opinion that the site selected by the major in the northeastern corner of Surprise Valley, on the large stream running into the alkali lake, is the proper one of the camp; more especially, looking to the future, I consider it more than probable that the site now seletected may become a permanent post.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
[Inclosure.] RED BLUFF, May 15, 1865.
ASSISTANT ADJUTANT-GENERAL, DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA:
SIR: I have the honor to report that in obedience to orders from the headquarters Department of the Pacific (directing me to proceed to Goosa Lake and Surprise Valley, and there or in their vicinity to select the site of a military post and to make my report to the district commander), I have visited the localities indicated in those orders, and with the following result: As I understood the wishes of the general commanding, the point to be selected should be near the junction of the three trails, which, coming from Oregon via Goose Lake, from Pitt River and Goose Lake, and from the south through Suprise Valley, become one in the northern part of Surprise Valley, provided the requisites for the post are to be found at that locality. With that understanding I have selected and marked out a piece of land in the norhteastern corner of Surprise Valley, bouded on the north and south by parallels of laitutde one mile apart, on the east by a large stream emptying into the northernmost alkali lake of Surprise Valley, and on the west by the ridge of a high mountain range there called the Sierra Nevada, and which rises in about three miles from the lake to the height of some 2,500 feet above the lake, or some 7,000 feet above the sea, between those two parallels. Of that piece of land about two-thirds of a square mile is valley land, and affords room on good ground for all the buildings usually erected at a cavalry post. The lower part of the mountain land is covered with bunch grass of excellent quality, while in the higher portion of the mountain land pine and other timber abounds. As a general rule Surprise Valley is destitute of timber, except that portion having a greater altitude than 500 feet above the lakes, but in the northwestern corner the canon of the large stream above mentioned forms an exception. There timber of superior quality is found as far down as the edge of the valley land, and a company of citizens was about to erect a saw-mill, one mile and a half up the canon and 200 fett higher than the lake, while a road to the mill was nearly complete. The quantity of lumber in that con is very large, and as the company for the mill wants the trees too large for those wanted for the use of the post, no conflict between the company and the Government is necessary, though the whole land undoubtedly belongs to the Government. By means of this road the lumber that may be required for the buildings in two miles with little labor. The objection to this site as a military post is that it is claimed by three citizens, who have already occupied the lower portion of it by the erection of long huts on it. I inclose two sealed letters given to me by them, which I presume contain protests to my running my lines over their land.
The site I have above described isd four miles north of the foot of Lassen Pass. All the desirable land in Surprise Valley now occupied