Diary of Edward O. C. Ord
Diary of Edward Otho Cresap Ord, including the surrender of Chief John and the action at the Mikonotunne village, March 26, 1856. Transcribed 1921 by Ellen Francis Ord. Click here for her introduction, notes and references. Illegible sections indicated by ellipses (. . . ); Ms. Ord's "private" elisions indicated by asterisks.
DIARY OF CAPTAIN E. O. C. ORD,
THIRD ARTILLERY, OREGON
Rogue River Indian Campaign of 1856.
Tuesday, February 8. A.M. at San Francisco left 2 P.M. for Benicia with Molly & Company arrived at Benicia 9 P.M. that night, stopping at Vallejo.
Wednesday, February 9. At Benicia with Lt. Mason.
Sunday, February 10. at Benicia with Lt. M.
Monday, February 11. Housekeeping. Took Privt. Stone as cook.
Tuesday, February 12. At Benicia.
Saturday, February 23. Made requisition on Qr. Mr. for supplies for trip, find he has no shirts or drawers or shoes, refers me to Gen. W. and Col. Cross.
Sunday, February 24. Rode to Vallejo.
Monday, February 25. Getting ready for trio to Crescent City.
Tuesday, February 26. Do. [ditto] do. put in for mess
Thursday, February 28. Packing up, and do. do. for company. Have written to Bob, Doctor, & Brother Siffy. Sold cow of Compy. for $65.00 left with Wm. Mason this sum deducting $fourteen & 40 cts.
Friday, February 29. This P.M. at 3 o'clock marched aboard steamer with my Co. Molly rode along. Got to San Francisco that night at dark slept in town. Mr. Ihrie marched men outColumbia.
Saturday, March 1. Rode to cemetery, called for Genl. W. He was off for Benícia slept in town.
Sunday, March 2. Sunday at Presidio. Making up papers and returns.
Monday, March 3. Sent muster rolls to P.Mr. All night busy preparing for field.
Genl. Wool expected. Called on no one. At Presidio most of the day
Tuesday, March 4. Called at Qr. Mr.'s office says we will be off on 5th maybe, some recruits assigned to Co. Mr. Ihrie in [I] learn. Called to get it but did not see me. At Presidio today.
Wednesday, March 5. Still at Presidio with Co., 27 recruits changed to 17, all present this P.M. at retreat. Slept at Presidio, gave Molly $10 cash & check for $31.00, and pay accts. for month of March 56 and $113 bought $30 worth of mess stuff.
Thursday, March 6. Off this A.M. after good bye to all hands . . . poor little Molly is not well, nor is the Captn. either.
Friday, March 7. At sea.
Saturday, March 8. At sea till P.M. when landed at Crescent City. Place looks deserted, 350 Indians are in here. We have orders to take the field on Wednesday, don't think we'll take it.
Sunday, March 9. . . . Assumed command of Crescent City post.
Monday, March 10. Busy getting ready. Steamer Republic in from north. News of Capt. Augur Co. at Orford, and Lt. Alston comes ashore letter from Reynolds change Col. B's plans. Busy drilling, &c.
Tuesday, March 11. Busy drilling &c. Ordered Alston to relieve Capt. D. L. Floyd-Jones & former to act as adjt. Spent $8 of Co. fund for cups. Bought $2 worth mess furniture & this book. Advance recd. on 12th Mr. Ihrie 5. Mr. Hillman and Col. Buchanan 5 ea and Capt. Jones $5.
Wednesday, March 12.
Friday, March 14. At Crescent City. Seemed to have set in rainy. Ggetting ready. Order out to be off in the morning, if clear. Bought 13 lbs. corned beef not paid for left oiled clothes at painters got pistol fixed for U.S., 50 cts.
Saturday, March 15. Packed up & off at 11 A.M. got to Valentine's 6 miles at 1 P.M. got through redwoods & crossed over Smiths River at 5. Camped on banks of it. Pretty valley, but today was hard march . . . Redwoods saw some trees 25 ft. in diameter. Woods and live trees are dank, moldering & immense with age sun hasn't kissed earth in places for 1000 years.
Sunday, March 16. Started at 8 A.M. Fine morning five more houses in valley. Bought $3 of fresh pork at Bradford's, owe Capt. Jones $250 for mess. Saw elk larger than big mule. Got to banks of Winchuck little stream, found old ranch where vols. had built pen or fight 2 squaws killed here lately, on suspicion. Reached Chetco, crossed men on log, mules forded lost one with ammunition. Camped at old ranch & burnt place of one Millers. Millers had ford was jealous because Indians underworked him and drove 'em off. Rained nearly all night.
Monday, March 17. At burnt house (Miller) drilled Co., and took walk. Met Col. 3 P.M. & got up the drowned mule. Buried some shells near fence on sea side, 3 yards from 3rd or 4th post from cut ones. Had nice supper; men found cache. The crossing of the Chetco is where waves and stream meet at low tide & is bad place, & at Pt. of Rocks two miles north is worse except at low tide. I & mule in going around it were lifted off our legs & ducked.
Tuesday, March 18. started at 9. Road bad got worse skirted ocean's shore & up & down bluff passed deserted Indian ranch, burnt do. do. Whales Head met 2 vols. who said Company at Pistol River was fighting & in danger of losing their horses. We went 15 miles camped on side of long mountain. Pretty camp.
Wednesday, March 19. Started at 8. Mountain scenery good, grassy glens & glades and pine spurs. Came to country that looked like gold bearing a soldier picked up a piece 2 oz. which mule had kicked out of hill side, came down ridge to mouth of Pistol R., found vols. had lost horses & one man, said they killed 10 or 12 Inds.. Seem to have had a hard time. Camped at mouth of R., bad ground, but best to be had. Good moon tonight.
Thursday, March 20. Off at 7. Crossed without trouble, and had beach for 1 mile but sea took me and mule off our legs at the point of rocks, road hence over steep mountains. Got to beach near R. River. Inds. seen ahead colonel looked at our--Tichenor & Sgt. Clark wounded 2--pushed on to mouth of R. Looked much for good camp Col. going to camp at foot of brushy and timbered hill, where Indians under cover could shoot us at leisure. I told him so but he said we must risk something. Volunteer came across river & told him same thing then he moved camp but I told him still it was too close to timber & he moved 2nd time. Here while men were cooking dinner party of Indians from ambush shot at & wounded slightly the doctor, at same place Col. wanted to camp . . . sent in party men and drove Indians from cover, though at dark they began to come back to a picket right where Col. wanted to camp. Sergt. Smith fired shell at 'em & they didn't annoy us any more
Gold Beach, 1930sGold Beach, 1930s
Friday, March 21. Capt. Tichenor busy making boat. Last night corporal (was shot by recruit) going his rounds & several shots fired. Camp was stampeded & so was I, but I brought in wounded man and as soon as found it was done by our men I went round and reassured men. Had another shot fired by recruit before A.M., very bad practice sending recruits to fight Indians, generally do more harm than good. This P.M. crossed command. I was told to leave. Col. 1st Tichenor made good flat boat, and worked it well. Command over at 5, camped on bluff pt. selected by Col.
Bad place to defend good for attacking party, hill on each side, rocks and trees behind, & bluff sea bank in front, takes 25 to guard
Saturday, March 22. At camp, mouth of river Col. sent off dispatch per mountain man named Walker to Capt. Augur. Schooner Gold Beach came in * * * news from last P.M. Orford that Capt. A. was up at mouth of Illinois with 100 men. The people at fort a hardy looking set quite pleased at relief, but Col. wanted schooner to go back, women wanted to go in her & Col. wanted to send squaws. Women wouldn't go with squaws, so there was general burst up, I mean men wanted to keep squaws here to do which Col. said was impossible 2 of them married squaws on the beach so as to keep 'em. The men and the women disgusted with the Col.'s arbitrary decision & positive manners, which by the way is quite enough to disgust them. He is not the man for the people or the emergency. I have concluded to let him slide & as he has no one else to consult with he has taken to Capt. Tichenor, and holds long talks, and to the vol. capt. They are now planning an attack on something. Col. talks of sending a party across river to get him some boards to make a table with, but gave it up he has received express from Augur who is at Ind. village eight miles up river waiting for orders. No news of Capt. Smith. Col. talks of starting the command tonight, 4 A.M. Says he is always lucky, illustrates old proverb. I have written to Molly but must write to Col. Buchanan.
Recd. advance of $5 from Col. B. & Lt. Ihrie
Sunday, March 23. Capt. Augur came in. Party had hard time ten days since left Orford via mouth of Illinois. Report no Indians seen except these. Maj. Reynolds & Lts. Macfeely & Drysdale with Capt. A remained in camp.
Monday, March 24. Col. sent out party to opposite side of river to kill pigs.
Tuesday, March 25. . . . the schooner Gold Beach got off this A.M. at last. Sent letter by her. Party on opposite beach to protect her as she went out this was my suggestion. Volunteers went up the river today found Tututni village abandoned and burned it. Col. says I must go up tomorrow and do same by the Mikonotunnes.
Wednesday, March 26. Started at 8 A.M. 112 men Jones & my comps Lt. Drysdale & Dr. C. A. Hillman with us. He is good fellow. Had an awfully hard march 11 miles to Mikonotunne village on pretty river bottom backed by timbered hills in front the rapid river on one flank willows on other spur of the mountain with timber on it. We burned the houses 13 in no. & then the Indians attacked us from timber in rear & on rt. flank but I had the men ready and whipped them from one ridge of timber to another & finally across the river. We then slowly left in good order, but the rascals dogged us & wounded Sgt. Nash of rear guard, badly we . . . tired men made litter but it wouldn't work I then took him before me & carried him till trail was visible then made another after trying to pack him on a mule but he fell off & carried him to camp on ridge near Cantwell's prairie. This march through the dark woods, without visible trail, with men so exhausted as to be hardly able to get along, for they had not eaten or drank for 6 or 8 hours, was one of the hardest I ever endured * * * however at the battle of the day before we killed 8 Indians, besides squaws and wounded at least as many more, and I am told it is the first time these Indians have ever been driven from their position, on this river. Sergt. Nash, Sergt. Hamilton, Privt. Muldowney, Smith, Cashman, McCue & Driver behaved well. Privt. Mulcahy, Frederking (who was sick), Welsh, and one or two others were very loath to carry the wounded.
Thursday, March 27. Got into camp about 9 A.M. Very tired, and was weak and sick that day. Col. quite glad at the results of our fights, officers all congratulated me and think I will get a brevet. Capt. Augur got in about 10 or 11, wrote report that night.
Friday, March 28. Made copy of sketch for report, and wrote to my dear wife and to Col. Nauman. Withdrew Murray's nomination for corporal. Col. getting ready for trip with train & Maj. Reynolds Co. & Doct. Hillman & Lt. Macfeely to Orford. Schooner came in just before Col. left. No news, schooner ran on beach of opposite point. Sent 40 men to help her off, couldn't do it, still feel somewhat used up but cheered up Sergt. Nash as well as I could. Privt. Mahoney the other wounded man is quite enduring & has a bad wound. Col. left me in command, with orders not to send out any expedition, except if Indians made any demonstration on opposite side to brush 'em off feel a little better this P.M. Read some late Oregon papers find that my little article in Evening News has touched them to the quick in Oregon. Hope Bennett will copy it think it possible that if Col. N. can he will do something for me.
