5. The regimental and non-commissioned staff of the First Regiment Cavalry California Volunteers will proceed to Drum Barracks en route to Tucson, Ariz. Ter. The quartermaster's department will furnish the necessary transportation.
By order of Brigadier-General Wright:
RICHD. C. DRUM,
Fort Dalles, Oreg., February 17, 1864.
Commanding District of Oregon, Fort Vancouver, Wash. Ter.:
GENERAL: In reply to that part of your letter of the 11th instant* which refers to the mode of operations next season from Fort Dalles, I have the honor to state that I have not been able to obtain any very satisfactory information as regards the country or Indians. From impressions derived from such information as I have been able to obtain, I do not think that there is a large number of Indians (men) occupying permanently the country proposed to be traversed. They are, however, hostile, well armed, and vigilant. I do not think that a depot accessible to wagons can be established far enough out on the Warm Springs route. The mouth of Crooked River is probably the farthest point that could be reached. This, in my opinion, is too far west and not far enough south. When we consider the country to be examined south and east in connection with the necessity of return trips to the depot it should be as nearly central as possible and well to the south. It will be impossible to take, with the present means of transportation in the district, much more than sixty days' rations for the command, which will move from the depot. Estimating its employes and all at 120, they will require about 125 mules. If there are thirty or forty men left at the depot to escort the return wagons and make such examination of the surrounding country as may be necessary, it will require on the start from here seven or eight teams in addition to the mules. On the return of these to this post for supplies two or three might be retained, five being considered sufficient to keep up the supplies, and these could probably be dispensed with by the middle of August or 1st of September. Under all the circumstances I consider the South Frok of John Day's River, or some point thirty or forty miles southwest of Canyon City, the best for the depot. From this point the expedition with sixty or sixty-five days' rations can move west to the waters of Des Chutes, then southwest as far as desirable, and north to their depot. For the next sixty or sixty-five days they would move southeast, east, north, and west to their depot preparatory to return or winter quartermasters. This is on the supposition that the expedition will leave their depot by the middle of May or 1st of June at latest, and in the time they will then have can make a thorough examination of the whole country to the California line, and the arrangement is, I think, the most economical, as regards transporation, that can be made. Since writing the above I learn from the guide who accompanied Captain smith in 1860 that it is impossible to take wagons up the South Fork of John Day's, but that they can go very well up Crooked River, a branch of the Des Chutes, to its source, which is separated by a narrow divide only from the source of the South Fork, and if thought best can be taken around the headwaters of the South Fork, and that this