The Life of Isaac Ingalls Stevens, Volume 1 (of 2)

By Hazard Stevens

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Title: The Life of Isaac Ingalls Stevens, Volume I (of 2)

Author: Hazard Stevens

Release Date: August 30, 2013  [eBook #43589]

Language: English

VOLUME I (OF 2)***

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      Text enclosed by underscores is in italics (_italics_).

      A carat character is used to denote superscription. A
      single character following the carat is superscripted
      (example: y^e). Multiple superscripted characters are
      enclosed by curly brackets (example: Coun^{clr}).

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[Illustration: Isaac Stevens]


By His Son


With Maps and Illustrations

In Two Volumes



Boston and New York
Houghton, Mifflin and Company
The Riverside Press, Cambridge

Copyright, 1900, by Hazard Stevens
All Rights Reserved

                              THIS RECORD
                       A NOBLE AND PATRIOTIC LIFE
                              IS DEDICATED
                        THE YOUNG MEN OF AMERICA


For many years I have felt impelled to write this Life, not only in
justice to General Stevens's memory, but also as an act of duty to the
young men of the country, that the example of his noble and patriotic
career might not be lost to posterity. An only son, closely associated
from boyhood with him, his chief of staff in the Civil War, and always
the recipient of his counsel and confidence, the opportunities thus
given me to know his sentiments and characteristics, and to witness so
many of his actions, plainly augment the duty of making his record more
widely known. In these pages, setting aside, as far as possible, the
bias of filial respect and affection, I seek to simply narrate the
actual facts of his life.

Since beginning this work in 1877, I have been greatly assisted by data
furnished by many of General Stevens's contemporaries, former brother
officers, and associates in the public service, many of whom have now
passed on. I render my grateful thanks to them for such aid, and for
their words of appreciation of General Stevens and encouragement to his
biographer, and especially to Generals Zealous B. Tower, Henry J. Hunt,
Benjamin Alvord, Edward D. Townsend, Rufus Ingalls, A.A. Humphreys, E.O.
C. Ord, Thomas W. Sherman, Joseph E. Johnston, G.T. Beauregard, William
H. French, Truman Seymour, Orlando M. Poe, Silas Casey, John G. Barnard,
M.C. Meiggs, Joseph Hooker, George W. Cullum, David Morrison, George E.
Randolph; Colonels Samuel N. Benjamin, Granville O. Haller, Henry C.
Hodges, John Hamilton, H.G. Heffron, Elijah Walker, Moses B. Lakeman;
Major Theodore J. Eckerson, Major George T. Clark; Captains William T.
Lusk, Robert Armour, C.H. Armstrong; Professors W.H. C. Bartlett, A.E.
Church, H.S. Kendrick, H.E. Hilgard, Spencer F. Baird; General Joseph
Lane, Senator James W. Nesmith; General Joel Palmer, Nathan W. Hazen,
Esq., Alexander S. Abernethy, C.P. Higgins; Judge James G. Swan, Arthur
A. Denny; Hon. Elwood Evans, General James Tilton.

My thanks are also due, for facilities for examining and copying records
in their departments, to the Hon. J.Q. Smith, former Commissioner of
Indian Affairs, and Hon. A.C. Towner, Acting Commissioner; to General H.
C. Corbin, Adjutant-General; General John M. Wilson, Chief of Engineers;
Hon. John Hay, Secretary of State; Professor Henry L. Pritchett,
Superintendent of the Coast Survey; Lieutenant Paul Brodie, formerly
adjutant 79th Highlanders, for copying hundreds of pages of documents in
the Indian Office; Mr. R.F. Thompson, of the same office, for assistance
rendered; Professor F.G. Young, of Eugene, Oregon, for a copy of Colonel
Lawrence Kip's account of the Walla Walla Council, republished by him.


Savage's New England Genealogies.

Abiel Abbott's History of Andover.

Miss Sarah Loring Bailey's Historical Sketches of Andover.

Church and town records of Andover.

Massachusetts Colonial Records.

Family records and correspondence.

History of the Mexican War, by General C.M. Wilcox.

Campaigns of the Rio Grande and of Mexico, by Major Isaac I. Stevens.

General Stevens's diary and letters (unpublished).

His reports in the Engineer Bureau of the Army (unpublished).

Reports of the Coast Survey, Professor A.D. Bache, for 1850 to 1853.

Boston Post newspaper, files for 1852.

Pacific Railroad Routes Explorations, vols. i. and xii., two parts.

General Stevens's reports to Commissioner of Indian Affairs, with
journals of Indian councils and proceedings in 1854-55 (unpublished).

Reports of December 22, 1855, and January 29, 1856, in House Document
48, 1st session, 34th Congress.

Reports of August 28, December 5, 1856, council at Fox Island; October
22, 1856, second council at Walla Walla; April 30, 1857, with map and
census of Indian tribes (unpublished).

Reports to Jefferson Davis, Secretary of War, August 15, December 21,
1854; February 19, March 9 and 21, May 23 (two letters), June 8, July 7
and 24, August 14, October 22, November 21 (three letters), 1856. See
documents of 34th and 35th Congresses.

Reports and correspondence of General Wool, Colonel George Wright, and
Lieutenant-Colonel Silas Casey, in said documents.

Governor Stevens's messages to legislature of Washington Territory,
February 28, December 5, 1854; January 20, December, 1856, the latter
accompanied by reports to the Secretary of War and correspondence with
military officers during the Indian war. See, also, above documents and
messages for proceedings relative to martial law.

Governor Stevens's speeches in 35th and 36th Congresses, in
Congressional Globe.

General Joseph Lane's speech in 35th Congress, May 13, 1858, on the
Indian war.

Three Years' Residence in Washington Territory, by James G. Swan.

The Walla Walla Council, by Colonel Lawrence Kip.

Account of Colonel Wright's campaign against the Spokanes, by Colonel
Lawrence Kip.

Report of J. Ross Browne, Special Agent, etc., on the Indian war, House
Document 58, 1st session, 35th Congress.

History of the Pacific States, by H.H. Bancroft, vols. xxiv.-xxvi.

Archives State Department.

Records War Department.

Circular Letter to Emigrants, The Northwest, Letter to the Vancouver
Railroad Convention, by Governor Stevens, published in pamphlet.

The War between the States, by A.H. Stephens.

War Records, vol. v., for Army of the Potomac in 1861; vol. vi., for
Port Royal Expedition; vol. xiv., for James Island campaign; vol. xii.,
in three parts, for Pope's campaign.

Military Historical Society of Massachusetts, vol. ii, entitled The
Virginia Campaign of 1862 under General Pope.

History of the 79th Highlanders, by William Todd.

History of the 21st Massachusetts, by General Charles F. Walcott.

Biographical Register of West Point Graduates, by General George W.

Defence of Charleston Harbor, by Major John Johnson.

Southern Historical Society Papers, vol. xvi.

Official dispatches of Admiral Dupont.

Life of Charles Henry Davis, Rear Admiral.

Letters and statements from gentlemen named in the Preface.

       *       *       *       *       *

The author, having sought his information from original sources as far
as possible, deems it unnecessary to mention the great number of
histories, regimental histories, and biographies that he has perused, as
they throw little light on the subject, and much of that misleading.


                               CHAPTER I


  Isaac Ingalls Stevens, seventh in descent from John Stevens,
     1, one of founders of Andover, Mass., 1640--Deacon Joseph,
     2--Captain James, 3, captor of Louisburg; deputy to General
     Court--Lieutenant James, 4, raised company for French and
     Indian war; died in service--Jonathan, 5, Revolutionary
     soldier, Bunker Hill; other service; characteristics--His
     brother James's diary of siege of Boston--Isaac, 6,
     crippled by falling tree; marries Hannah Cummings,--her
     ancestry; hires Bridges farm; untiring industry and thrift;
     death of wife; second marriage; characteristics; children         1

                               CHAPTER II


  Born, Marble Ridge farmhouse, North Andover, Mass., March 25,
     1818--Delicate child--Heroic treatment--Incidents showing
     character--Devotion to mother--Her death irreparable
     loss--Early schooling--Over-study--Evil effects--Insists on
     leaving school--Works in factory a year--Strict treatment--
     No indulgence--Injudicious urging--Fever--Rupture from
     over-exertion--Seeks Dr. Warren--Old Put's school, Franklin
     Academy--Rigorous daily life of farmer's boy--Phillips
     Academy--Appearance on entering--Earns board and lodgings
     with Nathan W. Hazen, Esq.--Takes first rank in studies--Power
     of concentration--Habits of study--Proficiency in mathematics--
     Protests against bigotry--Overcomes extreme diffidence--
     Appointed to West Point                                          13

                              CHAPTER III

                               WEST POINT

  Patriotic emotions on entering West Point--Determines to be
     head of his class--Better prepared rivals, Biddle, Halleck,
     and Butler--Distinguished classmates--Extra French lessons--
     Letters describe life and studies--Father and uncle William
     disappointed at standing at first examination--Abominates
     smoking and chewing--Early rising--Halleck and Biddle compare
     notes--"Little Stevens is driving ahead like the Devil"--Gains
     first place--Spends 4th of July in New York--Southern contempt
     for Yankee farmers--Determined to resent it--Dialectic
     Society--Second year encampment--Military ball--Contrasts his
     situation with that on entering--Characteristics drawn by
     Professors Bartlett and Church--Extra drawing lessons, great
     gains--Admires General Miller's "I'll try, sir"--Generous
     rivalry--Eleven good friends--Visit home                         24

                               CHAPTER IV

                      WEST POINT.--LAST TWO YEARS

  Appointed assistant professor of mathematics--Leading part in
     Dialectic Society--Efforts at speaking--Reflections on
     studies and authors--Long walks--Forbidden sweets--
     Horsemanship--Skating over thin ice--Saves companion from
     freezing--Letters to father and sisters--Susan goes to
     Missouri--Again head, third year--Patriotic indignation at
     British aggression--Advises sending Oliver to college--Letters
     to Hannah and Oliver--Avows abolition principles--Founds
     "Talisman"--His own anonymous critic--His intimate friends--
     Graduates first in every branch--Parents attend graduation
     exercises                                                        48

                               CHAPTER V


  Ordered to Newport, R.I.--Phrenological chart--Lieutenants
     Mason, Beauregard, Hunt--Ascendency over employees--Newport
     society--Mr. Stevens welcomed--Personal appearance--Meets his
     future wife--Benjamin Hazard--Horseback rides--Family
     mansion--Charming Polly Wanton--Colonel Daniel Lyman--German
     class--Marriage of Susan to David H. Bishop--Death of
     grandmother--Urges additional fortifications--Proposes to
     study law--Friendly letter from Halleck--Takes part of
     Tilden; of H.L. Smith--Death of Hannah--Delivers address
     before Newport Lyceum--Lecture on Oliver Cromwell--Visits
     Washington--Fairhaven battery--Death of Susan--Death of
     Benjamin Hazard--Marriage, September 8, 1841                     60

                               CHAPTER VI


  Wedding journey to West Point--Returns to Newport--Charge of
     works at New Bedford--Moves to Fairhaven--Halleck asks aid
     for engineer corps--Journal--Thanksgiving in Andover--Hazard
     born, June 9--Fugitive slave harbored in Andover--Elizabeth
     marries L.M. Campbell in Tennessee--Moves his family to
     Portsmouth, N.H.--Charge of works there and Portland,
     Me.--Pleasant society--Examines old forts at Castine--Fort
     Knox, on Penobscot, buys land for--Youthful appearance--
     Backwoods uncle, warm welcome--Overwork--Severe illness--
     Julia Virginia born, June 27, 1844--Visits Andover--Elizabeth
     and Mr. Campbell--Moves to Bucksport tavern--Goes to
     housekeeping--New friends--Assistants, Richard Kidder Randolph,
     Isaac Osgood, A.W. Tinkham--Penobscot River--Barge--Pushes on
     works--Fine ox-teams--Judge of men--Severe sickness in
     winter--Visits Washington--Obtains large appropriations--
     Confidential inquiry if he desires promotion--Characteristic
     reply--Delighted in dispensing hospitality--Daughter Julia
     Virginia died, December 7, 1845--Beautiful tribute by Mr.
     Brooks--Organizes course of lectures--Salmon weir--Advocates
     engineer company--Enlists first soldier--Views on raising
     standard of rank and file--Ordered to Mexican war--Speeds to
     Boston by sleigh                                                 78

                              CHAPTER VII

                            VOYAGE TO MEXICO

  Placed in charge of pontoon and engineer train--Delays in
     embarking--Visits from relatives--Death of Elizabeth--Letters
     to wife--Sails on barque Prompt, January 19, 1847--Diary of
     voyage--Seasickness--Warm weather--Passes Bahamas, Great
     Abaco, Hole in the Wall, Berry Island, Black Chief--Steward
     commits suicide--The weather in the Gulf--Arrives at the
     Brazos--Meets officers--Great confusion--Sails to Tampico,
     beautiful, picturesque region--Landing at Vera Cruz, March 9
     and 10                                                           96

                              CHAPTER VIII

                        VERA CRUZ.--CERRO GORDO

  Vera Cruz--Defenses--American army invests city--Lieutenant
     Stevens's zeal in reconnoitring--Hands torn and poisoned--
     Horse bolts to enemy's lines--Throws himself from saddle--
     Looks out route for covered way--Put in charge with large
     working parties--Volunteers--Independent ways--Diary of
     siege--Capture of city--Damage by artillery fire--"Moonlight
     magnificence and sunlight squalidity"--Secures fine horse--
     Appointed adjutant of engineer corps--Diary of march to
     Cerro Gordo--National Bridge--Rancheros--Reconnoissances
     of Cerro Gordo--Disabled by rupture--Compelled to remain in
     camp--Description of battle--Letter to wife                     110

                               CHAPTER IX


  Prisoners released on parole--March for Jalapa--Encerro, Santa
     Anna's country seat--Reaches Jalapa, Eden of Mexico--Prepares
     memoir on conducting war against guerrillas--Letters to
     wife--Feeling address at burial of Sapper Carigan--March from
     Jalapa to Puebla--Beautiful country--Soldado--Pass of La
     Hora--Las Vegas--Perote, its plain and castle--Leaves Perote
     with Colonel Clarke's brigade--San Antonio--Tepe Ahualeo with
     General Worth and Garland's brigade--Hacienda of Virayes--
     Byzantium--Ojo de Agua--Hacienda Santa Annaced--Nopalucan--El
     Pinal--Acajete--Amasoque--Column of lancers threaten attack--
     Sheer off at fire of Duncan's battery in two bodies--
     Lieutenants Stevens and McClellan pursue one for five
     miles--Puebla occupied--Health improved--Reports for duty--
     Reconnoitres road to Tlascala--Examines position in city--
     Generals Scott and Twiggs arrive--Santa Anna renounces
     power--His career and character--Attends church--Bull fight--
     Army recruiting strength--Drilling--Awaiting reinforcements--
     Engineers making maps--Collecting information--Wealthy
     Mexican offers to act as spy--Dominguez, robber chief, with
     some of his band, employed as spies and couriers--Submits
     memoir on system of espionage and employing robbers--Rumors--
     Guerrillas invest El Pinal--Colonel Harney marches to disperse
     them--Arrival of volunteers--Review--Sorry appearance--Good
     material--Heavy defenses and eighteen thousand troops at City
     of Mexico--Character of Mexican governing class--Letters to
     wife--Description of Puebla--Climate--People--Confidence of
     the troops--Character of General Scott--Arrival of General
     Pierce                                                          129

                               CHAPTER X


  Advance to valley of Mexico--Description of defenses--General
     Scott and staff with Twiggs's division reach Ayotla--Daring
     reconnoissances of El Peñon by Lieutenant Stevens--March
     around Lakes Chalco and Xochimilco--Occupy San Augustin--
     Reconnoissances of enemy's positions--San Antonio road
     strongly fortified--Pedregal--Intrenched camp at Contreras--
     Battle of Contreras--Lieutenant Stevens urges decisive movement
     adopted by Twiggs--"Attack the enemy's left; you cut him off
     from reinforcements and hurl him into the gorges of the
     mountains"--Stormy night--Discouragement--Scene at Scott's
     headquarters--Second day's battle--Reconnoitring from church
     steeple at Coyoacan--Enemy in full retreat on San Antonio
     road--Instant advance by Twiggs, led by Lieutenant Stevens,
     who comes up against fortified convent and brings on battle
     of Churubusco--Description of battle--Terrible scenes of
     battlefield banished sleep--Letter to wife--Tacubaya occupied--
     Armistice                                                       163

                               CHAPTER XI

                             UNITED STATES

  General Scott and staff enter Tacubaya--Take quarters in
     Bishop's Palace--Commissioners to negotiate peace--Mexican
     treachery--Armistice terminated--Battle of Molino del
     Rey--Useless attacks--Severe losses--Battle of
     Chapultepec--Castle stormed--Quitman advances on Tacubaya
     causeway--Worth on San Cosme causeway--Lieutenant Stevens,
     with Worth, wounded--Enemy retreat in night--American troops
     occupy city--Lieutenant Stevens's remarks on the
     movements--His character sketches of Lee, Beauregard, Tower,
     Smith, McClellan, Foster, Mason--Removed to city--quartered
     in the Palace--Severe wound--Ups and downs--Mounts
     crutches--Journeys in ambulance with Lieutenant Foster to
     Puebla--Arrives at New Orleans                                  202

                              CHAPTER XII

                        HEROES HOME FROM THE WAR

  Proceeds to Washington--Flattering reception--Gives full
     accounts to Colonel Totten--Joyful reunion with family in
     Newport--Shoots mad dog--Ordered to Savannah--Letter to
     brother--Character of Cromwell--Makes garden--Justice of
     Mexican war--Savannah orders countermanded--Resumes works at
     Bucksport--Purchases house, garden, poultry--Characteristic
     reply to inquiry as to willingness to be sent to Pacific
     coast--Brevetted captain and major--Efforts to secure justice
     for brother officers--Opinion of General Taylor--Brevet
     pay--McClellan asks assistance for engineer company--
     Lieutenant Stevens's views--Advocates reorganization
     of the army                                                     226

                              CHAPTER XIII

                              COAST SURVEY

  Professor A.D. Bache tenders charge of Coast Survey office--
     Accepts conditionally--Retains charge of works--Assumes new
     duties--Estimate of General Taylor--Magnitude of Coast
     Survey Office--Organizes the force--Reforms the office--
     Meets "men of Mexico"--General Shields--Approves
     compromise measures--Puritan father condemns Webster--
     Visits Bucksport--Daughter Gertrude Maude born--Wound
     breaks out afresh--Contemplates leaving Coast Survey--Moves
     family to Newport--Pays $400 on house--Generous in money
     matters--Spends summer in Washington--Letters to his wife--
     Ideals of woman, marriage, duty, ambition--Admiration for
     Henry Clay, the master spirit--Compromise measures passed--Fine
     health--Carries appropriation--Truth and directness superior
     to low cunning--Office improving, duties more pleasant
     daily--Publishes Campaigns of Rio Grande and of Mexico--General
     Scott takes offense                                              241

                              CHAPTER XIV

                           LIFE IN WASHINGTON

  Moves family to Washington--Pleasant society--Takes hold Fourteen
     Years' Bill--Reorganization of army--Urges brother officers to
     do "their duty to their profession"--Army man, not a corps
     man--Moves to Mrs. Janney's, on 8th Street--Takes family to
     Newport for summer, 1851--Another phrenological chart--Rents
     house on 3d Street and goes to housekeeping--George Watson
     Stevens--Letters to wife--Responds to toast of Army and Navy
     at banquet to Kossuth--Advocates coast defenses, and writes
     articles--Appointed member of Lighthouse Board--Sells Bucksport
     house--Advocates election of General Franklin Pierce as
     President--Articles in "Boston Post"--Speeches in Andover,
     Newport, and Portsmouth--Taken to task by Secretary of War
     Conrad--Pungent reply--Leader among young officers--Numerous
     calls--Friendship with Professor Bache--Continued improvement
     of Coast Survey Office                                          257

                               CHAPTER XV


  Washington Territory organized--Exploration of routes to Pacific
     determined on--Appointed governor--Letter of resignation from
     army--Colonel Totten's reply--Silver service presented by
     friends on the Coast Survey--Obtains charge of exploration of
     Northern route--Takes high ground--Impresses his views on the
     administration--Applies for Captain McClellan--Letter to
     him--Sends Lieutenant Donelson to Montreal to procure maps
     and data from Hudson Bay Company--Prepares his own
     instructions--Magnitude of task--Organizes the expedition--
     Gives McClellan charge of construction of the military road,
     Steilacoom to Walla Walla--Declares independence of Hudson Bay
     Company--Busy scenes in 3d Street house--Sends officers to San
     Francisco, St. Louis, and St. Paul to hasten preparation--
     Selects territorial library--Exploration fully reported in
     vols. i. and xii., Pacific Railroad Reports                     280

                              CHAPTER XVI

                         THE PARTY.--THE START

  Leaves Washington--Expedites matters in St. Louis--Dispatches
     party up Missouri--Up Mississippi to St. Paul--Rouses party
     in camp before breakfast--Breaking mules--Incessant
     rains--Roster of the party--General plan--March to Sauk
     River--Winnebago Indians--Canadian voyageurs--Pierre
     Boutineau--Camp regulations--Assimilated rank--All to stand
     guard--Pembina train--Pushing on detached parties--March to
     Pike lake--Swollen streams, bogs--Crossing Sauk and Crow
     rivers--Lightning Lake--Fish and game--Relieves Lieutenant Du
     Barry--Discharges inefficient men--White Bear Lake--Parties
     reassemble at Pike Lake                                         302

                              CHAPTER XVII

                        PIKE LAKE TO FORT UNION

  General course W. 10° N.--Lieutenant Grover surveys separate
     route--Country within forty miles examined by side
     trips--Route passes near Breckinridge, Jamestown, Minot, and
     Great Northern Railroad nearly to Rocky Mountains--Crosses
     Chippewa River--Camp regulations--Bois de Sioux--Description
     of country--Red River hunters--Sheyenne River--Lander's
     adventure--False alarm of Indians--Myriads of buffalo--The
     hunt--Lake Jessie--Buffalo threaten camp; stop train--Horse
     and mules go off with buffalo--Governor Stevens disabled--
     Lander returns--Inveterate horse-killer--James River--Anxiety
     at non-return of Tinkham--Guns fired--Parties sent back to
     find him--Sioux reported approaching--Train arranged for
     defense--Red River hunters--Tinkham returns safe--Governor
     Wilkie and Red River hunters--Customs--Hunts--Government--Air
     tainted by slaughtered buffalo--Maison du Chien--Coteau de
     Missouri--Mouse River--More Red River hunters--Exchange
     visits--Express dispatched to Fort Union--Assiniboine
     Indians--Council--Distribution of presents--Arrives at Fort
     Union                                                           320

                             CHAPTER XVIII

                       FORT UNION TO FORT BENTON

  Description of Fort Union--Alexander Culbertson--The
     Blackfeet--Making peace--Surveys by side parties--Bugbear
     stories--Moving westward--Blackfoot war party--Big Muddy--
     Missouri bottom--Every one ordered to walk part way daily--
     Milk River--Field order--Abundant game--Gros Ventres--Feast
     and council--Feud with Blackfeet--Peace made between them--
     Trading horses--Cypress Mountain--Stories of Indian
     fights--Bear's Paw Mountains--Party sent to view them--Box
     Elder Creek--The Three Buttes, favorite resort of Blackfeet--
     Crosses Marias and Teton rivers--Scene of bloody Indian
     conflict--Fort Benton--Fort Campbell                            347

                              CHAPTER XIX


  Gathering information--Lieutenant Grover to Bitter Root
     valley--Lieutenant Mullan to Muscle Shell River--Lieutenant
     Donelson to examine Cadotte's Pass--Mr. Lander to Marias
     Pass--George W. Stevens describes outfitting war parties--Funds
     fall short--Governor Stevens takes responsibility of incurring
     deficiency--Starts to visit main Blackfoot camp--Chiefs join
     the party--Culbertson's defense of Fort McKenzie--Death of
     Rotten Belly--Reaches Marias River--Express brings report from
     Lieutenant Saxton that mountains are impassable for wagons--
     Returns to Fort Benton--Lander ordered back--Want of harmony in
     his party--Stanley proceeds to Piegan camp--Lieutenants Saxton
     and Grover meet on summit of Rocky Mountains--Tinkham returns
     from Three Buttes and Marias River--Outfitting with pack
     animals--Lieutenant Saxton, with Culbertson and twenty-eight
     men, descends Missouri in keelboat--Doty stationed at Fort
     Benton--Lander's insubordination curbed--Stanley returns with
     thirty chiefs--Talk with Blackfeet--Their dress--Peace
     advocated--Chief Low Horn--His good faith                       364

                               CHAPTER XX


  Lieutenants Saxton and Grover start down the Missouri--March up
     the Teton via Sun and Dearborn rivers to Cadotte's Pass--
     Description of country; game--Governor Stevens proclaims
     inauguration of civil government on summit of Rocky Mountains--
     Descending western slope--Big Blackfoot and Hell Gate rivers--
     Overtakes main party--Fine condition of animals--Bitter Root
     valley and river--Fort Owen--Lieutenant Arnold here with train
     and provisions--Nine passes examined--Lander's erratic course--
     Council with Flatheads--Chief Victor--Lieutenant Mullan
     stationed at winter post in Bitter Root valley--Lieutenant
     Donelson with main party sent via Clark's Fork and Pend Oreille
     Lake--Dr. Suckley descends rivers in canoe--Tinkham to explore
     Marias Pass--Proceed to Fort Benton--Cross mountains to Walla
     Walla--Governor Stevens moves down the Bitter Root--Meets the
     Nez Perces--Crosses the C[oe]ur d'Alene Mountains--C[oe]ur
     d'Alene Mission--Indians--Lake--Falls--Spokane Indians--Spokane
     Garry, head chief--Forced ride to Colville--Meeting with
     McClellan--His explorations--Dilatoriness--Reports against
     country and passes                                              375

                              CHAPTER XXI

                     UPPER COLUMBIA TO PUGET SOUND

  McDonald's Indian tales--Chemakan Mission--Settlements in Colville
     valley--Visits Spokane House--Garry's Lodge--Arrival of main
     party at Camp Washington--March to Walla Walla--Pelouse River--
     Crosses Snake River--Rides to old Fort Walla Walla--Visits Walla
     Walla valley--Pu-pu-mox-mox--Lander ordered to survey Nahchess
     Pass--Descends Columbia to Dallas, to Vancouver--Colonel
     Bonneville--Ascends Cowlitz River in canoe--Four days in
     drenching rains--Lander balks--Tinkham ordered to cross
     Snoqualmie Pass--Officers reach Olympia--Captain McClellan
     ordered to run line to Snoqualmie Pass--His failure--Tinkham
     succeeds--McClellan aggrieved--Governor Stevens's opinion of
     pioneers--McClellan's                                           396

                              CHAPTER XXII


  Wild country--Scanty population--Character of settlers--Serious
     problems--Governor Stevens arrives at Olympia--Issues
     proclamation--Organizes Indian service--Appoints agents--Visits
     all parts of Sound--Meets Governor Douglass at Victoria,
     B.C.--Reports on Hudson Bay Company's claims--First message--
     Halleck exposes Southern political schemes--Purchases
     homestead--Preparing exploration reports--Secretary Davis
     stops further surveys--Drafts protested                         411

                             CHAPTER XXIII


  Warm welcome in San Francisco--Lectures on Northern route--
     Advocates three routes--Via Isthmus to New York--Joyful family
     reunion in Newport--Proceeds to Washington--Complete report
     of exploration--Deficiency provided for--General Hunt relates
     incident--Secretary Davis disparages Northern route--General
     Stevens's rejoinder--His final report--Severe labors--Sickness--
     Doing the work of the delegate--Appointed commissioner to
     treat with Blackfeet and other tribes--Unimpaired influence     425

                              CHAPTER XXIV

                          CROSSING THE ISTHMUS

  Steamer from New York--Riotous scenes--Stops at Havana--
     Aspinwall--Forlorn place--Cars to the summit--Carusi's
     pavilion--Scene at night--Proceeds on mule-back--Tropic
     rainstorms--Crossing the Chagres River--Lost children--
     Panama--Embarks on Golden Age--Touches at Acapulco--Panama
     fever--Reaches San Francisco--Welcomed by friends--Delayed
     by sickness--Rebuke to General Wool--Steamer up the coast--
     Into Columbia--Lands at Vancouver--Canoe trip up Cowlitz
     River--Muddy roads to Olympia--Disappointing appearance--
     Second message                                                  433

                              CHAPTER XXV


  Beneficent Indian policy--Intention to write account of his Indian
     service frustrated by early death--Indians of Puget Sound,
     helpless, ready to treat--Organizes treaty force--Decides on
     policy and terms--Sends agents to assemble Indians--Great pains
     to make them fully understand and to consult with them--Council
     and treaty of She-nah-nam or Medicine Creek; of Point Elliott
     or Mukilteo; of Point-no-Point; of Neah Bay--Speeches--Visits
     Victoria, and calls on Governor Douglass to restrain Northern
     Indians--Napoleonic campaign--What was accomplished--Present
     condition of the Indians                                        448



  General Isaac I. Stevens, at the age of 43,
      from a photograph                               _Frontispiece_.

  Grave of John Stevens                                  _to face page_ 2

  Birthplace of General Stevens, Andover, Mass                        14

  Infant Jesus. Crayon drawing at West Point                          44

  Old Wanton Mansion in Newport                                       66

  General Stevens at the age of 23, from a miniature by Staigg        74

  Margaret Lyman Stevens, from a miniature by Staigg                  76

  Low Horn, Piegan Chief                                             374

  Charles H. Mason, Secretary of the Territory, from a photograph    414


  Route, Vera Cruz to Mexico                                         118

  Battle of Cerro Gordo                                              124

  The Valley of Mexico                                               162

  Battlefields in the Valley of Mexico--Contreras, Churubusco,
  Chapultepec, Molino del Rey, Mexico                                172


                               CHAPTER I


About 1640 a mere handful of English colonists went out from Boston, and
made the first settlement in the town of Andover, Essex County,
Massachusetts. They laid out their homes on the Cochichewick, a stream
which flows out of the Great Pond in North Andover, and falls into the
Merrimac River on the south side a few miles below Lawrence. The infant
settlement was known as Cochichewick until 1646, when it was
incorporated as a town under its present name, after the Andover in
Hampshire, England, the birthplace of some of the settlers.

Among the first who thus planted their hearthstones in the wilderness
was John Stevens. His name stands fifth in an old list in the town
records containing "the names of all the householders in order as they
came to town." The mists of the past still allow a few glimpses of this
sturdy Puritan settler. He was admitted a freeman of the colony, June 2,
1641 (Old Style). He was appointed by the General Court, May 15, 1654,
one of a committee of three to settle the boundary between the towns of
Haverhill and Salisbury, a duty satisfactorily performed. He was
sergeant in the military company of the town, a post then equivalent to
captain or commander. According to Savage, N.E. Genealogies, vol. i., p.
186, John Stevens lived at Caversham, County Oxford, England, and came
to America in the Confidence from Southampton in 1638.

Large, substantial head and foot stones of slate, sculptured and
lettered in the quaint fashion of his day, still mark the resting-place
of John Stevens, after the storms of now two and a third centuries, in
the oldest graveyard of Cochichewick, situated opposite the Kittredge
mansion, and about half a mile north of the old parish meeting-house in
North Andover. He died April 11, 1662, in the fifty-seventh year of his
age, and was therefore thirty-five years old when he founded his future
home. John Stevens was evidently a man of note and substance, the worthy
progenitor of a prolific family, which has filled Andover with his
descendants, and put forth from time to time strong, flourishing
branches into all quarters of the country. It may indeed be safely said
that there is scarcely a State in the Union which does not contain
descendants of this sturdy Puritan.

His son Nathan, the first male child born in Andover, lies buried near
him under a broad freestone slab with an inscription to "Coun^{clr}
Nathan Stevens, who deceased February y^e 19, 1717, in y^e 75 year of
his age." The memorials of many others of his descendants stand thickly
scattered through the quaint old burial-ground. Not the least
interesting of these relics is a stone "In memory of Primus, who was a
faithful servant of Mr. Benjamin Stevens, Jr., who died July 25, 1792,
aged 72 years, 5 months, and 16 days."

A vigorous, long-lived race sprang from the loins of this first settler
John, a hardy, thrifty race of plain New England farmers, honest and
straightforward, with plenty of solid, shrewd good sense, bearing
manfully the toils and hardships of colonial days, and contributing its
quota of ministers and deacons to the church, and officers and
soldiers to the wars with the Indians and the French. In 1679 a grant of
land was made to Ephraim Stevens, son of the first settler, in
recompense of his losses by the Indians. In 1689 Lieutenant John
Stevens, another son, perished in the expedition against Louisburg. In
1698 Abiel Stevens, a grandson, was captured by the Indians, but made
his escape. In 1755 Captain Asa Stevens and Ensign James Stevens died in
the Lake George campaign. Upon the state muster-rolls appear the names
of twelve Stevenses of Andover as soldiers in the Revolution.


The subject of this work, Isaac Ingalls Stevens, was the seventh in
direct descent from John Stevens, the founder of Andover,--1 John
Stevens, 2 Joseph, 3 James, 4 James, 5 Jonathan, 6 Isaac, 7 Isaac
Ingalls Stevens.

Joseph was the fourth son of the first settler John. He was deacon in
the church. He married Mary Ingalls May 20, 1679, and died February 25,
1743, aged 88.

James was the second son of Joseph, married Dorothy Fry, March, 1712,
and died May 25, 1769, aged 84. He participated in the military affairs
and contests with the Indians and French of his times, commanded a
company at the capture of Louisburg, and for his services was granted a
tract of land in Maine. He was a deputy to the General Court. His
gravestone bears the title of captain.

Captain James's eldest son was also named James. He was born in 1720,
and married Sarah Peabody in 1745. This James was an energetic,
promising young man, with a young wife and two boys, when in 1754 a
recruiting party with colors, drum, and fife went about Andover beating
up recruits for the French and Indian war then raging. The young men all
hung back. "Make me a captain," said James Stevens, "and I will raise a
company for the war." This remark led to his receiving the commission
of ensign. He raised a company of the young men of Andover, and marched
away at their head to the shores of Lake George, in New York, where,
November 28, 1755, he died of camp fever, with the rank of lieutenant.

His eldest son, Jonathan, inherited a due share of his father's spirit,
for we find him hastening to Bunker Hill, and fighting manfully in the
battle. He served on other occasions during the Revolutionary war, and
after a successful dash upon the enemy writes the following interesting
letter to his sister:--

  LOVING SISTER,--These will inform you that I am very well at
  present, and have been so ever since I came from home, and I hope
  you and all my friends enjoy the same state of health.

  We have been up to Ticonderoga and took almost four hundred
  prisoners of the British Army, and relieved one hundred of our men
  that were prisoners there.

  Our army have come from Ticonderoga down as far as Pawlet, about
  sixty miles, and expect to march to Stillwater very soon. So no more
  at present.

                         I remain, Your Loving Brother,
                                               JONATHAN STEVENS.

  PAWLET, October ye 1st, 1777.

Jonathan married Susannah Bragg, December 15, 1773, and raised thirteen
children,--Jonathan, Susannah, James, Dolly, Jeremy, Hannah, Isaac,
Nathaniel, Dolly, Moses, Sarah, Oliver, and William.

He united the business of a currier and tanner to his ancestral pursuit
of farming, and achieved the modest independence he so well merited. The
house that he occupied for many years stood on the old road that passed
along the western border of the Cochichewick meadows, that were long
since flooded and converted into a lake, the extension of the Great
Pond, for the water supply of the woolen mills of his son Nathaniel, and
the cellar is still visible on the west side of the road, some three
hundred yards from its junction with the road from the village of North
Andover to the mills. He afterwards built one of those large, square,
substantial mansions, once common in New England, on the crest of the
high ground east of the village, and commanding noble views of the
hamlet, the Great Pond, and the Cochichewick valley and the mills. This
house was unfortunately destroyed by fire in 1876.

Jonathan Stevens purchased, for sixpence an acre, a large tract of land
in Maine, which he divided into three farms, and bestowed upon his sons
Jonathan, James, and Isaac. They settled, and named the place Andover,
after their native town, and the descendants of the two former still
reside there.

Jonathan Stevens was a tall, large man of fresh, ruddy complexion and
fine appearance. He was fond of relating the incidents of the battle of
Bunker Hill, and used to recount the tale to his children and
grandchildren every Fourth of July,--how Putnam went along the line and
commanded them not to fire until they could see the whites of the
Redcoats' eyes; and how Abbot, the strongest man in town, bore a wounded
comrade off the field on his back. On the anniversary of the battle he
invariably invited his comrades in the fight to his house, and
entertained them with New England rum and hearty, old-fashioned
hospitality, while the veterans fought the battle o'er again. He sat
among the veterans of the battle at Webster's magnificent oration in
dedication of the Bunker Hill monument. On his eighty-fourth birthday he
worked with his men in the hay field, keeping up with the best all day,
and suffered no ill effect from the unwonted exertion. He died April 13,
1834, at the age of eighty-seven. In 1799 he gave the tract of land upon
which was erected Franklin Academy, on the hill north of the

Jonathan's brother James, Captain James's other son, also served in the
Revolutionary war, and left a diary of the siege of Boston, recently
discovered in the garret of an old mansion in Andover, which opens like
an epic:--

  "April ye 19, 1775. This morning about seven o'clock we had a larum
  that the Regulars were gone to Concord. We gathered to the meeting
  house, and then started for Concord. We went through Tewksbury into
  Billerica. We stopped at Pollard's, and ate some biscuits and cheese
  on the common. We started and went on to Bedford, and we heard that
  the Regulars had gone back to Boston. So we went through Bedford. As
  we went into Lexington we went to the meeting house, and there we
  came to the destruction of the Regulars. They killed eight of our
  men, and shot a cannon ball through the meeting house. We went along
  through Lexington, and we saw several Regulars dead on the road, and
  some of our men, and three or four houses were burnt, and some
  horses and hogs were killed. They plundered in every house they
  could get into. They stove in windows and broke in tops of desks. We
  met the men a coming back very fast," etc.

Jonathan's fourth son was Isaac, born in 1785. On reaching manhood he
went before the mast on a voyage to China, and brought back, as a gift
to his mother, a beautiful china tea-set. After his return from sea he
went to Andover, Maine, to settle upon the lands bestowed by his father
upon himself and brothers, Jonathan and James.

With characteristic energy, Isaac Stevens set to work clearing his land,
and reducing rebellious nature to orderly submission. While thus at work
in the woods one day, a heavy tree fell upon and crushed him to the
earth; his left leg was terribly mangled, the bones broken in two
places, and he received other serious injuries. The doctors insisted
that the leg must be taken off in order to save his life, but Isaac
Stevens with inflexible resolution refused to allow the amputation, and
after a long, painful illness finally recovered. The limb, however, in
the process of healing, became materially shorter and permanently
stiffened, so that he was unable to bend the knee joint, and during the
remainder of his life the wound broke out afresh periodically, and
caused him great suffering. As soon as he was sufficiently recovered to
bear the journey, he returned to his native Andover, where, under his
mother's careful nursing, he slowly recovered from the terrible injuries
he had received.

It was at this time that he formed an attachment with Hannah Cummings,
the daughter of a sterling farmer family like his own, and who united to
a warm and affectionate heart, noble and elevated sentiments, strong
good sense, and untiring industry. Their marriage followed soon after,
on the 29th of September, 1814. He now relinquished the project of
settling in Maine, and hired an old farmhouse with some twenty acres of
land of Mr. Bridges. This house, one of the oldest in Andover, is
situated at the end of Marble Ridge, a short distance south of the Great
Pond, and at the point where the road from the village to Haverhill,
after crossing the Essex Railroad, forks, the left branch leading on to
Haverhill, while the other turns short to the right and conducts to
Marble Ridge Station. The solid timbers and stockaded sides of the rear
part of this old house--for the front is a later structure--were the
mute witnesses of a stratagem in early Indian troubles as novel as it
proved successful. The stout-hearted farmer settler was alone, with his
wife and little ones about him, one night, when he discovered a large
party of savages stealthily approaching, and spreading out so as to
encompass his house. Hastily barricading the doors, he seized his
trumpet, which he bore as trumpeter of the military company of the
settlement, stole unperceived out of the house, caught and mounted his
horse, and, making a circuit through the fields, gained the high road
between the Indians and the village. Then, putting spurs to his steed,
and pealing blast upon blast from his trumpet, he charged furiously down
upon the Indians, now in the very act of assailing his domicile, who,
thinking no doubt that the whole force of the country-side was upon
them, incontinently fled into the forest.

Judged by the standard of these days, the young couple had an
unpromising future. They were very poor, the husband a cripple, and they
held as tenants a few barren acres from which to extract a livelihood.
But Isaac Stevens now toiled early and late with untiring energy; he
saved at every point, and turned everything to account with true Yankee
thrift. He built a malt-house, and after laboring on the farm from
earliest dawn until dark, would work at preparing the malt until late in
the evening. His farm embraced a large meadow lying on both sides of the
Cochichewick, just below where it issued from the Great Pond, but now
flooded by the milldams still lower down, where he cut vast quantities
of meadow hay, with which he filled his barns and fed a goodly number of
horned stock during the long, rigorous winters, realizing thereby a
handsome profit in the spring. His young wife joined her efforts to his,
and frequently cut and made clothing for the neighbors around, in
addition to the unceasing and arduous labors of a farmer's wife. Such
thrift and industry could not fail of success. The Bridges house and
land were purchased, largely on mortgage at first; then the wet meadow
was added; then a goodly tract of generous land was bought of the
father, Jonathan Stevens, and other fields and tracts were added from
time to time. During the thirteen years following their marriage, the
first scanty holding grew to a farm of one hundred and fifty acres of
their own, and free from debt. Seven children, too, came to bless their
union and increase their cares. Then the devoted wife and mother died,
November 3, 1827, leaving this helpless little flock, the oldest of whom
was but twelve and the youngest two years of age. Henceforth life was a
heavy and unceasing labor to Isaac Stevens. The little farm grew no
larger, and all his efforts were now required to maintain his family and
keep free from debt. Two years afterwards he married Ann Poor, of North
Andover, impelled by his situation and circumstances, with so many
helpless children about him and the household economy of the farm
unprovided for. The second wife failed to restore the happiness of home.
She had no children, and died in 1866, four years after her husband.

Isaac Stevens was a man of deeply marked and noble characteristics. His
fortitude was severely tested by the misfortune which left him a
lifelong cripple. His cool courage and inflexible resolution are best
illustrated by his manner of dealing with a dangerous bull he once
owned. This animal grew daily more and more savage, until every one
stood in fear of it except the owner, who, as often happens in such
cases, persisted in thinking it quite harmless. At length, however, the
bull one day chased a neighbor, who had imprudently ventured to cross
the field in which it pastured, and overtaking him just as he reached
the fence, tossed him high in air, so that falling fortunately on the
farther side of the inclosure, he escaped with no more serious injuries
than some severe bruises and a broken nose. The bull, furious at the
escape of his prey, was bellowing and pawing the ground. "The bull must
be shot!" cried the man who helped off the injured neighbor. But Isaac
Stevens at once armed himself with a stout cudgel, coolly hobbled into
the field, disregarding all remonstrances and entreaties, fixed his eye
upon the enraged beast, backed him into a narrow corner where he could
not escape, and thrashed him over the head with the club with such
terrible severity that he was completely subdued, and ever after
remained perfectly gentle and submissive.

Always strictly observing the Sabbath, he held liberal views of religion
and attended the Unitarian Church. He kept himself informed of the
current events of the day, taking the New York "Tribune" and Garrison's
"Liberator," and manifesting the greatest interest in education,
temperance, anti-slavery, and every cause that would make mankind better
or happier. "How he denied himself all comforts almost, and _quietly_
sent money to free the slave and for the temperance cause! He was a
strong pillar of the foundation principles of right and justice that it
would be well for young men of this day to study," said one who knew him

He was, above all, a man of perfect integrity and truth, and of a strict
sense of justice. There was not a fibre of guile or indirection in his
moral nature. He held strong and ardent convictions, noble and lofty
ideals of duty and philanthropy, and an intense hatred and scorn of
wrong or oppression in any form. He strongly opposed and denounced the
use of liquors and tobacco, and became early in life a vehement and
outspoken abolitionist of slavery, at a period when the advocacy of such
doctrines demanded unusual moral courage as well as stern conviction of
right. At his decease, years afterwards, he bequeathed five hundred
dollars to the Anti-Slavery Society, requiring only that Wendell
Phillips should deliver a lecture in the parish church of North Andover.

The untiring industry which, with his frugality and good management,
enabled him to achieve comparative independence so early in life, was
not the course of a drudge and miser, but of an ardent, resolute spirit
spurning poverty, debt, and dependence. All through life he manifested
an unconquerable aversion to debt. He loved a fast horse, and the old
mare which he kept until she died, over twenty-seven years old, was, in
her prime, the fastest in the town. After reading a newspaper or book,
he was in the habit of giving it to a neighbor, telling him to hand it
to another after perusing it. He took great pains with his orchards, and
planted apple-trees along the stone walls bordering his fields. He also
planted the noble elms now overhanging the old farmhouse, and the long
lines of this graceful tree now bordering the road from the house to the
crest of the hill overlooking the village and the road over Marble
Ridge, and the numerous clumps and rows in his fields wherever a sightly
eminence seemed to require such an adornment.

His children were:--

  HANNAH PEABODY, born September 24, 1815, died November 24, 1840.
  SUSAN BRAGG, born February 14, 1817, died April 8, 1841.
  ISAAC INGALLS, born March 25, 1818, died September 1, 1862.
  ELIZABETH BARKER, born July 14, 1819, died December 10, 1846.
  SARAH ANN, born January 13, 1822, died February 8, 1844.
  MARY JANE, born August 5, 1823, died June 22, 1847.
  OLIVER, born June 22, 1825.

The following account of the ancestry of Hannah Cummings is given by her
nephew, Dr. George Mooar, D.D., of Oakland, California, who has
collected much information concerning the Cummings genealogy:--

  "Hannah, wife of Isaac Stevens, was the third child of Deacon Asa
  and Hannah (Peabody) Cummings, born October 23, 1785, married
  September 29, 1814, and died November 3, 1827.

  "The line from her father to the first American ancestor runs thus:
  Asa (6), Thomas (5), Joseph (4), Abraham (3), John (2), Isaac (1).

  "Deacon Asa was born in Andover, Massachusetts, but removed in 1798
  to Albany, Maine, a pioneer settler there, a trusted, intelligent,
  and capable citizen, who in 1803 represented his district in the
  General Court.

  "Captain Thomas (5) was born in Topsfield and died September 3,
  1765. He married Anna Kittell, the widow of Asa Johnson, of Andover.

  "Captain Joseph (4), of Topsfield, was quite a character. The
  biographer of Dr. Manasseh Cutler says that he found among the
  papers of that eminent person a notice of Captain Cummings in which
  he is spoken of as a remarkable man, well versed in the politics of
  the day, and he adds: 'From the interest Dr. Cutler felt in him, he
  must have been a stanch patriot and Federalist.' In a notice which
  appears in the 'Salem Gazette' we are told that when nearly a
  hundred he would readily mount his horse from the ground. He died in
  his one hundred and second year.

