member of the board of inquiry appointed to investigate the lynching affair there. There is nothing to be said in this matter until the matter comes out through the War Department at Washington City.
    "Yes, I was here in 1853, when Seattle was nothing but Yesler's sawmill. The places on the Sound then were Olympia, Steilacoom and Port Townsend. I went through the various Indian fights in this vicinity, and I can assure you that the Puyallups. although they do not now seem very warlike, were then a dangerous foe to meet in the field. In 1857-8 I helped to erect the present building at Fort Steilacoom.
    "After the Civil War I did not get a chance to come back here until in the eighties, but lately I have visited the Sound country quite regularly. In those early days I foresaw the ultimate development of the country and made a number of investments here. I bought lots in Steilacoom when that seemed the most prominent point, and since that I have invested in several of the places on the Sound. In January next I shall be put on the retirement list, and then I hope to give more attention to my property here.
    "My belief is that ultimately the headquarters for the Department of the Columbia must be removed to some point on Puget Sound. The increase of population which is reasonably to be expected for the Sound country must make that a mere matter of policy before very long. The same reason exists why the Puget Sound region should be fortified. It is not now as important as New York City, but it is all the time becoming more populous, and, in case of war with Chile or Great Britain, for instance, it would be necessary to fortify it at once.
    "From time to time I have expressed my opinion pretty strongly as to the means to be taken to improve the morale of the army and prevent desertions. The trouble is that we are enlisting the wrong kind of men--those but little better than tramps. They come into the army because they are hungry and out of work, but the roving spirit is strong in them, and as soon as they weary of the routine of life at a post they run away.
    "I should make every post a military school something like West Point, only not quite so elaborate. Then I should enlist young men, train them for five years in military tactics and other studies as at West Point. After that I should turn them out, ready to be made into officers in time of need. Such a system would cost but little more than the present one, and would immensely improve the tone of the service. Then there would be competitive examinations for admission to the army. Yes, I believe in the school system."
Seattle Post-Intelligencer, May 31, 1891, page 8

    FORT SPOKANE, Wash., Sept. 1.--(Special Correspondence.)--The command of this post was mustered on the 31st of August at 7 o'clock in the morning in undress uniform. The weather has been so very warm and the dust on the parade so objectionable that drills have been shortened to one-half hour and full dress coats and helmets will be dispensed with at parade in the future. The mercury was up all the way from 94 to 104 daily, and we feel sure that the enemies of our country will not venture out in this heat to disturb us, so we will rest upon our laurels.
    Brigadier General August V. Kautz, commanding the military department of the Columbia, accompanied by Lieutenant Richardson, of the 8th Infantry, of his staff made a formal inspection of the post and command on his arrival here last Friday. It is not known that this inspection is made with any other view than to acquaint General Kautz with the capacity of the post in a general way, for he has examined most of the posts of this department in similar manner since his recent assumption of command; still many rumors are afloat concerning the intention of sending a part or the whole of the Walla Walla garrison here. There are three empty barracks, an unused cavalry stable, and a large number of officers' quarters also vacant. The trials following the killing of Hunt have been expensive to the community of Walla Walla, and it may be considered best to change the garrison or remove it entirely.
    General Kautz, upon his graduation from the military academy, was in 1852 assigned to the regiment that furnishes the garrison here--Fourth Infantry. In March 24, 1853, he was appointed second lieutenant and participated in the Rogue River expedition against the Indians in 1852. The promotion to first lieutenant followed in December 4, 1855, and he was in action against Indians at White River, W.T. in 1856, being appointed acting quartermaster to the northwestern boundary commission in 1859. In 1861 he left the Fourth Infantry and received his captaincy in the Sixth Cavalry, being brevet major general U.S.A, March 1865. His war record is a glorious one, and he was one of the members of the military commission which tried the assassins of President Lincoln. In January the general will be retired, and his service in the army will have begun and ended at the historic Vancouver barracks.
"Our Military Neighbors," Spokane Daily Chronicle, September 2, 1891, page 1

Brigadier General August V. Kautz, U.S.A., is a guest of the Arlington. He will remain in the city several days, and on the Coast all the winter. "I consider Washington my home," said he, "although my family are now sojourning in Europe. I began and ended my forty years' service in the army at the same post--Fort Vancouver, in this state. I came out here in 1852, and was retired last January." During Gen. Kautz's early service in this section he participated in the Rogue River and Puget Sound Indian wars and was twice wounded. At the time of his retirement he commanded the Department of the Columbia, succeeding Gen. Gibbon. He has large real estate interests in Seattle and other portions of this state.
"The Passing Throng," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, January 19, 1893, page 4

The Old Pioneer Passes Away in Seattle.
A Prominent Indian Fighter and War Veteran.