Saturday, March 29. Still at camp mouth of Rogue River. The schooner is all right and in the river. Sergt. N. still holds his own. Mr. Warwick says men have killed his cattle. I will pay for them P.M. The express came in from up the river, no Capt. S., no Indians. They went up as far as Big Bend. I saw 16 Indians leaving on horses the Mikonotunne village The Inds. kept in front of them, crossed at the Illinois. Rained hard Saturday night wrote up account of battle, in this book.
Sunday, March 30. Still at camp mouth of Rogue River. Storming. Southeast gale. Read some of Dickens stories, talks of Holly Tree Inn and listened to Capt. Augur read the Bible, all five of the officers present, & listening with attention. Had pretty good dinner, took nap after walking around camp and on beach. Wind still SE & occasional showers this A.M.
Monday, March 31. Bought $2 worth of fresh beef for mess. Still at mouth of Rogue River, southeaster still blowing. In the evening it began to rain & blow. Sent for fresh beef, got some. Sergt. doing pretty well P.M. at night Sergt. sank a little I slept well this night for first time in this camp.
Tuesday, April 1. A stormy rainy morning, the Sergt. better. Our rations are getting low, & if Col. don't get back soon I will have to buy some beef &c.
Wednesday, April 2. Col. came back this P.M. in the rain, brought Lt. Chandler & 13 days rations. No steamer in rain all day. Lt. Drysdale brought me 12 dols. worth of mess stuff. He left the three gals of pickles at Fort Orford
Thursday, April 3. Rainy all day, in camp writing * * *
Friday, April 4. Rainy all day, in camp writing * * *
Saturday, April 5. Rainy and stormy writing and drawing
Sunday, April 6. In camp writing & went to Fort Miners took a sketch. They gave me little history of place it was very muddy. Making up my returns and a report of Mikonotunne fight.
Monday, April 7. Begins to look clear. Wind changed this A.M. Col. sent express off to Fort Orford I write by it to Molly, but nothing else. Steamer expected to go by today or tomorrow.
Tuesday, April 8. In camp rainy, & variable winds. Saw sundogs. Tichenor gone to Port Orford
Wednesday, April 9. In camp Capt. Augur went on scout saw nothing but rough country. Fair.
Thursday, April 10. In camp. Capt. Jones went up river brought in cattle & no Indians seen, nor late signs * * * expect bark with letters etc.
Friday, April 11. In camp * * * volunteer reports 100 Indians in Fort Orford & they fired on ship yesterday P.M. Col. tells me to start tomorrow for Brush Creek to mend the road & to keep it free of Indians. I am to take 4 days rations & return with Capt. Smith's command
Saturday, April 12. Got ready. Weather looks clear but off at 8½. 55 men l officer & Capt. Tichenor as guide. As passed Fort Miner some men saddled up to follow. At Euchre had good ford, but rapid, then bad road P.M. rained a little. Mended road & made a cut off through woods mile ½ Euchre Creek vols. overtook us, found more vols. at Mussel Creek. Camped near them at big rocks & burnt shanty, queer place. Got poisoned ivy down a canyon. Had good camp, at night rain. Copper ore at big rock, do. do. at small run 1 mile south of Euchre Creek.
Sunday, April 13. Off at 9 o'clock for Brush Creek, vols. left us & struck up bald mountain for Elk Creek, & scout. Got to Half Breed's [described by Rodney Glisan as ten to twelve miles from Fort Orford] about 10 mended Brush Creek trail to 1 or 2, horrid road, men had to ford deep & rapid stream 17 times in 2 miles, thicket on each side & high bold hills, timbered. A mule turned somerset & lit on his back in creek, man's musket fired by accident got over hill & through oak grove to camp at about 3 o'clock. Express not come at dusk. Capt. Tichenor went on to Orford. Express in at 9 P.M. found two Indians at Half Breed's, horses tied. Both parties ran after Coyle fired. Indians most scared, as they left their horses. Express man Sweet went on next A.M. I sent word would come on next A.M. if express came rained
Monday, April 14. Raining. At camp 4 miles from Orford at 7 o'clock went to Orford with Sweet, rained and hailed. One bad hill to cross. Orford, a broken down place, looks as if everyone was planning to move away, fort do. do. Macfeely in a stew, Doctor Ellison arrived last night with Sergt. Nash, Mahoney & all doing pretty well. Borrowed $10 from Lt. Macfeely, bought four plates for Jones 50¢ & book, rode back P.M. with Dr. Hillman who is keen & pretty clever. Hill & bluff broken, starts gold looking. That P.M. Capt. Smith got in late with his comd. he left a mule on hill. Vols. also camped, near me, had seen no fresh trails. Lt. Drysdale rode to town with Dr. visited Smith's camp. Didn't have much of one or very good discipline, Dragoons a don't care-a-d--n set.
Tuesday, April 15. Off at 8½. Passed Capt. S., who was waiting for packers to bring in lost mule. Passed volunteers, who were waiting for something, found road very wet. Got through Brush Creek by 12 & got to camp beyond by 2. Saw no fresh signs. Rained most all the way, mended trail some, no accident. Camped at same high rock, NE of 3 Sisters. Capt. Smith got in an hour and ½ after I did, he camped near us, & 2 volunteers came up & brought a note from Capt. Bledsoe to borrow 100 lbs. of flour. Had none lent him 74, seventy four lbs. of hard bread, to be returned at his fort. Pleasant night rained a little. Express man from Orford passed at 9, steamer in, no news from Oregon
Wednesday April 16. Started from high rock at 8. Cut open the trail at places, got to Euchre Creek at 12 m. Rainy. Smith ½ hour behind, got into mouth Rogue River at 4, but marched from Euchre Creek rate of 2½ miles an hour and some places 3. Smith in at 5½, found all right & complimentary notice from Genl. Wool * * * eyes pretty badly poisoned [by poison oak]. Note at Fort Orford on the 14th. Wrote notes to Capt. Jordan & to Major Austin
Thursday, April 17. In at mouth of R. River. Col. says he wants to start on expedition up the river on 18th, that will be a month less 2 days since we got to other side and we might have gone then. Talks of leaving me here.
Friday, April 18. Camp mouth R. R. Rainy. Mr. Ihrie getting ready to leave for C. City. I want to have Co. property taken to Orford by direction of Col. Buchanan. I didn't want to do it, I sent for shoes Co. desk 4 blankets & some mess furniture for Co., & for self. McE. owed me 6.90 cts. see mess account.
Saturday, April 19. Camp mouth R. R. McE. left early. Capt. J.'s escorts his train with Co. F 4th Inf., to be back by 1st prox. McE. tells me if chills seize him he will not return.
Sunday, April 20. At camp mouth R. R. Capt. S. with 70 men (11 of R., 3rd art.) left for Big Bend to find new trail 7 days rations. Maj. R. left via south bank river to get good trail to Illinois 7 days [rations] Col. getting ready to leave for Orford I wrote contribution to Harpers. Sent it & long letter to Molly. Didn't write to Pa as should have done.
Monday, April 21. Camp mouth R. R. Col. left this A.M. for Orford. I am left in command with 42 of my A. & some 15 or 20 sick & think the Col. won't be back soon. Rain P.M. Drysdale found some . . . & wrote . . . Sent pay account for April to Molly.
Tuesday, April 22. Camped mouth of Rogue River, hunting mines, think I've found one. Rained at intervals. Dr. Crane is with us, is quite a clever gentleman. Drysdale and he mess with me. We live pretty well, with plenty of fresh meat.
Wednesday, April 23, 1856. Camp mouth R. R. Still amusing myself fishing etc.. It rains as usual, no signs of steamer, very heavy hail storm this day &c.
Thursday, April 24. Camp mouth of Rogue River, reading, writing & mineralizing. Major R. in this P.M. found much snow in the mtns. but got a good trail as far as he went. Last night hailed like the mischief for 15 or 20 minutes & lulled a while. Hail on the ground at 9 this A.M. Bledsoe is back, came to tell us of the successful ambush he laid for Indians and how he killed 11 . . . he called again P.M. I am glad he is successful.
Friday, April 25. Camp mouth R. R. Nothing new today, I am doctoring my poison [oak] sent to kill beef Capt. Augur arrived this P.M. from Orford, no steamer in. I think there is some trouble brewing that keeps her at San Francisco. 5 men of Ind. aha--Cd. to be punished for cattle shooting. Saw orders. Augur has a budget of news from Columbia R. Maj Alvord is at Orford, out on Wool, &c., &c.
Saturday, April 26. Capt. Smith is in. At 11 or 12 we had a cold snowy time couldn't find a trail, gave it up. Saw no Indians. I am glad to start tomorrow A.M. for Chetco to meet the C. City train & bring it in. Augur starts back to Orford. I wrote to him sending him sketches and letter to Molly, do. do. to Harpers.
Sunday, April 27. Off at 7. Crossed river & packed by 8 or earlier. Got to Pistol River, found it too high to cross at the mouth, but found ford 2 or 3 hundred yards up. 8 Indians have passed this A.M., think 6 of them are women and all from R. River, 2 do. seen in hills today. Camped on top of long ridge gold looking place 4 or 5 miles from Pistol River distance marched 14 miles. Men & officers got wet. 1 A.M. & P.M. wrote up journal.
Monday, April 28. Started from camp on top of ridge 4 miles from Pistol C. at 7. Took a long ridge in timber for about 4 miles then down long mountain up a short do., both bare, to Whaleshead Ranch. Found old mule there (8 Inds. passed on last night) beach ⅓ mile then up a very steep hill & mud bluff, then in scattered pines, undulating. Then down ridge where my mule wouldn't stand, to beach, rocky. Here I picked up specimens, one rock reddish many rocks 2 points in sea. The island that looks like whale's head 1 m. to S up bluff 1 m. then beach till opposite Whaleshead then level 1½ m. to camp at 4 P.M., distance 18 miles saw on sand a good many tracks. Rain all night.
