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10 Series I Volume L-I Serial 105 - Pacific Part I

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Page 10 OPERATIONS ON THE PACIFIC COAST. Chapter LXII.

the Indians had already taken warming. Another party under Simon Daysesy proceeded down the North Yager and into the Red Woods in that quarter. The third, largest, fourteen men strong, and most important, under Corporal Heron, with five days' rations, crossed Mad River from Iaqua Ranch and proceeded up that river while Indian signs rendered success probable and then struck across toward Pilot Creek in the direction of Hay Fork Valley. They did not reach Pilot Creek, but turned to the left and northward, scoured a wide field, and returned by descending Mad River. They were gone five days and a half. The time allotted was so limited that scouting had to be done as the command moved from point to point or not at all. From the camp near Kneeland's Prairie but one party was sent out. This was under charge of Sergeant Wiedemer. The sergeant on his return reported no Indians and no traces of any. The day after Corporal Heron's party united with the main command at Kneeland's Prairie it stormed and continued up to the 27th, two days after the command reached the garrison, so that all further scouting after his return to that point was at an end.

I will now proceed to advert to a few incidents of campaigning, quite noticeable on our return, before passing to the contrast to which your instructions invite me.

Game. -Between Spruce Grove and Wilburn's place, on Eel River, and especially between main Eel River and Larrabee's Creek, game, particularly deer, is quite plently, owing mainlyt to the fact, I suppose, that buckskin hunters, killing deer in contravention of the game laws and for their skins, have not yet, to any great extent, infested that region. Coyotes are quite plenty in the mountains to the south of Larrabee's Valley.

Friendly Indians. -A party of these, and belonging to it the prisoner mentioned above, was seen at main Eel River. Their tokens of friendship, and not fleeing from us at our approach, as the guilty most alwasy do, convinced me that they had no hand in the South Fork depredations, and I gave orders not to fire on them. A party of squaws and children was seen gathering clover on the side of a lofty spur to the left of the trail between Eel River and Larrabee's Creek. Only one ran away. Quite a number first and last were seen whose abode was with white men and their services at their control.

Larrabee's Valley. -This is nothing but a basin in the mountains. In corroboration of this, limbs are found on the ground in the valley, having been broken off by the snow from the trees growing there. Another reason is the slight difference of level betweeen the basin and adjoining mountains. In the summer time the basin is, I expect, a very pleasant locality. Its hgih level would indicate it cool and refreshing. Scenery on every side picturesque. Respecting its agricultural qualities, it is, I should think, quite fetile and admirably adapted for the cultivation of oats. Here in this apparently lovely valley lived a man about whose qualities I feel myself impelled to speak. I visited the premises on the mornign after arriving in the valley. In this one exceptional instance I found truth had been told. I was very much surprised, because I had hitherton found it much rarer than gold. I found everything just as chronicled in the Humboldt Times. I had no conversation with Mr. Larrabee. I do not know that I ever saw the man. I heard no man speak in his favor, or even intimate one redeeming trait in his character. The universal cry was against him. At the Thousand Acre Field and Iaqua Ranch even the woman who was shot and burned to death was condemned for living with such a man. Of most enormities of which he stands accused you are aware. An accomplice and actor


Page 10 OPERATIONS ON THE PACIFIC COAST. Chapter LXII.

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