Today in History:

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


grave of a Miss Adams, who was shot on the 9th and died on the 12th. We passed here August 31, twenty-two days after the fight. About the same time a Mr. Phillips left his train to go fishing, alone and unarmed and was taken by Indians, and is supposed to have been killed. This happened near Goose Creek. It will be seen that the number killed, of which we have positive information, is about fifteen. No emigrants have at any time been troubled by Indians while in the vicinity of my company, but from the disposition shown toward the advance parties it is easy to see that the later and weaker parties would have been easily cut off had it not been for the protection afforded them by the Government. Near old Fort Hall a ferry had been established and many emigrants had crossed in pursuit of the mines. Some went to Fort Lemhi, others to the Deer Lodge Prairie, while others kept down the north side of Snake River and recrossed the stream at Boise. From what was told me I am satisfied that many were induced to cross at Fort Hall by the representations of these ferrymen, which turned out unreliable. About twenty wagons which had crossed and met a returning party, were induced to recross and join those who were already under my escort. At this point I had 125 wagons of emigrants under my charge, and I found many of their teams so weak that they could not travel over ten miles per day, others being able to proceed faster; and in order to give protection to all, I divided my company, placing the advance party in charge of my principal assistant, Mr. Le Roy Crawford, while I remained with the rear and weaker party. From this point my journey was extremely slow. Many of the emigrants were short of provisions, which deficiency I had to supply. Others had difficulties among themselves which I was obliged to settle. The grass was very scarce, and their stock would scatter during the night, so that frequently my men would spend hours in looking after them in the morning. We curred their sick, fed their destitute, hunted, and in some instances drove their teams, mended their waeir goods, settled their disputes, and kept them moving. Two men died and one was drowned in Snake River. With these exceptions every man, woman, and child that had traveled in my vicinity reached the settlements in safety. From the best information in my possession I estimate the emigration to Oregon and Washington this year at 10,000 souls, about two-fifths of whom I think crossed Snake River at the Fort Hall Ferry. From my own observation I am satisfied that a better road for emigrants may be found on the north side of Snake River than the one on the south side, but the precise point at which that river should be crossed I am not prepared to decide. I know there is a good road from near Salomon Falls to Boise, having traveled down on that route in the year 1842, but as to the character of the country above that point on the north side, I have no reliable information. The recent discoveries of gold aon Boise River will doubtless attract large parties from the States next season, and a road on the north side will be very necessary. Should such be the case, and large numbers of emigrants with families flock to that country I fear that unless some protection is furnished by the Government the Indians will make an indiscriminate slaughter.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Captain and Assistant Quartermaster.

Brigadier-General ALVORD,

U. S. Army.