by nearly 300 persons, is set apart and occupied by settlers, and I have selected what I consider the best for the Government without regard to the claims of the settlers. It contains the largest plot of level land in the northern part of the valley, is nearest to the timber, is well watered, and has abundant good grazing land. If it be necessary to select the site for the post on land not claimed, and still in Surprise Valley, such a site can be selected, but it will be away from timber, and will be much less favorabley located, and should it be decided to respectthe claims of the citizens occupying the site selected, I would recommend a site to be selected in Goose Lake Valley near the western entrance to Lassen Pass. This pass is about seven miles north of the south end of Goose Lake. A small stream enters the lake at the southeast part. Seven miles above another and larger stream called Lassen Creek, flowing northwest, enters it, and above about three miles a parallel stream called Fandango Creek Lassen trail crosses Lassen Creek, enters the foot-hills, crosses Fandango Creek and Valley, and then, crossing by a low gap in the sierra, enters Surprise Valley. At the lower sides of Lassen Creek and Fandango Creek, where they emerge from the hills, I have found sites suitable for the fort, where the officer to command the troops can make a selection and reservation. They will be about ten miles from Surprise Valley, the sierra intervening. Timber is abundant. The streams give good water and are full of fish; the soil is however very poor, being the debris of volcanic rock. Bunch grass is still found, though not in such quantities as in Surprise Valley. As I thought the general would be pleased to have the principal results of my trip as soon as practicable, I have drawn up this hasty report. In a short time I will prepare a sketch of the country in the vicinity of Goose Lake and Surprise Valley, and will indicate on it the points referred to. I have collected materials for the determination of the altitude of many points on the route, of the determination of the size of the lake in the norhtern part of Surprise Valley, and the means of correcting and adding to the topography on my former map of Pitt River. These materials will afford a subsequent report.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. S. WILLIAMSON,
Major, U. S. Surveyor.
[Sub-inclosure Numbers 1.]
SURPRISE VALLEY, May 7, 1865.
Lieutenant Colonel R. C. DRUM,
Asst. Adjt. General, Department of the Pacific, San Francisco:
SIR: Major Williamson has this day locate a military station on our ranches, which we object to, as it will injure us much. We are first locators in this valley, and have spent one year and a half on our ranches up the present time, and to have a military station located on our homes is going to damage us much. We have refused $5,000 for our ranches, and if they are taken form us for a military post we must expect the Government to remunerate or compensate us for it, for it will be actually taking our homes from us. We have the ranches half inclosed and timber cut to inclose the other half; also timbere cut for barn, house, and blacksmith shop; so you see we are actually located and settled for the purpose of amking it our homes; and if said military station should be established on our ranches we shall expect Government to pay all damages. We have some twenty or twenty-five acres in grain and vegetables.