CAPTAIN: You will start this evening with your command. You have twelve days' rations. Should it be necessary you can remain out fifteen or sixteen days with this subsistence. The object of your expedition is to chastise Apaches. This duty I leave in your hand with confidence, therefore will not embarrass you with conditions or detailed instructions as to the modes of attack. There is a rancheria of these savages at the Cajon de Arivapa, about twenty miles from Fort Breckinridge. This I wish you to attack and destroy if possible. I am informed the preferable road to reach the rancheria is that via Canada del Oro. Jesus Maria Elias is well acquainted with this road and the trail. He and the Coyotero guide prefer the former. I agree with them. You shall have the twenty-five men selected by yourself from Companies I and K, Fifth Infantry California Volunteers, say ten American citizens and thirty-two Mexicans, with about twenty Papagos from San Xavier. Jose Antonio Saborze, who is Governor of the
With best wishes for your success, I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
I take pleasure in acknowledging the very gallant and soldier-like manner in which the expedition against the Apache Indians in the Canada de Arivaypa was conducted, and the highly creditable result of the attack on those savages, who have been devastating, robbing, and murdering in this Territory and Sonora for centuries. Capt. T. T. Tidball, Fifth Infantry California Volunteers, who commanded the expedition with so much good judgment, may well be proud of it and of the brave men under his command, who marched for five days without ever lighting a fire, maintaining silence, hiding by day and traveling by night, to accomplish their object. That a handful of twenty-five soldiers and a few brave volunteer citizens should so completely surprise a rancheria of the craftiest savages on the continent, traveling
COLONEL: Field operations against the Apaches of Arizona must be commenced within a month. Have all your troops of all arms put into a state of preparation to this end. Have careful and systematic target practice to the extent of twenty rounds per man with musket and carbine and eighteen rounds with revolver, and have careful drills at skirmishing at least two hours a day for all troops on the river. Please send me a return of ordnance and ordnance stores on hand at date in depot at Las Cruces. Let it come by return of mail. As soon as Lieutenant-Colonel Bennett comes send him and Company K, First Cavalry California Volunteers, to Fort Craig. Colonel Brown also goes to Craig the moment he comes, agreeably to orders heretofore sent you. Pray get all your cavalry in the best possible order for the field—shoes set, others fitted, equipments carefully repaired and oiled, haversacks and canteens in good repair, hobbles or lariats and pins got in readiness, and all camp equipage in your district put in perfect repair and got ready to put into wagons without an hour's delay. Precisely what companies will go is not yet determined, but have all ready. Let Dresher stay at Cummings and help Whitlock about his post until further advices. That command must also be in readiness for field service. Have all your pack-saddles throughout your district and all your means of transportation put in the best possible order for immediate service—harness oiled and repaired, wagons overhauled when practicable and put in order for a good load. Have all your water kegs put into serviceable order. Please inform me if you procured the log chains from Fort Fillmore. (See my letter of March 1, 1864.) Please retain the chains at Cruces if they have not already been sent forward. They will be needed elsewhere. Was Private Kerr executed according to orders and sentence? No report has been received to this effect. Please send an account of how many water-tanks you have, of their whereabouts and condition. The Apaches in Arizona are very hostile, and unless vigorous measures are pursued against them right away the miners will become panic-stricken and leave the country. As soon as certain supplies go forward an order will go down for the troops to move, and I shall myself come down, if practicable, to help organize the expedition.Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GENERAL : On the 15th ultimo, about 3 p. m., the Apache Indians of Arizona stampeded a herd of Government mules at Cow Springs, one march west of the Miembres River, and succeeded in getting off with sixty of these mules and four public horses. This could not have been done had a company of infantry which was escorting the train to which these animals belonged been on the alert, and with sentinels posted well outside of the herd which was grazing. Inclosed herewith please find a letter from Col. George W. Bowie, commanding District of Arizona, and a letter from Capt. James H. Whitlock, commanding a company in Colonel Bowie's regiment, Fifth Infantry, California Volunteers, wherein you will see with what handsome results these Indians were followed. Captain Whitlock, and the gallant men who accompanied him, deserve an especial notice from the War Department. A dozen or two of pursuits like Captain Whitlock's would give our troops the morale over these Ishmaelites of our deserts. Twenty-one Apache warriors left dead upon the ground and a large amount of the stock retaken are results which the War Department may consider to be creditable.I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GENERAL : Inclosed please find a copy of a report of Capt. James H. Whitlock, Fifth Infantry California Volunteers, of date the 13th instant,
