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VOL. n 








Graphic account by Judge James 6. Swan — Indians assemble 
on lower Cbehalis River — The camp and scenes — Method 
of proceeding — Indians object to leaving their wonted resorts 

— Tlejuk, young Cbehalis chief, proves recusant and insolent — 
Governor Stevens rebukes him — Tears up his conmussion be- 
fore his face — Dismisses the council — His forbearance, and 
desire to assist the Indians — Treaty made with Quenaiults 
and Quillehutes next fall as result of this council 1 



Death of Greorge Watson Stevens — Grovernor Stevens keeps In- 
dians in order — Visits Vancouver — Confers with Superin- 
tendent Palmer, of Oregon — Firm stand against British claim 
to San Juan Archipelago — Purchases Taylor donation claim 

— Democratic convention to nominate delegate in Congress — 
Governor Stevens a candidate — Effect of speech before con- 
vention : '' If he gets into Congress, we can never get him 

oat " — J. Patton Anderson nominated 10 



Hanly Indians — Ten Great Tribes — Nez Perces — Missionary 
Spalding — His work — Abandons mission — Escorted in 
safety by Nez Perces — Intractable Cuyuses — Religious ri- 
valry — Dr. Whitman — Yakimas, Spokanes, C<Bur d'Alenes, 
Flatheads, Pend Oreilles, Koutenays — Upper country free 
from settlers — Indian jealousy — Conspiracy to destroy whites 
discovered by Major Alvord — Warnings disregarded — Gov- 
ernor Stevens thrown in gap — Prepares for council — Walla 
Walla valley chosen by £[am-i-ah-kan — Journey to Dalles — 


Incidents — Unfavorable outlook — Escort secured — Trip to 
Walla Walla — " Call yourself a great chief and steal wood ? " 

— Council ground — Scenes — General Palmer arrives — Pro- 
gramme for treaty — Officers — Lieutenant Gracie, Mr. Law- 
rence Kip, and escort arrive — Grovemor Stevens urges Gren- 
eral Wool to establish post there 



Nez Perces arrive — Savage parade — Head chief Hal-hal-tlos- 
sot or Lawyer, an Indian Solon — Cuyuses, Walla Wallas, 
Umatillas arrive — Pu-pu-mox-mox — Feasting the chiefs — 
Fathers Chirouse and Pandosy arrive — Kam-i-ah-kan — Four 
hundred mounted braves ride around Nez Perce camp — 
Young Chief — Spokane Garry — Palouses fail to attend — 
Timothy preaches in Nez Perce camp — Yakimas arrive — 
Commissioners visit Lawyer — Spotted Eagle discloses Cuy- 
use plots — Council opened — Treaties explained — Five 
thousand Indians present — Horse and foot races — Young 
Chief asks holiday — Pu-pu-mox-mox's bitter speech — Law- 
yer discloses conspiracy of Cuyuses to massacre whites — Moves 
his lodge into camp to put it under protection of Nez Perces — 
Governor Stevens prepares for trouble — Determines to con- 
tinue council — Invites Indians to speak their minds — Law- 
yer favorable — Kam-i-ah-kan scornful — Pathetic speech of 
Eagle -from -the -Light — Steachus wants reservation in his 
own country — General Stevens's tent flooded — Lawyer ac- 
cepts treaty — Young Chief and others refuse — Grovemor Ste- 
vens's pointed words — Separate reservations for Cuyuses, 
Walla Wallas, and Umatillas — Sudden arrival of Looking 
Glass — His indignation — Orders Nez Perces to their lodges 

— Night conference with Yakimas — Stormy council — Law- 
yer goes to his lodge — Kam-i-ah-kan, Pu-pu-mox-mox sign 
treaties — Lawyer's advice — Nez Perces and Cuyuses counsel 
by themselves — Lawyer's authority confirmed — Last day of 
treaty — Both tribes sign — Eagle-from-the-Light presents his 
medicine, a grizzly bear's skin, to Grovemor Stevens — Satis- 
factory ending great relief — Delegations to Blackf oot council 
— Nez Perce scalp-dance — Treachery of other tribes — Out- 
break — Compelled to live under treaties — Provisions of 
treaties — Benefits of council — Present prosperity .... 




Parly for Blackf cot council — Crossing Snake River — Red 
Wolf and Timothy thrifty chiefs — Traverse fine country — 
CceoT d'Alene Mission — Council with Indians — Wrestling 
match — Crossing the Bitter Root Mountains — Rafting the 
Bitter Root River — Bitter Root or St Mary's valley — Re- 
ception by the Flatheads and Pend Oreilles — Victor com- 
plains of the Blackf eet 66 



Ghiefe onwilling to unite on one reservation — Alexander dreads 
strictness of the white man's rule — Big Canoe — What need 
of treaty between friends ? — Let us live together — Protracted 
debates — Indians feast and counsel among themselves — No 
result — Victor leaves the council — Two days' intermission — 
Grovemor Stevens accepts Victor's proposition and concludes 
treaty — Moses refuses to sign treaty — ** The Blackf eet will 
gethishair" 81 



Bei Perees and Flatheads to hunt south of Missouri pending 
eovmcil — Prairie Plateau on summit of Rocky Mountains — 
Elk for supper — Lewis and Clark's Pass — Management of 
train — Traverse the plains — Abundant game — Bewildering 
buffalo trails — Reach Fort Benton — Grovemor Stevens meets 
Cmnmissioner Cumming on Milk River — Boats belated — 
P^roYisions exhausted — Leathery jerked meat — Pemmican 
two years old — Hunting buffalo on Judith — Bighorn at Citat 
dd Rock — Metric, the hunter — Two thousand western Indi-> 
ans fraternizing with Blackf eet — Stolen horses — Doty re- 
eovers them — Cumming claims sole authority — Forced to 
subside into proper place — He stigmatizes Blackf eet and 
eoontiy — Disagrees on all points — Governor Stevens's views 
— A million and a half buftdo find sustenance on these 
plains 92 


CHAPTER xxxnr 


Twelve thousand Indians kept in hand for months — Nez Per- 
ces and Snakes move to Yellowstone for food — Adams and 
Tappan seek Crows — Delay of boats imperils council — Indi- 
ans summoned — Council changed to mouth of Judith River 

— Remarkable express service — Three thousand five hundred 
Indians assemble — Best feeling — Treaty concluded — Peace 
established — Terms well kept by Blackf eet — Scenes at coun- 
cil ground — Grand chorus of one hundred Germans — Ho- 
meric feasts — Disgruntled conmiissioner 107 

CBOssma thb mountainb nr lODwnrrEB. — subpbise of the 


The start homeward — The haggard eiq>ressman brings news of 
Indian outbreak — How Pearson ran the gauntlet of hostile 
Indians — Governor Stevens disregards warning dispatches «- 
Resolves to force his way back by the direct route — Sends to 
Fort Benton for arms and ammunition — Hastens ahead of 
train to Bitter Root valley — Confers with Flatheads and Nez 
Perces — Alarming reports — Procures fresh animals — Nez 
Perce chiefs join the party — Taking the unexpected route 

— Crossing the snowy Bitter Roots — Ten dead horses — The 
surprise of the CoBur d'Alenes — " Peace or war? " — Craig and 
the Nez Perces take direct route home — Surprise of the Coeur 
d'Alenes — Rescue of blockaded miners — Indians called to 
council — The Stevens Guards and Spokane Invincibles organ- 
ized 120 



Disaffected Indians — ICam4-ah-kan's emissaries and falsehoods 

— Governor Stevens's firm £ront preserves friendship — Look- 
ing Glass's treachery discovered and frustrated — Dubious 
speeches — Indians' friendship gained — Light marching order 

— Four days' march in driving storm to the Nez Perce coun- 
try 133 



THE FAUHFUIi nez peboes 

Two tlunmiid assemble in council — Offer two hundred and fifty 
warriors to force way through hostiles — Battle of Oregon toI* 
unteers — The way cleared — The Nez Perce guard of honor 

— March to Walla Walla — Capture of Ume^iow-lish — Recep- 
tion by the volunteers — Governor Stevens's speech — Winter 
campaign — Letter to General Wool — His inaction and mis- 
taken views — In camp, 27° below zero — The Nez Perces 
dismissed — Gknremor Stevens pushes on to the Dalles in ad- 
vance of train — Crossing the gorged Deschutes — By trail 
down the Columbia to Vancouver — The sail at night in the 
storm — Arrival at Olympia after nine months' absence — Mrs. 
Stevens and children visit Whitby Ishmd — In danger £rom 
northem Indians 143 



Coontry utterly prostrated — Settlers take refuge in towns «- 
Abandon farms — General Wool disbands volunteers, takes the 
defensive, and maligns the people — Beview of war — Eam-i- 
ah-kan, leading spirit — Treacherous chie&y fresh £rom sign- 
ing treatiesi incite war — Miners massacred — Agent Bolon 
murdered — Major Haller's repulse — Settlers driven £rom 
WaBa Walla — Massacre on White Biver — Volunteers raised 

— lieutenant Slaughter killed — Impenetrable forests and 
swamps — Cascades afford hidden resorts — Fruitless march 
of Major Bains to Yakima — Governor Stevens addresses 
legislature — His measures of relief — Calls out volunteers — 
Visits lower Sound — Enlists Indian auxiliaries — Settlers re- 
turn to farms «- Build blockhouses — Organization of volun- 




YohmteerB form Northem, Central, and Southern battalions — 
Plan of campaign — Co(^>eration sought with regulars — 
Menunr of information sent General Wool and Colonel Wright 
— Campaign east of Cascades suggested — Wool's flying visit 


to Sound — Demands virtoal disbanding of voliinteers — 
Governor Stevens's caustic letter of refusal — Pat-ka-nim 
fights hostiles — Naval forces — Battle of Connell's prairie — 
Scouring the forests and swamps amid rains and storms — Red 
allies — Massacre at Cascades — Two companies of rangers 
called out to reassure settlers — Unremitting warfare — Hos- 
tiles surrender or flee across Cascades — Posts and blockhouses 
turned over to regulars — Volunteers on Sound disbanded . • 171 



Fruitless movements of Oregon volunteers — Colonel Wright 
marches to Yakima valley in May — Parleys instead of fight- 
ing — Grovemor Stevens proposes joint movement across Cas- 
cades — Colonel Casey declines — Colonel Shaw crosses Nah- 
chess Pass — Marches to Walla Walla — Governor Stevens 
journeys to Dalles — Dispatches GofTs and Williams's compa- 
nies to Walla Walla — Seeks cooperation with Colonel Wright 

— Warns him against amnesty to Sound murderers — Three 
columns reach Walla Walla the same day — Shaw defeats hos- 
tiles in Grande Ronde — His victory restrains disaffected Nez 
Perces — Governor Stevens invites Colonel Wright to attend 
peace council in Walla Walla — That officer fooled by the 
Yakimas — His abortive campaign — Ow-hi's diplomacy . . 194 



Governor Stevens, assured of support by Colonel Wright, re- 
vokes can for additional volunteers — Council with Elikitats 

— Refuses to receive Indian piurderers on reservation — 
Pushes forward to Walla Walla — Indians take pack-train 

— Steptoe arrives with four companies — Indians assemble 

— Manifest hostility — Steptoe moves off — Volunteers start 
for Dalles — Steptoe refuses guard — Governor Stevens re- 
calls volunteers — Hostile and threatening Indians — Steptoe 
refusing support. Governor Stevens moves to his camp — Dis- 
affected chiefs demand that treaties be abrogated, whites leave 
the country — Governor Stevens demands submission — Ter- 
minates council — Starts for Dalles — Attacked on march — • 
The fight — Moves back to Steptoe's camp — Indians attack it 

— Repulsed — BlockhoiiiBe built — One company left — Both 


commands march to Dalles — Steptoe's change of views «- 
Demand on Colonel Wright to deliver up Sound murderers, 
who gives order — Cleverly evaded — Colonel Wright marches 
to Walla Walla — Counsels with hostile chiefs — Yields to their 
demands — Whites ordered out of the country — Shameful 
betrayal of duty — Governor Stevens's indignant letters to the 
War and Indian departments — Pernicious influence of mis- 
sionaries and Hudson Bay Company — Governor Stevens's 
views finally adopted — Steptoe's defeat — Wright defeats 
hoetiles — Summary executions — Fate of Ow-hi and Qual- 
chen 206 



Entire force disbanded — Their character, discipline — : Public 
property sold — So many captured animals that more were 
sold than purchased — Transportation cost nothing — Anec- 
dote of Captain Henness — Thirty-five forts built by volun- 
teers, twenty-three by settlers, seven by regulars — Colonel 
Casey refuses demand for surrender of murderers — Grov- 
emor Stevens insists — Sharply rebukes Colonel Casey's slurs 
— Leschi surrendered for trial — Is finally hanged — Qui-e- 
muth killed 232 



Hudson Bay Company's ez-emplqyees remain in Indian country — 
Suspected of aiding enemy — Grovernor Stevens orders them to 
the towns — Five return to farms, at instigation of trouble- 
makers — Arrested and thrown in jail — - Judge Lander issues 
writ of habeas corpus — Martial law prochumed in Pierce 
County — Colonel Shaw arrests judge and clerk, who are taken 
to Olympia and released — Lawyers pass coQdenmatory reso- 
lutions — Judge Lander holds court in Olympia — Issues writs 

— Martial law in Thurston County — Judge Lander arrested 

— Held prisoner at Camp Montgomery until end of war «- 
Martial law abrogated — Governor Stevens fined fifty dol- 
lars — His action in proclaiming martial law disapproved by 
the President — Dishonorable discharge used to main t ain dis- 
cipline — Company A refuse to take field — Pass contuma- 
tioQB resolutions -» Are dishonorably discharged -» Control of 


diBaffected Induuig — Agents in constant danger — SommaTy 
dealing with whiskey-sellers— Agents men of high qualities 

— Statement of temporary reserves — Indians and agents «- 
Northern Indians depredate on Sound — Captain Gransevoort 
severely punishes them at Port Gramble, and sends them north 

— Colonel Ebey faUs victim to their revenge 2 



Governor Stevens's habits of labor — Adopts costume of the 
country — Builds home — Housewarming — Fourth message 
to legislature — Benders account of Indian war — Resolutions 
censuring Governor Stevens, for dismissing Company A and 
proclaiming martial law, pooled and passed — Indignation of 
the people — Governor Stevens nominated for Congress — 
Canvasses the Territory — Elected by two thirds vote — Re- 
signs as governor — Death of James Doty — Turns over gov- 
ernorship to Governor McMullan ; Indian affairs, to Superin- 
tendent Nesmith — - Return journey East — Incidents ... 2 



Passing Superintendent Nesmith*s accounts — Obtaining funds 
for Indian service — President recommends confirmation of 
the treaties — Welcomed back by old friends — Greneral Lane 
a tower of strength — Demands that military deliver Yakima 
murderers to punishment — They abandon their prot^g^s — 
Takes house and moves family to Washington — Mr. James 
G. Swan, secretary — Circular letter to emigrants — Appeals 
to Indian Department to establish farms promised Blackf eet — 
Has Lieutenant John Mullan placed in charge of building 
wagon-road between Fort Benton and Walla Walla — Ex- 
poses memoir of Captain Cram — Convinces Senate Indian 
committee that treaties ought to be confirmed — Advocates 
Northwestern boundary commission — Speeches on Indian 
war — Pacific Railroad — Defends Nesmith — Matters en- 
gaging attention — Resists exactions of Hudson Bay Company 
in memoir to Secretary of State — Steptoe's defeat — Colonel 
Wright punishes Indians — Greneral Hamey placed in com- 
mand of Washington and Oregon departments — He revokes 
Wool's order excluding settlers from upper country — Address 


on Northwest — Walter W. Johnson, private secretary^ 
Treaties all confirmed March 8, 1869 — Dictates his final re- 
port on Northern route before breakfast 271 



Betoms to Paget Sonnd — Graest of General Hamey — Close re- 
lations with — Renominated for Congress — The canvass — 
Elected — Death of Mr. Mason — - San Joan dispute waxes warm 
over a pig — General Hamey advised by Governor Stevens 

— Sends Captain Pickett to occupy the island — British fleet 
blockade — Reinforcements sent to Pickett — British powerless 
on land — Thousands of American miners in Victoria and on 
Fraser River — Governor Gholson guided by Governor Stevens 
-» Offers support of militia to General Hamey, who places am- 
munition at his disposal — General Scott pacifies British lion 

— Gkyvemor Stevens's influence in saving the archipelago . • 288 



Governor Stevens becomes chief exponent and authority on North- 
ern route — Letter to Vancouver railroad convention — Con- 
tending for the Nortiiem route — Governor Stevens lives 
down prejudice — Grains respect — Great influence with Presi- 
dent and departments — His habits — Rebuke of self-eeekers — 
P<^tical issues — Governor Stevens a national man — Sus- 
tained constitutional rights of South, as matter of justice and 
to defeat disunion — Patriotism of men of this view — Attends 
Charleston and Baltimore Democratic conventions — Supports 
General Lane — Split in party — Govemor Stevens accepts as 
diairnian of executive committee of National Democracy — • 
Writes address in a single night — Labors hard — - Hopes of 
soeeesB — Abraham lincoln elected President — Act to pay 
Lidian war debt passed— W. W. Miller appointed Superin- 
tendent of Indian Affairs for Washington Territory — Gov- 
emor Stevens's achievements in seven years — His firm Union 
sentiments — Denounces seeesdon — Strengtiiens the hands 
of the President . 296 




Governor Stevens retoms to Washington Territory —- Recom- 
mends supporting the government and arming the militia — 
Elected captain of Paget Soond Rifles of Olympia — Demo- 
cratic convention meets — Grovemor Stevens withdraws his 
name as candidate for delegate — His speech — - Offers services 

— Hastens to Washington — Meets cold reception — Accepts 
colonelcy of 79th Highlanders — Governors Andrew and 
Sprague offer regiments 31 



The Highland Groard, a New York city militia hattalion, volon- 
teer as the 79th Highlanders — Splendid material — Severe 
losses at Bull Run — Promised to he sent home to recruit — 
Disappointed — Colonel Stevens takes command — Breaks 
unworthy officers — The mutiny and its suppression — Colonel 
Stevens enforces discipline — Marches through Washington 
with hand playing the dead march — Removes camp guards 
and appeals to honor of the regiment — Crossing the Potomac 
into Virginia — Colonel Stevens's hrief speech at midnight 

— Building Fort Ethan Allen — Digging forts and felling 
forests — Picket alarms — The reconnoissance of Lewinsville 

— General McClellan meets returning column ; his anxiety to 
avoid a general engagement — Coloncd Stevens deprived of his 
hrigade and given three green regiments — President Lincoln 
reminded, directs appointment of Colonel Stevens as briga- 
dier-general ; says delay is owing to Greneral McClellan*s 
advice — EEazard Stevens appointed adjutant 79th High- 
landers—Colonel Stevens appointed brigadier - general — 
Moves forward four miles to Camp of the Big Chestnut — 
The recusant wagon-master «- The unexpected rebuke — 
McClellan's passive-defensive — General Stevens ordered to 
Annapolis — Bids farewell to the Highlanders — Whole line 
cries, ^' Tak' us wi' ye ! " — Secures appointment of his son as 
captain and assistant adjutant-general — Condemns McClel- 
lan's management — Predicts disaster — Reaches Annapolis — 
Applies for Highlanders — McClellan objects, but President 
lincoln overrules him and sends them 32 




General Thomas W. Sherman — His army — G^eral Stevens's 
brigade — The embarkation — Fleet assemble off Fortress 
Monroe — Boat's crew of Highlanders — lively scenes — Sail- 
ing oat to sea — Storm scatters the fleet — Opening sealed 
oirders — Sail for Port Boyal — The rebel defenses — Commo- 
dore Dupont's attack — The enemy's flight — Landing of the 
troops — Demoralized by sweet-potato field — General Ste- 
vens alone urges advance inland — Constructs a mile of defen- 
sive works — Sickness — life on ELilton Head 341 



General Stevens occupies Beaufort, the Newport of the South 

— Abandoned by white population — Sacked by negroes ; 
their ignorance, habits, condition — Faint attack on the pickets 

— Greneral Stevens advances across Port Boyal Island — 
Pickets outer side, throwing enemy on the defensive — Enemy 
dose the Coosaw Biver — Greneral Stevens's plan to dislodge 
tliem authorized — Beinf orcement by two regiments and gun- 
boats — Flatboats assembled in a hidden creek — Troops em- 
bark at midnight, cross Coosaw, and effect landing — March 
in echelon toward Port Boyal Ferry — The action — The 
enemy's hasty retreat — The Ferry occupied — The forts de- 
stroyed — Troops bivouac for the night — Cross the ferry and 
march to Beaufort in triumph — Thanked in general orders 

ixnt the victory of Port Boyal Ferry 353 



General Stevens restores public library — It is confiscated by 
Treasury agents against his protest — The Gideonites come to 
elevate the freedmen — Greneral Stevens moderates their zeal ; 
wins their gratitude — Other visitors — Thorough course of 
drill and discipline — Twenty-five-mile picket line — Detach- 
ment of 8th liCchigan defeat 13th Georgia regiment on Wil- 
mington Island — Death of Mr. Caverly — Governor Stevens's 
views on military situation — Greneral Stevens's force a menace 


to Charleston and Sayannah Raiload — Six miles trestle 
bridges — Greneral Robert E. Lee's defensive measures — 
General Stevens eager to cross swords with Lee — Plans 
movement to destroy railroad and hurl whole army on Charles- 
ton — Captain Elliott's scouting trips — Greneral Sherman 
adopts plan — Commodore Dupont to cooperate — General 
Hunter supersedes Greneral Sherman — Fort Pulaski taken — 
General Hunter proclaims negroes forever free, then impresses 
them as soldiers — General Stevens's views on the negro soldier 

— He is eonfirmed as brigadier-general 3 



Enemy abandon lower part of Stono River and batteries — Gren- 
eral Benham plans movement on Charleston by way of James 
Island — Greneral Stevens lands on James Island — Drives 
back enemy in sharp action — Takes three guns — Cautions 
Benham of need of a day's preparation before attacking — In- 
competent commanders — Wright joins, a week later, with his 
division — Organization of the army — Enemy strengthening 
works across island — Fort Lamar, strong advanced work — 
Greneral Stevens erects counter-battery — Reconnoissances . . & 



General Benham's precipitate determination to assault Fort La- 
mar — Protests of his generals — He orders Greneral Stevens 
to assault at dawn, Wright and Williams to support — Attack- 
ing column — Forms at two P. M. — Drives in and follows 
hard on enemy's pickets — Enters field in front of fort at day- 
light — Rushes on the work in column of regiments — The fight 
over the parapet — Deadly fire from enemy's reserves in rear 
of the work — Troops withdrawn in good order and reformed 

— General Williams attacks on left — Gleneral Wright takes 
position to protect left and rear — General Stevens about to 
assault a second time, when General Benham suddenly gives 
up the fight and orders both colunms to retreat — Forces and 
losses — Causes of the repulse — Highlanders* revenge at Fort 
Saunders — Benham deprived of command and sent North . 31 




The Highlnndera present General Stevens with a sword — His 
response — Death of Daniel Lyman Arnold — Greneral Ste- 
vens's letters to his wife — Holds Benham to account — Gen- 
eral Wright succeeds to command on Benham's arrest — James 
iBiind evacuated — Troops uselessly harassed — Jean Ribaut's 
fort — Voyage to Virginia ^— General Stevens's letter to Pre- 
sident Lincoln recommending such movement — His views of 
military situation — Lands at Newport News — Ninth corps 
fonned, Greneral Stevens conunanding first division -— Meets 
General Cullum . . 416 


pope's campaign 

General Stevens moves to Fredericksburg — Division in three 
brigades, and joined by two light batteries — Stevens and 
Reno's division march up the Rappahannock ; join Pope's army 
at Culpeper Court House — Greneral Stevens stops stragglii^ 
and marauding — Battle of Cedar Mountain — Army of Vir- 
ginia — Pope advances to Rapidan — General Stevens holds 
Raccoon Ford — Lee leaves McCleUan — Concentrates against 
Pope, who withdraws behind Rappahannock — General Ste- 
vens's action at Kelly's Ford — Marching up the river to head 
off Lee — Benjamin silences enemy's gun with a single shot — 
Reinforcements arrive from Army of the Potomac — Jackson 
marches around right flank and f aUs on rear — Positions and 
movements, August 26, 27, 28 — Description of Bull Run 
battlefield — Jackson withdraws from Manassas and takes 
position there — Movements of Pope's forces — Fiasco of 
McDowell and Sigel — Jackson attacks — Stubborn fight of 
General Gibbon near Groveton — Generals King and Rick- 
etts march away from the enemy — Pope reiterates order to 
attack 425 



Jackson resumes his position — Sigel's troops move forward 
8lowly and become engaged— 'Reynolds, on left, advances, but 


falls back — Troops of right wing arriTe, scattered to meet 
Sigel's cries for reinforcements — General Stevens advances 
with small force to Groveton — Unexpectedly fired on by en- 
emy's skirmishers -^ Benjamin wmiw^ina unequal artillery com- 
bat — Sigel and Schenck withdraw troops from key-point — 
Jackson forces back Milroy and Schnn — General Porter's 
movement — Inactive all day — Pope hurls disconnected brig^ 
ades on Jackson's corps — Attacks by Grover, Reno, Kearny, 
Stevens, all repulsed — King's division slaughtered — General 
Stevens collects his scattered division — Union attacks re- 
pulsed the first day — Lee master of the situation — August 
30, second day — Pope sure the enemy had retreated — Gen- 
eral Stevens expresses contrary view — Captain John More 
finds enemy in force — Pope's fatuous order of pursuit— 
Porter slowly forms column in centre — Pope's faulty disposi- 
tions — Whole army bunched in centre — Wings stripped of 
troops — Porter's attack — General Stevens joins in it — The 
repulse — Lee's opportunity — Longstreef s onslaught — The 
battle on left and centre — The right firmly held — Greneral 
Stevens's remark — Pope orders retreat — General Stevens 
withdraws deliberately — Checks pursuit — Capture of Lieu- 
tenant Heffron — Crosses Bull Run at Lock's Ford — Bivouac 
for night— Battle lost by incompetent commander — Troops 
fought bravely 4 



Retreat to CentreviUe — Rear-guard — Bivouac on CentreviUe 
heights — Counting stacks — Two thousand and twelve mus- 
kets left — • Loss nearly one half — Greneral Stevens's last let- 
ter — Sudden orders — March to intercept Jackson — Battle 
of Chantilly — General Stevens's charge — He falls, bearing 
the colors — The enemy driven from his position — Sudden 
and furious thunderstorm bursts over the field 4 



Progress of the fight— General Kearny responds to Greneral 
Stevens's summons with Bimey's brigade — His death — 
Three of Reno's regiments engaged — Night ends the contest 
— Sixteen Union regiments against forty-eight Confederate 


— Bespeetire Iomss and forces — Greneral Stevens aTerted great 
diaster 487 



Genenl Sterens's body borne from battle to Washington — Pre- 
sident considering placing him in command at time of his 
dnth — Burial in Newport, R. I. — City erects monument 
—Inscription — Poem — General Sterens's descendants • • 498 

Affirdix — Census of Indians • • « 603 

IwDxz 507 



Arnral of Nez Perce Cavalcade at the Council 34 

Feasting the Chiefs 36 

Kam4-ah4can, Head Chief of the Yakimas 38 

XJ-o-Ban-fnale-OKsan : Spotted Eagle, a chief of the Nez Forces . 40 

Walla Walla Council 42 

Pu-pa-mox-mox : Yellow Serpent, Head Chief of the Walla 

Wallas 46 

We-ah-te-nartee-ma-ny: Young Chief, Head Chief of the Cuyuses 50 

She^arjah : Five Crows, a Chief of the Cuyuses 52 

Apposhwarhite : Looking Glass, War Chief of the Nez Forces • 54 
HaUial-tlos-sot : The Lawyer, Head Chief of the Nez Forces . . 58 

Hie Scalp Dance 60 

Ow-hi, a Chief of the Yakimas 64 

The Flathead CouncQ 82 

TTie Blackf oot Council . . • . • 112 

Groap of Blackf oot Chiefs — Harcartu-she-ye-hu, Star Robe, 
Chief of the 6ros Ventres ; Th-ke-te-pers, The Rider, Great 
War Chief of the Gros Ventres ; Sak-uis-tan, Heavy Shield, 
Great Warrior of the Blood Lidians; Stam-yekh-«a8-ci-cay, 

Lame Bull, Fiegan Chief 114 

Bls4skfoot Chiefs — Tat-turye, The Fox, Chief of the Blood Li- 
dians ; Mek-yarpy, Red Dye, Fiegan Warrior 116 

Gitmp : Commissioner Alfred Cumming, Alexander Culbertson, 

William Craig, Delaware Jim, James Bird 118 

Crossing the Bitter Roots in Midwinter 126 

CflBor d'Alene Mission ; 128 

Spokane Grarry : Head Chief of the Spokanes 140 

Ume-how-lish, War Chief of the Cuyuses 148 

Homestead in Olympia 260 

letter offering Sword and Services (facsimile) . ' 316 

Captain Hazard Stevens at the age of 19, £rom a photograph . 340 

Headquarters at Beaufort 372 

General Stevens and Staff: Captain B. F. Forter, Lieutenant 
Tlllliam T. Lusk, Captain Hazard Stevens, Lieutenant Abra- 


ham Cottrell, General Stevens, Major George S. Eemble, Lieu- 
tenant Benjamin R. Lyons 

Headquarters on James Island 398 

Camp of Greneral Stevens's Division at Newport News .... 422 

Headquarters at Newport News 424 

The Monument 502 

The portniti of Indian ehiefi were made by GnstaTos Sohon, a private soldier 
of the 4th in£antry, an intelligent and well-educated German, who had g^reat skill 
in making ezpressiTe likenesses. He also made the views of the councils and 
expedition. These portraits, with many others taken hy the same artist, were 
intended hy General Stevens to be used to illustrate a complete account of hia 
treaty operations. The views of camps and headquarters were sketched hy 
£. Henry, B (Company, 79th Highlanders. 


The Interior £rom Cascade Mountains to Fort Benton. Made 
on reduced scale £rom Grovemor Stevens's map of April 30, 
1857, sent to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs. Routes 
traversed by Grovernor Stevens taken £rom maps accompany- 
ing his final report of the Northern Pacific Railroad route. 

See Appendix for marginal notes 16 

Theatre of Indian War of 1856-56 on Puget Sound and West of 
Cascade Mountains. Made on reduced scale from map sent 
by Governor Stevens to the Secretary of War with report of 

March 21, 1856 172 

Beconnoissance of Lewinsville, September 11, 1862 880 

Port Royal and Sea Islands of South Carolina 352 

Action at Port Royal Ferry, January 1, 1862 358 

Batde of James Island, June 16, 1862 402 

Virginia — Potomac to Bapidan River 426 

Positions of forces August 26, 1862, 9 P. M 432 

Positions of forces August 27, 9 p. M • 433 

Positions of forces August 28, 9 p. m • • • 443 

Second Battle of BnU Bun, August 29 446 

Second Battle of Bull Bun, August 30 464 

Jackson's flank march, August 31 480 

Battle of Chantilly, September 1 . 482 






While treatiiig with the Sound Indians, tha governor 
sent William H. Tappan, agent for the southwestern 
tribes, Henry D. Cock, and Sidney Ford to summon the 
Chinooks, Chehalis, and coast Indians to meet in council 
on the Chehalis River, just above Gray's Harbor, on Feb- 
ruary 25, and on returning to Olympia dispatched Sim- 
mons and Shaw on the same duty. On the 22d he left 
Olympia on horseback, rode to the Chehalis, thirty miles, 
and the following day descended that stream in a canoe to 
the treaty ground. Among other settlers who attended 
the council at the governor's invitation was James 6. 
Swan, then residing on Shoalwater Bay, and since noted 
for his interesting writings on the Pacific Northwest, 
and for the valuable collections of Indian implements and 
curiosities, and monographs of their languages, customs, 
and history that he has made for the Smithsonian Insti- 
tution. Judge Swan gives the following graphic and 
lively account of this council in his ^^ Three Years' Resi- 
dence in Washington Territory." He describes how he 
and Dr. J. 6. Cooper, accompanied by twenty canoe-loads 
of Indians, paddled up the Chehalis one cold, damp mom- 
mg, without waiting for breakfast, finding it difficult to 
keep warm : — 


*< But the Indians did not seem to mind it at all ; for, excited 
with the desire to outvie each other in their attempts to be first 
to camp, they paddled, and screamed, and shouted, and laughed, 
and cut up all kinds of antics, which served to keep them in a 
glow. As we approached the camp we all stopped at a bend in 
the river, about three quarters of a mile distant, when all began 
to wash their faces, comb their hair, and put on their best 
clothes. The women got out their bright shawls and dresses, 
and painted their faces with vermilion, or red ochre and grease, 
and decked themselves out with their beads and trinkets, and in 
about ten minutes we were a gay-looking set ; and certainly the 
appearance of the canoes filled with Indians dressed in their 
brightest colors was very picturesque, but I should have enjoyed 
it better had the weather been a little warmer. 

*^The camp ground was situated on a bluff bank of the river, 
on its south side, about ten miles from Gray's Harbor, on the 
daim of Mr. James PiUdng^n. A space of two or three acres 
had been cleared from logs and brushwood, which had been 
piled up so as to form an oblong square. One great tree, which 
formed the southern side to the camp, served also as an immense 
backlog, against which our great camp-fire and sundry smaller 
ones were kindled, both to cook by and to warm us. In the 
centre of the square, and next the river, was the governor's 
tent; and between it and the south side of the ground were 
the commissary's and other tents, all ranged in proper order. 
Bude tables, laid in open air, and a huge framework of poles, 
from which hung carcasses of beef, mutton, deer, elk, and 
salmon, with a cloud of wild geese, ducks, and smaller game, 
gave evidence that the austerities of Lent were not to form any 
part of our services. 

" Around the sides of the square were ranged the tents and 
wigwams of the Indians, each tribe having a space allotted to 
it The coast Indians were placed at the lower part of the 
camp ; first the Chinooks, then the Chehalis, Quen-ai-ult, and 
Quaitso, Satsop, upper Chehalis, and Cowlitz. These different 
tribes had sent representatives to the council, and there were 
present about three hundred and fifty of them, and the best 
feeling prevailed among alL 

^ The white persons present consisted of only fourteen, viz.. 


Goremor Steyens, George Gibbs (who officiated as seoretaiy 
to tbe commission), Judge Ford, with his two sons, who were 
assifltant interpreters, Lieutenant-Colonel B. F. Shaw, the chief 
mterpreter. Colonel Simmons and Mr. Tappan, Indian agents, 
Dr. Cooper, Mr. Pilking^n, the owner of the claim. Colonel 
Cock, myself, and last, though by no means the least, Cush- 
msn, our commissary, orderly sergeant, provost marshal, chief 
stoiy-teller, factotum, and life of the party, — ^ Long may he 
wave.' Nor must I omit Green McCafferty, the cook, whose 
name had become famous for his exploits in an expedition to 
Queen Charlotte's Island to rescue some sailors from the In- 
dians. He was a good cook, and kept us well supplied with 
Iiot biscuit and roasted potatoes. 

^Our table was spread in the open air, and at breakfast and 
sopper was pretty sure to be covered with frost, but the hot 
dishes soon cleared that off, and we found the clear, fresh breeze 
very conducive to a good appetite. After supper we all gath- 
ered round the fire to smoke our pipes, toast our feet, and tell 

^ The next morning the council was commenced. The Indians 
were all drawn up in a large circle in front of the governor's 
tent, and around a table on which were placed the articles of 
treaty and other papers. The governor. General Gibbs, and 
Cobnel Shaw sat at the table, and the rest of the whites were 
lionored with camp-stools, to sit around as a sort of guard, or 
as a small cloud of witnesses. 

^Although we had no regimentals on, we were dressed pretty 
uniform. His Excellency the Governor was dressed in a red 
flannel shirt, dark frock coat and pants, and these last tucked 
in his boots, California fashion ; a black felt hat, with, I think, 
a pipe stuck through the band ; and a paper of fine-cut tobacco 
in his coat pocket. We also were dressed like the governor, 
not in ball-room or dress-parade uniform, but in good, warm, 
lerviceable clothes. 

^ After Colonel Mike Simmons, the agent, and, as he has been 
termed, the Daniel Boone of the Territory, had marshaled the 
savages into order, an Indian interpreter was selected from 
each tribe to interpret the jargon of Shaw into such language 
as their tribes could understand. The governor then made a 


speech, which was translated by Colonel Shaw into jargon, anj 
spoken to the Indians, in the same manner the good old elden 
of ancient times were accustomed to deacon out the hymns tc 
the congregation. First the governor spoke a few words, then 
the colonel interpreted, then the Indians ; so that this threefold 
repetition made it rather a lengthy operation. After this speecli 
the Indians were dismissed till the following day, when the 
treaty was to be read. We were then requested by the gOT- 
emor to explain to those Indians we were acquainted with what 
he had said, and they seemed very well satisfied. The govemoi 
had purchased of Mr. Pilking^n a large pile of potatoes, 
— about a hundred bushels, — and he told the Indians to help 
themselves. They made the heap grow small in a short time, 
each taking what he required for food ; but lest any one should 
get an undue share. Commissary Cushman and Colonel Simmons 
were detailed to stand guard on the potato pile, which they did 
with the utmost good feeling, keeping the savages in a roar of 
laughter by their humorous ways. 

^^ At night we again gathered around the fire, and the governor 
requested that we should enliven the time by telling anecdotes, 
himself setting the example. Governor Stevens has a rich 
fund of interesting and amusing incidents that he has picked up 
in his camp life, and a very happy way of relating them. We 
were aU called upon in turn. There were some tales told of a 
wild and romantic nature, and Judge Ford and Colonel Mike 
did their part. Old frontiersmen and early settlers, they had 
many a legend to relate of toil, privation, ftm, and frolic ; but 
the palm was conceded to Cushman, who certainly could vie 
with Baron Munchausen or Sindbad the Sailor in his wonderful 
romances. His imitative powers were great, and he would take 
off some speaker at a political gathering or a camp-meeting in 
so ludicrous a style that even the governor could not preserve 
his gravity, but would be obliged to join the rest in a general 
laughing chorus. Whenever Cushman began one of his ha> 
rangues, he was sure to draw up a crowd of Indians, who seemed 
to enjoy the fun as much as we, although they could not under- 
stand a word he said. He usually wound up by stirring up the 
fire ; and this, blazing up brightly and throwing off a shower 
of sparks, would light the old forest, making the night look 


Uacker in the distance, and showing out in full relief the dusky, 
grinning faces of the Indians, with their blankets drawn around 
them, standing up just outside the circle where we were sitting. 
Cnahman was a most capital man for a camp expedition, always 
ready, always prompt and good-natured. 

^The second momiug after our arrival the terms of the 
treaty were made known. This was read line by line by Gen- 
eral Gibbs, and then interpreted by Colonel Shaw to the Indi- 
ans. The provisions of the treaty were these : They were to be 
placed on a reservation between Grray's Harbor and Cape Flat- 
tery, and were to be paid forty thousand dollars in different 
installments. Four thousand dollars in addition was also to 
be paid them, to enable them to clear and fence in land and 
cultivate. No spirituous liquors were to be allowed on the 
reservation ; and any Indian who should be guilty of drink- 
ing liquor would have his or her annuity withheld. 

^ Schools, carpenters' and blacksmiths' shops were to be fur- 
nished by the United States ; also a sawmill, agricultural im- 
plements, teachers, and a doctor. All their slaves were to be 
free, and none afterwards to be bought or sold. The Indians, 
however, were not to be restricted to the reservation, but were 
to be allowed to procure their food as they had always done, 
and were at liberty at any time to leave the reservation to trade 
with or work for the whites. 

^ After this had all been interpreted to them, they were dis- 
missed till the next day, in order that they might talk the 
matter over together, and have any part explained to them 
which they did not understand. The following morning the 
treaty was again read to them after a speech from the governor, 
bat although they seemed satisfied, they did not perfectly com- 
prehend. The difficulty was in having so many tribes to talk 
to at the same time, and being obliged to use the jargon, which 
at best is a poor medium of conveying intelligence. The gov- 
ernor requested any one of them Uiat wished, to reply to him. 
Several of the chiefs spoke, some in jargon and some in their 
own tribal language, which would be interpreted into jargon by 
one of their people who was conversant with it ; so diat, what 
with this diversity of tongues, it was difficult to have the sub- 
ject properly understood. But their speeches finally resulted in 


one and the same thing, which was that they felt proud to have 
the governor talk with them ; they liked his proposition to buy 
their land, but they did not want to go to the reservation. The 
speech of Narkarty, one of the Chinook chiefs, will convey the 
idea they aU had. * When you first began to speak,' said he 
to the governor, ^ we did not understand you ; it was all dark 
to us as the night ; but now our hearts are enlightened, and 
what you say is clear to us as the sim. We are proud that our 
Grreat Father in Washing^n thinks of us. We are poor, and 
can see how much better off the white men are than we are. 
We are willing to sell our land, but we do not want to go away 
from our homes. Our fathers and mothers and ancestors are 
buried there, and by them we wish to bury our dead and be 
buried ourselves. We wish, therefore, each to have a place on 
our own land where we can live, and you may have the rest ; 
but we can't go to the north among the other tribes. We are 
not friends, and if we went together we should fight, and soon 
we would all be killed.' This same idea was expressed by all, 
and repeated every day. The Indians from the interior did not 
want to go on a reservation with the coast or canoe Indians. 
The whole together only numbered 843 all told, as may be seen 
by the following census, which was taken on the ground : — 

Lower Chehalis 217 

Upper Chehalis 216 

Quenaiults 158 

Chinooks 112 

CowUtz 140 


** But though few in numbers, there were among them men pos- 
sessed of shrewdness, sense, and great influence. They felt that 
though they were few, they were as much entitled to a separate 
treaty as the more powerful tribes in the interior. We all 
reasoned with them to show the kind intentions of the gov- 
ernor, and how much better off they would -be if they could 
content themselves to live in one community ; and our appeals 
were not altogether in vain. Several of the tribes consented, 
and were ready to sign the treaty, and of these the Quenaiults 


were the most prompt, evidently, however, from the fact that 
the proposed reservation included their land, and they would 
consequently remain at home. 

^ I think the governor would have eventually suooeeded in 
inducing them all to sign, had it not been for the son of Car- 
oowan, the old Chehalis chief. This young savage, whose 
name is Tleyuk, and who was the recognized chief of his tribe, 
had obtained great influence among all the coast Indians. He 
waa very willing at first to sign the treaty, provided the gov- 
ernor would select his land for the reservation, and make him 
the grand Tyee^ or chief, over the whole five tribes ; but when 
he found he could not effect his purpose, he changed his be- 
havior, and we soon found his bad influence among the other 
Indians, and the meeting broke up that day with marked symp- 
toms of dissatisfaction. This ill-feeling was increased by old 
Caroowan, who smuggled some whiskey into the camp, and 
made his appearance before the governor quite intoxicated. He 
was handed over to Provost Marshal Cushman, with orders to 
keep him quiet till he got sober. The governor was very much 
incensed at this breach of his orders, for he had expressly for- 
bidden either whites or Indians bringing one drop of liquor 
into the camp. 

'^The following day Tleyuk stated that he had no faith in any- 
thing the governor said, for he had been told that it was the 
intention of the United States government to put them all on 
board steamers and send them away out of the country, and 
that the Americans were not their friends. He gave the names 
of several white persons who had been industrious in circulat- 
ing these reports to thwart the governor in his plans, and most 
all of them had been in the employ of the Hudson Bay Com- 
pany. He was assured that there was no truth in the report, 
and pretended to be satisfied, but in reality was doing idl in 
his power to break up the meeting. That evening the governor 
called the chiefs into his tent, but to no purpose, for Tleyuk 
made some insolent remarks, and peremptorily refused to sign 
the treaty, and with his people refused to have anything to do 
with it. That night in his camp they behaved in a very dis- 
orderly manner, firing off guns, shouting, and making a great 


^^ The next mornings when the council was called, the governor 
gave Tleyuk a severe reprimand, and, taking from him his 
paper, which had been given to show that the government recog- 
nized him as chief, he tore it to pieces before the assemblage. 
Tleyuk felt this disgrace very keenly, but said nothing. The 
paper was to him of great importance, for they all look on a 
printed or written document as possessing some wonderful 
charm. The governor then informed them that as all would 
not sign the treaty it was of no effect, and the camp was then 
broken up. 

^^ Throughout the whole of the conference Governor Stevens 
evinced a degree of forbearance, and a desire to do everything 
he could for the benefit of the Indians. Nothing was done in 
a hurry. We remained in the camp a week, and ample time was 
given them each day to perfectly understand the views of the 
governor. The utmost good feeling prevailed, and every day 
they were induced to some games of sport to keep them good 
humored. Some would have races on the river in their canoes, 
others danced, and others gambled ; all was friendly till the last 
day, when Tleyuk's bad conduct spoiled the whole." 

That was an intrepid and resolute act of Governor Ste- 
vens, thus to tear up the turbulent chief's commission 
before his face, surrounded by three hundred and fiifty 
Indians and supported by only fourteen whites ; but it 
effectually cowed the insolent young savage, and pre- 
served the respect of the Indians. 

The council was by no means abortive, for in conse- 
quence of it the following fall Colonel Simmons obtained 
the assent and signature of the chiefs of the Quenaiult 
and Quillehute coast tribes to the treaty so carefully ex- 
plained to them at the Chehalis council, and it was signed 
by Governor Stevens at Olympia, January 25, 1856, on 
his return from the Blackfoot council, and duly con- 
firmed with the other treaties on March 8, 1859. These 
Indians were given $25,000 in annuities, and $2500 to 
improve the reservation, the selection of which was left 
to the President. A reservation of ten thousand acres 


iras set off at the mouth of the Quenaiult River, including 
theur principal village and salmon fishery, renowned as 
yielding the richest and finest salmon on the coast, a fish 
of medium size, deep, rich color, and exquisite flavor. 
The other provisions were the same as those secured to 
the Sound Indians. 

Tah-ho-lah and How-yatl, head chiefs of the two tribes, 
and twenty-nine other chiefs signed the treaty, and it 
was witnessed by M. T. Simmons, general Indian agent ; 
fl. A. Goldsborough, surveyor ; B. F. Shaw, interpreter ; 
James Tilton, surveyor^neral ; F. Kennedy, J. Y. Miller, 
uid H. D. Cock. 

These two tribes numbered four hundred and ninety- 
three, a number greatly in excess of the census given in 
Swan's account. In their distrust the Indians invariably 
reported less than their actual numbers, and nearly every 
tribe was found to be larger than the first estimate. The 
numbers of the Chinook, Chehalis, and Cowlitz Indians 
were reported by Governor Stevens in 1857 as one thou- 
sand one hundred and fifteen. 

Including the Quenaiults and the Cowlitz, and other 
Indians not on reservations, they now number some seven 
hundred, and are in about the same condition as the 
Sound Indians.^ 

^ A census of all the tribes in the Territory, returned with Governor Ste- 
Teos's report and map of April 30, 1857, is given in the Appendix. 



Just before going to the Chehalis council. Governor 
Stevens and his family suffered a sad and severe affliction 
in the death of his young kinsman, George Watson Ste- 
vens, who was drowned on February 16 at the debouch 
of the Skookumchuck Creek into the Chehalis River, as 
he was returning from Portland, whither he had gone to 
cash some government drafts. He was accompanied on 
the journey by A. B. Stuart, the mail and express carrier, 
who, as they approached the stream, had occasion to stop 
at a settler's house, while George Stevens kept on, and, 
although cautioned by Stuart, lost his life in the attempt 
to cross by the usual ford. The Skookumchuck emp- 
ties into the Chehalis at right angles, and although ordi- 
narily a stream of moderate size, becomes, when swollen 
by rains, a mighty and furious flood, which, encounter- 
ing the rapid current of the Chehalis, forms a dangerous 
whirlpool in the centre of that river. Not realizing the 
danger, and anxious to reach his journey's end that day, 
he forced his horse into the raging torrent, and was 
swept, man and steed, into the whirlpool below, where, 
although a fine swimmer and a strong, vigorous man, he 
met his death. Stuart reached the ford soon afterwards, 
and finding it impassable and his companion nowhere 
visible, rightly concluded that he was lost, and hastened 
to Olympia with the sad tidings. 

Governor Stevens with a party hastened to the scene, 
and diligently searched for the missing one. The gov- 


emor caused a band of horses to be driven into the 
stream to test its power, but all were instantly swept down 
into the larger river, several of them clear to the whirl- 
pool, although the water had fallen considerably. The 
unfortunate youth's horse swam ashore, and was found 
with the saddle and saddle-bags soaked with water, and 
a few days later his remains were found in the river a 
mile below the whirlpool. This sad event cast a deep 
gloom upon the family, and indeed all the community, 
for he was a young man of great promise, noble traite, 
and only twenty-two years of age. The governor said 
of him : — 

^ His whole character was an admirable blending of strength 
and gentleness* He was essentially a man of great resolution, 
daring, enterprise, and purpose, who adhered with great inflexi- 
bility to his determinations ; yet he was so gentle, so kindly, so 
courteous, and so disinterested that his strength did not fully 
appear in ordinary intercourse. To his friends his death is a 
sad bereavement, which time only can obliterate. His memory 
will be precious, his life an example, his bright and pure spirit 
is now in the heavenly mansion." 

** He was a brother in the house," wrote Mrs. Stevens to her 
mother ; ^^ evenings he always spent at home, and took an interest 
in everything about the house, played with the children, seemed 
to be happy just staying in our society. Here is my garden he 
made, and the flowers he set out, and marks of him all about us." 

It was a sad time when his remains were brought in, 
and the little toys and candy he had thoughtfully pur- 
dmsed for the children were found in his pockets and sad- 
dle-bags. He was buried on the beautiful green Bush 
Prairie, amid the scenes of mountain, prairie, and forest 
he loved so well. His intimate friends, Mason and Doty, 
were soon to be laid at rest by his side. 

In a letter to a sister Mrs. Stevens relates another in- 
stance of the governor's firmness and fearlessness in deal- 
ing with the Indians : — 


*^ There are three different tribes of Indians in Olympia now, 
all different, — the Nisquallies, Chissouks, and northern Fort 
Simpson Indians. A curious sight it is to see them. They are 
all gambling, their mats spread on the ground ; and you will see 
groups of fifty seated on the ground, and playing all day and 
night. The town is full of them. Mr. Stevens has them right 
under his thumb. They are as afraid as death of him, and do 
just what he tells them. He told the chiefs of the tribes he 
would not let them disturb the whites. That night they kept 
up an awful howling and singing, making night hideous like a 
pack of wolves. Mr. Stevens got up, took a big club, and went 
right in among them, and talked to them, and told them that the 
first man that opened his lips he would knock down. The chief 
said, * Close' (All right), and not another sound came from them 
that night. When he came back, he said the biggest lodge was 
full of men sitting in a circle around a big fire, smoking and 

Returning from the Chehalis council. Governor Ste- 
vens remained the next two months in Olympia, hard at 
work with his multifarious duties, revievdng legislative 
acts, preparing reports of the councils and treaties, in- 
structing the Indian agents, and attending to the unceas- 
ing cares and questions arising from the Indians, and pre- 
paring for the trip east of the mountains. In April he 
made the arduous horseback and river trip to Vancouver, 
and there met Superintendent Joel Palmer, of Oregon, by 
appointment, having previously invited him, in order tc 
arrange with him in regard to the proposed council with 
the Indians of the upper country, some of whom were 
within General Palmer's superintendency. 

This spring began the San Juan Island controversy with 
Great Britain, which came near involving the two coun- 
tries in war, and lasted with various phases for eighteen 
years, until it was finally decided in favor of the United 
States by Emperor William I., of Germany. 

By the treaty of 1846 the main ship-channel which sep 


arates the continent from Vancouver Island was fixed as 
the boundary from the point where the 49th parallel in- 
tersects the Gulf of Georgia, in order to give the whole 
of that island to Great Britain, for the parallel intersects 
it. It happens, however, that there are two channels, 
with a valuable group of islands between them, answering 
this description. The Americans claimed the western- 
most, the Canal de Haro, which runs next to Vancouver 
Island, and is the shorter, broader, and deeper, in every 
respect the main ship-channel, while the English insisted 
that the eastern channel, Rosario Straits, was the proper 
boundary. The shrewd and aggressive officers of the 
Hudson Bay Company at Victoria, Sir James Douglass 
at their head, originated the British claim, which other- 
wise had never arisen, so little merit had it, and in order 
to gain a foothold on, and claim possession of, these 
valuable islands, placed a flock of sheep on San Juan, 
and stationed there a petty official of the company. The 
island was included in Whatcom County by act of the 
Washington legislature, the property thereon became sub- 
ject to taxation, and the sheriff of the county levied upon 
and seized a number of the sheep in default of payment 
of taxes. 

Sir James Douglass thereupon addressed Governor Ste- 
vens, complaining of the seizure, and demanding to know 
if the sheriff's proceedings were authorized or sanctioned 
in any manner by the executive officer of Washington 
Territory. The governor promptly replied. May 12, 1855, 
and firmly and uncompromisingly asserted the American 
right, and justified the sheriff. After reciting the acts of 
Oregon and Washington assuming jurisdiction over the 
islands, he continued : — 

** The sheriff, in proceeding to collect taxes, acts under a law 
directing him to do so. Should he be resisted in such an at- 
tempt, it would become the duty of the governor to sastain him 
to the full force of the authority vested in him. 


<*The ownership remains now as it did at the execution ol 
the treaty of June 11, 1846, and can in no wise be ajGFected bj 
the alleged ^ possession of British subjects.' " 

The correspondence was communicated to the Secre- 
tary of State, who in reply deprecated any action by the 
territorial authorities pending a settlement of the ques- 
tion by the respective governments, and the dispute re- 
mained in abeyance until excited some years afterwards 
by another British act of aggression. Had our govern- 
ment firmly asserted its undoubted right at this time, the 
matter would have been settled. To the resolute and 
patriotic stand of Governor Stevens on this occasion, and 
his subsequent course in defense of this American terri- 
tory, as will be seen hereafter, were due the ultimate de- 
feat of the persistent and hard-fought British demands. 

At this time the governor purchased of William Tay- 
lor for $2000 his donation claim, a fine tract of half a 
section, 320 acres, six miles southwest of Olympia, and in 
the northwestern comer of Bush Prairie. It comprised 
a few acres of prairie, over a hundred acres of heavj 
meadow, and the remainder in heavy fir timber. A small 
house and a field fenced off the prairie were the onl] 
improvements. The governor always took great interest 
and pleasure in the soil, in gardening and farming. H< 
soon put a man on the place, and laid out extensive plani 
of improving it. 

In April the Democratic convention met in Olympia tc 
nominate a candidate for delegate in Congress, to succeec 
Judge Lancaster. The delegates assembled in a large 
store building on the southwest comer of Main and Firsi 
streets, belonging to George A. Barnes. Governor Ste 
vens was a candidate for the nomination. He was desir 
ous, after completing his treaty operations and returning 
from the Blackfoot council, to represent the Territory in 
Congress, and there push forward his plans for the public 


service, farther railroad surveys, wagon roads, mail routes, 
steamer service, Indian treaties and policy, and, above all, 
the Northern Pacific Bailroad. Many of the first settlers 
were strong in his support, recognizing how much such 
a man in Congress could accomplish for the Territory. 
There were two other candidates. Judge Columbia Lan- 
caster, very anxious to succeed himself, and J. Fatten 
Anderson, United States marshal, who had traveled all 
over the Territory in taking the census the previous year, 
and, it was said, had diligently improved his opportunities 
as census-taker by paying court to all the women, kissing 
all the babies, and pledging all the men to support him 
for delegate. He was a man of good appearance, cor- 
dial, pleasant Southern manners, and well calculated to 
make friends. The convention divided between the three 
candidates, and balloted an entire day without result. 
In the evening the candidates were invited to address 
the convention. Colonel Shaw, who was one of the gov- 
ernor's supporters, although not a member of the conven- 
tion, says that he advised the governor not to accept the 
invitation, lest the friends of the other candidates, hear- 
ing him speak, should become alarmed at his ability and 
power, and combine against him. Such advice was the 
very last that the governor, with his straightforward and 
positive character, would relish. He went before the 
convention, and in a forcible and patriotic speech, with- 
out reference to himself, set forth the needs of the Terri- 
tory, and the public measures required for its advance- 
ment, so ably and clearly that his friends were delighted, 
and felt sure that he would be chosen on the next ballot. 
But it turned out as Shaw feared. Although he gained 
votes, his opponents combined on Anderson, and nomi- 
nated him, some of them exclaiming, ^^ It won't do to 
nominate the governor, for if he once gets into Congress, 
we can never get him out again." 



Thb Indians of the upper Columbia, with whom Gro^ 
emor Stevens was next to treat, presented a far mon 
pressing and di£Bicult problem than the reduced tribes o 
the Sound. They numbered fourteen thousand souls 
comprised in ten powerful tribes, viz., Nez Perces, Cuj 
uses, Umatillas, Walla Wallas, Yakimas, Spokanes, Cobu 
d'Alenes, Platheads, Pend Oreilles, and Kootenais.^ The; 
were a manly, athletic race, still uncontaminated by th< 
vices and diseases which so often result from contac 
with the whites, and far superior in courage and enter 
prise, as well as in form and feature, to the canoe Indiani 
of the Sound and coast. Each tribe possessed its owi 
country, clearly defined by well-known natural boun 
daries, within whose limits their wanderings were re 
strained, save when they ^^ went to buffalo," or attende< 
some grand council or horse-race with a neighboring 
tribe. The chase, the salmon fishery, the root ground 
the numerous bands of horses and cattle, furnished eas; 
and ample sustenance. It was estimated that the Ne 
Perces owned twenty thousand head of these animah 
and the Cuyuses, Umatillas, and Walla Wallas not les 
than fifteen thousand. The Yakimas and Spokanes als< 
possessed great numbers. 

Of all these tribes, the Nez Perces or Sahaptin wer 

^ Numbers und names of all these tribes as giyen in tabular statement c 
oensus, in Goyemor Steyens's map and report of April 30, 1857, to tb 
Commissioner of Indian Affairs, now on file in Indian fioreaa. See Af 


F 0^/0% T 
J/J U* 

n,m /ill"'*'"' U'^W'^'a^v* 

\ ' ^ 

\ o 

\ 4. i 

\ * 




Ruuten of G<n'emor Stewns in 1863 and 1866 

L i Imlian RtMcrvutions 



the most numerous and progressive. They numbered 
3300, and occupied the country along the western base 
of the Bitter Root Mountains for over two hundred miles, 
and a hundred miles in width, including both banks of 
the Snake and its tributaries, the Kooskooskia or Clear- 
water, Salmon, Grande Ronde, Tucanon, etc. Yearly, in 
the spring or fall, their war chief would lead a strong 
party across the Rocky Mountains to hunt the buffalo on 
the plains of the Missouri, and many were the bloody 
encounters they had with the dreaded Blackfeet, the 
Arabs of the plains. They owned great numbers of 
horses, and the advent of the horse among them, about 
the middle of the eighteenth century, obtained from the 
Spaniards of New Mexico or California, of which they 
preserved the tradition, was the chief cause of their 
prosperous condition. From the days of Lewis and 
Clark, the first of the white race to meet their astonished 
gaze, they were famed as the firm friends of the white 
man. During all the fur-hunting and trading epoch 
the '^mountain men," as the trappers and voyageurs 
delighted to call themselves, were welcome in the lodges 
of the Nez Perces. Together they wintered in safety 
on the banks of the Kooskooskia, and together they 
hunted the buffalo on the plains of the Missouri, and 
made common cause against the Blackfeet. Among the 
most noted of the numerous encounters in which they 
were allied against their common foe was the stubborn 
fight of Pierre's Hole in 1832, so graphically described 
by Washington Irving in his " Bonneville Adventures." 
It was in this fight that Lawyer, then a promising young 
brave, and afterwards for many years the powerful head 
chief of the Sahaptin, received a severe wound in the 
hip, which never entirely healed, and doubtless hastened 
his death. 

In 1836 Rev. H. H. Spalding with his wife was sent 


out by the Presbyterians^ and settled as a missionary on 
the Lapwai, a branch on the southern side of the Koos- 
kooskia, twelve miles above its confluence with the Snake. 
Here he was preceded by William Craig, a Virginian, 
one of the best type of mountain men, who had mar- 
ried a Nez Perce maiden and made his home among her 
people. Aided by Craig's knowledge of the Nez Perce 
tongue and character, and of the Indians themselves, Mr. 
Spalding taught the whole tribe a simple Christian faith, 
made a dictionary of their language, and translated and 
had printed in the native tongue a hymn-book, cate- 
chism, and New Testament, taught a number of the 
young men to read and write their own language, built a 
saw and grist mill, and labored to induce them, not with- 
out success, to till the soil. Yet, after all this achieve- 
ment, he was in the end led to abandon his mission. In 
an unhappy hour he opened a store and went to trad- 
ing with the Indians. In their experience a trader was 
the personification of greed and falsehood. To them the 
union of the trader, all selfishness and fraud, and the 
preacher of morality and truth was monstrous, nay, im- 
possible. Mr. Spalding, too, was hard and exacting in 
his dealings, and offended in that way. With all his 
zeal and energy, he evidently lacked knowledge of In- 
dian nature, perhaps of human nature. What wonder 
that some of the Nez Perces, seeing that the trading-post 
was a fact, concluded that his preaching was a fraud, 
and warned him out of their country ! The massacre of 
the devoted missionary. Dr. Marcus Whitman, and his 
family, by the Cuyuses, in 1847, had just occurred, and 
Mr. Spalding, fearing a like fate if he remained after 
the warning, abandoned the mission where he had done 
so much. The majority of the Nez Perces, however, 
desired him to remain; and when he decided upon going, 
they formed a strong party of warriors, and escorted him 


irith hi» family and effects unhanned through the hostile 
Indians to the frontier settleinent. They magnanimously 
lefosed the large reward offered them^ s&yu^g? ^^ We will 
not sell Mr. Spalding; he left our country of his own 
free will, and we escorted him as his friends." In the 
ivar which ensued they remained the firm friends of the 
wliites, and the officers of the Oregon volunteers engaged 
in it presented them with a fine, large American flag, in 
which they took great pride. It was their boast that 
^We are the friends of the white man. The white man 
is oar brother. His blood has never stained our hands." 
Ciaig remained among them in perfect safety, and was 
treated with undiminished kindness. Although abandoned 
by Mr. Spalding, they by no means discarded the good 
lie had taught them. They maintained, unaided, their 
simple religious worship, and held services regularly 
every Sabbath, with preaching, singing of hymns, and 
reading of the Bible, all in their own language, with the 
books translated and printed for them by the devoted 
missionary. They prided themselves upon their superior 
intelligence, upon having young men who could read and 
write, and upon their ancient and fast friendship with . 
the whites. This friendship indeed was not merely a 
matter of sentiment. They were shrewd enough to turn 
it to good account. Large emigrations crossed the plains 
to Oregon during the period from 1843 to 1855; and 
the Nez Perces used to go down to the emigrant road on 
the (xrande Ronde or Umatilla, with bands of fat, sleek, 
handsome ponies, and exchange them with the emigrants 
for their worn-out horses, oxen, and sometimes a cow, 
clothing, groceries, ammunition, etc. The Pikes, as the 
Missourians who comprised the majority of the emigrants 
were called, "allowed that the Nez Perces could beat a 
Yankee on a trade." By these means they were begin- 
ning to obtain cattle as well as horses, were learning 


to wear blankets and shirts instead of skins, and indi- 
viduals were even beginning to set out fruit trees, and 
plant com and potatoes, and in a word the Nez Perces 
were making rapid strides toward civilization. There is 
no more interesting and instructive example of the 
amelioration of a savage tribe by the introduction of 
domestic animals, and its steady growth from abject bar- 
barism, than that afforded by the Nez Perces. But Utile 
more than a century ago they were a tribe of naked sav- 
ages, engaged in a perpetual struggle against starva- 
tion. Their country afforded but little game, and they 
subsisted almost exclusively on salmon, berries, and roots. 
The introduction of the horse enabled them to make long 
journeys to the buffalo plains east of the Rocky Moun- 
tains, where they could lay in great abundance of meat 
and furs ; furnished them with a valuable animal for trad- 
ing with other less favored tribes ; soon raised them to 
comparative affluence, and developed in their hunting 
and trading expeditions a manly, enterprising, shrewd, 
and intelligent character. They had improved and pro- 
fited still more from their intercourse with the whites, 
until there seemed every prospect that, with the introduc- 
tion of cattle, they might lay aside their nomadic habits, 
and become a pastoral and then an agricultural people. 

The Cuyuses were the most disaffected and intractable 
of all the toibes. But little is known of their early history. 
They are said to have come from the east many years ago. 
No tribe could resist their prowess, and when they settled 
on the Umatilla and Walla Walla rivers, having driven 
out the original inhabitants, none dared molest them; 
since which, wars and pestilence had reduced their num- 
bers to but five hundred, and continual intermarriages 
with the neighboring tribes had caused their own language 
to fall into disuse. But they still maintained their separate 
independence, and were as haughty and arrogant as ever. 


Tbe. Jesuits established a mission on the Umatilla and 

made some progress in their conversion^ and then Dr. 

Whitman came among them, establishing his mission in 

the Walla Walla valley, and for several years possessed 

their confidence and accomplished much good. The 

rivalry between Jesuit and Protestant missionary was 

carried to a high pitch. Pictorial cards were issued by 

each party, representing its opponents descending into the 

fieiy depths of the infernal regions, where Satan and his 

imps, with red-hot pitchforks, were impatiently waiting to 

receive their prey, while the converts to the true faith 

were ascending to heaven up a broad flight of stairs with 

winged angels on either side. This hostile and bigoted 

attitude of the missionaries towards each other must have 

weakened the respect and confidence of the Indians, and 

contributed not a little to the troubles that followed. 

Dr. Whitman was accustomed to attend the Indians 
when sick, and these labors, undertaken in the purest 
benevolence, were ultimately the cause of his death; for, 
the measles having broken out among them, and great 
numbers, especially of the children, dying, their sus- 
picions were directed towards this devoted and able mis- 

In the war which ensued the Cuyuses suffered severely, 
were deprived of great numbers of horses, compelled to 
relinquish their white captives, and to surrender to well- 
deserved death some of the most active in the massacre. 
Their head chief was known as the Young Chief, and 
next in rank and influence was the Five Crows. 

The Walla Wallas and Umatillas numbered upwards of 
one thousand, and inhabited the banks of the rivers which 
bear their names, and those of the Columbia. Their 
head chief was Pu-pu-mox-mox or the Yellow Serpent, a 
man of great intelligence and force of character, but well 
stricken in years. 


The Yakimas, including outlying bands/ were over 
3900 strong, and occupied the large region between the 
Columbia and the Cascades, with their principal abodes 
in the Yakima valley. One band, the Palouses, lived on 
the Palouse River, on the north side of the Snake and 
east of the Columbia, next the Nez Perce country. Large 
bands of the Yakimas had crossed the Cascades and 
were pressing on the feebler races on the west, by whom 
they were appropriately termed " Klik-i-tats " or robbers. 
The Jesuits had a mission on the Ah-ti-nam Creek, on the 
Yakima, but do not seem to have acquired much influence 
over them. 

The Spokanes numbered 2200, including the Colvilles, 
500, and Okinakanes, 600, and held the country north 
of Snake River to Pend Oreille Lake and the 49th par- 
allel, and extending west from the Nez Perce country, 
and that occupied by the Coeur d'Alenes at the base of 
the Bitter Root Mountains, to the Columbia River. A 
Presbyterian mission was also established among them 
under Rev. E. Walker and G. C. Eells, and abandoned 
about the same time as that of Mr. Spalding. 

Immediately east of the Spokanes, under the western 
slope of the Bitter Roots, lived the Coeur d'Alenes, a tribe 
of about five hundred. There was a Catholic mission 
among them presided over by Father Ravalli, and they 
had been converted to the ancient faith, and their mate- 
rial condition greatly improved by the good fathers. 

The Flatheads, Pend Oreilles, and Koutenays lived in 
the mountain valleys between the main range of the 
Rockies and the Bitter Roots, upon the tributaries of 
Clark's Fork chiefly, and depended largely upon the 
buffalo for their subsistence. They, too, like the Nez 
Perces, were disting^shed as the constant friends of the 

* PiBqaoase or Wenaiehee, 600 ; Yakimas, 700 ; Ps-hawn-appan, 500 ; 
Cdambia Biyer bands, 1000 ; Palonses, 600 ; Klikitats, 600. 


"whites, and were exposed to the unceasing forays of the 
Blackfeet. They numbered 2250. They termed them- 
selves the Salish, and the Spokanes and Cceur d'Alenes 
were of the same stock. 

There were also some small independent bands along 
the Columbia, who subsisted chiefly on salmon. Five 
sixths of the Indians lived within the Washington super- 
intendency, — all, indeed, except the Cuyuses, Umatillas, 
Walla Wallas, and a small number of the Nez Perces, 
who dwelt or roamed in both territories, and the small 
bands about the Dalles and on the Columbia, Des Chutes, 
and John Day's rivers, who lived wholly in Oregon. 

The whole vast region occupied by these numerous, 
brave, and manly Indians was still free from the intrur 
sion of white settlers, save a handful in the Walla Walla 
valley and about Colville. But year after year they saw 
the long trains of emigrants pass through their country 
and settle, like swarming bees, upon the fertile plains of 
the Wallamet. They saw the Indians there dispossessed 
of their hunting grounds, and rapidly dying off the face 
of the earth. The tale of every Indian wronged or ag- 
grieved, or who thought himself wronged or aggrieved, 
was borne with startling rapidity to their ears. Thus far 
their intercourse with the whites had been of immense 
benefit to them. The fur traders supplied them with 
superior weapons, blankets, and many articles of comfort, 
and had greatly improved their condition. Devoted mis- 
nonaries had labored among them for years, and with 
marked success. By trade with the emigrants they were 
growing rich in cattle. But the actual occupation of the 
soil by the settlers filled them with alarm. Amid all these 
benefits, the fear was fast growing into conviction that the 
fate of the Chinooks and the Wallamets was the presage 
of their fate, and that the whites would sooner or later 
pour with increasing numbers into their country, and 


appropriate it for themselves. The Flatheads^ Pend 
Oreilles, and Koutenays, remote from the settlements, 
retained their ancient friendship for the whites. But 
among the other tribes the desperate resolution was ex- 
tending and deepening itself to rise and wipe out the 
dreaded invaders ere it was too late. For several years 
the bold and turbulent spirits among them had been 
enlisting the disaffected Indians far and wide in a great 
combination designed to crush the unsuspecting whites 
simultaneously at all points by one sudden and mighty 
blow. In 1853 the wild rumors of impending outbreaks, 
the forerunners of every Indian war, but which have been 
invariably unheeded by the over-confident whites, were 
flying about the land. Yet outwardly all was serene. 
The great tribes of the upper country, from whom alone 
danger was to be feared, were as yet unmolested by set- 
tlers, had reaped only benefits from the whites, and were 
as friendly as ever to all appearance. Both authorities 
and people were lulled into a sense of complete security, 
and disregarded with contempt the warnings of the few 
who foresaw the danger. In truth, a similar state of affairs 
has preceded nearly all our great Indian wars. They have 
not been caused by petty acts of aggression, stinging 
whole tribes to frenzied revenge. Indians who undergo 
such treatment are usually too degraded and helpless 
to resist. But powerful tribes, unbroken by too long con- 
tact with the whites, fired and led by their master spirits, 
have from time to time risen in arms, and vainly striven to 
arrest and drive back the white race ere it overwhelmed 
them, as it had overwhelmed their kindred. Many chiefs 
have shown profound sagacity in foreseeing the danger 
menacing their race, and the highest talents and bravery 
in their bloody struggles to avert it. The Nez Perces 
saw the danger, but they alone realized the hopelessness 
of averting it by war. The Nez Perces alone discerned 


that their only safety was to ^^ follow the white man's 
ready" and that his mode of life was better than their own. 
Under the wise guidance of Lawyer, they had become 
imbaed with these convictions, by which their traditional 
friendship to the whites was strengthened and confirmed, 
and the time was fast approaching when their fidelity was 
to save many a valuable life, and preserve the settlements 
from destruction. 

In the spring of 1853 General Benjamin Alvord, then 
a major and commanding the military post at the Dalles, 
heralded among the Indians the approach of Governor 
Stevens with the exploring parties, and in reply was vis- 
ited by a delegation of chiefs of the Yakimas, Cuyiises, 
and Walla Wallas, who said that ^^ they always liked to 
have gentlemen, Hudson Bay Company men, or ofBicers 
of the army, or engineers, pass through their country, to 
whom they would extend every token of hospitality. They 
did not object to persons merely hunting, or those wear- 
ing swords, but they dreaded the approach of the whites 
with ploughs, axes, and shovels in their hands." Major 
Alvord had largely dealt with and studied these Indians, 
and moreover he had confidential sources of information 
from the Catholic priests of the Yakima Mission. He 
became so impressed with the danger of an outbreak that 
he reported the facts and rumors to his superior. General 
Hitchcock, commanding the Pacific Department, by whom 
they were discredited, and Major Alvord was soon after- 
wards relieved from the Dalles. Events were soon to 
prove that the magnitude and imminence of the danger 
were even greater than he apprehended. Says General 
Alvord : ^ — 

^ Letter to author ; Report of J. Ross Browne, H. Doe., p. 38, Ist session, 
36th Congress; Swan's Three Years, Washington Territory, pp. 324-425 ; 
Speeeh of Goremor Steyens, Ist session, 35th Congress, Congressional 
Globe, voL 37, pp. 49(M94. 


**• I inf onned Governor Stevens of these threatened Indian 
difficulties, and of the gigantic scale of their proposed insurreo-* 
tion. What should he do ? Was he to remain idle and let the 
storm come ? No, he set to work to provide for the inevitable. 
As the whites would come as five or six, or ten thousand would 
come every summer, he did his best to get the Indians to sell 
their Indian titles." 

It was on reaching the Dalles on his overland explora- 
tion that the governor first learned of this smouldering 
fire. Quick to grasp the situation, to see the breach into 
which, as Governor and Superintendent of Indian Affairs, 
it was his duty to throw himself, he lost no time, by his 
earnest and forcible reports, and by his visit in Washing- 
ton, in obtaining the necessary authority for treating with 
these Indians. 

Five years had elapsed since Congress, by the Dona- 
tion Acts, had invited settlers to take possession of the 
lands of these brave and numerous Indians, utterly disre- 
garding their rights, and now, when the volcano was ready 
to burst forth, the effort was to be made for the first time 
to treat with them, and the herculean task was devolved 
upon Governor Stevens of buying their country, allay- 
ing their well-founded fears, adjusting their jealousies 
and disputes with the whites and with each other, and 
inducing them to relinquish their savage and nomadic 
mode of life for agriculture and civilization. Many of 
the best informed settlers and army officers thought that 
any attempt to treat with these Indians for their lands 
was a useless and dangerous enterprise, and would surely 
lead to collision and bloodshed. 

During the spring Mr. Doty and agents A. J. Bolen 
and R. H. Lansdale were visiting the powerful tribes of 
the upper country, and preparing them for treating. The 
Walla Walla valley was chosen for the council ground at 
the instance of Kam-i-ah-kan^ the head chief of the Yaki- 


mas, who said, ^^ There is the place where in ancient times 
we held onr councils with the neighboring tribes, and we 
will hold it there now." A large quantity of goods was 
taken up the Columbia to Walla Walla in keel-boats. A 
party of twenty-five men was organized at the Dalles, 
outfitted with a complete pack-train, mules, riding ani- 
mals, and provisions, and sent to the council ground to 
make ready for the reception of the Indians, and after- 
wards to accompany the governor to the Blackf oot coun- 
ciL The Walla Walla council, like the Blackfoot, was 
conceived and planned exclusively by Governor Stevens. 
He alone impressed the necessity of them upon the gov- 
ernment, and obtained the requisite authority. The work 
of collecting the Indians was done chiefly by his agents, 
and it was not until he learned from Doty that the Indians 
had agreed to attend, and that the council was assured, 
that he invited Superintendent Palmer to take part in it 
as joint commissioner with himself for such tribes as lived 
partly in both Territories. This fact he caused to be 
entered on the joint record of the council. 

Leaving the gubernatorial office in the hands of Mr. 
Mason, and the Indian service, now well organized, in 
charge of Colonel Simmons and other agents. Governor 
Stevens early in May left Olympia on his treaty-making 
expedition east of the mountains, calculating to be absent 
from five to six months. He was accompanied by Lieu- 
tenant Richard Arnold, en route to San Francisco ; Cap- 
tain A. J. Cain, Indian agent for the lower Columbia ; 
B. H. Crosby ; his son Hazard, whom he decided to take 
as far as the Dalles and then send home; and some other 
gentlemen. The little cavalcade trotted rapidly across 
the prairies amidst severe and drenching showers, and 
after a brisk ride of thirty miles reached the hospitable 
log-house of Judge Ford for supper and shelter. 

It rained heavily during the night, and on continuing 


the jourDey the next morning, and fording the Skookum- 
chuck, where poor George Stevens was so recently lost, 
and which was then barely passable, a terribly swift, tur- 
bulent, and dangerous-looking torrent, the whole country 
seemed to be under water. The prairie upon which the 
town of Newarkum is built was flooded, and the horses 
laboriously waded across the plain in single file, belly- 
deep in water. The narrow track through the timber 
beyond the prairie was like a canal. Dick Arnold, who 
led the party, a tall, erect, athletic, soldierly figure, sud- 
denly sunk down into the water with a plunge until only 
his head and his horse's ears were visible. He had rid- 
den into a deep slough, which here crossed the road, indis- 
tinguishable in the general flood, but his steed swam and 
struggled across it and climbed out on the other side, 
the water dripping from man and horse, but the rider 
remaining firm in his seat through it all. After some 
delay the rest of the party effected a crossing on foot by 
a fallen tree, and drove the horses across by the road, swim- 
ming. Without further mishap, save the toils and dis- 
comforts of muddy roads and rains, they reached Cowlitz 
Landing that afternoon, descended the Cowlitz in canoes 
the next day, and proceeded by steamboat to Vancouver. 
After a day's stay here the governor continued his jour- 
ney up the river by steamboat to the lower Cascades, 
where he spent the night, crossed the Cascades portage 
on horseback early the next morning, proceeded by steam- 
boat to the Dalles, and found hospitable quarters with 
Major Granville 0. Haller at the military post, where 
were stationed two companies of the 4th infantry, under 
Major G. J. Rains. Superintendent Palmer was found 
at the Dalles, awaiting the governor's arrival. 

The outlook for effecting a treaty was deemed unfa- 
vorable by all. Governor Stevens was warned by Father 
Ricard, of the Yakima Mission, that the Indians were 


plotting to cut off the white chiefs who might attempt to 
hold a council.^ The Snake Indians had attacked and 
massacred parties of emigrants recently^ and Major Rains 
was under orders to send a force on the emigrant road to 
protect them. General Pahner and his Indian agents were 
reluctant to attempt to treat with the Indians at that time. 
The governor relates in his diary how he induced Major 
Bains to send from his siHall force a detachment of forty 
soldiers^ under Lieutenant Archibald Gracie^to the council 
as a g^uard. Mr. Lawrence Elip^ afterwards a colonel of the 
United States army, accompanied Mr. Gracie on the trip, 
and published an interesting account of the council : — 

*^ After supper, went with Major Haller to see Major Bains. 
It was about midnight, but the major got up, and we talked for 
two hours on Indian matters. I dwelt particularly on the neces- 
sity of a small force on the treaty ground to maintain order. 
He saw the necessity, but had no suitable force at his disposal, 
etc. The bearing of the proposed council on the Snakes was 
then alluded to by me, and I remarked that the services of a 
small force in checking insolence would be as good as two hun- 
dred men subsequently. We deemed it necessary to maintain 
our dignity and that of our government at the council, and 
we would seize any person, whether white man or Indian, who 
behaved in an improper manner. There were unquestionably 
a great many malcontents in each tribe. A few determined 
spirits, if not controlled, might embolden all not well disposed, 
and defeat the negotiations. Should this spirit be shown, they 
must be seized ; the well affected would then govern in the 
deliberations, and I anticipated little or no difficulty in nego- 
tiating. I then alluded to my determination to call out the 
militia of the Territory should I find, on reaching the coun- 
cil ground, that any plan of hostilities was being matured, or 
should a feeling of hostility be manifested, in case a small force 
was not sent from the garrison. 

** So doubtful did General Palmer consider the whole mat- 

1 Speech of Governor Stevens, Ist session, 35th Congress, Congressional 
Globe, vol. 37, p. 490. 


ter of the council, that it was only the circumstance of a military 
force being dispatched which determined him to send to the 
treaty ground presents to the Indians. He stated to me that 
he had concluded to send up no goods ; but, the escort having 
been ordered, he would send up his goods. At this time the 
Oregon officers expected little from the council, and evidently 
believed that the whole thing was premature and ill-advised." 

Stopping at the Dalles only long enough to obtain this 
detachment and outfit his own small party with riding 
animals, seven pack-mules, two packers, and a cook, the 
governor again took the saddle, and traveling rapidly 
overland two hundred miles to the Walla Walla valley 
in four days, camping the first night on the Des Chutes 
River, the second on John Day's River, the third on the 
Umatilla, reached the council ground on May 21 towards 
evening, the party thoroughly drenched by the soaking 
rain in which they had traveled all day. 

An amusing incident occurred at the camp on John 
Day's River, which the governor was fond of relating as 
a good joke on himself. There was no wood to be found 
in that vicinity, except some drift sticks, which were 
claimed by an old Indian who had pitched his lodge on 
the river's bank. After many fruitless attempts to pur^ 
chase some of his wood, the men took advtotage of the 
temporary absence of the old fellow to purloin a small 
quantity of it. This was nearly all consumed, and a hot 
and savory supper was smoking before our travelers, 
when the old Indian returned and discovered his loss. 
Dismounting from his pony, he approached the governor, 
and, in a tone of indignation and scorn, exclaimed, ^^ Do 
you call yourself a great chief and steal wood?" A 
liberal present mollified him considerably, and after par- 
taking of the supper, he departed in great good humor. 

The council ground was situated on the right bank of 
Mill Creek, a tributary of the Walla Walla River, and 


about six miles above the site of the unfortunate Whit- 
man Mission^ in the midst of a wide and fertile valley^ 
bounded in the distance on either hand by high^ bare, 
rolling hills, and extending, fan-shaped, far eastward to 
the Blue Mountains, whose lofty and wooded heights 
bounded and overlooked the plain. The valley was 
almost a perfect level, covered with the greatest profu- 
sion of waving bunch grass and flowers, amidst which 
grazed numerous bands of beautiful, sleek mustangs, and 
herds of long-horned Spanish cattle belonging to the 
Indians, and was intersected every half mile by a clear, 
rapid, sparkling stream, whose course could be easily 
traced in the distance by its fringe of willows and tall 
cottonwoods. Now every foot of this rich valley is under 
cultivation, a dozen gristmills run their wheels by these 
streams, and the very treaty ground is the centre of the 
thriving town of Walla WaUa, with a population of six 
thousand souls. 

Under the energetic hands of Doty and C. P. Higgins, 
the packmaster, — a position corresponding to the chief 
mate on shipboard, or the orderly sergeant of a company 
of troops, — the camp was found pitched, and everything 
in readiness for the council. A wall tent, with a large 
arbor of poles and boughs in front, stood on level, open 
ground a short distance from the creek, and facing the 
Blue Mountains, all ready for the governor. This was 
also to serve as the council chamber, and ample clear 
space was left for the Indians to assemble and seat them- 
selves on the ground in front of the arbor. A little far- 
ther in front, and nearer the creek, were ranged the 
tents of the rest of the party, a stout log-house to safely 
hold the supplies and Indian goods, and a large arbor 
to serve as a banqueting-hall for distinguished chiefs, so 
that, as in civilized lands, gastronomy might aid diplo- 
macy. A large herd of beef cattle and a pile of potatoes. 


purchased of Messrs. Llojd Brooke^ Bumford & Noble^ 
traders and stock-raisers^ who were occupying the site of 
the Whitman Mission^ and ample stores of sugar^ coffee^ 
bacon^ and flour furnished the materials for the feasts. 

General Palmer arrived the same day with R. R. Thomp- 
son and R. B. Metcalfe^ Indian agents for Oregon tribes^ 
who had visited the Cuyuses and Umatillas and small 
bands living wholly in Oregon^ and summoned them to 
attend the council. Fatigued and uncomfortable as they 
must have been after the day's journey and drenching^ 
the commissioners had a long conference in the evenings 
listened to Doty's report of his visits to the tribes and 
the talk and dispositions of the chiefs, and discussed the 
location of reservations and other points. The following 
programme was agreed upon : — 

1. Governor Stevens to preside at the council. 

2. Each superintendent to be sole commissioner for 
the Indians within his jurisdiction. 

3. Both to act jointly for tribes common to both Ter- 
ritories, each to appoint an agent and commissary for 
them, and goods and provisions to be distributed to them 
in proportion to the number under the respective jurisr 

4. To keep separate records, to be carefully compared 
and certified jointly as far as related to tribes common to 
both Territories. 

5. To keep a public table for the chiefs. 

The following officers were appointed for the joint 
treaties, in each case the first named for Washington, the 
second for Oregon : Governor Isaac I. Stevens and Super- 
intendent Joel Palmer, commissioners ; James Doty and 
William C. McKay, secretaries; R. H. Crosby and N. 
Olney, commissaries ; R. H. Lansdale and R. R. Thomp 
son, agents ; William Craig, N. Raymond, Matthew Dan- 
pher, and John Flette, interpreters. 


The goveraor also appointed as interpreters A. D. 
Pambnin, John Whitford^ James Coxie^ and Patrick 

Lieutenant Gracie^ with his little detachment^ arrived 
on the 23d. A tent, furnished by the governor, was 
pitched for the o£&cer and his guest, Mr. ICip, while the 
soldiers built huts of boughs, and spread over them can- 
vas pack-covers. The two gentlemen dined with the 
governor under the arbor near his tent, ^^ off a table con- 
structed from split pine logs, smoothed off, but not very 
smooth," says Mr. ICip. 

The scanty treating party of whites were now all assem- 
bled, and awaited the arrival of the Indians with interest, 
not unmixed with apprehension ; for it seemed a bold and 
perilous step to meet so many brave and warlike Indians, 
many of whom were known to be disaffected and ready 
to provoke an outbreak, in the heart of the Indian coun- 
try, two hundred miles from the nearest settlement or 
military post, with such a mere handful. They numbered 
barely a hundred men, — the governor's party of thirty- 
five, twelve with General Palmer, the military guard of 
forty-seven, two Catholic missionaries, and a few settlers. 
The second day after reaching the valley Governor 
Stevens, learning that General Wool had just arrived at 
Vancouver, wrote him a letter urging the importance of 
occupying the Walla Walla valley with a strong military 
force, preferably of cavalry, pointing out the central 
location of the point, and its strategic advantages for 
protecting the emigrant road, the trails to the Missouri 
on the east, the Puget Sound on the west, and for con- 
trolling the disaffected Indians, particularly the Cuyuses 
and Snakes. This, like other sound and indeed neces- 
sary measures recommended by the governor, was ig- 
nored by the self-sufficient Wool and his officers, until 

they were obliged to adopt them from necessity. 
VOL. n 



The Nez Perces, the first to arrive, came the next day, 
May 24, 2500 strong. Hearing of their approach, the 
commissioners drew up their little party on a knoll com- 
manding a fine view of the unbroken level of the valley. 
The standard of the Nez Perces, the large American flag 
given them by the officers engaged in the Cuyuse war, 
was sent forward and planted on the knoll. Soon their 
cavalcade came in sight, a thousand warriors mounted on 
fine horses and riding at a gallop, two abreast, naked to 
the breech-clout, their faces covered with white, red, and 
yellow paint in fanciful designs, and decked with plumes 
and feathers and trinkets fluttering in the sunshine. The 
ponies were even more gaudily arrayed, many of them 
selected for their singular color and markings, and many 
painted in vivid colors contrasting with their natural 
skins, — crimson slashed in broad stripes across white, 
yellow or white against black or bay ; and with their free 
and wild action, the thin buffalo line tied around the 
lower jaw, — the only bridle, almost invisible, — the naked 
riders, seated as though grown to their backs, presented 
the very picture of the fabled centaurs. Halting and 
forming a long line across the prairie, they again advanced 
at a gallop still nearer, then halted, while the head chief, 
Lawyer, and two other chiefs rode slowly forward to the 
knoU, dismounted and shook hands with the commission- 
ers, and then took post in rear of them. The other 
chiefs, twenty-five in number, then rode forward, and 


went throagh the same ceremony. Then came ohaiging 
on at full gallop in single file the cavalcade of braveSi 
breaking successively from one flank of the line, firing 
l^eir gvLDBy brandishing their shields, beating their drums, 
and yelling their war-whoops, and dashed in a wide circle 
around the little party on the knoll, now charging up as 
though to overwhelm it, now wheeling back, redoubling 
their wild action and fierce yells in frenzied excitement. 
At length they also dismounted, and took their stations 
in rear of the chiefs. Then a number of young braves, 
forming a ring, while others beat their drums, entertained 
the commissioners with their dances, after which the In- 
dians remounted and filed off to the place designated for 
their camp. This was on a small stream, flowing parallel 
to Mill Creek, on the same side with and over half a mile 
from the council camp. The chiefs accompanied the gov- 
ernor to his tent and arbor, smoked the pipe of peace, 
and had an informal talk. 

Hal-hal-tlos-sot or the Lawyer, the head chief of the 
Nez Forces, was an Indian Solon in his efforts to improve 
the condition of his people. Without any advantages of 
birth or wealth, he made himself the first in his tribe, 
while yet in middle life, by his unrivaled wisdom and 
force of character. His first acts were directed against 
gambling, which was indulged in to great excess, and 
against polygamy. Finding, however, that his influence 
as head chief was insufBcient to carry out his plans for 
the improvement of his people, he reorganized the gov- 
ernment of the tribe, appointed an additional number of 
chiefs from the young men, and, having thus increased 
and strengthened his influence, was enabled to accomplish 
his reforms. He early perceived that the growing power 
of the whites, which threatened to swallow up all before 
it, could not be resisted by force, and in consequence all 
bis efforts were directed to inducing the Indians to adopt 


the customs and civilization of the whites, and to preserv- 
ing the unbroken friendship between the two races. From 
the effects of the wound received at the battle of Pierre's 
Hole he was still suffering, and his right arm had been 
twice broken in a fight with a grizzly bear. Wise, en- 
lightened, and magnanimous, the head chief, yet one of 
the poorest of his tribe, he stood head and shoulders 
above the other chiefs, whether in intellect, nobility of 
soul, or influence. 

Provisions were issued to the Nez Perces, and some 
petty tribes which had come in, at the rate of one and a 
half pounds of beef, two pounds of potatoes, and one half 
a pound of com to each person. 

The Cuyuses, Walla Wallas, and Umatillas next ar- 
rived, and went into camp without any parade or salu- 
tations on a stream on the other side of Mill Creek, and 
over a mile distant from the camp of the whites, from 
which the intervening fringes of trees completely hid 
them. The head chief of the Walla Wallas and Umatil- 
las was Pu-pu-mox-mox or the Yellow Serpent, who held 
despotic sway over his own people, and great influence 
with neighboring tribes. He owned thousands of horses 
and cattle, and had amassed a large sum in specie, from 
trade with settlers and emigrants. Some years before 
one of his sons, a youth of promise, was murdered by a 
miner in California, and although he had always been 
on friendly terms with the whites, not even allowing his 
people to take part in the Cuyuse war, it was believed 
that the outrage rankled in his heart. He was well ad- 
vanced in years, and somewhat childish and capricious in 
small things, but his form was as erect, his mind as firm, 
and his authority as unimpaired as ever. 

The day after their arrival many of the Nez Perce chiefs 
came to see the commissioners, and after much friendly 
conversation were invited to dine. Governor Stevens and 





(general Palmer presided at opposite ends of the long 
table, at which were seated some thirty chiefs, and, having 
heard of the enormous appetites of the Indians, piled the 
tin plates, as they were presented, to the brim. Again 
and again were the plates passed up for a fresh supply ; 
the chiefs feasted and gorged like famished wolves ; and 
the arms of the hosts became so wearied from carving and 
dispensing the food that they were glad to resign the posts 
of honor to a couple of stalwart packers. The table for 
the chiefs was kept up during the council, and every day 
was well attended, but it was not again graced by the 
presence of the commissioners. 

During the morning an express was received from the 
Yellow Serpent. He sent word that the Cuyuses, Walla 
Wallas, and Yakimas would accept no provisions from 
the commissioners, but would bring their own, and pro- 
posed that the Young Chief, Lawyer, Kam-i-ah-kan, and 
himself, the head chiefs of the Cuyuses, Nez Perces, Ya- 
kimas, and Walla Wallas respectively, should do all the 
talking for the Indians at the council. The messenger 
would accept no tobacco for the chief, a very unfriendly 
sign, and muttered as he rode off, loud enough to be 
overheard by the interpreter, " You will find out by and 
by why we won't take provisions." 

Every effort was made by the other Indians to induce 
the Nez Perces to refuse provisions, but without avail. 
The latter took great pride in their unwavering friend- 
ship to the whites, and were fond of contrasting their 
course with that of the Cuyuses. Considerable jealousy 
sprung up between them in consequence. 

Two of the priests. Fathers Chirouse, of the Walla 
Walla, and Pandosy, of the Yakima Mission, arrived for 
the purpose of attending the council. They reported 
that these Indians were generally well disposed towards 
the whites, with the exception of Kam-i-ah-kan. The lat- 


ter said^ referring to the proposed council : ^^ If the gov- 
ernor speaks hard^ I will speak hard^ too." Other Indians 
had said, ^^ Kam-i-ah-kan will come with his young men 
with powder and ball." They were opposed to selling 
their lands ; and when Secretary Doty visited and invited 
them to attend the council, Kam-i-ah-kan refused the pre- 
sents offered him, saying that he ^^ had never accepted 
anything from the whites, not even to the value of a 
grain of wheat, without paying for it, and that he did 
not wish to purchase the presents." He was a man of 
fine presence and bearing, over six feet in height, well 
built and athletic. Governor Stevens said of him : ^^ He 
is a peculiar man, reminding me of the panther and the 
grizzly bear. His countenance has an extraordinary play, 
one moment in frowns, the next in smiles, flashing with 
light and black as Erebus the same instant. His panto- 
mime is great, and his gesticulation much and character- 
istic. He talks mostly in his face, and with his hands 
and arms." 

Reports were flying about that these tribes had com- 
bined to resist a treaty, and fears were expressed that an 
attempt to open the council would be the signal for an 

The following day a body of four hundred mounted 
Indians, supposed to be Cuyuses and Walla Wallas, were 
observed approaching, armed and in full gala dress, 
and uttering their war-whoops like so many demons, and, 
after riding three times around the Nez Perce camp, they 
departed. Soon after the Young Chief, accompanied by 
his principal chiefs, rode into camp, and, being invited to 
dismount, did so with evident reluctance, and shook hands 
in a very cold manner. They refused to smoke, and re- 
mained but a short time. ^^ The haughty carriage of 
these chiefs," remarks Governor Stevens in his journal, 
^^and their manly character have, for the first time in 




1 i* # >>f J\. 

K \M-l-\n KAN 
/Avi./ ( hi./of !lu- J '.tkimus 


my Indian experience, realized the descriptions of the 
writers of fiction." 

Grarrj, the head chief of the Spokanes, came, not to 
take purt in the council, but as a spectator. When a boy 
he had been sent to the Bed River settlements in Manir 
toba by Sir George Simpson, then governor of the Hud- 
son Bay Company, where he acquired a common-school, 
English education. It being impracticable to assemble 
so distant and widely scattered a tribe as the Spokanes 
in time for this council. Governor Stevens designed mak- 
ing a separate treaty with them later in the season on his 
return from the Missouri. 

Father Menetrey, from the Catholic mission among the 
Pend Oreilles, also arrived to attend the council, — a 
cultivated man, who spoke English fluently. 

A messenger sent to invite the Palouses returned ac- 
companied by only one of the chiefs, who reported that 
his people were indifferent to the matter, and would not 
come. A number of scattered and insignificant bands, 
who lived at different points on the Columbia, also ar- 

The following is from Governor Stevens^s journal : — 

May 27, Sunday. There was service in the Nez Perce camp 
and in the Nez Perce language, Timothy being the preacher. 
The commissioners attended. The sermon was on the Ten 
Commandments. Timothy has a natural and graceful delivery, 
and his words were repeated by a prompter. The Nez Perces 
have evidently profited much from the labor of Mr. Spalding, 
who was with them ten years, and their whole deportment 
throughout the service was devout. 

The next day agent Bolon, with an interpreter, was 
sent to meet the Yakimas, who were thought to be near 
at hand. He soon returned, having met Kam-i-ah-kan 
and also the Yellow Serpent. The latter said to Mr. 
Bolon that he was very sorry to hear that the chiefs and 


others in the commissioners' camp had said that he was 
unfriendly to the whites, — that his heart was with the 
Cuyuses, whose hearts were bad. He had always been 
friendly to the whites, and was so now, and he would go 
to-day to see the commissioners, and ask why such things 
had been said of him. Accordingly, soon after Bolon's 
return, Pu-pu-mox-mox, Kam-i-ah-kan, Ow-hi, and Skloom, 
the two latter being chiefs of the Yakimas, accompanied 
by a number of their braves, rode into camp. Dismount- 
ing, they shook hands in the most friendly manner, and 
seating themselves under the arbor indulged in a smoke, 
using their own tobacco exclusively, although other was 
offered them. 

Governor Stevens addressed them, saying that he had 
important business to lay before them, and proposed to 
open the council the next day at noon. The Yellow 
Serpent replied that he wanted more than one interpreter 
at the council, that they might know they translated 
truly. Being assured on this point, and invited to design 
nate an interpreter in whom he had confidence, he said, 
in a scornful manner, ^^ I do not wish my boys running 
around the camp of the whites like these young men," 
alluding to some young Nez Perces present and feeling 
quite at home. He added that he had only ridden over 
to-day to see the commissioners, and soon withdrew with 
his party. 

In the morning the commissioners and Secretary Doty 
visited the Lawyer at his lodge, as, his wound having 
broken out afresh, he was unable to walk without great 
pain and difficulty. He exhibited and explained a map 
of his country, which he had drawn at Governor Stevens's 
request. During the conference several chiefs came in, 
and suddenly one of them, U-u-san-male-e-can or Spotted 
Eagle, said : — 


si'oi I I h 1 \<;i I, 


,^ The Cnynses wont us to go to their oamp and hold a ooun- 
^ ^th them and Pn-pu-mox-mox. What are their hearts to 
^? Did we propose to hold a conncil with them, or ask them 
^^^ advice? Our hearts are Nez Perce hearts, and we know 
^^m. We came here to hold a great comicil with the great 
<^efs of the Americans, and we know the straightforward path 
to porsne, and are alone responsible for our actions. Three 
Cuyuses came last night and spoke to me and two other chiefs, 
Ufg;ing us to come to a council at the Cuyuse camp to meet 
Pd-pu-mox-mox and Kam-i-ah-kan. We did not wish to go. 
They insisted. Then I said to them, ^You had best say no 
more. My mind is made up. Why do you come here and 
ask three chiefs to come to a council, while to the head chief 
and the rest you say nothing ? Have we not told your mes- 
senger yesterday that our hearts are not Cuyuse hearts ? Gro 
home ! Our chiefs will not go. We have our own people to 
take care of ; they give us trouble enough, and we will not have 
the Cuyuse troubles on our hands.' " 

The Lawyer then opened a book containing in their 
own language the advice left them by their former head 
chief 9 Ellis, and read as follows : — 

^ Whenever the great chief of the Americans shall come into 
your country to give you laws, accept them. A Walla Walla 
heart is a Walla Walla, a Cuyuse heart is a Cuyuse, so is a 
Yakima heart a Yakima, but a Nez Ferco heart is a Nez Perce 
heart. While the Nez Perces are going straight, why should 
they turn aside to follow others ? Ellis's advice is to accept the 
white law. I have read it to you to show my heart." 

The speech of U-u-san-male-e-can afforded new evi- 
dence that the Cuyuses were plotting underhand, al- 
though but little could be learned as to the nature of 
their designs. 

At two p. M., on May 29, 1855, the council was f or^ 
mally opened by Governor Stevens. Under the roomy 
arbor in front of the tent were seated the commissioners, 
secretaries who kept the records, interpreters, and Indian 


agents, while the Indians were seated on the g^und in 
front in semicircular rows forty deep, one behind an- 
other. Timothy, the chief and preacher, concerning 
whom Governor Stevens said, " He and others are very 
devout, and seem to form a theocracy in the tribe, and, 
like the old New England fathers, to require every one 
to worship God in some visible way," — this Timothy, 
assisted by several of the young men, who were very 
tolerable penmen, kept the records of the council for 
the Nez Perces. They were accommodated with a table 
under the arbor, where everjrthing could be seen and 
heard. Some two thousand Indians were present, fully 
half of whom were Nez Perces. The pipe having been 
smoked with due solemnity, two interpreters were ap- 
pointed and sworn for each tribe, some preliminary re- 
marks were made, and the council was adjourned until 
ten o'clock the next morning. Before adjourning Gov- 
ernor Stevens renewed the offer of provisions to the recu- 
sant Indians, proposing that each tribe should take two 
oxen to its own camp and slaughter for themselves. 

Young Chief : " We have plenty of cattle. They are close 
to our camp. We have already killed three, and have pleniy 
of provisions." 

General Palmer to the interpreter : " Say to the Yakimas, 
* You have come a long way. You may not have provisions. If 
you want any, we have them, and you are welcome.' " 

Young Chief : *^ Eam-i-ah-kan is supplied at our camp." 

The Yellow Serpent and Kam-i-ah-kan dined with the 
commissioners, and remained in their tent for a long 
time, smoking in a friendly manner, but the Young Chief 
declined the invitation to dine. 

The two following days Governor Stevens explained 
the proposed treaties at length, item by item. There 
were to be two reservations, — one in the Nez Perce 
country of three million acres, on the north side of Snake 




^^ver^ embracing both the Kooskooskia and Sahnon riv- 
^^, including a large extent of good arable land^ with 
&De fisheries, root grounds, timber and mill-sites, and 
Was for the accommodation of the Cuyuses, Walla Wallas, 
Umatillas, and Spokanes, as well as the Nez Perces. The 
o&er embraced a large and fertile tract on the upper 
waters of the Yakima, and was for the Yakimas, Kliki* 
tats, Palouses, and kindred bands. The reservations were 
to belong to the Indians, and no white man should come 
upon them without their consent. An agent, with school- 
teachers, mechanics, and farmers, would take charge of 
each reservation, and instruct them in agriculture, trades, 
etc. ; grist and saw mills were to be built ; the head chie& 
were to receive an annuity of five hundred dollars each, 
in order that they might devote their whole time to 
their people ; and annuities in clothing, tools, and useful 
articles were to be given for twenty years, after which 
they were to be seL£-supporting. At first the reservations 
were to be used in common, but provision was made for 
the survey and subdivision of the land, and its allotment 
to the Indians in severalty as soon as they should be pre- 
pared to receive and utilize it. As it was evidently im- 
practicable to make so radical a change in their habits 
suddenly, the Indians were to have the privilege of hunt- 
ing, root-gathering, and pasturing stock on vacant land 
until appropriated by settlers, and the right of fishing. 
The advantages of the reservations were dwelt upon. 
They embraced some of the best land in the country, and 
were large enough to afford each family a farm to itself, 
besides grazing for all their stock ; they contained good 
fisheries, abundance of roots and berries, and considerable 
game. They were near enough to the great roads for 
trade with the emigrants, yet far enough from them to 
be undisturbed by travelers. By having so many tribes 
on the same reservation, the agent could better look after 


them, and could accomplish more with the means at his 
disposal. The staple argument held out was the supe- 
rior advantages of civilization, and the absolute neces- 
sity of their adopting the habits and mode of life of the 
white man in order to escape extinction. Governor Ste- 
vens also exhorted them to treat, for the sake of the 
example upon their inveterate enemies, the Blackfeet, 
that thereby they would prove themselves firm friends 
of the whites, and that he would then take delegations 
from each tribe with his party and proceed to the Black- 
foot country, and make a lasting treaty of peace, so that 
they could ever after hunt the buffalo in safety, and 
trade horses with the Indians east of the Rocky Moun- 
tains. The Indians listened gravely and in silence, as 
these matters were slowly unfolded to them, sentence by 
sentence through the interpreters, for five or six hours 
each day, and upon the adjournment of the council, 
quietly dispersed to their lodges. The third day the 
Young Chief for the first time dined at Governor Ste- 
vens's table with the other head chiefs, and General 
Palmer and the gentlemen of the party ; and in the even- 
ing he sent word that his young men were tired of such 
close confinement as they had undergone at the council, 
and desired to have a feast and holiday to-morrow, and 
he requested that no council be held until the day after 
(Saturday). The commissioners cheerfully acceded to his 
request, well pleased at these signs of mollifying the 
opposition of the haughty savage. 

There were now assembled on the ground between five 
and six thousand Indians. Says Colonel Kip : ^^ About 
five thousand Indians, including squaws and children. 
Their encampment and lodges are scattered over the val- 
ley for more than a mile, presenting a wild and fantastic 

Every afternoon, after the council adjourned for the 


day, horse-races and foot-races were held at the Nez 
Perce camp, attended by the sporting bloods of the other 
tribes, and witnessed by many of the whites. The usual 
course was a long one, — some two miles out and back, 
making four miles. Oftentimes thirty horses would start 
together in a grand sweepstakes ; the riders and betters 
would throw into one common pile the articles put up as 
stakes, — blankets, leggings, horse equipments, and what- 
ever was bet, and the winner would take the whole pile. 
The foot-races were equally long, and the runners would 
be escorted in their course by a crowd of mounted In- 
dians, galloping behind and beside them so closely that 
the exhausted ones could hardly stop without being run 
do^. The riders and runners were invariably stripped 
to the breech-cloth, and presented many fine, manly 
forms, perfect ApoUos in bronze. 

