Today in History:

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


Fort Humboldt, July 9, 1862.

Colonel F. J. LIPPITT,

Second Infty., Cal. Vol., Commanding Humboldt Military District:

SIR: Pursuant to your letter of instructions, of date 28th ultimo, I proceeded to Camp Lincoln, on the Smith River Reservation, and now have the honor of reporting the following information, the result of my investigations:

The trail leaving the town of Union at the head of Humboldt Bay leads off in a northerly direction through a low, swampy country about four miles to Mad River, thence crossing Mad River by a good ford it rises into a higher country and passes at times through the dense woods, and then through fern prairies for about eight miles, where, after an abrupt descent, it reaches the ocean beach where the trail is excellent for about two miles, when it crosses a stream called Little River and then it leads up and down through deepravines and over promontories for about six miles and until it reaches the town of Trinidad. Whole distance from Union to Trinidad eighteen miles. Trail generally good and easily found. The farms and settlements between the two places are generally deserted. From Trinidad the trailwinds along the hills, which butt abruptly against the Pacific in steep rocks, crossing several deep ravines, generally thickly timbered, for about six miles, when it descends to the ocean beach to the southern extremity of a lake called Big Lagoon; thence it passes between the ocean and lagoon about four miles to the beach; thence along the beach for about seven miles to the mouth of the Redwood River, over which we were ferried in canoes by the aid of the Indians, swimming the animals, and thence it passes the beach about thirteen miles, passing Lower Gold Bluff to Upper or Northern Gold Bluff. The whole of the beach trail is deep, generally gravelly, and very fatiguing to the animals. Whole distance from Trinidad to Upper Gold Bluff thirty milesld Bluff the trail runs along a deep, gravelly beach for about three miles; thence up and down steep, high mountains for about ten miles to the mouth of the Klamath River, which we crossed in canoes by the aid of the Indians, swimming the animals. The crossing is very dangerous for animals, being some 700 or 800 yards wide, very rapid, with treacherous quicksands on its shores and islands. From thence the trail winds up mountains so high and steep that it is almost impossible for animals with nothing on them to climb them for about seven miles, when it leads into Redwoods, where for about nine miles it is so miry, steep, and high that progress becomes exceedingly slow and almost impossible; thence it descends abruptly two very high mountains to a fine hard beach trail for about seven miles to Crescent City. Whole distance from Upper Gold Bluff to Crescent City thirty-six miles. From Crescent City to the Smith River Reservation it is about fifteen miles. From the reservation to Camp Lincoln it is about two miles. Both the reservation and Camp Lincoln are on the northern side of Smith River. There are three roads from Crescent City to the camp and reservation. The road called Fort Dick road is the best. Wagons are able to travel upon it at all seasons of the year. Smith River is a large, rapid stream, fordable now in many places, but in the winter time exceedingly difficult to cross by any means, and there have been times in the past winter when it was impassable by ferry or any other mode in possession of the settlers.

The cost of transportation from Crescent City to Camp Lincoln will be about $60 per ton. It is the almost universal and earnest desire of