Today in History:

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


MARCH 19-APRIL 28, 1862. -Expedition from Camp Latham to Owen's River, Cal., with skirmish (April 9) near Bishop's Creek, in the Owen's River Valley.

Report of Lieutenant Colonel George S. Evans, Second California Cavalry.

CAMP LATHAM, April 29, 1862.

Major R. S. DRUM,

Assistant Adjutant-General, San Francisco:

MAJOR: Inclosed I have the honor to forward a report of my expedition to Owen's River, pursuant to Special Orders, Numbers 7, issued by Colonel George W. Bowie, Fifth Infantry California Volunteers.

Hoping that my action in the premises may meet the approbation of the general commanding the Department of the Pacific, I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,


Lieutenant-Colonel Second Cavalry California Volunteers.

CAMP LATHAM, April 29, 1862.

MAJOR: In pursuanceof Special Orders, Numbers 7, a copy of which is hereto annexed, I have the honor to forward through you to the general commanding the Department of the Pacific the following report:

I started from Los Angeles on the 19th day of March, 1862, and arrived at Owen's lake on the 2nd day of April, a distance, as laid down by the map of the country, made by Captain Davidson, of the U. S. Army, at 302 miles. On the 4th day of April I reached Putnam's Store, or what is know now as The Fort, situated on Pine Creek, forty-three miles above Owen's Lake. Here I found some twelve or fifteen men and some women and children, and learned, for the first time, something of the real condition of affairs in the valley and of the difficulties with the Indians. I found that the settlers had for some considerable time been threatened by the Indians, and been hemmed in at The Fort, so called; that the Indians had collected together several hundred warriors, and had threatened to kill every white man in the valley; that they claimed that the country east of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and particularly Owen's River Valley, belonged to them, and said that no white man should live there; that they had killed two men that were know of, one by the name of Taylor and one know as Yank, and had burned every house and everything in the shape of improvements in the lower part of the valley. I also learned that some time about the 20th of March there had been at fight at the Lone Pine between twenty white men, under command of Captain Anderson, of Aurora, and about forty Indians, in which engagement 11 Indians were killed and 3 white men wounded; that since that time some assistance had arrived from Visalia and Aurora, and that some sixty men had started up two days before my arrival at The Fort to give the Indians battle. I immediately prepared to move on to their assistance. I left Captain Winne with seven men in charge of wagons and to assist in protecting The Fort; took twelve of my best mules, packed them, and started up the valley on the morning of April 5.

On the 6th, at about 9 a. m., I met the citizen soldiers retreating back for The Fort. I stopped them and we amped together at what is know as Big Pine Creek, about thirty miles above The Fort. Here we found and buried the bodies of two men, a Mr. Talman and a Mr. Hanson, who had been killed by the Indians apparently some two weeks previous when on the way down from Aurora. I learned from the citizen soldiers that they had come upon the Indians the day before, a