Today in History:

29 Series I Volume XLVIII-I Serial 101 - Powder River Expedition Part I


of our settlements and still diverging in their course from them. There were no evidences showing that any parties were being sent in the direction of the settlements, and indeed nothing about their movements to excite suspicion except the fact of their presence in the country unexplained. And I consider the attack upon them without a parley as extremely unfortunate, if not culpable. I shall keep scouts out to watch for their reappearance upon this line, and to ascertain, if possible, where they have gone. If they should be found, I shall endeavor to open communication with them, learn their true character, and if they are found to be friendly or disposed to be so, take the necessary steps in the premises.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding.


Adjutant and Inspector General, Austin.

BURNET, TEX., February 28, 1865.

COLONEL: Since my communication of the 20th instant, in reference to the late battle with the Indians on Dove Creek, I have seen Captain Mullins, of Coleman County, who had been sent out with about 100 men from the Second Frontier District to ascertain, if possible, the course the Indians had taken and their whereabouts. He went as far as the head of the South Concho, but, the horses becoming entirely broken down and starved, he was forced to return without making any discoveries. The winter has been so severe in that elevated mountain country that the grass is entirely destroyed. Captain Mullins believes, from a statement made to him by a man by the name of Tankersley, living on the Concho, some fifteen miles from the battle-field, that the Indians has returned to the northward. The trail, I am satisfied, however, had not been followed sufficiently far to indicate the direction they had taken; and I, in the absence of authentic information, should rely more upon the opinion of Lieutenant Mulkey, that they had gone in the direction of Mexico. On my arrival here this afternoon I received a letter from Major John Henry Brown, commanding Third Frontier District, dated Fredericksburg, February 21, in which he says young Hester, of Mason, who is vouched for as trustworthy, has arrived here from Concho Kickapoos in Piedras Negras. The Indians repeated their friendly intentions; said that when our men appeared they sent a woman with a child out with a white flag; that our men killed the woman and compelled them to fight; that their total loss was 11 killed and 7 wounded. The Indians expressed the opinion to Hester that the men who attacked them were lawless men, desirous of plunder, and not authorized by the Government, &c. They were buying some supplies, and said they were going farther-into Mexico. Though I do not know young Hester, I am free to say that, from all the information I have been able to gather in reference to these Indians, I regard his story as very probably true. I think the Indians were originally going to Mexico, and that they actually did go there after the fight. What shall be done? These Indians ought to be communicated with. If they are what they represent themselves to be, would it not be well for a commissioner to be sent to Mexico to hunt them up and confer with them? Though these Indians may not believe the attack made