Today in History:

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


must have rest or will die. To supply Fort Gaston and the detachments in the field will involve the necessity of dividing the train and the employment of two or three additional packers, if we can get them, which is extremely doubtful unless the acting assistant quartermaster is furnished with funds to pay them promptly every month or two. The country is a very hard one to operate in-indeed, the hardest I ever served in, both upon men and animals. The mountains are precipitous and broken; the divides so imperfectly defined that any one but a good woodsman is liable to get lost in a march of a few hours, particularly if in hot pursuit of Indians. Each separate party ought, therefore, to be furnished with a good guide.

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


Captain, Sixth Infantry, Commanding Post.

Major W. W. MACKALL,

Asst. Adjt. General, Dept. of the Pacific, San Francisco, Cal.

Numbers 2.

Report of Lieutenant Daniel D. Lynn, Sixth U. S. Infantry.

FORT HUMBOLDT, CALL., March 28, 1861.

SIR: In conformity with recent verbal instructions from you I have the honor to enter upon a somewhat detailed account of the campaign from the South Fork of Eel River to its termination. But, firstly, permit me to state that I do not consider it out of place to submit a statement of the origin of the South Fork difficulties.

Origin of the South Fork difficulties. -The only reliable and satisfactory account of these difficulties and their origin that I have yet received is one from Mr. Bruce, a partner of Mr. Armstrong, of the Valley of the South Fork. I regret that I am unable to give all the particulars. It appears that Mr. Ross, widely known as a trafficker with Indians, with one or more persons, was going up the South Fork between Mr. Armstrong's place and that of Messer. Sproul, and overtaken by a small party of rather bold Indians. The Indians did not run, but slowly proceeded toward the white men, but Mr. Ross either fearing that the Indians were denagerous, or thinking they were"too fast," fired on and, I think, killed one. The Sproul bosy appearing and taking sides with Ross and escorting him to their home, led the Indians to think that the Sprouls shared Mr. Ross' sentiments, and were their enemies-a very rational conclusion, especially when it is added that the bosy then sheltered and protected him, so that the Indians, keenly alive to their wrongs, at the first good opportunity thought they would clean out the boys. The boys had killed a bear and were dressing it when the Indians attacked them. The sequel you know; both boys were nearly killed. The white man's side of the story I presume you have heard. Yet, notwithstanding this sad warning, those Sprouls shelter, at every visit, even now, the same desperate character who was their guest on that sad occasion. If the past has anything to do with the future they ought to take warning and eschew all such dangerous hospitality. In addition to the above, white men at the South Fork had whipped and raped Indian women. For further particulars I can be consulted personally at any moment.