1 February 1856


1st. The existing organization of volunteers is disbanded, and Captains of companies will make the necessary reports to the Adjutant General's office at Olympia, as early as practicable.

2nd. No troops will be accepted for service except such as are raised for six months and subject to the orders of the Executive for the general defense of the Territory. The orders recently issued for the raising of troops for the defense of particular localities are hereby revoked.

3rd. The citizens of the Territory are urged to enroll themselves as rapidly as possible. Supplies and transportation will be in readiness.



Sir: You will make the following disposition of the force under your command:

1. Establish small posts at Bellingham Bay, Port Townsend and on Whidby's Island, not exceeding 15 men, each.

2. You will keep the same number afloat in case no steamer of war is on the Sound.

3. Your remaining force you will push up the Snohomish, occupy Fort Ebey with 15 men, and station the rest at the falls. Here a blockhouse should be built.

4. If a body of 100 men can be collected at the falls under your command, you will receive orders to move towards Green and White Rivers, to meet columns moving towards the same point from Steilacoom and Seattle.

5. Report from time to time to the Adjutant General's office at Olympia, and especially report immediately the number of troops you will be able to concentrate at the falls of the Snoqualamia.

6. Robinson has been appointed Quartermaster and Commissary of your command, and of the post of Port Townsend, and has been instructed to comply promptly with your requisitions.

Very respectfully,


1. Till the hostiles are met and defeated in their own country, a steamer should be on the move continually, and posts of 15 men each be established at Bellingham Bay, Port Townsend and Whidby's Island, and a post of 30 men at the Snohomish.

2. The want of a steam vessel to be supplied by a sailing vessel, to cruise between Port Townsend and Bellingham Bay, occasionally running down the Straits, and by a supply vessel from Port Townsend to the Snohomish.

3. In case of attack, the settlers enrolled as Militia should be called together for the emergency.

4. If two companies are formed in the lower part of the Sound, they mostly have to act in concert, and should be under the command of a Major, to be elected by the companies.


1. If the force stationed there should not be competent, the enrolled Militia, or a portion thereof, should be called out.

2. With a suitable blockhouse, one quarter of the citizens as a daily guard, would probably, during the existing Indian difficulties, be sufficient to maintain it, and get information of the approach of hostile Indians, and in case of attack being threatened, give notice to the settlers.

3. In case of attack, all the citizens should assemble to repel it.

4. Every exertion will be made to keep a steamer on the waters of the Sound, to establish a weekly mail between Bellingham Bay, and other points on the Sound, and Olympia.

5. If the citizens of Bellingham Bay come forward in the defense of the Territory, they will, in connection with the company to be enrolled at Port Townsend, be organized mainly for the defense of the lower part of the Sound. But it is possible their services may be required elsewhere, and they should enlist unconditionally.


Fort Steilacoom, 14 February 1856

Captain Gansevoort,
Commanding, Naval Forces, Puget Sound

Sir: Col. M. T. Simmons is operating on the rear of the hostile Indians from the falls of the Snoqualamie. He has with him Pat Kanim and 60 friendly Indians.

They need support. I have ordered Captain Isaac N. Ebey, the enrolling offlcer of the Lower (Northern) Battalion at once to dispatch all of his disposable force to that quarter. He is at Port Townsend and one company is there, ready to take the field.

I will therefore ask you to dispatch the "Active" immediately to Port Townsend, take on Captain Ebey's forces and transport them to the mouth of the Snohomish. It is a most vital operation. And I trust you will see your way clear to immediately dispatch the "Active."

I am, etc,

Olympia, February 17, 1856

His Excellency, G. L. Curry,
Governor and Commander in Chief of Oregon

Sir: I have appointed Col. B. F. Shaw, with whom you are acquainted, Assistant Adjutant General for this Territory.

He has been instructed to organize at Vancouver a force of two hundred mounted volunteers, who will be pushed into the Walla Walla with all possible dispatch, there to establish a depot, leaving a small force to guard it, and then push forward to the Yakima Mission, taking with them a large supply of provisions and ammunition. At that point they can establish a post of considerable strength, and be in position to act efficiently against any Indians in that valley.

Our Captains who are recruiting in the vicinity of Vancouver will no doubt wish to pass into Oregon, and I trust that the hearty cooperation and friendly feeling which has existed between citizens of the two territories will continue, and that they may receive any required aid. I feel sure that there will be cordial cooperation.


NOTE: Letters, similar to that above, were also sent to the Governor's Militia Staff of Oregon and replies similar to the Commissary General's were received therefrom.

Commissary General's Office, Commissary Dept.,
Portland, 20 February 1856

His Excellency, I. I. Stevens,
Governor, Washington Territory

Dear Sir: I received yours of the 17th of February, 1856, informing me of the appointment of Colonel B. F. Shaw as Assistant Adjutant General of Washington Territorial Militia, and your desire to have me cooperate with your efforts to procure supplies, transportation, etc., in Oregon; and also your wish to push your forces as speedily as possible to the Walla Walla and Yakima Mission. It will give me great pleasure to render what assistance is in my power, to you or any officer under your directions, to further your very laudible object, and I will confer with Colonel Shaw upon the subject, without delay.

I am, etc,

Salem, 27 March 1856

His Excellency, I. I. Stevens
Governor, W. T., Olympia

Dear Governor: I have authorized Mr. Bradbury, who starts today from this place for San Francisco, to call upon your Quartermaster's Department at Portland, and in connection with such supplies as he purchases for us at that place, to do like­wise for Washington Territory, as he might be more fully indicated and specified by the officer upon whom I desire him to call at Portland.

Yours sincerely, etc.

Olympia, 17 February 1856

Captain G. Gansevoort
Commander, Naval Forces, Seattle

Sir: From information I have received, I am apprehensive of a descent on the settlements on the lower part of the Sound of 16 war canoes of the Northern Indians, and I have most respectfully but strongly to urge that the "Active," after having moved troops, be kept cruising the whole time between Port Townsend, Bellingham Bay and Seattle.

These Northern Indians are a daring force and their intelligence greatly surpass the Indians of the Sound, Their War Canoes carry 75 men, can be moved through stormy seas and with great rapidity. I deem it essential to the protection of the lower portion of the Sound that a Steamer should be constantly in action there.

I trust therefore you will be able to comply with my request and
I remain,

Very respectfully, etc,

Executive Office, Wash. Terr.
Olympia, 22 February 1856

Captain G. Gansevoort,
Comdg U S Sloop of War "Decatur"

Sir: By the schooner "Potter," I send to you the two powder tanks furnished to acting Governor Mason by Commander Isaac S. Sterrett.

I have instructed Lieut. Col. Lander to employ the force under his command in removing the Indians now at Seattle to the other side of the Sound and to confer with you upon the subject.

Dr. Maynard, Special Indian Agent is directed by me to place at Colonel Lander's disposal a force of friendly Indians to act in concert with the troops against the hostiles.