Everything was very quiet about the council ground 
the day begged for a holiday by the Young Chief, the 
Indians remaining at their own camps. But the next 
day, Saturday, June 2, they reassembled as usual; and 
after several hours had been spent in further explaining 
the provisions of the treaties, Governor Stevens called 
them to speak freely, saying, " We want you to open your 
hearts to us," etc. 

Hitherto the Indians had listened in grave silence, but 
now the opponents of the treaties took the lead in the 
discussion. The Yellow Serpent, in a speech marked by 
strength and sarcasm, uttered the prevailing reluctance 
to part with their lands, and their dread and distrust of 
the whites : — 

^ We have listened to all you have to say, and we desire you 
to listen when any Indian speaks. It appears that Craig knows 
the heart of his people ; that the whole has been prearranged in 
the hearts of the Indians ; that he wants an answer immediately, 
without giving them time to think ; that the Indians have had 


nothing to say, so that it would appear that we have no chief. 
I know the value of your speech from having experienced the 
same in California, having seen treaties there. We have not 
seen in a true light the object of your speeches, as if there was 
a post set between us, as if my heart wept for what you have 
said. Look at yourselves : your flesh is white ; mine is different, 
mine looks poor; our languages are different. If you would 
speak straight, then I would think that you spoke well. 

^^ Should I speak to you of things that happened long ago, as 
you have done ? The whites made me do what they pleased. 
They told me to do this, and I did it. They used to make our 
women to smoke. I supposed then they did what was right. 
When they told me to dance with all these nations that are 
here, then I danced. From that time, all the Indians became 
proud and called themselves chiefs. 

^* Now, how are we here as at a post? From what you have 
said, I think that you intend to win our country, or how is it to 
be? In one day the Americans become as numerous as the 
grass. This I learned in California. I know it is not right ; 
you have spoken in a roundabout way. Speak straight I have 
ears to hear you, and here is my heart. Suppose you show me 
goods, shall I run up and take them ? That is the way with 
all us Indians as you know us. Goods and the earth are not 
equal. Gtx)ds are for using on the earth. I do not know 
where they have given lands for goods. 

^^ We require time to think quietly, slowly. You have spoken 
in a manner partly tending to evil. Speak plain to us. I am 
a poor Indian. Show me charity. If there was a chief among 
the Nez Perces or Cuyuses, if they saw evil done they would 
put a stop to it, and all would be quiet. Such chiefs I hope 
Governor Stevens and General Palmer have. I should feel 
very much ashamed if the Americans did anything wrong. I 
had but a little to say, that is alL I do not wish a reply to-day. 
Think over what I have said." 

After a stinging rebuke administered by Camospelo, a 
Cuyuse chiefs to some of his young men who had behaved 
in a surly manner, talking and walking about during the 
proceedings, the council was adjourned until Monday. 

T. : 

PU-PU-.M<lX-MO\: Y1.I.I.(>W >l RI'l■.\I• 


This speech of the Yellow Serpent is marked in every 
sentence by his bitter distrust of the whites. He inti- 
mates^ almost asserts^ that the commissioners are trying 
to deceive and overreach the Indians, and with biting 
irony declares that he would feel very much ashamed if 
the Americans did anything wrong. 

Late that evening the Lawyer came unattended to see 
Governor Stevens. He disclosed a conspiracy on the part 
of the Cuyuses to suddenly rise upon and massacre all 
the whites on the council ground, — that this measure, 
deliberated in nightly conferences for some time, had at 
length been determined upon in full council of the tribe 
the day before, which the Young Chief had requested 
for a holiday ; they were now only awaiting the assent 
of the Yakimas and Walla Wallas to strike the blow; and 
that these latter had actually joined, or were on the point 
of joining, the Cuyuses in a war of extermination against 
the whites, for which the massacre of the governor and his 
party was to be the signal. They had conducted these 
plottings with the greatest secrecy, not trusting the Nez 
Perces ; and the Lawyer, suspecting that all was not 
right, had discovered the plot by means of a spy with 
the greatest difficulty, and only just in time to avert the 

The Lawyer concluded by sajring: "I will come with 
my family and pitch my lodge in the midst of your 
camp, that those Cuyuses may see that you and your party 
are under the protection of the head chief of the Nez 
Ferces." He did so immediately, although it was now 
after midnight, and, without awakening the suspicions 
of any one, he caused it to be reported among the other 
Indians that the commissioners were under the protection 
of the Nez Perces. 

Governor Stevens on his part imparted his knowledge 
of the conspiracy to Secretary Doty and Packmaster 


Higgins, and to them alone^ for he feared that^ should 
the party generally learn of it^ a stampede would ensue. 
Having through these efficient officers quietly caused the 
men to put their arms in readiness, and posting night 
guards, he determined to continue the council as usual, 
hoping that the Cuyuses, foiled in their design, would 
finally conclude to treat. 

On Monday the governor opened the council hy invit- 
ing the Indians to speak their minds freely, and, no one 
responding, finally called on the Lawyer. He expressed 
himself in terms favorable to the treaty, and was followed 
by several of his chiefs in a similar strain. Eam-i-ah- 
kan, on the other hand, avowed his distrust of the whites, 
and alluded in a contemptuous manner to the speeches of 
the Lawyer and the qthers : — 

^' I have something different to say from what the others have 
said. They are young men who have spoken as they have 
spoken. I have been afraid of the white man. His doings are 
different from ours. Perhaps you have spoken sti'aight that 
your children will do what is right. Let them do as they have 

The Yellow Serpent said with bitter irony, " I do not 
wish to speak. I leave it to the old men." 

Steachus, the only chief of the Cuyuses reported to 
be well disposed, commended the speech of the Lawyer, 
and exhorted all present to speak their minds freely. 

But the most impressive speech by far was that of 
Tip-pee-il-lan-oh-cow-pook, the Eagle-from-the-Light, a 
pathetic and touching speech : — 

*' You are now come to join together the white man and the 
red man. And why should I hide anything? I am going now 
to tell you a tale. I like the President's talk. I am glad of it 
when I hear it here, and for that reason I am going to tell you 
a tale. 

^^The time the whites first passed through this country, 

THE £A6L£-FB0M-TH£-LI6HT 48 

although the people of this country were blind, it was their 
beart to be friendly to them. Although they did not know 
what the white people said to them, they answered Yes, as if 
they were blind. They traveled about with the white people as 
if iliey had been lost. 

^ I have been talked to by the French [Hudson Bay Company 
men] and by the Americans, and one says to me go this way, 
and the other says go another way, and that is the reason I am 
lost between them. 

^ A long time ago they hung my brother for no offense, and 
this I say to my brother here, that he may think of it. After- 
wards came Spalding and Whitman. They advised us well, 
and taught us well, — very well. It was from the same source, 

— the light [the east]. They had pity on us, and we were 
pitied, and Spalding sent my father to the east, — the States, 

— and he went. His body has never returned. He was sent to 
learn good counsel, and friendship and many things. This is 
another thing to think of. At the time, in this place here, when 
there was blood spilled on the ground, we were friends to the 
whites and they to us. At that time they found it out that we 
were friends to them. My chief, my own chief, said, ^ I will try 
to settle all the bad matters with tiie whites,' and he started to 
look for counsel to straighten up matters, and there his body 
lies beyond here. He has never returned. 

** At the time the Indians held a grand council at Fort Lara- 
mie, I was with the Flatheads, and I heard there would be a 
grand council this side next year. We were asked to go and 
find counsel, friendship, and good advice. Many of my people 
started, and died in the country, — died hunting what was right. 
There were a good many started ; on Green Eiver the small- 
pox killed all but one. They were going to find good counsel 
in the east, and here am I looking still for counsel, and to be 
taught what is best to be done. 

** And now look at my people's bodies scattered everywhere, 
hunting for knowledge, — hunting for some one to teach them 
to go straight. And now I show it to you, and I want you to 
think of it. I am of a poor people. A preacher came to us, 
Mr. Spalding. He talked to us to learn, and from that he 
tamed to be a trader, as though there were two in one, one a 
VOL. n 


preacher and the other a trader. He made a farm and raised 
grain and bought our stock, as though there were two in one, 
one a preacher, the other a trader. And now one from the 
east has spoken, and I have heard it, and I do not wish another 
preacher to come, and be both trader and preacher in one. A 
piece of ground for a preacher big enough for his own use is 
all that is necessary for him. 

^* Look at that ; it is the tale I had to tell you, and now I am 
going to hunt friendship and good advice. We will come 
straight here, — slowly perhaps, but we will come straight." 

The next two days Governor Stevens continued^ explain- 
ing the treaties still further. A large map was brought 
forth, and the boundaries of the reservations accurately 
marked out and shown. The Indians took great interest 
in this map, asking many questions about the mountains 
and streams they saw represented upon it, and in some 
instances adding streams which were not laid down. 

Superintendent Palmer spoke for some time, going 
over the same ground as Governor Stevens. After he 
had concluded, Steachus, the friendly Cuyuse, arose and 
said: — 

*' My friends, I wish to show you my heart If your mother 
were in this country, gave you birth and suckled you, and, while 
you were suckling, some person came and took away your 
mother and left you alone and sold your mother, how would you 
feel then ? This is our mother, — this country, — as if we drew 
our living from her. My friends, all of this you have taken. 
Had I two rivers, I would leave the one, and be content to live 
on the other. I name the place for myself, the Grande Ronde, 
the Touchet towards the mountains, and the Tuca&on." 

Thus even Steachus, the most friendly of the Cuyuses, 
was the first to express his dissatisfaction with a treaty 
which left him none of his own country, and to request 
a reservation within its borders. The Indians were slow 
to speak ; they required time to make up their minds, and 
the council was therefore adjourned. 


;• / r nj r /I /</ ;- r^X^L. ""' ^J; 

f.» , '- s~ 

WF-AH-i'K-NA-rr.r. m\-n\': noi nc I iiiKr 


About midnight the governor and his little son were 
awakened by Lawyer, who shook the tent and said, in a 
low, soft voice, without a trace of hurry or excitement, 
^^ Water come now/' On springing out of bed, they 
splashed knee-deep in water flooding the tent, and were 
forced to make a hasty flight to higher ground. The 
creek had risen suddenly without warning, probably from 
a waterspout or heavy rains in the mountains. The fol- 
lowing day it subsided again as rapidly as it rose. 

When ^e council met the next day. Lawyer spoke first, 
and expressed the assent of himself and his people to 
the treaty. A great part of his speech was addressed to 
the Indians. He traced the increase of the whites from 
the discovery of the New World by Columbus ; alluded in 
a touching manner to the way in which the Indians had 
passed and were passing away ; and urged his auditors, as 
their only refuge, to place themselves under the protection 
of the Great Father in Washington. 

When Lawyer concluded, the Young Chief, the haughty 
Cuyuse, was the first to break the silence : — 

^^ He would not sell his country. He heard what the earth 
said. The earth said, ^ God has placed me here to take care of 
the Indian, to produce roots for him, and grass for his horses 
and cattle.' The water spoke the same way. God has forbid- 
den the Indian to sell his country except for a fair price, and 
he did not understand the treaty." 

Five Crows, the Yellow Serpent, Ow-hi, and several 
other chiefs followed in similar strain. The Yellow Ser- 
pent proposed that another council should be held at 
some future time. He insisted that the whites should 
not be allowed to come into his country to settle. He 
complained that the Indians were treated like children, 
were not consulted in drawing up the terms of the trea- 
ties, etc. 

Kam-irah-kan refused to speak, although several times 


urged to do so. His invariable reply was, ^^ I have no- 
thing to say." 

The commissioners replied, explaining those parts of 
the treaties which the Indians did not understand, and 
answering their objections. The discussion on the part 
of the Indians was captious, stormy, and unsatisfactory. 
Governor Stevens in pointed words, well calculated to 
touch their pride, urged the recusant and evasive chiefs 
to speak plainly : — 

*' My brother and myself have talked straight. Have all of 
you talked straight? Lawyer has, and his people here, and 
their business will be done to-morrow. 

^^ The Young Chief says he is blind, and does not understand. 
What is it that he wants ? Steachus says that his heart is in 
one of three places, the Grande Ronde, the Touchet, and the 
Tuc£^on. Where is the heart of Young Chief? 

" Pu-pu-mox-mox (the Yellow Serpent) cannot be wafted off 
like a feather. Does he prefer the Yakima reservation to that 
of the Nez Perces ? We have asked him before. We ask him 
now. Where is his heart ? 

^' And Kam-i-ah-kan, the great chief of the Yakimas, he has 
not spoken at all. His people have had no voice here to-day. 
He is not ashamed to speak. He is not afraid to speak. Then 
speak out ! 

*' But Ow-hi is afraid lest God be angry at his selling his land. 
Ow-hi, my brother, I do not think that God will be angry if 
you do your best for yourself and your children. Ask yourself 
this question to-night : ' Will not God be angry with me if I 
neglect this opportunity to do them good?' Ow-hi says his 
people are not here. Why did he promise to come here, then, 
to hear our talk ? I do not want to be ashamed of Ow-hi. We 
expect him to speak straight out We expect to hear from 
Kam-i-ah-kan, from Skloom." 

At length Five Crows proposed an adjournment. 
"Listen to me, you chiefs. We have been as one people 
with the Nez Perces hitherto. This day we are divided. 
We, the Cuyuses, the Walla Wallas, and Kam-i-ah-kan's 

SHE cA-^ AH : rivi-: < kow- 

<m r/rv/" 


Glass, the war chief, just from the Blackfoot conntry, 
where they had been for three years huntiDg the bufEalo. 
Looking Glass was old, irascible, and treacherous, yet 
second only to Lawyer in influence. WhUe hunting the 
buffalo he had several fights with the Blackfeet. At one 
time seventy of his horses were stolen by them ; but the 
vigorous old chief hotly pursued the depredators, killed 
two, put the rest to flight, and recovered his horses. He 
had reached the Bitter Root valley on his return home, 
when he heard that the Nez Forces were at a great coun- 
cil, and concluding a treaty without his presence. Leav- 
ing his party to follow more slowly, he pushed on with a 
few chosen braves, crossed the Bitter Root Mountains, 
where for some distance the snow was shouldeiMleep on 
their horses, and, having ridden three hundred miles in 
seven days at the age of seventy, reached the council 
ground while Gt>vemor Stevens was urging Kam-i-ah-kan 
to give his assent to the treaty, for the governor, hearing 
the arrival of Looking Glass announced, seized the occa^ 
sion to call upon the Yakima chief to sign the treaty in 
the name of Looking Glass, there being great friendship 
between these two. Scarcely had he concluded when 
Looking Glass, surrounded by his knot of warriors with 
the scalps tossing above them, rode up, excited and agi- 
tated, received his friends coldly, and finally broke forth 
into a most angry philippic against his tribe and the 
treaty: — 

*^ My people, what have you done ? While I was gone, you 
have sold my country. I have come home, and there is not left 
me a place on which to pitch my lodge. Go home to your 
lodges. I will talk to you." 

The council was immediately adjourned. Governor 
Stevens consulted Lawyer, who was of opinion that Look- 
ing Glass would calm down in a day or two and accept 

?■ '-:il 

I V 

I ti f-f A 

I.n<)KI\<; r,i.\s> 

li'.tr i'hi>'f o'' :h.' X t r-r.ex 


treaties. The former had remarked in the morning that 
his word was pledged^ and that he should sign the treaty 
no matter what Looking Glass and the Nez Perces did. 
It was thought that his example had great weight with 

Late in the evening Governor Stevens had an interview 
with Lawyer, who said : — 

'^ Governor Stevens, you are my chief. You come from the 
President. He has spoken kind words to us, a poor people. 
We have listened to them, and have agreed to a treaty. We 
are bound by the agreement When Looking Glass asked you, 
* How long will the agent live with us ? ' you might have re- 
plied by asking the question, ' How long have you been head 
chief of the Nez Perces? ' When he said, * I, the head chief, 
have just got back; I will talk; the boys talked yesterday,' 
you might have replied, ^The Lawyer, and not you, is the 
head chief. The whole Nez Perce tribe have said in council 
Lawyer was the head chief. Your faith is pledged. You have 
agreed to the treaty. I call upon you to sign it.' Had this 
course been taken, the treaty would have been signed." 

'^ Li reply," says the governor, ^' I told the Lawyer that we 
considered all the talk of Looking Glass as the outpourings of 
an angry and excited old man, whose heart would become all 
right if left to himself for a time ; that the Lawyer had left the 
council whilst in session, and without speaking. It was his busi- 
ness to have interfered in this way, had it been necessary. We 
considered the Lawyer's leaving as saying, ^ Nothing more can 
be done to-day ; it must be finished to-morrow.' Your authority 
will be sustained, and your people will be called upon to keep 
their word. You will be sustained. The Looking Glass wiU 
not be allowed to speak as head chief. You, and you alone, 
will be recognized. Should Looking Glass persist, the appeal 
will be made to your people. They must sign the treaty agreed 
to by them through you as head chief, or the council will be 
broken up and you will return home, your faith broken, your 
hopes of the future gone." 

The council being adjourned^ the Cuyuses and Nez 


^erces retired to their respective camps to hold couneik 
l)j themselves, which lasted all night. The position of 
Looking Glass was determined by the latter to be second 
to Lawyer, who was reaffirmed head chief. The coun- 
cil was stormy, but the chiefs at length all agreed on a 
paper sent in by Lawyer, and read in council, which 
declared the faith of the tribe pledged to Governor Ste- 
vens, and that the treaty must be signed. ^^ Those who 
would advise breaking their word were no better than 
the Cuyuses. Let them share the lot of the Cuyuses." 
The morning after this council being Sunday, Timothy 
preached a sermon for the times, and held up to the 
indignation of the tribe, and the retribution of the 
Almighty, those who would coalesce with the Cuyuses, 
and break the faith of the Nez Perces. 

The governor had a conversation with Kam-i-ah-kan, 
who said : — 

*' Looking Glass, if left alone, will sign the treaty. Don't 
ask me to accept presents. I have never taken one from a 
white man. When the payments are made, I will take my 

Steachus, the friendly Cuyuse chief, expressed his 
earnest desire that his tribe should sign the treaty, and 
both Pu-pu-mox-mox and Kam-i-ah-kan used their influ- 
ence to induce them to accept it. 

Early Monday morning Governor Stevens saw Lawyer, 
and said to him : ^^ We are now ready to go into council. 
I shall call upon your people to keep their word, and 
upon you as head chief to sign first. We want no 
speeches. This will be the last day of the council. Call 
your people together as soon as possible." The Lawyer 
replied, ^^ This is the right course," and immediately sum- 
moned his tribe. The closing scene of the council is 
best given in Governor Stevens's own words : — 


^'The Looking Glass took his seat in council in the very 
best humor. The Cuyuses and Nez Peroes were all present. 
Kam-i-ah-kan sat down near the Young Chief. The council 
was opened by me in a brief speech : * We meet for the last 
time. Your words are pledged to sign the treaty. The tribes 
have spoken through their head chiefs, Joseph, Bed Wolf, the 
Eagle, Ip-se-male-e-con, all declaring Lawyer was the head 
chief. I call upon Lawyer to sign first.' Lawyer then signed 
the treaty. ' I now call upon Joseph and the Looking Glass.' 
Looking Glass signed, then Joseph. Then every chief and 
man of note, both Nez Perces and Cuyuses, signed their respec- 
tive treaties. 

*^ After the treaties were signed, I spoke briefly of the Black- 
foot council, and asked each tribe to send delegations, the Nez 
Perces a hundred chiefs and braves, the whole under the head 
chief, or some chief of acknowledged authority, as Looking 
Glass. There was much talk on the subject on the part of the 
Indians. Looking Glass said he would have a talk with mo 
alone some other time." 

The council being completed^ presents were made to 
all the assembled tribes, who began packing up and 
moving off. Eagle-f rom-the-Light, the Nez Perce chief, 
who was at first opposed to the treaty and refused to 
accept provisions, now presented a magnificent grizzly 
bear's skin, with the teeth and claws intact, to Governor 
Stevens with the following speech: ^^This skin is my 
medicine. It came with me every day to council. It 
tells me everything. It says what has been done is right. 
Had anything been done wrong, it would have spoken 
out. I have now no use for it. I give it to you that 
you may know my heart is right." Every day Eagle- 
from-the-Light had brought this skin to the council, and, 
placing it with the teeth and claws turned towards the 
commissioners, had used it as a seat, declining the roll of 
blankets offered him. 

«*Thds ended," says the journal, ^^ in the most satisfactory 






i '1 '■ ' 


1 :• 



.;;■.'-,'■... :./ '-■' '^''■'- ••' ' 



VK&sumer, this great oounoil, prolonged through bo many days, — 

«^ oonnoil which — in the number of Indians assembled and the 

^^ixfieient tribes, old difficulties and troubles between them and 

^kib^ whites, a deep-seated dislike to and determination against 

S^^ng np their lands, and the great importance, nay, absolute 

YikQcessity, of opening this land by treaty to occupation by the 

^^v^liites, tiiat bloodshed and the enormous expense of Indian 

^^v^rs might be avoided, and in its general influence and diffi- 

^^ty — has never been equaled by any council held with the 

Xndian tribes of the United States. 

^'It was so considered by all present, and a final relief from 
the intense anxiety and vexation of the last month was espe- 
cially grateful to all concerned." 

The following day the Nez Perces celebrated the happy 
conclusion of the treaty, and the return of Looking Glass 
and his braves from the buffalo coqntry, by a scalp^ance. 
The chiefs and braves, in full war-paint and adorned 
with all their savage finery, formed a large circle, stand- 
ing several ranks deep. Within this arena a chosen body 
of warriors performed the war-dance, while the densely 
massed ranks of braves circled around them, keeping time 
in measured tread, and accompanying it with their wild 
and barbaric war-song. The ferocious and often hideous 
mien of these stalwart savages, their frenzied attitudes 
and shrill and startling yells, formed a subject worthy 
the pen of Dante and the pencil of Dor^. The missionary 
still had work to do. Presently an old hag, the very 
picture of squalor and woe, burst into the circle, bearing 
aloft upon a pole one of the fresh scalps so recently 
taken by Looking Glass, and, dancing and jumping about 
with wild and extravagant action, heaped upon the poor 
relic of a fallen foe every mark of indignity and con- 
tempt. Shaking it aloft, she vociferously abused it ; she 
beat it, she spat upon it, she bestrode the pole and rushed 
around the ring, trailing it in the dust, again and again ; 
while the warriors, with grim satisfaction, kept up their 


measured tread, chanted their war-songs, and uttered if 
possible yet more ear-piercing yells. A softer and more 
pleasing scene succeeded. The old hag retired with her 
bedraggled trophy, and a long line of Indian maidens 
stepped within the circle, and, forming an inner rank, 
moved slowly round and round, chanting a mild and plain- 
tive air. A number of the stylish young braves, real 
Indian beaux in the height of paint and feathers, next 
took post within the circle, near the rank of moving 
maidens, and each one, as the object of his adoration 
passed him, placed a gayly decorated token upon her 
shoulder. If she allowed it to remain, his affection was 
returned and he was accepted, but if she shook it off, he 
knew that he was a rejected suitor. Coquetry evidently 
is not confined to the civilized fair, for, without excep- 
tion, the maidens, as if indignant at such public wooing, 
threw off the token with disdain, while every new victim 
of delusive hopes was greeted with shouts of laughter 
from the spectators. 

The turning-point in the council was undoubtedly the 
discovery of the Cuyuse conspiracy by Lawyer, and his 
act of moving his lodge into Governor Stevens's camp, 
thereby placing the whites under the protection of the 
Nez Ferces. This was all that prevented the hostile chiefs 
and braves from striking the blow. They refrained be- 
cause they knew that if Lawyer was killed in an attack 
on the camp, which was to be expected in the mel^, the 
whole Nez Perce nation would avenge his slaughter in 
their blood. The real extent and imminence of the dan- 
ger was known to but few, but the fact of the plot was 
soon generally bruited about. 

*' Their design," says Colonel Eip, ** was first to massacre the 
escort, which cotUd have been easily done. Fifty soldiers against 
three thousand Indian warriors, out on the open plains, made 
rather too great odds. We should have had time, like Lieu- 

a 1 






^^^UkDt Gratten at Fort Laramie last season, to deliver one fire, 
^*^^d then t|;ie contest would have been over. Their next move 
^^^sas to surprise the post at the Dalles, as they could also have 
^^^ily done, as most of the troops were wididrawn, and the 
'^^Adians in the neighborhood had recently united with them* 
^K^This would have been the beginning of their war of extermina- 
tion against the settlers." 

Polled in their plot^ why did they then so quickly agree 
^ the treaties, which up to that time they had so bitterly 
turned ? All the circumstances and evidence go to show 
that, with the exception of Steachus, the friendly Cuyuse, 
they all — ^Young Chief, Five Crows, Pu-pu-mox-mox, Kam- 
kh-kan, and their sub-chiefs — all signed the treaties as a 
deliberate act of treachery, in order to lull the whites into 
fancied security, give time for Governor Stevens to depart 
to the distant Blackf oot country, where he would probably 
be " wiped out " by those truculent savages, and for the 
Nez Farces to return home, and also for completing their 
preparations for a widespread and simultaneous onslaught 
on all the settlements. Scarcely had they reached home 
from the council when they resumed such preparations, 
buying extra stores of ammunition, and sending emissa- 
ries to the Spokanes, Coeur d'Alenes, and even to some 
of the Nez Ferces and to other tribes, to incite them to 
war, actually held a council of the disaffected at a point 
in the Falouse country the following month, and, within 
three months of accepting ostensibly the protection of the 
Great Father, precipitated the conflict. Agent Bolon and 
many white miners and settlers in the upper country were 
massacred, and settlements as widespread as Fuget Sound 
and southern Oregon, six hundred miles apart, were at- 
tacked on the same day. In this conspiracy and contest 
Kamri-ah-kan was the moving spirit, the organizer, the 
instigator, whose crafty wiles never slept, and whose stub- 
bom resolution no disaster could break. But in the end. 


after protracted and stubborn resistance^ they were de- 
feated and compelled to move on their reservations^ and 
live under the very treaties they so treacherously agreed 
to, and under which they still live and have greatly 

Whether or not the Walla Walla council precipitated 
the outbreak, as has been claimed/ it is certain that it 
confirmed the Nez Ferces in their friendship, neutralized 
the Spokanes for two years, kept even some of the 
Cuyuses friendly all through the war, namely, Steachus 
and his band, extinguished the Indian title, and perma- 
nently settled the status of the Indian and his relation 
with the white man, without which peace was an impossi- 
bility. The outbreak itself could have been suppressed 
in a single season, had Governor Stevens's firm policy and 
sagacious views been sustained. 

Over sixty thousand square miles were ceded by these 
treaties. The Nez Perce reservation contained five thou- 
sand square miles, including mountain and forest as 
well as good land, and provision was made for moving 
other tribes upon it. The payment for the Nez Perce 
lands comprised $200,000 in the usual annuities, and 
$60,000 for improving the reservation, saw and grist miUs, 
schools, shops, teachers, farmers, mechanics, etc. Ardent 
spirits were excluded; the right to hunt, fish, gather 
roots and berries, and pasture stock on vacant land was 
secured, and provision was made for ultimately allotting 
the land in severalty. An annuity of $500 for twenty 
years was given the head chief, and a house was to be 
built for him, and ten acres of land fenced and broken 
up the first year. At the special request of the Indians, 
the claim and homestead of William Craig was confirmed 
to him, and was not to be considered part of the reserva- 
tion, although within its boundaries. 

Besides Lawyer and Looking Glass, fifty-six cliie& 


fi^ei this treaty^ and among them were Joseph (the 
father of the chief Joseph^ who in 1877 fought the brilr 
liant campaign against (Generals Howard, Gibbon, and 
IGles, the only conflict that has ever occurred between 
the Nez Perces and the whites), James, Red Wolf, Timo- 
thy, Spotted Eagle, and Eagle-from-the-Iight. 

The Umatilla reservation contained eight hundred 

square miles. $100,000 to be given for annuities in 

goods, etc., for twenty years ; $50,000 for improving the 

leservation; $10,000 for moving the emigrant road, 

which passed through it, around its borders ; a sawmill, 

a flour-mill; two schoolhouses; a blacksmith's shop, a 

wagon and plough making shop, a carpenter and joiner 

ihop; tools and equipments; and teachers, farmers, and 

mechanics to instruct them for twenty years, — were the 

very liberal payments for their lands. Moreover, the 

head chief of each tribe was to have his annuity of $500 

for twenty years, a house built, and ten acres fenced and 

ploughed. Pu-pu-mox-mox, in addition, was to be allowed 

to maintAin a trading-post at the mouth of the Yakima; 

his first year's salary was to be paid him on signing the 

treaty ; he was also to receive three yoke of oxen, three 

yokes and four chains, a wagon, two ploughs, twelve axes, 

two shovels, twelve hoes, one saddle and bridle, a set of 

wagon harness and one of plough harness ; and his son 

was to have an annuity of $100 for twenty years, and 

have a house built, and five acres of land ploughed and 


The wily old chief had certainly gotten all he could. 
The other provisions were similar to those of the Nez 
Perce treaty. It was signed by the three head chiefs and 
thirty-two sub-chiefs. 

The Yakima treaty contained the same general pro- 
visions. A large reservation on the Simcoe, a southern 
branch of the Yakima, and a smaller one on the We* 


natchee^ including the fishery there, were set apart for 
them. The payments include $200,000 in annuities, 
$60,000 for improving the reservations, the annuity, 
house and field for the chief, etc. In all the treaties 
provision is made for finally dividing the land among the 
Indians in severalty. 

Kam-i-ah-kan, Ow-hi, Skloom, and eleven other chiefs 
signed the treaty. The first three were able and per- 
sistent inciters of, and leaders in, the Indian war. Ow-hi 
is mentioned in ''The Canoe and Saddle," by Theo- 
dore Winthrop, and met a tragic end, being slain while a 
prisoner trying to escape from the troops under Colonel 
George Wright. 

After their exemplary punishment the Yakimas settled 
down on their reservation, and for many years were 
prosperous and contented under the charge of the faith- 
ful agent Wilbur. They number 2556, showing Uttle 
diminution ; have taken their lands in severalty ; most of 
them wear civilized dress in whole or part ; have 17,000 
acres under cultivation ; raise 50,000 bushels of grain, 
9600 of vegetables, and 25,000 tons of hay. 

The Spokanes number 3000. While some of the 
bands are backward, others have made encouraging pro- 
gress, '' are thrifty and industrious, have splendid farms, 
and raise large crops of grain and hay, . . . are self- 
supporting, and, but for the intemperance of some of 
them, are making rapid strides towards civilization." The 
agent says of one band : '' They accept no issues from the 
government, and are independent and self-supporting. 
They are peaceable in their own social relations, and 
courteous to their white brethren. They have made ma- 
terial progress, having good farms, fine horses, and many 
of them small herds of cattle." 

The Coeur d'Alenes, numbering 506, are further ad- 
vanced in civilization, and in better condition financially 

<^> . . 


'^ • .//•v'^ 

i : 



y4 Chit/orHw V„kitn,j^ 


than any other trihe. They are well supplied with all 
kinds of &rming implements, from a plough to a thresh- 
ing-machine, of which latter they now have thirteen 
in operation, purchased hy themselves with their own 

The Nez Perces, the most progressive and deserving of 
all, seem to have fared the worst. Their reservation was 
early overrun hy thousands of miners, and they were out- 
rageously swindled hy dishonest agents. They number 
only 1795, having diminished one half. But they have 
taken their lands in severalty ; have 10,000 acres under 
cultivation, 100,000 acres under fence; raise 55,000 
bushels of grain, 15,000 bushels of vegetables; own 
30,000 horses, 15,000 cattle, 3000 swine, and 20,000 
fowls. "Very enthusiastic revival meetings were con- 
ducted here last winter by the native elders, which re- 
sulted in quite a number of converts being made." ^ 

I Report of the Commiflsioiier of Indian AffairSi 1899, pp. 147, 148, 2979 
298, 304, 612, 618, 626^ 628. 



On the close of the council the Indians homeward- 
bound filled all the trails leading out of the valley with 
their wild and picturesque cavalcades^ — the braves re- 
splendent with scarlet blankets and leggings ; the squaws 
and pappooses decked with bright calico shirts and ker- 
chiefs. Lieutenant Gracie marched away to join Major 
Haller in an expedition against the predatory Snakes. 
The secretaries and other treaty officers toiled early and 
late making up the records and reports for Washing^n, 
which, with letters and instructions for Olympia, were 
dispatched on the 14th by W. H. Pearson, the express 

• It will be noted how carefully and fully the proceed- 
ings of all Governor Stevens's councils were recorded; 
not merely a statement of what was done, but a complete 
verbatim report of the deliberations, the speeches, every 
word uttered by both whites and Indians in council, and 
many of the talks out of council, was reduced to writing 
and made part of the official record, — a record which 
now affords the most convincing evidence of the wisdom, 
foresight, and benevolence of the treaties, as well as the 
difficulties and dangers attending them, and presents a 
most interesting and historically valuable picture of the 
characters, dispositions, and feelings of the Indians. 

General Palmer had been appointed one of the com- 
missioners to treat with the Blackfeet, Governor Stevens 
and Alfred Gumming, Superintendent of Indian Affairs 


for Nebraska, being the others, but he declined the ardu- 
ous and dangerous duty, and, with the Oregon Indian 
officers, started for home. 

A. J. Bolon, the Yakima Indian agent, with a small 
party, was sent to old Fort Walla Walla with a quantity 
of Indian goods intended for the Spokanes, there to be 
stored for safe-keeping. He was instructed to visit and 
inspect the Yakima reservation, thence proceed to the 
Dalles and bring the Nez Perce Indian goods to Walla 
Walla, deposit them, and, loading up with the Spokane 
goods, take them to Antoine Plante's ranch on the 
Spokane River, in readiness for the council on the gov- 
ernor's return from the Blackfoot country. Mr. Henry 
B. Crosby was dispatched to Colville to notify the In- 
dians, the Hudson Bay Company officers, and the mis- 
Qonaries of the proposed council. Agent W. H. Tappan 
^ras sent with Craig to Lapwai to organize a delegation 
of the Nez Forces to go to the Blackfoot council, and 
was to accompany them himself. All the officers were 
diarged to examine the regions traversed by them, and 
report on the topographical and agricultural features, etc. 
The governor had procured frqm New York a supply of 
barometers and other instruments, and was determined to 
continue and complete his railroad explorations, so sum- 
marily arrested by Jefferson Davis, as far as possible on 
this expedition, although it was one primarily on the 
ladian service. In his final railroad report he gives a 
daily journal of this trip, and a graphic description of the 
country passed over, together with an immense amount 
of new information, the fruits of his own indefatigable 
personal exertions and those of his subordinates, ampli- 
fying and triumphantly vindicating his first report. 

It was a beautiful, sunny June morning, the 16th, 
when the little train drew out from the deserted council 
ground, and took its way in single file across the level 


valley prairie, covered with luxuriant bunch grass and 
vivid-hued flowers. A large, fine-looking Coeur d'Alene 
Indian, named Joseph, led the way as guide ; then rode 
the governor with his son. Secretary Doty, Agent Lans- 
dale, and Gustavo Sohon the artist, barometer-carrier, and 
observer; then came Fackmaster Higgins, followed by 
the train of eleven packers and two cooks, and forty- 
one sleek, long-eared pack-mules, each bearing a burden 
of two hundred pounds, the men interspersed with the 
mules to keep them .moving on the trail ; while seventeen 
loose animals, in a disorderly bunch, driven by a couple 
of herders, brought up the rear. It was a picked force, 
both men and animals, and made up in efficiency for 
scanty numbers. The artist, Gustave Sohon, a soldier 
of the 4th infantry, detailed for the trip, was an intelli- 
gent German, a clever sketcher, and competent to take 
instrumental observations. Higgins, ex-orderly sergeant 
of dragoons, a tall, broad-shouldered, spare, sinewy man, 
a fine swordsman and drill-master, a scientific boxer, was 
a man of unusual firmness, intelligence, and good judg^ 
ment, and quiet, gentlemanly manners, and held the im- 
plicit respect, obedience, and goodwill of his subordi- 
nates. He afterwards became the founder, banker, and 
first citizen of the flourishing town of Missoula, at Hell 
Gate, in the Bitter Root valley. A. H. Robie worked 
up from the ranks, married a daughter of Craig, and 
settled at Bois^ City, Idaho, where he achieved a highly 
prosperous and respected career. Sidney Ford, a son of 
Judge Ford, already mentioned, was a handsome, stal- 
wart young Saxon in appearance, broad-shouldered, sen- 
sible, capable, and kindly. The others were all men of 
experience on the plains and mountains, brave and true ; 
several had been members of the exploring expedition ; 
others had served the fur companies, or voyageured and 
trapped on their own account. By all odds the most 


JdUfal and picturesque of these mountain men, and hav- 
ing the most varied and romantic history, was Delaware 
Jim, whose father was a Delaware chief and his mother 
a white woman, and who had spent a lifetime — for he 
was now past middle age — in hunting and traveling 
over all parts of the country, from the Mississippi to the 
Pacific, meeting with many thrilling adventures and hair- 
breadth escapes. He had a tall, slender form, a keen 
eye, an intelligent face, and reserved manners. He was 
reticent in speech, although he spoke English well ; but 
when he was induced to relate his varied experiences and 
adventures, his simple and modest narrative impressed 
every auditor with its truth. Many of the men were clad 
m buckskin moccasins, breeches, and fringed huntings 
shirts; others in rough, serviceable woolen garb, stout 
boots, and wide slouch hats. All carried navy revolvers 
and keen bowie-knives, and many in addition bore the 
long, heavy, small-bored Kentucky rifle, which they fired 
irith great deliberation and unerring skill. 

One of the most remarkable men connected with the 
expedition was the express rider, W. H. Pearson. A 
xuitive of Philadelphia, of small but well-knit frame, with 
muscles of steel, and spirit and endurance that no exer- 
tion apparently could break down, waving, chestnut hair, 
a &ir, high forehead, a refined, intelligent, and pleasant 
&ce, the manners and bearing of a gentleman, — such 
was Pearson. He was destined that year to render ser- 
vices invaluable in character and incredible in extent. 
Of him the governor remarks in his final report, p. 210 : 

^ Hardy, bold, intelligent, and resolute, having a great diver- 
sity of experience, which had made him acquainted with all 
Uie relations between Indians and white men from the borders 
of Texas to the 49th parallel, and which enabled him to know 
best how to move, whether under the Southern tropics or the 
winter snows of the North, I suppose there has scarcely ever 


been any man in the s^rvioe of the goyemment who ezoelled 
Pearson as an expressman." 

He was still young, about thirty-five, but, as a Texan 
ranger, a scout, Indian fighter, and express rider, knew 
the frontiers from the Rio Grande to the Columbia and 
Missouri like an open book. 

The party thus starting on the protracted and perilous 
expedition was composed of only twenty-two persons, as 
follows : Governor Isaac I. Stevens ; James Doty, secre- 
tary; R. H. Lansdale, Indian agent; Gustave Sohon, 
artist; Hazard Stevens; C. P. Higgins, packmaster; 
Sidney S. Ford, Jr., A. H. Robie, Joseph Lemere, Frank 
Genette, H. Palmer, William Simpson, John Canning, 
Frank Hale, Louis Oson, Louis Fourcier, C. Hughes, 
John Johnson, William S. De Parris, William Prud- 
homme, packers, the last two cooks; Joseph, the Cceur 
d' Alene guide ; and Delaware Jim, who deserves a place 
by himself. 

The party followed the Nez Perce trail, and, after a 
short march of eight miles, made camp on Dry Creek. 
Two messes were formed, — the gentlemen of the party, 
with the guide Joseph, Delaware Jim, Ford, Genette, and 
De Parris as cook, comprising the governor's mess, and 
the remainder of the party Higgins's mess. 

Continuing on the Nez Perce trail, the party in the 
next three days and fifty-four miles traversed a beautiful 
rolling prairie country of fertile soil, luxuriant bunch 
grass, and wild flowers, crossing the Touchet and Tucanon 
rivers, and ascending the Pa-ta-ha branch of the latter, 
and, descending the Al-pa-wha Creek, reached its conflu- 
ence with Snake River at Red Wolfs ground. Here was 
found a village of thirteen lodges of Nez Perces, under 
the chiefs Red Wolf and Timothy, with a fenced field 
of thirty acres, well watered by irrigation from the Al-pa- 
wha, and containing a fine crop of corn and a promising 


orchard. ^' I observed with great pleasure that men as 
well as women and children were at work in this fields 
ploughing and taking care of their crops/' observes the 
governor. After some bargaining, for the chiefs were keen 
traders and exacted a stiff toll for the service, the party, 
with packs and baggage, were ferried across the Snake, 
a notably swift and dangerous river, by the Indians 
in their canoes, and went into camp, while the animals 
crossed by swimming. 

By appointment Lawyer met the governor here, and 
with the other two chiefs took supper with him, the three 
devouring the lion's share of a fine salmon, which Timo- 
thy had just sold at an exorbitant price, — clearly the 
Nez Perces were fast learning the ways of civilization, — 
and completed the arrangements for sending their delega- 
tion to the Blackfoot council. Lawyer also gave much 
iof ormation about his people and country. 

Climbing out of the deep canon of the river next 
morning by an easy grade up a lateral creek, the party 
took a general N. N. E. course across the high, rolling 
plains stretching away to the mountains, for five days 
traversing a fine fertile and diversified country, clothed 
with waving grass and bright flowers, well wooded with 
groves of pine, and abundantly watered. They passed 
on the second day 600 Nez Perces gathering the kamas 
root, and having with them 2000 horses, and crossed the 
Palouse River, with its broad valley extending far eastward 
into the heart of the mountains. Says the governor: 
<< We have been astonished at the luxuriance of the grass 
and the fertility of the soil. The whole view presents to 
the eye a vast bed of flowers in all their varied beauty." 
The governor continually remarks the fertility and agri- 
cultural capabilities of the country traversed. It now 
forms the most productive part of the wheat belt of 
eastern Washington, and is all settled up by a prosperous 


farming community. The third day's camp was made at 
the kamas prairie of the Cqeur d' Alenes^ where were found 
29 lodges and 250 Indians of that tribe, gathering 
and drying kamas. This esculent is about the size and 
shape of a large tulip bulb, and when dried and smoked 
for use has a dark color and sweet taste, and was highly 
esteemed by the Indians and mountain men. The gov- 
ernor had a talk with Stellam, the head chief, and a 
number of other chiefs, and requested them to meet him 
at the mission in order to learn about the treaty the 
Great Father desired to make with them. They promised 
to attend. In the evening came the Palouse chief, Slah- 
yot-see, with 30 braves, and complained that no goods 
were given him at the recent council. The governor 
replied : — 

*' Slah-yot-see, you went away before the council was ended. 
Koh-lat-toose remained and signed the treaty. He was recog^ 
nized as the head chief of the Palouses, and to him the goods 
were given to be distributed among his tribe as he and the 
principal men should determine. I have brought no goods to 
give you. Go to Koh-lat-toose. He is the chief, and it is from 
him you must obtain your share of the presents. Had you re- 
mained until the council terminated, you would have had a voice 
in the distribution of the goods. Kam-i-ah-kan, your head 
chief, signed the treaty, and said that he should, bring the Pa- 
louses into the Yakima country, where they properly belonged." 

The chief said but little in reply except acknowledging 
Kam-i-ah-kan as his head chief. The Palouses had a bad 
name, and were regarded as sullen, insolent, and disaf- 

The last day, putting the party in camp on the Coeur 
d'Alene River, the governor with Doty and Sohon rode 
on nine miles farther to the mission, where he was received 
with the utmost hospitality by good Father Ravalli, and 
where he found Crosby, just arrived from Colville. The 


mission was situated on a sightly eminence in the midst 
of a little prairie on the right btuik of the river. On this 
beautiful and commanding site stood a well-proportioned 
churchy solidly built of squared timbers as smoothly hewn 
and closely fitted as though done by skillful white arti* 
sans, yet all the work of the Indians, under the direction 
of the priests. A long wooden building, plain but com- 
fi^table, afforded quarters for the fathers and two or 
three lay brothers and the transient guests. At the foot 
of the knoll, near the river, were the lodges of the Indians, 
constituting their principal village. 

At the camp of the party this evening an incident 
occur;red of quite unusual character, — a wrestling match 
between Indian and white. A large number of the Coeur 
d'Alenes had come down with their canoes, and assisted 
the party in crossing the rivers, and had taken the packs 
by water a long distance, thus relieving the animals over 
a stretch of muddy trail, and at night camped near the 
whites. After supper they came over to camp, and, with 
much talk in Chinook and many signs, at length con- 
veyed the idea of a challenge at wrestling between an 
immense, powerfully formed Indian, whom they brought 
forward as their champion, and any ^^ skookum man '' of 
the whites. The latter were rather taken back. None 
liked the looks of the big and muscular savage, but all 
agreed that it would never do to decline the challenge, 
and back down before a parcel of Indians. At last Sid- 
ney Ford stepped forward, declaring that he would try a 
fall with him, if he broke his back in the effort. In the 
struggle which ensued, it was 'soon apparent that the In- 
dian was the superior in weight and strength, and Ford 
had to put forth all his skill and agility to prevent being 
forced to the ground. At last, while all the spectators, 
both red and white, were breathlessly watching the strain- 
ing, panting wrestlers, the whites especially with great 


anxiety and apprehension, Ford gave a sudden and mighty 
heave, the huge Indian's bare legs and moccasined feet 
whirled in the air, and the next instant he struck the 
ground with a heavy and sickening thud, and lay senseless 
as the dead. Ford had thrown him completely over his 
shoulder by some skillful wrestling stroke. The Indian 
soon recovered, and departed with his companions, well 
satisfied that the white man was ^^ hi-u skookum" (mighty 
strong). This rencounter led to much discussion around 
the camp-fire that evening as to the relative prowess of 
Indian and white. All agreed that the latter was 
far superior, not only in courage and physical strength, 
but even in endurance and woodland and savage arts 
and skill. 

The next day the party moved and encamped near 
the village, and on the following morning the principal 
chiefs to the number of thirty assembled in front of the 
governor's tent, and listened attentively as he explained 
to them the benefits they would gain by learning to 
^^ follow the white man's road," and referred to the 
treaties made with the other tribes at the recent council, 
at which some of them were present, and asked them to 
meet him in council with the Spokanes on his return. 
Finally he invited them to send with him a delegation to 
the Blackfoot council, and make peace with those fierce 
and feared marauders. The chiefs received the talk 
favorably, but declined to send the delegation, saying that 
only a few of their people went to buffalo, and besides 
they were afraid to go to the council. The Blackfeet 
would kill them. 

At noon, after this conference, the train set out in charge 
of Higgins, while the governor, with Doty and Crosby, 
remained a few hours longer. The oath of alleg^ianoe 
to the United States was administered by Crosby to the 
fathers and lay brothers, who subscribed the naturaliza- 


tion papers, and seemed much pleased with the idea of 
becoming American citissens. Towards evening they bade 
die hospitable missionaries farewell, and, riding rapidly 
deven miles, found the train snugly encamped in a large, 
prairie with fine grass, where the governor encamped, 
October 12, 1853. The next two days the party were 
kept in camp by a pelting summer rain. 

Friday, June 29, on a cool and delightful morning 
after the storm, the march was continued up the CoBur 
d'Alene River, retracing the governor's route of 1853 
across ihe Bitter Boot Mountains; the summit was passed 
on July 1, and, descending the St. Regis de Borgia, 
crossing and recrossing the stream no less than thiriy- 
five times, the Bitter Root River was reached on the 3d, 
eighty-siz miles distant from the mission: The Father 
Superior of the Catholic missions, with two companions 
returning from an inspection of the Pend Oreille Mission, 
was met the first day, and on the summit a Coeur d'Alene 
Indian, whom the governor had previously sent to the 
Bitter Root valley ^ with dispatches to Mr. Adams, special 
agent for the Flatheads, in regard to holding a council 
with them, brought the gratifying intelligence that the 
Indians were all ready to assemble, all full of the Black- 
foot council, and that everything was quiet in the Indian 
country. The governor took great pains in examining 
the route and the topography of the country, and in 
determining the altitude by the barometer. 

The Fourth of July was spent in crossing the Bitter 
Root, which was at this point one hundred and fifty yards 
wide, with a swift, strong current, and fordable only at 
the lowest stage of water in fall and winter. It was now 
swollen from recent rains and melting snows in the moun- 
tains. All hands set to work felling trees and building 
raEts, with which to effect a crossing. While thus labo- 

^ Now known as the Minoala VftUejr and Biyer. 


liously engaged, a large band of Flathead Indians, who 
were encamped here, took down their lodges, and ferried 
themselves over the swift and broad river, with all their 
women, children, horses, dogs, lodges, and effects, in less 
than an hour's time, and in a simple and ingenious man- 
ner, which put the whites quite to the blush. The buffalo- 
skin lodge was spread out on a smooth, flat place at the 
water's edge, all the blankets, robes, clothing, bundles of 
provisions, saddles, packs, everything in short in the way 
of goods and chattels were piled in a broad, circular pile 
upon it, and the ends and edges of the skin were stretched 
up and tied together on top, as one would tie up a bundle 
of clothes in a handkerchief. This being completed^ a 
brave rode his horse into the river until almost swimmings 
holding by his teeth the end of a line; the bundle was 
then pushed and lifted into the river ; the squaws climbed 
on top of it with the children and babies around them^ 
one of them took and held the other end of the line, and 
the brave started his pony swimming across the stream^ 
holding by the mane or tail with one hand, and swim- 
ming with the other, and soon reached the opposite bank 
in safety. It was a curious and exciting spectacle to see 
ten or twelve of these bundles, the size of large haycocks, 
surmounted by groups of squaws and pappooses, rapidly 
floating down the stream, while being slowly towed 
across, nothing visible of the ponies and braves except 
their heads, while the loud, labored breathing of the 
swimming horses and the shouts and splashings of the 
Indians echoed across the water. 

The Flatheads were accustomed to train and exercise 
their horses in swimming, and were very skillful in cross- 
ing streams in this manner. The buffalo-skin lodges 
were impervious to water for only a short time, and would 
become leaky and useless by a prolonged soaking. 

The party built three large rafts, loaded all the goods 


upon ihem^'and poled them across the river with long 
poles. The aniTnals were compelled to swim. The lasf^ 
bearing the governor^ was the largest and least manage- 
able^ and came near escaping down the river on a voyage 
of its own choosing. It was carried farther down than 
the others^ and on nearing the otfier bank got into a 
swifter current, where the poles were quite useless, and 
was swept along at break-neck speed, flying past the 
rocks and trees of the bank only forty feet away. At 
this juncture Higgins seized the end of a pack rope and 
plunged headfirst into the raging current, gained the 
shore in a few powerful strokes, raced along it at top 
speed to keep the rope from being jerked out of his 
hands by the flying raft until he came to a tree, threw a 
torn of the rope around it, and checked the raft, which 
then swung inshore under the pressure of the current. In 
these few minutes the unwieldy craft was carried down 
two miles. But everything was gotten together and a 
comfortable camp pitched before night. The tired men 
smoked their pipes around the camp-fife after supper and 
recounted the adventures of the day, with g^eat satisfac- 
tion that the river was behind them. 

After a late start the next morning the party moved 
eighteen miles up the right bank of the beautiful river, 
traversing tracts of open woods and prairies, alternat- 
ing in pleasing variety with the dark, rugged range just 
surmounted, frowning on the right. Large schools of 
salmon or trout were seen in the clear, pellucid water, 
motionless over the spawning-beds, fairly covering and 
hiding the river's bed, in such numbers were they. The 
next day's march was thirty-seven miles. On the 7th, 
soon after leaving camp, they were met and received by 
three hundred chiefs and braves of the Flathead, Fend 
Oreille, and Koo-te-nay tribes, in the most cordial man- 
ner, with a salute of musketry, and escorted to their camp 


near Hell Gate River. After spending some hours with 
them, learning their condition^ and establishing pleasant 
relations between them and his own party, the governor 
moved to the main river, a mile distant, and established 
his camp and council ground. 

In the afternoon die three head chiefs, Victor of the 
Flatheads, Alexander of the Pend Oreilles, and Michelle 
of the Koo-te-nays, accompanied by a number of other 
chiefs, visited Governor Stevens, and after the pipe had 
passed around, — the indispensable introduction to every 
Indian conference, — the latter spoke to them in his usual 
vein, proposing a treaty, referring to the g^eat council 
just held with so many Indians in the Walla Walla valley, 
and appointing the next Monday for opening the council 
with them. He also spoke of his efforts to make peace 
with the Blackfeet, and urged them to send a delegation 
to the proposed council with these, their inveterate and 
bloody foes. This was a sore subject with the Flatheads, 
for the Blackfeet had but faithlessly kept their promises 
of amity and good conduct towards their neighbors. 
Many of their young braves, despite the efforts of the 
chiefs and elders to restrain them, had continued their 
predatory raids, saying, ^^ Let us steal all the horses we 
can before the great white chief returns and makes peace 
with all the tribes, and stops horse-stealing forever," 
and had inflicted severe losses upon the Flatheads since 
the governor passed through their country nearly two 
years before, notwithstanding, and that was what made 
it all the harder to bear ; the Flatheads had scrupulously 
heeded the governor's admonitions, and refrained from 
retaliation. On one occasion, when some young Pend 
Oreilles ran off a number of Blackf oot horses, the chiefs 
sent them back, at the risk of the lives of the party 
returning them. When the governor finished, Victor 


*^ The Blackf eet have troubled as yery much. I am going to 
tell wliat has happened since you were here. Twelve men have 
been killed when out hunting, not on war-parties. I fear the 
whites and keep quiet. I cannot tell how many horses have 
been stolen since. Now I listen, and hear what you wish me to 
do. Were it not for you, I would have had my revenge ere 
ibis. They have stolen horses seven times this spring." 

The chiefs then returned to their camp^ promising to 
attend the council the following Monday. 

The Flatheads or Salish, including the Fend Oreilles 
and Koo-te-nays^ were among those who had been driven 
westward by the Blackfeet^ and now occupied the plea- 
sant valleys of the mountains. They were noted for their 
intelligence^ honesty, and bravery, and although of me- 
dium stature and inferior in physique to the brawny Black- 
feet, never hesitated to attack them if the odds were not 
greater than five to one. Having been supplied by the 
early fur traders with firearms, which enabled them to 
make a stand against their outnumbering foe, they had 
always been the firm friends of the whites, and, like the 
Nez Ferces, often hunted with the mountain men, and 
entertained them in their lodges. A number of Iroquois 
hunters and half-breeds had joined and intermarried with 
them. The Bitter Root valley was the seat of the Flat- 
heads proper. The Fend Oreilles Uved lower down the 
river, or northward, in two bands, the upper Fend Oreilles 
on the Horse Flains and Jocko prairies, and the lower 
Fend Oreilles on Clark's Fork, below the lake of their 
name, and were canoe Indians, owning few horses. The 
Koo-te-nays lived about the Flathead River and Lake. 
All these, except the lower Fend Oreilles, went to buffalo, 
and their hunting-trips were spiced with the constant 
peril and excitement of frequent skirmishes with their 
hereditary enemies. The Jesmts, in 1843, established a 
mission among the lower Fend Oreilles, but in 1854 


moved to the Flathead River^ near the mouth of the 
Jocko. They also started a mission among the Flatheads 
in the Bitter Root valley, forty miles above Hell Gate, 
where they founded the beautiful village of St. Mary, 
amid charming scenery; but the incessant raids of the 
Blackfeet were slowly but surely "wiping out" these 
brave and interesting Indians, and the mission was aban- 
doned in 1850 as too much exposed. The Owen bro- 
thers then started a trading-post at this point, which they 
named Fort Owen ; and fourteen miles above it Lieuten- 
ant Mullan built his winter camp in 1853, known as 
Cantonment Stevens, which has been succeeded by the 
town of Stevensville. The term " Flathead " was a mis- 
nomer, as none of them practiced the custom of flatten- 
ing the head. 



Afteb a quiet and restful Sunday in both camps the 
Indians assembled at the appointed time, and the council 
was opened on Monday, July 9, at half past one p. m.^ 
by the governor, in a long speech, explaining, as at the 
other councils, the terms and advantages proffered by 
the government. Although the Indians were extremely 
friendly, and very desirous of ^^ following the white man's 
road" and coming under the protection of the Great 
Father, their only apparent refuge from the fierce Black- 
feet, whose incessant raids threatened them with speedy 
extinction, the council proved unexpectedly difficult and 
protracted, lasting eight days, and the treaty was only 
saved by Governor Stevens's persistence and astuteness 
in accepting an alternative proposition offered by Victor 
at the last moment. The chronic objection of every 
tribe to leaving its own country and going on a reserva- 
tion in the territory of another was the stumbKng-block. 

The governor required the three tribes, as they were 
really one people, being all Salish, speaking a common 
language, and closely intermarried and allied, and also 
reduced in numbers, to unite upon one reservation. He 
offered to set apart a tract for them either in the upper 
Bitter Root valley in Victor's country, or the Horse Plains 
and Jocko River in the Pend Oreille territory, as they 
might prefer, and urged them to decide and agree among 
themselves upon one of these locations ; but neither tribe 
was willing to abandon its wonted region, where they 

VOL. u 


were accustomed to pitch their lodges^ and where their 
dead were buried. The following brief extracts from the 
proceedings give an idea of the course of the difficult 
and at times stormy and vexatious negotiations. 
When the governor finished Victor said : — 

" I am very tired now, and my people. You [the governor] 
are the only man who has offered to help us. ... I have two 
places, here is mine [pointing out Bitter Root valley on the 
map], and this is mine [pointing out Flathead River and 
Clark's Fork]. I will think of it, and tell you which is best. 
I believe you wish to assist me to help my children here so that 
they may have plenty to eat, and so that they may save their 

Alexander : '^ You are talking to me now, my Big Father. 
You have told me you have to make your own laws to punish 
your children. I love my children. I think I could not head 
them off to make them go straight. I think it is with you to 
do so. If I take your own way, your law, my people then will 
be frightened. These growing people [young people] are all 
the same. Perhaps those who come after them may see it well 
before them. I do not know your laws. Perhaps, if we see a 
rope, if we see how it punishes, we will be frightened. When 
the priest talked to them, tried to teach them, they all left him. 
My children, maybe when the whites teach you, you may see 
it before you. Now this is my ground. We are poor, we In- 
dians. The priest is settled over there [pointing across the 
mountains towards the north, the direction of his country]. 
There, where he is, I am very well satisfied. I will talk here- 
after about the ground. I am done for to^ay." 

In this speech Alexander expresses the difficulty he 
has to manage his unruly young people, and his fear that 
the white rule might prove too strict for them. 

Red Wing, a Flathead chief : " We gathered up yesterday 
the three peoples you see here. They think they are three 
nations. I thought these nations were going to talk each about 
its own land. Now I hear the governor : my land is all cut up 
in pieces. I thought we had two places. This ground is the 


FlatheadB*, that across the mountains is the Pend Oreilles*; 
perhaps not, perhaps we are all one. We made up another 
mind yesterday, to-day it is different. We will go back and 
have another oounciL" 

Tlie goyemor adjourned the council to the next day, 
urging them to talk and agree among themselves as to 
the reservation. 

The following day the governor called on the chiefs to 
speak their minds freely. 

Big Canoe, a Pend Oreille chief, made a long and 
sententious speech, in which he deprecated making any 
treaty, or parting with any of his country, and thought 
tlie whites and Indians could live together in the same 
land: — 

** Talk about treaty, when did I kill you ? When did you 
kill me? What is the reason we are talking about treaties? 
We are friends. We never spilt the blood of one of you. I 
never saw your blood. I want my country. I thought no one 
would ever want to talk about my country. Now you talk, you 
white men. Now I have heard, I wish the whites to stop com- 
ing. Perhaps you will put me in a trap if I do not listen to 
yoo, white chiefs. It is our land, both of us. If you make a 
farm, I would not go there and pull up yoiur crops. I would 
not drive you away from it. If I were to go to yom* country 
and say, * Give me a little piece,' I wonder would you say, * Here, 
take it.' I expect that is the same way you want me to do here. 
This country you want to settle here, me with you. . . . You 
tell us, ^ Give us your land.' I am very poor. This is all the 
small piece I have got. I am not going to let it go. I did 
not come to make trouble; therefore I would say, I am very 
poor. .... 

** It is two winters since you passed here. Every year since, 
my horses have gone to the Blackf eet. Here this spring the 
Blackf eet put my daughter on foot. She packed her goods on 
her back. It made me feel bad. I was going on a war-party 
as your express passed along. Then I think of what I heard 
from you, my father, and take my heart back and keep quiet. 


If I had not listened to your express, I should have gone on 
war-parties over yonder. We drove one band of horses from 
the Blackf eet I talked about it to my Indians. I said, * Give 
the horses back, my children.' My chief took them back. You 
talked about it strong, my father. My chief took them back. 
That is the way we act. When I found my children were 
going on war-parties, I would tell them to stop, be quiet ; tell 
them I expect now we will see the chief ; I expect he will talk 
to the Blackfeet again." 

Governor Stevens : " I will ask you, my children, if you fully 
understand all that was said yesterday? I ask you now, can 
you all agree to live on one reservation ? I ask Victor, are you 
willing to go on the same reservation with the Pend Oreilles 
and Koo-te-nays ? I ask Alexander, are you willing to go on 
the same reservation with the Flatheads and Koo-te-nays? I 
ask Michelle, are you willing to go on the same reservation 
with the Flatheads and Pend Oreilles ? What do you, Victor, 
Alexander, and Michelle, think? You are the head chiefs. 
I want you to speak." 

Victor : " I am willing to go on one reservation, but I do not 
want to go over yonder" [Pend Oreille country]. 

Alexander : ^^ It is good for us all to stop in one place." 

Michelle : " I am with Alexander." 

Governor Stevens: "The Pend Oreilles and Koo-te-nays 
think it well to have all these tribes together. Perhaps Victor 
might think so by and by, if the place suits. Alexander and 
Michelle wish to live together, their people on one place, — they 
have a thousand people, the land ought to be good. Each man 
wants his field. The climate ought to be mild. ... 

" I ask Victor, Alexander, and Michelle to think it over. 
Will they go to the valley with Victor, or to the mission with 
Alexander and Michelle ? I do not care which. You will have 
your priests with you, whether you go to the mission or Fort 
Owen. Those who want the priest can have him. The Great 
Father means that every one shall do as he pleases in regard to 
receiving the instructions of the priests." 

But the council next day showed no change in the 
situation. Victor was unwilling to move to the mission, 
and Alexander to the valley. Neither would object to 


the other coming to his place. It being evident, after 
protracted discussion, that no progress would be made by 
continuing the council that day, and it appearing that an 
influence was being exerted by the priests of the mission 
which might be adverse to the views of the government, 
a messenger was dispatched directing the presence of 
Father Hoecken for the purpose of investigating it, the 
coancU was adjourned over to Friday, and the Indians 
were recommended to have a feast and a council among 
themselves on the morrow. Accordingly they had a 
grand feast on the 12th, the means for which — two 
beeves, coffee, sugar, flour, etc. — were furnished them, 
after which the day was spent in discussing the question 
of the reservation among themselves. 

But in council next day they appeared no nearer an 
i^reement, and, after much and fruitless talk, Ambrose, 
a Flathead chief, said : — 

^* Yesterday Victor spoke to Alexander. He said : * I am not 
leadstrong. The whites picked out a place for us, the best 
place, and that is the reason I do not want to go. Two years 
since they passed us. Now the white man has his foot on your 
groond. The white man will stay with you.' Yesterday, when 
we had the feast, then Alexander spoke ; he said, * Now I will 
go over to your side. I will let them take my place, and come 
to your place.' But Victor, did not speak, and the council 
broke up." 

Governor Stevens ; " Alexander, did you agree yesterday to 
give up your country and join Victor ? " 

Alexander : "Yes, yesterday I did give up. I listened and 
he did not give me an answer ; then I said, ^ I will not give up 
my land.'" 

Governor Stevens : " I speak now to the Fend Oreilles and 
Koo-te-nays. Do you agree to this treaty? — the treaty placing 
the Fend Oreilles and Koo-te-nays on this reservation? [at 
the mission]. I ask Victor if he declines to treat? " 

Victor : ** Talk 1 I have nothing to say now." 

Governor Stevens : " Does Victor want to treat ? Why did 


he not say to Alexander yesterday, * Come to my place ' ? or i 
not Victor a chief? Is he, as one of his people has caUed hin 
an old woman ? Dimib as a dog ? If Victor is a chief, let hii 
speak now." 

Victor: *'I thought, my people, perhaps you would listei 
I said, * This [at the mission] is my country, and all over here : 
my country. Some of my people want to be above me. I s 
quiet, and before me you give my land away. If I thought » 
I would tell the whites to take the land there [the mission]. ] 
is my country. I am listening, and my people say, *^ Take m 

Governor Stevens : " Alexander said yesterday that he wou] 
come up here. Why did you not answer and say * Come ' ? " 

Victor : " Yesterday I did talk." 

Governor Stevens : " Alexander said yesterday he offered 1 
give up his land and go to you. Alexander says you made i 
answer. Why did you not say, ' Yes, come to my place ' ? " 

Victor : " I did not understand it so." 

Governor Stevens : ^* Ambrose says he understood Alexai 
der to say so. Alexander says he said so. You did not spea 
and say, ' Come to my place,' but you were dumb. Does Vict< 
mean to say that he will neither let Alexander come to his plai 
nor go to Alexander's ? " 

Ambrose, Til-coos-tay, Red Wolf, and Bear Track 
Flathead chiefs, took up the discussion, pouring oil o 
the troubled waters, and excusing Victor for not speal 
ing in answer to Alexander at their own council. 

At length the governor said : — 

*' My children, I find that things are nearer to an agreemei 
than when we began talking this morning. Ambrose says tl 
people are not quite prepared, but will be ready by and b; 
Ambrose says, * Be patient and listen.' I am patient, and hai 
been patient and listened to them. Others of you have sai 
they they were hiding their minds and did not speak ; hence 
reproved you and said, * Speak out, let us have your hearte.' ] 
seems many of the Flatheads are ready to go to the missioi 
If their chief says so, they will go. Victor says, * I am ready 1 
go, but my people will not ; ' but the people say they are read 


to go. We want all parties to speak straight, to let ns Iiave 
th^ hearts, then we can agree. If Victor's people will go, we 
want Victor as a chief to say, ^ I will go.' " 

Victor here arose and left the council. After a pause 
of some minutes Governor Stevens said : — 

** I will ask Amhrose where is Victor ? " 

Ambrose ': *^ He is gone home." 

Governor Stevens : ^' Ambrose, speaking of Victor, said he 
wanted time. Victor is now thinking and studying over this 
matter. We don't wish to drive or hurry you in this business. 
Hunk over this matter to-night, and meet here to-morrow. I 
ask Ambrose to speak to Victor and tell him what I say. Am- 
brose loves his chief, let him take my words to him." 

He then adjourned the council to meet in the morning. 

But the following day word was sent by Victor to the 
governor that he had not yet made up his mind^ and the 
council was postponed to Monday morning. 

When the council opened at eleven Monday mornings 
Victor said : — 

**I am now going to talk. I was not content. You gave me 
a veiy small place. Then I thought, here they are giving away 
my land. That is my country over there at the mission, this 
also. Plenty of you say Victor is the chief of the Flathcads. 
The place you pointed out above is too small. From Lo Lo Fork 
above should belong to me. My stock will have room, and if 
the Blackfeet will let my horses alone, they will increase. I 
believe that you wish to help me, and that my people will do 
well thera . We will send this word to the Great Father. Come 
and look at our country. When you look at Alexander's place, 
and say the land is good, and say. Come, Victor, I will go. If 
you think this above is good land, then Victor will say. Come 
here, Alexander. Then our children will be well content. That 
is the way we will make the treaty, my father." 

Governor Stevens : *^ Victor has spoken. Do Alexander and 
Michelle speak in the same way? I will ask Alexander if he 

Alexander : *^ Maybe we cannot all come together. Here is 


Michelle, I know his mind. He told me, If you go this way, I 
won't go. Here are the lower Pend OreiUes. Maybe they 
are the same way. They have no horses; they have only 
canoes. I am Tery heavy, as though they tied me there." 

Michelle: *^I am just following Alexander's mind. If he 
goes this way, I will not go. I have come a long way to see 
you ; when you leave I go back." 

The goyemor again asked them if they would agree to 
Victor's proposition, and go to the reservation which was 
found best adapted to their needs after survey and exam- 
ination^ but both chiefs positively refused. 

The governor then cut the knot by accepting Victor's 
proposition as far as it concerned him^ and giving Uie 
others the reservation at the mission : — 

" My children, Victor has made his proposition. Alexander 
and Michelle have made theirs. We will make a treaty for 
them. Both tracts shall be surveyed. If the mission is the 
best land, Victor shall live there. If the valley is the best land, 
Victor shall stay here. Alexander and Michelle may stay at 
the mission. . . . 

*' I ask Victor to come up and sign the treaty. [He came up 
and signed.] Now I ask Alexander and Michelle." [They 
also then signed.] 

Moses, a Flathead chief, on being called on to sign, 
refused. He stepped forward, and said : — 

" My brother is buried here. I did not think you would take 
the only piece of ground I had. Here are three fellows [the 
head chiefs] ; they say, ^ Get on your horses and go.' . . . Last 
year, when you were talking about the Blackfeet, you were 

Governor Stevens : " How can Moses say I am not going to 
the Blackf oot country ? I have gone all the way to the Great 
Father to arrange about the Blackfoot council. What more 
can I do? A man is coming from the Great Father to meet 
me. Does he not know that Mr. Burr and another man went 
to Fort Benton the other day ? " 


Moses : ^ You have pulled all my wings off, and then let me 

. Governor Stevens : *^ All that we have done is for your bene- 
fit I have said that the Flatheads were brave and honest, and 
dwuld be protected. Be patient. Everything will come right." 

Moses : " I do not know how it will be straight. A few days 
ago the Blackfeet stole horses at Salmon River." 

Governor Stevens : " Ask him if he sees the Nez Perce chief, 
Eagle-from-the-Light ; he is going to the Blackf oot council with 

Moses: "Yes, I see him. They will get his hair. The 
Blackfeet are not like these people. They are all drunk." 

All the principal men came forward and signed the 
treaty. Governor Stevens then said : — 

^ Here are three papers which you have signed, copies of the 
same treaty. One goes to the President, one I place in the 
lands of the head chief, and one I keep myself. Everything 
that h^ been said here goes to the President. I have now a 
few presents for you. They are simply a gift, no part of the 
payments. The payments cannot be made until we hear from 
the President next year." 

The presents were then distributed. The chiefs were 
then requested to assemble on the morrow with regard to 
the Blackf oot council. 

Thus successfully and happily terminated this pro- 
tracted council; " every man pleased and every man satis- 
fied," says the governor. Twelve hundred Indians were 
present on the treaty ground. 

The jealousy and pride of the chiefs, Victor and Alexr 
ander, greatly increased the difficulty of coming to an 
agreement. The former repeatedly asserted his chieftain- 
ship over both tribes by claiming that the countries of 
both were his, a claim that Alexander offered to recognize 
if Victor would move to the Horse Plains (mission) reser- 
vation. Alexander claimed to be chief of the lower Pend 
Oreilles^ a claim the governor summarily rejected. The 


influence and advice of the former Hudson Bay Company 
employees and half-breeds, to this and to the other trea- 
ties, was prejudicial, instigating the Indians to make 
unreasonable demands, and often opposmg and misre- 
presenting the treaties themselves. 

Father Hoecken arrived before the end of the council, 
in response to the governor's summons. It did not ap- 
pear that he was exerting any adverse influence. On the 
contrary, he highly approved the treaty, and signed it as 
one of the witnesses. It seems, however, as the governor 
reported, that the dislike of the Flatheads to the mission 
establishment was one cause of their unwillingness to 
move to the reservation in the Pend Oreille country. It 
is probable that the missionaries at St. Mary's had been 
too strict and exacting for their independent natures. 
Moreover, it was the fact, as the governor had cause to 
realize later, that the missionaries feared and dreaded the 
approach of the settlers, and sympathized wholly with the 
Indians as between the two. 

This treaty, like all made by Governor Stevens, was 
remarkably liberal in its terms to the Indians. The res- 
ervation on the Flathead River comprises a million and 
a quarter acres. ^84,000 in annuity goods ; $36,000 to 
improve the reservation ; salaries of $500 a year for 
twenty years, with a house and ten acres fenced and 
ploughed, to the three head chiefs ; schools, mills, hospi- 
tals, shops ; teachers and mechanics for twenty years ; the 
right to fish, hunt, gather roots and berries, and pasture 
stock on vacant land; and the provision for ultimately 
dividing the reservation among them in severalty, — were 
all embraced. It was agreed that the three tribes were 
to constitute one nation under Victor as head chief, to be 
known as the Flathead nation, in which, and on the same 
reservation, were to be included other friendly tribes, as 
the lower Pend Oreilles and Coeur d'Alenes. Besides 


Father Hoecken^ B. H. Lansdale, W. H. Tappan, B. H. 
CSrosby, Gustavus Sohon^ and William Craig witnessed 
the treaty. Some 25,000 square miles were ceded. 

All three tribes now occupy the reservation on the 
Jocko (mission), together witli the lower Fend Oreilles 
and a few Spokanes. They number 2000, showing little 
diminution since the treaty, and have made fair progress. 
Nearly all have houses with some land inclosed. Many 
raise small crops of wheat and have good gardens. They 
have 20,000 acres under fence, over ten miles of irriga- 
tion ditches, and raised last year 25,000 bushels of grain, 
10,000 bushels of vegetables, and 7000 tons of hay. 
Their lands have not yet been allotted in severalty. The 
agent complains that worthless employees are frequently 
foisted upon the agency, ^^ many incompetent men hold 
positions who take no interest in their work," ^ etc., — a 
state of things equally unfair to the Indians and disr 
graceful to the government. 

1 Beport of the Commissioiier of Indian Ailain, 1899, pp. 192-194, 620. 



Befobe the close of the council, agents Tappan and 
Craig arrived with the proposed delegation of Nez Perces 
under Looking Glass, Spotted Eagle, Eagle-from-the- 
light, and other chiefs. It was agreed that they and the 
Flatheads and Pend Oreilles, under their chiefs Victor 
and Alexander, and accompanied by agent Thomas Adams 
and interpreter Ben Kiser, should cross the mountains 
to the buffalo country, and hunt on the plains south of 
the Missouri, until the time came for holding the great 
peace council at Fort Benton, of which they would be 
notified. Their agents were instructed to keep the gov- 
ernor informed of their whereabouts by frequent ex- 
presses, and to guard against collisions with the Blackf oot 
war-parties, and also to communicate with the Crow In- 
dians and induce them to attend the council. Dr. Lans- 
dale, agent for the Flathead nation, remained, and during 
the summer made extensive examinations of the reserva- 
tion on the Flathead River and the surrounding country. 

These arrangements completed, on Wednesday, July 
18, the second day after the close of the council, the 
governor dispatched Pearson, who had just returned to 
the party after his rapid trip to Olympia from the Walla 
Walla council, with full reports of the council just held, 
and letters to the Indian and territorial officers in Olym- 
pia, and resumed the march to Fort Benton, crossing for 
six miles the broad level valley here known as the Hell 
Gate Ronde, and passing the deep^ dark portal of that 


name^^ and, six miles beyond it, encamped on the HeU 
Gate River. During the next five days and one hundred 
miles the party traversed the broad plateau of the great 
moimtain chain over a beautiful rolling country of wide 
grassy valleys and gently rolling prairies, interspersed 
with low wooded hills and spurs, and well watered by 
clear, cold, rapid mountain streams. It was hard to 
realize that this beautiful and diversified prairie country 
was the top of the Rocky Mountains, the backbone of 
the continent. At the second day's camp the Indian 
hunter and guide, a Fend Oreille furnished by Alex- 
ander, brought in a fine string of mountain trout, and, 
not content with this, started out again, and soon re- 
tamed with an elk, and after this the messes were rarely 
out of game, — elk, deer, antelope, and mountain trout. 
The trail followed up the Hell Gate and its chief tribu- 
tary, the Big Blackfoot, the route of 1853, and crossed 
the divide by Lewis and Clark's Pass. From the summit 
the governor obtained a magnificent and beautiful view 
of the country about an hour before sunset, the main 
chain stretching far to the north, and the broad plains, 
broken by many streams and coulees, extending eastward 
as far as the eye could reach, like an illimitable sea. 

He spent the whole day, with Doty and Sohon, exam- 
ining the approaches to the summit pass, and those to 
Cadotte's Pass, ten miles farther south, and determining 
altitudes and grades, and reached camp long after dark, 
well fatigued with the day's work. Throughout the ex- 
pedition the governor was constantly examining the topo- 
graphical features of the country. He would frequently 
ride ahead of the train, and, sitting on a log or on the 
g^und, would write up his notes or journal until it came 
up. He was accustomed to start the train rather late in 
the morning, about eight o'clock, move at a steady, brisk 
^ Now occupied by the thriving town, Missoula. 


walk^ without stopping for noon rest or meal^ and make 
camp early in the afternoon^ and by this management 
plenty of time was afforded the animals to feed mornings 
and evenings. Twenty miles was the average day's jour- 
ney, but thirty or forty miles were made with ease when- 
ever expedient, as often happened. No better equipped 
or manned train ever traversed the plains and mountains. 

It always moved in fine order, without delays, con- 
fusion, or friction. A worn-down or sore-backed mule 
or horse was a rarity. At the first symptom of need of 
rest, a fresh animal from the loose herd relieved the dis- 
tressed one. The packers worked in couples, each two 
packing and caring for ten pack-mules. The riding ani- 
mals were picked Indian horses. The mules were of 
large American stock, mostly those of the exploration 
of 1853. Thorough discipline and the best feeling pre- 
vailed among the party. There was scarcely a quarrel 
during the whole nine months the expedition lasted. 
This judicious care of the animals was characteristic of 
the governor, and it is noticeable that on his arduous ex- 
peditions, though hard-worked and only grass-fed, they 
actually improved in condition, — a unique experience on 
the plains. 

Leaving behind the prairies, groves, and sparkling, 
rippling streams of the mountain plateau, the party 
entered upon the vast rolling plains, gray and arid, 
and, traveling over them one hundred and thirty miles, 
camping one night on the Dearborn River, one on the 
Sun, and three on the Teton, reached the vicinty of Fort 
Benton on the fifth day, and went into camp on the last- 
named river four miles from the fort. The governor, rid-, 
ing ahead, reached it a day sooner, on the 26th, and was 
disappointed in not finding or hearing from his co-com- 
missioner, Superintendent Alfred Gumming. During this 
march the party were rarely out of sight of g^ame. Large 


herds of graceful^ fleet antelopes would come scouring 

across the plains, and circle around the slowly moving 

train, now abruptly halting to gaze with erect heads and 

distended eyes at the strange procession, and now dashr 

ing on again in full career, and presently, their curiosity 

satisfied, turning away and scampering out of sight. 

Deer and elk were constantly seen by the river banks and 

under the cottonwood groves. Buffalo trails crqssed the 

country in every direction, and their skulls and bones 

were frequent. Thus far the party followed well-marked 

tmOs, but on entering the plains the guide directed his 

coarse by some distant butte or landmark, or by the 

sun, for there was no trail leading in a given course, and 

the buffalo trails lacing the plains in every direction 

WBre very misleading. The plains were (Covered with 

the short, fine, curly buffalo grass, very different from the 

hxnrant, waving bunch grass of the Columbia, but equally 


Learning of Mr. Cumming's approach, the governor, 
accompanied by Doty and Sohon and a small party, made 
a three days' trip to Milk River, August 11-13, a dis- 
tance of eighty miles, where the commissioners met and 
formally organized the commission, appointing Mr. Doty 
secretary, and My. H. Kennedy, who came with Mr. 
Cnmming, assistant secretary, and returned together to 
Fort Benton. The governor was seriously concerned to 
learn that the treaty goods and supplies were greatly 
delayed. Commissioner Cumming had been specially 
charged with the duty of transporting them to Fort Ben- 
ton; but under his dilatory management the steamboat, 
which carried them with himself up the Missouri, did not 
reach Fort Union until late in the season, and, instead 
of continuing up the river as far as possible, discharged 
her cargo and returned to St. Louis. The goods were 
dien loaded into boats, which were now slowly proceed- 


ing up the river by cordeHng^ or towing by a force of 
men walking along the bank and pulling on a long tow^ 
rope. This unexpected and inexcusable delay seriously 
imperiled the holding of the council. Governor Stevens 
had brought with him only sufBcient supplies to carry 
his small party to Fort Benton^ expecting to find there 
ample stores sent up by the government under charge 
of Gumming. The western Indians^ who at his invita- 
tion had come so far to attend the council^ could not 
find subsistence for a long wait; and it was necessary 
for them^ as well as for the governor, and party, to start 
home before winter set in and blocked the return jour- 
ney. The great numbers of the Blackfeet made it diffi- 
cult to keep them in hand and assemble them late in 
the season, for they were accustomed, and indeed were 
obliged, to spread over a wide territory in order to hunt 
buffalo, and lay in their winter robes, lodge-skins, and 

While in Washington the preceding summer Governor 
Stevens had urged upon the Indian Department the 
importance of the early arrival of the goods at Fort Ben- 
ton, and on reaching Olympia in December, repeated his 
recommendations in writing. Moreover, he wrote a per- 
sonal letter to the President urging the necessity of having 
a steamer start with them at the earliest moment in the 
spring, and push up the Missouri above Fort Union as far 
as possible, and especially recommended that a boat be 
chartered expressly for the trip. He added a prophetic 
caution, or warning, against relying upon the American 
Fur Company to transport the goods, as they could not 
be depended upon to make the necessary early start and 
vigorous push up the river, which would entail some extra 
expense and risk, but would surely pursue their usual 
methods, and in the end sacrifice the public interests to 
their own. Notwithstanding these wise and urgent recomr 


mendations^ the whole matter was left to Cumming, who 
late in the spring wrote the commissioner, proposing that 
the cooncil be postponed to another year. Being there- 
\xfm informed that Governor Stevens was probably 
already on his way with the western Indians too far to be 
recalled^ and instructed to proceed, he contracted with the 
far company to transport the goods, with the predicted 
nsult. In this and other ways he manifested a perfect 
willingness to play into the hands of the fur company, a 
willingness which, whatever the motive, affords the only 
rational explanation of this transaction, of his entire in- 
difference to the success of the council, and of his oppo- 
sition to making adequate provision in the way of farms 
and .annuities for civilizing the Indians. Of course, the 
American Fur Company, like the Hudson Bay Company, 
was averse to having its trade impaired and eventually 
destroyed by the government's giving goods to, and civil- 
izbg, the Indians. 

At the governor's instance, messengers were immedi- 
ately dispatched to the boats to ascertain how long before 
they would probably arrive, and to the different bands of 
Indians to advise them that they must wait longer than 
was expected, and to ascertain and regulate their move- 
ments, so that they might readily reach the council ground 
when notified, and meantime find sufficient buffalo and 
other game to support them. 

Provisions for his own party, now nearly out, were 
sought at the fort, but the traders were also destitute, not 
having yet received their annual supply from below, and 
could furnish nothing but a few hundred pounds of old 
jerked buffalo meat, exactly like worn-out boot-leather in 
appearance, — so black, dry, tough, and dirty was it. It 
seems that all the jerked meat, when first obtained, was 
piled up loose in one of the store-rooms, and free access 

to it given the cooks and Indian wives of the employees. 
VOL. n 


They naturally picked out the hest first, so that, after the 
-winter's use, only the dryest and toughest pieces and 
scraps remained. However, two parfleches of pemmican 
of one hundred pounds each were found among the 
goods left by the exploring party two years before. This 
pemmican was put up by the Bed River half-breeds, and 
consisted of jerked buffalo meat pounded fine and mixed 
with buffalo fat and dried berries, and then packed in 
large bags of rawhide called parfleches. It had become 
so hardened by age that it had to be chopped out of the 
parfleches with an axe, but it was perfectly sweet and 
good, and afforded a very palatable and nourishing hash. 
The governor now fitted out a hunting party under 
Hugh Robie, with a pack-train, and sent them with a 
party of Gros Ventre Indians to the Judith River, some 
eighty miles south of the fort, after buffalo. These noble 
game animals were found there in great numbers and 
very fat. The hunters, white and red, killed, hundreds 
of them, stripping off the hides and flesh, which they 
brought into camp, where the squaws jerked the meat 
by cutting it into thin slices and strips and drying it on 
scaffolds in the sim, and dressed the skins for lodges. 
In three weeks Robie and his party returned with his 
pack-mules and riding animals loaded down with fat, juicy 
buffalo meat, — a two months' supply for the whole party. 
Metsic, an Indian hunter, was kept busy hunting in the 
vicinity of the fort, and brought in many deer and ante- 
lope, and small parties were from time to time sent to the 
Citadel Rock, a noted landmark twenty miles down the 
river, after bighorn, which were so abundant there that 
the hunters would load their animals in a day's hunt. 
The governor was desirous that his son should see and 
experience all the aspects of the trip, and believed in 
throwing a boy on his own resources, without too dose 
supervision, as the proper way of developing his judgment 


and capacity ; so Hazard, who was now well hardened to 
liding and the fatigues of the field, and suf&ciently ad- 
veDtorous, accompanied the buffalo and big-horn hunting 
pardes. There was no danger of starving, but the gov- 
ernor remarks : — 

''As we had very little bread, sugar, or coffee, the bighorn 
of Citadel Bock were exceedingly delightful as an article of 
food, and are generally preferred by the mountain men to any 
oiher game except buffalo ; so between buffalo, bighorn, and the 
mailer game we fared very well. The parties who extended 
our information of the country in conveying messages to the 
Indians, etc., invariably lived eitiier on the dried meat they took 
with them, or on the game which they killed from day to day. 
They had no flour, no sugar, no coffee, and yet there was not 
a word of complaint from one of them ; but we made it the sub- 
ject of a good deal of merriment when we were able to reach the 
boats and have a sufficiency of those articles which in civilized 
life are deemed indispensable to comfort." 

Meanwhile the Indians were all well in hand, ready 
and anxious for the council, which nothing delayed but 
the unfortunate backwardness of the boats. The Black- 
feet were mostly north of the Missouri, the western Indi- 
ans south of it, and the governor by his expresses kept 
himself informed of and guided their movements. The 
reports from the agents with the latter were especially 
encouraging. The Nez Perces, 108 lodges; Flatheads 
and Pend Oreilles, 68 lodges ; and 40 lodges of the 
Snakes, numbering all told 216 lodges, or over 2000 
souls, — were in one camp on the Muscle Shell River, 
awaiting the call to the council. The whole camp of the 
Gros Ventres, and Low Horn's band of the Pieg^ns of 
54 lodges, were in the vicinity. The hereditary enemies 
were visiting and hunting together on most friendly 
terms, their minds all attuned to peace and friendship, 
and all anxious for the council. 

An incident now occurred well calculated to test the 


good faith of the Blackfeet. When making arrange- 
ments in the Bitter Root valley for the western Indians 
to attend the council, and they had objected that the 
Blackfeet would steal their horses, Governor Stevens 
assured them of his belief that the Blackfeet would re- 
ceive them with kindness and hospitality, using this 
expression: ^^I guarantee that when you pull in your 
lariat in the morning, you will find a horse at the end of 
it." Relying on his assurance, four young Pend Oreille 
braves visited the governor at Fort Benton, and on his 
invitation turned their horses into his band, which grazed 
two miles above the fort. Next morning they were gone. 
Two young warriors of the northern Blackfeet had 
picked them out from over a hundred animals, and made 
off with them. The governor immediately put Little 
Dog, a prominent chief of the Bloods, to search for the 
trail of the raiders, and at the same time dispatched Doty 
with one attendant and a guide to the northern camps, 
judging that the thieves would seek refuge in that quar- 
ter. Little Dog returned unsuccessful, not finding a hoof- 
print of the missing horses in one hundred miles and 
thirty hours' hard riding, and was sent north to follow 
Doty. The latter pushed on fifty miles a day for two 
hundred and thirty miles to Bow River in British territory, 
a tributary of the Saskatchewan, where he struck a large 
Blackfoot camp only two hours after the arrival there of 
the stolen horses. He inmiediately called together the 
chiefs, and demanded the surrender of the animals. The 
head chief. Lame Bull, returned three of them, but stated 
that one of the scamps had gotten off with the fourth. 
He expressed great regret at the theft, and offered two of 
his own horses in place of the one not recovered. Doty 
placed the rescued animals in charge of Little Dog, who 
had overtaken him, and resuming the pursuit of the 
remaining one, rode seventy miles to Elk River, another 


branch of the Saskatchewan, where he found another 
kige camp of Blackfeet, and where the chief, Bull's 
H^, delivered to him the last horse with expressions of 
i^iet at the misconduct of his young men, and the ofFer 
of another horse by way of amends. On the sixteenth 
day after the horses were taken they were returned to 
the Pend Oreille braves at the fort. This was the first 
aod last instance of horse-stealing by the Blackfeet pend- 
ing the council, and afforded most gratifying proof of 
their good faith. Thus a depredation which might have 
led to disastrous results was made the means of demon- 
strating the sincerity and strengthening the friendship 
of the Indians. 

All these Indians professed great wiUingness to make 
friends with the western tribes and the Crows, and 
agreed to meet them at the council and conclude a 
treaty. They arranged with Mr. Doty to so direct their 
movements as to bring them within reach of Fort Ben- 
ton at the proper time. He also secured James Bird 
as interpreter, an intelligent half-breed, said to be the 
best interpreter in the country, who was then visiting 
Low Horn's band. 

On August 27 Pearson arrived with letters from Olym- 
pia, and reported that everything was quiet and favor^ 
able west of the mountains, and that many miners and 
settlers were going into the upper country, gold having 
recently been discovered on the Columbia, near Colville. 

^Pearson rode seventeen hundred and fifty miles by the 
route he took from the Bitter Root valley to Olympia, and 
back to Benton, in twenty-eight days, during some of which he 
did not travel. He was less than three days going from Fort 
Owen to Fort Benton, a distance, by the route he pursued, of 
some two hundred and sixiy miles, which he traveled without a 
change of animals, having no food but the berries of the coun- 
try, except a little fish, which he killed on Travelers' Best 


Creek of Lewis and Clark on the morning of starting from 
Fort Owen, which served him for a single meal," as the gov- 
ernor says in his final report 

On his trips Pearson usually drove two extra horses 
ahead of him, and, when the one he was riding became 
tired, changed his saddle to a fresh one. He could ^' ride 
anything that wore hair/' and was equally expert with the 
lariat which he carried at the horn of his saddle. He 
always contrived, too, to procure fresh horses at certain 
points on his long trips, as at Walla Walla, Lapwai^ 
and the Bitter Root valley, sometimes having previously 
left them, and sometimes by trading with the Indians. 
Imagine this little man of steel, insensible to cold, hun- 
ger, and fatigue, galloping like a centaur, day after day, 
across the vast, lonely plains, driving before him his two 
loose horses ! 

The messenger dispatched to the boats returned with 
the report that they would probably reach the mouth of 
the Judith in twenty days, and Fort Benton in thirty 
or thirty-five, or on the 5th to the 10th of October. The 
governor proposed that one of the boats be loaded with 
the most necessary goods and forced up faster by an 
extra crew, in order to hasten the opening of the council, 
leaving the others to follow; but Commissioner Cum- 
ming refused to consent to this expedient. He was a 
large, portly man, pompous, and full of his own impor- 
tance, and having been named first as commissioner, and 
charged with bringing up the goods and the disburse- 
ments for the council, now attempted to arrogate to him- 
self practicaUy sole and exclusive authority. He even 
attempted to dismiss Doty as secretary, and claimed the 
right to appoint all the officers for the council ; and this 
was the more unreasonable because he had not brought 
with him a single efficient man, and the whole work of 
holding and collecting the Indians, furnishing interpreters, 


and in short oanying the council through successfully^ 
iiad to be done, and was done, by Gt)Yernor Stevens 
and the trained force he had provided for the purpose, 
fiat the governor finnly insisted that nothing could be 
done except by the act of the commission ; sternly in- 
fcmied his colleague that he would not permit hun to 
rqiudiate his own action in organizing it, appointing the 
secretary, etc. ; submitted a series of rules regulating its 
proceedings, and required all o£&cial communications be* 
tween them to be in writing and made a matter of record. 
Under this firm and decided treatment Gumming was 
forced to abate his pretensions and subside into his proper 
place; but he opposed most of the governor's sugges- 
tions, disagreed with him on all points, and exhibited a 
degree of arrogance, ignorance, and childish petulance 
hard to be believed, were they not so plainly shown by 
die official record. 

In framing the treaty the governor proposed that 
bams be opened for the Blackf eet on the upper waters 
of the Sun River, and that $50,000 a year be allowed 
die Indians for twenty years, the greater part to be 
expended in carrying on the farms, instructing the In- 
dians, etc. This amount was authorized by their instruc- 
tions, and did not seem very extravagant for teaching 
twelve thousand Indians the ways of civilization, and 
leading them to abandon their life-long hostilities and 
predatory raids, being only about four dollars per capita. 
But Gumming flatly refused to agree to more than 
$35,000, and objected to the farms as ^^ affording oppor- 
tunities for speculating under the guise of philanthropy.'' 
As the Blackfeet were within his superintendency, this 
was really a reflection upon himself and his agents not 
intended by the self-sufficient official. The commission* 
ers were instructed to report generally on the Indians 
and the country. Cumming stigmatized the Blackfeet as 


utter savages, bloodthirsty and depraved, and declared 
that they would use goods that might be furnished them 
as the means of buying rum at the British trading-posts, 
and, therefore, that annuities of goods, etc., would only 
aid in demoralizing them. As to the country, he adopted, 
con amorCj the Jefferson Davis theory, asserting that 
^^ it is a vast and sterile region, which could not sustain 
the animals required for even a limited emigration, and 
altogether unfitted for cultivation. Every part of this 
barren region must forever be closed against all modem 
improvements in the way of transportation, with the ex- 
ception of the Missouri River.'' He was as unable to 
appreciate the philanthropic views of Gt)vernor Stevens, 
and his earnest desire to improve the Indians, as he was 
ignorant of them and of the country. 

The governor's views are given at length, and have 
been remarkably sustained by the subsequent settlement 
of the country. The following extracts will be found 
interesting, particularly his calculation that a million and 
a half buffalo grazed over the region : — 

*^ It is in the main an exceedingly fine grazing country, of 
great salubrity of climate, much arable land of good quality, 
with abmidant cottonwood on the streams, and many localities 
abound in pine of the finest quality. A portion of the country 
is scantily watered, but not seriously to affect its capabilities 
as a grazing country, or to interfere with emigration. At the 
base of the mountains, throughout nearly the whole length of 
the Blackfoot country, the soil is good, in many places exceed- 
ingly rich, and the grasses abundant and of the finest quality. 
At the heads of Milk and Marias rivers, and at the heads 
of all the southern tributaries of the south branch of the Sas- 
katchewan, between latitudes 48° 80' and 49"^, there are abun- 
dant forests of pine, large tracts of arable land, and lakes well 
stocked with fish. On the Higbwood alone, there are at least 
fifteen thousand acres of arable land. 

** So far from this country not being able to supply the 


wants of even a limited emigration, an emigration conld not 
pcMsibly take place which would exhaust its capabilities. 

^ The quantities of buffalo which these plains subsist, not to 
take into account the vast herds of elk, deer, bighorn, antelope, 
and other game, will alone carry conviction that the territory 
inhabited by the Blackf eet is a good gprazing country. 

^ The Blackf eet live almost exclusively on the buffalo. They 
number above ten thousand souls. They make twenty thou- 
sand robes a year. They require nearly twenty thousand skins 
for their renewal of lodges annually and other purposes. All 
these are the skins of cows. For several months they live 
entirely on bulls, and many bulls are killed at all seasons of 
the year. Making the proper allowance for animals that die 
of disease, are killed by wolves, or other causes, and for the 
known improvidence of Indians, it is believed that one hundred 
and fifty thousand buffalo of three years old and upward are 
required each year to subsist, clothe, and house these Indians. 
This number must be added each year to the herds of grown 
animals to prevent a decrease. Estimating that three quarters 
of the cows bear young, and that one half of these come to 
maturity, eight hundred thousand buffalo of and above three 
years, and one million and a half buffalo of all ages must be 
roaming on these plains to enable the Indians to live. Yet, on 
a large portion of this region the grass is hardly touched from 
one year's end to another. 

^^ The whole of the Gros Ventres and nearly three fourths 
of the Piegans, Bloods, and Blackfeet winter on the Milk, 
Marias, and Teton, finding subsistence for their animals in the 
bottoms, and food from the buffalo which frequent the groves 
of Cottonwood. 


^ They are called savages, yet their four tribes have lived 
together many years on terms of amity, making war only on the 
neighboring tribes. The chiefs, who promised the undersigned 
two years' since to use their influence to prevent their people 
from warring on the neighboring tribes, have been true to their 
word, and have in some cases incurred the displeasure of their 
wild young men for their persistency. These chiefs, and all 


the Blackfoot chiefs, have sent word to their hereditary ene- 
mies, the Flatheads, the Nez Peroes, and the Crows : ^ Come to 
the council without fear. Your persons and your horses shall 
be under our protection, and if a horse be taken by some of 
our wild young men, his place shall at once be made good.' 
The undersigned looks forward to no disturbance at the council, 
for he beUeves the Blackfeet will keep their word. 

** The Blackfeet have expressed a strong desire for &rms, 
schools, mills, and shops. They are quick to learn, have a great 
curiosity to handle tools and implements, and are excellent 
herders of animals. The women are proverbially industrious, 
many of them expert in the use of the needle, and persons of 
both sexes seem to fall readily into the ways of the whites." 



By his careful preparation for two years, and masterly 
handling of them, Governor Stevens brought and kept 
these various tribes of Indians within easy distance of 
Fort Benton, all ready and anxious for the council, and 
in the most friendly and favorable state of feeling, during 
the whole month of August and half of September, fully 
six weeks. Had the goods arrived at any time during 
this waiting period, not less than 12,000 Indians would 
have attended the council, comprising 10,000 Blackfeet, 
1100 Nez Perces, 700 Flatheads and Fend Oreilles, and 
400 Snakes, the western Indians numbering 2200. But 
it now became impossible for the latter to remain longer 
on the Muscle Shell and Judith, for lack of game. The 
buffalo had disappeared. The grass was drying up. No 
day could yet be fixed for the council in the uncertainty 
of the arrival of the boats. On September 8 the Nez 
Perce camp of one hundred and three lodges, in charge 
of agent Tappan, was obliged to start southward for the 
Yellowstone, hoping to find buffalo. Tappan wrote that, 
unless the council was held within three weeks, not twelve 
Nez Perces would be able to attend it. Eagle-f rom-the- 
light and other chiefs, with several lodges, joined the 
Flathead camp in order not to miss the council. But 
on September 10 agent Adams reported that the Flat- 
heads might in twelve or fourteen days be obliged, also, 
to go to the Yellowstone for food. The Snake camp also 
moved to the same region for the same cause. In com- 


pliance with his instructions^ Adams made a trip to the 
Yellowstone in search of the Crows^ and descended it to 
a point below the Big Horn River, where he met Tappan 
with some Nez Perces on the same quest. But these 
Indians could not be found. It was reported that, in 
consequence of the measles having broken out among 
them and many having died, they had scattered, a part 
going down the river and part taking to the mountains. 

To prevent, if possible, the failure of the whole coun- 
cil undertaking, now imminent, the governor dispatched 
Packmaster Higgins with a few picked men to visit both 
camps, and notify them that October 3, or a few days 
later, was fixed for holding the council, and directing 
them to move to the vicinity of Fort Benton, and to find 
camps on the Shantier and Highwood creeks. Mr. Tap- 
pan was also instructed to secure, if possible, the attend- 
ance of the principal Crow chiefs. 

On the fourth day out Higgins met Adams and Tappan 
returning to Fort Benton, despairing of the council, but 
the former hastened back to the Flatheads with the new 
orders, while Tappan joined Higgins, and, with Craig, 
Delaware Jim, and the voyageur Legare, pushed across 
the country and struck the Nez Perce camp high up on 
the Yellowstone. Although none of the party had ever 
passed over this part of the country before, Delaware Jim 
was so thoroughly conversant with the Yellowstone coun- 
try and the upper Missouri, and certain mountain heights 
flanking the route, that he actually guided them on an 
air-line, and struck the looked-for camp without making 
a detour of a mile on the course, and that, too, traveling 

As the result of this prompt and decided action, Adams 
reached Fort Benton October 3, and reported that Vic- 
tor's whole camp would soon be on the Judith, and that 
Victor himself, leaving his camp there, would come with 


his chiefe and principal men to Fort Benton to attend the 

council. On the 5th Higgins and Tappan arrived, and 

at noon next day a large delegation of Nez Perce chiefs, 

under charge of Craig, also came in, but did not bring the 

large numbers in their camp, for fear they could not find 

sufficient game to feed them. Tappan was unable to 

leam anjrthing of the Crows except the report already 

mentioned. The Snakes, too, had gone beyond reach, 

and could not be summoned. In the mean time the 

northern bands of the Blackfeet, in accordance with the 

programme arranged by Mr. Doty, had been moving 

down, and were now all on the Teton and Marias rivers. 

The Gros Ventres were on Milk Biver. Low Horn's and 

Little Grray Head's bands of the Piegans were on the 

Honkee. Alexander, the Pend Oreille chief's camp, was 

established on the Highwood. The buffalo were in great 

numbers between the Marias and Milk, and herds of 

them were coming within twenty miles of Fort Benton. 

"The arrival of the Nez Perces," says the governor, 

"brought all the Lidians within the direct purview of the 

commission, and the most remote camps, those of the 

Flatheads and Gros Ventres, could be reached in a single 

day.'* These two camps were some seventy-five miles 

distant each, in different directions, and the area within 

which the Indians were now brought was little less than 

the State of Massachusetts, not counting the large Nez 

Perce camp on the Yellowstone. 

Even yet the boats had not reached the Judith, could 
not reach it probably before the 8th, thirty-seven days 
from the Muscle Shell, instead of twenty as promised. It 
would require twenty-five days longer to drag them up 
the river another hundred miles to Fort Benton. The 
Blackfeet and the western Indians had now been freely 
mingling together for several days, and it was important 
that their present favorable disposition should be availed 


of. Accordingly Governor Stevens proposed to hold the 
council on the mouth of the Judith, and upon his urgency 
and arguments it was so decided on the evening of the 
5th, the day the Nez Perce chiefs arrived, and the 13th 
was fixed as the time. The necessary measures to assem- 
ble the Indians at that point were devolved upon the gov- 
ernor as usual, and also to notify the boats to stop and 
unload there. By the 7th all the camps were notified, 
the Flatheads being already on the appointed ground, 
and most of the chiefs conferred with the governor in 
person, who, during these days, held a constant levee in 
his camp at the fort. The northern camps, however, were 
unwilling to move seventy miles farther than they ex- 
pected, with their large supplies of meat recently taken, 
and it was decided that the chiefs, with a portion of their 
people, should attend, leaving the main camps undis- 

The governor relates the following incident : — 

** My son Hazard, thirteen years of age, had accompanied me 
from Olympia to the waters of the Missouri. Like all youths 
of that age, he was always ready for the saddle, and had spent 
some days with one of my hunting parties on the Judith, where 
he had become well acquainted with the Gros Ventres. When 
we determined to change the council from Fort Benton to the 
mouth of the Judith, I undertook the duty of seeing the neces- 
sary messages sent to the various bands and tribes, and to bring 
them all to the mouth of the Judith at the proper moment. 
These Indians were scattered from Milk River, near Hammell's 
Houses, along the Marias, along the Teton, to a considerable 
distance south of the Missouri, the Flatheads being on the 
Judith, and the Pend Oreilles on Smith's Fork of the Missouri, 
with twp bands of the Blackfeet lying somewhat intermediate, 
but in the vicinity of the Girdle Mountain. I succeeded in 
securing the services of a fit and reliable man for each one of 
these bands and tribes, except the Grros Ventres, camped on 
Milk River. There were several men, who had considerable 
experience among Indians and in voyageuring, who desired 


to jgo, bat I had not confidence in them, and accordingly, at 
ten o'clock on Sunday morning, I started my little son as a 
messenger to the Oros Ventres. Accompanied by the inter- 
preter, Legare, he made that Gros Ventre camp before dark, a 
distance of seventy-five miles, and gave his message the same 
evening to- the chiefs, and without changing horses they were 
in the saddle early in the morning, and reached my camp at 
half iMtst three o'clock. Thus a youth of thirteen traveled one 
hundred and fifty measured miles from ten o'clock of one day 
to half past three o'clock in the afternoon of the next. The 
6ro6 Ventres made their marches exactly as I had desired, 
and reached the new council ground at the mouth of the Judith 
the very morning which had been appointed. 

^ I doubt whether such an express service as we were obliged 
to employ at Fort Benton to keep the Indians in hand was ever 
employed in this country vdth the same means. Many of our 
animals, which had done service all the way from the Dalles, 
traveled at express rates more than a thousand miles before we 
started on our return from Fort Benton. Many of our mules 
traveled from seven to eight hundred miles with packs in 
gomg to the boats for provisions and to the hunting grounds 
for meat.; and yet, after our treaty was concluded and we were 
ready to move home, we were able to make very good rates 
with these same animals, although the season was so late as 

To realize the remarkable extent and efficiency of this 
express service, bear in mind Doty's trip to Bow River, 
three hundred miles north of Fort Benton ; Tappan's and 
Adams's and Higgins's to the Yellowstone, two hundred 
miles southeast ; and the expresses down the river to the 
boats^ one hundred and fifty miles ; not to speak of Pear^ 
son's trip to Olympia, one thousand miles. It was as 
though one in New York, without telegraphs, railroads, or 
mails, had to regulate by pony express the movements of 
bands of Indians at Boston, Portland, Montreal, Buffalo, 
and Washington. 

After spending four days in conferences with the chiefs. 


explaining the reasons for changing the council ground, 
etc., the governor broke camp on the lOth, and on the 
next day, Thursday, reached the point where the boats 
were unloading, a mile below the mouth of the Judith, 
selected and prepared the council ground, and received 
and assigned to their camps the Indians as they arrived. 
His colleague descended the river in a skiff, and did not 
arrive until the following Saturday. By Monday all the 
Indians had assembled, and numbered thirty-five hundred. 

