War of the Rebellion: Serial 106 Page 0166 OPERATIONS ON THE PACIFIC COAST. Chapter LXII.

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Lapwai, Wash. Ter., October 12, 1862.

General ALVORD,

Commanding District of Oregon and Washington:

SIR: I understand from Major Rinearson, commanding the detachment of troops stationed at present on this reservation, that his command will probably be removed from this part of the country in a short time. I fear the withdrawal of all the military forces from this neighborhood at the present tiem will be attended with serious consequences. A very considerable portion of the Nez Perce tribe are disaffected toward the whites, and I fear only await a favorable opportunity to retaliate on the settlers on their lands, and on those passing through their country, for the many wrongs they have suffered at the hands of the whites. The reservation is infested with a great number of lawless white men, who sell whisky to the Indians, steal their horses, and debauch their women. A military force, and one that will act promptly, is essentially necessary to hold these men in check, as well as to protect st the depredations of the Indians. If either the whites or the Indians be permitted to carry on their acts of violence and wrong without restraint, a war between the two races must necessarily ensue. Day before yesterday a white man was murdered by an Indian within three or four miles of the agency; to-day I hear of another murder within five or six miles of the agency on the other side. I do not know positively who committed this last murder, but from the few facts I have been able to gather I doubt not it was done by Indians. I have sent out a party of men to bury the dead body, but they have not yet returned. I am afraid we are only at the beginning of our difficulties with the Indians. I have conversed with numbers of them since I have been here, who do not hesitate to express their unfriendly feelings toward the whites. Lawyer, the head chief, seems much excited, and says he is apprehensive of danger from a portion of the tribe. The military force stationed here at present is, in my opinion, entirely inadequate to protect the Indians in their rights and at the same time insure safety to the whites over so great an extent of country as that covered by this reservation. Could two or three companies of troops, say two of infantry and one of cavalry, be stationed at different points on the reservation, their presence would no doubt overawe the disaffected portion of the Indians, and thus maintain peace and quiet in the country until a treaty could be effected with the tribe. I have taken the liberty of calling your attention to the existing state of affairs on this reservation, that you may take such measures as you deem necessary to insure protection both to whites and Indians.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Sub-Indian Agent, Washington Territory.


Mesilla, October 12, 1862.

Lieutenant BEN. C. CUTLER,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Santa Fe:

I respectfully ask permission to return the within copy of a letter from Major Fergusson, commanding Tucson, to the Governor of Sonora, suggesting the establishment of a passport system between our lines