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HEADQUARTERS TROOPS SERVING IN KANSAS,
SIR: I have the honor to report, for the information of the department, that the general election in this Territory, which took place on the 5th and 6th instants, has passed off very quietly, no disturbance or tumult having occcurred at any of the polls which have been heard from to mar the peace of the Territory.
The troops have returned from the different election precincts, with the exception of Sherman's battery of artillery and one company of foot artillery, and these companies have been retained in the vicinity of Lawrence, at the request of his excellency the governor of the Territory.
In view of these facts, I addressed a communication to his excellency the governor, desiring to be informed as to the length of time the present force under my command would, in his opinion, be required; to which he replied, that it would be unsafe to diminish the force now here before the spring. I enclose copies of both these communications.
The important bearing of the governor's answer upon the interest of the military service of this command is so great that I deem it most essential to inform the department of it at the earliest moment. I have therefore instructed Captain Pleasonton, acting assistant adjutant general on my staff, to deliver this despatch, that his thorough knowledge of the service, as connected with the troops serving in Kansas, may be at the disposal of the department, and that my views, of which he is fully possessed, may be the more distinctly and clearly submitted.
Should it be deemed advisable to retain the troops now here until spring, I cannot urge too strongly the necessity of sending immediately an ample supply of lumber to this post from St. Louis, for the purpose of building temporary shelter for the additional nineteen companies that are at present here in camp for the want of quarters.
The increasing demand for the services of our troops on this frontier requires the adoption of every measure which will retain the men in the service when the season of their labors approaches; and I am confident that a timely provision of shelter, with a due regard to the comfort of my command this winter, will render it effective for any emergency that may arise in the spring.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. S. HARNEY, Colonel 2d Dragoons, Brevet Brig. Gen. Commanding. Hon. JOHN B. FLOYD,
Secretary of War.
HEADQUARTERS TROOPS SERVING IN KANSAS, Fort Leavenworth, October 9, 1857. GOVERNOR: The War Department having assembled a large number of troops at this place under my command, with instructions to
fill your requisitions at any time for their services as a posse comitatus, it is necessary I should know the probable length of time the presence of this force will be required, that arrangements may be made for their accommodation.
The limited allowance of quarters at this post, and the approach of winter, urge upon me to request of you such information relating to this subject as will enable me to suggest advisedly to the department the proper measures to secure the comfort and efficiency of the troops of this command.
I am, governor, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS TROOPS SERVING In Kansas,
A. PLEASONTON, Captain 2d Dragoons, Assistant Adjutant General.
FORT LEAVENWORTH, KANSAS TERRITORY,
SIR: In reply to your communication of this date, requesting my views as to the disposition of the large force new here or daily expected, I have the honor to make the following suggestions:
So far as we have heard, the late election in Kansas has led to no violence or tumult. For this result the country is mainly indebted to the just policy adopted here, to the moral influence of the presence of the troops at various points, and to the good judgment evinced by the officers in command.
The prospect of the permanent pacification of Kansas, has been greatly improved by the events to which I have referred. There are, however, important questions still pending here connected with the action of the constitutional convention and territorial legislature of Kansas, which would render it unsafe, before next spring, to diminish. the military force now here. I would, therefore, suggest, that this force be retained here for the present, and that it be stationed partly at Fort Riley, and the remainder at Fort Leavenworth, or some point in the immediate vicinage.
If no untoward circumstances should occur this fall or winter in Kansas, it is my belief that thereafter no military force will be required in connexion with the administration of affairs in this Territory.
I am, general, most respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brevet Brigadier General W. S. HARNEY,
HEADQUARTERS TROOPS SERVING IN KANSAS,
A. PLEASONTON, Captain 2d Dragoons, Acting Assistant Adjutant General.
ASSISTANT ADJUTANT GENERAL,
FORT CLARK, TEXAS,
SIR: I have the honor herewith to transmit a duplicate report of a scouting party under my command, as to await until my arrival at Fort Mason would cause some two weeks delay.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Headquarters Department of Texas, San Antonio, Texas.
FORT CLARK, TEXAS, July 27, 1857. SIR: I have the honor to submit the following detailed report of a scouting party under my command, consisting of twenty-four men of company G, 2d cavalry.