Tuesday, April 29. Rainy A.M. didn't make a daylight start to surprise Inds. as intended cleared up & got off at 8 A.M. as soon as crossed ravine saw 5 Ind. spies coming towards camp. Sent guides after 'em & followed at double quick. Lots more Inds. at mouth Chetco. The two were fired at by Walker but they got into rest and stampeded them. They ran some 70 of them, some 20 took hills and brushes north of river, but largest portion got under river bank where thick jungle concealed them from view I with 40 men pursued and kept for 2 miles after 1st party. When they gained and second party was seen crossing with wh. boat & four or three canoes, turned and fired into them, killed and wounded 3 or 4. Then as all appeared to be over, before we could . . . then fire a volley on them from top of bank. I returned to Miller's burnt house where Lt. [Nelson Bowman] Sweitzer had got up with train & killed an Indian I ordered 'em to make camp ½ mile back where was good grass. As we were camping in the rain, Capt. Jones & train were discovered coming along bluff on opposite side of river 2 miles off & then Lt. Sweitzer requested to be sent after the whale boat to ferry . . . across. Sent him with 10 men and in few minutes started to overtake him with 30 more men. Overtook him near bank of river, saw three boatloads of Indians paddling their best up the river, and many more on sand bottom of opposite side. Followed them at a killing pace for two miles when they of whale boat took to shore smashing bottom of whale boat before leaving. l then called halt with view of returning but saw with my spy glass that boat was not much hurt, thought could mend it, sent Lt. Sweitzer down bank to get it. In meantime on opposite side party had come up under Mr. Barney Castle we waited for 'em opposite wh. boat and they got it but it had two large holes in bottom got ¼ mile down river and it sank, then discovered canoe in brushy bank, found lots of grub and baits etc. in it & an Indian started from the brushes near it to run. Two or three shots fired at it & it dropped. Men examined and found had killed Indian and child. Only saw flutter of blanket in brush when they fired. Mr. R. landed here and sent canoe down to Capt. J. at mouth. I took my party to mouth of R. and captured there three horses a squaw and child. Squaw and child found by a party I sent into brush that lined shore close by where our whole party had to ride the bluff bank of R. Hence deemed it well to sweep this especially as more Indians were reported in there. Sent Sergt. Smith in with five men to sweep brush on river bank for two or three hundred yds. from mouth down. He returned and reported no Indians but presently I round that one of his party (hindmost one had come out of brush on bluff with an arrow in him. Hence took Sergt. Smith back, put him in again, & got another party from the men who were helping ferry Capt. Jones over. Took them in near same place. Sergt. Smith just here only few yards from me was badly wounded by an Indian after both had fired & missed. Smith closed on him, threw him in water. Men closed in to help Smith for Indian was setting best of it. Broke musket on Indian then shot his brains out. Men hauled Sgt. S. out of water and got him on my mule & then I took him to camp. By this time Capt. J. had got his train across, & I directed him to camp with me. On examination of the Indian's dress etc. think he must have been a trapper, for he has the marks & valuable head dress only worn by such.
Wednesday, April 30. In camp. Rained much. Mustered at 4. Had stampede this night. Sentinel fired at something moving in bush. Sergt. S. required to be kept quiet. Determined for 2 reasons to not move on tomorrow. Rainy night.
Thursday, May 1st. Rainy A.M. Sergt. S. better think with care he will weather it, shall do my best for him. Making litter and drying things P.M. Sergt. worse poor fellow is sinking fast. So much for this volunteer war against the abused wretches the Diggers.
Friday, May 2nd. A.M. Sergt. died at 2 this A.M., is buried at point of hammock on bluff ⅔ mile from Miller's place. No form of ceremony he was a good and brave man and deserved a better fate. He killed or tried to kill the man who slew him. Off for R. R. this A.M. at 7½ slow as 'tis a long train and very cold. Went on the beach so and next to beach of Elk Creek I round two large boulders of same ore, think it copper, contains similar ore to specimen though not in such quantities. Marched to long mtn. over the woody ridge next said beach and down mud bluff along beach and up again at Mr. Handly's place, then over mountain and up long mtn. to camp, distance 15 miles. Camped 4 P.M to start late tomorrow (as tide is high) God willing.
Saturday, May 3. Off at 10 up long mtn. to timber along ridge for five miles, then turned to coast passed high peak with diggers sign, at foot of which soldiers found gold & went 3 miles down to Pistol found it high at m., & went up to ford, ¼ mile. Got men over mounted, then 1½ miles on beach, then over steep ridge to beach 1 mile then up a steep hill 1½ miles & down to ravine with small camp ground in it. Camped here, deer was killed. Got to camp little before sunset, distance marched 12 miles.
Sunday, May 4th. Off at 8½ up ridge one mile, through timber one mile, then along bare hills, with gold rocks on for two miles then two ½ to mouth of R. River distance 7½ miles. Crossed Hunters Creek at ford ½ mile up, got to R. R. at 2½ over with all by dark.
Monday, May 5th. Camp at mouth R. River. Doctr. R. called and got notes of skirmish at mouth of Chetco, thinks the specimens iron pyrites. No letters from home yet. Col. B. not in.
Tuesday, May 6th. Camp mouth of R. R. Weather pleasant, no signs of Col. In camp mouth of R. R., express left for Fort Orford. I sent report to Col. B. and asked for some clothing &c. Capt. S. also sent letter reporting that squaws
think attack can be had &c. 3 P.M. Col. arrived with long looked for letters from home. All well thank God. Capt. Augur & train in, told Col. of volunteers having sent two squaws (as I just learned) to say if the Indians wanted peace they must send in the head of Enos. Col. in a rage at it.
Wednesday, May 7th. Camp mouth R. R. A.M. orders brewing for a general move up the river &c. The Col. tried his boats & in the P.M. or night sent 2 squaws up the river in canoe. He gave orders to start up the river tomorrow A.M., held sort of council of war as to whether he should notice the doings of the volunteers in sending out squaws and got no advice except from Capt. A, & that was to take no action. We leave nothing here
Thursday, May 8. 7 A.M. start over river to go up My Co. Reynolds & Jones under Col. on south so do Smith's & Augur's on north. Let all over & started up by 1 P.M. Col. in great rage because things moved slowly, & no one but himself to blame. We marched about 2½ miles through thickets and along ditch camped on Indian Creek near its mouth pretty camp but commanded. I was O.D. here, company on guard.
Friday, May 9. Started about 7½ up along hill not very steep one mule battery rolled down hill. Had an alarm, as friendly Ind. seen off the trail. Men I told not to shoot or Indian would have caught it we steered south east & east camped near the top and beyond long hill table land near a pond. Mr. Sloan sent us some beef, shall return the favor. The Dr. ran himself out going up hill to report Indians seen to the Col. Good camp distance marched 8 miles.
Saturday, May 10. Started about 8. Took along ridge among dwarf pines & wild rocky knobs, course SE by E and bent off to northward & eastward down said ridge into wooded valley up a steep slope among dense bushes (out of trail). Col. mad,
pioneer do. Hot & long halts. We were three or 4 hours going a mile, turned south & got back to good trail took up hill (timbered) along the side of do., passing some springs, then rose on ridge found one old trail on top of it and through thick timber followed said trail for three hours at fast walk to camp. Quartz hill, camped near snow at 6 o'clock P.M. distance 12 miles.
Sunday, May 11. In camp quartz hill. My prisoner & baby ran off last night Col. wouldn't leave her at the fort or guard her here. Serves him right, the rock here talk
ore state full of quartz veins whole country, jagged mountains, sticking heads up in all sorts of confusion, mostly timber wildest & most forbidding scenes from top of hill near. Snow still in spots. This P.M. commenced to rain. A.M. took a bath in ice cold water. Men are popping all around hope no Indians near to pop me bathing Major R. off cutting trail 2 Indians gone too to reconnoiter
Monday, May 12. Quartz Hill Camp. Foggy A.M. pleasant P.M. Capt. Jones gone to cut trail, which for 1st 2 miles goes back through read and slept today. Looked around camp found snow at 1st. hill. Read old letters and wondered when campaign over. No news from Inds. our flag bearer promised to be back today. P.M. Col. quite low spirited. Jones got to top of high hill. Walker saw 1 man and 2 horses (one 8 . . .)
Tuesday, May 13. Off at 7. B's in front. Good trail 7 miles then my men had to cut some. Got to spur as rose it Looney seen coming down hill Col. quite pleasant and little saucy. Think old fellow if he gets through this campaign all right will be disposed to put on airs is little so now, and disposed to be unamiable has made enemies of most all the officers already. I don't think him very terrible. Camped on "Looney" Spur I wrote Cutting that P.M.
Wednesday, May 14. Looney Spur off with 30 men at 6½ A.M. to open trail cut 5 or 6 hours. Genl. course N & NE by N bad ground. Col. told guides to go one way and I found fault with them afterwards for doing it. Tichenor sauced him back 12 m. Maj. R. went on cutting, had easier trail to NE end of Spur overlooking Illinois & R. R. Valley. Mountains wilder, more confused & picturesque. Camped at NW side of Spur in pine grove, distance 8 or 9 miles very pretty camp and plenty of deer around saw Smith's Camp from Spur and saw Illinois & R. R.
Thursday, May 15. A.M. Capt. J. off to cut trail, start at 10 A.M. lent Tichenor a rifle. Went down steep mountain, red clay & grassy 2½ miles to river. Got to it at 12, crossed by 6 P.M. and went one mile up Illinois to camp on oak flat.
Friday, May 16. In camp oak flat. Went around little & fixing up tent &c. P.M. 10 Indians came in Chetco, Euchre Creek, &c. had grand wawa, all in a ring. Col. told 'em they must &c. &c. & they all agreed. Not a very pleasant looking set.
Saturday, May 17. In camp oak flat. Wrote to Jas. G. Bennett as to campaign & talk. Recd. orders to be off tomorrow for Pt. Orford to be back by 29th inst. to bring 25 days rations & 20 days flour for 200 Inds. to try & get Mussel Creek Indians in and to bring out Pay M. to bring out Palmer, do. do. Col.'s rations out on 30th P.M. 2 sick, 3 blacksmiths along.
Sunday, May 18. Starting at 9 A.M. Hillman & Barney Castle in mess with me. Drysdale in place of Lt. Ihrie. Got letters written to Molly. Got to R. R. & found lots of wild looking Indians on opposite side. Thought they kept under cover and acted very suspiciously, but put a bold face on matters and called to them to send me a couple of canoes and to help me over this they did at once but still quite a number of them kept in a strong position commanding the crossing with arms in their hands & when I directed Mr. D. to cross in the two boats with Inds. paddling & 6 soldiers. This seemed to give the men my confidence, and they gathered around to look or help but presently a shot was fired up the R. & they in single file left for brush as Indians were coming room the river. Then I put my men nearly all over and they still did not show any signs of hostility but plenty of caution & suspicion till I received word that "George" the notorious and bitter Indian chief of the valley Indians was on the bank opposite and was very anxious to talk with me. I waited quietly & went over with his messengers & found my man & sent Gorge to come but he sent me to come, & after some display of form I went right in the midst of his armed band alone & had over my talk and marched to soldiers' camp on top of hill.
Monday, May 19. Went to camp on top of 2nd ridge camp near Tichenor got lost 18 miles.
Tuesday, May 20. Went to camp near bark shanty on slope of hill, spits of timber &c. and trail turned off to Mikonotunnes. Marched 18 or 19 miles.
Wednesday, May 21. A.M. Tichenor missed trail. Drysdale on it some delay marched in to Orford 23 or 24 miles. Rode men through Brush Creek, roads bad much over grown with brush and timber. Some steep hills, lost one animal fault
of the govt. packers.
