Today in History:

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


Having been informed by Captain Heffernan that my detachment had been ordered back to Fort Baker and my provisions being nearly out, we marched back to Fort Baker, arriving there at 5 p. m. on the ninth day from the time that the command left Fort Baker. We experienced very unfavorable weather for some days during the scout.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Captain, Third Infantry California Vols., Commanding Detachment.

Lieutenant JOHN HANNA, Jr.,

Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, Humboldt Mil. Dist., Fort Humboldt, Cal.

FORT BAKER, CAL., July 11, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to report that two citizens residing in the neighborhood of the fort (Messers. Lyle and Gray) came to the post yesterday morning and informed me that a party of citizens had been attacked by Indians the previous evening while encamped on the Weaverville trail near the crossing of Mad River, and one person killed - Mr. Lyons, of Eel River, and Mr. Olmstead, of Eureka, badly wounded. I started for the scene of attack with fifteen men, leaving five men to follow with the mule train, for the purpose of rendering whatever assistance it was in my power to render. We arrived near Mad River about 2. 30 p. m., and found Mr. Olmstead upon the trail with a number of citizens who had already arrived and rendered such assistance as they could under the circumstances. Mr. Olmstead had been shot through the thigh and one shot had lodged in his hip, and he was suffering severely. I directed a detail of the men to bear him to Yager Creek Settlement (Doctor Phelps, of Hydesville, had already been sent for). I then proceeded to the camp and there saw the body of Mr. Lyons lying near where the camp-fire had been. Mr. Lyons had been shot through the face and body. The Indians after killing him had stripped him entirely naked, cut his throat, and taken out his heart; his right hand was also burned off. The body of Mr. Lyons was wrapped in blankets and put upon a mule by the citizens, for the purpose of being delivered to his friends for burial. It appears that the party, crossing of Messers. Olmstead, Adams, Grounds, and Lyons, with an Indian boy, were on the way to Weaverwille with cattle, and had encamped near the trail and were engaged in cooking their supper when the Indians, having crawled up a ravine leading from the river, opened fire upon the whites at a distance of about fifty yards, firing some 100 shots, with the result before stated. Mr. Olmstead, wounded as he was, succeeded in making his escape to a pile of drift wood in the river, to which place he was pursued by five or six Indians, but fourtunately Mr. Olmstead succeeded in securing a position from which with his six-shooter he was enabled to kill one Indian and drive the rest off. Mr. Grounds succeeded in screeing himself amongst the rocks until midnight, when he made his way toward Yager Creek Settlement. Mr. Adams arrived at Yager Creek Settlement about daylight yesterday morning and gave the information to the settlers there. The Indians also killed three horses, two on this side of the river and one on the east side, which was cut up and carried off with them (the horse on the east bank of the river). Mr. Hoagland, who came from Hay Fork yesterday, saw the trail of the Indians where they had come down from the mountain and had gone back toward the head of Grouse Creek.

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