War of the Rebellion: Serial 106 Page 0971 Chapter LXII. CORRESPONDENCE-UNION AND CONFEDERATE.

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Fort Vancouver, September 7, 1864.

Brigadier General BENJAMIN ALVORD,

Commanding District of Oregon, Fort Vancouver, Wash. Ter.:

GENERAL: I am instructed by the major-general commanding the department to write you as follows in answer to your letter of the 27th of July, asking that a company of infantry be sent to your district from California to enable you to comply with the application from the Indian Department to go against the Quilliute Indians because of their refusal to deliver up the murderers of Cook, who was killed in December last. It is understood, as well from the papers you submit as from the personal representations recently made at Steilacoom by Lieutenant Jester to the general commanding, that the tribe or band are willing to surrender the ringleader in the murder, but not the accomplices, it being their law and their religion to give eye for eye, tooth for tooth, life for life, and no more. In view of the employment of the troops in the department and of their rapidly diminishing numbers, it is not at this time practicable to send you the force you asked for without risk to more important interests. It is therefore throught that the best practicable solution to the question, and one that will answer substantially the ends of justice, is to accept the head murdered-said to be a man of influence-and enter a virtual nolle prosequi as to the accomplices. It is at this particular crisis of great national importance not to multiply any further than can possibly be avoided the work our few soldiers on this coast have to do, and it is better not to exact the uttermost farthing or the last drop called for by the bond, particularly when we are to this small tribe so strong, and they to us so weak. It is not of imperative necessity that they should be made to feel immediately this disparity; that will come soon enough for us-too soon for them. They are out of the highways of the whites and remote from their centers of population. They intend no aggression, and merely stand in the position of refusing a demand which is against their customs and the little glimmering of religion they possess. If the Indian Department can by your representations be induced in the general interests of the whole Pacific Coast to forego exacting the full and extreme measure of justice in this case, and do what is not uncommon in cases even of high crimes, punish the principal only, they will do a patriotic, just, and most commendable act. There are so many complaints from officers of that department of the unpunished murders of Indians by white men that the general feels a repugnance to exact the extreme penalty of our law on the red man, when the white murderer goes so constantly unwhipped of justice.

I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,




Fort Vancouver, September 7, 1864.

His Excellency ADDISON C. GIBBS,

Governor of Oregon, and

Lieutenant-Colonel ENGLISH,

Assistant Provost-Marshal of Oregon, &c.:

Brigadier-General Alvord informs me there is a good prospect of obtaining a company of volunteers in the vicinity of Auburn, Oreg. If