War of the Rebellion: Serial 106 Page 0221 Chapter LXII. CORRESPONDENCE - UNION AND CONFEDERATE.

Search Civil War Official Records


Fort Humboldt, November 13, 1862.

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

Assistant Adjutant-General, Department of the Pacific:

COLONEL: Owing to various unforeseen and unavoidable delays in regard to transportation (which I will hereafter explain if desired), Captain Douglas' company has not yet left for Round Valley. It leaves this afternoon on board a steam-tug for Fort Bragg, where it will land to-morrow morning and march to Round Valley. It ought to arrive there by the 18th instant. A copy of my proclamation of martial law is herewith inclosed,* as also of my instructions to Captain Douglas. + Being satisfied from my visit there that the object of the department commander could not be fulfilled otherwise, I have taken the responsibility of extending martial law over the whole valley, and I trust my action will not be disapproved. Acting Assistant Surgeon Deans leaves this forenoon for Fort Baker, whither he was ordered some time since. The circumstances under which he was temporarily detached at Fort Humboldt will be fully explained by Surgeon Egbert in a letter to the medical director which goes by this mail and to which I beg leave to refer. It appears from Major Curtis' reports that all, or nearly all of the Indian prisoners (some 835 in number) that were sent from this post to Smith's River have left the reservation. From information received by me from various quarters I am satisfied that they have returned to their old haunts, or are on their way there. The only effect of the summer campaign has been to transform some hundreds of peaceable Indians into hostile ones. Since these prisoners began to leave Smith's River Valley we have been learining of fresh outrages in every direction-ranches burned, their owners killed, travelers waylaid and murdered, mail stations plundered of their horses and forage. On the 21st of October Captain Flynn while traveling alone to Fort Baker was fired on by a party of some ten Indians in the Redwoods, two miles east of Yager Creek. On retreating down the hill he was fired on by another party stationed there to intercept him. He had the good fortune to escape after having killed one of them. The detachment under Lieutenant Hubbard, reported by me some time since as having been sent out in pursuit of he Indians seen near Cooper's Mills, returned after a five days' scout without being able to find the Indians or any track of them. To send soldiers in pursuit of any particular party of Indians in this country is as futile as it would be to send a two-horse stage in pursuit of a locomotive. To send a detachment to the spot where an outrage has been committed is simply to exhaust the men and expend the Government mney for nothing, for that is the only place where the Indians will be sure not to be a few hours afterward. In a few weeks when the hills are covered with snow it may be possible to track them. At present it is impossible. No addition has been made to the forty-seven prisoners reported some time [since] as being under guard on the peninsula opposite this post. I see no prospect of any more bing brought, in, at least for the present. I hope I may be soon directed to send them away, as it requires a standing picket of eleven men to guard them. When the snows set in the Indians they say will be driven into the mountain gulches for shelter and for food. It is here that they will be found by the troops, it found at all. They will have to be approached by stealth in the night-time and surprised and surrounded. As the bucks invariably attempt to escape the troops will have to fire at once upon the whole


* See November 10, p. 218.


+ See November 3, p. 202.