  "Abraham (3) was a resident of Woburn and of Dunstable.

  "John (2) was quite a large proprietor in Boxford, Massachusetts,
  and later was one of the first fourteen proprietors of the town of

  "Isaac (1) appears on a list of the 'Commoners of Ipswich in 1641,
  but appears to have arrived in America three years before. No exact
  knowledge of his previous residence in Great Britain has been
  obtained. The prevailing tradition gives him a Scottish descent.'

  "An elder brother of Hannah Cummings was Dr. Asa Cummings, D.D., of
  Portland, Maine, eminent for classical learning and piety, and
  editor of the 'Christian Mirror' for many years."

                               CHAPTER II


ISAAC INGALLS STEVENS first saw the light at the old Marble Ridge
farmhouse, on the 25th of March, 1818. He was a delicate infant, and it
was impossible for his mother, with her other little ones and the
engrossing labors of the farmhouse, to bestow upon him the care his
condition required. His grandmother, one day visiting the farm, was
shocked to see him still in his cradle, though three years old, and,
remarking that unless he was taught soon he never would walk, insisted
upon taking him home with her, where, under her gentle and experienced
hands, he quickly learned to run about. After returning home his father
used to plunge him, fresh from bed, into a hogshead of cold water every

Such heroic treatment would be sure to kill or cure, and perhaps no
better proof could be given of the native vigor of his constitution than
the fact that he lived, and became strong, active, and hardy.

Even as a child he was active, daring, and adventurous. He used to climb
the lofty elms in front of his grandfather's house, and cling like a
squirrel to the topmost branches, laughing and chattering defiance to
his grandmother's commands and entreaties to come down.

One afternoon Abiel Holt, the hired man on the farm, went a-fishing for
pickerel, and took Isaac, who was then a very little urchin just able to
run about cleverly. After catching a fine string of fish, they came to
the old causeway which crossed the water where now stands the dam under
the Essex Railroad, but which was then submerged several feet deep in
the water for some distance.

A rude footway had been contrived here by driving down forked stakes at
suitable intervals along the causeway, and placing loose poles in the
crotches from stake to stake, forming one row for the feet and another a
little higher for the hands.

The contrivance was rickety and unsafe to the last degree; the poles
swayed and bent at every step, and it required great care and the use of
both feet and hands to avoid a ducking. It was now time to drive up the
cows, which were pasturing beyond the water; so Holt, bidding the child
remain there, crossed over after them, taking with him the string of
fish, which he hung up on one of the stakes on the farther side, for he
wanted the pleasure of taking his spoils home in triumph, and feared, if
he left them with Isaac, the latter would take them and run home while
he was away. On returning he was struck with consternation to find no
trace of either the child or the fish. He carefully scrutinized the
water without result, and at length slowly returned to the farmhouse,
filled with misgivings, and was not a little relieved to find both his
charge and his fish safe at home. The child had worked his way across
the water by the poles, although, standing on the lower row, he could
hardly reach the upper one with extended arms, and had returned, holding
the string of fish in his teeth, in the same way. His father ever after
was particularly fond of relating this anecdote in proof of the daring
and adventurous spirit so early manifested.

               _From Historical Sketches of Andover, by Sarah Loring

He was a sensitive, earnest child, not demonstrative, but having great
affection and tenderness, which he lavished upon his mother. Her early
death was his first and greatest misfortune. When he was only seven
years old, his father, who always drove furiously, in driving with
his wife in his wagon rapidly around a corner, overset the vehicle. They
were thrown out violently upon the ground, and the unfortunate mother
struck upon her head. From this shock she never really recovered, and
died two years after the unhappy accident. During this period Isaac
attached himself closely to his mother, and acquired no slight influence
over her. The early death of this tender and devoted wife and mother
well-nigh destroyed the happiness of her family. Isaac ever cherished
her memory with the tenderest veneration. He thought that from her were
inherited great part of his talents, and that had she lived he would
have been spared the injudicious forcing of his mind in his childhood,
to which he always declared he owed a real mental injury.

After the mother's death, a housekeeper was employed to provide for the
helpless little flock, and attend to the household duties; and two years
later the father married his second wife, Ann Poor.

Isaac was sent to school before his fifth year, where from the first he
displayed great power of memory, close application, and devotion to
study. His teachers were astonished to find that he did not stop at the
end of the day's lesson, but habitually learned far beyond it, often
reciting page after page. It was said that there was no need of telling
Isaac how much to study; it was enough to show him where to begin, and
he would learn more than the teacher cared to hear. His first teacher,
Miss Susan Foster, said with astonishment one day, after hearing his
lesson in arithmetic, "There is no use for me to teach him arithmetic;
he is already far beyond me in that."

After his tenth year he attended Franklin Academy, in North
Andover,--Old Put's school, as it was usually and more familiarly
styled,--kept by Mr. Simon Putnam, who attained great repute as a
teacher. This was situated on the hill north of the meeting-house, on
land given for the purpose by grandfather Jonathan. Here he studied the
usual English branches. Among his schoolmates were William Endicott,
Jr., the well-known philanthropist, Hon. Daniel Saunders, the late
George B. Loring, and Major George T. Clark. It appears that wrestling
was a favorite sport with the active and hardy boys at this school.

His father, proud and ambitious on his account, kept him constantly at
school, and urged on to still greater efforts this earnest, ardent
nature, intense in everything he undertook. The evil effects of such
mistaken treatment soon made themselves felt. His mind became wearied
and dull from overtasking. The teacher advised rest. The boy, then but
ten years old, begged his father to take him out of school and let him
work on the farm, telling him that he could no longer study; that he
could not learn his lessons. But the father refused, not realizing the
son's condition, and bade him go back to school and study what he could.
Isaac then went to his uncle Nathaniel, who owned the Cochichewick
woolen mills, situated two miles below the farm, and obtained his
permission to work in the factory for a year. He prevailed upon his
grandmother to let him lodge at her house in order to be nearer the
factory; and having thus decided upon his course, went home and informed
his father of the arrangements he had made, who, astonished at the
judgment and resolution of the boy, acquiesced. So Isaac went to work in
the factory, lodging at his grandfather's, rising long before daylight
that he might eat a hurried breakfast, walk a mile to the factory, and
begin the day's work at five o'clock in the morning, and toiling ten to
twelve hours a day. He entered the weavers' room, where he soon learned
to manage a loom. The best weavers were women, it seems, and able to
run two looms apiece. Isaac at once determined to excel the most
capable; and before he left the factory, succeeded in reaching the goal
of his ambition, and managed four looms unassisted.

After a year of this unremitting labor, he left the mills. As he was
returning home with the scanty sum he had earned in his pocket, taking
it to his father, he passed a shop where some tempting hot gingerbread
was displayed for sale, and felt an intense longing to buy a
penny-worth; but reflecting that his earnings belonged to his father,
and it would be wrong for him to spend any of them, he overcame the
desire and went home. But when he handed the money to his father, and
asked for a cent to buy the gingerbread with, he felt stung to the quick
by the latter's refusal. In truth, the father's hard struggle with
poverty and adverse circumstances had narrowed his noble nature. Too
much had life become to him nothing but hard work, self-sacrifice, and a
severe sense of duty. He did not appreciate the sensitive nature of a
child, and its needs of sympathy, recreation, and occasional indulgence.

Directly across the road from the house was a small pool called the
frog-pond. Isaac selected a corner of this pond for his garden, filled
it up with stones, and covered them with rich earth brought from a
distance in his little cart with great pains and labor. He eagerly
seized every moment that could be spared from school and his unceasing
round of morning and evening chores to devote to this darling project.
At last the garden was prepared, and planted with his own favorite
seeds. But his father, fearing that it might distract and take up too
much time from his studies and duties about the farm, rudely uprooted
his tenderly cared-for plants, and put in potatoes instead.

On another occasion his father's injudicious urging nearly proved
fatal. Isaac was helping in the hay-field, and was working with such
ardor and had accomplished so much that his father was actually
astonished. Instead of restraining, he praised him without stint. Under
this stimulus the ambitious boy redoubled his exertions until he was
prostrated by a sunstroke, resulting in a raging fever, from which he
barely escaped with life after a severe sickness.

On another occasion, when twelve years old, he was working in the
hay-field, pitching hay upon the cart; he was badly ruptured, and had to
be carried to the house. As soon as he was able to travel he went alone
to Boston, and sought out Dr. Warren, a noted surgeon, and laid his case
before him. Dr. Warren was so much struck with the lad's courage and
intelligence that he refused to accept any fee. "If you do exactly what
I tell you, you will get well," he said, "and I know you will do so from
looking in your face." The surgeon had a truss made, and prescribed
treatment, but all the remainder of his life Isaac was obliged to wear
the truss, although he outgrew the injury in a measure until it broke
out afresh in Mexico from over-exertion.

Measured by modern conditions, it was a severe and laborious home life
in which the farmer's boy grew up, but it was a wholesome one, and well
adapted to bring out all his powers. Morning and evening, throughout the
year, he had his round of duties, feeding and milking the cows, feeding
the pigs, cutting and bringing in wood, etc. During the winter he rose
long before daylight to attend to these chores and shovel snow from the
paths, then after a hasty breakfast trudged away to school, and on
returning again resumed the round of unending farm work. In summer there
was no school for three or four months, and then he worked on the farm,
hoeing corn, making hay, driving oxen, and performing all the hard and
varied labors of a New England farmer's son. But the New England farmers
of that day were the owners of the soil. They knew no superiors. The
Revolutionary struggle, as recent to them as the great Rebellion is to
us, was fresh and vivid in their minds, and stimulated noble ideas of
liberty and national independence. The standard of personal honesty,
manhood, and morals, bequeathed from their Puritan ancestry, was high.
Such was the moral atmosphere of Isaac Stevens's household, heightened
by his own earnest, philanthropic, and elevated sentiments. All his
children were intellectual and high-minded, and nothing can be more
touching than the constant ambition and striving of his five daughters
for education and self-improvement. All became teachers, but died young,
victims of consumption.

Nor was the life of the youth nothing but a round of hard work and
privation. If he worked hard and studied hard, he enjoyed play with
equal zest, and shared the rougher sports of those days with his cousins
and other boys of his age. They were more pugnacious and rougher than
nowadays. Wrestling was a common sport, and boyish fights and scuffles
were usual.

At the age of fifteen he entered Phillips Academy in Andover. Nathan W.
Hazen, Esq., a well-known and respected lawyer of the town, furnished
him board and lodgings, in return for which he took care of the garden,
and did the chores about the place. One of his schoolmates, describing
his first appearance at the academy, said: "The door opened, and there
quietly entered an insignificant, small boy, carrying in his arms a load
of books nearly as large as himself. But the impression of
insignificance vanished as soon as one regarded his large head, earnest
face, and firm, searching, and fearless dark hazel eye."

He remained at the academy over a year. As usual, he took the front
rank from the beginning. His reputation as a scholar, especially in
mathematics, extended beyond the school. Besides his studies he took
sole care of Mr. Hazen's garden, a half acre in extent, groomed the
horse, milked the cow, and fed them, cut and brought in the wood, and
did many other jobs about the house, performing an amount of labor, as
Mr. Hazen declared, sufficient to dismay many a hired man. He studied
early in the morning and late at night. His power of concentrating his
mind upon any subject was extraordinary. His industry was untiring. The
impress this boy of fifteen made upon those with whom he came in contact
during his stay at this place is really remarkable. Mr. Hazen, who
proved a considerate friend and adviser to the struggling youth, relates
that every evening Isaac would bring his chair close to the office
table, at which the former was accustomed to read or write, in order to
avail himself of the light, and would work out mathematical problems on
his slate. He would remain quietly with his hand to his head in deep
thought for a little time, when suddenly he would shower a perfect
rainstorm of figures upon his slate without hesitation, or erasure,
oftentimes completely filling it. Generally the correct result was
reached; but when the solution was not found the first time, he would
rapidly wipe off every figure and begin again as before. His mind always
sought out and mastered the bottom principle. It was remarked that,
whenever he had once solved a problem, he could unhesitatingly solve all
others of the same character.

On one occasion a mathematician of some note, who had just published a
new arithmetic, brought his work to the academy, and tested the
acquirements of the scholars by giving them his new problems to solve.
When Isaac was called to the blackboard, he astonished the author and
the teacher alike by the ease and rapidity with which he solved every
example. They plied him again and again with the most difficult
problems, but he mastered them in every instance. "Well, sir," exclaimed
the author, somewhat piqued, "I think you could make the key to this
book." Isaac took the book, and in three days returned it with every
example worked out.

A very difficult problem was sent from Yale College to the academy.
While the teachers and scholars were puzzling over it, Isaac sat in
thought for half an hour with his hand to his head, then rapidly worked
out the problem on his slate and presented the solution.

Young as he was, it seems that he had thought enough on religious
subjects to become a decided Universalist and Unitarian. A religious
revival took place while he was at the academy, and many of the scholars
were brought within its influence. Among others, one of the teachers
became "converted," and sought all means to promote a similar experience
among his pupils. In order to remove the stumbling-blocks of doubt and
ignorance, he offered to answer any questions they might propound on
religious topics. The first question Isaac put, "Can a sincere
Universalist be saved?" was met by a decided and uncompromising "No."
But the youth plied the unfortunate zealot with such queries that he was
forced to confess his inability to answer them, and to withdraw his
offer. Once, when he wanted the whole class to attend one of the revival
meetings, he put it to them that all who were willing to dispense with
the afternoon session and attend the meeting should rise. All promptly
stood up except Isaac, who resolutely kept his seat. "Every one in favor
except Stevens," exclaimed the teacher with some bitterness, realizing
the protest against his own bigotry. In truth, the youth's sense of
right had been shocked by the doctrines he heard advanced; he was
strongly opposed to such revival meetings, and his earnest nature would
not bend in a matter of principle.

At one of these meetings his two sisters, Hannah and Susan, yielded to
the exhortations and influences of the occasion, and took their seats on
the converts' or mourners' bench, as it was called. Perceiving this,
Isaac immediately marched up to the front, and made them both leave the
church with him, no slight proof of his influence over them, older than
himself. In fact, while they felt great pride in his talents, his
sisters had come still more to respect and lean upon his sound judgment
and firm will. He lavished upon them all the great tenderness and
affection of his strong and earnest nature.

During his boyhood he was affected with excessive diffidence, or
bashfulness. With characteristic resolution and good sense, he set
himself to overcome this weakness. He made it a point always to address
any one whose presence inspired this awkward feeling, but, he said, it
was years before he overcame it.

After a year and four months of this severe application, Isaac completed
his course at Phillips Academy. He wished to study law with Mr. Hazen,
but that gentleman discouraged the idea. At this juncture his uncle,
William Stevens, suggested West Point, and wrote to Mr. Gayton P.
Osgood, the member of Congress for the North Essex District, in which
Andover was situated, inquiring if there was an appointment in his gift,
and suggesting Isaac's name. Mr. Osgood replied that there was no
vacancy. But uncle William was not satisfied; he wrote to William C.
Phillips, the member representing the South Essex District, by whom he
was informed that no cadet had been appointed from Mr. Osgood's
district. Accordingly he formally made application in behalf of his
nephew. A lawyer by profession, and cashier of the Andover bank, he was
a man of some influence. Mr. Hazen and other friends joined their
recommendations. Mr. Phillips exerted a favorable influence, and
although there were other candidates with more influential backing, Mr.
Osgood bestowed upon Isaac the desired appointment. Both uncle William
and Mr. Hazen declared that the recommendations had little weight, and
that Mr. Osgood selected him on account of his reputation for ability
and scholarship.

                              CHAPTER III

                               WEST POINT

The following letter to his uncle William, written immediately after his
arrival at West Point, vividly portrays the mingled emotions that
stirred the heart of the raw but ambitious country youth on reaching the
goal of his boyish hopes,--his ardent patriotism, awakened by the
historic scenes about him; his ambition and determination to be first in
his class, "by unflinching resolution, indomitable perseverance, fixing
his whole soul upon the object he wishes to attain with concentrated and
undivided attention;" his gratitude to his uncle and friends for his
appointment, and his affectionate regard for his family. It is also
significant of his self-reliant character that he expresses no fears in
regard to the impending examination for admission, but remarks, with
well-grounded confidence, that "there can be no difficulty in sustaining
myself with honor and respectability."

                                   WEST POINT, June 13, 1835.

  DEAR UNCLE,--I now enjoy the long-anticipated happiness of
  addressing you from West Point. And perhaps you may ask, does it
  meet my expectations? I am not prepared to answer this question
  fully at present, but will say that I like my situation, although
  subject to very strict regulations, and fully believe there can be
  no difficulty in obeying every regulation and sustaining myself with
  honor and respectability. And be assured that I always shall
  consider myself greatly indebted to you for your kind exertions in
  my behalf, and it shall be my determination to demean myself in such
  a manner as to convince you and all my friends that their exertions
  have not been thrown away. Here I am surrounded by young men from
  every State in the Union, who are eagerly endeavoring to arrive at
  distinction, many of whom have determined, and, what is better
  still, will make every exertion to carry their resolve into effect,
  to be first in their class.

  Every one must buckle on his armor for the conflict: let him be
  girded with unflinching resolution, indomitable perseverance,
  decision and firmness of mind, singleness of purpose, integrity of
  heart, let him fix his _whole_ soul upon the object he wishes to
  attain with concentrated and undivided attention, and he will
  undoubtedly, with scarcely the possibility of a doubt, obtain the
  post of honor.

  The first class graduated yesterday. The whole number attached to
  this class was 54, which is the greatest number that ever graduated
  at any one time from this institution. There were splendid fireworks
  last evening, which lasted until nine o'clock. All the cadets were
  permitted to partake of the sport. It is said that the cadets who
  leave here are so affected that they even shed tears. Is it to be
  wondered at? Is there a spot in the whole United States which is
  associated with so many hallowed and pleasing recollections of the
  patriotism, of the struggles, and of the victories of our
  Revolutionary fathers? We are as it were in the cradle of liberty,
  in the stronghold of freedom, and may we be scions worthy of the
  tears and of the blood of our Revolutionary sires: may I not
  disgrace my country, my State, and that character of proud disdain
  and patriotic valor which inspired the heroes of Andover on the morn
  of Bunker's fight; and above all may I cherish that love of freedom
  and sympathy for the sufferings of mankind which characterized the
  life of Washington, of Kosciusko, and the other worthies of the
  Revolution; and in fine may I cherish a heart full of gratitude for
  those kind friends who by their exertions have assisted me to
  procure my present situation. I shall be examined Monday, and the
  encampment will be pitched on Tuesday. We shall have no uniforms
  until the 4th of July, at which time the new cadets mount guard. As
  soon as I have entered upon the active duties of the station, I
  shall again write to Andover. Give my love to father, mother,
  brother and sisters, to your own family, and all inquiring friends,
  remembering me especially to grandmother. I remain your grateful

                                          ISAAC I. STEVENS.


He entered the academy resolved to place himself at the head of his
class, not in presumptuous or ignorant self-confidence, but fully
recognizing the arduous struggle before him. A boy of seventeen, with
scanty advantages of education, but inured to hard work and hard study,
he did not hesitate to contest the palm with youths older and far better
prepared than himself, of whom two at least had received a collegiate
education, and had publicly avowed their determination to attain the
first place. These were Henry W. Halleck, of New York, distinguished as
major-general, and at one time commanding the army in the war of the
Rebellion, and Henry J. Biddle, of Philadelphia, both of whom were older
in years, of assured social position and wealthy connections,
accomplished French scholars, and well up in mathematics; and one may
fancy the derision with which they regarded the rivalry of the
undersized farmer's boy from Andover.

  "One evening," says General E.D. Townsend, late adjutant-general of
  the army, "a classmate of mine, who was very fond of mathematics,
  General Israel Vogdes, came to my room, and told me there was a
  'Plebe' just entered from my State, who was a fine mathematician
  already, and would stand 'head of his class in math.' This
  interested me, and I went around to offer to assist my
  fellow-statesman in entering on his career. This was previous to his
  first encampment. I found Mr. Stevens a modest, straightforward
  young man, who, in reply to my offer of any assistance I could give
  him, informed me he wanted to stand head of his class,--that he was
  not afraid of mathematics, but knew nothing whatever of French. I at
  once suggested to him to do what was sometimes but not often done,
  to apply for permission to take lessons during the encampment of one
  of the professors, for which a small compensation would be allowed
  to be deducted from Mr. Stevens's pay. He caught at this idea, and
  subsequently carried it out. The result was he stood fourteenth in
  French in the first January examination, and first in mathematics.
  This did not satisfy him, as I found on congratulating him on what
  I deemed a most creditable standing. The next June examination, by
  his untiring application, he stood head both in mathematics and
  French. There were some four young men in his class who were ripe
  scholars when they entered West Point, and who were by no means
  wanting in studious habits.

  "The following year, drawing was added to the course. Mr. Stevens
  came to me for more advice, saying he had not the slightest notion
  of drawing. I suggested to him, first, great care in his outlines to
  get them accurate, and then, if he found on trial that he had no
  talent for shading, that by using a very fine-pointed crayon, and
  making with patience and care light, smooth marks, he might succeed
  in producing a well-finished and pretty picture. He came to me
  shortly after to say that he had improved upon my hint, for he first
  filled in the outline with a fine pencil, and then traced over this
  with a coarse one the prominent lines of the picture. Well, he stood
  head in drawing, and this although at least one of his competitors
  was quite expert with his pencil before he entered the academy. As
  might be expected from the beginning, Mr. Stevens graduated at the
  head of his class in every branch throughout the course."

Among his classmates, who afterwards rose to be generals in the army,
will be recognized Henry W. Halleck; Henry J. Hunt, the distinguished
chief of artillery of the Army of the Potomac; George Thom; Edward O.C.
Ord; Edward R. S. Canby, who commanded the army against Mobile in 1865,
and was massacred by the Modocs in 1873, when in command of the
Department of the Columbia; and James B. Ricketts; and in the
Confederate army, Jeremy F. Gilmer.

Among those in the three classes above him, distinguished as generals in
the army, were Montgomery C. Meiggs, quartermaster-general during the
war, Daniel P. Woodbury, James Lowry Donaldson, Thomas W. Sherman, Henry
H. Lockwood, John W. Phelps, Robert Allen, of the class of '36.

Henry W. Benham, Alexander B. Dyer, S. Parker Scammon, Israel Vogdes,
Edward D. Townsend, William H. French, John Sedgwick, the soldierly and
steadfast commander of the Sixth Corps, beloved of his troops, Joseph
Hooker, John B.S. Todd, of the class of '37; and on the Confederate
side, Braxton Bragg, Jubal A. Early, Edmond Bradford, and John C.

William F. Barry, Irvin C. McDowell, Robert S. Granger, Justus
McKinstry, Charles F. Ruff, and Andrew J. Smith, of the class of '38,
and P.G. T. Beauregard, the distinguished Confederate leader, as also
William J. Hardee, Edward Johnson, and Alexander W. Reynolds.

In the class of '40 were the distinguished W.T. Sherman, George H.
Thomas, George W. Getty, Stewart Van Vleit, and William Hays; and on the
Southern side, John P. McCawn, Richard S. Ewell, and Bushrod R. Johnson.

In the class of '41 were Zealous B. Tower, Horatio G. Wright, Amiel W.
Whipple, Albion W. Howe, Nathaniel Lyon, John M. Brannon, and Schuyler

In the class of '42 were Henry L. Eustis, John Newton, William S.
Rosecrans, Barton S. Alexander, John Pope, Seth Williams, Abner
Doubleday, Napoleon J.T. Dana, Ralph W. Kirkham, and George Sykes; among
the Confederates, James Longstreet, D.H. Hill, Gustavus W. Smith,
Mansfield Lovell, Lafayette McLaws, and Earl Van Dorn.

Now fairly entered upon the life and duties of a cadet, his intense and
ardent nature found full occupation. His ambition was aroused. Hard
study agreed with him. The days sped rapidly and pleasantly away. He
fell into companionship with the most talented and high-spirited young
men. Nor, time and attention all absorbed by severe application, did he
sink into a mere bookworm. Every morning before breakfast, rain or
shine, he walked around the post for exercise, a distance of two miles.
He shared, too, in the escapades natural to a free and spirited youth,
and did not always come off scot-free from these scrapes, for his name
stands forty-third on the conduct roll for the first year.

  "I have never been homesick for a single minute since I have been
  here," he writes his sisters Hannah and Elizabeth, September 8,
  1835; "I never passed three months more pleasantly in my life, and
  since I commenced my studies time never seemed more fleeting. We are
  obliged to stand guard once a week, drill every day, have a dress
  parade, with roll calls, etc. We study ten and a half hours a day,
  two and a half of which are spent in the recitation room. I have
  recited four lessons in algebra and three in French, and I think I
  can get my maximum unless sick, or otherwise disabled, that is, miss
  no questions in any of my studies the coming year. I can get both of
  my lessons in half an hour, and I shall have much leisure time. If I
  had some Greek books I think I could pass my time to better

  "I like the military life very much. There is as fine a set of
  fellows here as ever breathed the air. We study hard, eat hearty,
  sleep sound, and play little. In camp every one was wide awake for a
  scrape, or for any kind of fun. But in barracks we are as sober and
  steady as Quakers. We go to the section room with long and solemn
  faces. I assure you we know that by study and severe application
  alone we can keep our places. I admire the spirit which pervades the
  whole class. The common remark is, 'I intend to bone it with all my
  might.' _To bone it_ means _to study hard_. Every one seems
  determined to rise, or keep his present standing at any rate. We are
  divided in four sections in mathematics, and seven in French,
  arranged in alphabetical order. Consequently I stand in the last
  section in each. A transfer will be made in the course of the week,
  those who do best being put in the higher sections, and those who do
  worst into the lower sections. I hope to rise in both. That I may do
  so, I intend to get my lessons in the best possible manner. It shall
  be my aim not only to understand my lessons, but to convince my
  instructors that I understand them. To do this I must accustom
  myself to collect my ideas readily, to be free from embarrassment
  and trepidation, and always to be perfectly calm and

                               TO HANNAH.

                                                          November 28.

  I am doing pretty well. My health is strong and vigorous. I am not
  only contented with my situation, but like it very much indeed. We
  are kept tremendously strict, I assure you. I was visiting last
  Wednesday evening, and they arrested me for it, and did not release
  me until this evening, and in addition to that they obliged me to
  perform an extra tour of Sunday guard duty, which is very tough, I
  assure you, this cold weather.

Uncle William, it seems, was disappointed at his early standing in the
class, and wrote him rather a reproachful letter of exhortation and
advice, winding up with the wish that he should stand first in
mathematics by the end of the year. In reply he explains that his first
rating was low because his name came near the end of the alphabet.

                                  WEST POINT, December 5, 1835.

  DEAR UNCLE,--Your letter was received yesterday, and read with much
  pleasure. I feel gratified that I still retain your confidence, and
  that you expect me to sustain an honorable stand. It is also rather
  flattering than otherwise to know that you feel disappointed because
  I have nothing more than a respectable standing in my class, for it
  shows that your estimate of my abilities is as high as, perhaps
  higher than, it should be. I assure you that your wish shall be
  gratified not only within the close of the first year, but within
  the first six months, if it is within my power. Should my stand be
  no higher than at present, you must not feel disappointed. For such
  a stand is not only "_very respectable_," but very high in a class
  like ours. I beg of you, however, to think no more of the
  communication, because my stand even then was much higher than 19.
  The sections since then have been rearranged, and I have risen very
  much. You must also recollect that at first I was within seven of
  the foot both in M. and F. In two weeks I rose 25 men in M. and 80
  in F. I then remained in the second section in mathematics till the
  middle of November, when I was transferred to the first section.

  There are only two in our class who have got the maximum at every
  recitation both in M. and F. since the commencement of our studies;
  these are cadet Biddle from Penn. and a fellow from Mass., whose
  birthplace, I believe, is Andover. I am now at the head of my
  section in French. My present standing in M. _is_ as _high_ as the
  _highest_, and it is considered so by every member of my class.
  There are four of us in M. who have done equally well, that is, we
  have each of us got the maximum, done all the extras, and
  demonstrate equally as well. Their names are H.J. Biddle, of Penn.,
  I. Butler, of Va., H. W. Halleck, of N.Y., and ----, of Mass. I have
  often thought of the advice you gave me, and I hope I have profited
  by it. I have spent two hours in studying other authors, and in
  learning to demonstrate eloquently and with perspicuity, to every
  hour devoted to the text-book. In French I have risen more than any
  other man in the class. My stand at first was 67th, now it is 22d.
  When I came, I had scarcely looked into a French book for five
  years, and could not pronounce a single syllable. And, believe me,
  it is not egotism which prompts me to say this, but it is in order
  to put to rest all your apprehensions on my account. I also wish to
  assure you that I associate with none whom I ought not to respect.

                                  WEST POINT, December 20, 1835.

  DEAR FATHER,--You have probably received a communication from the
  War Department giving my stand for the month of November, which I
  hope will give you better satisfaction than the last return. I think
  my general standing in January will be still better. I shall be
  examined one fortnight from to-morrow, and I intend to do my best.
  My standing will greatly depend upon it. At the examination, each
  one has a demonstration to perform, besides some 20 or 30 questions
  to answer. If my demonstration is good, and the answers to all my
  questions are correct, my stand will remain in mathematics at least
  as good as it was in November, which, I presume, is fourth. In
  French I think I shall rise considerably, because my mark is as good
  as any one's, and I think I have gained the good-will of my teacher.
  Very much depends upon this. We can always secure their esteem by
  being attentive and respectful, and, last though not least, by
  paying considerable attention to our personal appearance. Lieutenant
  Church, my professor in mathematics, and Mr. Molinard, my professor
  in French, are both very fine men and accomplished teachers. The
  latter is a Frenchman.

  I am acquainted with many Westerners, who generally are very fine
  fellows. They are generally very generous and open-hearted, and it
  is very easy to get acquainted with them. There have been two duels
  fought between cadets since I have been here, though no ill
  consequences followed. In each case the combatants were Westerners.
  If they had been found out, they, together with the seconds, would
  have been dismissed.

  Our State does the best of any in the fourth class. There are three
  in the first section in mathematics, and two in the first section in
  French. Penn. has two in each. Henry J. Biddle, of Penn., will
  probably be head in mathematics in January. His name comes before
  those who have an equal mark with him; he is a splendid
  mathematician, and has graduated at a college, and was undoubtedly
  better prepared than any other member of the class. He will also be
  head in French. We have a splendid collection of Philosophical,
  Mathematical, and Historical works in our library. There is no
  difficulty in getting books, and I intend to avail myself of its
  many advantages. There is a universal history of modern times,
  consisting of 42 volumes. I am now reading Rollin's Ancient History.
  Our evenings are very busy. We study from half past five till ten.

It is noticeable in his letters that he finds the regular course of
studies very easy, owing undoubtedly not less to the remarkable native
powers of his mind than to his habits of study and faculty of intense
application. Yet, as in boyhood, not content with the prescribed
curriculum, and spurred on by his ambition to achieve the headship of
his class, he takes extra French lessons, spends "two hours in studying
other authors, and in learning to demonstrate eloquently and with
perspicuity, to every hour devoted to the text-book," and reads Rollin's
Ancient History. Such indomitable resolution and energy combined with
great ability could not fail. In six months he had gained a high place
in the first section, and had become the competitor with three others
for the leadership. He writes uncle William, who has congratulated him
on his standing, and now thinks it best to caution him against studying
too hard:--

                                  WEST POINT, February 1, 1836.

  DEAR UNCLE,--It was very gratifying to learn that my standing was so
  satisfactory to my friends. Since it has been attained by no extra
  exertion, it is incumbent on me to _deserve_ to sustain it for the
  future by strict and unwearied attention to all my academic studies.

  Your caution respecting hard study shall be observed, for the very
  good reason that it is impossible to do otherwise. The regulations
  in this respect are very good, and are such as to secure to each one
  the privilege of studying as much as is necessary, while it
  restrains all from over-exertion. We retire at ten and rise at six.
  Of the remaining sixteen, four hours are devoted to recreation,
  meals, etc., and twelve to study. Of these twelve hours, two and one
  half are spent in the section room. The intercourse between the
  cadets is so free and uninterrupted that it is impossible to study
  except during study hours. Surely twelve hours' study per day ought
  to injure no one of a sound constitution.

  Our class will have a society next fall. Every class, except the
  fourth, has one or more societies, which meet every Saturday
  evening. We have some very fine speakers in the corps, and many take
  great pains to improve themselves.

  You wish to know our uniforms, rations, etc. Our uniform is gray.
  Our pantaloons are made as usual, except a stripe of black velvet on
  each leg. Cousin Charles can describe our coats, which are the same
  both winter and summer. In summer we wear white pants made of Russia

  Remember me to all inquiring friends, especially to grandmother and
  your own family.

                                 Your nephew,
                                     ISAAC I. STEVENS.

  N.B. Tell our folks to write soon.

To his sister Susan:--

                                 WEST POINT, February 23, 1836.

  DEAR SISTER,--Be assured that advice from _you_, and advice from
  _all those_ whom I _know_ to be my _friends_, will afford me the
  greatest pleasure, and will always be received with the most
  respectful attention. The disgusting habits of chewing, smoking,
  etc., I abominate, and therefore shall never indulge in them. As for
  drinks, either distilled or fermented, I do not use them, because in
  the first place they cannot be obtained, and, in the second place, I
  have no desire for them. The fact of the case is, that in barracks
  there are no temptations offered us but what every one who has any
  mind could easily resist. In camp it is not the case; then many
  temptations are offered us, to which we are in great danger of
  yielding, since we have much leisure. When a person has his whole
  time employed, there is little danger of falling into bad habits.
  Last fall, when I commenced the Algebra, I had very little to do,
  and came very near contracting some very bad habits, as sleeping in
  the morning, etc., which at first required some little difficulty in
  breaking; but now I do not think of such a thing, not even Sunday
  mornings, and I often rise at four or five o'clock. This is owing to
  having hard lessons to get. You mention that you are studying Latin
  and like it very much. I have but one caution to give you on this
  subject, which is, get your grammar perfectly. Everything depends
  upon this. You can never make a good Latin scholar unless you know
  everything about the grammar. Since you are studying French, I
  intend next encampment to write you a letter in French, which you
  must answer, and we will correct each other. We use Levisac's
  Grammar, and at every lesson get about half a page of exercises, and
  are obliged to get them so that we can write any sentence our Prof.
  gives us upon the blackboard without referring to the books. We are
  now writing sentences upon the pronomial verbs. We get for our
  translation eight pages in Charles XII. per day. Our teacher, Mr.
  Bevard (the author of the French Lessons), is a very good linguist,
  and the most thorough teacher I ever was under. He is very
  particular about our pronunciation, and corrects us very frequently.
  I think by June I shall be able to pronounce French pretty well and
  read it fluently, and shall endeavor to rise considerably.

  You must write whenever you can find it convenient, and your letters
  shall always be punctually answered. I observe that you pay the
  postage. I wish that you would allow me to pay it, as I think I am
  better able to do it than you. Remember me to all inquiring friends.

                                      Your brother,
                                          ISAAC I. STEVENS.

  Miss S.B. STEVENS.

His letters show the maturity of the mind and judgment of the youth of
seventeen, and exhibit a slight formality and precision that indicates
that he was taking pains in the composition. His correspondence must
have taken no little time. His great, warm heart went out towards all
his relations, and he was frequently writing to his uncle William, and
his cousins in Andover and Salem, Mass., in Albany, Maine, and in
Nashville, Tenn. He wrote constantly to his father and sisters, keenly
alive to their welfare and happiness. The latter were beginning to
scatter widely from the paternal roof-tree. Hannah, the eldest, was at
Haverhill, earning her livelihood. Susan was attending the female
seminary at the South Parish (Andover); Mary was at Methuen, at Mr.
Stephen Barker's; and only Sarah and Elizabeth remained at home. Deeply
sympathizing with them, he comforts them, urges them to treat their
stepmother with respect, and touchingly alludes to their father's
unfortunate condition, his growing infirmities, and his sincere
affection for and devotion to his children.

The first academic year rolled rapidly away. One day, as the examination
drew near, Halleck and Biddle were comparing notes as to the prospects.
"That little Stevens," said the former, "is driving ahead like the
devil, and he is sure to be first in mathematics. I don't think he can
beat me in French, at any rate." "And I am sure," rejoined Biddle, "that
he cannot touch me in drawing next year. One thing I have made up my
mind to,--if he gains the head of the class over me, I shall resign."
This dialogue was overheard, and repeated to "little Stevens," who
related it in after years with some amusement.

He had pursued his object with unflagging zeal, energy, and
determination during the year, but, reflecting how heavily he was
handicapped in the race by men like Biddle, Butler, and Halleck, so much
older and farther advanced in their studies at the beginning, he might
well feel anxious. He entered the examination room, as he describes it,
cool and collected, with nerves high-strung yet under perfect control,
and fully determined to come out ahead. He was not disappointed. He rose
to the first place,--a place, once achieved, which no competitor was to
wrest from him.

                                      CAMP JONES, July 6, 1836.

  DEAR UNCLE,--I received your letter by Mr. Johnson, and although
  short it was very acceptable.... We had a fine time on the Fourth
  of July, an oration, dinner, etc. I had a great desire to spend the
  Fourth at New York city. I applied and obtained a leave of two days,
  commencing on Sunday noon and ending on Tuesday; had a very fine
  time,--went to the Navy Yard, Brooklyn, got introduced to about half
  a dozen midshipmen, etc. The military were out, as well as several
  societies. In the evening I went to the theatre, where Celeste
  danced _as usual_.

  Since we have been in camp we have had a very easy time, nothing to
  do but go on guard two or three times per week, attend roll calls
  and dress parades. Next week we will be drilled three times per day
  as well as recite in infantry tactics, and attend the
  dancing-school. I have come to the determination to study French
  this encampment: shall commence next week. I cannot reasonably
  expect to keep my present standing in that branch unless I exert
  myself. I can translate quite readily, but I write quite
  indifferently, and can speak it but very little, whereas there are
  three immediately below me who can read, write, and speak the
  language very well. Why the Board placed me above them is more than
  I can conceive. Two of them have told me they _would rise me_, and I
  have told them they _should not do it_. If they _do_ rise me, I
  shall not complain; and if they do not, so much the better. As to
  mathematics, I have no cause for fear,--both Biddle and Halleck
  admit I ought to stand head, and my professor had no doubts about
  who should be placed there. As soon as we reënter barracks, we
  commence drawing. Success in this branch depends as much (and
  perhaps even more) upon persevering application as on a natural
  taste. I intend to do my very best, otherwise I shall fall very much
  in general merit, even should I keep my standing in other branches.
  Biddle will stand head, or near the head, in D., as he now draws
  very well. If he was third in D. and I was twelfth, he would rise me
  in general merit. Our merit rolls will be published in about two
  weeks. I am entitled to five, and shall send one home. In this roll
  the standing of every cadet, the class to which he belongs, and the
  number of his demerits are published. Mass. stands better in my
  class than any other State. Greene and Grafton, both from Boston,
  stand ninth and tenth. But there was one from Salem found deficient
  in French, although he passed well in M. I think he is a smart
  fellow, and will stand high next year. His name is Humber. He had
  been a sailor for six years, and French came very hard to him by
  reason of the very limited knowledge he had of language. I suppose
  that the farmers must have begun haying in good earnest. I should
  much prefer working on a farm for two or three months to the life I
  now lead. It is now thirteen months since I have done any work to
  which I have hitherto been accustomed, and I shall probably _soon
  get my hand out_. Many of the cadets, chiefly those who come from
  the slavery States, have a great contempt for our Yankee farmers,
  and even pretend to compare them with their slaves. They have the
  greatest contempt for all those who gain a subsistence by the sweat
  of their brows. For my own part I shall always respect every man who
  is honest and industrious, and more particularly those who live in
  the manner that has been ordained by God himself; and whenever any
  man, in conversation with me or in my hearing, compares that class,
  of which I am proud to be one, with slaves, I shall always consider
  it as an insult offered to myself, and shall act accordingly.
  Remember me to all inquiring friends. Write when convenient.

                                        Your nephew,
                                            ISAAC I. STEVENS.


                      CAMP JONES, WEST POINT, August 16, 1836.

  DEAR UNCLE,--You probably have seen most of my letters that I have
  written home this encampment; you will see that I have taken things
  fair and easy, and have had quite a pleasant time. I can always get
  a permission to walk into the country whenever I ask for it, so
  that, between attending my military duties, dancing, rambling about
  in the country, and reading novels, I could not do otherwise than
  pass my time pleasantly. I cut rather a sorry figure dancing, as
  might be expected, but there is a chance for improvement, which I
  intend to make the best of.

  There is a standing society in the corps called the Dialectic
  Society. Ten or fifteen persons are selected from each class except
  the fourth class, so that it consists of forty or fifty members. The
  society is continued by selecting the above number from every new
  class after it has been here one year. I intend to get elected into
  it, if possible. They have a fine collection of books to the amount
  of several hundred volumes. There are also many fine speakers in it,
  and many of them take great pains to improve themselves, even to the
  neglect of their studies. This is unquestionably bad policy. It is
  losing a dollar for the sake of saving a sixpence; but there is no
  kind of difficulty in paying proper attention to our studies, and
  improving ourselves in writing and speaking: by writing, I of course
  mean composing. If you will examine our merit rolls, you will see
  that Jennings and Halbert, of the second class, are among the
  deficients. These men were decidedly the best writers in the class,
  and the former was the orator on the Fourth of July. As it is always
  better to _act_ than to _talk_, so they have missed it in neglecting
  their studies in order to become good speakers.

  As I stand head in French, you may possibly suppose I can speak the
  language. Such is not the case; but one thing _is_ certain, I am
  determined to be able to speak it one year from this time. But how I
  shall do it is another thing. I can write it some, but it will
  require great pains to be able to write it correctly and speak it
  fluently. Neither time nor patience shall be wanting on my part in
  order to accomplish both the above objects. As soon as we commence
  studying, I intend to have a talk with Mr. Bevard, the head teacher
  in French, and a most estimable man, about it, and do as he directs

  In return for this I shall expect a good long letter, telling me all
  the news and giving me good advice. Remember me to all inquiring
  friends, to Aunt Eliza, and cousins Eliza, William, Susan, and

                                        I remain your nephew,
                                            ISAAC I. STEVENS.


                                  WEST POINT, September 1, 1836.

  DEAR FATHER,--In my letters you often have me write about my leave
  next year. I look forward to this with a great deal of pleasure. As
  you may well suppose, I want to see my friends very much. How long a
  leave had I better get? I can have ten weeks if I choose, or a
  shorter time. I am now a corporal, and shall probably be made a
  sergeant next June. If I get a leave of ten weeks, I cannot keep my
  office. But if I retain it, my leave will not exceed four or five
  weeks; but to make up for this I could get as long a leave the year
  after; whereas, if I resigned my office and took the ten weeks'
  leave, I could get no leave the next encampment. The office now is
  not worth much, but it is very well to have it when I am in the
  first class, for then I shall be made a lieutenant, if my conduct is
  good. What had I best do? If I continue to be head in mathematics,
  there is a chance of my being made an assistant professor in M. next
  year. Two of the cadet professors will then graduate, and their
  places will have to be filled. I do not think, however, it is best
  to place any dependence upon it. If there was an even chance of my
  being made such, I would not hesitate about resigning my office, if
  you should think it best to obtain a leave of ten weeks.

                                        Your son,
                                            ISAAC I. STEVENS.


                                  WEST POINT, September 2, 1836.

  DEAR FATHER,--Yesterday we commenced our studies. We entered the
  barracks the 30th of August. The ball on the 29th was a most
  splendid one, and the hall was very full. We made use of the
  mess-hall, which was decorated in fine style. Our band was present,
  and their performances served to increase their reputation. The ball
  was continued until after three o'clock, but I did not remain after
  half past one. It was estimated that nearly six hundred visitors
  were present. As this is the only thing of the kind we have during
  the year, the corps take unusual pains to have everything done in
  the best manner, and great care was taken that the whole should
  present quite a military appearance. Many of the lamps were
  encircled by brightly burnished bayonets, which served as
  reflectors. Directly in front of the hall was a battery of cannon,
  in rear of which sentinels were stationed to keep off those who had
  no right to be present. I enjoyed myself very much, and took part in
  several cotillions.

  We marched into barracks the day after the ball, and were allowed a
  day or two to arrange things. My situation is much different now
  from what it was one year since. Now I have attained a situation
  which then I scarcely hoped for. Now I am surrounded with my
  classmates and friends, when one year since I had no friends; for we
  were strangers to each other, and consequently displayed that cold
  civility, and uttered those unmeaning compliments, which distinguish
  the intercourse of strangers. One year since I was unknown to the
  officers of the institution; now I trust I have secured the
  confidence and esteem of those with whom I have come in contact.
  Then I was a _poor plebe_, who had not passed his January
  examination; now I no longer bear that title, but possess the
  privileges and the name of an _old cadet_.

  The fourth class is a very large one, upwards of a hundred. Next
  June I do not believe upwards of sixty will be left, and it is
  doubtful whether upwards of forty-five graduate, so many are found
  deficient and discharged. My room-mates are the same as last year,
  with the exception of Mr. Bacon. I think we shall always room
  together, at least I hope so. Both Carpenter and Callender are hard
  students and steady fellows. The former is a very smart man. The
  latter you will find, by reference to some of my old letters, roomed
  with me before January, resigned, and was reappointed this year. I
  do not expect to stand first next January, but think my standing
  will not be below second. Drawing will come hard to me, and I shall
  stand quite low the first three or four months. No efforts of my own
  shall be wanting to secure a good standing in this branch. We spend
  six hours per week in the drawing academy, but I intend to practice
  twelve hours per week in my own room.

                                        Your son,
                                            ISAAC A. STEVENS.


From early boyhood General Stevens made a strong impression upon every
one he met. Undersized, and at first glance insignificant in appearance,
his intense individuality and intellect were always deeply felt. At once
he commanded the respect of the professors at the academy; and their
recollections of him, and of his characteristics, were still vivid after
the lapse of forty years, and the continual passing of an army of youth
before their eyes. Said Professor W.H.C. Bartlett, July 16, 1877, who
was professor of natural and experimental philosophy:--

  "General Stevens was a small, undersized, young man when he entered
  West Point, very modest in demeanor. He had the habit of speaking
  carefully and distinctly, and of clearly and precisely expressing
  the exact idea he wished to convey. His mind was comprehensive,
  given to generalizations; he had the faculty of generalizing, of
  always thinking out first principles. In solving a mathematical
  problem, he would apply the principles which governed the class of
  problems, and not simply seek a solution of the single one before
  him. He was very early regarded by the faculty as a man of great
  talent and promise, sure to take a high stand in his class and in
  the world. He was popular with his class, but his popularity arose
  more from their opinion of his abilities than from social qualities.
  The professors soon felt that whatever he said was worthy of
  attention. I recollect that he took an active part in the Dialectic
  Society, and recollect his moving the books and busying himself in
  the room. Biddle was his competitor for the headship of the class,
  and after he left there was practically no one to contest the honors
  with him.

  "Halleck's was an entirely different mind from Stevens's,--less
  comprehensive, less devoted to original research, to principles.
  Halleck was strong in history, in precedents.