On Tuesday Governor Stevens formally opened the 
council. The Indians, as usual on such occasions, ^^ re- 
posed on the bosom of their mother," that is, sat on the 
ground in semicircular rows, twenty-six principal chiefs 
in the first row, lesser chiefs in succeeding rows, and the 
rank and file in the rear. The governor administered 
the oath to the interpreters to translate truly, having first 
inquired of the Indians if they were satisfied with them 
and received an affirmative reply. 

Governor Stevens said : — 

^' My children, my heart is glad to-day. I see Indians east of 
the mountains and Indians west of the mountains sitting here 
as friends, Bloods, Blackfeet, Piegans, Gros Ventres, and Nez 
Perces, Koo-te-nays, Pend Oreilles, Flatheads ; and we have the 
Cree chief sitting down here from the north and east, and 
Snakes farther from the west. There is peace now between you 
all here present. We want peace also with absent tribes, with 
the Crees and Assiniboines, with the Snakes, and, yes, even 
with the Crows. You have all sent your message to the Crows, 
telling them you would meet them in friendship here. The 
Crows were far, and could not be present, but we expect you to 
promise to be friends with the Crows. 

^^ It was Low Horn who, two years since, said to me, ^ Peace 
with the Flatheads and Nez Perces.' The Little Dog, Little 
Gray Head, and all the Blackfoot chiefs said, ^ Peace with them; 
come and meet us in council,' and here they are. Here you see 
them face to face. I met them the same year. I told them 






yoosr woids. They said, * Peace also with the Blackf eet' And 
ihe Great Father has said, * Peace with the Crees and Assini- 
boines, the Crows, and all neighboring tribes.' 

^ I shall say nothing about peace with the white man. No 
white man enters a Blachfoot or a western Indian's lodge with- 
oat being treated to the very best. Peace already prevails. 
We tmst such will continue to be the case forever. We have 
been traveling over your whole country, both to the east and 
west of the mountains, in small parties, ranging away north to 
Bow River, and south to the Yellowstone. We have kept no 
guard. We have not tied up our horses. All has been safe. 
Therefore I say peace has been, is now, and will continue, be- 
tween these Indians and the white man." 

The treaty was then read to them, after which the gov- 
ernor went over its provisions, explaining them, etc. 

The council lasted three days. The best feeling pre- 
vailed, all the chiefs making earnest and sincere speeches 
in favor of peace, contrasting the advantages of hunting 
in safety and trading between the tribes with the contin- 
^ losses of their young braves and the steady decline 
in numbers from perpetual war, although some of them 
expressed doubts as to restraining the ambitious young 
warriors. Only one passing shadow was cast over the 
assemblage, and that but for a moment. The treaty made 
all the country south of the Missouri a common hunting 
ground for all the tribes, while the country north of the 
liver was to be reserved to the Blackf eet for hunting pur- 
poses, although open to the western Indians for trading 
and visiting. To this restriction Alexander, the Fend 
Oreille chief, demurred. Said he : — 

** A long time ago this country belonged to our ancestors, and 
the Blackfeet lived far north. We Indians were all well pleased 
when we came together here in friendship. Now you point us 
out a litde piece of land to hunt our game in. When we were 
enemies I always crossed over there, and why should I not now 
when we are friends ? Now I have two hearts about it. What 


18 the reason? Which of these chiefs [pointing to the Black- 
feet] says we are not to go there ? Which is the one ? " 

llie Little Dog, a Piegan chief : *' It is I, and not because 
we have anything against you. We are friendly, but the north 
Blachf eet might make a quarrel if you hunted near them. Do 
not put yourself in their way." 

On Alexander's insisting, the Little Dog said : — 

^^ Since he speaks so much of it, we will give him liberty to 
come out in the north." 

Alexander's contention will be better understood by 
eonsidering the fact that his country, on the Flathead 
River and Clark's Fork, lies directly opposite the region 
of the upper Marias, and that by going directly east 
across the mountains through the Marias Pass he could 
reach buffalo in a short trip, while the journey to the 
plains south of the Missouri was a much longer one. 

On the last day the commissioners and the chiefs and 
headmen of all the tribes present signed the treaty amid 
the greatest satisfaction and good feeling. During the 
next three days, October 18-20, the presents were dis- 
tributed, and coats and medals were presented to the 
chiefs, with speeches by the commissioners, exhorting them 
to keep their promises to their Great Father, and control 
their young braves. The several tribes fraternized most 
amicably throughout all these proceedings, particularly 
the Flatheads and Gros Ventres, — who had hunted to- 
gether and exchanged friendly visits for many weeks on 
the Muscle Shell, — the Nez Ferces and Piegans, and the 
Bloods and Fend Oreilles. Though the Crows were not 
present, the Lidians pledged themselves not to war upon 
them, nor upon any of the neighboring tribes. The offi- 
cers of this council were: Isaac I. Stevens and Alfred 
Gumming, commissioners ; James Doty, secretary ; Thomas 
Adams and A. J. Vaughan, reporters. The interpreters 
were : James Bird, A. Culbertson, and M. Roche, for the 

I A 

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Tub Ridbk 

StAK k«»BK 

Lame Bi li- 



Blackfeet ; Benjamin Eiser, 6. Sohon, for the Flatheads ; 
William Craig, Delaware Jim, for the Nez Perces. 

The treaty was much more than a treaty of peace as 
far as the Blackfeet were concerned, for it gave them 
schools, farms, agricultural implements, etc., and an agent, 
and annuities of $35,000 for ten years, of which $15,000 
was devoted to educating them in agriculture and to 
teaching the children. At the last moment tiie governor 
induced Gumming to agree to a clause empowering the 
President and Senate to increase the annuities $15,000 
more, if the amount fixed in the treaty was deemed in- 
sufficient. It contained the usual provision prohibiting 
intoxicating liquor. The extensive region between the 
Missouri and Yellowstone was made the common hunting 
ground of all the tribes. All agreed to maintain peace 
with each other, including those tribes that were unable 
to be present, the Crows, Crees, Assiniboines, and Snakes. 
The treaty was made obligatory on the Indians from their 
signing it, and on the United States from its ratification, 
which occurred the next spring, and it was duly pro- 
claimed by the President on April 25, 1856. 

The tribes actually parties to this treaty numbered, 
by the commissioners' calculation, Blackfeet, 11,500 ; Nez 
Perces, 2500; Flathead nation, 2000; total 16,000. 
Nearly all of their chiefs and principal men attended the 
council and signed the treaty. 

The peace made at this council was observed with grati- 
fying fidelity in the main. The Blackfeet ceased their 
incessant and bloody raids, and met their former enemies 
on friendly terms upon the common hunting grounds. 
Within a few years, in 1862-63, large white settlements 
sprang up on the headwaters of the Missouri, but they 
were spared the horrors and sufferings of Indian warfare 
with so powerful a tribe largely in consequence of this 
treaty. The council, which Governor Stevens planned and 


carried oat with such f oresight, sagacity^ and indefatiga- 
ble exertions during two years, bore fruit at last in the 
perpetual peace he hoped for and predicted. Few treaties 
with Indians have been so well observed by them as this 
by the "bloodthirsty" Blackfeet. They took no part 
in the great Sioux wars, nor in the outbreak of Joseph. 
They were afterwards gathered together on a large reser- 
vation, including the country about the Sun River, where 
the governor proposed to establish their farms. 

The council ground was a wide, level plain covered 
with a noble grove of huge cottonwoods. It was on the 
left bank of the Missouri, nearly opposite but below the 
mouth of the Judith. This stream was abo bordered by 
broad bottoms, which were covered with large sage-brush, 
and fairly swarming with deer. The governor's camp 
was pitched under the lofty cottonwoods, and lower down 
was the camp of the crew of men who had dragged the 
boats up the river. They were a hundred strong, mostly 
Grermans, having many fine voices among them, and were 
fond of spending the evenings in singing. The effect of 
their grand choruses, pealing forth over the river and re- 
sounding among the lofty trees, was magnificent. In the 
governor's camp an unusually large Indian lodge — a great 
cone of poles covered with dressed and smoke-stained buf- 
falo skins — was erected and used as an of&ce tent, where 
the records were copied and smaller conferences held. 
Every night between eleven and twelve, when the work 
of the day was concluded, the governor would call in the 
gentlemen of the party, a few chiefs, and some of the 
interpreters, and have a real Homeric feast of buffalo 
ribs, flapjacks with melted sugar, and hot coffee. Whole 
sides of ribs would be brought in, smoking-hot from the 
fire, and passed around, and each guest would cut off a 
rib for himself with his hunting knife, and sit there hold- 
ing the huge dainty, three feet long, and tearing off the 






: -Am 



joicy and delicious meat with teeth and knife, principally 
the former. No description can convey an idea of the 
hearty zest and relish and enjoyment, or the keen appe- 
tites, with which they met at these hospitable repasts, and. 
recounted the varied adventures and experiences of their 
recent trips, or listened as Craig, Delaware Jim, or Ben 
Riser related some thrilling tale of trapper days, or desper- 
ate fight with Indian or grizzly bear. 

The other commissioner did not grace these reunions 
with his presence. Chafing at the constraint put upon 
him, and the secondary part which he could not help tak- 
ing, despite all his pretensions, he kept his quarters on 
one of the boats, and relieved his mind by refusing to 
recommend the allowance of the governor's accounts for 
the extra expenses necessarily incurred by the two months' 
delay, the result of his own inefficiency ; refused to allow 
Mr. Doty more than five dollars a day for his services 
as secretary, which pitiful stipend he took pains to call 
'^ wages ; " and among other grievances complained that 
Governor Stevens had insinuated that he. Camming, had 
shown a disposition to repudiate his own acts done in 
commission, — all this gravely set forth in official commu- 
nications addressed to the Secretary, and made part of the 
record. This was too much for the governor's patience, 
and he replied : — 

*^The undersigoed has made no such intimation. On the 
contrary, in his coiDmmiications to the commission he has de- 
monstrated that Commissioner Gumming had repudiated his 
own act, and used every exertion to usurp the rights and powers 
of the commission, and reduce the undersigned to the position 
of a subordinate. Fortunately for the dignity of the commis- 
sion and the success of the treaty, this attempt was most suc- 
cessfully resisted, and Commissioner Cumming was compelled 
to surrender his claims. Commissioner Stevens has no griev- 
ance for which he asks redress from the Department of the 
Interior. He has protected his own rights here." 


In the joint report forwarding the treaty, prepared like 
all the official papers by Governor Stevens, he states the 
disagreements between the commissioners on nearly every 
point, and adds : — 

^*So utterly at variance have been their views that it has 
only'been with great difficulty that a concert of action has been 
effected at alL" 

The governor's last c^cial communication to the secre- 
tary of the commission fitly expressed his indignation at 
the action of the department in naming Gumming first 
on the commission : — 

*^ The undersigned solemnly protests against the instructions 
of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs placing the name of 
Commissioner Cmnming first on the commission, and he ap- 
peals from said instructions to the President of the United 

^^ The undersigned was, in his opinion, entitled to be placed 
first, and for the following reasons : — 

**' 1. He originated the Blackf oot council, prepared the In- 
dians on both sides of the mountains for it, and, for all prac- 
tical purposes, has been the superintendent of all these tribes 
since he explored the country in 1853. He has appointed spe- 
cial agents for the Blackf eet, distributed goods and provisions 
among them, and in other ways has by authority of the Interior 
Department had the administrative charge of these tribes. 

^^ 2. He was the senior officer by date of priority of com- 

*^ 3. He was better fitted, by experience and adaptation to the 
duties, to take a prominent part in the negotiations, and he fear- 
lessly refers to the official record to show that the success of the 
treaty is mainly due to his previous labors, his forecast in bring- 
ing the necessary force to the theatre of the principal opera- 
tions, and to the vigilance, energy, and force of character which 
he has exhibited throughout, and that thus was redressed the 
wrong which otherwise would have been done to the public ser- 
vice, and injury to the reputation and services of the under- 
signed, by placing his name second on the commission." 





- -#■ -H ' ' 

' I 





William Ckak; Ai kxamu i: i. i riti.F.i^nN 



With this parting shot the governor bade a heartfelt 
farewell to the pretentious incapable, who had so nearly 
wrecked the cooncil, and added so much to his labors 
and perplexities. Gumming started down the river on 
one of the boats on the 23d. 



Haying made a good riddance of his troublesome col- 
league, and seen the Indians depart their several ways 
with much hand-shaking and many expressions of g^ood- 
will and satisfaction, the governor and his little party 
packed up and started on the 24th, and reached Fort 
Benton the following day. Two days were spent here 
preparing for the long return journey across the moun- 
tains ; for the animals were well worn by the hard express 
service of the summer, and it was necessary to lighten 
loads as much as possible. On October 28 the home- 
ward start was made ; the party moved over to and up 
the Teton, continued up that stream the 29th, and went 
into camp thirty-five miles from the fort. 

Supper was just over, and the men were gathering 
around the camp-fires, for the evening was frosty, when 
a lone horseman was discerned in the twilight slowly 
making his way over the plains towards the camp, and 
soon Pearson rode in, or rather staggered in, for his 
horse was utterly exhausted, and tottered as it walked. 
The eager men crowded around, and helped the wiry ex- 
pressman from the saddle and supported him to a seat, 
for he was unable to stand, and his emaciated, wild, and 
haggard appearance bore witness to the hardships he had 
undergone. He delivered his dispatches, and, after being 
revived with food and warmth, was able to make his re- 
port, and surely one more fraught with astonishment and 


consternation for that little party on the lonely plains^ a 
thousand miles from home, could not be imagined. 

The great tribes of the upper Columbia country, the 
Cuyuses, Yakimas, Walla Wallas, Umatillas, Palouses, 
and all the Oregon bands down to the Dalles, the very 
ones who had signed the treaties at the Walla Walla 
council and professed such friendship, had all broken 
out in open war. They had swept the upper country 
clean of whites, killing all the settlers and miners found 
there, and murdered agent Bolon under circumstances of 
peculiar atrocity. Major Haller, sent into the Yakima 
country with a hundred regulars and a howitzer, had 
been defeated and forced to retreat by Kam-i-ah-kan's 
warrior, with the loss of a third of his force and his 
cannon. The Indians west of the Cascades had also 
risen simultaneously, and laid waste the settlements on 
Puget Sound and in Oregon, showing that a widespread 
conspiracy prevailed. The Spokanes and Coeur d'Alenes 
were hostile, or soon would become hostile under the 
spur and taunts of the young Cuyuse and Yakima war- 
riors sent among them to stir them up, and even some 
of the Nez Perces were disaffected. A thousand well- 
armed and brave hostile warriors under Kam-i-ah-kan, 
Pu-pu-mox-mox, Young Chief, and Five Crows were gath- 
ered in the Walla Walla valley, waiting to " wipe out " 
the party on its return; squads of young braves were 
visiting the Nez Perces, Spokanes, and Cceur d'Alenes, 
vaunting their victories, displaying fresh gory scalps, and 
using every effort to cajole or force them into hostility 
to the whites. 

The daring expressman's story of how he ran the 
gauntlet of the hostile tribes with the dispatches and in- 
formation upon which depended the lives of the party 
heightened the impression made by his wretched appear- 
ance and doleful tidings. He left the Dalles on his 


return trip, fresh and well mounted, and, riding all day 
and night, reached Billy McKay's ranch on the Uma- 
tilla River at daylight, and stopped to get breakfast. 
The place was deserted. After eating he lassoed a fine 
powerful horse among a large band grazing near by, and 
after a hard struggle managed to saddle, bridle, and 
mount it. The steed was wild, and started off jumping 
stiff-legged. As Pearson rode from under the trees sur^ 
rounding the house into the road, he saw a party of In- 
dians racing down the hill into the valley, evidently on 
his trail, and heard their yells as they caught sight of 
him, — " Whup si-ah si-ah-poo ! Whup si-ah ! " " Kill the 
white man ! Kill the white ! " — and redoubled their speed 
in pursuit. His new mount proved of speed and bottom^ 
and under whip and spur gave over his jumping for 
swift running. As he climbed the hill leading out of 
the valley on to the high plains and looked back, he 
again saw the red devils and heard their yells ; and for 
mile after mile, from the top of every ridge and roll of 
the plains crossed by the trail, he would look back and 
see bis pursuers, or the dust rising under the hoo& of 
their horses. But they could not lessen the distance be- 
tween them ; gradually they fell behind farther and fai^ 
ther, and at length were lost to sight. Pearson pushed 
his horse on all day as rapidly as it could stand without 
breaking down, and, when night fell, turned off the trail 
at right angles for several miles, then struck a course 
parallel to it, traveled all night, crossed the Walla Walla 
River and valley above the usual ford and crossings, and, 
having found a secluded depression in the plains beyond, 
stopped to rest and let his horse feed a couple of hours. 
Pushing on without further adventure, and exchanging 
his worn-out steed for a fresh one at Red Wolf's ground, 
he reached Lapwai the next day. Here he obtained a 
day's rest. 


Thus refreshed, and securing fresh horses and a yoong 
Nez Perce brave as guide, he started across the Bitter 
Boot Mountains by the direct Nez Perce trail, the short- 
est but also the most rugged and elevated route, and at 
dark made camp high up in the mountains. That night 
a furious snowstorm set in. A tree fell and crushed his 
Indian companion. Pearson dragged his insensible body 
from beneath the tree, and said to himself, ^^ Now the 
Nez Perces, too, will break out. They never will believe 
diis buck's death was accidental. They will deem me his 
murderer, and always hunt my scalp after this." But 
to his great joy the young Indian came to his senses, 
and proved not to be seriously hurt. The storm raged 
three days ; several feet of snow fell, too deep for horses 
to travel. When it ceased, Pearson sent the Indian back 
with the horses, and, packing his dispatches, blankets, 
and some dried meat on his back, continued across on 
snowshoes, which he had made during the storm, cutting 
the bows with his knife, and unraveling his lariat for 
the webs. The trail was hidden under the snow, but he 
guided his course largely by the marks of packs against 
the trees made by Indians who had crossed in winter. 
Struggling on in this manner for four days, he emerged 
upon the Bitter Root valley near Fort Owen, almost dead 
idth fatigue and privation. Stopping only a few hours 
for rest, and procuring a good horse and equipments 
from the ever friendly Flatheads, he again took the sad- 
dle, and on the third day staggered into the governor's 
camp on the Teton. 

The dispatches fully corroborated Pearson's informa- 
tion. Among them were letters from Acting^Govemor' 
Mason, Colonel Simmons, Major Tilton, and others, warn- 
ing the governor on no account to attempt to return 
home by the direct route across the mountains, and urg- 
ing him to descend the Missouri and return by way of 


the Isthmus. He was assured that there were scarcely 
any troops in the country, that it was impossible to suc- 
cor him, and equally impossible for him to get through 
so many hostile Indians, and that his only way of safety 
lay down the Missouri River. 

Governor Stevens's decision was instant and unwaver^ 
ing. It was to force his way back to his Territory by the 
direct route through all opposition and obstacles. He 
fully appreciated the perils and dif&culties of the attempt, 
but his determination was unalterably fixed sternly to 
confront them all, and by a bold, decided course and 
rapid movements to force a passage through the hostile 
country and hostile savages. 

Doty was sent back to the fort the next morning for 
additional arms and ammunition. At noon the follow- 
ing day, October 31, leaving orders for Doty to follow 
with the train on his return from the fort, the governor, 
with Delaware Jim and Hugh Robie, his only compan- 
ions, started for the Bitter Root valley, and reached Fort 
Owen in four and a half days, a distance of two hundred 
and thirty miles. Says the governor of this trip : — 

^^ The first night we camped on Sun River, having made a 
distance of some tweuty-nine miles from about noon to sun- 
down. On the 1st of November we were in the saddle at early 
dawn, pushed towards Cadotte's Pass, between the Crown Butte 
and Rattlers, passed by the Bird Tail Rock, crossed the Dear- 
bom, and went into camp four miles before reaching the divide, 
at a point which was the camp of Lieutenant Grover and Mr. 
Robie in their winter trip of 1854. This evening a snow came 
on about an hour before sundown, or we should have crossed 
the divide that night. The weather in the morning was clear 
and beautiful, but as we had no tent, we built up a large fire 
in order to dry ourselves, and got breakfast before leaving 
camp, and at half past eight we were on the road. There were 
some six or seven inches of snow on the ground, but the weather 
was extremely mild, and the snow was rapidly passing away. I 


went up the divide on the ravine north of the usual trail, and 
was able to find a very good route for our animals. There was 
little or no snow on the western slope of the divide ; continuing 
down the Blackfoot valley five and one half miles, the snow 
was only an inch or two deep, and entirely passed away before 
we reached Lander's Fork. We halted on Lander's Fork for 
a few minutes to rest our animals ; then, moving very rapidly 
through the Belly prairie and ca&on, we came out on the large 
prairie of the Blackfoot at a little after dark, camping where I 
had camped with Lieutenant Donelson in 1858. The next day 
we were in the saddle early, and, moving over this prairie at a 
▼ery rapid rate, ate breakfast at a point some eighteen miles 
from our morning's camp, and made our evening camp within 
about ten miles of the Hell Gate crossing to Fort Owen. The 
next day we reached Fort Owen, meeting at the crossing some 
Indians, by whom I was able to communicate with Dr. Lans- 
dale. On our way to Fort Owen we met a Nez Perce delega- 
tion on their way home, and made arrangements to meet them 
at the crossing of Hell Gate, in order to confer about difficul- 
ties ahead. After waiting a day at Fort Owen, I moved down 
to and established my camp at Hell Gate, to await the arrival 
of Mr. Doty. Just before reaching the Dearborn River, Dela- 
ware Jim shot a deer, but on going up to it they were sur- 
prised to find a well-grown fawn lying dead beside it, killed by 
the same bullet as it stood beside and concealed by its mother." 

Many of the Flatheads came with Dr. Lansdale in 
response to the governor's summons to confer with him 
at this camp, and the conference with them and also with 
the Nez Perce chiefs was most satisfactory. In response 
to the governor's request to the latter that some of their 
number would accompany him, the whole delegation, 
fourteen in number, ofiPered to do so, and declared their 
willingness to share any danger that might be encoun- 
tered, and accordingly joined the party. Says the gov- 
ernor : — 

** I was here able to gain no additional information of the 
condition of the Indian tribes between the Cascade Mountains 


and the Bitter Boot, but the reports were that all were in arms 
except the Nez Perces, a large portion of whom were qaid to be 
disaffected, and some of them even hostile. I now purchased 
every good mule and horse I could get in this valley, for it was 
my determination to have my whole command in a position so 
that they could move rapidly and act promptly. The question 
was, What should be our route home ? It was important, it 
seemed to me, to our success that we should be able to cross 
the mountains and throw ourselves into the nearest tribes with- 
out their having the slightest notice of our coming. I felt a 
strong assurance that, if I could bring.this about, I could handle 
enough tribes, and conciliate the friendship of enough Indians, 
to be sufficiently strong to defy the rest. There would cer- 
tainly be no difficulty from the snow down Clark's Fork ; but 
it was known that the upper and lower Fend Oreille Indians 
were along the road, and no party could travel over it without 
its approach being communicated to the Indians ; whereas In- 
dian report had it that the CoBur d'Alene Pass was blocked up 
with snow at this season of the year, and I felt satisfied that 
they would not expect us on this route, and therefore I deter- 
mined to move over it. It was the shorter route of the two ; 
it was a route where I wished to make additional examinations ; 
it was a route which enabled me to creep up, as it were, to the 
first Indian tribe, and then, moving rapidly, to jump upon 
them without their having time for preparation. I knew that 
Kam-i-ah-kan and Pu-pu-mox-mox had sent a body of warriors 
to cut off my party, and that we had to guard against falling 
into an ambush ; but an Indian has not patience to wait many 
days for such a purpose, and I thought, looking to all these 
things, that the line of safety was to move over the CcBur 
d'Alene Pass." 

Mr. Doty arrived with the train on the 11th. At the 
camp on the Teton occurred the only death that befell 
the party during the expedition, that of H. Palmer, who 
died of a lingering and incurable malady, and was laid 
at rest on the lonely prairie by his warm-hearted and sor^ 
rowing companions. Three days more were spent after 
the arrival of the train in making necessary arrangements 












irith Dr. Lansdale, who was placed in charge of the Flat- 
heads as their agent, with Mr. Owen and the mission- 

Keeping his decision as to the route to himself, the 
governor allowed the report to hecome current that he 
would pursue the way by Fend Oreille Lake, and this 
was oniversally believed, because both Indians and moun- 
tain men pronounced the Coeur d' Alene impassable from 
mow so late in the season. Still further to throw any 
Hostile spies or runners, who might be lurking about, off 
the scent, and prevent their carrying word ahead of him, 
the governor, on the first day's march, November 14, on 
reaching the forks, where the trails divided, took that 
by the Lake route, moved down it two miles, and went 
into camp. 

At earliest daylight the next morning the train was 
on the march, retraced its steps to the forks, and struck 
rapidly down the Coeur d'Alene trail a long distance, 
camping at the governor's camp ground of October 7, 8, 
two years before. Fushing on by forced marches, the 
Bitter Root River was crossed on the ice November 17, 
and the summit of the mountains on the 20th, where, for 
lack of grass, the half -famished animals had to be tied 
to trees all night. The snow was from three to six feet 
deep for a long distance, and would have proved a seri- 
ous obstacle, had not a large party of Coeur d'Alene 
Indians crossed a fortnight before and beaten down a 
passable trail ; but ten dead horses lying stiff and stark 
within a distance of eight miles showed how severely 
their animals had suffered in the passage. 

On this trip the governor adopted the plan of starting 
at daylight, moving rapidly for the day's march, and 
encamping early in the afternoon, thinking thus to give 
tiie animals the best opportunities for finding grass, now 
dry and scanty, but their only feed. The precision and 


rapidity with which the train packed up, started, and 
moved was astonishing. An hour hefore daylight the 
cooks were up and preparing hreakfast; half an hour 
later the mules were driven up and the pack-saddles 
placed upon them, and the riding animals were also sad- 
dled ; then hreakfast, taking ahout twenly minutes; then 
the governor, watch in hand, would give the command 
to load, and in five minutes from the word every mule 
would he packed and the train moving out. The gov- 
ernor took great pride in this feat every morning, and 
the men entered into the spirit of it, strove to outdo 
themselves at every camp, and made the gain of half a 
minute in packing and starting the subject of talk and 
congratulation. The mules, by their perverse and vexa- 
tious conduct, arising from their invincible repugnance 
to water and cold, gave rise to many comical and divert- 
ing incidents. Dreading the icy water, they would hold 
back from plunging into the fords, and would seek a 
dryer way by going out on the skirt or points of ice 
which fringed the streams, only to have it give way and 
drop them into deeper water. They were continually 
getting off the narrow, beaten path in the snow, and 
floundering helpless in the fleecy material, and then half 
a dozen sturdy packers would unsling the packs, seize 
the unlucky mule by tail and ears, neck-rope and saddle, 
and haul him back on the trail by main strength. 

The party reached good grass the day after crossing 
the divide, and rested another day to allow the exhausted 
animals to fill up and recuperate. On the 23d a long 
march was made, and the party encamped twenty-six 
miles from the Coeur d'Alene Mission. From the appear- 
ance of everything around, the governor was satisfied that 
no Indian spies had yet observed his march. He deemed 
it impracticable to move the train to the mission in one 
day without breaking down the animals, yet he counted 


on taking the Indians there by surprise, thus giving them 
no opportunity to waylay his party if they were hostile, 
and relying upon his sudden and unexpected appearance 
to retrieve their wavering friendship, if they were not too 
far committed to hostility. At daylight the next mom- 
ing, with Craig, Pearson, and the four Nez Perce chiefs, 
Looking Glass, Spotted Eagle, Three Feathers, and Cap- 
tain John, the governor pushed on, leaving directions 
for the train to follow and come in next day. The even* 
uig sun was just sinking behind the mountains when the 
^ven well-armed horsemen dashed up in front of the 
CcBur d'Alene village, rifles in hand and presented ready 
te fire, and in peremptory tones demanded of the aston- 
^^ed Indians, as they poured out of their lodges, ^^ Are 
you friends or enemies ? Do you want peace or war ? " 
^X^he governor's orders, impressed upon his followers, 
^^^ere, that at the first hostile act or word they were to 
-^^je upon the Indians, disabling as many of them as pos- 
^^ble, and then to fall back upon and occupy the solidly 
^nilt church on the knoll overlooking the village, and 
-^old this stronghold against all attacks until the main 
^^Mffty should arrive the next day. 

The Coeur d' Alenes, thus taken by surprise, in response 
to this formidable summons declared that they were 
friends and preferred peace, and gathered around with 
apparently fnendly greetings. In fact, however, as be- 
came more apparent at the council next day, ^^ they were 
much excited, on a balance for peace or war, and a 
chance word might turn them either way," as says the 
official journal. Some of their yoi^ng men had joined 
the hostiles ; and the rumor was current that the son of 
the chief, Stellam, had recently been slain by the whites. 
The chiefs and elders were inclined to be friendly, and 
wished to avoid war. On the way to the village the 
governor charged the four Nez Perce chiefs : — 



*^ When yon reach the CoBur d' Alenes, talk to them Black- 
foot; tell them about our great council and treaty at Fort 
Benton; tell them that they can hunt buffalo without being 
disturbed by their hereditary enemies, the Blackfeet.; tell 
them the lion and the lamb have laid down together ; get their 
minds off their troubles here, and turn them to other subjects 
in which they take an interest." 

The train arrived the next day. A council was held 
with the Indians, and they were exhorted to continue 
their friendly attitude, and keep their young men from 
war. The emissaries of the Yakimas had left the mission 
only five days before the arrival of tiie party, having 
despaired of its crossing the mountains. All sorts of 
rumors were rife, but nothing certain except that the 
tribes below were in arms, blocking up the road, and that 
they had threatened to cut off the party, Pu-pu-mox-mox 
especially having made his boast that he would take 
Governor Stevens's scalp. It was learned, however, that 
four men, who had brought up the goods for the proposed 
Spokane council, with the unfortunate agent Bolon, were 
at Antoine Plante's, and that fifteen miners were also at 
that point, fearing to go below on account of the hostiles, 
and virtually blockaded by the Spokanes. 

Grovemor Stevens at once determined to proceed to the 
Spokane to rescue these men, and if possible to restrain 
the Spokanes from hostilities. He dispatched Craig with 
all but three of the Nez Perce chiefs to Lapwai, there to 
confer with Lawyer, assemble the nation, and prepare 
them for the governor's arrival. He was also instructed 
to send an express to the Spokane with information of his 
success, and the disposition of the Nez Perces. The ohie& 
retained with the party were Looking Glass, Spotted 
Eagle, and Three Feathers. 

As at Hell Gate, the governor's determination rested 
in his own breast, and it was currentiy reported and 


bdieved that tlie party would move directly soutii along 
the base of the monntainB to the Nez Peroe oonntry, the 
ahortest and safest route to t&e refuge of that friendly 
tribe. To move away from it and adventure sixty miles 
further among the supposedly hostile, and certainly dis- 
affected, Spokanes seemed little short of madness. In 
die evening some of the men, in discussing the matter, 
. declared that if the governor started for the Spokane, 
they would not follow him, but would take the Nez 
Perce trail; but Higgins swore that no man should 
desert the governor if he started for Hell, and the incip- 
ient mutiny went no farther. The next day, November 
27, the party marched down the Coeur d'Alene River to 
Wolfs Lodge, nineteen miles, and, starting at daylight 
tbe following morning and making a rapid, forced march 
of forty miles, reached the Spokane village, just below 
Antoine Planters, before sunset. 

The last four miles across the prairie was made at a 
round t^ot, and within thirty minutes after first sighting 
die rapidly approaching column, the astonished Indians 
beheld thirty well-armed men gallop boldly up, range 
themselves in front of their lodges ready to open fire, 
and heard the peremptory summons to decide instantly 
for peace or war. Needless to say that they, too, were 
friendly and for peace. They were taken completely by 
surprise, and had no alternative but to choose the olive 
branch. Only three hours before they had heard that 
Governor Stevens had gone down the Missouri. 

The Indian employees and goods and the miners were 
safe. They had built a blockhouse, and were on terms of 
armed truce with the Indians rather than actual hostility. 
Before midnight Indian messengers were dispatched to 
Golville and the various camps, summoning the head 
chief Grarry and the other chiefs, the Hudson Bay Com- 
pany's factor, McDonald, and the Jesuit missionaries to 


meet the governor in council at Planters. It is note- 
worthy that during all these troubles the Hudson Bay 
Company people and the Catholic missionaries were not 
molested by the hostile Indians. 

The governor now gave his party, augmented by the 
four rescued employees, a military organization and the 
name of Stevens Guards, the name being the choice of 
the men, and appointed as officers C. P. Higgins, captain; 
W. H. Pearson, first lieutenant; A. H. Bobie, second 
lieutenant; and S. S. Ford, third lieutenant. He also 
appointed Doty lieutenant-colonel, aide-de-camp^ and ad- 
jutant, and Tappan captain and quartermaster. The 
miners were also formed into a military company, and 
adopted the name of Spokane Invincibles, with Judge 
B. F. Yantis as captain. The governor ordered guards 
regularly mounted at night. 

A h^-breed, who had been captured by Pu-pu-mox- 
moz and set free by him on condition that he would take 
a message to the governor to the effect that he, Pu-pu- 
moz-moz, intended to take the governor's scalp, came 
and delivered his message. 



DuBiNO the next few days the Indians were gathering 
for the council. Garry and a party of Coeor d'Alenes 
came on the 29th^ and McDonald with the Colville chiefs, 
the missionaries, and four white miners on December 2. 
!Fhe council lasted three days, December 3, 4, 5, and was 
marked by disaffected and at times openly hostile views 
and expressions and uncertain purposes, on the part of 
the Indians, and steadfast determination to hold their 
friendship and restrain them from war, on the part of the 
governor. The Spokanes openly sympathized with the 
hostiles. Many of their young braves had joined them. 
They insisted that no white troops should enter their 
country, and urged the governor to make peace with the 
Yakimas, for the rumor was current that the troops had 
driven them across the Columbia and into the region 
claimed by the Spokanes. They objected to the whites 
taking up their land before they had made treaties 
and sold it, and were much stirred up because a number 
of Hudson Bay Company ex-employees at Colville had 
staked out claims, and filed with Judge Yantis the declara- 
tory statements claiming them under the Donation Act. 
Kajn-i-ah-kan's emissaries had imbued them with all kinds 
of falsehoods concerning the war and its causes, and the 
purposes of the whites, particularly of Governor Stevens, 
and what he did and said at the Walla Walla council. 
They were to be driven by soldiers from their own coun- 
try, and forced to go on the Nez Perce reservation without 


any treaty or compensation. They were to be deported 
west of the Cascades, and shipped across seas to an 
unknown and dreadful doom. Highly colored but imagi- 
nary stories of wrong and outrage inflicted by whites 
upon Indians were industriously circulated, and equally 
mythical tales of Indian victories and exploits. 

Governor Stevens met their excited and hostile talk 
with a firm and unruffled front. He appealed to the well- 
known facts, — to the policy he had uniformly and con- 
sistently urged upon them and upon all the tribes since 
first coming to the country, the policy of peace and 
friendship with the whites, and of adopting the civiliza- 
tion of the whites, and which had been proclaimed as from 
the housetops, and established by treaty at the Walla 
Walla council, in the presence and hearing of their 
own head chief, Grarry, and others of their number. He 
showed them how this policy was for their own benefit 
and protection, and referred to the Blackfoot council, 
and the peace he had there established, of which the N^ 
Perce chiefs present could give them full particulars. He 
declared he was ready to make a treaty with them on the 
spot, if they desired one, but in the troubled state of 
affairs would not himself urge it. By this firm and con- 
ciliatory treatment he at length brought them to a more 
reasonable state of mind, and induced them to lay aside 
all thoughts of war and preserve their friendship with 
the whites. The results of this remarkable conference 
are graphically stated in his own words : — 

** We remained on the Spokane nine days, and I had there 
one of the most stormy comicils for three days that ever occurred 
in my whole Indian experience ; yet, having gone there with the 
most earnest desire to prevent their entering into the war, but 
with a firm determination to tell them plainly and candidly the 
truth, I succeeded both in convincing them of the facts and in 
gaining their entire confidence. At this council were all the 


chiefs and people of the Cceiir d'Alenee and of the Spokanes, 
—the very tribes who defeated Steptoe the past season, the 
veiy tribes who have met our troops since in two pitched battles ; 
and I feel that I can without impropriety refer to the success of 
my labors- among these Indians, backed up simply with a little 
party of twenty-four men. When the council was adjourned, 
de Indians gave the best test of their friendship by each coming 
to lay before me his little wrongs, aud ask redress. They came 
in a body, and offered me a force to help me through the hostili- 
ties of Walla Walla valley and on the banks of the Columbia, 
which I declined, saying that I came not among the Spokanes 
for their aid, but to protect them as their father." 

The Spokanes preserved the friendship thus gained 
and confirmed, and abstained from all acts of hostility 
for two years after this council, and until Colonel E. J. 
Steptoe, against their warning and protest, entered their 
country with a force of two hundred dragoons. Then 
they flew to arms, attacked, defeated, and drove him in 
precipitate retreat eighty miles to the bank of Snake 
River, where his men were only saved from massacre by 
the friendly Nez Forces, who ferried them across the 
river in their canoes, and boldly interposed between them 
and the victorious Spokanes. 

Soon after reaching the Spokane the governor was led 
to distrust Looking Glass from his changed demeanor 
and countenance, and set a faithful half-breed interpreter 
to keep watch of him. The spy saw him enter Garry's 
lodge late at night, and, stealing up to and lying prone 
beside it, overheard the talk between the chiefs, in which 
Looking Glass disclosed a plot on his part to entrap the 
governor and his party when they went among the Nez 
Perces, and compel him to enlarge their reservation to the 
bounds first proposed by Looking Glass at the Walla 
Walla council, and to exact such other payments and ad- 
vantages as amounted to a swingeing ransom. Looking 
Glass strongly advised Garry to adopt a similar course. 


and both chiefs seemed bent upon using their advantages 
to the utmost. On receiving this alarming report the 
governor instantly, but secretly, dispatched a messenger 
to Lapwai, informing Craig of the plot, and instructing 
him how best to forestall and frustrate it by advising with 
Lawyer, and committing the other chiefs to a firm ad- 
herence to the treaty and active support of the governor. 
Thus forewarned, he was enabled to frustrate the designs 
of the treacherous chief without his suspecting that they 
had been discovered. 

The following extracts from the speeches show the 
excited and disaffected mood in which they entered the 
council. Observe in Garry's second speech his artful 
advice in aid of his friend Looking Glass's design to en- 
large the reservation : — 

Garry : '^ When I heard of the war, I had two hearts, and 
have had two hearts ever since. The bad heart was a little 
larger than the good. Now I am thinking that if you do not 
make peace with the Yakimas, war will come into this country 
like the waters of the sea. From the time of my first recollec- 
tion, no blood has ever been on the hands of my people. Now 
that I am grown up, I am afraid that we may have the blood 
of the whites on our hands. . . . 

*' I hope that you will make peace on the other side of the 
Columbia, and keep the soldiers from coming here. The Ameri- 
cans and the Yakimas are fighting. I think they are both 
equally guilty. If there were many Frenchmen here, my heart 
would be like fighting. [Meaning Canadians, ex-employees of 
the Hudson Bay Company.] These French people here have 
talked too much. I went to the Walla Walla council, and when 
I returned I found that all the Frenchmen had gotten their 
land written down on a paper. [Alluding to notifications 
under the Donation Act] I ask them. Why are you in such a 
hurry to have writings for your lands now? Why don't you 
wait until a treaty is made ? 

** Governor, these troubles are on my mind all the time, and 
I will not hide them. When I was at the Walla Walla council 


my mind was divided. When you first commenced to speak, 
you said the Walla Wallas, Cuyuses, and Umatillas were to move 
on to the Nez Perce reservation, and the Spokanes were to move 
there also. Then I thought you spoke bad. Then I thought, 
when you said that, that you would strike the Indians to the 
heart After you had spoken of these nine different things, 
as schools, and shops, and farms, if you had then asked the 
chiefs to mark out a piece of land — a pretty large piece — to 
give you, it would not have struck the Indians so to the heart. 
Your thought was good. You see far. But the Indians, being 
dull-headed, cannot see far. Now your children have fallen* 
They [the Indians] have spilled their blood, because they 
have not sense enough to understand you. Those who killed 
Pu-pu-mox-mox's son in California, they were Americans. 
Why are those Americans alive now? Why are they not 
hanged? This is what the Indians think, that it will be Indians 
only who are hanged for murder. Now, governor, here are these 
young people, — my people. I do not know their minds, but if 
they will listen to you, I shall be very glad. When you talk to 
your soldiers and tell them not to cross Snake Kiver into our 
country, I shall be glad." 

A principal chief of the lower Spokanes said: **Why is 
die country in difficulty again ? That comes on account of the 
smallpox brought into the country, and is all the time on the 
Indians' heart. They would keep thinking the whites brought 
sickness into the country to kill them. That is what has hurt 
the hearts of the Yakimas. That is what we think has brought 
about this difficulty between the Indians and the whites. I 
think, governor, you have talked a little too hard. It is as if 
yon had thrown away all the Indians. I heard you said at the 
Walla Walla council that we were children, and Ihat our women 
and children and cattle should be for you, and then we thought 
we would never raise camp and move where you wished us to. 
We had in our hearts that if you tried to move us off we would 
die on our land." 

SteUam, Coeur d'Alene head chief : ^^ We have not yet made 
friends. All the Indians are not yet your children. When I 
heard that war had commenced in the Yakima country, I did 
not believe they had done well to conmience. I wish you would 


speak and diy the blood on that land now. If you would do 
that, then I would take you for a friend. You have many 
goldiera, and I would not like to have them mix among my 

Sohlat-eal : ^^ Now the Yakimas have crossed the Columbia. 
I would not like to have the whites cross to this side. If the 
whites do not cross the river, the Indians will all be pleased. 
We have not made friendship yet. We have not shaken hands 
yet. When we see that the soldiers don't cross the Columbia, 
we shall believe you take us for your friends. When you stop 
that difficulty, the fighting now going on, we shall believe you 
intend to adopt us for your children. Then I will believe that 
you have taken us for your friends, and will take you for my 

Peter John ColviUe, chief: ^My heart is very poor, very 
bad. My heart is of all nations. I never hide it My heart 
is fearful. There are some who have talked bad. I am always 
thinking that all would be well. I wish all the whites and 
Indians to be friendly ; but even if my people should take up 
arms against the Americans, I myself would not. I know 
we cannot stop the river from nmning, nor the wind from 
blowing, and I have heard that you whites are the same. We 
could not stop you. I only speak to show my heart. I am 

Sno-ho-mish, a chief of the lower Spokanes, near the Colum- 
bia : ^* When you went away to the Blackf oot coimtry, and the 
Yakimas commenced fighting, my heart was broken. Ever 
since my heart is very small. Ever since I have been thinking. 
How will the governor speak to us ? And yesterday he did 
speak, and said to the Indians, ^ You must keep peace ; ' and I 
have been thinking what God would say if we should spill blood 
on our land. I never loved bad Indians, nor war ; I never 
believed in making war against Americans. I wish they would 
stop all the whites and Indians from fighting. Now I will 
stop. I have shown my heart." 

Big Star, Spokane chief : ^ The reason that I am talking now 
is that all the Indians did not like what you said at the Walla 
Walla coimciL They put all the blame on you for the trouble 
since. The Indians say you are the cause of the war. My 


liaart is veiy small towards you. My heart is the same as the 
others for you. Ever since I heard there was war, I was afraid 
for you. I am afraid yon will be killed. You have not yet 
BBAde a treaty, and you passed by us, and your people have 
commenced coming, — the miners, — and they will upset my 
land. This spring, when my people commenced talking about 
the ammunition, I said, ' My children, do not listen to my chil- 
dren who wish to do wrong.' I said to the Sun chief, ' What 
is the reason you are getting into trouble ? Your &ther was 
good. Now he is killed by the Blackfeet.' And this summer 
when the governor passed here, I spoke to him again, and he 
would not listen. That is why my heart is small, — that young 
man would not listen. I left home and went to the Nez Peroes, 
and there met Mr. McDonald. After crossing the Columbia 
Biver those two young fellows overtook me. I spoke to Mr. 
McDonald to give me good advice to help my children. He did 
speak, and I thought he gave me good help. I was glad. We 
had not yet arrived at the fort when that young man [a young 
Spokane] rushed on the whites and choked them. After Mc- 
Donald and myself had talked to them, I thought they would 
listen. If I had not tried to make them do right, it would not 
have hurt my feelings so much. Since that, I am crying all the 

Qoin-quim-moe-so, Spokane chief, living at Eells's old mission : 
^ When I heard, governor, what you had said at the Walla 
Walla ground, I thought you had done well. But one thing 
you said was not right. You alone arranged the Indian's land. 
The Indians did not speak. Then you struck the Indians to 
the heart You thought they were only Indians. That is why 
yon did it. I am not a big chief, but I will not hide my mind. 
I will not talk low. I wish you to hear what I am saying. 
That is the reason, governor ; it is all your fault the Indians are 
at war. It is your fault, because you have said that the Cuy- 
uses and Walla Wallas will be moved to the Yakima land. 
They who owned the land did not speak, and yet you divided 
the land." 

Garry : ** When you look at those red men, you think you 
have more heart, more sense, than these poor In<Uans. I think 
the difference between us and you Americans is in the clothing. 


— the blood and body are the same. Do you think, because 
your mother was white and theirs black, that you are higher or 
better? We are black, yet if we cut ourselves the blood will 
be red, and so with the whites it is the same, though their skin 
is white. I do not think we are poor because we belong to 
another nation. If you take those Indians for men, treat them 
so now. If you talk to the Indians to make a peace, the In- 
dians will do the same to you. You see now the Indians are 
proud. On account of one of your remarks, some of your peo- 
ple have already fallen to the ground. The Indians are not 
satisfied with the land you gave them. What commenced the 
trouble was the murder of Pu-pu-mox-mox's son and Dr. Whit- 
man, and ndfU) they find their reservations too smalL If all 
those Indians had marked out their own reservations, the 
trouble would not have happened. If you could get their re- 
servations made a little larger, they would be pleased. If I 
had the business to do, I could fix it by giving them a little 
more land. Talking about land, I am only speaking my mind. 
What I was saying yesterday about not crossing the soldiers to 
this side of the Columbia is my business. Those Indians have 
gone to war, and I don't know myself how to fix it up. That 
is your business. Since, governor, the beginning of the world, 
there has been war. Why cannot you manage to keep peace ? 
Maybe there will be no peace ever. Even if you should hang 
all the bad people, war would begin again, and would never 

In these speeches can be seen the reflection of the 
tales spread by the Yakima emissaries. It was after- 
wards learned that some of the Yakimas had really 
crossed the Columbia to avoid an expedition into the 
Yakima valley, under Major Bains with a force of regu- 
lars, and Colonel J. W. Nesmith with a detachment of 
Oregon volunteers, which proved abortive, except in the 
loss of many of the horses and mules belonging to the 
regulars, which were run off by the hostile Yakimas. 

After the council the Indians were so friendly and 
well disposed that they readily exchanged their fine^ fresh 

'//'•••'^•. ', 


horses for the jaded and tired animals of the party and 
the Indian goods, which had been brought up for the 
now deferred treaty, and even sold several rifles, which 
were used to arm the Spokane Invincibles. 

On the afternoon of the 6th, with transportation re- 
duced to twelve days' supplies, packs to eighty pounds, 
the best train of tiie season, and the party, with the 
recent accessions, forty-eight strong, the governor struck 
out for the Nez Perce country, ^^ in condition," he says, 
<< that if the Nez Perces were really hostile, and I was not 
strong enough to fight, I could make a good run ! " He 
moved three miles to the Spokane River, crossed it just 
above the falls, and encamped on the site of the present 
city of that name. The march thence to the Clearwater 
and Lapwai, a distance of one hundred and eight miles, 
occupied four days, and was made in the midst of a driv- 
ing and continuous storm of cold rain, sleet, and snow, 
wetting and chilling every one to the bone. The trail 
was excessively muddy and slippery, and for half a day's 
travel the snow was ten inches deep. On the second day 
an express from Craig brought the cheering news that 
the Nez Perces were &ithf ul, and the whole tribe ready 
to support the governor to the death. And on reaching 
camp the same day two Frenchmen or Canadians were 
met making their way from Walla Walla to the Spokane, 
who reported the valley overrun with hostile Indians, the 
settlers killed or driven below, and their stock swept off 
by the savages. Fifty miles from the Spokane they 
staruck the same trail passed over in June on the way to 
the Coeur d'Alene, and pursued it for twenty miles, cross- 
ing the Palouse, where an enemy was most likely to be 
encountered, but no Indians were seen. The Clearwater, 
or Kooskooskia, was crossed just above the mouth of 
the Lapwai. The river was barely f ordable, with a power- 
ful current and rocky bottom, and two riding horses were 


swept off their feet into deep water and drowned, making 
no effort to swim, benumbed in the icy water, and their 
riders barely escaped a similar fate. Moving seven miles 
up the Lapwai, Craig's hospitable house, and the end of 
this severe march, this most comfortless and trying of the 
whole trip, was reached, and camp gladly made on the 



Although it was now in the midst of winter^ and the 
ground was covered with snow^ Lawyer had assembled 
two hundred and eight lodges^ containing over two thou- 
sand Indians^ and able to muster eight hundred warriors. 
An animated council was at once held. The council lodge 
was a hundred feet in length, built of poles, mats, and 
skins, and in this assembled two hundred chiefs and prin- 
cipal men. Lawyer presiding. An ox had been killed, 
and young men, who of&ciated for the occasion, roasted 
or boiled the meat at fires in the lodge, and handed it 
around in large pans, from which each person selected 
such choice pieces as suited his fancy. 

The scheme of Looking Glass found no adherent, in- 
deed was not broached, and the unanimous resolve was 
not only to maintain their friendship to the whites and 
stand by their treaty, but to escort Governor Stevens with 
two hundred and fifty of their bravest and best-armed 
warriors, stark buffalo hunters and Blackfoot fighters 
every one, and force their way through the masses of 
hostile Lidians gathered in the Walla Walla valley. 

Looking Glass, too, was among the first in his profes- 
sions of friendship. Jealousy of Lawyer, and the hope 
of increasing his own influence among his people by ob- 
taining great and exceptional advantages for them, were 
probably the causes of his unworthy plot, rather than 
actual enmity to the whites. 


Said Looking Glass : ^^ I told the governor that the Walla 
Walla country was blocked up by bad Indians, and that I would 
go ahead and he behind, and that 's my heart now. Now that 
he says he will go, I will get up and go with him* Now let none 
of you turn your face from what has been said. Your old men 
have spoken, and where is the man will turn his back on it ? " 

Three Feathers : ^^ Why don't you get up and say you are all 
going with Governor Stevens? We said before coming here 
they should go over our dead bodies before coming to him. 
That is our hearts now." 

And chief after chief spoke in similar vein. 

Bed Wolf in his speech said : ^* I was on the Spokane at the 
council held there by the Indians last summer, when runners 
sent by Eam-i-ah-kan came there to get all the people to go to 

Scotum declared : ^* The chief Fu-pu-mox-mox sent us word, 
and so did the Cuyuses ; they sent us word many times, but we 
have always turned our faces from them and kept the laws." 

Here was evidence that the treacherous chiefs were 
inciting hostilities immediately after signing the treaties. 

At this juncture an Indian runner was announced from 
the Walla Walla valley with the important news that a 
force of five hundred Oregon volunteers^ under Colonel 
Kelly (late United States senator), after a severe battle 
of four days' duration^ had defeated the hostiles^ and 
driven them from the valley. The absence of the Palouse 
Indians during the forced march through their country 
was now explained. They were fighting the volunteers 
at that very time. The way being thus opened, Gt)vemor 
Stevens was enabled to dispense with the proffered aid of 
the Nez Forces ; but in order to confirm their fidelity and 
good feelings he invited a hundred warriors to accompany 
his party as a guard of honor as far as the Walla Walla 

It was a clear, bright, frosty December morning that 
the mingled cavalcade of white and Indian left behind the 


hospitable lodges of the Nez Farces, and filed along 
the banks of the Lapwai and Eooskooskia. Rarely has 
the Clearwater reflected a more picturesque or jovial crew. 
Here were the gentlemen of the party, with their black 
felt hats and heavy cloth overcoats ; rough-clad miners 
and packers ; the mountain men, with buckskin shirts and 
leggings and fur caps ; the long-eared pack-mules, with 
their bulky loads ; and the blanketed young braves, with 
painted visage, and hair adorned with eagle feathers, 
mounted on sleek and spirited mustangs, and dashing 
hither and thither in the greatest excitement and glee- 
Each of the warriors had three fine, spirited horses, which 
he rode in turn as the fancy moved him. They used 
buckskin pads, or wooden saddles covered with buffalo, 
bear, or mountain-goat skin. The bridle was a simple 
Hne of buffalo hair tied around the lower jaw of the 
steed, which yielded implicit obedience to this scanty 
headgear. At a halt the long end of the line is flung 
loosely on the ground, and the horse is trained to stand 
without other fastening. 

The whole party were ferried across Snake River by 
the Indians in their canoes, the animals swimming. Pro- 
ceeding down the left bank some distance as the trail to 
Walla Walla ran, it was found that the Nez Perces had 
wholly vacated that side of the river, and removed with 
their bands of horses, goods, and lodges, and especially 
their canoes, to the other side, in order to cut off inter- 
course with the hostile Indians. The demeanor of the 
young braves on this march was in marked contrast to 
the traditional gravity and stoicism of their race. They 
shouted, laughed, told stories, cracked jokes, and gave 
free vent to their native gayety and high spirits. Craig, 
who accompanied the party, translated these good things 
as they occurred, to the great amusement of the whites. 
Crossing a wide, flat plain, covered with tall rye grass, 


he related an anecdote of Lawyer^ with the reminiscence 
of which the young braves seemed particularly tickled. 
When yet an obscure young warrior^ Lawyer was travel* 
ing over this ground with a party of the tribe^ including 
several of the principal chiefs. It was a cold winter 
day^ and a biting gale swept up the river^ penetrating 
their clothing and chilling them to the bone. The chie& 
sat down in the shelter of the tall rye grass, and were 
indulging in a cosy smoke, when Lawyer fired the prairie 
far to windward, and in an instant tiie fiery element, in 
a long, crackling, blazing line, came sweeping down on 
the wings of the wind upon the comfort-taking chiefe, 
and drove them to rush helter-skelter into the river for 
safety, dropping robes, pipes, and everything that might 
impede their flight. For this audacious prank Lawyer 
barely escaped a public whipping. 

At the governor's request, the Indians undertook to 
guard the horses while the whites guarded the camp at 
night, and as the country was still infested with bands 
of hostiles, who had burned off nearly all the grass, and 
the animals were with difficulty prevented from straying 
far and wide in search of feed, it will be readily seen that 
they had chosen the more arduous task. Every evening, 
as the young men would linger around the camp-fires, 
reluctant to start out upon the cold and dreary night 
work, one or more of the chiefs would exhort them to 
their duty, bemoan the degeneracy of the present race, 
and relate instances of the superior bravery and fortitude 
of young men in former times. The young fellows were 
not slow to retort to these harangues with many a sarcas- 
tic gibe and jest, but finally they would go forth to spend 
the cold winter night upon the exposed prairie on horse- 
back, posted around the band of animals. So faithfully 
did they perform this duty that not one was lost during 
the march. 


It was a gala day for the Nez Perces when the party 
reached the valley^ and were received by the Oregon vol- 
unteers with a m^tary parade and a salute of musketry ; 
and when Governor Stevens dismissed them with presents 
and thanks and words of encouragement, they returned 
home the most devoted and enthusiastic auxiliaries that 
ever marched in behalf of the whites. 

On this march the Nez Perce escort captured a strange 
Indian on Al-pa-wha Creek, who proved to be the son of 
Ume-how-lish, the war chief of the Cuyuses, and who said 
tliat the chief, with one follower and a number of women, 
iras in hiding farther up the creek, having fled from the 
valley the last day of the recent fight. The governor 
<ent the young man to his father with the summons to 
surrender himself a prisoner. The next day Ume-how- 
lish delivered himself up, saying that he had done no- 
Ihing bad, and was not afraid to be tried by the white 
man's law, and thereafter traveled along with the party to 
his uncertain fate with true Indian stoicism. He accom- 
panied the governor to the DaUes, where he was turned 
over to the Oregon authorities. He was afterwards re- 
leased by Colonel Wright. There was no evidence that 
he had taken part in the murder of settlers, although he 
had undoubtedly fought in the recent battle. 

The valley was reached on the 20th. Major Chinn, 
commanding the volunteers, and other officers rode out 
to meet the governor, and, on reaching the volunteer 
camp, the troops, four hundred in number, paraded, and 
fired a volley in salute as the picturesque column marched 
past, the fifty sturdy, travel-stained whites in advance, 
followed by the hundred proud and flaunting braves, cur^ 
voting their horses and uttering their war-whoops. The 
volunteers then formed in hoUow square, and the gov- 
ernor addressed them in a brief speech, complimenting 
th^n on their energy in pushing forward at that in- 


clement season^ and gallantry in engaging and routing a 
superior force of the enemj^ and tendering the thanks 
of his party for opening the road. He seized the occa- 
sion also to dwell upon the advantages — the necessity — 
of a winter campaign to bring the war to a speedy end. 
The governor was the first to grasp this idea of a winter 
campaign as the most effective method of reducing hos- 
tile Indians to subjection. As will be seen hereafter, he 
urged this course upon Greneral Wool and the military 
authorities^ but only to have his views denounced and 
ridiculed as ^^impracticable;" but finally, under the stem 
lessons of experience, they had to be adopted. It was 
only by winter campaigns that General Crook succeeded 
in subduing the Snakes of Idaho and eastern Oregon in 

Over a hundred of the Cuyuses and Walla Wallas re- 
fused to join their kindred in the war, and remained 
friendly, including Steachus, Tin-tim-meet-see, and How- 
lish-wam-poo, and were now encamped on Mill Creek 
under the protection of a guard, needed unhappily not 
less against a few of the unruly volunteers, who had 
already killed some of their cattle, than against appre- 
hended raids by the hostiles. The little flock of Indians 
under the ministrations of Father Chirouse of the Catho- 
lic mission also remained friendly, thanks to the good in- 
fluence of the Fathers. 

Colonel Frank Shaw was found with the volunteers, 
and from him and the Oregon officers the governor 
learned the latest news and the condition of affairs. The 
fight had been a severe one. The Indians resisted stoutly 
for four days, and only gave way at last because they 
mistook a large pack-train, seen descending into the val- 
ley, for reinforcements to the whites. Pu-pu-mox-mox 
had been captured, and slain attempting to escape. Gen- 
eral Wool had arrived at Vancouver, but had refused to 

H'fir Chief of the Cuyuses 


take active measures against the enemy^ assuming that 
the Indians were not at faulty but that the war had been 
gotten up by white speculators. He had even disbanded 
two companies of Washington volunteers at Vancouver 
after they had been actually mustered into the United 
States service. And a company that had been raised 
under the direction of Shaw, for the express purpose of 
going to the assistance of the governor, was dismissed by 
Wool in spite of the remonstrances of its of&cers and of 
Major Rains. 

The first act of the governor after grasping the situa- 
tion was to indite a letter to Wool announcing his safe 
return, and suggesting the energetic and aggressive mili- 
tary measures by which the outbreak could be speedily 

Some of the fruits of the delay in holding the Black- 
foot council, caused by the mulish and incapable Gum- 
ming, were now apparent. Had it been held early in 
August, as it might and should have been, the governor 
would have gotten back early in September, in time to 
cope with the first outbreak, to infuse the military au- 
thorities with a little of his own sound judgment and 
energy, to induce harmony and concert of action between 
the regular and volunteer forces, possibly to remove even 
Wool's prejudiced and utterly wrong views, certainly in 
time to prevent the volunteers of his own territory from 
being paralyzed in action, and rendered worse than use- 
less. But he was delayed, and in his absence bitter pre- 
judice and divided councils ruled the hour, and the war, 
which should have been brought to an end in a single 
season by a few quick, strong blows, was suffered to drag 
on for years. 

After the reception by the volunteers the train moved 
up the Walla Walla to a point opposite the mission and 
went into camp, where it remained the next three days. 


The weather grew intensely cold^ the glass ranging 2T 
below zero ; nevertheless, the governor kept the officers at 
work gathering information concerning trails, crossings 
of rivers, etc., with a view to military operations, and had 
a conference with Major Chinn as to pushing against the 
Indians beyond Snake River ; but it appeared that the 
lack of rations and transportation rendered an advance 
impracticable, and of course no move could be made while 
the severe weather continued. On the 24th the camp 
was moved four miles farther upstream to a more shel- 
tered spot, with plenty of wood, and where there was a 
deserted house, which the governor and the officers occu- 
pied. The cold weather continued unabated for fourteen 
days. The men had all they could do to keep the fires 
going and avoid freezing, and many of the horses in the 
volunteer camp were frozen to death. Although the 
ground was covered with snow, the animals found grass 
enough projecting above it, or by pawing it off, to avoid 
starvation. Herds of cattle, abandoned by the Indians in 
their flight, grazed within sight of camp, and were driven 
in and slaughtered as needed, and great flocks of prairie- 
chickens roosted in the trees about camp, so there was no 
lack of food. 

On the 29th the governor dismissed the Nez Perce 
escort, who were to return home under Craig as soon as 
the cold abated, thanking them for their fidelity and ser- 
vices, and charging them to stay on their own side of 
Snake River, and shun intercourse with the hostiles. The 
friendly Cuyuse, Steachus, attended this conference, very 
desirous of joining the Nez Perces and moving into their 
country, and asking permission to do so. '^ I am really 
afraid of those whites, those volunteers," said he. The 
Nez Perce chiefs strongly supported him in his request. 
Said Spotted Eagle : ^^ I am glad to hear those Indians 
ask to go with us. It looks as if they wished to live 


and do light when they talk of joining the Nez Perces/' 
Bat the governor, after considering the matter for a day, 
denied the request, for the reason that he feared that the 
disaffected and hostile kindred of these friendly Cuyuses 
would be constantly visiting them, and would exert a bad 
influence upon the Nez Perces, whom he wished to keep 
entirely aloof from the hostiles. 

On the last day of the year, the cold weather continu- 
ing with unmitigated severity, the governor decided to 
hasten below in advance of the train, deeming his pre- 
sence imperatively required within the settlements on 
Paget Sound, and issued general orders directing Colonel 
Doty to move the train to the Dalles as soon as the 
wether permitted, and there muster out the Stevens 
Guards and Spokane Invincibles, constituting the Walla 
Walla Battalion, appointing Craig lieutenant and aide- 
de-camp, and instructing him as to marching home and 
disbanding the Nez Perce allies, and taking measures for 
protecting that tribe against hostile raids or attempts, 
and assigning Colonel Shaw of the territorial militia to 
take charge of matters in the valley, organize the settlers 
and friendly Indians as a military force, to act as their 
own guards at least, and appointing Sidney S. Ford and 
Green McCafferty captain and lieutenant of volunteers 
respectively as his assistants, and finally returning thanks 
to the battalion 

** for the alacrily with which they have obeyed his orders and 
discharged their duty, for their constancy and manliness in the 
rapid movement which they made from the Spokane to this 
valley in bad weather and in an inclement season, a movement 
b^un and half acoompIlBhed with the certain knowledge that a 
large force of hostile Indians were to be met in this valley, and 
no expectation that aid was near at hand and would be extended 
in season. 

^ But aid was at hand, and the commander-in-chief would do 
injustice to his own feelings, and those of the men of his inmie- 


diate command, if in the general order he did not acknowledge 
the services of the gallant volunteers of Oregon, who success- 
fully met in arms in this valley the combined forces of the 
hostile Indians at the time he was moving from the Spokane to 
the Nez Perce country." 

On New Year's Day, 1856, (xovemor Stevens started 
for the Dalles, accompanied only by his son, Pearson, 
Bobie, the Nez Perce chief, Captain John, and the captive 
Ume-how-lish, and reached that point in three days and a 
half. The intense cold continued unabated. Every morn- 
ing the little party saddled in the darkness and started 
at daylight without breakfast, pushed their horses at a 
speed of ten miles an hour for about six hours, making 
about sixty miles, and made camp early in the afternoon, 
giving the horses several hours to graze before dark, and 
themselves plenty of time to gather wood, build up a rous- 
ing fire, and cook and eat a tremendous meal, breakfast, 
dinner, and supper in one ; then early to bed, sound slum- 
bers, and off again at daylight. All the streams were 
crossed on the ice until the Des Chutes River was reached. 
Here was found a great gorge of broken ice twenty feet 
deep, through the centre of which the rapid and power- 
ful stream had torn its way, a hundred yards wide, bor- 
dered by perpendicular w^s of ice. Carefully leading 
their horses over the broken ice masses, they reached the 
usual f ording-place, only to find the dark, swirling river 
sweeping past twenty feet below them at the foot of this 
perpendicular and impassable icy cliff, while a similar 
obstacle stared at them from the other side of the river, 
and barred exit from the stream even should its passage 
be accomplished. But, nothing daunted, all set to work 
with stakes and knives, and at length broke down a 
barely passable path to the ford. Captain John now led 
the way across, the water coming to the saddle-skirts ; a 
practicable passage out was found, and all felt much re- 
lieved as they again spurred on. 


Restmg one day at the Dalles^ and accompanied only 
by his son and a guide^ the governor continued his jour- 
ney by the trail down the Oregon side of the Columbia. 
It was a little-used track, barely passable, or indeed visi- 
ble, in many places, jammed between the river and the 
foot of the great mountain masses and precipices which 
overhang that mighty and sublime gorge. Although the 
severe cold had abated, considerable snow had fallen, 
greatly increasing the dangers of the way ; but he reached 
the lower Cascades without mishap, and crossed to the 
Washington side late in the evening of the second day, 
spending the intermediate night at Hood Biver, at the 
house of Mr. Coe. The next day he continued by land, 
passing in rear of Cape Horn, and reached a landing on 
the Columbia, six miles above Vancouver, soon after dark. 
Here a ship's long-boat, a stout, staunch craft, with a 
good sail, was obtained, with a crew of three sturdy fel- 
lows. On getting well out in the river away from land, 
a terrific gale came tearing downstream, struck the boat, 
and drove her on at great speed. The sail was quickly 
reefed, but the little craft careened to the gunwale ; the 
waves broke over her; only incessant bailing kept her 
afloat. The dark night, the tumultuous waves, the howl- 
ing gale, the open boat tearing along with the helmsman 
braced against the tiller, the bailer dipping the water 
overboard with furious haste, and the rest of the party 
clinging to the upper rail with clenched grasp and tense 
faces, can never be forgotten by one who witnessed the 
scene. Vancouver was reached in twenty-six minutes 
from starting, and all landed with a strong feeling of 
relief at having escaped a watery grave. 

The governor again endeavored to communicate with 
Greneral Wool, and hastened to Portland to see him, but 
he had left on the steamer for San Francisco only the 
day before. 


The journey up the Cowlitz in canoe and across the 
muddy road to Olympia was made in three days^ without 
special incident to vary the monotony of toil and discom- 
fort ever attending it at that season^ and on January 19, 
after an absence of nearly nine months, the governor 
reached Olympia, and found himself once more at home 
with his family. 

During the governor's absence Mrs. Stevens, with her 
little girls and the nurse Ellen, spent several weeks on 
Whitby Island, at the home of a family named Crockett, 
in hopes that the stronger sea air of that locality would 
overcome the Panama fever, from which they were still 
suffering. The Crocketts were hearty and kindly Ken- 
tucky farmer folks of the best type, and received the sick 
lady and her children with warm-hearted hospitality and 
kindness. Mrs. Stevens with the children used frequently 
to bathe in the Sound, and on one occasion, as they were 
in the water, a band of northern Indians was observed 
approaching in their great war-canoes at rapid speed. 
Mr. Crockett hastened to the beach in great apprehen- 
sion and hurried the bathers to the house, declaring that 
the predatory savages would be sure to seize and carry 
them off, if they were given an opportunity. Under the 
invigorating open-air life on the island and the excellent 
fare, with abundance of venison and other game, the 
family rapidly regained health, and after their visit re- 
turned in canoes to Olympia. 

Mrs. Stevens afterward visited the military post at 
Steilacoom, and the wives of the officers there visited her 
in Olympia, and it was at her house that Mrs. Slaughter 
received news of the death of her husband, Lieutenant 
W. A. Slaughter, who was killed by the Indians, Decem- 
ber 5. Several times, after the war broke out, circumstan- 
tial and apparently trustworthy reports were brought of 
the massacre of the governor and his party by the In- 


dlans^ all of which Mrs. Stevens utterly disbelieved. She 
scouted even more decidedly the idea that he would return 
by way of the Missouri and Isthmus of Panama, which 
bis friends were so strongly urging him to do, and de- 
clared to them that he would certainly come back by the 
direct route, no matter what obstacles might intervene. 



When Governor Stevens, after his midwinter forced 
march across the mountains, reached Oljmpia, he found 
the whole country utterly prostrated, overwhelmed. The 
settlers in dismay had abandoned their farms and fled for 
refuge to the few small villages. They were all poor, 
having no reserves of money, food, or supplies, and star- 
vation stared them in the face if prevented from planting 
and raising a crop. The only military post on Puget 
Sound, Fort Steilacoom, could muster less than a hundred 
soldiers, and was so far from protecting the settlers that 
it had called for and received the reinforcement of a 
company of volunteers for its own protection. The post 
at Vancouver was also but a handful in strength, and 
had also been reinforced by two companies of volunteers. 
But even this pitiful force was not to be used against the 
savage enemy; for Wool had just gone back to San Fran- 
cisco after a flying visit to the Columbia River, during 
which he had disbanded the volunteer companies, refused 
to take any active measures to protect the people, and 
loudly proclaimed, both in official reports and through the 
press, that the war had been forced upon the Indians by 
the greed and brutality of the whites, and that the f or^ 
mer would be peaceful if only let alone and not treated 
with injustice. 

There was a deficiency of arms, and still more of ammu- 
nition, in the country. Six weeks were required to send 
a letter to Washington City, and three months before an 


answer to the most urgent demand or entreaty could be 
received. It was no wonder that the pioneers were uni- 
versally discouraged, and that nothing kept many of them 
from abandoning the country but their absolute inability 
to get away.* 

A brief review of the outbreak and course of the war 
will make clearer the situation at this juncture. 

Scarcely was the ink dry upon his signature to the 
Walla Walla treaty, when Kam-i-ah-kan, the leading and 
most potent spirit, and his Yakimas were hard at work 
inciting an outbreak against the whites. They with the 
Guyuse and Walla Walla chiefs assembled the disaffected 
Indians, and many of the others, at a council north of 
Snake River in the summer, and made every effort to gain 
over the Spokanes, Coeur d^Alenes, and even some of 
the Nez Perces, who had intermarried with the Cuyuses, 
and not without success among the young braves. Their 
emissaries stirred up the tribes on the eastern shore of the 
Sound, too, the Nisquallies, Puyallups, and Duwhamisb, 
who had intermarried to some extent with the Yakimas, 
and penetrated even to Gray's Harbor and Shoalwater 
Bay on the coast, and to southern Oregon. Every false- 
hood that Indian ingenuity could invent, or credulity 
swallow, was employed to fire the Indian heart. The con- 
spiracy was in full train, but not yet ripe, when the out- 
break was prematurely begun by the murder of the miners 
in the Yakima valley in September, by Kam-i-ah-kan's war- 
riors, who could no longer be held back ; and when agent 
Bolon visited the tribe to investigate the matter, he was 
treacherously shot in the back, seized and his throat cut, 
and with his horse burned to ashes, September 23. Qual- 
chen, the son of Ou-hi and nephew of Kam-i-ah-kan, was 
the chief actor in this tragedy. Major Haller marched 
with a hundred men from the Dalles into the Yakima 

^ Bancroft, voL xxyL p. 143. 


valley to demand the surrender of or to punish the mur- 
derers; and Lieutenant W. A. Slaughter, with a small 
force of forty men, moved from Steilacoom across the 
Nahchess Pass to the Yakima to cooperate with Haller. 
But the Yakimas attacked the latter October 6, and com- 
pelled him to retreat with the loss of twenly-^o killed 
and wounded, his howitzer, and baggage. Fu-pu-moz- 
mox then seized and plundered old Fort Walla Walla, 
which had no garrison, and distributed the goods found 
there, including a considerable supply of Indian goods, 
among his followers, who danced the war-dance in front 
of his lodge around a fresh white scalp. These Indians, 
with the Cuyuses and Umatillas, then drove the settlers 
out of the Walla Walla valley, destroyed their houses and 
improvements, and killed or ran off the stock. lieuten- 
ant Slaughter, after crossing the summit of the Cascades, 
being unable to learn anything of Haller, hastily but 
wisely fell back to the western side. Here Gaptaan M. 
Maloney joined him with seventy regulars and a company 
of volunteers, under Captain Gihnore Hays, and again ad- 
vanced across the mountains, but in turn retreated, fear^ 
ing to leave the settlements on Puget Sound wholly un- 
protected ; but his messengers were waylaid and slain by 
the Sound Indians, and the settlers on White or Duwha- 
mish River, near Seattle, were massacred with unspeakable 
atrocity, the bodies of the women and children being 
thrown into the wells. These settlers had taken refuge 
in Seattle, but were induced to go back to their farms by 
the friendly professions and assurances of the very sav^ 
ages who fell upon and butchered them the night after 
their return. And settlers on the Nisqually and at other 
points met a similar fate. 

At Major Rains's request, Acting-Governor Mason called 
out two companies of volunteers, which were mustered 
into the United States service, one being used to reinforce 


Fort Steflacoom, and one the Yancoaver post. A com- 
pany was also raised at Vancouver for the express parpose 
of going to the assistance of Governor Stevens^ in case he 
attempted to force his way through the hostiles. 

In November an engagement took place on White River, 
in which some loss was inflicted upon the Indians, but they 
soon reappeared in undiminished strength, surrounded 
the troops at night, and captured a number of baggage 
animals, and on December 5 killed Lieutenant Slaughter 
and two men, and wounded six others. Several more 
companies of volunteers were raised for home defense, 
and efforts were made to separate the friendly Indians 
from the hostiles. Acting^Grovernor Mason did all that 
was possible to meet the crisis, and he was ably seconded 
by Major Tilton, whom he appointed adjutant^eneral, 
aod by Colonel Simmons, but the storm was too great for 
their efforts. Moreover, they depended upon the regular 
officers to conduct the war, which made Wool's action 
doubly paralyzing. 

The whole region about the Sound, with the exception 
of the prairies scattered about the head of it, was covered 
with the primeval evergreen forest and a dense and tan- 
gled undergrowth, so thick and matted, and obstructed by 
immense fallen giants and downfalls of every kind, that 
the most energetic hunter or woodsman could traverse 
through it only five or six miles a day. There were also 
numerous river-bottoms and swamps, even more impene- 
trable. Only seventy miles back to the eastward stretched 
north and south the great Cascade Range, affording innu- 
merable safe and hidden retreats ; and many trails across 
it, well known to the Indians, but unknown to the whites, 
gave access to the Yakima emissaries and reinforcements 
to join the hostiles on the Sound, and furnished the latter 
the ready means of retreat to the Yakima country when 
hard prised. In the dense forests and swamps the sav- 


ag^s lurked at the very doors of the setUements, and no 
man ventured out, for fear of ambush by the wily and 
omnipresent foe. 

After Haller's defeat Major 6. J. Bains led an expedi- 
tion from the Dalles to the Yakima valley with three hun- 
dred and fifty regulars and two companies of Washington 
volunteers, under Captains William Strong and Robert 
Newell, and was supported by four companies of Oregon 
volunteers, under Colonel J. W. Nesmith. He reached the 
Catholic mission on the Ah-tah-nam branch of the Yakima, 
which was found deserted, and destroyed it, and then 
returned to the Dalles, having accomplished nothing 
except the breaking down of his animals. The Yakimas, 
avoiding battle with so large a force, managed to run off 
fifty-four of his mules and horses, and immediately their 
young braves rode post-haste to the neighboring tribes, 
proclaiming victory over the troops, and proudly showing 
the captured animals with the United States brand on their 
shoulders in proof of their success. 

Another force of about five hundred Oregon volun- 
teers, under Colonel James K. Kelly, marched to the Walla 
Walla valley and defeated the hostiles there congregated, 
which opened the road to Governor Stevens, as already 
related. But the Indians, although punished, simply 
fled across Snake River, and were free to continue their 
efforts to stir up the friendly tribes, for the volunteers, 
from lack of supplies and transportation, were unable to 
pursue them. 

The Oregon volunteers were not mustered into the 
United States service, because both they and Governor 
Curry were anxious to strike the Indians, and justly feared 
that if placed under the orders of regular officers, they 
would be held back or placed in garrison. 

In December General Wool came up from San Fran- 
cisco to Vancouver, mustered out the Washington volun- 


teers, placed the regulars at the Dalles, Yancoayer, and 
Steilacoom strictly on the defensive, and denounced in 
unmeasured terms the brave Oregon volunteers, who had 
struck the only real blow inflicted upon the enemy. He 
disbanded even the company specially raised for Gov- 
ernor Stevens's relief, notwithstanding the remonstrances 
of its captain, of Major Rains, and of his own aide-de- 
camp. Lieutenant Richard Arnold. 

Thus, at the beginning of the year 1856, the Indians 
of the upper country held the whole region, except the 
point occupied in the Walla Walla valley by the Oregon 
volunteers ; the Yakimas were more hostile, active, and 
triumphant than ever ; the Cuyuses, Walla Wallas, and 
Umatillas were made more embittered and defiant by the 
punishment they had received ; and all were free to insti- 
gate more hostility among the other tribes, which they 
were industriously doing. The regulars were on the 
defensive by WooFs orders, while the volunteers in the 
Talley were unable to take the aggressive for lack of sup- 

West of the Cascades the Indians infested and held 
the whole country except a few points. The whites were 
yirtually in a state of siege, deserted and maligned by a 
veteran officer, whose duty it was to protect them ; not 
knowing where to find succor, or even food, completely 
discouraged and dismayed. The great majority of In- 
dians on the Sound had not yet taken to the war-path, 
although much disaffected. Even among the most hos- 
tile, the Nisquallies, Puyallups, and Duwhamish, it is 
doubtful if a majority of any tribe took active part in the 
outbreak ; but the war faction comprised the chiefs and 
the vigorous young warriors, and they were constantly 
stimulated and encouraged, and at tunes largely rein- 
forced, by their Yakima kinsmen. The hostile warriors 
on the Sound probably varied in numbers from two hun- 


dred and fifty to five hundred^ bat the swamps and 
forests, with their knowledge of the country, gave them 
every advantage. The great danger was that the other 
Indians, abeady disaffected, and many of whose restless 
young braves were aiding the hostiles to an extent which 
cannot be certainly determined, would openly join in the 
outbreak, and this danger was aggravated by every day's 
delay on the part of the whites in attacking and striking 
the enemy. A defensive policy was sure to throw the 
whole Indian population into the arms of the hostiles. 
An additional and imminent danger was found in the 
northern Indians, gangs of whom were prowling about 
the Sound, ever ripe for murder and plunder. 

The first day after his arrival Governor Stevens de- 
livered in person and orally a special message to the 
legislature, then in session. He pointed out how the 
Donation Act and the advent of settlers had made it 
absolutely necessary to treat with the Indian tribes and 
extinguish their title to the soil. He showed how this 
had been accomplished by the treaties he had made, 
and described the care taken to deal with the Indians 
justly and understandingly, especially at the Walla Walla 
council : — 

^^ The greatest care was taken to explam the treaties, and the 
objects of them, and to secure the most faithful interpreters. 
Three interpreters were provided for each language. The 
record of that council was made up by intelligent and dispas- 
sionate men, and the speeches of all there made are recorded 
verbatim. The dignity, humanity, and justice of the national 
government are there signally exhibited, and none of the actors 
therein need fear the criticism of an intelligent community, 
nor the supervision of intelligent superiors. By these trea- 
ties, had the Indians been faithful to them, the question as to 
whether the Indian tribes of this Territory can become civil- 
ized and Christianized would have been determined practically. 
The written record will show that the authorities and the people 


of this Territory have nothing to blush for, nothing to fear in 
the judgment of impartial men now living, nor the rebuke of 
posterity. It was a pleasant feeling that actuated me, on my 
mission in making these treaties, to think I was doing something 
to civilize and to render the condition of the Indian happier. 

. . . ** The war has been plotting for two or three years, — 
a war entered into by these Indians without a cause; a war 
having not its origin in these treaties, nor in the bad conduct 
of the whites. It originated in the native intelligence of rest- 
less Indians, who, foreseeing destiny against them, — that the 
white man was moving upon them, — determined that it must 
be met and resisted by arms. We may sympathize with such 
a manly feeling, but in view of it we have high duties. 

"^ The war must be vigorously prosecuted now. Seedtime is 
coming, and the farmer should be at his plough in the field. 
In my judgment, it would be expedient forthwith to raise a 
force of three himdred men from the Sound to push into the 
Indian coimtry, build a depot, and vigorously operate against 
the Indians in this quarter, and nearly the same force should 
be raised on the Columbia River to prosecute the war east 
of the Cascade Mountains. It would prevent reinforcements 
from either side joining the bands of the other side, and would 
effectually crush both. But what is more important would 
be the influence upon the numerous tribes not yet broken out 
into hostility. There is a surprising feeling of imeasiness 
among all the tribes who have not broken out, except alone the 
Nez Ferces. These tribes may be led into war, if delay attends 
our operations. The Indians must be struck now. But if we 
delay, in a few months the roots and fish will abound, sup- 
plying the Indians with food; the snows will melt; and the 
mountain passes will allow them hiding-places. It is my opin- 
ion that if operations are deferred till summer, they must be 
deferred till winter again. 

** What effect would it have on the Sound should nothing be 
done until May or June? The whole industrial community 
would be ruined, the Sound paralyzed ; the husbandman would 
be kept in a state of suspense by rumors of wars, and could not 
adhere to his pursuits ; fields would not be tilled ; and the Ter- 
ritory would starve out." 


While approving as a general rule the mustering into 
the United States service of volunteers, and disclaiming 
any impugning of Wool's motives, he advised against 
mustering them into that service, in consequence of that 
officer's ^^ disbanding troops in violation of a positive 
understanding," and boldly declared : — 

^ I am ready to take the responsibility of raising them inde- 
pendent of that service, and it is due to the Territory and 
myself that the reasons for assuming it should go to the Presi- 
dent and the department at Washington. 

^^ The spurit of prosecuting this war should be to accomplish 
a lasting peace, — not to make treaties, but to punish their vio- 
lation. While justice and mercy should characterize the acts 
of our government, there should be no weakness, no imbecility. 
The tribes now at war must submit unconditionally to the jus- 
tice, mercy, and leniency of our government. The guilty ones 
should suffer, and the remainder be placed on reservations 
under the eye of the military. By such a decisive, energetic, 
and firm course the difficulty may be grappled with, and peace 

'^ Let not our hearts be discouraged. I have an abiding con- 
fidence in the future destiny of our Territory. Gloom must 
give way to sunlight. Let us never lose sight of the resources, 
capacities, and natural advantages of the Territory of Washing- 
ton. Gather heart, then, fellow citizens. Do not now talk of 
leaving us in our hour of adversity, but stay till the shade of 
gloom is lifted, and await that destiny to be fulfilled. Let us 
all put hands together and rescue the Territory from its pre- 
sent difficulties, so that we may all feel that we have done our 
whole duty in the present exigency." 

To this manly and clear-sighted appeal the legislature 
made haste to respond with the alacrity and heartfelt 
sense of relief, and renewal of hope and courage, with 
which men in the extremity of danger ever turn to a 
natural leader, and, so far as lay in its power, gave him 
unlimited authority to take measures necessary to save 
the settlements from extinction. 


Forthwith Governor Stevens adopted and put in force, 
with all the energy of his determined and vigorous nature, 
the following measures : — 

1. He called upon the people by proclamation, dated 
January 22, to raise a thousand volunteers for six 
months for offensive operations against the enemy, wher- 
ever they might be ordered. He refused to enlist any 
troops for local or home defense or short terms, and sum- 
marily disbanded all the companies which were under 
arms, they having been raised for such restricted service. 

2. He called upon the settlers, wherever three or four 
&milies could join together, to return to their abandoned 
fums, build blockhouses, and hold and cultivate the 

3. He required all Indians on the eastern side of the 
Sound to move to, and remain upon, reservations selected 
on islands, or on points on the western shore, under the 
care and oversight of agents, there to be fed and pro- 
tected by the government while the war lasted. Any 
Indian found on the eastern side without permission of 
his agent was to be deemed hostile. 

4. He sent Secretary Mason to Washington to lay the 
pressing need of funds to meet the expenses of feeding 
and caring for the non-hostile Indians before the gov- 
ernment, and to enlighten it as to the war and general 

5. He made effective use of the friendly Indians in 
scouting operations against the hostiles, hunting them 
down in their retreats, and confirming the fidelity of the 
doubtful tribes. 

6. He sent agents to Portland, San Francisco, and 
Victoria, B. C, with urgent appeals for arms, ammunition, 
and supplies, and published his appeal in the San Fran- 
cisco papers. 

7. He issued territorial scrip, or certificates of indebt- 


edness; to defray the pay of volanteers and cost of muni- 
tions and supplies. 

8. He freely resorted to impressment or seizure of sup- 
plies, teams, etc., whenever necessary. 

9. He appealed to the patriotism and good feeling of 
the volunteers, but enforced discipline, and punished mis- 
conduct by summary and dishonorable dismissal of the 
guilty from the service. 

It is only by bearing in mind the facts that the entire 
white popidation numbered only four thousand souls, of 
whom the males fit to bear arms barely equaled the num- 
ber of volunteers called for ; that they were destitute of 
arms, ammunition, supplies, money, and credit ; discour- 
aged and wholly on the defensive ; denied protection by 
the regular troops, who indeed were too few to afford it ; 
and all hope of support and sympathy from the govern- 
ment, or from outside, blasted by the denunciations of 
Wool, — that one can really appreciate the courage and 
self-reliance of Governor Stevens in undertaking the task 
before him. The ability and self-devotion with which he 
successfully accomplished it, and the remarkable spirit 
and patriotism of the people, who sustained their leader, 
and loyally and patiently submitted to these stringent 
measures, furnish one of the brightest pages in the his- 
tory of the Republic. 

The day after delivering his message, the second after 
arriving home, the governor hastened down the Sound to 
inspect the reservations and agents, and perfect mea- 
sures to enforce the removal of the Indians from the the- 
atre of war. He visited every point of importance on the 
eastern side, informed himself thoroughly of the needs 
and conditions at each, and returned to Olympia on the 
28th. On this trip he secured the aid of Pat-ka-nim, 
head chief of the Snohomish, and a force of his war- 
riors, the first Indian auxiliaries to take the field. 


The Indians attacked Seattle on January 26 in force, 
destroyed the larger part of the town^ driving the whites 
to one comer of it, and were only repulsed in the end by 
the fire of the United States man-of-war Decatur, Captain 
6. Gansevoort. 

The people responded instantly to the governor's manly 
appeal, with true American spirit and patriotism. They 
made haste to enlist en masse in the volunteer companies, 
eager to be led against the savage foe. The refugee 
settlers banded together in small squads, returned to 
the country, erected blockhouses at or near their farms, 
and held them with old men and boys. The merchants 
of San Francisco refused to be misled by the libels of 
Wool, and furnished supplies and munitions. Inside of 
three weeks eleven companies were raised, equipped, 
and taking the field, besides two bodies of Indian aux- 

A regular and efficient express service was organized 
throughout the Territory. An assistant quartermaster 
and commissary, the two usual supply departments being 
united, was stationed in each town and principal settle- 
ment on purpose to collect provisions, transportation, etc., 
as well as to provide for the troops. By these skillful 
measures the governor so successfully overcame the two 
great difficulties attending the prosecution of the war, 
viz., the vast extent of the region and the lack of sup- 
plies, that the volunteers never had to wait for orders, 
nor were they ever put to unnecessary or fruitless marches 
or labors ; and during all their campaigns on both sides 
of the Cascade Mountains, and expeditions of hundreds 
of miles, they never suffered, nor lost a day, for lack of 

The military organization is given below, not only as 
necessary to a clear presentation of this part of Governor 
Stevens's life, but as a tribute to those patriotic men who 


SO gallantly and faithfully served and saved the Territory 
of Washington in her hour of extreme need : — 

James Tilton, adjutant-general. 

James Doty, William Craig, B. F. Shaw, E. C. Fitzhugh, H. 
B. Crosby, Jared S. Hurd, S. S. Ford, Edward Gibson, lieu- 
tenant-colonels and aides. 

W. W. De Lacy, captain of engineers. 

Budolph M. Walker, ordnance officer. 

Dr. Grallio K. Willard, surgeon and medical purveyor. 

Drs. U. 6. Warbass and Albert Eggers, assistant surgeons. 

W. W. Miller, quartermaster and commbsary-general. 

James K. Hurd, assistant quartermaster and commissary-gen- 
eral, in charge on Columbia River. 

Frank Matthias, assistant quartermaster and commissary, 

Warren Gove, Steilacoom. 

Charles E. Weed, Olympia. 

R. S. Robinson, Port Townsend. 

M. R. Hathaway, succeeded by M. B. Millard, Vancouver. 

A. H. Robie, Dalles and in the field. 

S. W. Percival was sent as agent to San Francisco. 


Lieutenant-Colonel B. F. Shaw, commanding the right wing, 
consisting of Central and Southern battalions. 

Major J. J. H. Van Bokkelen, commanding Northern bat- 

Major Gilmore Hays, succeeded by Major George Blank- 
enship, Central battalion. 

Major H. J. G. Maxon, Southern battalion. 

Lieutenant Eustis Huger, adjutant ; Lieutenants Humphrey 
Hill, B. F. Ruth, W. W. De Lswjy, adjutants of Northern, Cen- 
tral, and Southern battalions respectively. 

Captain C. H. Armstrong, regimental quartermaster and com- 
missary in field with right wing. 

R. M. Bigelow, Justin Millard, M. P. Bums, surgeons. North- 
em, Southern, and Central battalions respectively. 
















Washington Mounted Rifles 95 
Clark County Rangers 81 

Walla Walla Company 29 



B. L. Henness 

J Achilles 
Jephtha S. Powell 
Bluford MiUer 
Francis M. P. Go£F 
Henry M. Chase 

James Williams 
H. J. G. Mazon 
William KeUy 
Sidney S. Ford 




Edward Lander 
(Gilmore Hays 



( David E. Bumtrager 



C. W. Riley 



C. W. Swindal 



J. J.H.VanBokkelen 
' Daniel Smalley 




K V. Peabody 



Samuel D. Howe 
" George W. Beam 



Edward D. Warbass 

Train guard 


Oliver Shead 

Pioneer Company 


Joseph White 
] Urlmn E. Hicks 

Nisqually Ferry Guard 



Sergeant William Packwood 

Stevens Guards 


C. P. Higgins 

Spokane Invincibles 


B. F. Yantis 



Nez Perces, Volunteers 


Chief Spotted Eagle 

Cliiefs Pat-ka-nim and John Taylor 





Lieutenant Wesley Gosnell 


Sidney S. Ford 



Pierre Charles 



The horses used for mounted men were furnished partly by 
the government and partly by the volunteers. 

Company M was composed of ten white men and forty-three 
Nez Peroes, Indians furnishing their own horses. 



Company N was first commanded by Captain Richards,, and 
second by Captain Williams. 

A portion of the Pioneer Company, after Colonel Shaw's 
march across the Cascades, served as mounted men in the Puget 
Sound country. 

Company B was commanded first by Captain Grilmore Hays, 
second by Captain A. B. Babbeson, and lastly by Captain 
David E. Bumtrager. 

Company E was first commanded by Captain Riley, and 
second by Lieutenant Cole. 

Company G was first commanded by Captain Van Bokkelen, 
and second by Captain Smalley. 

Company I was first commanded by Captain Howe, and 
second by Captain Beam. 

Volunteers called out by Acting-Governor Mason : — 








William Strong 



Gilmore Hays 



Isaac Hays 



Benjamin L. Henness 



John R. Jackson 

Cowlitz Rangers 
Lewis River Raii|feP8 


Henry A. Peers 
William Bratton 

Puget Sound 





Charles H. Eaton 







George B. Goudy 
William H. Wallace 



W. A. L. McGorkle 



C. C. Hewett 



Isaac N. Ebey 



Alfred A. Plummer 

Nisqually Ferry Guard 


Sergeant William Packwood 


Newell's Company, mounted 
McKay's Company " 

Captain Robert Newell 
Captain William C. McKay 

Captain Strong's and Hays's companies were mustered into the 
regular service. The mounted men furnished their own horses. 



The force thus speedily raised was organized into three 
battalions, designated the Northern, Southern, and Cen- 
tral, each of which elected its major, and the two latter 
were subsequently formed into a single command by the 
election of Shaw as lieutenant-colonel. 

The Northern battalion, under the command of Major 
J. J. H. Van Bokkelen, consisted of companies C, Cap- 
tain Daniel Smalley; H, Captain R. V. Peabody; and I, 
Captain Samuel D. Howe. The Central battalion, under 
Major Gilmore Hays, comprised companies B, Captain 
A. B. Rabbeson ; C, Captain B. L. Henness ; E, Captain 
C. W. Riley; F, Captain C. W. Swindal; the Pioneer 
Company, Captain White ; and the train guard, Captain 
OKver Shead. The Southern battalion included the 
Washington Mounted Rifles, Major H. J. G. Maxon ; 
Company D, Captain Achilles ; J, Captain Bluford Miller; 
and K, Captain Francis M. P. Goff, all under the com- 
mand of Major Maxon. The Southern battalion and 
Captain Henness's Company C were mounted, most of 
the volunteers furnishing their own horses. The others 
served as infantry. Besides these. Company A, of forty- 
two men. Captain Edward Lander (chief justice of the 
Territory), was raised at Seattle, and garrisoned that 

The plan of campaign was to guard the line of the 
Snohomish River with the whole available force of the 
Northern battalion, to move with the Central battalion 


at once into the heart of the enemy's country with one 
hundred days' supplies, to operate with the Southern 
battalion east of the Cascades, and to combine all the 
operations by a movement from the Sound to the int^ 
rior, or from the interior to the Sound, according to cir^ 

The most &yorable and commonly used passes across 
the Cascades were at the head of the Snohomish and its 
southern branch, the Snoqualmie; about and opposite 
the mouth of the river were a good part of the Sound 
Indians; it was here that the council of Mukilteo was 
held, at which twenty-three hundred Indians were pre- 
sent, and across the Sound, nearly opposite, was collected 
the greatest number of non-hostiles. The occupation of 
the line of the Snohomish, therefore, was a move of the 
first strategic importance as shutting the door against the 
incursions of the Yakimas, and cutting off the tribes on 
the Sound from access to the back country and inter- 
course with them and other hostiles. 

It was determined to occupy the country permanently 
by roads and blockhouses, by which, together with the 
stockades and blockhouses which the encouraged settlers 
were building and holding at many points, to circumscribe 
the hostile resorts and coverts, and open up the trackless 
back country. Indian auxiliaries were to be used as the 
best means of preserving their doubtful fidelity, and of 
using their knowledge of the country to search out and 
hunt down the hostiles. 

This plan the governor early communicated to Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Silas Casey (major-general in the Civil 
War), then commanding at Steilacoom, and invited and 
secured his cooperation therewith. So desirous was he to 
insure cooperation between the regular and volunteer forces 
that, waiving etiquette, he twice visited Casey in person ; 
and early in February he again made the arduous journey 























to Yanconver, and by personal conference with Colonel 
George Wright^ who commanded the regular troops both 
ou the river and the Sound, sought to arrange harmoni- 
ous and combined action between their respective f orces, 
tetuming to Olympia by the 17th. During the war the 
governor spared no pains to consult with the regular 
officers and secure their concert of action with him, and 
this end he brought about quite fuUy with Casey, and 
partially with Wright, notwithstanding both officers were 
under tiie strictest injunctions from Wool not to recognize 
the volunteer forces in any way. The letter which Gov- 
ernor Stevens wrote to General Wool on reaching Walla 
Walla gave very fully the results of his knowledge of 
the country and the Indians, and his views and sugges- 
tions in regard to prosecuting the war, which, if adopted 
or heeded by the prejudiced commander, would have 
brought the contest to an end in a few months. After 
announcing his safe arrival, and giving a brief account 
of the numbers and dispositions of the Indian tribes, he 
describes the features of the Walla Walla, Palouse, Spo- 
kane, and Yakima countries which a military man should 
know for planning the movement of troops, namely, roads, 
river crossings, grass, wood, depth of snow, etc., sending 
also a map. 

The governor recommended Wool to occupy the Walla 
Walla vaUey with all his available force in January, estab- 
lishing a depot camp there, and a line of barges on the 
Columbia between the mouth of the Des Chutes and old 
Fort Walla WaUa, to bring up supplies ; in February to 
cross Snake Biver with 500 men and strike the Indians 
on the Palouse, where the hostiles driven out of the val- 
ley were congregated ; to follow up this blow by sending 
a column of 300 men up the left bank of the Columbia 
towards the Okinakane Biver (Okanogan), while 200 re- 
mained to guard the line of the Snake, and keep the 


Indians from doubling back. The effect of these move- 
ments would be to drive these hostiles across the Colum- 
bia into the Yakima country^ when the troops north of 
the Snake were to follow them, and aU the troops south 
of that stream, who had been holding the river crossings 
and depot camps, were to unite, cross the Columbia at the 
mouth of the Snake, and move up the Yakima vaUey, and 
with the other column put the Indians to their last bat- 
tle, for the effect of these movements would be to drive 
the enemy into a corner from which he could not easily 
escape. Moreover, and this was of the first importance, 
this plan would interpose the troops between the hostile 
and friendly tribes. Simultaneous movements against the 
Yakimas and north of Snake River would throw the hos- 
tiles upon the Spokanes, and might cause them to take 
up arms. About 800 effective troops would be required. 
There were already 500 mounted Oregon volunteers in 
the Walla Walla vaUey, and Wool had, or would soon 
have, 500 to 600 regulars available. 

In the last paragraph of this letter the governor 
stated : — 

'' In conclusion, it is due to frankness that I should state that 
I have determined to submit to the department the course taken 
by the military authorities in disbanding the troops raised in 
the Territory of Washington for my relief. No effort was made, 
although the facts were presented both to Major-General Wool 
and Major Rains, to send me assistance. The regular troops 
were all withdrawn into garrison, and I was left to make my 
way the best I could, through tribes known to be hostile. It 
remains to be seen whether the conunissioner selected by the 
President to make treaties with the Indians in the interior of 
the continent is to be ignored, and his safety left to chance." 

On finding that General Wool had left so hastily for 
San Francisco the governor sent a copy of this memoir to 
Colonel Wright, with a letter, dated February 6, urging 


liim to send at least two companies of the troops at Yan- 
coaver to the Sound, and to push his troops against the 
Indians east of the mountains. 

But instead of profiting by the valuable information 
and sound views given him by Governor Stevens, Wool 
saFcastieally replied that he had neither the resources of 
a Territory nor the treasury of the United States at his 
command. Instead of making use of, or cooperating 
with, the Oregon volunteers already in the Walla Walla 
valley, he denounced them as making war upon friendly 
Indians, and declared that, with the additional force re- 
cently arrived at the Dalles and Vancouver, he could 
bring the war to a close in a few months, provided the 
extermination of the Indians was not determined upon, 
and the volunteers were withdrawn from the Walla Walla 
valley. He filled the greater part of a long letter with 
denunciations of outrages by whites upon Indians in 
southern Oregon, and of the Oregon volunteers and of 
Governor Curry. He declared that two companies he 
had just sent to the Sound, with three already there, 
making five in all, under Lieutenant-Colonel Casey, would 
be a sufBicient force to suppress the outbreak in that 
region. He concluded by saying : — 

^ In your frankness and determination to represent me to the 
department, I trust you will be governed by truth, and by truth 
only. I disbanded no troops raised for your relief ; and your 
communication gave me the first intelligence that any were 
raised for such a purpose." 

The bad blood and duplicity of this communication was 
the more inexcusable from the facts that it was on the 
requisition of his own officers that the Washington volun- 
teers had been raised and mustered into the United States 
service, that he made no complaint whatever against them 
or the people of that Territory, and that his last assertion 
was a downright falsehood. Even after receiving the full 


and valuable memoir which Governor Stevens sent him^ 
he declared in official communications: ^^I have been 
kept wholly ignorant of the state of the country^ except 
through the regular officers of the army." 

On March 15 Wool made another flying visit to Van- 
couver, thence by steamer to Steilacoom, where he tarried 
but a single day, conferred with and instructed Colonel 
Casey, rebuked him for cooperating with the volunteers, 
and hurried away without deigning to notify the governor 
of his presence. The latter, on hearing that he had 
left Vancouver for the Sound, immediately dispatched 
Adjutant-Greneral Tilton to Steilacoom with a letter to 
Wool, stating : — 

^'He is instructed to advise you of the plan of operations 
which I have adopted, the force in the field, and the condition 
of the country. I have to acquaint you of my desire to coop- 
erate with you in any plans you may think proper to adopt, and 
I shall be pleased to hear from you in reference to the prosecu- 
tion of the campaign." 

But Wool had left before Tilton could reach him. 

The first and only result of WooFs flying visit was 
manifested next day in a formal demand by Colonel 
Casey on Governor Stevens for two companies of volun- 
teers to be mustered into the United States service, and 
placed under his orders. He stated in conclusion : — 

^' I received yesterday an accession of two companies of the 
9th infantry. With this accession of force and the two com- 
panies of volunteers called for, I am of the opinion that I shall 
have a sufficient number of troops to protect this frontier with- 
out the aid of those now in the service of the Territory.'' 

This demand was made just after the volunteers had 
defeated the hostiles, as will soon be narrated. 

Thus, instead of the cooperation which he so earnestly 
sought with the regular service, he was coolly required 


hj the commanding general to disband thirteen com- 
panies of white troops and four bodies of Indian aaxilia- 
ijes, abandon his posts and blockhouses defending the 
settlements and in the enemy's country, leave the door of 
the Snohomish open for the Yakima emissaries to strike 
die reservations and the settlements, — in a word, give up 
his whole campaign at the moment when he had inflicted 
a severe defeat upon the enemy, and, fully prepared, was 
on the eve of following it up with his whole force, all 
posted in the very positions, and furnished with the 
needed supplies, which he had secured by so much labor 
and foresight, and t6 leave the defense of this extended 
and exposed frontier to an ofBicer whose force would con- 
sist of only five companies of regulars and two of volun- 
teers, — seven in aU, — and whose most extended opera- 
tions thus far had never gone beyond fifteen miles from 
his headquarters at Fort Steilacoom. This artful and 
impudent request of Wool — for Colonel Casey made it 
by his instructions — was instantly rejected by the gov- 
ernor with the scorn it deserved ; and in a letter to Wool, 
dated March 20, he administered a well-deserved castiga- 
tion to that ill-disposed ofBicer : — 

Executive Office, Washington Teriutobt, 
Oltmpia, March 20, 1856. 

Majob-Genebal John E. Wool, 

Commanding Pacific Division. 

Sir^ — I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your 
communication of the 12th of February, and to state generally 
in answer thereto that the events of the past four weeks, in con- 
nection with your own official course, afford satisfactory evidence 
that the most objectionable positions of your letter have been 
abandoned, and that you have finally been awakened to the 
true condition of the Indian war, and are seeking to make some 
amends for the unfortunate blunders of the past. You have 
probably learned how much you have been misled in your views 
of the operations of the Oregon volunteers, and how much un- 


necessary sympathy you have wasted on the infamous Pu-pu- 
mox-mox. For your own reputation I haye felt pain at the 
statement made in your letter to me, for I am an authoritative 
witness in the case; and in the letter which submitted your 
own action in refusing to send me succor, I have presented 
briefly the facts, showing the unmitigated hostility of that chief. 
I assert that I can prove by incontrovertible evidence that Pu- 
pu-mox-mox had been hostile for months ; that he exerted his 
influence to effect a general combination of the tribes ; that he 
plundered Walla Walla and the settlers of the valley, distribut- 
ing the spoils to his own and the neighboring tribes as war 
trophies ; that he rejected the intercession of the friendly Nez 
Forces to continue peaceful ; that he had sworn to take my life 
and cut off my party ; that he and the adjoining tribes of Ore- 
gon and Washington had taken up their military position as war- 
riors at the proper points of the Walla Walla valley, — and all 
this before the volunteers of Oregon moved upon him. . . • 

That some turbulent men of the Oregon volunteers have 
done injury to the friendly Cuyuses is unquestionable, and it 
is reprobated by the authorities and citizens of both Territories. 
It has, however, been grossly exaggerated. Had, sir, the regu- 
lars moved up to the Walla Walla valley, 9fi I most earnestly 
urged both Major Rains and Colonel Wright both by letter 
and in person, these Indians would have been protected. The 
presence of a single company would have been sufficient. The 
responsibility, if evil follows, will attach, sir, to you, as well as 
to the volunteers. 

In your letter of the 12th of February you state : " I have 
recentiy sent to Puget Sound two companies of the 9th in- 
fantry. These, with the three companies there, will give a 
force of nearly or quite four hundred regulars, commanded by 
Lieutenant-Colonel Casey. This force, with several ships of 
war on the Sound, to which will be added in a few days the 
United States steamer Massachusetts, it seems to me, if rightly 
directed, ought to be sufficient to bring to terms two hundred 
Indian warriors. Captain Eeyes, in his last report, says there 
are not quite two hundred in arms in that region." 

Here you have expressed a very confident opinion. You 
thought proper to quote Captain Eeyes as to the number of 


Indians, but you found it did not suit your purpose to refer to 
tbe requisitions lie had made upon you for six additional com- 
panies, two of which only had been sent forward ; nor could 
joa find time to refer to the fact that Colonel Casey had recom- 
mended that, after the war was over, eight companies should be 
permanently stationed there for the protection of the Sound. 

Yon think volunteers entirely unnecessary, although after 
Iraving received from the executive information as to the con- 
dition of the country. It is now March, a month later, and 
you send two companies of regulars, and direct Colonel Casey 
to call upon me for two additional companies of volunteers. 

