History of Oregon (Bancroft)/Volume 2/Chapter 22

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3277131History of Oregon, Volume 2 — Chapter 22: The Modoc WarFrances Fuller Victor




Land of the Modocs—Keintpoos, or Captain Jack—Agents, Superintendents, and Treaties—Keintpoos Declines to Go on a Reservation—Rids—Troops in Pursuit—Jack Takes to the Lava-beds—Appointment of a Peace Commissioner—Assassination of Canby, Thomas, and Sherwood—Jack Invested in his Stronghold—He Escapes—Crushing Defeat of Troops under Thomas—Captain Jack Pursued, Caught, and Executed.

The Modoc war, fought almost equally in California and Oregon, is presented in this volume because that tribe belonged to the Oregon superintendency, and for other reasons which will appear as I proceed. From the time that certain of Frémont's men were killed on the shore of Klamath Lake down to 1864, when superintendent Huntington of Oregon entered into a treaty with them and the Klamaths, the Modocs[1] had been the implacable enemies of the white race, and were not on much more friendly terms with other tribes of their own race, sustaining a warlike character everywhere. They lived on the border-land between California and Oregon, but chiefly in the latter, the old head chief, Sconchin, having his home on Sprague River, which flows into the upper Klamath Lake, and the subchiefs in different localities.

Keintpoos, a young subchief, had his headquarters anywhere about Tule Lake, ranging the country from Link River, between the two Klamath lakes, to Yreka, in California. He was called Captain Jack by the white settlers, on account of some military ornaments which he had added to his ordinary shirt, trousers, and cap; was not an unadulterated savage, having lived long enough about mining camps to acquire some of the vices of civilization, and making money by the prostitution of the women of his band more than by honest labor. Some of the boys of this band of Modocs were employed as house-servants in Yreka, by which means they acquired a good understanding of the English language, and at the same time failed not to learn whatever of evil practices they observed among their superiors of the white race. During the civil war they heard much about the propriety of killing off the white people of the north, and other matters in harmony with their savage instincts; and being unable to comprehend the numerical strength of the American people, conceived the notion that this was a favorable time to make war upon them, while their soldiers were fighting a long way off.

E. Steele, Indian superintendent of California, when he entered upon the duties of his office in 1863, found the Klamaths and Modocs, under their chiefs Lalake and Sconchin, preparing to make war upon southern Oregon and northern California, having already begun to perpetrate those thefts and murders which are a sure prelude to a general outbreak. The operations of the 1st Oregon cavalry and the establishment of Fort Klamath to prevent these outrages are known to the reader. In February 1864 the Modocs on the border of Oregon and California, who spent much of their time in Yreka, being alarmed lest punishment should overtake them for conscious crimes, sought the advice of Steele, who, ignoring the fact that they had been allotted to the Oregon superintendency, took the responsibility of making with them a treaty of friendship and peace. This agreement was between Steele individually and Keintpoos band of Modocs, and required nothing of them but to refrain from quarrels amongst themselves, and from theft, murder, child-selling, drunkenness, and prostitution in the white settlements. The penalty for breaking their agreement was, to be given up to the soldiers. The treaty permitted them to follow any legitimate calling, to charge a fair price for ferrying travellers across streams, and to act as guides, if desired to do so. On the part of the white people, Steele promised protection when they came to the settlements, but advised their obtaining passes from the officers at Fort Klamath, to which they were informed that they would be required to report themselves for inspection.

This action of Steele's, although prompted by a desire to prevent an outbreak, was severely criticised later. He was aware that congress had granted an appropriation for the purpose of making an official treaty between the superintendent of Oregon, the Modocs, and the Klamaths, and that the latter had been fed during the winter previous at the fort, in anticipation of this treaty. For him to come in with an individual engagement was to lay the foundation for trouble with the Modocs, who were entirely satisfied with a treaty, which left them free to visit the mining camps, and to perpetrate any peccadilloes which they were cunning enough to conceal, while a government treaty which would restrain them from such privileges was not likely to be so well received or kept. Keintpoos did, however, agree to the treaty of October 1864, at the council-grounds on Sprague River, whereby the Klamaths and Modocs relinquished to the United States all the territory ranged by them, except a certain large tract lying north of Lost River Valley.

Sconchin, the head chief of all the Modocs, was now an old man. In his fighting days he had given immigrants and volunteer companies plenty to do to avoid his arrows. It was through his warlike activities that the rocky pass round the head of Tule Lake came to be called Bloody Point. Yet he had observed the conditions of the treaty faithfully, living with his band at his old home on Sprague River, within the limits of the reservation, and keeping his people quiet. But Keintpoos, or Captain Jack, as I shall henceforth call him, still continued to occupy Lost River Meadows, a favorite grazing-ground, where his band usually wintered their ponies, and to live as before a life combining the pleasures of savagery and civilization, keeping his agreement neither with Steele nor the United States, two of his followers being arrested in 1867 for distributing ammunition to the hostile Snakes.

This practice, with other infringements of treaty obligations, led the agent in charge of the Klamath reservation in 1868 to solicit military aid from the fort to compel them to go upon the reserve,[2] which was not at that time granted.

In 1869 the settlers of Siskiyou county, California, petitioned General Crook, in command of the Oregon department, to remove the Modocs to their reservation, saying that their presence in their midst was detrimental to the interests of the people. Crook replied that he would have done so before but for a report emanating from Fort Klamath that the Indian agent did not feed them.[3] After some weeks, however, he, on the demand of Superintendent A. B. Meacham, ordered Lieutenant Goodale, commanding at Fort Klamath, to put Jack and his band upon the reserve if in his belief the Indian department was prepared to care for them properly. Accordingly, in December, Meacharn obtained a detachment of troops and repaired to the ford on Lost River, where he had an interview with Jack, informing him of the purpose of the government to exact the observance of the treaty. Jack hesitated and prevaricated, and during the night fled with a part of his followers to the lava-beds south of Tule Lake, leaving the camp in charge of two subchiefs, George and Riddle. But Meacham remained upon the ground, and after two or three days correspondence with Jack by means of messengers, obtained his consent to come upon the reservation with his people, Jack at the same time confiding his resolve to George not to remain longer than he found it agreeable.[4] Meacham established Jack comfortably at Modoc Point, on Klamath Lake, by his own desire, where also Sconchin was temporarily located while improvements were being made upon the lands intended for cultivation.

As I have intimated, the military department threw doubts upon the manner in which the Indian department provided for the wants of the Indians; and to prevent any occasion being given to Jack to violate treaty obligations, Captain O. C. Knapp was commissioned agent,[5] who was profuse in his allowances to the Modocs in order to cultivate their regard. But all in vain. Early in the spring Jack, pretending to be starved, but in reality longing for the dissipations of Yreka, and designing, by drawing away as many as possible of Sconchin's men, to become a full chief, left the reservation with his band, and returned to Lost River Valley, which was now being settled up by white cattle-raisers. This movement of Jack's caused Meacham to accuse Knapp of permitting the Klamaths to annoy and insult the Modocs, thus provoking them to flight. Meacham was a man with a hobby. He believed that he knew all about the savage race, and how to control it. Like Steele, when he accepted the chieftainship of Jack's band in 1864, he was flattered by the distinction of being the friend of these wild people, and his theory was that he could govern them through his hold on their esteem. Knapp was accused by Jack of causing his people to labor at making rails for fencing, with providing insufficient food, and with moving them from place to place, although he had only proposed to remove them to land more suitable for opening farms, and furnished with wood and grass,[6] and this, Meacham said, was reason enough

The Modoc Country.

for their leaving the reservation. He now called upon the commandant of the fort to take measures to return Jack and his band to the reserve, and also insisted upon the relative positions of the civil superintendent and military agent being made clear by the department at Washington. Having a military agent did not seem to work well, since Captain Knapp, through his knowledge of affairs at the fort, and the inefficiency of Goodale's command, refrained from making a requisition upon him, when in his character of agent it was his duty to have clone so. This neglect caused Goodale to be censured, who promptly placed the blame upon Knapp, while admitting the soundness of his judgment.[7] Owing to the inferiority of the force at Klamath, no steps were taken for a year and a half to brins: back the Modocs under Jack to the reservation, during which time they roamed at will from one resort to another, making free use of the beef of the settlers on Lost River, and by their insolence each summer frightening the women into flight.[8]

In August 1870 General Crook was relieved from the command of the Department of the Columbia by General E. R. S. Canby, and sent to fight the Indians of Arizona, for which purpose all the military stations in Oregon were depleted.[9] At Fort Klamath there was one company, K, of the 23d infantry under Lieutenant Goodale, and no cavalry, while at Camp Warner, over a hundred miles to the east, there were two companies, one being cavalry, neither post being strong enough to assist the other, and both having to keep in check a large number of Indians subdued by Crook, but riot yet trusted to remain quiescent.

There were certain other elements to be taken into account in considering the causes which led to the Modoc war. The Klamaths used formerly to be allies of the Modocs, although they seem never to have been so fierce in disposition; but after being settled on the reserve and instructed, and especially after Lalake, their old chief, was deposed, being sup planted by a remarkable young Klamath, named by the agent Allen David, their ambition was not to fight, but to learn the arts of peace. Their advancement in civilization and conformity to treaty regulations was a source of pride with them, and of annoyance to Captain Jack, the more so that the Klamaths had assisted in arresting the Modocs guilty of aiding the hostile Shoshones with ammunition. But Jack was even more annoyed with Sconchin, whom he taunted with remaining on the reservation more for convenience than care for his people,[10] whom Jack was constantly endeavoring to entice away.

In 1870, having been left so long to follow his own devices, Jack made a formal claim to a tract of land, already settled upon, six miles square, and lying on both sides of the Oregon and California line, near the head of Tule Lake. Superintendent Meacham, not knowing how to compel Jack to bring his people upon the reserve, reported to the secretary of the interior, recommending that this tract as described should be allowed them as a reserve. A more unwise proposition could not have been made; for aside from the precedent established, there was the conflict with the settlers already in possession within these limits, the opposition of the neighboring farmers to having this degraded band in their vicinity, and the encouragement given to Jack, who was informed of the superintendent's action, bearing upon the future aspect of the case.

Previous to this Knapp went to Yreka to have an interview with Jack, whose importance increased with finding himself the object of so much solicitude, and who flatly refused to go with him to Camp Yainax, Sconchin's home, to meet the superintendent. During the summer of 1871 he frequently visited the reservation, defying the military authorities, and boasting that in Yreka he had friends who gave him and his people passes to go where they pleased, which boast he was able to confirm.[11] At length Jack precipitated the necessity of arresting him by going upon the reservation and killing a doctor, who, having failed to save the lives of two persons in his family, was, according to savage reasoning, guilty of their deaths. It is doubtful if an Indian who had lived so much among white people believed in the doctor's guilt; but whether he really meant to avenge the death of his relatives or to express his defiance of United States authority, the effect was the same. By the terms of the treaty the government was bound to defend the reservation Indians against their enemies. Ivan D. Applegate, commissary at Camp Yainax, made a requisition upon the commander at Fort Klamath. to arrest Jack for murder, the effort to do so being rendered ineffectual by the interference of Jack's white friends in Yreka.[12]

Lieutenant Goodale was relieved at Fort Klamath in 1870, by Captain James Jackson, 1st United States cavalry, with his company, B. Knapp had also been relieved of the agency on the reservation by John Meacham, brother of the superintendent, who on being informed of the murder on the reserve instructed the agent to make no arrests until a conference should have been had with Jack and his lieutenants, at the same time naming John Meacham and Ivan D. Applegate as his representatives to confer with them.[13] This desire having been communicated to Canby, he directed Jackson to suspend any measures looking to the arrest of Jack until the superintendent's order for a conference had been carried out, but to hold his command in readiness to act promptly for the protection of the settlers in the vicinity should the conduct of the Indians make it necessary. At the same time a confidential order was issued to the commanding officer at Vancouver to place in effective condition for field service two companies of infantry at that post.[14]

In compliance with the temporizing policy of the superintendent, John Meacham despatched Sconchin with a letter to John Fairchild, living on the road from Tule Lake to Yreka, a frontiersman well known to and respected by the Indians, and who accompanied Sconchin, and with him found Jack, who refused to hold a conference with the agent and commissary, as desired.

Among the settlers in the country desired by Jack was Oregon's venerable pioneer, Jesse Applegate, residing as agent upon a tract claimed by Jesse D. Carr of California, and lying partly in that state and partly in Oregon. Of Applegate, Jack demanded pay for occupation. On being refused, one of Jack's personal guard, known as Black Jim, set out on a raid among the settlers, at the head of fifteen or twenty warriors, alarming the whole community, and causing them to give notice at the agency. These things led to a further attempt to gain a conference with Jack, he being given to understand that if he would consent he would be safe from arrest, and allowed to remain for the present in the Lost River country.

At length Jack signified his willingness to see the commissioners, provided they would come to him at Clear Lake, Applegate's residence, attended by no more than four men, he promising to bring with him the same number. Word was at once sent by Applegate to Klamath, sixty miles, and the commissioners were informed. On arriving at the rendezvous, they found, instead of four or five Modocs, twenty-nine, in war-paint and feathers.

The conference was an awkward one, Black Jim doing most of the talking for the Modocs. Jack was sullen, but finally gave as a reason for not returning to the reservation that he was afraid of the Klamath 'medicine.'[15] He also complained that the Klamaths exasperated him by assuming the ownership of everything on the reserve, drew an effective picture of the miseries of such a state of dependence, and denied that his people had ever done anything to disturb the settlers.[16] When reminded that he had driven away several families, and that those who remained were assessed, he demanded to know who had informed against him, but was not told.[17] All through the interview Jack had the advantage. There were thirty armed Modocs against half a dozen white men, who, warned by Jack's sullen demeanor, dared not utter a word that might be as fire to powder. He so far unbent during the conversation as to promise not to annoy the settlers, and not to resist the military, and was given permission to remain where he was until the superintendent could come to see them; and upon this understanding John Meacham wrote to that functionary that no danger was to be apprehended from Jack's band. Yet the commissioners had hardly set out on their return to Yainax when it was warmly debated in the Modoc camp whether or not to commence hostilities at once by murdering Jesse Applegate and the other settlers about Clear and Tule lakes.[18]

Agent Meacham's report of security for the present was communicated by the superintendent to Canby, who in turn reported it to the division commander at San Francisco, and the matter rested. Major Ludington, military inspector, who made a tour of the stations on the border of California and Oregon, passing through camps Bidwell, Warner, and Harney, also reported the people on the whole route free from any fear of Indians, and that the rumors of alarm arose solely from petty annoyances to individuals from Indians visiting the settlements.[19] Fort Klamath was not visited by the inspector, and the report of the Indian agent misled the military department.

But the settlers in the Tule and Clear Lake district did not feel the same security. On the contrary, in November 1871 they petitioned the superintendent and Canby to remove the Modocs to their reservation, saying that their conduct was such that they dared not allow their families to remain in the country.[20] Their petition remained in the superintendent's hands for two months before it was submitted to Canby, with the request that Jack's band be removed to Camp Yainax, and suggesting that not less than fifty troops be sent to perform this duty, and that Commissary Applegate accompany the expedition, if not objected to by Captain Jackson.

Canby replied that he had considered the Modoc question temporarily settled by the permission given them by the commissioners to remain where they were until they had been notified of the determination of the government in regard to the six miles square recommended by him to be given them for a separate reserve, and that it would be impolitic to send a military force against them before that decision, or before they had been notified of the point to which they were to be removed; but that in the mean time Jackson would be directed to take measures to protect the settlers, or to aid in the removal of the Modocs should force be required.[21]

Alarmed by the delay in arresting Jack, a petition was forwarded to Governor Grover, requesting him to urge the superintendent to remove the Modocs, or authorize the organization of a company of mounted militia to be raised in the settlements for three months service, unless sooner discharged by the governor. In this petition they reiterated their former com plaint, that they had been harassed for four years by about 250 of these Indians, 80 of whom were fighting men. These latter were insolent and menacing, insulting their families, drawing arms upon citizens, and in one case firing at a house. They complained that the superintendent had turned a deaf ear, and unless the governor could help them there was no further authority to which they could appeal. Being scattered over a large area, it was to be feared that in case of an outbreak the loss of life would be heavy.[22] Grover succeeded in procuring an order that Major Otis, with a detachment of 50 cavalry and their officers, should establish a temporary camp in Lost River district; but Canby refused to take any more active measures before the answer to the recommendation of the superintendent, with regard to a reservation in that country, should arrive from Washington.

Early in April Meacham was relieved of the superintendency, and T. B. Odeneal appointed in his place. One of his first acts was to take council of Otis in regard to the propriety of permitting Jack and his followers to remain any longer where they were, when Otis made a formal recommendation in writing that the permission given by Meacham should be withdrawn, and they directed to go upon the reservation, the order not to be given before September; that in case of their refusal the military could put them upon it in winter, which was the most favorable season for the undertaking. Otis further recommended placing Jack and Black Jim on the Siletz reservation, or any other place of banishment from their people, giving it as his opinion that there would be no peace while they were at liberty to roam, without a considerable military force to compel his good behavior. In order to make room for the Modocs, and leave them no cause of complaint, he proposed the removal of Otsehoe's band of Shoshones, together with Wewawewa's and some others, to a reservation in the Malheur country.[23] The same recommendation was made to Canby on the 15th of April.