    Seattle, Sept. 5.--Gen. A. V. Kautz passed away at the family residence, on James Street, a few minutes past 10 o'clock last evening, after an illness of only twenty-three hours. He died, after suffering intense pain, with a smile on his face, and he retained consciousness until nearly the last instant. The cause of his death was an obstruction of the bowels.
    August Valentine Kautz was born in Ispringen, Baden, Germany, January 5, 1828. With his parents he emigrated to this country, settling in Bowen County, Ohio, in 1832. When the war was declared against Mexico and the muster for troops under Scott, Taylor, Worth and Wool began, Kautz, who was a mere boy, volunteered as a private, June 8, 1846, and went to the front with the First Ohio Infantry. So creditable were the boy's services in the land of the Montezumas that in 1848 he was appointed a cadet at the United States Military Academy, and was graduated with honors in 1852. Assigned to the Fourth Infantry, Grant's regiment, he passed most of his life from the day of his graduation to the outbreak of the Civil War in the territories of Oregon and Washington. Like Grant and Sherman, he won distinction in the Pacific Northwest. He took part in the Rogue River Indian War, in Southern Oregon, in 1853-55, was wounded, and was stationed at Steilacoom during the trouble with Great Britain over San Juan Island. He was again wounded by Indians during the Puget Sound Indian War of 1856. December 4, 1855, he was promoted to be first lieutenant, and was in 1857 commended in a general order by Gen. Winfield Scott, commanding the army, for special acts of bravery.
    He was appointed captain in the Sixth United States Cavalry in 1861, and served with the regiment from its organization through the peninsular campaign of 1862, commanding during the seven days until just before Stony Mountain, when he was appointed colonel of [the] Second Ohio Cavalry. On May 7, 1864, he was made brigadier general of volunteers and assigned to the command of the cavalry division of the army of the James.
    Gen. Kautz was the author of the "Company Clerk," "Customs of Service for Noncommissioned Officers and Soldiers," and "Customs of Service for Officers."
    Gen. Kautz leaves one son, now in the East, and two daughters.
Morning Olympian, Olympia, Washington, September 5, 1895, page 4

Brigadier General A. V. Kautz.

    Brigadier General A. V. Kautz, on the retired list of the United States army, died at Seattle, Wash., Sept. 4.
    Brigadier General August Valentine Kautz was born at Ispringen, Baden, on Jan. 5, 1828, and came to this country with his parents the same year. They went to Brown County, Ohio, in 1832. He served as a private in the First Regiment of Ohio Volunteers in the Mexican War, though hardly more than a lad, and on his discharge was appointed as a cadet in the military academy at West Point, from which he was graduated in 1852. He was assigned to the Fourth Infantry and served in Oregon and Washington until 1859, being wounded in the Rogue River and Puget Sound Indian wars. He was promoted to a first lieutenancy and commended by General Scott for bravery in these wars. In 1859-'60 he traveled in Europe, returning at the outbreak of the Civil War.
    He was appointed captain in the Sixth Cavalry in 1861, and served with the regiment through the peninsular campaign of 1862, commanding it during the seven days' fighting. Just before the battle of South Mountain he was appointed colonel of the Seventh Ohio Cavalry and ordered to Camp Chase, Ohio, which post he commanded until April, 1863. He then led a cavalry brigade into Kentucky as a part of General Carter's division, and took part in the capture of Monticello, for which he received the brevet rank of major. He engaged in the pursuit and capture of the guerrilla Morgan in July, 1863, after which he served as chief of cavalry of the Twenty-Third Corps. On May 7, 1864, he was made brigadier general of volunteers and assigned to the command of the cavalry of the army of the James. He attacked and entered Petersburg with a small force of cavalry in June, 1864, for which he received the brevet rank of the lieutenant colonel. He also led the advance of the Wilson raid, which cut the railroads leading into Richmond from the south for several weeks. He received the brevet rank of colonel in the regular army for his part in the action on the Darbytown road, Virginia, in October, 1864. He was brevetted major general of volunteers in October, 1864, and in March, 1865 was placed in command of a division of colored troops, which marched into Richmond under his lead on April 3. A short time beforehand he had received the brevet ranks of brigadier and major general in the regular army for distinguished services in the field during the war.
    After the war closed General Kautz was appointed lieutenant colonel of the Thirty-Fourth Infantry, and was transferred to the Fifteenth Infantry in 1869, commanding it on the New Mexican frontier until 1874. During this period he led several successful expeditions against the Mescalero Apaches, putting them on their reservation in 1870-71, where they have since remained. In 1874 he was promoted to be colonel of the Eighteenth Infantry, and in 1875 was placed in command of the Department of Arizona. He served in California from 1878 to 1886, and in 1887 in Nebraska. Subsequently he was made president of the Small Arms Board, and met with it in New York City in 1891. On April 20, 1891, he was appointed brigadier general, in place of General Gibbon, and was retired on account of age on Jan. 5, 1892.
Sunday Inter Ocean, Chicago, September 8, 1895, page 3

