captain crossed the line near San Diego and successfully accomplished his errand, reporting upon his return having seen some fifty men, mostly with families, who had recently emigrated from this State, as they said, "to avoid a draft. " They were settled at three different points a few miles south of the line, and were employed in reising crops of grain. Although their number has not been materially augmented since that time, I have reason to believe it would be in event of a draft, or the immediate prospect of one for military purpose. The locality offers many facilities for a rendezvous of secessionists. More rain has fallen there than in any portion of Southern California, and the grazing is comparatively abundant, while all of this district is suffering terribly from drought. The undersinged observes no indictions of intended hostilities or of combined opposition to law within this district. There are many points, however, where hostilities would be provoked and where loyal people could not line were it not for the controlling influence exercised by the presence of troops. During the months of September and October next a very large proportion of the three-year volunteers serving in this district will be discharged by expiration of enlistments. It is considered essential to the peace and quiet of the country that their places be promptly supplied.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAMES F. CURTIS,
Colonel Fourth California Infantry, Commanding District.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF OREGON,
Fort Vancouver, Wash. Ter., August 4, 1864.
Major General IRVIN McDOWELL, U. S. Army,
San Francisco, Cal.:
GENERAL: I received and answered yesterday the telegram of 2nd instant from Captain Haven, saying that you would sail on the 17th, &c. I wrote immediately to the collector at Port Angeles, copying said telegram, and asking him to be good enough to reply promptly, so that I might, if possible, be able to telegraph to you the same before the 17th. It is doubtful if I can get any reply by that date. If you should fail to get the Shubrick, you would probably have no trouble in getting the Eliza Anderson (steamer which runs on the sound) to stop for you at San Juan Island. I recommend to you to read, general, the article on the San Juan question in the Edinburgh Review for April, 1864. It gives the British side of the question. You will notice (p. 233) that he says that the Canal de Haro Passage was not used until recently. This has been studiously asserted; Governor Douglas once at Victoria said so to me. I instantly reminded him that Wilkes' voyage and exploration was in 1863. His chart of Puget Sound was out some years before the treaty of 1846 giving with minuteness the soundings (or rather, such is the depth, the no sounding, the no bottom) of the Haro Passage. Since I have been in command several tangled questions between the residents on San Juan have arisen. Our civil authorities in the county were disposed to raise questions. I appealed to their patriotism to await the conclusion of the war before urging their claims imperatively upon our Government. My course concerning San Juan, with the concurrence of General Wright, has been to admininster opiates and stave off puzzling questions growing out of the joint occupation. I recommend to you to get the Shubrick to take you into Port Discovery (some of the naval gentlemen have spoken of Port Discovery as a naval depot,