While these matters were under discussion, the long-delayed order arrived from the commissioner of Indian affairs at Washington to remove the Modocs, if practicable, to the reservation already set apart for them by the treaty of 1864, and to see that they were protected from the aggressions of the Klamaths. Could this not be done, or if the superintendent should be unable to keep them on the reserve, he was to report his views of locating them at some other point which he should select.

Odeneal wrote to the new agent at Klamath, L. S. Dyar,[24] and to Commissary Applegate to seek an interview with Jack, and endeavor to persuade him to go to live on the reservation. Major Otis had previously made an attempt, through his Indian scouts, to have a conference, but had been repulsed in a haughty manner. However, after much negotiation it had been agreed that a meeting should take place at Lost River gap between Otis, Agent High, Ivan and Oliver Applegate, with three or four citizens as witnesses, and three or four Klamath scouts on one side, and Jack with half a dozen of his own men on the other. But according to his former tactics, Jack presented himself with thirty-nine fighting men, arid had Otis at his mercy.

The council at Lost River gap was productive of no good results, Jack denying any complaints made by the settlers, and one of the witnesses, Miller, testifying that his conduct was peaceable, under the selfish and mistaken belief that he was insuring his own immunity from harm.[25] When Odeneal's order arrived for a council with Jack, that he might be informed of the decision of the commissioner of Indian affairs, Sconchin was employed to act as messenger to arrange for a meeting at Linkville; but Jack returned for answer that any one desiring to see him would find him in his own country. After considerable effort, a meeting was arranged to take place at the military encampment at Juniper Springs, on Lost River. Agents Dyar and Applegate, attended by some of Sconchin's head men, met Jack and his warriors on the 14th of May, when every argument and persuasion was used to influence him to conform to the treaty, but without success. His unalterable reply was that he should stay where he was. and would not molest settlers if they did not locate on the west side of Lost River, near the mouth, where he had his winter camp. The settlers, he said, were always lying about him and making trouble, but "his people were good people, and would not frighten anybody. He desired only peace, and was governed by the advice of the people of Yreka, who knew and understood him.[26] The old chief Sconchin then made a strong appeal to Jack to accept the benefits of the treaty, and pointed out the danger of resistance, but in vain.

The commissioners reported accordingly, and also that in casting about for some locality where Jack's band might be placed, apart from the Klamaths, no land had been found unoccupied so good for the purpose as that upon the reservation. Camp Yainax was, in fact, nearly as far from the Klamath agency as the Lost River country. Nothing now remained but to prepare to bring the Modocs on to the reservation. Odeneal gave it as his opinion that the leading men among them should be arrested and banished to some distant place until they should agree to abide by the laws, while the remainder should be removed to Yainax, suggesting the last of September as a proper time for carrying out this purpose; and the commissioner issued the order to remove them, "peace ably if you can, forcibly if you must."

In May, the Modocs having broken camp and begun their summer roaming, Otis reported his station on Lost River unnecessary, and the troops were with drawn about the 1st of June. No sooner, however, were the troops back at Fort Klamath than Jack appeared at the camp of Sconchin's people, away from Yainax on their summer furlough, with forty armed warriors, conducting himself in such a manner as to frighten them back to the agency. The citizens were hardly less alarmed, and talked once more of organizing a militia company. The usual correspondence followed between the Indian and military departments, and the settlers were once more assured that their safety would be looked after.[27]

While the Modoc question was in this critical stage, influences unknown to the department were at work confirming Jack in his defiant course, arising from nothing less than a scheme, proposed by Steele of Yreka, to secure from the government a grant of the land desired by him, on condition that he and his people should abandon their tribal relation, pay taxes, and improve the land, which they promised to do.[28] But no one knew better than Steele that to leave the Modocs in the midst of the white settlements would be injurious to both races, and most of all to the Indians themselves, who instead of acquiring the better part of civilization were sure to take to themselves only the worse; and that the better class of white people must object to the contiguity of a small special reserve in their midst. Not so did the Modocs themselves reason about the matter. Steele, because they could approach him with their troubles, and because he simply told them to go and behave themselves, without seeing that they did so, was the white chief after their own mind, and his word was law, even against the power with which they had made a treaty. They were proud of his friendship, which gave them importance in their own eyes, and which blinded them to their inevitable doom. So said the settlers, with whom I cannot always fully agree.

It now being definitely settled that Jack's band must go upon the reservation to reside before winter, Odeneal repaired to the Klamath agency November 25th, sending a special messenger, James Brown of Salem, and Ivan Applegate to Lost River to invite them to meet him at Linkville, and to promise them the kindest treatment if they would consent to go to Yainax, where ample provision had been made for their support. If they would not consent, he required them to meet him at Linkville on the 27th for a final understanding.

To the military authorities a communication was addressed requiring them to assist in carrying out the instructions of the commissioner of Indian affairs by compelling, if necessary, the obedience of the Modocs to recognized authority, and they had signified their readiness to perform this duty.[29] On the 27th Odeneal and Dyar repaired to Linkville to meet the Modocs, according to appointment, but found there only the messengers, by whom they were apprised of Jack's refusal either to go upon the reservation or to meet the superintendent at that place. "Say to the superintendent," returned Jack, "that we do not wish to see him or talk with him. We do not want any white man to tell us what to do. Our friends and counsellors are men in Yreka, California. They tell us to stay where we are, and we intend to do it, and will not go upon the reservation. I am tired of being talked to, and am done talking." One of Jack's lieutenants, commonly known as Scarface Charley, from a disfigurement, would have taken the lives of the messengers upon the spot, but was restrained by Jack, who preferred waiting until the superintendent was in his power.[30]

Being now assured that nothing short of an armed force could bring the Modocs to submission, Odeneal sent word to Colonel Green, in command at Fort Klamath, that military aid would be required in arresting Captain Jack, Black Jim, and Scarface, who should be held subject to his orders.

It had never been contemplated by the superintendent or by Canby that any number of troops under fifty should attempt to take Jack and his warriors. In view of this necessity, Canby had issued a special order early in September giving Wheaton control of the troops at Klamath, that in an emergency of this kind he might have a sufficient force to make the movement successful, and Wheaton had directed Green to keep him fully advised by courier of the attitude of the Modocs. But now occurred a fatal error. Ivan Applegate, who carried Odeneal's requisition to the fort, supposed that there was a sufficient force of cavalry at the post to arrest half a dozen Indians,[31] however brave or desperate, and gave it as his opinion that no serious resistance would be made to the troops. Odeneal, in his letter to Green, said: "I transfer the whole matter to your department, without assuming to dictate the course you shall pursue in executing the order." Green, who was of Applegate's opinion that the Modocs would yield at the appearance of his cavalry, and thinking it better to take Jack and his confederates before they were reenforced, immediately sent off Captain Jackson with thirty-six men to execute the order.[32]

The troops left Fort Klamath at noon on the 28th, officered by Captain Jackson, Lieutenant Boutelle, and Dr McEldery. Odeneal had sent Brown, his special messenger, to notify the settlers who were likely to be endangered in case of an engagement with the Modocs. How imperfectly this was done the sequel proved.[33] The superintendent met Jackson on the road about one o clock on the morning of the 29th, directing him to say to Jack and his followers that he had not come to fight, but to escort them to Yainax, and not to fire a gun except in self-defence.

A heavy rain was falling, through which the troops moved on, guided by Ivan Applegate, until daybreak, when, arriving near Jack's camp, they formed in line, and advancing rapidly, halted upon the outskirts, calling to the Modocs to surrender, Applegate acting as interpreter. The Indians were evidently surprised and wavering, a part of them seeming willing to obey, but Scarface and Black Jim, with some others, retained their arms, making hostile demonstrations during a parley lasting three quarters of an hour. Seeing that the leaders grew more instead of less defiant, Jackson ordered Lieutenant Boutelle to take some men from the line and arrest them. As they advanced, Scarface fired at Boutelle,[34] missing him. A volley from both sides followed. Almost at the first fire one cavalryman was killed and seven wounded. The balls from the troops mowed down fifteen Indians. Up to the time that firing commenced, Jack had remained silent and sullen in his tent, refusing to take any part in the proceedings, but on the opening of hostilities he came forth and led the retreat of his people, now numbering twice as many as on the visit of Brown and Applegate. In this retreat the women and children were left behind. It was now that the rashness of Colonel Green became apparent. Jackson's force, already too light, was lessened by the loss of eight men, whom he dared not leave in camp lest the Indian women should murder and mutilate them, and he was therefore unable to pursue. Leaving a light skirmish line with Boutelle, he was forced to employ the remainder of the troops in conveying the wounded and dead to the east side of the river in canoes, and thence half a mile to the cabin of Dennis Crawley, after which he returned and destroyed the Indian camp.

In the mean time a citizens company, consisting of O. C. Applegate, James Brown, J. Burnett, D. Crawley, E. Monroe, Caldwell, and Thurber, who had gathered at Crawley's to await the result of the attempted arrest, attacked a smaller camp on the east side, and lost one man, Thurber. They retired to the farm and kept up firing at long range to prevent the Indians crossing the river and attacking Jackson's command on the flank and rear. While this was going on, two men fled wounded to Crawley's, one of whom, William Nus, soon died. At this intimation that the settlers below were uninformed of their danger, Ivan Applegate, Brown, Burnett, and other citizens went in various directions to warn them, leaving but a small force at Crawley's to guard the wounded. During their absence Jackson was called upon to protect this place from the hostilities of Hooker Jim and Curlyheaded Doctor, two of Jack's head men not before mentioned. As there was no ford nearer than eight miles, the troops spent two or three hours getting to Crawley's, where they encamped, and beheld in the distance the smoke of burning hay-ricks.[35]

On the morning of the 30th, Captain Jackson having heard that a family named Boddy resided three and a half miles below Crawley's, who had not been warned, despatched a detachment with a guide to ascertain their fate. Finding the family absent, and the premises undisturbed, the troops returned with this report, the guide Crawley coming to the conclusion that they had fled south, warning others on the way. But in this he was mistaken, four out of a family of six at this place having been killed, and two having escaped.[36]

It was afterward ascertained that no more persons were killed on the 29th; but on the following day a number of men about Tule Lake were slain, among them their good friend Miller.[37] Living within seventy-five yards of Miller's house was the Brotherton family, three men of which were killed. That the remainder were saved, was due to the courage of Mrs Brotherton, who defended her home for three days before relief arrived.[38] The victims in this collision between Jack and the troops counted eighteen white men and about the same number of Indians.[39]

War was now fairly inaugurated. Jack had thrown down the gauntlet to the United States, and Crawley's cabin in the midst of the grassy meadows of Lost River had become the headquarters of a so far defeated arid humiliated military force. The distance from Crawley's to Fort Klamath was sixty miles, to the agency fifty-five, to Camp Yainax about the same, to Linkville twenty-three miles, to Ashland, in the Rogue River Valley, eighty-eight miles, to Camp Warner about the same distance, and to Yreka farther. There were no railroads or telegraph lines in all the country, and a chain of mountains lay between the camp and the post-road to army headquarters. That was the situation.

As soon as news of the fight reached the agency, Dyar raised a company of thirty-six Klamaths, whom he placed under D. J. Ferree, and sent to reënforce Jackson. O. C. Applegate hastened to Yainax to learn the temper of Sconchin's band of Modocs, and finding them friendly, organized and armed a guard of fifteen to prevent a raid on the camp, and taking with him nine others, part Modocs and part Klamaths, crossed the Sprague River mountains into Langell Valley, and proceeded thence to Clear Lake, to ascertain the condition of his uncle, Jesse Applegate. Arriving December 2d, he found his brother Ivan had been there with a party of six citizens and five cavalrymen. The troops being left to guard the family at Clear Lake, the citizens set out upon a search for the bodies of the killed, and O. C. Applegate with his company of Indians, himself in disguise, imme- diately joined in the search. While at Brotherton's they had a skirmish with Scarface's party of Modocs. Fortifying themselves in a stable, one of the friendly Modocs was sent to hold a parley with Scarface, and to spy upon him, which he did by affecting to sympathize with his cause. He escaped back by pretending that he went to bring in other sympathizers from the reservation, but instead revealed the plan of the enemy, which was to finish the work of murder and pillage on that day. Jack arid eighteen warriors were to proceed down the west side of Lost River to the Stone Ford, and join Scarface. When they had killed the men who were searching for the dead, they would return and attack Jackson; but Applegate's party prevented the junction. Ferrer's company of Klamaths had also been on a scout down the west side of the river, under Blow, one of the head men on the reservation, which being observed by Jack, re strained his operations on that side. They could not now attack without exposing themselves to the fire of two camps a short distance apart, and retired to the lava-beds.

Entering lower Klamath Lake from the south was a small stream forking- toward the west, the southern branch being known as Cottonwood Creek, and the western one as Willow Creek. On the first was a farm belonging to Van Bremer, and on the other the farm of John A. Fairchilds. On Hot Creek, a stream coming into the lake on the west side, lived P. A. Dorris. Between Dorris and Fairchild's places was an encampment of forty-five Indians called Hot Creeks, a branch of the Modocs, a squalid company, but who if they joined Jack's forces might become dangerous; and these it was determined to bring upon the reservation. Being a good deal frightened by what they knew of the late events, they yielded to argument, and set out for their new home under the conduct of Fairchild, Dorris, and Samuel Culver.

Dyar had been notified to meet them at Linkville, where the Indians would be turned over to him. But now happened one of those complications liable to arise under circumstances of so much excitement, when every one desired to be of service to the common cause without knowing in the least what to do. The same thought had occurred to William J. Small, residing three miles below Whittle's ferry on Klamath River, who organized a party among his neighbors and set out for Hot Creek with the purpose of removing these Indians to the reservation. Knowing that they were liable to fall in with the hostile Modocs, they went well armed. At Whittle's the two parties met, and the conductors of the Indians, being suspicious of the intentions of Small's men, opposed their visiting the Indian encampment, on which Small and his men returned home.

In the interim four citizens of Linkville, all good men, hearing of Small's enterprise, and anxious for its success, started to reenforce him. On the way a drunken German named Fritz attached himself to the party, and talked noisily of avenging the death of his friend William Nus. From this man's gabble the re port spread that the Linkville men contemplated the massacre of the Hot Creek Indians. Alarmed by this rumor, Isaac Harris and Zenas Howard hastened by a shorter route to the ferry to warn Fairchild, so that when the Linkville men arrived they found them selves confronted by the escort of the Indians with arms in their hands. An explanation ensued, when the Linkville party turned off to Small's place. Fritz, however, remained at the ferry and contrived to alarm the Indians by his drunken utterances.

When Dyar reached Linkville he too heard the rumor afloat, and hastened on to the ferry, although it was already night, intending to thwart any evil intent by moving the Indians past Linkville before daylight. Fairchild agreed to the proposition, and hastened to inform the Indians and explain the cause. An arrangement had been entered into with Small's party to escort them, and the Indians readily consented, saddling their ponies, and the foremost accompanying Dyar to the ferry. Here they waited for some time for the remainder to follow, when it was discovered that they had fled back to their native rocks and sagebrush. The few with Dyar soon followed, and thus ended a laudable attempt to lessen the hostile force by placing this band peaceably on the reserve.

In a day or two these Indians were employed making arrows and bullets, in the midst of which a wagon arrived from the Klamath agency, and another attempt was made to remove the Hot Creek Indians to the reservation, but they disappeared in a night, taking with them not only their own horses and provisions, but those of their friend Fairchild.

After the failure of the attempt to remove the Hot Creek band, an effort was made by Fairchild, Dorris, Beswick, and Ball, all personally well known to the Modocs, to persuade Jack to surrender and prevent the impending war. They found him in the juniper ridge between Lost River and the lava-beds south of Tule Lake; but although he refrained from any act of hostility towards them, he rejected all overtures with impatience, and declared his desire to fight. In this interview Jack denied all responsibility of the affair of the 29th, saying that the troops fired first; and further, placed all the guilt of the murders of innocent settlers upon Long Jim, although Scarface, Black Jim, and himself had been recognized among the murderers.[40]

The effect of Fairchild's visit was to give Jack an opportunity to gain over the Hot Creek head men who accompanied him. It also convinced the military that no terms would be accepted by the Modocs except such as they were able to enforce. All the families in this region were immediately sent to Yreka, and men in isolated places surrounded themselves with stockades.

The courier of Colonel Green found the commander of the district of the lakes confined to his bed with quinsy. He trusted there would be no serious difficulty, but advised Green to use all the force at his command, and sent him Captain Perry's troop F, of the 1st cavalry, and also a small detachment from Fort Bidwell under Lieutenant J. G. Kyle, which he said would give him a force of seventy-five cavalry men in addition to Jackson's company, or a hundred and fifty completely equipped troops.[41] Before Wheaton's order reached Fort Klamath the mischief had been consummated. On news of the disaster being received at Camp Warner, Perry's troops set out by way of Yainax, to join Jackson, and Captain R. F. Bernard was ordered from Bidwell by the southern immigrant road to the same destination. They were directed to make forced marches, the supply-trains to follow. But the condition of the roads made travel ling slow, and a week had elapsed after Jackson's fight before he was reënforced.

In order to protect the roads between the settlements, and to keep open the route to Yreka, Bernard's troops were stationed at Louis Land's place on the east shore of Tule Lake, on the borders of that volcanic region popularly known as the lava-beds, in whose rocky caves and canons Jack had taken refuge with his followers. From Bernard's camp to Jack's stronghold, as reported by the scouts, was a distance of thirteen miles, or two miles from the western border of the lava-fields. The trail thence was over and among rocks of every conceivable size, from a pebble to a cathedral. The opportunity afforded for concealment, and the danger of intrusion, in such a region was obvious.

