24-pounders. I am very much pleased to hear of the commencement of fortifications on Cape Disappointment. I don't hear a word about the ordnance. I wrote in May reminding General Ripley, Chief of Ordnance, of his promise in his letter of 22nd of December. I wrote also a week ago reminding him of it. Three Tree Point is above Astoria and Tongue Point, but it is located I understand where the sole channel is narrow and easily defended - a very important point. Lieutenant J. Dixon, of Topographical Engineers, in his report dated 12th of November, 1860, said of Tongue Point, "Several years ago there was a channel on the opposite side of the river from this point, but at present it is filling and is not used. " The fact that there had been a second channel oppossite Tongue Point would argue strongly against it as a point to fortify, as channels are so shifting in this river. Perhapas your instructions should be to Captain Elliot to examine and report as to the best point on the river to plant a battery commanding the sole command of the river. Considerations connected with the rear communications to a back country, &c., might render a position on the mainland better. I would not wait long for Captain Ainsowrth to call. Colonel Ringgold or Colonel Babbitt can tell you whether he has left the city to return to Portland.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, U. S. Volunteers, Commanding District.
HEADQUARTERS HUMBOLDT MILITARY DISTRICT, Fort Humboldt, September 10, 1863.
Lieutenant Colonel R. C. DRUM,
Asst. Adjt. General, Hdqrs. Dept. of the Pacific, San Francisco:
COLONEL: That portion of the U. S. mail route between Hoopa Valley, Klamath County, and Waverville, Trinity Country, requires an armed escort of at least seven men. At this time the escort consists of but two men, but they travel in the night, which cannot be done after stormy weather sets in; then the detachment must be strong enough to fight their way through. This should be the case now, but we have neither the men nor saddle animals to spare for the service. Not only will this large mounted escort be absolutely necessary, but in addition, as soon as the rains set in, a ferry is required on Trinity River and the South Fork of the same stream. To guard these ferries a block-house and detachment of from five to eigh men at each place will be requisite. Citizens have formerly owned ferries at these points, but were obliged to leave some months ago on account of Indians. They wish to return and establish the ferries, but will not do so unless troopos be stationed at each point. This mail route is something of a public convenience, but in my opinion not sufficiently so to warrant such an outlay. There is one way to remedy this difficulty, viz: There is a mail route from Arcata to Sawyer's Bar, via Hoopa Valley, once a week now, but semi-monthly in winter. Should this latter route be masde weekly the year round the former might be discontinued during the existence of Indian hostilities and no considerable number of people be discommoded thereby. I have conversed with the contractor, J. F. Denney, and ascertain that the alternation would be satisfactory to him. Henry Baker, esq., of San Francisco, U. S. postal agent, has the power to make this change, and will doubtless do so upon proper representations. If the mail route remain as at present I respectfully desire to be informed as to the