Thus you have practically acknowledged that you were 
wrong, and that I was right ; and thus I have your testimony 
as against yourself in vindication of the necessity of my calling 
out volunteers. As regards this call for volunteers, it is pre- 
sumed that Colonel Casey informed you that the whole avail- 
able force of the Sound country was bearing arms, and that the 
great proportion of them were actively engaging the enemy ; 
that, organized in two battalions, the Northern battalion occu- 
pied the line of the Snohomish, where they were establishing 
blockhouses and closing the passes of the Snoqualmie. 

That the Central battalion was occupying the military road 
over the Nahchess, in relation to which road and its military 
bearing your aide-de-camp, Lieutenant Arnold, will be able to 
give you full information ; and that on both lines decisive blows 
had been struck ; and also that it was beyond the ability of our 
citizens to raise an additional company of even fifty men to 
honor your requisition. 

I have a right to hold you to a full knowledge of our condi- 
tion here. If you say you were misinformed, then you are not 
fit for your position, and should give place to a better man. If 
yon were informed, then your measures as a military man 
manifest an incapacity beyond example. 

Therefore the call on me for two companies of volunteers b 
a call upon me to withdraw the troops now in the field with 
sixty to eighty days' provisions, after decisive blows have been 
struck, and when everything is ready to strike a, and perhaps 
thej decisive blow to end the war. 

I am, sir, too old a soldier ever to abandon a weU-considered 


plan of campaign, or to do otherwise than to press forward with 
all my energies in the path marked out, promising, as it does, the 
speedy termination of the war ; and, sir, I am too wary a man 
not to detect the snare that has been laid for me. You never 
expected, sir, that the requisition would be complied with. You 
knew that it was a practical impossibility ; but, not having the 
courage to acknowledge your errors, it was resorted to in the 
hope that my refusing your requisition might enable you to 
occupy my vantage-ground, and throw me on the defensive. I 
hold you, sir, to the facts and necessity of the case, clearly 
demonstrating by your own confession the propriety of my 
course, an4 the necessity on my part of a steady adherence 
to it. 

You have referred to the atrocities committed upon the 
friendly Indians by the whites. I know nothing of what has 
occurred in southern Oregon ; but I have to state that no man, 
to my knowledge, in the Territory of Washington advocates 
the extermination of the Indians. The authorities here have 
not only used every exertion to protect them, but their exer- 
tions have been completely successful. Did you learn, sir, in 
your brief visit to the Sound, that nearly four thousand Indians 
— friendly Indians — had been moved from the war ground on 
the eastern shore of the Sound and its vicinity to the adjacent 
islands, and have for nearly five months been living in charge 
of local agents ? That not an Indian in the whole course of 
the war has been killed by the whites except in battle ? That 
where a military commission, composed of a majority of volun- 
teer officers, tried some months since eight Indians, only one 
was convicted, and that the sentence of death passed upon him 
has not yet been executed ? It is the good conduct of our peo- 
ple, sir, that has so strengthened the hands of the authorities as 
to enable them to control these friendly Indians, and to pre- 
vent any considerable accessions to the ranks of the hostiles. 

I have recently heard from the Nez Perces, the Coeur 
d'Alenes, and the Spokanes. The former are firm in their 
allegiance ; but the Spokanes urge me to have a military force 
on the great prairie between them and the hostile Indians, so 
these latter may not be driven to their country, and thus incite 
their young men to war. The letter of Garry, chief of the 


Spokanes, is a most earnest and plaintive call for help, so his 
hands may be strengthened in keeping his people to their 
plighted faith; and the coincidence is remarkable, that this 
Indian chief, a white man in education and views in life, should 
have asked me to do the very thing I have urged upon you; for 
you will remember, in my memoir I urge that the troops, in 
operating against the Indians, should be interposed between 
the friendly and hostile tribes to prevent those now friendly 
from joining in the war. I have, sir, studied the character of 
these Indians, and my views as to the influence upon the friendly 
Indians of the mode of carrying on the war against the hostiles 
are confirmed by the only educated Indian of either Oregon or 
Washington, and the head chief of the tribe in reference to 
which I made the recommendation and felt the most solicitude. 

It seems to me that the present condition of things imposes 
upon you the necessity of recognizing the services of the volun- 
teers of the two Territories now in the field, and of your doing 
everything to facilitate their operations. But if you waste your 
exertions in the fruitless effort to induce either the authorities 
to withdraw their troops, to abandon their plan of campaign in 
order to comply with your requisition, or to meet your peculiar 
notions, I warn you now, sir, that I, as the governor of Wash- 
ington, will cast upon you the whole responsibility of any diffi- 
culties which may arise in consequence, and that by my firm, 
steady, and energetic course, and by my determination to co- 
operate with the regular service, whatever may be the provoca- 
tion to the contrary, I will vindicate the justice of my course, 
and maintain my reputation as a faithful public servant. I 
warn you, sir, that, unless your course is changed, you will have 
difficulties in relation to which your only salvation will be the 
firm and decided policy of the two Territories whose services 
yon have ignored, whose people you have calumniated, and 
whose respect you have long since ceased to possess. 

Can yon presume, sir, to be able to correct your opinions by 
a hasty visit to the Sound for a few days ? And do you expect, 
after having taken my deliberate course, that I shall change 
my plans on a simple intimation from you, without even a con- 
ference between us ? Were you desirous, sir, to harmonize the 
elements of strength on the Sound, you would have seen that it 


was your duly at least to have informed me of your presence, 
and to have invited me to a conference. 

Whilst in the country, in the fall and winter, you com- 
plained that the authorities of the two Territories did not 
conmiimicate with you. Why did you not inform me of your 
presence in the Sound on your arrival at Steilacoom? I 
learned of your probable arrival by simply learning on Satur- 
day morning by my express of your having left Vancouver, and 
I immediately dispatched the chief of my staff to wait upon 
you with a letter. But you were gone ; and whether you did 
not know the courtesy due the civil authorities of the Territory, 
who had taken the proper course to place themselves in relar 
tions with you, or whether you were unwilling to meet a man 
whose safely you had criminally neglected, and whose general 
views you have been compelled to adopt, is a matter entirely 
immaterial to me. 

What, sir, would have been the effect if Governor Curry had 
not made the movement which you condemn, and my party with 
the friendly Nez Peroes had been cut off? Sir, there would 
have been a hurricane of war between the Cascades and Bitter 
Root, and three thousand warriors would now be in arms. 
Every tribe would have joined, including the Snakes, and the 
spirit of hostility would have spread east of the Bitter Boot to 
the upper Pend Oreilles. 

I believe, sir, I would have forced my way through the five 
or six hundred hostiles in the Walla Widla valley with fifty-odd 
white men and one hundred and fifty Nez Perces. Would 
you have expected it? Could the country expect it? And 
what was the duty of those having forces at their command ? 
Governor Curry sent his volunteers and defeated the enemy. 
You disbanded the company of Washington Territory volun- 
teers raised expressly to be sent to my relief. 

I have reported your refusal to send me succor to the Depart- 
ment of War, and have given some of the circumstances at- 
tending that refusal. The company was under the conmiand of 
Captain William McKay. Before your arrival there was a 
pledge that it should be mustered into the regular service and 
sent to my assistance. Major Bains informs me that he did 
everything in his power to induce you to send it on. William 


McEIay informs me that he called on you personally, and that 
jou would do nothing. I am informed that your aide-de-camp, 
Lieutenant Arnold, endeavored to get you to change your deter- 
mination. What was your reply? ''Governor Stevens can take 
eare of himself. Governor Stevens will go down the Mis- 
souri. Grovemor Stevens will get aid from General Harney. If 
(Governor Stevens wants aid, he will send for it." These were 
your answers, according to the changing humor of the moment. 
And now, sir, in view of your assertion that you disbanded 
no troops raised for my relief, and that my commimication 
gave you the first intelligence that any were raised for that pur- 
pose, I would commend the chalice to your own lips, '' that I 
trust you will be governed " hereafter '' by the truth, and the 
truth only." 

I am, sir, very respectfully. 

Your obedient servant, 

Isaac I. Stevens, 
Governor^ Washington Territory. 

Unable to answer this letter, which so clearly exposed 
and justly rebuked his reprehensible course and conduct, 
Wool returned it, with a note from his aide stating that 
it was done by his order. In response the governor, in 
a final letter to Wool, remarks of this act : — 

" It can only be construed as evincing a determination on your 
part to have no further official communication with the executive 
of the Territory of Washington, at the very time when, from 
the circumstances of the case and the nature of their respective 
duties, there should, and must often be, such communications. 

** It is a matter which is not to be decided by personal feeling, 
but by consideration of public duty, which alone should govern 
public acts. I shall therefore continue in my official capacity 
to communicate with the major-general commanding the De- 
partment of the Pacific whenever, in my judgment, duty and 
the paramotmt interests of the Territory shall demand such 
communication to be made, casting upon that officer whatever 
responsibility before the country and his superiors may attach 
to his refusal to receive such communications. My duty shall 
be done. Let others do their duty." 


The governor was always of the opinion, the result 
undoubtedly of what he was told by other officers, that, 
in disbanding the troops raised for his relief, Wool was 
actuated by resentment at his, the governor's, manly de- 
claration in San Francisco, when, disgusted at Wool's self- 
laudation and disparagement of a greater commander, he 
said that ^^ every officer knew, and history would record, 
that General Taylor won the battle of Buena Vista." 
However that may be, after the caustic letter given 
above. Wool's malice knew no bounds. He redoubled 
his accusations of making war upon friendly Indians, 
gathered up and sent on to the War Department in his 
official reports newspaper slanders against the governor, 
and even declared that he was crazy. He reiterated his 
orders to his subordinates to have nothing to do with the 
territorial volunteers or authorities, and finally went to 
the length of directing his officers to disarm the volun- 
teers, if practicable. No attempt was ever made in that 

Early in February Pat-ka-nim, with eighty Snohomish 
braves, accompanied by Colonel Simmons, pushed up the 
Snohomish and against the hostiles on Green River under 
Leschi, the Nisqually chief, and defeated them in a sharp 
fight, inflicting a loss of five killed and six wounded, 
besides two taken and executed. 

As fast as organized, the Northern battalion was ad- 
vanced on the line of the Snohomish, where it built 
blockhouses and a camp known as Fort Tilton below 
the Snoqualmie Falls, and Fort Alden above them, and 
scouted the surrounding country. This battalion also 
established a blockhouse, with a garrison of fifteen men, 
at Bellingham Bay, and with blockhouses on Whitby 
Island and at Point Wilson, near Port Townsend, and a 
service of small vessels and canoes, kept watch over the 
lower Sound. 


The Central battalion, having been assembled on Yelm 
prairie, twenty miles east of Oljrmpia, and constructed 
there Fort Stevens, moved to and built Camp Mont- 
gomery, twelve miles back of Steilacoom, February 19 to 
23 ; the post and ferry at the emigrant crossing of the 
Payallup, 25th to 29th; and the post and blockhouses, 
named Fort Hays, on Connell's prairie, on White River, 
by March 2; and later two blockhouses at the crossing of 
that river, named Forts Pike and Posey. Small garrisons 
held this line of blockhouses; roads were cut and opened 
through the forest; and a train of thirty ox-teams, three 
yoke each, bought, hired, or impressed from the settlers, 
hauled out a hundred days' supplies. Captain Henness's 
mounted rangers cheerfully dismounted, and, leaving 
their horses at Telm prairie, advanced on foot. The 
governor visited Camp Montgomery on the 28th, press- 
ing forward the movement. 

Captain Sidney S. Ford, with a force of friendly Che- 
halis Indians, scouted the lower Puyallup. Lieutenant- 
Colonel Casey advanced a detachment of regulars to the 
Muckleshoot prairie, eight miles below Connell's prairie, 
where they built a blockhouse named Fort Slaughter. 

The government vessels on the Sound were the war 
steamer Massachusetts, Captain Samuel Swartwout, which 
remained mostly in Seattle harbor, where she relieved the 
Decatur; the Coast Survey steamer Active, Captain James 
Alden ; and the revenue cutter Jefferson Davis, a sailing 
vessel, Captain William C. Pease. These officers were 
ever ready to aid in the defense of the settlements by 
every means in their power. They furnished ammuni- 
tion, transported volunteers and supplies, and cruised the 
Sound to overawe the northern Indians. 

On March 2 two white men were killed by Indians 
within a few miles of Oljrmpia; Indians were seen and 
stock was driven off at other points ; a band of savages 


under Qui-e-muth were discovered in the Nisqoally bottom; 
and it appeared that, while the troops were puidiing out, 
the Indians were coming in behind them to raid the aet^ 
dements. Unwilling to arrest the forward movement, the 
governor immediately ordered Maxon's company, of the 
Southern battalion, over to the Sound from Vancouver, 
and soon after brought over the rest of the battalion. 
By a special war notice he also called a hundred more 
men from the already denuded settlements, and, with the 
few that were able to respond, strengthened the exposed 

On March 6 Colonel Casey's troops on Muckleshoot 
prairie had a sharp fight with the enemy. On the 10th 
Major Hays, with 110 men of his Central battalion, fought 
the principal and decisive battle of the war on the Sound, 
known as the battle of Connell's prairie. It was brought 
on by the Indians, who, emboldened by their previous 
successes, fought for five hours with a confidence and 
stubbornness that enabled the volunteers to inflict severe 
losses upon them. They were finally routed by a charge 
on their left flank by Captains Swindal and Rabbeson, 
and a simultaneous attack in front by Captains Henness 
and White, with a loss of twenty-five or thirty killed and 
many wounded. They even abandoned their war-drum 
in their flight. Major Hays, who handled his command 
with skill and judgment as well as courage, reported that 
they numbered at least two hundred warriors. It after- 
wards appeared that their numbers were much larger, 
and that they were aided in the fight by a hundred 
Takima warriors. 

The fruits of Governor Stevens's thorough prepara- 
tions were now manifested by incessant blows and untir- 
ing, unsparing warfare. The Indians were allowed no 
respite from attack, and could find no refuge, even in the 
densest swamps and thickets. The Central battalion sent 



oat strong parties to beat up the country of the White^ 
Grreen^ Cedar, and Fuyallup rivers to the base of the 
mountains. Major Van Bokkelen, with Captain Smalley's 
Company 6, forty-six men, and seventy-six of Pat-ka-nim's 
braves, swept the forests from the Snohomish to Connell's 
prairie, thence up the mountain to the Nahchess Pass, 
thence northward along the foot of the range to his own 
northern line, and thence into and over the Snoquahnie 
passes. Captain Sidney Ford with his Chehalis Indians, 
and agent Wesley Gosnell with a party of friendly, or 
pretended friendly, Indians from the Squaxon reserva- 
tion — own brothers to the hostiles these — scoured the 
swamps and bottoms of the Puyallup and Nisqually; 
Lieutenant Pierre Charles, with a force of CowUtz and 
Chehalis Indians, scouted up the Cowlitz and Newarknm 
rivers, and captured a number of the enemy. The ladies 
of Olympia, under the lead of Mrs. Stevens, made blue 
caps with red facings, with which these red allies were 
equipped, to distinguish them from their hostile kindred. 
Another company was called out and organized among 
the settlers of tlie Cowlitz plains under Captain E. D. 
Warbass, which built a blockhouse on Klikitat prairie, 
twelve miles higher up the CowUtz, and also kept scout- 
ing parties constantly on the move. Major Maxon and his 
company scouted and * searched the whole length of the 
Nisqually valley far into the range, leaving their horses 
and plunging into the tangled forests on foot, and on one 
of their scouts killed eight and brought in fourteen cap- 
tives of the enemy. Miller's and Achilles's companies 
joined in the work, while Goff was sent back to the river 
to increase his strength to a hundred, and, with another 
company to be raised there, — N, Captain Richards, — to 
rendezvous at the Dalles in readiness for operations in 
the upper country. 
The governor urged Captain Swartwout to unite with 


Captain Lander's company, by furnishing a detachment 
and boats from the Massachusetts, in routing out the 
Indians who infested the shores of Lake Washington ; 
and when the naval officer declined, Captains Howe and 
Feabody led detachments of the Northern battalion from 
the Snohomish down through the unknown and trackless 
forest, and beat up the shores of the lake. Lander's Com- 
pany A was posted on the Duwhamish River, a few miles 
from Seattle, where it built a blockhouse, and from 
which point Lieutenant Neely led a party in a canoe 
expedition up Black River into the lake, and fell upon a 
camp of the hostiles just after it had been abandoned, 
which was found filled with remains of cattle, stores, 
and goods recently plundered from Seattle and the set- 
tlers. Colonel Casey, after being reinforced by the two 
companies brought over from Vancouver, established a 
post higher up on White River, from which, and from his 
post on Muckleshoot prairie, parties scouted the surround- 
ing forest. Every blockhouse with its little garrison, 
every armed train and express and canoe, as well as the 
numerous scouting parties, was constantly watching and 
searching for hostile Indians, and, worse than all, their 
own kindred, of whom Shaw declared ^^ blankets will 
turn any Indian on the side of the whites," now joined 
in the hunt, and, stimulated by rewards offered for the 
heads of the hostile chiefs and warriors, showed the way 
to all their secret haunts and trails. The tide had, indeed, 
turned, after two months of this unrelenting warfare, 
and nearly every tribe on the Sound now freely proffered 
its assistance. The northern Indians, also, tendered their 
services, which were declined, excepting eight men, who 
joined the Northern battalion, and proved themselves 
uncommonly brave, strong, and hardy soldiers. 

Thus the whole tangled region, with its dense forests 
and almost impenetrable swamps, from the Snohomish to 


the Cowlitz, nearly two hundred miles, was beaten up, the 
Indian resorts and hiding-places searched out, and their 
trails discovered and explored, especially those across the 
mountain passes, many of which were now for the first 
time made known to the whites. The whole policy and 
plan of campaign were Governor Stevens's, and the ex- 
ecution almost entirely the work of his brave and patriotic 
volunteers. The governor had, indeed, brought about a 
real concert of action with Colonel Casey by his frank 
and considerate treatment of that officer, but the regular 
forces kept within a very short tether of Fort Steilacoom. 
It was in the midst of the rainy season that this aggres- 
sive campaign was waged. So impracticable and unwise 
was it deemed by the brave and excellent Major Hays 
that he remonstrated with the governor against exposing 
the volunteers to such hardships, and, finding him inex- 
orable, resigned rather than undertake it, as also did two 
officers of his former company. Amid constant rains and 
swollen streams the volunteers thridded the dripping 
forests, where every shaken bough drenched the toiling 
soldiers with another shower-bath, following some dim 
trail, or oftener cutting or forcing their way through the 
trackless woods, — heavy packs of blankets and rations 
on their backs, the axe in one hand and the rifle in the 
other. Scarcely would they return from one scout when 
they would be ordered out again. To every demand the 
volunteers responded with the greatest alacrity, spirit, and 
fortitude. The mounted men without a murmur left their 
horses and took to the woods as foot scouts. The South- 
em battalion, enlisting with the expectation of campaign- 
mg on the plains of the upper country, instantly and 
without a murmur obeyed the order summoning them to 
the Sound, to the discomforts and hardships of the rains 
and forests and swamps. The settlers freely turned out 
with their teams of oxen, and the storekeepers furnished 


blankets, clothing, shoes, and provisions to the extent of 
their ability. 

On March 26, just as the campaign was well under 
way, the Yakimas and Klikitats swooped down upon the 
Cascades portage on the Columbia, which was left insuffi- 
ciently guarded by Colonel Wright with a force of only 
nine regular soldiers in a blockhouse, and massacred nine- 
teen settlers, and killed one soldier and wounded two 
others. Colonel Wright, who was at the Dalles preparing 
an expedition for the Yakima country, immediately pro- 
ceeded to the Cascades with a strong force of regular 
troops, and the Indians disappeared. Satisfied that the 
friendly Indians in that vicinity were implicated in the 
attack, he caused ten of them, including the chief, to 
be summarily tried by military commission and hanged, 
an act which, if committed by the territorial authorities 
or volunteers, would have caused redoubled denunciations 
on the part of Wool and his parasites, but which, done by 
this regular officer, excited no comment. This affair at 
the Cascades is also of interest as being General P. H. 
Sheridan's d^but in the art of war. 

The massacre at the Cascades excited new alarm among 
the settlers about Vancouver and along the Columbia. 
To reassure them, and keep them from abandoning their 
farms, the governor called out another company of vol- 
unteers under Captain William Kelly, known as the Clark 
County Rangers, caused several new blockhouses to be 
built, and had the rangers constantly patrol the settle- 
ments. It was at this time, and largely in consequence 
of the Cascades massacre, that he called out Captain War- 
bass's company, for he deemed it essential that the settlers 
should not again abandon their farms. He also wrote 
Colonel Wright proposing a "thorough understanding 
between the regular and volunteer service, so their joint 
efforts may be applied to the protection of the settlements 


and the prosecution of the war/' in order that no force 
need be wasted, and inviting his suggestions to that end. 
But Colonel Wright, although personally ready to cooper- 
ate like Colonel Casey, was under the stnctest orders from 
Wool in no way to recognize the volunteers. In his reply 
to the governor he simply stated what he was doing, 
and proposing to do, without venturing any suggestions. 
Li truth, between the governor and his volunteers, who 
^reie so efficiently protecting the settlements and attack- 
ing the common foe, on the one hand, and his irate com- 
nianding general, who had positively ordered him to ignore 
die territorial authorities and forces, on the other. Colonel 
Wright was in something of a quandary, and it must be 
confessed that he conducted himself with no little diplo- 
matic skill. 

For two months after the fight of Council's prairie. 

Governor Stevens kept his whole force thus incessantly 

aearching the forests and hunting down the hostiles 

with unrelenting vigor. The Indians, thrown completely 

on the defensive, did not commit another depredation 

after the Cascades disaster on all that long line of exposed 

and scattered settlements. They were driven and chased 

from resort to resort ; their most hidden camps and caches 

of provisions were discovered and destroyed ; many were 

killed or captured ; and by the middle of May over five 

hundred came in and gave themselves up, while the guilty 

chiefs and warriors fled across the Cascades and sought 

refuge among their Yakima kindred. The surrendered 

were placed on the reservations with the friendly Indians, 

except a number of suspected murderers, who were tried 

by military commissions ; but very few were found guilty 

for lack of evidence, and they were also sent to join their 

people on the reservations. It was not the governor's 

poUcy to punish them for taking part in the war, or fights 

only, but he deemed it essential to the future peace of the 


country that the murderers of settlers and chief insti- 
gators of the outbreak should be punished, and believed 
that if they were allowed to escape scot free they would 
stir up trouble again. 

Thus the war west of the Cascades was ended by the 
complete surrender or flight of the hostiles. 

In June the posts and blockhouses built by the volun- 
teers on Puyallup and White rivers, Connell's prairie, 
and Camp Montgomery were turned over to the regulars, 
and the volunteers who were not required for an expe- 
dition east of the Cascades were disbanded in July. 

After the suppression of hostilities on the Sound, be- 
coming satisfied that the reservations set apart at the 
treaty of Medicine Creek were inadequate for the Nis- 
quallies and Puyallups, Governor Stevens held a coxmcil 
with these Indians on Fox Island on August 4, and 
arranged with them to give them, in place of those estab- 
lished by the treaty, a larger reservation for the former 
tribe on the Nisqually River, a few miles above its mouth, 
embracing some excellent bottom land, and for the latter 
twenty-one thousand acres of the finest alluvial land at 
the mouth of the Puyallup River. At the same time a 
smaller reservation was given the Duwhamish Indians on 
the Muckleshoot prairie. The Puyallup reservation in- 
cluded thirteen donation claims taken by white settlers, but 
the governor had these appraised by a commission which 
he appointed for the purpose, and its awards, amounting to 
some five thousand dollars, were paid by Congress. On 
his recommendation the President, by executive order, 
promptly established the new reservations, in pursuance 
of the sixth article of the treaty, which empowered him 
to take such action. The Indians have remained in undis- 
turbed possession of them ever since. When the North- 
em Pacific Railroad Company fixed its terminus at Tacoma 
in 1874, it cast covetous eyes upon this noble tract of 


land situated across the bay, right opposite the proposed 
city, and the author, then its attorney in Washington Ter- 
ritory, was instructed to examine and report upon the 
validity of the Indian title to it. His report satisfied the 
officers of the company that the right of the Indians to 
their reservation was indisputable. 

Much of the success attending Governor Stevens's 
prosecution of the Indian war was due to the able and 
energetic men he called to his aid as stafP officers. He 
especially commended General W. W. Miller as having 
imparted ^^ extraordinary efficiency to the quartermaster's 
and commissary department, the most difficult of all, — 
which, generally kept distinct, was a single department 
in our service, — reflecting the highest capacity and de- 
votion to the public service upon its chief and subor- 
dinate officers." It was General Miller who collected, 
largely by impressment, organized, and led out into the 
Indian country the large ox-train which hauled out three 
months' supplies for the volunteers in the beginning of 
the campaign, without which it could not have been 
waged. He was distinguished by remarkable sound 
sense and judgment, and the governor counseled with 
and relied upon him more than any other. And after 
the Indian war General Miller was his closest friend in 
the Territory. The governor also took occasion to make 
special acknowledgment to General Tilton for his ser- 
vices as adjutant-general, where his military experience 
was of great value. It is much to be regretted that the 
limits of this work preclude the detailed mention of their 
Bervices, which they so well merit; but the remarkable 
success of their departments is their best encomium. 
VOL. n 



While the war of the Sound was thus vigorously and 
successfully prosecuted^ operations east of the Cascades 
were marked by lack of vigor and purpose^ and no im- 
pression was made upon the hostile tribes^ except to en- 
courage them to continue on the war-path. The Oregon 
volunteers, who wintered in the Walla Walla valley, 
crossed Snake River in March, advanced a short distance 
up the Falouse, then traversed the country over to the 
Columbia below Priest's Rapids, from which point they 
returned to Walla Walla, and in May moved back to the 
Dalles and were disbanded. Thus it will be seen how 
easy it would have been for the regular forces, support- 
ing and supplementing this movement of the Oregon 
volunteers across Snake River, to have made the effective 
campaign that Governor Stevens outlined to Wool. With 
a little reinforcement, the volunteers could have pushed 
beyond Priest's Rapids up the left bank of the Columbia, 
driving the hostiles across the river into the Takima 
country, when the main columns of regidars, entering 
that country from the Dalles and up the Yakima River, 
could have ^^ put the hostiles to their last battle." 

But it was not until May that Colonel Wright marched 
from the Dalles into the Takima country with five com- 
panies of regulars. He found the hostiles in strong 
force on the Nahchess River, one of the upper tributaries 
of the Takima. Instead of fighting, he stopped to par- 
ley with them ; but after a week of talking to no pur- 
pose, he sent back for reinforcements. 


At this juncture, the hostile Indians on the Sound hav- 
ing been thoroughly subdued, and those of the upper 
country being still in unbroken strength and confidence^ 
Grovemor Stevens, on May 28, proposed to Lieutenant- 
Colonel Casey a joint movement of their respective forces 
across the Cascades : — 

«« I would suggest your sending three companies to the Nah- 
chess, retaining one at or near the pass, and advancing the 
others into the Yakima coimtry. 

^At the same time I wiU put my whole mounted force 
through the Snoqualmie Pass and down the main Yakima. 
The Northern battalion shall occupy posts on the line of the 
Snoqualmie from the faUs to the eastern slope. A depot shall 
be established on the eastern slope ; all the horsemen will then 
be available to strike and pursue the enemy." 

But Casey, strictly forbidden by Wool to recognize the 
volunteers, sent two companies under Major Gamett to 
reinforce Wright by the circuitous Cowlitz and Columbia 
route, declining to ^^ send him across the Nahchess Pass, 
for the reason, first, I consider there would be too ipuch 
delay in getting across. In the next place, I have not 
suf&cient transportation to spare for that purpose." From 
Steilacoom to Wright's camp on the Nahchess was barely 
a hundred miles by the direct route across the pass ; by 
the Cowlitz-Columbia route it was three hundred and 
fifteen miles, for a hundred and fifteen of which the 
troops could be transported by water, leaving two hun- 
dred to march. By these facts, and by the ease and 
celerity of Shawns march a few days later over the re- 
jected route, the validity and candor of Casey's ^^ reason " 
may be judged. 

Such a combined movement would have given Wright 
ample reinforcements, and in the mounted volunteers the 
very arm he most needed ; for infantry could never reach 
the Indians on those plains in summer unless the latter 


chose to fight. And for the second time he was given 
the opportunity, by availing himself of the cooperation of 
the volunteers, to inflict a severe punishment upon the 
enemy. Unhappily Wool's orders tied his hands, and 
Wright himself was imbued with Wool's delusion that 
the Indians of the upper country — the great hostile 
tribes that had plotted and brought on the war fresh 
from treacherously signing the treaties at Walla Walla, 
had murdered the miners and agent Bolon, and had plun- 
dered Fort Walla Walla, and laid themselves in wait to 
cut off Governor Stevens and his party — were innocent 
and peaceably disposed Indians, who had been forced to 
war by the aggressions of the whites. 

Upon Casey's rejection or evasion of the joint opera- 
tion he proposed. Governor Stevens determined to push 
his mounted men across the mountains, and throw upon 
that ofBicer the burden of protecting the settlements upon 
the Sound against hostile incursions. Accordingly he 
offered to turn over to him his posts on the Puyallup, and 
on Connell's and South prairies, and the colonel received 
and occupied them, for which he was censured and re- 
buked by Wool as soon as the latter was informed of 
it. The governor was convinced that the war could be 
brought to a close only by subduing the hostile tribes of 
the upper country ; that until this was done the Sound 
country was liable to their raids and stirring up of fresh 
outbreaks among the Sound Indians; and that every 
daiy's delay in striking them was helping Kam-i-ah-kan 
and his emissaries in winning over the Spokanes, Coeur 
d'Alenes, and disaffected Nez Perces to their side. He 
also deemed it necessary to send supplies and Indian 
goods to Craig and Lawyer, and strengthen their hands 
in keeping the Nez Perces loyal, now left more exposed 
by the withdrawal of the Oregon volunteers from the 
Walla Walla valley. He proceeded, therefore, to carry 


out his plans, cherished from the beg^inning, of striking 
a blow in the upper country. 

On June 12 lieutenant-Colonel Shaw marched from 
Gamp Montgomery with one hundred and seventy-five 
mounted men of the Central and Southern battalions, 
under their respective majors, Blankenship and Maxon, 
comprising Captain Henness's Company C, Maxon's Wash- 
ington Mounted Rifles, Company D, under Lieutenant 
Powell, Captain Miller's Company J, and a pack-train 
of twenty-seven packers and one hundred and seven pack 
animals, under Captain C. H. Armstrong, the regimental 
quartermaster and commissary. On the 20th he reached 
the Wenass branch of the Yakima, with the loss of only 
one animal, finding the road good for a mountain road. 
Colonel Wright was still parleying with the Yakimas, 
trying to patch up a peace, and not only with them, but 
also with Leschi, Kitsap, Stahi, Nelson, and Qui-e-muth, 
the hostile chiefs who had fled from the Sound country, 
and would vouchsafe no information or suggestion to the 
volunteer colonel, except the statement that the regular 
troops were amply sufElcient for the Yakima. Shaw 
therefore continued his march, crossed the Columbia at 
old Fort Walla Walla, and reached and made camp on 
Mill Creek, in the valley, on the 9th of July. 

Having seen the necessary arrangements made, and 
orders given for Shaw's march, the governor hastened in 
person to the Dalles, arriving there June 12, where he 
had already assembled Captains Goff's and Richards's 
companies, in anticipation of operating in the upper 

He had previously, on April 27, inquired of Colonel 
Wright if he intended to occupy the Walla Walla valley, 
and if, in case it were not occupied, and the Oregon vol- 
Xmteers there were withdrawn, he could furnish an escort 
cf one company to guard the train to the Nez Perce 


country. To this Wright replied that it was no part of 
his plan of campaign to occupy the Walla Walla country, 
^^ as we are assured that the Indians in that district are 
peacefully inclined/' and that the matter of an escort was 
referred to General Wool, which, of course, was equiva- 
lent to refusal. The governor, on receiving this reply, at 
once wrote Wright : — 

^^My information in regard to the Indians in the Walla 
Walla, and on the Snake River, is that they are determined to 
prosecute the war. This was the declaration made by the pro- 
minent chiefs of the Cuyuses to the express of Mr. McDon- 
ald some weeks since. This is the opinion of my agent in the 
Nez Perce country and of the Nez Perce chiefs, and it would 
seem to be indicated by the recent attack by the Indians on 
the volunteers at the Umatilla. 

^' I have therefore thought it my duty to communicate these 
views, and I will suggest that you receive with great caution 
any information of their peaceful intention, to the end that you 
may not be thrown oflE your guard." 

Thus Wright was fixed in the opinion that these In- 
dians were peaceably disposed, all evidence to the con- 
trary notwithstanding. He ignored the information and 
views given him by Governor Stevens, who, as Superin- 
tendent of Indian Affairs, was especially charged with 
the care and management of them ; the information fur- 
nished by the Hudson Bay Company's officer at Colville ; 
the opinions of the Nez Perce chiefs and agent Craig ; 
and even a recent attack actually made upon a post of 
Oregon volunteers on the Umatilla. 

The governor now notified Wright of Shaw's march 
and orders to cooperate with him : — 

" His orders are to cooperate with you in removing the seat 
of war from the base of the mountains to the interior, and for 
reasons affecting the close of the war on the Sound obvious to 
all persons. 


^He will then push to the Walla Walla valley, crossing the 
Coliimbia at Fort Walla Walla. 

'* The supplies and escort for the Walla Walla will move from 
ihe Dalles on Friday morning. 

*^The Walla WaUa valley must be occupied immediately, to 
prevent the extension of the war into the interior. 

**Eam-i-ah-kan has, since your arrival on the Nahchess, made 
every exertion to induce the tribes thus far friendly to join in 
the war. He has flattered the Spokanes, where he was on the 
25th of May, and has endeavored to browbeat the Nez Perces. 
Ibe Spokanes have answered in the negative, and the Nez 
Peroes will, I am satisfied, continue friendly. 

^I am ready, as the Superintendent of Indian Affairs, to 
take charge of any Indians that may be reported by yourself 
fts having changed their condition from hostility to peace. 

^ From all I can gather, I presume your views and my own do 
not differ as to the terms which should be allowed the Indians, 
Til., unconditional submission, and the rendering up of murder- 
ers and instigators of the war to punishment. 

" I will, however, respectfully put you on your guard in re- 
ference to Leschi, Nelson, Kitsap, and Qui-e-muth, from the 
Sound, and suggest that no arrangement be made which shall 
save their necks from the executioner." 

But the governor's wise and patriotic efforts to secure 
cooperation, and this fine opportunity to strike the enemy 
a crushing blow, were frustrated by Wright's pacific atti- 
tude and the cold shoulder he turned to Shaw. It was 
indeed hard to induce concert of action, especially ag- 
gressive action, between authorities who knew the Indi- 
ans as hostile and murderous, and to be subdued only 
by defeat and punishment, and officers who regarded 
them as wronged, and deserving to be made peace with 
and protected. Thus Wool's pernicious and inexcusable 
views and orders paralyzed the campaign of his subordi- 
nate, who shared his delusion. 

The governor remained at the Dalles some two weeks, 
combining and expediting the movements of his two 


columns to the Walla Walla valley, and gaining the latest 
information from the Indian country, and returned to 
Olympia June 30. 

On this trip the governor summarily dismissed a quar- 
termaster at Vancouver for dishonest conduct, and the 
incident was made the subject of a caricature by John 
Phcenix, the nom de plume of that inveterate wit and 
joker, Lieutenant George H. Derby, who was then sta- 
tioned at Vancouver.* 

It will be recollected that the governor left Captain 
Sidney S. Ford in the Walla Walla to organize a com- 
pany for home defense of the few settlers who had re- 
turned with the Oregon volunteers. He succeeded in 
raising twenty-five men, but was soon succeeded by a 
company under Captain Henry M. Chase, composed of 
ten whites and forty-three Nez Perces. On the with- 
drawal of the volunteers, they, too, had to be disbanded^ 
and the valley was wholly abandoned. 

On the 22d the two companies under Captains Goff 
and Williams, who succeeded Richards, mustering one 
hundred and seventy-five men, with a train of forty-five 
wagons and thirty-five pack-animals, in charge of Quar- 
termaster Robie, marched from the Dalles, and on July 9 
joined Shaw on Mill Creek, except a detachment of 
seventy-five men under Captain Goff, which left the train 
on the Umatilla to go to the assistance of Major Lupton, 
of the Oregon volunteers, who was in the presence of 
a force of the enemy in the Blue Mountains. Goff and 

1 In this cartoon two settlers in roughest costumes, slouch hats, woolen 
shirts, huge muddy boots with trousers tucked into them, and long, unkempt 
hair and beard, are represented standing in front of a log-hut in the woodi| 
while in the distance appears a building, having over the door the sign 
*' Quartermaster's OfiBce," from which a man is being kicked into the street. 

<* First Pike, That 's pretty rough. Bill, yanking a man out of ofiBce like 
that, without giving him ary show or trial. 

« Second Pike. Well, the governor 's generally about right, and he 's dead 
right this time, yon bet." 


Xupton followed the hostiles across the mountains, and 
on the 15th and 16th inflicted a sharp blow upon them 
^n Burnt Biver. 

Lieutenant-Colonel Craig, with a force of seventy-five 
Nez Perce volunteers under Spotted Eagle, marched from 
Lapwai and joined Shaw's command, also on the 9th, so 
that the three colunms, starting from points as widely 
divergent as Puget Sound, the Dalles, and Lapwai, all met 
in the valley on the same day. The Nez Perces gave 
assurances of the continued friendship of the tribe, and 
Bobie proceeded with the train of Indian goods to their 
country under their escort alone. 

Thus far Shaw had encountered no enemy in his march, 
the Yakimas being virtually protected by Colonel Wright 
and his parleyings, and the Cuyuses and Walla Wallas 
having left the valley; but learning that the hostiles were 
in the Grande Ronde valley in force, he determined to 
strike them. Moving by night by an unused trail across 
the Blue Mountains, guided by the faithful Nez Perce 
chief. Captain John, he encountered the enemy on the 
third day, July 17, in the open valley. Although taken 
by surprise, they received him in a defiant attitude; large 
numbers of braves, mounted and armed, and with a white 
scalp borne on a pole among them, confronted him, 
while the squaws were fleeing across the valley to seek 
refuge, and, on Captain John's approaching them to par- 
ley, cried out to shoot him. Upon this, throwing off his 
hat, and with a shout, the tall, rawboned leader of the 
volunteers instantly charged at the head of his men, his 
long red hair and beard streaming in the wind, broke 
and scattered the Indians, chased them fifteen miles clear 
across the valley, killed forty, and captured a hundred 
pounds of ammunition, all their provisions, and over two 
hundred horses and mules, many of which bore the 
United States brand, and had been evidently run off 


from Wright's and Rains's commands. ShaVs loss was 
only three killed and four wounded. 

Having driven the hostiles beyond the Grande Ronde^ 
and not having sufficient supplies to warrant pursuing 
them farther^ Shaw returned to his camp in the Walla 

Meanwhile Robie had been threatened and ordered 
out of the Nez Perce country by the disaffected portion 
of that tribe, and had returned by forced marches to the 
valley, but on learning of Shaw's victory, and in answer 
to his message that ^^ if they beat their drums for war, he 
would parade his men for battle," the recusant chie& 
again made professions of friendship. Lawyer and the 
majority of the tribe were unwavering in their friendship, 
but there were a considerable number who sympathized 
with their Cuyuse kindred, and repented having made 
the treaty, among whom Looking Glass, Red Wolf, 
Joseph, and Eagle-f rom-the-Light were leaders. 

One of the first acts of Colonel Wright at the Dalles 
had been to release the Cuyuse war chief, Um-how-llsh, 
whom the governor had captured and brought to that 
point, and to allow him to return to his people, accepting 
all his professions at par. Under this encoun^ment 
some of the friendly Cuyuses and the families of some of 
the hostiles had taken refuge among the Nez Perces, 
despite the governor's refusal to permit them to go there. 
The very thing he apprehended occurred, viz., the disaf- 
fected and hostile Cuyuses, visiting their kindred with, 
and mingling among, the Nez Perces, had stirred up 
considerable disaffection in this hitherto faithful tribe. 
Moreover, the Yakima emissaries had assured the Nez 
Perces that the Spokanes were about to break out against 
the whites, and threatened them with the same treatment 
accorded the whites, unless they, too, would make com- 
mon cause against the encroaching race. Lawyer and 


Giaig^ therefore, were sorely troubled tO' hold firm the 
wavering friendship of the disaffected part of the tribe, 
and had written the most urgent messages to the governor 
fcNT assistance. Hence his great anxiety to have the Walla 
Walla valley held in force, and to get through to the 
Nez Perce country a train bearing supplies and encour- 
agement to the faithful chiefs. 

Shaw's victory occurred- most opportunely to restrain 
the disaffected, and both he and Craig represented that 
the moral effect of it was great and salutary upon them. 
The governor therefore decided to proceed in person to 
Walla Walla, and there hold a council with the Indians, 
in order to confirm the friendship of the Nez Perces and 
leBtrain the doubtful and wavering from active hostil- 
ity. He directed Craig and Shaw to summon the hith- 
erto friendly Indians, the Nez Perces, Spokanes, Coeur 
d'Alenes, and friendly Cuyuses, to the council ; and also 
to send messengers to the hostiles, inviting them to 
attend it also, under the sole condition of submission to 
the government, requiring them to come unarmed, and 
assuring them of safe conduct to, at, and from the coun- 
cil. He took this course in order to give the host^es 
every opportunity to give up the conflict and accept 
peace, if their minds were ripe for it, and also to refute 
the in&unous charges of Wool and satisfy the doubts or 
scruples of other regular officers, by demonstrating his 
earnest wish to end the war and treat the hostiles with 
all possible leniency. To this end, on August 3 he 
wrote a pressing invitation to Colonel Wright to attend 
the council, recommended him to establish a permanent 
garrison in the Walla Walla valley, and requested a con- 
ference at the Dalles on the Mth of September. 

The governor called out two hundred more volunteers 
to wiftinfftin the strength of Shaw's command, whose term 
of enlistment was about to expire, for he deemed it indis- 
pensable to hold the Walla Walla valley. 


Colonel Wright, acting on WooFs theory of wronged 
and innocent Indians, had suffered himself to be com- 
pletely deceived by the wily Yakimas, and had given open 
ear to their lying tales and treacherous professions, and, 
without striking a blow, or seizing a single murderer, or 
exacting any guaranty for future good behavior, — not 
even a promise to observe their treaty and allow whites to 
come into their country, — had concluded a quasi-peace 
with them^ This was as great a victory for their diplo- 
macy as Haller's defeat was for their arms. It rendered 
Wright's campaign utterly abortive, saved them from 
losses and punishment, recognized as valid their objec- 
tions to the treaty and the presence of white settlers, and 
left Kam-i-ah-kan and his followers free to continue their 
machinations among the doubtful tribes, which they were 
actively carrying on. 

While these wily Indians were thus beguiling Wright, 
they also tried their diplomacy on the authorities on the 
west side of the Cascades. In May Indian messengers 
from Ow-hi and Te-i-as — two of the most cunning and 
treacherous of the Yakima chiefs, the former second only 
to Kam-i-ah-kan, as well as foremost in bringing on the 
war — approached Colonel Simmons through friendly 
Indians, pretending a desire to make peace, and were 
sent to Olympia to the governor. After conversing with 
them, the latter was satisfied that they came only as 
spies and trouble-instigators, but directed them to return 
to the chiefs who sent them, bearing his invitation to all 
who wished to resume friendly relations to come with 
their women and children to the prairie above Snoqualmie 
Falls, and submit to the justice and mercy of the govern- 
ment ; that only those guilty of murder and instigating 
the war would be punished, and all others would be par- 
doned and kindly treated, like the Indians on the reserva- 
tions. At the same time he charged Colonel Fitzhugh, 


in connection with Colonel Simmons, with the mission of 

bringing about the surrender of the Indians in question 

in case they were acting in good faith. Three weeks 

iater, June 20, Fitzhugh reported that his mission had 

turned out a perfect failure, that the governor was cor- 

^ed in his opinion, that the messengers only wanted to 

^lain time and information, and added : — . 

**The Indians expected to make better terms with Colonel 
l^right, who had been entertaining them and making them 
presents on the other side of the mountains, and had told them 
tliat he was the * Big Dog ' in this part of the world, and had 
oome a long distance to treat with them, and if they would only 
stop fighting all would be well. As things now are, they will 
have to be well thrashed before they will treat. From the 
beginning of the difficulty to the present time, the regulars, 
from their commander-in-chief down, have stultified themselves. 
They have done no fighting, and now they wish to patch up a 
treaty, so as to get the credit for putting an end to the war." 

Little did the cunning Ow-hi foresee the tragic fate 
that awaited him and his son, only two years later, at 
the hands of Colonel Wright. 

Thus ingloriously was the war carried on, or rather 
paralyzed, by the regular forces in the upper country. 
The only blow inflicted upon the hostiles of that region 
during the year was struck by Shaw in the Grande 
Ronde, and the effect of that was dissipated by the sub- 
sequent behavior of Wool's officers* 



It will be remembered that Colonel Wright, hogging 
his delusion and shutting his eyes to obvious facts, in 
April expressed the opinion that the hostile Cuyuses and 
Walla Wallas were " peaceably disposed " when declining 
to occupy the valley or furnish an escort for the Nez 
Perce train. The governor, by bringing him to attend 
the council and see and judge for himself, hoped to open 
his eyes to the real situation, and to induce him to take 
a more manly and aggressive course in case the Indians 
persisted in the war. 

Accordingly, leaving Olympia August 11, Governor 
Stevens reached Vancouver on the 13th, and there met 
Colonel Wright, who informed him that he was unable to 
attend the council from pressure of other duties, but that 
he was dispatching a force of four companies of regulars 
under Lieutenant-Colonel Steptoe in season to be present, 
and that the governor could rely upon that officer for 
support in case of need, an assurance not made good, and 
which involved him in no little personal peril. 

As it was no longer necessary to maintain Shaw's force 
in the valley, since the regulars were to occupy it, the 
governor now revoked his call for two hundred more 

Traveling together to the Dalles, the governor and 
Colonel Wright had repeated conferences en route, and 
at that point also met and conferred with Lieutenant- 
Colonel Steptoe, Major Lugenbeel, and Captain Jordan, 


with the result, as the governor supposed and reported to 
the Indian Bureau, of establishing ^^ the most cordial and 
effeddve cooperation in all the measures taken to maintain 
the friendly relations of the tribes east of the mountains." 
It is evident that Governor Stevens, by his personal 
ascendency over men, and the manifest wisdom and neces- 
Atj of his measures, actually compelled these officers, like 
Ideatenant-Colonel Casey, to a degree of cooperation in- 
compatible with Wool's orders, and probably repugnant 
to their own prejudices. It is impossible, however, to 
aequit Wright and Steptoe of a lack of candor in con- 
cealing from the governor the real character of Wool's 
instructions, and in leading him to expect their faithful 
co5peration and support. For not only had Wool posi- 
tively forbidden anything of the kind, but had ordered 
them to disarm the volunteers, if they had sufficient force 
to do 80, and expel them from the Indian country, as 
appeared from Wool's orders when subsequently pub- 
lished by the government. He also ordered them to 
exclude American settlers from the entire upper country, 
but not to interfere with the Hudson Bay Company peo- 
ple, it being his intention to make the Cascade Range a 
scientific frontier to the settlements. 

It is noteworthy that the officers of the 4th infantry, 
who garrisoned the country at and before the outbreak 
of the war, — Alvord, Rains, Haller, Maloney, Slaughter, 
and Nugen, — agreed perfectly with the territorial author- 
ities and the people as to the causes of the outbreak, and 
were always ready to cooperate with them. It was Major 
Alvord who first detected and reported the existence of 
the Indian conspiracy, and Major Rains who called for 
ihe volunteers. 

But the officers of the 9th infantry, like Wright and 
Casey, were new-comers in the country, bound by Wool's 
orders, and prejudiced by his infamous slanders, and un- 


doubtedly affected by professional jealousy. They were 
ready to ignore the territorial authorities, and to make 
peace by restraining the whites instead of punishing the 
hostile Indian aggressors. They prolonged the war east 
of the mountains and kept back the settlement of the 
country for two years, but at last the scales were torn 
from their eyes by stern experience ; they realized how 
mistaken had been their views and fruitless their policy, 
and found themselves obliged to adopt the views of Gov- 
ernor Stevens and make war in earnest. Then, under 
the severe blows of Wright, the hostile tribes were finally 
punished and subdued, and permanent peace assured. 

On the day after reaching Vancouver the governor 
held a council with a band of Elikitat Indians, at which 
Colonel Wright was present, and made arrangements for 
removing them temporarily to their original home east 
of the Cascades on the KUkitat River, with the view of 
placing them ultimately on the Yakima reservation. He 
informed Colonel Wright that he would receive and care 
for, as Superintendent of Indian Affairs, any surrendered 
Indians, except the Sound murderers, — Leschi, Qui-e- 
muth, Nelson, Sta-hi, etc., — to whom he had already 
cautioned him against granting amnesty. He now made 
formal requisition upon Colonel Wright for the surrender 
of these chiefs to be tried for their crimes, and notified 
him that he had forbidden the Indian agents to receive 
them on any reservation either east or west of the Cas- 
cades. He gave full and careful instructions on all these 
matters to the agents on the river, — Captain J. Cain, 
who had general charge of the Indians on the Columbia, 
Mr. Field at Vancouver, Mr. Lear at the Cascades, and 
the agent near the Dalles, — and made the necessary 
arrangements to meet all exigencies. This trip affords 
one of many examples of the governor's untiring zeal and 
energy in the pubUc service. In a single week he travels 


sixty mileB on horseback, thirty in canoe, and forty by 
steamboat to Vancouver ; holds a council with the Klik- 
itats, and arranges for removing them from the settle- 
ments ; instructs five Indian agents ; revokes his call for 
volunteers; confers with Colonel Wright; demands of 
him the surrender of Indian murderers for punishment ; 
travels eighty miles farther to the Dalles; and, by re- 
peated conferences with Wright and his officers, secures 
their cooperation, as he has reason to believe. Moreover, 
he finds time to write the most clear and detailed reports 
to the Indian Bureau and to the Secretary of War. 

Leaving the Dalles on the 19th, and pushing forward 
in advance of Steptoe with a train of thirty wagons 
drawn by eighty oxen, and two hundred loose animals, 
attended only by Pearson, and without escort except the 
employees, Governor Stevens reached Shaw's camp in the 
^valley on the 23d. On the evening of the 28th a small 
"pack-train was captured by the Indians within a few 
miles of camp, the packers escaping on their horses with- 
out loss, after firing away all their ammunition. The 
governor was much chagrined at this, the only loss of 
animals or supplies suffered by his volunteers during the 
whole war, and in orders rebuked the parties whose neg- 
ligence was responsible for the mishap, and concluded : 

*^ He desires to impress upon the troops the fact established 
by experience, especially in the present Indian war, that bold 
and re}>eated charges upon the enemy, even when the disparity 
of numbers is great, will alone lead to results. In this way 
only can the superiority of our race be established. In all 
mere defensive contests with Indians, whether behind breast- 
works or in the brush, an Indian is as good as a white man ; 
few laurels can thus be won, and the result may be discredit- 

Craig and Dr. Lansdale, the latter the agent for the 
Flatheads, just down from the Bitter Boot valley, arrived 


on the 30th with some of the Nez Perce chiefs. The 
next day agent Montour and Antoine Plante came in 
from the Spokanes and reported that^ although the tribe 
professed a friendly disposition^ they would not attend 
the council. Captain D. A. Russell (later major-general 
commanding 1st division, 6th corps. Army of the Potomac) 
with three companies marched from the Yakima to the 
Columbia, opposite old Fort Walla Walla, and, being 
without means of crossing, the governor sent him a wagon 
boat guarded by twenty volunteers, by means of which 
he ferried his command over the river. On the 5th Step- 
toe reached the valley, and went into camp four miles 
below the governor's camp, his force, including Russell's, 
consisting of four companies. The volunteers were there- 
fore all started for the Dalles, their term of service expir- 
ing on the 8th, except Captain Goff's company, which 
cheerfully consented to remain as a guard at the camp 
until relieved by the regulars. 

Lawyer and the bulk of the Nez Perces arrived on the 
6th, and encamped four miles above. A train of Indian 
goods under Robie reached the camp the next day. On 
the 8th the governor received the Nez Perce chiefs and 
headmen to the number of three hundred, after which he 
held a conference with the chiefs, and entertained them 
at dinner. Father A. Ravalli, of the Cceur d'Alene mis- 
sion, arrived in the evening, bringing important infor- 
mation. Reports the governor : — 

*^ The Father reports having seen and conversed with Eam-i- 
ah-kan, Skloom, Ow-hi, and his son, and that they will not 
attend the council. The Spokanes also declined coming. He 
also saw Looking Glass, who was not well disposed, and said he 
would not come to the council. From Father Ravalli's report, 
it became evident to me that all the Indians in the upper coun- 
try, if not openly hostile, were yet far from entertaining a dis- 
position for friendship to be relied upon. Kam-i-ah-kan had 
taken advantage of the cessation of hostilities against him in 


the Yakima to circulate the grossest falsehoods as to the objects 
of the government in making treaties, against the volunteers, 
the miners, the settlers, and Americans in general, and he 
deolares that no settler shall live in the country. These false- 
hoods are universally credited by the Indians, and thus Kam-i- 
ih-kan, who personally visited most of the tribes, has by his 
intrigues been enabled to excite to a point verging upon open 
hostility all the tribes in the upper country, withdrawing from 
their allegiance one half of the Nez Perce nation. As yet, 
however, the Spokanes, Coeur d' Alenes, and Colvilles have not 
molested the settlers or miners passing through their country." 

On the 9th provisions were issued to the Nez Perces. 

h the evening it was reported that a party of volunteers 

oa their way to the Dalles were being attacked by the 

Jiostile Indians, and Colonel Shaw was dispatched to their 

Assistance with all the volunteers in camp and a detach- 

^tient of Nez Perces. This left the governor with only 

^^^n men^ and as he expected to open the council the next 

<lay, and had a large quantity of Indian goods on the 

^^und, he requested Steptoe to send a company of 

dragoons to the council ground as early as practicable. 

Xn notes to and conversation with him the governor had 

^peatedly requested him to camp at or near the council 

ground, in order ^^ to show the Indians the strength of our 

people and the unity of our councils." In sending the 

wagon boat to Captain Russell he made a similar request. 

He well knew that the pacific and parleying attitude 

of the regular officers had imbued the Indians with the 

idea that the regular troops were a different people from 

the settlers and volunteers. He wished to disabuse the 

Indians, and moreover a guard would be indispensable 

for the protection of his camp and supplies as soon as the 

last of the volunteers moved away. Wright's assurances, 

and the cordial conferences with that officer and Steptoe, 

fully justified him in relying upon their support. 

The next morning Colonel Steptoe moved his camp 


farther up the valley, and on his way called at the gov- 
ernor's camp with a company of dragoons. The latter, 
supposing that, after his repeated request and the manifest 
necessity of the case, Steptoe would of course encamp 
near by, did not reiterate his request, and the regular 
officer continued his march and established his camp eight 
miles above the council ground, leaving it wholly unpro- 
tected. Fortunately Shaw, with his small force, returned 
in the afternoon, the rumored attack proving a false alarm, 
and reported having seen Stock Whitley, chief of the 
Des Chutes Indians, who said his people and the Cuyuses 
would come to the council that day. The opening of the 
council was postponed to the morrow. Later in the after- 
noon these Indians, with the Umatillas in large force, 
advanced mounted to within a short distance of camp, 
then, without any salutation or shaking hands, wheeled 
and moved off to the Nez Perce camp, where they partook 
of a feast prepared for them, after which they encamped 
just above their hosts. This demeanor, with the facts 
that they fired the prairie when coming in, and treated 
some members of the party with great insolence^ was 
indicative of anything but a friendly spirit. 

The governor now ordered the company of volunteers 
to march for the Dalles the next morning, and made a 
requisition on Colonel Steptoe for the presence of two com- 
panies of troops on the council ground, stating that the 
Cuyuses had all come in, and, as the volunteers were about 
to leave, it was essential to have a force on the ground to 
control the Indians. Incredible as it may seem, Steptoe 
refused, giving several lame excuses, and his real reason 
in the following pregnant sentence : ^' And permit me to 
say that my instructions from General Wool do not 
authorize me to make any arrangements whatever of the 
kind you wish." As the governor requested no arrange- 
ments except that a regular force should camp near him 


to protect his council ground and show the Indians 
^^ the unity of our councils/' as he bore the President's 
commission, and was charged by the government with the 
eare of the Indians, this act shows to what length the 
malignity of Wool and the prejudices of a somewhat 
"weak though well-meaning officer could extend. The 
&ct was that these regular officers had idealized the 
Indians, accepting as true the falsehood of Kam-i-ah-kan, 
sympathized with the savages, and were ^^ down " on the 
settlers and volunteers. 

The governor learned for the first time from this note 
that Steptoe had moved his camp so far away, for he had 
taken it for granted that that officer had encamped near 
by. Therefore he retained Goff 's company of only sixty- 
nine men for the protection of the council, countermand- 
ing the order for it to march below in the morning. A 
portion of it was aheady one day's march on their way 
down, but was immediately brought back. 

The council was duly opened the next day, Septem- 
ber 11, the chiefs of the Nez Perce, Cuyuse, Umatilla, 
John Day, and Des Chutes Indians being present. The 
governor expressed his sorrow at the state of hostilities, 
— reviewed the course of Kam-i-ah-kan, Pu-pu-mox-mox, 
and the hostiles in accepting their treaties, professing the 
utmost satisfaction with them, and then murdering whites 
traveling through their country and their agent, Bolon, 
plundering Fort Walla Walla, burning the houses of 
settlers, and threatening the lives of himself and party 
returning from the Blackfoot council. He had labored 
only for their good as their friend, and could they wonder 
that he was grieved at this state of affairs ? The pro- 
visions of the treaties relating to punishments for offenses 
committed by Indians upon whites, or by whites upon 
Indians, were fully explained, and the fact stated that 
under the treaties they had bound themselves to deliver 


up the murderers. It was the law, and to that they must 
submit. Men were killed on both sides in battle, but 
that was not murder. But the Indians who killed their 
agent, Bolon, and others must be given up to be tried and 
punished by the law. He invited all Indians who desired 
peace to submit unconditionally to the justice and mercy 
of the government ; the lives of all except the murderers 
should be safe. He spoke of the Indians of the Sound 
who had surrendered and been placed on reservations, 
fed, clothed, and protected, and treated not harshly, but 
with kindness. Few of the hostiles were present. Many 
conflicting rumors were current as to the whereabouts of 
Kam-i-ah-kan and other hostile chiefs. 

The council continued the next day. The governor 
said that he had given his views in regard to the war 
and how it could be ended, that his words were intended 
for all the Indians of the country, and called upon them 
to express their minds. The Indians manifested a reluc- 
tance to speak, each seeming to wait for another. Sev- 
eral chiefs expressed sorrow that war existed, and hoped 
a peace might be made. Peeps, a hostile Cuyuse chief, 
said there was no haste, as Eam-i-ah-kan was coming, 
and they waited for him. 

Wee-lap-to-leek, a hostile chief of the Tigh Indians, a 
band near the Dalles, said that the Indians were deter- 
mined to have their country ; they would bet it on a fight 
with the whites, and the winners should take it. He 
was indorsed by Camas-pello, former war chief of the 

Eagle-from-the-Light, the prominent Nez Perce chief, 
complained bitterly because a Nez Perce brave had been 
hanged in the valley last winter by the Oregon volun- 
teers, and asserted that the man was guiltless. He was 
followed by others in the same strain. 

The governor explained the laws of the whites in re- 


gard to spies, and that the executed Nez Perce was 
punished as one, and that he would speak further of 
the case the next day, after he had learned all the facts. 
He then adjourned the council, expressing the hope that 
Kam-i-ah-kan and Garry would be present the next day. 

The Indians held councils in their camps all night. 

So hostile were the Cuyuses, Umatillas, Walla WaUas, 

and others, and so much did more than half of the Nez 

Perces sympathize with them, that the friendly Nez 

Perces danced the warniance during the whole night. 

The lives of the friendly chiefs were threatened, and 

the great bulk of the Indians seemed simply to be wait^ 

ing for the coming of Kam-i-ah-kan to fall upon the gov* 

emor and his party. Some of the Indians were detected 

attending the council with arms under their blankets, and 

posting themselves near the governor and other members 

of the party ; but although no open notice was taken of 

them, the redoubled vigilance of the volunteer guards 

gave no chance for their premeditated treachery. 

Early the foUowing morning the governor sent the 
following letter to Steptoe : — 

CouNcn. 6BOX7in>8, Walla Walla Valley, W. T., 
September 13, 1866. 

Lieutenant-Colonel E. J. Steptoe. 

My dear Sir^ — The coancil did not adjourn yesterday till 
near sundown. I understand the feelings of the Indians from 
what was developed yesterday. 

The want of a military force on the ground seriously embar- 
rassed me (I have retained for a day some fifty of GoflTs com- 
pany), but having called the council in good faith as the Indian 
superintendent, and also as the commissioner to treat with the 
Indian tribes by the appointment of the President, I shall go 
through with the duty I have undertaken. 

One half of the Nez Perces and all the other tribes, except 
a very few persons, are unmistakably hostile in feeling. The 
Cuyuses, the Walla Wallas, and other hostiles were so when 


they oame in. Henoe the requisition I made upon you for 

I particularly desire you to be present to-day, if your duties 
will permit, and I will also state that I think a company of 
your troops is essential to the security of my camp. 

I shall, as I said, go through with this business whatever 
be the consequences as regards my own personal safely, but I 
regard it to be my duty to the public, to the Indians, and to 
my own character. 

This communication is marked confidential, but is intended 
as an official communication, and will go on my files as such, 
only I do not think it prudent that my judgment as to the 
aspect of affairs should, at this time, be disclosed to any other 
person than yourself. 

I have the honor to be, very respectfully. 
Your obedient servant, 

Isaac I. Stevens, 
Oovemor and Superintendent. 

While this letter was being dispatched the council re- 
opened; and the governor took up the case of the Nez 
Perce spv, showed that he had joined Kam-i-ah-kan, 
token prints from him, participated in burning settlers' 
houses and in stirring up hostilities, and pointed out 
that Kam-i-ah-kan and his people were to blame for the 
death of this man, for they had caused the war, and but 
for them he would still have been living. He had visited 
and been arrested in the volunteer camp in time of war, 
and duly tried, convicted, and executed. Finally Red 
Wolf, to whose band the spy belonged, admitted that he 
committed the offense for which he was punished, and 
this ended all complaint. 

Speaking Owl, a Nez Perce chief and the mouthpiece 
of Looking Glass, now spoke up and said, ^' Will you 
give us back our lands? That is what we all want to 
hear about ; that is what troubles us. I ask plainly to 
have a plain answer." The governor, in his report to the 
Indian Bureau, comments on this demand as follows : — 


'^Now dnu far there had not been the slightest allusion to 
the land of the Nez Perces in council, and this rapid change of 
front was most extraordinary. The case of the Nez Perce who 
was hanged was simply a device by means of which they hoped 
to get the desired concession from me by way of propitiation. 
When they were obliged to abandon the case, they had no alter- 
native but to show their hand, which they did very promptly. 
I called upon Lawyer, the head chief, to speak. He produced 
Ins commission and a copy of the Nez Perce treaty, remarking 
that he knew that, if he cast away the laws, he should be 
l)ronght to justice. He pointed out to them the boundaries of 
ihe country sold, and of the reservation, and spoke of other 
pOTisions of the treaty, and concluded by saying that fifty- 
^bt great chiefs of the Nez Perces had signed the treaty 
made at the council of last year, when all fully understood it, 
and it was his determination to abide by it, and he trusted his 
people would do the same." 

Timothy and James expressed a similar determination, 
but Joseph, Speaking Owl, Eagle-from-the-Light, and Red 
Wolf denied that they understood the treaty, or ever in- 
tended to give their land away, and declared that Law- 
yer had sold it unfairly. It appeared almost certain that 
no satisfactory peace could be made with the hostiles, 
and that one half of the Nez Perces, through the in- 
trigues of Kam-i-ah-kan and the Cuyuses, had become 
disaffected and desirous of annulling their treaty. 

In the afternoon a company of dragoons came with 
Steptoe's answer to the governor's dispatch of the morn- 

** If the Indians," he wrote, ** are really meditating an out- 
break, it will be difficult for me to provide for the safety of my 
own camp, impossible to defend both camps. Under these cir- 
cumstances, if you are resolved to go on with your council, does 
it not seem more reasonable that you shall move your camp 
to the vicinity of mine? I send down the company of dra- 
goons to bring you up to this place, if you desire to come. My 
force is so small that to be efficient against the large number of 


savages in the neighborhood it must be concentrated ; nor can 
I detach any portion of it, in execution of certain instructions 
received from Greneral Wool, while the Indian host remains 
so near to me." 

In view of the threatening attitude of the hostiles, 
and the approach of Kam-i-ah-kan, who was reported as 
encamped that day on the Touchet, only a few miles dis- 
tant, as well as for the protection of the large quantity 
of Indian goods brought up for the friendly Nez Perces, 
and such of the hostiles as might surrender, the gov- 
ernor the next day moved his whole party and train to 
Steptoe's camp, and established a new camp and council 
ground within a quarter of a mile of his encampment. 
They were met on the march by £[am-i-ah-kan and Ow-hi, 
with a party of one hundred warriors under the lead of 
Ow-hi's son, Qualchen, who clearly meant mischief ; but 
the coolness with which they were received, and the 
manifest readiness of the volunteers and dragoons for 
battle, checked them, and they made no disturbance save 
attempting to provoke a quarrel with the friendly Nez 
Perces in rear of the train. The Indians, having been 
notified in the morning of the change of council grounds, 
moved up to the new location the same day and the fol- 
lowing. Kam-i-ah-kan and his followers encamped a quar- 
ter of a mile from the council ground, separated there- 
from only by Mill Creek and its wooded bottom. 

The council continued the next two days, the 16th and 
17th. The Lawyer and half the Nez Perces were deter- 
mined in their adherence to their treaty and ancient 
friendship to the whites, and approved of all the gov- 
ernor said. The other half of the tribe wished the treaty 
done away with. The hostiles all said, " Do away with 
all treaties, give us back our lands, let no white man 
come into our country, and there will be peace ; if not, 
then we will fight." 


The governor advised the Nez Perces to stand by their 
treaty. It was now in the hands of the President, and 
oonld only be set aside by him. To the hostiles he re- 
peated the terms of peace alone possible: they must 
throw aside their guns and submit to the justice and 
mercy of the government; but as they were invited under 
safe conduct, they were safe in coming, safe in council, 
and safe in going. The council was then declared at an 
end. Many of the friendly Nez Perces departed at once 
to their camp, but a large number of hostiles, most of 
whom it was observed had arms concealed beneath their 
blankets, remained loitering around the council ground. 
Noting the vigilance and readiness of the volunteers, they 
made no disturbance, and by nightfall all retired to their 
camps. On every day except the first, known braves of 
the hostiles came to the council armed to the teeth, and 
took positions evincing designs upon the life of the gov- 
ernor ; but picked men watched them closely, ready to 
strike down any assailant at the first overt act, so no 
attempt was made. 

During the night of the 16th there was great excite- 
ment among the Indians. The friendly Nez Perces were 
much alarmed, and brought frequent reports that the hos- 
tfles were bent upon attacking the camp, and wiping out 
the governor and his party. These faithful allies beat 
the drum all night, and kept guard around his camp. 

The governor called attention especially to the speech 
of Spotted Eagle on the last day, — 

** which for feeling, courage, and truth, I have never seen siur- 
passed m an Indian council. The Spotted Eagle is the great 
war chief of the Nez Perces, and the right arm of Lawyer. 
Both the words and manner of the Spotted Eagle showed that 
his object in speaking was to set himself and the friendly In- 
dians right, and that he had no expectation of changing the 
hearts of those who were bent on war. His words, however, ^ I 
will not follow you into the war,' were significant." 


The day after the conclusion of the council the gov- 
ernor made preparations for returning to the settlements. 
He decided to withdraw Craig temporarily from the Nez 
Perce country on the advice of the friendly chiefs, who 
feared he might be killed by Kam-i-ah-kan's warriors as a 
means of embroiling the Nez Perces in war against the 
whites. Said the Spotted Eagle : — 

** If you [Craig] do not return with me, we shall go back as 
if our eyes were shut. I think my people will not go straight 
if Craig gets up from that place. But, my friend Craig, on 
account of the talking I have heard at this place, I am afraid 
for you." 

That afternoon Steptoe had a conference with the In- 
dians, in which he declared : ^^ My mission is pacific. I 
have come not to fight you, but to live among you. 
Come into my camp when you please. I trust we shall 
live together as friends/' and he appointed the next 
day for a fuller conference with the chiefs. By this 
action Steptoe intentionally repelled the governor's wise 
recommendation and endeavor to ^^show the Indians the 
strength of our people and the unity of our councils." 
Reports the governor : — 

*' Indeed, the Indians looked upon the Indian superintendent 
and the military officer as not representing a common cause. 
The former in the morning parts from them, having signally 
failed in making any arrangement to end the war ; the latter 
speaks to the Indians as though there was no war, and therefore 
no necessity of making any arrangement at all. 

** The Indians, sharp-sighted and constantly on the alert from 
the merest trifles to draw conclusions as to character and policy, 
saw there did not exist between the Indian Department and the 
military the proper cooperation." 

What next occurred is graphically related by the gov- 
ernor, in his report to Secretary of War Davis, as fol- 
lows : — 


I was ooonpied the renudnder of the day and the next mom- 
iog m establishing Craig's agency in the neighborhood of Step- 
toe's camp, and a little before noon, with some fifty friendly Nez 
Peiees in charge of sub-agent Craig, I started with the train 
and GofiTs company for the Dalles. 

The Indians did not, however, come to see Steptoe at the 
time appointed. They previously set fire to his grass, and, fol- 
lowing me as I set out about eleven o'clock on my way to the 
Dalles, they attacked me within three miles of Steptoe's camp 
at about one o'clock in the afternoon. 

So satisfied was I that the Indians woidd carry into effect 
the determination avowed in their councils in their own camps 
for several nights previously to attack me, that in starting I 
foimed my whole party, and moved in order of battle. 

I moved on under fire one mile to water, when, forming a 
oorral of the wagons, and holding the adjacent hills and the 
brash on the stream by pickets, I made my arrangements to 
defend my position and fight the Indians. Our position in a 
W, open basin some five himdred or six hundred yards across 
was good, and with the aid of our corral we could defend our- 
selves against a vastly superior force of the enemy. 

The fight continued till late in the night. Two charges 
were made to disperse the Indians, the last led by Lieutenant- 
Colonel Shaw in person with twenty-four men, but whilst driv- 
ing before him some one hundred and fifty Indians, an equal 
fiamber pushed into his rear, and he was compelled to cut his 
way through them towards camp, when, drawing up his men, 
and aided by the teamsters and pickets, who gallantly sprang 
forward, he drove the Indians back when in full charge upon 
the corral. 

Just before the charge the friendly Nez Perces, fifty in 
number, who had been assigned to holding the ridge on the 
south side of the corral, were told by the enemy, '^ We came not 
to fight the Nez Perces, but the whites ; go to your camp, or we 
wipe it out." Their camp, with their women and children, was 
on a stream about a mile distant, upon which I directed the Nez 
Perces to retire, as I did not require their assistance, and I was 
fearful that my men might not be able to distinguish them from 
the hostiles, and thus friendly Indians might be killed. 


Towards night I notified Lieutenant-Colonel Steptoe that I 
was fighting the Indians, that I should move the next morning, 
and expressed the opinion that a company of his troops would 
be of service. In his reply he stated that the Indians had burnt 
up his grass, and suggested that I shoidd return to his camp, 
and place at his disposal my wagons, in order that he might 
move his whole command and his supplies to the Umatilla, or 
some other point, where sustenance could be found for his ani- 
mals. To this arrangement I assented, and Lieutenant-Colonel 
Steptoe sent to my camp Lieutenant Davidson with detachments 
from the companies of dragoons and artillery with a mountain 
howitzer. They reached my camp about two o'clock in the 
morning, where everything was in good order, and most of the 
men at the corral asleep. A picket had been driven in an hour 
and a half before by the enemy, — that on the hill south of the 
corral, but the enemy was immediately dislodged, and all the 
points were held, and ground-pits being dug. 

The howitzer having been fired on the way out, it was be- 
lieved nothing would be gained by waiting till morning, and the 
whole force immediately returned to Lieutenant-Colonel Step- 
toe's camp. 

Soon after sunrise the enemy attacked his camp, but were 
soon dislodged by the howitzer, and a charge by a detachment 
from Steptoe's command. 

On my arrival at the camp I urged Lieutenant-Colonel 
Steptoe to build a blockhouse immediately, to leave one com- 
pany to defend it with all his supplies, then to march below and 
return with an additional force and additional supplies, and by 
a vigorous winter campaign to whip the Indians into submis- 
sion. I placed at his disposal for the building my teams and 
Indian employees. 

The blockhouse and stockade were built in a little more 
than two days. My Indian store-room was rebuilt at one comer 
of the stockade. 

Li the action my whole force consisted of GofTs company of 
sixty-nine men, the teamsters, herders, and Indian employees, 
numbering about fifty men, and the fifty Nez Perces. Our train 
consisted of about five hundred animals, not one of which was 
captured by the enemy. We fought four hundred and fifty 


Tiidiansi and had one man mortally, one dangerously, and two 
digirdy wounded. We killed and wounded thirteen Indians. 

One half the Nez Perces, one hundred and twenty warriors, 

all of the Yakimas and Palouses, two hundred warriors, the 

gxeat bulk of the Yakimas, Walla Wallas, and Umatillas were 

in tiie fight. The principal war chiefs were the son of Ow-hi 

and the Isle de P^re chief, Qml-to-mee, the latter of whom 

had two horses shot imder him, and who at the council showed 

me a letter from Colonel Wright acknowledging his valuable 

wmoes in bringing about the peace of the Yakima." 

In his report to the Indian Bureau the gOTemor adds : 

''The Indians were greatly surprised at Steptoe's sending a 
broe to my assistance, and Kam-i-ah-kan said on learning it, ' I 
win let these men [referring to the regular troops] know who 
Sam-i-ah-kan is.' " 

' On the 23d the combined force, accompanied by Craig 
Md the fifty Nez Perce auxiliaries, started for the Dalles, 
^here they arrived on October 2 without incident of 
itioment. Thus, as the governor remarks : — 

''Circumstances had brought about the cooperation between 
tihe military and the Indian service which had not previously 
existed, and the words of Steptoe to the hostiles and mine to 
the friendly Indians corresponded. I had sent messengers to 
tile Nez Perce country directing the friendly Nez Perces to sepa- 
late from the hostile Nez Perces, and to keep the latter out of 
flieir portion of the country. Steptoe sent word that good In- 
dians he woidd protect, and bad Indians he would punish." 

In truth, a great change had come over Steptoe's views. 
The burning of his grass and the attack on his camp 
were too strong even for the orders of Wool and his own 
prejudices. He writes to Colonel Wright from his camp 
on the Umatilla, September 27 : — 

^^ In general terms I may say that in my judgment we are 
iredoced to the necessity of waging a vigorous war, striking the 
Cnyuses at the Grande Bonde, and Eam-i-ah-kan wherever he 
may be found."' 


The day before the attack on the governor, he wrote 
the same officer : — 

*^ As it is, he [Governor Stevens] complains that I have, by 
not aiding him, or by not cooperating heartily with him, actu- 
ally opposed him. This may be so, but I certainly have done 
for him all, aud more than, my instructions warranted." 

The governor warmly commends — 

^^ the admirable conduct of the volunteers and the Indian em- 
ployees not only during the council, but in all the operations east 
of the Cascade Mountains. . . . There was not a single case of 
injury either to the person or the property of a friendly Indian, 
or of injury to the persons or property of the hostiles, during 
the council. The kindness and forbearance of officers and men, 
agents and employees, even when treated with rudeness by the 
hostiles, was extraordinary. The strayed cattle and horses of 
the Indians were restored to them. The volunteers were well 
supplied, and were not tempted to plunder for subsistence. I 
have the permission of Colonel Steptoe to refer to him and hb 
officers as witnesses of what I have stated, and have the assur- 
ance from Lieutenant-Colonel Steptoe that he has reported it to 
Colonel Wright, and of Colonel Wright that he has forwarded 
the report to General WooL" 

But Wool's malignant animosity was not to be abated 
by the testimony of his own officers. He augmented his 
charges by declaring that Governor Stevens had called 
the council on purpose to force war upon the friendly 

Immediately on reaching the Dalles, Governor Stevens 
renewed his demand upon Colonel Wright for the deliv- 
ery of the Sound murderers for trial Writes Wright in 
reply : — 

^^ You know the circumstances under which the Indians re- 
ferred to were permitted to come in and remain with the friendly 
Yakimas. Although I have made no promises that they should 
not be held to account for their former acts, yet in the present 
unsettled state of our Indian relations I think it would be un- 


"wiMe to seize them and transport them for trial I would there- 
fore respectfully suggest that the deliyery of the Indians be sus- 
pended for the present" 

But the governor firmly reiterated his demand^ declar- 

^If the oondition of things is so unsettled in the Yakima 
tliat the seizing of these men will lead to war, the sooner the 
"War commences the better. Nothing in my judgment will be 
gained by a temporizing policy." 

The result was that Colonel Wright gave an order on 
Hajor Grametty who commanded the post in the Yakima, 
to deliver up to the governor, for trial before the courts, 
Xeschiy Nelson, Qui-e-muth, and Stahi. 

But any embarrassment that might be caused to the 
peace on the Yakima by the execution of this order 
was very cleverly obviated by sending these Indians, or 
permitting them to go, back to the Sound country, and 
placing them under the protection of Colonel Casey, as 
will more fully appear hereafter. 

On the 5th Wright and Steptoe started for the Walla 
Walla, their force being increased one company. One of 
Colonel Wright's first acts on arriving there was to hold 
councils with the disaffected and hostile chiefs, the same 
who had so recently attacked the governor and the camp 
of his own officer, Steptoe, at which he assured them that 
^^the bloody cloth should be washed, past differences 
thrown beUnd us, and perpetual friendship must exist 
between us." He gave ready ear to their complaints and 
demands, adopted their views in regard to the Walla 
Walla treaties, and actually recommended that they never 
be confirmed. Lieutenant-Colonel Steptoe put forth a 
proclamation, by order of General Wool, forbidding all 
white settlers to return to the country except the mission- 
aries and Hudson Bay Company people. Wool instructs 
Wright under date of October 19 : " Warned by what has 



occurred, the general trusts you will be on your guard 
against the whites, . • • and prevent further trouble by 
keeping the whites out of the Indian country." 

A month later Steptoe, who seems to have had doubts 
of the good faith of the Indians, and to apprehend that 
they might resume active hostihties in the spring, ven- 
tured to recommend that ^^ a good industrious colony " 
be permitted to settle the Walla Walla valley, but Wool 
promptly negatived this suggestion, declaring that ^^ the 
Cascade Range formed, if not an impassable barrier, an 
excellent line of defense, a most valuable wall of separa- 
tion between two races always at war when in contact. 
To permit settlers to pass the Dalles and occupy the natu- 
ral reserve is to give up this advantage, throw down this 
wall, and advance the frontier hundreds of miles to the 
east, and add to the protective labors of the army." He 
charged Steptoe to carry out his orders strictly. Thus he 
joined hands with the Indian enemy to keep out Amerir 
can settlers from the region to which they had been espe- 
cially invited by Congress by the Donation Acts, and 
strove to frustrate the policy of his own government of 
extinguishing the Indian title and settling up the coun- 
try. Seldom has our history shown a more shameful 
betrayal of duty than this veteran officer and his subor- 
dinates making a quasi-peace by surrendering to the 
demands of the hostile Indians for the abrogation of the 
treaties they had accepted, and the exclusion of white 
settlers from their country, and seeking to lighten ^' the 
protective duties of the army" by abandoning the de- 
fense and protection of their own race. 

Governor Stevens remained at the Dalles until the 6th, 
settling up the business of the expedition and the Indian 
service, when he proceeded down the river, and, after 
spending some days at Vancouver and Portland in dis- 
charge of his multifarious duties, reached Olympia on 
the 15th. 


Id his reported both to the Indian Bureau and to Sec- 
tetaij of War Davis^ Governor Stevens condemned with 
JQst severity this craven policy. 

On learning of Colonel Wright's pacific and sympa- 
thetic talks with the disaffected and hostile chiefs in the 
valley^ he again protested to Secretary Davis in the f ol- 
lowmg indignant strain : — 

*^It would seem that, to get the consent of Colonel Wright 
to take the ground that a treaty should not be insisted upon, it 
was simply necessary for the malcontents to attack the Super- 
intendent of Indian Affairs and his party. Now, one half of 
& Nez Perce nation, including the head chief. Lawyer, wish 
the treaty to be carried out. They have suffered much from 
their steadfast adherence to it. Are their wishes to be disre- 

'^It seems to me that we have in this Territory fallen upon 
evil times. I hope and trust some energetic action may be 
takon to «top this trifling with great public interests, and to 
iKiake our flag respected by the Indians of the interior." 

The following^ from his report of October 22 to the 
Xndian Department^ sums up the mistaken policy of the 
^^egular officers and its deplorable results^ and gives his 
opinion of those neutrals in the war^ the Hudson Bay 
Company and the missionaries : — 

The department is aware that for many months I have been 
of opinion that a large portion of the Nez Perces were on the 
verge of hostilities, and that I deplored the mistaken course of 
Colonel Wright in the Yakima as tending directly to inflame 
the whole interior and prepare it for war. The war commenced, 
on our part, in the Yi^ima, in consequence of the attempt to 
arrest the murderers of Bolon, Mattice, and others, killed with- 
out provocation and under circumstances of unsurpassed atro- 
city. Two expeditions were made to effect this object and to 
punish the tribe. After the massacre of the Cascades, the third 
expedition, under Colonel Wright, went to the Yakima with 
the avowed object of pacifying the Indians, and a quasi-peace 


is made, and murderers are allowed to oome into camp wit 

No effort is made to strike the In^ans when within read 
and they breathe nothing but war, and the result of the can 
paign is that, after the chiefs had refused to come into counc 
as they had promised, and weeks are fruitlessly expended i 
the attempt to negotiate, certain Indians with their familic 
come in, and the master spirits of these tribes, with the flowc 
of the young men, go east of the Columbia to prepare for coi 
tinning the war. 

I state boldly and plainly to the authorities that this mod 
of managing affairs is disgraceful to the government, and wi 
bring with it in the future the most bitter consequences to tb 
character and prosperity of the people of this most remote poi 
tion of our country. 

The demand for the murderers should have been inflezibi 
insisted upon ; the Indians should haye been struck in batti 
and severely chastised. Then there would have been peace i 
the Yakima. There would not have been war in the interior. 

But feeble and procrastinating measures having been pui 
sued, even to the extent of impressing the Indians with th 
belief that the regular troops were a distinct people from th 
Americans, and were even allies of the Indians, Kam-i-ah-ka 
and Looking Glass have effected that combination in the int< 
rior which I apprehended and predicted. The brilliant victor 
of the Grrande Ronde, which caused for a time the lower Ne 
Forces to break from the war party, has proved unavailing. 

I have therefore determined to have no agent on the Spc 
kane, believing, in view of certain influences there, to which 
will briefly allude, his presence would not be beneficial. 

In times of peace the influence of the Catholic missionarie 
is good in that quarter, and their good offices are desirable til 
some outrage is committed, or war breaks out. But since th* 
war has broken out, whilst they have made every exertion t 
protect individuals, and to prevent other tribes joining in th* 
war, they have occupied a position which cannot be filled oi 
earth, — a position between the hostiles and the Americans. S 
great has been their desire for peace that they have overlooks 
all right, propriety, justice, necessity, siding with the Indians 


ffldizig with the Americans, bat advising the hitter partionUrly 
taagree to all the demands of the former, — murderers to go 
free, treaties to be abrogated, whites to retire to the settlements. 
And the Indians, seeing that the missionaries are on their side, 
ire fortified in the belief that they are fighting in a holy cause. 
I state on my official responsibility that the infiuence of the 
Oatliolic missionaries in the upper country has latterly been 
most baneful and pernicious. 

Again, what is the interest of the Hudson Bay Company ? 
There are unquestionably large deposits of gold, both north and 
Mmth of the 49th parallel, east of the Cascade Mountains. A 
road has been made connecting Fraser Biver with the British 
interior, and the Hudson Bay Company have established a post 
in connection therewith on the main Columbia, north of the 
49th paralleL This post and Fort Colville were supplied oyer 
this load the present year. 

I ask again, what is the interest of the Hudson Bay Coip- 
peny ? Most unquestionably to develop the British interior and 
its mines of gold, and to keep the Americans out, which will 
be most effectually accomplished by yielding to the demands 
of the Indians east of the Cascades, and making peace by an 
atumdonment of the country. 

I charge no man of that company with collusion with the 
Indians, but I know what human nature is ; it will look out 
sharply for its own interests, and the interest of the Hudson 
Bay Company is the same as the Indian conceiyes to be his 
interest in that quarter. 

It will be impossible for Dr. Lansdale to return to the Flat- 
head agency this year ; both the hostility of the Indians through 
whose country he would have to pass and the lateness of the 
season forbid it. I regret this, as the Flathead nation have 
stood firmly by the Blackf oot treaty, and take a proper view of 
the acts of the hostiles between the Cascades and the Bitter 

Thus, sir, east of the main Columbia the result of the opera- 
tions of the regular troops has been that I am compelled to 
withdraw all my agents, except that it is barely possible that 
Craig, when he reaches the Walla Walla valley on his return, 
may be able to go to the Nez Perce country. 


What is the remedy for this state of things ? I answer, vig- 
orous military operations, — the whipping of hostile Indians 
into absolute submission, the hanging of murderers on convic- 
tion, and the planting of these Indians on reserves established 
by Congress. 

Agent Craig did return to Lapwai at the request of 
the Lawyer. 

The soundness of Governor Stevens's views and the 
accuracy of his foresight were abundantly vindicated 
within two years. During the following year, 1857, the 
settlers were excluded, the regulars lay inactive in their 
posts, and the quasi-peace continued. But in 1858 the 
Yakimas waxed too insolent and predatory for even 
Wright's patience. He sent Major Gamett through 
their country with a large force, who summarily seized 
and hanged a number of the chiefs and warriors, shot 
seven hundred of their ponies, and these severe acts 
humbled the haughty savages and reduced them to good 
behavior at last. 

Colonel Wright also ordered Steptoe, with two hundred 
dragoons, to advance from Walla Walla across Snake 
River towards Spokane. The Spokanes had warned the 
troops not to invade their country, alleg^g that they 
were neutral, and would permit neither the Yakima 
braves nor the white soldiers to enter their limits. Dis- 
regarding this warning, Steptoe marched some eighty 
miles north of the Snake, when he was assailed by the 
whole force of the Spokanes and Coeur d'Alenes, badly 
defeated, and driven in precipitate retreat the whole dis- 
tance back to Snake River, hotly pursued by the victo- 
rious Indians, and his force was only saved from massacre 
by the friendly Nez Perces, who ferried the fugitive 
troops over the river in their canoes, and boldly inter- 
posed between them and the pursuing savages. 

As soon as he could organize a powerful force. Colonel 


Wright in September^ two months later, marched to the 
Spokane in person, encountered and defeated the Indians 
near the scene of Steptoe's defeat, and reduced them to 
submission, hanging a number of them offhand without 
trial, and killing many of their horses. On his return 
to Walla Walla he seized and executed in like manner 
several of the more turbulent Cuyuse and Walla Walla 
warriors. And this was the end of Wool's theory of 
peaceable and injured Indians, and the prejudiced officers, 
who clung to it so long and so obstinately, were at length 
obliged to adopt the very policy that Governor Stevens 
urged upon them in the beginning. 

The Yakima chief, Ow-hi, most active next to Kam-i- 
ah-kan in bringing on the war and inciting the other 
tribes to hostility, and cunning and treacherous in his 
diplomacy, boldly entered Wright's camp on the Spo- 
kane soon after the fight, and was forthwith arrested 
and held a prisoner by that commander. The next day 
Ow-hi's son, Qualchen, — the murderer of agent Bolon, 
— rode into camp, putting on a bold face and fully ex- 
pecting to be treated with the consideration formerly 
shown the Yakima chiefs. Far different was his fate. 
Wright sternly ordered him to immediate execution, and 
the wretched brave was forthwith hanged by the guard, 
despite his frantic pleadings and protestations. His 
father, the chief Ow-hi, was killed a few days later while 
attempting to escape. But Wool and his parasites, so 
vociferous in denouncing the slaying of Pu-pu-mox-mox 
under like circumstances, raised no voice in rebuke of the 
merciless severity of Wright. 



On returning to Oljmpia the governor issued the order 
disbanding the entire volunteer organization^ and took 
the necessary steps for disposing at public auction of 
the animals, equipments, and supplies on hand, and set- 
tling the accounts. The animals captured by Shaw in the 
(jrande Ronde were sold at Vancouver, and brought 
enough to defray the entire cost of the expedition. In 
fact, owing to the large number taken, there were more 
animals actually sold at the several auctions than the 
whole number purchased for the volunteer service, not- 
withstanding the many worn out during the months 
of hard service. The sales of property realized some 
$150,000, and the articles sold generally brought more 
than the original cost. ^^ I trust," remarked the governor, 
^^ that in view of the fact that our transportation has cost 
us nothing, that our people have let their animals go into 
the service from three to nine months, and have taken 
them back at a premium, the enemies of the Territory 
will be more guarded in their speech." As all the ex- 
penses of the volunteer organization had been defrayed 
by scrip, the sales were made for scrip, and many of 
the settler-volunteers were glad to purchase stock, wagons, 
or supplies to take home with them, instead of paper 
promises to pay, yet at that time the scrip was but little 

An incident showing the scrupulous regard for orders 
and public property maintained among the volunteers is 


related of Captain Henness. He captured a mule at the 
l>attle of the Grande Ronde and rode it home to Oljmpia^ 
a distance of some five hundred miles. Desirous of own- 
ing the animal, he bid for it when put up at the public 
auction, but it was struck off to another for $475; and 
this brave officer, who had served in the field as captain 
of a company for ten months, was unable to secure his 
own riding mule, and one, too, captured by himself. 

When the accounts were finally adjusted, the scrip 
issued amounted to — 

Equipments, supplies, etc., $961,882.39 

Fay-rolls of the troops 519,593.06 

Total $1,481,475.45 

The aggregate number of volunteers was 1896. About 
one thousand were in service at one time. They were 
about equally divided between mounted and infantry 
troops. Oregon furnished 215, — the companies of Mil- 
ler^ Goff, and Richards (afterwards Williams). As the 
whites capable of bearing arms in the entire Territory 
did not exceed 1700, it is evident that this aid from Ore- 
gon was of great value. 

Thirty-five stockades, forts, and blockhouses were built 
\}j the volunteers, some of them being quite large works, 
twenty-three by the settlers, and seven by the regular 
troops. Besides which, the roads and trials cut by the 
volunteers involved an immense amount of labor. 

The strict discipline, high morale and good conduct of 
the volunteers were remarkable, and very creditable to 
them, and to the firm and sagacious mind that organized 
and commanded them. All captured property was turned 
over to the quartermasters, and properly accounted for. 
There was no case of murder, or unauthorized killing of 
Indians, by the volunteers. There was no plundering or 
serious offenses of any kind charged upon thenu They 


obeyed their orders with alacrity and zeal, no matter how 
arduous or how dangerous the duty required of them« 
They were the best type of American settlers, brave, 
intelligent, patriotic, self-respecting. They went into the 
war in self-defense, and were determined to put it through 
as soon as possible. 

Study the maps of their marches and scouts; count the 
blockhouses they built, the roads and trails they opened; 
consider the unknown and almost impenetrable forest 
region the theatre of war ; the rains ; the hardships, the 
labors they underwent ; and reflect how uniformly suc- 
cessful they were, not only in engagements, but in throw- 
ing the savage enemy wholly on the defensive, in com- 
pletely putting an end to his attacks and depredations, 
and hunting him down so vigorously that only flight or 
submission could save him from death, — and one cannot 
but realize how necessary were their patriotic services and 
achievements, and how well they justified the wisdom and 
ability of Governor Stevens in calling them to the de- 
fense of the country, and carrying on an aggressive war. 


Stockade, Cowlitz Landing Fort Ebej, Snohomish River 

Blockhouse, Cowlitz Farms Fort Tilton, below Snoqnalmie Falls 

Blockhouse, Skookumchuck Fort Alden, Ranger's Prairie 

Blockhouse, Chehalis River, at Ford's Blockhouse, Port Townsend 

Fort Miller, Taualquot Plains « Point Wilson 

Fort Stevens, Yelm Prairie '< Bellingham Baj 

Blockhouse at Lowe's, Chambers' ^ on Skookumchuck 

Prairie ** Vancouver 

Blockhouse, Oljmpia " Fourth Prairie 

Stockade, Oljmpia ** Washougal River 

Fort Hicks, Camp Montgomery " Lewis River 

Blockhouse, Camp Montgomery Fort Mason, Walla Walla VaUey 

Fort White, Puyallup Crossing Fort Preston, Michel Fork of Ni*- 

Fort Hays, Connell's Prairie qually 

Blockhouse, Connell's Prairie Blockhouse, Klikitat Prairie 

Fort White, White River Crossing Fort Kitsap, Port Madison 

Fort Posey, White River Crossing Fort Lander, Duwhamish River 

Fort McAllister, South Prairie Stockade, Seattle 
Blockhouse, Lone Tree Point 



Bloekhoaae at Davis's, Claqnato Stockade at Bush's, Bush Prairie 

Stoekade at Cochran's, Skooknm- Blockhouse at Rutledge's, Bush 

chuck Prairie 

Stockade, Fort Henness, Grand Two blockhouses at Tumwater 

Mound Prairie Blockhouse, Dofflemyer's Point 

Stockade at Groodell's, Grand Mound Blockhouse, Whitbj Island 

Prairie « Port Gamble 

Blockhouse, Tanalquot Plains Fort Arkansas, on Cowlitz 

filockhonse, Nathan Eaton's, Cham- Blockhouse, on Mian^ Prairie 

bers' Prairie Blockhouse, Port Ludlow 
Two blockhouses, Chambers' Prairie ** Port Madison 

Blockhouse at Ruddell's, Chambers' Two blockhouses, Boisfort 

Frairie Two blockhouses, Cascades 


iFort Slaughter, Muckleshoot Prairie Fort, WaUa Walla Valley 

fort Maloney, Puyallup River Fort, Yakima Valley 

fort Thomas, Green River Blockhouse, Cascades 
.Slookhouse, Black River 

A few days after his return Governor Stevens was 
xequested by Colonel Casey to take charge of a band of 
«bout a hundred lately hostile Sound Indians who had 
^recently returned^ or been sent back^ from the Yakima. 
TThe colonel complained that he had already sent them 
i;o the reservation^ but the agent had refused to receive 
them, and, in order to prevent any disturbance that 
might arise from the ^^ strange conduct of your agent/' 
he had again received and was feeding them. The gov- 
ernor, having learned that Stahi and other known mur^ 
derers were with this band, and that Leschi had been 
recently seen near Fort Nisqually, the Hudson Bay 
Company post, at once replied, positively refusing to re- 
ceive them until the murderers among them were arrested 
for trial, and formally demanded Colonel Casey's aid to 
that end : — 

^ I have therefore to request your aid in apprehending Les- 
chi, Qoi-e-muth, Kitsap, Stahi, and Nelson, and other mur- 


derers, and to keep them in custody awaiting a warrant from 
the nearest magistrate, which being accomplished, I will receive 
the remainder. 

^^In conclusion, I have to state that I do not believe any 
country or any age has afforded an example of the kindness 
and justice which has been shown towards the Indians by the 
suffering inhabitants of the Sound during the recent trou- 
bles. They have, in spite of the few cases of murder which 
have occurred, shown themselves eminently a law-abiding, a 
just, and a forbearing people. They desire the murderers of 
Indians to be pimished, but they complain, and they have a 
right to complain, if Indians, whose hands are steeped in the 
blood of the innocent, go unwhipped of justice." 

In response to this Colonel Casey declared that these 
Indians ^^ delivered themselves up to Colonel Wright 
when in the Yakima country, made their peace with 
him, and were promised protection. Colonel Wright 
informed me of these facts." He declined, therefore, to 
assist in arresting the murderers, on the ground that it 
would be bad policy, if not bad faith, to do so, and added 
that he would refer the matter to General Wool. He 
also remarked : ^^ The Indians on the Sound, there is no 
doubt, can, by neglect and ill-usage, be driven to desper* 

The governor controverted the position assumed by 
Colonel Casey that protection had been promised these 
Indians by Colonel Wright, and renewed his demand : — 

^* I have the statement to me by Colonel Wright that he had 
made no terms with them, and had guaranteed to them no im- 
lAunity from trial and punishment. This statement was made 
to me repeatedly by Colonel Wright, and in the presence of 
witnesses, one of whom is Mr. Secretary Mason. On the con- 
trary, I have twice in writing made requisition on Colonel 
Wright for the delivery to me, in order that they might be 
brought within reach of the civil authorities, of Leschi, Qui-e- 
muth, Kitsap, Stahi, and Nelson,' — a requisition which he has 


not pretended to disregard, but which he simply asked my con- 
sent to have suspended for the present in view of the circum- 
stances under which they came in. I renew my requisition 
upon you, as I did upon Colonel Wright, and I inclose for your 
information the correspondence with Colonel Wright in rela- 
tion to the subject. 

** Ghranted that it was a case of legitimate warfare, the men 
for whom I make requisition committed the murders in a 
time of profound i>eace, under circumstances of unsurpassed 
treachezy and barbarity, when their Tictims were entirely un- 
suspicious of danger, and this, too, in yiohition of the faith of 
treaties, which expressly stipulated for the giving up of men 
guilty of such offenses. 

^^Nor is there any analogy between the cases of known In- 
dians who have mrurdered white men and certain unknown 
white men who have murdered Indians. Your soldiers killed 
an Indian. Where are they ? The citizens have killed Indians. 
Where are they ? Two are in your own garrison in confinement 
awaiting trial ; and the others, — proof has not yet been found, 
after every exertion has been made to insure a bill from a 
grand jury in regard to the persons suspected. 

^ I do not understand, in view of the known humanity and 
energy of the Indian service on the Sound, aided as it has been 
by the body of the citizens, the necessity, in communications to 
me, of this constant reference to the ill-treatment of the Indians, 
for it must be borne in mind that we have managed some four 
thousand five hundred Indians on temporary reservations on 
the Sound during the war. Indians taken from the war ground, 
by unwearied vigilance and care, have been seen to pass from 
a state of uncertainty as to whether they would join the war 
party, to one of contentment and satisfaction, with no assistance 
from the military whatever.*' 

The governor also sent Colonel Casey a copy of Colo- 
nel Wrighfs order on Major Gamett to deliver up the 

This correspondence seems to raise an ugly question of 
Teradty between the two r^ular officers in regard to 
whether protection had or had not been promised the 


Sound murderers^ but the strenuous efforts to shield them 
from punishment for their crimes made by these officers 
is passing strange. 

Colonel Casey persisted in his refusal^ saying : ^^ This is 
a case in which the rights and usages of war are some- 
what involved^ and in consequence I consider myself and 
military superiors the proper persons to judge in the mat- 
ter/' and he referred it to General Wool. That officer, 
of course^ swiftly directed him to protect Leschi^ and all 
other Indians professing friendship^ against the whites. 

A few days later Colonel Casey again referred to the 
case of the Indians^ suggested that the reports which 
his agents and others carriect to the governor should be 
received with great caution^ and remarked : — 

'^ The one which I had the honor to receive from yon a few 
days since, that more than one hundred Indians had left the 
reservation for the purpose of joining Leschi, proves to have 
been, what I believed at the time, a baseless fabrication. With 
a sincere desire to do justice to all, I will say that it is my firm 
belief, after weighing I trust with due consideratioh all the cir- 
cumstances connected with the matter, that if, in dealing with 
the Indians on the Sound, a spirit of justice is exercised, and 
those who have charge of them are actuated by an eye single to 
their duties and the peace of the country, there need be no 
further difficulty." 

This unwarrantable slur called forth the foUovnng 
pimgent reply from the governor. He had made no 
such report as Casey attributed to him : — 


Sir^ — My reasons for declining to receive the Indians at 
your post have been already stated, and remain in full force. 
When the murderers, and those accused of murder, are, in com- 
pliance with my requisition, placed by you in the hands of the 
civil authority, the Indians will be received. The agents have 
positive orders to receive none of these Indians except by my 


written instractioiiB. The Indians have been or will be indicted 
by the grand jury of the several counties. As ^ou have pro- 
claimed that hostilities have ceased, they are in your military 

In regard to your observations about the reports which my 
^* agents and others carry to me," as well as the reiterations of 
former observations in reference to the exercise of a spirit of 
justice, and the efforts of persons in charge of Indians being 
'* actuated by an eye single to those duties and the peace of the 
oountry," I have simply to state that the tone of them is offen- 
sive, and comes with an ill grace from the authority which has 
done little to that which has done much. It is not my dispo- 
sition to retaliate, but the occasion makes it proper for me to 
state that the greatest difficulty I have had to encounter in 
stopping the whiskey traffic with the Indians at Steilacoom and 
Bellingham Bay has been the conduct of your own command. 
It would seem to be more appropriate that you should first con- 
trol -and reform the conduct of your own people, before going 
out of your way to instruct and rebuke another branch of the 
public service, — a service, too, which, both from its experience 
and the success which has attended its labors, is entitled to 
the presumption that it is as much interested in, and as much 
devoted to, the peace of the country as yourself, and as well 
qualified, to say the least, to consider dispassionately and to 
judge wisely of affairs at the present juncture. 

I have also been informed of your thanking God, in the pre- 
sence of Mr. Wells, who informed you how the Muckleshoot 
reservation was laid off, that the iniquity of it was not upon 
your hands, — a remark highly presumptuous and insulting, as 
well from the fact that the business did not concern you, as 
from the fact that the reservation was laid off both in the way 
I arranged with the Indians at the council on Fox Island and 
to their entire satisfaction on the ground. 
Vezy respectfully your obedient servant, 

Isaac I. Stevens, 
Governor and Supt. Indian Affairs* 

N. B. I will respectfuUy ask you to send me a copy of my 
letter notifying you that one hundred Indians had left to join 


It is perhaps creditable to Colonel Casey's discretion 
that he attempted no reply to this letter^ but simply ac- 
knowledged its receipt^ and admitted that, in attributing 
the report about Leschi to the governor, " it was an error 
on my part, and I cheerfully correct it." A thoroughly 
well-meaning man, he was evidently affected by Wool's 
orders and influence ; and, moreover, he suffered himself 
to give ear to, and was consequently misled by, the clique 
of lawyers and politicians who had instigated the martial 
law trouble in order to embarrass the governor, and were 
now hounding him with unabated rancor. 

Notwithstanding Casey's scruples and Wool's orders, 
Leschi and other accused murderers were duly indicted, 
arrested, and delivered to and received by Colonel Casey 
for custody at Fort Steilacoom, and thereupon the gov- 
ernor relieved him of his unwelcome prot^g^ by sending 
them to the reservation. Leschi was tried in due time, 
but the jury disagreed. He was convicted at a subse- 
quent trial, and expiated his crimes on the gallows. The 
regular officers at Fort Steilacoom, with certain lawyers 
and Lidian sympathizers, made desperate efforts to save 
him from punishment, but in vain. The weU-meaning 
Casey was even hanged in effigy by the people, indignant 
at his course. 

Leschi's brother, Qui-e-muth, was captured near Telm 
prairie, November 18, and brought to the governor's 
office in Olympia at midnight. The governor gave strict 
orders for guarding and protecting him there until morn- 
ing, when he was to be taken to Steilacoom. Just before 
daylight, as he was sleeping on the floor, surrounded by 
his guards, who were also asleep, a man rushed into the 
room, the door being unlocked, shot Qui-e-muth in the 
arm with a pistol, and, as he rose to his feet, drove a 
bowie knife into his heart, and rushed out as suddenly as 
he had entered. The deed was done, the assassin van- 


ished^ the victim sank lifeless to the floor, all in an 
instant, eie the startled and astonished guards could raise 
a hand to protect their charge. The governor, who had 
letired to rest in his quarters in the next building, 
sroosed by the shot and the trampling of feet, came 
immediately to the scene, and was horror-struck and 
filled with indignation at the crime, and denounced it in 
immeasured terms as a disgrace to the good name of 
Ae people and of the Territory. He made every effort 
to identify and punish the murderer, but without avail. 
None of the guards could identify him, and no testi- 
mony could be found against any one. Yet it was 
cmently whispered that vengeance for the murder of 
McAlister, a settler on the Nisqually and one of the 
oiliest victims of savage treachery, had nerved the arm 
of his son-in-law, Joseph Bunting, to strike the blow. 

Nothing that occurred during the whole war excited 
greater indignation in the mind of the governor than 
tiiis act, or caused him more regret and chagrin. He 
liad been unremitting in his efforts to protect the Indi- 
ans from lawless violence, and with such remarkable suc- 
cess that the volunteers were wholly free from reproach ; 
only six cases had occurred among the exasperated set- 
tlers, and several of these he had brought to trial. And 
now this dastardly deed brought reproach to his very 




DuBiKG all the Indian outbreak and hostilities a num- 
ber of Hudson Bay Company ex-employees^ Scotchmen 
and Canadians, were living in the Indian country back 
of Steilacoom in safety, when every American settler was 
murdered, or had fled to the towns. They had Indian 
wives and half-breed children, and claimed to be neutral. 
They were in frequent communication with the hostile 
Indians, and were not molested by them. Captain Maxon 
and other ofBcers reported that they were undoubtedly 
giving information, aid, and comfort to the enemy, and 
that their scouting expeditions were fruitless in conse- 
quence. The Indians who killed White and Northcraft 
in March so near Olympia were tracked straight to the 
houses of two of these neutrals, who acknowledged hav- 
ing been visited by the savages, but disclaimed any know- 
ledge of their deeds. The volunteer ofiBcers, however, 
believed that they were not only sympathizers with, but 
active allies of, the hostiles, and were ready at the least 
intimation from the governor to treat them as hostiles. 
Colonel Casey declared that they ought not to be suffered 
to remain on their farms, where they could aid the enemy, 
if so disposed. The governor therefore ordered them to 
leave the Indian country and remove to Olympia, Fort 
Nisqually, or Steilacoom, and there remain until further 
orders, in order to place them where they would be un- 
able to give information or aid to the enemy, and also 
for their own safety, for the indignation of the volun- 


teers was at white heat against them. Accordingly they 
moved in as ordered, twelve of them. 

