« 上一頁繼續 »
men should be allowed to retain their arms, as he had no doubt if it had
J. L. STEVENSON,
Commanding Southern Military District. Colonel R. B. MASON,
1st United States Dragoons, Godervor of California.
A true copy:
W. T. SHERMAN,
HEADQUARTERS SOUTHERN MILITARY DISTRICT,
Los Angeles, California, August 20, 1848. SIR: The sudden discharge of the volunteers in this town, and the removal of the dragoons to the northward after that event shall take place, has created the strongest excitement in this section of the country. For months past the Indians have frequently come boldly into the country and shot down people in the road and in the fields, and taken from them their horses and property, and the greatest fears are entertained. And I assure you, upon my honor, that I consider their fears far from groundless, that when all the troops shall evacuate this district of country, there will not be sufficient power to prevent their even coming into the town, robbing the stores and dwelling-houses, and violating the women with impunity; for the few citizens who remain in the town are entirely without arins, and all the arms left here by Fremont's battalion are perfectly worthless and unfit for service unless repaired, which could not be done here if double the value of the arms were paid for it. Forty-five old muskets were selected by the alcalde and repaired at the expense of the town, and these are all the arms I can leave here that are fit for service, under your last instructions, and the ammunition you authorize me to issue will be useless without arms. I cannot express the pain and distress exhibited by the people at the idea of being left thus exposed to the ravages of the Indians, and, perhaps, the worthless of their own countrymen. The very best and most reputable of the people of the town and neighborhood are left; and by far the largest portion of them were the firm and fast friends of the Americans in 1846, and they complain—and in my opinion justly, too—that, after all the sacrifices they have made for us, they are now to be abandoned to the mercy of all who choose to do them injury; our government first taking from them their arms to awe their soldiers, and then abandoning them to the mercy of the savage and the worthless portion of the community, without the means of protecting their wives and daughters from insult and violence.
This, sir, is no imaginary picture. 'Tis a true state of the case, upon my honor; and I ask you, as the representative of our government at home, to protect this people, who, by the treaty of peace, have become incorporated into, and made to form a portion of, the United States: from the dangers that surround them, protect them as far as you can. Soldiers you cannot give, but arms and ammunition you can give, and I beg of you, in the name of humanity, as well as for the honor of our country, that you will do so. I know the people well, and know to whom arms can be safely issued; and if you will authorize it, I will place them in such hands as will protect the lives and property as well from the savage as from those who may be disposed to disturb the peace of the country. I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. D. STEVENSON,
Commanding Southern Military District. Colonel R. B. Mason,
1st United States Dragoons, Governor of California.
A true copy:
W. T. SHERMAN, 1st Lt. 3d Art., A. A. A. General.
HEADQUARTERS TENTH MILITARY DEPARTMENT,
Monteréy, Ca'ifornia, September 12, 1818. Sir: I have the honor to inform you that the ship "Huntress” arrived at this port on Sunday last, the 10th inst., having on board Capt. R. Ingalls, assistant quartermaster, Lieutenaut M. Norton, Ist New York volunteers, and 46 recruits for the two companies of regulars serving in California.
These recruits are in a lamentable condition, the scurvy having broken out on board, causing the death of four men and seriously affecting the health of the rest.
They disembarked yesterday, and twenty are now in hospital, thirteen sick in quarters, and the remaining thirteen reported for duty are too feeble for military duty.
I would suggest the propriety of causing in future all transport ships bound for California to touch at one or more intermediate ports on the way. The charter of the Huntress required her to come direct to Monterey, without stopping unless absolutely necessary.
Her trip was remarkably good; and still Captain Ingalls reports, that had the voyage been protracted two weeks longer, he would have lost the greater part of his command.
The Huntress had on board a large supply of clothing for the volunteers; but as their term of service has expired, it will not be needed. I have ordered Captain Folsom, at San Francisco, to receive it and store it as well as possible. The charter of this ship requires her cargo to be landed at the end of her tackles; and as she has no launch, it is impossible to discharge her here. I, in consequence, have directed Capt. Marcy to contract with the master for the delivery of the entire cargo at San Francisco, where there are more facilities for landing and where the stores will be more secure. I would again respectfully renew the recommendation contained in my letter of April 10, that all ships chartered for this coast be required to have suitable launches, and to land their cargoes if required to do so; for, with the exception of San Francisco and San Diego, the harbors of California are open roadsteads, in which it is impossible to keep launches or lighters. Had the captain of the Huntress been so disposed, he might have laid here at great cost to the government, as it would have been impossible for us to discharge his ship under the circumstances. Captain Ingalls is ordered to San Francisco to superintend the delivery of the stores to Captain Folsom, after which he will return and report to me at Monterey.
The New York volunteer regiment being partly mustered out of service, and the whole being under orders for discharge, I have discharged from service Lieutenant Norton, the officer of that regiment, who came from New York on duty with these recruits.
I have the honor to enclose you duplicate copies of my letters Nos. 37, 39, and 42, sent to Washington in charge of Lieut. Loeser, 3d artillery, who sailed for Pata, Peru, on the 30th ult.; and I will merely add, that the state of the country has not materially changed since that date.
The artillery company here continues to diminish in numbers by desertion. This morning's report shows one officer for duty, one officer extra duty, 13 non-commissioned officers and privates for duty, 5 sick, 13 extra or daily duty, 3 confined, 9 on furlough, and 4 on detached service-a total of 47 enlisted -men. No reports have been received from the dragoon company since my last letter
The reports from the gold mines continue full as flattering as ever, but much sickness has resulted from the great exposure and heat of the sum. mer, causing many citizens to return to the cool climate of the seacoast.