  "I recollect Stevens's answer when a witness before a court of
  inquiry,--how he knew that a party had done so and so,--if he had
  said so. 'No,' replied he, 'he did not say so, but what he said and
  his manner combined convinced me of the fact; and the manner is a
  great part of any conversation.' When he graduated, he stood not
  only at the head of his class, but among the highest that ever
  graduated from the academy."

Professor A.E. Church (of mathematics) writes July 27, 1877:--

  "My recollection of your father as a cadet at West Point is very
  vivid. I remember him as an earnest, industrious student, strictly
  attentive to every duty. He possessed mathematical talents of the
  highest order, standing in this branch, as in every other, at the
  head of his class, notwithstanding rival classmates of great
  abilities. A distinguishing trait which he possessed in a remarkable
  degree, and, from what I know of his after life, continued ever
  prominent, was an unhesitating readiness to apply and carry on
  strictly and systematically every principle he had learned, never
  failing to come to the right result.

  "While others were pondering over the intricacies of a mathematical
  proposition, often in vain seeking some shorter way or more curious
  result, he seemed at once to grasp the most practicable rule, and
  straight onward to pursue it to an end which admitted of no doubt.

  "Though admirably adapted for a military commander and great
  engineer, had he selected the profession of the law he would have
  been prominent among the most distinguished lawyers of the age. His
  early death was a serious loss to the army and country, and with his
  many friends was sincerely mourned by myself."

The grasp and thoroughness of his mind, his power of generalization, of
seeking and mastering first principles, which Mr. Hazen remarked in the
boy, impressed the West Point professors, too, as the prominent mental
characteristic of the youth.

Says General Zealous B. Tower:--

  "I roomed with Cadet Stevens for four months in one of the small
  rooms in the south barracks. Stephen D. Carpenter was the other
  occupant of that limited living and bed room. Each cadet was
  provided with a small mattress, to be spread upon the floor when
  needed, and when unoccupied to be rolled up in its canvas, well
  strapped, and put into a corner of the room. Later, iron bedsteads
  were introduced, but the mattresses were never unrolled and spread
  until the hour for retiring. A cadet inspector visited the rooms
  half an hour after reveille; the Officer of the day also inspected
  them, and the company officers also went the rounds. Tattoo at 9.30
  P.M. was the signal for retiring, and taps at ten P.M. for putting
  out all lights, when one of the officers again inspected each
  'stoup,' or floor, of the barracks.

  "Stevens's duties as assistant professor of mathematics occupied an
  hour and a half each day, taking that portion of time from his study
  hours; but it did not interfere with his studies, for he possessed
  quick intelligence, and great concentration of his mental powers.
  This faculty was very pronounced, and would have given him
  distinction in any profession that he might have undertaken, and the
  more so that it was allied to industrious habits and an enthusiastic
  nature. He never plodded over his lessons, but often finished them
  in half the time allotted to their acquisition. Stevens was a
  pleasant room-mate, being very genial, kind, and considerate to
  others. He never failed in his friendships, or in anything that
  appeared a duty to his fellows. He was popular among those of his
  associates who valued sterling, manly qualities, and among the most
  prominent members of his corps. He spoke rapidly when a matter of
  interest engaged his attention, for he thought rapidly. Though,
  rather short in stature, his large head and very expressive,
  intelligent eyes made him noticeable and attractive in conversation,
  engaging the marked attention of his auditors. His enthusiasm and
  strong convictions gave an energy to his manner of discussing
  favorite topics that lent the charm of eloquence to his speech."

                                  WEST POINT, March 11, 1836.

  DEAR FATHER,--Last week we commenced Calculus. This is considered
  the most difficult branch of mathematics. Our text-book is a
  compilation from the most distinguished French mathematicians by
  Professor Davies. We have about ten pages per lesson, and will be
  about five weeks going through it. We next study surveying, which
  ends our course in mathematics.

  Since the examination I have attended the drawing academy every day,
  the regular attendance being every other day. Were I two files
  higher in this branch, it would put me head in general merit. I am
  now drawing our Saviour, represented as a child. I have been at work
  on it for about four weeks. It will probably take me eight weeks
  more to finish it. It is very slow work, I assure you, but as our
  standing depends entirely upon the excellence and not upon the
  number of pieces, I consider the time is not lost, provided what I
  do is done well.

  It seems there is a very great excitement in Congress respecting the
  slavery question. It must afford pleasure to every friend of free
  discussion to learn that the South did not succeed in the
  resolutions censuring Mr. Adams. At the same time, I think he is
  unnecessarily agitating this dangerous question, and that his zeal
  will tend to awaken only feelings and desires which should never be
  cherished. Is not the dissolution of the Union a subject of fearful
  foreboding? Ought then the sages of our land like Mr. Adams at this
  time to agitate a question which in the opinion of the South
  infringes upon their rights, and which, inflexible as we know them
  to be in their maintenance, will cause them to look upon a secession
  from the Union as the only means of preserving them? The South are
  sensible of the evils of slavery. They deplore the existence of this
  curse, entailed upon them against their consent by the arbitrary
  decrees of England, and I believe that (if left to themselves) they
  will adopt some measures to rid themselves of it.

                                       Your son,
                                           ISAAC I. STEVENS.

[Illustration: INFANT JESUS
               _Crayon drawing at West Point_]

                                        WEST POINT, March 5, 1836.
  DEAR SISTER,--I received your letter this morning informing me of
  aunt Eliza's death. She was certainly the finest woman I ever knew,
  and the remembrance of her engaging qualities will long be
  cherished. Uncle William is very much to be pitied.

  Have you any school in view now for next summer? You also appear to
  be very much interested in Latin. I detested Latin when I first
  commenced to study it, but I soon brought myself to like it. So it
  is with drawing. I take more pleasure in drawing than in anything
  else. I like it full as well as reading novels. In my last you will
  recollect that I wrote of the piece I was then drawing. I have now
  got it most half done. I was all last week (two hours per day)
  drawing one eye, a part of another one, and one curl of hair. You
  can see by this that I draw very slowly, much slower than any one in
  my class. The time spent in the drawing academy seems shorter than
  any other part of the day, and I have not yet felt any impatience at
  my slowness in drawing since I have commenced my last piece, a sure
  sign that I like it very much.

                                        Your brother,
                                             ISAAC I. STEVENS.


  DEAR SISTER ELIZABETH,--You spoke of Mr. Maynard thinking I ought to
  be content with my present standing, and ought not to expect to
  stand higher. Be that as it may, one thing _is_ certain, that I will
  _never_ cease to try for number one till I have got it again, and
  were I convinced that it was almost an impossibility, I would still
  _try_. I like the reply of General Miller to his superior officer in
  the last war, when, being directed to attack and carry a battery of
  cannon on an almost inaccessible eminence, the silencing of which
  was indispensable, made this answer only, 'I will try,' and with the
  most determined courage carried it in an almost incredibly short
  space of time. I don't like _backing out_; it is contemptible. I
  shall, however, be contented with whatever standing is given me, and
  since I have been here I have always endeavored to prepare myself
  for any contingency. This is absolutely necessary. It is the only
  way to guard against envy, jealousy, and all those mean and
  degrading passions to which the human heart is prone. Harry Biddle
  and myself are now the only members of our class who are contending
  for head, yet I don't believe there are two men in the class on
  better terms. He is one of the finest young men I ever knew; and
  although he was very much disappointed last June, he never uttered a
  word showing he harbored the least ill-will against me. When the
  result of the June examination was known, he came and congratulated
  me, but told me he meant to rise me. In January it appeared he had
  redeemed his word, and so I went and congratulated him, and balanced
  the account. This is the only way to get along, for if we allow
  those passions I have mentioned to obtain the least ascendency over
  us, it will render us disagreeable and unhappy. There are eleven of
  us in four rooms, which are contiguous to each other, who are all
  good friends, and we enjoy ourselves as much as any other eleven men
  in the corps.

At the end of the second academic year he again stood head of his class,
and had the pleasure of announcing his success to his father. He stood
seventeen on the conduct roll, having eleven demerits.

                                  WEST POINT, June 18, 1836.

  DEAR FATHER,--I received a letter from Oliver a few days since. He
  says he is "going a-gunning" on his birthday, and wishes me to be at
  home to keep him company. I wish this could be the case, but under
  present circumstances I shall not come home until the last of July,
  and my leave will last but four weeks only. I did not know this till
  about a week ago, and I have deferred writing to be able to give you
  my standing. The examination was closed yesterday. My standing is
  first in mathematics, first in French, and fourth in drawing, which
  puts me head in general merit. Mr. Biddle is second in M., third in
  F., and first in D. I presume you will be satisfied with this. You
  recollect that Mr. Biddle rose me in French last January, and I
  suppose that rising him again this June will make it all right
  again. I had very good luck indeed, and my recitation in mathematics
  was much better than at any previous examination. We march into camp
  on Tuesday. It is to be called Camp Poinsett, as a compliment to the
  Secretary of War.

In July he returned home, after an absence of two years, to spend the
brief leave of a month. He had foregone one the previous year, partly on
the score of economy, at his father's suggestion, and it was with a
heart full of joy and glad anticipations that he hastened to visit the
loved ones at home, and the dear and familiar scenes of his childhood.

Isaac must have keenly enjoyed this visit. His sisters were proud of
him, and overjoyed at his return. He had surpassed the most sanguine
hopes of his friends, and on every hand met with a warm welcome. His
success at the academy, his cadet uniform, and his erect, soldierly
bearing invested him in the eyes of the community with the new-found
respect and importance accorded to rising and promising young manhood.
His cousin Henry, writing after his return to the Point, says: "If you
look as dignified as you did when you were here, I do not wonder that
you are beyond suspicion. I should like very much to see one hundred
cadets playing at football. Do you run as erect as you walk?" West Point
drill and discipline, however, had not abated his adventurous spirit, or
love of the sports natural to his age. Sailing on the Great Pond with a
number of companions, and the wind having died out, for pastime he
climbed to the top of the mast, which suddenly broke and let him fall
headlong into the lake. On another occasion he was poling a boat with
his little brother up the Cochichewick towards the "Hatch," as the point
where the stream flowed out of the Great Pond was called, when the oar
stuck fast in the tenacious mud of the bottom, and, grasping it too
firmly, Isaac lost his foothold, and was dragged over the stern into the
mingled mud and water, to the sad defilement of his speckless white
cadet trousers. Exasperated at this ridiculous accident, he swore
lustily, calling upon Oliver in no gentle tones to bring back the boat.

                               CHAPTER IV

                      WEST POINT.--LAST TWO YEARS

Returning to the Point after this brief respite, the young cadet resumed
his studies with his accustomed vigor. He was appointed assistant
professor of mathematics, a position of additional labor as well as
honor, which he retained to the end of his course. Moreover, he took an
active part in the Dialectic Society, which as a "plebe" he looked
forward to joining. In a letter to Mr. Hazen he recounts his early
efforts in debate:--

  "You are probably aware that we have a debating society here, of
  which I have the honor to be a member. Last evening (we hold our
  meetings on Saturday evenings) we had an animated debate on the
  expediency of studying the _dead languages_. It was the only
  tolerable one we have had this fall. Some pretty good speeches were
  made. One was particularly fine. Mr. Jennings, the person to whom I
  allude, in my opinion was made for an orator. He is undoubtedly a
  man of a large mind, and expresses himself admirably. His delivery
  is very good, and his diction is choice and effective. Declamation
  is one of the regular exercises; and as my turn came round, I had
  the pleasure of unburdening myself of a short piece, and of being
  most woefully used up by the critical, who are regularly appointed
  for such performance. This is not very encouraging, to be sure. I
  must, however, acquit myself better next time.

  "You are probably aware of the great defects in our course of study.
  It is not calculated generally to strengthen and improve the mind as
  much as a four years' course of study should. Some of the faculties
  are developed in a high degree, whilst others are almost entirely
  neglected; its effect is--if the expression can be used--to cast the
  mind in a rough, strong mould, without embellishing or polishing it.
  Its effect is also (perhaps no more than any other regular course
  of study) to confine our attention to particular pursuits, and make
  us neglect all that general information which is essential to a man
  of liberal education, and in fact absolutely indispensable for any
  one who engages in the actual pursuits of life. Don't you believe it
  is of greater advantage to a person to have a good idea of political
  economy, or a knowledge of the elementary principles of composition,
  than to be able to solve some abstruse problem in mathematics?

  "I almost wish I could content myself with standing about fifth in
  my class. I could then spend three or four hours a day in reading
  and getting valuable information, and could improve myself in
  composition. I might also cultivate a taste for the higher branches
  of literature, my taste for all which at present, except novels, is
  about at the zero point. As it is, I am obliged to work hard to get
  an hour a day to devote to reading; and as I consider history and
  solid works of that nature most valuable, I have been able to read
  but one novel within the last three months. I have been reading some
  of the speeches in 'British Eloquence' of late; also in the
  'Eloquence of the United States.' Do you think the characters of
  Pitt, Fox, and Burke, as described by the author in the former work,
  are correct? My former ideas of Chatham were somewhat different. The
  author makes him out a more selfish man than I supposed him to be. A
  few days since I picked up a volume of Phillips's Speeches, and read
  most of them. Is not his speech in the case of Blake v. Wilkins
  admirable? What do you think of them generally? It seems to me there
  is more of the pomp of words than real, effective oratory in them.
  He has too much pathos in some of his speeches. A little of it, and
  sometimes much of it, produces a very good effect; but where it is
  nothing but a pathetic appeal to the feelings, the effect is
  destroyed, at least with people of sense."

This letter shows that the youth was beginning to think for himself, and
to weigh things according to his own ideas. The arduous course of study
he was pursuing did not wholly engross his attention. He soon became the
leading member of the Dialectic, active in getting up lectures and
other literary exercises. Nor was he simply a bookworm. "The eleven of
us, in contiguous rooms, who are all good friends, and enjoy ourselves
as much as any other eleven men in the class," derived some of their
enjoyment from breaking the rigid rules of the institution, and in
hairbreadth escapes from detection. They used to run over to Benny's
without leave. They would bring pies and other edibles into barracks
buttoned up under their coats, and, after the post was wrapped in
slumber, would indulge in these forbidden sweets. His companions
ofttimes complained that Stevens would learn his lessons in a minute,
and then come about, making a racket, and disturbing them in their
studies. He used to take long walks and excursions about the neighboring

Naturally active and fearless, he became a fine horseman, and always
appeared to best advantage when mounted, where his erect figure and
soldierly bearing gave him the effect of higher stature than when on

In winter the cadets were in the habit of skating on the river. Isaac,
light, active, and fearless, and exceedingly adventurous, delighted to
skim full speed over the thinnest ice he could find, which bent and
crackled under his skates. His companions kept remonstrating with and
forewarning him of a catastrophe, which in his case never occurred. One
extremely cold day, however, one of his associates broke through the ice
and fell into the river. They rescued him with some difficulty, and bore
him dripping wet to the barracks in all haste, but the unlucky youth was
nearly frozen when they carried him into his room. His mates at once set
to work making a hot fire, and bringing blankets, etc. But Isaac now
took the lead, as the commanding spirit always does in a real emergency.
He caused them to put out the fire, throw open all the windows, and to
vigorously rub the insensible youth with snow brought from the outside
until his circulation was restored, and the frost taken out of his
benumbed extremities, when he suffered them to rebuild the fire and
renew the warm comforts, both solid and liquid.

His uncle Moses, a distinguished teacher, settled in Nashville, Tenn.,
visited West Point this fall; and his father writes, "Your uncle Moses
speaks of your acquirements in rather extravagant terms."

During the winter his father's health was poor, and he suffered much
from his injured leg. Oliver alone remained at home. Hannah was in
Haverhill, attending school, and supporting herself by her needle; Sarah
was in Lowell, working in a factory; Elizabeth was at Belfast, Maine,
visiting an aunt, and attending school; Mary was at Methuen; and Susan
was attending school at the South Parish. The latter, a girl of warm
heart and lively sensibilities, had not been satisfied with the sober
Unitarianism of her family, and had become attached to the "Orthodox,"
or ancient Puritan faith, a sincere and somewhat enthusiastic convert.
The letters of these motherless girls, thus scattered about, reveal a
touching picture of their earnest desire and efforts for study and
self-improvement, their tender affection for their father, and their
endeavor to treat their stepmother with respect and affection. It was to
their brother Isaac that they resorted for comfort and guidance. They
confided to his warm and sympathetic heart all their troubles,
aspirations, and plans, and constantly sought his advice. The noble old
man at the farm, too, had come to rely upon the manly character and
sound judgment of the youth of nineteen at West Point. He writes of the
difficulty of making both ends meet, of his earnest desire to give more
schooling to his three younger daughters, and of preserving intact for
his children the little property he had accumulated so laboriously. He
asks Isaac to write and advise Susan, who he thinks lacks stability,
and Hannah. He entreats his son to come home every summer vacation.

                                  WEST POINT, December 17, 1836.

  DEAR FATHER,--It was with much concern I heard of your lameness, and
  I am very much afraid it will prove more serious than you seem to be
  aware of. You ought not to think yourself obliged to work, when it
  is of manifest injury to you. You are now getting to be along in
  years, and you have done hard work enough. You ought now to think of
  making yourself comfortable. I _do_ hope you will be careful about
  exposing yourself, and will endeavor to enjoy the little property
  which you have accumulated with so much toil. Your children, you may
  be assured, had much rather that it should all be consumed in making
  your declining years pleasant and happy, than receive a single cent
  of it themselves. I think you will do wrong to feel the least
  anxiety about leaving property to your children. You have evinced
  the greatest affection for us, and the utmost disinterestedness in
  consulting the welfare of your children, and it is our duty to make
  every return in our power. Believe me, we will endeavor to exert our
  utmost in order to secure the happiness of the remaining period of
  your life, and we ask of you, as a favor, no longer to undergo the
  toil and exposure to which you have hitherto been accustomed.

  I wish I could have been at home Thanksgiving time. Three successive
  Thanksgivings have seen my absence from home, and it is very
  probable that three more will pass away without allowing me the
  opportunity of spending them at home. As it is, I hope I shall be
  enabled to pass two or three weeks at home next summer, but it is
  very uncertain. The superintendent has come to the conclusion no
  longer to permit the members of the first class to be absent on
  leave during the encampment, and it will be very difficult to obtain
  a leave unless the application is _backed_ by very urgent reasons.

At last Susan decided to go to Missouri, encouraged by the favorable
reports of relatives who had moved thither, and hoping to find a more
promising field as a teacher. In May, 1838, her father accompanied her
to Port Labadie, situated on the Missouri River, some miles above St.
Louis. Here she found kind friends, and met with tolerable success in
her chosen vocation.

At the June examination of 1838 Isaac again stood at the head of his
class. On the conduct roll he was number twenty-three, with twenty
demerits. He spent part of the summer leave at home. Returning to the
Point, he made a pedestrian trip to Philadelphia with a classmate, in
the course of which they were thoroughly drenched in a rainstorm.

The following letter exhibits his patriotic indignation at the British
aggressions on the Maine frontier, a precursor of the spirit with which
he resisted and defeated similar aggressions on the extreme northwest in
after years:--

                                  WEST POINT, August 21, 1838.

  DEAR FATHER,--You must have seen from the papers that the executive
  of the State of Maine is making preparations to carry into effect
  the resolutions of its legislature, and that the commissioners will
  be supported in the running of the boundary line by the whole
  military force of the State. Kent has pursued a course alike
  honorable to himself and the State which he represents. If the
  national government shows itself so regardless of the honor and
  interests of a State as has been evinced by the cold indifference
  with which negotiations for the last fifty years have been carried
  on, it becomes the solemn duty of the sovereignty thus trampled upon
  to rise and maintain its own rights. This fawning subserviency to
  expediency in a matter of principle I despise. So does every
  honorable man; better die in a just cause than live by an
  abandonment of it. I have sufficient confidence in the virtue and
  patriotism of the people of Maine to believe that they will
  triumphantly sustain their executive in his energetic and honorable
  measures. Should there be actual resistance and the difficulty
  resolve itself into an open conflict, the government _dare_ not
  withhold its prompt assistance. The whole Senate, without a single
  dissentient voice, have borne witness to the fallacy and gross
  injustice of the claim made by the British crown upon the lands in
  question. Was this meant to vanish into thin air? The 4th regiment
  of artillery are now in New York city. Why not send them to the
  east? They are certainly wanted on the boundary.

He had frequently remonstrated with his father for treating Oliver with
too exacting strictness, and he now urged him to send the boy to college
as soon as he became old enough. In reply the father declares:--

  "As to Oliver's going to college, it is out of the question. A great
  many boys are ruined by going to college that would have made useful
  men if they had been put to some trade, or compelled to be
  industrious. By the most rigid economy I can adopt, the income of
  the farm will not pay my expenses. I am willing to rise early, work
  late, live on simple fare, but dunning letters I detest; rather live
  on two meals a day. I would advise every young man, who means to be
  punctual, and honest, to keep out of debt."

Oliver, however, in due time entered Bowdoin College, Maine, with the
consent and aid of his father; graduated well, and became a successful
lawyer in Boston, where he has held the position of district attorney
for nearly thirty years.

He urges Oliver to cultivate a taste for solid reading, and assures him
that a taste for any subject can be acquired when the determination is
fixed upon it.

  "Let me advise you to get Plutarch's Lives, and read them. Plutarch,
  you know, is a celebrated Roman author. His Lives of the
  distinguished men of Greece and Rome has justly immortalized his
  name, and it will live as long as the men whose actions he has
  related are admired. The style is simple and unaffected. He has
  seized upon the principal events in the life of each; relates to us
  many, anecdotes of their efforts, of their disappointments and
  failures; then he describes in bold and feeling language that
  untiring industry, that patient and ceaseless thought, which
  overcame every difficulty. Read the lives of Cicero and
  Demosthenes, Nicias and Phocion. When you next write, tell me what
  you think of them. Another work I want you to read; it is Sparks's
  'American Biography.' We should certainly be intimately acquainted
  with the deeds and characters of our own great men. Have you ever
  read any volumes of the 'Spectator'? There are, I think, ten
  volumes of them, consisting of essays of four or five pages each
  upon all subjects. The style is flowing and graceful, exceedingly
  interesting; a vein of wit and sprightliness pervades them all.

  "For myself, things have gone smoothly on since I was at home. My
  daily duties are all sources of pleasure. This renders me satisfied
  with myself and with all around me. I am never afflicted with low
  spirits, or with feelings of discontent,--all this for the simple
  reason that all my time is interestingly employed.

  "Have you finished harvesting? Did you gather many walnuts? We have
  a large number of chestnut-trees at West Point. I have gathered
  quite an abundance of them."

                             TO HIS FATHER.

                                                         November 17.

  DEAR FATHER,--I have just come from the meeting of our society. Our
  proceedings are quite good; and there is an evident improvement
  every evening. It is indeed much better to employ Saturday evening
  in listening to, and participating in, a debate on some interesting
  subject than staying in one's room reading novels, or perhaps doing
  nothing. We had quite an animated discussion the other evening on
  the justice of lynch law. We got very warm; indeed, the debate came
  very near merging into the discussion of abolition. This, you are
  aware, is a very tender subject, and, for our society, a very
  improper one. For my own part I got very much excited, and my free
  avowal of abolition principles did not tend to allay the feeling
  which existed among the members.

  You can well suppose that I am looking forward to graduating with
  much interest. My entering this institution I consider my first
  important step in life. I have succeeded better than I have ever had
  any right to anticipate. I have endeavored to make it my rule never
  to relinquish any undertaking, but always to _try_ till success
  crowned my efforts. I have thus got along pretty well. I have not
  the slightest doubt that I shall succeed well enough as long as my
  efforts are carried on in a proper spirit, which is never to rely
  too confidently on success, and to bear every disappointment with a
  good grace.

  I feel much anxiety to see Oliver improve. These long winter
  evenings should not be trifled away. Oliver might study, read to the
  family, or otherwise improve his time, till half past nine o'clock.
  If he should be disposed to read any longer, let him have a good
  warm fire, and his reading will not be thrown away. You are, I know,
  a great admirer of Franklin. He used to study until twelve at night
  when obliged to work hard all day. How could Oliver and the girls,
  if any are at home, pass the time better than reading or studying
  till perhaps ten in the evening?

                               TO HANNAH.

                                                     January 27, 1839.

  DEAR SISTER,--It may be said that Scott and Addison are elegant
  writers. Johnson, that intellectual giant, said that whoever wished
  to become a perfect writer must give up his days and nights to
  Addison. The style of Addison is peculiarly easy and harmonious, the
  very music of composition; and although not so deep and original a
  thinker as many whose styles are less attractive, his works will
  always be admired for their sound views on moral and religious
  subjects. Scott, you know, has been called the _magician_, and
  excelled all his contemporaries in the ease, rapidity, and finish of
  his performances. The last volume of his "Waverley" was written in
  one week, and his novels were ushered into the reading community
  with so rapid a succession as astonished every one. Some think that
  Scott excelled as a poet, and, wonderful as he was as a writer of
  romance, he was still more successful in verse. Some of his poetry
  and a few of his novels are well worth reading. His "Lady of the
  Lake" and "Ivanhoe" are much admired. The "Tales of my Landlord" and
  "Guy Mannering" also are very fine. There is a little volume of
  poetry, called "The Book of Pleasures," which I intend to read, the
  first opportunity. It contains The Pleasures of Memory, of Hope, and
  of the Imagination, all three beautiful poems. You had better read
  them, if they are to be obtained.

  Our examinations are finished, and we are again under full sail for
  the next, and, for myself, last examination. The result of the
  present is, head in three branches and second in the fourth. The
  last five months I spend at West Point should be employed to better
  advantage than any other five months before. I have marked out for
  myself a pretty severe course of study, by which I shall endeavor to
  abide. When I graduate, it will be a satisfaction to look back upon
  my four years' course, and feel a consciousness that I have improved
  my opportunities. After graduating, where I shall be stationed is
  uncertain. But I shall endeavor to get ordered to Boston under
  Colonel Thayer. There are extensive fortifications now erecting in
  Boston harbor on George's Island. It would be a capital chance to be
  employed upon them, particularly when the superintendent of the
  works is so distinguished a man as Colonel Thayer. There are
  reasons, which you can well imagine, why I wish to be near home.

He must have been an omnivorous and rapid reader to have mastered
Franklin, Plutarch, Addison, Scott, Rollin's Ancient History, besides
poetry, speeches, and novels; one wonders where he could have found the
time, but he was ever working at high pressure. In addition to the hard
work necessary to retain the headship of the class, and to discharge the
duties of assistant professor, he took the most active and leading part
in the Dialectic, and delivered the valedictory address at the
graduation of the class. He also founded "The Talisman," a journal for
the practice and improvement of the cadets in composition. In the
introductory address, which he wrote as editor, he presents his views of
the need for, and objects of, the paper in glowing language,

  "We have thus announced our intention of establishing a paper. Its
  character will be readily understood from the preceding exposition
  of our views. We shall hoist the white flag, emblematic of our
  motives and intentions. On it shall be inscribed in golden letters
  _The Talisman_. This flag will we defend with our life's blood; and
  when expiring nature is about to give up her last hold upon us, we
  will wave it aloft in triumph and die beneath its shadow."

In a letter to his uncle William he gives an amusing account of
anonymously criticising his own effusions:--

  "Several of us have amused ourselves in writing a paper, which we
  have called 'The Talisman,' and having it read at the meetings of
  the Dialectic. Our motto is, The Human Intellect the Universal
  Talisman. The best of the joke is, no one can divine who are
  concerned in it. Indeed, once I wrote a most famous blowing up of
  one of my own performances, and was extremely amused to have several
  of my friends console me; in fact, one told me he would not give a
  fig for these criticisms, to which I assented, asking him if he had
  any idea who were the editors of the paper, to which he replied in
  the negative. When we graduate next June, we wish to have an address
  delivered before the society by some able man. Do you think we could
  get Governor Everett?"

As already stated, Cadet Stevens was put forward by his classmates to
deliver this address himself.

He contributed to "The Talisman" a series of articles, written in a
simple, direct, and forcible style, and marked by an earnest tone and
elevated sentiments, among which were "Agency of Steam in Mechanical
Operations;" "In Jury Trials, ought the Twelve Jurors to be required to
be Unanimous?" "Has Man a Conscience?" "The Importance of a Good Style
of Writing to an Officer of the Army;" "History;" "The Proper Study of
Mankind is Man."

His most intimate friends at the Point were Henry L. Smith, Jeremy F.
Gilmer, Zealous B. Tower, Henry W. Halleck, Stephen D. Carpenter, Bryant
P. Tilden, William B. Greene, Franklin D. Callender, John D. Bacon, Paul
O. Hebert. Among these high-spirited and intellectual young men he was
an acknowledged leader; and even after leaving the academy, they were
continually calling on him for advice in their own affairs, and for aid
in efforts to benefit the service, to secure increased rank and pay,

Thus the last term sped rapidly away. At the examination he was first,
as usual. He stood thirty on the conduct roll, having sixteen demerits.
It will be observed that in "conduct" during the course he stood but
little above the average. Evidently, with his spirited and vigorous
nature, he did not mind infringing the rules at times. When the Academic
Board reviewed the standing of the members of the class to award to each
his proper grade, it was found that Cadet Stevens stood at the head, not
only generally, but in every one of the studies. Moreover, his standing,
as compared with all who had ever graduated from the institution, was
among the first. This remarkable achievement, together with his strong
personality, deeply impressed the officers of the academy. They were
proud of their pupil, they felt that he reflected honor upon the
institution, and they vied with each other in encomiums and attentions
which they deemed his due.

He invited his father and stepmother to attend the graduation exercises,
and they came. When they arrived they were astonished to see the honors
heaped upon their son, and the high estimation in which he was held.
They, too, were overwhelmed with attentions on his account. Prominent
seats were found for them, and the professors came up to pay their
respects to the parents of the first graduate, and to congratulate them
upon his remarkable talents and promise.

                               CHAPTER V


Crowned with these well-earned honors, and promoted to be second
lieutenant of engineers, July 1, 1839, he accompanied his parents home,
expecting to enjoy a long and delightful vacation; but his anticipations
were speedily cut short by orders to proceed to Newport, R.I., to take
part in the building of Fort Adams, so that he was permitted to spend
only the Fourth of July in Andover.

Phrenology was in vogue then, and the young man, on his way through
Boston, had his head examined by a professor of the new science, who,
much to his amusement, pronounced him a poet. He reached his station
early in July, and took quarters with Miss Castoff, who kept a
boarding-house on the corner of Spring and Ann streets. Lieutenant James
L. Mason, also of the engineer corps, boarded at the same place. The two
young men became warm friends and companions. Daily they rode over to
the fort together in the morning, and returned in the afternoon.
Lieutenant P.G. T. Beauregard, afterwards the well-known Confederate
general, was also on duty there as an engineer officer, and remained
several months after Stevens's arrival. Fort Adams was garrisoned by a
detachment of the 2d artillery, officered by Lieutenants Lewis G.
Arnold, Arthur B. Lansing, and Henry J. Hunt.

Fort Adams, commenced twenty years previously, and now nearly completed
under the able superintendence of General Joseph G. Totten, was the
largest defensive work in the country, Fortress Monroe only excepted,
and, as General Cullum declares in his biographical sketch of General
Totten, "the first in its combination of the principles and details of
the art of fortification." It must have afforded a most gratifying field
for the energies of the ardent and accomplished young officer, fresh
from the military academy, and eager to test his acquirements and
abilities in real work. The redoubt, the inner and separate stronghold
in rear of the main work, was mostly built under his superintendence,
1839-42. Entering upon this duty with his accustomed zeal, his sound
judgment in laying out the work for the workmen, and energy and
diligence in pushing it, soon attracted attention. He took control with
the self-reliance and habit of command of a natural leader. He was
strict and exacting with the employees, but at the same time just and
considerate, and took a real interest in them. He soon won their respect
and goodwill. Even the man who groomed his horse, John A.C. Stacy, long
years afterwards, when he had himself become a wealthy contractor, spoke
of Lieutenant Stevens with the greatest admiration. His unconscious
success in this direction nearly led to a breach with Mason. The latter
became cold and distant in manner, and openly avoided him. Stevens
demanded an explanation, whereupon Mason burst forth indignantly with
the charge, "You are destroying all my influence with the men on the
work. When you appear, they hang upon every word you utter, and cannot
do enough for you, while they scarcely notice me, although I am the
senior, and have been longer on the work." But Mason was soon satisfied
by his friend's remonstrances, and his own good sense, that Stevens was
not to blame for that result. Mason was a man of remarkable talents,
brilliant in conversation, and fascinating in social intercourse.

Newport at this time contained many old families, among which the
traditions of colonial grandeur, when the port was the largest and most
flourishing city in the colonies, mingled with the fresher recollections
of the Revolution, the British occupation, the battle of Rhode Island,
the romantic capture of General Prescott, the English commander, the
brilliant though brief sojourn of the French allies under Rochambeau,
and the visit of Washington. The town was celebrated for beautiful and
charming girls. It was the resort in summer of the cultivated, wealthy,
and fashionable from other parts of the country, especially from the
South. The Hazards, Lymans, Randolphs, Vernons, Lawtons, Hunters, Kings,
Turners, Gardiners, Fowlers, Gibbs, Tottens, Perrys, and others, all
more or less related, afforded a cultivated and high-toned, yet simple
and cordial society, free from the ostentation of wealth and the absurd
pride of caste. The army and naval officers stationed there, and the
families of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, the hero of Lake Erie, of
General Totten, and of others who had served their country, added a
patriotic and military element. Into this charming society the young
officer entered with keen enjoyment, and his modest demeanor and
sensible conversation, not less than his reputation for ability and
scholarship, soon made him welcome.

One of these Newport belles thus described him:--

  "The first time I saw Mr. Stevens was in church. He sat in the pew
  behind ours. He was very young, of small, alight figure, had a very
  large head, with fine carriage,--a noble head, thick, bushy, black
  hair, and dark complexion. He was considered very homely, but he had
  a large, dark hazel eye, which looked one through and through, and
  compelled one's attention."

Notwithstanding that "he was considered very homely," young Stevens took
an active part in the social life and festivities of the town, calling
upon the old families, escorting with other young men bevies of young
ladies on delightful long walks to the beach, along the cliffs, the Blue
Rocks, Tammany Hill, and other resorts, and attending the numerous

It was at one of these rather informal, but enjoyable gatherings that he
first met the young girl who was soon to become his wife. Mason had
warned him to "beware of Margaret Hazard," as the two young men were
setting out to attend a tea party at the Vernons' hospitable mansion,
two miles out of town. The young lady was a daughter of Benjamin Hazard,
for years recognized as the ablest lawyer and statesman in the State,
who had represented the town in the state legislature for thirty-one
years without a break, having been elected sixty-two times in
succession. Although very young, she possessed many attractions of
person and character, had many admirers, and was one of the acknowledged
belles. Notwithstanding the friendly or jocose warning, Mr. Stevens was
duly presented to Miss Hazard, and had the pleasure of escorting her
home, and improved the opportunity by inviting her to ride on horseback
the following afternoon. Miss Margaret lacked a suitable habit, it
seems; but an old cloak skillfully adapted served for the long sweeping
skirt then in vogue, a cousin furnished his new beaver for a riding-hat,
and another admirer contributed a handsome silver-mounted riding-whip,
so that when the cavalier presented himself on his gray charger with a
groom leading the "Indian Queen," the young lady was ready. The "Indian
Queen" was the name of a noted saddle-horse from the stable of Nicholas
Hassard, who for many years kept the livery stable on Spring, or Back
Street, corner of Touro. When asked if the "Indian Queen" was a safe
horse for the young lady, Mr. Hassard replied, "Miss Margaret Hazard can
ride any horse in my stable."

This ride led to others, and it was not long before the two rode over
the beaches together nearly every pleasant afternoon. Mr. Stevens would
come with the horses about five o'clock, and the usual ride was over the
three beaches and around by the green End road; and a more romantic,
beautiful, and pleasant course it would be hard to find.

A fearless horseman, he was fond of horses and of riding. He owned and
delighted to ride a fiery gray, which ofttimes taxed all his strength,
skill, and daring to master, and which occasionally ran away despite all
efforts. Once the steed, with the bit in his teeth, dashed headlong for
the stable. "Stevens is done for!" exclaimed Mason; "the stable door is
too low to ride under, and his brains will be knocked out." But the
rider threw himself along the side and neck of the furious animal just
in time to avoid this danger.

Mason's warning was indeed in vain. Writes his intimate friend, H.L.
Smith, as early as April:--

  "Not in love, Stevens; why, your description fired me. By heavens!
  it is a glorious thing to see a girl with a large soul. Would there
  were more such. 'Dark blue eyes;' 'Rides fearlessly;' 'Loves
  Channing, Carlyle, Milton;' 'A sweet smile,' etc."

He became a frequent caller upon, and intimate in the family of,
Benjamin Hazard. The latter was slowly sinking under the lingering
disease, consumption, which carried him off in 1841. The gifted and
sympathetic young man would have long talks and discussions with the
intellectual, learned, and experienced senior, and would read to him
from his favorite authors, Swift and Shakespeare. "I think our young
lieutenant is very handsome," remarked Mr. Hazard, doubtless alluding to
his fine head and sound, bright mind, and perhaps quietly rebuking the
disparaging term "homely." It was not long before he became an
acknowledged suitor for the hand of Miss Margaret, and they were
betrothed in the summer of 1840.

The mansion occupied by this family, situated on Broad Street, on the
southern corner of Stone Street, and near the state house, is one of the
oldest in Newport, the timbers of which, according to tradition, were
cut and hewn in the woods between the harbor and the beach. By a curious
coincidence it has descended in the female line for three generations.
Before and during the Revolution it was the home of John G. Wanton, a
wealthy colonial merchant and the son of the colonial governor, Gideon

It was a favorite resort of the brilliant French officers who landed in
Newport to aid the struggling patriots, one of whom cut with a diamond
upon a small, old-fashioned window-pane in the great parlor, "Charming
Polly Wanton, Oct. 17, 1780." But an American officer, Colonel Daniel
Lyman, afterwards chief justice of Rhode Island and president of the
Society of the Cincinnati in Rhode Island, married "Charming Polly" away
from her French admirers.

Mary Wanton was an only daughter, and inherited the old mansion, where
she reared a family of thirteen children, and dispensed the gracious
hospitality to which she was accustomed.

One of her daughters, Harriet Lyman, married Benjamin Hazard, and upon
the removal of Colonel Lyman and his family to Providence, succeeded to
the old Newport homestead, which thus for generations was the scene of
family happiness, worth, refinement, and hospitality. It is now owned
and occupied by two of Benjamin Hazard's daughters, Misses Emily Lyman
and Mary Wanton Hazard, who maintain the traditions of the old mansion
with charming grace.

Now time speeds away rapidly and pleasantly with the young officer. He
has long talks and discussions with Mason, noted for his brilliant mind
and conversation. His official duties are congenial. He heartily enjoys
the social pleasures in which he takes part, and moreover he lays out a
stiff course of study for the winter. He writes uncle William, October
31, 1839:--

  "My brother officer, Lieutenant Mason, is quite familiar with
  politics. He is a Nullifier. I am a loco-foco Abolitionist. Though
  we agree on many points, yet we have at times quite warm though very
  friendly debates upon these points upon which we differ. I shall be
  glad to spend most of the winter in study, and I think of giving
  about half my time to my profession and its kindred branches of
  physics and mathematics, and of the remaining portion a moiety to
  politics and the political history of our country (which will
  necessitate the careful reading and study of the Federalist and
  Madison papers, and other documents illustrative of the peculiar
  glories of our institutions), and the remainder to general reading."

                               TO HANNAH.

  My situation at Newport continues to please me as much as ever. We
  are still pretty busy throughout the day, but are able to secure
  considerable time for reading and study.

  I have been reading Byron's Poems of late. Although his verse is far
  inferior (in my opinion) to Shakespeare and Milton, still it has
  many and peculiar merits. Many of his productions are overflowing
  with lofty and correct ideas. No sycophantic awe, or respect for
  place and title, restrains his caustic and withering pen. He soars
  upon his own pinions, and looks down upon them all.


Thus his time was well occupied, yet he was also an indefatigable
correspondent, writing frequently to his West Point classmates and
friends, now beginning to scatter, and to his father, sisters, brother,
and cousins, but especially to his sisters, whose welfare and happiness
he had so much at heart. He is constantly sending them books and
papers, and advising them in regard to their studies and plans. Susan
was still in Missouri, doing well as a teacher. During the fall Hannah
was teaching school, or in Boston earning her livelihood in a store.
Elizabeth and Sarah were at school, and only Mary and Oliver remained at
home. The father, working too hard, had serious trouble with his injured
leg, and was unwell. But it was a joyous reunion when the elder brother
came home at Thanksgiving, and the scattered family were all assembled,
except Susan, in the great roomy kitchen in the old farmhouse, around
the well-filled board, loaded with the roast turkey and cranberry sauce,
snowy biscuits, mince, pumpkin, and apple pies, cake, preserves, and all
the good things of that generous and kindly season.

Returning to Newport, Lieutenant Stevens made one of a class for the
study of German, although one may suspect that the language was not the
only attraction. Charles T. Brooks, the gifted poet, preacher, and
writer, and who has since translated so many poems and works from the
German, was then settled over the Unitarian Church in Newport, and a few
years previously had married Harriet Lyman Hazard, an elder sister of
Margaret. An accomplished and enthusiastic German scholar, Mr. Brooks
organized the class, and acted as their instructor. Mrs. Brooks, Mrs.
Shroder, Miss Margaret L. Hazard, Miss Julia Randolph, Stevens, and
Mason met regularly once a week at Mr. Brooks's house on Barney Street.
An incident is related showing the facility with which Mr. Stevens
acquired any subject which he undertook. Mr. Brooks one day asked him a
difficult question in grammar, which he answered promptly. Another
question was put with the same result. The teacher then plied him with
question upon question, all of which he answered without hesitation.
"Why," exclaimed Mr. Brooks, "you seem to know the whole grammar." "Oh,
yes," replied Stevens, "I've run it over."

A long and affectionate letter from Susan informed him of her marriage
to David H. Bishop, a man of fine character, and engaged in the
profession of an educator, on December 26, 1839. Mr. Stevens at once
wrote to his new relative welcoming him in his hearty and warm-hearted
manner, and a friendly correspondence ensued between them, which
developed into a long and well-maintained political discussion, for Mr.
Bishop was a Whig, while Stevens was an uncompromising Democrat, of
Free-soil convictions,--"loco-foco Abolitionist," as he defines himself.

In April the fostering and indulgent grandmother, the widow of the
Revolutionary soldier, Jonathan, died at an advanced age, attended
during her last illness by Sarah. Mary, early in the year, visited aunt
McFarland in Belfast, Maine. Elizabeth was in Lowell, and later also
went to aunt McFarland, and only Sarah and Oliver remained at home this

His father's letters reveal how much he was coming to lean upon the
self-reliant young man, and to feel the need of his support and
affection. "I was glad to hear you say in your last letter that in
matters relating to yourself you should be guided by your own judgment,"
he writes. In every letter he urges him to come home, if only for a
short visit.

  DEAR SON,--In your letter to Oliver you mention not coming home
  until Thanksgiving. I hope it will be convenient for you to come
  home and spend a few days in the summer. Your visit in March was
  very short, but short as it was, it was better than none. I learn
  from you that you are far from being satisfied with your present
  attainments. Why should young men talk of having finished their
  education when in fact they have only commenced it, considering how
  much more they might learn if they would only press forward! May all
  you learn be sound and durable; one rotten piece of timber may wreck
  a ship. Do not study too hard. My days of anticipating worldly
  happiness are over (not so fast), I do anticipate seeing my children
  useful and happy.

                                        Your father,
                                            ISAAC STEVENS.

Lieutenant Stevens was promoted first lieutenant, corps of engineers,
July 1, 1840.

His active and thoroughgoing mind, looking beyond the duties assigned
him, saw the necessity of other works to complete the defenses at
Newport. He wrote urgent letters to the Engineer Department in
Washington, representing the need of a thorough survey of the harbor and
the surrounding ground, and especially of the fortifying of Rose Island,
which, situated in mid-channel between Rhode Island and Conanicut, and
three miles north of, or inside Fort Adams, would supplement and support
that work, and render the main entrance of Narragansett Bay impregnable
to a hostile fleet. He was ambitious to plan and carry out the
fortification of this point, but his recommendations were disregarded,
and he was informed that his views, though sound, were premature. Of
late years the importance of fortifying Rose Island has been recognized,
and the government has erected a powerful battery there.

During the spring and summer his long-cherished idea of becoming a
lawyer took more definite shape in his mind, as will be seen from the
following letter to his uncle William, August 5, 1840:--

  MY DEAR UNCLE,--You recollect that when last in Andover I was
  revolving in my mind the expediency of studying law, with a view of
  making it my permanent profession. Entering the West Point Academy
  with no idea of remaining in the army, my present occupation cannot
  be regarded as one that I have voluntarily and after mature
  reflection selected, but as one which circumstances and good luck
  have forced upon me. Therefore, in balancing the advantages and
  disadvantages of the army and the law in order to a decision of the
  question, Which shall I select as my occupation? I think I have
  nothing to do with certain objections that many would advance, that
  it would be changing my business,--it would betray a want of
  fixedness of purpose,--it would be an act of inconsistency. To be
  sure, some of the studies at West Point throw no light upon the law,
  but most of them contribute, and contribute in an eminent degree, to
  induce the habits and call out the faculties essential to the able
  lawyer. Something more is wanted,--as a knowledge of the classics,
  of ethics, of history. Three years' rigorous, systematic devotion of
  my leisure moments to these pursuits would more than place me on a
  level with the graduates of our colleges; by economy enough of my
  pay could be laid up to defray my expenses, should I then resign and
  go through a three years' study of the law. As the thing, therefore,
  can be accomplished, as the law for many reasons would suit me
  better than the army, as I have no false notions of delicacy on the
  ground of consistency, etc., I have at length concluded to give up
  the army for the law. As soon as I decided, I began to act. On that
  very day, about three weeks since, I commenced Latin and a course of
  reading in History. Greek I shall commence next November. As I do
  not wish justly to render myself liable to the charge of hastiness
  or obstinacy, I have determined to consult my friends. If they can
  adduce reasons against my course, I should be very much obliged if
  they would let me know them. The thought that one's course is
  approved by his friends is consolatory,--it serves to strengthen his
  confidence in his own judgment. It removes many cross currents that
  would impede his course. _You_ it was that first suggested my
  application to enter the military academy. Though the military
  academy was not intended to make lawyers, yet in my case I hope it
  may be an example that "the longest way round is the shortest way
  home." I have been very fortunate in making the acquaintance of Mr.
  Benjamin Hazard, whom (by report) you must know. He has the
  reputation of being the first lawyer in the State, and is
  unquestionably _au fait_ with his profession. He has been so kind as
  to give me a great deal of information both with regard to law and
  lawyers in this country, and the best method of studying law. Mr.
  Hazard lent me some time since Warner's Law Studies. I read it
  through twice very carefully, but much of what he said I thought
  totally inapplicable to the profession in this country, much that
  was contradictory, and some opinions I was confident were wrong. I
  wish you would write me soon and give me your opinion of my course,
  which is to remain in the army till the 1st of August, 1843, then to
  resign and enter some office in Boston or Newport for three years.
  From all I can learn, I think that Jeremiah Mason, of Boston, would
  be the man for me. Whether he takes students I know not. Webster,
  Mr. Hazard tells me, contends that Mason is the first lawyer in the
  country,--superior to himself. Remember me to your own family, and
  my friends generally.

