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The Indian loss is not known, but there is reason to believe that they were badly hurt.

Parties visiting the field have brought in two mules packed and other articles which they had abandoned in their hurried retreat, and signs of blood have been found on their trail.

The command reached Fort Grant after having traveled 80 miles in two days, guarded a large band of hostile Indian prisoners, and fought a very severe engagement, lasting six hours.

The Indians fought with great boldness and desperation, being evidently determined to hold their position long enough to get off their stock. On one occasion, about 8 p. m., they charged down on to Bernard's line, firing seven volleys, and approaching within 10 feet of the men. They were, however, finally driven back by the continued efforts of the officers and men, and from that time contented themselves with firing at longer range. The officers engaged were, Capt. R. F. Bernard, First Cavalry; Lieut. G. E. Overton, Sixth Cavalry; Lieut. J. N. Glass, Sixth Cavalry; Lieut. A. Š. Bailey, Sixth Gavalry, and Lieut. 8. C. Mills, Twelfth Infantry, commanding Indian scouts, all of whom are deserving of the highest cominendation, as also the men of their command. I wonld have rendered this report earlier, but my illness prevented. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major, First Cavalry.

(First indorsement.)



Tucson, Ariz., October 11, 1881. Respectfully forwarded to headquarters military division of the Pacific as a part of my supplementary andual report." The Chiricahuas broke from the reservation on the night of the 29tb and 30th ultimo. On the 30th Overton's and Glass's troops, Sixth Cavalry, were sent in pursuit, and next morning I started south, in which direction the hostiles were moving. I took with me Sanford's command to guard prisoners en route, and to be available in the southern part of the Territory, now stripped of all cavalry. As soon as we arrived at Cedar Springs and found the Indians in that vicinity, I ordered Bernard, of Sanford's Battalion, to move out and attack with his troop, and while he was examining trails, Overton and Glass arrived, when I ordered Sanford to assume command of the three troops and push in. The result is shown in this, Major Sanford's, report. Great praise is due Sanford, officers, and men for their gallantry, zeal, and persistent energy, which resulted in such a complete discomfiture of the Chiricahuas that they have not made another stand. Their own killed were concealed or carried off in the night, but bloody clothes dropped on the trails, and the large number of horses and mules found killed on the mountain side (twenty-three in number), proved how severely they must have suffered.

0. B. WILLCOX, Brevet Major-General, Commanding Department.


Vancourer Barracks, W. T., August 2, 1881. GENERAL: I have the honor to report that in compliance with War Department General Order No. 84, of 1880, I assumed command of the Department of the Columbia, and that I, to day, relinquished the command of this department, pursuant to paragraph 6 of the same War Department order, to Brig. Gen. Nelson A. Miles, U. S. Army, submitting the following report of changes that have occurred since I assumed command:

During my temporary command of the department (from January 3, 1881, to date), the composition and stations of the personnel have remained substantially as at date of last report of my predecessor. The exceptions are the abandonment of Camp Howard, near Mount Idaho,

and the transfer of its garrison (Company K, Second Infantry) to Camp Spokan.

The transfer of Company E, First Cavalry, from Fort Lapwai to Fort Walla Walla, replaced by Company D, same regiment, from the latter named post. The exchange of Batteries G and M, Fourth Artillery, from Fort Canby, at the mouth of the Columbia, to the harbor of San Francisco, replaced by Batteries F and K, same regiment, and the transfer of Company H, Twenty-first Infantry, from Fort Canby to Fort Stevens, also at the mouth of the Columbia.

No extended operations of the troops have occurred during the period of my command; minor ones worthy of note are as follows: Captain Parnell's company, F, First Cavalry, is now absent from Boisé Barracks, on a scout into the Payette Lake region. No report has been received from it, but it is believed his command will not encounter any hostile Indians.

The commanding officer, Fort Townsend, has recently been instructed at the request of the Chief Signal Officer of the Army, to cause a reconnaissance to be made under the direction of Captain Jocelyn, Twentyfirst Infantry, of the country between Port Townsend and Cape Flattery, looking to the future construction of a line of military telegraph between those points; a lue which, when constructed, will give valuable results, both in the interests of mineralogy and commerce.

Captain Bendire, First Cavalry, with a detachment of his Company (K), has been ordered, on the request of Professor Spencer F. Baird, of the Smithsonian Institution, favorably indorsed by the General of the Army, to make an examination of the celebrated “fossil-beds” in the valley of the John Day River, Oregon.

