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ward denominated the District of the Boisé. His own excellent report of the military operations in this district, from August 15th to September 22, is so complete that I call special attention to it. The remaining operations in that district, from September 22 to the present time, are contained in the accompanying report of Maj. John Green, First Car. alry.
I left Boise City at 4 p. m. of the 12th of August. Major Mason, being the department inspector-general and senior staff officer, was left in charge of operations till Forsyth's arrival. The 14th Colonel Wheaton meets me at the Umatilla Agency, where we have a preliminary council with the Umatilla and Columbia Indians. Owing to the admixture of loyal and disloyal Indians, and of accusing and apprehensive white people in the vicinity of the reservation, I became fully aware that something must be done, and that very soon, to preserve the peace. I therefore appoint a council for Monday, the 26th, and make arrangements for bivouacking at least two companies near by until matters could be arranged or the cold weather force troops to their permanent quarters. A separate report has been made of this council.
INTERVIEW WITI MOSES, INDIAN CHIEF.
With a view to inaugurate some settlement with the Columbia Indians who had placed themselves under Moses, chief of the Melthouse tribe, I resolved to pay him a visit as I had promised at the beginning of the Bannock war. Ilearing that he was at Priest's Rapids, I moved the mounted men, now under Captain Miles's command, toward the mouth of the Okanogan, so as to interpose an obstacle between the Indians and white settlers in the Crab Creek Valley and that neighborhood, while I went up the river in a small steamer, taking my aides, Lieutenants Sladen and Wood, and Major Mizner's battalion as a guard.
Colonel Wheaton, commanding this district where Moses is located accompanied me. Í sent, also, a judicious officer, Captain Whipple, First Cavalry, to visit the people in the Yakima Valley and apprise them of my movement. Besides, Moses and his people were informed of my coming and who would be with me. These precautions had the effect to prevent any panic and consequent rupture.
Moses was not at Priest's Rapids as reported, but 70 or 80 miles beyond, yet between 60 and 70 of his Indian men came to the interview.
The result ef the interview was a renewal of his pledge to preserve the peace, a promise to return stolen property, if any could be found in or near his camp, and an effort to find the murderers of the Perkins family. The Indians, through lim, ask of the President a reservation above Priest's Rapids. They wish it without an agency.
I have forwarded this request, and also the petitions of citizens concerning the boundaries. Should there be a reservation granted, probably the Big Bend of the Columbia, on the east and south of the river, will satisfy the Indians and the people, or come as near to it as is possible where there is always a conflict of interest. It would be well, I think, to give them, also, the small tract secured to them by Colonel Wright, near the mouth of the Wenatchee. It is eight miles square.
I have also made a special report upon this subject. In a general way I wish now to commend the officers of my staff, who have so ably assisted me during this summer's trying campaign, in the field, at headquarters, when with me, when necessarily separated from me, at all times, both night and day, and most cheerfully. Hereafter, after Wheaton's, Egbert's, and other subordinate reports come in, I can give a special
recognition of these officers by name, having a direct reference to the service rendered; also to extend it to others who have served with equal tidelity during the operations.
I recommend that all the Indians who have assisted the hostiles be sent to the Indian Territory, or to some remote place whence they cannot easily return. I recommend that a few leaders (the principal ones being already killed) be surrendered to the civil authorities for punishment. The civil authorities in Umatilla County have already seven such Indians in their possession.
The campaign has been a hard, long, and expensive one. Many of the troops have marched greater distances than during the Nez Percé war, and in all the services I have been called upon to render the government I have never known officers and soldiers to encounter and overcome greater obstacles. The work has been done, and I hope it is satisfactory to the government and to the people.
I have endeavored to set forth the cause which led to the outbreak just according to the record, and it is difficult to say where the blame, if any, should lie; but certainly in this case none of it can be imputed to that portion of the Army within this department. Accept from me a grateful acknowledgment of the confidence reposed in me by the Division Commander and by the General of the Army in intrusting me with so important a command, and sustaining my authority, especially in the darker hours of the ever-changing conflict. Hoping that this may be the last Indian war that I shall be called upon to wage, I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
0. O. HOWARD, Brigadier General, Commanding Department.
At the close of the campaign the troops belonging to other departments were returned, and the permanent garrisons of posts in this department established as follows:
Fort Boise, Idaho, Company A, Twenty-first Infantry ; Company G, First Cavalry, Maj. John Green, First Cavalry, commanding.
Fort Canby, Wash., Company I, Twenty-first Infantry ; Company G, Fourth Artillery, Maj. Joseph Stewart, Fourth Artillery, commanding.
Fort Colville, Wash., Companies I, E, and B, Second Infantry, and Company H, First Cavalry.
Camp Cour d'Alêne, Idaho, Companies A, H, and G, Second Infantry, Lieut. Col. Henry C. Merriam, commanding:
Camp Harney, Oreg., Company F, Second Infantry, Company H, Twenty-first Infantry, and Companies A and E, First Cavalry.
Camp Howard, Idaho, Companies C and K, Second Infantry, Maj. David P. Hancock, commanding.
Fort Klamath, Oreg., Company L, First Cavalry, and Company F, Twenty-first Infantry.
Fort Lapwai, Idaho, Company D, Second Infantry, and Company C, Twenty-first Infantry, Col. Frank Wheaton, commanding.
Fort Stevens, Oreg., Company M, Fourth Artillery.
Fort Vancouver, Wash., Companies K, D, and G, Twenty-first Infantry, Col. Alfred Sully, commanding.
Fort Walla Walla, Wash., Companies D, F, B, M, and K, First Cav. alry, Lieut. Col. James W. Forsyth, commanding
One company of cavalry and one of infantry have been temporarily kept in bivouac near Pendleton, Oreg., on Umatilla Indian Reservation, but they will go to their proper stations as soon as the season shall have
advanced so as to make more permanent shelter necessary. Since the arrival in the department of the Second Infantry, which occurred last year, some of the posts, indeed nearly all of them, have been uncomfortably crowded, and the sudden removal in July of headquarters of the department to this post has rendered the stringency still more embarrassing, the troops stationed at Camp Cour d'Alene, Idaho, Camp Howard, Idaho, and Fort Lapwai, Idaho, being perhaps most uncomfortable, both on account of the crowded as well as the unfinished state of their quarters.
The meager allowance set apart for repairs and new additions having been exhausted, requisitions to cover the absolute necessities of the garrisons have been or are about to be made and forwarded.
The new buildings authorized for department-headquarter offices and officers' quarters, now in process of construction, when complete will in a measure relieve the pressure at this post; but the old buildings, having been erected so long, are fast becoming uninhabitable by reason of decay. To save them they must have needed repairs at an early date, the estimates and requisitions for which have been made and forwarded. The reports of the several chiefs of the staff department show that they are in good condition. I believe their affairs have been economically, faithfully, and ably administered. The office of the engineer officer has been in charge of an officer of another branch of the staff, who has been without funds with which to work.
I recommend that a young, energetic officer of engineers be assigned to duty at these headquarters, and such allotment of funds made as will enable him to make much needed corrections in the maps of the department. In the campaigns of the past two years the want of correct maps has been a source of constant embarrassment.