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32 Series I Volume L-II Serial 106 - Pacific Part II

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Page 32 OPERATIONS ON THE PACIFIC COAST. Chapter LXII.


HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF OREGON,
Fort Vancouver, Wash. Ter., July 19, 1862.

Major R. C. DRUM,

Asst. Adjt. General, Hdqrs. Dept. of the Pacific, San Francisco, Cal.:

SIR: Herewith I have the honor to inclose to you, for the informa

tion of the general commanding the department, a copy of the detailed instructions given to Lieutenant Colonel R. F. Maury, First Oregon Volunteer Cavalry. * By my Special Orders, Numbers 35, of the 8th instant, issued the day after I assumed command, you have perceived that I directed that the emigrant road for the protection of the expected emigration. The command is to leave Fort Walla Walla on the 25th instant, and not return to that post until the 1st of November. It proceeds as far as Salmon Falls, on Snake River, which all accounts agree in considering as the principal haunt of the Snake Indians. You will notice that I make it the principal duty of the expedition to protect the emigration. I caution the commander not to give out to the Indians any intention of waging war, but desire him incidentally, if opportunity occurs, to endeavor to get possession of the Snake Indians who were guilty of murdering the emigrants massacred in September, 1860, near Fort Boise. I also herewith inclose a copy of the detailed instructions# given to Major J. S. Rinearson, First Oregon Cavalry, who, with one company of that regiment, is directed by the same Special Orders, Numbers 35, of the 8th instant, to repair to the Nez Perce Reservation, near Lewiston, and remain encamped, not returning to Fort Walla Walla until the 1st of November. The chief difficulty there apprehended is from the violence and outrages of the whites upon the Nez Perce Indians in the sale of liquor to them. My instructions enjoin vigilance in these matters, the preservation of discipline and good order among his own men, and the enforcement, so far as practicable, of the act of 13th of February last amending the Ie act. It seems absolutely necessary for the supply of the large mining population rushing to that region that a town should be located at or near Lewiston. But it is to be hoped that Congress will soon provide for the extinguishment of the Indian title. A bill for that purpose has already passed the Senate. The Lower Nez Perce Indians have signal claims upon us for protection. Their unwavering fidelity to our flag and our people amid every temptation deserves remembrance and gratitude, and it is lamentable that it will be so difficult to give them bare protection and the simplest justice, and that all their cherished hopes of improvement and civilization should be thus impeded and perhaps blasted. It will certainly give me pleasure to do all I can for their protection. It is to be feared that the provocations of lawless whites will lead to inevitable collisions. The Upper Nez Perces, whose fidelity never was so certain, may be kept in check by the presence of so many thousands of miners. I have ordered a guard, consisting of a subaltern and twenty men, to encamp at the Umatilla Indian Agency, but I shall order them to return to Fort Walla Walla before the opening of winter. I expect to leave here on the 21st instant for Fort Walla Walla to give and aid which my personal presence may afford in the starting of the expedition, b ut shall return to this post in a few days.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

BENJ. ALVORD,

Brigadier-General, U. S. Volunteers, Commanding District.

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*See Hughes to Maury, July 12, p. 20.

#See Hughes to Rinearson, July 18, p. 30.

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Page 32 OPERATIONS ON THE PACIFIC COAST. Chapter LXII.

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