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tion; but to chastise those who perpetrate or encourage outrages is possible; and severe punishment gives future security. Such partial protection against these domestic Indians can be given by the army with the use of the usual means.

Against the northern Indians an army prepared in the usual manner is of no avail.

These Indians are bold and expert boatmen, and daring warriors. They leave their northern homes in large bodies, and enter the Sound in light, well-managed canoes, carrying from twenty to eighty warriors. They have long been the terror of the Sound Indians, and hence are insolent and defiant.

Even their excursions, not begun for mischievous ends, are likely so to terminate, if their violence be not submitted to by those whom they encounter.

Having paid their visit, exhibited their insolent bearing, and, perhaps, as in the case here reported, committed murder, they are speedily placed beyond the frontier and fear of pursuit.

Against an enemy possessing such means of rapid movement and a secure retreat, the army can neither give protection to the inhabitants, nor can it inflict punishment.

The canoe moves at the speed of one of our eastern race-boats propelled by skillful oarsmen. Such boats the army cannot command; nor would its rank and file be expert enough in their management if they could.

I then suggest that the defence of the Sound against the enemy belongs of propriety to the navy; their steamers and boats can close the Sound to the excursionists or punish them.

But if it is still thought proper to devolve the duty on the army, I ask that a small and fast steamer be at its disposal, with a small battery, and only artillerists enough to man it, the steamer can overhaul the enemy and destroy him, or, should he take shelter on shore, transport the nearest garrison speedily to the scene of action.

The steamer, when not so employed, can be usefully used as a transport on the Sound and coast.

The expense of such a vessel here will, I am aware, be heavy. But it is not a question of means of protection, better or worse, of economy, more or less, but this is simply the only means of attaining the end.

I further suggest that the English and Russian authorities be persuaded to restrain their own Indians within their own borders, or led to believe that the frontier will be no barrier.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Col. 6th Infantry, Bvt. Brig. Gen. Com'g.

Lieut. Col. L. THOMAS,
Assistant Adjutant General,

Headquarters of the Army, West Point, N. Y.

Washington Territory, August 17, 1857.

MAJOR: I have the honor to report that, on the night of the 12th instant, a party of northern Indians approached the residence of Colonel J. N. Ebey, on Whidbey's island, and decoyed him into his yard, when they fired upon him. The inmates, alarmed at the firing, escaped through a window on the opposite side of the house, and fled for safety. Daylight revealed the fact that the Indians had plundered the house, and, after severing Colonel Ebey's head from his body, carried off the former with them.

The news of Colonel Ebey's death created the greatest consternation throughout the neighborhood and country. The citizens held a public meeting in relation to their safety. The proceedings will soon be published, when I will forward a copy.

At the request of the Hon. F. A. Chenoweth, associate judge of the United States supreme court, I sent a guard (all I could possibly spare) to a station selected by Lieutenant Colonel Casey, 9th infantry, which commands a view of the straits as far as the islands of San Juan and Vancouver, and will enable a sentinel to perceive, in fair weather, the approach of hostile Indians, and apprise the post as well as the settlers of their advent.

I should be pleased, in case the general commanding approves of a guard being kept at that point, if he would designate some other company to relieve my men, as it is with difficulty I can raise, at this place, nine men for guard duty, having only forty-five men in my company, and part are at work upon the military reserve.

I am, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Capt. 4th Infantry, Bvt. Maj., Com'g Post.

Major W. W. MACKALL,
Assistant Adjutant General U. S. A.,

Headquarters Dept. of Pacific, San Francisco, Cal.

Santa Fé, June 30, 1857.

COLONEL: In reporting the current events of the department for the present month, I have the honor to state, for the information of the lieutenant general commanding the army, that Colonel Bonneville is still in the field, and operating, at this time, against the Coyaltero Apaches, west of the Mogollan mountains. A column of the troops, under direction of Colonel Loring of the rifles, overtook, on the 24th of last month, a party of Indians, and recovered about a thousand sheep. In the affair seven Indians, one of them a squaw, were killed; five women and four children made prisoners. From the reports before me, I feel authorized to say that the expedition is conducted with commendable zeal.

The country on the Gila is represented as being the most beautiful

and fertile of any portion of New Mexico. Sketches of the country visited by the different detachments have been sent to me, and will be forwarded as soon as they can be put in proper shape. A part of the garrison of Fort Defiance having been detached by Colonel Bonneville, the Navijos commenced to show bad faith. I have, in consequence, ordered a company of infantry ("G," 3d) to reinforce them. Colonel Loring's column has also been ordered to take post in that vicinity. The Merzealeros, Jicarrillas, and Utahs, are all reported to be quiet and well disposed.

Most respectfully, colonel, I am your obedient servant.

Lieut. Col. L. THOMAS,

Assistant Adjutant General,


Headquarters of the Army, New York.


Santa Fé, August 1, 1857.

COLONEL: I have the satisfaction to report, for the information of the lieutenant general commanding the army, that a battle was fought, on the 27th of June, on the Gila river, by a part of the troops under Colonel Bonneville and the Coyotero Indians, in which a decisive victory was won with but little injury to our side; two officers and eight men wounded; none of them mortally. From the report of the prisoners captured, the Indians must have lost thirty-eight men and four women; the bodies of twenty warriors were counted on the battle field. The prisoners taken during the campaign amount to fortyfive, principally women and children. This is the first time that our troops have come in contact with these Indians, and the chastisement they have received will be long remembered by them. The effect produced upon contiguous bands will doubtless prove most salutary. It will be gratifying to the general to know that the officers and men evinced the same zeal and gallantry as upon all former occasions in this department.