                                        Your nephew,
                                            I.I. STEVENS.

He also wrote on this subject to his father, Mr. Hazen, and H.L. Smith.
All whom he consulted discouraged the project except his classmate,
Smith. Mr. Hazen judiciously advises:--

  "It seems to me to be premature to determine quite so much at this
  time. It occurs to me that you might enter upon a course of legal
  reading, which would be useful to you in any station, uniting it
  with attention to military duties, which would consist with
  promotion in the army, and leave a little to the future to determine
  between the professions."

Although his increasing military duties, with his marriage and the
Mexican war, compelled him to defer carrying out this plan, it was never
definitely given up. The career open to him in the army did not satisfy
his ambition, and at last in 1852 he resigned, seeking a wider field.
Meantime he was keeping up his correspondence with his classmates and
friends. Halleck writes:--

                              UNITED STATES MILITARY ACADEMY,
                                 WEST POINT, February 9, 1840.

  DEAR STEVENS,--It is now Sunday morning, and I know not that I can
  better employ the time that will elapse before old Jasper commences
  his oppression, than by writing an answer to your very kind letter
  of last Sabbath. I am happy to renew with you our old friendly
  intercourse. We have passed together four long years in mutual
  goodwill and then parted, I believe, as warm friends, and why should
  we now float away from each other towards the great ocean of
  eternity without ever exchanging a friendly hail? My old associates
  are still dear to me, and my lone heart sometimes softens when I
  think of the past spent in their society. Indeed, I have here become
  so disgusted with humbugs, toadeaters, and punsters, that my heart
  gladdens at the receipt of a letter from an old friend whom I know
  to be a reality and no sham.

  We have been co-workers in at least one thing, the Dialectic, and I
  believe that to us as much or more than to any others, the society
  owes its present prosperity.

                                        Sincerely yours,
                                            H.W. HALLECK.

Tilden, having become involved in a controversy with the authorities at
the Point, comes to Newport to consult with Stevens, who takes up his
case, advises him what to do, and writes Halleck, Smith, and others in
his behalf. "My visit to Newport," writes Tilden, "was of essential
service to me, and has served to strengthen the good resolutions
suggested by yourself and example."

H.L. Smith, too, feeling aggrieved at the action of a court-martial
reflecting upon his evidence as a witness, has recourse to his friend
Stevens, who responds in such manner as to call forth Smith's grateful
and somewhat enthusiastic thanks:--

  "I refer in part to your reply to Colonel Totten at table. Be
  assured I _did_ anticipate your reply to my request. But, Stevens,
  there are not many who would have taken the part of a friend as you
  did with Colonel Totten. I shall never forget it as an act of
  friendship, never cease to admire it as an act of generous

Oliver visits him in September, and in his next letter speaks of "our
fine rides on horseback." Elizabeth has decided to go to Nashville,
Tenn., to visit her uncle Moses, principal of an academy there, in hopes
of finding employment as a teacher; and the father calls upon his son
in Newport for pecuniary assistance, and informs him that Hannah has
come home seriously ill.

The next letter from his father contained the sad intelligence that
Hannah was sinking fast, and urged him to come home immediately. He
spent the last few days of life with the dying girl, doing all in his
power to comfort her. She died in November, 1840.

On his journey back to Newport, Mr. Stevens stopped in Boston to hear a
lecture by John Quincy Adams, an account of which he gives his father:--

  "His subject was the four stages of man in his progress from the
  savage to the civilized state,--first, as a hunter; second, as a
  shepherd; third, as a tiller of the soil; fourth, as a member of a
  community in which all trades, occupations, arts, and professions
  were confined to their appropriate spheres, each receiving the
  protection and encouragement of all. His delivery was very
  energetic, though uncouth. His fancy was exuberant, and his
  speculations were not entirely, it seemed to me, supported by the
  truth of history.

  "I wrote to Susan, as you desired, and gave her a detailed account
  of Hannah's illness, with such other matters as I thought would be
  interesting. Since I have been back to Newport, I have been reading
  Blackstone pretty diligently. Thus far, I am much pleased with him."

"It was a sad Thanksgiving at the homestead this year," Oliver writes,
"so different from the year before, when all were at home except Susan,
and death had not yet broken the family circle." Now all the children,
except Sarah and Oliver, were scattered far and wide,--Susan at Union,
Mo., Elizabeth at Nashville, Tenn., Mary in Belfast, Maine, and Isaac in
Newport. The father was again disabled with his leg, and unable to
attend the Thanksgiving sermon. Oliver concludes his pathetic letter
with a wish to go to West Point.

                                  NEWPORT, December 15, 1840.

  DEAR BROTHER OLIVER,--I have been very busily engaged since your
  letter came to hand in preparing an address to be delivered before
  the Newport Lyceum. As it was the introductory one, I felt very
  desirous that it should be no discredit to myself, and that all
  proper expectations should be fully realized. This is my apology for
  not immediately answering your letter. As the address has been
  delivered, I will now write you briefly respecting the
  subject-matter of the latter part of your communication....

  There is nothing new here. I am passing my time very pleasantly. We
  have a debating club in successful operation, consisting of about
  sixty members,--clergymen, lawyers, physicians, tradesmen, etc.,
  etc. We have a talk this evening on the French Revolution. I don't
  know whether I shall say anything or not. Write as soon as you can
  find it convenient. Remember me to father, mother, and Sarah, and
  friends in general. I hope father will take every care of his
  health. Is it vacation with John Loring now? One of his classmates,
  young Dunn, is at home in Newport.

                                        Your brother,
                                            ISAAC I. STEVENS.


                              NEWPORT, R.I., January 17, 1840.

  MY DEAR FATHER,--As soon as I get to Washington I shall put Oliver's
  application on file in the Department of War, and will obtain an
  interview with Mr. Cushing to secure his interposition, of which I
  think we may entertain some expectation, as no one has yet applied
  for the vacancy in his district. One of my classmates, Lieutenant
  Halleck, who is on duty at Washington, was kind enough to ascertain
  and inform me of all cadets and applicants from Massachusetts, with
  their districts, and in his list I perceive the 3d District is put
  down vacant without any applications. I have never seen our
  representative, for which reason some might deem it advisable to
  procure a letter of introduction; but after some consideration I
  have concluded to take none, but to introduce myself. It is better,
  if successful, than the other mode; to be sure, the risk is
  greater,--I will run it, however. If I make a good impression on
  Mr. Cushing under the circumstances of a vacancy and no application,
  it may go far towards getting his assistance. I will try it at all

                 _From Miniature by Staigg, 1841_]

  I shall leave on Wednesday and be absent three weeks. The Armisted
  case comes up before the Supreme Court next Friday, and will
  probably be in progress the ensuing week; this will enable me to
  hear Mr. John Quincy Adams, of which I am very desirous. Mr. Clay's
  resolution respecting the repeal of the Sub-Treasury will soon be
  called up, and will probably cause that whole subject again to be
  discussed. Should it call out the able men of the Senate while I am
  in Washington, I could not desire a better opportunity to compare
  them. I will write you on my arrival, and afterwards from time to
  time. You must take good care of your health, and take things
  easily. I know of no one that has a better right. We have nothing
  new in Newport. My health is perfect both in body and mind; in other
  words, I have never had better health in either respect. Give my
  love to all friends and the family.

                                        Your son,
                                            ISAAC I. STEVENS.

Writes Halleck, January 15, 1841:--

  I hope to soon meet you here, and enter into a friendly interchange
  of thoughts and feelings without the formality of paper and ink. I
  am anxious to give you a hearty shake by the hand and welcome you to
  Washington. If you are left to your leisure hours, you will
  undoubtedly have much enjoyment both in society and in Congress. You
  must not anticipate too much pleasure in the crowded parties of the
  metropolis. To me they are perfect bores.

  Let me know when you are to come on, and if not immediately I will
  write you a long letter. Read this if you can.

                    Yours in the true bonds of friendship,
                        H. WAGER HALLECK.

Although unable to procure the cadet appointment for Oliver, he greatly
enjoyed his first visit to the capital, especially the debates in the
Senate, where he listened to both Clay and Webster. The former impressed
him as more a leader of men and controller of measures than the latter.

One would think that with his official duties, and all the studies and
pursuits he was carrying on, every minute of his time must have been
taken up; yet he organized a course of lectures for the winter, and
himself delivered an address on Oliver Cromwell, whose character and
achievements he greatly admired. In this lecture he presented with great
force and clearness a new and original conception of the great Puritan,
depicting him as a true patriot and a religious, God-fearing man,
obliged by the circumstances of the times to seize the helm of state in
order to save his country from despotism or anarchy. This was much the
view afterwards so ably set forth by Carlyle. This lecture excited no
little attention at the time; and when Carlyle's Cromwell appeared, not
long afterwards, it was said that the lecture would seem to have been
taken from that work, had it not been delivered before that was
published. He afterwards delivered this lecture in Andover and other

In the spring of 1841 he was placed in charge of Fairhaven Battery in
New Bedford, Mass., in addition to his duties in Newport. This required
frequent trips to the former place, which he usually made by stage, but
several times he traversed the intervening country on foot. On one of
these trips, in an economical mood he refrained from dinner in order to
save the cost of the meal. Soon afterwards a lean and friendless dog
attached himself to him, and followed his footsteps so persistently, and
looked so piteous and hungry, that the young man's sensibilities were
touched, and he stopped at a farmhouse and purchased a good dinner for
the half-starved animal, which, as he laughingly declared, cost all he
had saved by his self-denial.


_From Miniature by Staigg, 1841_]

A letter from Mr. Bishop conveyed the afflicting and unlooked-for
intelligence of the death of Susan, April 8, 1841, from pulmonary
disease, after a brief illness. Thus unexpectedly passed away another
loved sister, and one whose sunny, affectionate disposition, fine mind,
and high principles had especially endeared her.

Benjamin Hazard died March 10, 1841. During his lingering illness he
derived much comfort and pleasure from the society and attentions of the
talented and sympathetic young man. He gladly sanctioned his betrothal
with his daughter Margaret, and willingly intrusted the future of his
beloved child to one whom he both loved and respected, and in whose
character and ability he had the fullest confidence.

The marriage was solemnized by Mr. Brooks, September 8, 1841, in the
great parlor of the old mansion, the same apartment which witnessed the
wedding of "Charming Polly" and her Revolutionary hero, and of their
daughter Harriet and Benjamin Hazard, the parents of the present bride.

It was a quiet and simple ceremony, so soon after the death of Mr.
Hazard, but the ample room was well filled with beautiful young girls,
the sisters and cousins of the bride, officers in full uniform, the
companions of the groom, and old friends of the family. Hither came from
Andover the groom's brother Oliver, and cousin Henry H. Stevens, his
West Point friend, Lieutenant Jeremy F. Gilmer, from Washington,
Lieutenants James L. Mason, Henry J. Hunt, and Lewis G. Arnold, from
Newport, and a goodly number of Lymans and Dunnells from Providence,
uncles, aunts, and cousins of the bride.

                               CHAPTER VI


The wedding journey was to New York by Long Island Sound, and thence up
the Hudson to West Point, where they spent several days, and were
received with flattering attentions by his old friends. With great pride
and pleasure Mr. Stevens presented them to his lovely bride, and
revisited with her the romantic scenes of the Point, endeared by so many
pleasant associations. They returned by way of Springfield and Boston.

                              NEW BEDFORD, September 24, 1841.

  MY DEAR FATHER,--I was very glad to see Oliver and my cousin Henry
  at Newport on the occasion of my marriage, and, though your presence
  would have afforded me much pleasure, yet, as I well knew that it
  was a busy season with you, and that something very unusual only
  could induce you to leave home, I was not much disappointed at your
  not coming. You will certainly see us as early as next Thanksgiving.
  We had a most pleasant trip, were favored with unusually fine
  weather, and were disappointed in no one of our anticipations.
  Margaret had never visited West Point before, and had always lived
  in a country the scenery of which is very tame compared with the
  alpine grandeur of the Highlands. I had said a great deal to her
  about West Point, and I feared that her expectations were raised
  high above the reality. I was, however, agreeably surprised by her
  assertion that her ideas had scarcely approached the truth. The day
  after our arrival at West Point she insisted upon climbing to the
  Crow's Nest, which you recollect is two miles from West Point, and
  commands the plain about twelve or fourteen hundred feet. Finding
  that my dissuasion had little effect, I took her up one of the
  roughest ways,--in many places we had to ascend almost perpendicular
  rocks. In one hour and a half we were on the very topmost height of
  the mountain. We came back by a rough, winding, long road, and got
  to the hotel four hours after leaving it. I call that a pretty good
  feat for a lady. From Hudson to Springfield the road was completed
  except about two miles near Chester Factories. It passes through a
  most wild and picturesque country, follows the valley of one of the
  rivers that empties into the Connecticut for some thirty miles,
  crossing it frequently and constantly changing direction, and is
  constructed in a truly magnificent style.

  We got back to Newport just seven days after leaving it. There I
  found orders had been awaiting me two days to repair to New Bedford,
  to take charge of all the repairs of the old fort. You can judge of
  the urgency of the orders from my going to New Bedford the next day,
  and leaving Margaret at Newport, where she has been ever since. We
  arrived at Newport about four o'clock on Thursday. I left the next
  day at two o'clock, made an inspection of the fort on Saturday
  forenoon, issued a hand-bill the same day for mechanics and
  laborers, and on Monday morning had a gang of about twenty men at
  work. I never was in New Bedford before, and knew not a single man
  in the place. Monday morning I fell in with a real full-blooded
  Yankee, whom I engaged as overseer, and immediately sent around the
  country for stone-cutters and masons. I went on Monday into a ledge
  of granite rock, and have already thrown out about two hundred tons
  of stone, and got about a hundred feet cut. The people in New
  Bedford are disposed to criticise my plans, but they will find out I
  know what I am about, and that they had better save their sneers for
  some other object. After I had been at work three days, I dismissed
  three men for idleness, which had a very good effect. My plan is to
  be rather familiar with every man, but at the same time to make
  every one feel that he must do his duty. To-morrow I am going to
  Newport after Margaret. I have been so busy that I have had no time
  to miss her. In fact, this is the very first moment since I have
  been in New Bedford that I have been able to write home. Now my
  business has got into a regular course, and will require but little
  time to attend to it. Whether I shall spend the winter in Newport,
  or New Bedford, I don't know. I have at present only orders to get
  in readiness platforms for nine guns.

                                        Your son,
                                            ISAAC I. STEVENS.


The young couple boarded in Fairhaven, a suburb of New Bedford, for
several months, and then removed to the town. They entered with lively
interest into the society of the place, at that time the abode of many
wealthy and somewhat aristocratic families. Mr. Stevens had already made
the favorable acquaintance of the first people before bringing his wife
there; her family and personal attractions were known, and they were
cordially received. Mrs. Hazard made them a short visit during the

Halleck asks his assistance in starting an engineering journal for the

  I know too well your zeal for the profession to doubt for a moment
  that the measure will receive your countenance, and the support of
  your able pen. If we succeed in the undertaking, I am quite sure
  that it will be of much advantage to us individually, and will
  contribute greatly to the reputation of the corps.

  If the delights of married life have not entirely driven away the
  recollection of old bachelor friends, I hope you will again favor me
  with one of your old-fashioned letters. I have heard too much of the
  attractions of your bride to scold you for so long neglecting me.
  From all accounts, my dear Stevens, I must pronounce you a most
  fortunate and happy man, and I shall embrace the first opportunity
  to make the acquaintance of your lady, and most heartily welcome her
  into our corps.

                                        Yours most truly,
                                            H. WAGER HALLECK.

The young couple spent Thanksgiving in Andover. The stern but
true-hearted father, deeply mourning the untimely loss of his two elder
daughters, was gladdened by the presence of five children,--Sarah,
Isaac, Oliver, Mary, and the new daughter, Margaret. The latter was
greatly admired, and was received with warm affection and kindness by
them, and by uncles William and Nathaniel and their families. She was
highly interested and pleased with the Thanksgiving festivities, a new
experience to her; for the Quakers and Come-outers of Rhode Island, many
of whom left Massachusetts to escape the tyranny of the "Lord Brethren,"
never made much of that holiday, but kept Christmas instead.

After a delightful visit of a week, they returned to New Bedford and the
pleasures of domestic life, and for the young husband what he always
enjoyed,--hard work. This seriously encroached upon his proposed course
of study and reading, yet with Mason he would run up to Providence to
hear Ralph Waldo Emerson's lectures.

On June 9, 1842, their first child, a boy, was born in the old Newport
mansion, and named Hazard, after his maternal grandfather.

                                  NEWPORT, June 9, 1842.

  MY DEAR FATHER,--I came here last Friday with the intention of
  returning to New Bedford on Monday, but I was seized with a very
  violent bilious attack that kept me in the house for a day or two.
  The physician that was called prescribed calomel, and I was fool
  enough to take it, the consequence of which is that instead of being
  perfectly well to-day, as I should otherwise have been, I have a
  pain in my bones, and not half the elasticity that generally attends
  my recovery. However, calomel or no calomel, I don't regret my
  illness, for it has been the cause of my being in Newport at a most
  interesting moment. Early this morning Margaret was safely delivered
  of a fine, healthy boy, after an uncommonly short and easy labor.
  She was fortunate in the attendance of a most judicious, skillful,
  and experienced physician, a younger brother of her father, who has
  been in an extensive practice for more than forty years. Now,
  father, you may fairly say that you have a right to your gray hairs.
  Gray hairs and grandfathers always go together. The little fellow
  has been squalling most unmercifully this morning, and seems to take
  it for granted that no one's convenience is to be consulted but his
  own. If he will but show the same energy in the development of his
  other faculties, we may expect great things of him.

                                        Your son,
                                            ISAAC I. STEVENS.

During the greater part of this year Oliver pursues his studies at
Phillips Academy in South Andover; Sarah is teaching an unruly school in
Saugus, Mass., where she punishes a refractory boy, maintains order, and
overcomes the unreasonable anger of the boy's parents in a way that
proves her gifted with much firmness, decision, and good sense. Only
Mary remains at home. She writes: "We had a fugitive slave to spend the
night with us. He was as black a person as I ever saw." So it appears
that the old Abolitionist is doing his part towards the "underground
railroad," as harboring and forwarding fugitive slaves was termed.

Elizabeth, in Tennessee, became engaged in the spring to Mr. L.M.
Campbell, a promising young lawyer, and they were married September 9.

After the birth of the child, Mr. Stevens and his wife went to keeping
house in New Bedford. Sarah visited them in the winter, and on her
return home in March, 1843, they accompanied her as far as Boston, where
they remained a week while Mr. Stevens attended to some engineering
duties on one of the islands in the harbor. In April he was again in
Boston, while his young wife was visiting her mother in Newport for
election day in May, when the state government was to be inaugurated.

Lieutenant Stevens received orders to assume charge of the
fortifications at Portsmouth, N.H., to which those at Portland, Maine,
were added soon afterwards. These consisted of Forts Constitution and
Scammell at the former, and Forts Preble and McClary at the latter
place. Breaking up housekeeping at New Bedford in 1843, and leaving his
wife and boy in Newport, and the little stock of furniture and
belongings stored in the old mansion temporarily, Lieutenant Stevens
proceeded to Portsmouth and took charge of the works. Having in his ever
prompt and energetic manner set everything under way, he returned to
Newport, and brought his little family to the new station. They boarded
for a short time, then he leased a spacious house, using a portion of it
as an office. They speedily found themselves among warm friends and
pleasant surroundings. Lieutenant Tom Breese, of the navy, a generous,
whole-souled gentleman, who had married Lucy Randolph, a cousin of Mrs.
Stevens, was stationed at the navy yard, and made them more than
welcome. Lieutenant A.W. Whipple, of the engineers, a fellow student at
West Point, was conducting a survey of the harbor. He became a
major-general, commanded the third division, third corps, Army of the
Potomac, and was mortally wounded at the battle of Chancellorsville.
There were also Colonel Crane, Captain Stanberry, and Lieutenants
William H. Fowler and Joseph Hooker, of the army, and Major Harris, of
the marines. Hooker afterwards rose to be major-general, and commanded
the Army of the Potomac at Chancellorsville. Portsmouth, like Newport,
had its old families and cultivated and agreeable society, which
cordially received the young engineer officer and his wife. Among the
first to call upon Mrs. Stevens were Mrs. John L. Hayes and Mrs. Samuel
Elliott Coues, two beautiful young women, the daughters of Mr. Alexander
Ladd, and a warm friendship grew up between the families, which
continued after all three moved to Washington in after years.

In Portland, only a few miles distant, resided Rev. Asa Cummings, Mr.
Stevens's maternal uncle, the editor of the "Christian Mirror," and his
house was always open to the young couple like a second home. During the
winter Mrs. Stevens's sister Mary visited them. There was much social
visiting and many entertainments; they attended the marriage of
Lieutenant Whipple and Miss Sherburne. They were on board the frigate
Portsmouth when she was launched at the navy yard.

Mr. Stevens found his hands full, with the two sets of works intrusted
to him, and was obliged to spend no little time in traveling between
them. At Fort Preble he planned and built the barracks, conceded to be
among the best arranged in the country. Having to cross the harbor
frequently in his visits to the fort, he had built at Newport one of the
catboats for which that town was famous, and had it brought to Portland.
He also brought on from New Bedford a faithful retainer, named Daniel
Murphy, and put him in charge of the boat.

In addition to these onerous and responsible duties, he was placed in
sole charge of the fortification of the narrows of the Penobscot River,
where it was decided to build a regular, bastioned, casemated work for
forty guns on the right bank of the river, opposite Bucksport, to be
named Fort Knox. Mr. Stevens visited Bucksport in July, 1843, on this
new duty. The first thing to be done was to purchase the site for the
fort, and for this purpose he sought the owners of the land and made
arrangements with them. One of these, an old farmer, not deeming it
possible that the government could be represented in so important a
matter by so young, boyish-looking, and unassuming a man, refused to
talk with him, and soon afterwards, meeting an acquaintance, complained
to him about that young fellow, a mere boy, talking to him as to buying
his farm for the government, etc. To his astonishment, his friend
assured him that he had made a great mistake, that the young man was
Lieutenant Stevens, of the engineer corps, who had entire charge of
building the fort, and advised him to lose no time in seeking the young
officer and explaining his mistake, which he made haste to do. This
incident shows how youthful Mr. Stevens appeared at that time, although
twenty-five years old, a husband and a father. He was always quiet and
unobtrusive in manner, without a trace of self-assertion or
pretentiousness; and the marked impression he made upon all with whom he
came in contact was due to real superiority of mind and spirit, and not
to any adventitious advantages of stature or manner.

He also, in July, visited Castine, and inspected and reported upon the
old works there, which had been fortified and held by the British during
the war of 1812.

His sisters were again widely scattered from their father's house.
During the summer Sarah was staying with uncle Asa Cummings, and, being
attacked by a severe cough, Mary came there to wait upon her, and also
to attend school. Their brother Isaac constantly visited them, and
supplied them with books and comforts. He also freely aided Oliver with
funds. He was at North Yarmouth fitting for college, and helping himself
by teaching school.

With all these calls upon him, Mr. Stevens was obliged to ask his father
to repay--

  "as much, not exceeding one hundred dollars, as you can conveniently
  raise. My expenses in the way of traveling have been very heavy this
  year. Three journeys to Bangor already, and two more in
  contemplation, besides quite a number between Portland and
  Portsmouth. With this I send you the 'National Anti-Slavery
  Standard,' the organ of the American Anti-Slavery Society. I have
  just commenced taking the paper. I like its spirit and views much."

In this letter he speaks of spending four days in Portland, and finding
Sarah improved and Mary well; gives a long account of the condition and
medical treatment of the former, and suggests means for her recovery and
plans for Mary's education. These sisters were very dear to him, and he
was very solicitous for their welfare. But Sarah rapidly grew worse with
quick consumption, and died February 8, 1844, only twenty-two years old.
After her death, Mary returned home.

One day at Portsmouth, as Mr. Stevens was at work in his office and his
young wife was at the window, her attention was attracted by a unique
vehicle coming down the street, followed by a tail of small boys in high
glee. This was a rude sleigh fashioned out of poles, and drawn by a
rough-looking nag, whose coat was innocent of currycomb and brush.
Seated on a box in the bottom of the sleigh, and driving the horse with
entire unconcern at the attention he was attracting, was a large, tall
man, with light hair and fair, florid complexion, clad in homespun garb,
the very type of an independent backwoods farmer. Stopping at the door,
he inquired for _Leftenant_ Stevens, who ran down, and was surprised and
pleased to find in the rustic caller one of his mother's brothers, John
Cummings, from Albany, on his way to Andover. How uncle John received a
warm welcome, how he was brought in and given a hearty supper, while his
team was sent around to the nearest stable, and how he was loaded with
viands and supplies enough to last the remainder of his journey when he
resumed it, may be imagined. Such an opportunity to dispense hospitality
to one of his relatives was a source of unalloyed pleasure to the young

The laying out and starting the fort at Bucksport engrossed most of his
attention in the spring of 1844. The care of important works at three
different places necessitated incessant traveling, besides which he had
to visit Boston periodically to obtain and bring down the public funds
required. With all these duties and cares he was more than fully
occupied, and was obliged to lay aside, for the present at least, his
projected law studies. He also sent abroad and purchased a number of
French works on fortifications and military history. He became deeply
interested in the forts under his charge, and was indefatigable in
urging upon the Engineer Bureau in Washington improvements and measures
which his active mind was quick to observe. Indeed, in his zeal he
overworked himself, and was prostrated with severe sickness in
consequence. "You work too hard," writes his sister Mary; "you will not
live five years unless you take business easier." During the summer he
was able to give Oliver employment on Fort Preble, and writes his father
that "Oliver has acquitted himself with credit; had to manage a gang of
twenty-five men."

Mrs. Stevens spent part of the summer at her mother's house in Newport,
where, on June 27, their second child was born, a daughter, named Julia
Virginia. Early in August Mr. Stevens went to Newport to escort his
little family to Bucksport. They spent several days in Andover,
accompanied by Mrs. Stevens's sister Nancy, where they met Elizabeth and
her husband, just arrived from Tennessee on a visit. Mary was at home,
and there was a pleasant family reunion. After this agreeable little
visit they went to Boston and took the steamboat for Bucksport, Miss
Nancy Hazard returning to Newport.

In the fall Elizabeth and Mr. Campbell returned to Tennessee, after a
round of visits to her relatives in Massachusetts and Maine. Mary
accompanied them.

Arriving at Bucksport the last of August, they found quarters at an
old-fashioned country tavern, the only hotel in the place, where they
had comfortable though rustic accommodations. The principal people, with
the cordial hospitality characteristic of Maine, welcomed them to the

At first many, like the old farmer, were disposed to sneer at the young
stripling, but the energetic, thorough-going, and effective way in which
he organized and drove on the works, his decided, self-reliant
character, sound, sensible conversation, and simple, direct manners,
soon won their approval and admiration, and he became a great favorite,
and much respected and looked up to as well as liked. After a short
sojourn at the tavern, he leased a large, roomy house of Judge Pond,
half of which he set apart as an office, and made his residence in the
other half. Kidder Randolph, a cousin of Mrs. Stevens, was employed as
chief clerk, and with his wife, _née_ Isabella Updike, came on from
Newport. He also employed in the office Mr. Isaac Osgood, a
fellow-townsman from Andover, and on the works, as assistant, Mr. Abiel
W. Tinkham.

The Penobscot at this point is some half a mile wide, with a strong
tidal current. For crossing the river he provided a four-oared barge,
over which Daniel Murphy was installed as coxswain. Every morning the
young engineer officer would cross the river to supervise the works, and
return to the town late in the afternoon or in the evening. A large
force was set to work. Soon deep excavations, great banks of earth, and
vast piles of granite and other materials attested the vigor with which
the construction was pushed. He visited many quarries far and near, and
examined and tested the granite. As this material was landed in great,
heavy blocks and masses on the river-bank, and had to be hauled thence
to the works up a considerable ascent, he bought many oxen for the
purpose, scouring the country for the largest and finest to be had. In
these teams he took great pride, and especially enjoyed taking friends
and visitors to see them. He was also quite proud of his ability to
select good workmen from their appearance. A well-shaped head, with a
full, high forehead, he used to say, denoted a good man, reliable,
intelligent, and industrious.

The lonely old man in Andover writes a pathetic letter to Isaac in
December, urging him to make him a visit. Of his seven children, not one
was at home at Thanksgiving. Three daughters had died; the remaining two
were far distant in Tennessee; Isaac was in Bucksport, and Oliver in
North Yarmouth. With deep feeling the aged and lonely father writes: "My
children,--you may well suppose I thought of them."

Mr. Stevens again had a severe sickness in the winter, the result
probably of overwork, although he used to say that the cold winter
climate of Maine did not agree with him, that it rendered his faculties
torpid or benumbed. In February, however, he visited Washington, and was
present at Polk's inauguration as President. He embraced this
opportunity to urge upon Colonel Totten, chief of engineers, the need of
increased appropriations for the works under his charge, and with such
success that the other engineer officers complained that Stevens had
left no funds for their works.

During 1845 Mr. Stevens was vigorously pushing the building of Fort
Knox, as well as attending to the works at Portland and Portsmouth. In
May he received a confidential letter from Colonel Totten, asking if he
desired transfer to and promotion in one of the new regiments about to
be raised, which, with his characteristic reply, is given:--


                                       ENGINEER DEPARTMENT,
                                     WASHINGTON, 28th May, 1845.

    _Corps of Engineers_, _Bucksport, Maine_:

_Sir_,--In case of an increase of the military establishment at the next
session of Congress, I shall probably be called upon to know if any
officers of engineers desire a transfer to the new forces, with

Would you desire such a transfer? What is the lowest grade that you
would be willing to accept? And in what arm of the service?

  Very respectfully, your obt. svt.,
    JOSEPH G. TOTTEN, _Col. and Ch. Eng._

I have already been spoken to on this subject by one high in authority.

                                  BUCKSPORT, MAINE, June 24, 1845.
                                  COLONEL JOSEPH G. TOTTEN,
                                  _Chief Engineer_, _Washington_:

  _Sir_,--In answer to the confidential circular of the Department of
  the 28th ultimo, asking if I should desire a transfer with promotion
  to the new forces, in case of an increase of the military
  establishment at the next session of Congress, I beg to say
  generally and comprehensively that I hold myself in readiness to
  discharge to the best of my ability the duties of any position which
  shall enlarge my sphere of action and of usefulness, and with which,
  in the judgment of those intrusted with the administration of public
  affairs, I may be deemed worthy to be invested; promotion or no
  promotion, in my own corps or in any other corps or department of
  the public service, and whether the field of duty be in Oregon,
  California, or at the North Pole.

         I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
             ISAAC I. STEVENS, _Lieut. of Eng'rs._

This reply evinces a certain impatience, or disapproval, at the idea of
consulting the personal wishes and preferences of an officer as to his
assignment to duty. Mr. Stevens always held high ideals of public
duty,--many would deem them quixotic and overstrained. He ever deemed
it the duty of appointing officers to select the ablest and best-fitted
man for any post or service that could be found, and that it was the
duty of every public officer to serve with complete self-abnegation and
patriotic zeal. His whole career proved the sincerity of his convictions
on this point.

In consequence of the hostile attitude assumed by Mexico upon the
admission of Texas into the Union against her protests, Colonel Totten,
on June 8, writes the following confidential order:--

  "In all the forts under your charge (including the narrows of the
  Penobscot) you should, as soon as it can be done advantageously,
  place all your batteries in a state of perfect readiness for guns,
  leaving nothing to be done but the mounting of the guns when they
  shall arrive. It is of infinite importance, should any exigency
  arise, that the preparation of the country shall not be found
  deficient in any manner depending on the Engineer Department."

General Taylor with a small force was thrown into Texas to protect the
newly acquired State, and the increasing probabilities of war with
Mexico were eagerly discussed by the ambitious young army officers. In
September Mr. Stevens accompanied Colonel Totten on a tour of inspection
of all the works under his charge, and entertained him and Mrs. Totten
for several days at his house in Bucksport.

Mr. Stevens was never so well pleased as when dispensing hospitality in
his own house. He was continually bringing friends home to dinner, often
on short notice, and always liked to have some of his relatives visiting
him. His wife's sister Nancy spent the summer with them. Brother Oliver,
uncle William's daughter Eliza and son William, Mrs. Hazard and her son
Thomas, and sister, Miss Eliza B. Lyman, and uncle Nathaniel, also
visited them, and, after much urging, his father, from Andover, was
induced to make a brief visit. He employed Oliver again this summer on
Fort Preble. Always ready and glad to serve any relative or friend, he
saw to the purchasing and shipping of several cargoes of hay for uncle
Nathaniel, declining to accept any recompense for his services.

On December 7 the little girl, Julia Virginia, died of water on the
brain, after a brief illness. She was a beautiful, gentle child, and a
great pet of her father, who delighted to place her on his office table
when he was at work, oftentimes to the sad disarrangement of his plans
and drawings, and her death was a severe affliction. The following
beautiful lines were written by Mr. Brooks, in condolence upon the sad

          "Well with the child?" Ah, yes, 't is well
            With that bright creature evermore,
          Gone up, 'mid seraph bands to dwell
            With God on yonder starry shore.

          "Well with the child?" Ah, yes, 't is well,
            Though marble-cold that lily brow,
          And though no sage nor seer can tell
            Where soars the mind that beamed there now.

          "Well with the child?" Ah, yes, 't is well,
            Though still in death that speaking eye;
          A shadow o'er the spirit fell--
            'T is past--a star is in the sky!

          "Well with the child?" Ah, yes, 't is well
            With her, that sweet and guileless one;
          Toll not for her the gloomy knell,
            Though gilds her grave the morning sun.

          "Well with the child?" Ah, yes, 't is well,
            And well with us who mourn, if we,
          By penitence made pure, might dwell,
            Sweet child of God! with Him and thee.

During the winter Mr. Stevens organized a course of lectures for the
Bucksport Lyceum, delivering one lecture himself, and writing to
lecturers in different parts of the country, engaging their services,
and inviting them to his house. Among the lecturers and subjects were:
John A. Peters, on "The Profession of Politics;" William B. Merton, on
"American Literature;" J.A. Smith, on "The Present State of English
Poetry;" Henry Giles, George Shepard, and others, whose subjects are not
known. He also became interested in organizing a Unitarian Church in
Bucksport, and corresponded with Dr. A.P. Peabody in regard to a pastor,
etc., but it was found impracticable to do this.

Mr. Stevens was never a sportsman or fisherman; indeed, he kept himself
so immersed in work as never to have time for field sports, yet he was
especially fond of the noble salmon which were taken in the Penobscot,
and delighted to send fine, handsome specimens of this noble fish to his
father, Mrs. Hazard, and other friends. He had a fish-weir built below
the fort, in which many fish were taken at times.

Convinced of the desirability of organizing a body of engineer troops as
part of the army, for several years Mr. Stevens kept writing urgent
memorials and letters to the Engineer or War Department in advocacy of
the plan. In those days the rank and file were nearly all foreigners,
and far inferior in character to the regular soldiers of the present
day. For the engineer troops he advocated enlisting American young men
of intelligence, good character and physique, putting them under a
thorough course of instruction, with strict discipline, in order "to
raise them to the highest state of discipline and efficiency, a fair
representation of what an American army might and should be, so that
every man in the company can, if he chooses to study and do his duty,
become a good clerk, overseer, or practical engineer." Moreover, in case
of war, or an increase of the army, some of the best qualified and most
deserving men might be given commissions. He was deeply impressed with
and admired Cromwell's policy of raising his "ironsides" among men of
good family and substance, discarding "serving-men and tapsters," and
was full of the idea of making the American army as honorable for the
common soldier as for the officer. The soundness of these views is now
becoming recognized, and within the last few years steps have been taken
to raise the standard of regular soldiers by enlisting only the better
class of men, and giving them more instruction, advantages, and
opportunities, even to appointing officers from the ranks.

At length the War Department decided to allow the raising of an engineer
company, and Lieutenant Stevens issued circulars calling for men, and
personally enlisted the first soldier in the new corps, private Lathrop.
The company formed part of Scott's army in Mexico, where it rendered
distinguished service under Captain G.W. Smith and Lieutenant George B.
McClellan, the former of whom became a Confederate major-general, and
the latter was the well-known commander of the Army of the Potomac.

In July, 1846, Mr. Stevens was in Boston loading a vessel with material
for Fort Knox. During this summer Mrs. Stevens's eldest sister, Miss
Emily L. Hazard, with her little nephew, Charlie Brooks, made them a
visit, and two other sisters, Mary and Nancy, spent the summer and fall
with them.

The Mexican war was now in full progress with Taylor's campaign on the
Rio Grande, and Lieutenant Stevens, ambitious for active service, but
unwilling to urge his personal wishes, writes the chief of engineers
that sedentary employment is prejudicial to his health,--needs exercise
in the open air,--would respond with alacrity to any call made upon him
for service in Mexico, adding that he makes no personal application, but
simply states facts, etc. At last, on December 25, he received his
orders, and in two hours was speeding by sleigh over snow-drifted roads
to Bangor, reaching Portland the next day, and Boston the 28th. Miss
Nancy Hazard went, under his escort, as far as Boston, returning home.
Miss Mary remained in Bucksport to spend the winter with her sister, who
needed her society and care, for on November 20, the second daughter,
Sue, was born.

                              CHAPTER VII

                            VOYAGE TO MEXICO

                              BOSTON, MASS., December 29, 1846.

  MY DEAREST WIFE,--We reached Boston yesterday at half past twelve,
  after a very pleasant journey from Bangor. The weather was unusually
  mild, and we experienced very little fatigue. Nancy took the
  afternoon cars for Providence. This afternoon the steamer Perry runs
  to Newport and will take her home.

  I shall not sail probably till Saturday.

  I have determined to take out a complete equipment, even to a
  servant. I am causing inquiries to be made this morning, and in case
  I find no one to my mind, I shall send for Daniel Murphy. Daniel
  would be so devoted to me. If I were sick he would take care of me.
  Daniel, too, would feel with me perfectly secure from all harm. The
  quartermaster will furnish me here with a camp equipage. I shall
  provide myself with a saddle, india-rubber leggings, and everything
  complete, so that not for a single instant shall I be delayed on
  reaching my destination. Immediately on my landing I wish to be
  ready for service. I may take out a horse. I wish some of my good
  friends would present me one. I should want a horse worth three
  hundred dollars.

  I have sent for Oliver to spend the day with me to-morrow. I thought
  it best not to send for father. It will be hard for him to part with
  me, and he had better stay at home.

  Since leaving you my mind has dwelt much upon my little family. I
  know you will look on the bright side. In all candor, I consider my
  life as safe in Mexico as in Maine. I hope to get a sound
  constitution, and to come back to you, my dear Margaret, in due
  season, sound in body and none the worse for wear. You have a
  treasure in your own mother and brothers and sisters. Mary is with
  you. I feel grateful to her for giving up so promptly her own
  wishes to stay with you. I hope you will have a pleasant winter.
  Keep up your spirits, and have faith in the future and in the God of
  the future. I go to Mexico without a single foreboding. I have
  faith, almost implicit faith, that I shall come back. Have faith
  with me.

  So long as I remain in Boston you shall hear from me every day. Love
  to Mary and the chicks.

                                        Affectionately yours,

                                BOSTON, MASS., December 30, 1846.

MY DEAR MARGARET,--Oliver has come down to pass the day with me. We are
hard at work preparing inventories and getting everything ready. We have
a fine vessel, and I look forward to a pleasant passage.

Oliver brought me the sad intelligence of the death of Elizabeth on the
10th of December. Campbell wrote further a most feeling and excellent
letter. Elizabeth suffered but little, and everything was done for her
that could be suggested by the forethought of the most devoted of

Her child was very well. Mary, we expect, will return in the spring. I
shall try and send you a little note every day. Write me at Brazos
Santiago, and write often, commencing now. Write once a week, adding
something to your letters each day.

Remember me to all.


Lieutenant Stevens's orders were to take charge of the pontoon and
engineer trains, then being loaded on shipboard in Boston, and accompany
the same to the headquarters of General Scott in Mexico, touching first
at Brazos Santiago, Texas.

Notwithstanding the urgency of his orders, various delays occurred, and
it was not until the 19th of January that the vessel sailed. During this
period of waiting he had a visit from his father, and one from Oliver,
also. His cousins Charles and Henry also came down from Andover to bid
him good-by. He spent a day in New Bedford, calling upon his friends
there. Daniel Murphy, having fallen sick, had to be sent home.

                                BOSTON, MASS., January 13, 1847.

  MY DEAREST WIFE,--I wrote you a brief note yesterday, stating that I
  should not probably sail for some days. Having nothing to do here,
  yet obliged to remain to be in readiness to obey any new orders, I
  shall endeavor to spend my time in some rational manner. There are
  military matters to be looked into and old friends to visit.

  I hope I shall hear from you, before I leave Boston, and very much
  in full. I wish once more to look into the little details of your
  daily life, before I commit myself to the broad bosom of the great

  January 14. Yesterday I passed a portion of the day in Cambridge;
  found Mrs. Breese and family all well. The children had grown much
  since I last saw them. Mrs. Breese seemed very resigned, but she has
  evidently been a great mourner. She was the same hospitable,
  noble-hearted woman as of old. She expects to get to Newport about
  May; will go to housekeeping in their old house.

  I saw the forty-eight Viennese dancers last evening. It was
  splendid. They are young girls from four years to sixteen, all
  handsome and perfectly trained. Everybody goes to see them. Last
  evening there was a great turn-out of the beauty and fashion of

  You shall hear from me again before I leave. There is no probability
  of my sailing before Saturday. Love to Hazard and the babe.
  Remembrances, and

                                        Yours affectionately,

                                BOSTON, MASS., January 15, 1847.

  MY DEAREST WIFE,--There is now every prospect of my getting off
  to-morrow. I may not reach the Brazos till the middle of February.
  Colonel Totten left on the 12th for Mexico, and I shall without
  doubt serve under his immediate direction. Eighteen officers of
  engineers are either in Mexico, or on their way thither.

  I trust I shall get a few lines from you to-morrow before I sail, as
  otherwise a month must pass before any tidings reach me. Do not fall
  to write quite often to me at the Brazos. I shall not object, you
  know, to find a dozen letters, more or less.

  To-day I dined at Mr. Eben Dale's, a nephew of aunt Cummings. Cousin
  Charles Stevens dined there also. He designs going this evening to
  see the Viennese dancers. I wish you could see them. Everybody is
  charmed. Whole families go, children and all, and to-morrow there is
  to be an afternoon exhibition for the particular benefit of the

  I will write you again before I sail.

                                        Affectionately yours,
                                            ISAAC STEVENS.

                                BOSTON, MASS., January 19, 1847.

  MY DEAREST WIFE,--It is now ten o'clock in the morning, and I shall
  in an hour take my departure for Mexico.

  We have a fine vessel--good officers and crew--and it is a charming

  I hoped to have heard from you before I left, but no letter has
  reached me.

  God bless you and the little ones.

                                        Yours affectionately,

  MY DEAREST WIFE,--It is now January 27, and the eighth day of our
  being at sea. I wrote you a brief note on the day I sailed, Tuesday,
  January 19. We left the wharf at three P.M., with a strong westerly
  wind, which drove our bark through the water at the rate of eight
  knots per hour. The weather was very cold, but with my cloak around
  me, I remained on deck several hours. Soon Boston and its suburbs
  vanished in the distance, and we were fairly embarked on our
  journey's way. As I think it will interest you, I will jot down the
  occurrences of each day since our departure. And first of all, my
  ocean home is in a beautifully modeled and fast-sailing bark of
  about two hundred tons, called the Prompt. There are twelve souls on
  board: Captain Wellman, first officer Gallicer, second officer
  Stebbins, six men before the mast, one man acting as cook and
  steward, my servant, a nice Irish lad, Owen Clarke, nineteen years
  of age, and your humble servant. The officers of the bark are a fine
  set of fellows, and the crew perfectly cheerful and attentive to
  their duty. Tuesday evening I was not much troubled with
  sea-sickness, and I enjoyed a good night's rest; but Wednesday,
  January 20, was a hard day, nothing but sea-sickness. In pursuance
  of the advice of Captain Wellman, I remained on deck as much of the
  time as possible. The weather was somewhat cold, but the wind
  moderate. We drifted along the greater portion of the day, not
  faster than two or three knots an hour. After suffering from
  sea-sickness till noon, I went to my berth. There is an
  inexpressible lassitude accompanying sea-sickness, that is worse
  than anything else. It requires an effort to make the least

  Thursday, January 21. This day we had snow all the time. I remained
  on deck twelve hours, and towards evening felt vigorous and well.
  The weather begins to grow milder. I begin to relish food and to
  enjoy sea fare. Our steward has been sick ever since we left port,
  and we are in consequence obliged to do the best we can without a
  cook. It is now evening, the breeze freshens, the bark dances along
  merrily, and there are signs of a gale of wind. I remained up till
  eight o'clock, and then retired for the night. As I awoke from time
  to time, I could observe from the working of our vessel that it went
  hard on deck. I took things quietly and remained in my berth, and
  about sunrise of

  Friday, January 22, I went on deck. The scene was wild and exciting.
  The ocean tossed in wild confusion, and our brave bark riding the
  crests of the waves like a sea-bird. The gale had been a severe one,
  and the captain told me that at one time he expected he should be
  obliged to lay to under bare poles. We pursued our way before the
  wind, making nine and ten knots per hour.

  Saturday, January 23. The sea has become much smoother and the
  weather milder. Yesterday we were in the midst of the Gulf Stream,
  and to-day we have passed it.

  Sunday, January 24, was a beautiful day. The weather mild and lazy.
  I was on deck all day,--part of the time reading, and part dozing
  and sleeping. It is comfortable on deck without a coat. We are
  getting rapidly into southern latitudes.

  Monday, Tuesday, January 25, 26. Head wind and slow progress. Monday
  we saw several sail. The weather exceedingly mild and soft. I never
  enjoyed existence more than on these two days,--that is, mere
  existence. I dreamed away many hours, and built and pulled down air
  castles. The thought of home was uppermost. What a change in outward
  things in six days. In Bucksport you wrap your cloaks and comforters
  around you; at sea we pull off our coats. My health is perfect;
  everything like sea-sickness has left me.

  Wednesday, January 27. This is likewise a mild, soft, somewhat damp
  day. We make exceedingly slow progress; the wind is dead ahead. I
  fear we shall be a month reaching the Brazos. Shall I hear from you
  there, and how many letters will await me? I trust I shall be with
  you again in the course of the summer. I dwell much on my probable
  duties in Mexico. In case the contest should be of short duration, I
  shall certainly return in the course of the year. I fear that you
  will take things hard in my absence. When I reach the Brazos, I may
  be able to speak with some certainty of my duties in Mexico.