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report for the information of the colonel commanding that, in obedience to his instructions of March 24, I left this post on the morning of the 27th with 26 enlisted men of my own company, Lieutenant Burkett and 20 enlisted men of his company, 10 enlisted men of Company C, First Cavalry California Volunteers, and Hospital Steward Macintosh, 1 guide and scout, and 1 servant, 61 all told, 2 wagons and teams, and 30 days' half-rations, 35 men mounted and 36 on foot, in pursuit of the Indians who committed the depredation on the herd at Cow Springs on the 15th ultimo. My former experience in Indian fighting taught me that it was not best to follow immediately on the trail, as an Indian watches his trail very carefully when made by stolen stock. I therefore followed the trail about thirty miles to find its general direction. This established, being about parallel
Classification of the stock: 17 Government mules; 1 Government horse; 24 Indian ponies (including colts), and 3 Indian mules. Of these
This expedition has been made without the loss of an animal or the slightest accident of any kind, but we have suffered greatly from the wind and cold and the privations of traveling by night and camping without water, as a general rule. Of course I allowed no fires after night, even though we had to suffer from cold. On my return trip I kept a guard of thirty men constantly, myself and Lieutenant Burkett walking post the same as the enlisted men. I considered this a military necessity, in order to be very sure to prevent surprise from ambush. In connection with this report I also send a bundle of articles taken in their camp; of course not for their intrinsic value, but as a matter of curiosity. I wish to call your particular attention to the box of percussion caps. I never saw any like them before. Also the copper slugs, being the bullets used by them in their guns. Article No. 1 is believed to be strychnine; article No. 3 is what they use for making signal smokes. We found arrow points enough (like these) to fill a peck measure; article No. 4 I think is galena, although it very much resembles plumbago.I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GENERAL: I have the honor herewith to inclose--
An official copy of a letter from Maj. Edward B. Willis, First Infantry California Volunteers, commanding Fort Whipple, Ariz. Ter. It is dated the 27th ultimo, and gives the latest intelligence from the new gold fields in that vicinity. The general will see that the promise of mineral wealth in Northern Arizona is becoming more than realized.
An official copy of a letter from Lieut. Col. Nelson H. Davis, assistant inspector-general, U.S. Army. It is dated at Tucson, Ariz. Ter., June 5, 1864. Colonel Davis was ordered to select a site for a post to be established on the Gila River northward from Fort Bowie, Ariz. Ter., and had an escort of about 100 men, more or less, according to the best of my recollection from previous reports. With a part of this escort he made a night march, and at daybreak attacked a rancheria of Apaches and killed forty-nine of them. This is decidedly the most brilliant success over that tribe of brutal murderers which has ever been won. Too much praise cannot be awarded to Colonel Davis and the handful of officers and men who so gallantly followed him for this achievement. I urgently request that Colonel Davis may receive the compliment of a brevet for such gallant and meritorious services.Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
CAPTAIN : The party of citizens under Mr. King Woolsey are making their preparations to start from here against the Apache Indians on the 1st day of June. They expect to be 100 strong, and are preparing provisions for about sixty or sixty-five days. One train from La Paz has arrived with provisions for them, and others are expected. They no doubt will do good service, having already some knowledge of the country in the direction they intend to go—that is, nearly due east from here. The Maricopa Indians will probably join them, and I believe another party from this section under Swilling will start near the same time.
At the present time we hear very little of Indians in this vicinity. A few head of stock have been stolen near Antelope or Weaver, and a little sign has been seen near Walker's, in the hills, but that is about all for the past month.
Reports from the mining districts are encouraging. The placer diggings are doing quite well, and much work is being done in quartz leads, with very flattering prospects. Many new lodes are being found in the Walker section, some of which are extremely rich. Some new claims have been struck upon a creek called Big Bug, in which they are doing exceedingly well. The gold is very coarse. If nothing further should be found than the section already known, I think it will be an exceedingly rich country and support a large mining population.
