Bear River Expedition - Letter September 22, 1859
SUPERINTENDENT'S OFFICE, UTAH,
Great Salt Lake City, September 22, 1859.
SIR: Your letter of the 24th instant, asking for certain information In relation to recent depredations by Indians on the northern California road, is received.
The Indians who attacked the first emigrant party on Sublett's cut off, were evidently Bannack and Shoshonees, the former belonging to Oregon, and the latter to the three bands of Shoshonees, usually roaming from Willow creek and Box Elder county through the northern part of the Territory. I was informed that from fifteen to twenty of each composed said party. A portion, or probably all the Shoshonees, returned to Box Elder some days subsequent to the depredation with some of the property supposed to belong to said emigrant party, such as mules, cattle, watches, bedquilts, &c. The settlers purchased none of the property from the Indians, although offered at very low prices. All the Indians in and about Box Elder left a day or two previous to my arrival there ; they went north through Cache valley. I received the above information in Box Elder.
A few days since two persons made deposition on oath, and left it with me, stating that they belonged to a train which was attacked by Indians on Sublett's cut-off, and that one man was killed and one badly wounded, and two others slightly; these men are now at Camp Floyd. I am not in possession of any facts of depredations on "Lander's road." I sent for "Little Soldier," a friendly Indian, and really among if not the most reliable of all the Shoshonee chiefs, immediately after my return from Kuby valley. " Little Soldier" assures me that all the got)d Indians, comprising the band in the northern part of the Terri tory, have really left there. Some have gone to chief Washakee's camp, and some to other parts,, in pursuance of my advice. He also assures me that the chiefs of those northern bands have discarded all the bad Indians who assisted in the depredations, and themselves also left the country.
"Little Soldier" further says,, that none but the bad Indians are now on those northern roads.
I will get all the information about those northern Indians that it is in my power to do, and will communicate to you any facts that may aid in the apprehension of those bad Indians.
I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Superintendent of Indian Affairs, U. T.
Major F. J. PORTER,
Asst. Adjt. General, Department of Utah, Camp Floyd, U. T.