Most of them had already taken out their first natu- 
ralization papers, and filed on their claims under the Do- 
nation Acts, and were entitled to all the rights of Ameri- 
can citizens. A few lawyers at Steilacoom, political or 
personal opponents of the governor, most active of whom 
was Frank Clark, saw here a chance to embarrass him, — 
in their own vernacular, " to get him down." They went 
to these ignorant men, exhorted them in regard to their 
rights as citizens, assured them that the governor had no 
authority to order them to abandon their claims, which 
Congress had bestowed upon them, and that they could 
return to their homes with safety, because the law and 
the courts would protect them in so doing. Thus per^ 
snaded, five of these misguided men, Charles Wren, 
Sandy Smith, John McLeod, Henry Smith, and John 
McField, went back to their farms. As soon as informed 
of their return, the governor caused them to be seized 
by a party of volunteers, taken to Fort Steilacoom, and 
turned over to Colonel Casey for safe custody, there 
being no jails in the Territory. 

Clark and his coadjutors lost no time in suing out a 
writ of habeas corpus. They represented matters to Colo- 
nel Casey in such a light that he notified the governor to 
relieve him of the prisoners. But the governor was not 
the man to suffer a few political tricksters to frustrate 
his necessary military measures. He well knew that if 
he surrendered in this case, he would have to abandon 
the practice, indispensable for carrying on the war, of 
impressing teams and supplies, and that his hold upon 
and discipline of the volunteers would be seriously im- 
paired. On April 3 he proclaimed martial law over the 
county of Pierce, and suspended the functions of all 
civil officers therein. He caused the prisoners to be 


taken from the custody of Colonel Casey^ brought to 
Olympia, and incarcerated in a blockhouse. 

As the regular May term of the United States Court 
for Pierce County drew near, the mischief-makers were 
urgent for Judge F. A. Chenoweth, of whose district 
that county formed part, to hold court and enforce the 
writ of habeas corpus ; but he, being sick, or else, as was 
currently believed at the time, fearing trouble and feign- 
ing sickness, requested Chief Justice Edward Lander to 
hold the term in his stead. Judge Lander at the time 
was captain of Company A, and with his company was 
garrisoning the post on the Duwhamish, near Seattle; 
but without a word of notice to his military superiors he 
forsook his post, hastened to Steilacoom, and opened 
court on May 7. The governor previously urged him to 
adjourn his court for one month, by which time there 
was every prospect that the Indians would be subdued, 
and the exigency necessitating the restraint of the prison- 
ers would have passed. But Lander refused this way of 
avoiding *a conflict, and persisted in what he doubtless 
deemed his duty. 

The governor resolutely met the issue thus raised. 
The court was duly opened on the appointed day, the law- 
yers were ready with their motions, when a detachment 
of volunteers under Lieutenant-Colonel Shaw marched into 
the court-room, arrested the chief justice on the bench 
and the clerk at his table, and carried them under g^ard 
to Olympia, where they were released. 

As soon as the detachment had departed with the 
prisoner judge and clerk, the clique, which had so cun- 
ningly engineered this conflict between the federal gov- 
ernor and the federal judge, both commissioned by the 
same President, made haste to hold a meeting of the 
"bar," vociferously to denounce the "flagrant usurpa- 
tion and high-handed outrage " of the governor, and to 


pass a long string of condemnatory resolutionB, which 
were signed by all the members participating in the meet- 
ing, nine in number* Immediately afterwards the same 
pirlaes held a -'^ citizens' meeting '' with sl few others in 
tiie same room^ and gave vent to more vituperatiye ora- 
iarjf and passed more denunciatory resolutions. The 
irhole proceedings were then published in a circular and 
in the newspapers. Undoubtedly some who took part in 
Aese demonstrations were sincere in believing the gov- 
ernor's action to be wrong and uncalled for, but the real 
motives and animus of the prime movers were abundantly 
ikown by the false, bitter, and scandalous statements and 
affidavits they made against him, and dispatched to the 
heflidenty committees of Congress, and the Eastern press. 
They vehemently accused him not only of high-handed 
^fianny and usurpation, but of getting up the war by his 
Indian treaties, which he had made in obedience to the 
instructions of the government ; of vindictively oppressing 
ind persecuting the Indians, when he was feeding five 
ihoQsand of them on the reservations, and standing like 
a rock to protect them from* abuse ; and even of drunken- 
ness and embezzlement of public funds. These charges, 
from their very excess and bitterness, largely defeated 
themselves with the government, and with all by whom 
(Wmor Stevens was personally known; but they ex- 
<^ a deep prejudice against him in the minds of many, 
as he afterwards found in his congressional career. Wool, 
^y welcomed with avidity these reinforcements to his 
^^Osade, and immediately forwarded copies of the resolu- 
^ons, together with anonymous articles reflecting on the 

SOvemor, to the War Department. 

The signers of the resolutions were : W. H. Wallace, 

^rge Gibbs, Elwood Evans, C. C. Hewitt, Frank Clark, 

^. F. Kendall, William C. Peas, E. 0. Murden, H. A. 



Wallace and Gibbs were the principal speakers at the 
citizens' meeting; Thomas M. Chambers, chairman; E. 
Schrotter and E. M. Meeker, secretaries ; S. McCaw, R. 
S. Moore, Hugh Patteson, William M. ELincaid, William 
R. Downey, committee on resolutions. 

Evans and Kendall came among the aides whom Grov- 
ernor Stevens brought to the country with the Northern 
exploration, and who settled in Olympia. The former 
became distinguished as an eloquent speaker and writer 
and historian of the Pacific Northwest, and, in after- 
years, paid the most warm, heartfelt, and appreciative 
eulogies to Governor Stevens's character and public ser- 
vices. Gibbs and Goldsborough, whom it will be remem- 
bered the governor had employed in the Indian service 
and treated with great kindness and consideration, were 
unsuccessful and disappointed men. The former nursed 
a grievance, in that the governor had rejected an exten- 
sive and ambitious policy of Indian treaties and Indian 
management which Gibbs had elaborately set forth in his 
report on the Indians, and which, if accepted, would 
probably have furnished a good position for himself. 

The circular contained many misstatements, and was 
highly colored to give a wrong impression of the actual 
condition of affairs. To correct this, the governor pub- 
lished his vindication for proclaiming and enforcing mar- 
tial law in Pierce County. In this he clearly and forcibly 
states the facts and conditions rendering it necessary, for 
the success of military operations, that the suspected men 
be removed from the Indian country, and sums up : — 

** It is simply a question as to whether the execative has the 
power, in canning on the war, to take a summary course with 
a dangerous band of emissaries who have been the confederates 
of the Indians throughoat, and by their exertions and sympathy 
can render to a great extent the military operations abortive. 

** It is a question as to whether the military power, or public 


oommittees of the dtixens, without law, as in California, shall 
see that jnatioe is done in the case. 

''And he solemnly appeak to the same tribunals, before 
fUohhe has been arraigned in the circular, in vindication of his 
eoone, being assured that it ought to be, and will be, sustained 
asan imperious necessity, growing out of an almost unexampled 
eoodition of things/' 

Judge Lander's own district included Thurston County 
and Olympia, and the term of his court was to be held in 
a few days after his release from arrest. The governor's 
opponents and the judge determined to call him to ac- 
count for contempt of court in proclaiming martial law 
and arresting the judge ; and a strong-room was quietly 
prepared by the United States marshal for his incarcera- 
tion in case of sentence to imprisonment. The governor 
issued his proclamation declaring martial law in Thurston 
County on May 13, and sent two of the prisoners, Charles 
Wren and John McLeod, to Cape Montgomery for trial 
before a military commission. The others were released 
and permitted to go to Steilacoom, on giving their parole 
to remain there. 

Judge Lander opened his court on the 14th, and issued 
notice, and then a writ, summoning the governor to show 
cause why he should not be punished for contempt. No 
notice being taken of these missives, on the 15th a writ 
of attachment was issued to be served iyistanteVy and 
United States Marshal George W. Corliss, with a strong 
posse, armed with this document, proceeded to the ex- 
ecutive office for the purpose of arresting the governor 
and bringing him before the court. The governor re- 
ceived them, when they announced their business, with a 
quiet, cool dignity, which completely nonplussed them, 
and remarked, ^^ Gentlemen, why don't you execute your 
office ? " As they still hung back, and looked at each 
other, as though at a loss to know what to do, the clerks, 


aided by some gentlemen present, ejected the posse from 
the office, to which they offered no resistance* Major 
Tilton, Captain A. J. Cain, James Doty, Quincy A. 
Brooks, R. M. Walker, A. J. Baldwin, Lewis Ensign, 
Charles E. Weed, and Joseph H Mitchell were they who 
expelled the posse ; but it is evident that the latter made 
only a formal show of executing the writ. 

This farcical attempt had scarcely ended when a force 
of mounted volunteers rode rapidly into town. Judge 
Lander, hearing of their approach, hastily adjourned 
court, and took refuge in the office of Elwood Evans, the 
acting clerk of court, a wooden building of two rooms, 
situated on the east side of Main Street, between Fourth 
and Fifth streets. To this, a few minutes later, came 
Captain Bluf ord Miller with a file of men, and demanded 
admittance. Finding the door locked, he remarked, 
^^ I '11 add a new letter to the alphabet : let her rip," and 
kicked in the door with his heavy boots. Entering, he 
found the judge and Evans in the rear room, and arrested 
them. Mr. Evans was immediately released, and Judge 
Lander was taken to Camp Montgomery, where he was 
held in honorable custody until the war on the Sound 
was practically over, when he was set at liberty. 

Immediately on the departure of the volunteers with 
their judicial prisoner, an attempt was made to hold a 
public meeting to protest against the governor's action. 
Evans and Kendall were the chief movers and speakers, 
and harangued a small crowd on Main Street, in front 
of the governor's dwelling and office. Mrs. Stevens, 
with her little girls, happened to be sitting in the front 
doorway as they approached, and refused to withdraw ; 
but her presence did not deter nor mollify the speeches. 
Despite the would-be indignation of the promoters, the 
whole proceeding fell flat, for nearly every one approved 
the governor's course, and only a mere handful took part 


in the demonstration. At leng^^ having emptied the 
Tiabof their wrath, one of the speakers moved to adjourn 
in order to spare the feelings of Mrs. Stevens, who had 
sat apparently unmoved through it all, and the assem- 

A mass meeting, one of the largest ever convened in 
Olympia, was held at the blockhouse on the public 
square, Judge B. F. Yantis presiding, and J. W. Good- 
eO, secretary, and the course of Governor Stevens in the 
matter of martial law was emphatically indorsed, with 
but twelve dissenting votes. Memorials strongly defend- 
ing his action were almost unanimously signed by the 
volunteers, and sent to the Oregon and Washington dele- 
gates in Congress. Both Judge Lander and Judge 
Ghenoweth, in their reports to the Secretary of State, 
complaining of the governor for enforcing martial law, 
admit that the people indorsed his course, and that the 
marshals or sheriffs were powerless to resist his orders. 

The two prisoners, Wren and McLeod, were tried by 
military commission on the charge of giving aid and 
comfort to the enemy; but owing to lack of evidence 
and the end of the war, they were not convicted, and 
were finally set at liberty. 

Martial law was revoked by proclamation on May 24. 
Judge Lander held his court at its next regular term in 
July. In response to notice the governor appeared by 
counsel, disclaimed any intentional disrespect to the court, 
but justified his action in proclaiming and enforcing mar- 
tial law on the ground of imperious public necessity. A 
fine of fifty dollars for contempt was imposed, which he 
paid. Anticipating a heavy fine, his friends and admirers 
were preparing a popular subscription to defray it, but 
they were not called upon. The judge's action in im- 
posing a merely nominal fine was taken to be an acknow- 
ledgment, in accordance with the opinion of nine tenths 


of the community, that the governor's course, if techni- 
cally illegal, was necessary and right. No action was 
taken against the volunteers who broke up the courts, or 
the citizens who turned the marshal and his posse into 
the street. In his communications to the government 
in defense of his course in proclaiming martial law. 
Governor Stevens advanced almost identically the same 
reasons and arguments that were afterwards adduced 
by President Lincoln to justify his suspension of the writ 
of habeas corpus. 

By a letter of the Secretary of State, dated September 
12, Governor Stevens was informed that the President, 
while having no doubt of the purity of his motives, dis- 
approved his action in proclaiming martial law. 


The chief punishment by which the governor main- 
tained such excellent discipline among the volunteers was 
that of dishonorable dismissal from the service, which 
carried with it the loss of pay. This was inflexibly en- 
forced in flagrant cases of disobedience or misconduct, 
and, being regarded as a disgraceful stigma, was found 
sufficient. The good conduct and discipline of the vol- 
unteers was doubtless promoted by the incessant activity 
and labor to which they were put ; but they were due still 
more to the superior intelligence and character of the 
settlers who turned out en masse in defense of their 
hearthstones, and carried on the war with such patriotic 

In one case, however, the governor felt constrained to 
dismiss a whole company, an act afterwards made the pre- 
text for much political denunciation and censure. It will 
be remembered that almost the first act of the governor, 
in the prosecution of the war, was to disband all local and 
home guards, and to enlist volunteers for general defense. 


to serve wherever and whenever ordered. On Febroary 1 
he directed Judge Lander to disband a company he had 
raised in Seattle for home defense, and to enlist there 
a company for six months, subject to the orders of the 
executive, in conformity with the proclamation calling 
out volunteers. ^' Every man/' wrote the governor to 
Xander, '^ who enlists, must do so with the understanding 
that he enlists for the general defense of the Territory, 
and that he must move to any point where his services, 
in the opinion of his commanding officer, are most 

Under these instructions Lander disbanded his first 
company and raised another, Company A, which garri- 
soned Seattle for a time, and then built and occupied a 
post on the Duwhamish River, a few miles above Seattle, 
and rendered good service in scouting that vicinity and 
Lake Washington. It was this post and command that 
Lander abandoned in order to hold Judge Chenoweth's 
court, with such mortifjdng results to himself. 

On June 9 Lieutenant A. A. Denny^ who succeeded 
to the command of Company A on Lander's abandon- 
ment of it, was ordered to detail an officer and eight men 
to hold the post, and to move with his company to Fort 
Hays, on Connell's prairie, thence to assist in cutting a 
road to Snoqualmie Falls. On his representation that a 
greater force was needed for the protection of the citizens 
in his vicinity than was designated, he was directed to 
leave twenty men at the post, and to send the remainder 
of his company by canoe to Steilacoom, thence to march 
to Camp Montgomery, where he would receive supplies. 
He was informed that — 

**ihe representation of Captain Lander that forty men could 
be spared, the fact of parties of from three to five having 
traveled in safety the route from the falls of the Snoqualmie to 
Porter's prairie, and the reports of Mr. Yesler that but six or 


eight Indians are still out east of Seattle, are sufficient to war- 
rant the leaving of the town of Seattle to the protection of the 
naval forces and the regulars at Fort Thomas ; " 

and that fifteen days would probably be occupied in 
cutting the road. The Massachusetts lay in the harbor 
of Seattle, and fifteen of her men were on shore garri- 
soning the town. Lieutenant Denny, in a long and 
argumentative letter dated June 19, reiterated his opinion 
that it would not be safe to withdraw the company from 
its post. He wrote : — 

**I am extremely surprised at the opinion represented as 
expressed by Judge Lander. During the period of his com- 
mand it was often publicly stated by him that this company was 
expressly organized (by private understanding with the governor 
and commander-in-chief) for the protection of this immediate 

It is hard to reconcile this with the governor's explicit 
orders and letter to Judge Lander. 

For such failure to obey orders Lieutenant Denny was 
directed to turn over his command to the next officer in 
rank, and was relieved from duty in the volunteer service 
until further orders. Lieutenant D. A. Neely, the next 
in rank, was ordered to assume command of the company, 
and detail twenty men to proceed to Camp Montgomery 
for work on the road. But Lieutenant Neely and the 
whole company proved equally recusant, and signed and 
transmitted to the governor resolutions fully indorsing the 
course of Lieutenant Denny, and declaring that they 
considered the course of the commander-in-chief in sus^ 
pending Lieutenant Denny from his command an act of 
injustice and an insult to the company, wholly unjusti- 
fiable and uncalled for. 

With great forbearance, regarding the company not as 
willfully disobedient, but as led astray by feeling and bad 


advice, the governor sent his aide, Colonel Fitzhugh, to 
endeavor to bring them to reason and due sense of duty, 
and gave him the following instructions : — 

** You will show these resolutions to the company, and request 
tbe signers to either repudiate or modify them in such a manner 
as to relieve themselves from the position of disobedience to the 
orders which these resolutions condemn. 

^ You will represent to the company that the resolution dis- 
approving of the course of the commander-in-chief , and consider- 
ing it * an act of injustice and wholly uncalled for,' places the 
oooipany in an attitude of insubordination which will necessarily 
Pi^dude the possibility of their being honorably discharged from 
^^ service until they, by their own acts, occupy different ground 
f^^om that of justifying disobedience to orders. 

*^ There is nothing improper or objectionable in Company A 
'requesting the reinstatement of Lieutenant Denny, and a re- 
^^est to that effect would be properly considered, but by indors- 
^^g and sustaining that officer in bis refusal to obey orders they 
t^i^rticipate in a state of indiscipline and insubordination which 
^ destructive to efficiency, and injurious to the reputation of the 
"Volunteer service of Washington Territory. 

^ In the hope that the intelligent and gallant men of Com- 
J^any A will see the matter in the true light, and by their act in 
^>e8cinding these unmilitary and insubordinate resolutions will 
^lace themselves upon the same footing as the rest of the regi- 
^nent, and so enable the commander-in-chief to report as efficient 
^nd useful the whole body of troops raised from the citizen 
soldiery of Washington Territory, I have the honor to be," etc. 

But Colonel Fitzhugh was unable to induce the com- 
pany to rescind the resolutions, and reported that a false 
sense of shame restrained them. He was then sent back 
to formally disband the company, which he did July 28, 
and they were dishonorably discharged. The governor, 
however, did not allow this discharge to deprive them of 
full pay, but in this respect presented their claims on the 
same footing as the other volunteers. All were finally 
paid by Congress. 



Governor Stevens's responsibilities and labors were 
vastly increased by the great number of Indians on the 
Sound who did not actively join in the outbreak^ but 
who caused constant care and anxiety on the one hand to 
prevent their aiding their kindred who had taken the wai^ 
path, and on the other to protect them from retaliatory 
violence at the hands of infuriated settlers, whose near- 
est and dearest had been sacrificed in savage massacre, 
and from the destructive whiskey traffic with vicious 
and debased white men. Five thousand of such Indians 
were placed upon the insular reservations and supported^ 
in large part, under the charge of reliable agents; while 
three thousand more remained on the Strait of Fuca and 
the western shore of the Sound in less strict custody, as 
they were more remote from the scene of hostilities. 
For a time these reservation Indians were in a very ex- 
cited and disaffected state. It was impossible to prevent 
hostile emissaries from mingling among them, or some of 
the young braves from slipping away to help their brethren 
against the hated whites. The agents lived among them 
in constant and imminent danger of massacre ; they car- 
ried their lives in their hands. The governor's plan of 
enlisting them as auxiliaries, and sending them out under 
white officers to hunt down the enemy, although attended 
at first with great risk of treachery, was the most effec- 
tive means of confirming their fidelity, and when the tide 
turned against the enemy, all were eager in their profes- 
sions of friendship and offers of services. The first of 
these expeditions, that of Pat-ka-nim and his Snohomish 
warriors under Colonel Sinmions, was considered a very 
doubtful and dangerous experiment ; but heavy rewards 
were offered the chief for the heads of the hostiles he 
might slay, and one that he sent in was said to have been 


that of his own brother. Well might Shaw exclaim, 
^< Blankets will turn any Indian on the side of the whites/' 
After this, Pat^ka-nim's allegiance was well secured. 

When Sidney Ford led a party of Chehalis Indians on 
a scout against the enemy, he lay one night pretending 
alomber, while he listened to a long discussion between 
hiB friendly Indian followers as to the expediency of kill- 
ing him and joining the hostiles. Agent Wesley Gosnell 
liad a somewhat similar experience. What iron nerves, 
-vrhat devoted patriotism, thus to venture into the track- 
less forests at the head of these uncertain and treacher- 
ous savages ! There is not the slightest doubt that a few 
weeks of Wool's pacific and defensive policy would have 
united all these disaffected Indians in the outbreak, and 
swept the whole country with a whirlwind of savage war. 
Notiiing but Governor Stevens's prompt, aggressive, and 
masterly measures prevented the catastrophe. 

By many of the settlers the governor's treatment of the 
Indians was deemed too lenient and generous. They de- 
clared that Indians who received and concealed the visits 
of hostile warriors, and allowed their young men to join 
in the raids and fights, ought themselves to be treated as 
hostile, and warred down without mercy. On one occa- 
sion a worthy and intelligent clergyman pleaded long and 
earnestly with the governor, urging him to attack and 
put to the sword the Indians on the Squaxon reservation, 
many of whom were Nisquallies, the tribe that had taken 
the lead in the outbreak. But the governor disregarded 
all such appeals, and remained as firm in protecting 
the friendly or merely disaffected Indians as inflexible in 
requiring the punishment of the murderers who first 
instigated the war by the wanton massacre of inoffensive 

Summary measures were taken with whiskey-sellers, 
when caught about the reservations. The agent would 


arm his employees, and when necessary a few stout and 
trustworthy Indians, descend on the culprit, stave, smash, 
and destroy his poisonous stores, and drive him to instant 
flight. There was no fooling with legal proceedings or 
courts. The means were effective, if somewhat high- 
handed, and the only ones that could be made so. It 
was more difficult to prevent the Indians from obtaining 
liquor away from the reservations, especially about the 
towns, and the governor complained that the reg^ular sol- 
diers were among the worst offenders in this respect. 

In a private letter to Colonel Nesmith, who succeeded 
him as Superintendent of Indian Affairs, the governor 
says of his Indian agents : — 

** I have never known a more faithful and efficient body of 
men than the officers and employees connected with me in the 
Indian service. I have never known, all things considered, a 
body of men at all to be compared to them in the high qualities 
which fit men for duty in times of emergency. They literally 
for months went with their lives in their hands, and moreover 
in the economy of the service they were vigilant and f aithfuL 
I look upon it as the duty of all officers, without waiting for 
instructions, to guard the treasury. I have had some difficul- 
ties to contend with in the past, growing out of political antip- 
athies. I have from the beginning set my face sternly against 
all cliques, combinations, and sinister influences in the discharge 
of my duty." 

On these temporary insular reservations were collected 
some 5000 Indians. The Snohomish and other tribes, 
numbering 1700, were placed on Skagit Head, the south- 
em point of Whitby Island, under Colonel M. T. Sim- 
mons ; the Lummi, Nooksahk, and Samish, 1050, at Penn's 
Cove, Whitby Island, under R. C. Pay ; the Duwhamish, 
etc., 1000, on Port Madison Bay, Dr. D. T. Maynard, H. 
L. Yesler, and 6. A. Paige taldng charge of them ; the 
Puyallaps, and Nisquallies, 806, on Fox Island, under 
Sidney S. Ford; the Quaks-namiish, 400, on Klah-she- 


min or Squaxon Island, under Wesley Gosnell ; the Che- 
halis, 400, on the Chehalis River, near Judge S. S. Ford's, 
and under his charge; the Cowlitz, 300, near Cowlitz, 
under Pierre Charles. 

On the Columbia River, under general charge of agent 
J. Cain, 200 Chinooks were collected at Vancouver ; 200 
Klikitats on the White Salmon, under A. Townsend ; and 
300 Yakimas, opposite the Dalles, under A. H. Robie. 

The Indian Department, in response to Governor Ste- 
^vens's urgent letters taken to Washington by Secretary 
Itfason, and the latter's clear statement of the emergency, 
promptly remitted $27,000 to feed these Indians, and 
:€ollowed it with large sums for that purpose. 

The northern Indians, gangs of whom persisted in vis- 
iting the Sound in their great war canoes in spite of the 
prohibition and warnings of both American and British 
authorities, caused great anxiety and apprehension. The 
governor urged the naval officers to keep a vessel con- 
stantly cruising the lower Sound to overawe and restrain 
them. On February 17 he wrote Captain Gansevoort that, 
from information received, he was apprehensive of a de- 
scent on the settlements by fourteen war canoes of these 
savages, and urged that the Active be kept cruising the 
whole time between Fort Townsend, Bellingham Bay, and 
Seattle, saying : — 

^ These northern Indians, in daring, force, and intelligence, 
greatly surpass the Indians of the Sound. Their war canoes, 
carrying seventy-five men, can be moved through stormy seas, 
and with great rapidity. I deem it essential to the safety of the 
lower portion of the Sound that a steamer should be constantly 
in motion there." 

Apparently reliable reports were brought to the gov- 
ernor from time to time that these desperadoes were seek- 
ing to join the hostiles. Some of them actually offered 
their services to fight for the whites. They were at- 


tracted to the scene of war like vultures to the carrion^ 
and were equally ready to fight and spoil either party to 
the conflict, or both. In July one of these unwelcome 
visitors was killed in a drunken brawl by a regular soldier 
at Steilacoom. From their well-known vindictive charac- 
ter, it was certain that they would avenge the death sooner 
or later by some act of atrocity. The governor therefore 
reinforced Whitby Island with fifteen men from the line 
of the Snohomish, and the Massachusetts and Hancock 
were kept diligently cruising. When, in November, an- 
other party appeared near Steilacoom, committing depre- 
dations, and had a fight with the Indians on the reserva- 
tion, in which two of their number were killed, Captain 
Gansevoort hastened to the scene in the Massachusetts, 
determined to compel them to leave the Sound. They 
had already started down it, but he pursued and overtook 
them at Fort Gamble, where he found them encamped on 
an island. After exhausting all efforts at conciliation, 
offering to pardon all their depredations, and even to tow 
their canoes to Victoria if they would only depart from 
the Sound, and all friendly overtures being treated with 
the utmost contempt and ridicule by the Indians, Captain 
Gansevoort opened fire upon them from his guns, and, 
throwing a party ashore, attacked them on land also. 
Their canoes were destroyed, and t^hey were driven back 
into the woods, but they fought with desperate courage 
and determination, and continued the contest the entire 
day. To a message sent by a captured squaw, inviting 
them to surrender with the sole condition of leaving the 
Sound, they returned the defiant answer that they would 
fight as long as there was a man left alive. But being 
on a small island, and all their canoes and supplies de- 
stroyed, they were forced by hunger to surrender, which 
they did after holding out for forty-eight hours. The 
party consisted of one hundred and seventeen men, besides 


squaws and boys, and lost twenty-seven killed and twenty- 
one wounded. Captain Gansevoort took the survivors in 
liis vessel to Victoria, where he purchased canoes for 
tliem and started them northward, exacting their pro- 
xnises never to return to the Sound. Even this severe 
punishment did not deter them &om seeking revenge. 
Tie following year a party of them landed on Whitby 
Island, murdered Colonel Isaac N. Ebey, the United States 
oollector of customs, cut off his head, plundered his house^ 
^d departed northward with their booty and ghastly 



The family remained in Olympia during this year 
of Indian troubles. The chil(b-en attended the public 
school, and found kind and judicious teachers in the 
Rev. George F. Whitworth and his estimable wife. Mrs. 
Stevens, escorted by her son, frequently rode on horse- 
back over the neighboring prairies, heedlessly running a 
greater peril than they knew of, for the Indians mur- 
dered two men and committed depredations quite near 
the town. There was not much social gayety at such an 
anxious time, but the little community were drawn closer 
together by the dangers surrounding it. 

When not absent on his trips, the governor usually 
worked in his office till long after midnight, and his 
assistants and clerks were kept hard at it to dispose of 
the multifarious orders, reports, accounts, and other 
details of the war and the Indian service. He kept both 
the War and Indian departments in Washington con- 
stantly informed of the progress of the war and the 
condition of affairs by frequent detailed and graphic 
reports, and these, with his correspondence, made a 
volume of four hundred pages as published with his 
message of 1857. His physical labors were also extreme, 
involving journeys to the Columbia River, the Dalles, 
Walla Walla, and down the Sound, aggregating over two 
thousand miles. And it should be borne in mind that 
he was not assisted by any regularly long established and 
tried services, but had in a measure to create the organi- 






zations, and to make use of hastily selected and inexperi- 
enced officers. He had by this time fully adopted the 
rough, serviceable costume of the country, — slouch hat, 
woolen shirt, and heavy riding-boots, — and, indeed, no 
other garb was practicable for one so constantly engaged 
on long and arduous journeys by horseback and canoe, 
frequently in stormy weather. 

In the summer and fall the governor caused his block 
of land No. 84, which he purchased on his first arrival, 
to be cleared, and the late Benjamin Harned built for 
him a plain, square dwelling, with a wide hall in the 
centre and rooms on either side, a story and a half high. 
A smaller building, for an office, on the northeast corner 
of the block, and a stable in the rear on the southwest 
corner were also built. The family moved into the new 
home in December, and found the spacious rooms, with 
the magnificent view of the Sound and the Coast Range, 
a most agreeable change from the former contracted 
quarters and noisy surroundings. 

The governor gave a house-warming, to which he 
invited the members of the legislature, a number of 
naval officers, who happened to be in the harbor, and 
about all the townspeople, including Elwood Evans and 
others who had been unmeasured in their denunciation of 
his course. 

The site of the residence had been covered with im- 
mense fir-trees, and all within reach of the dwelling had 
to be felled to avoid danger of their falling and crushing 
the house during some storm, which involved the felling 
of the trees over an area of ten acres. But notwithstand- 
ing all this care, one of these forest monarchs was left 
standing some distance in front of the office, and the 
following winter fell directly across it, cutting the build- 
ing clear to the ground. The labor of digging out the 
immense stumps was very great and expensive, and when 


the governor, late in the winter, assured Colonel Cock 
and Mr. George A. Barnes that he meant to have the 
finest garden in town the next spring, and would send 
them the earliest vegetables, these old settlers laughed in 
confident incredulity. 

The governor was unable to follow up the improve- 
ment of the Taylor claim this year, but John Dunn, the 
hired man, and Hazard, now an active lad of fourteen, 
rode out there from time to time and planted and raised 
quite a crop of potatoes, celery, cabbages, etc., on the 
beaver meadow, which also afforded several tons of hay. 

The legislature met in December, and Governor Ste- 
vens, in a strong message, accompanied by the corre- 
spondence with the War Department and military officers, 
rendered a clear and graphic account of his successful 
prosecution of the war. In view of his herculean labors 
and entire self-devotion, and the outrageous abuse heaped 
upon him, the concluding paragraph is touching in its 
manly simplicity and confidence : — 

" I have endeavored faithfully to do my whole duty, and have 
nothing to reproach myself with as regards intention. I could 
have wished some things had been done more wisely, and that 
my whole course had been guided by my present experience. I 
claim at your hands simply the merit of patient and long labor, 
and of having been animated with the fixed determination of 
suffering and enduring all things in your behalf. Whether in 
the wilderness contending with the hostile elements, managing 
and controlling the more hostile aborigines, or exploring the 
country, or at the Capitol struggling with disaffection, the sub- 
ject of obloquy and abuse, I have had no end but my duty, no 
reward in view but my country's good. It is for you to judge 
how I have done my part, and for the Almighty Ruler to allot 
each man his desert." 

It was generally believed that the legislature, like the 
people, would gladly recognize the great services of the 
governor, and do all in their power to sustain him. But 


his political and personal enemies had been very active, 
and had covertly secured a number of members, some of 
them elected in the guise of pretended friends. From 
W^hitbj Island was chosen an able but corrupt man, 
J. S. Smith, commonly known as ^^ Carving Fork Smith," 
from the current report that his too pressing advances 
to^wards a married woman in Oregon had been repulsed 
with such an implement by the insulted matron. This 
worthy called upon Governor Stevens at the beginning of 
the session and proposed some deal, with the result that 
tihe governor indignantly ordered him out of the of&ce. 
Angered at this repulse, he made common cause with the 
governor's enemies, and eagerly sought means to attack 
and injure him. His general course in the prosecution 
of the war, and even in the martial-law difficulty, was 
so universally approved that it would be useless to assail 
him on that score, but finally they concluded to make a 
handle of the dismissal of Company A. Their object was 
to obtain some sort of legislative censure of the governor 
in aid of the untiring and unscrupulous efforts they were 
making for his removaL A resolution pronouncing the 
charge of insubordination against Company A to be with- 
out sufficient foundation and also a resolution condemn- 
ing martial law were introduced, and by the combination 
of the supporters of the two, and the strenuous efforts of 
the governor's enemies, were passed by a bare majority. 

A committee was appointed to present them to him in 
person, in order to make the censure more emphatic and 
offensive. The governor received the committee with his 
wonted dignity and equanimity. One of the members was 
Colonel William Cock, whom the governor had always 
treated with consideration, whose son he had befriended 
and employed in the Indian service, and who had always 
professed a warm friendship for the governor, and ap- 
proval of his course. But Colonel Cock had been won 


over by the conspirators by appeals to his vanity, and had 
allowed himself to be placed on the committee. When it 
had delivered its message, the governor, genuinely grieved 
at the defection of a friend, addressed Colonel Cock in a 
quiet and friendly manner, pointing out how he had stul- 
tified himself, repudiating his own sentiments and decla- 
rations, endeavored to strike down the man who had done 
so much to defend the country, and his own professed 
friend, and finally, against his better feelings and judg- 
ment, had allowed himself to be made a tool of as a mem- 
ber of the committee. Colonel Cock, realizing at last the 
ignoble part he was playing, was thoroughly ashamed 
and took his leave, expressing his regret and sorrow at 
his course. The remainder of the committee sneaked out, 
feeling small and crestfallen. But the conspirators were 
jubilant, making sure that this legislative censure, com- 
ing on top of General Wool's attacks, the martial-law 
resolutions, and the numerous secret affidavits sent on, 
would certainly cause the governor's removal, and went 
about exclaiming, ^^ Governor Stevens is a dead lion at 

After this deliverance, the legislature passed all the 
measures and memorials that the governor recommended. 
Some of the members who voted for the resolutions of 
censure regretted their action like Colonel Cock, and all 
were soon compelled to cower and apologize before the 
indignation which their action excited all over the Terri- 
tory. Everywhere the real people, the stalwart settlers, 
the men of worth and character, were denouncing this 
underhanded and cowardly attempt to misrepresent their 
sentiments, and strike down the man who had saved the 
Territory in her peril and defended her fair fame against 
the slanders of high officials, whose patriotic self-devotion 
and herculean labors they had witnessed, whose courage, 
force of character, and ability they admired, and whose 


leadership they were proud to follow. The people were 
eager to manifest their approval and support of Governor 
Stevens^ and in response to this sentiment the Democratic 
convention, meeting at Cowlitz Landing, unanimously 
nominated him for delegate in Congress. 

Meantime the governor, least disturbed of all at the 
mijust but impotent censure, enjoyed a little respite after 
four years of incessant and overwhelming responsibilities 
and labors. He was comfortably established in his new 
home, and hugely enjoyed his garden and farming. He 
employed two excellent men about the place, Joel Risden 
and William Van Ogle, and fully redeemed his promise 
of the finest garden and earliest vegetables in Olympia. 
He purchased a yoke of oxen, had a cart built, and com- 
menced clearing the Walker claim, situated half way to 
Tum water. The malignant charges and attacks upon him 
failed to cause his removal. 

The governor, however, felt that he had not been 
properly supported at Washington. His Indian treaties 
were left unconfirmed, and Wool's course in excluding 
settlers from the upper country and vilifying the people 
was not rebuked. He declared with great feeling that 
he would never accept another appointive civil office. 

On January 26, 1857, at the instance of the governor, 
the legislature passed an act incorporating the Northern 
Pacific Railroad Company, with a capital of fifteen mil- 
lions, which might be increased to thirty millions, and 
authority to build a railroad from one of the passes in 
the Rocky Mountains, on the border of Nebraska, west- 
wardly across Washington by the Bitter Root valley, 
crossing the Cceur d'Alene Mountains, and traversing 
the plain of the Columbia, with two branches, one down 
the Columbia, the other over the Cascade Mountains to the 
Sound, with a line from the river to the Sound. Among 
the incorporators were Governor Isaac I. Stevens, Senator 


Ramsay, and General James Shields, of Minnesota, Judge 
WUliam Strong, Colonel William Cock, Elwood Evans, 
A. A. Denny, and W. S. Ladd. The governor expected a 
rapid development of the Territory, and evidently thought 
that an organized company with a charter was a practical 
step towards starting the great railroad enterprise. 

Early in the year 1857 General Wool was relieved of 
the command of the Pacific Department by General N. 
G. Clarke, colonel 6th infantry, and went to New York, 
where he continued his malignant warfare upon the 
authorities, volunteers, and people of Oregon and Wash- 
ington, by whose governors and legislatures he was de- 
nounced, ^^ and whose respect he had long since ceased to 

After his nomination the governor determined to make 
a canvass of the Territory, and invited Alexander S. 
Abernethy, who was nominated by the Whig convention, 
to accompany and meet him in joint discussion. The 
newly appointed receiver of the Land Office, just arrived 
&om the East, Selucious Grarfielde, a man of fine, showy 
presence and great oratorical gifts, offered to assist in 
the canvass by discussing national politics. A small 
steam-tug, the Traveler, W. H. Horton owner and cap- 
tain, was chartered to take the party around the Sound. 
Mr. Abernethv declined the invitation, but Colonel Wil- 
liam H. Wallace went in his stead, and the governor, 
accompanied by Garfielde, Wallace, his son Hazard, and 
a few friends, started from Olympia in May, and visited 
Steilacoom, Seattle, Forts Madison, Gamble, Ludlow, and 
Townsend, thence up Hood's Canal to Sebec, thence 
Whitby Island, thence Bellingham Bay, and thence re- 
turned to Olympia. At each point the governor spoke at 
length, defending his course, but devoting more time to 
pointing out the needs of the Territory and the measures 
necessary for its benefit, such as the confirmation of the 


treaties, payment of the war debt, additional roads and 
mail service, and especially the Northern Pacific Railroad 
and its relation to the trade of Asia. With much feeling 
he indignantly denied the personal charges against him- 
self, denounced the traducers, and defied them to meet 
him face to face and repeat them. Though not a fluent 
speaker, he was clear, strong, earnest, and convincing, and 
was everywhere received with the greatest attention and 

A plot was formed at Steilacoom to get up a row at the 
meeting to be held there, and under cover of it to assas- 
sinate the governor ; and in consequence of the earnest 
entreaties of his friends there, who had discovered the 
plot at the last moment and were wholly unprepared for 
it, he made but a short stop at that point. In July he 
Jigain visited Steilacoom, and held a meeting and joint 
discussion, but no attempt at disturbance was made, his 
friends being ready for it. 

As the little Traveler slowly churned her way into 
Bellingham Bay, a great war canoe, manned by the north- 
em Indians, — those dreaded sea wolves, — went speeding 
across the entrance to the bay twice as fast as the Trav- 
eler could possibly go, and the little party felt rejoiced to 
have escaped meeting them. It was only a few weeks 
later that the unfortunate Colonel Ebey met his tragic 
fate at the hands of a crew of these savages. They were 
forbidden to enter the Sound, and the appearance of one 
of their war canoes betokened only violence and robbery. 

After returning to Olympia the governor spoke at 
meetings of the settlers there, at Tumwater, and Yelm, 
Chambers*, and Grand Mound prairies. Then he proceeded 
down the Chehalis River and traveled along the coast, 
crossing Gray's Harbor and Shoalwater Bay, to the mouth 
of the Columbia, holding meetings on Miami prairie, 
and each of these points ; thence, continuing the canvass, 


he went up the river, speaking at Cathlamet, Monticello, 
Lewis River, Vancouver, and the Cascades, and then, re- 
turning home by way of the Cowlitz, he spoke at Cowlitz 
Landing and Judge Ford's. 

In this canvass, in five weeks Governor Stevens traveled 
by steamer, canoe, and on horseback fourteen hundred 
and sixty miles, and spoke at forty meeting. Hia friends 
supported him with great enthusiasm, and one of the 
features of the contest was the ^^ Stevens Hat," adopted 
as a badge by his more enthusiastic supporters, — a black 
slouch hat, the rougher and shabbier the better. 

The election took place July 13, and he was chosen by 
a vote of 986 against 549 for his opponent. 

During the governor's absence on the canvass occurred 
the untimely death of James Doty, his faithful secretary 
and assistant in so many difi&cult and dangerous Lidian 
councils and expeditions. ^^ I have never been connected 
with a more intelligent and upright man," declared the 
governor. He was buried on Bush prairie beside his 
friend, George W. Stevens. 

After his election as delegate Governor Stevens re- 
signed as governor, August 11, 1857, and Lafayette 
McMullan, of Virginia, was appointed his successor. 
The governor turned over the gubernatorial office to the 
new appointee on his arrival, and the Indian superin- 
tendency to Colonel Nesmith, who was appointed super- 
intendent for both Oregon and Washington, the two 
superintendencies having been united by the last Con- 
gress, in May. At his invitation Colonel Nesmith visited 
him at Olympia, and the governor took the greatest 
pains to impart to him all the information and assist- 
ance in regard to his new duties in his power. 

It was on a beautiful morning in the early fall that 
Governor Stevens with his family started from Olympia 
on the return journey to the East. He rode his noble 


gray charger Charlie, and his son was also mounted, 
while Mrs. Stevens and the three little girls rode in an 
easy spring wagon. The roads were dry, the weather 
of the finest, the country in its most beautiful garb, and 
all the family were in high health and spirits ; and the 
governor, buoyant with courage, hope, and vigor, having 
accompUshed the tremendous tasks laid upon him by 
the government, carried the Territory through the Indian 
hostilities, overcome all obstacles, and put down his ene- 
mies, now looked forward with renewed confidence to 
vindicating his course in Washington, and compelling a 
deceived and misguided Congress and administration to 
do justice to his people and himself. 

The return journey to the Cowlitz, and down that 
stream in canoes, and up the Columbia to Portland by 
steamboat was uneventful but pleasant, in strong contrast 
to the discomforts of the trip on entering the country 
three years previously. San Francisco was reached after 
a short voyage down the coast, where the governor was 
again welcomed by his old friends, and everywhere re- 
ceived with the attention and deference considered due 
his remarkable achievements in face of unprecedented 

On the voyage to Panama, the steamer Golden Gate 
broke her shaft the second day out, and had to creep 
back to port with one wheel, Uke a bird with a broken 
wing, losing an entire week. The Golden Age, which 
took her place, came near meeting a worse disaster ; for 
one stormy and misty afternoon, as the captain and cabin 
passengers were at dinner, a steerage passenger on the 
forward upper deck espied a rock-bound island directly 
in front of the steamship, upon which she was rushing at 
full speed, and gave the alarm. The great paddle-wheels 
were instantly reversed, and the vessel just managed to 
back off before striking. 


Colonel John C. Fremont, the Pathfinder, the Republi- 
can candidate for the presidency, was one of the pas- 
sengers, — a slender, alert man, — as was also one of the 
Califomian senators, John Broderick, who fell in a duel 
with Judge Terry soon afterwards. The passage across 
the Isthmus was made safely and easily all the way by 
rail ; and the voyage from Aspinwall to New York was 
unmarked, save by a severe storm, with mountainous bil- 
lows for three days, off Gape Hatteras. They arrived 
in New York in tune to make a short visit in Newport, 
and to spend Thanksgiving at Andover with the Puritan 



GovERNOB Stevens lost no time in hastening to Wash- 
ington, and the very next day after his arrival called 
upon the Commissioner of Indian Affairs in regard to 
the funds for, and accounts of , Superintendent Nesmith. 
The large numbers of Indians, chiefly in Oregon, still 
being restricted to reservations and partially supported 
by the government, necessitated heavy expenditures, some 
of which were made without previous authorization, and 
it was essential for the peace of the country that they 
should be approved and Nesmith sustained. Following 
the matter up with his accustomed energy and thorough- 
ness, he calls upon the commissioner and Secretary of 
the Interior again and again ; he has all the suspended 
accounts, estimates, and papers brought together, and, 
having mastered them, he sits down with the chief clerk, 
— "an old friend of mine," he writes Nesmith, — posts 
him up and satisfies him on all points, and secures his 
favorable report, and then convinces the commissioner 
and secretary. By the very next steamer the funds for 
Washington Territory liabilities are sent to Nesmith, 
and during the next few months, by unremitting and 
painstaking efforts, his deficiency payments are allowed, 
his estimates approved, and ample funds remitted. This 
was an extremely difficult and laborious task, for the 
expenditures for the Indian service in the two Territories 
were unexpectedly large, the department was naturally 
reluctant to authorize them, and the difficulties were 


largely increased by the rasping and peppery^ if not 
insubordinate, letters which Nesmith, indignant at the 
neglect of his recommendations^ addressed to the com- 
missioner, and which the governor ingeniously neutral- 
ized by personally vouching for Colonel Nesmith, and 
submitting extracts of Nesmith's letters to himself evin- 
cing the superintendent's devotion to duty. 

The still more important duty of vindicating his In- 
dian treaties and procuring their ratification engaged his 
closest attention. In one short fortnight, by his clear 
exposition of their wise and beneficent provisions, and 
by his graphic portrayal of the conditions in the Pacific 
Northwest, he satisfies Commissioner Mix, Secretary 
Thompson, and President Buchanan that the treaties 
ought to be confirmed, and secures their urgent recom- 
mendations to the Senate in favor of confirming them 
without delay. He seemed to take his former attitude 
of personal influence with the highest officers of the gov- 
ernment at a bound, despite the serious charges that 
had been made against him. On December 2 he writes 
Nesmith : — 

^^ We have had many conferences with the commissioner, 
and two with the President and Secretary of War, in regard to 
Indian affairs. I am working very hard with the department 
in order to have everything completely in train against the 
meeting of Congress. 

^^ I have been most cordially received in all quarters since 
my arrival, and I hope I shall be useful to our Territories." 

And again, on December 17 : — 

'^ Lane and myself will canvass the Indian committees. 
Have seen Senator Sebastian, chairman Senate committee. 
Pushing armed steamer for the Sound. Indian and War 
departments and President all concur. I have had a most 
attentive and courteous hearing from all these gentlemen. 
Years since, I learned brevity and directness in the transaction 


of business here, and I find no difficulty whateTer in effecting 
a good deal in very brief interviews." 

His old friends in Washington — Professors Bache, 
Henry^ and Baird, General Totten, Mr. John L. Hayes, 
former brother officers, and others — welcomed him back, 
and were glad and proud to observe that he was un- 
changed except in increased maturity and strength of 
character, and that his very presence, with his simple, 
earnest, and dignified demeanor, refuted the infamous 
slanders that had been circulated against him. General 
Joseph Lane, the delegate from Oregon, received him 
with open arms, delighted to have so able a coadjutor to 
iSght the battles of the far-distant and neglected North- 
western Territories. General Lane was highly esteemed 
by all parties, and had much influence with the Demo- 
cratic leaders. The governor said he was a tower of 
ertrength. A devoted friendship grew up between the 
two whole-souled and patriotic men. 

It will be remembered how inflexibly Governor Stevens 
insisted upon the trial and punishment of the Indian 
murderers who so treacherously massacred unoffending 
settlers, deeming the example absolutely necessary, to 
deter the commission of outrages by the Indians in the 
future. Having brought Leschi and the Sound murderers 
to condign punishment, in spite of the efforts of the 
regular officers to shield them, he now urged the Indian 
Department to make requisition upon the War Depart- 
ment for the arrest and delivery to the civil courts, for 
trial, of the Yakima murderers, whose atrocious slaying 
of their agent, Bolon, and the miners, precipitated the 
war, but who thus far had been virtually safeguarded by 
the pacific and temporizing policy of the regular officers. 
After a number of interviews with the Indian commis- 
sioner and the two secretaries, the demand was about 
to be complied with, for all agreed that the murderers 


ought to be punished, when the objection was raised by 
the military authorities on the Pacific that an attempt to 
seize the offenders would lead to further hostilities, ancL 
it was intimated that the Indians regarded the quasi^ 
peace operations of Colonel Wright in 1856 as promise 
ing them immunity for the murders. The Secretary of 
the Interior, doubtful how far the good faith of the gov* 
emment might be involved, was consequently reluctant 
to make the necessary requisition on the War Depart- 
ment. The governor thereupon addressed an able letter 
to the commissioner, in which he pointed out that an 
inflexible adherence to the policy of punishing perpetra- 
tors of unprovoked murders was die only course to 
impress savage tribes with respect, and deter them from 
the commission of similar outrages; that, while such a 
course in this case might be attended with the renewal of 
hostilities on a small scale with the recalcitrant faction 
of the Yakimas, it would do more than all else to 
strengthen the hands of peaceful and friendly Indians in 
other tribes. He declared that he had always under- 
stood, from repeated interviews with Colonel Wright, 
that that officer had given no immunity to murderers. 
Moreover, the very manner in which the military objected 
showed conclusively that no such immunity was ever 
granted ; for, if it had been granted, they would have 
avowed it positively as their own act, and not merely 
have referred to it hypothetically, as it were, and as sub- 
ordinate to the question of expediency. For if the faith 
of the government had been pledged, questions of expe- 
diency were subordinate. He concluded : — 

^^ I must therefore urge the requisition, unless the military 
will take the responsibility of saying, * We did make a pacifica- 
tion on the ground of immunity to the murderers,' in which 
case I shall press the matter no further, except to suggest that 
measures be taken to prevent such pacifications hereafter." 


Thus ably and ingeniously the governor forced upon 
the military the onus of acknowledging having patched 
up a fictitious peace by granting immunity to murderous 
savages, whom it was their duty to punish. This they 
could not bring themselves to do ; they were obliged to 
abandon their prot^g^s to their fate, and the requisition 
was made. One cannot but think, after a careful study 
of all the evidence, that the Indian murderers were led 
to believe in the promise of immunity, if it was not ex- 
plicitly promised them. 

At the end of December he broke away from these 
engrossing cares and labors for a few days, and went 
North for his family, having leased a commodious brick 
house. No. 510, on the north side of Twelfth Street, 
between E and F, at $200 a month ; but on January 4 
he is again at his post in the House. He installed Mr. 
James G. Swan as his secretary, set apart the upper rooms 
in the house as an office, and plunged with redoubled 
energy into the important and multifarious duties and 
objects he had undertaken, chief of which was the con* 
firmation of the Indian treaties ; payment of the Indian 
war debt ; advocacy of the Northern route, separate In- 
dian superintendency for Washington Territory, armed 
steamer for Fuget Sound, mail route, military roads, ap 
propriations for Indian service, and for other needs of 
the Territory; and pressing before the departments many 
private claims growing out of the Indian war. Besides 
all these, he published, February 1, a circular letter to 
emigrants, giving useful information for those wishing to 
move to the Territory. In this month he also wrote a 
strong appeal to the Indian Department, urging that the 
farms promised the Blackf eet by the treaty of the Black- 
foot council be established without further delay, and sug- 
gesting that the commissioner confer with Alexander Cul- 
bertson, who was then visiting Washington, — an appeal 


which bore fruity for the commissioner immediately sent 
for Mr. Culbertson, and took steps to start the farms. 
The governor also gave effective aid to Mr. Culbertson in 
collecting an account due him from the government. 

The appropriation of ^30,000 for a wagon-road be- 
tween Fort Benton and Walla Walla — made in 1855 — 
had never been used, in consequence of the Indian hos- 
tilities, and the governor now induced the Secretary of 
War to authorize the commencement of the road, and to 
place Lieutenant MuUan in charge of it. The topogra- 
phical engineers of the army were not a little put out at 
the governor's action in MuUan's behalf, claiming that 
the duty rightfully belonged to one of their corps, and 
that he was disregarding the rights of the engineers in 
bestowing it upon a line officer ; but he had found Mullan 
one of the most zealous and efficient officers of the Ex- 
ploration, and one, moreover, especially conversant with 
the country. His recommendation had great weight with 
the War Department, thus to overcome the influence 
of the corps and the almost invariable usage. Another 
incident which occurred at this time afforded further 
evidence of his influence. An officer of General Wool's 
staff. Captain T. J. Cram, in 1857 made a report to him 
upon the upper Columbia country, much of which was 
taken from Governor Stevens's exploration reports with- 
out acknowledgment. Moreover, the navigability of the 
great river was pronounced utterly impracticable, and the 
country itself stigmatized as essentially barren and worth- 
less ; and the report was made the vehicle for reiterating 
all Wool's exploded charges against the territorial author- 
ities, people, and volunteers, and collecting and retailing 
all the stories of outrage upon Indians by whites that 
could be trumped up. This precious " topogpraphical 
memoir" was widely published in the newspapers, and 
was submitted by General Wool to the War Department, 


inth the evident design of defeating the confirmation of 
the treaties and the payment of the war debt. When 
the report arrived, the governor filed a statement in the 
department exposing its character; and at his instance 
Captain A. A. Humphreys, who had charge of all the 
Pacific Railroad reports, also filed a similar statement, 
pointing out Cram's unreliability and plagiarisms, so 
thoroughly discrediting the report that the department 
would never g^ve it out, and it failed of its intended 

It was a hard fight over the treaties before the Senate 
committee. Wool's charges, widely spread in the news- 
papers, had excited much prejudice against them, and 
they were strenuously opposed by most of the regular 
officers on the Pacific. But by the middle of March the 
governor was equally successful in convincing that com- 
mittee that they ought to be confirmed, and was able to 
write Nesmith that the committee would report favorably, 
and that there was every prospect of confirmation. 

The Northwestern boundary, with the disputed ques- 
tion of the San Juan archipelago, also claimed his atten- 
tion. His resolute letter of May, 1855, to Sir James 
Douglass, declaring that he would sustain the American 
right to the islands to the full force of his authority, 
having been submitted to both governments with Sir 
James's protests, had brought home to them the risk of 
armed collision unless the boundary question were speed- 
ily settled. Accordingly commissioners were appointed 
on both sides to determine and delimit the boundary as 
drawn by the treaty of 1846. But as the controversy 
turned on the construction of the treaty itself, it could 
not be settled by any survey, and in this, the most 
important part of their task, the commissioners soon 
became clever disputants, each advocating his own side of 
the question. Jefferson Davis, now a senator of great 


influence, writes Governor Stevens, March 18, requesting 
him '^ to call on the President and Secretary of State, 
and g^ve them your views as to the importance and neces- 
sity of marking the boundary," etc. The American com- 
missioner was Mr. Archibald CampbeU, and Captain J. 
6. Parke, of the engineers, was the chief surveyor, both 
old friends of Governor Stevens. With his thorough 
knowledge of the islands in dispute, and of the astute, 
grasping, and persistent character of the Hudson Bay 
Company and British officials, the governor strove to 
stiffen the backbone of the administration, and to expedite 
the boundary survey. 

Governor Stevens's first speech in the House occurred 
May 12, on his bill to create additional land districts in 
his Territory, and was a brief one. The next day a bill 
came up to reimburse Governor Douglass for the suppUes 
he had furnished in the Indian war, and the governor 
seized the opportunity to deliver a powerful speech in 
behalf of the war debt. He referred to Sir James's 
emphatic testimony that his, the governor's, course was 
the only one which coidd have protected the settiements, 
or prevented their depopulation, and vigorously defended 
the people and volunteers : — 

^^ During the whole course of that war, not a friendly Indian, 
nor an Indian prisoner, was ever maltreated in the camp of the 
volunteers of Washington. For six months the people of Wash- 
ington had to live in blockhouses ; and yet so obedient were the 
people to law, so proud of their country, doing such high hom- 
age to the spirit of humanity and justice, that during all that 
time the life of the Indian was sidfe in the camp of the volun- 
teers. Why, sir, there were nearly five thousand disaffected 
Indians during all this time on the reservations lying along the 
waters of the Sound, and not a man ever went there to do them 

^^ I trust that the same measure of justice, which the commit- 
tee propose to deal out to Governor Douglass, will be dealt out 


to the people of the Territories of Oregon and Washington. 
The debt in all the cases rests upon the same foundation. Our 
people furnished supplies and animals and shipping, and ren- 
dered their own services, on the faith of the government." 

On the 31st he delivered a long and exhaustive speech 
on the same subject, giving the history of the war, vindi- 
cating his own course, and the patriotism and conduct of 
the volunteers and people. 

On May 25 he delivered a speech of an hour upon the 
Pacific Railroad, the subject of all others in which he took 
the greatest interest and expended the greatest exertions. 
He took the broad national view, embracing the whole 
country, and advocated three routes, and then pointed 
out the superior advantages of the Northern route, and 
dwelt upon its value for gaining the trade of Asia : — 

** Therefore I would not carve our way to the Pacific by a 
single route. It would not satisfy the country. It is not for 
Its peace and harmony politicaUy. It could not do the business 
of the country. It is not up to the exigencies of the occasion. 
Sut carve your way to the Western ocew with at least three 

*^ Considering, therefore, the greater shortness of the North- 
em route, and its nearer connections with both Asia and Eu- 
rope, it must become the great route of freight and passengers 
from Asia to Europe, and even of freight from Asia to the 
whole valley of the Mississippi." 

These views have become established facts for so many 
years that it is hard to realize how far in advance of his 
contemporaries Governor Stevens was in holding them. 
He was one of the first, if not the very first, to discern 
the necessity for three transcontinental railroads, and the 
opportunity for securing the trade of Asia offered by the 
Northern route. 

A few days later he sprang to his feet in defense of 
his friend Nesmith, who was bitterly assailed by M. B. H. 


Gamett^ of yirginia, and answered him in a manner so 
complete and satisfactory as to defeat an amendment 
offered by him. 

On the 27th he spoke in support of an appropriation 
for a military survey of the upper Columbia, and in a 
sharp and breezy debate had the satisfaction of exposing 
Cram's report. 

Congress adjourned on June 9. The treaties were not 
reached, but the governor writes Nesmith that a test vote 
showed that the Senate was strongly in favor of them, 
and that they would all be confirmed next session. 

During the session Governor Stevens introduced nine- 
teen bills and resolutions, and offered four amendments. 
He spoke nine times, making five considerable speeches, 
including two on the war debt, one on the Pacific Rail- 
road, one on the survey of the Columbia, and the defense 
of Nesmith. The following synopsis g^ves the matters 
which claimed his attention in Congress : — 

Indian war debt. Additional post and mail routes. 

Military roads. Pacific Railroad. 

Additional land districts. Port of entry at Vancouver. 

Settlement of accounts of clerks Marine hospital. 

of courts. Land for lunatic asylum. 

Erection of public buildings. Port of delivery at Whatcom. 

Survey of Columbia River. Enrolling clerk for legislature. 

Geological survey. As to false reports of Wool. 

Military road, Columbia to Bringing on Indian chiefs. 

Missouri. Payment territorial deficiency. 

Increased pay for land surveys. Extending certain acts to Wash- 
Relief of C. H. Mason. ington Territory. 

The above summary gives but a faint idea of the 
amount of work and attention involved in the several 
matters enumerated. With characteristic thoroughness, 
the governor always paved the way for his measures by 
first obtaining the support and recommendation of the 


department to which each pertamed^ and was equally in- 
defatigable in foUowing them up before the committees. 
But nothing engrossed so much of his time and attention 
as the numerous claims for losses and services growing 
out of the Indian war, sent to him by his constituents, 
almost all poor men, all of which he presented and pressed 
with the greatest pains and assiduity. 

So intent had he become upon all these important 
measures that, as he writes Nesmith, he determined to 
remain in Washington during the recess of Congress, and 
prepare for success the next session. 

On July 21 Governor Stevens submitted an able and 
exhaustive memoir to Lewis Cass, Secretary of State, on 
the unjust and exorbitant exactions imposed upon Ameri- 
cans, who were then flocking to the newly discovered gold 
fields of New Caledonia, — now British Columbia, — on 
!Fraser and Thompson rivers, having previously, on May 
1.8 and June 29, informed him of this emigration, and 
the impositions placed upon it by Governor Douglass. 
The chief of these were, a license tax of five dollars a 
month for the privilege of mining, and the prohibition of 
all navigation and trading except by license from the Hud- 
son Bay Company, and the requirement that all supplies 
must be purchased from that company. He showed that 
with forty thousand miners, nearly all of them American 
citizens, entering the gold fields, as was the estimate of 
the most intelligent gentlemen of the Pacific coast, the 
license tax would amount to ^2,400,000 per annum ; while 
the Hudson Bay Company, from the exclusive right of 
furnishing supplies, woidd reap the enormous harvest of 
$14,000,000 per annum. Moreover, as the bulk of these 
supplies could not be furnished from the present resources 
of that company, they would have to be drawn by it from 
California, Oregon, and Washington, so that in fact those 
States were compelled to make that company their factor 


for the sale of their products, and allow it all the profits 
from the sale of their own products to their own citizens. 

The governor declared that this state of things could 
not be submitted to by American citizens unless imposed 
by positive and imperative law, and that the exactions in 
question had been imposed without any legal authority 
which should be respected by the citizens or government 
of the United States. 

He held that, the British government having passed 
no law levying a mining tax, Governor Douglass, as gov^ 
ernor of Vancouver Island, was not given authority by 
his commission or instructions to impose such tax ; that 
he was governor of Vancouver Island only, and his po- 
litical jurisdiction did not extend to the mainland, where, 
in fact, he had always declined to exercise authority over 
the Indians as governor, while he had dealt with them 
as chief factor of the Hudson Bay Company. 

That the company, a mere Indian trading company, 
had no authority under its charter to set up a monopoly 
of selling suppUes to white men, whether American citi* 
zens or British subjects, such monopoly, moreover, being 
expressly prohibited by British law. 

And he concluded by asking, in behalf of the citizens 
of our whole Pacific coast, that the government would 
interpose with the British authorities for the removal of 
the restrictions, and would demand the repayment of all 
mining taxes collected, and of the value of all vessels and 
cargoes confiscated. In the last parag^ph he takes pains 
to acknowledge the assistance of his friend, John L. 
Hays, Esq., in the investigation of the legal questions 

The memorial was widely published in the papers, and 
produced an excellent effect on the Pacific coast. The 
Hudson Bay Company relinquished its attempt to com- 
pel the miners to purchase supplies from it exclusively. 


and the monthly mining tax was reduced to a moderate 
yearly one. The memorial was a timely and much-needed 
warning to the Buchanan administration to stand up 
against the ever greedy and bull-dog demands of the 
British upon the Pacific Northwest. 

The news of Steptoe's defeat reached Washington in 
June^ and created a great sensation. It was looked upon 
as a complete vindication of Governor Stevens's views 
and policy in regard to the management of the Indians, 
and a convincing proof of the folly and failure of the 
Wool military peace policy. The very officers who had 
condemned and denounced the governor's plan of pun- 
ishing and subduing the hostiles in order to preserve the 
fidelity and peace of the friendly and doubtful tribes, 
now that their weak temporizing had drawn the latter 
into hostilities, breathed nothing but war. Writes Colo- 
nel Nesmith with glee, natural enough considering how 
his request for two howitzers had been brusquely refused, 
and himself treated with contumely, by Wool : — 

^^Greneral Clarke and the whole military are now fully an- 
swered, and they believe there is a war. The military now 
find themselves in something like your position when the In- 
dians, in violation of all pledges, attacked your camp in the 
Walla Walla. I say again, * Hands off ; ' they have a fair field, 
and I hope they will have a free fight I " 

The War Department took energetic measures in con- 
sequence of Steptoe's defeat. Colonel Wright was largely 
reinforced, and in September led a thousand troops into 
the Spokane country, defeated the Indians in two en- 
gagements, and summarily hanged sixteen of them with- 
out trial. The same month Oregon and Washington 
were constituted a separate military department, and the 
veteran general, William S. Harney, was sent out in com- 
mand. This appointment was highly satisfactory to Gov- 
ernor Stevens, for General Harney adopted all his views 


in regard to the military problem, the Indians, the open- 
ing of the country to settlement, and later, as will be 
seen, in regard to defending our right to the San Juan 
archipelago. The governor writes Colonel Nesmith and 
Governor Curry requesting them to call on the veteran 
commander on his arrival, and extend to him their good- 
will and support. 

Greneral Harney's first act on reaching his new com- 
mand was to throw open to settlement the whole upper 
country, revoking Wool's orders excluding settlers there- 
from. This was a notable victory for Governor Stevens, 
and wiped out the last of Wool's reactionary measures. 

The governor spent the whole recess in Washington, 
except for a flying visit North in July (when, in passing 
through New York, he had his phrenological chart again 
drawn by Fowler) and a visit of three weeks in the fall 
to Newport and Andover. 

In the evening of December 2 he delivered before the 
American Geographical and Statistical Society, in New 
York, an elaborate address on the Northwest, comprising 
fifty-six printed pages. Mr. E. Y. Smalley, the historian 
of the Northern Pacific Railroad, says of this address 
that " he presented the whole argument in behalf of the 
Northern route. Some of his statements were received 
with a great deal of skepticism, but time has shown that 
they were strictly and conscientiously accurate." 

Mr. Swan returned to the Pacific coast in the fall, and 
a very capable, faithful, and agreeable young man, Mr. 
Walter W. Johnson, succeeded him as secretary. The 
adjacent house on the south side was occupied by Mr. 
Johnson's aunts, Mrs. W. R. Johnson and Miss Donel- 
son, most estimable, cultivated, and attractive ladies, and 
the two families contracted the warmest friendship for 
each other. 

Congress reassembled December 6. During the ses- 


8i(m GU>yenior Steyens offered seyen bills and fiye resolu- 

IdoDS, and moyed four amendments. His longest and 

noort important speech was on the payment of the war 

debt, deliyered February 21, 1859. He also spoke on 

l^ringing Indian chiefs to Washington, twice on the 

^ordiwest boundary, and on the military road between 

fort Benton and Walla Walla. 

In January he had two hearings before the Senate In- 
dian Committee. The treaties were all confirmed in the 
Senate on March 8 without serious opposition, for by 
this time their wisdom and merit were recognized on all 
bands. J. Ross Browne, special agent sent out by the 
Interior Department to inyestigate matters, strongly urged 
their confirmation. Judge 6. Mott, another special agent, 
vho had been dispatched to examine Nesmith's superin- 
tendency, did the same. Colonel Mansfield, the inspector- 
general of the army, after visiting the upper country 
and studying the conditions there, strongly recommended 
the treaties. And even General Clarke and Colonel 
Wright, nobly acknowledging their mistake in opposing 
them, joined in the recommendation. At last Governor 
Stevens's great work was vindicated by the test of expe- 
rience, and approved by its former opponents. 

It has already been related how Jefferson Davis, as 
Secretary of War, summarily rejected Governor Stevens's 
plans for continuing the surveys on the Northern route, 
throwing the whole influence of the government in favor 
of the Southern route, and strove to discredit his report 
of the superior advantages of the former ; and how the 
governor, on his expedition to the Blackfoot council, 
notwithstanding this rebuff, indefatigably continued his 
surveys, taking barometrical observations, and making 
careful examinations of different passes and routes, using 
the officers and parties of the Indian service for the pur- 
pose. Throughout all the labors and responsibilities of 


the Indian war he kept up the determination of important 
points, and the collection of data concerning the climate, 
snows, navigability of the great rivers, passes, etc., making 
use in like manner of the volunteer parties. 

During this fall and winter he made his final report on 
the Northern Pacific Railroad route, giving the results of 
his labors since the first report, made some three years 
before. This final report was published in two large 
quarto volumes, containing 797 pages. The first volume 
contains the Narrative, 225 pages; Geographical Me- 
moir, 81 pages; Meteorology, 25 pages; Estimate, 27 
pages; and, with the exception of the meteorological 
tables and a paper on the hydrography of Washington 
Territory, comprising 28 pages, was entirely the gov- 
ernor's own composition, and equal to about 700 ordinary 
printed pages. The second volume contains the botany, 
zoology, ichthyology, etc., with numerous plates. 

The governor expected, on returning from Fort Ben- 
ton, to devote a year to the preparation of his final 
report, but this was interrupted by the Indian war, 
and then, with largely increased data, he found himself 
absorbed in these congressional duties and labors, which 
completely engrossed all his time and attention. It was 
a physical impossibility for any man to write out with 
his own hand in a few months such a report, even if 
it lay all composed and arranged in his mind. The way 
in which Governor Stevens overcame the difficulty was 
original, and showed his remarkable mental grasp and 
powers of memory. He dictated the whole report. Every 
morning an expert stenographer came at six, and the 
governor, walking up and down in the dining-room, dic- 
tated to him for one or two hours before breakfast. The 
reporter then took his notes, wrote them out, and had 
the manuscript ready for the governor's revision at the 
next sitting. Walter W. Johnson, Dr. J. G. Cooper, and 


other assistants were kept hard at work on the report, 
and on February 7, 1859, the governor had the satisfac- 
tion of submitting it to the Secretary of War, John B* 
Floyd, Jefferson Davis's successor. 

The report is written in a clear and graphic style. 
The facts presented in it fully sustained and confirmed 
the conclusions of the first report, and made a crushing 
answer to Jefferson Davis's doubts and criticisms. And 
Grovemor Stevens's views set forth therein have been 
folly and strikingly borne out in the subsequent develop- 
ment of the country. 

Ten thousand copies of the report were ordered to be 
printed by the Senate March 3, and afterwards the 
House ordered ten thousand extra copies March 25, and 
the Senate as many more May 9, 1860. Those first 
printed were not satisfactory to the governor in execution, 
paper, or binding, and he was at no little pains to have 
the twenty thousand extra copies ordered. Being disap- 
pointed in a certain senator whom he expected to pass 
the desired order in the Senate, the governor frankly 
applied to Jefferson Davis to secure the order, and Davis 
was manly and magnanimous enough to do so at once. 
It was characteristic of Governor Stevens, as has already 
been pointed out, to base all his action and objects upon 
the high ground of public needs and welfare, and there- 
fore, ignoring any personal considerations, he demanded 
Davis's aid, on the ground that the valuable data in his 
final report ought to be published for the benefit of the 

The governor was inclined to attribute good motives 
to his opponents, or those who differed from him ; was 
quick to see and admit their points of view ; and never 
assailed their motives, nor descended to personal attacks. 
Indeed, he was inclined to think too well of men, and to 
expect too much of them. 



Six weeks after the final adjournment of Congress, 
Governor Stevens left New York in April, on the steamer 
Northerner, on the long journey to Puget Sound, via the 
Isthmus and San Francisco. He was accompanied by his 
family, except his son, who remained at school in Boston, 
and by his brother-in-law, Mr. Daniel L. Hazard, who was 
going to the Pacific coast to seek his fortune, which he 
found after six years' devotion to business. The journey 
out was a pleasant one, and they reached Vancouver on 
the Columbia, and repaired to the hotel of the town. 
General Harney immediately called, and insisted on tak- 
ing the governor and family to his house, where they 
remained several days. The incident is significant as 
showing the close relations between the veteran com- 
mander and Governor Stevens, and helps explain the 
prompt and decisive action of the former on the San Juan 
controversy a few weeks later. This dispute was in the 
acute stage ; the boundary commissioners were as busy 
with arguments and contentions as a whole bar of law- 
yers, and as far from agreement. Undoubtedly the 
governor, in his earnest and convincing manner, fully 
imbued the general with his views of the American right, 
and the duty of the authorities to defend it. 

The journey from Vancouver to Olympia was made in 
the manner usual in those days, — down the Columbia in 
river steamboat, up the Cowlitz in canoes paddled and 
poled by Indians, and across country in wagons to Olym- 


pia. The governor was everywhere received with de- 
monstratioDs of popular confidence and goodwill. The 
Democratic convention unanimously renominated him te 
delegate to the next Congress. 

Colonel William H. Wallace was nominated by the 
Republican convention. Selucious Garfielde, having been 
removed from his office of receiver of the Land Office for 
misconduct, now vehemently opposed the governor, and 
came out in support of Wallace. Governor Stevens at 
once entered upon a systematic and thorough canvass 
of the Territory, inviting his competitor to accompany 
him, which he did. But Garfielde and Judge Chenoweth 
started around the Sound ahead of the candidates, hop- 
ing to capture the vote of the people for Wallace before- 
hand. Mr. Daniel L. Hazard accompanied the canvassing 
party. The governor, as was too much his habit, crowded 
into a short space of time a greater amount of speaking 
and traveling than most men could stand. Colonel Wal- 
lace broke down on the Columbia River under the strain, 
and had to return home, whereat the governor seemed 
rather pleased, not at his opponent's misfortune, but at 
his own superior endurance. 

The election took place July 11, and he was chosen by 
a vote of 1684 against 1094. 

Mr. Charles H. Mason, the secretary of the Territory 
and at times the acting governor, died on July 23, rather 
unexpectedly. He was beloved by every one, and the 
whole town was plunged in mourning. The governor felt 
his loss as that of a brother, and was very much affected. 
Two days later the funeral services were held in the Cap- 
itol building. Governor Stevens delivered an eloquent and 
heartfelt eulogy, moving all present to tears, after which 
a procession was formed, and almost the entire popu- 
lation followed the remains to the grave. He was laid at 

rest on Bush prairie, beside his friend, George W. Stevens. 


A row over a pig precipitated a crisis in the San Joan 
dispute* An American settler shot a Hudson Bay Com- 
pany's porker found rooting in his garden^ whereupon 
Goyemor Douglass promptly dispatched a steamer to the 
scene, bearing his son-in-law, who was a high official of 
the company and also of the colony, and two members 
of the colonial council Landing, they loudly claimed 
the island as British soil, and ordered the setder to pay 
one hundred dollars for the slain pig, on penalty of being 
taken to Victoria for trial if he refused. But the settler, 
who had already offered to pay the reasonable value of 
the pig, did refuse, and boldly defied arrest, revolver in 
hand. The British officials retired, baffled for the time, 
but declaring that the settler was a trespasser on British 
soil^ and must submit to trial by a British court for his 
offense. A few days after this episode Gleneral Harney, 
returning from a visit to Governor Douglass, stopped at 
San Juan, and the American settlers there invoked his 
protection against British aggression, relating the story of 
the pig. They also begged protection against the raids 
of the northern Indians, who had committed many depre- 
dations on Americans, while they never molested the 
English or Hudson Bay Company people, whom they 
regarded as friends. The old soldier realized the defense- 
less condition of the settlers. His blood was stirred at 
the attempted outrage. On his way back to Vancouver 
he stopped at Olympia and dined with Governor Ste- 
vens, and discussed with him what action the emergency 
required. Immediately on reaching his headquarters at 
Vancouver, General Harney ordered Captain George E. 
Pickett, — the same who, a Confederate general, led the 
famous charge at Gettysburg, — to proceed with his com- 
pany of the 9th infantry from Bellingham Bay to San 
Juan Island, occupy it, and afford protection to American 
settlers. Pickett landed on the island July 27, and at 


once issued a proclamation declaring that, in compliance 
with the orders of the commanding general (Harney), he 
came to establish a military post on the island, not^Eying 
the inhabitants to call on him for protection against 
northern Indians, and stating that ^^ this being United 
States territory, no laws other than those of the United 
States, nor courts except such as are held by virtue of 
said laws, will be recognized or allowed on this island." 
This was throwing down the gauntlet at the feet of the 
British lion with a vengeance ; and Governor Douglass, a 
bold, haughty, and determined man, hurried three war- 
ships to the island, with positive orders to prevent the 
landing of any more United States troops ; but Pickett 
took up a position on high ground, threw up intrench- 
ments, and notified the British that he would fire upon 
them if they attempted to land. 

Governor Douglass now issued his proclamation, pro- 
testing against the '^ invasion," and reasserting that the 
island was British soil ; and, armed with this document, his 
three naval commanders waited on Pickett, and formally 
demanded his withdrawal. On his refusal, they proposed 
a joint occupation. But the daredevil American of&cer 
was equally obdurate in rejecting this compromise, and 
repeated his warning to them not to land. Nothing re- 
mained for them but to report their mortifying failure to 
Governor Douglass. It happened that Admiral Baynes, 
commanding the British Pacific fleet, had just put into 
Esquimault Harbor, the British naval station on Van- 
couver Island, four miles from Victoria, with a strong 
naval force. Sir James, his indignation at white-heat, 
and fiercely determined to expel the Yankees from the 
coveted island, now ordered the admiral to take his whole 
force and drive them from it. As governor of a British 
colony. Sir James was authorized to give the order, and 
it was the admiral's duty to obey it. But Admiral Baynes 


took the responsibility of not obeying it. It would be 
ridiculous^ he declared, to invoWe the two great nations 
in war over a squabble about a pig. But he reinforced 
the ships blockading San Juan, and renewed the orders to 
prevent the landing of any more American troops. Five 
British ships of war, carrying 167 guns and 2140 men, 
closely beset the southeastern end of the island, charged 
with the execution of these orders. 

Grovemor Stevens visited San Juan soon after Pickett 
landed, and on August 4 left it in the steamer Julia. 
Captain Jack Scranton, with dispatches from Captain 
Pickett to General Harney, reached Oljrmpia the next day, 
and at once forwarded the dispatches by special messenger 
to Greneral Harney at Vancouver. In return, Harney's 
orders reached Olympia on the 8th, were forwarded 
immediately by the Julia to Steilacoom, and in pursuance 
of them Colonel Casey embarked on the steamer with 
three companies, hastened down the Sound, silently stole 
through the blockading fleet in a dense fog, and effected 
a landing on San Juan on the 10th. The sight of the 
empty steamer anchored close to the shore in the gray of 
the morning, and the cheers of the reinforcements as 
they marched into Pickett's fort on the hill above, first 
apprised the British navy of the successful landing. 

Soon afterwards Admiral Baynes withdrew his ships 
and relinquished the blockade, leaving the American 
forces in undisputed possession. 

While the British were omnipotent on the water, they 
were ill prepared to sustain a contest on land, and un- 
doubtedly the knowledge of this fact influenced Admiral 
Baynes, and Governor Douglass, too, after his first indig- 
nation, in their forbearing attitude. Victoria and all the 
points on Fraser and Thompson rivers and other places 
on the mainland were thronged with American miners, 
attracted by the recently discovered gold fields. The 


British were but a handf uL The brave and adventurous 
pioneers of Washington and Oregon, the Indian war 
volunteers, were close at hand. The first clash of arms 
on San Juan would have signaled the downfall of every 
vestige of British authority in northwest America, except 
on the decks of their warships. There is no doubt that 
Governor Stevens and the American commander intended 
to press their advantage to the utmost in case of conflict. 
The governor of the Territory was then R. D. Gholson, 
a well-meaning and respectable Kentuckian, who had 
recently succeeded McMullan, and who reposed wholly on 
Governor Stevens for advice and guidance, constantly 
€K>nsulting him. This governor now tendered to General 
Harney the support of the territorial miUtia in case of 
need, sending him a return showing the number of stands 
of arms the Territory possessed, with the statement that 
there was a lack of ammunition. In response General 
Harney immediately dispatched a large quantity of am- 
munition to Fort Steilacoom and placed it at the gov- 
ernor's disposal. Truly the times were changed since 
General Wool refused ammunition to the settlers battling 
for their homes against the savage foe, and maligned 
their patriotic efforts. 

The directing hand of Governor Stevens is manifest in 
this resolute assertion of American rights. It was his 
determined stand, when governor, against the persistent 
encroachments of the British, which first put our govern- 
ment on its guard. He it was who instructed General 
Harney as to the merits of the controversy, encouraged 
him to take decisive action, visited San Juan and noted 
the conditions there at the critical time, and saw to hur^ 
rjring reinforcements to Pickett. It is not too much to 
say that he was the master spirit whose bold and decided 
action repelled the foreign aggression, aroused pubUc 
opinion, deterred a weak and timid administration from 


surrendering our rights, and saved the archipelago to the 
United States. 

Judge James 6. Swan, who was acting as the gov- 
ernor's secretary at this time, quotes from his diary how 
General Harney and Governor Gholson consulted Gt)v- 
ernor Stevens, and declares that the stand he took and 
his influence were the great means of saving San Juan 
to the United States ; that, without his clear and decided 
counsel, General Harney would hardly have felt justified 
in taking such vigorous action as he did ; that there was 
a deal of doubt felt and expressed among officers of the 
army, and it needed the strong, outspoken action of such 
a man as Governor Stevens at that crisis to turn the 

Alarmed at the risk of war, and the scarcely veiled 
threats of the British minister, the government hastened 
to send General Scott to the seat of war, big with com- 
promise. He withdrew Captain Pickett and all the troops 
save one company from the island. Admiral Baynes 
established a post of an equal number of marines on the 
opposite or western end, and the joint occupation was 
maintained thirteen years, and until terminated by the 
Emperor William's award in favor of the United States. 

Scott then endeavored to perform a still more ungra- 
cious task, laid upon him by the administration, to wit, 
to remove Harney in deference to Great Britain, without 
arousing the indignation of the people at such a rebuke 
for his spirited and patriotic action; to cringe to the 
Lion without exciting the Eagle. He gave Harney an 
order to relinquish his command on the Pacific and take 
the Department of the West, with headquarters at St. 
Louis, with permission to accept or decline the order as 
he saw fit. But Harney was not disposed to assist in his 
own rebuke, or smooth the way of truckling to England, 
and kept his post. Hardly had Scott turned his back, 


when Harney ordered Pickett back to San Juan, an order 
in turn countermanded by the general-in-chief .^ 

The people of the Pacific coast were enthusiastic over 
Harney, the legislatures of Oregon and Washington ap- 
plauded his course by public resolutions, and the public 
opinion thus aroused put a needed check to the com- 
promising spirit of the administration. 

Governor Stevens spent the remainder of August and 
part of September in Olympia. He enjoyed visiting his 
farms and planning their improvement, for his early and 
hereditary love of the soil was always strong. In Sep- 
tember he started eastward by the Isthmus route with his 
family, and reached Washington the following month. 

^ Major Granville O. Haller, in an article on the San Juan affair, states 
that immediately on receipt of news of the action of the British he was sent 
with his company by Colonel Casey from Steilacoom to San Juan, ostensibly 
as a goard agahist northern Indians, but with instmctions to confer with 
Pickett, and if he needed aid, to land and assume conmiand. On reaching 
the scene of action he was closely questioned by the British officers as to 
the latest news from the east, — tiie American mail had just brought news 
of the battle of Solf erino, — for their mails were delayed, and they were 
somewhat restrained by the reflection that their g^yemment might haye 
already relinquished the archipelago, and adyices of it not yet arriyed. 
Major Haller remained on his vessel a few days, probably not wishing to 
precipitate a conflict by forcing a landing, but did land soon afterwards. 




The Indian treaties confirmed^ Governor Stevens w^^ 
more determined than ever to secure the payment of t2ia 
Indian war debt. This had been thoroughly examincJ 
and audited by a commission appointed by the Secretary 
of War^ consisting of Captains Buf us Ingalls and A. J. 
Smith, of the army, and Mr. Lafayette Grover, the bro- 
ther of Lieutenant Grover and afterwards governor of 
Oregon, and their report had been referred by the last 
Congress to the third auditor. It was a long time before 
he reported, and his report, when made, was a very unjust 
and condemnatory one, manifestly tinged with the preju- 
dice so widely spread by Wool's slanders. The friends of 
the debt for some time were unable to get it before the 
House, and had to content themselves with enlightening 
individual members and the public. 

The governor followed up the various matters in behalf 
of the Pacific Northwest with his usual energy this ses- 
sion. He spoke on the Pacific Railroad, on steam vessels 
for Puget Sound, on Indian appropriations, military post 
on Red River, appropriations for surveys, separate In- 
dian superintendency for Washington Territory, etc. He 
succeeded in obtaining an appropriation of $100,000 for 
the military road between Fort Benton and Walla Walla, 
which Lieutenant Mullan was now building, $10,000 for— 
a mihtary road between Steilacoom and Vancouver, $450(^ 
for the boundary survey between Oregon and Washings— 
ton, $95,500 for the Indian service, and secured a ne^^ 


land office and district for the southern part of the Ter- 
ritory. During the session he offered thirteen bills, eight 
resolutions, and two memorials. 

His chief interest and labors, however, were on the 
Northern Railroad route. He was indefatigable in mak- 
ing known its great national advantages. On April 3 he 
addressed an elaborate letter on the subject to the rail- 
road convention of the Pacific coast, held at Vancouver. 
In this he again advocated three routes; showed the na- 
tional importance of the Northern route, its advantages 
for securing the trade of Asia, and the danger, if that 
route were neglected, that the British-Canadians would 
build a line to the Pacific within their own borders, and 
thereby forestall this country in developing its Pacific 
ports and securing the Asiatic commerce. He declared 
that the explorations thus far made were simply recon- 
noissances; that two years would be required to complete 
the surveys, and probably ten years to build the road. 
He urged the convention to reject absolutely the com- 
promise in the shape of a branch Une from some point 
on the central route to the Columbia River and Puget 
Sound, which had been urged in Congress and elsewhere, 
and firmly to insist on the Northern route as a great 
national work. As published, this letter makes twenty- 
four printed pages, and Mr. SmaUey, the historian of the 
Northern Pacific Railroad, already quoted, says of it 
that — 

^ he gave so clear and condensed an account of the Northern 
route, its distances and grades, as compared with the line then 
projected to Benicia, California, its advantageous situation in 
relation to the China and Japan trade, and the adaptability of 
the country it would traverse for continuous settlement, that 
the document, printed in pamphlet form, became a cyclopedia 
in miniature, from which facts and arguments have ever since 
been drawn by the friends of that route." 



Governor Stevens had now become the recognized-^ 
authority on the Northern route^ and the acknowledged— — 

leader of its advocates in Congress. He was ably sup 

ported by General Lane, and by the Minnesota senators, 
Bice and Ramsay, and was indefatigable in furnishings 
them with data and points for use in debate. At a din- 
ner party on one occasion, Senator Gwin openly taxed 
the governor with writing the speech which a certaia 
senator had just delivered in behalf of that route, and. 
which made some stir, declaring that no one could mis- 
take the governor's style and ideas ; and the charge wa&i* 
well founded. 

During Governor Stevens's first term in Congress 
great efforts were made by the friends of the CentraL 
route to pass a bill granting a subsidy in lands and bond» 
to that route, and the bait of a branch from the vicinity^ 
of Salt Lake to the Columbia River and Puget Sound, 
was held out to placate the adherents of the Northern, 
route. Governor Stevens strenuously fought this schema 
of a branch instead of the through Northern route. Th^ 
proposed bill failed. 

In the next Congress the adherents of the Central and. 
Southern routes joined forces. The extreme secession- 
ists, on the eve of withdrawing from Congress in order 
to break up the Union, were ready enough to vote sub- 
sidies to the united routes, and the Union senfiment 
was invoked by the argument that the aid extended to 
the Southern route would help satisfy the South and 
strengthen the Union. By this combination the House, 
on December 20, 1860, passed a bill for a land grant and 
subsidy to both the Central and Southern routes. The 
Northern route was completely ignored. An amendment 
offered by Governor Stevens, granting ten sections of 
land per mile for a road from Red River to Puget Sound, 
was rejected. But when the bill came before the Senate, 


an amendment was offered by Senator Wilkinson, of 
Minnesota, and adopted, the New England senators aid- 
ing those from Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Oregon, giv- 
ing a subsidy of twenty-five millions for a railroad from 
Lake Superior to Puget Sound, and a land grant of six 
alternate sections per mile on each side of the track in 
Minnesota, and ten alternate sections for the rest of the 
way. The amendment created the Northern Pacific Rail- 
road Company, and empowered Charles D. Gilfillan, of 
Minnesota, Nathaniel P. Banks, of Wisconsin, and Isaac 
I. Stevens, of Washington Territory, to act as a board of 
commissioners to organize the company. The bill thus 
amended went back to the House for concurrence, but the 
session was almost at an end, and repeated efforts to take 
the bill from the speaker's table, to get it before the 
House for consideration, failed for lack of a two thirds 

Governor Stevens rapidly overcame — lived down — 
the prejudice excited by the charges and reports against 
him, and won the respect of his fellow members. Several 
of them expressed to him their surprise at finding him so 
different a man from what they had been led to believe. 
Said one gentleman, ^^I expected to find you a loud-voiced, 
tobacco-chewing, drinking, swearing, violent man, and 
instead I find a gentleman of quiet manners, education, 
ability, and high aims and ideals." The governor used 
to regard this change of opinion, which he personally 
made upon members, with a good deal of satisfaction. 

He usually rose early, and spent the two hours before 
breakfast at work in his of&ce. After breakfast and 
until noon, when Congress met, he would spend in vis- 
iting the departments. He kept a Hght carriage with 
one horse for this purpose, and for going to and from 
the Capitol, having the colored servant Bob drive it, or 
driving himself. He had unbounded influence in all the 


departments. The clear, lucid way in which he pn 
his cases ; his brief, prompt, business-like methoc 
fact that he never asked anything that he did not 
to be right, and called for by public interests, and 1 
would not submit to delay or neglect, but would 
up his matters until they received due attention, ( 
the President himself if necessary, — made him ren 
and somewhat feared, while his uniform courte 
consideration for the clerks and subordinates wo 

He acquired great influence with President Buc 
His son Hazard was desirous of entering West 
and he took the youth to call on the President a: 
an appointment for him. Mr. Buchanan very na 
asked the governor why he did not give his son 1 
pointment within his own gift as a member of Co: 
The latter declared he could not do this with pro 
and pointedly requested the desired appointment, 
the President seemed reluctant to make, pleadii 
many claims upon him for the few cadetships at 1 
posal. But finding the governor still firm in his r< 
he promised unequivocally and positively to appo 
son. The governor carefully refrained from advii 
influencing the latter in the choice of a profession, 
him that he had better decide the matter for himsel 
uncle, however, very strenuously urged him not 
to West Point. At last the young man besoug 
advice of his father, who simply said that he wou 
advise him to enter West Point, or adopt the arm 
profession, but told him to decide according to hi 
judgment and inclination. Under these circumstai 
concluded to give up West Point. Within a ye 
rebellion broke out, and he was carrying a musket 
ranks of the Union volunteers. How little can we i 
the future ! 


The governor appointed Robert Gatlin as cadet to 
West Point from Washington Territory. 

He dined at six, and spent the evening in social inter- 
course. Sometimes he would make the rounds of the 
hotels^ meeting old friends and acquaintances^ and fre- 
quently would work late in the night on some matter 
that engaged his attention. Like all rising and influential 
men, he was more and more sought after in behalf of all 
sorts of people and schemes. Mrs. Stevens relates that 
on one occasion^ when she was reading in the rear end of 
the large double parlors and the governor was receiving 
two gentlemen in the front room^ she was startled to see 
liim suddenly spring from his chair^ face his visitors with 
upright, soldierly bearing and head erect, exclaiming in 
a stem and indignant voice, ^^ Look at me, gentlemen, 
and tell me what you see about me that you dare intimate 
such a proposition ! Leave my house ! '' They slunk off 
without a word. 

The governor delighted in hospitality, and was never 
happier than when entertaining his friends. While in 
Washington he was visited by many of his own and Mrs. 
Stevens's relatives. 

Grovemor Stevens was preeminently a national man 
in all his ideas and sympathies. His Revolutionary an- 
cestry, his West Point training, his participation in large 
national interests, — as the Mexican war, the Coast Sur- 
vey, the exploration of the continent and upbuilding of 
the Pacific Northwest, together with the natural bent 
of his patriotic nature and comprehensive, far-sighted 
mind, — strengthened his love for and pride in the great 
Republic, and made sectionalism or disunion utterly ab- 
horrent to him. Like Webster, he regarded the Union 
as the palladium of national liberty, life, and power, and 
its preservation the highest patriotic duty. 

There was an aggressive disunion faction, in the South- 


em tier of slave States, seeking to disrupt the Union by 
magnifying Northern encroachments against the Southern 
institution of negro slavery ; but the great bulk of the 
Southern people still held fast to their ancient moorings. 
Governor Stevens firmly believed that to maintain unim- 
paired the compromises of the Constitution in regard to 
slavery was not only the highest statesmanship looking to 
the preservation of the Union, but a matter of justice and 
good faith to the Southern Unionists. He believed that 
as long as the Northern Democracy stood by the consti- 
tutional rights of the South, they would continue to hold 
fast to the Union, and defeat the Secessionists, and that 
thus, by the league of broad-minded national men both 
North and South, the extremists could be kept down and 
the Union maintained. 

The political issues of the day sprang up over the 
question of slavery in the Territories. The Republican 
party held that Congress had the right, and it was its 
duty, to prohibit slavery within them ; and its more pro- 
gressive leaders openly expressed the belief that the insti- 
tution, if debarred from extension and confined to the 
existing slave States, would ultimately become extinct. 
The Democratic party was divided between two doctrines 
on the question. The majority of Northern Democrats 
upheld the " Squatter Sovereignty " doctrine of Stephen 
A. Douglas, to wit, that the people of each Territory 
had the right to decide for or against slavery ; while 
the Southern Democrats and a large part of those in the 
North, including many of the oldest and ablest leaders 
and public men, held that, as the Territories had been 
acquired by the blood and treasure of all the States, 
neither Congress nor the citizens of a Territory could 
lawfully prohibit slavery therein as long as they remained 
Territories ; but when they assumed Statehood, the peo- 
ple could prohibit or establish slavery, as they saw fit. 


The latter doctrine had the support of a dictum of the 
Supreme Court. Moreover, well-informed men knew that, 
as a practical matter, there was no probability that negro 
slavery could be extended into any of the existing Terri- 
tories, for both natural conditions and the great prepon- 
derance of Northern emigration to the West were adverse 
to it. A few brief years would settle the question in the 
Territories, and remove it from national politics; and 
meantime, if the Southern people, the great majority of 
iBrhom were Union-loving and patriotic, could be reas- 
sured that their constitutional rights as to slavery would 
be respected, the disunionists would become powerless, 
the dangerous controversies over slavery would die out, 
and the Union would be saved, stronger and more glori- 
ous than ever. Such were the views of Stevens and 
many of the ablest Democratic leaders, the same views 
that actuated Clay and Webster and their compatriots 
when they allayed the storm of an earlier strife over the 
same subject. No spirit of subserviency to the South 
actuated them, but a strong sense of justice to the 
weaker section, of fidelity to the Constitution, of loyalty 
to the Southern Unionists, and, above all, a broad-minded 
national patriotism. Thus it was that the men of whom 
Governor Stevens was a type, after striving to the utmost 
to safeguard the Southern constitutional rights, when sac- 
rilegious hands assailed the nation's life, and the South- 
em people, frenzied with the madness of the hour, were 
swept into the maelstrom of the great rebeUion, were 
foremost in defense of the country, in self-devotion and 
self-sacrifice for her sake. In this school of patriots are 
numbered two members of Lincoln's cabinet, Edwin M. 
Stanton, the great War Secretary, and Joseph Holt, the 
Attorney-General; Greneral John A. Dix and Daniel 
L. Dickinson, of New York ; Generals Grant, Sherman, 
Halleck, Sheridan; Benjamin F. Butler, of Massachu- 


setts ; John A. Logan^ of Illinois ; and many othei 
of whom supported Breckinridge and Lane. 

Although deeply immersed in the important prat 
measures for the advancement of the Northern route 
the Pacific Northwest, Governor Stevens was as ea 
and decided in his political views as in everything el 
undertook. He attended the Democratic National 
vention, which was held in Charleston, S. C, April 2 
a delegate representing Oregon, the Territories havin 
representation. He ardently advocated the nomin: 
of General Lane, his friend and co-worker in heha 
the Pacific Territories. Greneral Lane had achieved i 
distinction in the Mexican war, was a man of b: 
statesman-like views, sound judgment, upright, high-t< 
generous, and considerate of others, and univei 
esteemed. He was just the man for a compromise c 
date, and his chances were good for the nomination 
the more prominent candidates should defeat each o 
But the convention split upon the platform, the N 
em delegates insisting upon the squatter soverei 
doctrine ; whereupon the representatives of nine ext 
Southern States seceded from the convention, w 
without making any nominations, adjourned to me 
Baltimore on June 18. In the few ballots taken, 6e 
Lane received six votes ; but the opportune momen 
which his friend hoped never arrived, owing to th< 
ruption of the convention. 

The Baltimore convention served but to emphasize 
irreconcilable difference between the two doctrines 
wings dividing the Democracy. Douglases doctrine 
adopted, and himself nominated, by a reduced coi 
tion ; while the delegations of eight more States, 
drawing from it, met in separate convention on Jun 
in the same city, and nominated John C. Breckinr 
of Kentucky, for President, and Joseph Lane, of Ore 


for Vice-President^ on a platform declaring the other doc- 
trine, and assuming the name of the National Democratic 

President Buchanan and the entire influence of the 
administration supported the latter, and, as the election 
showed, not only the majority of the foremost puhUc 
men of the Northern Democracy, but one third of its 

Abraham Lincoln and Hannibal Hamlin were nomi- 
nated by the Republican party on a platform opposing 
the extension of slavery in the Territories ; and a con- 
▼ention representing the old Whigs, and many moderate 
men and Unionists in both sections, nominated John 
Bell, of Tennessee, and Edward Everett, of Massachu- 
setts, on the bare declaration of ^^ The Union, the Con- 
stitution, and the Enforcement of the Laws/' 

The National Democratic party, thus launched into the 
struggle, was destitute of any national organization, so 
essential for carrying on a presidential contest. The 
leaders, including the nominees and members of the 
cabinet, after full consultation, besought Governor Ste- 
vens to accept the position of chairman of the National 
Executive Committee, organize it, and carry on the can- 
vass. Ever ready to devote himself to any cause in which 
he was enlisted, the governor undertook the herculean 
task. In a single night he wrote the party address to 
the country, — an address covering a whole page of a 
large metropolitan newspaper, a feat for which Greneral 
Lane years afterwards expressed unbounded admiration 
and astonishment, both for its ability and for the ease 
and rapidity with which it was dashed off. 

During ^e next four months Governor Stevens drove 

on the canvass with his accustomed energy and ability. 

Headquarters were opened in New York, contributions 

collected, meetings organized, and large numbers of 


speeches and documents circulated all over the country. 
On September 5 he entertained at dinner, in Washington, 
Greneral Lane, Secretaries Howell Cobb and Jacob Thomp- 
son, of the cabinet, and a delegation from New YorL 
The situation seemed by no means hopeless to the adher- 
ents of Breckinridge and Lane. The Republican vote 
at the last presidential election was far in the minority, 
even in the North ; and now, with four candidates in the 
field, it seemed probable that there would be no popular 
election. In such case the choice of President would 
devolve upon the House of Representatives, voting by 
States, and the Democratic members controlled a majority 
of the States, and could therefore choose one of the 
Democratic candidates. Li the event that the House 4 
failed to elect, owing either to dissensions among thei^ 
Democratic members, or the abstention of enough mem^ — • 
bers to break a quorum, which the Republican members 
could bring about, as they had the numerical majority 
then the Senate had the election of Vice-President, whcz 
would act as President, and that insured the choice 
of General Lane, because the majority of the States were 
represented in the Senate by senators who supporteif 
Breckinridge and Lane.^ 

The election of Lincoln in November overset all these 
hopes and calculations, and the drama of the great rebel- 
lion, which was to humble the arrogant fire-eaters of the 
South, free the land from the curse of slavery, and vindi- 
cate the Union by the sword, the last argument of kings 
and nations, was ushered in. 

At the last session of this, the 36th Congress, the bill 
to pay the Indian war debt was passed, notwithstanding 
the most strenuous and bitter opposition, led by a mem- 
ber from New York, Greneral WooFs State, and inspired 
by him. The report of the third auditor, which greatly 

^ Alexander H. Stephens, The War Between the States, vol. ii. p. 276. 


and very unfairly cut down the award of the Ingalls 
oommission, was made the basis of the bill. Governor 
Stevens, in his speeches in Congress, severely criticised 
and exposed the mistakes and unfair findings of the au- 
ditor, without impugning his honesty. He was a well- 
xneaning but narrow man, who had allowed himself to 
l>e prejudiced against the volunteers. Other advocates 
of the bill were less considerate towards him. On one 
occasion he thanked the governor with great warmth and 
sincerity for always treating him, and referring to him, 
as an honest man and well-meaning public servant, much 
'to the governor's surprise. 

He also succeeded in having his Territory made a 
separate Indian superintendency, and his friend W. W. 
3Iiller appointed superintendent. He also increased the 
mail service on the Sound from weekly to semi-weekly, 
and secured appropriations of $59,700 for the Indian 
service, $61,000 for general expenses, and had Lieuten- 
ant Mullan's report on building the military road across 
the mountains printed. He offered five bills, six resolu- 
tions, and four amendments, and spoke on the Northern 
Pacific Railroad, in defense of the Coast Survey, Indian 
war debt, increased mail service on Puget Sound, military 
post on Red River, etc. 

During his congressional tour the governor was par- 
ticularly indefatigable and successful in establishing new 
post-roads, and increasing mail facilities in all parts of 
the Territory. Years afterwards General Miller declared 
that the government had done nothing since his death but 
to cut down the mail service, and abolish the posfroffices 
and routes he had caused to be established. 

The military road between Fort Benton and Walla 
Walla, which the governor caused to be opened, and in 
charge of which he had placed Lieutenant Mullan, known 
as the Mullan road popularly, was for a number of years 


the highway across the Bitter Root and Rocky Moun^ 
tains, traversed by thousands of trains, and the great 
artery for communication with and supply of thousands 
of settlers and miners in Montana, until superseded bj 
the railroads. 

The payment of the Indian war debt was a great tri- 
umph for Governor Stevens, and completed the vindica- 
tion of his course, as the confirmation of his treaties 
vindicated his Indian policy. 

During the last seven years, what severe and unremit- 
ting labors he had undergone, what great results he had 
achieved, and what tremendous obstacles and opposition 
he had overcome ! He had made the exploration of the 
Northern route the most complete and exhaustive of all ; 
had demonstrated its superiority, not simply as a trans- 
continental line, but as a world route for the world's 
commerce, and had made himself the authority and ex- 
ponent of that route. By his Indian service he had 
treated with over thirty thousand Indians, exting^uished 
the Indian title to a hundred and fifty million acres, 
established peace among hereditary enemies over an area 
larger than New England and the Middle States, and 
instituted over thousands of savages a beneficent policy 
of instruction and civilization. By calling out volunteers 
and waging an aggressive war against the savage foe, 
when all was gloom and terror, and the settlers were 
not only forsaken but vilified by the military authority, 
whose duty it was to protect them, he saved the settle- 
ments of his Territory from extinction, and the progress 
of the Northwest from being set back for years. And 
his firm and patriotic stand against British aggression 
saved the San Juan group to the United States. 

Entering Congress vilified by high and low, with the 
censure of his territorial legislature and the disapproval 
of the President recorded against him, he had so ably 


demonstrated the wisdom and rightfulness of his course 
that he secured the ratification of his Indian treaties, 
the payment of the Indian war debt, the reversal of the 
reactionary policy of Wool, the opening of the inte- 
rior to settlement, and the punishment of Indian mur- 

During his brief career up to this time he disbursed 
over three quarters of a million dollars for the govern- 
ment, as follows : ^ — 

As an officer of engineers, the larger part on 
Fort Knox $278,108.29 

As Governor and Superintendent of Indian 
Affairs 886,642.66 

In the Northern route exploration • • . • 114,103.56 


^ The aoconnts for this vast sum were aU found correct, and were all 
passed by the accounting officers of the treasury, except some of the ezpen- 
ditiires on the exploration, and it is instructive to note these items as an 
example of how great injustice the rigid rules, or notions of accounting 
officials, ofttimes inflict upon the most scrupulous and careful officers. Goy- 
emor Stevens was charged with a balance of $8856.14, the largest item in 
which ($2626) consisted of the payment to ten regular officers on the ex- 
ploration of one dollar per diem each, while engaged in topographical duty, 
aooording to an established regulation. Other items were for payments for 
Babsistenoe and transportation ; for compensation paid civil employees ; for 
interest on the protested drafts, which were necessary to continue the su^ 
Tey, and for wliich Congress made appropriation ; for articles and animals 
necessarily lost or worn out in so widespread and extended a service ; and 
even for recompense paid certain of the party who had to abandon their 
clothing and effects in the mountains in a snowstorm. No compensation 
was ever allowed Grovpmor Stevens for his services in conducting the ex- 
ploration and preparing his flnal report Although the disallowed items 
were referred to Captain A. A. Humphreys (General Humphreys) for ex- 
amination, and he reported in favor of Grovemor Stevens, and recommended 
the aUowance of nearly every item, no action was taken before the latter 
feU at the battle of Chantilly, the following year. Since then application 
has been made to Congpress, resulting in one biU passing the House and an- 
other the Senate at different times, but neither passed both branches. And 
General Stevens, after serving his country so fkithfuUy, and accomplishing 
so much in her behalf , is accounted a dtbtor to the government. 


Events followed fast that winter in the great national^ 
drama. The ultra-secessionists in the cotton States haA 
it all their own way ; and the Democratic leaders through.— 
out the South, regardless of their Northern allies, who 
had stood hy them so bravely and against such odds, 
were only too ready to follow in the same treasonable 
path, some accepting Seward's doctrine of an irrepressi- 
ble conflict between slavery and freedom, and beUeving 
that separation and an independent government were the 
only means by which slavery could be maintained ; while 
others, furious at the loss of political power, like Lucifer, 
would rather reign in hell than serve in heaven, — would 
ruin where they could no longer rule. 

Great efforts were made by the moderate men, espe- 
cially of the border States, to heal the breach; the 
Republican leaders, frightened at the storm, displayed 
a conciliatory spirit ; and it seemed for a time that the 
differences might be compromised, the fears of the South 
allayed, and the Union peacefully preserved. Grovemor 
Stevens clung to this hope to the last. He thought that 
if a constitutional convention could be held, the breach 
could be healed; that the strong Union sentiment in most 
of the Southern States would cause them to adhere to 
the Union ; and that the few seceding States, isolated and 
helpless, would soon be glad to resume their places. It is 
altogether probable that this view was correct, but one 
essential condition of such a plan was that no overt act 
of hostility should be committed. The secessionists, by 
violently seizing the national forts and property, and 
beginning hostilities, rendered peaceful adjustment hope- 

Governor Stevens was firm and decided in his opin- 
ion that it was the duty of the President to protect the 
national property and forts and enforce the laws. The 
following sentences culled from his correspondence show 

his TiewB and feelings at this trying and momentous 

December 10. Should Carolina attaok the forts, or seize the 
meDne, there must be collision. The government must protect 
ito property and execute its laws. 

