HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF OREGON,
Fort Vancouver, Wash. Ter., March 9, 1863.
Major A. W. BOWMAN,
Ninth Infantry, U. S. Army, Commanding Fort Lapwai: *
MAJOR: The general commanding, in directing you to assume command at aFort Lapwai, is especially desirous that you shall use every exertion to protect the Indians (so far as practicable) in all their rights under the treaty. You will find at the post instruction originally addressed to Major Rinearson, dated the 18th of July, 7th of Sepetember, 30th of September, 1862, and the 31st of January, 1863. These convery fully his wishes. The act of Congress of 13th of February, 1862, gives amplh the offense of selling liquor to the Indians. It is hoped that the anomalous state of things on the Nez Perce Reservation (invaded by thousands of whites in defiance of traty sipulations) will soon cease, and that by the concuil which will be held at Lapwai Agency on the 10th of May some amicable understanding with the Nez Perces will arrived at. As you will notice in those instructions, on the applications of the Indian Department all whites trespassing upon their faming or granzing lands must be removed and their fences and improvements pulled down. The uniform and preserving freindship of the Nez Perces for our people and Government gives them especial claims to our protection. No opportunity of exhibiting our frindship for them should be omitted. Herewith in inclosed a copy of order of 30th of December which has not yet been executed, which the general desires you to take the earliest opportunity to execute after a conference with Dr. Robert Newell, U. S. commissioner+. By the coppy of instructions of 6th instant, herewith inclosed, to Colonel J. Steinberger, First Washington Territory Infantry, commanding officer at Fort Walla Walla, you will find that he is instucted to send a re-enforcement to your post at any time that you shall report its necessity++. The general desires that you will endeavor to procure reliable information from time to time of the success in getting through roads from Fort Lapwai to Fort Boise, whether pack trails or wagon roads. Please communicate freely to this office all matters of interest to the public service, especially your views on the state of Indian affairs.
I am, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
First Lieutenant, Ninth Infantry, U. S. Amry, Actg. Asst. Adjt. General
CAMP DOUGLAS, March 10, 1863-1 p. m.
Lieutenant Colonel R. C. DRUM:
Flag yesterday was first raised by Brigham in this Territory. Was a signal to his people, who assembled armed to number of 1,500; two pieces of cannon. They are determined to have trouble, and are trying to provoke me to bring it on, but they will fail. They swear I shall not be re-enforced, and if attempted will cut them off in detail and attack me. I am not giving any cause of offense. Rosse turns out to be an impostor. He had several private interviews with Brigham. I thought him a Southern emissary. Found no papers to convict, and released him.
P. EDW. CONNOR,
Colonel Third California Volunteer Infantry.
* The address of this letter was subsequently changed to Major J. S. Rinearson. See Mears to Bowman, March 16, p. 355.
+ Order (here omitted) directed the arrest of an Indina with murder.