Special notice is taken of the conduct of Captain Ewell, whose gallantry and sound judgment I have had occasion to notice in former reports. For more particular information, I beg to call the attention of the general-in-chief to the detailed reports herewith enclosed, with my hearty concurrence in their several recommendations.

The campaign under Colonel Bonneville has been prosecuted with energy and perseverance, but I have ordered it to be brought to a close, the presence of the troops being required elsewhere. The captives are, for the present, ordered to Fort Fillmore.

I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Lieut. Col. L. THOMAS,

Bvt. Brig. General, Commanding.

Assistant Adjutant General,
Headquarters of the Army, New York.


Depot on Gila, New Mexico, July 14, 1857. MAJOR Herewith I have the honor to transmit report of operations of southern column by Colonel Miles and Captain Ewell. The northern column having been detached on the 22d June, the southern with myself marched on the 23d. On the 24th captured nine Mogollen women. On the 25th attempted to surprise a rancherio; was discovered by the neighing of horses. On the 27th had a battle with Apaches on the Gila river, 35 miles north of Mount Graham or Floridian; killed twenty-four, four women having accidentally been killed in the melee, and including one afterwards; made twenty-seven prisoners; destroyed many fields of corn; and rescued from captivity a Mexican boy, who escaped to us. We had nine wounded; among those were Lieutenants Steen, 3d infantry, and Davis, 1st dragoonsboth slightly, I am happy to say; all are rapidly recovering. Much praise is due to every officer and soldier, particularly to Captain Ewell, who was my active man on all important detached occasions. Colonel Miles was everything I could wish-the same gallant veteran. Lieutenant McCook deserves much credit for the admirable manner in which he managed with his Pueblo Indians, in surprises as well as in battle.

I am, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel 3d Infantry, Commanding Gila Expedition.
Major W. A. NICHOLS,

Assistant Adjutant General, Santa Fé, New Mexico.


Camp Floyd, July 13, 1857.

SIR: In making out the report of the battle with the Coyotero Apaches on the 27th of June last, I request you will refer to my journal accompanying this, to see in what manner the wings of the southern column were placed, the difficulty of the march in single file down a tremendous rocky precipice, which extended the column to great length, and which prevented the whole line from coming into action together.

The column was divided on this occasion into two wings; although commanding the whole, I retained the command of the right, giving to Captain Ewell, 1st dragoons, that of the left; it was composed of B, G, and K companies of 1st dragoons, C and F companies of 3d infantry, the guides and spies under Lieutenant McCook, 5th infantry, (being the Pueblo Indians and Captain Blas Lucero's Mexicans,) in advance. Captain Ewell's report, enclosed, states in what manner the battle commenced; at that time you were riding beside me at the head of the right wing, and at least a mile and a half from the battle field, threading our way carefully down a rocky, bushy pathway, followed by a squadron of mounted rifles, under command of Captain Clairborne and Lieutenant Dubois, being in command of B and K

companies of that regiment, and Lieutenants Jackson and Cook commanding B and I companies, 8th infantry. So soon as musketry was heard by us, the order was given to gallop and the charge was made by all, you leading the van to the field of battle. When I arrived, which was not until after Lieutenant Dubois had passed with his company, my first object was to ascertain how the field laid, what the disposition of the troops, and how the enemy was placed. I soon found that Captain Ewell, under his heavy charge of dragoons, had broken the Apaches, they had taken cover in the thick underwood, and that it was the work of infantry to pick them out; that the dragoons were occupying the left bank of the Gila, cutting off the retreat of the enemy to Mount Turnbull, and that Captain Clairborne and Lieutenant Dubois had very properly charged on the right bank and prevented them from reaching the mountains on that side. My object, then, was to bring into action, as soon as possible, the 8th infantry, and re crossed the river from where Lieutenants Whipple and Steen, with the 3d infantry, were engaged, to give this order, but found, to my great surprise, that Lieutenants Jackson and Cook, with their companies, were already up and actively engaged in the place where they were most required. It was then a primary object to so regulate our firing that our troops should not injure each other, which could easily be done, where all were so anxious to destroy an enemy, in a narrow valley covered with a dense undergrowth of willow. When I re-crossed the river again, I found Lieutenant Steen had been driven out of the bushes by a volley from the dragoons, and Lieutenant Moore actively rallying his men to prevent them firing. When this was accomplished, the infantry dashed into the thicket and soon captured many prisoners. Their frequent volleys showed that many a warrior was sent to his final rest.

The battle field extended for a mile on both sides of the Gila, and, covered with a thick undergrowth, persons within could readily see those outside, but could not be seen within; this gave the enemy a very great advantage, and it is a miracle how so few of our officers and men, exposed as they were, escaped.


suppose the battle commenced about half-past four p. m.; it lasted until near sunset, when we encamped on the field.

The officers engaged being few in number, I can readily say that all were most distinguished. My thanks are particularly due Captain Ewell for planning the battle and breaking the enemy. In his report he mentions the officers with him who were most distinguished. Of those in the right wing, I would most particularly call your attention to the merits of Captain Clairborne and Lieutenant Dubois, mounted rifles, Lieutenants Jackson and Cook, 8th infantry. The latter had a personal rencontre with an Apache and slayed him with his rifle.

To Assistant Surgeon Haden I am most particularly indebted for his uniform gentlemanly deportment, skillful and kind treatment of the sick during our long and weary march, his daring and bravery in seeking the wounded on the battle ground, and scientific treatment of them to a final cure, under the most unfavorable circumstances— travelling in a litter and on horseback for so many days, under so burning and scorching a sun.

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