  Thursday, January 28. Last evening we had a rough night. This
  morning the sea is very rough, and our bark is pitching about in all
  directions. I am fortunate in having no return of sea-sickness. My
  boy, Owen, is not so fortunate. I observed his head over the
  bulwarks a few moments since in no equivocal position. He is a nice,
  willing lad. I picked him up in Boston, the very day we sailed. He
  is now in the steward's hands learning to cook. On reaching the
  Brazos, he will be quite accomplished in the culinary art.

  Friday, January 29. To-day we are making fine progress, about nine
  miles per hour; shall reach the Abaco Island, one of the Bahamas, on
  Saturday (to-morrow night) at this rate. The weather is charming. I
  have most of the day read in my military works, sitting on the deck
  of the vessel. The weather is, indeed, rather warm.

  Saturday, January 30. Last night there was a change of wind, and
  to-day we are making little or no progress. The sea somewhat rough.
  We shall not reach the Abaco this evening.

  Sunday, January 31. Last evening the wind died away, and to-day we
  have not moved one mile per hour. The sun has been warm; I have worn
  nothing about my neck to-day. Several of the men are barefoot, and
  all of us are in our shirt-sleeves. We are in about latitude 27°,
  and some one hundred miles from the Bahamas. This calm weather is
  very tedious, but we must be patient; we have now been out twelve

  Monday, February 1. This has been an exquisite day. Soon after
  dinner our eyes were rejoiced with the sight of land, the first
  since leaving Boston, thirteen days since. Our bark glides along
  with scarcely any perceptible motion. Towards night we approached
  the Great Abaco, and about seven saw the revolving light and the
  Hole in the Wall, caused, according to the jolly sons of Neptune, by
  the Devil's chasing a porpoise through the rock-bound shore of the
  Great Abaco. The hole is, indeed, a small arched opening through the
  rocks, admitting the passage of a small boat.

  Friday, February 2. Another splendid day. Early in the morning we
  made the Berry Islands, inhabited by some fifty or sixty blacks
  under a black chief. We saw one of their boats returning from
  turtle-fishing. About seven we commenced crossing the Bahama Banks
  in soundings, nearly all the way of one hundred miles, from twelve
  to twenty-four feet. We had a clean run, and went into deep water
  about seven o'clock, running the one hundred miles in about twelve
  hours. The evening was surpassingly lovely. I remained on deck till
  ten, looking at the stars and thinking of home.

  Wednesday, February 3. This day has fairly brought us into the
  Mexican Gulf. In ten days, I trust, we shall reach the Brazos.
  To-day I have been overhauling my clothes. My boy Owen has mended
  some rents in my garments. He says he can wash like "fun." The
  captain teases him a good deal about the bright Irish lass he left
  in Ann Street. Owen wants me, when I reach Mexico, not only to buy a
  mule for his use, but a little cart for the things; quite an idea.
  To-day we are in latitude 24° 13'. The weather very warm. I have
  found the heat quite oppressive.

  Thursday, February 4. Nothing of consequence has occurred to-day. We
  are moving on quickly with prosperous though gentle winds.

  Friday, February 5. Everything has moved on lazily to-day. We have
  seen several vessels.

  Saturday, February 6. Same as yesterday. A vessel is in sight,
  apparently bound to the north. It is now nearly three o'clock, and
  we have been out eighteen days. I shall seal up and send this letter
  by the vessel, if she prove to be bound north, and I trust it will
  find you well. We are now about five hundred and sixty miles from
  the Brazos. Shall I hear from you there? Love to the children, to
  Mary; remembrances to Mr. Osgood, Kidder, Mr. and Mrs. Tinkham.

  The vessel did not send her boat, and no opportunity was offered to
  send this letter. We passed directly under her stern. She was a brig
  of two hundred tons, and bound to New York. This letter must remain
  on my hands till I reach the Brazos.

  Sunday, February 7. A most melancholy event occurred on board today.
  As I was lying in my berth, about a quarter before twelve o'clock,
  Captain Wellman came into the cabin, somewhat agitated, and said to
  me, "Our steward is not to be found." All hands were on deck in a
  moment, and a thorough search was made in all parts of the ship. The
  steward was not to be found anywhere. The appearance of the galley
  was conclusive as to his having thrown himself overboard. He was
  seen at half past eleven, and yet little or no preparation had been
  made for dinner. He had been observed to be moody and absent-minded
  in the course of the morning. We could assign no cause for the act.
  He had been treated well, and his duties were light. My servant had
  assisted him throughout the passage. His sudden disappearance whilst
  four men were on deck, in good smooth weather, caused us all to feel
  melancholy. We ate very little dinner. Our thoughts were sad, and we
  passed much of our time through the remainder of the day in
  recalling every little incident of the voyage having any connection
  with the unfortunate steward. The only thing which gave any light
  was certain expressions he had made use of, showing a melancholy and
  restless spirit. We found out, moreover, that he was suffering very
  severely from the bad disorder, contracted some two months since in
  Liverpool. This may have been the cause of his making way with

  Monday, February 8. We none of us passed a quiet night, in
  consequence of the distressing event of yesterday. One of the crew
  has been put into the galley, and things go on in the accustomed
  manner. This evening the effects of the steward were disposed of to
  the crew at auction; and so he has gone to his account, and our bark
  is pursuing her destined course. Our vessel has gone on very quietly
  the last two days.

  Tuesday, February 9. We still have quiet times, and are gradually
  approaching the Brazos. With tolerable good luck we shall arrive
  there in two or three days. It is now evening and seven o'clock.
  There is every appearance of a norther. The captain has been
  somewhat anxiously pacing the deck for the last hour. It is now
  eight o'clock, and I will turn in for the night.

  Wednesday, February 10. A severe norther came up about nine last
  evening, and is now sweeping over the Gulf. Our bark works
  admirably. Occasionally she ships a sea. But her deck for the most
  part is dry. The weather is very cold, and I have kept my berth
  nearly all day.

  Thursday, February 11. The norther did not commence to abate till
  noon to-day. It is now six P.M. The water is comparatively smooth. I
  have been somewhat unwell for two or three days, but hope to become
  well with smoother weather.

  Friday, February 12. We had a quiet night, and this morning we have
  scarcely a breath of wind. Our estimated distance from the Brazos is
  about sixty miles. We shall not arrive till to-morrow. I fear I
  shall not hear from you. There is some, yes, great doubt, whether
  letters to the army are forwarded by mail beyond New Orleans, in
  which event all your letters to me will remain in the New Orleans
  office; nor can they be forwarded till I can send for them by some
  ship going there.

  Saturday, February 13. It is now about two P.M., and we are in
  direct view of the Brazos, which is some six miles distant. We are
  beating up against a head wind, and there is considerable doubt as
  to whether we shall make our anchorage to-night. The wind has
  gradually subsided, and it is now nearly a calm. Unless a fresh
  breeze should spring up, we shall require another day. This is our
  twenty-fifth day.

  Sunday, February 14, five P.M. I have just reached the Brazos, and
  find General Worth, Colonel Totten, Lieutenants Mason and Tower, and
  many other officers here. An opportunity offers to send this letter.
  I will write again in a few days. I shall remain at the Brazos a few
  days longer. Remember me to Kidder and his wife, Mr. and Mrs.
  Tinkham, Mr. Osgood, and love of course to the children and Mary.

                                        Affectionately yours,

                            BRAZOS SANTIAGO, February 21, 1847.

  MY DEAREST MARGARET,--It is now Sunday, one week since I landed.
  Your letter and Mary's have reached me, and I have had the
  inexpressible pleasure of hearing from home. How happy it made me to
  hear from you all! My little children are doing well, your health is
  good, and you are passing a quiet and comfortable winter. It is the
  greatest joy to me to learn all this. I knew you would find Mr.
  Osgood a great addition to our little circle, and with Mary as your
  companion, who has always sympathized with you entirely, I did not
  anticipate a very tiresome winter.

  Since reaching here I have had little or nothing to do. It was
  fortunate I reached the Brazos as early as I did. I saw and had some
  conversation with Colonel Totten. On Monday, the day after my
  arrival, General Scott and a portion of his staff departed for
  Tampico. There were left behind four officers of engineers, of
  General Scott's staff, with directions to follow by the first
  opportunity. These officers are Lieutenants Mason, Trapier, Tower,
  and myself. Mason is in fine health, full of animation and
  conversation, and very popular with his brother officers. Tower is
  the same as ever, a man of great native power, but entirely
  unobtrusive. Trapier is an officer you have never seen, a man of
  fine address and considerable ability. We all like him very much

  The general left in excellent spirits. On taking leave of the
  engineer officers he made some very complimentary remarks in
  reference to the importance of our duties, and his expectations in
  regard to us. He will remain in Tampico a few days and then proceed
  to the Island of Lobos, where a large expedition is to concentrate
  to land and attack Vera Cruz. It is expected that a force of
  fourteen thousand men will effect a landing. General Worth is in
  command of three thousand regulars at this point, most of whom have
  embarked. General Worth and staff are still here. He is somewhat
  delicate in health, but full of life and energy. He is thought to be
  our great man to handle troops on a battlefield.

  I have seen a good deal of my old friend Hunt the last few days. He
  is attached to Colonel Duncan's battery, and is now in my room
  talking with Mason. He is a man I esteem very much, and he is as
  worthy of it as ever. Colonel Duncan has just come in. He is a noble
  fellow, not in the least elated by the enviable position he occupied
  in the army and before the whole country. He is a man of
  extraordinary energy of character, great decision, and great
  sagacity. His name and his battery are a terror to the Mexicans, and
  he is emphatically thus far the great man of the young officers. He
  is modest, amiable, mild, as he is far-sighted, decisive,
  indomitable. He is what his friends knew him to be years ago. Mason
  and himself are great friends.

  Captain Saunders of the engineers is here on General Worth's staff,
  and will probably be brevetted for distinguished services at

  I shall probably sail on Wednesday next for Tampico, and thence to
  the island of Lobos. Lobos is about sixty miles south of Tampico,
  and affords an ample protection against northers. At Tampico I shall
  probably find General Scott and staff. There I hope to meet Tilden,
  Carpenter, and other old friends.

  Everything is in the greatest confusion here; a thousand laborers
  and teamsters are employed to manage teams, take care of animals and
  stores, and load and discharge lighters. Ever since my arrival,
  there has been the greatest hurry in embarking troops. There is
  great want of system. Most of the men here in government employ are
  not business men. Some of the quartermasters are inefficient. There
  are some good men. The best business man in the quartermaster's
  employ is Lawton, of Newport, brother-in-law of the Turners (Colonel
  Robert R. Lawton). He is harbor master, and in receipt of one
  hundred and fifty dollars per month. Everybody speaks of him in the
  highest terms. He is energetic, intelligent, and perfectly
  temperate. He looks in admirable condition. He has applied for, and
  will probably receive, a captain's commission in one of the new
  regiments. I have seen and conversed with him here. He is full of
  hope, life, and energy.

  General Butler has just arrived from Monterey, on his return to the
  States, and in consequence of his wound not healing. General Taylor
  occupies a position in advance of Saltillo, with eighteen
  field-pieces, a small body of regular infantry, and some six
  thousand volunteers.

  My dearest girl, I know nothing certain of ulterior operations.

  We have great abundance of supplies and some seven thousand choice
  regular troops. We cannot expect the same conduct from the
  volunteers as from the regulars, but we hope they will gain laurels.
  I shall endeavor to do my duty in whatever circumstances I may be
  placed. I trust I shall have full strength to do my full duty. I
  know this will accord with all the wishes of your own heart. I know
  you would rather never see me than that I should return to your arms
  with infamy on my brow. This latter would be terrible. The former
  can be borne.

  As regards our dear children, I wish Hazard to go to school this
  summer, and I am glad he continues to be so promising. Of all
  things, I wish him to be obedient. Not the obedience of fear, but of
  love and confidence. Our little Susan I know must be a bright, merry
  child. Would that I could witness daily her youth, growth, and

  Preserve a tranquil spirit; let hope at all times animate and
  strengthen you. Have courage, have faith; we shall come together
  again, all the better for the trials of separation. I shall write a
  note to Mary to accompany this. The mail leaves to-morrow for New
  Orleans. Write often, and continue to direct your letters to Brazos

  Remember me to all my Bucksport friends, to Kidder and his wife,
  Osgood, Mr. and Mrs. Tinkham. Of course all the love in the world
  for Hazard and Sue.

                                        Affectionately yours,

                       TAMPICO, Wednesday Evening, March 10, 1847.

  MY DEAREST WIFE,--We left the Brazos this evening week, and shall
  leave this place to-morrow morning. Our passage of only two hundred
  and fifty miles thus occupied us seven days. We are somewhat
  apprehensive that we shall not reach Vera Cruz till General Scott
  shall have effected a landing. Mason, Tower, and three other
  officers are with me. Our ship now lies three miles outside the bar.
  Our passage up the river Tampico to this place (six miles above the
  bar) was a fairy scene. Beautiful views met our eyes, and the
  picturesque country about this place perfectly enchanted us. The
  atmosphere is delightful. We see few but Mexicans about us. Every
  one looks friendly. News has just reached Tampico that General
  Taylor has had a hard-fought battle with Santa Anna. All the
  accounts came through Mexican channels. Santa Anna claims a victory.
  He states that Taylor is shut up in Monterey. But he admits that he
  himself has not advanced. We infer and believe that Santa Anna has
  been defeated, and will soon return to San Luis Potosi. I feel
  sanguine that a decisive success on the part of General Scott may
  terminate the war. I hope so.

  There is a chance to send this letter in the morning. I of course
  write in haste. You shall hear from me again on my arrival at Vera

                                        Affectionately yours,

  The landing took place on Tuesday and Wednesday last (March 9 and
  10), and the investment was completed on Thursday. The heavy
  ordnance is still on board ship. The debarkation is said to have
  been a most splendid affair. The first division landed in two hours.
  General Worth was the first man to jump on shore. The city will
  undoubtedly fall in a few days. No opposition whatever was made by
  the Mexicans to the landing. There was a little skirmishing during
  the investment.

  At the Brazos I lost my servant Owen. He found he could get much
  better wages than I had agreed to give him, and in consequence
  thereof he deserted me on the day I left, and I had not time to
  recover him. I shall find some difficulty in procuring a good
  servant here.

  I was very thankful that you wrote father and Mary. I wish you to
  keep up some little correspondence with them during my absence. They
  will always be glad to hear from you. My father has had his full
  share of sorrow, and has suffered as much as most men I know. I have
  never had so true and so disinterested a friend as he. He is
  absorbed in his children, and, though he expresses little, he feels
  much. His daughters have left him one by one, and but one is left. I
  feel very sad when I think of him. I trust that Mary will be spared
  to him for many years.

  We hope to get on shore to-morrow, but as a strong norther has been
  blowing since last evening, and is not yet entirely abated, it is
  possible we may not land till Tuesday.

  I shall keep this letter open till the last moment. The mail is
  forwarded by vessels sailing to New Orleans, and is not very

  Thursday morning, March 18. We reached the anchorage off the island
  of Sacrificios on Sunday, and did not get on shore till last evening
  (Wednesday). We found the headquarters of General Scott some half a
  mile from the place of landing. On our way thither we met Colonel
  Totten and Captain Lee going out of camp on a reconnoissance.

  The camp occupies a circuit of some eight or ten miles. We find
  every one in high spirits. The fact is considered unquestioned that
  General Taylor has utterly defeated Santa Anna and driven him across
  the desert. I meet many friends in camp.

  Sunday, March 21. I have now been on shore four days. We are busily
  employed on the works preparatory to opening our fire on the place.
  Everything is going on finely. My duties interest me much. The
  climate is very fine. The colonel and his officers form one mess,
  and we have a pleasant time. Don't believe the many idle reports in
  regard to losses. Thus far we have lost only one man. The army is in
  fine spirits.

  Love to every one of my friends, my dear children, and you, my dear
  Margaret. I long to embrace you. I shall write again by next mail.

                                        Your affectionate

                              CHAPTER VIII

                        VERA CRUZ.--CERRO GORDO

Vera Cruz, an old Spanish walled town on the Gulf of Mexico, with a
population of 12,000, was situated on a sandy plain, which, extending
back from the town, was broken by many sand-hills and ridges, and
covered in great part with dense chapparal. On the land side a strong
line of masonry works encircled the city from Fort Conception on the
beach above, or north of, to Fort Santiago below it; while on the sea
side the castle of San Juan de Ulloa, seated on an island a thousand
yards in advance of the town, commanded all approaches with 128 heavy
guns, and made the sea front doubly secure.

The American army landed unopposed on March 9, 1847, on the beach a few
miles south of the town; during the next four days extended lines of
investment completely around the doomed city on the land side, and,
having with great labor and some interruption from northers landed the
heavy siege-guns, mortars, and material for the bombardment, commenced
the batteries on the 18th, the second day after the young engineer
officers reached the scene of action. They were at once set to work
reconnoitring the ground and the enemy's works by day, and laying out
the batteries and superintending the working parties by night.

Lieutenant Stevens threw himself into this work with even more than his
accustomed zeal. On one of his daring reconnoissances the horse he
rode--a powerful and headstrong animal loaned him by his friend,
Lieutenant Tower--took the bit in his teeth and bolted directly for the
enemy's lines. Finding it impossible to stop or control the frantic
steed, Lieutenant Stevens, throwing his whole strength on one rein,
managed to make him swerve towards the base of a sand-hill, where he
threw himself from the saddle, escaping injury on the soft ground, while
the runaway continued his course to the very walls of the city.

The batteries were placed midway between the lines of investment and the
city, and about 900 yards from the walls. Lieutenant Stevens was
indefatigable in searching out the best routes for the boyaux, or
covered ways, to enable the troops to pass to and from the batteries
without loss from the enemy's fire. The broken sand-hills and dense
chapparal rendered this a difficult and laborious task; and in forcing
his way through these thorny and almost impenetrable thickets his hands
were so badly torn, and perhaps poisoned, that for several days he was
obliged to have them bandaged with poultices of prickly pear. The route
which he thus looked out was adopted, and the construction of the
covered way was placed under his charge, with large working parties, for
several nights, until completed. His experiences are best told in his
own words. The independence, almost insubordination, of the new
volunteers is simply the common experience with citizen soldiery fresh
from home, but which they soon outgrow under good officers in a few
months' campaigning.

Friday, March 18. At two A.M. Lieutenants Mason, Stevens, and Tower
entered the trenches and relieved Captain Lee and Lieutenants Beauregard
and McClellan. No workers or guards present, save twelve sappers, till
four o'clock. Lieutenant Mason at Battery 2. Lieutenant Stevens at
Battery 1. Lieutenant Tower in communication leading to cemetery.
Colonel Scott in command of the working party. A company of the 8th
infantry, under command of Lieutenants Jordan and Pitcher, in Battery 1.
About seven o'clock Lieutenant Foster relieved Lieutenant Tower, who
returned to camp to supervise construction of powder magazines. At half
past twelve Lieutenant Stevens ordered to examine the infantry
communication, reconnoitred on the previous day, in order to commence
the trenches at night with a working party.

At two P.M. Captain Sanders on the naval battery. Lieutenants Stevens
and Smith on the right were on duty. The naval battery laid out during
the day by Captain Lee. Lieutenant Smith took particular charge of
Batteries 3 and 4, and the remainder of the communication to Battery 1,
with a fatigue party under Major Graham; Lieutenant Stevens, of the
boyau of communication from camp to batteries with a fatigue party of
400 volunteers, New Yorkers and Pennsylvanians. Did not report at beach
till nine P.M. Arrived on the ground at ten P.M. Two hours occupied in
laying out the boyau with a cord and getting the whole force at work.
Whilst Lieutenant Stevens was absent in discharge of his duties of
supervision at the batteries and trenches under the particular charge of
Lieutenant Smith, the volunteers abandoned their work and returned to
camp, excepting a small force of fifty men on the left of the large
sand-hill, in rear of which the communication passed.

Saturday, March 19. About dark a large force of 400 men reported at the
old cemetery as a fatigue party in the boyau under the charge of
Lieutenant Stevens,--four companies of regulars, Brooks and Shackleford,
2d artillery; Lieutenant Ernst, 6th infantry; Lieutenant Rodgers, 2d
dragoons,--the whole under the command of Captain De Hart,--and four
companies of volunteers, Pennsylvanians.

The regulars employed on communication from Battery 1 to Battery 2, on
parapet to the right of Battery 2, and on the trench from the upper end
of the valley to the first hollow of the natural trench leading through
the long ridge in rear of the batteries, the volunteers on the remaining
part of the boyaux. The regulars made their trench practicable. The
volunteers could not be made to work with the most strenuous exertions
on the part of the officers. Some were drunk and all sleepy. They
complained of being tired and hungry. Some delay occurred throughout the
works in consequence of a musketry fire from the trenches. Lieutenant
Mason in charge of a working party at the batteries.

Monday, March 22. The boyaux of communication made practicable and safe
to-day, although not sufficiently commodious; a fatigue party of 200 men
reporting to Lieutenant Stevens, and commencing work at five A.M.; two
companies regulars of 2d artillery, Captain McKensie and Lieutenant
Hardcastle, Captain Kendrick; and two of marines, Lieutenant Adams.

This party worked with extraordinary vigor till three o'clock, all the
men in the trenches all the time, the officers giving their whole energy
to supervising the men; Captain McKensie, in command of the working
party, exhibiting great energy and efficiency. The day was quite warm,
and an immense amount of work done. Lieutenant Mason at the batteries
with fatigue party under the command of Captain Swartwout.

Tuesday, March 23. A fatigue party of 200 men reported to Lieutenant
Stevens, and commenced work in the boyaux at 9-1/2 A.M., working with
great vigor till dark, all the men constantly at work, and made the
boyaux very safe and commodious,--two companies regulars, Captain E.W.
Smith and Lieutenant Bissel, 5th infantry, two companies marines.

NOTE. More work is done by day than by night under fire. The working
parties by day did at least double the work per man of the working
parties by night. A severe sand-storm blowing all day and night.

Lieutenant Stevens reported the completion of the boyaux to the chief
engineer at 8-1/2 P.M., and, after an hour's rest, at his request
returned to the trenches and assisted Lieutenant Mason till relieved at
four o'clock in the morning.

Thursday, March 25. Lieutenants Mason and Stevens relieved the engineer
officers on the right at four A.M. Great exertions were made at Battery
No. 4, which opened its fire at eight A.M. The fatigue party in the
trenches, Alabama volunteers, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel
Earle, remarkably fearless and efficient. One sapper and two volunteers
placed at each embrasure to repair it after every discharge. By their
courage and exertions, the fire of the battery was not obstructed during
the day. Lieutenant Mason made three reconnoissances of the enemy's
works, accompanied twice by Lieutenant Stevens. Two companies of the 1st
artillery served the guns, Captain Magruder and Lieutenant Haskin; Major
L. Whitney in command of the force serving the batteries.

At eleven A.M. Captain Lee commenced establishing a new mortar battery
on the left of No. 1.

Saturday, March 27. A severe norther raging yesterday made great ravages
in the works that were repaired to-day. Lieutenants Mason and Stevens in
the trenches at four A.M. A new mortar battery commenced yesterday
nearly finished to-day, under the particular direction of Lieutenant
Stevens, with a working party of one company of the 4th infantry under
the command of Lieutenant Lincoln.

Sunday, March 28. A partial survey of the trenches made by Lieutenants
Beauregard, Stevens, and Tower.

           CAMP WASHINGTON (three miles from VERA CRUZ),
                   March 27, 1847.

  MY DEAREST MARGARET,--I have now the unspeakable satisfaction of
  telling you that both the city and the castle have capitulated after
  a bombardment of rather less than four days, and from the ninth day
  of opening the trenches, and with a loss on our side of less than
  forty in killed and wounded. I will tell you what your poor
  subaltern of a husband has had to do in this matter. On Thursday,
  March 18, I made a reconnoissance with Mason to determine the
  position of a road for wagons, and of a covered communication for
  infantry. On Friday morning, March 19, I left camp at two in the
  morning, and was kept hard at work till four the next morning in
  constructing a battery and opening the communications thereto.
  During the course of this operation the enemy hurled at us some two
  hundred round-shot and shells. None came very near me. I had to
  encourage the men at their work, and had no time to attend to my

                                    VERA CRUZ, April 3.

  MY DEAREST WIFE,--It is now Saturday, and we have been in possession
  of the city one week. Great destruction was spread throughout the
  city by our shells. In the portion next to our batteries a shell
  entered every house, and almost each room of every house, in
  consequence of which many inoffensive people were killed. Vera Cruz
  is a miserable, dirty place; the streets are full of filth, and
  there are great numbers of poor people. Many families still keep
  their doors closed, though scarcely an outrage has been committed in
  the city. The people, though miserably poor, are very courteous and
  mild in their general deportment. Ever since our entrance into the
  city, the poor have been fed each day from our government stores,
  and every exertion is made to protect the whole city in its rights.

  General Worth is governor of the city. The weather is rather warm,
  and we find mosquitoes, fleas, etc., troublesome. The city, though
  sorry in its sunlight aspect, is remarkably picturesque by
  moonlight. The style of architecture is of the Moorish character,
  abounding in domes and highly wrought work. I have several times
  wandered through the deserted streets of the city by night, filled
  with admiration of the gorgeous and Oriental aspect of the scene. It
  surpasses anything I ever saw. My health is very fine.

                                    VERA CRUZ, April 10.

  MY DEAREST WIFE,--We are now preparing to march into the interior,
  and shall probably leave in a day or two. One half of the army are
  already on their way. We hope to enter the City of Mexico, and to
  contemplate the wonders of the capital, in one month. In the
  reduction of the city we have had fortune on our side. The grossest
  supineness prevailed in the Mexican ranks, though at times they
  awoke from their slumbers and poured into our midst well-directed
  fires of artillery. Our loss is very little. John R. Minton, a most
  gallant soldier, was killed on the first day of opening our fires.
  He was universally esteemed, and I had made his acquaintance on the
  first day of landing. He died for his country, before his country's
  gratitude for gallant services at Monterey had been communicated in
  the shape of a brevet.

  The burden of the day came with great weight on the officers of
  engineers. It is the universal sentiment of the army that they did
  their duty. We see it in the individual deportment of every officer
  with whom we are associated on duty. We had exciting times. Friends
  whom I had not seen since I left West Point, I shook for the first
  time warmly by the hand under the heavy fire of the enemy's
  batteries. I met Haskin and Callender in such a conjuncture. There
  was not the least shrinking from duty, but each one stood up
  manfully to his task and did his whole duty; we all worked hard. The
  engineers failed in no part of their duty, and the consequence was
  that the loss of human life was comparatively trifling. I never
  worked so hard in my life. It was our first experience in the field,
  and I think we have fulfilled the expectations of the general and of
  our immediate chief (Colonel Totten).

  I have already written you in relation to the city. We all long to
  leave so much moonlight magnificence and sunlight squalidity, and
  breathe the pure mountain air of Jalapa and Perote. Our troops are
  yet comparatively healthy. The sickly season will not come upon us
  for a month. Up in the mountains it is the most salubrious and
  delightful climate of the New World. Our troops conduct themselves
  with remarkable propriety. Very few cases have occurred of excesses
  of any kind, and all such are punished with extreme severity. Mason
  is in fine health, and is doing, as was to be expected, good
  service. All our officers are superior men, and we stand by each
  other like a band of brothers.

  I have secured a beautiful animal in the way of a horse, docile as a
  kitten and very intelligent. He has a beautiful eye and head, and
  will follow me wherever I go. I intend to bring him home with me. I
  have also a very good servant. He is an old soldier. I have just
  returned from a ride to our old camp. There is a fine hard beach all
  the way, which reminds me of the beach at Newport. My little horse
  is very fleet, and carried me over the beach in very rapid style.
  How would Hazard be delighted to see him stretch out! You must tell
  my little Hazard about my horse. When I come home he shall ride him
  every day. They would soon be fast friends, I doubt not.

  Have I told you that we are living in the government palace? At
  first we took our meals at the public house, but so much dirt and
  filth was to be met with everywhere that we formed a mess, and live
  in our own rooms. Our mess is now reduced to four, Major Smith,
  Captain Lee, Mason, and myself. There is a fine vegetable market
  close by, where we can provide ourselves; and as for meats, we have
  a barrel of hams. This morning I went to the market and observed
  quite a variety of tropical fruits; tomatoes, sweet potatoes,
  pineapples, plantains, lettuce, the Mexican squash, are in great

                                    VERA CRUZ, April 11.

  MY DEAR FATHER,--We are now in the midst of our arrangements to
  march into the interior, two divisions of the army (Twiggs and
  Patterson) having already marched. The greatest difficulty is on
  account of transportation. Vera Cruz is still healthy, and there is
  no natural reason why it should not be as salubrious as New Orleans.
  Its filth and nastiness is almost beyond belief, and is the
  efficient cause of its great sickliness in summer. Our authorities
  are now making every exertion to cleanse the city. Our troops behave
  well. Some few excesses have been committed, and these are punished
  with exemplary severity. General Scott has instituted military
  commissions to try a large class of offenses that, in an enemy's
  country, cannot be reached under the articles of war, and martial
  law has been proclaimed as a supplemental code. Yesterday a negro
  was hanged outside the city walls for committing rape upon a Mexican

  We hope that peace will be established in the course of the summer.
  At all events, General Scott will find no difficulty in entering the
  City of Mexico. Our own troops, regulars and volunteers, are in a
  high state of discipline, and pant for an opportunity to signalize
  themselves. The Mexican troops have been demoralized by many
  successive defeats, and cannot, man to man, cope with our own. They
  are decidedly inferior, both in the men and the organization. In
  such cases numbers are of little account. All experience shows that
  resolution, courage, and enterprise, qualities possessed by our
  troops in an eminent degree, will overcome any tumultuous rabble. I
  verily believe that our little army of twelve thousand men is able
  to defeat any body of Mexicans, however large.

  You know the papers have been full of the complaints of the sappers
  and miners, or engineer soldiers. These men I am on duty with every
  day. They are the pride of the whole army, confessedly the best
  soldiers in the army. I never saw so superior a company of soldiers,
  Americans all, young men, having character, zeal, and intelligence,
  proud of their duties and of their position, perfectly subordinate,
  and cheerful in their obedience. I personally know almost every man
  of the sappers and miners. During the investment and siege of Vera
  Cruz they exhibited an extraordinary gallantry, and were all placed
  in the position of non-commissioned officers. Each man had direction
  of a working party, and in the execution of that duty they retained
  their arms and gave directions to the men.


Lieutenant Stevens took great interest in the engineer company, so
largely the result of his recommendations and exertions. His diary of
the march inland commences the next day.

  March 29. The army made its entrance into the city this day at ten
  o'clock, and the general headquarters were established in the main
  plaza. General Worth was appointed governor of the city. The
  engineer company, although it had preëminently distinguished itself
  for gallantry and general conduct throughout the whole operation of
  the investment and siege, had no place assigned to it in the
  ceremonies of either the surrender or the entrance.

  Colonel Totten sailed on the Princeton to the States as bearer of
  dispatches, and with the view of resuming his position at the head
  of the department, leaving Major John L. Smith in command.
  Lieutenant Stevens was this day directed to assume the duties of
  adjutant, and a sapper was detailed to assist him.

  March 30. Lieutenants Stevens, Tower, and Foster, with a detachment
  of twelve sappers, commenced the survey of the defenses of the city
  and castle. Lieutenant Mason was temporarily assigned to duty with
  General Quitman on an expedition to Alvarado.

  Monday, April 12. The engineers left Vera Cruz with the general
  staff at five P.M., and reached Vigara, three miles distant, where
  they encamped for the night. Here a little stream flows into the
  sea, over which is an arched bridge of masonry, somewhat out of

  I found myself exceedingly exhausted in consequence of my exertions
  before leaving the city in getting wagons for the baggage and train
  of the engineer company, and in attending to turning in the baggage
  of the engineer staff.

  Tuesday, April 13. We started early, and found the road as far as
  Santa Fé exceedingly sandy and difficult for carriages. Santa Fé is
  situated in the midst of a prairie affording tolerable pasture for
  cattle, and has the honor of municipal regulation in the shape of
  an alcalde. There are some twenty little houses of trelliswork at
  this place. At the river San Juan, six miles from Santa Fé and
  twelve from Vigara, over which is thrown a fine bridge of masonry
  with a long causeway at its western extremity, we halted and dined.
  Before leaving, Worth's advance, consisting of Duncan's battery and
  Lieutenant-Colonel C.F. Smith's light companies, reached the San
  Juan, where they encamped for the night. Resuming our march at three
  P.M., we pushed forward over at times a somewhat rough and hilly
  road, and at other points easy and practicable, till we reached our
  camping ground for the night, the Talome River, having a one-arch

  Wednesday, April 14. Resuming our march early in the morning, we
  reached the National Bridge at about ten A.M., distant eight miles
  from our encampment, after making a halt of an hour at Paso de
  Obejas (distant two and one half miles from Talome), where we met a
  wagon train. There is a considerable village at this river.

  On leaving the village, the road winds its way to the top of a very
  high hill, where there is an inspiring view of the surrounding
  country. Whilst the general was halting at the village, I rode to
  the top of the hill to take a view. At some distance to the south I
  could see a small band of rancheros watching the movements of our
  party. The National Bridge is a model of the kind, possessing much
  architectural beauty, and impressing the mind of the beholder that
  an iron and a lofty race had done this work in the solitudes of the
  mountain pass. The scenery is of the most picturesque and imposing
  character. The road, previous to reaching the bridge, winds round a
  bold tongue of land, on the edge and apex of which a little fort had
  been built. From the first view of the pass, the road descends the
  side of a steep hill, constructed originally with great care, due
  attention having been paid to both curves and grades. On passing the
  bridge, on the left is a bold promontory, and the little fort and
  the open village at the other extremity of the bridge. On the right
  and downward side the river flows through a deep ravine, on either
  side of which perpendicular columns of rock rise hundreds of feet.
  The current gently flowed over a rocky bed, and was at points
  fordable. A thunderstorm in this mountain pass, the swollen stream
  rushing impetuously to the sea, must be terrific. After halting two
  hours at the National Bridge, we pushed on to the Plano del Rio, the
  advance of the army. This was a difficult march of thirteen miles,
  with no water on the road for our horses. At some four miles from
  the bridge we reached a causeway, built with care, and which,
  leading over a little depression at its foot, is conducted almost to
  the top of a hill on the other side. On our way we met parties from
  camp searching the country for beef.

  We reached the Plano del Rio at about five o'clock, and after
  remaining about an hour with Major Smith and Captain Lee, I
  accompanied Lieutenant Tower on a reconnoissance. We proceeded on
  the Jalapa road some three miles and a half, until we came in view
  of Battery 4 on the left of the road. Then, returning a short
  distance, we proceeded some distance on a path leading from the road
  till we came in view of the same battery, and one farther to the
  left, No. 3. From an examination of a sketch of Lieutenant Tower,
  exhibiting the results of all the reconnoissances since the arrival
  of General Twiggs, there could be little doubt that the proper mode
  of attack was to the right, so as to turn the enemy's works and
  compel them to lay down their arms. The reconnoissances were not,
  however, complete, and the general, after informing himself of the
  position as far as it had been ascertained, determined that the
  reconnoissances should be extended. I found a bath in the river most
  delightful and refreshing after the severe labors of the day.

  Thursday, April 15. The reconnoissances of the whole position were
  continued to-day; Captain Lee, with Mason, Beauregard, and myself,
  escorted by Major Sumner on the right, Tower on the front. On
  reaching the point of the road before coming in view of Battery 4, I
  was informed by Bowman, a wagon-master of Twiggs's division, that on
  the other side of the river there was a practicable trail leading to
  the river some eight miles above the bridge, and where would
  probably be found a practicable ford. After accompanying Captain Lee
  in his reconnoissance to a high hill about seven hundred yards from
  the Cerro Gordo, the key of the enemy's position, and getting a full
  view of it and of the ravines, valleys, etc., to the right, I
  returned home with a guide, and reported the statement of Bowman to
  Major Smith. He was then starting with an escort to examine the
  enemy's works from the left bank of the river, with the view of
  establishing enfilading batteries against them. I also accompanied
  him; and after he had made his examinations, I requested permission
  to continue farther up, with a portion of the escort, till I could
  get a better view of the enemy's rear. A body of four hundred
  cavalry having been observed only about four miles up the river
  bank, Major Smith felt constrained to refuse my request. On
  returning from the reconnoissance I explained very fully my general
  views in reference to the proper mode of conducting the
  reconnoissances of the position, and that though thus far particular
  points had been carefully examined, and the engineer officers had
  been very industrious, yet the reconnoissances had been undertaken
  on too limited a scale, and did not cover the whole of the position.
  The dragoons are admirable for extensive reconnoissances, yet no
  attempt has been made to determine the practicability and even the
  existence of certain routes, on both the right and left, which are
  said to obtain; that branching from the Jalapa road, a little this
  side of the National Bridge, joined it again a short distance before
  reaching Jalapa. Either of these routes, pursued by Worth's column,
  would have effectually turned the position of the Cerro Gordo.
  Moreover, the reconnoissance on the right bank of the river had not
  been extended so as to get a view of the rear of the Cerro Gordo;
  and from the circumstance that four hundred lancers were on the
  right river bank, and in position about four miles above the bridge,
  the inference was almost conclusive that there was a practicable
  ford leading to the position in rear of the Cerro Gordo, and which
  the lancers were thrown out to cover. It was also suggested that a
  spirited reconnoissance in that direction would settle two essential
  questions, essential to properly combining the plan of attack,--1,
  Whether there was not a practicable ford, by means of which the
  enemy could escape, and at which point a column of attack might be
  directed against him; 2, Whether the main body, or a considerable
  portion thereof, might not be _en masse_ in rear of the position of
  the Cerro Gordo hill, and thus not be cut off by the flank movement
  to the right, unless extended to a wider circuit than was intended.
  This reconnoissance was pressed earnestly as essential, to get
  correct information in regard to the intentions and position of the

  Friday, April 16. The reconnoissance I had recommended was ordered
  by General Scott on the requisition of Major Smith, and fifty
  dragoons, under the command of Lieutenant Steele, were placed at my
  disposal. With Bowman as guide, we started about half past eight
  o'clock, and, after crossing both branches of the river and
  ascending to the ranch on the hill, we struck into a broad trail,
  perfectly practicable for horses and field artillery, and after
  pursuing our way some two and three quarter miles, came to a trail
  nearly at right angles, and which Bowman represented as six miles
  distant. Leaving the escort here with Steele, Bowman, and a beef
  contractor, we continued in a direct course nearly a mile to some
  ranches, where we took a man and boy to get information. On our
  return we proceeded with the whole escort on the perpendicular trail
  to another ranch, about half a mile distant, and finally to the
  river supposed by Bowman to be the main stream. We found it simply a
  tributary to the stream flowing under the first bridge, and the
  descent to the ravine through which it flowed was scarcely
  practicable for a mounted horseman. Leaving a small escort at the
  ravine, the main body returning to the ranch, with Bowman I pushed
  forward up the other side of the ravine, and proceeded about half a
  mile, and nearly to the foot of a spur that led obliquely to the
  main branch and in a direction a little beyond the Cerro Gordo.
  After examining the routes and the configuration of the country, I
  became satisfied that the reconnoissance could not be pushed farther
  in this direction to any practicable result, but that the best
  course would be to cross the spur at a depression and extend the
  reconnoissance down the other side to the river. On my return to the
  ranch, whilst proceeding at an easy pace, I found that an old
  rupture which had been cured fifteen years had broken out, and
  before I reached the ranch I began to suffer the most excruciating
  pain. The further continuance of the reconnoissance was abandoned,
  and I returned to camp, a distance of four miles, suffering very
  great pain. First Dr. Brown attended me, and I was soon relieved of
  pain by applying cold water. Dr. Tripler applied a very fine truss,
  and in the course of the evening I felt perfectly comfortable.
  [Illustration: BATTLE OF CERRO GORDO]

  Saturday, April 17. This day I remained in camp, able to move about
  only a little and with great care. In the movement of General Twiggs
  to his position in order of battle, he was discovered, and a
  spirited combat ensued, which resulted in dislodging the enemy from
  a hill seven hundred yards from the Cerro Gordo, and upon which a
  battery of one 24-pounder and two 26-pounder howitzers was put in
  position during the night.

  Sunday, April 18. As determined on yesterday, the position of the
  enemy was attacked to-day and, after a most brilliant conflict, the
  Cerro Gordo was stormed by the brigade of Colonel Harney, the
  enemy's line of retreat on the Jalapa cut off by Shields's brigade
  of volunteers and Riley's brigade of regulars. A large portion of
  the enemy made their escape on the Jalapa road, and across the river
  at the ford before alluded to. Pillow made an attack in front, but
  failed in consequence of its being made prematurely, with great
  precipitation, without order in the assaulting columns, and before
  the supporting columns were in position, and at the wrong point,
  viz., in a ravine swept by the fire of two batteries, and with
  serious impediments in the way of abattis and felled trees. This
  attack, both as to time and as to direction, was earnestly
  remonstrated against by the engineer officer directing the attack,
  by the personal staff of the general, and by Colonel Campbell,
  second in command. Had the attack been made on the enemy's extreme
  right, the true point of attack, and which was supposed to be the
  point determined upon by the general until he announced a different
  intention on arriving on the ground, it would have succeeded. It was
  fortunate the attack failed. It kept the garrisons of the batteries
  in their places and increased the number of prisoners. Shields
  behaved most gallantly in his advance to the Jalapa road, and was
  severely--supposed at the time mortally--wounded by a grapeshot
  that passed through his body. His advance captured Santa Anna's
  carriage. Worth's division was not engaged, acting simply as a

  The storming of the Cerro Gordo was one of the most brilliant things
  on record. Whilst it was in progress, four thousand of the enemy
  were put in motion to turn their flanks, but the Cerro Gordo falling
  into our hands before they became engaged, they took ignominiously
  to flight. So certain was Harney that such would be the effect, when
  two thousand troops were reported to him as threatening each flank,
  he simply gave the order to extend to the right and left, and kept
  pushing up, and after a sharp conflict drove the enemy from the
  breastworks and down the hill.

  The retreat of the enemy was a perfect rout. A portion in small
  bodies retreated on the Jalapa road. Many troops fled to the
  chapparal, making their escape through almost impracticable paths.
  Santa Anna himself made his escape with a few attendants across the
  river and at the ford, whose existence was not verified till after
  the battle in consequence of the serious injury that occurred to me,
  preventing my extending the reconnoissance as I contemplated.
  Ampudia with a few officers retreated on the Jalapa road, and very
  nearly fell into our hands.

  Twiggs's division was pushed forward hotly in pursuit, and encamped
  at Encerro, fourteen miles distant, the night of the battle, and
  reached Jalapa the next day. He was closely followed by the
  volunteer division, General Patterson assuming command of the whole.

  Worth returned to camp with the general and his staff.

  I was on my back a portion of the day, and was just able to drag
  about camp.

                              CAMP NEAR CERRO GORDO, Sunday,
                                  April 15, 1847, 5 P.M.

  MY DEAREST WIFE,--I have glorious news to tell you. This day we had
  a hard-fought battle at this place, the first great mountain pass on
  the highway from Vera Cruz to Mexico. The result is a most decisive
  victory, resulting in the capture of six thousand Mexicans, and the
  loss on our part of about three hundred killed and wounded. General
  Twiggs is now in hot pursuit of Santa Anna, who was present in
  command, and his remnant of five or six thousand men. He will, we
  trust, enter Jalapa to-night, fifteen miles distant. His division of
  somewhat less than three thousand men did the hard work, and will of
  course have the highest award of praise.

  As for your poor husband, his was the part to stay in camp. Two days
  since I conducted a reconnoissance on the left of the enemy's line
  over very difficult ground, with fifty dragoons to support me. I
  rode hard through the morning, and about three in the afternoon an
  old rupture in the groin, which troubled me when a boy from ten to
  fourteen years of age, broke out again after a perfect cure of
  fifteen years. So excruciating was the pain that it required the
  greatest exertion to get to camp, four miles distant, on my horse.
  Fortunately one of the best physicians in the army, Dr. Tripler, was
  able to attend upon me, and most fortunate of all he had a solitary
  truss of the best workmanship, which just fitted me. Dr. Tripler has
  prescribed the utmost quietude, has forbidden all excitement, and
  especially all riding on horseback. I had already received the
  appointment of adjutant of engineers, and my staff duties I can
  still attend to. All my friends express great sympathy for my
  misfortune. General Scott expressed himself in terms that won my
  heart. He remarked, "You engineers are too daring. You require to be
  held back. My young friend, I almost cried when I heard of your
  mishap." I have made a great many friends since I joined the army.
  It may be well that I have received this check. Ever since I joined
  the army, I have been too impetuous, too headstrong. I have made
  great physical exertion. Now I am obliged to rein in the power of
  muscles, in which I do not excell, and have equal opportunities to
  develop the mental as before I became incapacitated. I shall have
  charge of the train of the engineers, which is carried in quite a
  number of wagons, and shall therefore be always able to ride in a
  wagon. My horse is one of the finest animals in the army, and is a
  most fast, easy, and beautiful walker, and he will therefore be no
  impediment to my riding on horseback.

  All my friends of the engineers did well. Captain Lee has won golden
  opinions. Mason is rising rapidly in the esteem of all. He is one of
  the most disinterested as well as one of the most talented men in
  the army. If I have a perfectly devoted friend in the whole army, it
  is Mason. He makes no professions; he is always true to himself and
  his views of right, but I have his friendship and he has mine. My
  old chum Tower did splendidly. He is a man of great powers of mind
  and determined energy of character. He will probably be brevetted
  for his services at this place and at Vera Cruz.

  To-morrow the whole army resumes its onward march. In one day we
  shall enter Jalapa. General Scott is winning golden opinions. He is
  prodigiously popular with the volunteers, and the whole army has
  confidence in him. During the whole continuance of the battle to-day
  he was much exposed.

  The movement which resulted in the great victory of to-day was to
  the right and rear of the enemy, and the success of it hinged on the
  taking of a little work on the top of an almost inaccessible hill.
  The famous Colonel Harney of the dragoons led the forlorn hope in
  the attack of this position, and was closely followed by the 3d and
  7th infantry. Up rushed our troops, amidst the most deafening cheers
  from the whole line. Steadily advanced the stars and stripes to the
  very Mexican standard floating from the Mexican work. For one moment
  in the most difficult point our flag disappeared; again it rose, and
  was immediately planted in triumph on the top of the hill. In four
  weeks we shall most certainly be in the City of Mexico, unless
  previously the Mexicans make overtures of peace.

  My dear wife, do not feel anxious for me. I have the means, and
  shall take care of my health. My hopes of distinction have in a
  measure vanished, but still I have the satisfaction that I can be
  highly useful. My general health is very good. Remember me to Mary
  and my dear children, to Judge Peabody, and all my friends.

                                        Your affectionate husband,

                               CHAPTER IX


Monday, April 19. This was a lazy day in camp, the general and his staff
being occupied with the charge of the prisoners, and preparing the
proper dispatches. It was determined to release all the prisoners and
officers on parole. Thus 2700 men (and 200 having escaped the previous
day whilst coming into camp, and before they had reached the charge of
General Worth) were sent, with rations to subsist them on their way
home, to and beyond Jalapa. La Vega, one of the prisoners, announced his
intention not to accept his parole, but to go to the United States. The
surgeons, moreover, were most actively engaged in caring for the
wounded. The wounds of the men generally were slight, and all the
disabled were cheerful and in high spirits. The wounds of the Mexicans
were bad, and many of their dead were shot in the head. General Shields,
to the surprise of all, still survived, was in excellent spirits, and
did not doubt that he would get well.

