HEADQUARTERS NAVAJO EXPEDITION,
Fort Canby, N. Mex., December 6, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report, for the information of the department commander, that on the 15th ultimo I left this post with Companies C, D, G, H, and L, First Cavalry, New Mexico Volunteers, dismounted, for the purpose of exploring the country west of the Oribi villages, and, if possible, to chastise the Navajoes inhabiting that region.
On the 16th, I detached 30 men, with Sergt. Andreas Herrera, of Company C, First Cavalry, New Mexico Volunteers, on a fresh trail which intersected our route. The sergeant followed the trail for about 20 miles, when he overtook a small party of Navajoes, 2 of whom he killed, wounded 2, and captured 50 head of sheep and 1 horse. En route the party came on a village lately deserted, which they destroyed. The energy and zeal displayed by the sergeant and his party on this occasion merit my warmest approbation.
On the 21st, arrived at the Moqui village. I found on my arrival that the inhabitants of all the villages, except the Oribi, had a misunderstanding with the Navajoes, owing the some injustice perpetrated by the latter. I took advantage of this feeling, and succeeded in obtaining representatives from all the villages, Oribi excepted, to accompany me on the war-path. My object in insisting upon parties of these people accompanying me was simply to involve them so far that they could not retract - to bind them to us, and place them in antagonism to the Navajoes. They were of some service, and manifested a great desire to aid in every respect. While on this subject, I would respectfully represent that these people, numbering some 4,000 souls, are in a most deplorable condition, from the fact that the country for several miles around their villages in quite barren and is entirely destitute of vegetation. They have no water for purposes of irrigation, and their only dependence for subsistence is on the little Corn they raise when the weather is propitious, which is not always the case in this latitude. They are as peaceable people; have never robbed nor murdered the people of New Mexico, and are in every way worthy of the fostering care of the Government. Of the bounty so unsparingly bestowed by it on the other Pueblo Indians, aye, even on marauding bands, they have never tasted, and I earnestly recommend that the attention of the Indian Bureau be called to this matter. I understand that a couple of years' annuities for the Navajoes, not distributed, are in the possession of the superintendent of Indian affairs at Santa Fe, and I consider that, if such an arrangement would be legal, these good would be well bestowed on these people.
Before my arrival at Oribi, I was credibly informed that the people of that village had formed an alliance with the Navajoes, and on reaching there I caused their governor and another of their principal men to be bound, and took them with me as prisoners. The first day's march from their village I unbound them, and during the time they were with me they conducted themselves well. From the Oribi village I marched my command 65 miles, with but one halt of two hours, and at 2 a. m. on the 24th I arrived at a running stream, a tributary of the Little Colorado. Next day my command captured 1 boy and 7 horses and destroyed an encampment. The mounted party, while out scouting that day, had 2 horses give out, and when the riders were returning to camp they passed 3 concealed Indians, one of whom fired off his rifle int he air and then rode toward them. On this approach the soldiers were going to shoot him, but owing to his gesticulating