A Rogue River Indian Fighter.
    Gen. A. V. Kautz, who did military service in the Rogue River Indian wars, died recently, and now comes along two Puyallup Indians contesting his will and declare that while stationed in that country as a lieutenant the general lived with their mother, a full-blooded Puyallup Indian, and that he never made any secret of the relationship.
    The young half-breeds' names are Nugent and Augustus Kautz, and they will claim a share of the general's property, which was bequeathed to his widow and her two daughters. They are both bright and well educated, Nugent being industrial teacher at the Warm Springs Reservation, in Oregon. Gen. Kautz seems to have studied in his earlier life the tactics of Gen. Grant and other illustrious busters.
Valley Record, Ashland, October 17, 1895, page 1

By Fred Lockley
    While walking along Third Street a few days ago I noticed a man carrying several bows and a score or more of steel-tipped arrows. I gave him a quick look and noticed he had an intelligent face, a kindly expression and a swarthy complexion. Pointing to the bows and arrows, I said, "That rather takes one back to Oregon's early days, does it not? Are you a good shot with the bow and arrow?" He smiled, and said, "I would not like to boast of my prowess, but I have killed thousands of rabbits and grouse with my favorite bow. A bow is very much like a violin; when a person gets used to it he knows just about what he can do with it." "What is your name, and what do you do?" I inquired. He said, "My name is Nugen Kautz, and I live here in Portland. I am instructor in archery at Reed College and also at St. Helens Hall. I also sell bows and arrows. If you are familiar with the history of Oregon and Washington you have undoubtedly read or heard of my mother's father, Chief Lashmere, chief of the Nisqually tribe on Puget Sound." We happened to be standing in front of a second-hand store and auction house, so I suggested that we go in there where we could sit down at a table at our leisure and talk for a few minutes. The proprietor of the auction house very cordially furnished us a table and chairs, and when we were seated, I asked, "What would be your position in the tribe were you living with your mother's people?" He said:
    "I am hereditary chief and have a right to be addressed as Chief Nugen Kautz. My mother's father came of a line of warriors, and so did my father. My father's name was August Valentine Kautz. He was born in Baden, Germany, January 5, 1828, and while he was still a baby his people came to this country, settling in Ohio. My father served in the first regiment of Ohio volunteers in the Mexican War. At the close of the Mexican War he was given an appointment as a cadet at West Point. He graduated from the military academy in 1852 and immediately after his graduation was assigned to service on the Pacific Coast. They tell me I look a good deal like my father, though, of course, as my mother was a full-blooded Indian, my complexion is dark. I might almost claim to be Irish, as I was born on St. Patrick's Day, in 1857. I was born at Steilacoom, Wash. My brother Gus, who is two years younger than myself, also looks very much like my father, General Kautz. My mother was born at Nisqually. After she was married she never went by her Indian name any more but always went by the name of Kitty Kautz. She was just a girl when my father married her. My father was a young lieutenant at the time of their marriage. My mother was not only the chief's daughter but she was a very attractive girl. They were married after the manner of my mother's people; that is, my father gave a certain number of ponies, blankets, etc., to my mother's father for her, and mother's father gave a wedding feast to which all of my mother's relatives were invited and my mother and father ate from the same dish and drank from the same cup. The recognition by a man and woman before witnesses in this manner of each other as man and wife constitutes a marriage ceremony among the Indians.
    "My grandfather, Chief Lashmere, had traveled as far as St. Louis. Prior to the Indian troubles of 1855 the Indians held a council at which my father spoke. The Indians were indignant that their lands had been taken away from them and that they had been given worthless land for a reservation. When some of the other chiefs counseled war, my grandfather said, 'There is no use fighting against the white men. It would do no good, for they are like ants in an anthill; where they come from there are so many.' My grandfather's cousin was so indignant at him for counseling peace that he shot my grandfather.
    "Chief Leschi was my mother's uncle. You can read all about him in a book written by Ezra Meeker. Leschi's father was a chief of the Nisqually tribe. His mother was a Klickitat Indian. Leschi lived on Nisqually Prairie. Leschi was an intrepid warrior and had always befriended the whites, until they took away the Indians' land. After my father went East to take part in the Civil War my brother and I were sent to the Nisqually agency, and my father had Edward Huggins appointed as our guardian. Edward Huggins was one of the managers of the Puget Sound Agricultural Company. He had charge of their livestock and of their farming operations. Mr. Huggins placed me in charge of W. B. Gosnell at Cowlitz Landing. He placed my brother, August, in charge of Captain Gove, who had a place at Nisqually. I was with Mr. Gosnell nine years, from the time I was 7 until I was 16. During that time I milked the cows and fed the pigs and did the work of a man on his place. I was very anxious to get an education, but during the nine years I was with him I attended school for only nine months. When I was 16 my mother came to visit me. When I told her how anxious I was for an education she sent word to my father, and he wrote to Edward Huggins and had me taken away from Mr. Gosnell and put in charge of Captain Warren Gove, where my brother was. Captain Gove moved to Steilacoom. I stayed with him 15 months. During that time I had 12 months of schooling.
    "After being with Captain Gove 15 months he sent me to live with his son-in-law, J. McReavy, who kept a store at Union City, in the bend of Hood's Canal. I worked in the store and did chores there for the next three years. During that time I went to school six months. I was 19 years old at that time, and on one of his trips to Olympia I went with him. While there I met my mother and my brother. My uncle also lived in Olympia. I told Mr. McReavy that I was going to Olympia to enter Union Academy, of which Professor [Miller] Royal was principal. He did not want me to leave, because it would mean he would have to hire a man to do my work, but I knew I had a right to go if I wanted to, so I insisted. I attended Union Academy at Olympia two years. This was in 1876 and 1877. My brother, Gus, also went to school at the same time. My mother had a large herd of cattle and quite a band of horses, so she paid our expenses while we were going to school at Olympia."
Oregon Journal, Portland, January 19, 1925, page 4