Let all men agree to a convention of all the States. When 
the delegates meet, I am sure it will be found easier to unite 
ihao to separate. If Union seems to be accompanied by occa- 
rional discord, separation will threaten perpetual war. If in 
Union there is not always harmony, in separation there will 
nerer be peace. 

December 17. That the President will protect the public 
property and execute the laws, no one can doubt. That he has 
troops in readiness to embark at a moment's warning to succor 
the forts in the event of their attack by South Carolina cannot 
be doubted. I do not believe that the authorities of South 
Carolina will make any attack of the kind, or resist the collect- 
ing of the revenue, at least until ample notice has been given. 
When the case arises will be the time for the President to 
act That he will act decisively I do not doubt. But the great 
problem to be solved is to vindicate the laws without collision. 
The only hope of reconciliation is in avoiding collision. Never 
were wanted more the qualities of forbearance and moderation 
in connection with those of decision and of action. 

January 8. The blow of the secessionists in seizing the 
arsenal and forts at Charleston has been followed up by the 
seizure of the arsenal at Augusta, and of the forts on the Sa- 
vannah River. There is no doubt that the secessionists here 
sent word Soath some time ago to seize all the forts on the 
Gulf, and most if not all are probably now in their hands. 

The mad, headlong, and unjustifiable course of the Southern 
States is tending to unite the North as one man. The firm 
course which the President is taking will rally around him all 
true. Union-loving, conservative men. 

When secession raised its treasonable head among his 
political associates^ Governor Stevens denounced it, and 
broke with them at once and forever. He took an active 
part in urging President Buchanan to withdraw his con- 


fidence from the Southern members of his cabinet, and 
take a positive stand in defense of the government and 
country. He called on Mr. Buchanan repeatedly, and 
strongly urged this course. His recent position as chair- 
man of the National Democratic Executive Committee 
added strength to the personal influence he already had, 
and aided much in bringing the President to the firmer 
attitude which distinguished Idie last days of his adminis- 
tration. The governor respected Mr. Buchanan, while he 
pitied his lack of firmness and moral courage. He said 
that for a time Mr. Buchanan presented a pitiable spec- 
tacle of indecision and lack of firmness and courage. He 
even feared personal violence, and had been threatened 
with it by some of the Southerners. 

During the winter Washington was filled with alarming 
rumors that the secessionists were plotting to seize the 
capital, to assassinate the President-elect, to prevent his 
inauguration, and there was considerable foundation for 
them. To guard against such dangers. Governor Stevens 
aided in the organization of a regiment of District of 
Columbia militia, and was one of the chief advisers and 
supporters of Colonel C. P. Stone, who raised and com- 
manded it, assisting him in procuring arms and equip- 
ments. Colonel Stone was the General Stone who was so 
unjustly persecuted for the disaster at Ball's Bluff. The 
governor personally urged Mr. Buchanan to sustain Major 
Anderson in his bold move of occupying Fort Sumter, to 
give his entire confidence to General Scott, and approved 
and defended his bringing regular troops to Washington. 
In these matters Governor Stevens was intimately associ- 
ated and acted with Holt, Stanton, Dix, and other Demo- 
crats, most of whom had been supporting Breckinridge 
and Lane, and who rescued Mr. Buchanan from the 
hands of his secessionist cabinet, and inspired him to 
assert the national authority. 



IMMEDIATELY after the inauguration of President Lin- 
coln, Governor Stevens hastened to return to the Terri- 
tory. General Miller wrote : — 

** I believe that the National Democracy can easily keep pos- 
session of the Territory. As to your own prospects, they seem 
as good to me as ever they were. Now that you have won 
a national fame, you will always be looked upon as the leading 
man of the Northwest. Should you be thrown out of the dele- 
gateship at the next election, in two years you would be the 
strongest man on the coast. But you cannot be beaten even 
at the next election." 

General Lane, however, had just been defeated in 
Oregon by a coalition of liie Republicans and Douglas 
Democrats, and Colonel J. W. Nesmith was chosen his 

Breaking up the Twelfth Street establishment, and 
leaving Mrs. Stevens and the three girls in Newport and 
his son at Harvard, Governor Stevens sailed from New 
York on the steamer Northern Light, March 12, by the 
Isthmus route, and arrived in Olympia the last of April. 
There he denounced secession, took strong ground in 
favor of supporting the government, and recommended 
organizing and arming the territorial militia. Accord- 
ingly a company was raised in Olympia, known as the 
Fuget Sound Rifles ; he was elected captain, accepted the 
command without hesitation, and was duly commissioned 


and sworn in. This was before the news of the attack 
on Fort Sumter and the grand uprising of the nation 
had reached the Pacific slope, and the minds of many 
were still in doubt. 

The Democratic convention was held at Vancouver in 
May. Untiring efforts had been made by the faction 
opposed to Governor Stevens to defeat his renomination, 
and the showy and oratorical Garfielde headed the oppo- 
sition. The governor's friends felt too secure in his well- 
earned and undiminished popularity, and the prestige of 
his successf id career in Congress, just crowned by the pay- 
ment of the war debt, and neglected the active work and 
support the occasion called for. Notwithstanding this, a 
clear majority of the delegates were elected as Stevens 
men ; but when the convention met, the opposition were 
found well organized, active, and bitter ; they won over a 
number of delegates, several of them by bribery, as was 
publicly charged, and rendered the governor's nomination 
doubtful, and only to be made at the cost of a protracted 
contest. Indignant at such unworthy treatment at the 
hands of the party he had served so faithfully and well, 
and disdaining such a contest at such a time, for the news 
of the firing on Sumter had just been received, and he 
had resolved to tender his service to the country, Gov- 
ernor Stevens at once withdrew his name as a candidate 
before the convention. Garfielde was then nominated, 
and the governor accepted the situation in the following 
manly and magnanimous speech : — 

Mr. President, Gentlemen of the Convention, and 
Fellow Citizens of the Territory of Washington, — 
I congratulate you on the harmonious termination of your 
labors. Notwithstanding great differences of judgment as to 
the admission of delegates and the fairness of the organiza- 
tion of this convention, you have at length, with almost entire 
unanimity, agreed upon a platform and a candidate. By your 


action I ahall abide. The choice of this convention is my 
choice, and shall receive my cordial and unwavering support 
For one, I shall not look mournfully into the past. This, the 
hour of agony of our country's life, is no time for recrimination 
and the indulgence of selfish feeling. It appeals to whatever 
is noble and patriotic in behalf of that country's cause. Our 
beloved Union is in most imminent peril. The sad spectacle 
of civil and fratricidal strife is being exhibited to the world, and 
doubt has arisen as to the capacity of man for self-government. 
No longer devotion to our whole country, no longer an enlarged 
view of the liberties and progress of mankind, shapes the poli- 
des of parties and prevails in the councils of the government, 
but the strife of jarring sections and an insane grasp after 
ascendency has precipitated upon the country a cruel, inter- 
necine war. It is the duty of the Democracy to unite for the 
sake of the union of these States. The sundered Democracy of 
the States has already come together. Let not our hitherto 
united Democracy now separate. 

I most heartily indorse the platform of the convention that 
secession is revolution. There is do such thing, indeed, as 
peaceable secession. From the beginning of this controversy, 
not only have I deprecated, but I have denounced secession. I 
liave deemed it the worst possible remedy for the redress of the 
grievances of the South. I have considered it an aggravation 
ten-thousand-fold of all their wrongs. I feel that, as the repre- 
sentative of the most northwest Territory, I have been true 
and unfaltering to my constituency and my country. For 
daring the entire winter past I have used every exertion of 
my nature in behalf of the union of these States and against 

Gentlemen, it is our duty as patriots, and as true lovers of 
liberty, to stand by our government and our country in this 
its great emergency. The aggressions of the South upon the 
property and the forces of the general government must be 
sternly repelled. The government must be maintained as well 
against domestic as foreign foes. Let these States become the 
prey of revolutionary schemes, let the doctrine be admitted that 
one of the parties can alter or break up the compact without 
the consent of the others, and anarchy will reign throughout 




the land and all hopes of regulated liberty will come to an 
end. We must, I repeat, stand steadfastly by the constituted 
authorities in their efforts to sustain the government. 

Fellow citizens and fellow Democrats, I am profoundly grate- 
ful for the confidence which, during eight long years of labor, 
you have placed in me. I am especially grateful for the marks 
of confidence which I have received in this hour of uncertainty 
and doubt. My own views and opinions are known to you. I 
have nothing to explain, to retract, or to apologize for. I have 
sought faithfully, under all circumstances, to do my duty. I 
feel that at my hands the honor of the Territory has been 
sustained, and I can look every man in the face, knowing, as 
I do, that I have done no man intentional injustice. 

But many of his friends were so indignant at the ras- 
cally methods employed to compass his defeat that they 
refused to support Garfielde, and he was badly defeated 
in the election. 

The day the convention adjourned, Governor Stevens 
tendered his services to the government in the following 
letter : — 

Portland, Oreoon, May 22, 1861. 

Hon. Simon Cameron, Secretary of War. 

Sir^ — I have the honor to offer my services in the great 
contest now taking place for the maintenance of the Union in 
whatever military position the government may see fit to em- 
ploy them. 

For my services in the war with Mexico I will respectfully 
refer you to General Scott, on whose staff I served as an officer 
of engineers during that war. 

For my services in the subsequent Indian wars of the coun- 
try, I will refer you to the Hon. J. W. Nesmith, one of the 
senators from Oregon. 

I need not add that, throughout this unhappy secession con- 
troversy, I have been an unwavering and steadfast Union man. 
I am, sir, very respectfully. 

Your obedient servant, 

Isaac I. Stevens. 

[ Fatsimile oj i 

/c/^Pf . c?'W>i-^o^ c^^jU'T^^z.i.'Xyr'^'^yu 

offering Serz'ices \ 




-e— ^ (Z^-^-^^e..*^-'^^^.^^^ 


The same day, from Vancouver the governor wrote Sen- 
ator Nesmith, requesting him to see the Secretary and — 

^4et him know that the offer is made from the earnest pur- 
pose and desire to do my duty in this great emergency of our 
country's history. ... I am afraid there is to he a protracted 
contest. I want to see the rebellion crushed out. The policy 
of conciliation, to which I adhered as long as it presented the 
least hope, has not only been exhausted, but it has been con- 
temptuously rejected by the South. The war ought to be prose- 
cuted with the utmost vigor. Let us see if we have a govern- 
ment. Nothing can be worse than anarchy." 

The governor was anxious to reach Washington at the 
earliest possible moment in order to renew in person his 
tender of services, but was detained in Portland over the 
sailing of one steamer by a severe though brief fit of 
sickness. At this time he was obliged to borrow $600 
of Judge Seth Catlin, — a warm personal and political 
friend, — for his expenses in Washington had been heavy 
and he had nothing laid up. He was always too much 
engrossed in pubUc affairs to give due attention to his 
private interests, but he was always careful to meet his 
bills and expenses. He was able to take the next steamer 
down the coast, the Cortez, and on board of her he wrote 
General Totten as follows : — 

Steaioer Cortez, Jane 19, 1861. 
Mt dear General, — I am on my way to the States to 
offer my services in a military capacity to the government, and 
for the war.^ I feel and know that I can do good service. 

^ Gorernor Alexander S. Abemethj writes the following anecdote of 
GoTemor Stevens. Meeting him just before starting East, the governor 
said that he had told the Southern gentlemen, with whom he had been 
associated in the Democratic Executive Committee and in the convention, 
that, if a war should result from the action thej had taken, he would be 
found supporting the government against them. ''And," said he, '*Iam 
going to Washington at once, and shall offer the President my sword and my 
services as long as this war shaU last." 


Educated at the public expense, my country has a right to m; 
services. This secession movement must be put down with 
iron hand. Anarchy and interminable civil wars will be tho 
inevitable, logical consequence of yielding to it. 

I do not propose a permanent return to the service, but sim- 
ply service for the war. Whilst I shall accept any militaiy 
position the government may tender me, I take it for granted 
proper regard will be had to my somewhat large military 
.experience since I left the army, and my position before the 

I want, therefore, the confidence of those in authority. Yoa 
can render good offices in the matter. I want the confidence of 
Greneral Scott. I have ever been his discriminating friend. 
Last winter I sustained his entire course. I personally urged 
the President to give his entire confidence to General Scott I 
approved and defended the bringing of regular troops to the 
city, the organizing, arming, and promptly officering the District 
militia, of which, except the late President and Secretary of 
War, the inspector-general. Colonel Stone, is more cognizant 
than any one else. I had frequent conferences with him about 
the District militia, and was able to be of some service to him 
in consequence of my relations with Mr. Buchanan and Mr. 

It has been most fortunate that, notwithstanding my intimate 
relations with most of the secession leaders, in consequence of 
the part I took in the presidential campaign, I never wavered 
for a moment in resolutely fighting secession. I was actively at 
work the moment it arose. I gave it no quarter. My position 
was well known in Congress." 

General Totten forwarded this letter vnth the follow- 
ing indorsement : — 

" With a high order of talent, his great characteristics of 
promptness, boldness, and energy cannot fail to mark promi- 
nently any career that may be opened to him as a soldier, and 
I trust the government will at once avail itself of his high 
qualifications by assigning him a position that will give full 
play to powers so well suited to the present wants of the 


Grovemor Stevens also wrote Professor Bache, Colonel 
Stone, and others to present his merits to the new admin- 
istration ; for, confident in his own powers, he was most 
anxious to secure such a position as would enable him 
to render his best service to his country. 

He reached New York early in July, and went straight 
to Washington, not even stopping to visit his family in 
Newport. His reception there was cold and discourag- 
ing. The very active part he had taken in the recent 
presidential campaign, and his intimate association during 
it with men who were now foremost in striving to destroy 
the country, prejudiced many against him, and Douglas 
Democrats even more than Republicans. Senator Nes- 
mith rather turned the cold shoulder, alleging that he felt 
bound to reserve all his influence for the benefit of men 
from his own State. Governor Stevens called upon the 
new President, and made a good and lasting impression 
upon him, but no response was made to his tender ; and 
while the whole country was aroused, and troops were 
flocking to Washington, and the great needs of the hour 
were mihtary ability and experience, it seemed as though 
the services of one of her best qualified and most patri- 
otic sons would be rejected, and he be denied the oppor- 
tunity of serving his country in her extremity. He 
offered his services to General McDowell as aide, or in 
any capacity, for the movement which culminated in the 
defeat of Bull Run, but they were decUned. The only 
l>right spot in this time of disappointment and mortifi- 
cation was his meeting General Scott, and regaining the 
esteem and confidence of his old chief. 

Meantime his friends and patriotic men of all parties, 
who were anxious that his services should not be lost to 
the country, were sending on recommendations in his 
behalf. Governor Sprague and the legislature of Rhode 
Island, Governor Andrew, Senator Wilson, Representa- 


tives Rice, Train, and others, of Massachusetts, Senator 
John P. Hale, of New Hampshire, Nesmith, of Oregon^ 
Rice, of Minnesota, and many other members of Congress 
urged his appointment as brigadier-general. The ^^ Spring* 
field Republican " strongly set forth his qualifications, 
and urged the government to employ his services. As, 
contrary to expectations, it was not made. Governor 
Andrew offered him the colonelcy of a Massachusetts 
regiment, and Governor Sprague that of a Rhode Island 
regiment, both explaining that they would have made 
the offer before, had they not supposed he would be given 
the position of general. But just before these offers were 
received, the Secretary of War tendered him the colo- 
nelcy of the 79th Highlanders, a New York regiment, 
which had been badly cut up at Bull Run, and he had 
accepted it. A few days later a paragraph appeared in 
the papers to the effect that he had declined this position, 
and immediately Governor Andrew telegraphed, " Can 
you now accept regiment temporarily while we try for 
brigade ? " and Governor Sprague telegraphed, " I hear 
you decline position in 79th. Will you accept my offer?" 
But having tendered his services to the government with- 
out qualification. Governor Stevens felt in duty bound to 
accept any position to which he might be assigned, and 
therefore was obliged to decline both offers. 

Before entering upon the new duty he made a hasty 
visit of two days to his family in Newport, where he ad- 
dressed a Union meeting with General Burnside. 

At this time he was still reduced in health and strength 
from the overwork of the last year, and mortified and 
depressed in spirit, almost the only occasion his buoyant 
and self-reliant character was thus affected. To a personal 
friend he exclaimed, ^^ I will show those men in Washing- 
ton that I am worthy of something better than a regi- 
ment, or I will lay my bones on the battlefield." 



Fob many years the Highland Guard was a crack New 
York city militia battalion, composed of Scots, or men 
of Scottish lineage. They wore the kilt as their uni- 
form, and, for fatigue or undress, a blue jacket with red 
facings, and trousers of Cameronian tartan. At the 
breaking out of the rebellion, the battalion was raised to 
a full regiment by the addition of two companies and 
filling up the ranks, and on May 13, 1861, entered the 
United States service for three years as the 79th High- 
landers, New York volunteers. 

Few regiments even in those patriotic days contained a 
finer, braver, or more intelligent body of men. Nearly 
every walk of life was represented among them except 
common laborers ; but business men, clerks, and mechan- 
ics, with some sailors and even a few veteran British sol- 
diers, filled the ranks. One company contained so many 
bookkeepers and clerks that it was known as the clerks' 
company. If a skilled man was wanted at headquarters 
for any purpose, from clerk to mule-driver, from manning 
a light battery to rowing a boat, the Highlanders were 
always called upon to furnish the detail, and their succes- 
sive commanders had all they could do to prevent the 
regiment from being depleted by such calls. 

At the battle of Bull Run the Highlanders were terri- 
bly cut up, losing one hundred and ninety-eight killed, 
wounded, and missing, including eleven ofi&cers. The 

colonel, James Cameron, brother to the Secretary of War, 
VOL. n 


was killed gallantly leading his regiment, which was con- 
siderably scattered after the battle. It was collected to^ 
gether in a few days, and moved to a camp on Meridian 
Hill, at the head of Tenth Street, north of Washington, 
named Camp Ewen. The officers and non-commissioned 
officers now petitioned the secretary to order the regi- 
ment home to recruit and recuperate. The secretary, 
visiting the camps, repeatedly expressed great regard for 
the regiment, and promised to do anything in his power 
for it. When the petition reached him, he indorsed it as 
follows : — 

The Secretary of War believes that in consideration of the 
gallant services of the 79th regiment, New York volunteers, 
and of their losses in battle, they are entitled to the special con- 
sideration of their country ; and he also orders that the regi- 
ment be sent to some one of the forts in the bay of New York 
to fill up the regiment by recruits, as soon as Colonel Stevens 
returns to the command. 

SmoN Cameron, 
Secretary of War. 

The men were informed of the secretary's order, and 
notified to prepare for the homeward trip, to which they 
looked forward with eager anticipations and longing. 
But the military authorities remonstrated so strenuously 
against the order, on the ground of the bad effect on 
other troops of allowing one regiment to go home, that 
the secretary allowed it to be set aside, yet no notice of 
the revocation was given the Highlanders. As day by 
day went by without the much-desired homeward orders, 
they became more and more dissatisfied ; the officers, as 
much in the dark as the men, could not satisfy their 
doubts and misgivings, and the spirit of insubordination 
grew daily. 

On August 7 Lieutenant-Colonel Samuel M. Elliott was 
directed from Headquarters First Division, New York 


State Militia, to convene the commissioned officers, after 
five days' notice, for the purpose of electing a colonel, 
and accordingly notified them to meet on the 13th at four 
p. M. for such purpose. Apparently the state authorities 
Ignored the action of the War Department in appointing 
a new colonel, and it does not appear that the appoint- 
ment of Colonel Stevens was announced to the regiment, 
except by his own order assuming command. 

On August 10 Colonel Stevens arrived at the camp, 
and at dress parade that evening the following order was 
read: — 

The undersigned, in pursuance of orders from the War De- 
partment, hereby assumes command of the 79th regiment, New 
York State Militia. He will devote himself earnestly to the 
regiment, and trusts that its high reputation, gained by honor- 
able service in the face of the enemy, will not suffer at his 
hands. He doubts not that zeal, fidelity, and soldierly bearing 
will continue to characterize every member of the regiment. 

Isaac I. Stevens, 


The new colonel spent the next day in simply observ- 
ing the officers and men and inspecting the camp, taking 
no active steps. On the following day, however, he sum- 
moned the major and several other officers to his tent, 
and demanded and exacted their resignations. On the 
13th, the third day of his command, he issued an order 
at dress parade that the regiment should move camp on 
the morrow. 

This brought matters to a climax. The men plainly 
saw that they were not to go to New York, and felt that 
they had been trifled with and deceived. They gathered 
in knots like angry bees to discuss their wrongs. Many 
of them went into the city that night and returned late, 
more or less intoxicated. Whiskey was smuggled into 
the camp, and some of the f orced-to-resign officers had a 


hand in this, and by the eventful morning of the Mth 
the regiment was ripe for mutiny. 

When, after an early breakfast, the order was given to 
strike tents, all flatly refused except two companies, — I 
and K, — which remained faithful and obedient during 
the trouble. These were the new companies recently 
organized, and probably were less infected with militia 
notions than the others. Colonel Stevens visited the re- 
fractory companies in turn, but the men, deaf to orders 
and expostulations, stubbornly refused obedience, and 
told how they had been deceived and disappointed. Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Elliott attempted to explain his action, 
but without satisfying the colonel, who gave him half 
an hour in which to resign, on penalty of court-martiaL 
Elliott resigned. 

Colonel Stevens continued going freely and fearlessly 
among the men, remonstrating with them and urging 
them not to bring disgrace upon the regiment, but in 
vain. When the ofi&cers attempted to strike the tents 
themselves, they were forcibly prevented, and several of 
them roughly handled. Colonel Stevens, coming to a 
group where some officers had just been thus repulsed, 
the armed and angry mutineers threatening to shoot any 
one who touched a tent, at once exclaimed, '^ Then I 
will take it down myself," and, disregarding threatening 
words and looks, laid hold of the tent to strike it. At 
this the men, struck with admiration at his intrepidity, 
exclaimed, ^^ Dinna mind, colonel ; we 'U take it doon for 
ye this ance." 

At length, finding all efforts to restore obedience 
fruitless. Colonel Stevens felt obliged to report the mu- 
tiny, and ask for troops to suppress it. In response 
the camp was surrounded late in the afternoon by an 
overpowering force of regular infantry, artillery, and 
cavalry, which, in presence of the refractory regiment. 


ostentatiously loaded muskets, drew sabres, and charged 
the guns with canister and trained them on the camp. 
Colonel Stevens then addressed them, standing in the 
midst of the camp : — ^ 

" I know you have been deceived. You have been told you 
were to go to your homes, when no such orders had been given. 
But you are soldiers, and your duty is to obey. I am your 
colonel, and your obedience is due to me. I am a soldier of 
the regular army. I have spent many years on the frontier 
fighting the Indians. I have been surrounded by the red 
devils, fighting for my scalp. I have been a soldier in the war 
with Mexico, and bear honorable wounds received in battle, and 
have been in far greater danger than that surrounding me now. 
All the morning I have begged you to do your duty. Now I 
shall order you ; and if you hesitate to obey instantly, my next 
order will be to those troops to fire upon you. Soldiers of the 
79th Highlanders, faU in ! " 

His voice rang out like a trumpet. The men, thoroughly 
cowed, made haste to fall into the ranks. 

The regiment, guarded on both flanks by the regulars, 
was then marched into Fourteenth Street, the colors were 
taken away by order of General McClellan, and thirty- 
five men, reported by the officer of the guard as active in 
the disturbance, were marched off to prison. The regi- 
ment resumed its march for the Eastern Branch, crossed 
that stream, and bivouacked for the night near the Mary- 
land Insane Asylum, — a suggestive coincidence, remarks 
the historian of the regiment. Soon after daylight the 
next morning the new camp was reached, named Camp 
Gausten, after a resident of Washington, who had shown 
the Highlanders many kind attentions after Bull Run, 
tents were pitched, and the routine of camp life estab- 

Fourteen of the so-called ringleaders were soon after- 
wards released and returned to the regiment, and the 
remainder were sent to the Diy Tortugas on the Florida 


coast, where they were kept on fatigue duty until the 16th 
of the following February, when they were also released, 
and rejoined the regiment at Beaufort, S. G. 

Colonel Stevens commanded his regiment with a firm 
and severe hand. He enforced early roll-calls, hard drill- 
ing, and strict cleanliness in person and camp. There 
were some men so demoralized, by homesickness or other- 
wise, that they could not be induced to keep themselves 
> decent, or attend to their duties, and he made the guard 
take them daily to the river, and strip and scrub them 
with soap and brooms. Under such drastic treatment they 
speedily recovered their tone. He promptly and severely 
punished every neglect of duty. He selected a number 
of bright, ef&cient young sergeants, and promoted them 
to be of&cers of the companies. He daily sent out de- 
tachments on scouting expeditions, or marches of ten or 
twelve miles, and had sketches and measurements made 
for a topographical map. By these means he varied the 
monotony of camp life, and infused hope and spirit into 
the command. He obtained furloughs for a limited 
number of men, those with families having the prefer- 
ence, and thus assisted some forty to visit their homes 
for fifteen days each. He was especially strict with the 
of&cers, taught them to assert their authority, and broke 
up the time-honored habit, the curse of militia organi- 
zations, of deferring to, and hobnobbing with, the rank 
and file. 

On the 26th the regiment broke camp, marched through 
Washington, the band playing the dead march, by order 
of the colonel, in token of their disgraced condition and 
loss of the colors, and went into camp on Kalorama 
Hill, beyond Georgetown, a mile from the Chain Bridge. 
Colonel Stevens named the new location Camp Hope, and 
in a brief address to the regiment bade them hope, and 
declared that together they would win back the colors 


and achieve a glorious career. With all his mattei^of- 
fact judgment, he had a pronounced vein of enthusiasm 
and poetic feeling, and had a singular power of arousing 
them in others, and of appealing to the higher motives. 
It was Napoleon who declared that in war the moral is to 
the physical as three to one. 

At this camp Colonel Stevens dispensed entirely with 
camp guards^ which in all the new regiments were deemed 
indispensable, and appealed to the sense of honor and dis- 
cipline of the EUghlanders to refrain from wandering from 
camp, and from annoying, or pilfering from, the country 
people. The men responded nobly to this appeal, and 
took great pride in scrupulously obeying these orders, 
and in the confidence reposed in them. The inhabitants 
felt safe when they saw the uniform of the Highlanders, 
and frequently spoke of the difference between them and 
other troops. The Highlanders still wore the blue jacket 
with red facings, but the regulation uniform as to the 
remainder. Later, when the jackets were worn out, they 
were uniformed like other troops. 

On the evening of the 6th of September a large force, 
including the Highlanders, crossed Chain Bridge to the 
southern side of the Potomac, and took up positions 
in front and extending to the left, connecting with 
troops from Arlington. At midnight, as the regiment 
was drawn up in line, Colonel Stevens addressed them as 
follows : — 

^ * Soldiers of the 79th ! Yon have been censnrecl, and I have 
been censured with you. You are now going to fight the bat- 
tles of your country without your colors. I pray God you may 
soon have an opportunity of meeting the enemy, that you may 
return victorious with your colors gloriously won.' 

**As cheering was prohibited," says the historian, *Hhe men 
listened in silence, but with a determination to do all in our 
power to recover our lost honors.'' 


It was an impressive scene, — the long line of silent 
soldiers dimly seen in the gloom of night, as they gained 
new courage and determination from the brief, brave, and 
soldierly words of their leader. 

The troops in front of Chain Bridge constituted a divi- 
sion under General W. F. Smith (Baldy Smith), of the 
Army of the Potomac, forming under General George B. 
McClellan, and Colonel Stevens was placed in charge of 
the First Brigade, consisting of the 2d and 3d Vermont, 
the 6th Maine, and his own regiment, and was intrusted 
with building Fort Ethan Allen, a strong and extensive - 
earthwork on the left of the Leesburg turnpike, and oF? 
felling the woods in the vicinity. The Maine men, alL. 
expert woodsmen, armed with axes and deployed in a long- 
line at the foot of a wooded slope, worked upwards^ 
chopping every tree nearly through, so that it stood by^ 
only a narrow chip, until they reached the top of tho 
slope ; then at the signal of the bugle the last few quick 
strokes of the axe resounded against the top row of trees, 
which fell crashing on those below, and they on the next 
lower, and so on, until the whole forest crashed down 
together in thundering ruin. 

The troops were kept hard at work, thus felling forests 
and digging forts, and also in outpost duty, for a strong 
picket line to cover the front, posted nearly a mile in 
advance, had to be maintained. Alarms from this line 
were frequent, and on one occasion the enemy were re- 
ported as advancing in heavy force, and the troops were 
hastily gotten under arms. Every one expected to take 
post in the fort, but Colonel Stevens led his brigade out 
nearly to the picket line, deployed them on a com- 
manding position on both sides of the road, and coolly 
awaited the attack. This movement, so promptly but de- 
liberately made, visibly raised the confidence and morale 
of the troops ; and when, the alarm proving unfounded. 


they marched back to camp, they felt able and eager to 
encoanter the enemy on equal ground. 

On the 11th, under orders from General Smith, but 
with strictest injunction not to bring on a general en- 
gagement under any circumstances, Colonel Stevens, with 
two thousand troops, made a reconnoissance in force of 
Ijewinsville, a hamlet six miles in advance of Chain Bridge. 
His force comprised the EUghlanders; the 3d Vermont, 
nnder Colonel Breed N. Hyde ; two companies of the 2d 
Vermont, under Lieutenant-Colonel Greorge J. Stannard ; 
four companies of the 1st Chasseurs or 65th New York, 
under Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander Shaler ; five com- 
panies of the 19th Indiana, under Colonel Solomon Mere- 
dith ; four guns of Grif&n's battery, 5th United States 
artillery. Captain Charles Grifi&n ; a detachment of fifty 
of the 5th regular cavalry, under Lieutenant William 
McLean ; and one of forty volunteer cavalry, under Cap- 
tain Robinson. 

With skirmishers in advance, and exploring the ground 
on both flanks to the distance of a mile, the command 
advanced steadily to Lewinsville, the enemy's cavalry 
pickets falling back without resistance, and occupied the 
village at ten a. m. Cavalry pickets were thrown out on 
all the roads; three guns and some five hundred skirmish- 
ers were posted well out to command the approaches on 
all sides ; and the position was held for five hours, dur- 
ing which Lieutenant Orlando M. Foe, of the engineers 
(afterwards General Poe), and Mr. West, of the Coast 
Survey, made a topographical map and sketch of the 
place and vicinity. Colonel Stevens, with Captain Grifi&n 
and Lieutenant Foe, thoroughly examined the whole posi- 
tion of Lewinsville, of which he reported, " It has great 
natural advantages, is easily defensible, and should be 
occupied without delay." During this time small bodies 
of the enemy were seen observing the Union force at a 


safe distance, and a cavalry picket, or reconnoitring party 
of fifty men, was driven off by Lieutenant McLean. 

The accompanying sketch shows the roads and disposi- 
tions of the force to cover the reconnoissance. Colonel 
Meredith, with three companies of his regiment and one 
gun, held the road leading north to the Leesburg pike. 
The same road, running south of the village to Falls 
Church, was guarded by one company of the same regi- 
ment with one gun. Colonel Hyde, with the 3d Vermont 
and one gun, held the road leading westward to Vienna, 
and also the new road to Vienna, which fell into the 
Falls Church road half a mile south of the hamlet. The 
remaining gun, with the two companies of the 2d Ver- 
mont, was kept in reserve at the cross-roads ; while the 
Highlanders and Chasseurs were held in reserve a third 
of a mile back from the village, and two companies of the 
former were thrown out as skirmishers to cover the left 
flank and rear, and connected with the Lidiana skirmish- 
ers on the Falls Church road. 

About three in the afternoon the skirmishers were called 
in, and the column formed for the return march. Just 
as the bugle sounded " Forward ! " a section of artillery, 
which the enemy, stealing up under cover of the woods as 
the Highlanders' skirmishers retired, had adroitly planted 
on the left rear, opened a brisk fire of shells over the 
head of the eoliunn as it marched back ; and simultane- 
ously a considerable force of their skirmishers from the 
Vienna and Falls Church roads advanced on the village 
and commenced firing on the withdrawing troops, but 
were directly repulsed, find gave no further trouble. For 
a few minutes there was some flurry in the column under 
the sheU fire at a turn in the road where it was most ex- 
posed. Some of the of&cers and men threw themselves 
flat on the ground at every missile that burst or hurtled 
overhead, and once twenty men ranged themselves in line 











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behind a tree barely a foot in diameter. But this eon- 
fusion was over in a few minutes; the excitable ones, 
under the jeers and laughter of their comrades, resumed 
their places in the ranks, and the column was not broken 
or delayed. 

Colonel Stevens posted Grif&n's battery in a good 
position on the right, or north of the road, which opened 
a rapid and well-sustained fire on the enemy's guns, and 
in half an hour silenced them. The column continued 
its march meantime in admirable order, and Lieutenant 
McLean brought up the rear unmolested. Colonel Ste- 
vens, having thus withdrawn his column from the village 
and well past the annoying battery, selected other posi- 
tions for the guns, a section on each side of the road, 
and disposed his troops to meet the enemy's attack, or to 
attack him if opportunity offered. The troops were in 
fine spirits, and obeyed every order with alacrity. But 
the enemy having ciBased his artillery fire, and making 
no demonstration, showing glimpses only of cavalry and 
infantry at a distance, the return march was continued, 
cuid the troops reached their camps without further inci- 

The Union loss in this affair was two killed and thir- 
teen wounded, besides three captured, the latter having, 
in their eagerness to get a shot at the enemy, ventured 
too far in front of the skirmish line of the 19th Indiana, 
to which they belonged. 

The enemy's force consisted of the 13th Virginia, a 
section of Bosser's battery of the Washington artillery, 
and a detachment of the 1st Virginia cavalry, all under 
command of Colonel J. E. B. Stuart, of the laiter. Colo- 
nel Stuart made a most exaggerated and magniloquent 
report of the action, and was actually promoted to briga- 
dier-general for it. 

The action was over, and the Union troops were calmly 


marching down the road^ when General Baldj Smith came 
galloping up it in hot haste^ followed hj lus staff and a 
section of Mott's battery, and manifesting considerable 
anxiety, for the artillery firing had been brisk and noisy 
while it lasted, and his orders from McClellan — the same 
he had impressed on Colonel Stevens — charged him not 
to bring on a general engagement. But perceiving the 
fine order and undaunted bearing of the troops, and 
learning how well they had all behaved, and that the 
enemy was keeping his distance, he resumed his wonted 
coolness, and heartily congratulated Colonel Stevens and 
his command on the well-conducted and successful recon- 
noissance. Half an hour later General McClellan, with 
a large following of staff and escort, came tearing up 
the road to the returning column, showing even greater 
excitement and anxiety. He, too, calmed down on learning 
that the affair was aU over, congratulated Greneral Smith, 
ostentatiously visited and commiserated the wounded, and 
returned to Washington without noticing Colonel Stevens. 

A few days later the colors were restored to the High- 
landers by General McClellan in person, in recognition 
of their soldierly conduct since recrossing the Potomac, 
especially in the affair at Lewinsville. 

Colonel Stevens took great pains in disciplining and 
training the regiments under his command, one of which, 
the 6th Maine, was raised at Bucksport and vicinity, and 
some of whose oflBcers he knew when building Fort Knox, 
and he looked forward with confidence and pride to 
forming and commanding in them a fine body of soldiers. 
They, too, were responding to and appreciating his efforts, 
and strong feelings of mutual esteem and devotion were 
fast growing up between the commander and command. 
Before moving from Camp Hope, President Lincoln had 
assured him of his appointment as brigadier-general 
within a week, and he was daily expecting it. He never 


doubted that the troops he was so carefully instructing 
would form his brigade when he became a general, nor 
did they. His surprise and chagrin, therefore, were great 
when the Maine and Vermont regiments were summarily 
taken from him to make up a brigade for General W. S. 
Hancock, who, a new brigadier, had just reported to 
Smith, and three newer and greener regiments were sent 
to replace them. They were the 33d and 49th New York 
and 47th Pennsylvania. Colonel Stevens was deeply hurt 
and disappointed at this action. With the unexplained 
delay in his promised appointment, and McClellan's sig- 
tiificant and averted demeanor, it seemed to indicate 
i fixed intention on the part of the authorities to deny 
bim promotion, and to keep him down to his colonelcy 
indefinitely. But he uttered no word of remonstrance or 
repining at this unworthy treatment, and took the new 
regiments in hand with unabated care and vigor. He 
declared to his son, in strict confidence, that, if his ap- 
pointment as general was not soon made, he would relin- 
quish the command of a brigade and devote himself to 
the Highlanders ; that he would make them the best-dis- 
ciplined and the best-drilled regiment in the army, and 
^would so infuse them with the spirit of devotion to the 
country and the cause that, like Cromwell's Ironsides, 
nothing could resist their onset. He dwelt much at this 
time on Cromwell, and how he had formed and trained 
his invincible soldiers. 

Before embracing the contemplated course, however, 
Colonel Stevens sent his son to see the President and 
deliver a brief message to the effect that, although several 
weeks had elapsed since the assurance was given of his 
appointment as a general of&cer within a week, he had 
heard nothing of it, and feared that the President, under 
the great weight of care and responsibilities, might have 
forgotten it. The young man accordingly rode into the 



city and presented himself at the White House. His card 
was taken ; the ante-rooms were crowded with anxious 
applicants and callers, and among them he waited for 
hours, unable to get access to the President, or secure 
any attention. At last he accosted a colored messenger, 
who from time to time entered the President's room with 
cards, and begged his assistance in obtaining an interview, 
stating that he had a message of great importance from 
his father. Colonel Isaac I. Stevens, who had sent him 
expressly to deliver it to the President. The messenger 
would scarcely listen, indeed, had to be almost forcibly 
detained, until the name struck his ear, when his whole 
manner changed. ^^ Do you mean Governor Stevens ? '' 
he exclaimed. ^^Is Governor Stevens your father? I 
used to see him here often in Mr. Buchanan's time, and 
I am glad to do anything in the world I can for him. I 'U 
take your name in the next time, and you shall see the 
President, if I can fix it." He was as good as his word, 
and soon ushered the youth into the inner of&ce. 

Mr. Lincoln received him in a kindly and fatherly 
manner that at once placed him at ease, listened to the 
message, and said : ^^ Tell your father that I have not 
forgotten my promise, nor him ; that I should have had 
his appointment made before this, if it had not been for 
General McClellan ; that General McClellan said Colonel 
Stevens had better remain in command of the Highlanders 
some time longer ; that they were not yet reduced to 
proper discipline, and it would be unsafe to take away 
their colonel at present. But tell your father," he added, 
^^that it shall be no longer delayed." He then took a 
small blank card and wrote a line upon it, directing that 
Colonel Stevens's appointment as brigadier-general be 
made out, and handed it to his visitor, bidding him take 
it over to the War Department and deliver it to the adju- 
tant-general. This was soon done, and the young man. 


plying the spur, joyfully galloped back to camp with the 
gratifying news. 

Any military man knows perfectly well that as brig^ 

adier^eneral he could have as much oversight and control 

over a regiment in his brigade as though he remained 

its colonel. In fact^ General Stevens retained personal 

and immediate command of the Highlanders^ although he 

commanded a brigade^ and long after he became a general. 

On the 25th General Smith advanced to Lewinsville with 

five thousand troops on a foraging expedition. Colonel 

Stevens, with the Highlanders and the 2d Vermont, led 

the advance, and the skirmishers of the former captured 

an officer of Stuart's regiment with his horse. The enemy 

made no resistance, and after loading ninety wagons with 

com and g^ain, the expedition returned. 

Camp Adyancb, September 27» 1861. 

My deab Wife, — I appointed Hazard adjutant of the High- 
landers yesterday. He. has been with the regiment under fire 
tiiree times, acting as my aide on two occasions, and the aide of 
Oaptain Ireland on the third. The appointment is very accept- 
mhle to the regiment. 

Haasard will make an excellent adjutant. It will be easy for 
liim to learn the technical part His general experience will 
snake everything easy. 

I am looking somewhat for my brigadier's commission this 

The young man joined the regiment immediately after 
it crossed the Potomac, and had borne a musket in some 
of its skirmishes, and was appointed adjutant on the 
advancement of the former adjutant, David Ireland, to a 
captaincy in the regular army. 

Greneral Stevens's appointment as brigadier was made 
on the 28th, and on the following day he was formally 
assigned to the command of the third brigade of Smith's 
division, consisting of the four regiments abeady under 


his charge^ viz.^ the Highlanders^ 33d and 49th Jfeimm 
York, and 47th Pennsylvania. He retained the imme^s 
diate command of the Highlanders in addition to tha — 
of the brigade. 

A few days afterwards Smith's division and otheia 
troops of the right wing were advanced some four mile^ 
permanently, without encountering the enemy. Aboa^ 
noon, soon after the troops had come to a halt, General 
McClellan, escorted as usual by a numerous staffs ap- 
peared on the scene, and, after visiting different points^ 
dismounted, and sat down to a lunch which his attendants 
[Spread for him. He invited General Smith and some 
other of&cers to partake of the repast, but ignored the 
presence of General Stevens, who was quite near. The 
latter may have been unduly sensitive, but he regarded 
the omission as an intentional slight, and remarked that 
he actually pitied McClellan. 

General Stevens named the new position occupied by 
his brigade, which was not far from Falls Church, the 
Camp of the Big Chestnut, from a huge sylvan monarch 
near by. A train of one hundred and forty-four wagons 
came over from Washington to move the tents and bag- 
gage of the command, — what a contrast to later cam- 
paign days, when four wagons only, or even less, were 
allowed to a brigade! — but even this number proved 
inadequate to bring everything at one trip. The new 
adjutant of the Highlanders directed the wagon-master 
to send some wagons back for what was left behind, but 
that functionary flatly refused, alleging that he was 
under orders to make but one trip, and then return to 
the city. The adjutant thereupon applied to the general 
for instructions in the premises, but his reception was 
hotter than he bargained for. ^^Have you a thousand 
men at your disposal, and suffer yourself to be set at 
defiance by a wagon-master ? If you are not man enough 


make your authority respected^ jou are not fit to be 
officer. Go back to your regiment and attend to your 

7" . 

Smartmg under this unexpected riebuke^ the young 
cer again summoned the wagon-master and reiterated 
order^ and^ on his second refusal to obey it, had him 
led fast to a neighboring tree. Four of his wagoners, 
lally contumacious, shared the same fate ; and a ser- 
nt and four soldiers of the ever ready and capable 
rhlanders were soon driving the teams back to the old 
ip, and in a few hours safely returned with the left- 
dnd goods. The bound wagon-master and teamsters 
-e then set free and ordered to mount their wagons 
I drive off instantly, an order which they obeyed with 
srity, and returned to Washington doubtless madder 
lot wiser men. Although at times a severe and exact- 
* man, General Stevens always encouraged his subordi- 
les to self-reliance, to do things, ^^to take the responsi- 
ity," in Jackson's phrase, and was sure to back them 
if they acted in this spirit. 

Drilling, picketing, and tree-felling fully employed the 
ops, at Camp of the Big Chestnut. By McClellan's 
[era the woods, which covered a good part of the 
intry, were slashed, the roads blocked, and the whole 
nt obstructed by felled trees. The troops were or- 
"ed to get under arms and stand in line for half an 
ir before daylight every morning in anticipation of 
attack which never came. This was an especially 
eigreeable and unhealthy task, for the Potomac fog 
ouded the country at that hour, the autumnal mom- 
;8 were damp and chilly, and the men would stand 
ighing all along the line. Many a poor fellow owed 
death or disablement to this useless exposure. Strict 
[ers were issued to avoid any movement which might 

d to a collision with the enemy, and especially to shun 


everything which might bring on a general engagemei 
The orders frequently repeated these cautions^ and seenu 
to be filled with a nervous apprehension of fighting. Gre 
eral Stevens thought this passive-defensive attitude t 
wrong. He took great pains to inculcate and develop 
bold and enterprising spirit in his own brigade, especial 
charging his pickets to hold their ground in case 
attack, and was delighted when a detachment of the 49 
New York stood firm, and handsomely repulsed a dash 
the enemy. 

At breakfast on October 16 Greneral Stevens une 
pectedly received orders to turn over the command of h 
brigade to the senior colonel, and report in person 
General Thomas W. Sherman at Annapolis, Md., by da 
light the next morning. By eleven o'clock A. m. he hi 
written farewell orders to the brigade and to the Hig 
landers, devolved the command upon Colonel Taylor, < 
the 33d New York, had all his belongings packed u 
and mounted his horse to ride to Washington. 

To avoid anything like a scene, the general was abo' 
to ride away without visiting the regiment and biddii 
them farewell, but Captain David Morrison, the seni 
ofiicer, came and begged him to say good-by in perso 
saying that the regiment was formed and was mo 
anxious to see him. He rode in front of the line, and 
a few feeling words expressed his regards and hopes £ 
them and bade them farewell. As he wheeled and ro< 
off, a spontaneous and universal cry of " Tak* us wi' y< 
Tak' us wi' ye ! " burst from end to end of the line, ai 
tears stood in many a manly eye. 

Stopping only two hours in Washington, during whi< 
he called at the War Department and secured the a 
pointment of his son as captain and assistant adjutao 
general of United States volunteers, and to make necc 
sary purchases, he took the cars in the afternoon £ 


As they rolled along through the pleasant rural scenery 
of Maryland, General Stevens threw off all traces of care 
and became as cheerful and light-hearted as a boy. He 
fell to talking about the recent experiences in the Army 
of the Potomac in a most interesting and instructive way, 
exposing and condemning the mistakes and evil effects of 
McClellan's passive-defensive management, and pointing 
out what he deemed to be the right course. Instead of 
obstructing the entire front with blocked roads and tracts 
of slashed woods, which would impede the enemy's attack 
indeed, but would also confine the Union troops to the 
strict defensive, making it impossible to manoeuvre them 
offensively outside the works, the front should have been 
kept clear and unobstructed, and the ground carefully 
studied and understood by subordinate commanders, with 
the view of throwing a heavy force upon the enemy's 
flank, or any weak point he might offer, in case he at- 
tacked. Instead of restraining the natural enterprise and 
ardor of the troops, prohibiting and deprecating all hosr 
tile contact with the enemy, as if they were no match for 
the rebels, thus keeping them under the cowing of Bull 
Run, and aggravating the awe of the enemy's prowess 
inspired by that defeat, they should have been continually 
brought face to face with the foe, scouts and reconnois- 
sances kept afoot and boldly pushed, and parties of 
picked men under picked officers sent to fall upon the 
enemy's pickets and exposed detachments at every favor- 
able opportunity. Such a course, he declared, would 
most speedily give the troops confidence and restore their 
moraley would foster and develop their natural enterprise 
and bravery, and would most effectively and quickly make 
them reliable soldiers. He had none of that distrust of 
volunteers often felt by regular officers, and which un- 
doubtedly influenced McClellan, for he knew how quickly 
such splendid material as the brave young volunteers 


then flocking to the country's defense would become 
soldiers^ if well officered and under a bold and skillful 
commander. He discussed^ also, McCleUan's character 
without the least trace of animosity, admitting his ability 
and patriotism, but lamenting his fatal lack of boldness 
and decision, which, he said, rendered his failure inevita- 
ble, and finally he exclaimed, with great feeling and 
conviction, ^^ I am glad to leave McClellan's army. I 
am rejoiced to get out of that army. I tell you that 
army under McClellan is doomed to disaster." 

They reached Annapolis that evening, and were most 
cordially received by General Sherman, and by Colonel 
Daniel Leasure, of the 100th Pennsylvania, known as the 
^^ Roundheads," which was to form part of General Ste- 
vens's new brigade. His first act on reaching Annapolis 
was to apply by telegraph to the Secretary of War, in 
conjunction with General Sherman, for the Highlanders. 
He also personally telegraphed the President to that 
effect. Colonel Leasure, too, telegraphed the Secretary 
that his regiment was largely composed of the descend- 
ants of Scotch Covenanters and Cromwell's soldiers, and 
were anxious to be joined by the Highlanders. Both 
the President and secretary were desirous of granting the 
request, but it was first referred to General McClellan, 
and properly, as the regiment was in his army. He 
strenuously objected to it, protesting that he could not 
possibly spare one of his best veteran regiments. But 
Mr. Lincoln again overruled the " Young Napoleon," and 
ordered the Highlanders to Annapolis to rejoin their 
beloved commander. 



The force which General Sherman was fitting out at 
Annapolis was destined, in conjunction with the navy, 
to secure a harbor on the Southern coast to serve as 
a base for the blockading fleets. General Sherman was 
a veteran regular officer of artillery, who had greatiy 
distinguished himself at the battle of Buena Vista, a 
thorough soldier, a strict disciplinarian, devoted to his 
profession, and moreover a man of ability, sound judg^ 
ment, and true patriotism, but perhaps somewhat deficient 
in enterprise. He personally applied for General Stevens, 
for whom he entertained great esteem, as one of his 
brigade commanders. His force numbered some twelve 
thousand, all new, raw volunteers, except two regular 
batteries and the Highlanders, who, having fought at 
Bull Run, were looked up to as veterans by the other 
troops, and was divided into three brigades, commanded, 
by Brigadier-Generals Egbert L. Yiele the first, Isaac I. 
Stevens the second, and Horatio G. Wright the third. 

General Stevens's brigade consisted of the High- 
landers, the 100th Pennsylvania or Roundheads, Colo- 
nel Daniel Leasure ; the 50th Pennsylvania, Colonel B. 
C. Christ; and the 8th Michigan, Colonel William M. 
Fenton. They were all brave, patriotic, and intelligent 
men, the best types of American volunteers, and destined 
to render great and glorious service to the very end of 
the war, participating in many battles and engagements, 
and preserving their colors without a stain. The Michi- 


ganders, as they were familiarly called, were largely of 
New England stock, many of them farmers' boys, and had 
all the grit, intelligence, and enterprise of their lineage. 
The 50th Pennsylvania were Pennsylvania Dutch, de- 
scendants of the Germans who settled the central part of 
the State before the Revblution, and were slower, more 
heavily moulded than the others, but always steadfast 
and reliable. The Roundheads came from the western, 
more mountainous part of the Keystone State, and were 
of the vigorous Scotch-Irish stock, with many tall, raw- 
boned men. 

The regiments were quartered in the Naval Academy 
buildings and grounds. On Colonel Leasure's recom* 
mendation. General Stevens took a large brick building 
as headquarters, but soon after moving into it an ambu* 
lance was driven up to the front door, and a soldier in an 
advanced st^e of the smallpox, his face perfectly black 
and festering, was taken out of the vehicle on a stretcher 
and borne into the house, which, it seems, had been 
selected as a smallpox hospital. Needless to say that 
headquarters fled before this visitation. General Stevens, 
indignant at Leasure's carelessness in the matter, sum- 
marily ordered him out of his own spacious quarters and 
took them for himself, greatly to the colonel's disgust, 
who was heard to exclaim that there were too many 
Roundheads about for him to submit to such an indig- 
nity ; but the incident had a good effect in showing that 
the new commander would stand no trifling. 

The Highlanders arrived on the 18th, and the next 
day the troops were taken off in small bay steamboats 
to the large ocean steamships anchored two miles out, 
and embarked upon them. The largest of these vessels, 
and second only to the Great Eastern, was the Vander- 
bilt, a noble side-wheel ship of three thousand tonnage, 
which had recently been given the government by Corne- 


lius Yanderbilt, the old commodore, and was named after 
him. His favorite captain, Le Favre, a skillful navigator 
and accomplished gentleman, commanded her. On this 
fine steamer were crowded General Stevens and staff, the 
Highlanders, the 8th Michigan, and a hundred quarter- 
master's employees, all together over two thousand men. 
A large number of surf-boats and quantities of tents and 
baggage were piled in confusion on her decks, leaving 
scarce standing-room for the troops. The Roundheads 
and one battalion of the 50th embarked on the Ocean 
Queen, while Colonel Christ with the remainder of his 
regiment were loaded on the Winfield Scott. 

Captain and Assistant Quartermaster William Lilly 
here joined the command as brigade quartermaster. He 
had met General Stevens during the presidential cam- 
paign and won his confidence, of which he proved 
unworthy, and owed his appointment to the general's 
recommendation. General Stevens was also joined by 
Colonel William H. Nobles, who had seen much service 
on the frontier, and whom he appointed lieutenant-colonel 
of the Highlanders, but he was unequal to the position 
and soon afterwards resigned. The general appointed as 
his first aide-de-camp Lieutenant William T. Lusk, of the 
Highlanders, an educated and high-toned gentleman, who 
had abandoned his studies in Germany to fight for his 
country, and who proved a brave and excellent officer, 
and has since achieved distinction in his profession as a 
physician. The remaining members of the staff were 
Dr. George S. Kemble, brigade surgeon ; Captain L. A. 
Warfield, brigade commissary; and Lieutenants Henry 
S. Taft and William S. Cogswell, signal officers. 

The transports sailed on the 20th and reached Fortress 
Monroe the next day. Here were awaiting them a fleet 
of thirty warships, under Commodore Samuel P. Dupont, 
and a large number of sailing vessels laden with muni- 



tions and stores. The expedition lay here at anchor for 
a week, completing the necessary preparations. Commo- 
dore Dupont held many conferences on his flagship, the 
Wabash, with General Sherman and the brigade com- 
manders, at which the objective point was decided upon. 
The weather was fine, the sea smooth, and the blue road- 
stead, covered with the great fleet, comprising every 
variety of vessel, — the great, grim, black warships, with 
their frowning batteries; the transports, swarming with 
blue-clad soldiers; the deep-laden sailing-ships, with their 
tall spars, — presented an impressive and animated scene, 
enlivened by the numerous launches and cutters darting 
from ship to ship with officers bearing dispatches or 
exchanging calls. One of the swiftest and nattiest of 
these small craft was the captain's gig of the Yanderbilt, 
manned by a crew of fine oarsmen from the Highlanders, 
which attracted much attention from the army and navy 
alike, was the envy of other headquarters, and was kept 
busy conveying General Stevens and staff over the waters 

It was a fine, bracing autumn afternoon, October 29, 
when the great fleet sailed out of the Chesapeake in two 
parallel columns a mile apart. The giant warship Wabash 
led the right column, followed in single file by the war 
vessels, thirty in number, a black and formidable array. 
The left column was composed of the transport steamers, 
crowded with troops, each towing one of the sailing-ves- 
sels, and also contained some thirty ships. The Yander- 
bilt towed the Great Republic, a four-masted, full-rigged 
ship of four thousand tons, the largest sailing-ship then 
afloat. Besides a vast cargo of stores, she carried on her 
main and upper decks a great number of artillery horses. 
Thus the mighty armada steadily ploughed its way out 
to sea, with flags waving and bands playing, a glorious 
and awe-inspiring sight ; while the troops, exhilarated by 


he novel and stirring scene and the excitement of sail- 
Qg to an unknown destination, their hearts swelling with 
he hope and determination of soon dealing the rebel lion 
. mighty and perhaps fatal blow, cheered and cheered 
gain until they could cheer no more. 

The third day a furious storm struck the combined 
leet and scattered it far and wide. At midnight, in the 
leight of the tempest, the great hawsers by which the 
tTanderbilt was towing her consort threatened to tear off 
ler quarters under the terrific strain of the mountain 
billows, and had to be cut asunder with axes, and the 
Treat Republic was abandoned to her fate in the raging 
torm, furious sea, and black night. When day broke 
10 other sail was visible amid the driving and tossing 
billows. Later in the day General Stevens opened the 
ealed orders with which every ship was provided, to be 
opened in case of separation from the fleet, in presence 
>f Captains Le Favre, Stevens, and Lilly, and announced 
hat the destination and point of rendezvous was off Port 
^yal, one of the finest harbors on the Southern coast, 
ituated midway between Charleston and Savannah. The 
(Tanderbilt, the swiftest of the fleet, arrived off the en- 
Tance on November 3, among the first. The other ships 
;ame straggling in, and by the 6th were nearly all assem- 
)led and anchored just outside the bar, save four, the 
jrovemor and Peerless, that foundered in the storm, and 
he Osceola and Union, that were driven ashore. The loss 
)f life, however, was small under the circumstances, being 
»ven drowned and ninety-three captured. The 50th 
Pennsylvania, on the Winfield Scott, came near going to 
he bottom, and were only saved by incessant pumping 
ind bailing, and throwing overboard the entire cargo. 

Port Royal was defended by earthworks on each side 
)f the entrance. Fort Walker on Hilton Head, the south 
dde, and Fort Beauregard on Bay Point, on the north. 


These were strong and well-constructed forts, with heavy 
parapets, traverses, and bomb-proofs, mounted forty-one 
guns of large calibre, and were garrisoned and defended 
by three thousand troops, under General Thomas F. 
Drayton, whose brother. Captain Percival Drayton, com- 
manded the gunboat Pocahontas in Dupont's fleet. The 
enemy had also three small gunboats in the bay, under 
Commodore Tatnall, formerly an ofiGlcer of the United 
States navy. 

After reconnoissance by his gunboats, Commodore 
Dupont decided to attack the forts with his fleet, and 
arranged with General Sherman that the troops were to 
land in small boats on the open beach during the naval 
bombardment and carry the works by assault, in case 
the navy failed to shell the enemy out. Accordingly, on 
the morning of November 7 the surf-boats, of which 
there were a large number, and all the boats belonging 
to the vessels, were launched, and brought up alongside 
or astern of the transports, and the troops of Stevens's 
and Wright's brigades were provided with ammunition 
and one day's cooked rations, and held in readiness to 
land and attack. While they awaited this movement in 
high-wrought expectation, the following order was written 
by General Stevens and read to them, and had a marked, 
effect to increase their determination and ardor : — 

Headquarters Second Brigade, Expeditionary Corps, 
S. S. Vanderbilt, Noyember 7, 1861. 

General Orders No. 5. 

The brigadier-general commanding the second brigade trust- 
f uUy appeals to each man of his command this day to strike a 
signal blow for his country. She has been stabbed by traitorous 
hands, and by her most favored sons. Show by your acts that 
the hero age has not passed away, and that patriotism still lives. 
Better to fall nobly in the forlorn hope in vindication of home 
and nationality than to live witnesses of the triumph of a sacri- 
legious cause. The Lord God of battles will direct us; to 


Him let us htimblj appeal this day to vonohsaf e to us his orowu- 
ing mercy ; and may those of us who surviye, when the evening 
sun goes down, asoribe to Him, and not to ourselves, the glo- 
rious victory. 

By order of BbigadieBpGenebal Stevens. 

Hazard Stevens, 
Capt. and AssH Adft-Gen. 

At nine o'clock on the bright, clear morning, with a 
smooth sea, the great war fleet crossed the bar, and de- 
liberately advanced to attack the forts in a long column 
of single ships, while the transports lay at anchor just 
outside with their decks, masts, and shrouds covered with 
the troops, eagerly watching the scene. Conmiodore 
Dupont in the Wabash led the long string of warships 
alowly up the middle of the bay, receiving and replying 
to the fire of both forts until two miles beyond them, 
then turned to the left in a wide circle and led back 
past Fort Walker, at a thousand yards distance, opening 
upon it broadside after broadside. At the same time a 
flanking column of five gunboats steamed up the bay 
nearer to Bay Point and poured its broadsides into Fort 
Beauregard, and, steering towards the other side, ad* 
vanced against Tatnall's fleet, driving it into Skull Creek, 
which cuts off Hilton Head on the inside, and then, tak< 
ing position near the shore and flanking the fort, opened 
upon it a destructive fire. Meantime the main column, 
led by the Wabash, was majestically and slowly passing 
the work, each succeeding vessel opening its batteries 
upon it in turn as it came within range, and maintain- 
ing a rapid fire as it drew past. The naval gun fire was 
terrific, rising at times to a continuous roar; dense clouds 
of smoke belched forth and hung about the ships, while 
the white puff-balls showed where the great 11 and 9-inch 
shells were bursting over and about the work. The 
enemy replied with a brisk and well-maintained fire, and 


many of his missiles could be traced by the great columns 
of water dashed up as they ricochetted across the bay 
beyond the vessels. After passing down the bay as far 
as the depth of water permitted^ Dupont turned and again 
led the fleet in front of Fort Walker, at much closer 
range than bef ore, pouring upon the devoted work a still 
more terrific fire. As the admiral repeated this manoeuvre 
for the third time, one of the light-draught gunboats, 
pushing closely in at six p. M., discovered that the enemy 
had fled, and sent a boat with a small party ashore, who 
pulled down the rebel flag and hoisted over it the glori- 
ous stars and stripes. What cheers then burst forth 
from ship to ship of the crowded transports, what joy 
and relief from suspense were felt by the officers who 
had so anxiously watched the bombardment for hours^ 
momentarily looking for orders to land and assault the 
works, which were so stubbornly resisting the navy, can 
never be realized by those not actors in the scene. 

The flight of the enemy was panic. They left their 
flags flying, their tents standing, and all their supplies. 
Tatnall's mosquito fleet hastened up Skull Creek, and, 
with the aid of some large flatboats^ ferried the fugitives 
across that stream. The fact that the enemy's retreat 
might have been cut off and his entire force captured, 
by sending gunboats up the inner channels separating 
Hilton Head and Bay Point from adjacent islands, lent 
wings to his flight. The opportunity was not improved. 
Fort Beauregard was abandoned in equal haste, although 
not subjected to nearly so severe a battering as Fort 
Walker. The navy lost only thirty-one killed and 
wounded ; that of the enemy was sixty-six. 

The morning after the bombardment the Highlanders 
went ashore on Bay Point, and occupied Fort Beauregard 
and the deserted camp, and the rest of the troops were 
landed on Hilton Head. The beach shoals very gradu- 


ally, and the men and impedimenta had to be loaded from 
the ocean steamers into small boats, which took them in 
until they grounded, a hundred yards or more from the 
beach, when the troops had to jump overboard and wade 
ashore. All the camp equipage and supplies had to be 
taken ashore in the arms of men detailed for the pur- 
pose, so that the landing was a very laborious and tedious 

The enemy's camp bore witness to his panic flight; 
clothing, bedding, half-cooked provisions, even a rebel 
flag over one tent and a sword inside, and in another an 
excellent repast, with jelly, cake, and wine, were found 
abandoned. General Drayton's headquarters, in a large 
building near Fort Walker, was abandoned in such haste 
that the horses in the stable were left behind, and Gen- 
eral Drayton's own charger, a fine, handsome bay horse 
of medium size, but compactly built and of great spirit 
and endurance, was captured here and became the favor- 
ite horse of General Stevens. Back of the fort was a 
large field in sweet potatoes, and it presented a singular 
appearance after the soldiers landed and discovered it, 
covered with thousands of men, all digging the tubers for 
dear life. General Sherman facetiously remarked that 
General Drayton planted that potato-field on purpose to 
demoralize his army. 

Immediately after landing, General Sherman held a 
conference with his general officers as to undertaking an 
offensive movement. The enemy was evidently demor- 
alized, and either Charleston or Savannah might fall 
before a sudden dash, and offered a tempting prize. But 
ihe general opinion was that a movement upon either 
involved too great risks, and that the first duty was to 
fortify and render absolutely secure the point already 
gained. General Stevens alone dissented from this view. 
Sii strenously urged an aggressive movement inland to 


the mainland, then, turning to right or left, against one ^^ 
of the cities. In answer to objections, he declared that^S^ 
the overpowering naval force rendered Hilton HeadiEii 
already secure, and it could be fortified at leisure. T hcgi^o 
navy, too, could support an advance, and cover a with — i^^- 
drawal in case of need. The country was full of flat-^cidlr 
boats used by the planters for the transportation 
cotton. Hundreds of these could be collected amouj 
the islands by the negroes, and would furmsh means or^mt 
transporting the troops up, or ferrying them across th»^«6 
inland waters, which, instead of an obstacle, could thus hi —o 
made an aid to the movement. But the cautious coons^^ssl 
prevailed, and General Sherman reaped the reward 
his lack of enterprise by being superseded a few moni 
later, after rendering faithful service. Certainly he L 
a great opportunity. With such subordinates as 6< 
erals Stevens and Wright, and the navy to assist, fa^ve 
might have taken Savannah, and could not have bee^^ 
badly damaged, even if repulsed. General Stevens hm ^ 
visited Savannah as an engineer officer shortly after 
Mexican war, and his habit of acquiring information. 
about every subject that interested him entitled his vie' 
to more attention. But, after all, the general, like Umb ^^ 
poet, is bom, not made, and Sherman may have been -^^ 
wisely governed by his own limitations. As will be seen 
hereafter, this idea of a movement inland, and making 
use of flatboats, took a deep hold of General Stevens's *^ 
mind. ^ 

He placed his brigade in camp a mile back from the ^^ 

beach, and was given charge of an extensive line of ^^ 

works, laid out by Captain Q. A. Gilmore, the chief ^^ 

engineer officer. He pushed this work with his accus- . 

tomed vigor, detailing daily the greater part of his force ^ 

as working parties. He had a full quota of officers turn ^ 

out with the men, the details verified every mornings and 


kept some of his staff always on the work. The troops^ 
seeing that no shirking was tolerated, gave diligent labor, 
and within a month the line, over a mile in length, was 
completed. The Highlanders, however, continued to 
occupy Bay Point, and made many scouting expeditions 
on neighboring islands. Considerable sickness broke out 
among the troops on Hilton Head, — smallpox, measles, 
and typhoid, — and there were many deaths, so that the 
practice of playing the dead march at funerals was for- 
bidden, notwitiistanding which the troops were generally 
in fine condition and spirits. General Stevens himself 
had a severe attack of bilious fever, from which he but 
slowly recovered. The following letters give a pleasant 
sketch of life at Hilton Head : — 

Headquarters Second Brigade, £. C, 

Hilton Head, November 28, 1861. 

Mt dearest Wife, — We are getting on in the most quiet 
manner possible. As I wrote you a day or two since, my brig- 
ade is almost exclusively occupied in throwing up intrench- 
uents. It has been hard at work the last ten days, working 
^▼en the last Sunday. I have to-day nearly thirteen hundred 
men in the trenches. We are living at my headquarters quite 
^x>infortably. For instance, to-day is considered a sort of 
OThanksgiving Day, being the day set apart for Thanksgiving in 
mome of the States. I have for dinner, at half past five o'clock, 
sroast turkey, boiled turkey, and a fine boiled ham. This ought 
*to be pretty satisfactory. In our stores we have two dozen fine 
^turkeys, growing in better condition every day. These turkeys 
"we buy from the negroes. We have plenty of beef and mutton 
«nd sweet potatoes, also oysters and fish. 

Headquarters Second Brigade, E. C, 

Hilton Head, December 5, 1861. 

Mt deab Wife, — We are enjoying fine weather, and the 
liealth of the troops is daily improving. My brigade is still 
at work on the intrenchments. They have done an immense 
amount of work, much to the satisfaction of General Sherman. 
Hazard takes great interest in everything. We are living quite 


comfortably ; have an old house with a fireplace, which answers 
for my office and Hazard's office and our quarters. Hazard 
has three and sometimes four clerks, two messengers, and, when 
needed, an officer to assist him. Our mess consists of the brig- 
ade quartermaster. Captain Lilly; the brigade surgeon, Dr. 
Kemble ; my aide-de-camp. Lieutenant Lusk ; Hazard, and my- 
self. We have a most excellent cook, brought from New York, 
and a good dining-room servant picked up here. We have our 
breakfast at seven o'clock, lunch at twelve, and dinner between 
half past five and six. How long we shall remain here, I can- 
not form an idea, — probably some months. We are most want- 
ing in books. I must also get some more military books, and 
now regret I left so many behind me. Hazard is in the 
trenches to-day. I keep a large force out, and all my staff that 
can be spared* 













^ABCELY were the works at Hilton Head completed 
^\^eii General Stevens was ordered, early in December, to 
occupy Beaufort, as an advanced post threatening the 
inland, and affording protection to the negroes on 
i'he islands. This was a town of five thousand sools, 
delightfully situated on Port Royal Island on the banks 
of Beaufort River, some fifteen miles above Hilton Head, 
^t iras a place of fine mansions and houses, almost wholly 
^exnpt from the poorer class, the seat of wealth and re- 
fij^ement, and often styled the Newport of the South. It 
^H8 the headquarters of the Sea Islands, upon which alone 
^^^ grown the fine, long stapled Sea Island cotton, worth 
^ dollar a pound during the war. With unbounded con- 
^fience in the strength of the forts at the harbor en* 
^^nce, and in the prowess of their defenders, the most 
^livalric blood of Carolina, the people of Beaufort lis- 
^ned to the thunder of Dupont's guns on the eventful 
*7th of November, and from the steeples and roofs watched 
the moving masts and clouds of smoke of his fleet as 
he attacked the works; and when the appalling news 
reached them of his victory, the whole white population 
fled in terror, only one white person, and he a native 
of New England, remaining in the town. From all the 
islands the flight of the planters was equally hasty and 
complete. Negroes, live-stock, large quantities of cotton, 
household goods and furniture, and even wearing ap- 
parel, were all abandoned in the panic exodus. Since the 
VOL. n 


bombardment^ raiding parties of the enemy were ventur- 
ing over with increasing boldness, burning the cotton 
and terrorizing the negroes. These numbered at least 
ten thousand, thus abandoned by their masters, and were 
scattered over the extensive archipelago, but chiefly upon 
Fort Royal, Ladies', and St. Helena islands. 

The more intelligent house servants having gone with 
their owners, nearly all the negroes left on the islands 
were in the densest ignorance, some of them the blackest 
human beings ever seen, and others the most bestial in 
appearance, and there were even some native Africans, 
brought over by slavers in recent years. They were not 
put to hard labor, judging by Northern standards, and 
were set so light a daily task in the cotton-field that they 
would usually finish it in the forenoon, and have the 
rest of the day to themselves. The only food furnished 
them was a peck of shelled Indian com a week apiece, 
which the black women had to grind into meal upon 
rude stones turned by hand; but this ration was eked out 
by fish and oysters, with which the waters abounded, by 
thd poultry which they were allowed to keep, and also 
by the vegetables from their little garden patches. At 
Christmas they were given a liberal dole of fresh beef 
for a grand feast. The turkeys, of which great numbers 
were kept on every plantation, were deemed a kind of 
royal fowl, reserved for the whites like the cattle, and 
tabooed to the blacks, who were not allowed to raise 
them as they did the common barnyard fowl. But upon 
the flight of their masters the negroes were prompt 
enough to take them for their own, and used to sell them 
to the troops at generous prices. 

These ignorant and benighted creatures flocked into 
Beaufort on the hegira of the whites, and held high car- 
nival in the deserted mansions, smashing doors, mirnnrs, 
and furniture, and appropriating all that took their fancy. 


A^ifter this loot, a common aight was a black wench dressed 
ii:^ gilks, or white lace cortains^ or a stalwart black field- 
l^^i^d resplendent in a complete suit of gaudy carpeting 
J^^^t torn from the floor. After this sack, they remained 
^^ home upon the plantations, and reveled in unwonted 
^^^Xeness and luxury, feasting upon the com, cattle, and 
^^^^keys of their fugitive masters. 

Embarking his brigade and a section of Battery E, 3d 
United States artillery, under Lieutenant Dunbar B. 
ftansom, on steamers at Hilton Head, (xeneral Stevens on 
tihe Ocean Queen, with the 50th Pennsylvania, reached 
Beaufort at seven in the evening of December 11, landed, 
and threw out a strong picket on the main road across 
the island, known as the shell-road. The negroes stated 
that a party of rebel cavalry had visited the town that 
afternoon, and threatened to return at night and lay it in 
ashes. At midnight they came riding down the shell- 
road ; but being fired upon by the picket, the whole party, 
with the exception of the ^^ colonel " and his son, took to 
their heels, and never drew rein until they reached the 
mainland, ten miles distant, according to the report of 
the doughty commander. 

The next morning the remainder of the troops landed, 
and (xeneral Stevens advanced across the island on the 
ahell-road to Port Boyal Ferry on the Coosaw Biver, with 
two regiments and Bansom's guns. The rebel cavaLry, 
falling back without resistance, crossed the ferry, taking 
to the farther side the ferry-boat and ropes and all other 
boats. The Coosaw is a large and deep tidal river, sepa- 
rating the island from the mainland. It is bordered by 
wide, impassable marshes, across which at the ferry long 
causeways extended on each side from the firm land to 
the main river. A small, square ferry-house stood at the 
end of each causeway, and the one on the farther side 
had been strengthened and converted into a blockhouse, 


and from it the enemy fired on the Union advance. But 
the first shell from tiie 3-inch rifled gun went crashing 
through the extempore blockhouse, and sent its brav^ 
defenders scampering up the long causeway. Two ad- 
venturous soldiers then swam the river and brought 
back a boat, in which a party crossed over, demolished^ 
the blockhouse, and returned with the ferry scow and^ 

A strong picket-line was posted along the river, a good 
force left in support at a cross-roads some miles back oa 
the shell-road, and the general with the remainder of the 
party returned to Beaufort. 

General Stevens at once cleared the blacks out of town, 
and established a camp in the suburbs for the temporary 
reception of refugees and vagrant negroes. He placed 
the troops under canvas in the outskirts, and prohibited 
their entering the town without a permit, and strictly for- 
bade all plundering, or even entering the empty houses. 
Guards were posted over a fine public library, the pride 
of the town, which, however, had been thrown about in 
utter disorder; patrols were kept scouring the streets, 
and the strictest order and discipline were enforced. 

In order to protect the negroes and keep the enemy 
within his own lines, General Stevens strongly picketed 
the western or exposed side of Port Royal and Ladies' 
islands, guarding all the landing-places, and watching the 
Coosaw and Broad rivers for twenty-five miles. Knowing 
the difficulty of maintaining so long and exposed a line of 
outposts against an enterprising enemy, he threw him on 
the defensive by the boldness of his advanced line, and 
by a succession of well-planned and daring raids upon 
his pickets on the opposite shore. Thus Lieutenant Ben- 
jamin F. Porter, of the 8th Michigan, on the night of 
December 17 captured a picket of six men on Chisholm's 
Island, and on several occasions small parties were thrown 


across the Coosaw in boats, the enemy's pickets were 
driven off, and the buildings from which they fired upon 
the Union pickets were destroyed. So successfully was 
this policy carried out that the enemy made but one 
counter attack during the six months that General Stevens 
occupied the islands, viz., an attempt on the picket on 
Barnwell Iskmd, February 11, 1862, and that was repulsed 
without loss on our side. 

The first and, as it turned out, only serious operation 
undertaken by Greneral Sherman was the siege of Fort 
Pulaski at the mouth of the Savannah River. A large 
force of troops, under General Yiele, and heavy g^s and 
mortars were dispatched to this quarter, and Captain Q. 
A. Gilmore, the chief engineer officer, was given charge 
of the siege works. 

General Wright was sent down the coast with a consid- 
erable force, and in March occupied Femandina and Jack- 
sonville, Fla., which had been abandoned by the enemy. 

By the end of December the enemy erected a strong 
£eld-work on the mainland, opposite and commanding 
Port Boyal Ferry, and repulsed the efforts of the gunboats 
to dislodge him. The naval authorities pronounced it 
impracticable to reduce the work, or to keep the river 
open with the Eght wooden gunboats which alone could 
operate in those waters. Negro refugees reported a large 
force of the enemy at Garden's Corners, only four miles 
from the ferry. They were endeavoring to obstruct the 
channel by driving piles in it. Opposite Seabrook, at a 
point a mile and a half above the ferry, they were throw- 
ing up a formidable-looking battery. Their increased 
activity and boldness, as well as their success in closing 
the river to the navy, indicated aggressive action; for 
with the river closed they could throw a force upon Port 
Royal Island without fear of its being cut off, could raid 
the plantation and negroes, and could compel the Union 


commander to maintain a large force on the island^ or run 
the risk of losing a small one. 

Impressed with the importance of dislodging the enemy 
and keeping the river open, (xeneral Stevens laid before 
(jeneral Sherman a plan to that end^ which the latter 
promptly approved. It was simply to throw a sufficient 
force across the river several miles below the f erry^ ad- 
vance up the left bank, beat any force that might be 
found covering the work, and take it in the rear. Three 
light-draught gunboats were to cooperate in the movement. 
At the same time, two gunboats entering the Coosaw from 
Broad River through Whale Branch and small bodies of 
troops from Seabrook Landing and opposite the ferry 
were to threaten the enemy on the upper side, and distract 
his attention from the real attack. It was decided to re- 
inforce General Stevens with two regiments from Hilton 
Head for the movement, — the 47th and 48th New York. 

Nearly every plantation on these islands was supplied 
with large flatboats, used chiefly for the transportation 
of cotton. Ever since his occupation General Stevens 
had been quietly collecting these scows at Beaufort, with 
a view to using them in future operations. During the 
night of December 30 over one hundred of these flats, 
with a crew of negro oarsmen and a guard of two soldiers 
in each boat, were sent up Beaufort River, Brickyard 
Creek, and an inlet or creek which branches from the 
Coosaw near the northeast comer of the island and ex- 
tends inland southwesterly several miles. There was an 
excellent landing-place two and a half miles up this 
creek, and only eight miles from Beaufort, with good 
roads between. At this landing, screened from sight of 
the enemy by well-wooded banks, the fleet of flatboats lay 
during the day. Every precaution was taken to prevent 
any negro from leaving the party and giving information 
of the movement. 



Commodore Dapont famished the desired gunboats, 
placing them under the command of Captain C. P. R. 
Bodgers. About noon on the 31st that officer reached 
Beaufort with the Ottawa and Pembina, followed by the 
Hale, and the details of the joint movement, and partic- 
ularly the signals to enable the troops and ships to act in 
concert, were arranged between him and Greneral Stevens. 
About dark the 47th and 48th New York, under Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel James L. Eraser and Colonel James H. 
Perry respectively, arrived on the transport steamer Bos- 

Two companies of the Roundheads were left to guard 
the town and depot of Beaufort. Another company of 
that regiment took post three miles out at the cross-roads. 
Two companies of the Highlanders and two of the Bound- 
heads, under Captain William St. (jeorge Elliott of the 
former, were posted at Seabrook, with orders, when the 
gunboats came through Whale Branch and opened on 
the enemy's battery, to cross over and take it if practica- 
ble. Colonel Leasure, with the remainder of his Round- 
heads and one company of the Highlanders, was stationed 
at the ferry to observe the enemy, make a demonstration 
against him, and cross over if circumstances permitted. 
Flatboats were collected at both points in readiness for 
the crossing. Lieutenant Ransom, with his g^s, was 
also posted near the ferry. Four companies of the 50th 
Pennsylvania were left in Beaufort with orders to embark 
on flats at midnight and proceed upstream to the mouth 
of the creek already mentioned. 

After dark the remainder of the brigade, viz., the 8th 
Michigan and six companies of the 50th Pennsylvania 
from Beaufort, and seven companies of the Highlanders 
from Seabrook and other advanced posts, from which they 
had been relieved by the Roundheads during the day, 
marched to the well-hidden landing-place on the creek, 


where the flats lay awaiting them. At one a. m. New 
Year's morning the embarkation commenced. The land^ 
ing-place was narrow, and only two or three flats at a 
time could be loaded, which made the embarkation slow, 
tedious, and confused. Each boat was ordered to push 
off into the stream as soon as loaded, and proceed far 
enough down it to give plenty of room for others. But 
the creek became almost blocked with flats crowded with 
men, laden to the gunwale, and apparently floating about 
without aim or order. The night was dark, a pale mist 
rose on the water, the sickly beams of a half moon 
struggled through the gloom, ihe fires and lanterns flared 
at the landing, the smothered orders, oaths and calls of 
officers from flat to flat, striving to avoid becoming sepa- 
* rated from their regiments, made a babel of voices, and 
all added to and heightened the appearance of hopeless 
confusion. The scene to the painter or poet was weird 
and picturesque in the extreme, but to a soldier most 

When half the troops were afloat, and the embarkation 
of the remainder, proceeding steadily though slowly, was 
assured, General Stevens entered his barge and, rowing 
rapidly downstream, placed himself at the head of the 
flotilla. Each boat as passed was ordered to follow. 
Their progress, deeply laden as they were, was necessarily 
slow, but as they took up the movement, the dense and 
confused mass very soon lengthened out into an orderly 
column, and the perplexities and misgivings of many an 
officer gave place to the alacrity and confidence which 
aggressive action ever inspires. The first faint pencilings 
of dawn were streaking the eastern sky as the flotilla 
slowly drew out of the mouth of the creek and entered 
the river. The fog lay low upon the water, and com- 
pletely shrouded the farther shore. Here joined Captain 
Bodgers with four launches, each armed with a 12-pounder 



boat howitzer^ and the four companies of the 50th Penn- 
sylvania^ which embarked at Beaufort. Then hove in 
sight the gunboat' Ottawa. 

Noiselessly the stalwart blacks strained at the mufSed 
oars, the long ashen blades steadily rose and dipped ; the 
blue-coated masses sat in silence, muskets in hand, strain- 
ing their eyes ahead ; while the flotilla, like a huge black 
eloud, slowly crept over the face of the broad sound, here 
a mile and a half wide. After an age of cramped waiting 
and suspense, the dim, spectral trees lining the low shore 
opposite comes in sight ; the launches and swiftest boats 
now shoot rapidly ahead, the rowers straining every nerve, 
«uid the soldiers anxiously scanning the hostile shore; 
WL score of gray forms are discerned among the trees ; a 
straggling volley spatters harmlessly over the water, and 
tiie next instant the boats drive upon the bank, and the 
landing is effected. Greneral Stevens's barge outstripped 
the other boats, and he leaped ashore the first man, 
closely followed by Captain John More and ten picked 
men of the Highlanders, and the enemy's pickets took to 
their heels. 

It was now found that the 8th Michigan, through 
some strange mistake, had remained near the mouth of 
the creek, notwithstanding the explicit orders, repeated, 
too, by General Stevens in person when passing down the 
creek. Orders were immediately dispatched to Colonel 
Fenton to proceed across and up the river and land at 
the Adams House, some three miles above, where there 
was an excellent landing-place. Colonel Perry had re- 
ceived orders the night before to follow the gunboats, 
and debark his two reg^ents at the same point as soon 
as it was in the possession of the landing party. Thither 
were also sent the empty flats. 

Skirmishers and scouts were thrown out while the 
troops were landing, and several negroes were picked up 


who proved useful as guides. With the Highlanders in 
the advance^ preceded by two companies deployed as 
skirmishers^ and followed by two boat howitzers under 
Lieutenant Irwin, of the navy, and the 50th Pennsylvania 
bringing up the rear, the little column pushed rapidly 
on, taking a course parallel to the river, and traversing 
woods and swampy and dif&cult ground, without any 
road for most of the way, and at eleven a. m., after a hot 
and fatiguing march, reached a position abreast of the 
Adams house. Small parties of the enemy, who fired a 
few shots, were observed at several points on the march, 
but a few shells from the howitzers and the Highlanders^ 
skirmishers easily brushed them aside. 

The column now rested for two and a half hours while 
the remainder of the troops were debarking, for the land- 
ing-place was contracted, and the regiments on the Boston 
had to be put ashore in small boats. At 1.30 p. Bf. 
General Stevens formed his order of march, and moved 
forward for the fort, marching parallel to the river. The 
Highlanders, with two companies skirmishing in advance, 
led the way ; the two naval howitzers followed ; Colonel 
Christ's 50th Pennsylvania and Colonel Fenton's Michi- 
ganders formed the support, and the 47th and 48th New 
York the reserve. The column advanced in echelon, the 
Highlanders nearest the river, and each succeeding regi- 
ment battalion distance in rear of and to the right of 
the one preceding it. This formation was equally well 
adapted to meet an attack in front or on the right flank. 
The river protected the left. 

A broad belt of cotton-fields stretched along the river 
to and beyond the ferry, some three miles distant. Back 
of the open fields a body of woods presented an irregu- 
lar front, from a mile to half a mile distant from the 
river. Over these fields the skirmishers advanced steadily, 
followed by the entire command in the order by echelon 


described^ each regiment moving in line, or occasionally 
by the flank, or by colomn of companies, according to 
the ground, with the regularity of parade. The signal 
officer. Lieutenant Henry S. Tafft, kept with the skir- 
mishers, signaling constsuitly with his colleague, lieuten- 
ant Cogswell, on the Ottawa, thus directing her fire, and 
establishing perfect concert of action afloat and ashore. 
The shells from the gunboat tore the wood just in front 
of the skirmishers as they advanced. As the troops ad- 
vanced in this order the scene from the gunboats was 
most inspiriting, — the wide strip of open country, the 
dark, frowning forest beyond it, the broad, silver-hued 
river with the black gunboats, and line after line of dark- 
blue infantry, tipped with steel, moving onward over the 
fields with the steady, rapid, irresistible flow of billows 
rolling across the sea. 

The column had advanced a mile in this order when a 
puff of smoke and the roar of a gun burst from the edge 
of the woods, followed by others in rapid succession, and 
a battery, well screened in the timber, opened a rapid fire 
of shells over and among the leading regiments. But, 
without pause. General Stevens continued his movement, 
regardless of the noisy shelling, until the third regiment, 
the Michiganders, was fully abreast with the battery. 
Then halting, he brought his three leading regiments into 
line, facing the woods, wheeling them to the right, and 
advancing the Highlanders and 50th on a line with the 
Michiganders, and threw out four companies of the latter 
upon the battery to develop the enemy's force. He left 
the reserve regiments as they stood when halted, being 
already considerably to the right and in advance of the 
newly formed line. 

The Michigan skirmishers had scarcely disappeared 
within the bushes which masked the battery, when a roll- 
ing volley of musketry rattled among the trees, and out 


they came^ falling back. At the same tiine a large regi- 
ment of the enemy appeared from behind a point of 
the woods which partially screened its advance, bearing 
directly down upon the 50th Pennsylvania. Colonel 
Christ was directed to meet and not to await the attack. 
At the command his regiment deliberately fixed bayonets 
and moved f orward, presenting a long and imposing line. 
The charging rebel regiment first ceased its shouts and 
yells, then fired a scattering and ineffective volley, and 
broke and fled to the cover of the woods so precipitantly 
that the 50th had scarcely time to fire a round after 
them. General Stevens now threw one wing of the 
50th upon the flank of the enemy's position, and Colonel 
Perry's regiment upon the other flank. But the hostile 
battery ceased its fire, and the troops, on reaching its 
position, found the enemy gone, with every sign of a 
precipitate retreat. 

Meantime the Highlanders' skirmishers, never halt- 
ing, had reached the fort, and entered it simultaneously 
with the force under Colonel Leasure which crossed at 
the ferry. A single gun, a 12-pounder, was found in the 
work ; the others had been removed by the enemy. The 
troops were recalled, the wounded cared for, and the 
march was resumed to the ferry without further opposi- 
tion. Colonel Leasure and Captain Elliott were found at 
the fort, and reported the complete success of the move- 
ments intrusted to them. Two gunboats — the Seneca, 
Captain Daniel Ammen, and Ellen, Captain Budd — en- 
tered Whale Branch as prearranged, and opened fire on 
the battery opposite Seabrook. Captain Elliott immedi- 
ately crossed over with his party, found the battery ready 
for guns, but none there, and, after destroying the work, 
returned to Seabrook. Thence hastening to the ferry, 
he joined Colonel Leasure, and crossed at that point just 
as the skirmishers from the main column appeared. 


The troops bivouacked that night at the ferry, with 
pickets well out, and two naval howitzers, under lieu- 
tenant J. H. Upshur, in position commanding the main 
load, while at short intervals the gunboats fired big 11- 
inch shells as far into rebeldom as heavy charges could 
throw them. It was afterwards reported by the refugee 
n^roes that one of these ^^ rotten shot," as they termed 
the bursting shells, fell at Garden's Comers, four miles 

During the night the ferry was completely restored. 
The captured gun and wagons, with the wounded, crossed 
early in the morning. The captured work was leveled, 
and at nine a. m. the troops commenced crossing, using 
both the ferryboat and flats. By noon the entire force of 
three thousand men was over. The enemy remained quiet 
back in the woods. The troops marched into Beaufort 
that afternoon in fine spirits, and with confidence in them- 
selves heightened by the brush with the enemy and the 
success of the expedition. Both o£&cers and . men had 
shown themselves steady, prompt, and ready to march^ 
manceuvre, and fight, and it was not their fault if the 
enemy would not give them a harder tussle. Excepting 
the Highlanders, all were green troops, never having 
even seen an enemy before, except as distant witnesses of 
the naval bombardbient of Hilton Head. The 47th and 
48th New York embarked on their transport at Beaufort, 
and returned to Hilton Head the next morning. 

The enemy's forces in the action, as reported by him, 
comprised the 14th and four companies of the 12th South 
Carolina, a section of Leake's Virginia battery, and a 
detachment of cavalry, forty-two in number, who are 
commended as participating with their double-barreled 
shotguns and navy revolvers. Colonel James Jones, of 
the 14th, commanded. Besides these troops General Pem- 
berton hurried forward from Pocotaligo a large part of a 


Tennessee brigade, under Greneral Donelson, which met 
the retreating troops after the action was over. 

The Union losses consisted of three men of the 8th 
Michigan killed, and one of&cer, Major Watson, and eight 
men of the same regiment, three men of the 48th New 
York, and two of the 50th Pennsylvania, wounded, — in 
all, seventeen. 

The enemy acknowledged, in of&cial reports, the loss 
of an of&cer and seven men killed, and an officer and 
twenty-three men wounded, — in all, thirty^^o. 

Greneral Stevens warmly commended the conduct of his 
troops and the services of his staff, Captain Hazard Ste- 
vens, assistant adjutant-general ; lieut^ants William T. 
Lusk and Benjamin B. Lyons, aides; Andrew J. Hol- 
brook, volunteer aide ; Henry S. Tafft and William S. 
Cogswell, signal officers ; and Captain Charles A. Fuller, 

This action was almost the first Union success achieved 
by the army since the disaster of Bull Bun, and the 
thanks of the government were extended in general 
orders to General Stevens and his command for their 
victory, styled the battle of Port Boyal Ferry. 



After the action of Port Royal Ferry^ General Ste- 
vens continued to hold Beaufort and the neighboring 
islands for five months^ without the occurrence of any 
military event of importance^ chiefly occupied in thor- 
oughly drilling and disciplining his troops. lieutenant 
Abraham Cottrell^ of the 8th Michigan, was added to the 
staff as aide. A battalion of the 1st Massachusetts cav- 
alry, under lieutenant-Colonel H. B. Sargent, was added 
to his command ; also another section of Battery E of the 
3d artillery, Captain A. P. Rockwell's Connecticut light 
battery, and a company of Serrill's New York engineers, 
under Captain Alfred F. Sears, with a pontoon bridge 
equipment. His attention, moreover, was largely taken 
up with other matters, not military, but growing out of 
the peculiar conditions there. He caused the public li- 
brary, which has already been mentioned, with several fine 
private libraries added to it, to be put in order, restored to 
the shelves and catalogued, and thrown open for the use of 
the troops. Corporal Joseph Matthews, Joseph Hall, and 
George lispenard, of Company E of the Highlanders, were 
busy at this work for several months. He intended that 
the library, thus preserved, should be cared for and kept 
in the town where it belonged, and restored to the inhab- 
itants when they resumed their allegiance and returned to 
their homes. But one day the treasury agent. Colonel 
William H. Reynolds, presented himself, and demanded 
the books as captured rebel property, to be sold for the 


benefit of the government, — a demand which General 
Stevens indignantly and peremptorily rejected. A month 
later the agent again appeared with a formal demand 
from the Secretary of the Treasury for the library, in- 
dorsed by General Sherman with an order to give them up. 
Even then General Stevens suspended the order, and 
wrote a strong protest to General Sherman, setting forth 
the vandal character of the proposed action, and urging 
him to represent the matter in its true light to the gov- 
ernment, and secure the revocation of the order. But 
General Sherman was unwilling to take such a responsi- 
bility, and there was no alternative but to give up the 

General Stevens disapproved the action of the goT- 
ernment in sending such treasury agents into the field, 
with independent authority to gather up cotton and other 
property, as meddling with military operations, euQroach- 
ing on the authority of military commanders, and opening 
the door for dishonest or over-zealous agents to plun- 
der private property. Such work, he declared, should be 
done by the army through the quartermaster's depart- 
ment, and the captured property then turned over to the 
Treasury Department. 

Apprehensive that the numerous negroes within hiis lines 
might become vagrant and burdensome unless brought 
under control and made self-supporting, General Sherman 
issued an elaborate order, providing for teaching them the 
elementary branches, and inducing them to plant crops. 
The latter requirement General Stevens heartily approved, 
but he seriously doubted the propriety of the former, and 
wrote General Sherman, pointing out that to educate the 
blacks and raise hopes of freedom in their breast would 
make their condition doubly hard in case, on the suppres- 
sion of the rebellion, they had to return to their masters, 
and that the order, manifestly looking to freeing the slaves, 


might alienate the support of the border States from the 
Union cause. This view now seems reactionary^ but it 
should be borne in mind that the great, mass of Union 
soldiers sprang to arms, not to free the slaves, but to pre- 
serve the Union. Lincoln himself guided his course by 
the same view of not alienating the border States, with- 
holding his emancipation proclamation until the progress 
of pubUc opinion made it expedient. Writes Greneral 
Sherman in reply : — 

^ After all, my dear general, the government will do as it sees 
best in this matter. My order can be reversed at its pleasure. 
Sut, of myself, it would be doing some violence to my own 
views of duty to make the change you desire in the system 
therein indicated. But allow me to express to you my warmest 
thanks for the thoughtful and considerate manner in which you 
have done me the honor to write. Although we may differ in 
anr views in one or two points, — both admitted to be delicate 
ones, — it will not permit any change of my exalted opinion of 
your talents and your personal character." 

But the generals were only wasting time in discussing 
the negro problem, for by the next steamer, early in 
Miareh, there descended on the Department of the South, 
like the locusts on Egypt, a swarm of treasury agents and 
hamanitarians, male and female, all zealously bent on 
educating and elevating the ^^ freedmen," as they immedi- 
ately dubbed the blacks. The irreverent young of&cers 
styled these good people the ^^ Gideonites," and were dis- 
posed to make all manner of fun of them ; but among 
the number were persons of the highest respectability and 
purest motives, and they undoubtedly accomplished some 
^ood. They met with a cold and ungracious reception 
from General Sherman, who declared that their coming 
v^as uncalled for and entirely premature, and inconti- 
nently packed them off to Beaufort to the care of Gen- 
eral Stevens, thus washing his hands of them. 


The latter treated them with the utmost courtesy and 
MndnesSy assigned them good quarters in town, and de- 
tailed a capable and gentlemanly young officer^ lieu- 
tenant H. 6. Belcher^ of the 8th Michigan, to see to their 
comfort and needs. He not only gave them every facility 
and assistance in his power in their care of the blacks, 
but took a real interest in their mission, talked and ad- 
vised with the chiefe, and exerted a decided and salutary 
influence in modifying some of their crude and extrava- 
gant ideas, and bringing them down to judicious and 
practicable measures. It is a curious fact that in several 
instances he had to curb the attempts t)f some of the more 
zealous, who strove to work the blacks harder than their 
old masters did. Always frank and outspoken in his 
opinions, and differing widely from many of the views of 
these visitors. General Stevens impressed them with his 
sincere and earnest sense of duty, and won their gratitude 
and goodwill. Hon. Edward L. Pierce, the biographer 
of Sumner, who was the chief agent, thus acknowledged 
their feelings and obligations toward General Stevens : — 

^^ General Stevens was an officer with whom subordination 
was a controlling duty. The order for sending able-bodied 
negroes to Hilton Head to be armed imposed on him an uncon- 
genial service, but he performed it faithfully and with dispatch, 
and even aided in the selection of the officers to drill them. 
His preconceived opinions, although he desired them humane 
treatment, were understood to be unfavorable to an effort at the 
present time to raise them to intelligent citizenship ; but to the 
industrial and educational movement to that end he offered no 
opposition, but gave to it in good faith his official protection and 
aid, and the special agent of the Treasury Department, who was 
charged with its direction, never asked facilities which he de- 
nied, often more being granted than was requested. The better 
part of the territory to which that movement applied was under 
his command, and its friends will gratefully remember him for 
his personal courtesies and honorable cooperation." 


Mrs. Stevens also arrived on the same steamer to visit 
her Imsbandy with her youngest daughter, Elate^ a beautir 
Enl and engaging little girl of ten^ and remained nearly a 
month. Their visit was a great solace to General Stevens^ 
Emd the last time he was to see them. 

The Washington ladies, Mrs. Johnson and Miss Donel- 
8on^ their neighbors and warm friends for four years, 
came with the Gideonites, actuated by benevolence. Other 
visitors were Mr. Caverly, whom General Stevens had met 
in Washington, and his beautifid young wife. He was 
in the last stages of consumption, and the general had 
him taken into his own quarters and carefully nursed and 
cared for until his death. Hon. John M. Forbes, of Mil- 
ton, Mass., and his wife, whose son, William H. Forbes, 
was an o£&cer of the 1st Massachusetts cavalry, then at 
Beaufort, also visited there that winter ; and Hon. W. J. 
A. Fuller, of New York, an eminent lawyer, and brother 
to Captain Charles A. Fuller, was another visitor. 

During all this time General Stevens was chiefly en- 
gaged in training and discipling his command. Besides 
company and battalion drills in the forenoon, brigade 
drills were had four afternoons a week, usually in some 
extensive cotton-field below the town, and occasionally 
these drills were varied by movements through timber, 
bridging and crossing streams, or overcoming other ob- 
stacles, the three arms being exercised to act in concert. 
There was no other brigade in the armies on either side 
that was put through such a complete and thorough 
course of brigade drill as General Stevens gave his com- 
mand at Beaufort. Schools of instruction for officers 
and for non-conmiissioned officers were also vigorously 
kept up. The picketing of the widely extended and 
exposed points on the islands involved a line twenty-five 
miles in extent, and was a severe task on the troops. An 
entire regiment was required for this duty, and was 


changed every ten days. To insure the vigilance of the 
pickets. General Stevens organized a system of nightly 
inspections by members of his staff and other officers 
specially sent out from Beaufort, in addition to the grand 
rounds and inspections by their own officers. Besides the 
staff officers already mentioned, lieutenant Benjamin 
B. Lyons, of the 50th Pennsylvania, and lieutenant A. 
Cottrell, of the 8th Michigan, were detailed as aides, and 
Captain Charles A. Fuller took the place of Captain 
Lilly as quartermaster, the latter being court-martialed 
and cashiered. 

A fine mansion in the edge of town, in the midst of 
a luxuriant semi-tropical garden, with the negro quarters 
and kitchens in detached buildings, served as headquar- 
ters. On the open space on one side, brigade guard- 
mounting was held every morning to the martial and 
inspiring music of the Highlanders^ band. This was one 
of the finest bands in the service, or, indeed, in the 
country. It had been long established in New York, 
and was maintained with indefatigable zeal and industry 
by Lieutenant William Bobertson, the band-master. 

Thus well occupied with drills, dress parades, guard- 
mountings, picketing, and study, in that beautiful region 
and delightful winter climate, profusely supplied with 
fresh beef, poultry, and sweet potatoes, in addition to the 
ample regular ration, the troops greatly enjoyed their 
sojourn at Beaufort, while they rapidly gained soldierly 
discipline and efficiency. In April a detachment of two 
hundred and fifty of the 8th Michigan escorted Lieu- 
tenant James H. Wilson on a reconnoissance to Wilming- 
ton Island, on the Savannah River, and in a very creditable 
action defeated and drove an entire rebel regiment, the 
13th Georgia, suffering, however, a loss of forty-two 
killed and wounded. 

The following letters from General Stevens to his wife 
give interesting sketches of this period : — 


Beautort, S. C^ Febmary 16, 1861. 

Mt dear Wife, — I am deyoting my energies to perfect- 
ing the discipline of my brigade. All the regiments are now 
in very respectable drill, — one in very superior drilL For five 
weeks I have had brigade drills, an average of four per week. 
In this week they will have been instructed in all the evolu- 
tions of the line. Hazard is very expert both at battalion and 
brigade drill, and he can drill a brigade much better than any 
of my colonels. Then I have a regiment doing picket duty 
on the island. I relieve it every ten days, so each regiment 
has been thoroughly instructed in picket and outpost duty. I 
have here the second battalion of the 1st Massachusetts cav- 
alry, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Sargent. It is finely 
officered, and is a splendid body of men. I have also a Con- 
necticut light battery of six guns. It will, however, take 
months to make this battery efficient. For the last three weeks 
I have had regimental schools for officers and non-commissioned 
officers. They are doing well, and both officers and non-com- 
missioned officers take great interest in them. Hazard's health 
is excellent. He takes very great interest in everything, is full 
of life and energy, very industrious, studies carefully his tactics, 
reg^ulations, etc. He is making a very superior officer indeed ; 
is a very efficient adjutant-general. My aides. Captain Lusk 
and Lieutenant Cottrell, are good men. 

April 17. ... I have endeavored to do all I could with 
propriety to facilitate everything which tended to the improve- 
ment of the condition of the negroes. Many of the people here, 
both men and women, understand pretty well the circumstances 
of the case, and are getting to take practical views of the sub- 

April 21. • . . Mrs. Johnson and Miss Donelson leave day 
after to-morrow on the Atlantic. We shall send for them and 
see that they are comfortably taken on the ship. Two officers 
of my brigade return at the same time on leave of absence, in 
whose special charge I will place them. 

The 8th Michigan regiment had a very brilliant affair last 
Wednesday. Whilst about two hundred and sixty of the regi- 
ment under their colonel (Fenton) were reconnoitring Wil- 
mington Island, they were attacked by a full regiment (the 


Greorgia 18th), eight hundred strong. After a desperate con- 
flict of nearly two hours our men whipped them, drove them 
off the ground, pursued them for a mile, and then carefully 
and leisurely held the field for five hours. All our dead and 
wounded and every particle of baggage were brought off. We 
lost two officers and ten men killed, and thirty men wounded, — 
a very heavy loss, being one fifth of the entire command. On 
Friday and Saturday we buried the dead. The services were 
very affecting. The regiment returned on Saturday afternoon, 
and the whole brigade turned out to receive them. We had 
invited the ladies from the Pope plantation to come to Beau- 
fort on Friday to attend a concert given by the Highlanders 
on Friday evening. Mrs. Johnson, Miss Donelson, and Miss 
Ward came over. They returned on Saturday evening. We 
had the burial of the dead, the concert, and the reception while 
they were here. We entertained them at the house, and they 
really enjoyed theb visit. Indeed, Mrs. J. and Miss D. have 
found it rather lonely on Ladies' Island, and I thought, in view 
of old acquaintance' sake and their kind and excellent natures, 
that we ought to do something to give them a little change. 

May 24. We have had a sad household the last few days. 
Mr. Caverly has been sinking gradually since Wednesday morn- 
ing, and died this morning at one o'clock. He was exc^dingly 
patient and resigned, and very grateful for the attentions he 
had received here. I am very thankful I did not hesitate, in 
his enfeebled condition, insisting upon his coming to my house. 
His wife has borne herself with great fortitude and courage 
throughout. Lieutenant Pratt, of the Massachusetts cavalry, 
is going home on leave of absence, and will take charge of Mrs. 

May 18. Above is a view of the steamer Planter, a dispatch 
boat of General Ripley in Charleston harbor, which was 
run off by the pilot Robert and the black crew last week. It 
is a very remarkable affair, and makes quite a hero of Robert 
She was tied up at the wharf close to Ripley's office. Yet he 
slipped out of the harbor unobserved, and gave the steamer up 
to our blockading fleet. The Planter lay at Beaufort from 
Thursday morning to this morning. She was run off on Tues- 
day, May 13. 


The following to Mr. Fuller gives General Stevens's 
views on the proper war policy^ and the severity of the 
contest yet to he fought. It was at this time that the gov- 
ernment^ rendered over-confident hy Western successes, 
stopped recruiting. It will be seen how exactly he read 
the military situation : — 

Beaufobt, S. C^ March 15, 1862. 
My deab Sm, — ... At this moment every effort should be 
made to keep our ranks full by enlistments. We are only at 
the beginning of the hard fights. Our men will fall in battle, 
and die in the hospitals. The best troops rapidly melt away in 
aggressive movements. We must take nothing for granted ex- 
qept the determination on the part of the South to make a stem 
and protracted resistance. The great point is to open the Mis- 
mssippi down to the Gxdf , and this can be done by driving our 
forces southward in Tennessee, and farther south into Alabama 
and Mississippi. This should be combined with a great niove- 
ment from the Ghilf. The Mississippi River in our control, 
everything westward will fall by vigorous, rapid, comparatively 
short movements. We must husband our men and resources. 
We, if we don't look out, will find our victorious march stayed 
in mid-course by the melting away of our attacking colunms, 
not kept full in consequence of a too great dissemination of our 

At this time General Stevens wrote Professor Bache a 
memoir, to be laid before the President, giving his views 
of the military policy and operations to be undertaken. 
Dr. Lusk, who, as his aide, copied the letter from the 
rough draft, declares that he urged the very movements 
that were afterwards adopted, and was greatly impressed 
with the ability and prophetic foresight of tike memoir. 
Unfortunately^ no copy of it has been found. 

Headqvabtebs SEcoin> Brigade, E. C, 

Beaufobt, S. C, Febmazy 25, 1862. 

