War of the Rebellion: Serial 106 Page 0776 OPERATIONS IN THE PACIFIC COAST. Chapter LXII.

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will fire upon such vessel and bring her to. Should you see the Shubrick firing on any vessel which refuses to stop and conform to regulations of the port, you will aid the Shubrick with your guns.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. C. DRUM,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF OREGON,

Fort Vancouver, Wash. Ter., March 3, 1864.

Major General SAMUEL R. CURTIS,

Commanding Department of Kansas, Fort Leavenworth, Kans.:

GENERAL: I perceive that you are placed in command of the Department of Kansas extending to the Rocky Mountains. My district extends to those mountains, embracing the boundaries of old Oregon Territory. I write to invite your attention to the defense needed for the settlements in Idaho Territory at the base of those mountains on the headwaters of the Missouri. Within 100 miles westerly of the Tree Forks of the Missouri (where the Jefferson, the Madison, and the Gallatin unite) there are now 12,000 miners. Virginia City has 5,000 souls. The other towns are East Bannock, Bivan's Gulch, Nevada City, and Gallatin. It is a very rich mineral district, and large numbers of whites will emigrate thither this coming season. Idaho Territory extends from Fort Boise to beyond Fort Laramie. The authorities of that Territory have been in contact with me and have applied for trops, as also the settlements in the Bitter Root country, at the base of the Rocky Mountains on their western slope. The latter as well as the former should be protected by troops from the Northwestern States. We have but a few troops from the Northwestern States. We have but a few troops in this district, and they by the tempting attractions of this coast are fast dwindling away by desertion; few will re enlist and their time expires next winter. I therefore respectfully submit to you that aforce should be sent by you to take possession of that country. I should, in reference to this side the mountains, only ask that two mounted companies should be sent to the Bitter Root country (to the Indian agency), the post to belong of course to your department and excepted from my district. That region will be supplied from Saint Louis and the Lower Missouri, and the troops should come thence. Mr. Chouteau, of Saint Louis, confidently expects t go up the Yellowstone to the mouth of Clark's Fork, or perhaps to Big Elbow. It will no doubt be tried next summer. A few companies of infantry should go by steamer to the head of navigation on the Yellowstone, where probably some eligible site for a large post can be found. Nearly a regiment of mounted troops should be sent thither by land-I suppose over the emigrant road via Fort Laramie. I am not sufficiently acquainted with the route via Fort Randall to know whether troops could reach the Yellowstone better by that route. I do know that a wagon road to Virginia City, Idaho Ter., by way of Fort Laramie, does exist, viz, by continuing upon the old emigrant road via the South Pass until the troops shall get on the well traveled wagon road from Salt City to Virginia City. Doubltess an exploration from the Three Forks to Fort Laramie would subsequently find agood road across. You will find Major W. F. Raynolds, of the Engineers, posted as to that country, having made explorations there. I had an interview a week ago with the Honorable James Tufts, of