Captain Enoch S. Fowler has been appointed a Special Indian Agent and I have directed him to raise 100 men of the Clallam and Macaw tribe of Indians, and selecting an efficicnt white man, push them on the line of the Snoqualamie, as auxiliaries to the Volunteer force now moving in that quarter.

Quartermaster and Commissary Robinson is instructed to furnish supplies for the Indians to be raised by Captain Fowler.

Captain Howe, Commanding Company on Whidby's Island, has been ordered to push his command up the Snohomish and a Blockhouse is directed to be built at the falls.

The Volunteers will move forward from Montgomery's to the Puyallup tomorrow morning and there establish a Ferry and Blockhouse thence to Porter's and there establish a Ferry and Blockhouse and then move forward to the Muckleshoot.

You will accept my thanks for the prompt manner which you ordered the "ACTIVE" to perform the services indicated by me and I respectfully urge that she continue to cruise wherever danger is to be apprehended.

Very respectfully etc,

25 February 1856


1st. The 2nd Regiment Washington Territory Volunteers, called into the service of the United States, against the Yakima and other hostile Indians will be organized into three battalions, to be designated respectively the Northern, the Central and Southern battalions.

2nd. The Northern battalion includes Company G, commanded by Captain Van Bokkelen, Company I, Captain Howe, a detachment of Company H, Captain Peabody, and will be commanded by a Major, to be elected by the command upon its concentration.

3rd. It will receive supplies and transportation from the Quartermaster and Commissary, Captain Robinson, and move immediately up the river to Snoqualamie Falls.

4th. The Central battalion, commanded by Major Gilmore Hays, will comprise Company B, Captain Rabbeson, Company C, Captain Henness (Mounted Rangers), the Train Guard, Captain Shead, and the Pioneer Company, commanded by Captain White, with detachments of Scouts, commanded by Captain Swindal of Company F, and be supplied by Quartermaster and Commissary Weed, at the post of Olympia.

5th. This battalion will march to the Muckleshoot Prairie - establish Blockhouses at the Yelm Prairie, at Montgomery's Station, and the crossing of the Puyallup river; and forming a junction with the regulars, erect a depot, hospital and Blockhouse at or near the fork of White and Green rivers.

6th. The Southern battalion, commanded by Lieut. Col. Shaw, will organize from the companies now forming by Captains Maxon, Achilles, Higgins and Pearson, upon the Columbia River, and will march to the Walla Walla as soon as possible.

7th. The Southern Battalion will be supplied by Quartermaster and Commissary Hathaway, at Fort Vancouver.

8th. Officers, commanding battalions, will appoint Adjutants for their commands. 

9th. The battalion Adjutant will conduct the military correspondence, make the necessary reports to this office, and keep the papers of the battalion.

1Oth. Quartermasters and Commissaries will make their reports to Quartermaster and Commissary General W. W. Miller, at Olympia.

11th. Lieut. Col. Lander, commanding post at Seattle, will organize Company A, of the 2nd Regiment of Washington Territory Volunteers, with as many friendly Indians as may report to him, and make war upon the hostile Indians infesting the forests between Elliott's Bay, and the country lying adjacent to Seattle, and cooperate with the Naval Forces now in the bay of Seattle, and will be supplied by Quartermaster and Commissary F. Matthias.

12th. Jared S. Hurd and H. R. Crosbie, Esq., are appointed Aides to the Commander in Chief, with the rank of Lieut. Colonel.

13th. Eustis Hager is appointed Acting Adjutant of the 2nd Regiment, W. T. Volunteers, with the rank of 1st Lieut.

14th. Sidney S. Ford, Jr, is appointed a Captain, and attached for special service of organizing a force of friendly Indians of the Chehalis and Cowlitz tribes for operations upon the Puyallup.

15th. Captain C. W. Riley, with the force raised at Steilacoom, will build a fort at "Lone Tree Point," north of the mouth of the Puyallup River and occupy that post until further orders.

16th. Warren Gove is appointed Quartermaster and Commissary at the post of Steilacoom.

17th. A. H. Robie is appointed Quartermaster and Commissary of subsistance at The Dalles.

18th. G. K. Willard to be Surgeon and Purveyor of Medicine and medical stores at Headquarters.

19th. M. P. Burns is appointed a Surgeon in the 2nd Regiment and ordered for duty with the Central Battalion.

20th. Dr. R. M. Bigelow, Surgeon for the Northern Battalion.

21st. The officer commanding the Southern Battalion will appoint a Surgeon for his command, and report his name to this office, that a commission may issue.

22nd. Edward Furste is appointed Chief Clerk to the Quartermaster and Commissary General.

23rd. James Roberts is appointed Military Clerk to the Commander in Chief.

24th. In all service of combined volunteer and Indian Military forces, the military officer willl take command of the whole.

25th. All officers commanding are requested to make reports to this office as frequently as practicable.

Adj Gen, WTV Forces

Camp Montgomery, Feb. 27, 1856

Major Gilmore Hays, Comdg Cen Bn

Sir: On your arrival at the Muckleshoot Prairie, it is expected a junction will be made with the regular troops under the command of Lieut. Col. Casey, and you are directed to cooperate with him in the occupation of that point and in the prosecution of the campaign. This is not intended either directly or indirectly to place you under the orders of Col. Casey, or to make your operations subordinate to his. 

You will exercise your own judgement, apply your force in the way which will effect the greatest result, bearing in mind that the part assigned to you enters into a general plan, which it is hoped will ensure a blow being struck, and the enemy not escaping out of your hands.

Lieut. Col. Casey is an officer of energy and experience, and from my frequent conferences with him as well as my knowledge of his previous character, I am assured of his disposition to cooperate with the volunteer forces.

The prairie above the Falls of the Snoqualamie, and an advance point on Cedar Creek on the trail, will shortly be occupied by the available troops of the Northern Battalion; and in their operations, they will be assisted by Pat Kanim and his band of friendly Indians, who has again returned to the field.

Lone Tree Point is also occupied by a force of 15 men; and a band of friendly Indians, principally of the Cowlitz and Chehalis tribes, under the command of Captain Sidney S. Ford, Jr., will be pushed on to you at the Muckleshoot, as soon as practicable. They will be informed and due notice given you.

In the occupation of Muckleshoot Prairie, a defensive building, in relation to which I have already written you, and a corral, will be immediately required.

On your arrival at Muckleshoot, provision must at once be made for killing some twenty-five beaver and salting them. Salt is sent out and as many empty barrels as can be hauled.

A limited number of oxen should be retained for labor around the depot, finishing the building and corral and for establishing auxiliary defences, and for the return of the expedition when its object is attained, and a small number might be kept for fresh beef.

The remainder of the train should be sent back to this point with a suitable guard. With blockhouses on the route, the guard need be but small.

From the Muckleshoot the operations must be made without train or baggage animals; the men carrying, each one, his blanket and haversack with four days provisions on his back.

It may be that the train can be returned through the route to be opened by Col. Casey. This you will be able to decide on conference with that officer. My impression is that if Col. Casey gets wagons through to the Muckleshoot, it will be on your route, and that the wagons will have to return by the route they go out.