At half past one the general-in-chief and his staff, with an escort of
dragoons, started for Jalapa, and passed the night at Encerro, the
residence of Santa Anna. Worth, who marched from the Plano del Rio in
the morning, reached Jalapa the same night. On the road I saw several
dead, disfigured with horrible wounds. I was obliged to ride in a wagon,
the surgeon having forbidden my riding on horseback. The country seat of
Santa Anna is delightfully situated in the midst of a rolling country,
abounding in herds of cattle, and all the fruits of both tropics. His
house is of two stories, the first being appropriated to kitchens,
store-rooms, etc., and the second to the family. Several rooms were well
furnished, and were garnished with paintings on historical subjects, for
the most part Mexican and Spanish. We saw several of his wooden legs.

Tuesday, April 20. The general and staff reached Jalapa about eleven
A.M., after a most beautiful ride of eight miles. Along the road were to
be observed the Mexican troops in little groups of two or three,
accompanied by their women, of whom there were many at their camp at the
Cerro Gordo. I ventured to try my horse, and found for the time being
less inconvenience than in the wagon. The appearance of the country,
rolling and green, was very inviting. As we approached the city, the
rear of Worth's wagons was in the road, the men and mules almost
entirely exhausted by the long march of yesterday. Major Smith, in
consequence of injuries resulting from riding on horseback, was obliged
to ride, and accompanied Major Sumner (wounded in the conflict of the
17th inst.) in the carriage of Santa Anna. On reaching the city I had
the pleasure of meeting Captain Lee, Lieutenant Beauregard, and
Lieutenants Smith and McClellan of the engineer company, who were in the
advance with Twiggs. Quarters were assigned Major Smith and myself in
the governor's house, the headquarters of General Scott.

The same afternoon General Worth was pushed forward in the advance,
Captain Lee, Lieutenants Mason and Tower, and the engineer company
accompanying him. It was reported that La Hoya and Perote had been
abandoned, and that a body of three or four thousand lancers was on the
route to Puebla.

Wednesday, April 21. I was busily engaged to-day in organizing the
train of the engineer company, the mules having proved very poor on the
route from Plano del Rio, and many of the animals being entirely
unserviceable. On requisition from the senior engineer, the general
directed that a train of eight wagons should be furnished by the
quartermaster at Vera Cruz to bring up the engineer train that remained,
and as many of the engineer implements as practicable. Lieutenant
Foster, in the afternoon, with the engineer train that had come up from
the Plano del Rio, started to join his company at Perote. Sapper Noyes
went to Vera Cruz in the train of Friday morning to point out to the
quartermaster the articles that were needed.

Thursday to Saturday, April 22-24. Nothing especial occurred on these
days. I have been principally engaged whilst at my leisure in going
about the town, observing the people and their customs.

Sunday, April 25. This day I attended high mass in the cathedral. The
church was decorated considerably, though with little taste. There were
several figures of the Virgin Mary. The people seemed attentive to the
various ceremonies, and were scrupulous in observing the prescribed
forms. Not many of the higher classes were present. Some few elegant and
well-dressed ladies were to be seen.

Monday to Thursday, April 26-29. During these days I have been
collecting facts in relation to the battle of Cerro Gordo, with the view
of making a general map and digesting a connected military narrative. In
consequence of all the officers, except Lieutenant Beauregard and
myself, having gone to Perote, there were no means of making an accurate
survey of the positions, or of getting sketches of the various
reconnoissances, to form a general plan. The only sketch forwarded from
Perote was one by Lieutenant Tower. I have met during these days
several old friends, particularly Tilden and Haskin. Canby I have seen
much of.

April 30. This day I was busily occupied in preparing a memoir on the
proper mode of conducting the war, in case Mexico shall pursue the
guerrilla system, and obstinately refuse to listen to terms of
accommodation. I find great difficulty in procuring information as to
routes, etc. The weather in Jalapa is delightful. For the past four days
copious showers towards evening have exercised the most healthful and
invigorating influence upon the troops here. Since the arrival of
headquarters on Tuesday, April 20, there has been a remarkable
equableness of temperature. Jalapa is the very Eden of Mexico, and its
picturesque situation in the very bosom of the mountains is nowhere
surpassed. Such is the perfect amenity and smiling aspect of nature at
this favored spot, that all the seasons of the year meet together. All
the days of the year are both seedtime and harvest. The place is
singularly beautiful in its perennial bloom, and in the flowers and
gardens of its people. They seem to be a happy, easy race, and many of
the people are of refinement and intelligence.

There are indications in the suburbs of Jalapa of more populousness and
wealth than now obtain, as in the wells of masonry to be seen, fifty
feet and more in depth, etc. The snowy peak of Orizaba, fifteen thousand
feet above the sea, is to be seen far above the clouds, which at times
hang over its base.

                                JALAPA, Thursday, April 22, 1847.

  MY DEAREST WIFE,--We entered this beautiful city, fragrant with
  flowers and shrubbery, at eleven o'clock Tuesday morning. Jalapa and
  the surrounding country is the Eden of Mexico. For many miles the
  country is in the highest state of cultivation. There is a perennial
  bloom. At this very moment all the fruits and every species of
  vegetation are to be seen in all their stages. On the same tree are
  seen blossoms and fruit. In the same field we observe grain and
  corn just springing from the seed, and we see it ready for the
  sickle. The market abounds in oranges, bananas, peppers, lettuce,
  cabbages, cauliflower, onions, lemons, peas (green), beans,
  tomatoes, etc. The refinement and cultivation of the people are to
  be seen in their taste for flowers. At all points the most beautiful
  flowers strike your eye. All the houses of the lower classes, as
  well as of the higher, have gardens of flowers in rear. As you pass
  through the street you every moment get glimpses of fountains and
  shrubbery. Jalapa is more than Capua of old. It is Capua with all
  its beauty and serenity, but without its _abandon_. The people are
  refined, courteous, intelligent, and upright. Here we shall remain
  for some ten days or a fortnight, to organize the campaign, and
  prepare for the march to Mexico. Jalapa will be the great base of

  We left the Plano del Rio on Monday. I rode on a wagon, and reached
  Encerro, the hacienda of Santa Anna, a distance of fourteen miles,
  the same evening. The general and his staff passed the night here.
  It is beautifully situated on a commanding hill, with ample
  outbuildings, an artificial pond for bathing, etc., and a paved road
  branching from the main Jalapa road. The hacienda of two stories was
  elegantly furnished on the second floor, the first floor being
  appropriated to kitchens, store-rooms, etc. We saw several of Santa
  Anna's wooden legs. General Scott gave us in the evening a nice
  supper with wine.

  I rode on Tuesday from Encerro to Jalapa on my horse, and found it
  about as comfortable as a wagon. The distance was about eight miles.
  The morning was beautiful and the scenery enchanting. On reaching
  the city we found some seven or eight thousand of our troops under
  arms. For the first time since Cortez the hostile feet of a foreign
  race trod its pavements. The most perfect tranquillity prevailed.
  The people are well treated, receive good prices for all they wish
  to sell, and do not feel the weight of a foreign yoke.

  Last evening we received intelligence that General Taylor entered
  the city of San Luis Potosi on the 13th of this month. Well done,
  indomitable old hero! It is somewhat doubtful whether I shall go on
  with the army. The surgeon advises me to remain here for the
  present. With care he thinks I may rely on a permanent cure. Care,
  however, is required.

                                        JALAPA, May 1, 1847.

  MY DEAREST WIFE,--I am glad to be able to assure you that my health
  is improving. It is not yet safe for me to ride my horse, and I
  think that my ride from Encerro, the country seat of Santa Anna, to
  Jalapa put me back some days. I can walk without any inconvenience
  by being careful as to my gait, and avoiding all sudden steps. I am
  not in the least incapacitated for office duty, and am, excepting my
  injury, in very vigorous health. It is hard, I assure you, in this
  beautiful region to be detained from enjoying my fine horse. As it
  is, he stands in the stable doing nothing. On Monday, May 3, I shall
  move on with General Patterson's advance, in charge of the engineer
  train, to join the engineer corps with Worth.

  The brilliant conflict of Cerro Gordo came upon the Mexicans like a
  thunderbolt, and is the most decisive blow of the war. The road is
  free to the City of Mexico, and I have no doubt General Scott will
  be there in six weeks. It is said the Mexicans will resort to the
  guerrilla mode of warfare. It will be found worse than useless. It
  will be found of assistance to our arms. General Scott will enforce
  the strictest discipline, and the people of the country will remain
  undisturbed in their houses. A fair price will be paid for
  everything that is consumed. The war will be made to bear with a
  heavy hand upon all connected with the government, and upon the
  property of all disaffected persons. Don't feel alarmed about the
  observation in the papers in reference to the terrible and atrocious
  character of guerrilla warfare. No one here feels the least alarm.
  Twelve resolute men can disperse a hundred rancheros. As guerrilla
  troops our volunteers are infinitely superior to the Mexicans. The
  Mexicans as guerrilla troops are poor. They are generally very
  inferior troops. They are best behind breastworks, yet our men find
  no difficulty in storming them.

  You may be sure that this city is a most charming place. We do not
  find the upper classes disposed to associate with us. Jalapa is said
  to be one of the most exclusive places in Mexico, the society being
  broken up into cliques, and families living among themselves as in
  New Bedford. The upper classes are indeed said to be very hostile
  to us. We are now about building a battery to overawe the city,
  where a ten-inch mortar will be mounted. The terrible destruction at
  Vera Cruz from our shells has been spread over all Mexico, and with
  all the exaggeration of the Spanish character. All the cities have
  the greatest fear of our shells.

  The last few days I have been busily occupied in preparing a
  narrative of the brilliant conflict of the Cerro Gordo, illustrated
  with a sketch, and for the Engineer Department at Washington, and
  also in writing a memoir on the best mode of opposing the guerrilla
  warfare. The latter I have done chiefly for my own instruction. It
  is possible, if I can finish it to my mind, I may have it published.
  I have some thoughts of sending it to General Scott at once. The
  general, however, is a very great talker and writer himself, and I
  doubt whether he could find time to read the memoir.

  Sunday, May 2. The train does not go till to-morrow, so I can tell
  you something of the occurrences of this day. Sunday is the great
  market day of Jalapa, and this morning I saw the greatest profusion
  of vegetables, watermelons in abundance, the finest oranges,
  bananas, plantains, cauliflower, cabbage, lettuce, celery, beans,
  peas, squashes, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, Irish potatoes, green
  corn, rare-ripe onions, tomatoes. The onions are the finest I ever
  saw. They are far superior to our own. Many well-dressed ladies were
  to be seen in the market with their servants. I went to the
  cathedral, but remained only a short time.

  I consulted to-day Dr. Wright, the hospital surgeon of Jalapa, in
  reference to my difficulty, and he speaks in the most encouraging
  manner. He says there is no objection to my riding a portion of the
  distance on horseback, and that with care there is not the least
  danger in advancing with the army.

  May 3. In the expectation that the march would take place to-morrow,
  I was busily engaged preparing for my departure. The sappers
  remaining in this place made all their arrangements, and the
  engineer train of eight wagons was put in perfect order, a wagon
  master and two extra men having been provided for. General
  Patterson's advance brigade, that would serve as our escort, was
  the brigade of Quitman. In the evening, about eight o'clock, an
  express came up from Vera Cruz.

  May 4. I rose early, having decided to start at half past six
  o'clock. Some delays occurred, and when in readiness to start, at
  half past seven, I was informed that the order to march had been
  countermanded. Consequently everything was put back in its place.

  About eleven A.M. Carigan, a sick sapper, died at the hospital. He
  had been sick almost from the first day he came into the country.
  His case was not considered incurable at Vera Cruz, but the journey
  to Jalapa, riding in a wagon over a rough road, proved too much for
  his strength. He was buried in the afternoon in a convent
  churchyard, his remains having been accompanied by myself and five
  sappers. When his body was lowered into its final resting-place, I
  made a few remarks on the peculiar circumstances of his case,
  dwelling upon the fact that his short service had not been in vain,
  and that he had served his country, and as much died for his country
  as though he had fallen at Vera Cruz or at Cerro Gordo. Sergeant
  Clark and A.M. Noyes, on my calling on them, made a few very
  appropriate remarks in reference to his case, and bore cheerful
  testimony to his excellent character and the esteem in which he was
  held by his associates. Regan, a sapper who had enlisted with him,
  and who had known him for a long time, was a most sincere mourner.
  He seemed to reproach himself as the cause of Carigan's death, in
  consequence of his own example having been the cause of Carigan's
  enlistment. I stated to Regan that he had no cause to reproach
  himself, and that in writing to Carigan's friends he could dwell
  upon the circumstances of Carigan's having received every attention,
  and finally having been buried in one of the most beautiful regions
  of the earth, and in ground consecrated by the religious solemnities
  of his faith.

  May 5. There are reports that Santa Anna intends cutting off the
  large train coming from Vera Cruz in a few days, in consequence of
  which Captain Bainbridge with a battalion of infantry proceeded
  downward yesterday, to be followed by Colonel Riley and a portion of
  his brigade to-morrow, the whole to take a position at the National
  Bridge. I now hold myself in readiness to move forward at any
  moment. But in the present aspect of affairs, three regiments of
  volunteers returning home, much sickness amongst the troops, and no
  certainty as to the arrival of new levies, it is not certain that it
  will be possible to move beyond Puebla.

  May 7. Left Jalapa this morning at 7.30 in charge of the second
  section of the engineer train, to join the advance of General Worth,
  and under the escort of General Quitman's brigade, to whom I
  reported on my arrival at his encampment. He did not get under way
  till towards noon, and, after marching two hours through a
  cultivated and beautiful country, we reached the village of El
  Soldado, about eight miles from Jalapa. After halting an hour at
  this place the command pursued its march through a most picturesque
  and beautiful country, presenting at the different points a varied
  view of the valley, dotted all over with villages, and with fields
  of corn and barley, and parties of laborers by the roadside
  peacefully pursuing the cultivation of the soil. At La Hoya,
  defended with some care at a pass between two high hills, with a
  succession of barriers in the road, two arranged with a single
  embrasure for guns, was to be seen the apple-tree in blossom, and
  also the pine-tree. We halted at Las Vegas for the night, the road
  hither ascending all the way, and the character of the trees rapidly
  changing to the fir, the black birch, and the mountain oak. Las
  Vegas is a somewhat straggling village of perhaps about two thousand
  people, situated in a depression or valley in the hills, which to
  the northeast expand into a most fertile and agreeable plain, highly
  cultivated along the west side. Most inviting fields of barley and
  corn had remained untouched, though the horses of our troops had
  subsisted on the former. Jalapa to El Soldado, seven miles; to La
  Hoya, three miles (large); to tank on left, nine miles; to Las
  Vegas, three miles; Jalapa to Las Vegas, twenty-two miles.

  May 8. Left Las Vegas about eight A.M. and reached Perote about
  twelve P.M., a distance of ten miles, or about. This route for the
  first three miles is quite rough and uneven. At the end of the third
  mile is a very long and difficult descent, at the foot of which is a
  beautiful stream of ice-cold water, flowing directly from the Coffre
  de Perote. Here the whole command were refreshed. After ascending a
  considerable hill we again, after a gentle descent, gained a little
  village at another, quite sluggish stream about a mile from the Rio
  Frio. A slight ascent brought us to the extended plain of Perote,
  ten or twelve miles in width and extending generally in a westerly
  direction as far as El Pinal. Perote, with its castle in the middle
  of the plain and towards its eastern extremity, was almost
  depopulated, and presented a very uninviting appearance. General
  Worth had collected here large stores of forage and flour, much
  rice, and some sugar and coffee. On reporting to General Worth, and
  stating my object (to join Captain Lee), I was directed to attach
  myself to Colonel Clarke's brigade, the last battalion of which was
  to march at seven A.M. on the 9th. I found Mason quite sick, and
  doubtful as to his ability to move on. Though somewhat fatigued with
  my day's march, I suffered no inconvenience from my rupture, though
  the entire distance from Jalapa was made on horseback.

  May 9. I left Perote this morning with Colonel Clarke at seven A.M.,
  and arrived at San Antonio, a distance of seven miles, about
  eleven. A slight halt was made three miles from Perote. At one
  o'clock, after resting the mules, I proceeded with the train to Tepe
  Ahualco, which I reached after a distance of nine miles. Here I
  found the engineer company, and Captain Lee and Lieutenant Tower of
  the engineers. Captain Lee, unfortunately, was suffering from chills
  and fever.

  May 10. The brigade of Colonel Garland, with General Worth and
  staff, left Tepe Ahualco (a very mean village, with bad water) at
  eight o'clock, and after a march of ten miles through the plain
  reached the hacienda of Vireyes, where we encamped for the night.
  This hacienda, like most of the haciendas of the country, was a good
  substantial building on the four sides of a square, and arranged
  with reference to the defense of the interior space. The peons lived
  in mean habitations of mud and trellis-work, not equal to the
  dwellings of swine in New England.

  May 11. The march commenced at seven A.M., and after two halts,--one
  of about half an hour at Byzantium, distant eight miles, a village
  having its cathedral, one or two stores with pulque for sale, and
  pretty good houses for the peons; one of about two hours at Ojo de
  Agua, distant ten miles, a village not so considerable as the
  former, but noted for its clear water gushing in quite a large
  stream from the roadside,--we reached the hacienda Santa Annaced as
  a violent windstorm came on. Large stacks of barley straw in front
  of the hacienda afforded sustenance for many domestic animals. As we
  approached the village of Byzantium, a gently ascending and somewhat
  considerable hill on the left, cultivated to its very top with the
  maguey plant, and the green grass of the flowing stream at the base
  relieved the dryness of the plain, and afforded a most pleasing
  prospect. The road on the 10th and 11th was level; and for the most
  part good. Distance this day, about twelve miles.

  May 12. The march commenced at six A.M., the rear brigade of Colonel
  Clarke joining the advance brigade of Colonel Garland in its first
  movement, its encampment having been only two miles in rear. After
  proceeding some miles we entered Nopalucan, a considerable town of
  three churches, several fondas, and some substantial houses. The
  padre furnished the general and his officers an entertainment of
  spirits and cakes. The best people had shut up their houses and left
  the place. Before approaching Nopalucan, the road for some two miles
  passes through a highly cultivated tract of country, with some dozen
  haciendas on the right and left. An elevation on entering this tract
  affords a very charming prospect.

  After remaining two hours at Nopalucan the division moved forward,
  over in some portions a rough road, and encamped for the night one
  league this side of the Pass of El Pinal.

  May 13. At Nopalucan information was given that Santa Anna, with
  some fifteen hundred or two thousand lancers, had passed through
  that place on the 10th for Puebla, and at the camp of the 12th and
  13th there were rumors that he had prepared mines in the road at El
  Pinal. In consequence the engineer company, Duncan's battery, and
  some other troops moved early to examine the pass. A false alarm
  during the night left many of the troops much harassed. El Pinal is
  no pass whatever, and the mines, of which rumor was so big, were
  little excavations commenced under the road in two places, but
  abandoned. El Pinal derives its name from the pine-trees, which are
  found to the very top of the mountains. At this point the road
  commences a rapid descent, and soon brings us to Acajete, a smaller
  place than Nopalucan, yet having its church and its fonda. Here the
  alcalde provided a collation for the general and his officers.
  After halting an hour and a half, we moved forward, and reached
  Amasoque about two o'clock. This is a village having a large public
  square and three fine churches. It is larger than Nopalucan, and
  must contain nearly four thousand inhabitants.

  It was determined to remain at Amasoque one entire day to enable
  General Quitman's command to come up, and accordingly General
  Worth's division was in expectation of a day's rest, but about nine

  May 14, word was brought that five thousand lancers were marching
  down upon us. A reconnoissance by Captain Lee reduced the numbers to
  less than two thousand, and the movement seemed to look to the
  cutting of our communication with Quitman's column. It was so illy
  concerted that seventy shots from Duncan's battery and a few from
  Steptoe's turned the enemy from their apparent purpose, and caused
  them to turn to their left and make good their retreat. A column of
  about six hundred, however, continued their course, veering a little
  to the left to keep out of the reach of Quitman, who, on hearing our
  guns, hastened the march of his troops, and effected a junction with
  Worth with great celerity. This column was followed by myself,
  Lieutenant McClellan, and three dragoons as far as the hacienda San
  Miguel, some five miles from Amasoque. On the way thither we crossed
  a very deep arroyo, along a very good though very steep mule-path.
  At the hacienda, having ascertained from the people and from their
  trail that the column had continued their eccentric course, we
  returned in a somewhat different direction, and having crossed an
  arroyo by an almost impracticable path, and fallen on and nearly
  captured a Mexican officer and his servant, we came to where the
  arroyos met, and were obliged to retrace our steps. We reached
  headquarters about three o'clock. I was exceedingly exhausted by my
  exertions. Lieutenant McClellan was very gallant and prompt in
  pursuing the Mexican, and lost him in consequence of the chapparal.
  A pony that was led by the servant was given to the men.

  NOTE. The occurrences of this day show two things: 1st. Troops
  should be quartered or encamped in reference to the attack of an
  enemy, and the site should always be determined by officers of

  2d. On the arrival of troops at the place of encampment, an
  examination should be made to determine the principal circumstances
  in reference to the roads and the general features of the topography
  of the country, so that, in case of an attack or demonstration, we
  should have the necessary information to strike a vigorous blow at
  the enemy, and push him into a precipitate retreat. At Amasoque
  nothing was known in the morning in reference to the roads of the
  village itself leading to the direction where the enemy was known to
  be, until the reconnoissance was made after the presence of the
  enemy was reported. Still less was anything known in regard to the
  existence of the arroyos, which cut up the surface of the plain, and
  rendered it entirely impracticable for cavalry and artillery to
  operate, till the crossings (used by the people of the country and
  known by their troops) were carefully ascertained. During the whole
  march from Tepe Ahualco, these things had been entirely _neglected_.

  Captain Lee and Lieutenant Tower made a reconnoissance of the
  country towards Puebla, and discovered that the main body of the
  enemy had retrograded to a village some eight miles from and off the
  main road to Puebla. Colonel Garland's brigade was pushed forward
  about two miles and bivouacked for the night. The troops were
  ordered to march, first at nine P.M., then at three A.M., and
  finally at five A.M., in order to concentrate near Puebla in the
  course of the morning. In consequence of these continual changes,
  the troops were exceedingly and needlessly harassed.

  May 15. The army moved at five A.M., and at a village three miles
  from Amasoque, commissioners were found in waiting to treat for the
  occupation of the city. The assurances of the general were
  satisfactory to them. They were simply a recognition that Puebla
  should be no exception to the general course our army has pursued in
  this country as regards the inviolability of the rights, persons,
  religion, and authority of the city, so far as not incompatible with
  its military occupation. The troops in the course of the day were
  all got into quarters, although it was accomplished in a very
  undignified manner, the general, at the head of his staff,
  personally superintending the breaking open of the doors of the
  barracks whenever they were not opened by the keys in season to
  satisfy his impatient spirit.

  May 16-22. The army continued in the peaceful occupation of Puebla,
  and nothing occurred to disturb the general tranquillity except two
  or three cases of broils, occasioned by the imprudence of our own
  people, and one report of the march of Santa Anna to attack the
  city. Some changes were made in the distribution of troops, much
  attention paid to the rumors of the streets, and no general system
  of measures adopted in relation to the defenses of the city, or to
  the dispositions to be made in case of the attack of an enemy. The
  people were decidedly hostile to Santa Anna, and our respect for
  their rights was making a decided change in our favor. On the 20th
  and 21st the city was rife with rumors of the approach of General
  Taylor to San Luis Potosi, and at length it was said that General
  Taylor had been taken prisoner and hanged. Information came on the
  21st that General Scott was still at Jalapa, and would not leave
  till the 23d.

  May 23, 24. Affairs continue tranquil. Information has come that
  General Twiggs left Jalapa Saturday, May 22, and was followed by
  General Scott on Sunday. My own health is improving very rapidly,
  and on the 24th I reported to Captain Lee my readiness for duty.

  May 25. Engaged on a reconnoissance of the road to Tlascala. There
  are two roads, one for carriages and one for mules, which continue
  separate the whole distance to Tlascala. This reconnoissance
  occupied seven hours, and was supported by twelve sappers.

  May 26. Accompanied Captain Lee and Lieutenants Mason and Tower in
  an examination of the hill and the adjacent parts of the city, to
  determine a position for our troops in case of the attack of the
  enemy. The occupation of the hill, the Cuartel San José, and some
  buildings on the right and left, fulfilled the conditions quite
  well. It commanded the city, and the approaches to it in the
  direction of the hill afforded room for stores, wagons, and animals.
  This examination was suggested to General Worth by Captain Lee on
  the first occupation of the city, but was deferred in consequence of
  press of business, and was ordered to-day in consequence of a report
  that a strong force of the enemy was marching upon the city from

  May 27. A fatigue party with some sappers, and all under the
  direction of Lieutenant Smith, were employed to-day in repairing the
  parapet of Fort Guadalupe, on the summit of the hill. The engineer
  officers were engaged generally in examining roads entering the
  city, and plotting the same.

  May 28. General Scott and staff arrived to-day. Engineers employed
  as yesterday.

  May 29. General Twiggs arrived with his division to-day at three
  P.M., and at one o'clock the long roll beat in consequence of a
  report of the approach of the enemy, twenty thousand strong. This
  proved to be unfounded.

  May 30, 31. The only occurrence of interest is Santa Anna's solemn
  renunciation of power, and return to private life. He declares in
  his manifest that he has labored with a single eye to the good of
  his country, and can review with satisfaction and without reproach
  his whole public career. I cannot but entertain the opinion that
  Santa Anna's renouncing all authority is in consequence of a fixed
  determination on his part to be "Aut Cæsar aut nihil." It may be the
  deliberate act of a great statesman and patriot, more firmly to
  maintain the authority necessary to save his country. He may act
  from the conviction that his country, seeing that he would not
  continue in authority in this crisis unless he were cordially
  supported by all parties, would with one voice recall him to public
  life and invest him with full powers. So far as I am able to judge,
  Santa Anna's career, since his return to Mexico, has been most
  glorious and remarkable. Without resources, and in the midst of
  internal discord, he has organized two large armies, and made one of
  the most extraordinary marches in all history. He has been defeated,
  but throughout has shown an admirable constancy, and exhibited high
  military qualities. In strategic operations he has shown marked
  ability. At Buena Vista he came within an ace of utterly defeating
  General Taylor, and had he succeeded (and the probabilities were in
  his favor), he would have been able to excite to the highest pitch
  of enthusiasm the whole nation. A large army might have been raised,
  and our advance into the interior effectually checked. On the field
  of battle he has not proved equal to us. But it is probably due to
  the nature of his troops, who in the shock of the conflict are
  inferior to us, three or four to one. At Angostura, and at the Cerro
  Gordo, he exhibited courage and an indefatigable spirit. He did not
  leave the height of the Cerro Gordo till the very moment of its
  falling into our hands, and he was obliged to make his escape on one
  of the wheel mules of his carriage. Nor were his spirits depressed
  by this overwhelming defeat. He immediately rallied his troops at
  Orizaba, a strategic position in reference to the whole route of
  Jalapa from Vera Cruz to Puebla. Here he was able to threaten our
  lines of communication, and, without moving a step, he compelled us
  to protect our trains with large escorts as they came up from Vera
  Cruz to Jalapa. When nearly a whole brigade (Riley's) was sent down
  to protect the large train supposed to be the last of five hundred
  wagons, and it became evident that nothing more would be gained in
  this direction, he anticipated our advance, and threw himself
  between us and the City of Mexico. He has now renounced all
  authority. We must wait until his real object in taking this great
  step shall have become developed.

  June 3. We have rumors to-day that a reinforcement of 3000 men has
  landed at Antigua, and is on the march to Jalapa. It has been
  determined to break up Jalapa, place the sick in hospital in Perote,
  and bring up the whole disposable force to Puebla. At Perote and
  Jalapa are 800 sick and 1700 men in garrison. Leaving a garrison of
  400 men in Perote, the remaining 1300 men, with 900 recruits, will
  increase the troops now at Puebla, 6000 effectives including
  officers (there are 700 sick), to 8200; of the 900 recruits, at
  least 200 will be left behind sick. So that 8000 men will be the
  extent of our force. We shall probably remain in Puebla till about
  the 1st of July, and then advance to the city with our whole force.

  I write this evening to my wife by a train going down to-morrow. It
  is doubtful whether the letter will reach the States.

  This is Corpus Christi Day. I attended church in the morning, and
  was anything but pleased with the idle ceremonies of the occasion.
  The Catholicism of this country is a great corruption of that of the
  United States. It is chiefly a religion of observances, and of the
  most burdensome and elaborate kind. Excepting human sacrifices, it
  is on a par with the religion of the Aztecs.

  A bull-fight having been advertised, I attended it with many other
  officers, but the performance was a very tame one. The bulls were
  barbarously butchered after having been lassoed and thrown down.
  Every one returned home disgusted.

  June 4. The news from Mexico to-day is less favorable to peace. The
  congress, it is said, has refused to accept the resignation of Santa
  Anna, and the latter has left Mexico to take command of the troops.
  The landing of Cadwallader with three thousand troops has been
  confirmed. Half a million of money is also on its way. Everything
  bears a favorable aspect now. The arrival of funds is of great
  consequence, in order that no necessity may arise to live by forced
  contributions. We ought to apply to the support of the war the
  revenues that formerly went to the central government, but in our
  dealings with individuals scrupulously to pay for every supply and
  service. To-day I was employed on the journal of last month. The
  officers were generally employed on the drawings.

  June 6. A mail arrived to-day with cheering news from the States.
  The government was exerting its energies to increase both columns of
  invasion, and, from the success which had already attended the
  recruiting service, there was little doubt that in the course of the
  season there would be thirty thousand troops in the field. Six
  regiments of volunteers for the war were also to be called out.

  June 7-21. The army has continued recruiting its strength and
  awaiting reinforcements. Daily drills in companies, battalions,
  brigades, and divisions have tended to give tone and efficiency to
  the command, though a counteracting influence has been found in the
  troops not being paid. Great discontent exists in consequence of
  this. Many of the troops are quartered in damp basements, and all
  live on fresh provisions, prolific causes of disease. The sickness
  has been as high as twenty-five per cent. of the whole number
  present, and even at this time is not much below this. In some
  regiments the company officers do not attend to their men, and
  particularly to their food. The use of the chili, or Mexican pepper,
  supplies the place of salt, and contributes essentially to the
  health of the troops.

  There have been occasional rumors of rising in the city, to be
  assisted by guerrillas. A small force is with the governor at
  Athsio, and all the roads are infested to some extent by this
  description of troops. There have been several attempts to induce
  our men to desert, and now a German is being tried for the offense,
  and will probably be put to death.

  The engineers have been employed in drawing a map of the city and
  its environs, completing the drawings of the siege of Vera Cruz, and
  collecting information in relation to the roads and localities in
  the valley of Mexico.

  The general-in-chief reached Puebla on the 28th, and on the
  following day all the engineer officers and the engineer company
  were relieved from duty with particular divisions, and placed under
  the direction of the senior engineer at general headquarters.
  General Twiggs arrived with his division on the 29th of June.

  Information was derived from Americans, residents of the City of
  Mexico, who joined the army as it penetrated into the country, and
  from Mexicans (robbers and contrabandists), etc. In consequence of
  these inquiries, Captain Lee was enabled to prepare a map of all the
  routes from Puebla to the City of Mexico and in its valley, and
  exhibiting generally the topography of the country, its hills,
  rivers, marshes, etc. Much information was also obtained in
  reference to the fixed means of defense of the enemy,--particularly
  the position and character of field-works and batteries, and the
  character of the obstructions from cuts in the causeways of approach
  to the city, and from inundations from the lakes. In the
  investigation of this matter, one circumstance transpired affording
  convincing proof that no difficulty would be found to bribe men of
  rank and influence. A merchant of Puebla, of some wealth, extensive
  connection, and large practical knowledge of localities in all parts
  of Mexico, for the sum of five thousand dollars proposed going to
  the City of Mexico and procuring accurate information in reference
  to the roads and localities in the valley of Mexico, the fixed means
  of defense of the enemy, the force, composition, distribution, and
  _morale_ of the troops, the state of public feeling in the city,
  etc. He professed a sufficient acquaintance with military matters to
  furnish the information with entire fullness and accuracy. Nor did
  he ask the least compensation for his services till the information
  furnished should be pronounced perfectly satisfactory. This
  proposition was finally declined by General Scott.

  It having been ascertained that Dominguez, the chief of the robbers
  from Vera Cruz to Mexico and a resident of Puebla, was willing to
  enter into the American service with at least a portion of the
  robbers, Major Smith proposed to the general-in-chief that they
  should be received, and employed as spies, guides, and couriers.
  This suggestion met with his approbation, and the inspector-general,
  Colonel Hitchcock, was associated with Major Smith in arranging a
  proper organization. Thus far the robbers have proved useful as
  spies and couriers.

  General Cadwallader is known to be on his way from Perote, and will
  probably reach Puebla with his command to-day or to-morrow. It is to
  be feared that the large number of sick will render it necessary to
  leave a garrison in Puebla, reducing, if the advance to Mexico
  obtain within ten days, the efficient fighting force to six thousand

  June 22-24. Information reached General Scott on the evening of the
  23d that General Cadwallader was at Perote, and that he would leave
  next day and reach Puebla on Monday, the 29th. He met with serious
  resistance between Jalapa and Perote, particularly at the Pass of La
  Hoya. The 24th was St. John's Day, and was celebrated generally
  throughout the city. Some patriotic feeling was exhibited in the
  military dresses and flags of the boys. The engineer company
  obtained authority to change their quarters to the convent San
  Antonio. The subject of an engineer drill was under discussion by
  Lieutenants Mason, Stevens, and G.W. Smith, and it was decided that
  the manual of the miner should be translated. On the 24th I
  submitted to Major Smith a brief memoir on a system of espionage,
  and involving the employment of the robbers of the country.

  June 25-28. During these days information has reached headquarters
  of the landing of General Pillow at Vera Cruz, and of his order to
  General Cadwallader to await his arrival in Perote. The whole
  command, probably amounting to five thousand men, will arrive as
  early as the 5th of July.

  Rumors for several days have been rife in Puebla of negotiations for
  a treaty of peace being commenced. Several messengers are known to
  have arrived from Mexico, and the Mexican president has been
  notified by General Scott that a commissioner with powers to treat
  has arrived from the United States. I see no indication of the least
  disposition to treat on the part of the Mexican nation, and nothing
  can stay the advance of our army to the valley of Mexico. Even then,
  in consequence of the rainy season and the smallness of our force,
  we shall restrict ourselves to the narrowest limits; but a small
  portion of the heart of the country will feel our presence, and the
  spirit of the people will not be subdued. They will flatter
  themselves with the hope of soon driving from their capital and
  their soil the _infamous invader_. New armies will be raised, and we
  again in the fall obliged to take the field. North to Zacatecas let
  our arms extend!

  July 1. The Mexican congress, agreeably to the proclamation of the
  president, assembled on the 28th of June, but, wanting five of a
  quorum, adjourned to the 5th of July, the special subject of their
  consideration being the appointing of commissioners to treat of
  peace. Pillow reached Perote yesterday (probably), and will probably
  be in Puebla on the 7th or 8th inst. It is also supposed that Pierce
  has arrived in Vera Cruz with additional troops. It is a doubtful
  matter whether the Mexican congress will take a decided course in
  initiating negotiations, or whether the commissioners whom they
  appoint will agree upon the terms. I have every confidence that
  General Scott, whilst showing every disposition to respond to any
  desire for peace which the Mexican nation may express, and exerting
  his whole strength to accomplish that great object, will not permit
  it to be made a pretext to gain time, and a cover to the complete
  organization of the enemy's force. The enemy may treat at this time.
  They stickle on points of honor, and will have the greatest
  repugnance to the occupation of their capital. They see our force
  daily increasing. They have felt our prowess at the Cerro Gordo.
  They know we desire peace. Our terms are not hard. If we advance
  and enter the City of Mexico, their government will be in a measure
  dissolved, and the favorable moment for negotiations have gone. All
  these considerations must incline the candid and intelligent portion
  of the nation to arrange all matters in dispute before we advance
  from Puebla. Yet the Castilian obstinacy and pride may overrule all
  these considerations, and determine them to try the issue of a
  protracted contest. It is possible they may consider our terms, if
  agreed to, as the step fatal and inevitable towards the final
  occupation of the whole country, and, considering the present
  conflict as one for national independence, they may conclude to
  fight as long as a man remains to bear arms. For one, I cannot but
  consider the issue doubtful, and am inclined to the belief that
  nothing will come from the present movement, and that we shall
  advance to and enter the City of Mexico.

  July 4. The anniversary of our national independence has dawned upon
  the Americans in Puebla most auspiciously. News came last evening
  that General Pierce, with two thousand men, left Vera Cruz on June
  28, and that in a week he would be followed by six thousand more
  troops. If this be true, we shall be able to launch a column of
  fifteen thousand men against the capital. It must fall into our
  hands with but little resistance. The rainy season should be devoted
  to the disciplining and reorganization of the whole army, new levies
  and old troops. Thus in October, based in the valley of Mexico, we
  shall be in condition to move in any direction, and doubtless,
  northward, our columns will march as far as Zacatecas, unless
  previously peace be agreed upon.

  A war fever has broken out afresh in the capital, and energetic
  measures are being taken to add to their means of defense. Church
  bells are being cast into cannon, and field-works and fortifications
  put in good condition.

  The engineer staff called on the general officers in the morning and
  dined together afterwards. We passed a pleasant day.

  July 6. A courier came in this morning with information that El
  Pinal was occupied by a guerrilla force of one thousand men, and
  that the train had been at Ojo de Agua two days, resting from the
  fatigues of the march from Perote. The roads were bad, and many of
  the teams had given out. Colonel Harney, with a force of seven
  hundred men and a relief train of forty wagons, started at eight

  July 7, to disperse the assemblage at El Pinal, and meet the exposed
  train at Nopalucan. The troops still continue sick. About noon the
  arrival of General Pillow at Amasoque was announced; about five
  o'clock the dragoons arrived, bringing with them the long-expected

  July 8. The troops reached Puebla about noon to-day, and as they
  passed General Scott in review, they made a sorry appearance. In
  some respects composed of good material, they have come in all haste
  to the seat of war without a single day's drill, and after a march
  of one hundred and sixty-one miles it is not surprising they were
  much worn down. The day in the city was by all devoted to reading
  letters and papers. I had the extreme felicity of getting five
  letters from my dear wife, announcing her comfortable settlement for
  the season in Newport. In a distant land, the pleasure of receiving
  intelligence from our dear friends at home is above and beyond all
  other pleasures. My latest dates were to the 31st of May.

  July 9. A general order of to-day assigned Pillow to the command of
  the third regular division, composed of Cadwallader's and Pierce's
  brigades, General Quitman continuing in command of the volunteer
  division till it shall become practicable to join his proper regular
  division with General Taylor. General Shields was assigned to the
  command of the volunteer brigade now in Puebla. We learned to-day
  that there was a movement to the north against Santa Anna in which
  eight states joined. The prospect of peace is very small.

  July 10. News from Mexico more unfavorable to peace. Congress wants
  eleven of a quorum. There are now eighteen thousand troops in the
  valley of Mexico, provided with arms and sixty pieces of cannon.
  Four thousand troops from San Luis Potosi are said to be daily
  expected. All the causeways are armed with cannon, protected by
  field-works with wet ditches. Important advantages will result from
  deferring the advance to Mexico till the close of the rainy season.
  Time will be gained to put the new levies in shape, instructing both
  officers and men in their duty, and making them more reliable before
  an enemy. The large number of sick will be much reduced, and
  sickness will be prevented by the march in dry weather.
  Reinforcements will come up. The disposition of the Mexicans for
  peace will be thoroughly tested, and ulterior operations after
  conquering the city and valley can be arranged. The war can be
  vigorously pushed in the dry season, with ample supplies of
  transportation. The new levies are utterly unreliable, and the main
  dependence is in the old troops, scarcely six thousand effective
  men. Not the least doubt is felt at our ability at this time to
  enter the capital, and it is not to be disguised that every day's
  delay increases the strength of the enemy's force and affords the
  means to perfect his works. I believe, however, that our own
  strength will increase in a greater ratio. The dry season will give
  important advantages in our own counter-works, greater in proportion
  than in those possessed by the enemy. Our victory will also be more
  decisive, and will have greater results.

  July 11, 12. The city has assumed its usual quietude, and it is to
  be hoped that effective measures will be at once taken to put the
  new levies in some state of efficiency. This morning (12th) a
  squadron of dragoons under the command of Captain Kearny set forth
  for Mexico with a flag in reference to an exchange of prisoners. A
  general order has just been published announcing an early and
  vigorous movement, directing reviews of the several divisions, and
  the utmost attention to tactical instruction, etc. It is understood
  the movement will commence on Tuesday, July 20.

  July 18. It has been ascertained that Pierce will not reach Puebla
  until about the first of August (he left Vera Cruz July 15 or 16),
  and consequently the advance movement has been deferred. I trust it
  will be deferred till the rainy season is over, and that in the mean
  time a train will go down and bring up additional supplies. The flag
  which went out on the 12th returned on the 14th. Captain Kearny went
  as far as Rio Frio, and made the distance, about forty miles, in ten
  hours. The flag is understood to have had reference to an exchange
  of prisoners. No answer has yet been returned.

  The review of the troops has been going on. General Twiggs has
  unquestionably the best division in the service.

  In conformity with instructions from the general-in-chief, Major
  Smith made a report on the 13th in reference to the garrison and
  munitions to be left in Puebla on the advance of the army to Mexico,
  and the position to be occupied by the garrison. On the 15th
  authority was given by the general to enlarge the engineer train.

  July 25. It is now considered hopeless to negotiate with the Mexican
  government until another blow is struck, and accordingly it has been
  intimated from headquarters that the advance division shall move as
  soon as the brigade of Pierce shall be within one day's march. As it
  is almost certain that Pierce has taken the Orizaba road, he cannot
  reach Puebla much before Thursday of next week, August 4, so that
  the advance cannot be made till about Wednesday, August 3.

  During the past week the conversations of the streets in reference
  to the probabilities of peace or war have been constantly
  fluctuating from one extreme to the other. Taking counsel of their
  desires, people have eagerly caught at straws to convince themselves
  that peace was certain. At no time, judging from actual facts, has
  there been much probability that the difficulties between the two
  governments would be adjusted at this stage of the business.

  The governing class of Mexico are easily elated; are characterized
  by remarkable tenacity of purpose and indomitable pride, which is
  not disposed to submit to humiliation; and they have at their head a
  fit representative in all respects, a man of extensive capacity both
  for peace and war, and who possesses in an eminent degree genius for
  command. In consequence of the long and necessary delay at Puebla,
  the enemy have been able to organize quite a formidable force in the
  City of Mexico, and to strengthen their position by batteries and
  artificial obstacles, till now, with the spirit of hopefulness so
  indigenous to the Spanish character, they believe themselves in
  condition successfully to oppose us.

  August 1. Last evening a courier brought notes from General Pierce
  and Colonel Wyncoop of the 29th ult. The former was at La Hoya with
  two thousand men, and no enemy on the road. General Smith, July 28,
  with the 1st artillery, 3d infantry, rifle regiment of New York
  volunteers, and one squadron of dragoons, went down to meet him, and
  at the last accounts was at Ojo de Agua.

  It is exceedingly difficult to push couriers through to Vera Cruz.
  They are sure to be searched, and shot if papers are found on them.
  Dispatches are made very short, on thin, small pieces of paper, and
  concealed in the garments of the couriers. It is believed that the
  enemy have relays of horses along the road from Vera Cruz to Mexico,
  and that intelligence is transmitted at the rate of six miles an
  hour. Every important transaction in Puebla is known at headquarters
  in the City of Mexico in ten to twelve hours. With our limited
  number of troops, it is impracticable to organize the line from
  Puebla to Vera Cruz so that our couriers could travel in safety with
  the same rapidity. Besides considerable garrisons in both Perote and
  Jalapa, there would have to be a strong force at Orizaba, and
  garrisons with stockade defenses on both the Orizaba and national
  roads every day's journey, say fifteen to twenty miles apart. I say
  it is impracticable so to organize our rear and have left a force
  adequate to the reduction of the City of Mexico. In my judgment it
  would be our true military policy immediately thus to organize our
  rear, and remain in Puebla till a well-disciplined army could be
  collected from the States.

  On Thursday, July 29, a court of inquiry asked for by Colonel Riley
  commenced its sittings, Pillow, Quitman, and Colonel Clarke,
  members. That gallant veteran and most excellent officer, Colonel
  Riley, has demanded an inquiry into his operations at the Cerro
  Gordo, on the ground that the services of his brigade have not
  received justice at the hands of General Twiggs and the
  commander-in-chief in their official reports. Riley was a daring and
  successful officer of the last war, and has been in more battles and
  combats than any other officer in the army. Though advanced in
  years, he is intrepid, decided, and of sound judgment. I doubt not
  the court of inquiry will make a report that will soothe the
  injured feelings of the gallant and good old man.

                                PUEBLA, MEXICO, July 8, 1847.

  MY DEAREST WIFE,--I feel and know that here I can do some service
  for my country. So long as my services shall be needed here, I would
  not feel at liberty to ask to go home. I fear that peace cannot be
  brought about till some great blow is struck, and another signal
  victory won. Such is the wretched misgovernment of this people, and
  so discordant are their public counsels, so corrupt and selfish
  their public men, that I sometimes fear that the strong arm of
  military power alone can pacificate the nation. No nation on the
  face of the earth is a stronger exemplification of the strong
  governing the weak. Wherever our army has gone, the people have been
  benefited. You can hardly realize how conciliatory has been the
  deportment of our people throughout. All along the road from Vera
  Cruz to Puebla, beautiful fields of corn and grain were left
  untouched, when our horses were suffering for food. Any aggression
  on the property of the people is promptly punished and redressed.
  The Mexican army ravage their own people, and leave a sad wreck
  behind them. We pay for everything, and protect the people in their
  rights. I believe the entrance of our army will give a fresh impulse
  to this people. They are now but half civilized, taking the whole
  population together. An impulse will be given to the arts of peace,
  and the nation will be wiser and better for our coming among them.