Captain Bendire is now absent on that duty. No report has been received from him as yet, but when made it will doubtless be full of interest in a scientific direction.

On the 2d of May last, Capt. John A. Kress, Ordnance Department, chief ordnance officer of the department, assisted by Second Lieut. F. J. Patten, Twenty-first Infantry, left here en route to make an examination of and report upon the newly discovered Wood River mining region in Idaho, regarding which there was considerable excitement and desire for definite knowledge in this section of country. Captain Kress returned in June and rendered his report, a copy of which has been transmitted to you, and which I beg to commend as a valuable paper.

First Lieut. T. W. Symons, Corps of Engineers, chief engineer of the department, has been furnished with all requisite facilities, and engaged since the latter part of May last upon the determination telegraphically of the longitude of three prominent points in this department, viz, Spokane Falls, and Colfax, Wash. T., and Lewiston, I. T. His work, now just being completed at Lewiston, will be of great value in the future of this great section of the continent.

Captain Hunter, First Cavalry, with his company (H), is now engaged in the work of opening a new military wagon road from Fort Colville to Spokane Falls. This will be done at no, or inconsiderable, expense to the government, and will result in shortening the line of supply of that post some 30 miles, with a better road than the one now in use.

On the 17th of July, a detachment from Fort Cour d'Aléne, under a commissioned officer, was detailed as directed by the General of the Army, and ordered to continue the work commenced last year iu repairing the Mullan wagon road between Forts Cour d'Alene, Idaho, and Missoula, Montana.

In winter months it is not unusual to learn of 15 feet of snow on this road, and the melting of this body of snow in the spring months severely damages the Mullan road, which, without important changes in location at several points, and a heavy expenditure for labor, can hardly be maintained as a passable highway between the Territories it connects.

In closing this report I feel justified in stating that the changed condition in the attitude of those Indian tribes in this department that were once hostile, but are now quiet and peaceably disposed, the rapid settlement, during the past five years, of that portion of the department drained by the Upper Columbia and its tributaries, and the gratifying progress of the Northern Pacific Railroad and other important railroad lines, indicate that the proper time has arrived for making proportionate changes in the location of our scattered little posts, and in the interest of economy and discipline I recommend that the less important military stations in this department be abandoned, and that the troops be concentrated at fewer points near rail and water transportation, where they can be more cheaply supplied, more readily instructed, and more speedily moved to threatened points when necessary. I believe this can be safely done with infinite advantage to the military service, and an insured reduction of yearly cost to the Treasury.

With few other exceptions, not considered worthy of mention, the command has been fully occupied with the ordinary routine duties incident to its frontier station. I turn it over to my successor, proud of its instruction, discipline, and morale, certain it will be found fully equal to any emergency it may be called upon to meet in the future.

It remains to thank my staff officers, departmental and personal, for able, zealous, and faithful service in their respective branches of the service. It gives me genuine pleasure to speak of all in terms of the highest praise.

The personal and department staff as at present constituted are as follows:

Personal staff.-Second Lieut. J. T. R. Landis, First Cavalry, aid-decamp and acting chief signal officer; Second Lieut. John S. Mallory, Second Infantry, aid-de-camp and acting judge-advocate.

Department staff.-Maj. O. D. Greene, assistant adjutant.general; Maj. George B. Dandy, chief quartermaster; Capt. Samuel T. Cushing, chief commissary of subsistence; Maj. John Moore, medical director; Maj. James P. Canby, Pay Department, chief paymaster; First Lieut. Thomas W. Symons, Engineer Corps, chief engineer officer; Capt. John A. Kress, Ordnance Department, chief ordnance officer, in charge of office of the acting assistant inspector-general.

The changes in the department staff have been Lieut. Col. C. G. Sawtelle, Quartermaster Department, chief quartermaster, relieved April 12, Special Orders 67, A. G. O.; Maj. Joseph H. Eaton, Pay Department, chief paymaster, retired; Maj. Edwin C. Mason, Twenty-first Infantry, acting assistant inspector-general, relieved June 25, G. O. 15, Department Columbia. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brevet Brigadier-General. The ADJUTANT-GENERAL OF THE ARMY,

Washington, D. c.



Vancouver Barracks, W. T., September 29, 1881. SIR: In accordance with your communication of the 7th instant, I have the honor to submit the following report:

The important events and movements of troops in this department during the year preceding the time of my assuming command have been mentioned in reports of my predecessors already forwarded.