I hope to send additional force to your aid, and shall at once take measures to increase the numbers of the existing companies.

To take charge of all the operations in his department, Quartermaster General Miller will accompany your command and bring back the train. From his familiarity with the details of transportation and subsistence, and his known energy of character, I am sure his services will do much to facilitate your operations.

Before deciding to take a different route to the Muckleshoot than by Porters, have the ground carefully examined to the banks of White River, the crossing itself examined, and the route thence to Muckleshoot Prairie. It is known, we can push the train to Muckleshoot by Porter's, and that if this good weather continues, we can ford White River at Porter's. ln moving by Porter's, I consider a blockhouse there indispensible as you go out.

My own impression is that the surest and probably the only practicable plan without extreme labor to reach the Muckleshoot, will be by Porter's. It is an important point to occupy and should be occupied, and a blockhouse built after the occupation of Muckleshoot, if not before. Is not the grass better at Porter's? But you have been over the ground, and I leave the matter to your own judgment.

The blockhouses at the Puyallup and at Porter's, can, in my judgment, be held by ten men each. This, however, I leave to your discretion.

I send you a brief memorandum in regard to the march and the establishment at the Muckleshoot, which you will consider as a part of these instructions.

Report as frequently as possible, and I will advise you of operations at other points. lt is hoped that a line will be opened up the Duwamish from Seattle at an early day. Trusting that the most complete success will crown your exertions, 
I remain, etc,



1. Before moving the train from point to point, see that the road is opened and the way clear to a camping place at night, which, whenever practicable, should be in a prairie, and gun shot from the woods.

2. The wagons should be examined on reaching camp and be repaired and strengthened, and broken down wagons with their loads brought up.

3. The consumption of forage and provisions will, it is hoped, so lighten the train as to equalize the breaking down of wagons and any increasing difficulty on the road.

4. On moving from the Puyallup, disabled oxen and their wagons should be sent back. It is not supposed that an escort will be required.

5. The defensive building and corral at the Muckleshoot should be gun-shot from timber, or the wood cut down within gun-shot.

6. A good blockhouse should be built at the crossing of White River, and a ferry established. This can be done after the establishment at the Muckleshoot if deemed expedient. If the route be by Porter's, a blockhouse should be built there as the expedition moves out.

7. A blockhouse on Green River on the route towards Cedar Creek and the prairie above the falls of the Snoqualamie, will, with a blockhouse at Porter's, protect the rear of the establishment at the Muckleshoot. A blockhouse is therefore recommended on Green River.

Camp Puyallup, 29 February 1856

I I Stevens, C in C, WTV

Sir: I am able this morning to communicate the gratifying intelligence of the death of the celebrated War Chlef "Te-nas-kut." He was shot this morning at the break of daylight by private Kehl of Company D, Ninth US lnfantry. Two companies of US soldiers encamped on the evening of the 28th instant a half a mile east of our camp. 

At the break of day an Indian was seen at a distance of one hundred yards by the sentinel approaching the camp in the most stealthy manner, occasionally beckoning to others in his rear to advance. When he drew within forty yards, the sentinel fired - his ball taking effect in the shoulder and ranging to the hip. He was then brought into camp - he told them he was "Tenaskut" - that he wanted them to kill him - that his voice was for war and that the voice of his people was for war -that his tillicum's were men and would avenge his death. 

He urged those that accompanied him to come to his relief and fight to the last. The Indian guide recognized him as "Tenaskut," also Mr. Brannan and others of the Volunteers. Of the death of "Tenaskut" there is not doubt. Colonel Casey of the Ninth Infantry ordered that he be hanged immediately. A rope was placed about his neck, and while looking for a tree on which to suspend him, the appearance of Indians in the vicinity changed the purpose and the savage murderer "Tenaskut" was shot through the brain. 

His gun was a fine rifle with fifty rounds of powder and ball. He had on his person a butcher knife and a spear. The same party have doubtless been hanging about our camp every night since our arrival, but for some reason have not approached so near our sentinels. I approve heartily the details which you have made of Sergeant Phillips and private Mise. We shall leave early tomorrow.

All well, and in fine spirits, very respectfully, etc.

Camp Connell, 2 March 1856

I. I. Stevens
Commander in Chief

Sir: At an early hour this morning, I received an express from Col. Casey, bringing information of an engagement on yesterday with a part of the force of Capt. Maloney, under command of Lieut. Kautz and a part of the force under Col. Casey, commanded by Capt. E. D. Keyes. 

Lieut. Kautz had been sent forward from the Muckleshoot with fifty men to open a road leading to Connell's prairie over which Col. Casey was to have passed this day to join his forces on the Muckleshoot, when he descended the White River hill into the bottom, he saw Indians on whom he fired, the Indians in turn fired on his party and he soon found himself surrounded, the Indians being on both sides of the river. He forwarded an express to Col. Casey who sent Capt. Keyes and fifty three men to his relief. 

Capt. Keyes engaged the party on this side of the river and drove them before him upstream where he forced a passage, the Indians making stubborn resistance at every point and were only made to yield by the gallantry of the Captain and his command, who charged the enemy wherever they made a stand. Capt. Keyes lost in this engagement one man killed and nine wounded, amongst the number, slightly, Lieut. Kautz in the leg. 

It is not known how many Indians were killed. There was no time to look over the battle ground. They drove the Indians before them and continued the pursuit till dark. It is believed that many were killed.

The conduct of Lieut. Kautz in this engagement is highly complimentary to so youthful an officer. From all I am able to learn of this battle, the officers and men deserve the greatest credit. The battle was fought on the same ground where the command under myself and Lieut. Slaughter fought the same rascals on the 3rd of November last.

In haste, Very respectfully, etc.

Executive Office, Terr. of Washington
Olympia, 8 March 1856

Lieut. Col. James Doty

Sir: As the Aide de Camp of the Governor, you have had recently entrusted to you important duties in the prosecution of the existing Indian War.

You left here near midnight on the second day of March, but instead of attending to your duty, you remained at Steilacoom from Tuesday, March 4th to yesterday, in an almost helpless state of intoxication.

You have brought discredit upon yourself and are hereby dismissed from the public service.

Yours respectfully, etc.,

Olympia, 9 March 1856

Washington, D. C.

Sir: Referring to my previous communication, setting forth the necessity of calling out volunteers to protect our settlements, and cooperate with the regular troops in waging war upon the hostile Indians, I have the honor to submit for the information of the department, the present condition of the volunteer service.

The general plan of operation and the staff arrangements made to give efficiency to the service, will be shown in General Orders No. 4, herewith inclosed. 

It will thus appear that three battalions are to operate against the enemy.

The Northern battalion is now rendezvousing at the falls of the Snoqualamie, will number about ninety men; will be supported by Pat Kanim and his band of nearly one hundred friendly Indians. This battalion is ordered to establish blockhouses on the prairie above the falls of the Snoqualamie, and on Cedar Creek; will be supplied with sixty days provisions, and will prevent the Indians either crossing the mountains by the two passes of the Snoqualamie, or going down the Snohomish to tamper with the friendly Indians on the reservations.