W. J. A. FuLLEB, Esq., 

My dear Sir^ — I hope not the least suggestion will be made 
in any quarter in relation to placing me in command of the 


expeditionary corps of General Sherman. I am induced to write 
you in relation to it, because I have learned from a reliable 
source that it is being spoken of in some influential quarters 
in Massachusetts. General Sherman has treated me with 
marked kindness and consideration, and I feel that I would 
be acting badly towards him if I did not express decidedly 
my views and feelings in regard to the matter. It would be, 
however, sheer affectation on my part to say that I did not 
desire a separate conmiand. I of course most earnestly desire 
one, but not at the expense of a friend, or with injustice to any 

The advanced position of General Stevens's conimand J 
was a constant threat to the Charleston and Savannah ^ 
Railroad^ justly regarded by the enemy as the vital line ^ 
of communication between the two cities. The railroad J 
crossed the many rivers which empty along this part of ^= 
the coast by long pile or trestie bridges of hard Southern ^a 
pine^ full of pitch, and exceedingly combustible. In^m 
thirty miles it thus crossed, going north from Savannah^ — 

the Coosawhatchie, Tulifiny, Broad, Pocotaligo, Comba 

hee, and Ashepoo rivers, with six miles of bridges in thev^ 
aggregate, and at Pocotaligo, the centre of this stretch^i.^ 
was only eight miles distant from Port Royal Ferry and- 
the Union lines. So important was the preservation oEr 
this railroad regarded by General Robert E. Lee, t3iees== 
Confederate commander, and so probable did he deem.-^ — 
our advance in this direction, that he made his head-— — 
quarters at Coosawhatchie, posted strong detachment 
with guns and intrenchments at the bridges, and sup 
ported them with considerable bodies of troops at cent 

points, all under General J. C. Pemberton, with headquar ' 

ters at Pocotaligo. And that officer, on succeeding 
in command of South Carolina and Georgia in March, 
remained at the same place, and continued the same 
tude of watchful defense. 

General Stevens early fixed his eye upon these bridged 


as affording the most feasible way of breaking up the 
railroad. He was eager to cross swords with Lee and 
confident^ more than once remarking that he could beat 
^^ Bob Lee/' — that he felt himself more than a match for 
liim. From negro refugees he learned that the enemy 
held them in force, but nothing sufficiently definite and 
reliable to be of much value. Anxious to gain exact and 
full information of the bridges, the enemy, and his dis- 
positions, and of the roads and nature of the country, he 
offered the task to Captain EUiott, of the Highlanders, 
who undertook it with alacrity. During January, Feb- 
ruary, and March, this intrepid officer made trip after 
trip within the enemy's lines, explored the whole region, 
and examined every bridge between the Coosawhatchie 
and the Ashepoo, located the enemy's posts, ascertained 
their forces, intrenchments, guns, etc., and gleaned much 
information in regard to the roads, approaches, and coun- 
try. On these scouts Captain Elliott went in uniform. 
He would start at night in a small canoe with a trusty 
negro guide, paddle noiselessly up one of the rivers until 
within the enemy's lines, then land and pursue his ex- 
plorations on foot. By day he usually lay hid in the 
Bwamps or pine woods. The service was not only fraught 
\nth danger, but extremely arduous, involving every 
bardship of cold, hunger, and exposure. It was so well 
performed that it is doubtful if the Confederate com- 
^nander himself was much better informed as to the state 
of things within his lines than was his opponent. No 
^whisper of suspicion of Captain Elliott's scouts was suf- 
fered to get out; and although his long and frequent 
absences on q)ecial duty excited comment, all knowledge 
of them was confined to himself, Greneral Stevens, and 
the assistant adjutant-general of the brigade. 

Jn the latter part of February Greneral Stevens sent 
Captain Ralph Ely, of the 8th Michigan, with four officers 


and twenty-two men, in boats on a reconnolsstoce np the 
Combahee River. Captain Ely perfonned this duty with 
skill and success, was gone three days, and went entirely 
around some of the enemy's posts without revealing his 
presence to them. 

With the thorough knowledge of the enemy's defenses 
he had so carefully gained, Greneral Stevens conceived 
the plan of moving suddenly by land and water upon the 
railroad, breaking it up irremediably by destroying every 
bridge for thirty miles, thus cutting the communication 
between the cities and threatening both, and then rapidly 
to countermarch the whole force to the ferry, Beaufort, 
or Broad River, embark on transports, and, reinforced by 
every available man of Sherman's command, to strike for 
Charleston by the inner waterways of the North Edisto, 
Wadmalaw, and Stono, thus completely turning the heavy 
harbor and sea defenses which protected the city against 
a front attack. 

He worked out the details of this movement against 
the railroad with great pains, knowing that he would 
have it to execute. He counted largely upon the flotilla 
of launches and flatboats, by means of which he would 
be enabled to throw strong forces up the rivers, and cut 
off and isolate every position and bridge in turn. Port 
Royal Ferry had demonstrated the practicability of thus 
moving troops by water, and had given them the idea. 
He had plenty of flats, great numbers of negroes trained 
to the oar, and there was no lack of good boatmen among 
the soldiers. 

The largest part of the attacking force was to be 
thrown directly on the railroad, moving simultaneously 
in two columns, one overland from Port Royal Ferry via 
Garden's Corners, the other ascending Broad and Poco- 
taligo rivers in flatboats, supported by naval launches and 
light-draught gunboats. Strong detachments were boldly 


*fco press the enemy's posts on the Coosawhatchie and Tu- 

lifinj^ and be ready to join in the attack upon them later 

l>y tiie main force. A picked detachment was to ascend 

the Combahee in boats, carry the enemy's posts on that 

river and on the Ashepoo, and destroy the raihroad 

T>ridges, and then, proceeding along the r^oad, join and 

cooperate with the main column in destroying the bridge 

over the Pocotaligo, when the united force were to press 

southward down the railroad towards Savannah, sweeping 

everything clear beyond the Coosawhatchie, and leaving 

the raihroad in smoking ruins for thirty miles. 

In connection with the siege of Pulaski, General Sher- 
man desired to operate against Savannah. He com- 
plained that a combined movement in force upon that 
city planned by him in January was balked by the re- 
fusal of the navy to cooperate. Later, he was ordered 
by McClellan to abandon the design. Naturally impa- 
tient of delay, and anxious to achieve some success, he 
was ripe for new undertakings. As the fall of Pulaski 
was evidently impending. General Stevens unfolded his 
plan to General Sherman, and the two officers, in several 
long and confidential conferences, discussed it fully. Gen- 
eral Sherman decided to adopt and carry it out as soon 
as the fall of Pulaski should free his whole force for the 
operation. Commodore Dupont also heartily entered into 
the plan, and was ready to give it all requisite naval sup- 
port. Moreover, he proposed making a strong naval 
demonstration on BuU Bay, north of Charleston, in order 
still further to distract the enemy at the critical time. 

The objective point to be seized as the key to Charles- 
ton—the turning-point of the campaign — was known 
as Church Flats, situated on the stream extending from 
the Wadmalaw to the Stono Biver. From this point a 
good road led to Charleston, fourteen miles distant. The 
gunboats could approach within two miles of it. The 



movement of Sherman's entire force was to be so com- 
bined and timed that every effective man — ^Wright from 
Florida^ Yiele from Pulaski, Williams from Hilton Head, 
and Stevens's flying column fresh from their attack on 
the railroad, leaving ruined bridges and a beaten, discon- 
certed enemy behind it — was to be transported by water 
and thrown upon Church Flats. True, the point was 
fortified and garrisoned, but the navy would cover the 
landing, and afford support in case of repulse. A suc- 
cessful dash might take Charleston at a blow. Or, if a 
foothold only were gained, the army could force its 
way by the Stono, turn all the defenses on James Island 
and the harbor, and reduce or destroy the city from 
the banks of the Ashley. This movement was taUng the 
enemy by the throat. The subsequent attacks on the sea 
front were taking the bull by the horns, and met the 
usual fate of that performance. 

Fort Pulaski feU April 11. With due allowance for 
preparation and delays, the railroad should have been de- 
stroyed and our army in possession of Church Flats by 
May 1. What means of defense had the enemy at this 
juncture? Lee had been sent to Virginia, and during 
the six weeks succeeding his departure Pemberton was 
stripped of regiment after regiment, dispatched to Rich- 
mond or to Corinth. About April 20 he withdrew aU 
troops except the cavaby between the Ashepoo and Oke- 
tie for the defense of the two cities. ** This," he reports, 
^^will leave the line of the Charleston and Savannah 
Railroad with no other protection than what the cavalry 
companies can afford, which is altogether insufficient." 
At this time also he moved his headquarters from Foco- 
taligo to Charleston, and abandoned the defenses of 
Georgetown north of Charleston, removing the guns 
therefrom for the protection of the latter. 

Only four thousand men, under Colonel P. H. Colquitt, 


46th Greorgia^ guarded the long and exposed line south of 
the Ashepoo clear to Savannah. Colquitt's headquarters, 
with his own regiment and two field batteries, were at 
Pocotaligo ; the remainder of his force was scattered along 
the road. 

There were no obstructions yet planted in the Stono, 
except possibly at Church Flats, where, as late as April 
29, Pemberton orders Evans, ^^ Sink the obstructions at 
Church Flats immediately." The line of defenses across 
James Island was not commenced. The guns with which 
it was afterwards armed were in the exposed, advanced 
batteries on Cole and Battery islands, and must have 
been abandoned there. 

The returns of Femberton's forces for May 11, 1862, 
give the effective force in his department : — 

Georgia 9,172 

South Carolina 18,514 

Total 27,686 

The South Carolina troops were disposed as follows: — 

Charleston defenses, Brigader-Greneral Ripley • . 9750 
James Island to the Ashepoo, Brigadier-General 

Evans 4883 

Ashepoo to Savannah, Colonel Colquitt • . • • 3881 

General Stevens's movement on the railroad, if success- 
ful, would effectually break up Colquitt's command, and 
prevent succor reaching the threatened point at Charles- 
ton from the troops at and about Savannah for at least 
a week, most probably two weeks ; for they would have 
to be sent around by way of Augusta, Ga., and by this 
route the rail was not continuous, there being a gap of 
over forty miles. 

Consequently Femberton's available force to resist the 
proposed movement would be reduced to Ripley's and 
Evans's commands, which mustered^ — 


Infantry 10,477 

Artillery 8,032 

Cavalry 1,188 

Total 14,642 

Counting out the garrisons of the forts and hatteries 
ahout the city and harbor, and on James, Cole, and Bat- 
tery islands, it is clear that Pemberton could not possibly 
have concentrated over six or seven thousand troops to 
meet Sherman's advance on the Stono. In all probar 
bility he would not have had half that number at the 
critical point in time; for the vigor of the attack on 
the railroad, sweeping southward, would surely have im- 
pressed him that Savannah was in danger, causing him 
perhaps to hurry part of his troops to the relief of that 
city via Augusta, while Dupont's demonstration on Bull 
Bay would have still further distracted his attention from 
the real point of attack until too late. 

Returns of the Union forces for April 30 show present 
for duty some 17,000, as follows : — 

Brigadier - General Viele, Daufuskie, Bird and 

Jones islands 8077 

Brigadier-General Stevens, Beaufort 3881 

Brigadier-General Wright, Edisto and Otter islands 8628 
Brigadier-General Q. A. Gilmore, Fort Pulaski, 

Tybee, and Cockspur 2189 

Colonel Robert Williams, Hilton Head .... 2987 

Femandina and St. Augustine, Florida .... 1194 
Fort Seward, South Carolina, 92, and department 

commander and staff, 16 108 

Total 16,988 

An effective force of 10,000 could have heen formed 
from these troops and thrown upon the Stono. Sher- 
man was a good and resolute soldier; his troops were 
in fine condition, and full of pluck and confidence. 


With Stevens and Wright to lead them, and the navy 
at his back, he would almost certainly have achieved 

But this promising movement was nipped in the bud 
by the untimely and unexpected arrival of Major-General 
David Hunter to supersede Sherman. Brigadier-General 
H. W. Benham accompanied Hunter as a kind of second 
in command. In fact, both officers were enfanta terrihles, 
whom the administration exiled to South Carolina to get 
rid of. Hunter had just been relieved from commanding 
in Missouri for an act of insubordination in issuing an 
emancipation proclamation in defiance of orders; and 
Benham, fresh from skirmishes in West Virginia, was in 
Washington, claiming everything in the way of credit, 
and loudly importuning the government for high com- 
mand, when they were ordered to South Carolina. 

Sherman turned over the command of the department, 
and sailed north on the 8th of April. Three days later 
Pulaski fell after a day and a half's bombardment, and 
Benham made haste to claim the credit of the achieve- 
ment due to Sherman and Gilmore. 

General Hunter divided his department into the North- 
em and Southern Districts, and gave Benham the com- 
mand of the former, comprising South Carolina, Georgia, 
and part of Florida, and nearly all the troops. About 
the middle of April General Wright returned from Flor- 
ida with the greater part of his brigade, and took post on 
Edisto Island. 

Hunter, a sincere, earnest, and patriotic man, was 
absorbed in the political and humanitarian aspects of 

^ The author was Greneral Stevens's chief of staff, and was oonfidentiallj 
informed and employed by him in all the details of this plan of campaign 
against Charleston, and of the scouts, by Captain Elliott and others. Since 
the war he has g^ne over the whole matter with Greneral Thomas W. Sher- 
man, who expressed the utmost confidence in the proposed morement, and 
his lasting regret that he was depiiyed of the opportunity of carrying it 


the great struggle. He lost no time in issuing another 
emancipation proclamation. ^^ Martial law and slavery/' 
so ran this unique document^ ^^in a free country are alto- 
gether incompatible ; the persons heretofore held as slaves 
are therefore declared forever free." The same day he 
issued the following order to the commanding officers 
of tiie several posts and islands : ^^ Sir, you will send 
immediately to these headquarters, under g^uard, all 
able-bodied negroes capable of bearing arms within your 
lines." The six hundred forlorn and frightened darkeys, 
who next day were loaded on a steamer at Beaufort and 
shipped to Hilton Head, must have been sadly puzzled 
over their new-found forever freedom. But Hunter soon 
solved all doubts by throwing them into camp with uni- 
forms on their backs, arms in their hands, white officers 
to drill them, black preachers to exhort them, and a cor- 
don of white soldiers sentineling their camp to make 
sure they did not run away. Thus was raised the first 
negro regiment. Hunter, having pibclaimed them free, 
felt no scruples in making tiiem fight for freedom. 

General Stevens, after obeying the order with a prompt- 
ness altogether unexpected by General Hunter, and for 
which he was totally unprepared, remonstrated against 
it in a letter to General Benham, his immediate com- 
mander : — 

^^1. There is very little material for soldiers in the able- 
bodied men of color in this department. I have not yet been 
able to find a single man who would venture alone inside the 
enemy's lines, although I have diligently sought to find such a 
man. Occasionally a negro has been used to accompany white 
men. They have great fear of the prowess of their masters, 
and of white men generally. They have the strongest local and 
domestic attachments, which make them very reluctant to leave 
their homes. 

^^ 2. They can be used to very great advantage in connection 
with and for the menial duties of the military service, and also 



as adjuncts of existing organizations ; thus, as quartermasters' 
employees, doing all kinds of labor, from mechanical to the 
merest drudgery work. As boatmen, also, and as laborers on 
the defensive works, as glides and scouts, they can render most 
effective service, and should be employed as adjuncts of exist- 
ing organizations. In fixed batteries they could do the heavy 
^work, moving the guns, and carrying the shot and shell. In 
engineering operations they could do the heavy labor, even some 
of the hard lifting and carrying in managing the pontoon equi- 
3mge. Thus I conceive a great use can be made of the blacks 
in our military operations in devolving upon them the menial 
duties, and as strictly subordinate to existing organizations." 

These were precisely the views as to raising negro 
troops expressed not long afterwards by the distinguished 
general^ W. T. Sherman. 

The remonstrance seems to have had some effect, for 
General Hunter telegraphed^ and afterwards wrote, Gen- 
eral Stevens to say to the negroes that they were sent for 
to receive their free papers, and would have a chance 
to volunteer, if they wished, and that those who did not 
wish to remain would be sent back to their homes. In 
fact, the regiment was disbanded not long afterwards. 

Another cause of anxiety to Greneral Stevens was the 
delay of the Senate in confirming his appointment as 
brigadier-general. The confirmation was held up by 
Senator Wilson, of Massachusetts, chairman of the Mili- 
tary Committee, in consequence of numerous anonymous 
letters to him and other senators, written from the De- 
partment of the South, charging that General Stevens 
was unsound on the slavery question. But when General 
Sherman reached Washington and indignantly refuted 
these slanders, described the able handUng of his troops 
at Port Boyal Ferry, and the fine condition to which he 
had brought his brigade; and Messrs. Pierce, French, 
and Suydam, the treasury agents, abolitionists themselves, 
bore willing witness to his patriotic spirit and the un- 


gprudging -assistance he had given them, — Wilson assented 
to the confirmation. Senators Fessenden, John P. Hale, 
Bice, Nesmith, and others strongly stood up for him, 
and on April 12 it was made without further delay. 

KOTE. — Admiral Dupont's fleet-oaptain, Charlea Henry Davis, in a letter 
written soon after the nayal yiotory at Port Royal, declares that the troe 
way of attacking Charleston is '^ hy lines of water communication from St. 
Helena Sound ; and, if you wiU ohserre, South Edisto, North Edisto, and 
Stono rivers and inlets afford the means of lateral support to an army 
moving towards Charleston by vessels of the navy,'' etc. Life of Charles 
Henry Davis, Rear Admiral^ p. 174. 

On the arrival of the new commanders, the admiral, waiving rank in 
order to expedite matters, consented to put himself in official communi- 
cation with General Benham ; but he soon had occasion to call General 
Hunter's attention to the tone and character of one of Benham's letters, 
and to withdraw the concession. 

In a subsequent letter to Hunter the admiral remarks : " I have, how- 
ever, to take exception to the attempt of General Benham to attribnte his 
inability to meet his own arrangements to any shortcomings on my part." 
Official Dispatches of Admiral DuporU^ pp. 172-183. 











General Hunter^ busy in proclaiming martial law 
and freedom, and in raising a black army by conscription, 
with which he hoped to strike a blow into the vitals of 
the Confederacy in the future, decided for the present 
simply to maintain a defensive attitude. 

But Benham was greedy to signalize himself. His 
dense egotism and self-sufficiency rendered him almost 
incapable of listening to any suggestions, or even infor- 
mation, that did not originate with himself. The move- 
ment planned by General Stevens with so much care was 
rejected offhand by Benham. Yet he was extremely 
anxious to employ the troops in some offensive operation, 
and gave Hunter no peace on that point. 

Early in May Pemberton abandoned his works at the 
mouth of the Stono, dismantling them and removing the 
guns for the purpose of arming an inner line across 
James Island, which he was commencing, and which ran 
from Fort Johnson in the harbor to Fort Pemberton on 
the Stono, ten miles above its mouth, and the naval gun- 
boats entered and took possession of the lower four miles 
of the river. Here Benham saw his chance. Hunter at 
length yielded to his importunity, and consented to a 
demonstration in force upon Charleston by way of James 
Island. Benham made the plan. One division of troops, 
under General Stevens, embarking on transports, were to 
go around by sea, enter the Stono, and debark on James 
Island. Another division, under General Wright, who 


was already on Edisto Island with four thousand troops, 
was to make a combined land and water movement over 
Edisto and John's islands, crossing the intervening bays 
and streams, and reach James Island simultaneously with 
Stevens. A prompt and successful attack upon tiie in- 
complete line of intrenchments across that island would 
place Charleston in our power. 

The plan was entirely practicable, but marred from the 
start by Benham's unfortunate talent for blundering. 
When he communicated the details of the movement to 
Greneral Stevens, that officer pointed out to him that he 
was not aUowing time enough for Wright to make the 
movement required of him, and reach James Island simul- 
taneously with the other division, and that he would 
necessarily be a week later in arriving unless his orders 
were changed. Benham took this friendly advice in 
dudgeon. The orders were not changed, and Wright was 
just one week behind the appointed time, as predicted. 

As soon as he was informed of the intended movement, 
General Stevens earnestly urged Benham to inaugurate 
it by sending him to break up the railroad, as he had so 
long and so well planned, or, if not with the heavy force^^^ 
and thoroughness approved by General Sherman, at least=9t 
to permit him to throw his own brigade upon it. In 
personal interview he presented his views with such cleai 
ness and force that he actually obtained a reluctant con — 
sent from Benham to make the attack, but at the last^ 
moment he peremptorily countermanded the movements 
Finally, to General Stevens's last earnest request by tele-^ 
graph he would only consent that a demonstration might 
be made by the single regiment that was to be left to 
garrison Beaufort, the 50th Pennsylvania, stipulating^ 
moreover, that it was to be back the same day it started 
on the raid. Accordingly the 50th, under Colonel Christ, 
supported by a company of the Highlanders and another 



of the Michiganders, a detachment of eighty men of the 
Ist Massachusetts cavahry under Major Henry L. Hig^ 
ginson, and a section of Rockwell's battery, advanced 
on May 29 to Pocotaligo, had a brisk skirmish with the 
enemy, driving him from his position, with a loss of two 
killed, six wounded, and two captured, and returned. 
The Union loss was two killed and nine wounded. How 
different this mere demonstration from the bold and 
crushing onslaught planned by General Stevens ! 

General Rufus Saxton arrived at Beaufort to take 
charge of affairs there on General Stevens's departure. 
He was one of the army officers who took part in the 
Northern Pacific Railroad exploration under the latter, 
and had been warmly recommended by him, as an able 
and experienced officer, for appointment as brigadier- 
general, a recommendation which General Saxton declares 
was finally the cause of his obtaining the appointment ; 
for, taking advanced views in favor of emancipating and 
elevating the slaves, he was chiefly supported by the 
abolitionists, and was considered a representative of that 
element. He brought with him a provost-marshal, who, 
when the troops were embarking, came on the wharf 
with a considerable guard, and summarily took from the 
hostler two horses belonging to Captain Stevens, claim- 
ing that, having been captured from the enemy, they 
were improperly held by that officer. They were, in fact, 
captured animals, but had been regularly appraised by 
a board of survey, and the value of them paid into the 
quartermaster's department. The troops on the vessel 
witnessed this seizure with no goodwill, for they all knew 
the horses, and one of the soldiers made haste to acquaint 
the owner with what was taking place. He, finding 
remonstrance useless and the captor determined to hold 
on to his prey, quietly stepped across the wharf to the 
steamboat alongside, crowded with troops, all interested 


spectatibrs, and directed an officer of the 8th Michigan 
to take his company ashore, seize the horses, and put 
them on board. The order had scarcely left his lips 
when a hundred brawny fellows, musket in hand, leaped 
over the ship's rail and on the wharf, rescued the ani- 
mals with no gentle hand, and drove the astonished and 
crestfallen provost-marshal and his myrmidons off the 
wharf. Of course he rushed to General Saxton, big with 
complaint, and the latter at once sought redress of 
General Stevens for the forcing of his provost-guard. 
But the latter in most emphatic terms rebuked the high- 
handed act of the over-zealous provost, and fully upheld 
his staff officer. 

Embarking the other three regiments of his brigade 
and Rockwell's battery, reduced to four guns, on June 1 
General Stevens proceeded to Hilton Head, where he was 
joined by the 28th Massachusetts and 46th New York 
in transports, and on the 2d steamed by sea around to, 
and entered, the Stono, which was held by several gun- 
boats, to a point above GrimbaH's plantation, which wa 
six miles above the mouth. The transports anchored twc 
miles below this point, and opposite a hamlet on John's 
Island known as Legareville. A strong picket 
thrown ashore on James Island for the night, it bein^ 
too late to land the troops. On the 3d they were put on 
shore in small boats, which were insufficient in numberj^'-v 
and made the landing slow and laborious. As soon as a^ 
few companies were ashore. General Stevens advancef>^ 
with them, drove back the enemy, who were in consid--t3 
erable force, after a sharp action, captured three guns.^^ 
which they were moving back to their inner line, anc^^ 
established his permanent picket line two and a halft:^ * 
miles from the river, running diagonally across the islancEi^ ^ 
from Big Folly Creek to the Stono near Grimball's. 

The action perhaps merits a fuller account. A fanr:^ 

AcnoN wrra th£ Charleston battalion 391 

road led back from the river about two and a half miles 
to the bank of Big Folly Cjreek^ where it passed along a 
row of negro quarters. Here^ turning to the left or west- 
ward^ it crossed a wide cotton-field, then traversed a strip 
of woods, then crossed a marsh and slough by a causeway 
and continued on across the island in a generally west- 
ward direction. Driving back the enemy, General Ste- 
vens occupied the negro quarters with six companies, two 
of the 28th Massachusetts on the right, then two of the 
Roundheads and two of the Highlanders on the left. 
Two more companies of the latter, as they came up, were 
posted farther to the left and front. The enemy held 
the woods in front, and both sides opened a brisk mus- 
ketry fire across the broad intervening cotton-field. Some 
of their skirmishers got across the field far to the right 
of our position, and, under cover of the bushes which 
fringed the bank of the creek there, threatened the flank. 
To meet this danger. Captain Stevens stationed a platoon 
of the Roundheads a short distance to the right of the 
quarters, where they, too, had the cover of the bushes. 

Soon afterwards a column of the enemy, apparently a 
regiment, and which was in fact the Charleston battalion, 
the crack corps of the city, emerged from the woods, and 
advanced by the flank in column of fours, headed by a 
mounted officer. In this order they charged down the 
road across the field at the double-quick, and, notwith- 
standing the fire of the companies stationed at the negro 
quarters, which proved singularly ineffective, actually 
penetrated to the buildings; the 28th companies gave 
way, and for a moment they had the position. But the 
Roundheads held their ground, while the Highlanders 
charged them with the bayonet and drove them in con- 
fusion to the right, whence they escaped across the field 
to the woods. In the rush, however, they swept off and 
captured Captain Cline and part of his platoon, which 




was posted to protect the right flank. The Highlanders 
wounded and captured Lieutenant Henry Walker, adju- 
tant of the battalion, in the mel^. General Stevens 
immediately followed up this repulse by advancing his 
troops upon and through the woods, and to the other 
side of the marsh and causeway, forcing the enemy to 
abandon three pieces of artillery in his hasty retreat. 
The guns were hauled to camp in triumph. The enemy 
acknowledged a loss of seventeen wounded, one mortally, 
and one captured. His force consisted of the Marion 
Rifles, Fee Dee Rifles, Evans Guard, Sumter Guard, ^ 
Beauregard Light Infantry, Charleston Riflemen, Lrish ^ 
Volunteers, Calhoun Guard, and Union Light Infantiy, .^ 
in all apparently nine companies. Yet all this array of ^1 
chivalry did not save the guns they were sent to bring in.«— 

The picket line was posted along the front side of thei^H 
woods, and on the edge of the marsh. The enemy's^ 
pickets held the other side of the marsh. There wer^ 
several picket skirmishes during the next few days. The 
troops were kept well employed in landing stores, mak- 
ing camps, and on picket duty, awaiting the arrival of 
Wright's division. 

Benham was eager for General Stevens to make a dash 
upon the enemy's lines without waiting for the balance of 
his army, but hesitated to give the order. The latter, 
fearing most his commander's blundering precipitancy, in 
the following confidential note urged him to come to a 
speedy decision, representing that a day's preparation was 
absolutely essential : — 

James Island, June 6, 1802. 

Deab General, — I understand your wish to be to make an 
armed reconnoissance of the enemy's position, and if the result 
be favorable, to follow it up by a dash, in order to seize James 
Island below James River and Newton Cut. 

We shall probably be as well able to make it day after to- 
morrow (daylight) as at any other time. 


Shonld you decide to make it day after to-morrow, it is of the 
first consequence to make that decision without delay. It will 
require all day to-morrow to prepare for it. I would suggest 
that not more than three companies be left at Legareville ; that 
everything else be brought over to-morrow, including the six 
guns of Hamilton's battery ; that arrangements be made with 
the gunboats to open cross-fires. The system of signals will 
require careful arrangement. 

I desire that the dash be successful, and therefore I want to 
see every man thrown in. But I desire particularly to express 
my judgment that, in the present position of our troops, twenty- 
four hours of vigorous work is absolutely essential in the way of 

Very truly yours, 

Isaac I. Stevens. 
Bbioadder-Genesal Bekhah. 

How completely this judicious caution as to the neces- 
sity of due preparation was thrown away upon the opin- 
ionated Benham was proved ten days later^ but for the 
present he gave up the idea of a dash. 

In a letter to his wife^ dated June 11^ General Stevens 
gives expression to his disgust at the incompetents set 
over him : — 

*^ I am not in very good spirits to-night, for the reason that 
I have two commanders, Hunter and Benham, who are imbe- 
cile, vacillating, and utterly unfit to command. Why it has 
been my fortune to be placed in positions where I was of little 
account, and to be subjected to such extreme mortification and 
annoyance, is beyond my imagining. It may not even teach 
me patience. I shall, however, do the best I can. If the 
authorities would send some man not altogether incompetent, I 
should be better satisfied. Why can't Mansfield be sent here, 
and both Hunter and Benham relieved ? As for myself, I am 
tabooed. No proper use is intended to be made of me, and as 
everybody is in the humor to speak highly of my abilities, I 
shall be held in part responsible for the follies of others. Ben- 
ham is an ass, — a dreadful man, of no earthly use except as a 
nuisance and obstruction." 


A few days later he writes : — 

'* We are now attempting an enterprise for which oar force is 
entirely inadequate. The want of a proper commander ia fear- 
ful. We shall try to prevent any disaster occurring. This is 
all I can say at present." 

On the 8th Wright's division reached Legareville, and 
was occupied the next two days in crossing the river, 
and taking a position at Grimball's, a mile and a half 
above General Stevens's camp. Colonel Robert Wil- 
liams went into camp with his 1st Massachusetts cavalry 
just below Wright. The 7th Connecticut, which came 
with the overland column, joined General Stevens's divi- 

Wright's delay was caused by the inadequacy of the 
water transportation, especially boats, furnished him. It * 
was found an exceedingly slow and laborious operation to ^ 
transfer troops, guns, and horses from shore to ship, and - 
from ship to shore, in a few small boats. There were no « 
wharves, and the landing-places were narrow and swampy. ^ 
It was only by the greatest exertions, working his com- - 
mand night and day, that he was able to accomplish in 
a week the movement which Benham expected made in 
a day. Yet Benham, blind to the energetic and loyaL 
character of Wright and the strenuous exertions of hisE^ 
troops on this march, never forgave that ofBcer for the 
delay. Utterly unaccustomed to the command and han- 
dling of troops, and swollen with new-found authority, he 
ever deemed his loud and peremptory "Those are my 
orders, sir," an equivalent to that painstaking attention to 
details and to means which Napoleon and Wellington and 
all great soldiers have found indispensable. 

The army now assembled numbered about twelve thou- 
sand, and was organized in two divisions and an inde- 
pendent brigade, as follows : — 


First Diyisioxi, Brigadier-Greneral H. G. Wright. 
First Brigade, Colonel J. L. Chatfield. 

6th Connecticut, Colonel J. L. Chatfield. 

47th New York, Colonel P. C. Kane. 

97th Pennsylvania, Colonel H. B. Guss. 

Second Brigade, Colonel Thomas Welsh. 
46th Pennsylvania, Colonel Thomas Welsh. 
76th Pennsylvania, Colonel J. M. Power. 

Battery E, 3d U. S. artillery. Captain John Hamilton. 

Second Division, Brigadier-General Isaac I. Stevens. 
First Brigade, Colonel William M. Fentoa 

8th Michigan, Lieutenant-Colonel Frank Graves. 

28th Massachusetts, Lieutenant-Colonel M. Moore. 

7th Connecticut, Lieutenant-Colonel Joseph B. Hawley. 
Second Brigade, Colonel Daniel Leasure. 

79th Highlanders, Lieutenant-Colonel David Morrison. 

100th Pennsylvania, Major David A. Lecky. 

46th New York, Colonel Rudolph Rosa. 

1st Connecticut Battery, Captain A. P. RockwelL 

Independent Brigade, Colonel Robert Williams. 

1st Massachusetts cavalry, Lieut.-CoL H. B. Sargent. 
8d R. I. heavy artillery (infantry). Major £. Metcalf. 
Sd New Hampshire, Colonel J. H. Jackson. 
1st New York engineers. Colonel E. W. Serrell. 

All this time the enemy were concentrating and working 
like beavers on their new line of works across the island. 
In advance of the left of the line, at the narrowest neck 
f>f a peninsula formed by two inlets extending from Big 
I*olly Creek, they had previously erected a strong work, 
known as Battery or Fort Lsunar. It was a hundred 
yards long in front, and completely blocked the neck from 
shore to shore, so that it was impossible to turn or flank it. 
It had a wide and deep ditch, and a heavy parapet six- 
teen feet in height above the general level of the grounds 
and twenty-four feet above the bottom of the ditch; and 


extended back on both flanks along the inlets. It mounted 
eight heavy guns, viz., an 8-ineh eolumbiad, two rifled 
24-pounders, four 18-pounders, and a 15-inch mortar, and 
protected the whole left of their line with a flank fire. 
The front was well covered by abattis, except at the left 
angle, where a cart road ran along the left flank a hun- 
dred yards, then passing inside and to the rear.^ In front 
of the fort the peninsula rapidly widened out The ground 
was in old cotton-fields, open and level, except for the 
high ridges and deep furrows resulting from that crop. 
About five hundred yards in front of the fort a hedge 
and ditch extended across the peninsula, separating field 
from field ; and five hundred yards farther another hedge- 
row and ditch separated the second field from the road 
already mentioned. Both sides of the neck were skirted 
with bushes along the banks of the inlets, a light fringe 
on the eastward or left, a thicker fringe, affording some^ 
cover, on the west side. The ground rose immediatel; 
behind the work, overlooking it, and was covered with 
growth of pine timber, above which uprose a tall, skeleto: 
signal tower. The peninsula was known as Secession villi 
Neck, from the landing-place of that name on its extremity...— 

Half a mile to the right of Battery Lamar, on the main^ 
line, was Battery Eeed, mounting two 24-pounders, and^ 
commanding the ground in front of the former with a^ 
searching cross-fire. 

There was also a floating battery, mounting two guns, 
moored in the inlet to the left rear of the fort. 

^ The Confederate major, Presslej, who went over the groand just after 
the assault to be related in the next chapter, thas describes Fort Lamar, in 
Southern Historical Society Papers, yol. xyi. : " The work across the neck of the 
Secessionville peninsala was about fifty yards in length, and was a very well- 
coi^stmcted line of intrenchments. The ramparts were about fifteen feet 
from the level of the ground. There was a ditch in front about ten to 
fifteen feet in width. The exterior slope was so nearly perpendicular that 
it was impossible to get up in front without scaling-ladders. The enemy 
were not provided with these." 


These works were continuallj shelling our pickets. 
The camps were beyond their range. In order to answer 
them Greneral Stevens was allowed by Benham to erect 
a battery of three 24-pounder siege-guns on the point 
nearest the enemy's fort^ and half a mile to the right 
of the negro quarters already mentioned. The battery 
was situated some two hundred yards from the extreme 
pointy and on the bank of Big Folly Creek, and par- 
tially screened by the bushes there. It was well built, 
with heavy parapet and traverse, and the detachment 
of Roundheads who manned the guns soon felt quite 
secure. When it opened on the fort, it evidently caused 
some perturbation among the enemy. For some time a 
lively interchange of missiles was kept up. Our shells 
set fire to the floating battery, and the next night it was 
moved farther down the inlet. The Union battery could 
be approached on foot under cover of the bushes which 
lined the bank of the creek, but to reach it on horseback 
it was necessary to ride down the field in open view of 
tiie hostile work, and a group of horsemen was pretty 
sure to draw their fire. 

A few days after the battery was completed. General 
IBenham, accompanied by General Stevens and quite a 
cavalcade of their respective staffs, rode out to inspect 
i;he picket line. As they were returning by the road 
towards the negro quarters, Benham expressed a wish to 
Tisit the battery, and turned his horse to ride towards it. 
Greneral Stevens suggested that it would be better to ap- 
proach the battery on foot under cover of the bushes, as 
the enemy would probably fire on so large a party in the 
open field. Benham repelled the suggestion with a rude 
exclamation, and continued to ride towards the battery. 
General Stevens, of course, kept his place by his side 
without further comment, and the staffs and orderlies 
followed as in duty bound. As soon as the cavalcade 


emerged beyond the shelter of the woods, and came in 
view of the fort, a puff of smoke dashed from its side, 
and one of those shrieking shells hurtled just overhead 
and struck with a splash in the creek. Benham instantly 
pulled up, stared around bewildered a momei\t, and, 
wheeling his horse short about, hastily rode back behind 
the friendly screen and shelter of the woods, followed by 
his staff. General Stevens, ignoring this manoeuvre, kept 
quietly on at a moderate trot, followed by his staff, and 
all soon reached the welcome battery unharmed, although 
several more shells were fired at them. 

On the 8th the 46th New York and one company 
of the 1st Massachusetts cavalry, under Colonel J. H. 
Morrow, of Hunter's staff, made a reconnoissance to the 
enemy's right through the woods above Grimball's, but, 
meeting a heavy force of skirmishers, retired without 
seeing the works. That same afternoon General Stevens 
sent Captain Stevens of his staff, accompanied by Lieu- 
tenant P. H. O'Bourke of the engineers, with a company 
of the 3d New Hampshire, under Captain M. T. Donohoe 
(afterwards General Donohoe), to reconnoitre the fort at 
Secessionville. The enemy's pickets were driven in, four 
of them captured ; half the company, in skirmish order, 
approached the fort to within six or seven hundred yards, 
while the other half moved down the road to the left. 
Though subjected to a brisk shell-fire, and the fire of the 
pickets, not a man was touched. The character of the 
ground in front of the fort was ascertained, and the little 
party withdrew deliberately. 

On the 10th the 13th Georgia, under cover of the 
woods, the pickets not being sufficiently advanced, got 
close to Wright's camp, and opened a sudden and furious 
attack upon it. They were repulsed in short order, with 
severe loss, by Wright's troops, aided by the fire of the 








Meantime Benham was chafing at the helpless and 
Ignominious position in which he found himself. At the 
head of twelve thousand fine troops, within six miles of 
CTharleston, he was confronted by a formidable line of 
works, and had received positive orders from Hunter not 
to fight a battle. For several days he contemplated a 
movement towards the enemy's right, and issued some 
preliminary orders to that end. General Stevens thought 
an attempt should have been made in that direction as 
soon as Wright's division arrived. General Wright agreed 
that, if any part of the line was to be attempted, it should 
be the right. Both judged the left impracticable, resting 
as it did on the water, atid covered by the advanced 
flanking fort at Secessionville. 

General Hunter returned to Hilton Head for a short 
visit. In his absence, in an evil hour General Benham 
took it into his head that he might take the Secessionville 
fort. Its guns were shelling our pickets, and even the 
commanding general himself, when he ventured within 
range. They could almost reach Wright's camp. He 
resolved upon this attempt as precipitancy, and as regard- 
less of the difficulties, as was his wont. On the evening 
of the 15th he summoned his subordinate commanders 
on board his headquarters steamer. There assembled 
Generals Stevens, Wright, and Williams. Captain Ferci- 
val Drayton, commanding the naval force, was also pre- 
sent. To them Benham announced his decision : General 


Stevens to assault the fort before daylight with 
division, Wright and Williams to support, the navy t^^ 
cooperate. This announcement, coming at nine o'doo^ 
at night, for such an attack before daylight the ne^rt 
morning, without any previous notice or chance for 
preparation, must have taken them aback. 

General Wright couched an emphatic protest in the 
diplomatic form of questions to General Stevens : — 

*^ Have you impaired the strength of the enemy's works at 
Secessionville by the firing of your battery? " 

** Not in the least," replied General Stevens ; *' I have driven, 
the enemy from his guns by my fire, and I can do it again, bu'fe 
as soon as the fire ceases he returns. I have not dismounted ^ 
gwiy and we shall find him in the morning as strong as ever." 

*^ Do you know of any instance where volunteer troops h,Y& 
successfully stormed works as strong as those which defend the 
approach to Secessionville ? " 

*^ I know of no such instance." 

*^ Have you any reason to believe that the result in the pre- 
sent case will be different in its character from what it has 
invariably been heretofore ? " 

^^ I have no reason to expect a different result. It is simply 
a bare possibility to take the work." 

^^ There, general," said General Wright, turning to Benbam, 
"you have my opinion." 

In this General Williams concurred. 
General Stevens states in a letter to General Hunter, 
written on July 8, soon after the battle : — 

" I then proceeded to state with all possible emphasis my 
objections to this morning attack. I urged that it should be 
deferred to a much later period in the day ; that we should first 
shake the morale of the garrison, and endeavor to weaken its 
defenses by a continuous fire of the battery and of our gmi- 
boats ; that in the mean time we should carefully survey the 
ground and prepare our troops, and make the attack when the 
battery and gunboats had had the desired effect. I closed by 
saying that under such circumstances I could do more with two 


thousand men than I conld witih three thousand men in the 
way he proposed. Greneral Wright, moreover, warned General 
Benham that his orders were in fact orders to fight a battle. In 
this General Williams and myself in express terms concurred. 
General Benham, however, overruled all our objections, and 
premptorily ordered the attack to be made. 

** I assured him, as did the other gentlemen, that he should 
rely upon my promptitude and activity in obeying his orders, 
but I considered myself as obeying orders to which I had 
expressed the strongest possible objections, and I therefore 
determined there should not be the least want of energy or 
promptitude on my part." 

With this the conference broke up^ and the officers 
hastened ashore to their respective commands to prepare 
for the arduous task of the morrow. 

Greneral Stevens at once ordered his troops to be in 
readiness at the advanced camps^ two miles from the 
river, at two a. m., with sixty rounds of ammunition and 
twenty-four hours' cooked rations. Captain Strahan's 
company, I, 3d Rhode Island, was detailed from Wright's 
division to relieve the detachment of Roundheads in the 
three-gun battery. Over three hundred of that regiment 
were out on the widely extended picket line. Ordered 
to assemble and join their regimeni;, only one hundred 
and thirty of the number succeeded in reaching it in 
time to take part in the action, and then only after it 
had come under fire, so scanty and inadequate was the 
time allowed for preparation. Two companies of the 
28th Massachusetts were on fatigue duty and had to be 
left behind. The 7th Connecticut, moreover, had been 
on severe fatigue duty the three previous nights, and were 
much jaded. 

At the hour fixed, the troops were at the appointed 

place. Before 3.30 a. m. the column was advanced two 

miles farther to the outer pickets, and was arranged in 

the following order : — 
VOL. n 


Lieutenant Benjamin B. Lyons, aide-de-camp, with ^ 
negro guide, led the storming party, which consisted of 
two companies of the 8th Michigan, commanded respec- 
tively by Captains Balph Ely and Bichard N, Doyle, fol- 
lowed by Captain Alfred F. Sears's company, E, Serrells 
New York engineers. 

Then followed Fenton's first brigade, comprising th^ 
8th Michigan, Lieutenant-Colonel Frank Graves ; the 7tlB. 
Connecticut, Lieutenant-Colonel Joseph B. Hawley ; an^^ 
the 28th Massachusetts, Lieutenant-Colonel McCltllm ^ 

Then Bockwell's battery of four guns. 

Then Colonel Leasure's second brigade, consisting ofcr 
the Highlanders, LieutenanlrColonel David Morrison ; th^»» 
Boundheads, Major David A. Lecky ; and the 46th Ne^^ 
York, Colonel Budolph Bosa. 

Captain L. M. Sargent, with his Company H, Is^ 
Massachusetts cavalry, twenty-eight men, brought up th^ 

The attacking column numbered not exceeding 290C7 
oflBcers and men, as shown by the following return : — 

Offloen. Hen. Total 

General and staff 9 6 15 

First brigade : — 

8th Michigan 25 609 634 

7th Connecticut 26 573 598 

28th Massachusetts ......... 20 416 436 

Second brigade : — 

79th Highlanders 24 460 484 

100th Pennsylyania 21 230 251 

46th New York 22 452 474 

RookwelPs battery, four rans 4 73 77 

Sears's company, E, 1st New York engineers .2 59 61 

Sargent's company, H, 1st Mass. cavalry .2 28 30 

Aggregate 154 2806 2960 

General Stevens gave the most explicit orders, reiter- 
ated in person to the several commanders, that the troops 
were to preserve strict silence, no stop to be made after 



passing the enemy's pickets; to fonn forward into line on 
reaching the fields in front of the fort; regiment to follow 
r^ment and storm the work; not to fire a shot but rely 
exclusively on the bayonet, the muskets to be loaded 
but not capped. The idea impressed upon all was simply 
to assault the work in column of regiments, without an 
instant's pause after alarming the enemy's pickets, and 
take it with the bayonet. 

Just before four a. m. the column moved forward on 
the road already described, and crossed the marsh by the 
causeway. Here a section of Rockwell's guns dropped 
out, and fell in again behind the second brigade. No 
opposition was encountered until the first house beyond 
our lines was reached, when the enemy's pickets fired, 
wounding five men of the storming party, and fled ; but 
an officer and three men of their number were captured. 
The road was found blocked with felled timber, but the 
column without any delay advanced through the fields 
alongside the road until past the obstruction, and reached 
the open fields in front of the fort at 4.15 a. m., just 
as day was breaking. The storming party and the 8th 
Michigan filed into the field through an opening in the 
hedge and ditch which bordered the road, formed for- 
ward into line without a pause, and advanced steadily 
in exceUent order over the uneven, deeply furrowed 
ground, soon surmounted the second ditch and hedge, 
and swept onward across the field next the work. The 
enemy were seen hastily forming on the parapet ; their 
commander, Colonel Lamar, rushing to the gun half 
dressed, fired the great columbiad, heavily charged with 
grape, which tore a great gap through the advancing 
line, and they immediately opened with a storm of grape 
and canister from the guns, and a rapid and deadly 
fire of musketry along the whole front. Closing their 
ranks without break or pause, the gallant Michiganders 


pushed on, the storming party forty yards in advance, 
strewing the ground at every step vniti their dead and 
wounded. As they reached the ditch, Lieutenant Lyons 
dashed forward crying, ^^ Come on, boys ! " was the first 
man across the ditch, and fell half way up the paiapit 
with a shattered arm. Many of the brave fellows who 
survived the murderous fire resolutely pressed on, gained 
the parapet, and poured their fire into the defenden 
behind it, who visibly gave back. Captain Beed, of the 
1st South Carolina artillery, was killed at the gun he wis 
serving by a Union captain, who was in turn immediatelj^ 
shot down. But the enemy rallied, the supports in 
grove of pines in rear of l^e work poured in a deadly 
fire, and the brave stormers on the parapet, too few io 
number, soon melted away. The few survivors 
forced to give back, and, throwing themselves on the^^'^'! 
ground, sheltered themselves as best they could behind ^^^ 
the cotton ridges, from which they opened a fire on the ^^^^ 
fort with their muskets. 

Meantime the 7th Connecticut and 28th Massachu- '^'^'' 
setts, following close upon the 8th Michigan, turned into ^^^^ 
the field, deployed in like manner, and moved forward. — -*• 
Unfortunately they inclined a little to the left, and after ''^^ 
crossing the second hedge the heavy grape and canister ""^ 
and musketry of the fort cut them up severely, and drove ^s 
them still farther to the left, where they became disor- — 
dered, and entangled in the bushes and broken grround— 
bordering the marsh on that side. LieutenanlrColoneL 
Hawley tried to straighten out his regiment, setting up 
his colors in the field, and moved it to the rear and 
to the right, when he was ordered by Colonel Fenton 
to move still farther to the right, and advance agab 
on the fort. The 28th Massachusetts, although con- 
siderably scattered, moved forward under cover of the 
bushes until they encountered an inlet of the marsh and 


the abattis of slashed trees, when they fell back under 

By this time Leasure's brigade was up, and, directed by 

General Stevens in person, advanced straight on the fort, 

legiment after regiment, deploying as they advanced. 

The Highlanders moved forward in fine order, followed 

by the Roundheads, taking ground a litUe more to the 

left. Crossing the second hedge, they came under the 

terrible fire of canister which struck the left of the High- 

•landers and the centre of the Roundheads, literally cut- 

^ng the latter in two. The Highlanders pushed steadily 

^fDrward, supported by the right wing of the Roundheads, 

•t^tassing the 7th Connecticut as Hawley was endeavoring 

'^^ lead it to the right as directed by Fenton, struck the 

^^ork at the angle on its left (our right), and, led by the 

gallant Morrison, plunged across the ditch, and clambered 

^p the steep parapet ; many of the defenders ran back, 

^tnd again the fort seemed won. But again the musketry 

from the sharpshooters on the flanks and rear cut down 

tiie brave Scotsmen ; a bullet grazed Morrison's temple, 

inflicting a serious wound, and he and the half score 

survivors of the brave band that so gallantly gained 

the parapet were forced to leap down again. But they 

did not return empty handed. Morrison brought out a 

prisoner at the muzzle of his revolver. The capture of 

another was even more daring. A rebel soldier sprang 

upon the parapet in his eagerness, and aimed his musket 

at one of the assailants, scrambling up the steep and lofty 

bank, but the Highlander, making a tremendous leap, 

dashed aside the weapon, seized his antagonist in his 

arms, and rolled with him to the bottom of the ditch, 

where he was forced to surrender. 

While the Highlanders were thus storming the work, 
the left wing of the Roundheads, with some of the High- 
landers, cut off and driven to the left by the terrible hail 


'which smote them, jet pushed detenninedly on. The/ 
ran over or through the 7th Connecticut as that regi- 
ment was moving out into the field, as ahready narrated^ 
throwing it into some confusion, and dashed themselra 
against the fort. But here the front was well protected 
by abattis, and afforded no opening. The Beed baiteij 
raked them terribly. The men fell by srores, the hn» 
lost its impetus, and the survivors threw themselveB oa 
the ground behind the cotton-ridges for shelter. 

The 46th New York was double-quicked the last halE. 
mile of the road, conducted across the first field 
through the farther hedge, and ordered forward. Iti 
course^ like that of the 7th Connecticut and 28th 
sachusetts, bore too much to the left, and like them 
became entangled in the bushes on that side. Here por-^-^^ 
tions of the 7th Connecticut and 28th Massachusetts, ^^ 
retreating, broke through the 46th, carrying back fifty 
men of that regiment. There they stayed, suffering con- 
siderably from grape, until the advanced regiments moved M^ 
back, when they also withdrew to the hedge. 

While the attack was making, Rockwell planted three 
guns of his battery well forward and to the left in the 
first field, and maintained as constant a fire of shells npcm 
the fort as the movement of our troops admitted. SSs 
fourth gun was posted on the road to guard the left rear. 
Captain Sears aided Rockwell's guns across the hedge 
and ditch and high ridges, and later cleared out the felled, 
trees from the road in rear. 

General Stevens, from his position in the first field, 
had a clear view of every movement. Lieutenant Lyons 
and other wounded officers brought discouraging reports. 
Seeing plainly that the assailants were all driven from the 
parapet, and that the attacking force was completely scat- 
tered and had in a manner disappeared, he was satisfied 
the attack had failed. With instant decision he ordered 

— .d- 


the troops to fall back, and reform behind the hedges. 
Captain Stevens 'was sent with the order. On reaching 
the front of the fort not a line, or semblance of one^ 
could be seen, except about forty men standing in the 
field within a hundred yards of the work. Besides the 
dead and wounded, the ground was covered with blue- 
clad men, crouching down between the ridges, many of 
whom were firing on the work. A heavy hail of mus- 
ketry came from it, or from the pine grove and cover 
behind it. The g^ns fired only at intervals. Captain 
Stevens did not see a mounted officer, nor a single 
color, except perhaps one with the scanty line referred 
tOy nor a single man running away. Riding to this line, 
lie found lieutenant-Colonel Hawley and two officers on 
the right of it, endeavoring to cheer on the men. The 
line had stopped. The men were dropping fast, some 
stricken down, others voluntarily for shelter in the deep 
furrows ; two were knocked over within arm's length as 
he delivered the order. 

Hawley at once about-faced his line and moved back. 
Then a most remarkable sight was observed. The men 
of his regiment, lying between the ridges, rose to their 
feet, and hastened to form on either flank of the line, 
which rapidly grew and lengthened out as it withdrew. 
Then another and another and another line rose out of the 
ground in like manner, and in a few minutes the four regi- 
ments, which had so gallantly dashed themselves against 
the fort, were moving back in four well-formed lines 
with colors flying, and men rising from all parts of the 
field and running to form on their respective regiments ; 
but, alas, how reduced and scanty were they as compared 
with the strong, brave regiments which so proudly 
entered that fatal field barely a half hour before, where 
six hundred brave men now lay weltering in their blood ! 
The withdrawn regiments were halted behind the sec- 


ond hedge and straightened out. As soon as the troops 
could be seen moving back, Captain Strahan opened on 
the fort. Two of his guns were soon disabled, and he 
lost a sergeant killed, but with the remaining gun he 
kept up a well-directed and regular fire until the close of 
the battle. The gunboats Ellen and Hale, moving up 
Big Folly Creek, now began throwing shells at the long 
range of over two miles, some of which f eU in the fields, 
greatly endangering our own men ; but, guided by the 
signal officers. Lieutenant Henry S. Tafft on shore and 
Lieutenant 0. H. Howard on the Ellen, the subsequent 
fire was more accurately directed upon the fort. The 
distance, however, was too great, and the shells too few, 
to produce much effect. 

According to the plan, while Greneral Stevens's division 
was assaulting the fort, Wright and Williams, moving 
together from Grimball's, were to act as a support to the 
former, protecting his left and rear from an attack by the 
enemy from his main line. Williams's brigade comprised 
five companies of the 3d Rhode Island, the 3d New 
Hampshire, six companies of the 97th Pennsylvania, and 
a section of Battery E, 3d United States artillery. 

Wright had of his own division, of Chatfield's brigade, 
two companies of the 6th Connecticut and eight com- 
panies of the 47th New York ; and of Walsh's brigade, 
six companies of the 45th Pennsylvania, three companies 
of Serreirs New York engineers, and besides these the 
other two sections of Hamilton's battery, E, and two 
squadrons of the 1st Massachusetts cavalry. These or- 
ganizations were mere skeletons, and numbered about two 
thousand seven hundred effective. The remaining troops 
were left on picket, and to g^ard the camps. 

Wright moved soon after three A. m. to, and formed 
under cover of, the woods one mile in front of his camp. 
Hearing a few shots on his right front, he rightly judged 


that Stevens's column was advancing, and at once moved 
forward. By this time daylight was upon him. Now he 
was joined by General Benham, who assumed command^ 
leaving Wright responsible for only his own skeleton di- 
vision. Moving rapidly to the front, Wright soon placed 
his troops in position fronting the enemy's main line, 
and maintained substantially this position until ordered 
to withdraw, throwing the 47th New York to the left, 
and advancing a section of Hamilton's battery, which 
opened a sharp fire. 

Before reaching this position General Benham received 
a message from General Stevens asking immediate sup- 
port, and ordered Williams to move forward and report 
to him. Reaching the field just as the assaulting column 
was falling back and reforming behind the hedges, and 
ordered by General Stevens to push in on his left, and 
do the best in concert with him that the ground would 
admit of, Williams threw the 3d New Hampshire forward 
beyond, or on our left of the marsh and inlet which cov- 
ered the flank of the fort on that side, with the view of 
taking it in flank, and supported it with the battalion of 
the 3d Rhode Island. The 97th Pennsylvania he posted 
on the left of General Stevens's reforming regiments. 
The two former advanced with great bravery and steadi- 
ness, so far that they actually poured a telling fire into 
the flank of the fort, and the garrison was manifestly 
shaken. For half an hour they maintained the contest, 
sustaining unflinchingly a severe fire from the fort and 
the 4th Louisiana battalion, which hastened to reinforce 
it, raked by the Reed battery on the left and smitten in 
the rear by Boyce's field battery. The 3d Rhode Island 
was thrown to the left against the latter. It encountered 
three companies of the 24th South Carolina, drove them 
back, and struck the 25th and 1st South Carolina, which 
supported Boyce's guns, and were protected by a patch 


of felled timber^ and maintained an unequal contest with 
them until ordered to withdraw. 

Meantime General Stevens^ with the greatest possible 
rapidity, was advancing his regiments as fast as reorgan- 
ized to the farther hedge, the one nearest the fort, where 
they found cover in the ditch. The sun had cleared 
away the morning clouds,' and now shone bright and 
clear. It was a beautiful and inspiriting sight to see each 
regiment move forward across the wide field in well- 
dressed line with colors flying, unheeding the shell and 
grape which hurtled past or overhead. Rockwell dashed 
his guns up to the same line nearly, and in the open field 
maintained a rapid and steady fire on the fort, only five 
hundred yards distant. Strahan plied his single gun, 
and the occasional heavy shells from the gunboats burst 
over the work with a deeper roar. Sharpshooters, as well 
as the advanced men who still clung close up to the fort, 
kept the parapet tolerably clear, but the fort was no whit 
silenced. The gprape fell in frequent showers. Notwith- 
standing the severe losses the men were not discouraged, 
but were as determined and confident as before. Stimu- 
lated by the volleys and cheers of Williams's troops, they 
were ready, nay eager, to be led to the assault the sec- 
ond time. General Stevens sent word to Benham that 
his whole division was in the advanced position, reformed 
and ready, and that he would attack again as soon as 
Williams's movement produced its effect. 

Just as he was about to give the order to advance, the 
firing on the left slackened and ceased, and Williams's 
troops were seen moving back. Benham, as hasty and 
ill judged in abandoning the field as he was precipitate 
and obstinate in ordering the assault, had ordered them 
to retreat. On the left were heard the rebel cheers. In 
front the fort redoubled its fire. 

Soon afterwards General Benham ordered General Ste- 


yens to withdraw his column to camp. Wright and Wil- 
liams had already fallen back. The former is particu- 
lar to state in his report that ^^ the withdrawal from the 
field of both columns was ordered by Greneral Benham." 
General Stevens withdrew his forces without loss and 
unopposed. Even the advanced men were all brought 
off. Lieutenant H. 6. Belcher,, of the 8th Michigan^ 
took them the order, and, working over singly to the left, 
they got under cover of the bushes on that side and 
thus withdrew. The enemy attempted no pursuit, and by 
ten A. M. the entire force was back in camp. 

Thus ended the batUe of James Island or Secession- 
ville, the culmination of crass obstinacy and folly. Ben- 
ham, who, deaf to the orders of his commander, deaf to 
the warnings of Wright, deaf to Stevens's earnest en- 
treaties to be allowed to attack later in the day and after 
due preparation, had so rashly and obstinately forced the 
fight, — this very Benham shrank from the shock of bat- 
tle, and ordered the retreat when victory was within his 

The enemy's forces upon James Island were com- 
manded by General N. G. Evans, and numbered certainly 
not less than 9000 effective. Colonel T. G. Lamar com- 
manded the fort and was severely wounded. He had two 
companies, B and I, of his own regiment, the 1st South 
Carolina artillery, the 1st South Carolina or Charleston 
and 9th South Carolina or Pee Dee battalions, four 
officers and one hundred picked men of the 22d South 
Carolina, and three officers and presumably the crew of 
the floating battery, which had been withdrawn from the 
fire of the three-gun battery a few days before. All these 
commands must have numbered at least 800, although 
Colonel Lamar reports that his force did not exceed 500 
until reinforced. He was soon reinforced by the 4th 
Louisiana battalion, numbering 250, and later by the bal- 


ance of the 22d South Carolina, so that he must have 
had at least 1500 men before the action closed. The 
losses in these commands amounted to 172, of which the 
original garrison suffered 144, an unusually heavy loss 
behind strong works, viz. : Charleston battalion, 42 ; 1st 
South Carolina artillery, 55 ; Pee Dee battalion, 29 ; de- 
tachment 22d South Carolina, 18; total, 144. The loss 
of the 1st South Carolina Urtillery, 55, would indicate 
that more than two companies were in the fort. 

Colonel Lamar reports that he was expecting an attack, 
having a detachment at each gun, and the alarm was 
given when the pickets were driven in ; yet the assaulting 
column advanced so rapidly that it was within seven hun- 
dred yards when he reached the battery, and much nearer 
when in person he fired the 8-inch columbiad heavily 
charged with grape, which he says broke the leading 
regiment, cutting it completely in two. 

The other Confederate troops engaged were the 1st, 
24th, and 25th South Carolina, Boyce's field battery, and 
Company H, 1st South Carolina artillery, which manned 
the Reed battery. General Evans ordered up the 47th 
and 5l8t Georgia to support his right. His force, en- 
gaged and on the field, numbered 4500 effective, besides 
which were plenty of other troops available on the main 

The Confederate loss all told was 204. 

The Union loss aggregated 685, of which Stevens's 
column suffered 529; Williams's brigade, 152; Wright's 
division, four. 

The 8th Michigan lost 185 out of 534, or thirty per 
cent.; 13 out of 22 officers who went into the fight, 
including every officer of the storming party, were kiUed 
or wounded. The Highlanders lost 110 out of 484, not- 
withstanding which they withdrew in good order, and 
brought off 60 of their wounded, some of their dead. 


and their two prisoners. These losses would have been 
much greater had it not been for the partial shelter 
afforded by the cotton-ridges, and the fire of the men 
behind them^ which kept down that of the fort. But 
the loss of the garrison is unparalleled behind such works^ 
and shows the desperate nature of the fighting. 

The nearest parallel to this assault afforded by the war 
was that on Fort Saunders at Knoxville, where the High- 
landers had their revenge. They manned the exposed 
salient of the fort when Longstreet tried to carry it by 
storm, November 29, 1863. This work was not so 
strong either in profile or position as Fort Lamar. It 
was subjected to a severe shelling and fire of sharpshoot- 
ers, and then three veteran brigades, fifteen regiments, 
rushed upon both faces of the salient angle. The High- 
landers and Benjamin's Battery £, of the 2d artillery, re- 
pulsed every attack. No enemy raised his head above 
the parapet and lived. And in the midst of the fight, 
amid the noise and fury of battle, as the Highlanders 
plied their muskets and rolled by hand 20-pounder shells 
with fuses cut short and lighted into the ditch, filled 
with the struggling mass of men, the Highlanders grimly 
passed the word along the line, ^^ Remember James Island I 
Remember James Island ! " 

The Highlanders here lost four killed and five wounded. 
The entire loss in the fort was inconsiderable. The 
enemy lost 813 men, three flags, and 600 small-arms. 
This would seem almost incredible, were it not attested 
by the official reports, both Union and Confederate. 

Why the assault failed, it is not far to seek. The prin- 
cipal cause was the strength of the work, manned as it 
was by a resolute garrison, and the destructive fire of its 
heavy guns. Although the alarm was given by the out- 
posts nearly a mile from the work, the column reached it 
upon the heels of the fleeing picket, and was actually 


within five hundred yards before the first gun could be 
fired. But this gun^ an 8-inch columbiad charged with 
grape, shattered the centre of the leading regiment, cut- 
ting it completely in two. Then the canister from the 
big howitzer and other g^s doubly decimated them, yet 
the brave fellows gained the parapet. Had the next two 
regiments, the 7th Connecticut and 28th Massachusetts, 
following close upon the Michiganders as ordered, joined 
them at this instant, the work would undoubtedly have 
been taken. But they were green troops, never having 
been under fire ; the 28th, indeed, was fresh from home, 
and under the terrible storm of grape and canister they 
were beaten to the left, and entangled in the bushes and 
broken bank there. Although Lieutenant-Colonel Haw- 
ley lost no time in disentangling his regiment and mov- 
ing it out into the field and again forward, it is significant, 
and well shows the dif&culty of handling green troops 
under fire, that the Highlanders rushed past the right of 
the 7th Connecticut, and the Roundheads broke through 
or ran over its centre, and both assaulted the fort and 
were repulsed — nearly all who reached the parapet 
being killed, and the remainder forced to give back — 
by the time the Connecticut regiment had advanced to 
within a hundred yards of the work, where Hawley re- 
ceived the order to withdraw. 

Certainly the rapid advance and onset of the Michi- 
ganders, Highlanders, and Roundheads were all that men 
could do. Their loss was so great and the parapet so 
difficult that not enough men could surmount it to be able 
to hold it ; but the chief reason for the failure was the 
deadly fire from the woods and cover behind the fort. 
The work was fairly stormed, but the stormers, too few 
to hold it, were destroyed by the deadly fire from its 

These three regiments had already smelt powder, and 


had been well drilled and disciplined by General Stevens. 
The others, new and inexperienced, could not be expected 
to equal them, yet they evinced no lack of bravery. 
General Stevens says in his report : — 

^^ I must confess that the coolness and mobility of all the 
troops engaged on the 16th surprised me, and I cannot but be- 
lieve, had proper use been made of the artillery, guns from the 
navy, and our own batteries, fixed and field ; had the position 
been gradually approached and carefully examined, and the 
attack made much later in the day, when our batteries had had 
their full effect, all of which, you will recollect, was strongly 
urged by me upon General Benham the evening of the confer- 
ence, — the result might have been very different." ^ 

Greneral Stevens commends the gallantry of his troops 
in strong terms, and the brave and efficient service of his 
staff, already mentioned, of Lieutenant Orrin M. Dear- 
born, of the 3d New Hampshire, aide in place of Lieu- 
tenant Cottrell, who, having been promoted captain, had 
command of his company, and of Lieutenant Jefferson 
Justice, of the Roundheads, acting division quartermaster, 
who served upon the field as his aide. Lieutenant Lyons, 
v^ho so bravely led the stormers, died of his wound in 
hospital at Hilton Head soon afterwards. 

For his wrong-headed and disobedient conduct Ben- 
bam was placed under arrest by General Hunter and sent 
North. His appointment as brigadier-general was re- 
iroked by the President. Later, by unwearied impor- 
tunity and the pressure of influence, he managed to get 
bimself reinstated, but never again was he trusted with 
the lives of brave men. 

* See Rebellion Records, vol. idr. ; History of the 79ih Highlanders, by 
VnUiam Todd ; Major Preaaiej, io Southern Historical Society Papers, vol. 
ETi.; Major John Johnson's Defense of Charleston Harbor. 




A FEW days after their bloody repulse from Fort La- 
mar the Highlanders paraded in front of Greneral Ste- 
vens's headquarters and presented him with a beautiful 
sword, together with a sash, belt, and spurs, in the fol- 
lowing feeling address. The address was inscribed upon 
a large sheet of parchment by one of the skillful penmen 
in the regiment, in characters as clear and distinct as 
copperplate engraving, and in the middle of the sheet 
was an excellent photograph of the general in uniform. 
The sword was the gift of the non-commissioned officers 
and privates exclusively, for they had refused to permit 
the officers to contribute a cent towards or bear any part 
in the testimonial, although the latter were anxious to do 
their share. It was common talk among the men that 
the officers never amounted to anything until General 
Stevens took them in hand ; that he had saved and re- 
deemed the regiment after they had well-nigh ruined it ; 
and that they should not have any part in the sword, 
which was the tribute of the rank and file. The presen- 
tation was a great surprise to General Stevens, and was 
the more gratifying as showing the undiminished regard 
of the regiment immediately after the recent severe battle 
and loss : — 

Bbigadier-Genebal Isaac I. Stevens. 

Sir J — A unanimous feeling of gratitude and respect pervad- 
ing the non-commissioned officers and privates of the Seventy- 
Ninth Regiment (Highland Guard) New York State Militia, 


ind wishing to give that feeling a hnmble and appropriate 
sxpression, we have determined to-day to present for yotir ac- 
septance this sword, feeling assured that by you it will be 
irorthily worn, and never drawn but in defense of human rights 
ind their political guaranties. Your recent connection with us 
IS our colonel, our friend, and our counselor has fitted us in a 
peculiar manner to judge of and appreciate your virtues in each 
af these capacities. Coming amongst us at a critical period in 
rar history as a regiment, when our fair fame was eclipsed, and 
Semoralization was fast hurrying us to the vortex of anarchy, 
fou listened to the story of our wrongs, tempered your decisions 
igainst the erring ones with the high attribute of mercy, and 
bade us hope. We did hope, and ere long we found ourselves 
recuperated and in Gamp Advance. There our confidence in 
jron was perfected, and our esteem became affection. When 
it was aunounced that your distinguished military services 
had brought you higher and greener laurels, we were glad and 
proud; but sorrow, deep and profound, pervaded our ranks 
when it was made known that your services were demanded 
in another sphere, and that we must separate. The exclama- 
tion of ^* Tak' us wi' ye I " which greeted you upon that day's 
parade was heartfelt and sincere, and your intervention in 
our behalf has enabled us to preserve our connection, if not as 
doee, not the less fondly. That your valuable and beneficent 
life may long be spared to the service and to mankind, and that 
the blessing of Qoi may rest upon you and upon your family, 
is the sincere prayer of the non-commissioned officers and pri- 
mtes of the 

Seventy-Ninth, Highland Guabd. 

general btevens's besponse. 


no words to express my gratitude for this unexpected and 
unmerited mark of your confidence and affection. We came 
together not only at a critical period of your own history as 
a regiment, but at a critical period of our beloved country's 
history, when its armies had been stricken down, and dismay 
and cUscouragement spread over the length and breadth of the 
land. It was the time for the true and the strong to come to 


the work, and by a firm stand in our oonntry's canse again to 
cause hope and faith to spring np in the hearts of men. Yoa 
reooUect we moved from our oamp of ^^ Hope " on the beanti- 
fol heights in the rear of Washington to the oamp of the 
*^ Advance " across the Potomac. Then I spoke to yon words of 
enoonragement, and together, in the glorious light of day, we 
won back onr colors. We had soon become acquainted. As 
your colonel, I ever found you brave and true. The pathos of 
your address, its living expressions, touch me. When I was 
ordered South, and rode tiuongh your ranks to say farewell, 
and saw* the tear glisten in every manly eye, and heard the 
words, ^* Tak' us wi' ye I " from every lip, I thought we could 
not part ; so, on reaching Annapolis, I said to our hbte able and 
respected commander, Greneral Sherman, ^^ Send for the High- 
landers ; they want to come, and you can depend upon them." 
Here you have come, and here you are to-day. Have you not 
always done well? Who ever finds the Highlanders behind? 
I know not which feeling of my heart is stronger in r^ard to 
you, — my pride or my affection. Your firm step, your manly 
countenances, cold steel for your enemies, and the open hand 
and heart for your friend, — such are you, beloved comrades. 
In the late sad, glorious fight where were you? Laggards, or 
seeking the front on the double^uick to succor your friends, 
the 8th Michigan, led on by your gallant lieutenant-colonel 
there, David Morrison? You gained that front and parapet, 
and some of your noblest and your best there found a soldier's . 
grave. It was indeed a sad but glorious field. Not a laggard, 
not a fugitive, — all the regiment in line, — all by their colors 
and in order of battle, but many dead and wounded men. I 
am profoundly affected by the' circumstance that you have 
seized such an occasion to show your regard for me. Yes, be- 
loved comrades, we are ready to expose and, if need be, to lay 
down our lives for our country. We will keep steadfastly to 
the work till this sad, terrible war is ended, and peace siniles 
again upon the land. ,My friends, I shall endeavor to be de- 
serving of your magnificent testimonial of respect and affection. 
I accept it, not as my right, but as your free gift. I accept it 
most gratefully. God willing, that sword shall ever be bonie 
by me in defense of my country's rights, and in the cause of 


Gbd and Immanity. The spun, too, from my frienda of the 
dram corps, -^ the boys who soour the battlefield and bring off 
the dead and .wounded men, — I will wear in memory of your 
mifldon, and perhaps some day they may tlrge the fleet steed to 
your relief and assistance. SViends, the thistle of your native 
land has stn^g oiir enemies, and been an omen of hope to our 
friends. It has been planted here, and glorious properties has 
it shown in this palmetto soiL In conclusion, permit me again 
to express my deep gratitude for these marks of your affection 
and esteem. 

The sword was an exceedingly handsome one. The 
blade was richly inlaid with gold^ representing a High- 
lander bearing the American flag^ an ancient Scottish 
soldier^ and many Scottish and patriotic devices and mot- 
toes^ The hilt represented the Goddess of Liberty; the 
goard was formed of the thistle^ the emblem of Scotland, 
and was studded with a large topaz surrounded by thir- 
teen diamonds. The hilt and scabbard were heavily 
^ded, and the latter terminated in a tiger's, head. There 
was also a plain steel scabbard bronzed, a general's yellow 
sash, and a red-and-gold belt. The spurs were also richly 
gilded, the shiank and rowel representing the thistle, and 
were lixe gift of the drummer-boys. 

James Jblaxd, June 26, 1802. 

Mt deasest Wife, — General Wright called down at my 
quarters last evening and took a look at my sword. He thought 
it a very splendid thing, and advises me to send it home as soon 
as possible. I hope those beautiful testimonials will reach you 
speedily and safely. I want my friends to see them. The sword 
is the most beautiful I ever saw. 

I have already sent you my reply to the address. Itisthought 
here to be very appropriate. It was wholly unstudied, as I had 
not the least idea of what the address would be. 

Hazard has worked very hard of late. Did I write you that 
his conduct on the battlefield was witnessed by the rebels with 
great admiration ? So say the rebel officers whom my officers 


met under a recent flag of truce. These officers say a great 
many shots were fired directly at him. Every one in the division 
knows the officer they refer to, from the description of the officer 
and his horse, to be Hazard. The boy did most nobly, and every 
one speaks in the highest terms of his conduct on the field of 
battle. Was not his life wonderfully preseryed ? My own staff 
is considered a very excellent one. Cottrell was not killed, but 
was wounded, and a prisoner in the hands of the enemy. Lyons 
is getting on well with his wound. Lyman Arnold is dead. I 
particularly interested his brigade commander. Colonel Wil- 
liams, and the surgeon, in his case, and I cannot doubt that 
every attention was paid to him. 

Daniel Lymati Arnold, who has already been mentioned 
as a member of the Northern Pacific Railroad exploration, 
with his brother, General Richard Arnold, was a cousin 
of Mrs. Stevens. He was a private in the 3d Rhode 
Island, and was mortally wounded in the battle, where he 
had shown great bravery. General Stevens, with his son, 
visited the dying man soon after the battle, and did all in 
his power to make him comfortable. 

June 30. I wrote you three days ago that Greneral Hunter 
had given orders to evacuate this place. It is a large opera- 
tion. The cavalry were got on board yesterday and last night, 
and started this morning for Hilton Head. We expect the 
transports back to-morrow, when General Williams's division 
will be embarked. My own division will be embarked last 

Raymond Rodgers came here to-day from the squadron at 
Hilton Head. He talked considerably about the 16th. He 
assured me that my conduct and management on that day is 
universally commended. Indeed, I have good reason to believe 
that here in this department, both with the army and navy, it 
has very much increased my military reputation. No one 
but Benham calls in question my perfect fidelity to my orders, 
and that the course I actually pursued alone gave, under his 
orders, the least promise of success. I moved with exceeding 
rapidity, without stopping to fire, and pushed in everything 
without reserve. The statement of the enemy shows how near 


the work came to faUing into our hands. I know I could have 
seized that work with but little loss of life, and on that very day, 
had the entire management been mine. 

My own course with him after the battle was stern and de- 
termined. I compelled him to modify his report so as to do my 
division full justice. I warned him that the entire responsi- 
bility of bringing on that fight was his, that I had opposed 
it, and that I should take no part of the responsibility. He 
wilted and quailed under my eye and speech. He made a second 
attempt to falsify the trudi with me, and I made him quail 
again, and this was in the presence of witnesses. 

There has been a real comfort and satisfaction in serving 
imder Wright, which I havie not had for a long time. He has 
shown very sound judgment in all his arrangements since he 
has been in command. Williams, who commands the second 
division, is a very agreeable and sensible man, and is highly 
esteemed throughout the command. 

On Benham's arrest General Wright succeeded to the 
command as next in rank, and field-works to protect the 
camps were commenced^ and considerable work done upon 
them^ when General Hunter wisely decided to withdraw 
from James Island. Greneral Stevens brought off the last. 
of the troops on July 4. He was first ordered to Beaufort 
with his division/ except the 7th Connecticut and Rock- 
well's battery^ which were detached and landed at Hilton 
Head ; but scarcely had they reached Beaufort when — 
including the 50th Pennsylvania, which rejoined the com- 
mand — they were brought back to Hilton Head and de- 
barked July 5, then reembarked July 9, and sent back to 
Beaufort ; then, vdthout leaving the transports, they were 
dropped four miles down the Beaufort River, and landed 
on Smith's plantation, where the whole division was to be 
encamped. In the absence of wharves, all the baggage 
had to be put ashore in small boats. By great exertions 
this was accomplished, and the tents were up before dark, 
when orders were received to reembark immediately and 


proceed to Hilton Head, there to take ocean steamers for 
Virginia. After a brief rest the harassed and womout 
soldiers toiled the balance of the night, reembarking the 
camp equipage, baggage, and supplies. The 'troops were 
transferred to ocean steamers at Hilton Head on July 10 
and 11, and on the 12th were borne away northward, re- 
joiced to leave a command marked by incompetence and 
disaster, and to rest after the useless toil to which they 
had been subjected. 

The point on Beaufort River where General Stevens's 
division landed is of especial interest as the site of the 
first European settlement in the United States, made by 
Jean Ribaut and a party of French Huguenots in 1562, 
just three centuries before ; and the walls of a small fort, 
constructed by him of coquina, a very hard and durable 
concrete of oyster-sheUs, were visible on the shore of and 
partly in the river, which had considerably undermined 

Steameb Vanderbilt, July 14» 1862. 

Mt deab Wife, — We left Hilton Head at eight o'clock, yes* 
terday morning. I was utterly worn out, and was very glad to 
go to bed. I slept twenty hours the first twenty-four I was on 
board, and to-day I have been very well rested. 

It is supposed our destination will be McClellan's army. 
MeClellan has unquestionably met with a very serious cheok. 
Indeed, it is nothing less than a disaster. His loss in men and 
material of war must have been immense. The plan of cam- 
paign of the Potomac (army) has been a monstrous folly, and 
disaster is its legitimate fruit. The army should never have 
been divided, and the route should not have been by Fortress* 
Monroe. I doubt whether any adequate plan will be hit upon 
to make the most of the present condition of things. I ani. 
afraid the Confederates will by a rapid countermarch fall upon 
Pope with overwhelming force. I think, so far as I can gaUier 
the facts, that Pope should be largely reinforced, and that he 
should wage t&e campaign. It has also occurred to me that the 
wisest plan would be to withdraw MeClellan from His present 







position, send him to the Potomac, unite him with Pope, and 
commence anew. But it is useless to speculate; We shall 
reach Fortress Monroe to-morrow, where we will receive ad« 
ditional orders. 

The transfer to Virginia was the very movement that 
General Stevens recommended to the President in a letter 
dated July 8,. in which he wrote : — 

*^ In the district formerly commanded by Sherman are some 
twenty-three regiments. Eleven of these regiments are ample 
for the purpose I have mentioned. This will leave 9, full 
division of twelve regiments to reinforce our columns at points 
where the enemy is fighting with the energy of despair, and 
where its timely aid may bring to our arms the crowning vic- 
tory of the war. 

** I eamestiy desire this war to be prosecuted' to a signal and 
speedy success. This department can well afford to wait. It 
is not the proper base for operations. We are, moreover, much 
too small for an advance, and much too large for simply hold- 
ing the points we now occupy. Let us simply hold these points. 
The crisis of the war is in Virginia. There throw your troops. 
There signally defeat and destroy the enemy. You strike 
Charleston and Savannah by striking Richmond. 

• *^Send us, therefore, and send twelve of our regiments to 
Virginia. Let us have the satisfaction of sharing there the 
dangers, the privations, and the sacrifices of our companions 
in arms. Let us feel that we are doing good service for our 
country, that we are really helping in the gravest contest of 
the war." 

After a smooth and pleasant voyage the command' 
reached Fortress Monroe on the 16th, debarked at New- 
port News, and went into camp on the level, plain over^ 
looking the broad expanse of water where James Biver 
enters Hampton Boads. General Bumside had just 
arrived here with eight thousand troops from North 
Carolina, and the ninth corps was organized from the two 
commands^ Greneral Stevens's division forming the first 


and the North Carolina troops the second and third divi- 
sions under Generals Jesse L. Reno and John 6. Parke 
respectively, General Bnmside commanding the corps. 

(reneral Cullom, £[alleck's chief of staff, was at Fortress 
Monroe when General Stevens arrived there, and had a 
long and confidential talk with his former brother officer 
and old friend in regard to the military situation. It is 
noteworthy that the very movements he mentioned as 
best in lus letter to his wife were precisely the ones 
adopted immediately afterwards, viz., the withdrawal of 
McClellan and reinforcement of Pope. Halleck, whose 
voice was then controlling in military councils in Wash- 
ington, was undoubtedly led to adopt, or strengthened 
in his own ideas by, the views of his former classmate 
and rival, whose ability and sound military judgment hiB 
fully appreciated. 

Newport News, Aogost 2, 18G2. 

My deab Wife, — I send by this mail sketches with brief 
letters to each of the girls. We go on board ship to-morrow. 
I am now satisfied there will be marked improvement in the 
general management of army mtttters. Probably the moves 
now being made will take the country somewhat by surprise, 
but they are wise and absolutely necessary. Before this reaches 
you our destination ¥rill be known, but I am not at liberty to 
speak of it. Bene sets off about sundown this evening, Parke 
will be off to-morrow, and myself the next day. 


pope's CAliPAIGir 

The military authorities having decided to throw Bum- 
side's troops up the Rappahannock to reinforce Pope, 
General Stevens sailed from Newport News on August 4, 
debarked at Acquia Creek on the 6th, and reached Fred- 
ericksburg the same day. Here two light batteries were 
added to the division, E, of the 2d United States artillery, 
under Lieutenant S, N. Benjamin, with four 20-pounder 
rifled Parrotts and the 8th Massachusetts battery, a new 
organization recently from home, enlisted for six months 
only. The division was divided into three brigades, the 
8th Michigan and 50th Pennsylvania, under Colonel B. 
C. Christ, constituting the first brigade J the Roundheads 
and 46th New York, under Colonel Leasure, the second ; 
and the Highlanders and 28th Massachusetts, under 
Colonel Addison Farnsworth, the third. Colonel Fams- 
worth was appointed colonel of the Highlanders by the 
governor of New York, and joined his regiment at Beau- 
fort, but was absent on leave during the James Island 
campaign, at the close of which he returned to it. 
Lieutenant H. 6. Heffron was appointed aide in place 
of Lieutenant Lyons. 

Starting from Fredericksburg on the 13th, Grenerals 
Stevens's and Reno's divisions, eight thousand strong, 
the latter as ranking officer in command, stripped of all 
baggage except shelter tents, marched up the north bank 
of the Rappahannock, passing Bealton Station on the 
Alexandria and Orange Court House Railroad, crossed 


the river at Rappahannock Station, and joined Pope at 
Culpeper Court House on the 15th. General Stevens 
bivouacked three miles in front of that point, and on the 
following day was thrown forward to guard Raccoon 
Ford, on the Rapidan River, which he held with a strong 
detachment, placing his division a -mile and a half back 
in support- 
Pope's bombastic orders, and his invitation -to. forage 
on the enemy, greatly increased straggling and relaxed 
discipline among his troops.* General Stevens ordered 
roll-calls at every halt, and at the end of every day's 
march; reports of stragglers made daily, and prompt and 
severe punishment injBicted upon such delinquents and 
upon plunderers, and sternly stopped the evil in its 
inception. The 46th New York, a' German regiment, 
where even the commands at drill were given in German, 
loaded some of its supply-wagons with lager beer on 
leaving Fredericksburg, leaving behind a good part of 
their rations, having some vague notion of 4iving off the 
country. General Stevens at once had all the lager 
thrown into the road, and the wagons sent back for the 
abandoned rations. The indignation of Colonel Rosa 
and his of&cers rose to such a pitch over this sumimary 
loss of their beloved beverage that they tendered their 
resignations in a body, with a grandiloquent letter from 
the colonel. But General Stevens emphatically assured 
them that they must remain and do their duty as soldiers 
during the campaign, and took no further notice of their 
insubordinate and unsoldierly action. 

On the 9th, only a week before the arrival of the two 
divisions of the ninth corps, the severe fight of Cedar 
Mountain occurred between Banks's corps and Jackson. 
The latter, although victor on the field by force of num- 
bers, was so badly crippled that he withdrew behind the 
Rapidan the second day after the battle. Pope, on re- 


BoHti~ of Unkin TniD|M 



ceiving these reinf oroements, advanced to the line of that 
river^ and Greneral Stevens, held his extreme left^ a cav- 
aliy picket only watching Grermanna Ford, the next below 
Raccoon. The army, officially known as the Army of 
Virginia, consisted of the corps of McDowell, Banks, 
and Sigel, and numbered foriy thousand effective. • The 
ninth corps troops added eight thousand more, and heavy 
reinforcements from the Army of the Potomac were on 
their way, so that, if Pope could only hold his ground a 
f aw days, both armies woidd be united in his advanced 

Biit Lee, safely leaving McClellan, with his great army, 
on the Peninsula to* his inaction, swiftly gathered his 
army opposite Pope, and, crossing the river, advanced 
one wing under Jackson to strike him on the left and 
rear, and the other, uiider Longstreet, to attack him in 
front. Pope gained timely notice of this move by a 
lucky cavalry reconnoissance, and withdrew to the Rap- 
pahannock just in time to escape it. During the 17th, 
18th, and 19th General Stevens kept his officers busily 
engaged in what he termed ^^ looking up the country," 
that is, in tracing out all the roads and by-roads,, and 
studying the topography, defensive positions, and ap- 
proaches. He always attached great importance to a 
thorough knowledge of the ground, and seized every op- 
portunity to gain it. Ordered, on the afternoon of tHe 
Idth, to move back his train immediately, and his troops 
at two in the morning, by way of Stevensburg and Bar- 
nett's Ford bn the Rappahannock, Greneral Stevens started 
off the train at once, and at nine in the evening drew out 
his division three miles on the designated road, which 
runs parallel to the river for a considerable distance, and 
•halted. By this movement he placed his whole force in 
position to defend the ford till the last moment, and all 
danger of being cut off by the sudden advance of the 


enemy was obviated. The colomn resumed th6 march in 
retreat at two a. m., reached Stevensburg at daylight, 
where it w£^ detained an hour by Greneral Reno's train, 
that officer with his division having akeady fallen back, 
and after a march of twenty-six miles crossed the Rappa- 
hannock at Barnett's Ford, and went into bivouac at four 
p. M. That day the whole of Pope's army fell back and 
took up the line of the Rappahannock^ the ninth corps on 
the left. 

At dusk on the evening of the 21st, leaving feur 
companies of infantry and four light g^ns of the 8th 
Massachusetts battery at the ford, and two companies at 
another ford a few miles higher up, General Stevens 
marched ejght miles up the river to Kelly's Ford, arriv- 
ing at midnight, and a day after Greneral Reno. 

The next day he recrossed the river with two brigades 
in support of a cavalry reconnoissance by Greneral Buf ord. 
Deploying the third brigade, — the Highlanders and 
28th Massachusetts, — he drove back a considerable force 
of the enemy for more than a mile in a sharp action, and, 
after accomplishing all that was expected or desired^ 
withdrew to the left bank. 

On the 2d both divisions continued moving up the 
river ten miles to Rappahannock Station, two regiments 
from each being left to guard Kelly's Ford. Here were 
found the troops of McDowell and Banks. Sigel was 
farther up the river, and his artillery was heard thunder- 
ing in the distance all day. Banks moved after him late 
in the afternoon. Both armies were now moving up the 
Rappahannock, but on opposite sides. Lee, foiled in his 
bold onslaught by the timely retreat of his antagonist, 
and finding him strongly posted behind the river, was now 
pushing his columns up the right bank, seeking to cross 
it or to outflank and turn Pope's right, and Pope was 
carefully following his movement to head him off. 


On the 23d General Stevens continued the march up 
the river, followed by Reno's division. Banks's troops 
and Sigel's train were soon overtaken, blocking up the 
road } the march was continually interrupted and delayed 
by them, and after struggling forward over the muddy 
and slippery roads, pelted by a heavy, drenching rain- 
storm, until after midnigbib, having marched only four 
miles in eighteen hours, the tired and bedraggled troops 
were allowed to rest, or rather halt, by the roadside until 
morning. During the day the troops left at the lower 
fords rejoined the division, having been relieved by Gren- 
eral Reynolds's division, the first to arrive from the Army 
of the Potomac. On overtaking Banks's corps, Genersd 
Stevens had a talk with that of&cer, who was quite lame 
from a recent fall, and looked thin and careworn. His 
troops had been sadly cut up at Cedar Mountain, and his 
regiments, with their scanty numbers, seemed reduced 
almost to the size of companies. All day Sigel's guns 
were thundering up the river as though a pitched battle 
were raging, but, as afterwards appeared, he was wasting 
ammunition on skirmishers and single horsemen beyond 
the stream, while his enormous and ill-regulated wagon- 
train was keeping back the rest of the army. 

The march was resumed on the 24th, and Sulphur 
Springs reached late in the afternoon. Greneral Stevens, 
riding at the head of his column, was here met by Gen- 
eral Sigel, who requested him to take one of his (Gen-* 
eral Stevens's) brigades and a battery, and destroy the 
bridge across the river at this point, which the enemy's 
sharpshooters were making very hot. Astonished at 
such a request, a virtual acknowledgment of his own 
and his troops' inefficiency. General Stevens nevertheless 
promptly set to work to comply with it, when the bridge 
was found to be in flames, having been fired by some 
of Sigel's men. 


On this day's march, as the division was halting for a 
noon rest, and the soldiers were reclining on the ground 
in groups, or making their cups of coffee over little fires 
of fence rails, a party of rebel cavalry with a section of 
artillery appeared on a cross-road a mile distant and near 
the river, and a lively shower of shells suddenly fell 
over and among the resting troops. At this Lieutenant 
Benjamin very coolly and deliberately unlimbered and 
sighted one of his ^pounders ; the shell flew straight 
to the mark, fairly striking the annoying piece, and the 
enemy beat a hasty retreat at this single shot. 

The following morning, the 25th, General Stevens con- 
tinued marching up tibe river, and, on reaching Waterloo 
Bridge, was ordered to countermarch and proceed to 
Warrenton. Arrived here, passing McDowell's coips 
bivouacked along the road, the division rested some 
hours, then marched for Warrenton Junction, and halted 
at midnight at a place known as Eastern View, several 
miles from the Junction, to which it moved the next day, 
the 26th. 

Meantime the reinforcements were arriving from the 
Army of the Potomac. Reynolds's division, 6000 strong, 
coming by way of Acquia Creek and the Rappahannock, 
joined on the 23d and was attached to McDowell's corps. 
By the same route two divisions of the fifth corps, under 
General Fitz John Porter, reached Bealton on the 26th 
and the Junction the next day. They numbered 9000 
effective, and were commanded by Generals George W. 
Morell and George Sykes respectively. On the 25th 
Generals Kearny's and Hooker's divisions of the third 
corps, under General Samuel F. Heintzelman, numbering 
10,000 effective, were brought out on the railroad from 
Alexandria to the same place, Warrenton Junction. With 
these reinforcements, deducting losses and straggling. 
Pope's strength was raised to 60,000. Lee's army num- 


bered, — Longstreet, 30,000; Jackson, 22,000; Stuart's 
cavalry, 3000 ; total, 55,000.* 

On the 22d Lee attempted a crossing near Sulphur 
Springs, and threw a heavy force of Jackson's troops 
across the river; but the storm, and the sudden rise of 
the stream making the fords impassable, induced him to 
withdraw. Thus baffled in his design of crossing at Sul- 
phur Springs, and finding that point and Waterloo Bridge, 
four miles above, held in force by the Union troops, and 
well knowing that Pope's strength was increasing daily 
by reinforcements from the Army of the Potomac, Lm 
now determined to push Jackson completely around the 
right of the Union army, turning it by a circuitous but 
rapid march, and throw him on the railroad in its rear, 
its sole line of supply, and to follow up the movement 
with the other wing under Longstreet. Accordingly, on 
the 24:th Jackson moved back from the river to Jeffer- 
son, his troops being relieved by Longstreet's ; on the 
25th marched by Amissville and Orleans to Salem ; and 
on the 26th continued his march through Thoroughfare 
Gap and Gainesville to Bristoe Station, on the ill-fated line 
of communications, which he struck at dark, capturing 
some prisoners and two trains loaded with supplies. Bris- 
toe is only eight miles north of Warrenton Junction, 
about which so many Union troops were grouped ; tod 
Jackson, by his bold move, had thrown himself fairly 
upon the back of Pope's army. Without delay he dis- 
patehed a small force that night to Manassas Junction, 
five miles down the railroad, and eight guns, three hun- 
dred prisoners, and an immense quantity of stores fell 
into his hands. Next morning, leaving Ewell to hold 
back the Union forces, he moved the other divisions to 

^ John C. Ropes, Army under Pope^ pp. 19^199, gives Pope 71,000 ; Lee, 
54,268. Creneral Longstreet, Manassas to Appomattox^ gives Pope 54,500 ; 
Lee, 53,000. Colonel William Allen, Army of Northern Virginia^ puts 
« Lee's strength at 47,000 to 55,000; say over 50,000." 


Manassas, where they spent the day outfitting themselyes 
from the captured stores. 

When this blow fell, Pope had his troops well in hand : 
McDowell and Sigel's corps grouped about Warrenton; 








\ Junetloa 



HiyttteTllU •^X'^*^ 'O"™ 



• . 

Positioiis, nine P. M., Angut 26, 1862. 

the four divisions of Stevens, Reno, Kearny, and Hooker 
near Warrenton Juncton ; while Porter at Bealton and 
Banks at Fayetteville were within an easy march of the 
Junction. Pope, having made up his mind that the enemy 
would fall upon his right, was loath to believe that he 
had gotten into his rear in heavy force, but he embarked 
a regiment on a train of cars and sent it down the road 
towards Bristoe that night to find out. This reconnois- 
sance reported the enemy in force ; but even yet Pope 
was not convinced, still clinging to his opinion that his 
right, the line from Warrenton to Gainesville, was most 
exposed to Lee's attack. Therefore, instead of throwing 
upon Bristoe, at daylight the next morning, the over- 


whelmiDg force he had at hand near the Junction^ he 
Bent only Hooker's division down the raibroad to brush 
away the supposed raiding party, moved the other three 
(Stevens, Beno, and Kearny) to Greenwich, and ordered 
McDowell and Sigel to Gainesville ; the former to take 
command of both corps, for he was not satisfied with 
Sigel's dilatoriness in marching and obeying orders. 

Hooker encountered Ewell in front of Bristoe, and, in 
A sharp action in the afternoon, pushed him across Broad 
Run, from which, after d^troying the bridge, he retreated 
unmolested to Manassas. As the result of Hooker's fight, 
Pope now knew that Jackson with his whole corps was at 

LONosTRur ^^^skLaHlRr^ 


.y^ vj~7v^^^ 

^^eidoa. ^^--^X ^^^V 

\ <laeoBiwi^^«Aii«t\ \ ^^ 

iiJAOKKw/^ V_ 

\ ^^lltlloDD»T£VIIi»Ni»Ay\ ^ 


\^ _^^ 



IWdoDS ol Troops, Snoiet, Angut 27, 1862. 

Bristoe that very morning, and had just marched — his 
rear division was even then marching — down the rail- 
road to Manassas. - He supposed that Lohgstreet was far 
to the westward, beyond supporting distance to Jackson. 

Confident that the great flanker was at last within his 
VOL. n 


power^ he issued Vigorous orders for the morrow's move- 
mentsy designed to throw his whole army upon him at 
Manassas and crush him. To this end he ordered Hoc^er 
to push down the railroad towards Manassas ; Porter to 
hasten from Warrenton Junction to support Hooker, 
starting at one in the morning; Kearny to Bristoe; and 
Stevens and Reno directly on Manassas, — the three to 
move at daylight ; McDowell to advance his whole force 
from Gainesville also on Manassas, with Sigel resting his 
right on the Manassas Gap Railroad, and McDowell's 
divisions following in echelon extended on his left, so 
that this great force would sweep a wide scope of coun<* 
try, — practically the whole region between the Manassas 
Gap Railroad and the Warrenton pike, — and would in- 
tercept Jackson's retreat by that thoroughfare. This 
plan was well plotted to overwhelm the wolf at Manassas, 
if the wol£ would only wait there until the toils closed ' 
around him. A day, or even half a day, would suffice. 
But .Jackson was not the man to wait anywhere long 
enough to give his adversary the initiative. That night 
and early the next morning he moved to the field of Bull 
Run, and took up a position admirable for defense, and 
from which with equal facility he could attack any force 
moving along the pike, or fall back westward by good 
roads to meet Longstreet, now rapidly approaching. 

It is a high, undulating country west of Bull Run 
upon which on June 21, 1861, and August 28, 29, and 
30, 1862, were fought the battles of Bull Run, Gaines- 
ville, and second Bull Run, or, as known to the Con- 
federates, Bull Run, Groveton, and Manassas. Long, 
broad ridges stretch across the country, sloping down in. 
successive rolls of ground to wide hollows. Open fields 
cover two thirds of the surface of hill and dale, alternat- 
ing with tracts of woods, which clothe the remaining 
third. These are of oak and other deciduous treea, and 
are tolerably open and free from underbrush. 


The Alexandria and Warrenton pike^ running nearly 
west (west IS"" sonth)^ bisects the field, and was the most 
important line of communication upon it. Crossing Bull 
Run by a stone bridge, the pike follows up the valley of 
a tributary, Young's Branch, gently and gradually ascend- 
ing for two miles, and then passes over several ridges 
and high ground on to Grainesville, five miles farther. 
Young's Branch has worn a deep and narrow valley 
through the first ridge, a mile from the stone bridge, and 
to the traveler passing up the pike the abutting ends of 
the ridge present the appearance of quite steep and high 
hills. The first hill on the left, separated from the next 
by a hollow down which a dirt road descends, is the 
Henry Hill, the scene of the fiercest fighting of the first 
battle, where Bee and Bartow, the Southern generals, 
fell, and where Bicketts and his gallant battery were all 
but destroyed and were captured. The next hill is the 
Chinn Hou#e, termed in some of the reports the Bald 
Hill. Opposite these, and on the right or north side of 
the road, are Buck Hill and Bosefield or Dogan House. 
The tops of these hills are not peaked but flat, being 
simply the general level of the plateau or ridge* 

Another road scarcely less important crosses the field 
at right angles to the pike, nearly on the line of this first 
ridge, passing between the Henry and Chinn Hills, and 
Buck Hill and Bosefield. This is the Manassas and Sud- 
ley road. From Manassas Junction, six miles to the south 
on the Alexandria and Orange Court House Railroad, it 
runs in a northerly direction to^'and over the plateau on 
the south part of the field, descends by the lateral hollow 
to Young's Branch, where it crosses the pike, and, climb- 
ing up the end of the ridge on the north, continues in 
the same general .direction over two miles to Sudley Ford 
teross BuU Run. 

Another road from the south crosses the pike at a point 


two and a half miles beyond the stone bridge, known as 
Groveton, and marked by two houses and some outbuild- 
ings. Thii3 road, running north, descends down a hollow 
from the plateau on the south, crosses the pike at Grrove- 
ton, passes across low or flat ground for half a mile, 
enters a tract of woods, and extends through them to 
Sudley Ford. 

One of the most important features of the second 
battle was a section of raUroad grade about two miles 
in length, which extended from the Bun near Sudley 
Church nearly parallel to the Groyeton road for a mile 
and a half, traversing thickly wooded but level ground 
with shallow cuts and low embankments ; then, curving 
westward away from the road and emerging from the 
woods into the open, it crossed a hollow on an embank- 
ment, which at one place was ten feet high, and bore away 
on its course to Grainesville. 

Standing «t Bosefield, the eye of the observer sweeps 
westward or frontward over a .broad expanse of open 
country, descending to the lower ground crossed by the 
Groveton road, and beyond it, over the rising slopes and 
summit of a bare, high ridge two miles and a half distant, 
a ridge much higher than the one on which he stands, and 
the dominating feature of the landscape. To the rights 
or northward, open fields extend nearly a mile, but to 
the right front is seen the extensive tract of woods in 
which is concealed the railroad grade, and which covers 
the broad flat between the two ridges. To the left or 
southward, across the narrow valley of Young's Branch, 
appear the steep Henry and Bald lulls, really the verge of 
the plateau. They are bare of trees. But farther to the 
west, the left front, a tract of woods, from two to three 
hundred yards back from the pike, clothes the plateau. 
On the south side the ground slopes up sharply from the 
Branch and extends southward in a broad, high plateau, 


labile on the north side of the pike the ground is much 
lower^ extending^ as abeady described^ to the Groveton 

Bull Bun bounds the field on the east and northeast^ 
and can be readily crossed by several fords as well as by 
the stone bridge. Among them are Sudley Ford^ over 
three miles above the bridge ; Lock's or Bed House Ford, 
half way between these points ; Blackburn's Ford^ four 
miles below ; one a short distance above^ and another 
alongside the bridge. 

It was Thursday^ August 28, 1862^ that the first rays 
of the rising sun^ falling athwart the cloudless skies and 
warm but balmy air of * a Southern summer morning, re- 
vealed an animated scene, — throngs of gray-coated, 
slouch-hatted men, yet with many a blue-coated one inter- 
mingled, clustering thickly along the Sudley road near 
the pike, some of them resting outspread upou'the grass, 
others boiling tin cups of coffee and roasting ears of 
field-corn over tiny fires of fence rails ; long lines of stacked 
muskets with bayonets glittering in the sun ; guns and 
wagons blocking the roads, while their teams of horses and 
mules were drinking from the Uttle rivulet, or munching 
their feed from the wagon-boxes. Travel-stained, gaunt, 
and unkempt were these men, but their alert bearing, 
and ready joke and laugh, told of unbroken strength and 
confidence. They were Jackson's old division, now com- 
manded by General William B. Taliaferro. Among them 
was the brigade that a twelvemonth before won on yonder 
hill the proud sobriquet of ^^ StonewaU." In high glee and 
spirits, they recounted and gloated over the incidents of 
the previous day, how, marching swiftly clear around the 
flank of the Union army, they struck the railroad in rear 
and almost in midst of its extended columns, capturing 
guns, men, and immense stores of military supplies at 
Manassas Junction ; how, after loading themselves with all 


they could carry and burning the rest^ they left the Junc- 
tion at midnight^ and after a short march were now regal- 
ing themselves with captured Yankee rations upon the 
scene of the first Yankee defeat. 

Soon the command^ ^^ Fall in/' is passed along, and, re- 
suming the arms and packs, the dusty column continues its 
march. One brigade, under Colonel Bradley T. Johnson, 
moves up the pike to Groveton, where it takes post with 
pickets well out towards Gainesville and the road leading 
southward ; while the remainder of the division streams 
along the Sudley road nearly to Sudley Church, where, 
turning to the left and crossing the railroad grade, it 
again comes to a halt in the woods beyond it. Scarcely 
had these troops cleared the road when another motley 
column came crossing Bull Bun by the pike and swing- 
ing up it at a rapid gait, and they, too, followed the others 
down the Sudley road and into the woods across the rail- 
road. These were General Bichard S. Ewell's division 
of Jackson's corps, which left the Junction at daylight, 
crossed Bull Bun by Blackburn's Ford, marched up the 
left or east bank across the fields, and recrossed by the 
stone bridge. And still another column, Greneral A. P. 
Hill's light division of the same corps, came marching 
up from Centreville an hour later, following Ewell up the 
pike and along the Sudley road, and also disappeared in 
the woods beyond the railroad. Thus, soon after noon, 
Jackson had his whole corps of 20,000 effective men 
united, and hidden in the woods behind the railroad with 
his train parked at Sudley, one brigade advanced to Grove- 
ton watching the roads west and south, and General J. 
E. B. Stuart with his cavalry guarding Bull Bun bridge 
and fords and the Sudley road half way to Manassas. 

Now, leaving Jackson's ^^ foot-cavalry," as his men de- 
lighted to call themselves, resting under the oaks, the nar- 
ration of the movements of the Union army is continued, 


in order clearly to understand the bloody and fruitless 
l>attles then imjj^ding. 

Pope's right wing^ as it may be termed^ moved on the 
28th as ordered ; reached Manassas about noon, only to 
find the smoking ruins of Jackson's destructive visit; 
continued towards Gentreville^ and bivouacked for the 
nigfht^ — Kearny at that pointy Stevens, Reno, and Hooker 
near Blackburn's Ford. Porter came up to Bristoe. Truly 
a sluggish bdvance, but Pope was placing his chief re- 
. liance upon his left wing, under McDowell, which he 
expected to sweep up from Grainesville and head off Jack- 
son on the west and north, while he assailed him on the 
south with his right. 

The complete and ignominious fiasco which McDowell 
and Sigel contrived to make of this movement is one 
of the strangest and most discreditable episodes of this 
unhappy campaign. The previous day (27th) Sigel had 
not moved his whole corps to GaiaesviQe as ordered, but 
only the head of his column, the main body of which 
was stretched back along the pike towards Warrenton. 
The divisions of Reynolds, King, and Bicketts, of Mc- 
Dowell's corps, in the order named, extended the column 
in rear of Sigel still farther. Moreover, the road was 
incumbered by Sigel's train of two hundred wagons^ 
which he kept with the troops, although ordered to send 
them to Catlett's Station, on the Alexandria and Orange 
Court House Railroad, where all the trains were to 
assemble under guard of Banks. Although ordered to 
move at daylight on Manassas, resting his right on the 
Manassas Gap Railroad, and to be supported by McDow- 
ell's corps in echelon on his left, Sigel made a late start, 
and at 7.30 was halting at (rainesville, his troops build- 
ing fires to cook breakfast and blocking up the road, and 
finally, claiming that his orders were to rest his right 
flank on the Alexandria and Orange Court House Rail- 


road, sheered off to the right after passihg Gainesville, 
keeping on the right of the Manassas Gap Baikoad, upon 
the left of which his orders eiq>lioitly directed him to 
advance, and in the afternoon reached the vicinity of the 
Junction. From this point, after a start for Centreville 
and countermarch, he moved down the Sudley road to 
the pike, which the head of his column reached at dark. 
But he still held on to his train. 

Reynolds, although greatly impeded by Sigel's troops 
and wagons, forced his way past them, passed Gainee- 
viUe, and moved down the pike towards Ghroveton, in 
order to gain his required position upon Sigel's left 
Approaching Groveton about ten a. m., he flushed Jack- 
son's advanced brigade, — Bradley Johnson's, — and de- 
ployed and pushed forward his leading brigade, under 
General George G. Meade. But Johnson drew back 
into the woods on the west, concealing his troops; and 
Reynolds supposed that the enemy was a mere scouting 
party^ and sheered off in turn from the pike to the right 
in order to follow Sigel as ordered. After a laborious 
march across country on the left of the Manassas Gap 
Railroad, he came out in sight of Manassas, and ihenoe^ 
moving by the Sudley Road, he reached the vicinity of 
the pike and bivouacked near the Chinn House, still on 
the left of Sigel. Thus these commands spent the whole 
day in laboriously marching clear around the circle from 
a point just west of Groveton to a point on the same 
pike a mile east of it, marching fifteen miles to gain two! 

