HDQRS. EXPEDITIN AGAINST THE SNAKE INDIANS,
Camp Numbers 33, Camas Prairie, Idaho Ter., August 4, 1863.
His Excellency Governor GIBBS,
GOVERNOR: Captain T. S . Harris tendered his resigantion to take effect on the 20th of last month. For wahte I thought good reasons I took the resepnsibility of granting him leave of absence and forwareed the resignation with reommendatin of acceptance. I hope that my course has been approved. Of the circumstances which made the step necessary you have no doubt heard before this. We are in excellent healrh, thugh quite impatient at not finding Indians. So far as we cn discover they have gone east and south of Snake River. This valley is evidently a summder resort for a very large number, everything upon which they depend for maintenance abounding. The immmediate valley is thirty or forty miles in length by eight to twelve in width, well watered, with an abundane of the most luxuriant grass, with every indication that anything can be produced in it that can be in the Willamette. It is for the interest of the Government and the development of the country to be regretted that the new post was not located in it. If anything is ever done with these Indians a military post or Indian agency will be a necessity in this vicinity. It is too far from Fort Boise for an agency alone. I found partties here with a view to location, thinking that they were going to make a permanent location. Some have located claims, and intend making some improvements this fall in order to hold them, looking uponthe settlement of the valley in a short time as inevitable. The emigrants say the Indians (there being from 700 to 900 collected at Fort Hall) are very much frightened, and those going east are doing so for the ostensible purpose of effecting a treaty with General Connor. I would judge that from 1,000 to 2,000 have been in the habit of living in this valley, with a good, large quantity of stok. If Connor treats and thithout military to look after them it will be merely a postponement of difficulties. They appear to have been well adised of our movements and objects, deserting the valley and vicinity entierly some three or four weeks previous to our arrival. I have had scuting parties out in every direction for thirty or forty miles without finding a single Indian. Captain Currey has not yet come in, and a only waiting his return to move on to Fort Hall. I shall establish a deapot here, leaving a few cavalry and what infantry I havce to look after the emigration, and will probably return to the valley myself by the 10th of September. My movements then will be determined by circumstances. Nothing occurring to prevent it, I expect to cross Snake River at Salmin Falls and make a search of the headwaters of the Owyhee and Malheur Rivers, meeting my supplies for the return trip to Fort Walla Walla on the latter. Our stock is in excellent condition. We havemet only about 100 wagons (all families), and I am inclined to the opinion that the emigration is small. Those we have seen say that it is nearly all going to Beaver ead country and California. If there is much, it is late. The emigration of last season, from the mildness of alst winter, was much earlier than last. They are generally in good health and well supplied.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. F. MAURY,
Colonel First Oregon Cavalry, Commanding.