The Central Battalion, under Major Gilmore Hays, is now established at Connell's prairie, on the south side of the White River. A blockhouse and corral have been built, and the communication with the same is secured by a ferry and blockhouse on the Puyallup, and by blockhouses at Montgomery's and on Yelm prairie. 

They have one hundred days supplies of provisions, taken in by ox teams, which have since been withdrawn, and will immediately establish blockhouses at the crossing of White River. The cordial relations between the regulars and volunteers referred to in my last communication, still continue. I have every assurance that the volunteers will do their duty.

The department will observe that one of the companies is a company of Pioneers. They are experienced axemen, and have rendered the most efficient service in opening roads and building blockhouses. The war will be emphatically a war of blockhouses.

In the movement of the regular troops upon the Muckleshoot, a decisive battle was fought with the Indians, in which the latter were signally defeated. Their establishment at Porter's has since been broken up, and they have been driven towards the Green River. If they continue their retreat further, they will be met by the volunteers and friendly Indians of the Northern battalion.

The Southern battalion is still organizing, but their movement to the interior will be delayed for a short time, in consequence of my finding myself obliged to order over one company to the defense of the Sound. A band of hostiles, under the notorious "Quimuth," had, unknown to us, established themselves in the Nisqually bottoms, within twelve miles of this place, and the garrison at Steilacoom. We became aware of their presence one week since, they having on that day killed one of our citizens. One of the teamsters had been for some days missing, and that he was also killed was ascertained the same day. 

The whole force of the Central Battalion, except 15, was then in the Indian country on White River. Immediately an express was dispatched to the Columbia River, ordering Captain Maxon's company to the Sound, and tonight his company will be at Jackson's, ninety miles on the road. The rapidity of the movement is the best evidence of the necessity of action, and the disposition of the troops to obey orders. In the meantime, I have raised the force of 15 men to sixty, and in addition, have sent twenty nine friendly Indians into the field. These Indians are led by experienced white men.

The hostiles have, within ten days, driven off much stock, and have alarmed our entire Settlement. We hope soon to route them. It is necessary to have considerable guard to all our teams. The mail from the Columbia came on Friday with an escort of 4 men.

The danger is not so much from the harm which this band may, of its own strength do, as it numbers not over 40 warriors, but from the facility with which they may communicate with the friendly Indians on the reservations, and stir them up to hostility.

Seattle is held by a company of volunteers, consisting of 40 odd men, commanded by the Chief Justice of the Territory, Lieut. Col. Lander.

Lone Tree Point, which commands a trail from the camp of the hostiles to the Sound, whence they may communicate with the reservations, is also held by a volunteer force of ten men. They have built a suitable blockhouse.

Our people are not dismayed. Wherever 4 families are, they will build a blockhouse, hold it against the Indians, and endeavor to get in their crops. Over one-half of the able bodied men on the Sound are bearing arms. Our people have patriotically placed at the disposal of the authorities all their available means. We need aid from general government - ample appropriations to defray the expenses of the war.

I have refused to receive into service a single man for local defense. All are enlisted for six months, subject to the orders of the Executive. In this way, and effectual stop has been put to any attempt to enroll troops for nominal service, with a view to extorting pay and rations from the government.

I am, very respectfully,
Your most obedient servant,
Governor of Washington Territory

Fort Tilton, 10 March 1856

To James Tilton, Adj Gen. WTV

Sir: Your dispatch bearing date of Feb 21st was received through the hand of Lt Huger on the 22nd on receipt of which I immediately with the assistance of Messers Collins and Mowry engaged fifteen canoes to transport my command up the Snoqualamy river.

I was somewhat bothered in the operations as Capt. Pat Kanim through himself back on his dignity and insisted upon my waiting upon his pleasure but he at last consented to proceed with part of my command up the Snoqualamy river to Pat's house where we had to remain as Pat had ordered them to take us no further.

After two days by using threats I succeeded in making seven of them take me up to the falls to look for a location to establish a Fort according to instructions when I selected the present sight which I have taken the liberty to name "Fort Tilton." It is situated at the head of canoe navigation and three miles below the Falls with a large tract of bottom land around it which is never overflowed.

After arriving here I was again delayed in consequence of my being ahead of my supplies and not having the tools to work with.

In the meantime, with the assistance of Collins and Mowry, I layed out a road from this place to the prairie above the Falls the said road being 6 to 7 miles in length.

Two days since on receipt of axes, etc, I immediately put my command to work cutting the road for pack animals to travel which will be finished in a couple of days.

I have delayed doing anything on the blockhouse at this place as I was so far behind in my movements in the expectations of the Commander in Chief, that I thought it adviseable to push matters through leaving the blockhouse to be erected by the detachment to remain at this place.

Yesterday by the hands of Sergeant Ebey of my command I received all the back instructions from Captain Ebey, together with a map of this country with my line of march layed out. I also received by the express running to this station ammunition and other articles forwarded from Quartermaster's Department as per your favor bearing date of 25 Feb, which is acceptable. By the express I learn that Kanim's Company is at Fort Ebey and will be at this station tomorrow to report for duty. A portion of Captain Howe's Company is also at Fort Ebey, say 18, and talk of remaining for some fifteen days, for what purpose I cannot tell.

I have sent an express to them ordering them up to this station to report themselves (I acting as senior officer) without delay. So I am in hopes that all this Division will be at this place in 4 or 5 days from date when a Major will be elected and the line of march taken up.

I have so far laboured under great difficulties in the other companies of this battalion not using proper exertions in pushing business and getting animals to pack our provisions. I am in hopes of obtaining some from Pat Kanim and I have also sent this day a detachment of twenty men under Lieut. Mounts with five Indians to secure five horses that are roving above the Falls and the Indians tell me they belong to the enemy. 

My Indian auxiliaries are hard to get along with - in my opinion are rather inclined to show the "White Feather." As yet the Quartermaster has been unable to furnish me with tents, but I shall start without them if I can only raise pack animals enough to pack ten days provisions for the detachment.

The balance of the time that I remain at this place awaiting the arrival of the other companies I shall employ in erecting the blockhouse at which I shall commence tomorrow. So far the movements of this Division has been very expensive as we had to deal with a hard crowd and slow in their movements, but I assure you that in all my operations thus far I have exerted myself to push matters and at the same time to avoid any unnecessary outlay in the way of expenses.

This evening Lieut. Mounts and party returned bringing in four horses and report no Indians on the upper prairie. Expecting to date my next dispatch on the line of the march.

I remain, etc.

PS I have to report Dr. Bigelow for neglect of duty. He will not come to this place but is continuously visiting Penn's Cove and other places (instead of attending to his business) for no earthly purpose.


