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authorities should announce their intentions. I have so far had no further intercourse with any of the officers of the fleet. Lieutenant Kellog, 3rd Artillery, being at Fort Steilacoom, on the reception of your order I directed him to accompany me in charge of the artillery. I trust that, under the circumstances, the General commanding will approve of my course in the matter.
“ The Massachusetts arrived to-day, with Major Haller's command on board. Inasmuch as most of the subsistence stores here are spoiled, having been damaged on board the Massachusetts, before she landed them at Bellingham Bay, and the articles of the quartermaster's department being required, I shall direct the Massachusetts to proceed, as soon as the guns are landed, to Fort Townshend, and take from there all the public property, leaving a sergeant and two or three privates to take care of the buildings and garden. I enclose a list of the ships and men which the British have in this vicinity. I would advise that the general send an officer express to San Francisco, requesting the naval captain in command to send up any ships of war he may have on the coast.
It is not pleasant to be at the mercy of any one who is liable at any moment to become your open enemy.
The British have a sufficient naval force here to effectually blockade this island when they choose. I do not know what the intentions of the British naval authorities with respect to this island are. I shall resist any attack they may make upon my position. I request that five full companies of regular troops, with an officer of engineers and a detachment of sappers, be sent here as soon as possible. Let Lieutenant Kellog's be one of the companies. I have enclosed copies of communications from Major Haller, with regard to his operations with the Indians. I think the major exercised a commendable enterprise in his operations, and that there will be no further difficulty. “ Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
, “SILAS CASEY,
“ Lieutenant-Colonel 9th Infantry. Captain Alfred Pleasonton, Acting Assistant Adjutant
“General, Fort Vancouver, W.T.”
Ar this period Rear-Admiral Baynes, in command of the British fleet in the Pacific, had under him five ships, carrying an aggregate of 167 guns, and upwards of 2,000 men. This force included sappers and miners and marines. He appears to have contented himself, however, with a demonstration of his force, and this notwithstanding the orders of Governor Douglas that a landing of British troops should be effected. The Admiral was complimented by the British Government for the line of conduct adopted by him. If the Governor had the full
powers of a British Colonial Governor, surely the refusal of Admiral Baynes to carry out the orders issued to him would have been an act of disobedience to superior authority, for which he could not, I should think, have been justly complimented.
On the 14th of August Colonel Casey wrote the following despatch to head-quarters :-) “ Head-quarters, Camp Pickett, San Juan Island, W.T.,
“ August 14, 1859. “ CAPTAIN,- I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your two communications, dated the 8th August, and also Special Orders No. 82. Since my last nothing of moment has transpired. The Tribune and Satellite are now in the harbour, with their broadsides on the landing. I have not been informed what the intentions of the British force in these
(1) American State Papers, p. 167.
waters are, but am of opinion, however, that they have concluded to wait for further instructions from higher authority before violence is attempted. However, it is a wise maxim to be prepared for the worst while hoping for the best. I shall accordingly direct the four companies of artillery at Steilacoom to join me at once.
'In a former communication I asked for five companies and an engineer officer, with a detachment of sappers. I would like to have them sent round on board the United States ship Active, which Captain Alden has kindly placed at my disposal for carrying this despatch. The services of the engineer officer and the detachment of sappers would most probably be required but a short time. We are encamped in rather an exposed situation with regard to the wind, being at the entrance to the Straits of Fuca. The weather, at times, is already quite inclement. To maintain the object of our occupation I do not, however, from my present information, think it advisable to change my position. I have enclosed a requisition for ‘Sibley' tents, with stores and quartermaster's stores, which I would like to be forwarded by the Active on her return. I have also enclosed a requisition for subsistence stores, which should be sent to Fort Steilacoom as soon as they can be supplied from San Francisco. In view of the possible contingencies of the service, it was my intention to draw from Steilacoom, as a depôt, supplies as they would be needed. The Massachusetts landed her guns and ammunition yesterday. I have directed that she leave to-day for Port Townshend, and bring all the supplies from the port to this point, leaving there a sergeant and two men to take care of the public buildings and garden. I shall place the 32-pounders in position as soon as possible. With our present appliances, I find them rather difficult to manage. “Very respectfully your obedient servant,
“ Lieut.-Col. 9th Infantry,
Commanding troops on San Juan Island. “ Captain Pleasonton, A.A. Adjutant-General, "Head-quarters, Department of Oregon, Vancouver, W.T.”
On the 16th the following instructions were forwarded to him in reply :(1)—
Head-quarters, Department of Oregon,
"Fort Vancouver. “ COLONEL,—The General commanding has received your reports of the 12th and 14th instant, and accompanying papers, and instructs me to reply as follows:
“ The supplies and stores required for the command of San Juan Island will be forwarded as soon as practicable; the camp and garrison equipage will be shipped on the Active.
The course pursued by you in ordering the four companies from Steilacoom to San Juan Island is approved.
“A detachment of engineers will be sent you by a small steamer; in the meantime have platforms made for your heavy guns, and cover your camp as much as possible by intrenchment, placing your heavy guns in battery on the most exposed approaches; the howitzers to be used to the best advantage with the troops, or in the camp, according to circumstances.
“Select your position with the greatest care to avoid the fire from the British ships. In such a position your command should be able to defend itself against any force the British may land. The General has requested a naval force from the senior officer on the coast, and has notified General Clarke, as well as the authorities at Washington, of the existing state of affairs on the sound. Troops and supplies will be sent to you as fast as they can be collected.
“ The General regrets, under all circumstances, your visit to Esquimault harbour to see the British Admiral, but is satisfied of your generous intentions towards them. He instructs you for the future to refer all official communication desired by the British authorities to these head-quarters, informing them at the same time that such are your orders. It is almost needless to inform you that the subjects of Great Britain on San
(1) American State Papers, p. 168.
Juan Island will be treated with the same consideration and respect that is shown to our own citizens. “I am, Colonel, very respectfully, " Your obedient servant,
“A. PLEASONTON, “ Captain 2nd Dragoons, A.A. Adjutant-General. “ Lieut.-Colonel S. Casey, 9th Infantry, commanding
“United States troops, San Juan Island, Puget Sound.”
In the meantime, on the 14th of August, Mr. Campbell, United States Commissioner, sent a mild remonstrance against the violent measures of the military authorities, which had probably taken a more serious turn than he had
he had at first anticipated, writing to General Harney in the following terms:0–
“ Steamer Shubrick,
“ San Juan Harbour, August 14, 1859. “MY DEAR GENERAL,—Captain Alden is about to leave the harbour of Fort Vancouver, with despatches from Colonel Casey, and I take the opportunity of dropping you a line in relation to the state of affairs resulting from the landing of troops on the island of San Juan.
“When I learned from Captain Pleasonton that Captain Pickett's company was ordered to San Juan, I thought it was a very proper movement for the protection of American settlers from northern Indians, and from the interferences of the Hudson's Bay Company's agents, who had recently been threatening to take one of the settlers to Victoria for trial; and I did not anticipate from it any serious objection on the part of the British authorities of Vancouver's Islandcertainly no forcible opposition—troops at various times heretofore having been sent there at intervals, in small detachments, for the protection of the settlers against the Indians.
(1) American State Papers, p. 187.