By Fred Lockley
    Nugen Kautz has lived in the Oregon country since 1857, and his mother and his maternal grandfather were born here. He is a son of General August V. Kautz, a West Point graduate and distinguished soldier, and of the daughter of Chief Lashmere of the Nisqually tribe. In telling me of his life, he said:
    "In 1877 my mother, my brother and I went from Olympia to Puyallup, where we each took up 80 acres of land. When the Indian school was opened at Forest Grove, Or., under Captain M. C. Wilkinson, word was sent to the people of the Nisqually tribe that they could send 18 students to the school. They selected 14 boys and four girls My brother and I were two of those selected. This Indian school, as you know, was an industrial school. I took up carpentry and blacksmithing, and, in fact, helped build the Indian school there. After spending two years in the Indian school I went to Pacific University. When Dr. A. H. Minthorn [H. J. Minthorn?] took charge of the Indian school at Forest Grove he asked me to take a position there as disciplinarian. One of the students, David H. Brewer, I appointed quartermaster sergeant. Later, he became disciplinarian at the Chemawa Indian school and occupied that position for 20 years or more.
    "From Forest Grove I returned to Puyallup, where I served as teacher and disciplinarian in the Yakima Indian school. General Milroy was agent at that time. Later I returned to Chemawa, where I taught awhile. From Chemawa I went to Warm Springs agency, where I worked as a carpenter on the agency buildings. I was married there on Christmas Day, 1888, to Elizabeth Olney, a daughter of Orville Olney and a niece of Nathan Olney. We have had 10 children, five of whom are living. Our boys are all graduated from high school. One of my boys works in the Ford plant. Another is cashier of the Warren Construction Company at Oakland, Cal. For many years I taught carpentry and blacksmithing at the Indian school at Warm Springs. Later I returned to my place in the Puget Sound country, where I stayed till 1915, when I once more went to my wife's old home on the Warm Springs agency, where I stayed until a year ago. I came here for a week's visit in 1915 and have lived in Portland ever since.
    "l remember a tine, some years ago, when my brother and I were catching salmon. A game warden came to us and said, 'What is the matter with you fellows? Can't you read? Don't you know it is against the law to catch salmon here?" In a good-natured way I told him I read, and I asked him if he also did not read, and if he did, had he read the treaty whereby the Indians were expressly permitted for all time to take fish at the regular places where they had been accustomed to go for fish. He said, 'What are you going to do with all those salmon?' I told him we were going to clean them, split them, smoke them and use them for our winter supply. He said he would see about it, but that is the last we ever heard of it. Indians are frequently imposed upon by white men unless the Indian happens to be conversant with his rights.
    "I remember there was an Indian up at the Warm Springs agency who was arrested for killing deer out of season. He was brought before the judge, who asked him if he had killed the deer. He said he had, so he was fined $50. The next day he was brought up on the complaint of someone who claimed that he had sold deer meat. The judge said, 'Are you guilty as charged?' The Indian said, 'Yesterday, I talk. It cost me $50. Today I no talk, you do the talking.' They were unable to prove the charge, so the Indian got off without having to pay another fine.