Thursday, May 22. In at Orford making muster rolls &c.
Thursday. Do. do.
Friday, May 23. Started to rain P.M. under Mr. Drysdale wrote letters to Jas. G. Bennett, in which promised to deal next with care & pay & duty of officers. Bought 7.25 beef & for mess. Owe Mr. Macfeely bill some 6 or 8 dols.
Saturday, May 24. At 7 A.M. & over took fifth at Orford making muster rolls. train on ridge. Sergt. H. & Privt. of H Co. back both drunk. Pushed on trail muddy and raining got to camp 1½ m. south of Euchre Crossed Euchre above mouth. Tichenor's cutoff is best in dry weather & shortest. This night Sergt. H. got in & next A.M. sent Mr. Whitman for Privt. Gen. P. joined us Sgt. H. arrested came 1 m. south of Euchre Creek.
Sunday, May 25. Sgt. H. arrested. Mr. Whitman goes to Half Breed's. Going to mouth of R. to cross. Got to R. at 12½ launched boat at 2, got all over by 8 o'clock & camped. Mr. W got in from Half Breed's at 3. House burnt no signs of man on either trail. Rained most all day, issued rations of sugar & coffee, 200 took boat over one canoe on each side hauled up. Gen. Palmer gone on to Illinois across R. R. camped at mouth on flat.
Monday, May 26. Men all have 3 days coffee & sugar, including today. Off at 8½. Good time considering. Dwyer, Edge & one other man sick. West of and near Indian Creek 2 mules in trying to pass each other rolled off turn round the rocky point & both drowned, cargo of pork, do. of flour self. Another mule ran cargo pork against tree & cut he self badly, pork left. Road much cut and very bad & deep mud. Pushed on to former camp near top of ridge, distance marched 10 miles. Camped at 2 o'clock and very tired, mules and men do. Delayed 2 hours at mud swamp Ind. Creek P.M. at camp Sloan gave us the beef. Good camp, think Genl. Palmer camped in spot of woods little further on near grass pond.
Tuesday, May 27. This camp is the one near grass pond broke camp top of river and Hunters Cr. ridge at 8 A.M. took up line of march high mount east & passed between two high rocks, then turned NE down mountain into woods, one mile NE through woods across small stream and up bushy hill along same east ½ mile turned south E & down into valley across from creek up long spur course south for 1 m. then turned east again along side of hill for 1 m. then four or 5 miles east & tr. S & SE. Through woods most of way & good trail to turn off then north for 7 or 8 miles to camp Looney coming down the hill got in at 5¼ distance about 19 or 20 miles. 125 lbs of bacon & 84 or bread issued bread tonight 5 days bread due and 20 lbs. bacon due.
Wednesday, May 28. Started at 8½ or 9. Got to camp Sitts cot farm & rested. Went to Illinois 2½ camped & recd. news of fight of Smith &c. at Big Bend. Thought things looked squally, kept alive & sharp look out all night & slept just ½ an hour. This was camp Tichenor fell out of patent boat because boat broke.
Thursday, May 29. Off at 6 after packing from 3 A.M. Left old boat frame. Had rough march 3 or 3½ miles to R. R. & ferried across by 12 very tired & sleepy. Camp broke & all hands started by 2½ had very rough cutting along precipice & got 2½ miles & camped in dirty & rough little woods big trees shaped like a top and every body disgusted. This is Camp Drysdale fetched in a note.
Friday, May 30. Left camp at 8 or 9 & very slowly marched along bottom of river bluff over rocks &c. to Big Bend, found Capt. S. & A. fight over two days. Had had hard time 36 hours engaged with between two & 3 hundred Inds. Capt. S. lost in all 10 killed & 19 wounded was without water on spur of hill. 3 Inds. boys helped much (1 of them killed) P.M. George & Limpy people, especially women, came in George much dejected. In all 100 women & 35 men & several children.
Saturday, May 31. At camp Big Bend. Slept badly. P.M. a few of George's band came in, the volunteers under a Maj. Sat foot arrived from above. Hard looking set, they camped little below us & some of them came to camp & talked big and made threats. I went on as O.D. this P.M. and had 36 men & 3 non comd. officers. Asked Col. for McIhrie & he thought he'd let me have him in case of detachment.
Sunday, June 1. Last night had alarm. Sentinel fired at something. Lt. S. told me all about the fight 'twas a case of overmuch confidence Capt. S. acted with great coolness, but maybe too much care not to begin the fight in the delicate state of negotiations with the Indians, who fought like tigers. Capt. S. & Lt. S. & Capt. A. behaved well, so did the men who of Smith's Compy. were badly armed.
Monday, June 2. At camp Big Bend. A few Indians came in, came in today. George & his people are growing less uneasy. George is coming into our tents & eating & chatting. The women are sickly overworked half naked. Boys, except a few girls, the men are wild looking & dark with odd garments stripped from the miners and packers they have killed at various times some 18 or 20 rifles (good) have been given up the volunteers under Bledsoe in from F. Orford and I got letters. all pretty well thank God
Tuesday, June 3. Some Indians skulking in brush of opposite shore. Camp at Big Bend Col. tells me he will send me, & Co. with Cos. E & H & perhaps the vols. to lower ranches (tal tas tenees & Tututni) to get them & some canoes, but I don't think I shall be able to go. Quien sabe, for I have slept wet last two or three nights and have rheumatism * * * worse than usual Col. is quite a thermometer, & has got an idea we must have canoes & friendly Inds. to carry in sick Col. is at last in need of the volunteers & trying to coax them to help us. Bledsoe is quite willing Sambo sent to talk to Galice Creek & Cow Creeks.
Wednesday, June 4. Camp at Big Bend Genl. Palmer quite efficient in talking peace to Indians A.M. & Capt. A. Maj. R. and Bledsoe's vols. off A. for near mouth of R. R. Bledsoe to cross & cooperate with him & Reynolds to burn the tal tas tny village and to bring up canoes &c. quite a unique order. A. has to "disarm or punish" the hostiles, hope they will have good luck, but as there are quite a number of Inds. on the watch on opposite bank of R. and they made signals as soon as these commands started--quien sabe
Thursday, June 5. Camp Big Bend. Genl. P. talks to some Inds. opposite and they say they will go up river and cross to us. It rained in showers last 3 or 4 days. 2 Inds. came in, had salmon and elk meat. Sambo returned says there are 24 men & their families up a little ways, & they are bringing in the wounded chief (on their backs) as fast as may be country is rough. "John" is said to be in a strong place expecting attack from us, we guided by George. Guns heard down the river, and quite an anxiety felt. Col. begins to feel uneasy about Augur & Tichenor in & express this A.M. from Orford.
Friday, June 6. Good news today. Last night Reynolds had a fight, burned village of Shasta Costas, attacked some canoes that were at the McCully traps & dams & killed 4 Inds., one squaw, and he then went on & camped at mouth of Illinois. The cache of bread &c. is untouched. This P.M. news from Bledsoe and Augur, had each attacked Indians, camped at the marked rock 12 or 15 miles below. First had killed 7 and 2nd 8 Indians, had captured 4 canoes and a dozen women & children. The men behaved well & took Inds. by surprise I am glad Bledsoe had done so well 2 of his men were shot by some of Augur's party from opposite side by mistake the Col. is quite elated, and thinks we will all soon be able to go in. Separate dispatch came from Augur & Bledsoe. I am glad I didn't go down for I should have attacked before daylight and many women & children would have been killed, for twice the treacherous attack on Capt. Smith's command 'tis difficult to show any quarter, the men are disposed to kill all.
Saturday, June 7. I sat up late last night writing to Jas. G. B. an account. all of the wawa & 3 fights. Besides I gave the stuff a touching up. As to our supply of shoes, suits &c., and the general management of army affairs, think it will make a noise. This A.M. to express left, sent the account via Molly, and today Genl. Lamerick and 50 volunteers came into our camp. Genl. is a spunky little fellow one or two more Inds. in, Joe Lane back yesterday, thinks our firing has scared the Galice Creeks off. With Lamerick are Inds. from Reservation & their account of matters there has produced quite an agreeable excitement among the Siwashes, who crowd around the newcomers and ask any quantity of questions. P.M. everyone playing ball or some game, the Inds. gathered in a circle crowd of soldiers around, and their mimic war dance began, some dozen or more shoulder to shoulder singing and beating time with their feet. 'Tis a pretty moonlight night and the secluded mountain gorges ring with the reverberated whoops from the dancers. At the same time and but a few yards off from under the crowd of brush huts and low blanket tents issues the never-ending melancholy wail of the squaws in mourning. From the officers' tents, lights gleam through & the merry song & chorus resounds of Capt. Evans Oh or (other song).
Sunday, June 8. A.M. hot as mischief **** Sweitzer starts for below to get canoes, has his Co. and 18 Inds. to get back this P.M. maybe. Ihrie made good pistol shots & got beef from vols. Col. seems under the weather, had cold last night. At 2 P.M. a lot of Inds., 4 men 9 squaws and some children came limping and crying (these squaws) into camp. A girl 12 years was drowned coming down the river, poor devils. The decrepit and half-blind old women are a melancholy sight to see. To think of collecting such people for a long journey through an unknown land, no wonder the men right so desperately to remain after they have driven all the white settlers too out of it. It almost makes me shed tears to listen to them wailing as they totter along. One old woman bringing up the rear, her nakedness barely covered with a few tatters and barely able to walk. They had been a long time getting here and many of then have lost all they had by the capsizing of the canoe. some others were near drowning. The girl was on the back of a man who was swimming ashore with her. He had a boy, too. The girl was washed off, canoe smashed as it went over the rapids.
Monday, June 9. Camp Big Bend. This A.M. 22 Ind. came in 6 bucks. Lt. Sweitzer with his Co. started down along shore to escort wounded to Reynolds' camp. the wounded in five canoes, paddled by Inds. & charge of Dr. Crane go by the river. Hope they will not be fired on and will get in all safe. P.M. the forces of Genl. Lamerick came in in detachments are pretty fierce looking. His is quite a fightinger [sic], and seems in earnest. Made his acquaintance today. He wants his people to pitch in, sweeping the country below on both sides the river Col. B. begs him not as 'twill interfere with his plans. Now I don't believe that, for yesterday I heard Col. B. say that if Genl. L. wanted to pitch in to lower Indians he the Col. shouldn't object. The truth is Col. is jealous for fear the vols. should take the final credit of closing the war off his hands, & this same jealousy was the cause of Capt. S. being sent on a fool's errand & being nearly cut off. Maj. Bruce & 100 vols. in
Tuesday, June 10. Leave camp Big Bend A.M. I in rear. Vols. going down. Wrote via Jacksonville to Molly last night. Indians who took down wounded came back as do wounded in OK, at mouth of Illinois town Inds. want to come in. Have been in to Reynolds, old Col. quite compromising &c. &c. with Lamerick, who is not going to humbug. We marched down river 2 miles & turned up a steep hill, at mouth of creek rather tough on the old squaws, one old fellow & his wife already behind. Poor old woman begins to fall down before we begin to climb the mountain & she broke down entirely short distance up. 1 mule rolled down over hundred yards. Old man "Limpy" went and got a horse. Old squaw fell off. I then took her in front of me, pretty hard to stand it. We were tired when got to camp top of hill, and I was quite sick on the road. Gave up my mule to lame girl and broken down old squaw, girl quite childishly happy. First time maybe in her life she has had so much kindness shown her
Dr. Crane and Metcalf and Genl. Lamerick came up from Reynolds, had talk.
