War of the Rebellion: Serial 105 Page 0187 Chapter LXII. ENGAGEMENT ON THE BEAR RIVER, UTAH TER.

Search Civil War Official Records

was rendered by the Mormons, who seemed indisposed to divulge any information regarding the Indians and charged enroumous prices for every article furnished my command. I have also to report to the general commanding that previous to my departure Chief Justice Kinney, of Great Salt Lake City, made a requisition for troops for the purpose of arresting the Indian chiefs Bear Hunter, San Pitch, and Sagwich. I informed the marshal that my arrangements for our expedition against the Indians were made, and that it was not my intention to take any prisoners, but that he could accompany me. Marshal Gibbs accordingly accompanied me and rendered efficient aid in caring for the wounded. I take great pleasure in awarding to Major McGarry, Second Cavalry California Volunteers; Major Gallagher and Surg. R. K. Reid, Third Infantry California Volunteerse, the highest praise for their skill, gallantry, and bravery throughout the engagement, and to the company officers the highest praise is due without invidious distinction for their bravery, courage, and determination evidenced throughout the engagement. Their obedience to orders, attention, kindness and care for the wounded is no less worthy of notice. Of the good conduct and bravery of both officers and men California has reason to be proud. We found 224 bodies on the field, among which were those of the chiefs Bear Hunter, Sagwich, and Leight. How many more were killed than stated I am unable to say, as the condition of the wounded rendered their immediate removal a necessity. I was unable to examine the field. I captured 175 horses, some arms, destroyed over seventy lodges, a large quantity of wheat and other provisions, which had been furnished them by the Mormons; left a small quantity of wheat for the sustenance of 16 and children, whom I left on the field. The chiefs Pocatello and San Pitch, with their bands of murderers, are still at large. I hope to be able to kill or capture them before spring. If I succeed, the Overland Route west of the Rocky Mountains will be rid of the bedouins who have harassed and murdered emigrants on that route for a series of years. In consequence of the number of men left on the route with frozen feet and those with the train and howitzers and guarding the cavalry horses, I did not have to exceed 200 men engaged. The enemy had about 300 warriors, mostly well armed with rifles and having plenty of ammunition, which rumor says they received from inhabitants of this Territory in exchange for the property of massacred emigrants. The position of the Indians was one of great natural strength, and had I not succeeded in flanking them the mortality in my command would have been terrible. In consequence of the deep snow, the howitzers did not reach the field in time to be used in the action.

I have the honor to remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel Third Infantry California Volunteers, Commanding District.

Lieutenant Colonel R. C. DRUM, U. S. Army.

Assistant Adjutant-General, Department of the Pacific.


WASHINGTON, D. C., March 29, 1863.

Brigadier General P. E. CONNOR,

Camp Douglas, near Salt Lake City, Utah:

I congratulate you and your command on their heroic conduct and brilliant victory on Bear River. You are this day appointed a brigadier-general.