Governor Goodwin has just returned from his trip to the southern portion of the Territory, and there is much enthusiasm manifested there
The site of the post selected by me, by order of Colonel Davis, is about one mile and a half northeast from the town now being built on Granite Creek and laid down upon the map forwarded to department headquarters as Goodwin. Each can be seen from the other. The objections to this point, as before stated by me, are that the range for grazing is not so extensive as that of the old post, and for a part of the year we have to dig for water, but not to any depth. In all other respects it is decidedly superior.
Lieutenant Baldwin, with the first detachment of the train of subsistence stores, arrived to-day. The others will arrive, respectively, to-morrow and next day; also a large citizen train and a number of Colorado emigrants. I hear also of several parties from La Paz, or rather California. Emigrants are arriving now about as fast as they can be subsisted, although provisions are becoming somewhat more plenty of late. The population in the mining districts must be over 1,500 now, exclusive of the troops. I am informed by persons from La Paz that 10,000 or 20,000 pounds of barley could be purchased there at present for 8 to 81 cents per pound. With the cattle and wagons now here this would be the cheapest forage that could be procured for the cavalry at this post, unless it should rise in California, in which case it probably could not be got so cheap.I am, sir, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
GENERAL: I have the honor to report briefly my movements since my first report made May 16, 1864, from the cañon on the Rio Bonito, and the general results thereof until arriving here myself on the night of the 2d, and Captain Tidball with his force yesterday.
From my camp on the Bonito I proceeded up this stream, which two miles from camp disappeared finally. Course, north and northwest some six to eight miles, and thence four to five miles more westerly through rolling hills, reaching the southeast end of a beautiful valley some fifty miles long and four to six wide, of excellent grazing, but destitute of water save that in tanks and holes in arroyo creeks coursing down from the mountains. This valley is bounded on the east side by a range of mountains between it and the Rio Negrito, called Rio Prieto, and which is a continuation of the Peloncillo Range, and on the west side by a range of high, rocky, and broken hills, being a spur that leaves the latter-named range near the mouth of the Bonito, and terminates at the Rio San Carlos, its general direction being parallel with and just north of the Gila. After a few hours in camp, moved south of west four miles, where I found some water in an arroyo; by digging supplied the wants of the animals and men. Next water reported fifteen miles
In sending Captain Tidball to his post I proposed directing him to make a little detour and make the examination on this side complete to connect with my own. This pass is little known, it seems. The Sonorans passed through it in 1845 on an Indian expedition. I propose calling it the Mount Graham Pass, and is the route from the west and south to this valley on the Gila for wagons. The Tularosa Creek is a clear, running stream for one mile and a half to two miles, when it sinks, but capable of irrigating much good land. There were fields of corn along the stream which looked well, and deserted rancherias. We spared this corn for the troops expected in this vicinity. There is considerable grass in this valley and adjacent on the mesas. From here I moved down the Gila to near the mouth of the. San Carlos River, some twenty-five miles. After some eight miles the valley of the Gila was much narrower and not as good as above, though in detached places there were some fine bottom flats or slopes. Encamped in low hills, which came to the river. Grass very good.
The next day examined a portion of the valley of the San Carlos. At night marched with a part of the command some ten miles up this valley, and surprised partially two Indian rancherias. Killed 2 and took 4 prisoners, three of whom were children. Their dog gave warning of our approach. Destroyed a number of fields of corn, wheat, and beans, with a variety of articles found in the rancherias. This is one of the richest valley bottoms I have seen, with a fine stream running through it. Is from half a mile to one mile and a half wide for fifteen miles, as far as I examined it from its mouth. I think the valley of the Bonito comes into it higher up, where I believe there is an open and fine grazing country, and am inclined to think the Indians have stock in that
From this camp I left at 9.30 p. m., and crossed the high Mescal Mountains in the Chiricahua Range, the slopes of which were long, steep, and stony, with a part of my command, to surprise and attack some rancherias I learned were there; and after a hard night's march, dividing my force, one under Captain Tidball, the other under Captain Burkett, we surprised and attacked the Indians at daybreak, killing 49, and, with some taken the day previous, capturing 16 prisoners, besides many more that were wounded, some of whom were trailed by their blood. Destroyed several fields of corn and wheat. A large quantity of mescal was taken and furnished the troops, who were short of rations, and considerable destroyed. One mule and 4 Indian horses were taken, 2 carbines, 1 double-barreled shotgun, 1 Colt pistol, 2 saddles, 2 pairs of fine saddle-bags, and $660 in gold were also captured, with some ammunition, and a variety of other articles—hides, skins, etc.-and the rancherias, with much other stuff, burned.