At Van Bremer's farm, distant twelve miles from the stronghold on the west, was Perry's command, while Jackson remained at Crawleys, where Green had his headquarters. As fast as transportation could be procured, the material of war was being concentrated at this point. General Canby, on receiving information of the affair of the 29th, at once despatched General E. C. Mason with a battalion of the 21st infantry, comprising parts of C and B companies, numbering sixty-four men, to join Wheaton's forces. A special train on the 3d of December conveyed Mason, Captain George H. Burton, and lieutenants V. M. C. Silva, W. H. Boyle, and H. De W. Moore to Roseburg, then the terminus of the Oregon and California railroad.[42] The remainder of the march, to Jacksonville and over the mountains through rain and snow, occupied two weeks, making it the middle of December before the infantry reached Crawley's. It was not until about the same time that Wheaton reached Green's headquarters, where he found the ammunition nearly exhausted by distribution among the settlers, necessitating the sending of Bernard to Camp Bidwell, ninety miles, with wagons, for a supply.

The governors of both California and Oregon had been called upon by the people of their respective states to furnish aid. Governor Booth of California responded by sending to the frontier arms out of date, and ammunition too large for the guns;[43] Governor Grover forwarded a better equipment. The Washington Guards of Portland offered their services, which were declined only because the militia general, John E. Ross of Jacksonville, and captain O. C. Applegate of Klamath, had tendered and already had their companies accepted.[44] Applegate's company was made up of seventy men, nearly half of whom were picked Klamaths, Modocs, Shoshones, and Pit River Indians from the reservation. In the interval before the first pitched battle they were occupied scouting, not only to prevent fresh outrages, but to intercept any of Jack's messengers to Camp Yainax, and prevent their drawing off any of the Sconchin band, whom, although they declared their loyalty to be unimpeachable, it was thought prudent to watch. Another reason for surveillance was that Jack had threatened Camp Yainax with destruction should these Modocs refuse to join in the insurrection, and they were exceedingly nervous, being unarmed, except the guards. To protect them was not only a duty, but sound policy.

In the mean time neither the troops nor the Indians were idle. Perry was still at Van Bremer's, with forty cavalrymen. Ross was near Whittle's ferry, at Small's place. On the 16th of December detachments from both companies made a reconnoissance of Jack's position, approaching within half a mile of the strong hold, and from their observations being led to believe that it was possible so to surround Jack as to compel his surrender, although one of his warriors shouted to them defiantly as they turned back, "Come on! Come on!" This exploration revealed more perfectly the difficult nature of the ground, broken by fissures, some a hundred feet in depth and as many in width; and it revealed also that in certain places were level flats of a few acres covered with grasses, and furnished with water in abundance, where the Indian horses grazed in security. Nothing could be better chosen than the Modoc position; arid should their ammunition become exhaused, nothing was easier for them than to steal out unobserved through the narrow chasms, while watch was kept upon one of the many lofty pinnacles of rock about them. But they were not likely to be soon forced out by want, since they had taken $700 in money at one place, and $3,000 worth of stores at another, besides a large amount of ammunition and a few rifles, in addition to their own stock on hand. Everything indicated that hard fighting would be required to dislodge the Modocs. Another delay now ensued, caused by sending to Vancouver for two howitzers, to assist in driving them out of their fastnesses.

Both the regular troops and militia were restive under this detention. The 23d infantry had just come from fighting Apaches in Arizona, and were convinced that subduing a band of sixty, or at the most eighty, Modocs would be a trifling matter if once they could come at them; and the state troops, having only enlisted for thirty days, saw the time slipping away in which they had meant to distinguish themselves. The weather had become very cold, and the militia were ill supplied with blankets and certain articles of commissariat. Another difficulty now presented itself. They had enlisted to fight in Oregon, whereas the retreat chosen by the enemy lay just over the boundary in California; but General Wheaton overcame this last, by ordering Ross to pursue and fight the hostile Indians wherever they could be found.[45]

Actual hostilities were inaugurated December 22d, by Captain Jack attacking Bernard's wagon-train as it was returning from Bid-well with a supply of ammunition, guarded by a small detachment. The attack was made a mile from camp, on the east side of the lake, by firing from an ambuscade, when one soldier and six horses were killed at the first fire. Lieutenant Kyle, hearing the noise of shooting, hastened to the rescue with nearly all the troops in reserve, but ten having had time to mount, and in this unprepared manner fought the Indians the remainder of the day. In this skirmish the long range of the United States arms seemed to surprise the Modocs, as it saved the train. The Indians failed to capture the ammunition, but lost their own horses, and four warriors killed and wounded. A bugler whom they pursued escaped to headquarters, when Jackson's troops were sent to reënforce Bernard; but before his arrival the Modocs had retreated.[46] About the same time they showed themselves on Lost River, opposite headquarters, inviting the attack of the soldiery; and also near Van Bremer's, where Perry and Ross were encamped together.

On the 25th of December Wheaton ordered the volunteers to the front, and word was sent to Langell Valley, where five families still remained, to fortify. Preferring to go to Linkville, they set out in wagons, and were fired upon from an ambush near the springs on Lost River, but were relieved and escorted to their destination by a scouting party. A supply-train from Klamath was also attacked, and a part of the escort wounded, being relieved in the same manner by the volunteers.

Colonel Green, who still retained the immediate command of the troops, was now ordered to attack the Indians whenever in his judgment sufficient material of war was on hand. "With the howitzers and one snow-storm I am ready to begin," had been his asseveration. On the 5th of January another reconnoissance was made, by Captain Kelly of Ross' battalion, with a detachment of twelve men, with the object of finding a more practicable route than the one in use from Van Bremer's, where Green had taken up his headquarters, to the Modoc stronghold. On the way they had a skirmish with twenty of Jack's people, who retreated toward camp, but being pursued, dismounted and fortified. The firing brought a reënforcement from Jack's camp, when the volunteers retreated to an open field, while the Indians, not caring to engage again, returned to the lava-beds. A scout by Applegate with twenty men revealed the fact that the high ridge between Van Bremer's and the lava-field, known as Van Bremer's Hill, was used as an observatory by the Modocs, who kept them selves informed of every movement of the troops.

On the 12th of January an expedition consisting of a detachment of thirteen men under Perry, a handful of scouts under Donald McKay, and thirty of Applegate's mixed company, the whole under Colonel Green, made a reconnoissance from headquarters to ascertain whether wagons could be taken to a position in front of the Modoc stronghold. Green was fired on from a rocky point of the high bluff on the verge of and overlooking the lava-field. Perry returned the fire, driving in the Modoc sentinels, and shooting one of the Hot Creek Indians through the shoulder. Applegate came up in time to observe that the Modocs were dividing into small parties to ascend the hill and get on the flank of the troops, when he stretched a skirmish-line along the bluff for a considerable distance to intercept them. Scarface, who was stationed on a high point in the lava-bed, cried out in stentorian tones to his warriors, "Keep back, keep back; I can see them in the rocks!"[47]

The Modoc guard then fell back half-way down the hill, where they made a stand and defied the soldiers, but made strong appeals to the Indian allies to forsake the white men and join their own race to fight. The leaders were very confident. Hooker Jim said once he had been for peace, but now he was for war, and if the soldiers wished to fight, they should have the opportunity, while Jack and Black Jim challenged the troops to come down where they were.

A medicine-woman also made an address to the Klamath and Modoc scouts, saying that were all the Indians acting in concert they would be few enough, and entreating them to join Jack's force. Donald McKay answered in the Cayuse tongue that their hands were reddened with the blood of innocent white people, for which they should surely be punished, when Jack, losing patience, replied that he did not want to fight Cayuses, but soldiers, and he invited them to come and fight, and he would whip them all. The Klamaths asked permission to reply, but Colonel Green, thinking the communication unprofitable, for bade it.[48]

It not being Green's intention to fight that day, a retreat was ordered. To this the Klamaths were opposed, saying he had the advantage of position, and could easily do some execution on the Modocs. As Green withdrew, the Modocs resumed their position on the hill, and the Klamaths, being then on the crest of the second hill, wished to open on them, but were restrained.

There was much discussion about this time away from the seat of war concerning the causes which led to it,[49] and much dissatisfaction was felt that nothing had been done to restrain Jack's band, which still made predatory excursions away from their strong hold. It was now the middle of January. The settlers in Klamath Valley remained under cover. The road from Tule Lake southward was closed. Fairchild and Dorris had converted their homes into fortified camps. There was much uneasiness in northern California, and talk of forming companies of home-guards, Dorris being selected to visit Booth to obtain aid. But Booth had other advisers, and instead of furnishing arms, made a recommendation to the government to set apart five thousand acres of land where Jack desired it, as a reservation for his band, all of which interference only complicated affairs, as will be seen.

On the 16th of January, everything being in readi ness, and the weather foggy, which answered in place of a snow-storm to conceal the movements of the troops, the army marched upon Jack's stronghold.[50] The regulars in the field numbered 225, and the volunteers about 150. In addition to the companies already mentioned was one of twenty-four sharp shooters under Fairchild. Miller of the Oregon militia had been ordered to the front by Governor Grover, but took no part in the action which followed.

At four o'clock in the morning Colonel Green, with Perry's troops, moved up to the bluff on the south west corner of Tule Lake to clear it of Modoc pickets, and cover the movements of the main force to a camp on the bluff three miles west of Jack's stronghold, so located as to be out of sight of the enemy. By three in the afternoon the whole force was in position, consisting of two companies of infantry under Captain Burton and Lieutenant Moore, a detachment of another company under Sergeant John McNamara, Ross' volunteers under Hugh Kelly and O. C. Applegate; the howitzer battery under Lieutenant W. H. Miller, and Fairchild's sharp-shooters; all, but some of the scouts, dismounted, furnished with a hundred rounds of ammunition, with fifty in close reserve, and cooked rations for three days. A line of pickets was thrown out along the edge of the bluff and another around the camp.

On the east side of the lake were Bernard's and Jackson's companies, and twenty regularly enlisted Klamath scouts under the chief David Hill, all commanded by Bernard, who had been directed to move up to a point two miles from the Modoc position, to be in readiness to attack at sunrise; but proceeding in ignorance of the ground, and contrary to the advice of his guide, he came so near to the stronghold that he was attacked, and compelled to retreat with four men wounded,[51] which unfortunate error greatly embarrassed him next day.

As the troops looked down, on the morning of the 17th, from the high bluff, the fog which overhung the lava-bed resembled a quiet sea. Down into it they were to plunge and feel for the positions assigned them. Mason with the infantry had his position at the extreme left of the line, resting on the lake, with Fairchild's sharp-shooters flanking him. On his right were the howitzers, in the centre General Wheaton and staff, and generals Miller and Ross of the militia; on the right of these Kelly and Applegate with their companies, and on the extreme right Perry's troop, dismounted.[52]

Descending the bluff by a narrow trail, surprised at meeting no Modoc picket, the troops gained their positions, in the order given, about seven in the morning. It was the design to move the line out on the right until it met Bernard's left in front of the Modoc position, where three shots were to be fired by the howitzers to announce a parley, and give Jack an opportunity to surrender.

But the accident of the previous afternoon having put the Modocs on their guard, hardly had the line formed when the Indians opened fire, and instead of surrounding them and demanding their surrender, the troops found that they must fight for every foot of ground between them and the fortress. The fog, too, now became an obstacle instead of an aid to success. Unable to discern their course, the troops were compelled to scramble over and amongst the rocks as best they could, at the risk any moment of falling into ambush, making the movement on the right painfully slow. Nevertheless it was steadily pushed forward, all caution being used, the men often lying flat and crawling over rocks within a few yards of the Indians, who could be heard but not seen. The howitzers, which had been relied upon to demoralize the Indians, proved useless so long as the enemy's position was concealed from view. The line, after advancing a mile and a half, was halted and a few shells thrown, causing the Indians some alarm, but through fear of hitting Bernard's command the firing was soon suspended. Again the line was pushed on another mile and a half by a series of short charges, jumping chasms and sounding the war-whoop.

About one o clock the extreme right of the line, which now enveloped the stronghold on the west and south, was brought to a halt by a deep, wide gorge in the lava, which could not be crossed without sacrifice of life,[53] as it was strongly guarded, and in close neighborhood to the main citadel. On consultation with Wheaton and other officers, Green determined to move the west line by the left and connect with Bernard by the shore of the lake.

At this point some confusion occurred in the line. In the skirmishing and clambering among the rocks, and the bewilderment of the fog, the volunteers had changed places with Perry's troop, and were now on the extreme right. They had, in fact, charged down the ravine, and Applegate's company had gained a position on the sage plain beyond where they lay concealed. Then came an order, "Look out for Bernard!" and a volley which mowed down the sage over their heads, so near were they to a junction with him. While the volunteers were preparing to charge on the stronghold the regular troops had begun to withdraw, seeing which, they were for a time puzzled, until nearing the Modoc position, it was discovered that most of the troops were passing to the left under the bluffs on the west side of the lake; soon after which an order reached the volunteers to report to headquarters, where they found a portion of Perry's troop and a reserve of infantry under Lieutenant Ross.

Meanwhile Mason and Green were endeavoring to make the junction by the left, the troops encountering a destructive fire as they plunged into a ravine on the shore of the lake nearly as dangerous to cross as that on the route first pursued. By pushing forward the sharp-shooters and a detachment of Burton's company to cover the troops as they passed, the crossing was effected. But as Wheaton afterwards said, "There was nothing to fire at but a puff of smoke issuing from cracks in the rock;" while the Modocs were stationed at the most favorable points for picking off the men as they hurried past, crawling over the sharp rocks on their hands and feet, suffering terribly.

After Green had passed the first ravine, Bernard was heard to say that he was within four or five hundred yards of the stronghold, and Green resolved if possible to join him, and make a charge before dark. But after sustaining a fire from the Modocs stationed in the cliffs overhanging the lake shore until he had almost made the junction, he found himself confronted by another deep canon, so well defended that he was unable to effect a crossing, and was, besides, compelled to defend himself from a flank movement by the Modocs on his left. While in this discouraging position the fog lifted, and a signal was received from Wheaton to come into camp, established in a small cove on the lake shore, if he thought best. But fearing to expose his men a second time to the peril of passing the Modoc position, Green declined, and when night had fallen, commenced a march of fourteen miles, over a trail fit only for a chamois to travel, passing the dreaded ravine, carrying the wounded in blankets or on the backs of ponies captured during the day. Their sufferings were severe. One man, belonging to Fairchild's company, rode the whole distance with his thigh-bone broken and his leg dangling.[54] When a halt was called, the men fell asleep standing or riding. Their clothing was in shreds from crawling among the rocks; their shoes were worn off their feet. A month in the field would not have brought them to such a state. It was not until past noon of the 18th that Green's command reached Bernard's camp on the east side of the lake. After making arrangements for the removal of the wounded to Fort Klamath, seventy miles away, over a rough road, three miles of which was over naked bowlders, Green and Mason, with an escort of ten Indian scouts, returned to headquarters that same night by the wagon-road around the north side of the lake.

When the volunteer captains reported to Wheaton, they were ordered to take their men to the lake for water, and then to take up a position in the crags, and extend a skirmish line to the left. While in this position, the Modocs not being far off, Hooker Jim was heard to call the attention of the other leaders to the separation of the volunteers from the regular troops, and that by moving around to the right of the volunteers they could cut them off, and also cut off communication between Wheaton's camp by the lake and his supplies on the hill, which were left in charge of only ten men. Signal-fires were already springing up in that direction.

This determined Wheaton to fall back to camp, and he again signalled to Green his change of plan, authorizing him to withdraw to Bernard's camp, as just related. At dark the retreat to camp began, Applegate leading, the wounded in the centre, and Kelly's company, with the detachment under Ross, skirmishing in the rear. As the evening advanced the Modocs withdrew, and the stumbling and exhausted men reached camp a little before midnight.

The loss sustained in the reconnoissance of the 17th—for it could hardly be called a battle—was nine killed and thirty wounded.[55] Among the latter were Captain Perry and Lieutenant Kyle of the regular service, and Lieutenant George Roberts of the sharpshooters. The dead were left upon the field, where if life were not extinct the Modoc women soon despatched them. The high spirits of the morning were sunken in a lethargy of mingled sorrow and exhaustion at night. Every officer who had taken part in the operations of the 17th was surprised at the result of six weeks preparation for this event, and it became evident that a much larger force would be required to capture the Modocs in their stronghold—the strongest natural position ever encountered by the army, if not, indeed, the strongest possible to find on earth.[56]

The loss of life on the side of the Modocs was not thought to be great. The arms and ammunition captured on the persons of the fallen soldiers made good much of their loss in material. They were, in fact, scouting within six miles of Lost River on the 19th, Lieutenant Ream with twenty-five volunteers having encountered some of them as he was on his way to Bernard's with the horses of Fairchild's company, and Applegate was sent to guard the settlements.