  You may be sure that I take great satisfaction in your writing
  frequently to father. It will be a great comfort to him. I wish you
  so far as you can to occupy my place as regards my own relatives.
  Besides my father, Oliver, and Mary, I think many of them are much
  attached to me, and that they have a very high regard for you. I
  fear their expectations are much too high as to my prospects here. I
  aspire to no higher distinction than to do my entire duty. Our
  military establishment is so wretchedly organized that it is
  difficult for a man of acknowledged merit to rise. In organizing the
  ten new regiments very few promotions were made from the existing
  organizations, in consequence of which some of the ablest military
  men in our army see placed above them men totally devoid of capacity
  or zeal for the public service. One of the colonels of the new
  regiments is a dismissed cadet from West Point, and since I
  graduated. One of the majors of the volunteer regiments is a
  dismissed cadet of my own class, a very stupid and ignorant fellow.
  The men of capacity and of merit have this satisfaction: in
  difficult straits their counsels are sought and followed. The advice
  of lieutenants, even, is taken when that of general officers is

  Sunday, July 18. It is ten days since I wrote the above, nor is
  there much prospect that what has been written, and what I am
  writing now, will reach you for months. It is a great pleasure to
  write, and I know that whatever I write you will be glad to read.
  Pierce will not arrive in Puebla with his brigade before the 1st of
  August, nor can we advance to Mexico till after his arrival. We
  shall be detained here at least three weeks, a length of time
  invaluable to get well our sick and put in good shape our new
  levies. You can hardly realize either the scenery or the climate of
  this place. To the west are the two snowy mountains of Popocatepetl
  and Iztaccihuatl, their crests far above the clouds, to the north,
  Malinche, hoar with occasional frosts, and in every other direction
  gentle elevations, the whole inclosing one of the most beautiful and
  fertile valleys in the world. Though in the nineteenth degree of
  latitude and in midsummer, the climate corresponds with Newport in
  the month of April. This is due to the snowy mountains, our high
  elevation above the sea (at least 7500 feet), and the daily rains.
  Every afternoon regularly, we have a copious shower, and frequently
  a deluge of rain. I find four blankets and my woolen drawers
  necessary to keep me warm. We need as much bedclothing as in
  Bucksport in midwinter. I wear thick clothes all the time, and
  sometimes an overcoat. The gentlemen of Puebla are accustomed to
  wear their cloaks habitually. For one I could not dispense with
  flannel underclothes. Yet we never have frosts, and all the fruits
  and vegetables come to maturity at all seasons of the year. It is a
  very trying climate. The extreme rarity of the atmosphere is trying
  to all of us. It checks the insensible perspiration, and we have to
  be careful to keep well. At the present time my health is perfect.
  I was never better in my life, and this is the result of an
  abstemiousness in both eating and drinking which I have practiced
  ever since my arrival. We have an engineer mess of five officers.
  For breakfast and supper we scarcely ever have anything but dry
  toasted bread without butter and hard-boiled eggs. For dinner, meats
  plainly but thoroughly cooked, and a variety of vegetables without
  fruit or pastry. Fruit is considered unhealthy. In one of your
  letters you inquire if my servant is not in my way. You must
  recollect that our servants do our washing as well as take care of
  our horses and attend upon us. My servant's part is to wait upon
  table and clean the dishes. He has to take care of my room, make up
  my bed, mend my clothes, see that they are washed and in good
  condition, and take care of my horse. He is expected to spend much
  time in cleaning my horse, and he has to ride him every day for
  exercise when I have no occasion to use him myself. My servant's
  name is Michael Cunningham, a native of New York, and a very
  good-hearted and attentive fellow. Michael's only fault is that
  occasionally he indulges in an extra glass. This I hope to correct.
  My old soldier in Vera Cruz I was obliged to discharge for
  drunkenness. Michael I found in Puebla. He was a soldier whose term
  of enlistment had expired. I like this kind of life very much. But
  you need not fear that I shall look back to it with regret, when I
  find myself in the midst of my little family and by my own fireside.
  Wherever we are, it is wise to be content. It makes one's duties
  pleasanter, and our lives more profitable.

  You may inquire how I spend my time. We breakfast at eight, dine at
  two, and sup at seven. I generally rise in season for breakfast, and
  go to bed about twelve at night. After breakfast I take a walk and
  call on my friends. From ten to five o'clock I pass in my room in
  attending to my official duties, which are now entirely sedentary,
  and consist in preparing returns, reports, making drawings, etc., or
  in studying my profession as found in the books which I brought out
  with me, and which are a perfect treasure. Five to nine is spent in
  visiting, talking, receiving visits, etc. Nine to twelve I pass
  generally in reading. Thus my time is well filled, and I am being in
  some degree useful and preparing myself for future usefulness.
  Mason spends his time very much in the same way. I am studying daily
  the Spanish language, and hope before leaving this country to be
  able to speak it.

  Captain Pitman, of Providence, now senior captain of the 9th
  infantry, I see frequently. He came up with Cadwallader, and is
  spoken of highly by those who have had opportunities to witness his
  deportment as an officer. I have no doubt he will do good service,
  though unfortunately his company is small, some thirty odd effective
  men. He is determined to learn his profession, and will soon get his
  company in good condition.

  Sunday, August 1. My dear wife, since I have been an observer in
  this country, I have been more and more convinced that the hero age
  has not yet gone. This country, so highly favored by nature, a land
  emphatically of sun and flowers, so abject in the slavishness and
  brutality of its people, needs a hero spirit for its regeneration.
  Cortez and his devoted band did a great work, a work fit for heroes
  and prophets. His iron will and great soul planted Castilian
  civilization and enterprise in the midst of a contracted and
  superstitious people; and cities of fine proportions, magnificent
  works of art, cathedrals to the worship of the Most High, gardens in
  the arid plain and the dense chapparal and the wild forest field
  soon greeted the eyes of men in attestation of his genius. But with
  the decline of Castilian grandeur, Mexico ceased to be governed by a
  race of heroes, and her governors and her priests have degenerated
  into mere cumberers of the earth, having zeal only for their own
  aggrandizement. Is not here a work for a Moses or an Alfred? Is he
  not needed? And must he not arise? With the times must come the man.

  But enough of this. We are still in Puebla, our army eleven thousand
  strong, daily improving in health, discipline, and efficiency,
  General Pierce some five days behind with that eagerly looked-for
  mail that is to bring us tidings from our homes, and all eyes turned
  to Mexico, ready for either alternative of peace or war. We all hope
  that this vexed question may be settled here on terms honorable to
  both countries. But if this is not to be, no man fears the ultimate
  result. Every private in the ranks has a solid and well-grounded
  conviction that our flag is never destined to retire, that no effort
  of the enemy can pull it down. If we move onward, no mortal arm can
  prevent the valley of Mexico from falling into our hands. General
  Scott is a remarkable man. I will acknowledge that I was under wrong
  impressions as to his character. Of a strong and comprehensive mind,
  he has extraordinary tenacity of purpose, great self-reliance, and a
  power of labor equaled by few men. He is emphatically the leader of
  our army, and has its confidence. None of our general officers are
  to be compared with him. He has his weak points, which I will not
  mention now. No man in this army doubts his fitness to command.

  August 7. Since writing the above General Pierce has arrived with a
  mail from the States, bringing to me the melancholy tidings that my
  sister Mary was in Cincinnati in the last stages of consumption,
  unable to proceed farther on her way home. Oliver went on to bring
  her home, and wrote me the very day of his arrival. I wrote you
  yesterday by a courier employed at great expense to go down to Vera
  Cruz, but it is very uncertain whether he will get through. All the
  letters that have been sent to the States for months have been by
  couriers, who carry 80 to 100 letters, each a very small package, at
  two dollars per letter, and for the sake of the gain run the
  gauntlet of the guerrillas and robbers that infest the road. About
  one half get through. I trust that letter will reach you, as it
  would, I think, serve to remove much doubt in reference to the
  movement of our army upon the City of Mexico. Twiggs's division
  commenced its movement to-day. To-morrow General Scott and staff
  will leave Puebla, and reach Twiggs the same evening at San Martin.
  Every one is in fine spirits, and no doubt is felt as to the result.
  This letter I must now bring to a close, and get ready for the
  march. I shall not be able to add to it till we enter the City of
  Mexico, and go again into quarters. At that time not far distant, I
  trust not more than fourteen days, I trust I shall be able to inform
  you of a glorious victory and of my own personal safety. I for one
  have not the least presentiment of coming personal danger. I simply
  fear that my strength may not hold out to the last. But with
  prudence I have little apprehension as to my strength proving
  inadequate for my share of duty. I must now, with all hope and
  confidence in the future, bid you good-night and my sweet babes,
  commending you all to the care of that great Being who does not
  permit a sparrow to fall to the ground without his knowledge.

[Illustration: THE VALLEY OF MEXICO]

                               CHAPTER X


The City of Mexico is situated in the centre of an irregular basin some
thirty-five miles from north to south and twenty-five miles from east to
west, and is separated from the great plain of Puebla by the eastern
branch of the great Cordillera of Anahuac, interposing an elevation of
nineteen hundred feet at the Pass of the Rio Frio.

It was known from information collected by the engineers that the city
was entirely surrounded either by an inundation or by marshy ground, and
was approached by eight causeways, flanked with wet ditches, and
provided with numerous cuts; that the whole city was protected by a
double and in some quarters by a triple line of defensive works, well
armed with cannon, and defended by an army of some thirty thousand men.
The direct approach along the great national road was defended by the
strong position of the Peñon, seven miles from the city. Chapultepec
stood boldly out on the southwest, and on the north there were said to
be formidable works at Guadalupe.

After entering the valley along the national road, there were three
general modes of approaching the city,--the direct along the national
road, around Lake Tezcuco on the north, Chalco and Xochimilco on the

All the information collected pointed to the south and west as the
proper quarter from whence to attack the city; the south presented an
extended front with four of the eight causeways of entrance nearly
parallel to each other, and was necessarily weak. On the west the suburb
of San Cosme, a single street lined with houses on either side, extended
well into the country, and afforded a vulnerable point. Chapultepec, not
deemed a very formidable obstacle, required to be swept away to be free
to select the point of attack. Hence Tacubaya, a strong village
overawing Chapultepec, became the key point of the whole operation. In
the particular operation against the southern front, the occupancy of
the church and village of Piedad was of the last importance, in view of
all the southern gates, communicating directly with all the villages in
rear from Tacubaya to San Augustine, and by a good cross road
controlling the three causeways of San Antonio, Nino Perdido, and

Before ultimately deciding upon the strategic line, General Scott
determined to enter the valley at the head of the column, and whilst the
rear was closing up, to employ spies and push forward reconnoissances to
get accurate information of all the material facts bearing on the plan
of operations.

Accordingly, on the 7th of August the division of Twiggs, with the
engineer company at its head, led the advance, followed on successive
days by Quitman, Worth, and Pillow. General Scott and staff joined the
advance on the 8th. On the 11th Twiggs reached Ayotla, fifteen miles
from Mexico, Quitman Buena Vista, Worth Rio Frio, Pillow Tesmaluca,
respectively 3-1/2 miles, 11-1/2 miles, and 20-1/2 miles in rear.

On the 12th a reconnoissance of the Peñon was made by Captains Lee and
Mason and Lieutenant Stevens, the escort consisting of a squadron of the
dragoons, Captain Thornton, a section of Taylor's battery, and the 4th
artillery,--the whole under the command of Major Gardner. The Peñon was
found to be an extensive and commanding position, entirely surrounded
by water,--Lake Tezcuco stretching miles to the north. The base of the
hill, four hundred feet high, was surrounded by a continuous parallel
armed with batteries, and the defenses rose in amphitheatre to the top,
which was crowned by a small work. The only causeway of approach was
swept by two lines of works, and the defenses of the whole position were
formidable. A road branching off from the main road, two miles from the
Peñon, and leading to Mexicalcingo, was pursued some two miles, and
found to be exceedingly good. The Indians in the neighborhood reported
that the road was equally good throughout its whole extent, but that the
bridge at Mexicalcingo was broken down.

An amusing incident occurred in the progress of this reconnoissance.
Three officers--Major Gaines, of the Kentucky volunteers, Captain Mason
and Lieutenant Stevens, of the engineers--approached the causeway some
three quarters of a mile in advance of the escort, and advanced towards
a group of Mexican officers, some eight or ten in number, who were
flourishing their lances and curveting their horses as if to frighten
the American officers away. The latter, well mounted, continued their
course in a deliberate walk; and when they arrived within about three
hundred yards, the valiant Mexicans discharged their pistols, and,
finding no effect had been produced upon the American officers, who
still continued to advance, they immediately took to flight along the

In the afternoon Captain Lee and Lieutenant Beauregard reconnoitred the
road on the northern shore of Lake Chalco, as far as the causeway
between Lakes Chalco and Xochimilco. The causeway was knee-deep in
water. The object of the reconnoissance (to get boats) was not effected.
During the progress of the reconnoissance of the Peñon the Mexican
troops, in expectation of an attack, were brought out from the city in
large numbers. Major Smith and Lieutenant Tower, from a hill one
thousand feet high, in advance of Ayotla, observed the passage of troops
from the city to the Peñon during the progress of this reconnoissance.

On the 3d a minute reconnoissance of the ground between the lakes was
made by the engineers, supported by Shields's brigade, who at nine
o'clock left camp to block up the Peñon.

Captain Mason, supported by Sibley's dragoons and the rifles, and
accompanied by Lieutenants Beauregard and McClellan, examined the
position of Mexicalcingo, seven miles from the Peñon, pursuing the road
that was partially examined yesterday. This bold movement, almost under
the guns of the Peñon, and extremely hazardous in presence of an
enterprising enemy, was accomplished in the most successful manner.
After arriving at Mexicalcingo the party was joined by Captain Lee and
Lieutenant Tower, who, with a squadron of dragoons, had taken the route
of the lakes to examine the roads.

Mexicalcingo was found to be a strong position, defended by seven
batteries, and entirely surrounded by water and marshy ground.

The Peñon was minutely examined by Lieutenant Stevens, who entered the
inundation at several points, and succeeded in examining the whole
position, excepting a very inconsiderable portion on the western slope.
He entered the lake, and for a whole mile the water did not rise above
the fetlocks of his horse. South of the causeway the water was carefully
examined to determine the best crossing-place. Two were found where
water was not over two feet in depth, and the bottom very hard. The
positions of the several batteries and the paths of approach were
discovered. The position was even more formidable than it seemed
yesterday. Over thirty guns were in position. New batteries were being
erected, and stockades on the hill. The whole inundation was swept by
powerful batteries. Lieutenant Stevens was engaged seven hours in this
reconnoissance, most of the time within twelve hundred yards of the
enemy's guns.

We all returned late, much fatigued with our day's work. The general
expressed much gratification at the information furnished by the several

The general has not yet entirely decided upon his course. He listens to
everything, weighs everything, and, when he sees his way clear, will act
with promptitude. Pillow arrived to-day, and immediately proceeded to

August 14. Little was done to-day in the way of reconnoissances. Captain
Mason and Lieutenant Beauregard were assigned to duty with the division
of General Worth, and joined him at Chalco. Lieutenant Tower commenced a
reconnoissance of the lakes, to determine the practicability of
transport by water to Mexicalcingo, but did not succeed in getting into
the canal of Chalco. In the afternoon Colonel Duncan arrived at general
headquarters with the information that the road south of the lakes was
practicable. (He had explored ten miles of the road with a column.)
Accordingly, the plan of the general to attack Mexicalcingo in front,
sending Worth's division around to attack in rear, was abandoned, and it
was determined to move the whole army around the lakes.

August 15. Headquarters left Ayotla at eleven, and proceeded to Chalco,
Worth pushing from Chalco the same evening, and Quitman entering Chalco.
Captain Lee and Lieutenant Tower were assigned to the brigade of Harney
for temporary duty with the advance. The engineer company also joined
the advance of Worth.

August 16. All the divisions in motion this morning. The road around the
lakes was narrow and rough, in many cases passing through a narrow
defile on the very edge of the lake, on one side abrupt acclivities, and
on the other a quagmire, into which the least false step would plunge
one several feet deep.

Headquarters, before reaching the camping-ground of Worth of the
previous night, had to pass Quitman's and Pillow's train. On arriving at
Chimalpa, headquarters remained some hours for authentic intelligence
from Twiggs, it having been reported that in marching out from Ayotla,
early in the morning, he had encountered a large force of the enemy
under Alvarez. On learning that Taylor's battery, in firing seven
rounds, dispersed the large body of enemy's lancers which made a
demonstration against Twiggs at the point where the route left the
national road to wind round Chalco, headquarters moved forward to
Tulancingo, where we passed the night. This village is remarkable for
its large and ancient olive groves. The olive-trees on either side of
the road, stretching out their arms, form an arch above like the elms of
New England.

August 17. Headquarters reached Xochimilco this day with Pillow's and
Quitman's divisions, Worth advancing as far as San Augustin, and Twiggs
reaching Pillow's camping-ground of last evening. The road to-day was
extremely difficult, and required some working to fill up cuts, and
remove stones and other obstructions placed in the road. The march was
very laborious in consequence of the continual halts.

Early on the morning of the 18th General Scott reached San Augustin,
called the engineers, observed, "To-day the enemy may feel us, to-morrow
we must feel him," and ordered reconnoissances to determine the best
mode of reaching the position of Tacubaya. There were two roads,--the
direct by San Antonio, which was already ascertained to be occupied in
strength by the enemy, and one to the west passing through Contreras and
San Angel, known, however, for a portion of the distance to be simply a

Major Smith directed in person the examination of the San Antonio route,
assisted by Captain Mason, Lieutenants Stevens and Tower, and Captain
Lee that to the west, assisted by Lieutenant Beauregard. The
instructions of the general as to reconnoissances had been already
anticipated by General Worth as regards the Contreras route, who had
pushed his division forward, and dispatched Captain Mason, escorted by
Thornton's dragoons, to reconnoitre the enemy's position at San Antonio.
Whilst in the discharge of this duty two shots from a battery of the
enemy were fired, killing Captain Thornton outright and severely
wounding Fitzwater, an interpreter.

General Worth immediately placed his division in the occupancy of the
Hacienda Cuapa, thus affording the most ample protection to the escorts
of the engineers. Major Smith now ordered Captain Mason and Lieutenant
Tower to examine the enemy's right, and Lieutenant Stevens his left.

Captain Mason first went to the steeple of a church near by to determine
the best mode of conducting his reconnoissance, and then with Colonel
C.F. Smith's light battalion he passed over a field of pedregal to our
left, till he got a full view of the rear of the enemy. He traced paths
leading to Mexicalcingo, interrogated the peons, and came to the
conclusion that the whole position might be turned and the enemy made to
abandon it, by crossing an infantry force on the line he had just
pursued, and falling upon the enemy at daylight with the bayonet.

Lieutenant Stevens was twice recalled whilst pushing his reconnoissance,
first, by order of Colonel Garland in consequence of an apprehended
attack from the enemy, and second, by direction of Major Smith, the
senior engineer. This officer did not deem it necessary to do anything
further, observing to General Worth that he had examined the whole
vicinity from the top of the hacienda, and had also interrogated the
residents, and was satisfied that the ground was firm on our right, and
afforded a route to turn the enemy's position. Lieutenant Stevens
expressed doubts as to this, and was permitted to go on with his
examination. He persevered until night, and found that the ground was
marshy, intersected with canals, and that operations in this direction
were not practicable.

In the mean time Captain Lee, with Kearny's dragoons and Graham's 11th
infantry, reconnoitred the route by Contreras. At about a mile and a
half it became a mule-path, requiring to be worked to be practicable for
artillery, and on ascending a hill a mile and a half farther on, a large
intrenched camp opened to view at a mile's distance, occupied in
strength by the enemy, and completely closing the Contreras route, which
for the intervening distance passed through a bed of pedregal, a lava
rock of honeycomb projection. After passing the intrenched camp, the
road was known to be good. At the hill the party had a successful
skirmish with the enemy's pickets, and then returned to San Augustin.

In the afternoon General Scott examined in person the San Antonio front,
and at his quarters that evening, after hearing the reports of the
engineers, he decided to mask San Antonio, and force the intrenched camp
at Contreras. Captain Mason alone of the engineers advocated the forcing
of San Antonio.

On the 19th Twiggs's division, on coming up from Xochimilco, was pushed
forward to the support of General Pillow, already on his way to furnish
parties to work the road. The engineer company, with its tools on the
backs of mules, was ordered back from Worth early that morning and
assigned to Captain Lee, who, assisted by Lieutenants Beauregard and
Tower, located the road and superintended the working parties.

Major Smith, assisted by Lieutenant Stevens, designated the positions to
be occupied by the trains and the division of Quitman at San Augustin,
now become the general depot and key of operations. Captain Mason
continued on duty with Worth in front of San Antonio.

General Twiggs passed the division of Pillow just as the tools of his
working parties were being packed away, they being no longer able to
work the way in consequence of having come within range of the enemy's
batteries; and the engineers, now joined by Major Smith and Lieutenant
Stevens from San Augustin, advanced to and entered the pedregal to
examine the enemy's position. As observed yesterday by Captain Lee, he
was found to be in a strong intrenched camp on the opposite side of a
deep ravine, which, with the almost impracticable bed of pedregal that
intervened, completely separated the two armies. All the efforts of the
engineers, who advanced close to the enemy's pickets, Lieutenant
McClellan having his horse shot under him, could discover no other route
than the mule-path, completely commanded by the long guns of the
intrenched camp. This path wound through the rocks, and afforded at
points some little cover for men and guns. The pickets of the enemy were
in large force and well pushed forward. In the mean time a heavy
cannonade, shells and round-shot, opened from the camp. At this
juncture, with the rifles thrown forward as skirmishers, the howitzer
battery of Callender and the field battery of Magruder were brought
forward to a position indicated by Captain Lee to drive in the pickets
and make a bold demonstration, to cover the true and very different
movement, indicated by Lieutenant Stevens on returning from the advanced
position gained by the engineers under cover of the rifles to
communicate Captain Lee's request for the batteries, and before the
order to move forward the batteries had been given. This officer
(Lieutenant Stevens) observed to Twiggs, the senior officer in front,
"The true point of attack is the enemy's left. Attack his left, you cut
him off from his reserves and hurl him into the gorges of the
mountains." Major Smith expressed similar opinions. Riley was now sent
against the enemy's left, and the whole brigade of Smith to cover the
demonstration in front. Callender brought his battery into action with
extraordinary promptness and efficiency, and pushed it rapidly forward.
The heavier guns of Magruder could not be so easily handled, and great
delay occurred in getting them into battery; a position was found
partially sheltering them, and they were brought into action. Callender
was soon severely, and T. Preston Johnston of Magruder's battery
mortally wounded. Lieutenant McClellan, who assisted to carry Callender
to the rear, now took command of his battery, Lieutenant Reno being at
the time detached with the rockets. Lieutenant Foster also, at Captain
Magruder's request, took charge of one of his pieces, and when Johnston
fell, carried him to the rear. Both these officers distinguished
themselves by their exertions in pushing forward the two batteries as
well as in serving them.

               _Contreras, Churubusco, Molino del Rey, Chapultepec,
               Capture of City_]

Riley was still struggling through the pedregal, Lieutenant Tower
guiding his brigade, and Cadwallader was sent in the same direction.
Smith's brigade, closely followed by Pierce, now came to the front, and
entered a cornfield to the left, three companies of the 3d infantry,
Captain Craig, being detailed as a guard to the batteries, and
Lieutenant Haskin with twenty men to make good Magruder's losses. The
fire from the camp--shot, shells, and small-arms--on the front was
terrible, and the enemy's pickets advanced in force, threatening the
batteries. The leading regiment of Pierce, the 9th infantry, Colonel
Ransom, conducted by Lieutenant Stevens, now gallantly dashed forward
through the fire that swept the path, crossed a cleared cornfield in
direct view of the enemy's battery, pressed from cover to cover, driving
clouds of the enemy's skirmishers before them, crossed the rapid stream
that ran in the ravine, and gained the opposite bank, within three or
four hundred yards of the camp. This important position it maintained
till dark, forming with the 12th infantry, the detachments of Craig and
Haskin, and scattered bodies of the rifles, the sole force in front; the
15th infantry, Colonel Morgan, having been sent in the trail of
Cadwallader immediately on the arrival of the general-in-chief on the
ground, and Smith with his brigade following at a later period.

Riley on emerging from the pedregal came upon the village of San
Geronimo, through which he swept, and continued to advance in the
direction of a ravine that was found to extend to the rear of the camp.
In this isolated position he had two successful encounters with the
enemy's lancers, killing their general, Frontera, and awaited only the
coming up of reinforcements to order the assault. But Cadwallader, not
put in motion till Riley was well on his way, had barely time to reach
the village and hold it against the reserves of the enemy, estimated at
ten thousand men, foot and horse, which now came up from the city under
Santa Anna in person. The village, the key to the position, was to be
maintained at all hazards. Cadwallader presented a bold front and kept
the enemy in check. The arrival of Morgan an hour later, and of Smith
towards night, made the position impregnable against an infantry attack.

About sunset Riley returned to the village, and Smith, now senior in
command, resolved to attack the reserves, but, dark coming on before his
dispositions were made, an attack upon the intrenched camp was resorted
to as an alternative.

A dark and stormy night now closed in upon the scene, and the soldiers
in their dreary bivouac were placed in readiness for the morrow's work.
All thus far had gone on well. Worth in front of San Antonio maintained
the front and rear. Smith in the village of San Geronimo held the key of
the offensive movement to the enemy's left; his rear, thanks to the
pedregal and Pierce, still held in front of the intrenched camp, being
safe against attack.

The general-in-chief returned at nightfall to San Augustin. Many bodies
of stragglers were to be seen on the field. Even the two commanders of
divisions, Pillow and Twiggs, failed in reaching the village, where
their commands were in position, and within reach of an overwhelming
force. As the fire of our batteries died away and they were withdrawn,
cheer on cheer rose from the enemy's extended line. Rain coming on, many
bodies of stragglers not being able to find their commands, the
principal force hemmed up in a little village within reach of the
enemy's heavy batteries and within striking distance of his large force,
for the first time a feeling of despondency seized upon the minds of our
men. Happily, General Smith, the officer in command at the village, was
equal to the emergency, and extricated our force from its perilous

He determined upon a night attack, and sent Captain Lee to San Augustin
to confer with the general-in-chief in reference to supporting it by a
diversion in front. In consequence of the lateness of the hour, the
general deemed it impracticable to get any portion of Worth's command
upon the ground in season, but gave full powers to Captain Lee to
collect all the stragglers in front to operate as a diversion to the
main attack projected by General Smith.

In the course of this interview General Pillow and General Twiggs came
in, stating that, in consequence of the darkness and having no guide,
they had found it impracticable to reach the village, and were obliged
to retrace their steps; Pillow adding that they fell upon one of the
enemy's pickets while thus groping their way, or came so near as plainly
to hear their voices. Twiggs, a heavy man advanced in years, fell into
one of the hollows of which the formation was full, and injured himself

I was present during almost the entire interview, having entered the
room shortly after the arrival of Captain Lee, and everything I
witnessed increased, if it were possible, my confidence in General
Scott. Himself on the ground till dark came on, he had grasped the whole
field of operations, and had determined to adhere to his original plan.
He listened with perfect composure and complacency to Captain Lee's
statement of the field, occasionally introducing a pertinent question,
and with the utmost patience weighed the various suggestions of the
officers, and particularly General Smith's plan of a night attack.
Neither General Pillow nor General Twiggs made any suggestions as to
what should be done. Captain Lee, having been in all parts of the field,
and having full information on almost every point, was, as it were, the
only person whom it was necessary to listen to.

The general listened with equal patience to what I had observed on the
front attack. In the very commencement, and before the batteries had
been ordered forward, I stated with much emphasis to General Twiggs that
the attack should be against the enemy's left. "Attack his left, you cut
him off from his reserves and hurl him into the gorges of the
mountains." I, however, conducted the batteries forward, and with the
assistance of Lieutenants McClellan and Foster, placed them in position.
After reconnoitring towards the right in the attempt to find a better
path for our guns and troops, and without success, I returned to the
batteries, which in the mean time had been considerably advanced, and
were exposed to a tremendous fire of grape. The howitzer battery was
being served with great effect, and had almost cleared the ground in
front of the ravine of the enemy. But very great delay occurred in
bringing forward Magruder's battery and opening its fire. Everything
seemed to go wrong with him. The enemy's grape, within point-blank
range, in a measure disabled the howitzer battery, wounding many of the
gunners and finally disabling Callender, who was wounded in both legs,
and at this moment some little delay occurred in getting a supply of
spherical case-shot. The supporting party was reduced to some eight
rifles, and the enemy's skirmishers advanced. General Smith's brigade
came up, and entered the cornfield to the left of the battery. At my
request, two or three companies of the 3d infantry advanced to the front
and right to protect the batteries. Soon the 9th infantry came up, with
general orders to support the batteries, and were conducted by me over a
cut and open cornfield, under a shower of the enemy's grape, to the
cover of a ledge, from which, passing from cover to cover, driving the
enemy's skirmishers before them, they reached the ravine, and crossing
which they sheltered themselves on the opposite bluff on the edge of a
cornfield. Colonel Ransom showed great gallantry and force in the
management of his command, and to show the promptness of his command in
following him, this anecdote is related. Only some eight or ten men were
seen lagging behind, and these an officer of the regiment was cursing
most lustily to urge them forward.

Just as the regiment had reached its position I met General Twiggs, and
we both ascended to a little ridge, where we had a full view of the
enemy's intrenched camp. Soon a shower of grape came in our direction.
General Twiggs remained in his exposed position without moving a muscle,
till I suggested the propriety of his stepping down to a little
depression which afforded cover.

He informed me that Riley had been moving against the enemy's right for
more than an hour. I remarked, "I will go and find him, and bring you
back word of where he is," to which General Twiggs assented, and I
immediately started in search of Riley. I was, however, much exhausted
by my previous exertions, and the ground was of the difficult and almost
impracticable honeycomb lava rock, and I was obliged to abandon the
attempt, and returned to the advanced position of the 9th infantry.

On an elevated ridge just on the edge of the ravine, and partly
sheltered by a cedar-tree, I had a distinct view of the whole position.
I observed the encounter of the lancers with our own troops (which I
afterwards ascertained to be Riley's command), and after an interval the
enemy's reserves advancing in great force. They continued to advance in
two lines of lancers and infantry, with clouds of skirmishers in front,
and halted, their right nearly opposite the village of San Geronimo.

Whilst these reserves were advancing, there was an evident slackening,
and at length a total cessation, of our return fire in front to the
almost continual fire of grape and escopettes of the enemy. This led me
to suppose that a change had taken place in our dispositions, involving
great exposure perhaps to the 9th, and I returned for information. On my
return I met many bodies of stragglers, who could afford no information
as to the state of the field, heard the triumphal shouts from the
Mexican lines, and finally fell upon General Pillow and General Twiggs.
General Pillow was in much perplexity, was intent upon finding the
village of San Geronimo, and wished me to conduct the 9th to that place.
Not having been to the village, and dark coming on, I confessed my
inability to conduct the regiment as he desired, and after considerable
hesitation he directed me to bring back the regiment to the position of
Magruder's battery. I accordingly went in the direction of the ravine,
my chief guide being the discharge of the enemy's guns from the position
of the reserve; but that failing, and the night becoming quite dark, I
lost my way and wandered about, until finally I heard voices approaching
in my direction, which I soon discovered to be from our own troops.
Calling out to them, I was answered by Lieutenant Foster, of my own
corps, who informed me that he was retiring with a party of about thirty
rifles and 9th infantry men, having just been driven out from a small
building, higher up and on the same stream with the position of the 9th
infantry, by a large force of the enemy. At this time I was so exhausted
that I could walk only with great difficulty, and was obliged to abandon
going in quest of the 9th, and returned with Foster, who gave me the
support of his arm till we reached Sibley's troop of dragoons, near the
foot of the hill from which General Scott had overlooked the field. As
we wended our way along the rain fell, small bodies of troops were to be
seen from time to time, and everything had the appearance of a broken
and dispirited army. It, was perhaps the only desponding moment our
troops had seen since the opening of the campaign.

After resting about half an hour, I returned with Sibley, and reported
what I had observed as above.

During the whole of this memorable evening, not only was General Scott
perfectly composed and assured, but, in his intercourse with those
present, neglected none of the courtesies due to guests. All those who
came in tired and wet from the field he made sit down at his table and
break their fast.

About twelve o'clock General Twiggs and Captain Lee set out on their way
back to the field, Pillow remaining in town to sleep; and on arriving on
the ground of the front attack Twiggs, entirely exhausted by his
exertions, sought a little rest, and Lee collected the 9th and 12th,
with some sappers and rifles, to make a diversion in front.

This note-book is not the place for a detailed account of the brilliant
conflict planned by General Smith. Suffice it to say that, in
consequence of the darkness and constant rain of the night, the attack
projected to be made at three was not actually made till daylight. It
was eminently successful, and without doubt was the most brilliant
affair of the war. The principal charge was made by Riley on their
reverse and rear, led by Tower, and supported by Smith's and
Cadwallader's brigades, respectively commanded by Dimick and
Cadwallader, Ransom in front making a diversion with the troops that had
been collected in that quarter. The position was carried with little
loss on our part, and the whole force of the enemy either killed,
wounded, taken prisoners, or driven solitary fugitives from the field.
General Valencia made his escape with the lancers in an eccentric
direction, and was afterwards heard of at Toluca.

Our troops pushed on in pursuit and soon entered the town of San Angel,
through which Santa Anna had passed that very morning with his reserves
of fifteen thousand men. After a short halt at San Angel, Pillow in
command ordered the column to move on Coyoacan, where an unimportant
skirmish took place.

Here General Scott joined the column, and ordered a halt to reconnoitre
and bring up the captured guns. Captain Lee went towards San Antonio
with a dragoon escort to communicate with Worth, and I to the steeple of
the church to use my glass. Turning it on the San Antonio road, I
observed the enemy in full retreat, the whole road from San Antonio for
more than a mile towards the city being filled with troops, pack-mules,
and wagons. On reporting this to General Scott, he ordered Twiggs to
advance to cut off their retreat, and assigned me to duty as the senior
engineer officer of his division.


On the head of the column reaching the fork of a road, whither a party
of one hundred lancers had been driven by the mounted rifles, it was
halted and a very rapid reconnoissance made of the roads in advance.
Lieutenant McClellan taking the left-hand road and I the right, they
were found to lead respectively to, and directly in front of, a church,
which was observed to be occupied in strength. McClellan observed one
gun, and a prisoner taken on the ground reported there were two guns.
The engineer company was advanced in front of the building to support
and continue the reconnoissance. Whilst on this duty it became engaged
with the enemy, and the 1st artillery was ordered up in support.

Thus the action, on the part of Twiggs's division, commenced. It having
been entered on, it was determined to make a bold and quick matter of
it. Taylor's battery was ordered up, and took a position in the open
space in front of the church. It was expected it would drive the enemy
from the roof,[1] and enable the division--Smith in front, Riley on the
left, and perhaps a regiment along the direct road--to carry the work by
a _coup de main_. This course, recommended by myself to Twiggs, was
taken. Some delay, however, occurred before Riley got in position and
opened his fire. Meantime Taylor, serving his battery with extraordinary
coolness and energy, was met by a terrific return from the enemy, who
poured upon him an unceasing deluge of grape, his whole battery
consisting of eight guns, one a 16-pounder. Taylor breasted it manfully
for an hour and a half, when, two of his officers wounded and many of
his men and horses killed and disabled, he was compelled most
reluctantly to retire.

Soon after this Riley got in position and opened a sharp fire, producing
an immediate and evident abatement in the enemy's fire. The 1st
artillery had been in position from the commencement of the attack, and
was now followed by the 3d infantry. The work attacked in front and rear
by our infantry, all retreat cut off by Shields and Pierce occupying the
causeway in rear, Worth in possession of the _tête-de-pont_, Duncan
opening two guns on one of the long faces of the work, and Larkin Smith
directing a 4-pounder against the convent, the white flag was hung out
at the very moment the 2d and 3d infantry from the rear and front
carried the work at the point of the bayonet. Immediately the flag of
the 3d infantry was planted on the roof of the building; and over one
thousand prisoners, including three general officers, surrendered to

The battle of Contreras and the subsequent advance upon San Angel and
Coyoacan led to the evacuation of San Antonio. Whilst this was in
progress, Clarke's brigade, conducted by Captain Mason, of the
engineers, made a flank movement to the left, and cut the enemy's
retreating column of three thousand in two, dispersing the rear portion
and preventing its reaching the main body and entering into the
subsequent fight. Worth, with both brigades, now pushed forward with
great energy upon the heels of the other portion, till the column was
arrested by a fire of grape from a strong bastioned field-work of
fourteen feet relief and wet ditches in front, covering the passage of a
canal, and somewhat in rear of the work attacked by Twiggs, and which,
like the latter work, had not been noticed in the previous
reconnoissances. Both brigades were formed in the cornfields on the
right; the charge was ordered, Clarke in advance; and after a desperate
but short conflict the work was carried at the point of the bayonet, the
6th infantry and 2d artillery particularly distinguishing themselves.

In the mean time Shields, in command of Shields's and Pierce's brigades,
conducted by Captain Lee, the Palmetto regiment in advance, pursued a
route to the left, and finally came in contact with the enemy near the
hacienda on the great San Antonio causeway, a mile from the
_tête-de-pont_. The enemy were in great force lining the causeway, and
the lancers advancing towards the canal. The Palmettoes advanced most
gallantly, led by their gallant colonel, Butler; but some hesitancy was
manifested by the other commands, who retired under cover of the
hacienda or crowded behind the Palmettoes. Notwithstanding the utmost
exertions of the officers, a pause took place at good escopette range,
and a considerable loss was experienced. The Palmettoes lost their
colonel, shot dead, their lieutenant-colonel, wounded, four successive
color-bearers, shot down, and nearly half their rank and file killed
and wounded. Finally the movement was commenced, the enemy was charged
through, and the causeway was filled with fugitives to the city.

The dragoons, who thus far had continued inactive, now took the causeway
in pursuit, and the most gallant feat of the war was enacted. Captain
Kearny, in advance with a squadron, pursued the fugitives to the very
garita, where he charged directly up to a battery under a fire of grape,
dismounted, calling upon his men to follow him, and entered the gorge of
the work to take it by assault. Looking around, he found himself alone,
the few men immediately following him having been shot down, and the
remainder having retired in obedience to the return call from the rear,
which for Kearny's safety had just at this moment been inauspiciously
sounded. Surrounded by a crowd of fugitives, who pressed too closely
upon him to use their weapons, he retreated, making a passage with his
sword, mounted a jaded Mexican horse, and commenced to retire. Finding
that the sorry speed of the brute would long time expose him to the
enemy's grape, he dismounted and sought a better steed. Scarcely was he
mounted when his arm was carried away by a grape; but he succeeded in
making good his retreat. His first lieutenant, Ewell, had two horses
shot under him, and his second lieutenant, Graham, was wounded in the

This was the terrible and decisive conflict of the war, and was a case
of a combined movement of all the divisions. The enemy's intrenched
works were carried at the point of the bayonet. Surrounded on all sides,
the strong defensive building attacked by Twiggs was obliged to
surrender; the reserves, vigorously pushed, fled from the field; and the
army, which in the morning was estimated to be 27,000 strong, scarcely
presented in the evening a sorry array of 4000. We could have entered
the city the same day had we chosen. But our troops had made
extraordinary exertions, our casualties were great, and the general
determined to operate against the city after deliberately weighing its
capacity for defense.

After this disastrous defeat of the enemy General Scott rode through his
lines, addressing with terseness, brevity, and feeling the troops as he
passed them, who received him with great enthusiasm, and exhibiting all
that moderation and equanimity which has eminently characterized his
course throughout this campaign. Towards night he returned to his
quarters at San Augustin.

All the divisions suffered in nearly equal proportion, the casualties
amounting to 1066, of which about one fourth were killed or permanently

The 1st artillery suffered most severely in officers, losing in all the
battles five gallant officers, Captains Capron and Burke, Lieutenants
Irons, Johnson, and Hoffman.

It is probable the same and perhaps more decisive results could have
been effected, and with far less loss, had Twiggs and Worth stopped in
mid-career, and an hour been taken to reconnoitre the enemy's position.
Pillow and Shields with Garland's brigade and Duncan's battery
demonstrating in front, Twiggs's whole division with Taylor and the
howitzer battery on the enemy's right, Clarke's brigade on their left,
both making considerable detours, Clarke as a demonstration, Twiggs the
great attack, the causeway might have been gained; Taylor's battery sent
thundering on the enemy's rear, with Harney's horse and Riley's brigade
cutting off all hope of succor, the enemy's works and the reserves
inclosed by our troops must have immediately surrendered. Then, the
prisoners and their works left in charge of Pillow, all the other
divisions united could have been pushed forward in support of Riley, and
the city could have been stormed with little or no loss.

This is expecting impossibilities. We knew nothing of the enemy's works,
but we saw them in full retreat, we pushed forward to cut off their
retreat, and, coming upon the enemy's intrenched position, we became
engaged in the very act of reconnoitring it. The result was most
glorious to our arms, and will, we trust, conclude the war.

Major Smith, the chief engineer, was present during the battle of
Churubusco, and was distinguished for gallantry. He is suffering with
the same disability as myself.

We were both exceedingly fatigued with our exertions, and were glad to
get a night's rest at our quarters at San Augustin. Shortly after our
return Captain Lee and Lieutenant Tower came in.

Captain Lee had made the most extraordinary exertions, having been on
foot for two days and a night without a moment's rest. It was almost the
only instance in this war I have seen him fatigued. His services were of
the most important character, not second to those of any individual in
this army. Lieutenant Tower, in his night reconnoissance and subsequent
services in leading Riley's brigade against Valencia's intrenched camp,
exhibited great resolution and high military qualities.

It seemed to be conceded by the whole army that the engineers in these
important operations had done their duty, and that every individual
officer had shown a readiness to participate in the perils incident to
their service. In truth, the whole army, officers and men, were gallant,
and in several instances exhibited all the terrible energy of the
Anglo-Saxon race.

The night attack by Smith, and the storming of the works at Churubusco
by Worth and Twiggs, are unsurpassed in war. The former was a rare
combination of science and force, the latter an instance of desperate

I slept little that night. The picture was mingled sunshine and clouds.
The mangled forms of Capron, Burke, Johnston, and others whom I
personally knew and respected, I could not keep from my mind. The
experience of war is saddening. The terrible scenes of the battlefield
cannot be effaced from the memory. We realize the observation of
Franklin, "I scarcely ever knew a good war or a bad peace."

Lieutenant Stevens gained great reputation, both at headquarters and in
the army generally, by the part he took in these brilliant operations.
His reconnoissance of El Peñon was considered one of the most daring and
complete of the war, and, as he modestly remarks, "General Scott was
very much pleased with my reconnoissance, and I got more credit for it
than I deserved." General William H. French (commander of the third
corps, Army of the Potomac, in 1863) writes of this reconnoissance, in
which he participated as one of the covering party: "It brought
Lieutenant Stevens conspicuously before the army. That night the reports
of the different officers of engineers were made to the general-in-chief
in person; that of Lieutenant Stevens was so full and clear, it in a
great measure decided General Scott to take the route around Lake
Chalco, and attack the City of Mexico in reverse. From this time the
general-in-chief recognized his ability and talents."

His exertions at El Peñon overtasked his strength, however, and in
consequence he was obliged to ride for three days in an ambulance on the
march around Lake Chalco as far as Rochimilco.

In the movement on the intrenched camp at Contreras, Lieutenant Stevens,
advancing with the skirmishers to reconnoitre the position, saw at once
that the decisive movement would be to turn the enemy's left, and seize
the road between the camp and the city, thus isolating the former and
cutting it off from reinforcements. Hastening to General Twiggs, he
urged this movement upon that officer in his earnest and forcible
manner, saying, "The true point of attack is the enemy's left. Attack
his left, you cut him off from his reserves, and hurl him into the
gorges of the mountains." The movement was at once decided upon. Riley's
brigade was directed to the right (enemy's left) over the pedregal,
followed by Cadwallader, and later by Shields and Smith; San Geronimo
was seized, and the dashing victory of Contreras was the result.
Lieutenant Stevens was the first to see and urge this decisive movement,
and his advice was immediately adopted by the veteran Twiggs.

The terrific conflict of Churubusco, which followed hard on Contreras,
was brought on, or perhaps it may be said precipitated, by Lieutenant
Stevens. From the church steeple in Coyoacan he discovered the enemy in
full retreat down the San Antonio causeway, and on his report to that
effect, General Scott at once ordered Twiggs forward, and Lieutenant
Stevens to accompany him as his senior engineer officer. Leading the
division with the engineer company, he discovered the fortified church,
or convent, barring the road; the company became engaged, and, the
action having thus commenced, General Twiggs adopted almost implicitly
the suggestions of the ardent young officer, and gave free rein to his
efforts "to make a bold and quick matter of it." Lieutenant Stevens
personally led and placed in position Taylor's battery, the 1st
artillery (infantry), and other troops, greatly exposing himself during
the action. The position, however, proved much stronger than was
expected, a strong earthwork and breastwork being screened and partially
concealed by tall, waving corn, which covered the fields in front, and
cost the bloody and protracted fight before it fell. Lieutenant Stevens
did not altogether escape criticism for putting the battery where it
was so badly cut up; indeed, seems to have reproached himself; but his
superiors, the veteran Twiggs and Scott, found no fault, knowing full
well that great boldness and exertion are the price of great
achievements in war. General H.J. Hunt relates that, after entering the
city, a party of wounded officers were talking over matters, and
Lieutenant Stevens reproached himself for having too severely criticised
Magruder at Contreras, and remarked: "The very next day at Churubusco I
did worse myself, acting on my judgment and eyesight, which deceived me,
for I had not a knowledge of all the facts bearing on the situation. It
was therefore my fault that Taylor's battery was knocked to pieces."

"Here, again," remarks General Hunt, "is his characteristic frankness
and honesty, and _sense of justice_ to others, breaking out, and
carrying him further than was necessary, and into doing injustice to

              OF THE CITY OF MEXICO, Sunday, August 22, 1847.

  MY DEAREST WIFE,--The great battle of Mexico has been fought, and
  our arms have achieved a glorious triumph. Commissions are now
  sitting to treat of an armistice that will terminate, as we all
  trust, in a permanent and honorable peace to both countries. Mexico
  is again without an army, and the gates of the capital are open to
  us. Terrible was the conflict, severe our loss, particularly in
  efficient and gallant officers; the whole army was engaged, and the
  whole public force of Mexico struck down, large numbers of prisoners
  and a great amount of material of war falling into our hands.

  My heart is filled with gratitude to the Most High that I had the
  strength to do my duty with the other officers of my corps, and
  that, although much exposed in three different reconnoissances and
  two hard-fought battles, I have escaped without a wound, and without
  any abatement of my health and strength. I cannot feel exultation.
  We have lost many brave officers and men, some my personal friends;
  streams of blood have in reality flowed over the battlefield. The
  hearts of the whole Mexican nation are thrilling with anguish and
  dismay. Such is war, so glittering and imposing on parade and in
  anticipation, so terrible in reality.

  Puebla is about seventy-five miles from Mexico. On referring to the
  map, you will find that the direct road passes between lakes Tezcuco
  on the north, Chalco and Xochimilco on the south. At the Venta de
  Chalco, about twenty miles from Mexico, the road turns off to pass
  southward of the lakes. El Peñon, about eight miles from Mexico, is
  a high hill entirely surrounded with water, along the edge of which
  the great direct road to Mexico passes, consisting of a causeway for
  about a mile and a half approaching it, and also of a causeway the
  whole distance after leaving it, till we reach the City of Mexico.

