Mountaineer Battalion. On its arrival Colonel Whipple will station it so as to relieve, if possible, two of the companies of his battalion, who will be mustered out of service pursuant to the special authority received by the commanding general form the War Department. The remaining companies of the battallion will be mustered out as soon as their reliefs arrive.
* * * *
By command of Major-General McDowell:
R. C. DRUM,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF HUMBOLDT,
Fort Humboldt, Cal., March 31, 1865.
Lieutenant-Colonel DRUM, U. S. Army,
Assistant Adjutant-General, San Francisco, Cal.:
COLONEL: I have the honor to report my arrival at this post this day, where I learn that matters are generally quiet throught the district, with the following exception: The Indian prisoners on a peninsula nar this post are restless, and evidence a determination to escape to the mountains, and it is almost impossible to prevent some from effecting their object. Seven have alerady managed to elude the guard in the night, through I am certain that great vigilance is exercised. I shall at once increase the guard and use all possible means to prevent more from escaping. This I expect to be able to do, as there will very soon be a large portion of the battalion concentrated here preparatory to its disbandment. It is to be feared, however, that when relieved by strange troops, and but a small force can be detailed to guard the prisoners, that may will escape, and that, too, with the best endeavors to prevent it. There is no calculating the expense and trouble these Indians will cause the Government and the people if they again get at large. The peace which now prevades the entire portion of the State would be distrubed, and another expensive and harassing Indian war inaugurated. Were these Indian prisoners removed to a place of safety, whence a return to their old haunts will be beyond a predventure, the great danger of another Indian outbreak may be avoided. To have them placed on any of the reservations north of San Francisco I am fully safisfied would be worse than futile. They had better be set at liberty at once. My earnest recommendantion is that they be taken without delay to some point in the harbor of san Francisco (say Angel Island), or to the extreme southern part of California. Although this will entail some expense upon the Government for transportation, I am fully satisfied that it will prove a vast saving in the end. I beg leave, colonel, to urge this matter upon the attention of the major-general commanding, respectfully, but in the strongest manner possible. The immediate removal of these Indian prisoners is the great necessity of this military district, looking to the continuance of the peace at present existing. If at all practicable and consonant with the views of the department commander, I would advise that the same steamer which brings the troops up to supersede those about going out of service should take the Indian prisoners away.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. G WHIPPLE,
Lieutenant Colonel First Batt. Mountaineers, California Vols., Commanding