The time for which the Jacksonville volunteers enlisted having expired, they were now anxious to return to their homes and business, which had been hastily left at the call of their fellow-citizens. Applegate, too, fearing the effect of the late defeat on the reservation Modocs, wished to return to camp Yainax. In consideration of these circumstances, Wheaton sent a despatch to Portland, by way of Yreka, asking Canby for three hundred foot-troops and four mortars, and suggesting that the governor of California should be called upon to send militia to guard that portion of his state open to incursions from the Modocs. Canby immediately responded by ordering two companies of artillery and two of infantry to the seat of war, and as the inhabitants of Surprise Valley apprehended an uprising of the Shoshones on account of the Modoc excitement, a company of cavalry was sent to their defence, making the number of troops in the Modoc region six hundred, exclusive of the garrisons at the several posts in the district of the lakes. But even with these, the country being in part inadequately guarded, the general sent a recommendation to army headquarters at Washington, that conditional authority should be given him to call upon the governors of Oregon and California for two companies of volunteers from each state.

On the 23d the encampment at Van Bremer's was broken up, the troops and stores removed to Lost River ford, and a permanent camp established, where preparations were carried on for attacking Jack in his stronghold, when two mortar-boats should have been constructed, by which his position could be shelled from the lake side—a plan which, if it had been put in execution, would have ended the war.

But now again outside interference with the Modoc question was productive of the worst results.[57] It happened that E. L. Applegate, brother of O. C. and Ivan Applegate, commissaries on the reservation, was in Washington as a commissioner of immigration; but the legislature of Oregon having failed to furnish funds for his purposes, he was in need of some other commission. Meacham, ex-superintendent of Indian affairs, was also there, and these two men proposed to the perplexed secretary of the interior a plan of settlement of the Modoc difficulty in harmony with his prejudices.[58] When the scheme was ripe, Attorney-general Williams arranged an interview, and the thing was accomplished. Other politicians made the appeal in favor of a peace commission, and closed their argument by recommending Meacham as a commissioner, being a man "in whom they have great confidence"—meaning the Modocs. All this seems very singular, when it is remembered that Jack would have none of Meachams advice when he was superintendent. It was not less singular that E. L. Applegate should have consented to act directly in opposition to the opinions of his family, gained by a harassing experience; but the fact remains that Meacham returned to Oregon as chairman of a peace commission.[59]

On the 30th of January the secretary of war directed General Sherman to notify Canby that offensive operations against the Modocs should cease, and the troops be used only to repel attacks and protect the citizens. Wheaton was also relieved of his command,[60] which was assumed by Colonel Alvin C. Gillem of the 1st cavalry. Canby also felt that the new order of the war department implied censure of himself, and wrote to Sherman that hostilities could not have been avoided, as the Modocs were determined to resist; that he had taken care that they should not be coerced until their claims had been decided upon by the proper authorities; and that there would be no peace on the frontier until they were subdued and punished for their crimes. Sherman replied to Canby's protest: "Let all defensive measures proceed, but order no attack on the Indians until the former orders are modified or changed by the president, who seems disposed to allow the peace men to try their hands on Captain Jack."

The commissioners first named to serve with Meacham were Superintendent Odeneal and Parson Wilbur, agent at Simcoe reservation; but Meacham refusing to serve with either, Jesse Applegate and Samuel Case were substituted. Canby was advised of the appointments, and also that the commissioners were to meet and confer with him at Linkville on the 15th of February; but the meeting did not take place until the 18th, on account of Meacham's failure to arrive.

In the interim Jack kept up the excitement by attacks now and then on the troops, in which cases they also fought vigorously. On the 25th of January an attack was made on the rear-guard of the train of Bernard, who was moving camp from the south-east corner of Tule Lake to Clear Lake. They had captured one wagon, when Bernard returned and fought them, taking nearly all their horses, and depriving them of the means of making forays through the surrounding country. In the various encounters, eight Modocs had been killed and as many wounded.

Being shorn of a part of his strength, Jack resorted to savage wiles, and allowed it to go out that he was tired of war, keeping up a constant communication, which the armistice permitted him to do, with his former friends, and even with the camp of Gillem, through the visits to these places of the Modoc women. They quickly came to understand that they were to be visited by a peace commission; and not to be behind the United States in humanity, they also pretended to a peace party among themselves, and even that Jack had been wounded by his own men for not fighting on the 17th.

This familiar phase of Indian diplomacy did not deceive any one. Fairchild endeavored to gain an interview, but was refused. After a quiet interval of nearly a fortnight, some of their scouts again ventured out as far as Crawley's house, which they burned.

When the people whose relatives had been killed in the massacre of the 29th and 30th of November heard of the peace commission, they took steps to have eight of Jack's band indicted before the grand jury of Jackson county, in order to forestall the possible action of the commissioners, and secure the punishment of the murderers.[61] Governor Grover also filed a protest with the board against any action of the commission which should purport to condone the crimes of the Modocs, who, he claimed, should be given up and delivered over to the civil authorities for trial and punishment, and insisting that they would have no more authority to declare a reservation on the settled lands of Lost River than on the other settled portions of the state.

To this protest, which was forwarded to the secretary of the interior, Delano replied that the commission should proceed without reference to it; that if the authority of the United States were defied or resisted, the government would riot be responsible for the results; and that the state might be left to take care of the Indians without the assistance of the government; the United States in this case being represented by a coterie of politicians who were simply experimenting with a contumelious band of spoiled savages, without regard to the rights of the white people of the state.[62] To this haughty and overbearing message the people could only reply by still protesting.

The commissioners, after meeting at Linkville, repaired to Fairchild's place on Willow Creek, to be nearer all points of communication with the government, the army, and the Modocs. The services were secured of Whittle and his Indian wife Matilda, who were to act as messengers and interpreters. The first work of the board was to investigate the causes of the hostile attitude of the Modocs, during which the facts already presented in this chapter were brought out;[63] and while this was in progress Whittle made a visit to the Modocs to learn how Jack would receive the peace commissioners.

On the 21st of February Meacham telegraphed to Washington that he had a message from Jack, who declared himself tired of living in the rocks and desirous of peace; that he was glad to hear from Washington, but did not wish to talk with any one who had been engaged in the war; and that he would meet Meacham and Case outside the rocks without harming them.[64]

This was not an honest report. What Jack did say to Whittle was that he would consent to a conference with Steele, Roseborough, and Fairchild, but declined to meet the commissioners.[65] The president had already, by the advice of Canby, appointed Roseborough as one of the board, who in company with Steele, who it was thought might be useful in communicating with Jack, was then on his way to the front. Before his arrival, however, Whittle had a second interview with Jack, whom he met a mile from the lava-beds with a company of forty warriors heavily equipped with needle-guns and small arms, but asserting that he only wanted peace, to prove which he pointed to the fact that the houses of Dorris, Fairchild, Van Bremer, and Small were still left standing, and again consenting to talk with the men before named. Growing impatient, he expressed a desire to have the meeting over, and Dave, one of his company, returned to camp with Whittle, and carried back word that Fairchild would make a preliminary visit on the 26th to arrange for the official council.[66]

Accordingly, on that day Fairchild, accompanied, not by Whittle and Matilda, but by T. F. Riddle and his Indian wife, Toby,[67] as interpreters, repaired to the rendezvous. He was charged to say that the commissioners would come in good faith to make peace, and that he was delegated to fix upon a place and time for the council. But the only place where Jack would consent to meet them was in the lava-beds; and as Fairchild would not agree that the commissioners should go unarmed into the stronghold, he returned to camp without making any appointment. With him were allowed to come several well-known murderers, Hooker Jim, Curly-headed Doctor, and the chief of the Hot Creeks, Shackriasty Jim. They came to make terms with Lalake, a chief of the Klamaths, for the return of sixty horses captured during the war, with which transaction there was no interference bv the military.[68]

On the arrival of Steele, the board of commissioners held a meeting, and decided to offer the Modocs a general amnesty on condition of a complete surrender, and consent to remove to a distant reservation within the limits of Oregon or California, Canby to conclude the final terms. Against this protocol Meacham voted being still inclined to give Jack a reservation of his choice. On the 5th of March Steele proceeded, in company with Fairchild, Riddle, and Toby, and a newspaper reporter, R. H. Atwell, to visit the Modoc stronghold, and make known to Jack the terms offered. A singular misunderstanding resulted. Steele, who was but little acquainted with the language of the Modocs, reported that Jack had accepted the offer of the commissioners, and Fairchild that he had not. Riddle and Toby were the best of interpreters; Scarface spoke English very well, and Jack but little if at all Steele and Fairchild were equally well acquainted with Indian manners, making their difference of opinion the more unaccountable.

When Steele handed in his report there was a feeling of relief experienced in camp, and the commissioners set about preparing despatches, only to be thrown into confusion by the contradictory statement of Fairchild. So confident was Steele, that he decided upon returning for verification of his belief; but Fairchild declined to expose himself to the rage of the Modocs when they should find they had been misinterpreted. In view of these conflicting opinions, Meacham cautiously reported that he had reason to believe that an honorable and permanent peace would be concluded within a few days.[69]

On returning that evening to the Modoc strong hold, Steele found the Indians in much excitement. They had been reënforced by twenty warriors. Sconchin[70] was openly hostile, Jack still professing to desire peace. The evidences of blood—thirstiness were so plain, however, that Steele's confidence was much shaken, and he sle t that night guarded by Scarface. In the morning Jack wore, instead of his own, a woman's hat—supposed to indicate his peace principles; and Sconchin made a violent war speech. When he had finished, Jack threw off his woman's hat and hypocrisy together, declaring that he would never go upon a reservation to be starved. When told by Steele of the futility of resistance, and the power of the American people, he listened with composure, replying: "Kill with bullets don't hurt much; starve to death hurt a heap."[71] No full report of this interview was made public. It was understood that a complete amnesty had been offered, provided the Modocs would surrender, and go to Angel Island in the bay of San Francisco, until a reservation could be found for them in a warm climate. They were to be comfortably fed and clothed where they were until removed to Angel Island, and Jack was offered permission to visit the city of Washington in company with a few of his head men. Jack made a counter—proposition, to be forgiven and left in the lava-beds. He desired Meacham and Applegate, with six men unarmed, to come on the following day and shake hands with him as a token of peace.

On returning from the conference, Steele advised the commissioners to cease negotiations until the Indians should themselves make overtures, saying that the Modocs thought the soldiers afraid of them, and carried on negotiations solely in the hope of getting Canby, Gillem, Meacham, and Applegate into their power to kill them. As for himself, he would take no more risks among them.

Meacham then telegraphed the secretary of the interior that the Modocs rejected peace, and meant treachery in proposing to shake hands with the commissioners unarmed; but Delano, with the theoretical wisdom of the average politician, replied that he did not so believe, and that negotiations were to be continued. Canby telegraphed Sherman, March 5th, that the reports from the Modocs indicated treachery and a renewal of hostilities, to which Sherman replied that the authorities at Washington confided in him, and placed the matter in his hands.[72]

It was not until this intimation of a change in the board was made that the commissioners, having completed their examination of the causes which led to hostilities, presented their report. The conclusions arrived at were that in any settlement of the existing hostilities it would be inadmissible to return the Modocs to the Klamath reservation, the Klamaths having taken part in the war against them; or to set apart a reservation on Lost River, the scene of their atrocities. They also objected to a general amnesty, which would bring the federal government in conflict with the state governments, and furnish a precedent calculated to cause misconduct on the reservations, besides greatly offending the friends of the murdered citizens. It was their opinion that the eight Indians indicted should be surrendered to the state authorities to be tried. Should the Modocs accept an amnesty, they should, with the exception of the eight indicted, be removed at once to some fort, other than Fort Klamath, until their final destination was decided upon.[73]

To this report General Canby gave his approval, except that he held the opinion that the Indians, by surrendering as prisoners of war, would be exempt from process of trial by the state authorities of Oregon or California. From this opinion Roseborough dissented, but thought neither state would interfere if satisfied that the murderers would be removed to some distant country beyond the possibility of return.

Applegate and Case having resigned, the former with a characteristic special report to the acting commissioner of Indian affairs, H. R. Clum, in which he alluded to the peace commission as an "expensive blunder," and rejected his pay of ten dollars a day, it might be said that after the 6th of March no board really existed, and everything was in the hands of Canby. Jack, who kept himself informed of all that was transpiring, and fearful lest the commissioners should yet slip through his fingers, sent his sister Mary, on the day following Steele's final departure, to Canby, to say that he accepted the terms offered on the 3d, of present support and protection, with removal to a distant Country; asking that a delegation of his people might be permitted to accompany the government officers in search of a new home, while the remainder waited, under the protection of the military, and proposed that the surrender should be made on the 10th.

To this proposition Canby assented, and word was sent to Jack that he and as many of his people as were able to come, should come into camp that evening, or next morning, and that wagons Would be sent to the edge of the lake to fetch the others on Monday. But Jack did not come as expected, and the messengers sent to him returned with the information that they could not yet leave the lava-beds, as they were interring their dead, but would soon keep their promise. Canby then sent warning that unless they surrendered at once the troops would be sent against them, and Mary was sent once more to convey messages from Sconchin and Jack. The former affected surprise that the white officers should so soon be offended with them, and wished to know the names of those who sent the warning message; and Jack declared he desired peace or war at once, but preferred peace. There was little in his message, however, to indicate any degree of humility. On the contrary, he dictated the terms, which would leave him master of the situation, his people fed and clothed, and allowed to remain on Lost River, while he went forth free. Riddle and Toby, who interpreted the messages from the Modocs, saw in them a sinister meaning, and cautioned Canby.

The general, finding himself forced into a position where he must vindicate the power and righteousness of the government, and obey orders from the departments, had little choice. Either he must make war on the Modocs, which he was forbidden to do, or he must make peace with them, which was still doubtful. He chose to accept as valid the excuses for their want of faith, and went on making preparations for their reception at his camp on the 10th. Tents were put up to shelter them, hay provided for beds, and new blankets, with food and fire-wood furnished, besides many actual luxuries for the head men. On the day appointed, four wagons were sent, under the charge of Steele and David Horn, a teamster, to Point of Rocks on Klamath Lake, the rendezvous agreed upon; but no Indians appearing, after four hours of waiting the expedition returned and reported. Notwithstanding this, Canby telegraphed that he did not regard the last action of the Modocs as final, and would spare no pains to bring about the result desired; but might be compelled to make some movement of troops to keep them under observation. This was satisfactory to the secretary of the interior, but not quite so to General Sherman, who haul somewhat different views of the Modoc question.[74]

On the 11th a reconnoissance of the lava-beds, by a cavalry company under Colonel Biddle, was ordered, but he saw nothing of the Modocs. According to a previously expressed desire of Jack's, a messenger had been sent to Yainax to invite old Sconchin and a sub-chief, Riddle, to visit him, a proposition favored by the general, who hoped the friendly chiefs might influence him to make peace. Sconchin came reluctantly, and after the interview assured the general that all future negotiations would be unavailing.

On the 13th Biddle, while reconnoitring the vicinity of the lava-beds, captured thirty-four horses belonging to the Modocs—a measure thought necessary to lessen their means of escape. Two days afterward headquarters were moved to Van Bremer's, and the troops drawn closer about Jack's position. On the 19th Meacham wrote that he had not entirely abandoned hope of success; but the Modocs were deterred by a fear that the Oregon authorities would demand the eight indicted men to be tried. In this letter he advocated a meeting on Jack's own terms, and said if left to his own judgment he should have visited the stronghold; even that he was ready to do so now, but was restrained by Canby; though it did not appear that anything had transpired to change his mind since he had written that the Modocs meant treachery. Canby himself could not make his reports agree, for on one day he thought the Modocs would consent to go to Yainax, and on the next that they were not favorable to any arrangement. On the 22d, while Canby and Gillem were making a reconnoissance with a cavalry company, an accidental meeting took place with Jack and a party of his warriors, at which a conference was agreed upon between Jack, Sconchin, and the two generals; but when the meeting took place it was Scarface, the acknowledged war-chief, instead of Sconchin, who accompanied Jack. These provocations caused Canby to tighten more and more the cordon of soldiery, and to remove headquarters to the foot of the high bluff skirting the lake, within three miles of the Modoc position.

The peace commission, which had been reorganized by the appointment of E. Thomas, a methodist preacher of Petaluma, California, and L. S. Dyar of the Klamath agency, in place of Applegate and Case, resigned, arrived at headquarters on the 24th of March, and also Captain Applegate with five reservation Modocs sent for by Canby to assist in the peace negotiations. On the 26th Thomas and Gillem had an interview with Bogus Charley, another of the Modoc warriors, who passed freely between the stronghold and the military camp, carrying news of all he saw to his leader. In this interview it was once more agreed upon that on the following day Jack and his head men should meet these two in conference; but instead, a message "of a private nature" was sent by a delegation consisting of Bogus Charley, Boston Charley, Mary, and Ellen, another Modoc woman.

In this way the time passed until the last of March was reached, and fear was entertained that with the return of warm weather the Modocs would escape to the Shoshones, and that together they would join in a war on the outlying settlements. Hooker Jim had indeed already made a successful raid into Langell Valley, driving off a herd of horses; and on more than one occasion Jack's lieutenants had ventured as far as Yainax, laboring to induce Sconchin's band to join in a confederacy of five tribes, which he said were ready to take the war-path as soon as he should quit the lava-beds; and these occurrences, becoming known, caused much alarm.