Wednesday, June 11. Marched from camp top of first Illinois hill to the soldiers' camp, where got news from Augur and his lot of lower Indians, who are crowding on him. He wants another co., thinks old John too near. The crowd of particolored Indians, packed squaws children & soldiers, a queer looking train. Some of the old folks had packs and sweated under them awfully. It was this day I was sick and gave up my mule to the lame girl. Mr. Hillman gave me his. We got to soldiers or elk camp at 1½ P.M. Yesterday found Tichenor at camp and . . . from Molly, this from home at Monterey and this P.M. as Col. sent express in I answered both. The communication from Augur is easy. Col. recd. and sent two messages & my howitzer to him. I suggested to send notice of John's vicinity to Reynolds but Col. flew off the handle and seemed to think I meant to insinuate he'd forgotten him, as he had said volunteers were between John and Indians & it so happened John came down the river that day passing volunteers and regulars and if he chooses can attack later at great advantage.
Thursday, June 12. Still in soldiers' camp. Col. quite delighted at accounts of number of Indians at Augur's camp. Genl. Palmer returned from there today, says they 341 strong will be up. Sure enough here they come heavily packed the Col. sent word that old squaws and beaver traps better go down the river in canoes, or Augur arranged it. Message for Reynolds to send Sweitzer down the river in canoes if he can get 'em, with wounded, and they let 'em go up to Orford do as think it's trusting wounded too much to luck, but Col. does good deal of trusting to luck. Went round and took a look at the new Siwashes. Our camp after sunset from top of hill has quite a funny look. Inds.' fires gleaming through the gaps of underwood like candles in rat holes surrounded by juvenile bushes. Tonight Dutchmen in the deep shadows of forest singing about vater land, Indians gathering for a big dance old squaws and children are singing their mournful wail, or howling the medicine song over sick babes.
Friday, June 13. Off at 6½, 6½ hundred Inds. Expect a tedious march but got in at 2½ one child died, one born, at Lobster Creek distance to camp near Lobster Ck. 8 mi. express Cantwell in. Boat gone down before he got in, my letter to Molly I hope is gone too, with the communication to J. G. B. News from Oregon not very cheering, i.e. that "Nez Perces" going to join the Yakimas. Hope it is only a rumor to get more.
Saturday, June 14. Off at 6½ in advance. Marched 11 miles to camp on hill 3 miles SE of Half Breed's I in advance, trail pretty good, air serene & clear got to camp at 2½ this P.M. got orders to take B & H Cos. Maj. R.'s to mouth of Rogue River. Drew rations for 51 men for 10 days from 15th send Privts. Jones, Fredeking, Edge & Cashman to Ft. O. tomorrow & I with Reynolds' Co., 50 strong & mine 47 strong & 5 of Sweitzer's men start for mouth of R. R. to receive Indians, kept awake most all the night by the medicine making & howling.
Sunday, June 15. Off at about 8 for R. River, offered Reynolds the command as the party was of diff. corps "& a detachment from main body for a special purpose," but he declined it, & I think I have done just right. Had pleasant day's ride got to R. River at 4 P.M. and found Lamerick & 200 men on S side river mouth of Ind. camp. He came to see me, said he would send parties out after John & would maybe send 50 to Orford, that Bruce & Bledsoe were down after Chetcos 40 strong and he was quite anxious to say he had met & sent in a number of the Indians now here. He will claim them as his captives, found some 150 Indians scattered on the beach the sick suffering from cold & want of shelter.
Monday, June 16. At camp mouth R. R. counted some 165 Inds. of all sizes got 3 beeves & issued ¼th to each Co. & some to Inds. & they are pretty much like the rest, but more to eat, & some of them good looking. The Tututnis have the Asiatic eyes, and but few sick or old Jenny is quite a good looking girl and smart. They look quite hostile. Lamerick came to camp, says the Indians of 4 they took & sent to Chetcos, are on Pistol River fortified & say they will fight before coming in, & he has sent 40 men to help them that Bruce has probably had a fight with them early this A.M.. It is cold & pretty clear.
Tuesday, June 17. In camp mouth Rogue River 2nd edition. Wind high. Tichenor in this A.M. with letters & to send sick off, Dr. Crane with Lt. Sweitzer & about 65 men included 26 of Cos. B & H 3rd A. Left at about 1 P.M. Volunteers' sick man left vols. wouldn't send to carry him. The Indians Tututnis are in a bad place subject to too many vols. must move 'em P.M. Mr. Ihrie arrived this P.M. lost his way. Passed Sweitzer's camp at sunset didn't know who was there. He goes back tomorrow. We have a fine table, milk, fish & potatoes & the finest beef. Men in pretty good health. Rumors are rife at Orford that Regulars have had a fight & lost it. The wish of the Oregonians is father to the rumor. This climate is pleasanter than Big Bend. Enjoyed Mr. Arnold as interpreter at $3 per day & ration.
Wednesday, June 18. Today Lamerick & Hart crossed to my side of the river. A.M. sent off Indians for some others on Hunters Cr. This is the third party I have sent out & at 1 or 2 P.M. 6 men 9 women & 8 children came in. Boy went back for 8 others. Tututni tyee is off up the river to the Cosayteny ranches for some saddles. Mr. Whitman arrived with train of provisions, he has 25 animals & balance of 10 days rations for Co. B & 18 boxes hard bread for the Indians. Gave two out today, and 2 quarters of beef, 1 box & ¼ to each set. Indians in today say two of them were killed yesterday. Some vols. from below this P.M. say they pitched in to the Chetcos, killed 3. Don't know if squaws or not, & made 15-20 prisoners. Sunset 1 man 5 women & 3 children came in, total today 31 + 165. Old Tyee back & his band moved under sentinels.
Thursday, June 19. Camp mouth R. River 2nd edn. A.M. Issued 3 boxes hard bread to Inds.. Sent Foster & Walker out hunting, sent to old Fort to find pack saddles. Weather still windy it seems the vols. killed but 2 Inds. at Pistol River, & the whole of them made no resistance but lay down when the vols. rushed in and then came the quarrel whether or not they should be killed. Took the census of the Inds. 242 total about 70 men. 1 man died today of Inds. killed 2 beeves. Had strawberries and milk at dinner, wrote this P.M. to Judge Thompson & Ord. Must write Senator Wells and to the Herald.
Friday, June 20. Camp R. River 2nd edn., quite pleasant but wind still NW. Some of the vols. are coming in from Chetco. The vols. are not very well pleased. Lamerick called with staff Got some 2 more beeves from us the river & a bot. of brandy from Genl. Lamerick, went up to see the vols.. Are pretty rough set. Bledsoe the best man among 'em is back from Chetco & sick, says he will have such canoes as he can't conceal destroyed. G. L. says tomorrow or next day most of his men will leave & go up the river--& big Regt. He goes to Ft. O. with Reynolds & the Co. of B, brings in the 25 Chetco prisoners. I gave orders this P.M. to have the mules ready A.M. tomorrow to go.
Saturday, June 21. Camp R. River 2nd edn. At 6 A.M. 15 canoes pushed through the surf safely & I off at 9, long string of Inds. ahead Tututni tyee couldn't get his 2 horses vols. had captured 'em old man mad, his daughter Jenny do., do. Gave her a mule & quieted both. Took old man long time to get on his horse & short time to get off as horse tossed him. Got him another and off. Ind. women packing the mules. Thick set sturdy packers, they are. Land party stopped, said 'twas too rough & the packing women were tired & the old were sick & one old man was dead & they would go on to Mollout but I sent Drysdale and Foster over to 'em, to say the vols. were coming & they must push on, which they did suddenly, but it was a sobering sight to see, fat & lean staggering along, the old too tottering under heavy burdens. I stopped pack train & relieved the most of them. Inds. kept on the beach after crossing Euchre Creek and stopped at burnt house above 3 Sisters. Boats are on the beach below us
Sunday, June 22. This P.M. got dispatches and mail 2 letters from Molly. I left early having read orders to stop command at the "Noma" Mr. Rinehardt and recd. notice of my Co.'s being ordered to Benicia as soon as it can be spared, think it's best to go & see about both, rode fast with Foster got in at 10½ and found Col. in bad humor. He took exception to my writing to Qr. Mr. & not reporting to him and then talked as if my private letters might have left idea on Genl. Wool [?] that he B. had been deceived, then spoke of piece in S.F. Herald. Told him it probably a compilation & partly from my letters as it had copied one. Then the Col. was more polite, but said I'd have to go on reserve with 2nd detached . . . P.M. thought it over and came to con . . . I can't but . . . if crooks came in . . . vols. (Lamerick & officers) talk of hanging Inds. Sent for Maj. R. to come in if he could. Got letters out to brother S. & Judge & to change 'em. Wrote to both next day.
Monday, June 23. Men of my & Reynolds Cos. in at M. Camped on hill. The canoes got in at last P.M. (16) with 125 Inds. about as many more Inds. with R. Some old ones still on road. Lamerick & officers in. Everyone seemed on a small spree. Col. sanguine that John will be in tomorrow at Rinehardt's & I am to go meet him. Col. quite polite, asked me to dine. Clary polite too. This P.M. thought about resigning wonder if could get enough to do, concluded had better hold on as there is a prospect of war with abroad. Things look squally as to Central As & C. wrote to Molly that Buck would spare me when there was nothing more to do. Expect to be the last to leave. Drew pay from Maj. Coffee's clerk for June 56--11156 lent W. Arnold, interpreter, ten dollars. Paid coms. bill, bought tobacco for Co. 15--2250 (to Macfeely to date) this P.M. at sunset Col. B had quarrel with Gen. L. & told me he wouldn't let him hang Inds. I talked to both and B said I wouldn't leave till M.
Tuesday, June 24. This A.M. up at 5. Ready at 6. Col. B. not up had to call twice on him to see if he wanted me, said no. Then had to get more mules and after all had to hunt up Indian Bill and get him a mule. Cos. left at 9 or 10. I got off at 11 with Bill. Rode fast delightful day. 3 ill behind. Quite pleased, sea smooth canoes going up with a lot cos. Met vols. with Ind. prisoners, 28. Bill ahead but not afraid overtook men at Brush Creek & got to camp at 4. Reynolds in at 8½. Camped in a sort of basin, good water and grass but not very good place to defend, best I could
find. Gave Arnold & Bill some Co. H rations.
