War of the Rebellion: Serial 106 Page 1172 OPERATIONS ON THE PACIFIC COAST. Chapter LXII.

Search Civil War Official Records

Lake and beyond. Two principal routes diverge from Susanville, one to Idaho through Surprise Valley, and the other to the Humboldt mines. Both are exposed to the ravages of Indians. On the latter the keeper of the Granite Creek Station, and on the fromer the expressman, have been murdered by Indians during the winter. Also a large amount of stock has been driven off and slaughtered. This intelligence is authentic, as I have it from many persons, who all concur, with several of whom I am acquintend and know to be reliable. The anexiety is great among all the people to have troops sent immediately. The work of breaking a reod through the snow was more than I anticipated, but is now done. I began it something like seven weeks ago, and have prosecuted, through storms almost unprecedented, the task, till there is now a passable road for sleighs, not for wagons. There is now no route in the State where wagons can cross over the Sierra Nevada Mountains, nor will there be till at least the 1st of May, and I believe this route will be traveled or in traveling condition earlier than any other. By a little effort I believe troops can be got over this road now. They would have to haul their baggage over the snow belt on selds, and then take their wagons on sleds too, or purchase wagons on the other side, which can be done. I represented to the people the difficulties of conveying baggage in wagons. Several told me that they would furnish flour and take the same quantity in return when the roads became passable for wagons. I am of the opinion that there will be a large trvel (beginning in April, which is at hand) to the Idaho mines the present season through this route. To protect the Humboldt and Surprise Valley roads will require troops at some point beyond, but not distant from Honey Lake of Willow Creek Valley, and another station or post between Surprise and the Owyhee River. I do not believe that troops stationed at or near Goose Lake will answer the purpose, being of the direct route. that all of the officials of Lassen County, of which Susanville is the county seat, concur in these views and the necessity of immediate military protection. I will see that no tolls be charged troops or freign for the militay service on this road, and will render any assistance in my power.

I remain, general, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,

J. BIDWELL.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE PACIFIC,

San Francisco, March 28, 1865.

Brigadier General GEORGE WRIGHT, U. S. Volunteers,

Commanding District of California:

GENERAL: Your communication of the 23rd instant in relation to the proposed movement of troops to the Owyhee country having been submitted to the major-general commanding the department, I am instucted to say in reply that it is not designed to keep up the military comp near Chico (Camp Bidwell) beyond the period for commencing the movement referred to in yur letter. The troops will operate in the direction indicated in one or two columns, as you may determine, and the force available for this purpose will be three of the companies at Camp Union, the one at Camp Bidwell, and, as you suggest, a part of that at Fort Crook.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. C. DRUM,

Assistant Adjutant-General.