On the 31st a movement by the troops in force was made, three hundred marching to the upper end of Klamath Lake, and thence on the 1st of April to Tule Lake and the lava-beds, Mason's position being two miles from the stronghold, on the east side. On the 2d the Modocs signified their willingness to meet the peace commissioners at a point half-way between headquarters and the stronghold; but Jack only reiterated his terms, which were a general amnesty, Lost River, and to have the troops taken away. The only concession made was his consent to having a council-tent erected at a place on the lava-field a mile and a quarter from the camp of the commissioners.

Again on the 4th a request was made by Jack for an interview with Meacham, Roseborough, and Fairchild at the council-tent. They went, accompanied by Riddle and Toby, and found Jack, with six warriors and the women of his family. Again Jack and Sconchin demanded the Lost River country and their freedom. He was assured that it was useless talking about Lost River, which they had sold, and which could not be taken back. When reminded of the killing of the settlers, Jack declared that if the citizens had taken no part in the fight of the 29th the murders would not have taken place; and finally said that he would say no more about Lost River if he could have a reservation in California, including Willow, Cottonwood, and Hot creeks, with the lava-beds; but this also was pronounced impracticable. The council, which lasted five hours, was terminated by the Indians suddenly retiring, saying if their minds were changed on the morrow they would report.

On the following morning Boston Charley brought a message from Jack to Roseborough, asking for an other interview, to which consent was refused until Jack should have made up his mind; when Boston cunningly remarked that the Modocs might surrender that day. Roseborough being deceived into thinking that they so intended, Toby Riddle was immediately sent to Jack with a message encouraging him in this purpose. The proposition was not only declined, but in such a manner that on her return Toby assured the commissioners and General Canby that it would not be safe for them to meet the Modocs in council. This information was lightly treated by Canby and Thomas, but was regarded as of more consequence by Meacham and Dyar. Jack had succeeded in allaying the apprehensions of treachery once entertained by Canby, by his apparently weak and vacillating course, which appeared more like the obstinacy of a spoiled child than the resolution of a desperate man. The military, too, were disposed to regard Jack's attachment to the region about Tule Lake as highly patriotic, and to see in it something romantic and touching. These influences were at that critical juncture of affairs undermining the better judgment of the army.[75]

On the morning of the 8th of April Jack sent a messenger to the commissioner to request a meeting at the council-tent, the former to be accompanied by six unarmed Modocs. But the signal-officer at the station overlooking the lava-beds reporting six Indians at the council-tent, and twenty more armed in the rocks behind them, the invitation was declined. Jack understood from this rejection of his overtures that he was suspected, and that whatever he did must be done quickly. If the truth must be told, in point of natural sagacity, diplomatic ability, genius, this savage was more than a match for them all. His plans so far had been well devised. His baffling course had secured him the delay until spring should open sufficiently to allow him to fly to the Shoshones, when, by throwing the army into confusion, the opportunity should be afforded of escape from the lava-beds with all his followers.

On the morning of the 10th Boston Charley, Hooker Jim, Dave, and Whim visited headquarters, bringing a proposition from Jack that Canby, Gillem, and the peace commissioners should meet the Modocs in council. He was answered by a proposition in writing, which Riddle read to them, containing the former terms of a general amnesty and a reservation in a warmer climate. Jack's conduct was not encouraging. He threw the paper upon the ground, saying he had no use for it; he was not a white man, and could not read. Light remarks were uttered concerning the commissioners. Beef was being dried, and breastworks thrown up, strengthening certain points, all of which indicated preparations for war rather than peace. Jack, however, agreed to meeting the commissioners if they would come a mile beyond the council-tent.

Notwithstanding all these ominous signs, and the advice of Riddle to the contrary, it was finally settled at a meeting of the peace commissioners, Thomas in the chair, that a conference should take place be tween them and Canby on one side and Jack and five Modocs on the other, both parties to go without arms. The llth was the day set for the council, and the place indicated by Jack accepted. After this decision was arrived at, Riddle still advised Canby to send twenty-five or thirty men to secrete themselves in the rocks near the council-ground, as a guard against any treacherous movement on the part of the Indians. But to this proposal Canby replied that it would be an insult to Captain Jack to which he could not consent; and that besides, the probable discovery of such a movement would lead to hostilities. In this he was not mistaken, for Bogus Charley and Boston Charley spent the night in Gillem's camp, remaining until after the commissioners had gone to the rendezvous.[76]

The place chosen by Jack was a depression among the rocks favorable to an ambuscade, and Meacham, who had not been present when the meeting was determined upon, strenuously objected to placing the commission in so evident a trap, but yielded, as did Dyar, to the wishes of Canb and Thomas, one of whom trusted in the army an the other in God to see them safely through with the conference.[77] So earnest was Riddle not to be blamed for anything which might happen, that he requested all the commissioners and Canby to accompany him to Gillem's tent, that officer being ill, where he might make a formal protest; and where he plainly admitted that he consented to make one of the party rather than be called a coward, and advised that concealed weapons should be carried. To this proposition Canby and Thomas punctiliously objected, but Meacham and Dyar concealed each a small pistol to be used in case of an attack.

At the time appointed, the peace commissioners repaired to the rendezvous, Meacham, Dyar, and Toby riding, and the others walking, followed by Bogus and Boston from the military camp, which gave Jack just double the number of the commissioners, of whom Canby was to be considered as one. All sat down in a semicircular group about a camp-fire. Canby offered the Modocs cigars, which were accepted, and all smoked for a little while. The general then opened the council, speaking in a fatherly way: saying he had for many years been acquainted with Indians; that he came to the council to have a kindly talk with them and conclude a peace, and that whatever he promised them they could rely upon. Meacham and Thomas followed, encouraging them to look forward to a happier home, where the bloody scenes of Lost River could be forgotten.

In reply, Jack said he had given up Lost River, but he knew nothing of other countries, and he required Cottonwood and Willow creeks in place of it and the lava-beds. While the conference had been going on, several significant incidents had occurred. Seeing another white man approaching along the trail from camp, and that the Indians appeared uneasy, Dyar mounted and rode out to meet the intruder and turn him back. When he returned he did not rejoin the circle, but remained a little way behind, reclining upon the ground, holding his horse. While Meacham was talking and Sconchin making some disrespectful comments in his own tongue, Hooker Jim arose, and going to Meacham's horse, took his overcoat from the horn of the saddle, putting it on, and making some mocking gestures, after which he asked in English if he did not resemble "old man Meacham."

The affront and all that it signified was understood by every man there; but not wishing to show any alarm, and anxious to catch the eye of Canby, Meacham looked toward the general, and inquired if he had anything more to say. Calmly that officer arose, and related in a pleasant voice how one tribe of Indians had elected him chief, and given him a name signifying "Indian's friend;" and how another had made him a chief, and Driven him the name of "The tall man;" and that the president of the United States had ordered him to this duty he was upon, and he had no power to remove the troops without authority from the president.

Sconchin replied by reiterating the demand for Willow and Cottonwood creeks, and for the removal of the troops. While Sconchin's remarks were being interpreted, Jack arose and walked behind Dyar's horse, returning to his place opposite Canby a moment later. As he took his position, two Indians suddenly appeared, as if rising out of the ground, carrying each a number of guns. Every man sprang to his feet as Jack gave the word, "all ready," in his own tongue, and drawing a revolver from his breast fired at the general. Simultaneously Sconchin fired on Meacham, and Boston Charley on Thomas. At the first motion of Jack to fire, Dyar, who was a very tall man and had the advantage of a few feet in distance, started to run, pursued by Hooker Jim. When he had gone a hundred and fifty rods, finding himself hard pressed, he turned and fired his pistol, which checked the advance of the enemy. By repeating this manoeuvre several times, he escaped to the picket-line. Riddle also escaped by running, and Toby, after being given one blow, was permitted to follow her husband. General Canby was shot through the head. Thomas was also shot dead; and both were instantly stripped naked. Meacham had five bullet-wounds, and a knife-cut on the head. He was stripped and left for dead, but revived on the arrival of the troops.

While the commissioners were smoking and con versing with the Modocs, a preliminary part of the tragedy was being enacted on another part of the field. An Indian was discovered by the picket about Mason's camp carrying a white flag, a sign of a desire to see some of the officers, and Lieutenant W. L. Sherwood, officer of the day, was sent by the colonel to meet the bearer and learn his errand. Sherwood soon returned with the report that some Modocs desired an interview with the commander of the post; when Mason sent them word to come within the lines if they wished to see him. Lieutenant Boyle, who happened to be present, asked permission to accompany Sherwood, when the two officers walked out to meet the flag-bearer, half a mile outside the pickets. On the way they encountered three Indians, who inquired if Boyle was the commanding officer, and who invited them to go on to where the flag-bearer awaited them. Something in their manner convincing the officers of treachery, they declined, saying that if the Indians desired to talk they must come within the lines, and turned back to camp. The Indians then commenced firing, Sherwood and Boyle running and dodging among the rocks, being without arms. Sherwood soon fell, mortally wounded, but Boyle escaped, being covered by the guns of the pickets.

The officer at the signal-station overlooking Mason's camp immediately telegraphed General Gillem what had occurred, and preparations were at once made to send T. T. Cabaniss to warn General Canby, but be fore the message was ready the signal-officer reported firing on the council-ground.

At this word the troops turned out, Sergeant Wooton of company K, 1st cavalry, leading a detachment without orders. The wildest confusion prevailed, yet in the sole intent, if possible, to save the life of the general whom they all loved and venerated, there was unity of purpose. Before the troops reached the council-ground they were met by Dyar, with the story of the fatal catastrophe, and on arriving at the spot, Meacham was discovered to be alive! Jack had retreated to his stronghold, the troops following for half a mile, but finally retreating to camp for the night.[78]

As might have been expected, a profound excitement followed upon the news of the disastrous winding-up of the peace commission. At Yreka Delano was hanged in effigy. At Portland the funeral honors paid to Canby were almost equal to those paid to Lincoln.[79]

One general expression of rage and desire for revenge was uttered over the whole country, east as well as west; and very few shrank from demanding extermination for the murderers of a major-general of the United States army and a methodist preacher, though little enough had been the sympathy extended by the east to the eighteen hard-working, undistinguished citizens of the Oregon frontier[80] massacred by these same Modocs.

The president authorized Sherman to order Schofield, commanding the division of the Pacific, "to make the attack so strong and persistent that their fate may be commensurate with their crime;" to which Sherman added, "You will be fully justified in their utter extermination." Many expedients were suggested in the public prints to force the Modocs out of their caves in the lava-beds, such as sharp-shooters to pick them off at long range; steel armor for the soldiers; the employment of blood-hounds, and of sulphur smoke.[81] But fortunately for the reputation of the American people, none of these methods were resorted to, the public being left to exhaust its hostility in harmless suggestions.[82]

The troops had at no time regarded the peace com mission with favor, any more than had the people best acquainted with the character of the Modocs. Those who fought on the 17th of January were displeased with the removal of Wheaton from the command, and had seen nothing yet in Gillem to lessen their dissatisfaction. They were now anxious to fight, and impatiently awaiting the command, which they with other observers thought a long time coming.

On the day after the massacre Mason moved to the south of the stronghold six miles. His line was attacked by the Modocs, forcing the left picket to give way, which position was, however, retaken by Lieutenant E. R. Thellar with a portion of company I of the 21st infantry. Skirmishing was kept up all day and a part of the 13th. At length, on the 14th, Gillem telegraphed to Mason, asking if he could be ready to advance on the stronghold on the next morning; to which Mason replied that he preferred to get into position that night. To this Gillem consented, ordering him not to make any persistent attack, but to shelter his men as well as possible. Donald McKay's company of Warm Spring scouts, engaged by Canby when it began to appear that hostilities would be resumed, had arrived, and was posted on Mason's left, with orders to work around toward Green's right.

The movement began at midnight, and before daylight the troops were in position, about four hundred yards east of the stronghold, the right of the infantry under Captain Burton resting on the lake, and Bernard's troop dismounted on the left, with a section of mountain howitzers, held subject to order, under Lieutenant E. S. Chapin. Breastworks of stone were thrown up to conceal the exact position of the troops. On the west side of the lake Perry and Cresson moved at two o clock in the morning to a point beyond the main position of the Modocs on the south, where they concealed their troops and waited to be joined at daylight by the infantry and artillery under Miller and Throckmorton, with Colonel Green and staff. Miller had the extreme right, and the cavalry the extreme left touching the lake, while Throckrnorton's artillery and two companies of infantry were in the centre.

The day was warm and still, and the movement to close in began early. The first shots were received a mile and a half from Jack's stronghold on the west, while the troops were advancing in open skirmish order along the lake shore, sheltering themselves as best they could under cover of the rocks in their path. On reaching the gorge under the bluff a galling fire was poured upon them from the rocks above, where a strong party of Modocs were stationed. Mason was doing all that he could to divide the attention of the Indians while the army passed this dangerous point, and the reserves coming up, a charge was made which compelled the Modocs to retire, and their position was taken.

At two o clock the order was given to advance the mortars under Thomas and Cranston, and Howe of the 4th artillery. By half-past four they were in position, and the left of the line on the west had reached a point opposite the stronghold. By five o'clock the mortars began throwing shells into the stronghold, which checked the Modoc firing. So far all went well. The bluff remained in the possession of Miller's men, between whom and the main plateau, or mesa, in which the caves are situated, only two ledges of rock intervened. On Mason's side, also, the outer line of the Modoc defences was abandoned. At six o'clock the mortars were again moved forward, and by nightfall the troops in front of the stronghold were ready to scale the heights. At midnight Mason's troops took up the position abandoned by the Modocs, within one hundred yards of their defences.

Their last position was now nearly surrounded, but they fought the troops on every side, indicating more strength than they were supposed to possess. The troops remained upon the field, and mortar practice was kept up throughout the night at intervals of ten minutes. In the morning, Mason's force with the Warm Spring scouts being found in possession of the mesa, the Modocs abandoned their stronghold, passing out by unseen trails, and getting on Mason's left, prevented his joining with Green's right. Subsequently, he was ordered to advance his right and join Green on the shore of the lake, which cut the Indians off from water.

By ten o clock in the forenoon Green's line had reached the top of the bluff nearest the stronghold, meeting little opposition, but it was decided not to push the troops at this point, as there might be heavy loss without any gain, and the want of water must soon force the Modocs out of their caverns and defences, while it was not probable they could find a stronger position anywhere. The day's work consisted simply of skirmishings. No junction was effected between Mason and Green on the west; the principal resistance offered being to this movement.

In the evening Thomas dropped two shells into the Modoc camp-fire, causing cries of rage and pain. After this the Indians showed themselves, and challenged the soldiers to do the same; but the latter were hidden behind stone breastworks, five or six in a place, with orders not to allow themselves to be surprised in these little forts, built at night; they also caught a little sleep, two at a time, while the others watched.[83] The second day ended with some further advances upon the stronghold, and with the batteries in better position. The blaze of musketry along the lake shore at nine o clock in the evening, when the Modocs endeavored to break through the lines to get to water, was like the flash of flames when a prairie is on fire. The troops remained again over night on the field, having only coffee served hot with their rations.

On the morning of the 17th Green's and Mason's lines met without impediment, and a general movement was made to sweep the lava-beds, the Indians seeming to rally about eleven o clock, and to oppose the approach to their famous position. But this was only a feint, and when the troops arrived at the caves the Modocs had utterly vanished. Then it appeared why they had so hotly contested the ground between Mason and Green. An examination showed a fissure in the pedregal leading from the caverns to the distant hills, which pass had been so marked that it could be followed in the darkness, and through it had been conveyed the families and property of the Modocs to a place of safety.

The loss of the army in the two days' engagements was five killed and twelve wounded. On the third day a citizen of Yreka, a teamster, was killed, and his team captured. Seventeen Indians were believed to be killed.

The consternation which prevailed when it became known that Jack had escaped with his band was equal to that after the massacre of the peace commissioners; but the worst was yet to come. From the smoke of large fires observed in the south-east, it was conjectured that the Indians were burning their dead, and fleeing in that direction, and the cavalry was ordered to pursue, Perry setting out the 18th to make a circuit of the lava-beds, a march of eighty miles. The Warm Spring scouts also were scouring the country toward the east. In the mean time Mason was ordered to hold the Modoc fortress, while his camp at Hospital Hock was removed to the camp at Scorpion Point, on the east side of the lake. This left the trail along the south side exposed to attack from the enemy's scouts. On the afternoon of the 18th they appeared on a ridge two miles off, and also at nearer points during the day, firing occasional shots. On the morning of the 19th they attacked a mule pack-train on its way from Scorpion Point to supply Mason at the stronghold, escorted by Lieutenant Howe with twenty men, and were repulsed. Lieutenant P. Leary, in coining to meet the train with an escort, had one man killed and one wounded; and Howe, on entering the lava-beds, both coming and returning, was fired on. A shell dropped among them dispersed them for that day; but on the 20th they again showed themselves, going to the lake for water, and fired on the Warm Spring scouts, who were burying one of their company killed on the 17th. They even bathed themselves in the lake, in plain view of the astonished soldiery in camp. After two days, Perry's and McKay's commands came in without having seen a Modoc.

Meanwhile Gillem was waiting for two companies of the 4th artillery, en route from San Francisco, under captains John Mendenhall and H. C. Hasbrouck, to make another attempt to surround the Modocs in their new position, which he reported as being about four miles south of their former one. In their impatience, the troops went so far as to say that it was concern for his personal safety which deterred Gillern, who had not stirred from camp during the three days' fight, but had all the troops that could be spared posted at his camp.

