road to Mesilla, though not possessing as many advantages as Reventon, is also a very good point for a halt-possibly better than the other, as it is on the direct line. I would suggest that they rmeain here at least a month, in which time their animals cold be in condition to undertake the march to Mesilla, the worst part of the whole road. At the Cienega, twenty miles east of Apache Pass, they could halt again for a few days. From there to the Miembres River, ninety miles, the march is a hard one, almost destitute of Water and grass. A peculiatirty of this country is that where you find water you rarely see grass, and where grass is plenty there is no water. The water is found in rugged and bare mountains, and the grass grows sometimes very luxuriantly on the wide open plain. From the Miembres River to the Rio Grande the march is also a hard one, water being found with certainty at only one point, Cooke's Spring. I can have grain put at the stations between Tucson and Fort Yuma and at San Pedro Crossing, so that the command can come with but little difficulty and move light and quick. Should these suggestions meet the approval of the commanding general I respectfully request that I may be notified at an early moment, for grain is scarce in this country, and seven companies of cavalry need a large supply. For the crossing of the dry districtis I can have water tanks constructed, each capable of holding 600 gallons. Two of these will, I think, be sufficient. I have already directed the acting assistant quartermaster to have a large amount of grain on hand by the 1st of April.
Trusting these suggestions may prove satisfactory, and hoping soon to have a reply, I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
THEO. A. COULT,
Major Fifth California Volunteer Infantry, Commanding.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF OREGON,
Fort Vancouver, Wash. Ter., January 13, 1863.
Captain JOHN MULLAN,
Second U. S. Arty., late in Charge of Walla Walla and Fort Benton Mil. Road Expedition, Washington City, D. C.:
SIR: It is represented to me that there is great danger of Indian difficulties in the Bitter Root Valley. A large number of whites are settling in that country and on each side of the Rocky Mountains at Deer Lodge, Big Hole, Beaver Head, &c. The gold mines found there are the attraction, and large tracts of arable land. Four hundred emigrant wagons came to Walla Walla last fall, which, after traveling through the South Pass, turned north above Fort Hall, recrossed the Rocky Mountains to Big Hole Prairie, thence crossed them again to Deer Lodge Praire, and getting on your road proceed by that route to Walla Walla. They commend the route highly. Chief Justice Hewitt, of Washington Territory, whom I saw, was of the number. Some of those emigrants stopped in that region. It is evident the whites are determined to mine and settle there. I met Mr. Q. C. A. B. Broks, from the Bitter Root Valley, who strongly urges the necessity of troops in that country. I inclose herewith an extract* from a Walla Walla Statesman, which gives his statement in full. By the eleventh article of the Flathead treaty, ratified 18th of April, 1859, it is provided that there shall be no settlments in the Bitter Root Valley above Lo-La Fork until the President decides whether he will set apart that region