Today in History:

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


JULY 7, 1862. - OCTOBER 6, 1863. - Operations in the District of Oregon.

Report of Brigadier General Benjamin Alvord, U. S. Army, commanding the District of Oregon.

San Francisco, October 16, 1863.

Colonel E. D. TOWNSEND,

Asst. Adjt. General, Hdqrs. of the Army, Washington, D. C.:

COLONEL: Inclosed herewith you will receive a communication from Brigadier General B. Alvord, commanding the District of Oregon, detailing the operations of troops in that district and the general condition of affairs in that quarter since July 1862, which is most respectfully submitted for the information of the General-in-Chief and Secretary of War.

Very respectfully, your most obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, U. S. Army, Commanding.

Fort Vancouver, Wash. Ter., October 6, 1863.

GENERAL: I have the honor to report for the information of the War Department the operations of the troops in the District of Oregon since I assumed command on the 7th of July, 1862. The bounderies of the district are the same known on military maps as those of the old Department of Oregon, including all of the former Territory of Oregon as organized in 1848, excepting the valleys of th Umpqua and Rogue Rivers. It now includes part of the State of Oregon, all of Washington Territory, and the portion of Idaho Territory west of the Rocky Mountains. Three companies of First Oregon Cavalry, under command of Lieutenant Colonel R. F. Maury, were ordered to leave Fort Walla Walla on the 25th of July, 1862, to proceed upon the emigrant road as far as Salmon Falls, on Snake River for the protection of the expected emigration, the command not to return to Fort Walla Walla until the 1st of November. The duty was faithfully and efficiently discharged by Colonel Maury. The movement in connection with Captain Crawford's emigrant escort party from Omaha, Nebr., afforded effectual protection to the emigration, which amounted to 2,000 wagons, or about 10,000 souls that autumn. I also ordered in July, 1862, a company of cavalry to encamp in the Nez Perce county, near the agency, for the protection of that tribe so far as practicable from the intrusion of the whites, who in search of gold had (previously to my being placed in command) invaded the Nez Perce Indian Reservation without authority to the number of some 10,000 or 15,000 people in violation of the provisions of the treaty, and in contempt of the rights of the Indians. Hearing of threatened collision in that region between the Indians and the whites, I left on the 16th of October for the Nez Perce country. Before I reached there two murders of white men by the Indians occurred, almost the very first ever at tribe, who have been prvoerbial for their persistent friendship for the whites. Fiding among the chiefs (who surrendered the murderers) a great desire for the continuance of the soldiers among them, I ordered another company there and established a post at Fort Lapwai. The reasons which impelled me to do sos were fully reported in a dispatch to headquarters Department of the Pacific dated 4th of November 1862, which I have been informed was forwarded to the War Department. The effect of the establishment of the post