    "These arrowheads I make from well-tempered steel. At 60 yards I can usually kill a grouse or a rabbit. Of course, I have been shooting with the bow and arrow all my life. One of these arrows would kill a deer or a bear, but in hunting big game I usually use a gun.
    "I met a man the other day whose mother was an Indian and whose father was an army officer who, like my father, became a brigadier general. Many of the army officers who were stationed on the Pacific Coast prior to the Civil War took Indian wives and had children--men like U. S. Grant, Phil Sheridan and many others of that kind. Some of them, when they went East, left the Indian wife and children and paid no more attention to them, while others were like my father, who kept in touch with his family and tried to see that his children obtained an education.
    "As a usual rule, Indians want to keep strong and well, while white people will not take sufficient pains to keep well. An Indian lives out in the open, where he can get plenty of fresh air. He takes constant exercise every day. Many white people are sick where there is no need of it, if they would only follow the dictates of nature and eat less and exercise more.
    "My father served, when he first came to the coast, in 1853, as a second lieutenant in the Fourth Infantry. He served in the Rogue River Indian war in Southern Oregon in 1853 and also in 1855. He was wounded in Southern Oregon in 1855 and was also wounded in the Indian troubles on Puget Sound in 1856. He became a first lieutenant in 1855. When the Civil War broke out he was appointed a captain in the Sixth United States Cavalry. Later he became a colonel of the Second Ohio Cavalry. He was detailed to pursue John Morgan and his raiders. In the spring of 1864 he was appointed brigadier general and had command of the cavalry division of the Army of the James. He was later brevetted brigadier general and major general in the regular army. At the close of the war he became lieutenant colonel of the 34th infantry in the regular army, and before long was in command of his regiment and served from 1869 till 1874 in New Mexico, fighting against the Mescalero Apaches. In 1874 he became colonel of the Eighth Infantry and later was given command of the department of Arizona. Maybe you have seen some of his books. He wrote quite a number of books. My uncle Albert, Father's brother, graduated from the naval academy at Annapolis. He served through the Civil War, and at the end of the war was a lieutenant commander. Some years later he was promoted to commander. So, you see, I come of good fighting stock on my father's as well as my mother's side of the family. If you will look up the records of the World War you will see the Indians in service proved courageous and gallant fighters. They were particularly good as sharpshooters."
Oregon Journal, Portland, January 20, 1925, page 8

    "Probably the first white man to enter the area now embraced in Mount Rainier National Park was Dr. William Fraser Tolmie of the Hudson's Bay Company, who, with some Indian companions, made a botanizing excursion here in 1833. The first man to attempt to reach the summit of Rainier was Lieutenant A. V. Kautz, stationed at Fort Steilacoom. With the fort surgeon, two soldiers and an Indian guide, he made the attempt in July, 1857. Kautz and one of the soldiers reached an altitude of about 12,000 feet. The first successful attempt of Rainier was made August 17, 1870, by General Hazard Stevens and P. V. Van Trump."

F. W. Schmoe, quoted by Fred Lockley, "Impressions and Observations of the Journal Man,"
Oregon Journal, Portland, October 12, 1925, page 8

Last revised March 14, 2024