Today in History:

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


some provisions by the mules falling in white crossing Pitt River, Lieutenant Failnar had to return sooner than he desired, and before he had an opportunity of pusnishing the Indians and hunting up all the cattle about 350 head out of 850 being all he coulf ind alive, while out. I did, therefore, order him out again, with two non-commissioned officers and twenty-seven privates of Company F, First Dragoons, on the 15th instant, with instrufctions to collect all the cattle he could find belonging to the drovers, and to punish the Indians known to have been engaged in the murder and theft.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Second Lieutenant, First Dragoons, Commanding.

FORT CROOK, CAL., August 13, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to report that in accordance with Post Order Numbers 19, I left Fort Crook, Call., on the 3rd instant with one non-commissioned officer, one bugler, and twelve men of Company F, First Dragoons, Mr. Pugh, and one Indian as guide, for the purpose of examining the country northeast of this valley, and of ascertaining the truth of rumor of an attack by Indians on a party of citizens out prospecting. We had marched about eight or nine miles from the post when we met two men who had survived a fight which took place on the 1st instant, in a valley near the head of Pitt River, about eighty miles from here, between a party of nineteen cattle-drovers on thei way from Oregon to Washoe, with about 850 head of cattle, and a party of Indians, variously estimated, numbering from 150 to 500. Two of those cattle drivers, Mr Bailey and Mr. Evans, the princiapl owners of the cattle, were killed, and three others wounded. The party made for the fort, leaving the cattle and wagons behind them. Believing the force I started with insufficient, I sent back after more men and encamped at Ralf's Crossing, on Pitt River, distant from the fort twelve miles. The same afternoon Sergeant Moore and six men joined me. August 4, we started about 4 a. m., eight citizens of the party who lost the cattle along. Crossed the mountains to Big or Round Valley. After marching about thirty-five miles we stopped on Pitt River to wait for three of the men who were with the pack animals, and who lost our trail coming across the mountains. They did not come up until late, consequently we had to remain here all night. August 5, marched along the river up Pitt River Canon (about ten miles long); found fifty-two head of cattle, and proceeded about eight miles into what I should call Upper Pitt River VAlley, where we saw Indians driving cattle toward the river about two miles ahead. Took after them; killed 1 and wounded 3 others. Some ran for the tulles and swamps, others for the timber, up the side of a mountain studded with rocks and brush, where it was impossible to find them. The whole command, including Mr. Pugh, the guide, behaved very courageously and soldier like, especially James Rathburn, private of Company F, First Dragoons. I received two slight arrow wounds, one in the right arm and one in the breast, but was lucky enough to kill the Indian. Several head of cattle had been killed and the beef hung up on the trees to dry. We destroyed all the meat we could find, and them went to where the drovers' wgons had been burned by the Indians, and from there two miles farther, where the fight between the citizens and Indians took place. There we found the bodies of Mr. Bailey and Mr. Evans, both entirely naked and terrible mutilated. We buried the bodies and