returned on my own conviction, supported by the superior knowledge of Kan-a-at-sa, that it would be impossible to overtake them without having to travel some 90 miles without water, and this my horses could not do.
On my return route, the Ute Indians killed 8 Navajos, making a total of 12 killed since my arrival in this country.
I arrived at this place with the party yesterday evening at 5 o'clock, having been nearly thirty-six hours continuously in the saddle. The remainder of the command left behind at Fort Defiance arrived here yesterday at 4 o'clock in the afternoon, also Captain Carey and Lieutenant Cook.
I would respectfully call the attention of the general commanding the department to the valuable services rendered by the Ute Indians, and earnestly request that I may be authorized to send an officer to their country to employ at least 30 more Utes as spies for the expedition.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel First New Mexico Vols., Commanding Navajo Expedition.
Headquarters Departments of New Mexico, Santa Fe, N. Mex.
CAMP AT PUEBLO COLORADO, N. MEX.,
July 24, 1863.
DEAR GENERAL: I send by Captain Cutler the official report of the operations of my command since leaving Los Lunas, but in it have made no mention of the women and children captured by the Utes (4 women and 17 children). It is expected by the Utes, and has, I believe, been customary, to allow them to keep the women and children and the property captured by them for their own use and benefit, and as there is no other way to sufficiently recompense these Indians for their invaluable services, and as a means of insuring their continued zeal and activity. I ask it as a favor that they may be permitted to retain all that they may capture. I make this request the more readily as I am satisfied that the future of the captives disposed of in this manner would be much better than if sent even to the Bosque Redondo. As a general think, the Utes dispose of their captives to Mexican families, where they are fed and taken care of, and thus cease to require any further attention on the part of the Government. Besides this, their being distributed as servants through the Territory causes them to lose that collectivness of interest as a tribe which they will retain if kept together at any one place. Will you please let me know your views on this matter as soon as possible, that I may govern my conduct accordingly?
The utes more than come up to the expectations I had formed of their efficiency as spies, nor can any small straggling parties of Navajos hope to escape them. I trust you will grant me permission to send Captain Pfeiffer to their villages to employ some more of them. I am very badly off for guides, and intend to employ some Zuni Indians as much in a few days, when I shall visit their village.
The Navajos have planted a large quantity of grain this year. Their wheat is as good as I have ever seen. Corn is rather backward, and not so plentiful.