Today in History:

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


AUGUST 8-9, 1861. -Attack on Emigrant Train near the Great Salt Lake, Utah, Ter.

Report of Lieutenant Eugene M. Baker, First U. S. Dragoons.

Fort Churchill, Nev. Ter., September 10, 1861.

Captain R. C. DRUM,

Asst. Adjt. Ge., Hdqrs. Dept. of the Pacific, San Francisco, Cal.:

SIR: I have the honor to transmit herewith the report of Lieutenant E. M. Baker, First Dragoons, who was detached from this post on the 6th of September, 1861, for the purpose of meeting and relieving a party of emigrants who were robbed by the Indians this side of Salt Lake. According to the statement of Mr. S. M. Harriman, in charge of the train, to me, the train consisted of 74 persons, 11 wagons, 89 head of work cattle, 5 horses, and 2 mules, which was the total number of the party when attacked. The total number brought into this post was 54, viz, 22 men, 13 women, and 19 children. The train was attacked on the night of the 8th of August, and abandoned on the morning of the 9th of August, 1861. Almost daily emigrant trains are passing in want of provisions, and I have issued such quantities necessary to carry them to the settlements, and for which I would ask the approval of the general commanding the department.

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


Lieutenant-Colonel First Dragoons, Commanding Post.

FORT CHURCHILL, NEV. TER., September 10, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to state that in compliance with orders dated headquarters Fort Churchill, September 6, 1861, I proceeded with a detachment, consisting of one non-commissioned officer and ten men, and a wagon containing provisions, for the purpose of assisting such emigrants as were absolutely in need of it. I found about thirty miles from this post (on the Carson River) a party of emigrants, about fifty in number, who hadb een attacked and robbed of everything (except what they had on their backs) about sixty-five miles northeast of Salt Lake. They stated that the party who attacked them were Indians, commanded by white men. They were attacked on the night of the 8th of August, and lost all their animals on the night of the 9th. They had since walked the whole distnace to the Carson River, receiving such assistance from other trains as they were able to give them. I distributed 400 pounds of flour, 300 pounds of pork, 26 pounds of rice, 44 pounds sugar, 60 pounds coffee, and 1 quart of ssalt, which, with the assistance received from the citizens of Virginia and Carson Cities, will be sufficient to last them until they reach their destination. The women and children belonging to the party were brought to this post, and have since gone on to Carson and Virginia.

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


Second Lieutenant, First Dragoons.

Lieutenant Colonel G. A. H. BLAKE.