CAMP ALVORD, OREG., August 20, 1864.
Brigadier General B. ALVORD,
Commanding District of Oregon, Fort Vancouver, Wash. Ter.:
GENERAL: Not wishing to make any suggestions in my official letter to you, I hope you will not deem me intrusive if, as an officer anxious to secure the permanent peace of this border, I shall make a recommendation that troops be kept in this region during the coming winter for the following reasons: First. I think experience among the Indians amounts almost to a demonstration that the winter is the most effectual time to operate against them. Second. A small force stationed here will have the effect of fostering a permanent settlement, for within sight of my camp more than 100 first-class farms can be selected. These would all be located within sixty days from the announcement of a cantonment establishment here or near this point. Third. Thirty-five miles to my south a few miners have begun a mining camp (called the Pueblo Mines) working for silver, and from the best information I can gather, with a little assistance by way of protection a rich mining region will soon be developed in a country now regarded as the haunt of Indians. The military advantage of a settlement here is apparent. Fourth. I see no evidences of severe winter here, and so abundant is the wild grass in this valley that a responsible citizen now employed as pack master of my train offers to cut hay within a short distance of any point selected in this valley at $25 legal tender per ton. With plenty of hay and a small lot of grain for extra storms, horses and mules can be wintered here and kept serviceable all winter, I think. Fifth. By returning from the country in the fall the labor of the summer will in a great measure be lost, however successful the latter part of the campaign may be. Authority granted within three weeks from this I can make both men and animals comfortable for the winter. I think at least one-half of my command, whose term of service expires during the early part of the winter would be as well satisfied to receive their discharge here as to go into settlement, as many of them are desirous of locating land claims out here.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEO. B. CURREY,
Captain, First Oregon Cavalry.
HEADQUARTERS FIRST OREGON CAVALRY,
Fort Boise, Idaho Ter., August 20, 1864.
ACTING ASSISTANT ADJUTANT-GENERAL,
Hdqrs. District of Oregon, Fort Vancouver, Wash. Ter.:
SIR: In regard to the subject-matter of your letter, referring to the collecting and settling upon reservations of the roving bands of Indians occupying the country embraced within the limits hereinafter named, I have deferred reporting until by further observation and inquiry I could do so with better understanding. In the first place, I presume it will be advisable both for the Government and the Indians themselves that all the Indians not treated with or provided with reservations east of the Cascades and west of Fort Hall, numbering perhaps 1,500 souls (this, I think, will approximate the number, though I have no data beyond the impressions formed during the last two years), should be collected or settled upon one reserve. Although occupying different tracts of country, they speak the same language and intermix freely,