HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE PACIFIC,
San Francisco, October 19, 1863.
Colonel E. D. TOWNSEND,
Asst. Adjt. General, Hdqrs. of the Army, Washington, D. C.:
COLONEL: By my direction two companies of cavalry, Nevada Territory volunteers, marched from Fort Churchill on the 10th instant for Salt Lake. This is the last command I propose to send on that line this fall. Everything is perfectly quiet on the route, Indians peaceable, and no indications of any disturbance on the mail route. I have two more companies of Nevada cavalry organizing at Fort Churchil (one already filled), which will constitute the garrison of that post, detaching a command of twenty-five men and one officer as an outpost at Smoke Creek, about 100 miles to the north. The troops in the department are healthy, and, independent of occasional Indian raids on the white settlements, everything is quiet.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, U. S. Army, Commanding.
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE PACIFIC, Numbers 240.
San Francisco, Cal., October 20, 1863.
1. The infantry companies at Camp Bidwell, under command of Lieutenant Colonel Ambrose E. Hooker, Sixth Infantry California Volunteers, will return to Benicia Barracks by river boats at once, either together or separately, as may be most convenient. The men will carry cooked rations for the trip in their haversacks. The quartermaster's department will furnish the necessary transportation. Captain Augustus W. Starr with his company of cavalry will remain for the present at Camp Bidwell.
By order of Brigadier-General Wright:
E. SPARROW PURDY,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF OREGON,
Fort Vancounver, Wash. Ter., October 20, 1863.
Honorable B. F. HARDING,
Senator in Congress from Oregon, Portland, Oreg.:
SIR: I desire especially to urge upon you to aid on reaching Washington in having built an iron-clad war vessel and ram for the Columbia River. The kind of vessel we want should not draw more than thirteen feet water, and should fulfill the description given by Brigadier General J. G. Totten, of the Corps of Engineers. The following is his indorsement dated the 5th of May, 1863, on a leter of the Governor of Oregon on this subject:
The request of Governor Gibbs that a monitor be stationed near Astoria is recommended by the Engineer Department; that is, that a swift, strong, heavily armored steam floating battery and ram be provided for the defense of the Columbia River.
It should be built at the East and come around Cape Horn, and therefore no time should be lost in the matter. We are utterly deprived of all naval defense in this quarter. No war vessel of the navy has