War of the Rebellion: Serial 106 Page 0286 OPERATIONS ON THE PACIFIC COAST. Chapter LXII.

Search Civil War Official Records

as a reservation for the Flatheads. Some emigrants are settling there, causing much discontent among the Flatheads. You are, no doubt, well informed as to the merits of that question. I suppose that the reservation should be assigned by proclamation of the President to those Indians who have been so friendly and so faithful. If it is so set apart, the duty of removing the intruders will be still more urgent and may possibly require the aid of the military. Finally, a recent letter from the Indian agent at Jocko, the Flathead Indian Agency, uses similar language. He says the rush of whites to the gold mines must inevitably lead to collisions. He states (which isnew to me) that he is afriad that the mountains of the Jocko Indian Reservation will be overrun with gold-seekers, causing a repetition of scenes in the Nez perce country. From your long service in that country you are best able to judge o its necessities, and if you were here I should request your report on the subject; but as you are not accessible the best thing I can do is to write you this letter and request you to take thematter into mature consideration, and if you deem a military post essential to preserve the peace on that frontier, it will be well for you to make known to the War Department your views. You have my permission to exhibit this letter as inviting you thus to submit your views. But troopsfrom this purpose should be sent next spring from Missouri or Iowa, and should be supplied from Fort Benton. I shall have as much as I can do to get troops for the establishment of a military post at or near Fort Boise, the importqance of which I have urged in the strongest terms upon the War Department through Genreal George Wright, commanding the department, who indorsed in a favorable manner my recommendations.

Settlements have been all the way to Boise and rich mines discovered on that river. The Snake Indians should be soundly punished and the emigration of that route protected. I have established a military post at Fort Lapwai, near the Nez Perce Agency. Great disaffection exists in a portion of that tribe, requiring serious attention in the spring. In May the commissioners me there to form a treaty with the Nez Perces asking them to yield the gold mining region of their reservatioin to the whites. A body of troops should attend that treaty. Thus you will perceive that it seems quite out of my power to get troops on this coast to do these things and also occupy the Bitter Root country. The post should probably be composed of four or five companies, part of infantry and part of cavalry. I suppose it should be located in Deer Lodge Prairie, that point being central, but you are the best judge as to its location. It should, I suppose, march from fort Leavenworth by way of Fort Lodge Prairie, the route examined by Lieutenant Raynolds, of Topographical Engineers. It should be supplied from Fort Benton. To that post abundant and liberal supplies for one year should be shipped from Saint Louis by the steamers which go to Fort Benton every spring. The troops should not be in my district, but should belong to the same department as the troops at Forts Laramie and Benton, and this should be explicitly set forth in orders. Deer Lodge, being west of the Rocky Mountains, is in my district. Two or more companies of infantry should probably be stationed also at Fort Benton, the base of this line. They should go by steamer. It would be improper to separate the troops in that country from their base, and therefore they should be in the same department, Saint Louis being the ultimate base. An assistant quartermaster should leave Saint Louis with the supplies for Fort Benton. The most careful and elaborate estimates of all kinds of supplies-quartermaster's stores,