It affords me pleasure to speak of the good conduct of the troops in this affair. Captains Tidball and Burkett and Lieutenant Stevens, with their men, are deserving of much commendation. Lieutenant Dutton, who remained in charge of camp, which he moved up the next morning, is also entitled to much credit for his active and efficient services. He was kept back against his will and wish.
Two very distinguished chiefs were killed in this engagement. One, after being mortally wounded, thrust his own spear into his chest and heroically expired. It is gratifying to me, and no doubt will be to many others, to know that we struck the band guilty of killing Messrs. Mills and Stevens and attacking Mr. Butterworth and party. The captured pistol has Mills' name on it. The shotgun is identified as that of Mr. Stevens. Mr. James' diary was also found. Some who escaped on the high adjacent mountains threatened to kill us all before leaving the cañon. This loss and destruction of crops is a severe blow to them, and being attacked in their secluded and mountainous home, where before they had not been molested by the white man, will, I think, produce a decided moral effect upon them.
There was a little clear stream of water that ran through this canon into the Gila, with cottonwood along in the bottom. It is a rocky and rough canon, with anon small flats of rich soil, some being cultivated, others affording grazing. This creek is called the Big Alamo, alias Mescal Creek. Abandoned Cañon would probably be a name expressive of the result of this attack, respecting any further occupation of it by the Indians.
Next day the command crossed some rocky mountain spurs into the Gila Cañon. After marching a distance of sixteen miles down it, crossing the river thirty times, and thence in a southerly direction twelve
Captain Tidball found no rancheria of Indians, but a large field of fine wheat, which will be taken for the U. S. service, notwithstanding some few Indians who showed themselves on high distant mesas requested the captain not to destroy this wheat, as they wanted it for their own use. This command arrived here on the 4th instant.
The great upper valley of the Gila is rich in soil, and 50,000 acres are subject to irrigation from the river, but at considerable expense, only by taking out of the Gila at the upper end of this valley a large acequia and carrying it back from the river. There is little grass in the valley, but wood in abundance, and a larger volume of water in the river here than at the Pima Villages.
I mention four points to be considered as suitable for the location of Fort Goodwin, to wit, (1) at La Cienega Grande; (2) three miles above my first camp on the Gila; (3) near the mouth of the San Carlos River, in the valley thereof; (4) and either in the Tularosa Valley or near its outlet into the Gila Valley proper. With regard to the location itself, relative to the supply of water, grass, soil, and wood, La Cienega Grande is the best. Considered with regard to its geographical and strategical position as commanding most of the great trails and thoroughfares of the Indians, and as opposite Mount Graham Pass, the nearest and most accessible roadway from the south and west, and with regard to water, grass, soil, and wood also, I would select the point in or near the Tularosa Valley. I suggest Captain Tidball as the officer to mark the exact spot at any of the locations named which the general may elect, in connection with Colonel Rigg or other officers.
A more full report or fuller details, with Captain Tidball's report when received, will be soon. forwarded.I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
P. S.—The prisoners have been disposed of by assignment to families, subject to further orders from department headquarters. The captured property will be turned in to the quartermaster at Tucson.