Wednesday, June 25. Camp back of Rinehardt's. Sent out scouts & found fresh mule tracks on hill back of camp. Had seemed to have come in & gone back this P.M. Kept men on trail most all day & scouts out P.M. punished corps of guard for carelessness. Men seem generally careless as to guard duty, must stir 'em up a little. My Co. best in the field. Reynolds O.D. Read papers find matters are received in serious light at home & people don't care what happens. About time to think of fighting. Rainy tonight
Thursday, June 26. Camp Rinehardt's. Expecting John. Steamer seen going down. Day cleared off some. Scouts out saw nothing, in at dark. Had small brush covered built for cook fires. Wind NW & getting tired of this place.
Friday, June 27. Pleasant A.M. though foggy. Sent Capt. & five men to top of hill ½ mile who at M. [noon] reported two Inds. on horseback. These came in & were Jim (Bill's cousins) & a boy of John's band named "Samson." Say John's people had begun to cross R. R. yesterday at M. & they came on to let us know it, that all are coming but 1 man is wounded and many women & children sick so they are slow, may be in tomorrow or next day. Sent express to Orford. Whitman with letters and papers &c.
Saturday, June 28. A.M. Clear. Oregon papers don't confirm rumors as to Col. Wright. He is having grand wawa with Kamiakin. They pitch on Gen. W. & to Col. B--up in the correspondences of one V.C.F., from Orford. A.M. 10 o'clock sent Indian Bill off to meet his father & with him sent Dobson & Arnold as far as Euchre Creek & they got back this P.M. Also Walker from Ft. O. W. brings news that if yes will go by steam maybe I will take the return steamer home
Sunday, June 29. A.M. the train came to my camp & brought 6 boxes hard bread and rations for one day. B Co. 51 men & H 63. No beef sent sent word to Col. for one day's rations and started party down towards Rogue River for beef. Quite anxious all day for return of P.M. who left with anxiety. 5 P.M. Indians reported coming over distant hill. Sent Dobson & Jim to meet 'em. Dobson came in with Bill Jim & two youths, says the rest are slow & somewhat tired. He reports squaws & all are behind & the men had a talk on hill top as to what was expected of them, presently calls for Dobson, who went short way up the hill & here comes a long file of fierce looking fellows in paint & feathers each with a fine rifle & at their head steps sternly & erect & hard faced grisly thin old man in shirt sleeves & a small rimmed old hat on top of his head. It's "old John--I know at sight." I advanced a short distance up hill from camp alone and shook hands with him & led the file to my tent in center of my camp, where one by one as they came up, they laid down their rifles, some rather with a look of defiance. Took John into my tent after having the arms delivered up and gave him a drink, then issued bread &c. and the Indians were sent to their camp which I pointed out. Still out a dozen or so of John's men
Monday, June 30. Beef came in. There are 37 men 90 women and maybe 100 children. They keep to themselves. News from Orford. John to stay here or not going in till Wednesday shall be off & go half way tomorrow. Indians this P.M. are getting more sociable. Old John still stern & unsociable went to their camp & looked at sick man. This band has but few old & infirmed, their guns have been much used, are good.
Tuesday, July 1. Started for Orford. In at 7 A.M. Inds. travel well reached the camp north of Brush Cr. at 10 camped there & sent two Inds. and one interpreter to Orford, as the Inds. appear uneasy. Cantrell came to camp, gave out the last beef, & hard bread to the Inds.
Wednesday, July 2. Off early & in town by 9½ camped over on the beach with John and his people the camp is windy but cool & may be pleasanter than town. Col. quite jolly talked of his prisoners and read letter stating to Adjt. Genl. that war was over & he had 1500 prisoners of war or captives & sundry arms, the arms part to Wool.
Thursday, July 3. Camp N. Beach. Ft. Orford got rations for 4 days 184 rations for Inds. Col. had more talk with John.
Friday, July 4. Guns booming wrote to Molly Sch. Goes tomorrow
Saturday, July 5. In camp at Ft. Orford, north beach, quite windy
Sunday, July 6. Camp at N. Beach Ft. Orford went to point of rocks for mussels. Quite bold wild shore, had old John to lunch & dinner Smith came in & was rather surprised to find him there. Quite windy &c. Mc. & Doctr. G. [Rodney Glisan] dined with us bad night's rest nightmares &c.
Monday, July 7. High wind to P.M. Steamer in & letters from Monty, none from Molly. Bad night letter from Hardee & Riteman Co. return of May.
Tuesday, July 8. Capt. Dall breakfasted in camp went aboard steamer to see Old George & Limpy off lunched there. Returned & got papers, find politics & fanatics quite thriving. Shouldn't wonder if the two combined got us in trouble at home--maybe S. & N. by the laws steamer off at 3 or 4.
Wednesday, July 9. A.M. Inds. anxious to go. P.M. Maj. R. got orders to start & I left camp for town with Co. Mule fell down & rolled on me as I was riding down hill, & hurt my leg badly. Must nurse it some or shall suffer. Got otter skin $25 owe Macfeely $5. Commenced mess 9 with him & Dr must write up docs tomorrow. Owe Hall $7.
Thursday, July 10. In Ft. O.. Laying up a little on acct. of leg. P.M. arrested Sgt. H. for drunkenness when it was time to mount the guard.
Friday, July 11. In at Ft. O. Leg better. Packing, boxed up Co. stuff. P.M. arrested Corpl. Kane, drunk at guard mount. Did not know whether the guard had mounted or not. Reported he was just going to march it on after it had marched on.
Saturday, July 12. In Ft. O. Paid all bills and got $30 Co. funds for sale of bacon
Sunday, July 13. Embarked on Columbia for Frisco P.M. at C. City joined Prvt. Burke Cassidy, McGinnis, O'Connor, Quinnis 2nd Rafferty & Faulkner Kearny Higgins on Reserve
Monday, July 14. On str. Columbia pleasant & wind fair, Fielding ,Krugger, McGinnis sick, Mahoney, Mutschler, Powers. Arrived at San Francisco at 7 P.M. Sent Co. to Presidio with Mr. Thrate. Slept at Robt. Thompson's proceeded to Benicia with Company B.
Tuesday, July 15. Went with Co. B to (Sweet Molly) Benicia, Cal. and home again. I thank God, found all well. All, means Molly. Arrived in time for tea at Mrs. Mason's till the 20th P.M.
Wednesday, July 16. At Benicia not very well, excitement of field service and the calm after it's over is apt to produce a little fever. Quite tired. The Co. property note all right Drysdale & my bows gone, wrote to Dale about 'em gone.
Thursday, July 17. At Benicia. Making muster rolls &c. part of D Co. assd. with B. Counted propty. &c. News came of Genl. W.'s being sick. Rode to town found Molly had saved $100. Owe $50 to mess Turner & Co. for Jones.
Friday, July 18. At Benicia. Arranging to issue the Co. preparing for duty. Men good. P.M. news that Genl. is better & that I must go south, to fix site for Post &c. called on Wm. McCale & Jones.
Saturday, July 19. At Benicia Cal. gave Lyons his money $49. Rafferty asks for $7. Walked with Molly to the ordnance & Molly got bonnet by dint of a little persuasion. Busy at Rolls wrote to Qr. Mr. that my returns must be deferred. Sent muster rolls.
Sunday, July 20. Got my orders to go south to select site of Post near Sr. Bernardino must see if 'tis wanted. Find good ground for wood water health building mats and see that the land is not claimed or if claimed rent not high. Must see if the people really require troops &c. ast. transportation
Monday, July 21. Left Sr. Frisco on Seabird, price 35. Molly too went pr. 12.50 cts. boatage.
Private Report of Expedition toOn 26th at 8½ A.M. I left camp at the mouth of Rogue River with Cos. B 3rd Art.--Capt. Ord's--Lt. Drysdale in charge 55 strong and Co. E 4th Inf.--Capt. Jones & 58 men of these two Cos. 30 were recruits who joined Buchanan a day or two before the command left Crescent City.
and Battle of the Mikonotunne Village.
I was guided by a Mr. Walker good man a mile or two up the coast thence NE over bald hills, for 2 or 3 miles & we then ascended a steep mountain very hard on the men who carried blankets & provisions, thence we went NW along the top of the ridge & turned down ridge on east side and followed trail through thick woods over some steep ridges by a very obscure trail or trail path which led up a southeast course along down a bare ridge to the Mikonotunne village, distance marched 11 miles over as rough ground as I ever crossed. Reached the village about 2 o'clock & found it had been but just vacated & a fire still burned in some of the huts, well built walls & thatched roofs over deep square excavations. I counted 11 of them all in a line facing the river all situated on a pretty little river bottom. This bottom was only about a hundred yards wide & 2 hundred long, wooded hills sloped to it in the rear & a spur of the mountain (wooded on the upper bank with thick willow coppice on the lower flank facing the river & the river about 70 or 80 yards wide. Quite deep & rapid, high timbered mountains coming down to the water side on the opposite side--see sketch--near to and at east or upper end of meadow was a knoll bank on the sides (as were the slopes that led up to the timbered ridges in rear of & to the east of the village) but this knoll had timbers & brushes on its top, hence before I commenced firing the town I marched Capt. Jones' company through the edge of timbers rear of town, filed them left when in the willows and kept them there in extended order from the river to timber. Lt. Drysdale I placed also in open order in the timber in rear of village, advanced guard which 2 of their number fired the town, lay down in rear of burning houses & a guard of twelve men were left in the timber to cover places where left mules & blankets &c. 2 men I sent to wooded knoll, as the houses burned I watched Indians on opposite side of bald mountain ½ mile up the river & soon saw they were signaling to others crossing & crossed and seeing from which flank they were coming I at once saw that if I let the Indians get to the edge of the timber next the village, to north & east, I would be cut off & hemmed in by their very commanding position so I ordered Capt. Jones to go double quick with his Co. to timbered ridge to NE of town, above blankets. Lt. Drysdale I ordered to face to the right keep in the timber and go double quick & reinforce guards I left to cover blankets & I took the advance guard and at double quick made for the knoll. Mr. Drysdale was quite near his station & got there about the time Indians came down with a yell on the guard over blankets & this guard stampeded towards the village. I met them and turned them back & with the advance charged up into the knoll & drove out some Indians who occupied it these ran for where they supposed their friends were at blankets, but being exposed to cross fire from men on knoll & at blankets had a bad time of it. Think I formed the advanced guard and other I had within knoll & charged by repeatedly sending the men down the side of knoll & up the opposite slope into the timber on top of wooded spur driving the Indians out of this by this time Capt. Jones (who had been too far from his destined ridge to reach it before the Indians did ) had urged his men up the bare slope in front of the enemy and driven them out of the timber on that ridge so that we had driven them from all their positions & I then directed Capt. Jones to reinforce the men on the spur by skirting around in the timber, this spur commanded the crossing to which the Indians had fled & as they crossed in their canoes three more were killed besides the five which they left dead & in our possession. The firing except a shot now and then from Indians on opposite side had ceased. Some shots were fired from men on spur into groups across the river & two or three squaws were shot, but it was getting near sunset I could not camp in the village bottom for it was too nice a box to be caught & shot at for me to stay there & there was no water by the trail (& but one trail ) nearer than three miles. Men were very much exhausted, had been marching, burning houses & fighting for eight or more hours and wanted rest so I called them all in from their positions saw they had all the traps & we started up the bare ridge via trail. Had gone only half a mile when worthless soldier--one--pretended to break down & swore he wouldn't walk another foot. Sergeant Nash to whom I had lent my mule & who was in charge of rear guard tried to lift him on to said mule & was fired from by party who had dogged us. He was badly wounded. Privt. Mahoney was already wounded in the foot so as there were several broken down & sick men & the whole command was tired down and as it rained slightly I halted awhile near where Sergt. Nash was wounded, then put him on my mule with driver but driver couldn't carry him poor Sergt. was in such agony & his legs were paralyzed that it unnerved driver. I then had litter made but that didn't work either, the ground was so rough & trail over logs & through brushes so narrow that he soon slid with his head under one bar of litter. I then put him before me on my saddle & held him there for about two hours slow marching he all the time groaning & begging to be left behind & trail was so obscure that we had to light torches and grope for it at the rate of a mile an hour the men in the rear frequently losing it even at that slow rate. At last the trail became better we reached one of the ridges along which it ran and I had the sergeant lifted out of my saddle & packed fore and aft on a mule the girt or hair cinch of which had been tightened, but pretty soon though two men followed right behind the mule to hold him up as he went up hill. The steepness of one of the ascents was so great that poor sergeant, pack saddle & all slipped off behind, then I took two muskets & a blanket & rigged the usual improvised litter very painful to carry, as at one end the men support litter by the bayonets & there being no stretchers the carriers are required to not only lift the weight but pull on each other. The men were so much fatigued that this was very hard work & every rod or two they would try a new set to spell them which new set could not be had always, thus at a snail's pace the party groped their way on to the 1st water whereat the men rushed like good fellows. Here we camped, at one or two o'clock, and at early dawn much refreshed started for camp at mouth of Rogue River reached it at 9 or 10 that A.M. and in ten minutes after the men had gotten their coffee I don't think there was one of them who had not fallen down to rest, but not to sleep for men so fatigued cannot sleep. The Indians engaged against this party numbered about seventy, they were from two or three of the villages near the mouth of the river & having been rioting in plunder from the houses of farmers & miners whom they had murdered during the last two months to the number of forty & having also kept some 90 citizens closely besieged in a mud fort at the mouth of the river for the last forty days, they thought they had only to rush down on the soldiers & they too would run for the Indians expected to find part of the soldiers racing after a dozen or more horses, which had been left in the village bottom no doubt as a bait & another part plundering the houses, but they were mistaken that time to their cost for the soldiers had kept just where the Captain posted them and though the small party over the blankets were driven in for want of an officer to command them yet when they found the Indians yelled better than they aimed. They recovered their courage and joined the cheering parties who pitched in, so much for the Battle of the Mikonotunnes. It was a small affair in itself but when we remember that it is the first time these Rogue River Indians have been driven from their position (generally a strong one) this same little affair will have large consequences and teach the soldiers how to go in & win.