On the 5th of July I left Fort Mason, to proceed to a point some fifteen miles west of Fort Terrett, and examined and explored a trail reported by Lieutenant Shaaff to be running north and south. I found no such trail. I then marched for the head of the south Concho. About half way between Fort Terrett and this point, I found a water hole, which is a general camp for Indians passing from Fort Terrett to the head of the Concho, avoiding the San Saba. I proceeded from the head to the mouth of the south Concho, up the main Concho, to Royal creek; thence to its source, and from there to the mouth of Kioway creek, where I struck an Indian trail, about three days old, leading south, with some fifteen animals in the party. I followed it south, then east, to a water hole two miles south of the head of Lipan creek. I then followed them due south, to water holes from thirty-five to fifty miles apart, (this line of water holes being their main route from the lower to the upper country,) and on the morning of the 20th instant, which was my fourth day in their pursuit, I came to a water hole some seven miles above the head of Devil's river, where a second party had joined them; their camp showed that some thirty or forty had camped there. Í hurried on, although my horses were very much wearied, and trailed over the bluffs and mountains, down the river, but some three miles from it; late in the afternoon, from the extreme thirst of my men, I left the trail to go to the river and camp. About one mile from the trail I discovered, some two miles and a half from me, on a ridge, some horses and a large white flag waving. I then crossed over to the ridge, without water, supposing they were a party of Tonkaways, as instructions had been received at Fort Mason that a party of Tonka
ways had gone for their families, and the troops, on their raising a white flag, were to allow them to pass. I cautioned my men not to fire until I ordered it; with my fighting force, consisting of seventeen men, I advanced upon them, about an hour by the sun, with every precaution, ready to fight or talk. They were on a very small mound, but only some ten Indians in sight. I advanced, and some five of them came forward with the flag, and when my party were within some thirty paces, they dropped the flag, set fire to a lot of rubbish they had collected, and about thirty rose up from among the Spanish bayonets, within ten paces of us, with about twelve rifles, and the rest with arrows, besides eight or ten attacked us mounted with lances and arrows. My men gave one yell, and went right in their midst, and fought hand to hand; the Indians, from their heavy fire, beating us back a little, until I rallied my men with their six shooters. Our being within four or five paces, our shots were so heavy we drove them back. One of my men hung his rifle on the cantle of his saddle, to use his six shooter, and an Indian took it off. I forced them back until all the shots of my rifles and six shooters were expended. then found I could not reload, owing to their deadly fire. I fell back a short distance to do so; if I had had two six shooters to a man, I would have killed and wounded near all of them. The Indians were then busy gathering up their dead and wounded, and leaving, weeping and moaning their loss. In the engagement I killed nine, and wounded ten or twelve. I regret to be compelled to report my loss: one man killed; one man missing, supposed to be killed; one man dangerously wounded; myself and three men severely wounded; one horse killed, and three wounded. After the engagement I had but eleven men to protect my wounded men and horses. I then withdrew to water, which I found about ten o'clock at night. I immediately sent an express to Lieutenant Fink, 8th infantry, commanding Camp Hudson, for a wagon to transport my wounded to his camp. So soon as my wounded were cared for, Lieutenant Fink cheerfully joined me with fifteen men, and we proceeded to the place of action to bury the dead, and make search for the missing man, but no traces of him could be found. From this place the Indians had scattered in all directions. Owing to my small force and the broken down condition of my horses, I was unable to make any further pursuit. I then came to Camp Hudson, and from thence to this post, where I shall remain a day or two to recruit my men and horses, and then proceed to Fort Mason.
It is due my non-commissioned officers and men, one and all, to say, during the scout, in all their sufferings for water, they did their duty cheerfully, and that during the action they did all men could do, accomplishing more than could be expected from their number and the odds against which they had to contend.
From what my guide says, I suppose they were Camanches and Lipans. There were two chiefs; one was killed by my sergeant. am, sir, very your obedient servant,
JOHN B. HOOD,
Lieutenant CHAS. W. PHIFER,
Post Adjutant, Fort Mason, Texas.
Lieutenant 2d cavalry.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF TEXAS,
SIR Lieutenant Hood's report was transmitted last mail; from subsequent information, not official, I think Lieutenant Hood's estimate of the Indian party was much too small. The same party, it appears, attacked the California mail guard five days after, and near the place where Lieutenant Hood had the fight, and they estimated the Indians to be over one hundred. These affairs were in the vicinity of Camp Hudson, where Lieutenant Fink of the 8th infantry is stationed with a company of infantry. If this company had have been furnished with some fifteen or twenty horses, the second attack would not probably have been made. Lieutenant Hood's affair was a most gallant one, and much credit is due to both the officers and men. I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
D. E. TWIGGS,
Lieutenant Colonel L. THOMAS,
Headquarters of the Army, West Point, N. Y.
AUGUST 19, 1857.
This combat was, as the commander of the department most justly remarks, "a most gallant one," and I shall take pleasure in taking some further notice of it.
Respectfully submitted to the Secretary of War.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE PACIFIC,
San Francisco, California, September 14, 1857.
SIR: I enclose a report, by Brevet Major Haller, of the murder of a citizen on Whidbey's Island, Puget's Sound, by northern Indians. This circumstance induces me to bring to your attention the condition of things on the Sound, and renew an application made by my predecessor.
The defence of Puget Sound is to be made good against two enemies, the one, domestic; the other, foreign.
1st. Our own Indians, resident on the shores and along the tributaries of the Sound, estimated at 10,444.
2d. The northern Indians from the British and Russian possessions-annual visitors.
The former reside on the Sound and its tributaries in the winter, and ascend the salmon streams in the fishing season to lay in supplies of fish and berries for the winter.
The winter homes, the hunting and fishing-the only sources of food of this people-are all, more or less, at the mercy of the army.
To defend isolated farm houses against violence, or secure them against the sudden onslaught of an irritated tribe, is not possible, nor is perfect freedom from such dangers expected by our frontier popula