military district; at least the matter would be so simplified that a moderate force would be able to precerve the peace for years to come. The consumation of this project was prevented by the circumstance related in letter to department headquarters dated September 9, 1863. My opinion at that time was that it was most unfortunate that the action taken had nt been postponed, but from the evidence before me I could not well see how it could be avoided. Subsequent and late information has convinced me that it would have been better for the service had a course been pursued which would not have interfered with my original intentions. Previous to the capture of the Indians in September, as noticed in letter above referred to, the leading warrior of the village (Big Jim), with some thirty others, left for the mountains, and has not since that time deemed it safe to dwell in the valley, though he and his whole party are often about their old haunts. According to the very best information, and I deem it reliable, the Indians now out under arms number from 100 to 125. They would be well satisfied to be let alone during the winter and early spring, but there can be no doubt that they are determined to wage a relentless warfare against the whites another summer. If these bands can be broken up, the leaders and a majority of the warriors killed or captured before the 15th of April next, the danger of an extensive outbreak would be over. Should they, however, elude us until that tine, there are indications not to be mistaken that the Klamaths above the mouth of the Trinity River intend to join them, and the most serious consequences may then be apprehended. The Upper Klamaths, as they are called, might not as a tribe become openly hostile, but they are certainly on freindly terms with those now out and would be their allies, furnishing recuits and the means of carrying on the war. The bad storms of pring passed and the present hostile force increased by the addition of suc Upper Klamaths can furnish, a very large number of troops will be required to preent the devastation of a great extent of country. The Indians below the mouth of the Trinity (Lower Klamaths) continue to signify their intentions of remaining peaceables, and I think they can be trusted. In the event, however, of extensive hostilities bu their immediate neighbors, small parties of their young warriors would go out on predatory excurssions on the strength of its being laid to the charge of those openly hostile. At the best, they would still be Indians, and many years since I learned by experience that good faith forms no part of an Indian's nature.
In the foregoing I have endeavored to lay before the general commanding the Department of the Pacific the exact situation of affairs in this district, that he may drawn thereform his conlusions. If I have made myself understood, it will be at once apparent that the destructon of the hostile bands now in the mountains is of primary and great importance, and that within the next three months this should be accomplished, if by any means possible, not only as a decisive blow as the war is at present, but to prevent its assuming much greater proportions. At a distance, and to those who have never been in this section of the State, it may seem inexpectable that it should be so difficult a matter to bring to justice a few score of savages. To account for this is the peculiar topography of the country, rendering the rapid and certain movements of troops a matter of difficulty and affording innumerable hiding places to the enemy.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. G. WHIPPLE,
Lieutenant Colonel First Battalion Mountaineers, California Vols., Commanding Humboldt Military District.