On the 2d of August, ultimo, in accordance with the orders of the President, I assumed command of the geographical Department of the Columbia. Since that time but few changes have been made. Two companies, E and F, Second Infantry, have been ordered from Camp Spokane, W. T., to Fort Cæur d'Alêne, I. T.; Company H, Twenty-first Infantry, from Fort Stevens, Oregon, to Vancouver Barracks, W. T.; Company M, First Cavalry, from Fort Walla Walla, W. T., to Department of Arizona. The present stations of troops are as follows:



Regimental headquarters, Troops A, B, E, and K, at Fort Walla Walla, W. T.

Troop D at Fort Lapwai, I. T.
Troop Fat Boisé Barracks, I. T.
Troop H at Fort Colville, W. T.
Troop L at Fort Klamath, Oregon.


Batteries F and K at Fort Canby, W. T., with detachment guarding Fort Stevens, Oregon.


Regimental headquarters, Companies A, B, G, and I, at Fort Cæur d'Alene, I. T.

Companies D, E, F, and K at Camp Spokane, W. T.
Companies Cand H at Fort Colville, W. T.


Regimental headquarters, Companies E, F, G, H, and K, at Vancouver Barracks, W. T.

Company A at Boisé Barracks, I. T.
Company Cat Fort Klamath, Oregon.
Company I at Fort Lapwai, I. T.
Companies B and D at Fort Townsend, W. T.

As far as practicable, I have inspected the posts in this department, and from personal observation am enabled to report the troops well instructed, well disciplined, and in fair condition.

I find, however, that this military force has been inadequately supplied, as seen in the condition of barracks, quarters, and transportation.

The troops at several of the posts are not suitably or comfortably sheltered. This condition of affairs seriously affects both the health and efficiency of the command.

I will forward complete estimates of what is required, and trust that a due proportion of the necessary funds and material appropriated may be furnished this department.

In addition to the usual military duties, the troops have been engaged, and are now employed, in constructing military roads from Fort Colville to Spokane Falls, W. T.; from Fort Colville to Camp Spokane, W. T., and from Fort Ceur d’Alêne, I. T., east toward Fort Missoula, M. T. These routes (some 230 miles in extent), when completed, will not only greatly facilitate the movement of troops and supplies, but will be of great value to the public.

The troops are also engaged in establishing military telegraph lines from Spokane Falls, on the Northern Pacific Railroad, to Camp Spokane, W.T.; from Ashland to Fort Klamath, Oregon, and from Port Townsend to Cape Flattery, W.T., adding some 240 miles to the lines of communication. When completed all the military posts in this department, with one exception, will be within telegraphic communication. At the same time the lines are being used for private and commercial purposes, thereby benefiting the citizens of the country,

The troops, at available points, occupy a wide extent of country, the greater portion of which is inhabited by defenseless settlers and numerous tribes of Indians.

The different Indian tribes in this department are, in the main, in a peaceable condition; most of the semi-civilized are making some progress toward self-support; yet there are vast tracts of country still occupied by bands of nomadic Indians, and between the latter and the remote settlers conflicts of race may be expected. The evils arising from injudicious and illy-defired treaties made with these Indian tribes are becoming apparent, and the constant clashing of interests between the Indians and the miners, ranchmen, and farmers, is almost inevitable, and quite likely to result in open hostilities.

The germs of future Indian disturbances are already noticeable in some localities.

Measures are being taken which, when completed, will better facilitate communication with and concentration of the available force in this department, and at the same time increase the efficiency of the troops and lessen the cost of supplies, the chief aim being to make the limited force (of 1,570 soldiers) of the least expense to the general government, and at the same time give the greatest protection to a people occupying territory (not including Alaska) of 250,000 square miles in extent. When it is remembered that our troops have contended in the past, and doubtless in the future will have to meet, an enemy of superior numbers where the natural obstacles are dense forests, trackless mountains, and almost impassable rivers, the difficulties to be encountered will be easily understood and appreciated.

In this connection I desire to invite especial attention to the weak and defective condition of the companies and regiments of this command, an evil which prevails through the entire service.

It must be apparent to every one familiar with the subject, that our little Army is defective in organization, and, consequently, greatly overworked.

This nation of 50,000,000 of people calls upon its Army for more than double the labor required of any other troops in the world, and the testimony of thoseavho have had the best means of knowing, from the humble frontier settler to the late Chief Magistrate, James A. Garfield, and in the words of the latter, is that the Army has been crippled and reduced

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