From the 20th to the 25th nothing was done except to keep the scouts moving. On the night of the 22d McKay discovered a camp of forty Modocs in a ridge at the southern end of the lava-beds, known as the Black Ledge. Its distance from headquarters was about four miles, with a trail leading to it from the lake, which was practicable for light artillery. For two days after its discovery no Indians were seen coming to the lake for water, and the opinion prevailed that they had left the lava-beds, in which case they were certain either to escape altogether or to attack the settlements.

In order to settle the question of their whereabouts, a reconnoissance was planned to take lace on the 26th, to extend to the Black Ledge. fa arranging this scout Gillem consulted with Green. It was decided to send on this service Thomas, with Howe, Cranston, and Harris of the artillery, and Wright of the infantry, with a force of about seventy men, and a part of Donald McKay's scouts, making about eighty-five in all.

Some anxiety was felt as the expedition set out at eight o'clock in the morning, and a watch was kept upon their movements as they clambered among the rocks, until they passed from view behind a large sand-butte, a mile and a half away. Before passing out of sight, they signalled that no Indians had been found. As no official account of what transpired thereafter could ever be given, the facts, as gathered from the soldiers, appear to have been as follows:

Thomas advanced without meeting any opposition or seeing any Indians until he reached the point designated in his orders, keeping out skirmishers on the march, with the Warm Spring scouts on his extreme left, that being the direction from which it was thought the Indians might attack if at all. But none being discovered, and the field appearing to be clear, a halt was called about noon, when men and officers threw themselves carelessly upon the ground to rest and take their luncheon.

While in this attitude, and unsuspicious of danger, a volley of rifle-balls was poured in among them. It would be impossible to describe the scene which followed. When the troops were attacked they were in open ground, from which they ran to take shelter in the nearest defensible positions. Many of them never T stopped at all, or heeded the word of command of their officers, but kept straight on to camp. "Men, we are surrounded; we must fight and die like soldiers," cried Thomas; but he was heeded by few, fully two thirds of the men being panic-stricken, and nearly one half running away.

The only shelter that presented itself from the bullets of the concealed Modocs was one large and several smaller basins in the rocks. In these the remainder of the command stationed themselves, but this defence was soon converted into a trap in which the victims were the more easily slaughtered. The Indians, who from the first aimed at the officers, were now able to finish their bloody work. In what order they were killed no one could afterward tell; but from the fact that only Thomas and Wright were remembered to have said anything, it is probable the others fell at the first fire, and that it was their fall which demoralized the men so completely. Thomas received several wounds. Wright was wounded in the hip, in the groin, in the right wrist, and through the body. He was in a hole with four of his men, when a sergeant attempted to bring him some water, and was also shot and wounded in the thigh. Soon after Wright died, and the remaining three, all of whom were wounded, were left to defend themselves and protect the body of their dead commander. About three o'clock an Indian crept up to the edge of the basin, calling out in English to the soldiers if they were not wounded to leave for camp, as he did not wish to kill all of them, at the same time throwing stones into the pit to cause some movement if any there were really alive. Hearing no sound, he crept closer and peered over, with two or three others, when the soldiers sprang up and fired. The Indians then left them, whether wounded or not the soldiers could not tell. Similar scenes were being enacted in other parts of the field. As soon as it was dusk those of the wounded who could move began crawling over the rocks toward camp.

Out of sixty-five enlisted men, twenty-two were killed and sixteen wounded, a loss of over three fifths of the force; of the five commissioned officers, not one escaped, though Harris lived a few days after being mortally wounded; Surgeon Semig recovered with the loss of a leg; making the total loss of twenty-seven killed and seventeen wounded, besides a citizen shot while going to the relief of the wounded. "Where were the Warm Spring scouts?" asked the horrified critics of this day's work. They were in the rear and to the left of Thomas, and after the attack, could not get nearer because the soldiers would mistake them for the Modocs, not being in uniform.[84]

According to some witnesses, help was very tardily rendered after the attack on Thomas command became known,[85] which it soon was. Although the stragglers began to come in about half-past one o'clock, it was not until night that a rescuing force was ready to go to Thomas' relief. When they did move, there were three detachments of cavalry under captains Trimble and Cresson, and two others under Jackson and Bernard, with two companies of artillery under Throckmorton and Miller. In two lines they moved out over the lava-beds, soon lost to sight in the gloom of night and tempest, a severe storm having come on at the close of a fine day. A large fire was built on a high point, which gave but little guidance on account of the weather. When found, the whole extent of ground covered by the dead and wounded was comprised within a few hundred feet, showing how little time they had in which to move.

Finding it impossible to bring in all the dead, the bodies of the soldiers were piled together and covered with sage-brush, which the Indians subsequently fired. The wounded, and the dead officers, were carried on stretchers, lashed upon the backs of mules, and the ghastly procession returned through the storm to camp, where it arrived at half-past eight on the morning of the 27th.

The loss of so many officers and men deeply affected the whole army. Soldiers who had been in the service all their lives wept like children.[86] The discontent which had prevailed since the command devolved upon Gillem became intensified, and officers and men did not hesitate to say that had an experienced Indian fighter, instead of young officers just from the east, been sent upon this reconnoissance, or had these young officers received the proper orders, the disaster need not have occurred. The effect on the public mind was similar, which was at first incredulous, then stunned. "Whipped again 1 whipped again!" was the universal lament.[87]

On the 2d of May Colonel Jefferson C. Davis, who had succeeded Canby in the command of the department of the Columbia, arrived at headquarters, where the army had lain inactive and much dispirited since the 26th. Davis sent for Wheaton, to whom he soon restored the command of the troops in the field, and Mendenhall's command having arrived, the army was to some extent reorganized, Davis taking a few days to acquaint himself with the country.

During this interval the Modocs were not idle. Their fires could be seen nightly in the lava-beds, and on the 7th they captured a train of wagons between Bernard's old camp and Scorpion Point, wounding two soldiers. Two Indian women, sent on the same day to reconnoitre the last position of the Modocs, reported none in the lava-beds, a statement verified by McKay. Hasbrouck's light battery, serving as cavalry, and Jackson's cavalry were immediately ordered to prepare for an extended reconnoissance on the 9th to make sure that no Indians were secreted in any part of the lava-field. On the night of the 9th Hasbrouck encamped at Sorass Lake, south-east of the pedregal on the road to Pit River, but the water being unfit for use, a detachment was sent back seventeen miles to procure some. While the detachment, which was escorted by the Warm Spring scouts, was absent, a company of thirty-three Modocs, headed by Jack, in the uniform of General Canby, attacked the

camp, stampeding their horses and leaving the command on foot.

While the troops were getting under arms, the Modocs continued to charge and fire, killing four soldiers and one scout, and wounding seven other men, two mortally. Hasbrouck rallied his command and charged the Indians at the very moment the detachment returned, which joining in the fight, the Modocs were pursued three miles and driven into the woods, with a loss of twenty-four pack-animals, their ammunition, one warrior killed, and several disabled, who were carried off on horses toward the mountains on Pit River, McKay's scouts following.

This was the first important advantage gained since the beginning of the war. The amount of ammunition captured led to the conviction that Jack was receiving aid from some unknown source, a suspicion which he afterward attempted to fix upon the Klamaths, against whom no evidence was ever shown, all the proofs going to show that the assistance came from Yreka.[88]

On news of the attack on Hasbrouck reaching head quarters, Mason was sent to reenforce him with a hundred and seventy men, and take the command of an expedition whose purpose was to capture Jack. On arriving at Sorass Lake, Mason received in formation from McKay that Jack was occupying a fortified position twenty miles south of the original stronghold. He proceeded with three hundred men to invest this position, and keep a watch upon the Modocs until the batteries should come up to shell them out of it. But when the attack was made on the 13th Jack had again eluded his pursuers. Hasbrouck's command, which had been again mounted, was ordered to give chase toward the south, while Mason remained in camp, and Perry's troop made a dash along the southern border of the lava-beds to beat up Indians in ambush. A thorough scouting of the whole region resulted in surprising a party of the Cotton wood Creek band, killing one warrior and two armed women, who were mistaken for warriors. All the rest of the men escaped, leaving five women and as many children, who were taken prisoners.

From these women intelligence was gained that after the defeat at Sorass Lake two thirds of Jack's following had deserted him, declaring a longer contest useless, and that he had now no ability to fight except in self-defence. At the last stormy conference Jack had reluctantly consented to a cessation of hostilities, and the advocates of peace had retired to their beds among the rocks satisfied; but when morning came they found their captain gone, with his adherents and all the best horses and arms, as they believed, toward Pit River Mountains. The intelligence that the Modocs were roaming at will over the country caused the adjutant-general of the militia of California to order to be raised a company of fifty sharp-shooters, under the captaincy of J. C. Burgess of Siskiyou county, which was directed to report to Davis.

On the 20th of May, Hasbrouck brought his prisoners in to headquarters, at Fairchild's farm, delivering them to the general, who immediately despatched two Indian women, Artena and Dixie, formerly employed as messengers by the peace commissioners, to find the remainder of the Cottonwood band and invite them to come in and surrender without conditions. Artena had no confidence that the Modocs would surrender, because of their fear that the soldiers would fall upon them and slaughter them in revenge for their atrocities. But Davis succeeded in convincing her that he could control his men, and she in turn, after several visits, convinced the hesitating Indians so far that they consented, especially as Davis had at last sent them word that if they again refused they would be shot down wherever found with a gun in their hands.

About sunset on the 22d the cry was heard in camp, "Here they come! Here they are!" Every man started to his feet, and every camp sound was hushed. In front of the procession rode Blair, the superintendent of Fairchild's farm, who sharply eyed the strolling soldiers. Fifty yards behind him rode Fairchild; behind him the Modoc warriors, followed by the women and children, all mounted, or rather piled, upon a few gaunt ponies, who fairly staggered under them. All the men wore portions of the United States uniform, and all the women a motley assortment of garments gathered up about the settlements, or plundered from the houses pillaged in the beginning of the war. Both men and women had their faces daubed with pitch, in sign of mourning, giving them a hideous appearance. Among them were the lame, halt, and blind, the scum of the tribe. Slowly and silently they filed into camp, not a word being uttered by any one. Davis went forward a little way to meet them, when twelve warriors laid down their Springfield rifles at his feet, these being but about a third of the fighting strength of this band. Among them, however, were Bogus Charley, Curlyheaded Doctor, Steamboat Frank, and Shacknasty Jim, four notorious villains. When asked where were Boston Charley and Hooker Jim, Bogus answered that Boston was dead, and Hooker Jim was searching for his body, neither of which stories was true. Conscious of his deserts, Hooker was skulking outside the guard, afraid to come in, but perceiving that the others were unharmed, he finally presented himself at camp by running at the top of his speed past the soldiers and throwing himself on the floor of Davis's tent. The surrendered band numbered sixty-five in all.

The captive Modocs now endeavored by their humility and obedience to deserve the confidence of the commander, and if possible to secure immunity from punishment for themselves, and Davis thought best to make use of this truckling spirit in putting an end to the war. From the information imparted by them in several interviews, it was believed that Jack was on the head-waters of Pit River with twenty-five warriors and plenty of horses and arms, and it was determined that a scouting expedition should take the field in that direction. On the 23d of May, Jackson left Fairchild's with his cavalry, marching by the Lost River ford to Scorpion Point, where the artillery companies were encamped. On the 25th Hasbrouck marched to the same rendezvous, Perry following on the 28th, and with him went the expedition and district headquarters.

Three days previous to the removal of headquarters, the commander, with five soldiers, two citizens, and four armed Modocs, made a reconnoissance of the lava-beds, the Modocs behaving with the most perfect fidelity, and convincing Davis that they could be trusted to be sent on a scout. Accordingly, on the 27th, they were furnished with rations for four days, and sent upon their errand. Soon they returned, having found Jack east of Clear Lake, on the old immigrant road to Goose Lake, preparing to raid Applegate's farm on the night of the 28th.

Jackson's and Hasbrouck's squadrons, and the Warm Springs scouts were at once ordered to Applegate's and to take the trail of the Modocs toward Willow Creek canon, a despatch being sent to notify the troops en route from Fairchild's under Wheaton to hasten and join headquarters at Clear Lake. Elaborate preparations were made for the capture, skirmish lines being formed on each side of Willow Creek, and all the prominent points in the vicinity held by detachments.

When all these preparations had been completed for investing the Modoc camp, a number of the Indians appeared, calling out to the officers that they did not want to fight, and would surrender, when orders were given not to fire. Boston Charley then came forward and gave up his arms, stating that the band were hidden among the rocks and trees, but would surrender if he were allowed to bring them in. At this moment the accidental discharge of a carbine in the hands of one of the scouts caused the Indians on the north side of the creek to disappear; but Boston offered to undertake gathering them in, if permitted to do so, which permission was given by Green. It happened, however, that after crossing to the other side of the canon for that purpose, Boston was captured by Hasbrouck's troops coming up that side, and sent to the rear under guard, and that Green did not become aware of this fact for two hours, during which he waited for Boston's return, and the Modoc warriors escaped, though some women and children were captured. It being too late to follow the trail of the fugitives, the troops bivouacked for the night.

On the morning of the 30th Hasbrouck's scouts discovered the trail on the north side of Willow Creek, leading toward Langell Valley. Owing to the broken surface of the country, it was not until late in the day that the foremost of the troops under Jackson, who had crossed the creek and joined in the pursuit, reached the crest of the rocky bluff bounding Langell Valley on the east, and where the Modocs were discovered to be. When the skirmishers had advanced to within gun-shot, Scarface Charley came forward with several others, offering to surrender, and was permitted to return to the band whom he promised to bring in. Jack's sister Mary, being with the troops, went with Scarface, as did also Cabaniss,[89] to both of whom Jack promised surrender in the morning. But when morning came, true to his false nature, he had again disappeared with a few of his followers.

The news of Jack's escape being sent to headquarters, Perry was ordered, on the morning of the 31st, to take guides and join in the pursuit.[90] About half-past one o clock on the morning of June 1st Perry struck Jack's trail five miles east of Applegate's, and at half-past ten he was surrounded. He came cautiously out of his hiding-place, glanced uneasily about him for a moment, then assuming a confident air, went forward to meet Perry and the officers present with him, Trimble, Miller, and De Witt, with whom he shook hands. He apologized for being captured by saying "his legs had given out."[91] The troops were all called in, and the world was allowed to know and rejoice over the surrender of this redoubtable chieftain to a military force of 985 regulars and 71 Indian allies.

The number of Jack's warriors at the outset was estimated to be sixty. By the addition of the Hot Creek band he acquired about twenty more. When the Modocs surrendered there were fifty fighting men and boys, over fifty women, and more than sixty children. The loss on the side of the army was one hundred in killed and wounded; forty-one being killed, of whom seven were commissioned officers. Adding the number of citizens killed, and the peace commissioners, the list of killed reached sixty-three, besides two Indian allies, making sixty-five killed, and sixty-three wounded, of whom some died. Thus the actual loss of the army was at least equal to the loss of the Modocs, leaving out the wounded; and the number of white persons killed more than double.[92]

Now that Captain Jack was no more to be feared, a feeling of professional pride caused the army to make much of the man who with one small company armed with rifles had baffled and defeated a whole regiment of trained soldiers with all the appliances of modern warfare. But there was nothing in the appearance of Jack to indicate the military genius that was there. He was rather small, weighing about 145 pounds, with small hands and feet, and thin arms. His face was round, and his forehead low and square. His expression was serious, almost morose, his eyes black, sharp, and watchful, indicating cunning, caution, and a determined will. His age was thirty-six, and he looked even younger. Clad in soiled cavalry pantaloons and dark calico shirt, his bushy, unkempt hair cut square across his forehead, reclining negligently on his elbow on the ground, with a pipe between his teeth, from which smoke was seldom seen to issue, his face motionless but for the darting of his watchful eyes, he looked almost like any other savage.[93]

As to the manner in which the war was protracted, the cause is apparent. Had Wheaton been permitted to build his mortar-boats, he would have shelled the Modocs out of their caves as easily as did Gillem, and it being winter, they would have had to surrender. The peace commission intervened, the Modocs were permitted to go where they would, and to carry all the plans of the campaign to the stronghold to study how to defeat them. The cutting-off of Thomas' command could only have happened through a knowledge of the intended reconnoissance. Davis' plan was to occupy the lava-beds as the Modocs had, which was a wise one, for as soon as they were prevented from returning, it was only a matter of a few days scouting to run them down.

There remains little to be told of the Modoc story. The remainder of the band was soon captured. Owing to the alarm felt after the massacre of the peace commissioners and subsequent escape of the Indians from the lava-beds, a battalion of three companies of volunteers was organized by authority of Governor Grover to keep open the road from Jacksonville to Linkville, and to carry to the settlers in the Klamath basin some arms and ammunition issued a month previous, in anticipation of the failure of the peace commission, and which were stored at Jenny Creek, on the road to Linkville; and Ross had his headquarters in Langell Valley.

Owing to the alarm of the settlers in Chewaucan, Silver Lake, and Goose Lake valleys, Hizer's company had marched out on the Goose Lake road, where they were met by a company of fifty men from that region under Mulholland, coming in for arms and ammunition. These, after being supplied, turned back, and Hizer's company, reëntering Langell Valley just as Green's squadrons were scouting for Jack, joined in the chase, and after Green had returned to camp on the night of June 3d, captured twelve Modocs, among whom were two of the most noted braves of the band. Ross sent a telegram to Grover, who ordered him to deliver them to the sheriff of Jackson county, and to turn over the others to General Wheaton.