Camp Connel, 10 March 1856

His Excellency I I Stevens
Governor & Commander in Chief, WTV, Olympia

Sir: At about 8 o'clock this morning, Captain White, with his company were ordered to the White River to build a blockhouse and ferry, supported by Captain Swindall and ten privates. He had not proceeded more than a half mile from camp, when he was attacked by a large force of Indians, supposed to be at least one hundred and fifty warriors, and a large number of squaws. I immediately forwarded Capt. Henness to his support with twenty men. 

Captain Henness moved with great rapidity, a tremendous volley of guns announcing his arrival. I became satisfied that additional force was necessary, and dispatched Lieut. Martin of Company "B" with 15 additional men. The Indians by this time were seen extending their flanks to the left with rapidity. I then forwarded Lieut. Van Ogle, Co. B, with fifteen men to check their flank movement, but before he could gain a position they had extended their line as to make it necessary to send another party of twelve men, under command of Capt. Rabbeson, who succeeded in checking them. 

The fight by this time extended the whole length of our line, and one continuous volley could be heard from the Indian guns on the hill and those of our men in the bottom. This firing continued some two hours. I saw the advantage which the Indians had in position, and determined to charge them. I ordered Capt. Swindall to charge them from his position, which was central, and Capt. Rabbeson to make a simultaneous move against their extreme left, while Capt. Henness and Capt. White were ordered to hold the position which they occupied.

This order was promptly obeyed, and the charge made in the most gallant style by Capt. Swindall against their center, and Capt. Rabbeson against their left, through a deep slough, driving the enemy from his position and pursuing them some distance in their flight. Capt. Rabbeson returned to camp, while Capt. Swindall took a position on a high ridge in the rear of the main body of Indians. 

I ordered Captain Rabbeson to take his men and join Capt. Henness and Capt. White, and to say to Capt. Henness to charge the Indians from his position if he deemed it advisable. The Indians in front of Captains White and Henness held a strong position from behind logs and trees, and from an elevated hill. It was deemed too dangerous to charge them in front. Capt. Rabbeson was ordered to take a few men and join Capt. Swindall to make a flank movement to the right and charge the enemy in his rear. 

This they succeeded in doing in the same gallant manner, that they had done at an early hour during the fight. Simultaneous with this movement, Captain Henness and Capt. White charged them from the front. The Indians were routed, put to flight, and pursued for a mile or more along the trail or trails covered with blood. It is believed that not less than twenty-five or thirty Indians were killed dead on the field, and many wounded - they were seen carrying off their wounded and dead from the time the fight commenced until its termination. 

Withes and ropes were found on the ground they occupied, which had been used in dragging off their dead into the bush. Hats, blankets and shirts were picked up with bullet holes in them, stained with blood. They were forced to give up their drum, which they had abandoned in their retreat. But two Indians were found dead in the field, one of them was recognized as "Chehalis John" the other was placed under a log, and has not yet been examined. 

I regard the victory of this day as complete - a grand triumph. The Indians had together their whole force. They picked their ground. They brought on the attack without being seen by our own troops. They exceeded us in numbers nearly if not two to one, and we whipped and drove them before us. I do but justice to the officers and privates when I say each acted a distinguished part in this fight - each performed his whole duty. 

I gave no command that was not obeyed most promptly, let the danger be ever so great. There was the most vigorous effort on the part of every man from the Captain to the private to render his country service his name conspicuous.

It is proper that I should state that Mr. James Goudy rendered important service in carrying intelligence from place to place during the fight, and is deserving of the highest praise.

I cannot close this communication without referring to the smallness of our force, being but 110 men, all told, and to the still more important fact that, in my judgement, if our force had been but 100 more today, we could have captured or cut to pieces the whole of the Indians engaged in arms against us on this side of the mountains. 

Colonel Casey would have gladly furnished us aid, but his force were all absent on scouts. In this fight we had four men wounded, all of whom I think, will soon get well.

In haste, etc,

Olympia, 13 March 1856

Major G. Hays, Comdg Cen Bn, 2nd Regt., WTV

Sir: Your dispatch, dated Camp Connell, 10 March 1856, announcing the success achieved by the gallantry and constancy of the troops under your command, is received. This victory has inspired the most lively satisfacticn throughout the country, and reflects great credit upon the Battalion and the Territory.

The Commander in Chief desires me to communicate his gratification to the Central Battalion, and express to yourself, Captains Swindal, Henness, Rabbeson and White, and the officers and men of the command, his thanks for the efficient and daring service rendered at the battle of Connell's Prairie.

The charge you speak of made by the volunteers, and the result as shown by the twenty-five or thirty slain of the enemy, exhibit unmistakable evidence of the valor and discipline of the Central Battalion.

The morale of the enemy being now broken by the shock it has received from the blow lately inflicted by the Central Battalion, following so rapidly the defeat of the enemy lately sustained from the U.S. regulars under the gallant Col. Casey of the 9th Infantry, it is confidently expected that these savages will be speedily annihilated or driven over the Cascades.

Reinforcements are being moved up towards your line of operations as rapidly as possible. The Southern battalion, under Lt. Col. Shaw, is ordered from the Columbia River to assist in following up the blow the Central Battalion have so well bestowed.

Captain Maxon's company of horse is here from the Columbia, and are ranging the country from Fort Henness to Montgomery's, and protecting the trains moving towards the White River country.

Agents have been dispatched to California and Vancouver's Island for supplies, and it will be the subject of vigilant attention at headquarters that the brave and devoted citizen soldiers now shedding their blood and devoting their service to their country, shall be supplied with every facility accessible, during the war, and of the grateful remembrance of a suffering people in all time to come, they may assure themselves of.

Very respectfully, etc.

Olympia, 15 March 1856

Major General John E. Wool
Commanding Pacific Division

Sir: I hear this morning on your arrival in the Territory of Washington, of your having left Vancouver in a steamer for the Sound, and that you are now probably at Steilacoom.

In the discharge of my responsibilities as the highest federal officer of the Territory of Washington, and in view of my oath of office, I have called out a large force of volunteers, and a band of Indian auxiliaries, who are now actively engaging the enemy in the field.

Actuated by no motive than the public good, I have endeavored to cooperate with the military and naval forces on the Sound, with the object that all and every available means of carrying on the war should be applied as a unit to its presecution.

I therefore send the Adjutant General of the volunteer forces, James Tilton, Esq., to confer with you. He is instructed to advise you of the plan of operations which I have adopted, the force in the field, and the condition of the country. I have to acquaint you of my desire to cooperate with you in all plans you may think proper to adopt, and I shall be pleased to hear from you in reference to the prosecution of the campaign.

I am sir, etc,

Fort Steilacoom, W.T., 15 March 1856

Governor I. I. Stevens, Olympia, W.T.

Sir: I respectfully request that you will at once issue your proclamation calling into service of the United States two companies of volunteers to serve on foot, for the period of four months, unless sooner discharged. Each company to consist of one Captain, one First Lieutenant, one Second Lieutenant, four sergeants, four corporals and seventy privates.

I wish both companies to be mustered into service at Ft. Steilacoom.

The authority for calling for the above named troops has been given by the General, commanding the Department of the Pacific.