Camp at Mouth of Rogue River, March 28th 1856
There is a sketch to go with this.
E. O. C. OrdDiary of Captain Edward O. C. Ord, quoted in "The Rogue River Indian Expedition of 1856," master's thesis of Ellen Francis Ord, 1921. Ms. Ord mistook the diarist's commas and periods for dashes; I've restored them where the diarist's intent is clear. Many of the events of the Ord diary, including the massacre of the Mikonotunnes, are also described (and illustrated) by Rodney Glisan in his Journal of Army Life, pages 296-298 and 303-306.
Our Vancouver Correspondence.
The Sioux War--Jeff. Davis and General Harney--West Pointers not So Very Cruel--Indian Killing Communities--Oregon Indian Wars; Who Made Them?--
Indian Agents, as Politicians, Bound to Side with the Whites--No More Vacant Country for the Indians to Move To--The Consequences of Driving them to Desperation--Old Fogey Operations--General Disgust of Young Army Officers
Vancouver, W.T., Jan. 11, 1856.One of the New York papers of November last copies from the Anti-Slavery Standard a long and abusive article on the army and Indian wars. It vilifies Secretary Davis, makes Harney out everything bad, and calls the West Pointers names. This article, like others by writers determined to find fault, seeks to enlist the sympathies of good and pious people East against the authorities, by sweeping assertions of cruelty against all officers.
I shall not attempt to defend General Harney from the charge of cruelty, or being a vindictive Indian hater. Nor shall I presume to defend Jeff. Davis from the Anti-Slavery Standard's slanders. If the Secretary of War acted up to their wishes he would let the Indians murder all the whites West, and the negroes all the whites South.
That a charge of "contempt, hauteur, inhumanity and a selfish love of power" should be brought against all West Pointers, even by the Standard, indicates that it has forgotten the cause it has adopted, and has opened its columns for the gratification of some writer, specially spiteful on West Point, generally hostile to the government whose laws protect him, and at the same time full of sympathy for the sorrows of the savage. This writer reminds me of a boy who stoned a brick house because he wasn't made a brick.
But because there are one or two truths in his long article, some simpleminded people may credit it all, and I for one do not wish my countrymen (though they do believe in some "isms") to believe that we West Pointers forget that our country was generous to us in our childhood and our hour of need--forget that we have eaten its bread and worn its raiment from boyhood, and hope to do so till we die--forget the lesson taught us there in our youth, to "fear God and honor the people''--forget the flag which daily rustled over us as boys, and which is one day to be our winding sheet. That all this is not forgotten, let the people look at the West Pointer, but [omission?] by the chivalry of Charleston for doing his duty as an officer of the United States army, in charge of the United States forts, and the same West Pointer, stigmatized by Boston fanatics for obeying the orders of his government, by aiding to execute the laws. Let the people know that hundreds of West Pointers are scattered over the people's waste lands--the two million square miles of desert--and that in this wilderness, far away from home, friends, and white man's society, they are spending the best days of their manhood. Let the people look at the army register, and read the list of West Pointers killed in their service, far away in this wilderness, and some of whose bones now lie bleaching on the slopes of the snowy mountains; or look at the list of West Pointers who have been by them placed in posts of trust and honor as "Senators," "foreign ministers," "chiefs of coast and other surveys," "bishops," "Governors of States and Territories," "legislators," "presidents of colleges," and of railroad, canal and banking companies. No, the reputation of West Point is too dear to the people for them to let the cloud of party slander rest upon her time-honored hills.
I happen to have seen some service among the Indians, and to have marked the part taken by officers of the army in the contest for existence waged by the Indians. The people who require the government to war against the Indians are not a few borderers on the western edge of the Atlantic States, but many hundred thousand men scattered over the wide West--from the valley of the Mississippi to the Pacific. California has been settled till no kanyon, from the crest of the snowy mountains to the ocean, has not had its tenants. The Indians were there, and could not get away; there is no more West left them to move to. In Washington Territory, the most worthless country in our limits, where the railroad explorers could not help exclaiming, "What a blessing we did not get up to 54º40'!" In Utah, New Mexico and Texas it is the same, and nine-tenths of the white men occupying these countries would rather shoot an Indian than a sheep-stealing dog. People in the East cannot understand this sentiment. They have not kept guard for months over wife, children or cattle for fear of murderous thieving Indians; they have not listened to the unvarying stories of wives murdered, sisters violated, houses burned--so familiar to the ears of Western men--nor have they carried their rifles in the cornfield, or been at the fights and massacres so common in these regions. These are the people who insist on a war with Indians. And the officers of the army have almost invariably stood between the Indians and this class of whites, especially where the Indians were but few, and have tried to shield them, until they were accused of "siding against their countrymen," of "inefficiency" &c. &c. Read the Oregon papers at the present time, and see if it is not so, and read the following account from the Oregon Times of a present from a son to a father of Indian war spoils: "The volunteers were generally in good health and spirits. They stood in need of clothing and flour. They had plenty of beef straight. Dr. Shaw brought down as a trophy old Peu-peu-mox-mox' ears, and Mr. Story brought down a portion of his scalp to Thomas Stevens, which was sent him by his son John, who cut it off." This Indian chief, Peu-peu-mox-mox, came to the camp of the Oregonians and gave himself up--under a white flag--and was, a few days afterwards, during some skirmishing, murdered, and some twenty scalps taken from his head alone.
At the present time, a large force of Oregonians have gone unmasked into Washington Territory, and are engaged in an indiscriminate war--which is likely to drive the most peaceable tribes into permanent hostility. Many of these tribes are numerous and powerful. And all this has been done contrary to the wishes of, and without consultation with, Gen. Wool. Now, just let us reflect how these wars begin.
A drunken white man and Indian quarrel over a squaw--the Indian stabs the white man, flies, and the war begins; or an Indian is seen with a horse or blanket like the one belonging to some murdered white--a party organize, go and kill all the men of this Indian's band, and take all the women and children as slaves. Start not, ye abolitionists, for slavery is as common among the Indians out here as it is in Louisiana.
Last summer a wholesale slaughter of the Indians on Fort Lane reservation was threatened by some two hundred Californians. A couple of "arrieros" had been murdered near Yreka, and their horses taken. An Oregon Indian from Fort Lane reservation was shortly afterwards seen with one of the stolen horses; the party started to kill all his band, but the commanding officer of Fort Lane, a West Pointer, wished to have the law take its course, and so he placed the Indians under the protection of his guns. The Californians said they would kill all the Indians in spite of him, but this West Pointer dared them at their peril to try it--and they didn't. The Indian has been since sent to California for trial.
Last fall, the citizens on Rogue River pursued an Indian for wounding a white man in a drunken brawl. A West Pointer sent an escort to see the Indian safe from the mob into the hands of civil authority. The soldiers' orders were, if necessary, to fire on the pursuers. The Indian and escort were pursued on the river, and though it was dark, and the pursuers were warned off, they rowed up to the boat containing the Indian, and shot him as he sat between the corporal's knees. There were but three soldiers and three men in the offending boat, but these latter were all shot dead, and at Fort Yuma, Fort Miller, Fort Orford, Fort Jones, in fact at every post throughout this coast, the only protection the Indians have against the outrages of emigrants, gold hunters and settlers in Indian country is that of the military commandants, who, as far as they can, defend the Indians from wrong. As for the Indian agents--the system is a bad one--they are of the people and with the people who prey upon the Indians. Governors of Territories are chief Indian agents, at the same time candidates for the people's votes. The people of Washington Territory want the grazing land of the Yakamas, Klickitats, Cayuses &c. The Governor calls the Indian chiefs to counsel--tells them they must sell these lands. What chance have they in such a treaty? Why, the agent can make or unmake the chief who signs the treaty.