But news of the capture being conveyed to head quarters at Clear Lake, an escort was sent to over take the prisoners at Linkville and bring them back, Lindsay of the volunteers surrendering them to the United States officer under protest, upon being as sured that Davis intended hanging those convicted of murder. Such, indeed, was his design, having sent to Linkville for witnesses, among whom were the women of the Boddy family.[94] Before the time arrived which had been set for the execution, Davis received such instructions from Washington as arrested the consummation of the design.

This interference of the government, or, as it was understood, of the secretary of the interior, so exasperated certain persons whose identity was never discovered,[95] that when seventeen Modoc prisoners were en route to Boyle's camp at Lost River ford, in charge of Fairchild, they were attacked and four of them killed. The despatch which arrested the preparations of Davis proposed to submit the fate of the Modocs to the decision of the war office, Sherman giving it as his opinion that some of them should be tried by court-martial and shot, others delivered over to the civil authorities, and the remainder dispersed among other tribes. This was a sort of compromise with the peace-commission advocates, who were still afraid the Modocs would be harmed by the settlers of the Pacific frontier. So strong was the spirit of accusation against the people of the west, and their dealings with Indians, that it brought out a letter from Sherman, in which he said: "These people are the same kind that settled Ohio, Indiana, arid Iowa; they are as good as we, and were we in their stead we should act just as they do. I know it, because I have been one of them."

The whole army in the field protested against delay and red tape,[96] but the Modoc apologists had their way.

After wearisome argument and a decision by Attorney-general Williams,[97] a military commission was ordered for the trial of "Captain Jack and such other Indian captives as may be properly brought before it." Those who might be properly tried were named by the war department as the assassins of Canby, Thomas, and Sherwood, and "no other cases whatever," notwithstanding Grover had telegraphed to the department to turn over to the state of Oregon the slayers of her citizens, whom the government refused to try, or allow to be tried, thus saying in effect that the victims had deserved their fate. At the same time a petition was addressed to Secretary Delano, by E. Steele, William H. Morgan, John A. Fairchild, and H. W. Atwell, asking that Scarface Charley, Hooker Jim, Bogus Charley, Steamboat Frank, Shacknasty Jim, and Miller's Charley should be permitted to remain in Siskiyou county, where it was proposed to employ them on a farm near Yreka. Delano was constantly in receipt of letters in behalf of the Modocs.

On the 14th of June the Modocs, 150 in number, were removed to Fort Klamath, and imprisoned in a stockade, after which a large force of cavalry, under Green, and of infantry, under Mason, made a march of 600 miles through eastern Oregon and Washington to overawe those tribes rendered restless and threatening by the unparalleled successes of the Modocs. On the 30th of June, in obedience to instructions from Washington, Davis[98] appointed a military commission, consisting of Colonel Elliott, captains Mendenhall, Hasbrouck, and Pollock, and Lieutenant Kingsbury. Major Curtis was appointed judge-advocate. The trial began on the 5th of July. The witnesses for the prosecution were Meachani, Dyar, Eldery, Anderson, four of the Modocs who had turned state's evidence, and the interpreters. Jack made use of his witnesses only to try to fix the blame of collusion upon the Klamaths. Three of his witnesses alleged that the Klamaths assisted them, and that Allen David had sent them messages advising them to hostilities; but this, whether true or false, did not affect their case. When he came to address the commission, he said that he had never done anything wrong before killing General Canby. Nobody had ever said anything against him except the Klamaths. He had always taken the advice of good men in Yreka. He had never opposed the settlement of the country by white people; on the contrary, he liked to have them there. Jackson, he said, came to Lost River and began firing when he only expected a talk; and that even then he ran off without fighting. He went to the lava-beds, not intending to fight, and did not know that the settlers were killed until Hooker Jim told him. He denied that Canby's murder was concerted in his tent, accusing those whom General Davis had employed as scouts. If he could, he would have denied killing Canby, as in his last speech he did, saying it was Shacknasty Jim who killed him.

Only six of the Modocs were tried, and four were. hanged, namely, Jack, Sconchin, Black Jim, and Boston Charley. Jack asked for more time, and said that Scarface, who was a relative, and a worse man than he, ought to die in his stead. Sconchin made some requests concerning the care of his children, and said, although he did not wish to die, he would suppose the judge had decided rightly. Black Jim sarcastically remarked that he did not boast of his good heart, but of his valor in war. He did not try to drag others in, as Jack had done, he said, and spoke but little in his own defence. If it was decided that he was to die, he could die like a man. Boston Charley was coolly indifferent, and affected to despise the others for showing any feeling. "I am no half woman," he proclaimed. "I killed General Canby, assisted by Steamboat Frank and Bogus Charley."

On the 3d of October the tragedy culminated, and the four dusky souls were sent to their happy hunting-ground, nevermore to be molested by white men.[99] By an order from the war department, the remainder of the band were removed to Fort D. A. Russell in Wyoming, and subsequently to Fort McPherson in Nebraska, and lastly to the Quapaw agency in the Indian Territory; but the lava-beds, which can never be removed or changed, will ever be inseparably connected in men's minds with Captain Jack and the Modocs in their brave and stubborn fight for their native land and liberty—a war in some respects the most remarkable that ever occurred in the history of aboriginal extermination.


  1. Modoc, according to E. Steele of Yreka, is a Shasta word signifying 'stranger,' or 'hostile stranger,' and came into use as a name by white miners, through hearing the Shastas use it. Ind. Aff. Rept, 1864, 121. Linsey Applegate, who is familiar with their history, has a list of persons killed by them, to the number of 95. Historical Correspondence, MS.
  2. Yreka Journal, Nov. 15, 1867; Woodbridge Messenger, Nov. 23, 1837; Ind. Aff. Rept, 1868, 124.
  3. Military Correspondence, Oct. 14, and Dec. 7, 1869; Ind. Aff. Rept, 1869, 155; Portland Oregonian, Aug. 4, 1868.
  4. O. C. Applegate's Modoc History, MS., 2. This is a full and competent account of Modoc affairs from 1864 to 1873. No one has a more thorough and intelligent knowledge of the customs, manners, ideas, and history of this tribe than Mr Applegate.
  5. Military officers were, in the autumn of 1869, substituted for other agents at each of the reservations in eastern Oregon, and at several in California. Ind. Aff. Rept, 1870, 51.
  6. Military Correspondence, MS., March 18, 1873.
  7. Letter of Goodale, in Military Correspondence, MS., May 16, 1870.
  8. Jack's band used to range up and down among the rancheros, visiting houses in the absence of the men, ordering the women to cook their dinners, lounging on beds while the frightened women complied, and committing various similar outrages for two summers before the war began, causing the settlers to send their families to Rogue River Valley for safety. Applegate's Modoc History, MS.
  9. Rept of Maj.-gen. George H. Thomas, in H. Ex. Doc., i. pt ii., 114, 41st cong. 2d sess.
  10. W. V. Rhinehart, in Historical Correspondence, MS., agrees with Jack about this. But Sconchin was never detected in illicit intercourse with the enemy.
  11. Says Jackson: He carries around with him letters from prominent citizens of Yreka, testifying to his good conduct and good faith with the whites. Many of the settlers in the district where he roams are opposed to having him molested. Military Correspondence, MS., Aug. 29, 1871. This was true of some of the settlers on the six-mile tract, who feared to be massacred should his arrest be attempted. How well they understood the danger was soon proved.
  12. The following is a copy of a paper carried around by Jack: 'Yreka, June 26, 1871. Captain Jack has been to Yreka to know what the whites are going to do with him for killing the doctor. The white people should not meddle with them in their laws among themselves, further than to persuade them out of their foolish notions. White people are not mad at them for executing their own laws, and should not be anywhere. Let them settle all these matters among themselves, and then our people will be in no danger from them. E. Steele.' Applegate's Modoc Hist., MS.
  13. Lieut R. H. Anderson, in Military Correspondence, MS., Aug. 4, 1871; H. Com. Rept, 98, 257–67, 42d cong. 3d sess.
  14. Military Correspondence, MS., Aug. 6, 1871.
  15. I am at a loss for a word to give as a synonym for medicine as here used. It might be the evil-eye of the ancients.
  16. H. F. Miller was at that time paying them an assessment. This man said to a neighbor: 'I favor the Modocs because I am obliged to do it. If they go to war they will not kill me, because I use them so well.' Applegate's Modoc Hist., MS. Mark the sequel.
  17. John Meacham, in Historical Correspondence, MS., Aug. 21, 1871.
  18. This was afterward confessed by the Modocs to their captors. Applegate's Modoc Hist., MS.
  19. Military Correspondence, Sept. 2, 1871. Capt. Jackson also wrote, I have no doubt that they are insolent beggars, but so far as I can ascertain no one has been robbed, or seriously threatened.' H. Ex. Doc., i. pt ii., 115, 41st cong. 2d sess.
  20. See letter of Jesse Applegate to Supt Meacham, Feb. 1, 1872, in H. Ex. Doc., 122, 13, 43d cong. 1st sess.; Military Correspondence, MS., Jan. 29. 1872; Jacksonville Democrat, March 1, 1873.
  21. See correspondence in T. B. Odneal's Modoc War; Statement of its Origin and Causes, etc.; Portland, 1873. This pamphlet was prepared by request of H. W. Scott, C. P. Crandall, B. Goldsmith, and Alex. P. Ankeney, of Portland, to correct erroneous impressions occasioned by irresponsible statements, and is made up chiefly of official documents.
  22. Military Correspondence, MS., Jan. 29 and Feb. 19, 1872.
  23. I make the above recommendations, he said, after commanding the military districts of Nevada, Owyhee, and the districts of the lakes, successively since December 1867. Odeneal's Modoc War, 22.
  24. Dyar was the fourth agent in three years. Lindsey Applegate was incumbent from 1864 to 1869, when Knapp was substituted to secure the fair treatment of the Indians, which it was then supposed only military officers could give. But Captain Knapp was more complained of than Applegate, because he endeavored to get some service out of the Modocs in their own behalf. John Meacham was then placed in office for one year, when J. H. High, former agent at Fort Hall, supplanted him. Klamath agency being under assignment to the methodist church for religious teaching, L. S. Dyar was appointed through this influence. All of these men treated the Indians well.
  25. It is said that Miller went to Fairchilds and complained bitterly of the position in which Otis' questions before the Indians had placed him. He admitted that he had not told the truth, but declared that he dared not say otherwise. Siskiyou County Affairs, MS., 53.
  26. Who besides E. Steele Jack referred to is not known. Steele admits giving advice to Jack and his followers. My advice to them was, and always has been, to return to the reservation, and further, that the officers would compel them to go. They replied that they would not go, and asked why the treaty that I had made with them when I was superintendent of northern California—they supposing that our state line included their village at the fishery—was not good ... I told them they had made a new treaty with the Oregon agency since mine, and sold their lands, and that had done away with the first one. Jack said he did not agree to it. . .1 have written several letters for him to the settlers, in which I stated his words to them, etc. These ex tracts are from a manuscript defence of his actions, written by Steele to his brother at Olympia, in my possession, entitled Steele's Modoc Question, MS.
  27. Military Correspondence, MS., June 10, 15, and 20, 1872; Odeneal's Modoc War, 31–2.
  28. Steele was threatened with prosecution by Odeneal, and in the defence before referred to, after explaining his acts, says: At this last interview with Capt. Jack I again tried to persuade him to go upon the reservation, but I must confess that it was as much to avoid the trouble and expense that would fall upon me in getting the land grant through for them as from any other motive. Modoc Question, MS., 25.
  29. Odeneal's Modoc War, 33. Capt. Jackson had been superseded in the command at Fort Klamath by Maj. G. G. Hunt, who in turn was relieved July 17th by Maj. John Green. Major Otis had also been relieved of the command of the district of the lakes by Colonel Frank Wheaton, 21st inf.
  30. This was revealed by friendly Indians present at the conference. It is found in Dyar's statement.
  31. The order to arrest did not include more. Jack was believed to have about 60 fighting men, and that about half that number were at his camp.
  32. When the mistake had been made, there was the usual quarrel between the military and Indian departments as to which had been in the wrong. Gen. Canby exonerated Odeneal by saying: The time and manner of applying force rested in the discretion of the military commander. It is easy to see that Green might have been misled by Applegate's report that Jack had only about half his warriors with him, but he must have known that he was not carrying out the intentions of the commanding general of the department. I myself think that he wished to show how easy a thing it was to dispose of the Modoc question when it came into the proper hands.
  33. Brown afterward said he knew nothing of any settlers below Crawley's farm, and that the men he notified said nothing about any. Odeneal's Modoc War, 39. The truth was that none comprehended the danger.
  34. Oregonian, Dec. 12, 1872; Yreka Journal, Jan. 1, 1873; Red Bluff Sentinel, Dec. 7, 1872.
  35. S. F. Alta, Dec. 12, 1872; Oregon Herald, Dec. 14, 1872.
  36. The men, William Boddy, Nicholas Schira, his son-in-law, and two step-sons, William and Richard Cravigan, were killed while about their farm work. Mrs Schira, seeing the team-horses coming home without a driver, ran to them and found the lines bloody. She put the horses in the stable, and with her mother walked along the road to find her husband. About half a mile from the house he was found lying on the ground, shot through the head. Remembering her brothers, she left her mother with the dead and ran on alone to find them. On the way she passed Hooker Jim, Curly-headed Doctor, Long Jim, One-eyed Mose, Rock Dave, and Humpy Jerry, all well-known members of Jack's band, who did not offer to intercept her. After finding the body of one brother, Mrs Schira returned to her mother, and together they fled over a timbered ridge toward Crawley's, but while on the crest, seeing a number of persons about the house, mistook them for Indians, and turned toward the highest hills in the direction of Linkville, which were then covered with snow. After wandering until the middle of the 2d day without food or fire, they were met and conducted to the bridge on Lost River, from which place they were taken to Linkville. On the 2d of Dec. Mrs Schira returned with a wagon to look for her dead, but found that Boutelle had gone on the same errand. The Boddy family were from Australia, and were industrious, worthy people. Jacksonville Sentinel, Dec. 1872.
  37. In the Yreka Journal of Dec. 4, 1872, is the following: In the massacre of settlers that followed the attack on the Modocs, the Indians killed none but those who were foremost in trying to force them on the reservation. On the contrary, it is remarkable that not one of those killed were signers of the petitions for their removal, lists of which have been published in documents here quoted. These persons were afraid to petition for Jack's removal.
  38. Seeing some Indians approaching who had her husband's horses, Mrs Brotherton took the alarm. Three Indians surrounded the house of John Shroeder, a neighbor, and shot him while he was trying to escape on horse back. Joseph Brotherton, a boy of 15 years, was in company with this man, but being on foot, the Indians gave no attention to him while in pursuit of the mounted man. Mrs Brotherton, seeing her son running toward the house, went out to meet him with a revolver. Her younger son called her back and ran after her, but she ordered him to return to the house and get a Henry rifle, telling him to elevate the sight for 800 yards and fire at the Indians. He obeyed, his still younger sister wiping and handling the cartridges. Under cover of the rifle the mother and son reached the house in safety, which was fastened, barricaded, and converted into a fortress by making loop-holes. The Indians retired during the night, but guard was maintained. One Indian was killed and one wounded in the defence. On the third day Ivan Applegate came that way and took the family to Crawley's. Oregonian, Dec. 9, 1872. Besides those mentioned, the persons killed were John Shroeder, Sover, a herdsman, Adam Shillingbow, Christopher Erasmus, Collins, and two travellers, in all 15 men and boys, besides Nus, Thurman, and the cavalryman.
  39. S. F. Call, Dec. 2, 6, 8, 1872; S. F. Bulletin, Dec. 2, 3, 12, 27, 1872; S. F. Post, Dec. 6, 1872; Sac. Union, Dec. 13, 19, 1872.
  40. This moral obliquity of Jack's makes it impossible to heroize him, not withstanding I recognize something grand in his desperate obstinacy. On his trial he said, referring to this occasion: 'I did not think of fighting. John Fairchild came to my tent and asked me if I wanted to fight. I told him, "No, I was done fighting."' Scarface admitted at his trial that he killed one of the settlers, and Jack was with him. But it is observable all through the history of the war that Jack denied his crimes, and endeavored to fasten the responsibility upon others, even upon his own friends. He was the prince of liars.
  41. H. Ex. Doc., 122, 40, 43d cong. 1st sess. This remark of Wheaton's shows that he, as well as Odeneal and Applegate, thought there must be at Klamath from 60 to 75 cavalrymen—twice as many were sent to arrest the Modocs.
  42. Boyle's Personal Observations on the Conduct of the Modoc War, a manuscript of 46 pages, has been of great service to me in enabling me to give a connected account of that remarkable campaign. Boyle was post quartermaster. He relates that the talk of the officers at Vancouver was that when Green goes after those Modocs he will clean them out sooner than a man could say Jack Robinson, and that he thought so himself.
  43. Yreka Despatches, in Oregonian, Dec. 21, 1872; S. F. Alta, Dec. 13, 1872.
  44. Oregonian, Dec. 3, 1872; Applegate's Modoc War, MS., 17.
  45. Boyle's Conduct of the Modoc War, MS., 9.
  46. Rept Gen. Wheaton, in H. Ex. Doc., 122, 48–9, 43d cong. 1st sess.; Boyle's Conduct of the Modoc War, MS., 7–9; Red Bluff Sentinel, Feb. 1.
  47. Applegate's Modoc Hist., MS. Another instance of the wonderful voice-power of Scarface is mentioned by a writer in the Portland Herald, and in Early Affairs in Siskiyou County, MS. 'We distinctly heard, incredible as it may seem, above the distant yells and cries of the camp below, three or four miles away a big basso voice, that sounded like a trumpet, and that seemed to give command. The big voice was understood and interpreted as saying: "There are but few of them, and they are on foot. Get your horses! Get your horses!"
  48. It was certainly unsafe allowing the Indian allies to converse with the hostile Modocs, who appealed to them so strongly for help. The regular officers afterward entertained the belief that the Klamaths acted deceitfully, and promised Jack help, in the Modoc tongue. But Applegate's confidence was never shaken, and he trusted them in very great emergencies. Modoc Hist., MS.
  49. It was intimated in Cal. that speculation in Oregon had much to do with it, to which a writer in the Oregonian, Jan. 18, 1873, retorted that he agreed with Gov. Booth in that respect, for citizens of Cal. had for years encouraged the Modocs in refusing to go upon the reservation, for no other reason than to secure their trade, etc.; which the facts seem to show.
  50. Wheaton wrote to Canby on the 15th that all things were in excellent condition, the most perfect understanding prevailed of what was expected of each division, and the troops were in the most exuberant spirits. 'If the Modocs will only try to make good their boast to whip 1,000 soldiers, all will be satisfied. Our scouts and friendly Indians insist that the Modocs will fight us desperately, but I don t understand how they can think of attempting any serious resistance, though of course we are prepared for their fight or flight.' H. Ex. Doc., 122, 49–50, 43d cong. 1st sess.
  51. Boyle's Conduct of the Modoc War, MS., 11.
  52. Boyle places Perry in the centre, but he was not on the field, and Green and Applegate were, whose reports I follow.
  53. The reader should not forget that Green intended to capture Jack without a serious fight, if possible.
  54. Boyle's Conduct of the Modoc War, MS., 18–19. This was Jerry Crook. He died in February.
  55. This is the official count. Applegate says the loss was 41, of whom 11 were killed. He may count some who did not die on the field, but lived a few days.
  56. Rept of Gen. Wheaton, in H. Ex Doc., 122, 43d cong. 1st sess.
  57. See remarks of N. Y. Tribune, in S. F. Bulletin, Jan. 25, 1873, and Sac. Union, Jan. 31, 1873.
  58. See H. Ex. Doc., 122, 239–40, 43d cong. 1st sess.
  59. The Washington correspondent of the S. F. Bulletin names the Oregonians in Washington who were the authors of the peace commission. They were A. B. Meacham, E. L. Applegate, S. A. Clarke, D. P. Thompson, M. P. Berry, R. H. Kincaid, Daniel Chaplin, and a few other Oregon gentle men. Jacob Stitzel should have been added. Meacham was the elector chosen to carry the vote of Oregon to Washington on Grant's reelection, and was in a position to have his requests granted.
  60. There was a general protest against Wheaton's removal, it being con ceded, by those who knew the difficulties to be encountered, that he had done as well as could be done with his force.
  61. These 8 were Scarface Charley, Hooker Jim, Long Jim, One-eyed Mose, Old Doctor Humphrey, Little Jim, Boston Charley, and Dave. Oregonian, Feb. 15, 1873; H. Ex. Doc., 122, 263, 43d cong. 1st sess.
  62. Red Bluff Sentinel, Feb. 22, 1873; New York Herald, Feb. 17 and June 2, 1873.
  63. Jesse Applegate resigned rather than investigate his brother and nephews.
  64. See telegram in H. Ex. Doc., 122, 255, 43d cong. 1st sess.
  65. Yreka despatches, in Oregonian, Feb. 26, 1873.
  66. One of the surgeons in camp stated, concerning the second interview with Jack, that 10 of his followers were for peace and 10 against it, while the others were indifferent. Yreka despatches, in Oregonian, Feb. 25, 1873.
  67. Whittle and Riddle belonged to that class of white men known on the frontier as squaw men. They were not necessarily bad or vicious, but in all disturbances of the kind in which the people were then plunged were an element of mischief to both sides. Having Indian wives, they were forced to keep on terms of friendship with the Indians whatever their character; and owing allegiance to the laws of the state and their own race, they had at least to pretend to be obedient to them. It is easy to see that their encouragement of the Modocs, direct or indirect, had a great deal to do with bringing on and lengthening the war.
  68. Yreka despatches, in Oregonian, March 1873; Ind. Af. Rept, 1873, 75.
  69. H. Ex Doc., 122, 260, 43d coug. 1st sess.
  70. Sconchin of Jack's band was a brother of the chief Sconchin at Yainax, and an intelligent though unruly Indian.
  71. Steele's Modoc Question, MS., 25. It is noticeable that in all Steele's interviews with Jack he never made any attempt to impress upon his mind the benevolent intentions of the government, but only its coercive power, which he knew Jack defied.
  72. The despatch read: 'All parties here have absolute faith in you, but mistrust the commissioners. If that Modoc affair can be terminated peacefully by you it will be accepted by the secretary of the interior as well as the president. Answer immediately, and advise the names of one or two good men with whom you can act, and they will receive the necessary authority; or, if you can effect the surrender to you of the hostile Modocs, do it, and remove them under guard to some safe place, assured that the government will deal by them liberally and fairly.'
  73. Portland Bulletin, March 13. 1373: Jacksonville Sentinel, March 8, 15, 1873; Gold Hill News, March 15, 1873; S. F. Call, March 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 1873.
  74. Sherman's telegram, after counselling patience, closed with this paragraph: 'But should these peaceful measures fail, and should the Modocs presume too far on the forbearance of the government, and again resort to deceit and treachery, I trust you will make such use of the military force that no other Indian tribe will imitate their example, and that no reservation for them will be necessary except graves among their chosen lava-beds.'
  75. In Meacham's special report he points out that Thomas was indiscreet in his intercourse with the Modocs. He questioned one of them as to the truth of Toby's report that it would not be safe for the commissioners to meet Jack, which was denied; and on being asked in turn who told him, he said Toby Riddle a dangerous breach of trust, exposing Toby to the wrath of the Modocs. Gillem also informed this same Indian that unless peace was made very soon he would move up near the Modoc stronghold, and that one hundred Warm Spring Indians would be added to the army within a few days. Ind. Aff. Rept, 1873, 77.
  76. H. Ex. Doc., 122, 139, 43d cong. 1st sess.
  77. Canby said that the Modocs dare not attack with Mason's force where it could be thrown into the stronghold before the Modocs could return to it. Thomas said that God almighty would not let any such body of men be hurt that was on as good a mission as that. 'I told him,' says Riddle, 'that he might trust in God, but that I didn't trust any of them Indians.' Meacham, in his Wigwam and Warpath, published two or three years after the war, says that the Modocs, perceiving the doctor's religious bent, pretended to have their hearts softened and to desire peace from good motives, which hypocrisy deceived him. I do not find anything anywhere else to sustain this assertion.
  78. Cabaniss, who was personally strongly attached to Canby, wrote an interesting and highly colored account of the incidents just prior to and succeeding the massacre, for the Eureka, Cal., West Coast Signal, April 19, 1873. Various accounts appeared in the newspapers of that date, and in Fitzgerald's Cal. Sketches, 140; Simpson's Meeting the Sun, 356–83; and Meacham's Wigwam and Warpath, written to justify his own want of judgment and conceal his want of honesty.
  79. Edward R. S. Canby was born in Kentucky in 1817, and appointed to the military academy at West Point from Indiana. He graduated in 1839, and was made 2d lieut. He served in the Florida war, and removed the Indians to Arkansas in 1842. From 1846 to 1848 he served in Mexico, and was at the siege of Vera Cruz, the battles of Cerro Gordo, Contreras, and Churubusco, where he was brevetted major for gallant conduct; was at the assault and capture of the City of Mexico, where he was brevetted lieut-col; was commander of the division of the Pacific from 1849 to 1851, after which he was four years in the adj. -gen. office at Washington. From 1855 to the breaking out of the rebellion he was on frontier duty. He served through the civil war as colonel of the 19th inf. in the dep. of New Mexico; was made brig.-gen. of U. S. volunteers in March 1862; was detached to take command of the city and harbor of New York to suppress draft riots; was made maj.-gen. of volunteers in 1864, in command of the military division of west Mississippi; was brevetted brig. -gen. of the U. S. army in 1865 for gallant conduct at the battle of Valverde, New Mexico; and was brevetted maj.-gen. U. S. army for gallant and meritorious services at the capture of Fort Blakely and Mobile. He commanded the military district of North and South Carolina from September 1867 to September 1868, and was afterward placed in command of Texas, and then of Va, where he remained until transferred to Or. in 1870. He was tall and soldierly in appearance, with a benevolent countenance. He had very little money saved at the time of his death, and a few citizens of Portland gave five thousand dollars to his widow. It is stated that a brother was stricken with sudden insanity on hearing of his fate. Santa Barbara Index, July 17, 1873. Rev. E. Thomas was a minister in the methodist denomination. He was in charge of a Niagara-street church in Buffalo, New York, in 1853; came to Cal. in 1865, where he was agent for the Methodist Book Concern; for several years was editor of the Cal. Christian Advocate, and at the time of his death was presiding elder of the Petaluma district of the Cal. M. E. Conference. He left a wife and three children. Oregonian, April 14, 1873.
  80. See Washington despatches, in Portland Oregonian, April 15, 1873; N. Y. Herald, April 20, 1873; London Times, April 16, 1873.
  81. See letter of A. Hamilton to the secretary of the interior, in H. Ex. Doc., 122, 287, 43d cong. 1st sess.
  82. Portland Bulletin, March 8 and 15, and April 2, 4, 19, 28, 1873; Jacksonville Sentinel, May 3, 1873; Roseburg Plaindealer, May 2 and June 27, 1873.
  83. Boyle's Conduct of the Modoc War, MS., 28.
  84. Boyle's Conduct of the Modoc War, MS., 41–2; Corr. S. F. Chronicle, in Portland Oregonian, May 6, 1873; S. F. Call, April 30, 1873; S. F. Alta, April 30, 1873; Sac. Record-Union, April 30, 1873; S. F. Post, April 29, 1873; S. F. Bulletin, April 29, 1873; Annual Report of Maj.-Gen. Jeff. C. Davis, 1873, p. 5–6; Or. Deutsch Zeitung, May 3, 1873; S. F. Elevator, May 3, 1873.
  85. Boyle says that the firing, which began about noon, could be distinctly heard at camp. Cabaniss testified the same. The correspondent of the S. F. Chronicle said that no firing was heard, but that he could see through his glass, from the signal-station, the soldiers running wildly about and crawling over the rocks, evidently panic-stricken. Col Green, he says, went immediately to their assistance; but this was false.
  86. Especially was this the case as regards Lieut Harris of the 4th art., whose battery, K, perfectly idolized him.' S. F. Call, April 30, 1873. 'That night's march made many a young man old.' Boyle's Conduct of the Modoc War, MS., 4.
  87. Evan Thomas was a son of Lorenzo Thomas, formerly adj.-gen. of the army. He was appointed 2d lieut of the 4th art. April 9, 1861, from the district of Columbia; was promoted to a first lieutenancy on the 14th of May 1861, and made capt. Aug. 31, 1864, though brevetted capt. in Dec. 1862, and brevetted maj. in July 1863, honors won on the field of battle. He left a widow and two children at San Francisco. After receiving his death wound Thomas buried his gold watch and chain, in the hope it might escape discovery by the Modocs, and be recovered by his friends. But the watchful foe did not permit this souvenir to reach them.

