War of the Rebellion: Serial 106 Page 0445 Chapter LXII. CORRESPONDENCE - UNION AND CONFEDERATE.

Search Civil War Official Records

[MAY 17, 1863. - For Carleton to West, relating to operations in Arizona, &c., see Vol. XXVI, Part I, p. 491.]


Fort Humboldt, May 18, 1863.

Lieutenant Colonel R. C. DRUM,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Department of the Pacific:

COLONEL: I have the honor to report that in my opinion the only posts in this district necessary to be kept up are Fort Hamboldt as a depot for supplies, and Fort Gaston to serve as check on the Hoopa and Klamath Indians. Camp Lincoln, near Crescent City, in useless. The few Indians left at Smith's River are mostly old men, women, and children, against whom the whites need no protection, and if the object be to prevent their escape this cannot be effected by a camp eight miles off. The other Indians in Del Norte County are peaceable and quiet, and there is no reason to believe they will be otherwise as long as the whites do not provoke them by wanton outrages. At all events the rapidly increasing demand for laborers in the cooper mines just opened in that county will soon carry thither whites enough to take care of all troublesome Indians in that neighborhood. The buildings at Camp Lincoln were erected by the troops at small expense to the Government. The same is the case at Fort Baker, the abandonment of which latter post will save a considerable amount which it now costs of which latter post will save a considerable amount which it now costs to the Government in the transportation of supplies. This post is useful as a base of scouting operations so long as they are conducted by disciplined troops, but will not be necessary to the mountaineers, whose methods of proceeding will be necessarily entirely different from ours, and whose success will, in fact, depned on theirdiscarding all rule and system, and acting only as individual hunters. Fort Bragg is no longer of any use whatever, and for this reason, if I am correctly informed, it has been for some time the intention of the department commander to abandon it. Fort Humboldt is in no danger whatever of attack. At Fort Gaston there is a good block-house, bullet proof. Twenty-five men at each of these posts would be amply sufficient to guard the public property, and with the most ordinary precautions this number at Fort Gaston would suffice in case of an outbreak to secure that post until the arrival of re-enforcements. As it will be physically impossible for the mountaineers to continue their scouting, which in this district, owing to the face of the country, is a labor in the greatest degree exhausting, without occasional intermissions for rest, by keeping some portion of them always in garrison to guard their supplies and to relieve those who may come in for repose, there will be at all times a sufficient force actively scouting in the field. This is of no little importance, because if this Indian war, or rather hunt, is to be brought to a speedy close, the Indians should not be allowed any rest whatever. The chase after them should be unceasing. On there being 200 or 300 mountaineers mustered into service, fifty of them could be kept to garrison these two posts, and the remainder would be amply sufficient for scouting. If it be deemed prudent to maintain a garrison in Round Valley in order to keep the peace between the settlers and the reservation Indians, a detachment of the company of mountaineers now being raised in Mendocino County could be used for that purpose. My object in making this statement has been to show officially to the department