The Yakamas, Cayuses, Klickitats &c. are strong and brave, and have but little intercourse with and no love for the whites. They kill the first Indian agent who goes among them. (Bolon was killed last fall.) A party of a hundred soldiers is sent to chastise them. They meet several hundred Yakamas &c.; the latter are driven to Fort Dalles. Gold has been discovered in considerable quantities away up near Fort Colville. It is 500 miles through the country--now occupied by these Indians--for the settlers have all come in. The gold miners who went there last summer didn't respect the Indians much, and the latter have heard what has been done with their red brothers in California--nearly all killed. These Indians have become desperate--they have commenced an exterminating war there, as well as in Southern Oregon. One expedition went into the Yakama country, some eight hundred strong, about 500 volunteers and 300 regulars. A big fight was expected, but the commanding officer of the regulars was by nature adapted for anything but a partisan chief. He marched about over plains and mountains, got into rivers, drowned some men, lost a lot of horses and mules, got into snows, marshes and every sort of scrape except a battle (though there was some chance of it)--let some of his party burn a Catholic mission, and then came in, with about the most disgusted set of young army officers as well as volunteers that we have seen lately. No doubt the chief reports to Washington [and] states that the expedition has produced great moral effect--no young officer is asked for a true report, and so the truth is not told; it is considered unmilitary to write to the papers or tell the truth "out of school." So much for fogey field officers, and, dear people, you have got hardly any others. The field officers of all the regiments, except, perhaps, those recently created, where young men are put in, are all fogeys; they are about as fit to run Indians on ponies as to run down mountains, as General Scott is to run into an enemy's fort through a loophole--with all due respect to the General.
Some twenty years ago I did myself the honor of being your cicerone at a West Point ball. Can you not return the politeness by helping us West Pointers to a retired list, for the "worn out and old"? We wear out in Uncle Samuel's army faster than they do in the navy, as we have no house over us where we go. Most of us are fogeys at forty; exposure in climates from Panama to Puget Sound tells on us. In my regiment, for ten years, two first lieutenants out of twenty (hardy fellows) died or were killed yearly. So we who live get to be majors at forty-five or fifty, but we are then old bundles of worn-out bones and muscles, and if you don't do something for us it may be that, by and by, the Committee on "Mean Ways" will turn us out to die.
E.O.C.O. [Edward Otho Cresap Ord]New York Herald, February 17, 1856, page 2
Headquarters, Mouth Rogue RiverSir,
Dist. Southn. Or. & Northn. Cal.
March 27th 1856
I have the honor to continue the report of my operations to the present dates. After my last dispatch was written, the captain of the volunteers, who had been so long cooped up in their fort near this point, requested permission to go out into the neighborhood with his men and bury the bodies of those who had been murdered after the massacre of Capt. Poland, Ben Wright and others. I authorized him to do so, and on his return that night I learned that his party had been as far as the Tututni village, and finding it deserted and the houses empty, had set fire to and burnt it. From the fact that it was empty I inferred that the Indians were moving further up, either to the Illinois or to Indigo Creek, which empties into that stream a few miles above its mouth, and therefore determined to send a detachment under Capt. Ord on the north side of this river to destroy the Mikonotunne village, and another under Capt. Augur on the south side to a point opposite that village to support Capt. O., in case it should happen to be necessary. Each command took with it 2 days' rations in its haversacks. From the enclosed report of Capt. Ord, it will be seen that the duty to which he was assigned was handsomely performed, though not without resistance on the part of the enemy, resulting in a skirmish in which we had 1 sergeant and 1 private of Comp. B. 3rd Arty. wounded, and the enemy lost 8 men killed, and perhaps as many were wounded. The village, consisting of 13 houses, hastily evacuated and filled with quantities of provisions such as acorns, dried fish and the usual furniture of Indian houses, was totally destroyed. Capt. Augur marched with his command, but owing to inaccurate information furnished me in relation to the distance he was ordered to go from this camp, did not reach there in time to participate in the engagement. Not anticipating that a force of the size that met Capt. Ord would be found there, I ordered both commands to return to camp as soon as possible after the burning of the village, and accordingly both got back this morning, very much fatigued and requiring rest. As I shall be compelled to send my train to Fort Orford tomorrow, in order to obtain supplies for a further movement, I shall not move my force from this camp until after its return, by which time I hope to hear from Capt. Smith's command.
I cannot close this communication without expressing my satisfaction in the manner in which Capt. Ord performed the duty assigned him, and my approbation of the conduct of the officers and men of his command. The officers under him were Capt. D. Floyd-Jones, 4th Inf., 2nd Lieut. J. Drysdale, 3rd Arty. & Actg. Asst. Surgeon C. A. Hillman--all of whom were active and energetic on the occasion.
I am, sir,To
Your obt. servt.
Robt. C. Buchanan
Bvt. Lt. Col. Major 4th Inf.
Capt. D. R. Jones
Asst. Adjt. Genl.
Supt. of the Pac.
NARA M689, Letters Received by the Office of the Adjutant General 1881-1889, Roll 567, Papers Relating to the Death of Mary Wagoner.
Camp at the mouth of Rogue River, March 27th 1856To Col. R. C. Buchanan, commd. Dist of Southern Oregon & North. Cal.
Sir: In obedience to your orders I started from here yesterday at 8 a.m. to destroy the Mikonotunne village, about 11 miles from here. My command consisted of my company--1 2nd Lieut. temporarily assigned (2nd Lieut. Drysdale) and Capt. DeL. Floyd-Jones Co. 4th Infantry--without subalterns--in all one hundred and thirteen men. Acting Asst. Surgeon C. A. Hillman and a guide Mr. Walker accompanied the party. Mr. Walker took us over a very rough country and by circuitous Indian trails or bridle paths to the village which we reached after a hard march (especially on the recruits) at about 2½ o'clock p.m. the houses, thirteen in number, were composed of substantial walls and roofing, mainly thatch, over the large and deep excavations peculiar to the people of the Rogues. They were built in a row on a pretty little river bottom and appeared as if just evacuated. Some of them contained fires still burning, and the usual Indian stores and furniture. The river bottom was about two hundred yards long by one hundred broad and was bordered on the west by a willow coppice, on the north, or back from the river, by the steep slopes of the mountains, thickly timbered, and at the eastern or upper end (at which end the trail entered) some bare slopes, coming down for a hundred yards or so from a rocky and wooded ridge. On entering this secluded and well-sheltered bottom I found eight or ten Indian horses loose and noticed some of the owners on a steep mountain about a quarter of a mile above the village and on the opposite side of the river, and I thought from appearances that the inhabitants upon whom we had intruded would not look quietly on while their town was burning. I therefore before I marched onto the meadow occupied with part of the command the willow coppice at the lower end and the timber ridge or slope in its rear, depositing the officers' riding mules, the men's blankets and haversacks on a bare slope. Capt. Jones' co. I sent into the willows, and Lieut. Drysdale with most of Comp. "B" 3rd Arty. into the timbered ridge in the rear of [the] village, leaving a guard of twelve men with the blankets and mules and 2 men on the wooded knoll. The advanced guard were directed to lie down in rear of the houses, all these detachments in open order and under the best cover that offered. The river is at the village about eighty yards across, and the advanced guard were posted to return any fire from the opposite banks, which are high and steep. I directed two of the advance guard to fire the houses while I watched the motions of the Indians on the opposite mountain up the river. I soon saw their game was to cross above the village and come down upon me while my men might be busy burning houses or racing horses [sic], but I kept my men with their companies, and seeing that if the Indians got possession of the timbered ridges and spurs to the east and north I should be hemmed in and surrounded. I ordered Capt. Jones in double quick over the steep bare slope into the woods which crowned them. He had some two hundred and fifty yards to run, and the Indians got possession of these first. Lieut. Drysdale I ordered by a flank movement to keep in the timber and run to the rear and above where the blankets and provisions were left. He got up to the flat just as the Indians charged down on the guard there, and drove it [sic] back toward the village, but the Indians fell back before Lieut. Drysdale's force, which they did not expect to find there. I took the advance guard and led it up a bare slope into the wooded knoll at east end of village, turning the retreating guard which I met as they fell back from the blankets, and with these drove out a few of the Indians who had occupied this knoll. These latter fled across the open ground to the blankets, where they had just left their companions, but fell into the hands of Lieut. Drysdale's men and were mostly killed by the crossfire to which they had intended to subject me. The high spur east of the knoll and which had a steep bare ascent from the side of the village was still in the hands of the Indians. Capt. Jones had succeeded in urging his men into the timber which I directed him to occupy, and the Indians were falling back. I pushed the advance guard and a small party of "B" Compy. down from the knoll and rushed them up the opposite slope into the timber that crowned this spur, and as this commanded the Indians crossing where their canoes were, they fled on all sides to their canoes and crossed over to the side where they had come. In all the attacking party was about sixty strong, but their position more than doubled their strength. They left five dead men on my side of the river, and three more were killed in crossing. I fear some squaws were also unfortunately shot by the guide, who fired across the river into groups. I think the Indians wounded amount to as many as were killed. I had but one man (private "B" Co. 3rd Arty.) wounded here. After the Indians were driven back to the opposite bank I called in my men, and as they had been marching, burning houses or fighting for a long eight hours they were very much in need of water and rest. I could not camp on the village bottom; it was too exposed to attack, too difficult to defend. There was no other water nearer than two and a half miles up the mountains in rear of the village, so I started up this as fast as I could urge my weary men, but the Indians after I left recovered, followed my rear, and fired a parting volley some three-fourths of a mile from camp and severely wounded my first sergeant in charge of rear guard. The trail was so rough he could not be packed or carried in a litter, and part of the route I had to take him on my saddle in front of me. The officers and men behaved exceedingly well, and considering that a large number of my party never had had a musket in their hands before leaving Crescent City their success is quite satisfactory. The wound of 1st Sergt. Nash was excessively painful, paralyzing his legs, so to give him relief I tested the endurance of the whole party by a forced march back to camp, marching back by 9 o'clock this a.m.
Very respectfully your obdt. servt.NARA M689, Letters Received by the Office of the Adjutant General 1881-1889, Roll 567, Papers Relating to the Death of Mary Wagoner.
E. O. C. Ord, Capt. 3rd Arty.
Barracks Benicia Cal. To
Maj. Genl. Joseph Lane
Genl., 1st Sergt. Nash of my company was sorely wounded in the Rogue River War, Southern Oregon. He can hardly walk and never can recover the entire use of his legs. He was wounded while helping along an exhausted comrade shortly after I had burned a village on Rogue River, and left eight dead Indians on the ground where they attacked us--with every advantage in their favor. There were many more killed and wounded--"Enos" among the number. Sergeant Nash behaved very well here, and deserves well from Oregon's delegate who knows something of the wounds and perils of war--and what is due a brave man. My company was cooperating on more than one occasion with the volunteers both in Northern and Southern Oregon, and they gave us credit of fighting with a will. Can't you help Nash to something better that the private soldier's pension--of eight dollars per month. He has a wife and family, and ought to get at least forty dollars the month and as some of the soldiers of the volunteers were wounded on similar occasions his case will be a precedent.
Yours Respectfully,Joseph Lane Papers
Edward O. C. Ord
Capt., 3rd Artillery
Last revised December 28, 2017