    Thomas F. Wright was a son of Gen. George Wright, formerly in command of the department of the Columbia. He was appointed to the West Point military academy in 1858, and served subsequently as 1st lieut in the 2d Cal. cavalry, but resigned in 1863, and was reappointed with the rank of maj. in 6th Cal. inf. He was transferred to the 2d Cal. inf. with the rank of col until he was mustered out at the close of the war of the rebellion with the rank of brevet brig. -gen. He was appointed 1st lieut of the 32d inf. in July 1866. In Jan. 1870 he was assigned to the 12th inf. at Camp Gaston, Cal., whence after the battle of the 17th of Jan. he was ordered to the Modoc country. Albian Howe was appointed 2d lieut in 1866, having served as maj. of volunteers during the war. He was promoted to a 1st lieut in Nov. 1869, and brevetted capt. in March 1867. He was the son of Col H. S. Howe, formerly of the U. S. army, but on the retired list. He had but a short time before his death married a daughter of W. F. Barry, colonel of the 1st artillery, and commander of the artillery school at Fortress Monroe. Arthur Cranston was a native of Mass. , 30 years of age. He graduated from West Point in 1867, and was appointed 2d lieut in the 4th art. He had served in the 7th reg. Ohio vol. before entering the military academy, and was promoted to a lieutenancy in the 55th Ohio reg. which served in western V. He left a widow and one child in Washington. George M. Harris was a native of Pa, 27 years of age, and a graduate of West Point of the class of 1868. He was appointed 2d lieut of the 10th infantry in 1868, and assigned to the 4th artillery in 1869. S. F. Call, April 30, 1873.

  88. Boyle was of opinion that in the fight of the 17th the Klamath scouts gave their ammunition to the Modocs, but Applegate, who was in command, strongly repelled the suspicion, and there was evidence enough of illicit commerce with persons in or about Yreka.
  89. Eureka West Coast Signal, March 1, 1876; Corr. Oregonian, June 3, 1873.
  90. Henry Applegate, son, and Charles Putnam, grandson, of Jesse Applegate, were the guides who led Perry to Jack's last retreat.
  91. Annual Rept of Jeff. C. Davis, 1873.
  92. The Yreka Union of May 17, 1873, makes the number of killed 71, and wounded 67.
  93. Many laudatory descriptions of Jack appeared in print. See S. F. Call, June 7, 1873; Portland Oregonian, June 3, 1873; Red Bluff Sentinel, July 5, 1873. Sconchin was even more striking in appearance, with a higher frontal brain, and a sensitive face, showing in its changing expression that he noted and felt all that was passing about him. Had he not been deeply wrinkled, though not over 45 years old, his countenance would have been rather pleasing. Scarface, Jack's high counsellor, was an ill-looking savage; and as for the others who were tried for murder, they were simply expressionless and absolutely indifferent.
  94. Hooker Jim and Steamboat Frank admitted being of the party who killed and robbed this family, relating some of the incidents, on hearing which the two women lost all control of themselves, and with a passionate burst of tears and rage commingled, dashed at Hooker and Steamboat, one with a pistol and the other with a knife. Davis interposed and secured the weapons, receiving a slight cut on one of his hands. During this exciting passage both the Indians stood like statues, without uttering a word. S. F. Call, June 9, 1873.
  95. Yreka reports charged this act upon the Oregon volunteers, though they were not within 8 miles of the massacre. Two men only were concerned. A. B. Meacham offered his aid to the secret service department to find the assassins. H. Ex. Doc., 122, 327, 43d cong. 1st sess.
  96. 'I have no doubt of the propriety and the necessity of executing them on the spot, at once. I had no doubt of my authority, as department commander in the field, to thus execute a band of outlaws, robbers, and murderers like these, under the circumstances. Your despatch indicates a long delay of the cases of these red devils, which I regret. Delay will destroy the moral effect which their prompt execution would have upon other tribes, as also the inspiring effect upon the troops. Telegram, dated June 5th, inH. Ex. Doc., 122, p. 87, 43d cong. 1st sess. Davis referred here to the desire of the troops to avenge the slaughter of Canby and Thomas command—a desire which had animated them to endure the three days fight in the lava-beds, and the eleven days constant scouting. Portland Oregonian, June 7, 1873.
  97. H. Ex. Doc., 122, 88–90, 43d cong. 1st sess.; S. F. Call, June 9, 1873; N. Y. Tribune, in Oregonian, June, 1873; N. Y. Herald, June 22, 1873.
  98. Davis died Nov. 30, 1879. He was born in Ind., and appointed from that state to West Point; commissioned 2d lieut 1st artillery June 17, 1848; 1st lieut Feb. 29, 1852; captain May 14, 1861; colonel 22d Ind. vols Aug. 15, 1861; brig.-gen. vols Dec. 18, 1861; brevet maj. March 9, 1862, for gallant and meritorious services at the battle of Pea Ridge, Ark.; brevet lieut-col May 15, 1864, for gallant and meritorious conduct in the battle of Resaca, Ga; brevet col May 20, 1864, for gallant and meritorious services in the capture of Rome, Ga; brevet maj.-gen. of vols Aug. 8, 1864; brevet brig.-gen. March 13, 1865, for gallant and meritorious conduct in the battle of Kenesaw mountain, Ga; brevet maj.-gen. for services in the battle of Jonesborough, Ga; and colonel of the 23d infantry July 28, 1866. He came to the Pacific coast as commander of the department of Alaska, and was afterwards assigned to the department of Oregon. Hamersly's Army Reg. for One Hundred Years, 1779–1879.
  99. H. Ex. Doc., 122, 290–328, 43d cong. 1st sess.; S. F. Call, Oct. 4, 1873; Red Bluff Sentinel, Oct. 11, 1873; S. F. Bulletin, Oct. 4, 13, 20, 1873.