General Buford, with his cavalry, by a bold recon- 
noissance developed Longstreet's column at Salem on the 
27th. McDowell, therefore, wisely modified the order to 
move his whole force on Manassas by directing his rear 
division under Ricketts, starting at one a. m., to move 
across from New Baltimore to Haymarket, thence to 
Thoroughfare Gap, and hold Longstreet in check. Rick- 


eits was greatly delayed by the wagons and troops block- 
ing the road ahead of him, but reached the vicinity 
of the Gap at three p. m. to find the enemy already 
in possession of it. But deploying in position^ and 
opening with artillery^ he maintained a resolute standi 
holding him in check until dark^ when he retreated to 

Eing^ next to Reynolds in the column^ was so long 
delayed that he was five hours later in reaching the point 
near Groveton^ where the former caught a glimpse of 
Bradley Johnson's brigade. He was ordered to march 
down the pike to Centreville. The leading brigade under 
Hatch had passed this pointy and the next brigade under 
Gibbon had just reached it^ when his column was sub- 
jected to artUlery fire from batteries which suddenly ap- 
peared north of th^ road. Deploying and advancing to 
drive them off^ Gibbon came face to face with extended 
Hues of infantry advancing upon him in battle order^ 
and one' of the most stubborn fights of the war took 

It was Jackson whoy after lurking in his wooded lair 
all the afternoon, watching the heavy masses of Union 
troopis passing down the pike, and successively sheeiing 
off near Groveton and marching away in the direction of 
Manassas, now pushed forward the divisions of Ewell and 
Taliaferro and attacked Eong's column. The field was 
a high, level, open plain, without any cover except a small 
patch of woods and an orchard and some farm buildings. 
Reports Taliaferro : — . , 

** Here one of the most terrific oonfliots that can be conceived 
of occurred. Our troops held the farmhouse aiid one edge of 
the orchard, while the enemy held the orchard and inclosure 
next the turnpike. For two hours and a half, without an in- 
stant's cessation of the most deadly discharges of musketry, 
roondshot, and shell, both lines stood unmoved, neither advan- 


oing and neither broken or yielding, until at last, about nine 
o^clook at night, the enemy dowly and suU^y fell back, and 
yielded the field to our victorious troops." 

This fierce conflict was sustained by Gibbon's brigade 
of four regiments, two regiments of Doubleday's brig- 
ade, and Campbell's battery, alone and without help from 
the remainder of King's division. General Gibbon, after 
an hour and a half of this terrible struggle, finding him- 
self far outnumbered and outflanked on the left, ordered 
his line to fall back, which was done in good order. His 
pickets occupied the ground and collected the wounded. 
The enemy seems to have also drawn back to care for 
the wounded and reorganize, for Jackson's report con- 
tains this significant . statement : ^^ The next morning 
(29th) I found he had abandoned the ground occupied as 
the battlefield the evening before." 

It is incontestable that Gibbon's small force — six 
regiments and one battery — thus gloriously sustained 
the attack of five brigades of infantry and three batteries 
of artillery under Jackson's own direction. The loss was 
about eight hundred on each side. Ewell and Taliaferro 
were both severely wounded, the former losing a leg. 
During the battle General Reynolds rode to the field 
from his bivouac, and aided Gibbon in calling for support. 

General Bicketts reached Gainesville with his division 
just as the fight was over, having retreated from holding 
Longstreet in check. Thus at nine o'clock that night, 
Thursday, August 28, Bicketts and King held the pike 
from Gainesville to Groveton. Beynolds was in touch 
with King, being a short distance east of Groveton, 
Sigel next to him; while Pope's right wing was in the 
positions already stated, the ninth and Heintzelman's 
corps between Blackburn's Ford and Centreville, Porter 
east of. Banks at Bristoe. 

Thus Pope's army was well positioned for a determined 


attack upon Jackson the first thing the next morning by 
McDowell 'and Sigel^ with the right coming up early to 
support. Su:ch an attack should have beaten Jackson, 
if he accepted battle^ but he could readily decline an 
unequal struggle by drawing back to Haymarket and 
uniting with Lpngstreet's columns. And it is clear that 

"""^-^1 -■ 



\ GUItM 




Oonehiaon of Gibbon's Fight 

PMitloiii,iiiMP.M.,AnBart98,1882; ezgepCiiig JMkMm't, which ii thit oomniad bj 
. him during the 28th, ^th, ftod aOth. 

Pope's only chance of ^^ bagging" or beating Jackson 
was lost on the 28th by the dilatory, disconnected, and 
purposeless marches of McDowell's wing. 

But whatever advantage might have been gained from 
(ribbon's stanch fight was speedily thrown away by 
King's decision to abandon the ground, and that, too, 
after assuring Greneral Bicketts, as that officer states, 
that he would hold on. At midnight he retreated to 
Manassas, and General Bicketts retreated to Bristoe. 
Both marched away from the enemy, and by daylight 


their troops, exhausted and discouraged by being marched 
day and night and made to shun the enemy, were strung 
out along the dusty roads ten miles from where they 
were needed, while Lee's right wing was swiftly march- 
ing to join Jackson, which nothing could now prevent. 
Something may be said in palliation of this retreat. The 
enemy held the ground in front of King, and might be 
expected to renew the battle in the morning. The ad- 
vance of Longstreet was through the Gap and in contact 
with Bicketts, and only five miles distant, the afternoon 
before. It was to be expected that the Confederate leader 
would lose no time in pushing on to join Jackson, and he 
might move up during the night, and fall upon the two 
Union divisions with his whole force — thirty thousand 
men — at daylight. " No superior general officer was in . 
the vicinity with the requisite knowledge and authority 
to order up troOps," etc., says Gibbon. 

But why they did not retreat down'the pike, where were 
Beynolds and Sigel dose at hand, and by which King 
was ordered to move, is indeed incomprehensible. 

The chief responsibility for the series of blunders 
which rendered abortive the movements of the left wing 
clearly rests upon McDowell, its commander. His w;as 
the nerveless command that failed to make Sigel march 
when and whither ordered ; his the sluggish movements 
that left his troops strung along the pike nearly to War- 
renton, instead of concentrating them about Gainesville 
on the 27th ; his the mistaken judgment that kept him 
from hastening in person that night to Gainesville, the 
key-point to his whole movement, and, worse yet, that 
led him to gallop off to consult with Pope the next day 
instead of remaining with his command, keeping his divi- 
sions in hand, and pushing them vigorously eastward 
along the railroad and the pike until he developed Jack- 
son's position. But McDowell was constantly conferred 


with and depended upon by PopOji and had too much 
upon his mind the task of manoeuvring the whole anny. 

During the day (28th) Pope was in a statq of great 
ukicertainty as to Jackson's movements^ but late at night, 
learning of Gibbon's battle, he concluded that Jackson, 
while retreating up the pike, had been headed off and 
stopped by McDowell's troops, and his hopes revived. 
He issued his orders accordingly, — Kearny to move at 
one o'clock at night, even if he. carries no more than two 
thousand men, and to advance up the turnpike ; Hooker 
to march at three a. m., even if he shall have to do so 
with only half his men ; the ninth corps, also,, all up 
the pike ; Sigel and Reynolds are to attack at earliest 
dawn ; Porter to hasten forward to Centreville. 




Eably in the morning of Friday, the 28th9 Jackson 
moved back behind the railroad grade, extended his lines, 
and took up his defensive position, extending from near 
Sudley Church along and in rear of the railroad to the 
high ground north of the pike, opposite to, or just north 
of, the battle-ground of the previous evening, curving his 
right to present a somewhat convex front towards the 
pike. Swell's division, now under Greneral A. B. Law- 
ton, held the right. Hill's the left, and Jackton's, under 
General William E. Starke, the centre; Hill and Starke 
were in the woods. A battery was placed on the high 
ground in front of the right, and between it and the pike, 
and two regiments of infantry, 13th and 35th Virginia, 
were thrown across the pike into the woods on the south 
side of it. Other batteries were planted on the high 
'^ stony ridge " in rear of the main line. Secure in this 
position he calmly awaits events, knowing that a few 
hours will bring Longstreet on his right. 

Sigel's troops are now pushing forward from the vicin- 
ity of Henry and Chinn hills. Schurz's division, with 
Milroy's independent brigade on its left, advances to the 
right across the pike, and, wheeling to the left, crosses th^ 
Sudley road and enters the woods which cover and screen 
Jackson's left and centre, with sharp fighting pushes back 
his skirmishers, seizes part of the railroad, and develops 
the enemy's position there. On the left of the pike 
Schenck's division advances, with its right on the pike 

SECOND BATTI,P: of bull run, august 29, 1862, AT NOON 
Except attacks on right, 4 to 5.30 p. m., as indicated 



and Beynolds's division on its left. Schenck's batteries 
take position on the ridges on each side of the pike near 
Groveton^and keep up a long-range cannonade with the 
eneniy's guns on the high ridge in front ; while the in- 
fantry slowly works forward, unopposed except by artil- 
lery fire, to that point. Reynolds also moves forward, 
swinging to the right, and driving back the two Virginia 
regiments, until he reaches the pike half a mile or more 
beyond Groveton, where Gibbon's battle began, and there 
finds the Union dead and wounded abandoned when King 
fell back the previous night. His line is formed along 
the road, facing north, and a short advance over the high 
ground will throw him on Jackson's extreme right. One 
of Schenck's brigades, Stahel's, is on his right ; the other, 
McLean's, is in rear, or south of Stahel, and in the woods. 
It is now about ten a. m. It has taken four hours for 
Schurz to develop the enemy's left and centre, and for 
Schenck and Reynolds to advance a mile and a half over 
an easy country and push back a handful of skirmishers ; 
and they have not yet located Jackson's right, although 
they have gained a good position from which to attack 
it. Their movement diverged from that of Schurz, and 
opened an interval in the line between Milroy and StaheL 
The ground between them, indeed, was the open country 
on the right of the pike, commanded by their batteries, 
and the forward movement northward of the troops of 
Reynolds would soon have closed the gap. But Milroy 
was calling on Sigel for support, and for troops to fill the 
gap on his left. Schurz was also asking aid, and to meet 
their calls Stahel was hastily moved by the right flank 
across the fields towards- Milroy. 

Reynolds was not informed of this movement, but, dis- 
covering that the troops on his rig^t had disappeared, 
and supposing that the whole of Schenck's division had 
moved away, and observing a force of the enemy ap- 


proaching his left^ which was entirely in aif^ he immedi- 
ately swung his division back, recrossed the Groveton 
road, and, finding McLean's brigade in the woods, took 
position on its left with his line refused somewhat. It 
was Longstreet's leading division under Hood just reach- 
ing the field that Reynolds observed, and it was probably 
well for him that he moved back so promptly. 

Now the troops of the right wing are reaching the 
field. First* Kearny, who moves across country north of 
the pike with Foe's brigade pushing back the enemy's 
cavalry and skirmishers along Bull Bun, and comes up 
against Jackson's extreme left, and on the right of 
Schurz. Then Stevens's division marches up the pike to 
the crossing of the Sudley road, where Sigel is receiv- 
ing Schurz's and Milroy's cries for .aid, and listening to 
the thunder of his guns shelling the batteries of the 
enemy, with the fervid imagination of a war correspond-^ 
ent. Sigel, with the consent of Beno, as he claims, imme- 
diately scatters this fine division, sending one brigade to 
Schurz, another to Milroy, and the third, with Benjamin'a 
battery, E, of the 2d artillery, up the pike to Schenck. 
Beno's division, which next arrived, was dissipated in like 
manner, Nagle's brigade being sent to support Schurz, 
while the other with the artillery was placed in reserve on 
the ridge in rear of the Sudley road. Hooker's division 
on its arrival was also divided, Grover's brigade being 
sent to support Schurz ; and afterwards Carr's brigade was 
put on the front line, relieving part of Schurz's force, 
and was in turn relieved by Hooker's remaining brigade, 
under General Nelson Taylor. 

It was not an uncommon thing during the war, as- 
many an ofBcer knows from dear-bought experience, for 
commanders of troops in action to beseech support, usu* 
ally claiming that they were out of ammunition, or their 
flanks were being turned, and, when the reinforcements 


reached them, to put the new-comers into the front line 
and withdraw their own troops to the rear. This was 
what Sigel did with the divisions of the right wing as 
they reached the field. Thus these fine troops, second 
to none in condition, discipline, and morale, which, led hy 
their own generals and thrown in mass upon the enemy, 
would have struck a mighty blow, were frittered away 
over the field, simply relieving other troops, and adding 
but Utile to the extent or strength of the battle line. 
Schurz, ever mightier with the pen than the sword, 
evinced a marvelous capacity to absorb reinforcements. 
And Sigel, having demonstrated his talents as a strate- 
gist and a marcher the previous day, now proved his 
ability on the battlefield by so scattering the seventeen 
thousand troops of the right wing as to deprive them of 
their own able and tried commanders, and reduce them 
to the least possible weight upon the fighting line. 

His division being thus scattered. General Stevens led 
up the pike the brigade which was to reinforce Schenck. 
This consisted of only a regiment and a half, — the 100th 
Pennsylvania and five companies of the 46th New York, 
the other five companies being detached to guard trains, 
— and Benjamin's battery of four 20-pounder rifled Par- 
rotts. Approaching Groveton, two batteries on the right 
of the road, on the low ridge overlooking the hamlet, 
were exchanging shell-fire at long range with the enemy'd 
batteries on the high ridge a mile in front. Save this, 
no enemy was visible in that vicinity. The little col- 
umn was moving without skirmishers in front, for it was 
said that our troops held the ground beyond Groveton, 
the battery first, followed by the infantry in marching 
column of fours. The general and staff had reached 
the cross-road, the battery was descending the slope in 
the road, which here ran in quite a cut gullied out by 
rains and wear, when an extended line of gray-coated 


skirmishers emerged over the crest of the opposite ridge, 
two hundred yards distant^ and^ catching sight of the 
group of horsemen and the battery, quickly began firing 
upon them. It was impossible to turn the guns either to 
right or left out of the sunken road in which they were 
imprisoned; but Benjamin coolly led his battery thirty 
yards forward to where the banks were lower, die skir- 
mishers coming nearer and their fire sharper every min- 
ute, then turned the leading team short to the left ; the 
drivers plied the whip, the horses leaped up the steq» 
bank, and with a sudden pull jerked the gun out of the 
cut. And piece after piece followed to the same point, 
and was extricated in like manner, and then, remounting 
the ridge, whirled into battery on the left of the road 
and opened fire. While Benjamin was thus extricating 
his guns, five companies of the 100th Pennsylvania dashed 
forward at double-quick, deploying as skirmishers across 
the cross-road, drove the enemy's skirmishers back behind 
their ridge, and held their g^und until withdrawn four 
hours later. The two half regiments were placed in line 
on the reverse slope of the ridge in rear and to the left of 
the guns. A short distance on the left were the woods, 
and in the edge rested the right of McLean's brigade. 

It was the skirmishers of Hood's division that so nearly 
caught Benjamin's guns. They were pushed out to feel 
and locate the Union position promptly after Reynolds 
drew brack. Longstreet's wing was fast arriving, and 
by noon four of his divisions were in position, — Hood 
across the pike, Kemper on his right, Jones still farther 
on their right, extending to the Manassas Gap Railroad, 
Evans's independent brigade in support of Hood, and 
Wilcox's division also supporting him on his left and 
rear. Two batteries of the Washington artillery took 
post on the high ridge with Jackson's guns and added 
their fire. 


With these additional batteries the artillery firing 
waxed heavier, and soon twenty hostile guns were hurl* 
ing a storm of missiles upon the Union artillery at Grove- 
ton. After an hour's firing Schenck's batteries on the 
right of the road, Dilger and Wiedrioh, went to the rear, 
out of ammunition, and for three long hours Benjamin 
was left to sustain unaided this storm of shot and shell, 
fiut Benjamin could plant his heavy, long-range shells 
with wonderful accuracy. He concentrated his fire on 
one battery, and ere long a caisson was seen to blow up 
on the distant ridge, and it ceased firing. Again and 
again he would concentrate on a battery and silence it, 
but only to have the others redouble their fire, and 
when he turned on them the first would reopen. At 
length two of his guns were disabled, and nearly half his 
men were killed or wounded. 

Now, at two p. M., Schenck concluded that he ^' was 
too tax out," because Reynolds had refused his line on 
the left, and he could get no fresh artillery to continue 
the duel on the pike. Sigel says that he sent him an 
order to retire, but that Schenck anticipated it, so the 
discredit of the move belongs to both of them. By order 
of General Schenck, General Stevens drew in his skir^ 
mishers and moved back down the pike, placing Benjar 
min's two guns on an eminence of the Chinn HiU, and 
his two regiments on the right of the road in advance of 
the Rosefield House. Schenck and Reynolds moved 
back abreast to the western slope of the Chinn HiU. 

Thus, in this sequence of withdrawals, it will be seen 
that after Schenck and Reynolds had gotten in position 
to strike Jackson's right, although too late to do so 
without danger of Longpstreet's advance falling upon 
their flank, Schenck sent off Stahel's brigade at Milroy's 
calls. Reynolds then moved back, because Schenck had 
retired and left him unsupported^ as he supposed^ and 


also because his left was threatened by Longstreet's ad- 
vance; and Schenck in turn moved back because Rey- 
nolds had withdrawn, although the latter had only refused 
his line, which, situated in open ground with the enemy 
in force in his front, was the right thing for him to do. 

Our guns at Groveton could see along and flank the ^ 
front of the Union linei on the right as far as the rail- — 
road, and their thunder encouraged the troops on that ^M 
wing, and deterred the enemy from aggressive movements .^a 
which would subject them to an enfilade fire of artillery. «. . 

The position was in truth a key-point, not only com- r 

manding the lower ground to the right, but also afford- -^-::.- 
ing good ground upon which to receive an attack, or 
from which to advance, and, moreover, it covered the^ 
roads southward, by which Porter's troops, as will 
seen presently, were expected to join the army. 

The drawing back of our guns and troops from Grove 
ton was the signal for Jackson's lines to push forward^Eii 
more aggressively. Milroy was roughly handled and 
forced back. It was General Stevens's third brigade,i 
under Colonel Addison Farnsworth, that was sent to suj 
port Schurz, and was posted on the front line along the 
railroad, next to Schimmelfennig's brigade. Part of this^^-^ 
brigade, on Farnsworth's left, broke at the advance of the^^ -^ 
enemy, and fell back through the woods, but the High — -^^' 
landers and Faugh-a-ballaghs stood firm and repulsedK:^^^ 
the attack. Soon afterwards the fugitives, having r e ^" ^ 
formed, moved up in line from the rear, and began firing^^^ 
into the backs of the troops who had stood their ground,^. -^' 
mistaking them for the enemy; but this was speedily*^^7 
stopped, and they were again placed on the line. 

The experience of the first brigade was equally onsat — "^^ 
isfactory. Placed in the first line, they were left to beac^^ 
the brunt of the fighting on Milroy's front, and wer^^' 
finally obliged to fall back by the giving way of troops 
on their flanks. 


General Pope arrived on the field about noon^ and 
ide his headquarters in rear of the Sudley road, near 
ick HiU. Although he declares in his report that he 
fused SigeFs demands for reinforcements, it is clear 
yond doubt that he neither put a stop to the wasteful 
ittering of his best troops, nor attempted to unite and 
ing them together as a disposable force of weight for 
:ensive movements. All the afternoon he was expect- 
r Porter's and McDowell's column to fall upon Jack* 
q's right and rear, for he had worked himself up to 
e belief that Longstreet would not be up for another 
y, and nothing short of disastrous defeat could shake 
) dogged belief. 

On receiving news of King's and Ricketts's retreat from 
dnesville and Groveton, which he did about daylight, 
meral Pope ordered Porter to march upon Gainesville 
th his own corps and King's division. ^^ I am following 
B enemy down the Warrenton turnpike," he adds. ^* Be 
peditious, or we will lose much." And later he dis- 
tched a joint order to McDowell and Porter to the same 
.ecv I ""^ 

^^ You will please move forward with your joint commands 
irard Gainesville. . . . Heintaselman, Sigel, and Reno are 
»ving on the Warrenton turnpike, and must now be not far 
»m Gainesville. I desire that as soon as communication is 
atblished between this force and your own, the whole com- 
md shall halt. . . . One thing must be had in view, that the 
lops must occupy a position from which they can reach Bull 
in to-night or by daylight." 

Porter had already passed Manassas on his way to 
mtreville when he received the first order, but im- 
sdiately countermarched to the Junction and towards 
unesville as ordered, with Morell's division leading, 
'kes's next, then Piatt's brigade, and King following 
rear. About eleven o'clock the head of the column 


reached Dawkins Branch, an insignificant brook four 
and a half miles from Gainesville, and two and a half 
miles south of Groveton. Here the enemy was percmed, 
and skirmishers were thrown across the creek, supported 
by Butterfield's brigade ; and Porter was forming to 
advance on the enemy, when General McDowell joined 
him, and showed a dispatch from Buford as follows: — 

" Headquarters Cavalry Brigade, 9.30 A. M. Seventeen regi- 
ments, one battery, and five handred cavalry passed through 
Gainesville three quarters of an hour ago on the Centrevilk 

The presence of the enemy in front, and clouds of dnst 
rising along the roads in his rear, corroborated this dis- 
patch. So, too, did the noise of the artillery combat at 
Groveton. The two generals rode together through the 
woods to the right as far as the Manassas Gap Railroad, 
but decided that it was ^^impracticable" to move north- 
ward a mile and a half across country to effect a junction 
with the right wing. McDowell then left Porter, telling 
him that he would take King's division around by the 
Sudley road and put it in between Porter and the right 
wing. Except for some slight changes in position of 
the head of his column, Porter remained inactive the 
rest of the day, with his rear stretching back two and a 
half miles along the road. What befell King's division, 
under McDowell's guidance, will be seen later. Unques- 
tionably, Longstreet was up and in position in time to 
resist the attack of McDowell and Porter, had they 
made one. And a board of three officers of great rep- 
utation and experience, — Generals Schofield, Terry, and 
Getty, — after a thorough examination, has declared 
that such an attack would have been ill advised, has 
applauded Porter's conduct, and pronounced the opinion 
that his presence there that day saved the army from 


Nevertheless, tiie fact remains that this great column 
of over twenty lliousand troops was kept out of the ring 
completely. The orders given and objects to be gained 
were perfectly plain and simple. They were, first, to fall 
upon the enemy, supposed to be Jackson, and, second, to 
effect a junction with the right wing. McDowell and 
Porter did neither. 

Granting that an attack was ill judged, why was not a 
brigade brought up and deployed athwart the railroad, 
and a regiment pushed through the woods northward 
to locate and connect with the force on the pike, whose 
artillery was distinctly heard? Traversing only three 
quarters of a mile of intervening woods, such a column 
would have reached open fields, and come in sight of 
Reynolds's troops. But, more surprising still, why was 
no one sent up the roads which fork both from the road 
and railroad only half a mile back of the head of Porter's 
column, traverse the woods in a northerly direction, and 
lead to Groveton? A staff officer sent up this road would 
have come in sight of Reynolds's skirmishers in a ride of 
only a mile. 

Unable longer to control his impatience. General Pope 
began about four p. m. sending peremptory orders to 
attack, first to one command, then to another, as he 
could get hold of them, accompanying the orders with 
assurances that the enemy was being driven by some 
other command, and that Porter was about to fall, or was 
falling, on his flank and rear, and using him up. 

The first victim of this plan of beating a corps in 
strong position by attacking it with a brigade at a time 
was General Cuvier Grover's brigade, first of Hooker's 
division, comprising five regiments, — 1st, 11th, and 16th 
Massachusetts, 2d New Hampshire, and 26th Pennsyl* 
vania, — which was already supporting Schurz. With 
muskets loaded and bayonets fixed, ordered to close on 


the enemy, fire one volley, and charge with the bayonet, 
they struck him where the railroad emerged from the 
woods and crossed the hollow on an embankment, broke 
the first line, carried the embankment, swept eighty yards 
beyond it and broke a second line, only to be forced 
back by overpowering numbers, with a loss of four hun- 
dred and eighty-six, for this gallant charge was entirely 
unsupported. Reports General Grover : — 

^^ We rapidly and firmly pressed upon the embankment, and 
here occurred a short, sharp, and obstinate hand-to-hand con- 
flict with bayonets and clubbed muskets. Many of the enemy 
were bayoneted in their tracks, others struck down with the 
butts of pieces, and onward pressed our line. In a few yards 
more it met a terrible fire from a second line, which iu its tom 
broke. The enemy*s third line now bore dowu upon onr 
thinned ranks in close order, and swept back the right centre 
and a portion of the left. With the gallant 16th Massachu- 
setts on our left I tried to turn his fiank, but the breaking of 
our right and centre and the weight of the enemy's lines caused 
the necessity of falling back, first to the embankment and then 
to our first position, behind which we rallied to our colors." 

One is not surprised to find the following in the report 
of Colonel William Blaisdell, 11th Massachusetts : — 

^' I was greatly amazed to find that the regiment had been 
sent to engage a force of more than five times its numbers, 
strongly posted in thick woods and behind heavy embankments, 
and not a soldier to support it in case of disaster." 

Hooker's third brigade, under Colonel Joseph B. Carr, 
earlier in the day had relieved part of Schurz's troops, 
and after, as he reports, fighting two hours and expend- 
ing most of his ammunition, was in turn relieved by the 
second brigade, under General Nelson Taylor. When 
Grover was driven back, Taylor's left regiment was broken 
by the rush of fugitives ; the enemy poured through the 
gap, giving an enfilade and reverse fire, and taking many 


prisoners^ among them General Taylor's aides^ lieu- 
tenants Tremain and Dwight. 

"Finding my line," says Taylor, "completely flanked and 

tamed, and in danger of being entirely cut off, I gave the | 

order to fall back, which was done in as good order as could < 

be, situated as we were. The loss on this occasion was not as f 

large as I had reason to apprehend, yet it was considerable." X 

Scarce had these broken troops emerged from the ^ 

woods and reformed in the open ground in rear^ when k 

General Reno led up his first brigade, under Colonel James \ 

Nagle, to a second attack on the same position from which | 

Grover had been repulsed. This consisted of only three a 

regiments, — 48th Pennsylvania, 6th New Hampshire, 1 

and 2d Maryland. This also was a gallant and deter- | 

mined assault. Again the enemy was forced back from v 

the railroad, but again his rear lines rushed forward, [ 

flanked Nagle on the left, and drove him back with a ^ 
loss of five hundred and thirty-one. 

Kearny was holding the right with Robinson's brigade, 
while Foe's brigade was guarding his right flank, with 
his skirmishers extending to and across BuU Run, and 
Bimey's brigade was supporting both. Now, after the 

crash of musketry of Reno's attack had all died away, \ 

and his troops were all out of the woods, Kearny makes f 

his attack. Reinforcing Robinson with one of Foe's 'j 

and four of Bimey's regiments, and throwing forward 1 

his right, wheeling to the left until his lines are nearly \ 

athwart the railroad, he charges along it to the left, j 

driving the enemy in great disorder. But his attacking ^ 

force lacks weight ; the charge comes to a stand. They \ 

are assailed by two brigades from Ewell, those of Lawton ■ 

and Early, outflanked, overpowered, and are forced back \ 
to the position from which they started ; many of them, 
however, in broken and disordered crowds, run out of 
the woods farther to the left, near the same place where 



appeared Hooker's and Reno's fugitives so recently. 
Eight regiments only out of Kearny's fifteen make tUs 
attack. His loss was about six hundred. Nothing but 
the timely counter-charge of Lawton and Early saved 

The rattle of musketry is still echoing in the forest, 
and Kearny's fugitives are pouring out upon the open, 
when an ofi&cer in hot haste conveys Pope's order to 
General Stevens to advance into the woods and attack 
The only troops left him are the regiment and a half 
withdrawn from Groveton, only seven hundred strong. 
Without an instant's delay, the troops take their muskets 
from the stacks, double-quick across the open ground, 
and form line at the edge of the woods. Kearny himsdf 
rides over to the littie force just forming, and, at his re- 
quest, Captain Stevens stops a moment to write an order 
or message for him, for he has but one arm. The scanty 
line enters and sweeps through the woods, encounters 
the enemy now holding the railroad, delivers and receives 
for fifteen minutes, which seem hours, a heavy musketry 
fire, and then, with the enemy swarming past both flanks, 
is forced back through the woods to the open ground, 
where the men at once halt and reform. Both the regi- 
mental commanders and Colonel Leasure, commanding 
the brigade, were severely wounded, and the loss was 
about two hundred. General Stevens's horse was shot 
under him, and also that of his orderly. It was remarked 
that when his troops emerged out of the woods, almost 
the last one was a short man in a general's uniform, fol- 
lowed by a tall orderly bearing a saddle on his shoulder. 

With this attack the fighting on the right came to 
an end for the day. The possession of the woods along 
the railroad was relinquished to the enemy. A strong 
skirmish line held the edge of, and to the right a good 
part of, the timber. The troops were posted in rear in 


good positions for the nighty the scattered commands 
l>eing collected. General Stevens's brigades were gotten 
together after some search, and the division was posted 
in the woods a quarter of a mile to the right and a little 
to the rear of the place where Leasure's brigade formed 
for the attack. The following incident, which illustrates 
the evil effects of scattering commands, is related in the 
history of the 79th Highlanders by Captain William T. 
Losk, one of the general's aides : — 

^* I was directed to find Famsworth ; was sent by Sigel to 
Schurz, and by Schurz to Schimmelfennig. The gaJlant Ger^ 
man, when at last found, exclaimed, ^ Mein Gott I de troops, dey 
all ronned avay, and I g^ess your men runned avay, too I ' 
General Stevens was indignant, and used some pretty strgng 
language, when I carried back this report, and order^ me to 
find the missing regiments, and not to return until I brought 
them with me. I started, therefore, for the old railroad em- 
bankment. Luckily, I found Famsworth just on the edge of 
the woods. He said he was waiting for orders, but had none 
since I left him in the morning." 

But the day was not to close without one more useless 
slaughter of brave troops. McDowell brought King's 
division along the Sudley road nearly to the pike, by 
half past four^ passing without notice, at Newmarket, the 
old Warrenton turnpike, which here forked from the 
Sudley road and led to the unoccupied gap between 
Porter and Reynolds, to the very position where he told 
Porter he would put King. Pope first directed the 
division over to the right, where his attacks by detach* 
ments were being so disastrously repulsed, and finally, 
just as it reached the pike, ordered McDowell to push it 
up the road in pursuit of the enemy, declaring that he 
was in full retreat. McDowell gave the order and the 
encouragement. Gibbon's brigade, which had suffered 
so severely in the fight the previous night, was placed in 



support of batteries on the Rosefield ridge. The other 
three brigades, under Hatch (King being sick), fired by 
the lying promises of success, which were streng^ened ^ 
by the tremendous outbursts of musketry and roar of = 
guns on the right wing, where they were told Jackson ^ 
was being driven, hastened up the road with high hopes. — 
Near Groveton, about dusk, they deployed, — Hatch's ^^ 
brigade on the right of the road, Doubleday on the left, .^p 

Patrick in reserve, — and pushed on with great confix 

dence. But Longstreet, who all the afternoon had held _fl 
his hand, notwithstanding Lee's wish to attack, was at 

that very moment advancing Hood's division, supported = 

by Evans's brigade and Wilcox's division, with Hunton'8^= 
brigade of Kemper's division on Hood's right. The op 
posing forces encountered a short distance in front o^ 
Groveton, but *the disparity in numbers was too great^^ 
for the Union troops. The fight was furious but brief. 
Their left was outflanked and broken, and both brigade^i- 
were driven back with heavy loss, including one gun. 
Patrick in some degree checked the enemy, who pursued — 
considerably to the rear of Groveton. Night put a stop*^ 
to the unequal struggle. 

This ended the fighting of the 29th. The Union annsi^ 
were outnumbered and repulsed in every encounter, and-^ 
lost ground on both wings. Sigel's dilatory and timid^ 
advance consumed the morning hours until, with Long^^ 
street's arrival, the chance of attacking Jackson's right 
was lost. Sigel, too, may be censured for his importu- 
nate and unsoldierly demands for aid which so frittered 
away the weight of the right wing. But Pope on hi^ 
arrival could have rectified this. Pope, and Pope alone, 
ordered the hasty and disconnected attacks of the afte^ 
noon, wasting the blood and impairing the morale of his 
best troops. The four divisions of Stevens, Reno, Kearny, 
and Hooker numbered forty-three regiments, 17,000 effec- 


ive^ as fine troops as ever inarched under the stars and 
(tripes^ and as well commanded. Had Pope, disregarding 
lie clamors of Sigel and Schurz, arrayed these splendid 
Toops in battle order on his right, and hurled them in 
me combined attack upon the enemy, pushing into the 
ight also Schurz and Milroy and twenty of the guns 
;hat were idling in the centre upon the ridge, Jackson 
i?ould surely have been driven back upon Longstreet. 
The battle would then have raged on the heights beyond 
Sroveton, the scene of Gibbon's fight ; and here Long- 
street, with the advantages of position and greatly supe- 
rior numbers, might have retrieved the day, or at least 
jtayed farther Union advance, even though Schenck and 
Reynolds attacked his right with their utmost vigor. In 
mch a battle Porter might possibly have turned the scale ; 
but his troops, only partly deployed and stretching back 
sJong the road for three miles, were not in hand for 
prompt aggressive movement. 

All that afternoon Lee was master of the situation. 
Hia army was united. Pope's was divided ; over twenty 
thousand of his troops out of reach and beyond his con- 
trol. If Lee had, struck with his right wing, Schenck and 
Reynolds, who alone confronted it, could not long have 
resisted the overpowering numbers, and Pope would 
bave been driven across Bull Run. Porter could never 
bave prevented the disaster. He could not have thrown 
bis troops into the fight in time, unready as they were, 
Etnd especially if the ground on his right was broken, 
dif&cult, and impenetrable, as he claimed, but mistakenly. 
It was Longstreet's slow-paced caution that saved Pope 
that afternoon. 

. On McDowell's arrival on the field Pope learned of 
Porter's inaction, and immediately sent him a positive 
order to attack, which reached him at too late an hour to 
be executed. Pope thereupon sent him an order to march 
to the battlefield. 


Early in the morniDg of the next day, the 30th, Gen- 
eral Stevens went over to Pope's headquarters, which veie 
a short distance in the rear, and there found assembled 
Pope, McDowell, Heintzelman, Reno, and other general 
officers. Pope was confident that the enemy had retreated 
during the night, and, greatly to General Stevens's as- 
tonishment, some of the others coincided in that opin- 
ion. He, however, strongly expressed the contrary view, 
whereupon Pope directed him to push a strong akirmish 
line into the woods in his front and try the enemy. 
Accordingly Captain John More, of the 79th Highlanders, 
one of the best and bravest officers in the division, with 
one hundred men of his regiment, skirmished into the 
woods and attacked the enemy with great spirit ; but after 
half an hour's sharp firing Captain More was brought 
out shot through the body, and a third of his men were 
killed or wounded. No impression was made on the enemy. 
General Early, who commanded a brigade in Swell's di- 
vision, says in his report: ^^ During the course of the 
morning the skirmishers from my brigade repulsed a col- 
umn of the enemy which commenced to advance." The 
Highlanders were withdrawn, and the result of their 
effort immediately reported to General Pope, but it had no 
effect upon his opinionated mind. By his positive asser- 
tions of driving the enemy and of his having retreated, 
he had imbued McDowell and Heintzelman largely with 
his own views. Thus fiUed with Pope's ideas, and having 
little personal observation of the previous day's battle, 
they hastily rode along the right wing, and came back 
and corroborated the mistaken views of the infatuated 
commander. One circumstance there was which lent 
color to them, and that was that during the night both 
Jackson and Longstreet drew back to their main line 
those troops that, in the eagerness of combat, had pushed 
beyond it. Yet there was scarcely a man in all the Union 


army, except the army and two corps commanders, who 
did not bitterly realize that they had been worsted the 
day before, and who did not feel sure that the enemy 
was still in front, stronger and readier than ever to renew 
the battle. 

Bicketts's division reached the field the previous even- 
ing. In the morning two brigades were placed on the 
extreme right, relieving some of Kearny's troops, and 
the other two brigades were left in reserve near the centre. 
Apparently no opportunity of dividing and scattering 
commands was to be lost. About nine a. m. Porter ar- 
rived with his troops, except Griffin's brigade of Morell's 
division and Martin's battery, which by some error had 
retired to Centreville. The forenoon wore away without 
demonstration beyond considerable artillery firing. No 
reconnoissance in force was attempted. 

At length at noon Pope issued an order, the most aa^ 
tonishing in its fatuity ever given on a battlefield : — 

Headquabtebs keab Groveton, Angast 30, 1862, 12 M. 
Special Obdebs, No. — . The following forces will be im- 
mediately thrown forward and in pursuit of the enemy, and 
press him vigorously during the whole day. Major-General 
McDowell is assigned to the command of the pursuit. 

Major-General Porter's corps will push forward on the War- 
renton turnpike, followed by the divisions of Brigadier-Generals 
King and Eeynolds. The division of Brigadier-General Rick- 
etts will pursue the Haymarket road, followed by the corps 
of Major General Heintzelman. The necessary cavalry will be 
assigned to these columns by Major-General McDowell, to whom 
regular and frequent reports will be made. The general head- 
quarters will be somewhere on the Warrenton turnpike. 
By command of Majob-General Pope, 

Geobqe D. Bugoles, 
Colonel and Chief of Staff. 

The enemy he thus ordered pursued were at that mo- 
ment, as they had been since noon the previous day, all up. 


posted in strong position, flushed with success, confident 
in themselves, well rested, and not inferior in numbers. 
And their skillful leader was only waiting the opportune 
moment to launch the mighty thunderbolt of war he so 
ably wielded. Such was the situation. But nothing had 
any effect upon the mind of the infatuated commander ; 
the bloody repulses of the previous day, the loss of 
ground on both wings, the information thrust upon him 
by McDowell, Porter, Ricketts, and Reynolds that Long- 
street's advance had passed Gainesville before nine o'clock 
the previous morning, over twenty-four hours before, and 
that his forces had confronted Porter and Reynolds all 
the afternoon before, — all, all was disregarded, and Pope, 
impervious alike to reason and to facts, without a recon* 
noissance save the spirited push of the hundred High- 
landers, gave the fatal order fraught with disaster to his 
army, and the acme of his own fatuity and incompetence. 
But the ofiicers charged with the execution of the order 
never attempted to carry it out according to its terms. 
With the exception perhaps of McDowell, they knew too 
well that it was an order impossible to execute. Ricketts, 
already in contact with the hostile line, reported that the 
enemy had no intention of retreating, and was ordered to 
hold his position. Porter made no effort to " push up the 
Warrenton turnpike, followed by the divisions of King 
and Reynolds." The pursuit feature of the order was 
ignored by all, and instead of it a strong column of attack 
was organized against Jackson's centre. This was com- 
posed of Porter's troops and King's division, under 
Porter's command, and was slowly formed behind the 
screen of woods in advance of the right centre of the 
Union lines. Stevens's division, two brigades of Ricketts's 
division, and Kearny held the lines on the right. In rear 
of Porter and King, and in rear of the centre, were placed 
Hooker's, Reno's, and two brigades of Ricketts's division. 

Soilf! or MHci 

FositioTw at 4 p. m., and successive positions on left 


fti^cL all of Sigel's corps except McLean's brigade, which 
held the left, south of the pike, in front of the Chinn 
Hill. Reynolds with his small division extended the line 
^t^ McLean's left. Extending from Rosefield for a long 
distance toward the right, on the crest of the ridge, was 
P*^nted a long row of artillery, — forty guns at least, — 
^^ near together as they could be handled, while other 
^^%teries were in rear, unable to find a place in the line. 
'^ few batteries occupied positions in advance of this 
^^ge, and exchanged incessant fire with the enemy's guns 
^^^ross the wide, open ground. Thus Pope bunched nearly 
'^i^ whole army in the centre, leaving his right weak, and 
*^>a left wing a mere handful. 

While Porter was slowly forming his column, his skir- 
^iiishers pushed forward over the open ground nearly to 
^roveton. Reynolds, too, advanced his skirmishers on the 
left through the skirt of woods near Groveton, south of 
the pike, and discovered the enemy's skirmishers extending 
far to his left and rear, ^^ evidently masking a column of 
ihe enemy formed for attack on my left flank, when our 
line should be sufficiently advanced." So important was 
this discovery deemed by Reynolds that he galloped 
instantly to Pope and reported it. How the information 
was received is graphically told by General Ruggles, 
Pope's chief of staff, in a letter to General Porter, which 
the author is permitted to use : — 

^ At two p. M. or thereaboats, Reynolds came dashing up, his 
horse covered with foam, threw himself out of the saddle, and 
said, * General Pope, the enemy is turning our left.' General 
Pope replied, * Oh, I guess not I ' Reynolds rejoined, ^ I have 
considered this information of sufficient importance to run the 
gauntlet of three rebel battalions to bring it to you in person. 
I had thought you would believe meJ Thereupon General 
Pope turned to General John Buf ord and said, ^ General Buford, 
take your brigade of cavalry and go out and see if the enemy ia 


taming our left flank.' Reynolds then said, ' I go back to my 
oommand.' " 

How clearly this incident reveals the infatuated, dogged 
state of mind that possessed Pope ! 

It is after four p. m. when Porter gives the order to 
advance. The first and third brigades of Morell's divi- 
sion in columns, under Butterfield, are in front, Sykes's 
regulars are in support. King's division, under Hatch, 
advances on the right of Butterfield in a column seven 
lines deep, with intervals of fifty yards between the 
lines. Sweeping through the woods, they come in sight 
of the railroad embankment and the wooded hill beyond 
it. Instantly the whole side of the hill and edges of the 
woods swarm with men before unseen. Says Greneral 
Warren in his report : ^^ The effect was not unlike flush- 
ing a covey of quails." A terrific musketry is poured 
upon the advancing column, while a storm of shell and 
shrapnel smite its flank with most deadly fire from the bat- 
teries on the ridge to the left front. With hearty cheers, 
the advancing troops desperately charge the embankment 
and railroad cut on the right of it, and when repulsed, 
charge again, and then cling to their ground and open 
steady musketry. All in vain. Longstreet throws two 
more batteries forward on the ridge, and fatally enfilades 
the struggling troops. " Butterfield's troops are torn to 
pieces," says Sykes. In half an hour all is over, the re- 
pulse is complete, and the shattered troops move sullenly 
back, bearing out many wounded. In that short time 
they have lost 700 men. 

General Stevens, having formed his divisions in three 
lines, each a brigade, moves forward through the woods 
on the right of Porter's column, and, without waiting for 
orders, attacks simultaneously with him, at once becomes 
furiously engaged, and suffers heavy loss, including 
Colonel Farnsworth, who is severely wounded. General 


Stevens maintains this contest until Porter's column is 
repulsed, when he withdraws his command to the first 
ridge in rear of the woods, posting his lines just behind 
the crest, with skirmisheri^ holding the edge of the woods. 
Porter's attack, made nearly at the same point as 
Grover's, did not penetrate the enemy's position so 
deeply. With only 2500 men, the latter broke two lines 
and swept eighty yards beyond the embankment, while 
Porter with 12,000 men did not carry the embankment. 
But how different the conditions under which he at- 
tacked, — the enemy in stronger force, better prepared, 
and Longstreet's terrible artillery tearing to pieces the 
flank of the columns ! And is not something due the 
morale of his troops, which was almost systematically 
broken by the blunders and disasters of this unhappy 
campaign ? With what confidence could King's division 
be expected to charge, which, after marching all day 
Thursday, sustained the fierce and stubborn fight near 
Groveton with Jackson's two divisions, then moved away 
at midnight, abandoning their wounded and the field 
they had so bravely won ; then marching all the next day^ 
with occasional halts, until at dusk they were brought 
upon the field, and, deceived with false hopes of success, 
were dashed against overpowering masses of the enemy 
almost on the scene of their recent battle, and only 
twelve hours after it, and were broken and driven back 
with disaster ; and the third day — Saturday — were ex- 
posed to shell fire for several hours, while slowly taking 
place in the attacking column, knowing full well that 
they were about to be hurled against the very centre and 
strongest part of the enemy's position, from which every 
attack of the previous day had been met with bloody re- 
pulse, — "Where even privates realized," says Colonel 
Charles W. Roberts, commanding Morell's first brigade, 
''that they were going into the jaws of death itself"? 


Clearly^ this was not such an attack as these troops would 
have made if in their normal condition^ and with any 
hopes of success. And their able commander did not 
drive it home with the full weight and vigor of one who, 
confident of success^ puts in the last man and the last 
effort. Sjkes's division was not brought up to renew the 
charge upon the railroad, for Porter, seeing that success 
was hopeless, wisely used it to cover the falling back of 
Butterfield and Hatch. 

The enemy's reports bear abundant witness to the gal- 
lantry and severity of Porter's charge, which shook Jack- 
son so that even he called aloud for assistance. In his 
report he says : — 

" The Federal infantry, about four o'clock in the evening, 
moved from under cover in the woods and advanced in several 
lines, first engaging the right, but soon extending its attack to 
the centre and left. In a few minutes our entire line was 
engaged in a fierce and sanguinary struggle. As one line was 
repulsed, another took its place and pressed forward, as if 
determined, by force of numbers and fury of assault, to drive 
us from our positions. So impetuous and well sustained were 
these onsets as to induce me to send to the conmianding general 
for reinforcements." 

Says Colonel Bradley T. Johnson, who commanded the 
second brigade of Ewell's division : — 

^' Before the railroad cut, the fight was most obstinate. I saw 
a Federal flag hold its position for half an hour within ten 
yards of the flag of one of the regiments in the cut, and go 
down six or eight times ; and after the fight one hundred dead 
were lying within twenty yards from the cut, some of them 
within two feet of it. The men fought until their ammunition 
was exhausted, and then threw stones. Lieutenant Lewis Ran- 
dolph killed one with a stone, and I saw him after the fight 
with his skull fractured." 

With Porter's repulse comes Lee's opportunity, the 
opening for which he has so coolly waited the better part 


of two days. Longstreet, anticipating the order to ad- 
vance, throws forward his whole wing in one of those 
overwhehning attacks for which he became famous. At 
first there seems to be ahnost nothing to oppose the 
avalanche. Pope has jnst ordered Reynolds's division to 
the right of the pike to aid in protecting Porter's with- 
drawal, although more than half the army was bunched 
together there in the centre, and Meade's and Seymour's 
brigades and Ransom's battery have taken the new posi- 
tion. Colonel G. K. Warren, of Sykes's division, without 
waiting for orders, seeing Hazlett's battery, which was 
well advanced on the pike, uncovered by Reynolds's 
movement, has just hurried his little brigade of two regi- 
ments, 5th and 10th New York, over to the left of the 
road to support the battery, when the storm bursts upon 
him. Furiously assailed in front, masses of the enemy 
come swarming through the woods on his left and rear, 
and it is only by breaking to the rear that any escape 
capture. His loss is four hundred and thirty-one, but the 
few minutes he holds back the enemy saves the g^ns. 
Reynolds's remaining brigade, under Anderson, with three 
batteries, in the act of moving to the right as ordered, 
is suddenly assailed with fury and forced to turn and 
fight where it stands, and now bears the brunt of the 
onslaught. Under cover of the woods, the enemy has 
completely turned the flank of all the Union positions, as 
Reynolds had told Pope only an hour before, and now 
strikes them with heavy masses of infantry on both front 
and left. After a gallant resistance Anderson is forced 
back, with the loss of four guns of Kerns's battery and 
the caissons of Cooper's. McLean, who sees with amaze- 
ment Reynolds's division move away, leaving him to hold 
the hill alone, at once deploys his brigade, facing west- 
ward, and receives the attack. He now changes front 
to the left, and in a magnificent charge drives back the 


flanking forces of the enemy, but has to offer his right i 
the movement to the deadly enfilade fire from his f ormei 
front, and he, too, bravely struggling, is borne back ov( 
the Chinn Hill. Meantime the generals in the centre 
making frantic efforts to hurry troops over to the left. 
General Zealous B. Tower, distinguished for his gallan- 
try in the Mexican war, one of the ablest officers of the 
army, leads the two reserve brigades of Bicketts acroflg 
the pike and up the Chinn Hill, where McLean is being 
overborne; but, before he can reach a good position, 
his men are falling by scores, he is stricken down with a 
severe wound, — disabled for life and his career in the 
field closed, — and ere long his brigades are driven back. 
Colonel Koltes, of Sigel's corps, leading his brigade to the 
same position, is killed, and his troops, too, are forced 
back. General Schenck, leading reinforcements to Mc- 
Lean, is wounded. The enemy have driven the last de- 
fenders from the Chinn Hill and plateau, and their exultant 
lines go sweeping on to complete the victory. But Bey- 
nolds, with Meade's and Seymour's brigades, and Milroy 
with his brigade, are now formed in line upon the slope 
of the Henry Hill, along or near the Sudley road, and 
throw back the charging Confederates with deadly fire, 
and soon Sykes's regulars, Buchanan's and Chapman's 
brigades, and Weed's battery reinforce the hard-pressed 
and struggling line, extending it farther to the left and 
rear. The enemy cannot break it, but his fire fast thins 
its ranks, and his flanking movement and deadly enfilade 
still continue. At last night is at hand, and the f uiy of 
his attack abates. The defenders, spent with heavy loss 
and the hard struggle, now fall back ; but General Beno 
has just led his second brigade and Graham's battery up 
the hill, and forms his three regiments, 21st Massachu- 
setts, 51st Pennsylvania, and 51st New York, around its 
crest in a thin line facing both the Chinn Hill and the 


woods on the left, with the guns in the intervals between 
the regiments. In this position he repulses after dark 
two attacks of Wilcox's troops, the last efforts of Long- 
street's mighty onslaught. After nine o'clock, after the 
fighting had ceased, he quietly retires from the hill and 
marches to Centreville. 

In the centre Jackson's right followed up Porter's re- 
treating troops sharply; but the fire of the numerous 
guns searching all the open ground there, and the firm 
attitude of our troops, kept them at bay. But when 
the Chinn Hill was lost, and the enemy's fire from there 
smote^ the troops of Sigel holding the centre near the 
pike, they were forced to fall back to the ridge, where 
they took up a new position behind the Sudley road. 

As soon as Longstreet's attack was well in progress, 
all the rebel guns upon the high ridge were turned upon 
our right, for they dared not continue firing upon the 
left and centre for fear of injuring their own troops now 
swarming onward against the Union positions, and the 
concentric fire of forty guns now pounded with a perfect 
hail of shot and shell the Union troops and batteries on 
that wing. The men there lay hugging the ground in 
rear of the guns, partially sheltered by the low ridges, 
while the artillery fired with its utmost rapidity upon the 
rebel lines of battle emerging over the distant ridge 
and advancing down the slope until lost to view in the 
woods, or beneath the smoke which now hung over the 
lower ground. They swept onward in splendid order, 
not in one or two long lines, but regiment after regiment, 
separately, with blood-red colors proudly borne aloft and 
pointed forward, like wave after wave of ocean after a 
storm, rolling onward with resistless majesty and power. 
From the great battery in our centre belched a mighty 
and continuous roar and volume of thunder, and dense 
doads of duslqr, sulphurous smoke rolled over the land- 


soape in front ; while beyond it, on the left^ bat appa^ 
endy beneath its folds, rose the incessant clatter and 
crackle of musketry, with now and again the heavier, 
sharper noise of great volleys, telling of the dreadful 
struggle raging there. Surely there are no sights and 
sounds more terrible than those of a great battle. 

When this scene of pandemonium was at its height, 
General Stevens quietly remarked to Greneral Ricketts, as 
they stood near one of our batteries watching the %lit 
on the left front : ^^ If we can hold the right here, the 
enemy must be repulsed, for General Pope has nearly all 
his troops over there, and can certainly repel any attack 
on his left." 

Soon after this General Reno was standing with Gen- 
eral Stevens near the same point. The battery had ceased 
firing, for the enemy's infantry were no longer visible. 
Suddenly a tall young fellow, in a Union sergeant's nni- 
form, came running up the slope from the woods two 
hundred yards in front, and cried out, "Don't fire on 
that regiment ; it is the 26th New York. It has been m 
the woods, and is just coming out. Don't fire ! Don t 
fire ! " All looked, and there, at the edge of the woods, 
was a line of troops in blue uniforms just forming. Gen- 
eral Reno turned to General Stevens, as if in doubt ; but 
Captain Stevens, knowing that the enemy's skirmishers 
held the edge of the woods ever since ours were drawn in, 
impulsively called out to the battery, " Fire ! They are 
rebels ! Fire ! " The guns instantly fired upon them, 
and as quickly they disappeared, melted, into the woods. 
The sergeant, too, had disappeared, when we turned to 
find him, having made good use of his long legs to rejoin 
his companions when his bold ruse failed. 

A little later, when the great struggle on the left was 
still raging, a mounted officer came galloping at high 
speed down to the line and delivered an order from Gen- 


eral Pope to reixeat. ^^ General Pope orders the right 
wing to fall back at once. The enemy has turned the 
lefty and if it remains half an hour longer, it will be cut 
off and captured." With this, back he raced, faster, if 
possible, than he came. Very deliberately and quietly 
Greneral Stevens gave the necessary orders, cautioning his 
colonels against haste or flurry. One by one the guns 
ceased firing, and were limbered up and taken to the 
rear. When the last one had gone, the infantry rose to 
their feet, and marched back in usual marching column. 
Out of the woods in front the enemy were swarming like 
angry bees in clouds of skirmishers, and beginning to 
push up the slope. By the time our troops had moved 
two hundred yards back from the little ridge or roll of 
ground they had just left, the enemy came pouring over it 
in considerable numbers. But General Stevens had thrown 
his two rear regiments in line, and they opened with a 
well-aimed volley, which instantly cleared the ridge of 
the pursuers. The regiments promptly resumed the re- 
treat, and four hundred yards farther back filed past two 
more of General Stevens's regiments, which in like man- 
ner stood in line ready to repel too hot a pursuit. At 
this moment General Kearny came from the right at the 
head of a small force, apparently a regiment, passing 
along the rear side of a point of woods which extended 
to near where General Stevens's line stood. Just then 
the enemy began firing out of this cover. Instantly 
Kearny fronted his scanty force into line and dashed it 
into the woods ; but quickly a sharp volley resounded in 
the timber, and his men came running out, and continued 
to the rear, pursued by the enemy's skirmishers in equal 
disorder. Upon these the waiting line poured a deliber- 
ate volley, and back they went running into the woods. 
The troops, after administering this sharp rebuff, filed off 
to the rear unmolested, and moved over a prominent 


ridge a thousand yards back, along the crest of which was 
drawn up in line a part of Bicketts's division, apparently 
a brigade. It was now fast growing dark. General 
Stevens, knowing that the pike would be crowded with 
retreating troops, wished to cross Bull Bun somewhere 
above the bridge, and sent for Major Elliott, of the High- 
landers, who was at the first battle of Bull Bun, and 
might know of some practicable ford. This proved to be 
the case ; and after some little delay the division, guided 
by Major Elliott, crossed at Locke's or Bed House Ford, 
and moved by a cross-road to the pike, where, finding the 
main road jammed full of troops and artillery flowing 
past in a dense column. General Stevens bivouacked till 
morning, when he moved to Centreville. 

While the division was waiting on the ridge behind 
Bicketts's troops, they opened with a sudden volley, as 
startling as unexpected, in the darkness. The enemy, 
pursuing, were advancing up the hill when this volley 
stopped them, and, falling back to the foot of the ridge, 
they lay there all night. Bicketts's brigade immediately 
moved off to the left by a farm road to a ford a short dis- 
tance above the bridge, where they crossed. Soon after 
these troops had filed away in the darkness, General Ste- 
vens sent Lieutenant Heffron, one of his aides, to the 
crest which they had just left, telling him to observe, try 
if he could see or hear the enemy, and come back and 
report. After sufficient time had elapsed for Heffron to 
have performed the duty, he sent Captain Stevens on a 
similar errand, for his column was not quite ready to 
move, owing to delay in finding out about the ford, and 
there was nothing between it and the enemy. He, too, 
rode back to the crest, gazed into the darkness, listened 
intently, without catching sight or sound, and started to 
ride down the front of the ridge to make sure of the 
enemy's position, when the reflection that Heffron had 


probably done that very thing and had not returned 
caused him to turn back and rejoin his command, the 
rear of which was just moving off. Heffron had ridden 
down the slope and into the enemy's line at its foot, 
and was captured. 

At this time two brigades of Kearny's division, which, 
being more in rear than Ricketts's, had moved back before 
him, were on or in front of the ridge, only a musketrshot 
to the left of the enemy lying at its foot, each force 
ignorant of the other's presence, and remained there 
until ten p. m., when they retreated by the same route as 
Bicketts. Foe's brigade, on the extreme right, fell back, 
and recrossed the run by the same ford as General Ste- 
vens's division, and before it. Thus the troops of the 
right wing made good their retreat in perfect order and 
without loss, except that of some guns of Bicketts.^ 

General Pope in his report, after claiming that he re- 
pulsed the enemy at all points, states that he gave the 
order to withdraw to Centreville after eight o'clock at 
night. No doubt he did give such an order at that time, 
but he suppresses all mention of the orders he gave to 
retreat and fall back long before that time, when he saw 
his left being turned and overpowered, and, his presump- 
tuous confidence knocked out of him, thought more of 
saving part of his army than of repelling the enemy. 
And then it was, about six p. m., that so many troops were 
hurried off the field in retreat to Centreville, among them 
Nagle's brigade, of Reno's division, two brigades of 
Hooker's, King's division, and some of Sigel's troops in 
the centre, and the whole of the right wing ; and then, 
too, it was that he dispatched the order to General Banks 
at Bristoe Station to destroy the public property and 

1 The reports of Jackson and his subordinates indulge in mnch exaggera- 
tion as to driring the Union forces in their front, bnt Longstreet, with more 
tmth, states in his book, p. ISO, that "Jackson failed to poll op eyen on the 


retreat to Centreville. At that time the head of Frank- 
lin's corps of the Army of the Potomac was up to the 
stone bridge on its march to reinforce Pope^ and might 
have been used to maintain his battle. But that com- 
mander already had more men on the field than he was 
capable of using. Under the leadership of a Sheridan, 
a Grant, a Meade, or a Thomas, his gallant army would 
never have retreated from the field, and might have 
inflicted a deadly blow upon its antagonist. How bravely 
and even desperately the Union troops fought is best 
attested by the Confederate reports, and the nine thou- 
sand Confederate losses in killed and wounded. The 
Union loss, including that of the 28th, amounted to four- 
teen thousand. That at the end of the battle there was 
disorder and demoralization among some commands it 
were idle to deny, but it has been grossly exaggerated. 

Note. — General Pope's reports are very erroneous and misleading ; the 
histories of the battle, foUowing his statements, scarce less so. He and they 
habitoally speak of corps when only brigades were engaged, and give aU his 
dispositions and movements an aspect of f orethonght and order the reverse 
of the fact. It is only by careful study of the reports of division, brigade, 
and regimental commanders, and of Uie dispatches on the field, that the 
shifting struggle can be traced out. Wc^ Records, vol. zii., Report and 
Testimony in Review of Fitz-John Porter Case. 



Haying safely withdrawn his division from the disas- 
trous fields crossing Bull Bun by Bed House Ford^ General 
Stevens conducted it to the main turnpike, now brimful 
with retreating troops. It was night, too, and quite dark. 
Unwilling to plunge his command into the crowded 
throng, he halted and allowed them to sleep on their 
arms by the roadside, while the dense, dark tide of troops, 
trains, and artillery flowed past all night. After daylight 
he resumed the. march by the pike, now clear, and halted 
for breakfast in the fields a mile from Centreville. The 
men were ravenously hungpry, having long since emptied 
their haversacks ; the supply trains were in the rear, no 
one knew where, so that a drink of water and a tightened 
belt seemed destined to be the only breakfast. But Gen- 
eral Stevens, having observed a small herd of cattle near 
by belonging to some commissary, had them driven up 
and slaughtered ; some wagons loaded with hard bread 
were also seized, and soon the entire command were cook- 
ing and enjoying a hearty repast of beefsteak and hard- 

General Stevens now received orders from General 
Pope to act as rear-guard. Beno's division (that officer 
being ill and off duty), a brigade of cavalry, and two bat- 
teries were added to his command for that duty, the most 
important and responsible in the army at this juncture. 
He moved out and took position on Cub Bun, two and 
a half miles in front of Centreville, throwing out a 


strong skirmish line beyond the creek^ and disposing his 
batteries and troops to resist an attack. Contrary to ex- 
pectation^ the enemy did not press on after his victory^ 
although he appeared in f orce^ advanced his skirmish line 
in plain view, and opened briskly with his artillery^ to 
which ours as briskly replied. The day was wet^ driz- 
zling, and dreary, but at last wore away with nothing 
more serious. 

At night General Reynolds and his division relieved 
General Stevens. He criticised some of the latter's dis- 
positions, which called out a sharp rejoinder. He de- 
clared that the enemy's skirmishers were too close, and 
deployed a regiment to drive them back, but his men, to 
his intense chagrin, hung back. Then he said the enemy 
might attack at any moment. But General Stevens did 
not share his apprehensions, and remarked to him, ''I 
think it most probable that the enemy will move around 
and strike us under the ribs." 

After being relieved, the division moved to Centreville, 
and bivouacked on the heights half a mile south of the 
hamlet. The following morning, Monday, September 1, 
the ofBcers straightened out their commands and took 
account of their losses; rations and ammunition were 
brought up and issued ; and all hoped for at least one day 
of much needed rest. Captain Stevens, by direction of the 
general, counted the stacks of muskets, and found the 
latter to number 2012. Half of the division had fallen 
in battle, or on the march, since leaving Fredericksburg a 
fortnight before. 

Lieutenant S. N. Benjamin, a very brave and intelU- 
gent young officer, whom General Stevens treated with 
great kindness and consideration during the campaign, re- 
lates that about noon the general came to his battery, — 

*' and came where I was sitting. (My crutches had been broken, 
and I could not rise without help.) I soon saw that he felt 


very blae, — that he felt the defeat yeiy keenly, and feared its 
effect on the men. I tried to assure him that his own command 
felt more devoted to him than ever, and if possible more faith 
in his skill than before. And this was God's truth, — they did^ 
and he had earned it. 

^* Still he felt very blue. I asked him if he would write to 
his wife. ^Yes; but there is no way to send a letter in. I 
am anxious to send word.' 'Well, general, you write, and 
I will send it by some Christian or Sanitary man. We have 
just sent letters, and I will have a man watch the turnpike until 
some one will take it.' 

*' He seemed much pleased with this. I brought him the 
envelope, etc., and he wrote on a book, sitting on the ground. 
Before he had finished, the order came to move. He dosed it 
hastily, after giving some orders, gave it to me, and went to his 
headquarters. The letter was given to a gentleman going to 
Washington with a wounded man." 

It was General Stevens's last letter. 

While the beaten and distracted Union commander was 
trying to straighten out his forces huddled about Centre- 
ville, uncertain whether to risk further conflict or to fall 
back to the defenses of Washington, Lee was moving his 
whole army in one column, to fall upon his enemy's line 
of retreat and rear. The very day after the battle he 
advanced Jackson's wing across Bull Run by Sudley Ford 
to the Little River turnpike, which runs straight to Fair- 
fax Court House, and there intersects the Alexandria and 
Warrenton pike, eight miles behind Centreville. On this 
Monday morning Jackson was marching down the turn- 
pike with Longstreet and his whole wing following closely 
in support, thus turning the Union army at Centreville, 
and moving to fall upon its only line of retreat ; '^ to strike 
it under the ribs," as Greneral Stevens so clearly foresaw. 
Pope had taken no steps to anticipate or guard against 
this fatal flank movement. He was groping in the dark, 
utterly at a loss what course to pursue, and consequently 


he did nothing until noon^ when startling news forced 
him to decision and to action. 

Such was the situation^ — the bulk of the Union forces 
grouped about Centreville with their distraught com- 
mander^ the victorious rebel army, in one strong column. 



/ ^^^ OzBia 



Battle \ t\ 
Field \„^**^ 



"■^ - 


J. -^ 


Jaokson's Flank March to torn CentroTille. 

Jackson at its head, turning their flank and striking far 
in their rear, — when, at one p. m., two cavalrymen dashed 
up to General Stevens's headquarters. They bore orders 
to him from General Pope to march immediately across 
country, guided by the two troopers, to the Little River 
pike, and there take position and hold in check a column 
of the enemy reported advancing down that road. 

General Stevens soon had his division under arms, 
moved across the fields, and entered the Alexandria pike a 
short distance east of Centreville. Here Ferrero's brigade 
of Reno's division, the other brigade after its heavy loss 
on the 29th not being again called upon, fell in behind 


and followed. The scanty column moved down the road 
a mile and a half, then turned off to the left, and followed 
a farm road in a northeasterly direction between the two 
pikes. As Greneral Stevens and staff were riding at the 
head of the column the cavalrymen told how they had 
been out foraging that morning to the Little River pike, 
and had run into a heavy column of the enemy advan- 
cing down it, and had made all haste to gallop to Pope's 
headquarters with the news. Thence they were at once 
dispatched to General Stevens with the orders already 
related, and directed to guide his column to the endan- 
gered road. 

This startling news brought him about noon by these 
cavalrymen was unquestionably, the first intelligence that 
Pope received of Lee's thrust. His own orders prove 
this, for he not only immediately dispatched General Ste- 
vens to seize and hold the Little River pike, but detached 
Hooker from his division and sent him to Grermantown, 
a point just in front of Fairfax Court House, where the 
two pikes meet, to take charge of some troops there and 
post them to resist the threatening movement, ordered 
McDowell — 

*^ immediately to march rapidly back to Fairfax Court House 
with your whole division (corps) and assume command of the 
two brigades there, and occupy Germantown with your whole 
force, so as to cover the turnpike from this place to Alexandria. 
Jackson is reported advancing on Fairfax with 20,000 men/' — 

and soon afterwards hurried Heintzelman's two divisions 

down the pike toward Fairfax. And it was while thus 

moving that General Kearny received Greneral Stevens's 

urgent summons, and opportunely hastened to the stricken 

field, as will soon be related. 

After proceeding across country several miles in rather 

a winding or crooked course, the column was marching 

over an elevated tract of open country, which sloped down 


in front to a marshy hollow clothed with small growth^ 
and partially timbered. Beyond the hollow^ open fields 
appeared again, and beyond them dense pine woods. To 
the rear the high ground extended to the main torn- 
pike, half a mile distant, down which were seen the white 
covers of the crowded wagons moving in retreat. 

At this moment the little cavalcade at the head of the 
column was suddenly surprised by the sight of a rebel 
skirmish line deployed across the fields in front and cau- 
tiously advancing toward it, and the more because the 
Little River pike, as the cavalrymen said^ was still some 
distance away. The skirmishers were already across the 
hollow and close at hand when first seen. 

At the first glance General Stevens realized what that 
rebel skirmish line portended. It portended an attack in 
force upon the turnpike, the only line of retreat. Full 
well he knew that the movement must be arrested, or the 
line of retreat would be broken, the army cut in two 
while widely extended along the road, and a great disaster 
inflicted. Instantly he threw forward two companies of 
the Highlanders, under Captains W. T. Lusk and Robert 
Ives, to drive back the enemy's advance and uncover his 
movement. Deploying in skirmish order, they ran for- 
ward, exchanging a sharp fire with the opposing line and 
driving it back, crossed the hollow, surmounted a graded 
railroad embankment which traversed it, and pushed on 
after the rebel skirmishers into the farther fields. The 
embankment was the grade of the same Manassas Gap 
Railroad over which, beyond Bull Run, Jackson made his 
fierce fight. 

Captain Stevens, directing the skirmishers, had just 
ridden on top of the embankment, when a rebel soldier 
half way across the field in front, who was helping oft a 
wounded comrade, withdrew his arm from his comrade's 
support, deliberately aimed at the mounted ofiBcer, and 



fired, and the bullet passed through his hat, inflicting a 
sharp rap upon his head. Twenty muskets were instantly 
fired at the bold rebel in retium, but without effect, 
and coolly and deliberately he shifted his piece to his left 
hand, replaced his right arm around his comrade's waist, 
and helped him slowly off in safety. 

While the Highlanders were thus pushing back the 
enemy, General Stevens, without halting or retarding the 
march of his troops an instant, was forming them as fast 
as they came up in a column of brigades on the hither 
side of the fields beyond the hollow. While thus form- 
ing, a regiment of the enemy advanced in line of battle 
from the woods more than half way across the fields, and 
the Union skirmishers fell back before it. But Benja- 
min's guns, having just taken position on the right of the 
forming column, opened upon the regiment, and it im- 
mediately fell back and disappeared in the woods. Lusk's 
company now rejoined its regiment, but Ives's fell back to 
the railroad grade, and remained there during the battle. 

The column was formed in the edge of quite a large 
open tract, the farther side of which was closed by the 
woods. Woods also extended on the right side all along 
the open ground. Near the centre of the open tract, and 
to the left and front of the column, was a farmhouse, 
with outbuildings and orchard, and just beyond it a large 
field of tall, waving com extended to the woods in front, 
and to woods on the left. The estate was known as Fruit- 
vale, and belonged to the family of Reid, but was occu- 
pied at this time by a family named Heath. 

A road coming from the main turnpike in rear ran in 
a northerly course past the right of the forming column, 
extended along the right edge of the open groimd, 
traversed the farther woods, and crossed the Little Biver 
pike at right angles. This has been known since colonial 
days as the Ox Road, and the eminence over which it runs, 


just north of the oroasingy is Ox Hill^ from which the 
Confederates have named the coming engagement the 
battle of Ox Hill. In Union reports and histories it is 
known as the battle of Ghantilljy from the hamlet of that 
name six miles westward on the Little River pike. 

The column was soon formed in the following order : — 

28th Mass., 79th Highlanders, CoL David Morrison. 
60th Penn., 8th Michigan, Col. Benjamin 0. Christ. 
100th Penn., 46th New York, Lieut-Col. David A. Leeky. 

The formation was nearly completed when G^eral 
Beno appeared. He had been sick and off duty the day ^ 
before. The conference between him and G^eral Ste- ^ 
yens was brief. The latter pointed out the supposed pa- — 
sition of the enemy, in a few strong words showed the ^0 
necessity of hurling back his threatened advance^ and ^^ 
declared his intention of attack as soon as his column was -^ 
formed. General Beno seemed undecided and hesitating. ^- 
He seemed not to approve the movement, but he certainly" 
did not disapprove it in words, nor did he give any orders, ^ 
nor take command in any way, and soon turned and rode^ 

General Stevens now dismounted, and directed his sta£E* 
to dismount, and sent one of them to each of the leading' 
regiments, with orders to go forward with it and mak^ 
every exertion to force the charge home. He sent Cap- 
tain Stevens to the Highlanders, and Lieutenant Dear- 
bom, his aide, to the 28th Massachusetts. 

The column now advanced, Benjamin's guns firing 
shells into the woods in front. It descended a long, gen- 
tle slope, crossed a slight hollow, and swept steadily cqp 
the easy ascent in three firm, regular lines with the fixed 
bayonets glistening above them. Not a sight nor soun^ 
betrayed the presence of the enemy. There was nothin/ 
to be seen but the open field, extending two hundr€ 


yards in front and closed by the wall of woods^ with an 
old zigzag rail fence at its edge. '^ There is no enemy 
there/' exclaimed Captain Lusk to Captain Stevens, as 
they were marching side by side ; ^^ they have fallen back ; 
we shall find nothing there." 

Even as he spoke, the enemy poured a terrific volley 
from behind the rail fence. Captain Stevens struck the 
ground with great force and suddenness, shot in the arm 
and hip, and as he struggled to his feet saw the even bat- 
tle line of the Highlanders pressing firmly and steadily 
on. A few minutes later General Stevens came up on 
foot, stopped a moment to ask his son if he was badly 
hurt, and to order a soldier to help him off the field, and, 
unheeding his remonstrances, moved on after the first 

The enemy was smiting the column with a terrible and 
deadly musketry. The men were falling fast. General 
Stevens now ordered Captain Lusk to hasten to the 50th 
Pennsylvania, which was hesitating at entering the corn- 
field, and to push them forward, for, as the column ad- 
vanced, the left struck and extended into this cornfield. 

The troops, under the withering hail of bullets, were 
now wavering and almost at a standstill. Five color-bear- 
ers of the Highlanders had fallen in succession, and the 
colors again fell to the ground. At this crisis General 
Stevens pushed to the front, seized the falling colors from 
the hands of the wounded bearer, unheeding his cry, 
" For God's sake, don't take the colors, general ; they '11 
shoot you if you do ! " and calling aloud upon his old 
regiment, "Highlanders, my Highlanders, follow your 
general ! " rushed forward with the uplifted flag. The 
regiment responded nobly. They rushed forward, reached 
the edge of the woods, hurled themselves with fury upon 
the fence and the rebel Une behind it, and the enemy 
broke and fled in disorder. The 28th Massachusette 



joined gallantly in the charge, and the other brigades as 
gallantly supported the first. At this moment a sadden 
and severe thunderstorm, with a furious gale, burst over 
the field and the rain fell in torrents, while the flash of 
lightning and peals of thunder seemed to rebuke man's 
bloody, fratricidal strife. 

General Stevens fell dead in the moment of victory. 
A bullet entered at the temple and pierced his brain. He 
still firmly grasped the flagstaff, and the colors lay fallen 
upon his head and shoulders. His noble, brave, and 
ardent spirit, freed at last from the petty jealousies o£^ 
earth, had flown to its Creator. 



The enemy's troops thus struck and hurled hack were 
Ewell's division of Jackson's corps. Hays's and Trim- 
ble's brigades were behind the fence, and were supported 
by Early's and Lawton's brigades in the woods in their 
rear. This was the centre division in Jackson's column. 
The leading one, under Starke, had already crossed the 
Ox Road, and the rear division, under A. P. Hill, was 
closed up on Ewell's. 

Jackson, judging from the fury of the attack and the 
numbers of his men running in disorder out of the 
woods that he was assailed by a heavy force, and fearing 
for his artillery, which had taken position on Ox Hill, on 
the north side of the pike, when Ewell's division advanced 
into the woods on the south side, at once moved his bat- 
teries half a mile back up the pike to a long ridge, and 
planted them in position to rally his troops upon in case 
of need, while at the same time he hurried Hill's infantry 
division forward to maintain the battle. That officer 
advanced the brigades of Branch and Brockenbrough 
(Field's), and successively threw into the fight those of 
Gregg, Pender, Thomas, and Archer, all of which, except 
the last, became heavily engaged and suffered severely. 
General Stevens's division withstood the attack of these 
fresh troops stoutly. It had driven back everjrthing in 
its immediate front, but the contest now raged over the 
cornfield on the left. It was impossible for its scanty 
numbers long to resist the pressure of Hill's brigadeSy 
successively rushing into the conflict. 


But aid was at hand. 

At the moment of ordering the fatal charge, Greneral 
Stevens sent Lieutenant H. 6. Belcher, of the 8th Michi- 
gan, back to the main turnpike with instructions to ask 
support, and to go from commander to commander until 
he secured it. Belcher applied to several generals, who 
declined to go without orders, until finally he met Gen- 
eral Kearny. Scarcely had he made known his mission 
to him, and its urgency was startlingly emphasized by the 
rapid and fierce musketry of the battle, when Kearny 
exclaimed, " By God, I will support Stevens anywhere!" 
and at once broke the head of his column o£E the pike, 
and struck across the fields to the sound of the battle. 

It was Birney's brigade that Kearny so promptly 
brought to the rescue. They arrived just in time. The 
4th Maine, Colonel Elijah Walker, formed line in rear of 
the cornfield, considerably to the left of the farmhouse, 
and opened on the enemy swarming in the farther edge 
of the field. The remaining regiments as they came 
up, the 101st New York, 3d Maine, 4th New York, and 
1st New York, extended the line to the right as far as 
the house, or the right border of the cornfield, and, as 
General Birney reports, " held the enemy and sustained 
unflinchinorly the most murderous fire from a superior 
force." From this position they made a gallant advance 
well into the cornfield, driving back the enemy to the 
woods, and then withdrew to their former ground. Cap- 
tain George E. Randolph planted his battery of four guns 
immediately in rear of the line, and fired over it into the 
farther side of the cornfield and into the woods. The 
18th New York and 57th Pennsylvania were put in later, 
and helped sustain the contest. 

General Stevens's troops maintained their unequal bat- 
tle until after Birney's line opened. Jackson reports, " So 
severe was the fire in front and flank of Branch's brig- 


ade as to produce in it some disorder and falling back/' 
and other Confederate officers mention the severe flank 
fire, showing conclusively that both Stevens's and Bir- 
ney's smote this brigade, one in flank, the other in front, 
under which double fire it was broken and driven back. 
" This engagement is regarded by this brigade as one of 
our severest," says its commander in his report. After 
holding their ground for an hour in the unequal con- 
test, and expending all their ammunition. General Ste- 
vens's troops fell back to the Reid house from the position 
they had so gallantly won. The enemy did not advance 
into the open ground on the right of the cornfield, and 
Bimey's fight was continued over it until night ended 
the contest. 

Ferrero's brigade, of only three regiments, reached 
the field immediately after Stevens's division, and was 
ordered by General Reno to cover his right. The 51st 
New York, the leading regiment, moved forward into 
the woods some distance on the right of Stevens's col- 
umn until it encountered the line of Starke's divison, 
became somewhat engaged, and retired with a loss of 
thirteen. The next regiment, the 21st Massachusetts, 
was not to escape so easily. Thrown forward on the 
left of the 51st New York, and disconnected from it, it 
advanced for a long distance in the woods, somewhat 
disordered by fallen trees, struck the enemy's line, and 
unexpectedly received a deadly volley, and nearly one 
hundred brave fellows, dead and wounded, lay prostrate 
at the blow. The gallant regiment returned the fire as 
well as it could, but in the drenching rain many guns 
became unserviceable, and it fell back from the woods, 
the enemy not pursuing. The third regiment, the 51st 
Pennsylvania, entered the woods on the right of the 51st 
New York, but were not engaged. 

Meantime Starke withdrew his whole division from the 


woods back to the Little Biver pike, and moved to the 
rear. Whether his line, struck by an unaccountable 
panic, fell into disorder, or whether Jackson drew back 
the troops for the support of Hill, all of whose brigades 
were then going into the fight, is uncertain, but probably 
the latter. Early moved to the left and covered the 
front vacated by Starke, but with a contracted line, while 
Trimble's and Lawton's brigades were content to hold 
their ground in the woods considerably to the rear of the 
fence from which Hays and Trimble had been so roughty 

Longstreet deployed Toombs's and Anderson's brigades 
of his leading division (Jones's), and advanced them into 
the woods in support of Jackson's troops, but they were 
not called upon, as night soon closed the contest. 

*' As I rode up and met General Jackson/' says Longstreet 
in his ** Manassas to Appomattox," ^'I remarked upon the 
number of his men going to the rear. 

^^ ' General, your men don't appear to work well to-day?' 
*^ *' No,' he replied, ^ but I hope it will prove a victory in the 
morning.' " 

As the stricken 2l8t Massachusetts emerged from the 
woods, near where General Stevens formed his column, it 
was met by General Kearny, who was searching for troops 
to cover the right flank of Birney's line. 

" In fierce haste," says General C. F. Walcott, the historian 
of the regiment, in a paper on this battle before the Massachn- 
setts Military Historical Society, " he ordered the regiment to 
move on the run to take post on Birney's right, the position of 
whose line was indicated only by the flashes of their muskets. 
Luckily two of our companies, which had been detached in the 
woods to cover our flanks, had escaped the ambuscade into 
which the others had fallen, and now joined us with serviceable 
guns, and the regiment, about two hundred strong, moved 
across the open ground towards the cornfield and the front of 


Bimey's right, deploying a thin skirmish line to cover our right 
and front as we adyanccd. 

^^ As our skirmishers came up to the rail fence of the corn- 
field they were fired on by Thomas's skirmishers, whose brigade, 
with two of Fender's regiments, was in the cornfield, and com- 
ing from the woods well on Bimey's right. Crossing the line 
of the fence we soon halted in the com, under a dropping fire 
from the enemy. General Kearny was following us up closely, 
and as we came to a halt fiercely tried to force us forward, say- 
ing that we were firing on our own men, and that there were no 
rebels near us. We had the proof in two prisoners — an offi- 
cer and prirate of a Georgia regiment — brought in by our 
skirmishers, besides the warning cries of ^ Surrender,' coming 
both from our right and front ; but, unfortunately, Kearny's 
judgment seemed unable to appreciate the existence of the 
peril which his military instinct had caused him to guard 
against. Lieutenant Walcott, of the brigade staff, took our 
prisoners to him, saying, * General, if you don't believe there 
are rebels in the com, here are two prisoners from the 49th 

Georgia, just taken in our front' Crying out fiercely, * 

you and your prisoners ! ' the general, entirely alone, appar- 
ently in ungovernable rage at our disregard of his peremptory 
orders to advance, forced his horse through the deep, sticlqr 
mud of the cornfield past the left of the regiment, passing 
within a few feet of where I was standing. I watched him 
moving in the murky twilight through the com, and, when less 
than twenty yards away, saw his horse suddenly rear and turn, 
and half a dozen muskets flash around him: so died the in- 
trepid soldier. General Philip Kearny I 

" Diverted by our movement from their design upon Birney's 
brigade, the enemy surged up against our front and right flank, 
took what fire we could give them at a few paces distance 
(which they returned with interest), and in the dark, ignorant 
of our weakness, allowed us to withdraw from their front with- 
out pursuit, and in a few minutes also drew back themselves 
from the cornfield to the woods behind it. Except a few scat- 
tering shots on Bimey's front, which soon ceased, the battle of 
Chantilly was now over." 


Supposing from the non-return of General Kearny 
that he had fallen or been captured^ Greneral Bimej as- 
sumed command of his division, and after the battle was 
over relieved his hard-fought troops with Greneral Foe's 
brigade. Robinson's brigade was posted during the bat^ 
tie on the high ground near the main turnpike, and was 
not engaged. The Union troops held the ground upon 
which they fought until half past two in the morning, 
brought off their wounded, and then retreated to Fairfax 
Court House after the last of the troops from Centreville 
had passed. 

Only sixteen Union regiments, viz., six of Stevens's 
division, three of Ferrero's brigade, and seven of Bimey's 
brigade, with six guns, Benjamin's two 20-pounder rifles, 
and Randolph's four 12-pounder8, fought this battle 
against Jackson's whole corps of seventy regiments, of 
which at least forty-eight were in the fight. The Union 
force numbered 5500 effective, the Confederate at least 
twice as many. 

In this brief and fierce battle the losses on each side 
were from 800 to 1000. The following statement is 
made up from Confederate official reports and, on the 
Union side, from regimental histories, for there are no offi- 
cial reports of Union losses, except four in Poe's brigade, 
and from estimates based on all available data, but 
undoubtedly falls short of the actual losses. 

How exactly General Stevens grasped the military 
situation when he caught sight of the rebel skirmish line, 
and instantly decided to stay Jackson's impending ad- 
vance by an attack that would throw even him on the 
defensive, is <5learly shown by the Confederate leader's 
objective, and the dispositions he had made of his troops 
to accomplish it. 

Jackson had moved down the pike from Chantilly 
slowly and carefully, to give time for Longstreet to close 


up in support. His troops were well in hand^ the infan- 
try of one division^ and probably of all three, marching 
in two columns, one on each side of the road, and the 
artillery on the road between them. Already he had 
thrown this solid column, prepared for battle rather than 
for the march, athwart the Ox Road, which led straight 
across to the coveted line of retreat. Already his skir- 
mishers, supported by a regiment, had pushed southward 
half a mile, and were advancing across country to the 
other pike, and in another half mile — in ten minutes 
more — would come in plain sight of the wagons moving 
back upon it. His whole corps was in position, — Ewell's 
division (under Lawton) in the centre, Starke on the left. 
Hill on the right. It lay wholly in Jackson's will and 
power, advancing but little over a mile, to hurl this 
mighty mass, seventy regiments strong, upon Pope's only 
road and his retreating troops and trains. Who that 
knows Jackson's career can doubt his will and power to 
seize the golden opportunity ? 

At the very instant of launching the thunderbolt, 
Jackson learns that the enemy is advancing upon him, 
his skirmishers are driven in, his centre division is hurled 
headlong from its position, the fugitives pour out of the 
woods, he hurries his artillery to the rear, is forced to 
throw the whole of his right division into the fight, brig- 
ade after brigade, and to withdraw his left division for 
his last reserve. The possibility of striking his enemy 
is gone. He can only say, " I hope it will prove a victory 

And the troops that General Stevens led to this des- 
perate and victorious charge were the samawho, but ten 
weeks since, suffered the slaughter on James Island, and 
had just lost half of their number in the bloody encounters 
on the plains of Bull Run. Can more be said for the 
gaUantry and devotion of the soldiers, or the hold upon 
them of their heroic leader ? 


Had General Stevens remained on the defensive and 
given time — and time counted by minutes — for Jack- 
son to advance^ disaster were ineviteble. How long could 
his scanty force of nine regiments, outflanked and over- 
borne, have resisted the avalanche ? True, Kearny was 
on the pike, and perhaps others would have joined in the 
defense, but where was the army or corps commander to 
put them in, and order and control battle against Jack- 
son's onslaught, backed by Longstreet? Pope was at 
Centreville ; Sumner, with his second corps, north of it ; 
Sigel's, McDowell's, Franklin's troops scattered from 
Fairfax to Alexandria and Washington; Banks retreating 
down Braddock road, — all scattered and out of reach. 
The closest study of the situation streng^thens the convic- 
tion that General Stevens that day saved the army and 

General McDowell, hurrying to Fairfax Court House 
as directed by General Pope, met Patrick's brigade near 
that point and posted it behind Difficult Run, just in 
front of G^rmantown,^ where it was supported by Rick- 
etts's division. General Stuart, who with his cavalry 
preceded Jackson's column down the pike, after passing 
the Ox Road some two miles found his advance arrested 
by these troops, and, after some skirmishing, moved off 
northward toward Flint Hill in a fruitless effort to flank 
the Union line. Patrick's brigade lost twenty wounded. 
Neither force took any part in the battle of ChantiUy. 
^ Statement of Colonel Charles McCloiey of Patrick's stafE. 



Steyens's diyision : 
First brigade : 

Colonel Daniel Leasnie 
Second brigade : 

Colonel David Morrison 
Third brigade : 

Colonel B. C. Christ 

Staff 2 

< 100th Pennsylyani* S6 

] 46th New York 60* 

79th Highlanders 40 

] 28th Massachusetts 99 

8th Michigan (7 killed) 60* 

' 60th Pennsylvania (7 killed) ... 60* 

Reno's division : 
Ferrero's brigade 

Kearny's division : 
Bimey's brigade 

Foe's brigade : 


21st Massaohnsetts 130 

5Ut New York 13 

51st Pennsylvania (none) 


Staff 1 

SdMaine 60 

4th Maine 64 

40th New York 163 

1st New York 40* 

88th New York 26» 

101st New York 40* 

57th Pennsylvania 25* 

Pickets 4 

16 regiments 412 

• Estimated. No report in war xeoords or histories. 


Jackson's corps : 

Stark's division 20 regiments 71* 

Ewell's division : 

Lawton's brigade 6 regiments 12 

Early's brigade 7 regiments 32 

Trimble's brieade 5 regiments 21 

Hays's brigaoe 5 regiments 135 

^ 200 

Hill's division : 

Branch's brigade 5 regiments 108 

Pender's brigade 4 regiments • • 58 

Gregg's bri^ide 5 regiments 104 

Archer's bngade 5 regiments Tnot engased) . • • • 

Field's (or Brockenbrough's) 4 regiments (no report) 75* 

Thomases brigade 4 regiments (loss not reported) • • 75* 

27 420 
Longstreet's corps : 

Jones's division • I 

Total : 70 regiments — 48 in aetion . • . • 692 

•Estimated. General H311 reports his loss as 306. It is imposnUe to reoooeile 
these small losses with Um Confederate reports of the severity of the fighting. 


NoTB. — The Confederate repofte of the battle of Chantillj, or Ox Hm, 
show with tolerable dearoeas their troops engaged, and the positions and 
parts taken by them. Early's report definitely locates Hays's and Trimble's 
brigades ** in line of battle on the right of Jackson's division, and occupy- 
ing positions in the edge of a field beyond a piece of woods through which 
the Ox Road here runs." This is unmistakably the yery position from which 
General Stevens's charge drove the enemy. The loss in Hays's brigade 
(135) was greater than that of any other. Early acknowledges that Hays's 
brigade ** fell back in confusion, passing through these regiments (second 
line), followed by the enemy ; " that the commander of Trimble's brigade 
was killed, and one or two regiments of it were thrown into some conf nsioo. 
There are no reports from any officer of Jackson's (Starke's) division, except 
the bare mention by one brigade commander that they met the enemy at Ox 
Hill, September 1, and repulsed him ; none from Hays's, Trimble's, or Law- 
ton's brigades of Ewell's division ; and none from Field's (Brockenbrough's) 
brigade of Hill's division. General Longstreet, in his book ManofMU to 
Appomattox, pp. 193-195, says of this battle : " Two of Hill's brigades were 
thrown out to find the enemy, and were soon met by his advance in search 
of Jackson, which made a furious attack, driving back the Confederate brig- 
ades in some disorder. Stevens, appreciating the crisis as momentous, 
thought it necessary to follow the opportunity by aggressive battle in order 
to hold Jackson away from the Warrenton turnpike. Kearny, always ready 
to second any courageous move, joined in the daring battle. At the critical 
moment the rain and thunder storm burst with great violence upon the com- 
batants, the high wind beating the storm in the faces of the Confederates. 
So firm was the unexpected battle that part of Jackson's line yielded to the 
onslaught. At one moment his artillery seemed in danger. ... As I rode 
up and met General Jackson, I remarked upon the number of his men 
going to the rear : — 

<* * General, your men don't appear to work well to-day.' 
" * No,' he replied, * but I hope it will prove a victory in the morning.' 
** As both Federal division commanders fell, the accounts fail to do justice 
to their fight. Stevens, in his short career, gave evidence of courage, judg- 
ment, skill, and genius not far below his illustrious antagonist." 

Immediately after the close of the Civil War, in June, 1865, the author 
visited the battlefield of Chantilly. The ground and its incidents agreed 
precisely with his recollections. The remains of the fence at the edge of 
the woods from which General Stevens hurled the enemy were plainly visi- 
ble, many of the rails as well as the trees showing marks of bullets. From 
a point near the comer of the cornfield, extending nearly perpendicularly 
into the woods for fifty yards, and facing to the left, were the vestiges of a 
hastily thrown up breastwork, or cover, of earth, rails, logs, and branches, 
which the Union troops had scraped together after driving back the enemy 
in order to meet the attack of Hill's troops on their left. 

In May, 1883, the author, accompanied by the late Greneral Charles F. 
Walcott, Again visited the field, and by the hospitality of Lieutenant John 
N. Ballard, the present owner of the estate, himself a Confederate soldier. 


spent the night at the Beid house. Mr. Ballazd exhibited a plan of the 
estate, made in 1858, accompanying a former deed, which comprised almost 
exactly the battlefield, and kindly permitted a tracing of it to be made. 
The distance between the fence where General Stevens fell and the Little 
BiTcr pike was found by pacing to be about four hundred yards. By this 
data a fairly accurate map of the battlefield was obtained. Mr. Charles 
Stewart, a very intelligent gentleman, whose house is on the Little Riyer 
pike half a mile west of the field, who was at home at the time of the battle 
and an eye-witness of the moyements of the Confederate troops, and who 
went oTer the field the third day after the engagement, pointed out to the 
Tisitors the localities of interest in connection with the fight near his house, 
and graphically narrated how Jackson hurried his artillery to the rear at 
the opening of the battle, and threw it into position half a mile back on a 
hare, commanding ridge near the Stewart house. This account was fully 
oorroborated by Mr. Ballard. A full and interesting account of this visit, 
and also an account of the battle, by General Walcott, is given in volume 
iL, Military Historical Society of Massachusetts. 

The author has been aided in preparing his account of the battle by writ- 
ten statements from Colonel David Morrison, Captain William T. Lusk, 
and Captain Robert Armour, of the 79th Highlanders ; Lieutenant Samuel 
N. Benjamin and Captain Creorge £. Randolph, who commanded the two 
batteries engaged ; Colonel Elijah Walker, of the 4th Maine, and Colonel 
Moses B. Lakeman, of the 3d Maine ; and by personal interviews with these 
officers and many others, including Lieutenant H. G. Belcher, who partici- 
pated in the engagement. 

War Records, series 1, vol. xii., "History of 79th Highlanders," by Wil- 
liam Todd ; The One Hundredth Reffiment Penntylvania Volunteers, Round' 
heads; James C. Stevenson, Michigan m ihe War, Maine m (he War ; Bates's 
Hiitory of Pennsylvania Volunteers, 

The only reports of the battle of Chantilly by Union officers who took 
part in it are those of General Bimey and Captain Randolph, and they are 
very brief. There are actually no reports from any officers of General 
Stevens's or General Reno's division, owing to the death of the com- 
manders — Reno fell at South Mountain a few days later — and the rapid 
ehanges in, and movements of, the troops in the Maryland campaign, which 
immediately followed. 



After the successful charge Colonel Morrison sent an 
officer to report that General Stevens had fallen, and 
that the enemy had been driven back. Greneral Reno, to 
whom the report was made, returned orders to bury Gen- 
eral Stevens on the field, and to fall back. The High- 
landers reverently and tenderly bore away the body of 
their beloved commander and placed it in an ambulance, 
from which one of their number, although wounded, will- 
ingly alighted to give room. The remains were taken 
to Washington to the house of his dear friend, John L. 
Hayes, and thence to Newport, R. I. 

General Reno's apparently unfeeling order excited great 
indignation among the Highlanders. 

At the very moment of his heroic death General Ste- 
vens was being considered by the President and his ad- 
visers as commander of the armies in Virginia. Mr. 
Hayes was assured of the fact by a member of the cabi- 
net, and it was currently stated in the press. Certain it 
is that ignoble personal rivabies and jealousies could not 
have kept him down much longer. 

He was appointed and confirmed a major-general, to 
rank from July 4, 1862. 

He was only forty-four years, five months, and seven 
days of age when he fell. 

The stern old Puritan Abolitionist, his aged father, 
died August 22, only ten days previous. He frequently 
declared that he should never see Isaac again, that he 


knew his spirit too well^ that he would surely be killed 
in battle^ and it was thought that brooding over this idea 
hastened his own death. 

General Stevens was buried. in the Island Cemetery in 
Newport. The obsequies were attended by Governor 
Sprague^ of Rhode Island^ and Governor Andrew, of Mas- 
sachusetts, Professor Bache and officers of the Coast Sur- 
vey, the mayor and council of Newport and other digni- 
taries, and a large military escort. The city of Newport 
erected beside his grave a massive granite obelisk, bearing 
the following simple and appropriate inscription, com- 
posed by his brother-in-law, the Rev. Charles T. Brooks : 



ICABCH 25, 1818, 






SEPTEMBER 1, 1862. 






When the Highlanders were mustered out of service, 
the flag under whose folds General Stevens fell was sent 
to his widow, with the following letter from the brave 

Colonel Morrison : — 

New York, September 22, 1864. 
Mrs. Isaac I. Stevens. 

Dear Madam^ — I have the honor to transmit to you the 
colors of the 79th Highlanders, the same that were in the hand 


of your late lamented husband when he receiyed his wound. 
Since I knew that you wished to have them in your possession 
I have watched them with a jealous eye through many stormy 
fields. Although but a rag, many a brave man would have 
sacrificed his life rather than anything dishonorable should 
happen them. From Chantilly to Blue Springs, wherever they 
were unfurled, victory has perched upon them, and when, torn 
and tattered, we exchanged them for a new set, I have carried 
them aboul with me, and I assure you it gives me great plea- 
sure in sending them to you, so that you may preserve them as 
an heirloom in your family. Serving immediately under Greneral 
Stevens, no one had a better opportunity of knowing him than 
myself. Well may you feel proud of him I His nobleness of 
heart, his firm devotion to his country, his untiring energy, his 
unfiinching bravery, have endeared him to all those who have 
served under him. His memory is engraven on the hearts of 
every one of his Highlanders, and the few of us that are left 
often speak of the many acts of kindness bestowed on us by 
" Our GeneraL" 

I am, madam, your obedient servant, 

D. Morrison, 
Late Colonel 19th Highlanders, 

The legislature of Rhode Island passed resolutions 
upon the death of General Stevens, and offered to pro- 
vide a fit resting-place for his ashes. The city of New- 
port, the officers of the Coast Survey, and many other 
public bodies paid fitting tribute by resolutions. " When 
the intelligence of his death reached Washington Terri- 
tory, the grief of all classes was sincere and profound. 
Nothing could any one recall that was base or dishonor- 
able, but much that was lofty and manly in the dead 
hero. The legislature passed resolutions in his honor, 
and ordered crape to be worn." ^ For many years the 
successive governors and legislatures regularly paid trib- 
ute to his memory. 

^ H. H. Bancroft's Histary of Washington, 

He fell — that glowing eye 
In sudden night was quenched ; 

But still the flag he lifted high, 

And onward bore to victoTy, 
In his dead hand was clenched. 

He sank — but o'er his head 

The drooping ensign fell, 
As if its folds it fondly spread 
Aboye the forehead, pale and dead, 

Of him who loved it welL 

He sleeps — unlock that clasp ! 

The hero's work is done ! 
Another hand that stafiE shall grasp. 
And, if need be, till life's last gasp, 

like him shall bear it on. 

He rests — the true and brave ! 

And where his relics lie. 
In holier beauty long shall wave. 
Fit canopy for freeman's grave, 

Grod's starry flag on high. 

He lives — his deeds inspire 

New strength for duty's strife : 
Now myriads burn with nobler fire 
Onward to press — to mount up higher 
And win the eternal lif e.^ 

* Anooymoiis, from Boitan CammomoeaWL 


1. Hazard, bom in NewiK>rt, R. I., June 9, 1842. 

2. Julia Vibginia, bom in Newport, June 27, 1844, died in Bucks- 

port, Me., December 7, 1845. 

3. Susan, bom in Bucksport, November 20, 1846 ; married Richard 

Isaac Eskridge, United States Army, in Portland, OregoOf 
October 27, 1870. 

4. Gebtbude Maude, bom in Bucksport, April 29, 1850. 

6. KatEj bom in Washington, D. C, November 17, 1852 ; married 
Edward Wingard Bingham, in Boston, Mass., February 18, 

Gbandghildben, Children of Richard Isaac Eskridob and 
Susan Stevens Eskridge. 

1. Maud, bom at Fort Vancouver, Washington Territory, August 

21, 1871 ; married Edward Pennington Pearson, United States 
Army, at Fort Reno, Oklahoma Territory, April 16, 1898. 

2. Richard Stevens, bom at Yuma Depot, Arizona Territory, 

October 24, 1872. 

3. Hazard Stevens, bom at Yuma Depot, February 24, 1874 ; 

died at Fort D. A. Russell, Wyoming Territory, October 12, 

4. Virginia, bom at Fort D. A. Russell, March 2, 1875. 

5. Oliver Stevens, bom in Boston, Mass., October 12, 1876. 

6. Mart Peyton, bom at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, March 28, 

1878; married Charles McKinley Saltzman, United States 
Army, in Boston, May 9, 1899. 



Following are the marginal notes on the 


of the Indian Nations and Tribes of the Territory of Washington, and of 
the Territory of Nebraska west of the mouth of the Yellowstone. Sent to 
the Hon. George W. Manypenny, Commissioner of Indian AfEairs, with 
letter of this date. 

Isaac L Stevens, 
Governor and Supt. Indian Affakt, 
Qltmpia, Washinoton Txbbitobt, April 80, 1857. 

Tabular Statement of the Indians East of the Cascade Mountains^ etc. 

Namb ahd Date or 







TraAty with the T»- 



Simcoe and the ad- 

About 1600oftheee 

Uma Nfttlon oon- 


Joining oountxy 

tribes are en- 

oloded at Walla 

Pfehawm wappam. 


and f orka of the 

camped in the ri- 

Walla, June, 186S. 

Banda CO OoIubk 

or Pfaqooaae 

cinity of Simooe 



White Salmon BlTer. 





On the Snake and 


Walla Walla treaty, 


coDclud«d June, 

Clearwater BIt- 



Treaty with the Flat- 



nathead BlTer. 

head Nation con- 


oloded June, 186& 





Tribes with whom 


no tieatiei hare 

Lower Pud 

been made. 





Total nomber of Indiana east of the Oaaeade Mooatains. . . 12,000 

Treaties haTe been made with 8,900 

Number with whom treatise haTS not been made 8,100 

Largest number held on temporary isesi istions ZfiOO 



Written on upper central margin in Goyemor Stevens's handwriting : » 

Total number of IndlMMWMt of ttieOMMid«MoaBtaiiM. 9,712 

Total iramber of Indiana eaat of tba Oaaoade Moontaiaa .... 12,000 

Total number of Indiana, Tarritoxy of Waahington 21,712 

Treatiea haT6 been made with 17,491 

Treatiea remain to be made with 4^215 

Tabular Statement of the Indians West of the Cascade Mountains^ showing 
Tribes, Population, Parties to the several Treaties, Reservations provided 
for in the Treaties, and Temporary Enoampmenis, 

Hamb Aim Datb or 

Treaty of Medicine 
Creelc, December 

Treaty of Point El- 
liott, January 22, 

Tireaty of Pofait-No- 
Point, January 25, 

Treaty of Neah Bay, 
January 31, 1865. 

Treaty of Olympia. 

Tribes with whom 
treatiea hare not 




and allied trihaa. 

and allied tribea. 








Lower Ghehalia. 
Upper Ghehalia. 

Gowlitf and Tia- 

Lower Ghinooka. 

Upper Gliinotdts. 




I 1700 
I 1800 






} «» 




Klih • obe • min Ia> 

Near numth of Nia- 
qually Blver. 

Near nurath of Pi^ 
all-up BiTer. 

Port Madiaon, and 
at Mookleahoot. 

Ta - wflt • aeh • da, 
north aide 8no-ho- 

8. S. end Perry(cr 
ndalgo) laland. 

Chah-ohoo-n la- 
land, at mouth of 
Lnnuni Bi?«r. 

Head of Hood'a 

Gape Flattery. 

Beserration to be 
■elected by the 

Quinlault Hirer and 
land aet Hi*rt. 




Pann*8 Cor*, < 
Whitby lalud. 

B. B. Ford*a on tlia 
Ghehalia Rirer. 

Near Cowlitx Land- 

Bemoved to White 

Yanooover and Caa- 

Total number of Indiana weat of Gaacade Mountains .... 9712 

Number with whom treaties hare been made 8697 

Ntuuber with whom treatiea hare yet to be made 1115 

Largest number held on temporary reaerrationa 6688 

All hare been assisted during the war. The partlea to the treatiea of Neah Bay and Olympia, 
the Lower Ghehalia and Lower Ghinooka, hare required but little aaiiitanoe at the haada of tlia 


Notes of thb Indians of the Terrttobt of Nebraska between the 
BocKT Mountains and Mouth of the Yellowstone. 

The Blaokf oot Nation are in four tribes, yiz., Piegans, Bloods, Blaok- 
feet, Grofl Ventres, and number 11,600 sonls. 

The map shows the hnnting-groonds, seenred exclusively to the Blaok- 
feet in the treaty, at the mouth of the Judith, concluded October 17, 1855 ; 
the hunting-ground common to the Blackfeet and Western Indians, the 
Blackfeet and Assiniboines ; the western and southern boundaries of the 
Assiniboine country ; and the western boundary of the Crow country. 

The Western Indians, Flatheads, Pend Oreilles, and a portion of the 
Kootenays, generally make two hunts a year east of the Bocky Mountains, 
and they depend for their lodges, parfleches, apechinos, and much of their 
meat upon these hunts. They get some of their supplies by trade with the 
Blackfeet. The Indians of tiie western tribes, as the Spokanes and Cgbut 
d'Alenes, " go to buffalo," but not in as large numbers or with as much 
regularity as the preceding. 

The Nez Perces generally have a large camp — oyer one hundred 
lodges — either on the common hunting-grounds or in the Crow country. 
Their hunters always pass one winter, and sometimes two winters, in suo- 
oession, east of the mountains before they return to their own country. 

Census of the Blacxfoot Nation. 


Number of LodgM. 











Gros Ventres. 



1280 11,500 


A Company, diwniMed for diiob^dieiioe, 

iL 250-253, 263. 
Abaoo Island, Bahamaa, L 101, 102. 
Abernethy, Alexander S., ii. 265, 317. 
Aoademio Board, West Point, awards 

first place to Cadet StSTsna, L 59. 
Aoajete, L 140. 
Aoapuloo, L 436. 

Achilles, Captain, iL 160-171, 187. 
Acquia Creek, IL 425, 430. 
Active, Coast Sorvey steamer, iL 185. 
Adams, Fort, at Newport, L 60, 61. 
Adams, John Qninoy, L 44, 73. 
Adams, Lieutenant, L 113. 
Adams, Mount, L 394. 
Adams, Thomas, L 306 ; iL 75, 92, 107, 

108, 114. 
Agnew, i. 444. 
^-tah-nam, branch of Yakima RiTer, 

iL 22, 160. 
Alabama volnnteers, L 114. 
Albany, Me., L 35, 86. 
Alden, Fort, iL 184, 234. 
Alden, James, Captain, ii. 185. 
Alexander, Barton S., General, L 28. 
Alexander, head chief of Pend Oreilles, 

iL 77; at Flathead council, 82-89, 

Alexandria and Orange Court House 

Railroad, iL 425. 
Alexandria and Warrenton turnpike, 

u. 43:^, 435. 
Allen, Robert, (General, i. 28. 
AUen, William, Colonel, ii. 431. 
Almonte, Mexican general, i. 208. 
Al-pa-wha Creek, ii. 70, 147. 
Alvarado, Mexico, L 119. 
Alvarez, Mexican general, L 168, 203. 
Alvord, Benjamin, Genml,