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letters of April 13th and 18th ; one of February 8th, to Major General Jesup; special orders No. 11, and general orders Nos. 6, 9, 10, 13, aud 16, ot 1848. By the post returns already sent you, you will perceive that my file of orders is very incomplete.
I have no news of the squadron, but am expecting daily some part of it with Lieut. Col. Burton's command from Lower California. I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. B. MASON, Colonel 1st Dragoons, Governor of Culifornia. Brigadier General R. Jones,
Adjutant General U, S. A., Washington.
[No. 45.] HEADQUARTERS TENTH MILITARY DEPARTMENT,
San Francisco, November 24, 1848. Sir: I embrace the opportunity which presents itself by a gentleman who leaves here to-morrow for the United States, via the isthmus of Panama, to address you a few lines. Nothing of importance has occurred in the administration of the civil affairs of California since my last communication (No. 44) of the 12th of September, reporting the arrival of the ship Huntress, with recruits and army stores, and forwarding you duplicates of my letters Nos. 37, 39, and 42. The whole of the New York volunteers have been mastered out of service. Lieatenant Colonel Burton's command arrived at Monterey on board of Commodore Jones's squadron, and was discharged at that place. A large number of the people of Lower California, who had taken an active part in our cause, was also brought by the same conveyance. I ordered the assistant commissary and acting assistant quartermaster to feed and quarter them for two months; and Commodore Jones promptly caused them to be paid from the military contribution fund, collected under his orders, for their lost property, &c. The recruits brought by the Huntress have nearly all deserted; just so fast as they recovered sufficiently from the scurvy to leave the hospital, they went off. Company C, 1st dragoons, and company F, 3d artillery, are very much weakened from the same cause. I learn, unofficially, that a large party, say twelve men, of the former company, took their horses, saddles, arms, and accoutrements, and went off in a body to the gold mines.
So long as the gold mines continue to yield' the great abundance of metal they now do, it will be impossible to keep soldiers in California; and it is of no use to send them here. Soldiers will not serve for seven and eight dollars per month when laborers and mechanics are getting from fifty to one hundred. At the very time the recruits were deserting from Monterey, there was a ship in the harbor which had lost all her men; and her captain was offering one hundred dollars per month for sailors, and could not get a crew.
Gold continues to be found in increased quantities, and over an increased extent of country. I stated to you in my letter No. 37 that there was more gold in the country drained by the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers than would pay all the cost of the war with Mexico one hundred times over; if I had said five hundred times over, I should have been nearer the mark. Any reports that may reach you of the vast quantities of gold in California can scarcely be too exaggerated for belief. In my last-mentioned letter, (No. 37,) I suggested that the gold district be surveyed, and sold in small parcels, &c. A better plan, I think, would be not to sell at all, but to throw the mines open to all who choose to work them, and collect a rent by charging them a small per centage upon the gold, coined at a mint to be established here, which shall have been taken from the mines in California I cannot too strongly recommend a territorial government to be organized in California at the earliest moment possible, if it has not already been done. There is no security here for sife or property; and, unless a civil government is specially organized, anarchy and confusion will arise, and murder, robbery, and all sorts of
crime will be committed with impunity in the heterogeneous and mixed community that now fills California. I am, rsepectfully, your obedient servant,
R. B. MASON,
Colonel 1st Dragoons, commanding. Brigadier General R. JONES,
Adjutant General U. S. A., Washington.
No. 46.] HEADQUARTERS TENTH MILITARY DEPARTMENT,
San Francisco, California, November 24, 1848. Sir: The war being over, the soldiers nearly all deserted, and having now been from the States two years, I respectfully request to be ordered home. I feel the less hesitancy in making this request, as it is the second only that I recollect ever to have made, in more than thirty years' service, to be relieved from any duty upon which I have been placed: the first was asking to be relieved from the recruiting service, in 1832, that I might join my company in the Black Hawk war. I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. B. MASON,
Colonel 1st Dragoons, commanding. Brigadier General R. Jones,
Adjutant Gen ral U. S. A., Washington.
[No. 47.] HEADQUARTERS TENTH MILITARY DEPARTMENT,
Monterey, California, December 27, 1848. SIR: I have the honor, herewith, to enclose you a copy of the muster and descriptive roll of the detachment of recruits which arrived here on the 10th of September, on board the ship Huntress, and to report that but tuelve men remain of the original number. The original roll will be sent you by the first safe opportunity.
On the 12th instant a courier arrived here from Los Angeles, bringing a letter from Captain Smith, commanding that post, reporting the arrival at Los Angeles of a Mr. Lane, sutler to Major Graham's command, which he left November 22d, on the east bank of the Rio Colorado, engaged in rafting their property across that river. Mr. Lane brought a letter from Lieutenant Evans, adjutant to the command, requiring of the commissary of San Diego certain subsistence stores, which were immediately despatched from Los Angeles, to meet them on their way in.
The command is reported two hundred and seventy-seven strong, with two hundred teamisters and two quartermaster's men, ninety two wagons, over a thousand mules, horses, &c. The horses are reported very niuch reduced, and mules broken down.
The subsistence stores at Los Angeles, though ample for its small garri. son, could not supply so large a body of men more than three weeks, and it became imperatively necessary to send thither a further supply as early as possible. * A courier was despatched to San Francisco on the 13th instant, with orders for Captain Folsom to despatch to San Pedro seventy thousand rations, and a letter to Commodore Jones, requesting him to