I received yesterday an accession of two companies of the 9th Infantry. With this accession of force, and the two companies of volunteers called for, I am of the opinion that I shall have a sufficient number of troops to protect this frontier without the aid of those now in the service of the Territory.

I am sir, etc,
Silas Casey, Lt. Col., 9th Inf., Comdg.

Olympia, 16 March 1856

Lt. Col. Casey, 9th Inf
Comdg, Puget Sound District, Ft Steilacoom, W.T.

Sir: I have received your letter of the 15th instant, advising me of accession to your command of two companies of regulars, and requesting me to issue my proclamation calling into the service of the United States two companies of volunteers to serve on foot, for the period of four months, unless sooner discharged. These companies you wish to be mustered into the service at Steilacoom.

You also express the opinion that if this requisition be complied with, that you will have a sufficient number of troops to protect this frontier without the aid of those now in the service of the Territory.

I am also advised that you have been authorized to make this requisition for troops by the general commanding the department of the Pacific.

You have been informed by me not only of the volunteer force which has been called out to protect the settlements, and to wage war upon the Indians, but the plan of campaign which I have adopted, of the positions which these troops occupy, and the blows already struck by them against the enemy. I take it for granted that this information has been communicated to General Wool, and has been considered by him in his official action.

In the two visits which I have made to Steilacoom to confer with you, one of them made at great personal inconvenience, I have waived etiquette in my anxious desire to cooperate with the regular service. I have communicated unreservedly my plans and views and have endeavored, so far as my operations are concerned, to conduct affairs in a way to insure the whole force operating as a unit in the prosecution of the war.

I am happy to say, that in our several interviews and communications, you have met me in the same spirit of cooperation to the extent that the impression has been made upon my mind, that such disposition had been made of the volunteers in your opinion, as to make them an efficient element in the general combination.

Now your requisition on me to issue my proclamation to call into the service of the United States two companies of volunteers, in connection with the expression of your opinion, that if the call were complied with, the services of the troops now in the service of the Territory may be dispensed with, is, in fact, a call upon me to withdraw all the troops now in the field, with their sixty to eighty day's provisions, to abandon the blockhouses, to leave the settlements both north and south open to attacks by marauding Indians, and, at the very moment when our troops are prepared to strike a blow, and perhaps the decisive blow, to abandon the campaign and reorganize anew.

Are you aware that in the patriotic response of the citizens of this Territory to the call of the Executive, over one half of our able-bodied men are bearing arms, that the people are almost entirely living in blockhouses, and that it is entirely beyond the ability of our citizens to organize an additional company of even fifty men?

The two companies you call for can, therefore, not be raised except by the withdrawal of the troops, and abandoning the campaign at the very moment when the prospects are flattering to end the war.

For the reasons above it will be impossible to comply with your requisition. Nor can I suppose that in making the requisition, either Major General Wool or yourself, believed for a moment that the requisition would be seriously entertained by me.

But I am of the opinion that even were the requisition complied with, your force would not be adequate to the protection of the frontier and the settlements. Having the highest respect for your opinion, knowing how cautiously and carefully you approach any field of labor, and how thoroughly you investigate it, and reach your conclusions, I am constrained to express my judgment that you would soon be obliged to call for additional force equal in all, to the force which has been called out by my previous proclamations.

In such case, I have no other alternative than to act according to my deliberate judgement. For, if waiving my own judgment to yours, injury would result, the responsibility would attach to me no less than to yourself.

Otherwise, why is the Militia organized, and the Executive made its Commander in Chief? It is to meet emergencies like the present.

But were it practical to comply with your requisition, and were these requisitions in my judgement competent, I should not deem it expedient to place the force thus raised, under the command of the officers of the regular service.

The war has now gone five months. It is a war emphatically for the defense of the settlements. So much so, that I have ordered to the Sound four companies from the Columbia River, and at this critical period it is important that there should be no changes in the command, or in the plan. In view of this, and also in view of the changes of opinion and of plan on the part of the officer in chief command of this coast, growing out of a want of proper understanding of the difficulties to be encountered, I am of the opinion that the whole force will be more efficient, and that there will be a better spirit of cooperation, if the regular and volunteer services are kept distinct. 

Be this as it may, the campaign is, I trust approaching its consummation, and the changes of plan can only be fraught with mischief.

The citizens of this territory have great confidence in the officers of the regular service, and especially in this case with the people of the Sound. These relations have been more than cordial; these are the witnesses of the efficiency of the troops stationed here, and their gratification has been announced on several occasions since the organization of the Territory.

The force now in the field has not been mustered into the service of the Territory, but in the service of the United States. My authority as the highest federal officer in the Territory, is derived from the same source as that of the Major General commanding the Pacific division. I am commissioned by the President, and I act under authority of the laws of Congress, and the responsibilities of my oath of office.

For these reasons, your requisition cannot be complied with, at the same time, you may rest assured of my doing everything in my power to cooperate with you, and I hope that, through the action of us all, the war may soon be closed, and the suffering inhabitants of the Territory may be rescued from their present unhappy condition.

With greatest respect, etc,
Governor & C in C, WTV

Olympia, 21 March 1856


Sir: In my two reports of 19 February and 9 March, I laid before the department the circumstances of my return from the Blackfoot country; the condition of the Territory, and the measures taken by me to call out volunteers, and to apply them to the prosecution of the war. I now propose to lay before the department a full view of the whole matter, and to indicate the measures which, in my judgment, are still necessary to protect these distant settlements, and to inflict that summary chastisement upon the Indians, demanded both by their unprovoked atrocities, and the permanent peace of the country.

I have caused two maps to be prepared - one of the country west of the Cascades, showing the points now occupied by that portion 2of the friendly Indians who, for five months, have been under the charge of local agents - the lines occupied by the regular troops now in the field, under the command of Lt. Col. Casey; the point occupied by the naval forces; the lines occupied by the volunteer forces now in the field; the blockhouses occupied by our citizens; the lines of supply; the depots for their protection; the country now occupied by the hostiles; the lines over which reinforcements can come to them from east of the Cascades, showing the tribes, the lines of communication, and the points at the latest advices occupied by the hostiles. The number of souls and warriors will be shown on this map.

The settlements are now secured by blockhouses, that the citizens will hold them even should every Indian on the Sound become hostile, and be reinforced by large bands from the North.

The whole country on the eastern shore of the Sound, from the Skookumchuck to the Snohomish, is a war ground. No friendly Indian is allowed there unless he has a pass from an authorized agent, stating his special business, or be connected with the military or naval forces. Two parties of Indian auxiliaries are now in the field, besides which, quite a number of Indians are employed as guides and in canoe service.

I will give a condensed view of the present condition of the military operations on the Sound.

1. The regular troops now occupy the Muckleshoot prairie as their central position. The line of communication to Steilacoom is secured by a blockhouse and ferry on the Puyallup. A company has been sent to Seattle to move up the Duwamish and open communication with the central position. A blockhouse will be established at the mouth of Cedar Creek, and probably at John Thomas'. The force under Lieut. Col. Casey has been very active, and this gallant officer has made the most favorable impression upon our people.

