HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE PACIFIC,
San Francisco, Cal., July 19, 1862.
Brigadier General L. THOMAS,
Adjutant-General U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:
GENERAL: In October last, when the orders for the withdrawal of the regular troops from this department reached these headquarters General Sumner sent orders for the detachment of the Ninth Infantry, on escort duty with Lieutenant John Mullan, Second Artillery, to break up and join their companies without delay. The order found Lieutenant Mullan, with his wagon-road expedition, in the Bitter Root Valley, and the mountains covered with deep snow and impassable. Under these circumstances the escort was compelled to remain beyond the mountains during the winter. Not knowing precisely the wishes of the Government, I wrote to Lieutenant Mullan to retain the escort until he received furthe orders. It now appears that my letter to the lieutenant failed to reach him, and being bound by the first orders of General Sumner, Lieutenant Mullan, directed the escort to fall back to Walla Walla preparatory to joining their companies. On the 4th of June I received your telegraphic dispatch of the 2d, saying, "The escort of Lieutenant Mullan cannot be withdrawn now; " orders were immediately sent accordingly, but owing to the great distance and difficulty of communicating, only met the escort as it was approaching Fort Walla Walla. By the last steamer from Oregon I received a communication from Brigadier-General Alvord, a copy of which is herewith inclosed. * I received no letters from Lieutenant Mullan. It being too late in the season for the escort to rejoin Lieutenant Mullan, I have approved the action of General Alvord in the matter, and further directed him, if he deems it necessary, to send a company of cavalry along the Fort Benton road to communicate with Lieutenant Mullan and afford him the necessary protection. Under these circumstances, I hope the Department will approve of my action on this subject.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, U. S. Army, Commanding.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY, October 2, 1862.
The action of General Wright is approved.
By order of Major-General Halleck:
J. C. KELTON,
EL DORADO, July 19, 1862-10. 30 a. m.
Major R. C. DRUM:
Will encamp one mile west of Placerville to-night. Will remain there untio Monday.
P. EDW. CONNOR,
Colonel Third Regiment Infantry.
*See July 10, p. 14.