CAPTAIN : I have the honor to report, for the information of the general commanding, as follows: On the 13th instant inspected the post and troops at Reventon. The command is ordered to Tubac, and 20,000 rations from the supplies en route from Guaymas to be left there; the quality and quantity of water at Reventon one reason of this change. Reports of the examinations of the routes ordered not yet received. I recommend the establishment of a military post at Fort Buchanan under another name; also the abandonment of this place as a depot and military post as soon as possible. Some point on the San Pedro would be
COLONEL: I have the honor to report for the information of the general commanding that some two months ago two decrepit old Indians came into camp and said they had been sent by their chief to ask for peace. I let one of them go, who promised to return in fifteen days, but failed to do so. Some fifteen or twenty days afterward a sub-chief came in and said he had been sent by the chiefs of two tribes to solicit peace. I told him that if they were in earnest they must bring in their families and lay down their arms, to which he acceded. On 4th of March 112 of them came to the post under a flag of truce. They expressed a strong desire to make a treaty, but wished to return to the mountains to bring in the rest of their families, to which I consented, and gave them four days to return. As they did not return in the time specified, I started at night-fall on the 9th instant for their rancheria with fifty-three men, guided by a Mexican captive whom I had retained. We marched briskly nearly all night, and the following night arrived within five miles of their camp. I sent the guide and four scouts to reconnoiter, intending to attack them at break of day. They returned and reported the rancheria deserted. It turned out subsequently that a strolling Indian had crossed our trail and given the alarm. The melting snow and mud was so deep that it was impossible to follow them with any prospects of success, and on the following day I started for camp. Much to my surprise, on the 22d some 400 of them—men, women, and children—made their appearance with a white flag, as usual. I had a talk with the chiefs, who said they were satisfied they could not fight the white men, and all they wanted was some place to plant in peace. I had promised to feed and take care of them with a view to sending them to the reservation. But the order transferring Arizona to the Pacific Department arrived the day before they came in, and I was placed in the position of the man who drew the elephant in the lottery. With nothing to feed them, no transportation to send them to the reservation, and no orders to do so if I had, I made the best of it, and told them they could go until I heard from the great chief. They promised that if any depredations were committed by their people they would bring them to the post, and I could punish them as I pleased. In my opinion they could all be placed on a reservation within twelve months, and hunting them over this immense Territory with only six companies is simply an absurdity. We have had no grain at this post for over five months. Many of the animals have died, and the balance are so poor that they are unfit for active service in the mountains.
Trusting my course will meet the approval of the general commanding, I would respectfully ask for instructions in the premises.
SIR: I have the honor to report my arrival at this point this morning. Our animals are in good condition, but I find it necessary to repair our wagons, all of the iron-work being loose. We will leave for Tubac on Friday next. In the meantime we expect to make arrangements with the Pima and Maricopa Indians for at least 200 warriors. I do not anticipate any difficulty in getting them for one year. They expect a good outfit, and in an interview with the chief of the Maricopas we made them understand that we wanted their services as soldiers; that they would be expected to make constant campaigns against the Apaches; that at such times as we could spare them they would be allowed to come back to their homes for a short time; that they would be armed and provided with ammunition, and that their clothing would consist of a pair of pants, a shirt, and a blanket; their provisions, panole, beans, and dried beef. I can obtain the provisions here and at Tubac, and would respectfully request that 600 red shirts, 600 pairs of coarse pants, and 600 blouses be sent me at once. I would suggest that 200 of the blouses be bound with yellow, 200 with red, and 200 with light blue, in order to distinguish tribes. Also send 600 yards of coarse red flannel. A yard will answer instead of a hat. We need also a mustering officer at once to organize these companies. If one is sent to this point he will probably meet us here on our return from Tubac. The Indians really have possession of this Territory. It is feared that the Hualapais, the Yavapais, and the different tribes of Apaches, with some straggling Navajoes, have combined for the purpose of exterminating the whites. I propose starting Colonel Lewis with three companies of his regiment and some 200 Papago Indians on a campaign in Southeastern Arizona. At the same time I am making arrangements to start with a force of the company of cavalry (my escort), the three companies of infantry destined for Tonto Basin, and about 200 Pimas and Maricopas into the country of the Apaches. I labor under many difficulties. I find Fort Whipple without provisions, instead of a year's supply; no supplies at Tubac, and I suspect none at either Forts Goodwin or Bowie. I have a train on the way with 10,000 rations for Tubac, and the Tubac train of Government wagons will be here to-night en route for Fort Yuma for supplies. It will be impossible with the limited means at my disposal to do anything toward subduing