2. The naval forces occupy Seattle, This place is also held by a company of volunteers, who, for some days, have been under orders to occupy the line of the Duwamish, and who, in that duty, will cooperate with the company sent there by Lieut. Col. Casey.

3. The Northern battalion have their headquarters at Fort Tilton, near the Falls of the Snoqualamie. They number about 90 white men, and about the same number of friendly Indians under Pat Kanim. They will establish blockhouses at the prairie above the Falls, and on Cedar Creek, and will extend their scouts to the Muckleshoots and Duwamish.

4. To circumscribe the field occupied by the enemy, I have suggested to Captain Swartout, in command of the naval forces, a joint operation upon the lake back of Seattle. A blockhouse to be built on the lake at the nearest point to Seattle, a good road opened with Seattle, and boats from the Navy with 100 men to be placed on the lakes. Capt. Swartout, does not, however, by his instructions, feel authorized either to cooperate with the military authorities of the Territory, or to take part in any operation carrying his force away from the immediate shores of the Sound. I enclose a copy of my letter to Captain Swartout, and his reply thereto.

5. The Central battalion have their headquarters at Connell's prairie and at Porter's. Their communication with the rear is secured by a blockhouse and ferry at the crossing of the Puyallup, and blockhouses at Montgomery's, at Yelm prairie, at Nathan Eaton's, and at Lowe's. The battalion numbers in the field, including the garrison at Yelm and Montgomery's, and the crossing of the Puyallup, about 150 men.

6. Our supplies are drawn mainly from the country between this point and Cowlitz Landing. The route is well secured by blockhouses.

7. Lone Tree Point is also held by a volunteer force of ten men. It guards several important trails.

8. Bellingham Bay has its blockhouse, defended by 15 men of Captain Peabody's company.

9. The Southern battalion, on its arrival on the Sound, will be for the most part dismounted, and sent to reinforce the Central battalion. The two battalions will then operate up White River towards the Nachess Pass, cooperating with Lieut. Col. Casey.

The map of the country east of the Cascades will show the large number of Indians already hostile, or who may be incited to hostility - the ease with which they may communicate with each other - the great number of excellent trails - the large extent of country embraced in the theater of operation, and the facility with which reinforcements can be sent over the Cascades.

Hence the importance of the most vigorous and decisive blows, to get possession of the whole country east of the Sound, now infested with the savages, and to hold in our hands the routes over the Cascades, before they become practicable in May, and hence the necessity of the most vigorous measures east of the Cascades, in order that the Indians may be simultaneously struck in the Yakima country.

It is probable that the hostile Indians rather exceed the maximum estimate of two hundred men, as stated in my letter to General Wool, a copy of which has been sent to the department, but I do think they will be found to exceed three hundred men.

Their headquarters have been on the Muckleshoot prairie, now occupied by Lieut. Col. Casey and now they have moved up either White or Green river. But there are bands also on the lake back of Seattle, and probably up Cedar Creek.

The map will show that even the hostiles are only within a four hour's distance of every reservation. There are many trails known only to the Indians, and it will not be possible in any contingency, entirely to prevent communication.

From the hostile camps, marauding parties can steal out, and turning the heads of the Puyallup and Nisqually, they can, in from 6 to 12 hours, strike any settlement from Steilacoom to Cowlitz Landing. More than this, there are places where they can, on this line of settlements, establish themselves, and for many days defy our efforts to drive them out.

Consider the face of the country, prairies and heavy timber, and many streams, almost impenetrable brushwood on the banks, and heavy drift along the shore. There is not a road or trail of twenty miles in the whole Sound country which does not afford one or more ambuscades.

Between this place and Cowlitz Landing are two Indian reservations, the Chehalis and Cowlitz. The former can easily be incited into hostility, and number a little more than 100 warriors; we know some three or four men who are endeavoring to stir up the tribe to war. 

My plan has been to get up small auxiliary forces of some 15 of the best of the tribe, who make scouts every few days to the head of the Skookumchuck. It has been found to work well. The difficulty is, that if the men of the tribe, believed to be in alliance with Leschi, were summarily disposed of, the tribe would break out. We have no positive evidence, except the impression of their commander, Capt. Ford, who is of the opinion that in his last trip, two of the men tried to kill him. He has great daring and presence of mind, and he believes that he can prevent an outbreak.

So of the reservation opposite Olympia. Lieut. Gosnell has made one scout in the Nisqually bottom of ten days, with 14 Indians.  Yesterday morning he started out on a scout of three days with thirty Indians. The effects of the first scout was salutary. Such I doubt not will be the effect of the second, yet the first scout Lieut. Gosnell went with his life in his hands. Some of the Indians were more than suspected, and he went with them alone.

The most melancholy feature of the war is, that the Indians who have taken the lead in murdering our men, our women and children, were those who received the most favors from the Whites, and were held by them in the most consideration. Many cases have occurred of Indians killing their friends and benefactors. Are you surprized that a general distrust of all lndians pervades the public mind? Therefore, consider the task which has been imposed upon the Territorial authorities to see to it that the Indians not taking part with the hostiles are treated as friends.

In short, this whole country is a frontier, within a few hours of the camps of the hostile Indians, and with four thousand friendly lndians in our midst of whose faith we cannot be certain.

Our safety lies in two things:

1st. To carry the war against the hostiles with the whole force of the Territory, and to bring them to unconditional submission; and

2nd. To give no cause of offense to the friendly Indians in our midst, even in the case of persons more than suspected.

You have served in an Indian country, and know something of the lndian modes of thinking, and can appreciate that when, in a contest like this, troops have once entered the field, they must not be withdrawn till they have accomplished the object for which they were sent into the field. We must push forward and do the work we have undertaken, else the Indians will say HE has driven us from the field, and thereby get large accessions from the tribes who would otherwise continue friendly.

General Wool has recently visited the Sound, and, with full knowledge of the course of action taken by me in calling out the Volunteers of the Territory, of the cordial spirit of cooperation between Lieut. Col. Casey and myself, and the fact that the volunteers were actually in the field engaging the enemy, has ignored, offically, the necessity of this; but has practically admitted it in directing Lieut. Col. Casey to make requisition upon me for two companies of volunteers. 

This requisition I have refused for reasons which will be found in my letters to Lieut. Col. Casey and Major General Wool herewith included.

Those reasons, it seems to me, are conclusive, and they show the necessity of removing from the command of the Department of the Pacific, a man who has by his acts, so far as this Territory is concerned, shown an utter incapacity.

I most respectfully call your attention to my letter to General Wool, and to his letter, to which mine was an answer, and I simply ask that justice be done to us. So long as I am the Governor of Washington and till I receive instructions from my superior, I shall press on the path indicated in that letter to General Wool.

I beg leave respectfully to recapitulate briefly the points of difference:

1. General Wool states that the movement of the Oregon Volunteers was entirely unnecessary, and precipitated the Walla Walla and other tribes into hostility. I assert that this movement probably saved my party from destruction, and that the Indians then hostile had been so even before the Oregon volunteers moved against them.

2. General Wool states that Governor Curry had no right to move his troops into the Territory of Washington. I assert and have shown that the Oregon volunteers fought the Indians mainly of Oregon, and that near the confines of the two territories.

3. General Wool states if the Oregon volunteers are withdrawn, he will have no trouble in managing affairs, and keeping the Nez Perces friendly. I state officially to General Wool and to the Department, that the Nez Perces are in my hands, and that, without an armed man, I will undertake to keep the Nez Perces friendly, if General Wool does not interfere with me in the management of those Indians. But also I state that General Wool, in addition to the regular forces, will require the best efforts of the Oregon volunteers to strike such blows this spring and summer, as will protect the settlements. He can do nothing more. He must wait till next winter to strike blows to end the war east of the Cascades. I refer to my memoir.

The Department will thus see that I consider the war east of the Cascades of great magnitude, and that it would have been vastly greater were it not for the concurrence of two things:

1st. The movement of the Oregon volunteers to the Walla Walla valley; and 

2nd. My return by the direct route, and not by way of New York, (suggested by General Wool).

It is simply an exigency to be met, and met by all the authorities, in the spirit of cordial cooperation, looking to the public good alone, without any reference to personal considerations.

I have, therefore, suggested to General Wool the necessity of recognizing the services of the Oregon volunteers. But I expect nothing from him, and I shall, therefore, take my own course, with the determination that, if disasters occurs, not a little of the responsibility shall be attached to me.

The war here must be ended as rapidly as possible, and all the disposable force kept in the field till the enemy's country is occupied, and his forces scattered.

All our horsemen must then be ready to cross the Cascades, to move against the hostiles, who may then, with greatly superior numbers, be encountering the troops.

I have, therefore, ordered all the troops from the Columbia valley to the Sound, and have directed a train of 100 pack animals and 40 wagons to be ready to cross the Nachess the last of May.

I have ordered that supplies and transportation be engaged to place in depot at Walla Walla 75 day's provisions for 250 men.

The Oregon volunteers have crossed Snake River, and have already, probably struck the enemy. Should they succeed in striking, on their return, the enemy in the Yakima country, and should the movement be followed up by the regular troops, I trust that my operations will be confined to the country on the Sound.

Should, however, nothing decisive be done in the Yakima country till the passes are open, our situation here will be critical; and the defense of the Sound, as regards the Indians east of the Cascades, may be best accomplished by waging war against them in their own country. I have looked to this exigency from the beginning. Hence volunteers were raised for six months.

Hence supplies and transportation for the same period.

But we will be prepared for the worst, and hope for the best. The following papers accompany this report:

1. Copy of Gen. Wool's reply of 12 February 1856, to my memoir to him of the 23rd of December and 29th January. This memoir has already been transmitted to the War Department.

2. Copy of my answer to this reply, dated in March.

3. Copy of my letter to Gen. Wool on his arrival at Steilacoom, introducing Adj Gen Tilton, and expressing my desire to cooperate with the regular service.

4. Copy of Lt. Col. Casey's letter, calling on me for two companies of volunteers.

5. Copy of my answer to the same, declining to call out the companies.

6. Copy of my letter to Capt. Swartout, commanding naval forces of the Sound, proposing a combined movement of military and naval forces.

7. Copy of Capt. Swartout's letter declining to cooperate.

I have thus endeavored to lay before the department the condition of affairs, and the measures of preparation and precaution taken by me to protect our suffering people, and I have the honor, sir, to be

Very respectfully, etc.,

Vancouver, 29 March 1856


By the express per Mr. Wallace, I informed you of the taking of the Cascades by the enemy. Also of the forming of a volunteer Company at this place. I have taken the responsibility to consider the company as recognized by yourself and so far as necessary and as far as possible have equipped the men, now numbering sixty men, good and true and they are at least doing what has not been done heretofore - they are stopping all communication between these and other Indians. Captain Kelly, commanding the company, has several Indians in custody who will be tried by a jury of 12 good and true men and if found guilty will be suspended between the heavens and the earth.

The Cascades remained in possession of the Indians until yesterday, excepting only Bradford's house and the blockhouse which held out until finally relieved. Some of the families went to the Dalles and others came below. 

No blow was struck on the other side of the River. Bradford's house still stands - the blockhouse and one or two houses near - all else in ashes. Col. Wright who with the 9th regiment was at the Dalles is now at the Cascades and I hear has countermanded his order of advance to the Indian country, thinking there is a war nearer home. 

I think, Governor, our country needs defenses above the Washougal and on Lewis River for I do believe the enemy will next attempt the destruction of the deserted claims. Captain Kelly, if we can mount him, to send out a detachment either to one or the other of the parts mentioned. We now have here about 125 to 150 regulars (a portion just returned from the Cascades), some 50 Quartermaster men and between 60 and 70 volunteers.

At the Cascades only one woman was killed, a Mrs. Brown. Some 12 were killed in all. Captain Baufman was intercepted before reaching the steamer "Mary" and made for the mountains suffering many hardships, but is now safe. A little boy fired and ran the 2engine and another quite young man lay at the wheel and although the bullets were flying through the pilot house like hail escaped unharmed and reached the Dalles safely.

At the first firing Mr. Sinclair of Walla Walla who was at the Bradfords stepped to the door and was shot never speaking after. They drew him into the house and made a gallant resistance. Portland has shown a gallant spirit - Day before yesterday the steamer "Fashion" arrived with a company of about 30 men - men of business - working men - mechanics - and what they lacked of equipments I supplied nearly all of which was returned today on their way back. 

They went up and took a gallant stand on this side of the river while the regulars, a small body only, being then below escorted the "Belle" up to a convenient place, for crossing to the other side. About the same time they were ready to go on board for crossing the 9th came rushing on and a general stampede ensued. Captain Wallen, after crossing to the Oregon side passed up opposite the blockhouse, recrossed and thus relieved the blockhouse. The Indians are still loitering for depredations. In the early part of the day, Captain Wallen's company came down and the 9th passed up and after meeting and separating a building of some kind was fired by the Indians. As I say again "Hurrah" for the spirit that displays itself among the people.

I am respectfully, etc.,

Camp McCloud, 30 March 1856

Adj Gen James Tilton, WTV, Olympia

Sir: On my way to this place I found the prisoners I sent to you, at their homes. They all acknowledged that they are violating the orders of the Governor. I considered it my duty to send them to the Governor, and state that I consider them guilty of treason, and can prove Wren guilty of giving aid and comfort, by Osterland, who belongs to my company. McCloud alleges that he has been robbed, but has evidently "cached" his property, as my men have found the very things that he says he has lost. I think it useless to try to get the Indians while these men are allowed to remain here.

The Indians have been and are near here. Not more than three have been seen at once.

I am, very respectfully, etc.
H. J. G. MAXON, Capt. Mtd. Rifles