  General Twiggs with his splendid division was in the advance,
  followed on successive days by Quitman, Worth, and Pillow. In five
  days Twiggs was pushed up to Ayotla, fifteen or sixteen miles from
  Mexico, General Scott continuing with him in the advance, and the
  other divisions five, fifteen, and twenty-five miles in rear. As
  they came up (it required two days), they were held in reserve at
  the head of Lake Chalco, whilst the proper reconnoissances and
  examinations were made to determine the general plan of attack. The
  first day, a reconnoissance was made of the Peñon, supported by a
  squadron of dragoons, a regiment of infantry, and two pieces of
  artillery. The Peñon was found to be fortified and occupied in
  force. Captain Mason, of the engineers (my friend Mason), Major
  Gaines, of the Kentucky volunteers (taken prisoner just before the
  great battle of Buena Vista, and who made his escape only one or two
  days before the march of the army from Puebla), and myself rode some
  distance in the advance, and observed near the causeway some eight
  or ten Mexican officers. We were at least three quarters of a mile
  from the rest of our force. We advanced upon them, they curveting
  their horses and advancing upon us. When within about three hundred
  yards they discharged their pistols, but we continuing our advance,
  they all turned their horses and returned full speed across the
  causeway, carrying with them a troop of lancers. The whole affair
  was very amusing and afforded much sport. It did not diminish our
  contempt of Mexican prowess.

  The second day a splendid reconnoissance was made of the whole
  country between the lakes, including the Peñon and Mexicalcingo at
  the head of Lake Xochimilco. The particular reconnoissance of the
  Peñon was intrusted to me. On my little horse, one of the most
  enduring, spirited, and beautiful animals in the service, with two
  dragoons, I went half way round the Peñon, and was for seven hours
  within almost point-blank range of its guns, examining the different
  batteries, determining the various approaches, and particularly the
  character of the inundation. Frequently I was in the water up to the
  belly of my horse. General Scott was very much pleased with my
  reconnoissance, and I got more credit for it than I deserved. The
  same day Mason made an admirable reconnoissance of Mexicalcingo.

  Our spies had given information that the road around Chalco was
  impracticable for our trains, and in consequence thereof the general
  almost made up his mind to force Mexicalcingo, and at that point and
  westward, fight the great battle of the war. He, however, determined
  to wait one day for additional information.

  Worth, who had now come up, was sent to Chalco, and a column under
  the orders of Colonel Duncan reconnoitred the road around the lakes.
  Our spies were found to have given wrong information, and the road,
  though bad, was found to be practicable. That same evening General
  Scott, with the whole field before him, determined to move around
  Chalco, and ordered the movement to commence on the morrow.

  The prompt advance of Twiggs to Ayotla, the brigade of dragoons of
  the famous Colonel Harney two miles farther in advance, and the
  brilliant reconnoissances of the two succeeding days impressed the
  enemy with the belief that the Peñon was to be attacked, and they
  lost no time in filling the place with troops, and putting in
  position formidable batteries of nearly forty guns.

  In the movement around the lakes Worth was in the advance, followed
  by Pillow, Quitman, and Twiggs. The road was exceedingly bad and
  narrow, in many places a perfect defile, obstructed by cuts, stones
  from the hills in some cases formed into walls, and requiring great
  patience, energy, and perseverance for the passage of the trains.

  The third day Worth reached San Augustin, General Scott and staff
  resting at Xochimilco with the divisions of Pillow, Quitman, and
  Twiggs respectively some five and ten miles in rear; no obstruction
  of moment occurring either in front or rear, unless we except a
  demonstration of a large force of lancers on the movement of General
  Twiggs's division from Ayotla, a demonstration brought speedily to a
  close by the opening of Taylor's battery.

  Early the next morning, Wednesday, August 18, Scott joined Worth;
  developed his general plan of attack, and ordered the engineers
  immediately to make vigorous reconnoissances of the position and
  force of the enemy. He remarked, "To-day the enemy may feel us,
  to-morrow we must feel him."

  Accordingly two reconnoissances were made,--one, of the position of
  San Antonio, three miles from San Augustin, on the great southern
  road to Mexico, conducted by Major Smith; the other, of the road to
  San Angel, turning the position of San Antonio, and bringing us to
  the next great and adjacent causeway to the west. This latter
  reconnoissance was conducted by Captain Lee.

  The first reconnoissance was supported by the whole of Worth's
  division. Captain Mason had charge of one party, I had charge of the
  other. Whilst the whole party of engineer officers with a portion of
  the escort were examining the position of San Antonio within twelve
  hundred yards of its guns, and in the causeway itself, the enemy
  discharged his battery of two large brass 16-pounders, blowing to
  pieces the body of the gallant Captain Thornton, commanding the
  escort, and severely wounding an interpreter. The second
  reconnoitring party (that of Captain Lee) were brought into pretty
  close contact with a body of the enemy, whom they completely
  dispersed without any loss. Thus, the enemy felt us the first day.
  Pillow and Quitman had now come up to San Augustin (ten miles from
  Mexico), and Twiggs to Xochimilco, four miles in rear.

  It was determined to move the main body on San Angel, Worth
  remaining in front of San Antonio, and by a vigorous combined
  movement forcing this position and advancing upon Tacubaya.

  Accordingly, on Thursday Pillow and Twiggs were pushed forward over
  a most difficult road, requiring much labor to make it practicable
  for field-guns, and in full view of a large force of the enemy, who,
  divining our intentions from the reconnoissance of Wednesday, had
  intrenched himself in a strong position, barring our passage. As our
  troops approached, they were brought gallantly into action.
  Callender's howitzer battery was advanced to a very exposed position
  for the temporary purpose of driving in a picket, was not withdrawn
  in time, and, exposed to a formidable battery of twelve guns, was
  entirely cut up, its gallant commander receiving severe wounds in
  both legs. Magruder's battery of 12-pounders was in like manner
  advanced and cut up. These batteries were supported by Smith's
  brigade on the left, and the 9th infantry on the right. The 9th
  infantry I led across an open field, exposed to the enemy's grape,
  without the loss of a man. They advanced to a strong position in a
  ravine, which they maintained till dark.

  Riley's brigade and the greater portion of Pillow's division were
  pushed forward against the enemy's right to cut him off from his
  reserves, and by a vigorous charge take him in flank and hurl him
  into the gorges of the mountains.

  The whole field of approach was a perfect honeycomb of lava
  projections, entirely impracticable for horse and difficult for
  foot. Nothing was known of the ground. All the troops advanced with
  difficulty. That intrepid veteran, Riley, with his gallant brigade,
  pushed forward and encountered the enemy's lancers in large force,
  repulsing them in successive charges. He organized his brigade to
  charge the battery, but felt it his duty to await orders and

  Smith, somewhat late in the day withdrawn from the right, reached a
  village on the left of the enemy's position, to which Riley had
  withdrawn, and was reinforced by the greater portion of Shields's
  and a portion of Pierce's brigade. An attack under the direction of
  Smith was organized, but could not be executed in consequence of the
  gathering shadows of the night.

  At this moment, all offensive operations on our side having ceased
  and no impression made on the enemy's line, their reserves coming up
  in great force and bringing with them additional guns, cheer on
  cheer rose from their whole line, whilst on our part there was much
  gloom and despondency. Our commands were much scattered, our
  batteries had become disabled, and every one was overcome with the
  fatigues of the day. During the latter part of the day I was
  reconnoitring in the advanced position of the 9th infantry, and, not
  knowing the progress of the day in other parts of the field,
  returned to the rear for orders. I found General Pillow, who seemed
  somewhat perplexed with the posture of affairs, and gave me no
  orders till dark was coming on. I endeavored to find my way back,
  but could not succeed. I was so entirely exhausted that it was with
  the greatest difficulty that I could drag one foot after the other.
  Finally I fell upon a small party of rifles and 9th infantry, led by
  Lieutenant Foster, of the engineers, who were making good their
  retreat from a house somewhat higher up on the same stream with the
  position of the 9th infantry, and from which they had been expelled
  by a whole regiment of the enemy. On hailing the party, Foster
  recognized my voice, and I concluded to return with him, but so
  entirely worn down that I required his support. We made our way with
  great difficulty, occasionally meeting little parties of soldiers
  seeking their commands. It had already commenced raining. On passing
  near the place where I left my horse, I could not find him, and was
  obliged to pursue my way on foot. At length we reached some dragoons
  near the foot of a hill, where General Scott had placed himself to
  observe the field, and there learned that he had left half an hour
  before for San Augustin, three miles distant. I inquired for my
  horse, but could not find him. Foster kindly lent me his, and after
  waiting some half an hour I set out on my return to San Augustin in
  company with Captain Sibley's troop of dragoons.

  On my way back my feelings were not desponding, but I was sad. The
  9th infantry, called the New England regiment, who had gallantly
  followed my lead, and had occupied for hours an exposed position, I
  had not succeeded in bringing back to the place indicated by the
  general. I felt deeply my physical inability to support
  long-continued exertion. It seemed to me that I had abandoned a
  body of men who were relying on me. The regiment had acted nobly,
  and none more so than Pitman, acting as major. He was cool and
  intrepid throughout.

  On my way home the rain poured in torrents much of the time. I
  overtook my intrepid friend Callender, whom some men of his company
  were carrying home on a litter. He seemed to be comfortable, and is
  now rapidly recovering from his wound.

  On reaching my quarters, getting some supper, and changing my
  clothes, I went to see General Scott. He was surrounded by his
  personal staff, and was attentively listening to Captain Lee's
  account of the state of the field. Soon after, General Pillow and
  General Twiggs entered the room. Twiggs is a gray-haired veteran of
  sixty, large in person, of rather blunt address, and of little
  advantages of education, but possessing in an eminent degree
  decision of character, great sagacity as to men and events, and an
  aptitude for labor. He has the most splendid division in the
  service, the fruit in great measure of his own unwearied exertions.
  Captain Lee is an officer of engineers to whom I have before
  alluded, and one of my mess-mates. He is one of the most
  extraordinary men in the service. In the very prime of manhood, of
  remarkable presence and address, perhaps the most manly and striking
  officer in the service, of great grace of manner and great personal
  beauty, he has established an enduring reputation. His power of
  enduring fatigue is extraordinary, and his strength of judgment and
  perfect balance are conspicuous. For counsel, General Scott relies
  more upon him than any other man in the service.

  I never shall forget that evening,--Captain Lee in calm, even,
  well-weighed words, giving a full view of the state of our force,
  suggesting the various methods of reëstablishing affairs, and
  proffering his own services and exertions to carry out the views of
  the general; Scott, composed, complacent, weighing every word he
  said, finding fault with no one's blunders, and taking in all cases
  the best view of things, indulging in no apprehensions, and
  exhibiting entire confidence in the ultimate event. At length
  General Twiggs and Captain Lee returned to the battlefield with full
  powers to retrieve affairs as their best judgment should dictate. It
  had been proposed by General Smith, one of Twiggs's brigadiers, to
  make a night attack upon the enemy's position, defended by twelve
  guns and five thousand of their best troops. Captain Lee's principal
  object in seeing the general was to procure his sanction. It was not
  denied. On returning to the field, all arrangements were made to
  carry it into execution.

  My dear wife, I am spinning out a long letter, and I must be more
  brief. This night attack, in consequence of rain and the difficult
  nature of the ground, was not carried into execution till dawn of
  day. It was organized by General Smith. The reconnoissance of the
  route was made in the night by my friend Tower, of the engineers.
  The principal column of attack consisted of Riley's brigade led by
  Tower. Two other columns were pushed in the same general direction,
  one of which was commanded by our friend Major Dimick. In front a
  column was formed of the scattered commands, mostly new levies.

  Riley's column pursued its way over slippery and uneven ground,
  crossing two deep ravines, halting from time to time to keep the
  command together. Finally it reached the brow of a hill in rear of
  the enemy's position, and was formed in two columns, just as the
  coming day disclosed them to the enemy. Immediately the charge was
  ordered, and the gallant brigade made its terrible charge, ably
  supported by the other columns. The contest was brief but decisive.
  In fifteen minutes one thousand dead and wounded of the enemy lay on
  the field, nearly a thousand more were taken prisoners, and the
  remainder were flying in all directions. Every one speaks in the
  most exalted terms of the conduct of Tower. Some say he led the
  brigade and did the whole work.

  As for myself, broken down the evening before, greatly in need of
  rest, I complied with the advice of Major Smith and Captain Lee and
  remained in town, giving directions to my servant to be called at
  three, in order that I might return to the field to be in season for
  the fight. My servant did not wake me till five. One delay after
  another occurred, and I was finally detained by General Scott to
  conduct to the field a brigade of General Worth's command. We
  started and had got half way out, when information came of the
  brilliant success of the night attack, and the brigade was ordered
  back. I continued my way, and finally came across Tower very
  quietly eating his breakfast in company with Lieutenant Beauregard
  of our corps, who was also conspicuous in the same attack. I rode
  on, passed over the battlefield, reached the advance, and exchanged
  greetings with my friends of the 9th regiment, who had felt as
  anxious for me as I had for them. They informed me that they had
  withdrawn to a safe place about nine in the evening, and were
  engaged in the night attack. My friends of the 1st artillery, Major
  Dimick, Captains Capron, Burke, etc., I also shook warmly by the
  hand, and finally rode up to General Twiggs. I congratulated him on
  the brilliant victory achieved by his command. "General Smith
  deserves the whole credit, but it was my division," was his reply.

  The order was soon given to advance upon the San Antonio road,
  General Twiggs in advance, the object being to cause the enemy to
  evacuate it and open the way for the advance of Worth. I accompanied
  the advance. We soon reached the village of Coyoacan, from which a
  picket of about two hundred lancers was expelled. There we halted
  till General Scott rode up. He proposed to wait half an hour to
  reconnoitre, determine the position of the enemy, and the proper
  mode of attack. General Worth had previously received orders not to
  attack the enemy till he heard the fire on the other line.

  Calling for the engineer officers, Captain Lee was directed, after
  examining a prisoner, to communicate with General Worth at San
  Antonio, and I went to the steeple of the church to use my glass. I
  turned it upon the San Antonio road, and observed the enemy in full
  retreat, the causeway for more than a mile being filled with troops,
  pack-mules, and baggage-wagons. I immediately reported the fact to
  General Scott, who ordered Twiggs to advance, and directed me to
  accompany his division. Twiggs pushed on, and I went forward with
  the officers of the engineer company to reconnoitre. We came to a
  fork of a road. I took to the right, Lieutenant McClellan to the
  left. Mine passed directly in front of a strong building (a church),
  occupied in force by the enemy; his led directly to the building. At
  a little distance before me I saw the enemy in retreat, and we took
  one prisoner, who informed us that the place was defended by two

  My dear wife, perhaps I had not better at this time go into the
  details of the most terrible fight of the war, which now commenced.
  General Twiggs has said publicly that by my reconnoissance and
  efforts it was brought on, as regards his division. We all felt the
  strongest determination to fight the enemy, and put him to a perfect
  rout. At all events, it so happened that I was extremely active in
  pushing forward columns of attack, etc. Our friend Major Dimick's
  regiment I directed to its position. So with Taylor's battery.
  General Twiggs, in almost every case, agreed to my suggestions. By
  my efforts and those of the junior engineer officers, the troops
  were brought under fire and the battle commenced.

  The veteran division of Twiggs, already engaged in two hard-fought
  battles, the desultory and galling conflict of the day before and
  the brilliant victory of the morning, exposed to the rains of the
  night, and the whole without the least rest from the wearisome march
  around Lake Chalco, came gallantly into action against the enemy,
  intrenched in a position of remarkable strength,--a bastioned
  field-work of high relief, wet ditches, armed with eight guns, some
  of large calibre, and protected by a church converted into a
  defensive building of great strength. Taylor, whom you knew in
  Newport, came into action in most gallant style, and opened his fire
  upon the enemy, driving him from the roof of the building. But so
  destructive was the return fire of the enemy behind his earthen
  breastworks that in a short time his battery was cut up, and he was
  obliged to withdraw, losing many men and horses, and two of his
  officers were wounded. Lieutenant Martin, formerly stationed in
  Newport, lost his arm. Riley opened his fire with great spirit and
  effect against the left; Smith's brigade, headed by our gallant
  engineer company, against the right. Worth, hearing our fire,
  hastened up his command, and attacked a strong bastioned field-work
  on the great San Antonio causeway, and a little in rear of the work
  attacked by Twiggs. The 6th infantry and Duncan's battery were
  conducted directly up the causeway. A terrible fire of grape
  temporarily checked the advance of the 6th, and compelled Duncan to
  put his battery under cover. An attack was directed, headed by the
  2d artillery, to turn the left of the position. The whole command
  of Worth was rushed to the attack, not in the most orderly manner,
  and the greatest gallantry was displayed by both officers and men. A
  continued blaze of fire proceeded from the extended line of the
  enemy, resting on the two field-works, and was returned with great
  spirit by both Twiggs and Worth. The roar of battle did not for a
  moment cease, and at times the stoutest hearts would quail.

  In the mean time the brigades of Shields and Pierce, conducted by
  the intrepid Captain Lee, were directed around the enemy's right to
  get into his rear and cut off his retreat. The enemy appeared in
  such great force that it was with the greatest difficulty that the
  command could be brought to the attack. The gallant Colonel Butler,
  leading most nobly the Palmetto regiment, was shot dead, and
  Lieutenant-Colonel Dickinson was wounded. After exceeding effort
  they were made to charge the enemy, the causeway was gained, and his
  retreat cut off. In this action both Shields and Pierce were
  conspicuous for their gallantry, and the latter was wounded.

  Previous to the attack of Worth, the work attacked by Twiggs had
  been nearly silenced by the destructive fire of his two gallant
  brigades, the gunners were shot down, and the guns were served only
  at intervals. Still the church held out, and the line in rear was
  not touched. Worth, after one repulse and at heavy loss, took by
  assault the work on the causeway, the guns of which, together with
  two from Duncan's battery, were opened upon the work attacked by
  Twiggs. Shields and Pierce had now cut the causeway. Seeing no hope
  of escape, the white flag was hung out, and immediately the division
  of Twiggs occupied the work, taking over one thousand prisoners, of
  whom three were general officers.

  The panic was now universal. Our troops pushed forward on the great
  causeway, the dragoons in hot pursuit, sabring the enemy in their
  path. They fled in all directions. The gallant Captain Kearny
  charged up almost to the very walls of the city, receiving a severe
  wound in the arm, which rendered its amputation necessary.

  This is a meagre account of this terrible fight, more protracted and
  severe than anything seen at the Resaca, at Monterey, or the Cerro
  Gordo. Our loss is great, some forty officers in killed and
  wounded, and over seven hundred rank and file; nearly half the
  officers of the 1st artillery were killed or wounded. Major Dimick
  commanded the regiment in three battles and escaped without a wound.

  As I have before said, I was on duty with the division of Twiggs.
  This veteran was greatly exposed during the whole contest, and was
  conspicuous for his coolness and judgment. General Scott himself was
  wounded. The chief engineer, Major Smith, was also conspicuous for
  gallantry and good conduct. Our gallant engineer company nobly
  sustained its reputation as the first company in the service. At the
  close of the action General Scott rode over the whole field,
  speaking words of encouragement to the wounded, and addressing the
  several regiments as he passed them. On all sides he was received
  with the greatest enthusiasm. His words were the eloquence of the
  heart, and told with great effect.

  General Scott and staff returned to San Augustin, some five miles
  from the battlefield, to pass the night. We were all greatly in need
  of rest. To our great satisfaction, on comparing notes it was found
  that not a single engineer officer had been touched, and only three
  soldiers of the company wounded.

  Notwithstanding the great fatigues of the day, I slept little that
  night. The battlefield was before me with its scenes of terror and
  of blood. The gallant officers who fell haunted me. The loss of
  human life was appalling. I reflected that with less precipitation
  the works could have been carried with much less loss. I was
  precipitate like the rest, and felt in a measure culpable.

  The next morning, after issuing the proper orders for the movements
  of the troops,--orders given verbally from his horse to his aides,
  and with admirable precision,--General Scott proceeded to the
  village of Coyoacan, and there met a white flag from the city. We
  then learned that consternation sat on that devoted place, and that
  her army of twenty-six thousand to thirty-two thousand men had
  become reduced to four thousand indifferent troops. The result of
  the white flag was the appointment of commissioners to treat of an
  armistice. This morning (Monday) the articles were duly signed, and
  there is now every prospect that the war has come to a close. The
  armistice is made by authority of the supreme government, and its
  avowed object is to negotiate a treaty of peace. This armistice
  provides generally that the two parties shall remain as they are.
  Hostilities are to cease within a circuit of twenty-eight leagues of
  the city, the guerrillas are to be withdrawn from the national road,
  and our communications are to be free with Vera Cruz.

  Monday evening. I have sad news to-day. The first day of the
  armistice the Mexicans have commenced trifling with us. The
  armistice provided that our army should draw supplies from the city,
  and in consequence we commenced drawing specie in exchange for
  drafts. The Mexicans denied this construction of the article, and in
  consequence, at three o'clock, General Scott gave notice of the
  termination of the armistice (the articles guarantee forty-eight
  hours' notice). The Mexicans dare not again invoke the power of our
  arms, and will yield the point. But it looks bad.

  Tuesday, August 24. The commissioners have met again to-day, and the
  articles have been modified to meet General Scott's views.

  Thursday, August 26. Yesterday Santa Anna issued a proclamation
  referring to his great exertions to defend his country, and to the
  circumstances of the present crisis, and stating his conviction that
  an honorable peace would promote the best interests of his country.
  Accordingly to-day commissioners to negotiate a treaty of peace were
  appointed on his part, who are to meet our commissioner, Mr. Trist,

  Friday, August 27. This has been a white day for me. The
  archbishop's palace is a very good place for the general and his
  personal staff. It has a splendid view from its top. But since our
  arrival it has been crowded with the general staff and with a
  company of dragoons. The courtyard was filled with horses, and the
  whole place was becoming filthy in the extreme. The chief engineer,
  Major Smith, and myself occupied a small, dirty room, which we used
  for a sleeping-room, an eating-room, and an office. Accordingly we
  determined to seek other quarters. After much inquiry, I fell to-day
  upon a splendid suite of apartments belonging to a judge in the City
  of Mexico, which I have secured, and am now occupying with Major
  Smith. We have a large parlor, dining-room, two large
  sleeping-rooms, a spacious kitchen, stable, and flower garden. As
  throughout all Mexico, our apartments extend to the rear, looking
  upon an open court, with one apartment only on the street. The house
  is of one story, and each window extends to the floor and opens upon
  the court. We feel quite comfortable in our new home. The
  corresponding suite of apartments on the opposite side of the court
  is occupied by the judge's clerks and law students. We have been
  much indebted in securing these apartments to the good offices of
  Mr. Jameson, a Scotch merchant of wealth in the City of Mexico, who
  resides in Tacubaya. He is our next-door neighbor, and will make a
  most pleasant acquaintance. Just opposite us, he is now building a
  most elegant mansion in the midst of a garden laid out in the
  English style. Last evening Mason and myself took a walk to the top
  of an eminence in rear of the palace, where we had a most beautiful
  view of the City of Mexico and its neighboring lakes. We both
  thought of Newport, and of the thousand delightful recollections
  that cluster around it. Mason is in fine health, and has greatly
  distinguished himself in the recent operations. We both hope to see
  Newport before the close of the year.

  Saturday, August 28. To-day I have for once felt entirely recovered
  from the fatigues of the recent operations in the valley, and have
  twice mounted my horse, and to-morrow I think of going to the
  village of Mixcoac, some two and a half miles from this place, where
  Pillow's division is quartered. Captain Pitman is there with the 9th
  infantry. The colonel of this regiment, Ransom, is a very fine
  officer. I saw General Pierce to-day. He was not recovered from the
  effects of a fall from his horse on the battle-ground of the 19th
  instant, but was able to be about. He was not wounded, as I have
  before written. He is making a fine impression upon the whole

  The casualties are much higher than any one anticipated,--over one
  thousand killed and wounded (about 1060). General Pierce's command
  suffered to the extent of about 160; General Cadwallader's, about
  100; General Shields's, 200; General Worth's, 336; General Twiggs's,


[1] The flat roof on the convent and most of the buildings in Mexico
    afforded strong positions for defense, being surrounded by parapets,
    known as azoteas, formed by carrying the walls some four feet above
    the roofs. The convent azotea was lined with infantry.

                               CHAPTER XI

                             UNITED STATES.

The diary continues as follows:--

  Saturday, August 21. General Scott and staff left San Augustin at
  eight o'clock; on his way to Coyoacan, he gave orders that Worth
  should move on Tacubaya, Pillow on Mixcoac, and Twiggs on San Angel;
  and at Coyoacan, he was met by commissioners from the city asking
  for a suspension of arms. It was granted as preliminary to an
  armistice to be concluded for the express purpose of negotiating a
  peace, and commissioners were to meet and adjust the terms of the
  armistice. The general proceeded with his staff, and took up
  quarters in the bishop's palace, on the slope ascending westward
  from Tacubaya, and about a mile and a half from Chapultepec. This
  palace is a favorite resort of Santa Anna, and affords an extended
  view of the whole valley of Mexico.

  Sunday, August 22. Generals Quitman, Smith, and Pierce, American
  commissioners, met the Mexican commissioners, Villamil and Quijano,
  to adjust the terms of the armistice. After sitting through the
  night of the 22d and 23d, the instrument was perfected, and signed
  by General Scott and President Santa Anna. It provided generally
  that the belligerents should remain as they were; that hostilities
  should cease within a circuit of thirty leagues; that reinforcements
  to the American army should stop at Puebla; that there should be no
  interruption to supplies coming to the army from the city; and that
  the American army should remain without the city.

  This armistice during the two or three subsequent days occasioned
  considerable discussion. The army generally felt a strong desire to
  enter the city as conquerors, and the foreigners of the city,
  somewhat numerous, fostered this feeling. It was generally agreed,
  however, by the most intelligent and reflecting, that General Scott
  had pursued a wise course. Our object was not to make a conquest,
  but to adjust the questions in dispute by a definite treaty of
  peace. We ought, therefore, to do nothing needlessly to humiliate
  them. Moreover, our entering the city would disperse the government,
  and there would be danger that the country would become the prey of
  factions, and that no party would have sufficient power to enter
  into treaty with. Such were the views of our commissioner, Mr.

  August 23-September 1. During these thirteen days Commissioners
  Herrera and Mora, on the part of the Mexican government, have met
  Mr. Trist several times to negotiate the treaty. Thus far nothing
  has transpired to afford reasonable apprehension that hostilities
  will again be resumed. The appointment of the principal men of the
  peace party, Santa Anna's opponents, strengthens this belief. His
  own proclamation announcing the armistice strongly advocates peace.
  It is believed that, were Santa Anna firmly seated in power, the
  whole thing could be arranged in thirty days. Unfortunately, he
  depends almost entirely upon his army. At this very moment clouds
  are overshadowing the heavens in all directions: Almonte and
  Valencia have formed a coalition to the west; Paredes has returned
  from exile, and is now said to be in the neighborhood of Puebla;
  Alvarez is somewhere to the north; and a fourth faction is making
  head towards the south.

  The Mexicans are great sticklers for forms, and, since the
  conclusion of the armistice, they have sent back our trains several
  times in consequence of some little ceremony having been omitted.
  The first train that entered the city was stoned by the populace,
  and there was some little difficulty experienced in getting the
  train out in safety. An apology was immediately made for the
  affront. But it was made the ground for suggesting that, for the
  safety of our people, the wagons should be loaded outside, and that
  our people should not enter the city. At this very moment there is
  no communication between the city and the residents of the villages
  occupied by our army.

  I believe that with patience and firmness on our part, and the being
  content with the cession of New Mexico and New California, paying
  therefor an ample indemnity in money, we shall get peace. We may
  consider the relinquishment of the Mexican claims to the territory
  east of the Rio Grande as the indemnity for the expenses of the war.

  September 6, 7. All our hopes have been doomed to disappointment.
  General Scott, in consequence of the violation of the third and
  seventh articles of the armistice on the part of the Mexicans,
  terminated the armistice to-day at twelve o'clock, and the ball is
  to be reopened. God grant that a similar sacrifice may not be
  required of us as at Churubusco!

                           MOLINO DEL REY.[2]

  September 8. At daybreak an attack was made on the enemy's position
  at the foundry, and after a most terrific engagement of two hours
  the position was carried, but with a loss of six hundred killed and
  wounded in Worth's division alone. In addition to his command,
  Cadwallader's brigade was engaged. The enemy was in a position of
  immense strength, their left resting on Chapultepec and the foundry,
  their right on a ravine, a continuous breastwork covering their

  The attack was opened by two 24-pounders on the walls of the
  foundry, upon which an assaulting column of five hundred men picked
  from Worth's division, organized in companies of one hundred men and
  commanded by Major Wright, deployed and advanced upon the enemy's
  line. The right, led by Lieutenant Foster with ten sappers and ten
  pioneers carrying crowbars and axes, moved on the foundry; the left,
  led by Captain Mason, on the enemy's battery of four guns. The enemy
  were driven from their lines, but immediately retook them, every
  officer of the assaulting column being killed or wounded save two.
  Captain Mason had a flesh wound in the thigh; Lieutenant Foster one
  in the leg, breaking the bone. The right of the assaulting column
  having maintained its position under cover of the foundry, the
  reserves of Garland and Clarke were promptly brought up, and after a
  desperate conflict the enemy was driven to the rear of Chapultepec,
  and the whole position fell into our hands.

  Drum's battery of two 6-pounders supported Garland on the right, and
  with two rounds of canister drove the enemy from his battery. It was
  then pushed forward three hundred yards beyond support, opening its
  fire and driving the enemy before it, but was finally recalled.
  Duncan on the left supported Clarke's brigade, and drove the enemy,
  who was advancing, back to and out of the right of his lines. The
  dragoons under Major Sumner turned the right flank, causing a large
  body of lancers to retire under cover of a village to the left.

  I reconnoitred the ground to our left, and estimated the lancers to
  be from one to two thousand.

  The attack had simply for its object the destruction of the foundry
  (which did not exist; at least, no boring apparatus or furnaces
  could be found), and the position was finally abandoned. The battle
  was entirely without results; two or three additional victories of
  the same kind would annihilate our army. It has filled all hearts
  with sadness. Colonel Scott, Captain Merrill, Captain Ayres, Captain
  Armstrong, and others have fallen. Among those most lamented is the
  gallant Colonel Graham, who fell gallantly leading the 11th regiment
  to the charge. Lieutenant Burwell, wounded in the assault, was
  barbarously murdered by the enemy by a lance in the head.

  Duncan's efficiency was diminished in consequence of the precipitate
  charge of Clarke's brigade on the Casa Mata, masking his fire. A
  well-directed fire of round-shot from his battery would have driven
  the enemy from that strong position, and thus saved us many valuable
  lives sacrificed in taking it by the bayonet. There was great
  difficulty in reconnoitring the position without bringing on a
  general action. More guns should have been brought into action. It
  was more a case for artillery than for the bayonet. An attempt
  should have been made to reconnoitre the enemy's right, with a view
  of sending round a column and taking his line in flank and rear.

  The loss to Worth's division was greater in this action than the
  English loss at the assault of Badajos.

  On the 8th, 9th, 10th, and 11th, in consequence of the occupation
  of the church of Piedad by our troops, and the pushing of the
  reconnoissances in that direction, the enemy was exceedingly active
  in fortifying that front of the city from the gate of Belen to that
  of Las Vegas, and even prepared cuts in the road leading to
  Istacalco on the canal. On the 10th they had a very respectable
  battery in position, and were in expectation that the attack would
  be made in that direction.


  At a council of war at La Piedad on the 11th, it was determined to
  establish batteries against Chapultepec, and carry it by assault,
  then to operate against the city as circumstances should dictate.
  This was General Scott's proposition, and was concurred in generally
  by the officers present at the council. Accordingly, on the night of
  the 11th-12th batteries were commenced, one for two 18-pounders and
  one 8-inch howitzer on the road leading to Chapultepec, and one for
  one 24-pounder and one 8-inch howitzer near the foundry. These
  batteries opened their fire about eight A.M. on the 12th, Quitman's
  division supporting on the right, Pillow's on the left. About 2.30
  P.M. a third battery, one 18-pounder, one 8-inch howitzer, and one
  mortar, was prepared also near the foundry.

  The fire was returned with some spirit, and about eight A.M. on the
  13th the order was given to commence the assault.

  Chapultepec stands boldly out two miles from the City of Mexico, an
  eminence two hundred feet high, having on its summit an irregular
  work with a stone scarp ten feet high, the whole defended by the
  strong stone building used as a military college.

  At the southwestern foot of the height is the venerable cypress
  grove of the age of Montezuma, extending to within four hundred
  yards of the mill whence Pillow was to direct the assault of his
  command. At its eastern base was a formidable battery sweeping the
  causeway of approach in the direction of Quitman's command, the
  aqueduct and stone buildings affording cover to troops.

  It was known, from a daring reconnoissance made by General Quitman
  on the afternoon of the 12th, that the enemy were in the occupancy
  of this base of Chapultepec, five thousand strong.

  Quitman, with a select storming party from Twiggs's division two
  hundred and fifty strong, commanded by Captain Casey and supported
  by Smith's brigade, was to attack on the right, carrying the
  formidable position reconnoitred by him on the 12th, and thence
  sweeping up the hill to enter the citadel itself. Pillow, supported
  by Worth's whole division with a select storming party from that
  division, headed by the gallant Captain McKensie, 2d artillery, was
  to break through the cypress grove, charge up the hill, and pour his
  men into the work in conjunction with Quitman.

  At eight o'clock the commands advanced. In Pillow's attack, the
  Voltigeurs, with Callender's howitzer battery, ran forward, and,
  charging the wood, soon cleared it of the enemy's skirmishers. His
  whole command now pushed forward with such unexpected vigor that,
  before the storming party could pass them to take the lead, the
  whole brow of the hill was covered by a dense body of men, who,
  finding cover behind rocks and in the inequalities of the ground,
  steadfastly maintained its position, swaying slightly in the effort
  to get better cover whilst endeavoring to advance. There they hung,
  like a cluster of bees, whilst a tremendous fire of artillery opened
  upon them from the work. The storming party with their ladders now
  pressed forward; soon they were planted, the gallant McKensie, with
  his hat on his sword, pressed forward, drawing after as by strings
  the whole command, who in a moment overleaped the work and drove the
  gunners down the eastern slope, where a fierce conflict still raged
  on the part of Quitman.

  Quitman, at the preconcerted signal, moved forward the select
  storming party from Twiggs's division, a light battalion under the
  gallant Major Twiggs, and a select storming party of forty marines
  under Captain Reynolds in the advance, followed by the Maine
  battalion, the South Carolina, New York, and Pennsylvania

  The brigade of Smith was in the adjoining field on the right, and
  had assigned to it the duty of breaking through the aqueduct and
  taking the enemy in flank and rear. The command moved up the
  causeway, under a tremendous fire of artillery and musketry, till
  they reached some old buildings of adobe, where they were obliged to
  get a momentary shelter. From this position, a company of the rifles
  and portions of the storming parties being still further in advance,
  they opened an effective fire in return. As the volunteer regiments
  came up, they were turned off into the open field on the left,
  intersected with ditches, to the assault of Chapultepec.

  The New Yorkers and Pennsylvanians made a detour to the left, and
  entering the cypress grove at an abandoned breastwork where some
  fifteen minutes previously portions of Pillow's command had entered,
  pressed forward and became intermingled with Pillow's command as it
  poured into the work, as did the Palmettoes, who pierced the stone
  wall at a partial breach made by a cannon-ball without scarcely
  varying from their direction.

  Smith in his advance, finding two wide and deep ditches in his front
  without any adequate means to cross them, and his force too small to
  force the passage in presence of the immense force of the enemy,
  veered to the left, and sheltering his troops partially by maguey
  plants, opened a well-directed fire upon the enemy in conjunction
  with the storming parties and marines on the causeway.

  Meanwhile Drum's battery, a 9-pounder and a 16-pounder, came up and
  opened on the enemy, as did Hunt's section of Drum's battery.

  For half an hour the contest was of unparalleled severity. Our
  troops, however, pressed forward, and, Chapultepec having fallen,
  the enemy fled to the city along the Tacubaya causeway, and a
  causeway entering the San Cosme causeway at the English cemetery,
  some six hundred yards outside the garita, yet not till some of the
  most resolute of their troops had maintained their posts even to the
  interlocking of bayonets and clubbing of rifles.

  Quitman on the Tacubaya causeway, the rifles and 1st artillery of
  Smith's brigade in advance, Worth on the San Cosme causeway, pressed
  forward in pursuit of the enemy.

  Aqueducts supplying the city with water extended along both these
  causeways, resting on arches that afforded partial shelter to
  troops. The causeway of Tacubaya led directly into the city, and
  with a strong field-work midway was defended at the gate by another
  formidable battery, by the strong work of the citadel three hundred
  yards distant, and by cross-fires from a formidable battery on the
  paseo leading from the San Cosme to the Belen suburb, and on both
  sides were almost impassable ditches filled with water.

  The San Cosme suburb extended even beyond the English cemetery,
  where there was a formidable field-work sweeping the main Cosme
  causeway and the causeway from Chapultepec. At the gate, and two
  hundred yards without, were two batteries for two guns each.

  Quitman pushed forward his command with unexampled vigor. The
  rifles and 1st artillery in advance, closely followed by the
  Palmettoes, marines, and the remainder of the volunteer division,
  were in close contact with the enemy till possession was effected of
  the garita at twenty minutes past one. In this contest Drum's
  battery, assisted by Captain Winder's company of the 1st artillery
  as a fatigue party, was served with a vigor and enthusiasm
  unparalleled in this war. The iron men of Drum pushed it into the
  very teeth of the enemy's fire, and made it send forth an iron hail
  that drove the enemy from all his positions, even the garita itself.
  Drum paused not at the garita. With a sublime devotion, he marched
  boldly up to the very citadel itself, and fell mortally wounded,
  together with his gallant lieutenant, Benjamin, two thirds of his
  company being disabled. In command of a battery only three weeks, he
  fell universally lamented, the first artillerist of the army.

  The temporary pause in the pursuit on the capture of the garita,
  considered indispensable to get the command in hand in order to
  proceed against the enemy, who was still in force, gave time to
  reassure the troops at the citadel, who were at one moment struck
  with a panic, and on the eve of evacuating the position.
  Notwithstanding the heroic conduct of Drum and the gallantry of the
  rifles and Palmettoes, the terrible fire which was soon opened from
  that work and the battery on the paseo compelled Quitman to withdraw
  his troops to the shelter of the garita, where they sustained the
  tremendous fire of the enemy till nightfall.

  The command of Worth, on the fall of Chapultepec, boldly pushed
  forward to the San Cosme suburb, Garland's brigade and Magruder's
  battery in front. A smart encounter was had with a considerable body
  of the enemy's lancers, who were charging down the causeway.
  Magruder was vigorously pushing forward his guns, ably supported by
  the troops, and the battery at the English cemetery was about to
  fall into our hands, when the whole command was halted. Worth, on
  arriving at a cross-road leading to the Tacubaya cemetery, was
  attracted by the tremendous contest going on there, and in
  consequence halted his command to be in condition to lend a hand to
  Quitman in case of his being sorely pressed. Timely assistance was
  rendered by Duncan's battery, which contributed materially to
  Quitman's success. Meanwhile a reconnoissance by the engineers
  showed that the enemy had no artillery in position at the cemetery,
  that the infantry force there was not formidable, and the lancers
  hanging on the flanks were not worthy of regard. Soon the order was
  given to charge the works. Our troops pressed in, driving the enemy
  before them and with little loss, and pressed forward to the
  batteries at the garita and in advance. Worth, on his arrival at the
  suburb about half past twelve o'clock, finding that a continuous row
  of stone buildings put it in our power to make a permanent lodgment,
  and reduce the contest to the crowbar and pickaxe without exposing
  the lives of the men, recalled the troops, and awaited the arrival
  of the ordnance and engineer trains.

  A reconnoissance having shown that the first battery could easily be
  carried and with little loss, the enemy was driven from it, and
  Hunt's section was put in position behind it, and made to open on
  the enemy's battery of two guns at the garita. But he was soon
  compelled to put his battery under cover in consequence of the
  superior metal of the enemy.

  At four the trains arrived, and immediately the troops, armed with
  the proper tools, commenced making their way from house to house.
  One party, headed by the engineer company, reaching the top of a
  high building, forty yards from the garita, opened fire upon the
  enemy at the guns at the very moment a similar fire was opened from
  a party on the other side of the street led by the gallant McKensie.
  The enemy was driven from the garita, but took away one of their
  guns. At nightfall Worth's whole command was lodged in the suburb,
  his advance within twelve hundred yards of the Alameda.

  During the night Quitman, in the erection of batteries and infantry
  covers, was making every preparation to renew the contest in the
  morning and to carry his attack into the heart of the city.

  The enemy, however, withdrew their troops, and at seven o'clock
  Quitman's command entered the citadel, and, pushing forward to the
  main plaza, the marines cleared the palace of the leperos, or
  thieves, who were infesting it, and hoisted the star-spangled banner
  from its summit.

  General Scott, who had been the master spirit of the whole
  operations, originating the plan of attacking Chapultepec, giving
  the order when the time had come to make the assault, from the
  extended position of Chapultepec ordering the movements upon the
  causeways, supporting each by an adequate force, and on a lodgment
  being effected in the Cosme suburb ordering the resort to the
  crowbar and the refraining from the bayonet,--General Scott at eight
  o'clock issued his orders from the national palace announcing his
  occupation of the capital of Mexico.

  Still, a desultory contest was kept up throughout the day from the
  houses of the city by an intermingled body of soldiers and leperos
  led on by officers of the army. Scott took the most decided means to
  stop it, and ordered every house to be blown up from which a hostile
  shot should be fired. At night the city was tranquil and in the
  undisturbed possession of our troops.

  Thus the crowning glories of Chapultepec and of the gates of San
  Cosme and Belen placed us in the undisputed possession of the City
  and valley of Mexico. The public force of the enemy, dispirited and
  demoralized, paused two or three days at Guadalupe and divided:
  Santa Anna with a portion repairing to Puebla to try his fortunes
  against Childs, the governor of that place, and to watch his
  opportunity to fall upon our reinforcements coming up from Vera
  Cruz; the remainder, a disorderly rabble, repairing to Queretaro,
  where the government was to be temporarily established.

  The casualties to the American arms in this valley have been
  immense,--2703 out of a force of 10,737, over one fourth, equal to
  the English loss at the siege of Badajos.

  General Scott's movement against Chapultepec was masterly, and in
  his plans he was well seconded by his generals. The removal of the
  depot to Mixcoac, the concentration of the troops at La Piedad, and
  the reconnoissances in that direction, impressed the enemy with the
  belief that that point of the city was to be attacked; nor were they
  undeceived till the very last moment, fully believing that the
  operations against Chapultepec were only a feint.

  In the attack upon Chapultepec General Quitman's arrangements are
  open to criticism. His select storming party intended for the
  assault of Chapultepec, and armed with ladders to scale and
  implements to break through the walls, were kept on the causeway;
  whereas the whole volunteer force was sent in that direction, wholly
  unprovided in every particular, and that, too, at too late a period
  to be of much essential assistance, and in a direction which made it
  necessary to fall in with Pillow's command, already supported in
  great strength by the whole of Worth's division. The consequence was
  that General Smith found himself too weak to break through the
  enemy's force at the aqueduct and take him in flank and rear. Had
  Smith been preceded by the storming party provided with plank to
  cross the ditches, and supported by two of the volunteer regiments,
  the slaughter of the enemy must have been immense, and large numbers
  must have been taken prisoners. The marines with their storming
  party, the light battalion, and one of the volunteer regiments with
  Drum's battery would have been in place to encounter the enemy on
  the causeway.

  At the garita Drum's battery and the Palmettoes were pushed forward
  under the guns of the citadel, and large numbers were uselessly

  On the whole, however, General Quitman exercised good judgment, and
  gave proof of extraordinary vigor, intrepidity, and firmness. And he
  deserves the greatest credit for his perfect mastery of his command.

  General Pillow's dispositions were good and well executed, excepting
  that the storming party did not move in season, in consequence of
  which the supporting force, pressing onward, gained the brow of the
  hill in dense masses, and were there detained some little time
  awaiting the storming party with their ladders, who in their turn
  found great difficulty in pushing their way through to the front,
  which only a small portion succeeded perfectly in doing.

  General Worth, in his attack upon the city, unnecessarily delayed
  his advance to succor Quitman. Quitman was to be most effectually
  relieved by the vigorous attack of Worth on his own line. On the
  arrival of the trains, however, he proceeded with great judgment and
  efficiency, and his attack alone, in consequence of being able to
  work from house to house, must have of itself put the city into our
  hands. Had it not been for Worth's vigorous movement towards
  nightfall, bringing him well into the city, the enemy would not have
  abandoned the citadel to Quitman without a severe struggle.

  Twiggs's command did not have the prominence as a division that it
  had at Contreras and Churubusco in consequence of the brigades being
  separated. Smith's brigade did good service in conjunction with
  Quitman, and Riley at La Piedad kept the enemy in check during the
  storming of Chapultepec, and, afterwards joining Worth, did good
  service in the streets on the 14th.

  The engineers did good service during all their operations at Molino
  del Rey. Captain Mason made a most daring and successful examination
  of the front of the enemy's position, and in the attack on the 8th
  was signally gallant, but the result showed that the right of the
  enemy should have been more particularly examined. The character of
  his defenses at this point was never known till our troops, in the
  full tide of battle, were hurled against them, to be repulsed with
  the loss of nearly half their number.

  Without shining talents, and without any remarkable decision or
  independence of character, Captain Lee has rendered signal service
  on this line. Laborious, constant, firm, of good judgment, patient,
  and guarded in his conduct, of popular manners and address, he has
  been a safe counselor, and always efficient in the discharge of
  duty. Distinguished at Vera Cruz, the Cerro Gordo, and in this
  valley, both before and subsequent to the armistice, he continued at
  his post to the last moment, even when oppressed with illness and
  great physical fatigue. After the storm of Chapultepec he received a
  severe contusion in the thigh, which disabled him for the day.

  Lieutenant Beauregard is one of the finest soldiers in our corps. Of
  great strength, accomplished in all manly exercises, well read in
  his profession, and of forcible and independent character, much
  self-reliance and confidence, he has established a good reputation
  throughout the service. On the day of the storm of Chapultepec,
  although struck several times and twice severely, he maintained his
  post, and in the night supervised the erection of the batteries and
  infantry covers, from which Quitman was to open his fires upon the
  citadel in case the enemy had continued the conflict on the
  following day.

  Lieutenant Tower, for judgment, for an assured and natural
  self-reliance, great force of character, and great decision and
  intrepidity in emergencies, has no superior in our corps.
  Indefatigable at Vera Cruz and the Cerro Gordo, he was eminently
  distinguished at Contreras. Subsequent to the armistice he was
  efficient in the discharge of his duties, and the engineer officer
  of Quitman on the day of the storm of Chapultepec; he was remarkably
  intrepid under the fire of the enemy, and was at his post till a
  severe wound in the head compelled him to withdraw.

  Lieutenant Smith, in command of the engineer company, has rendered
  the most distinguished service. He has shown great power of command.
  The engineer company has rendered the most distinguished service.
  The engineer company devolved upon him in a state of great
  despondency and discontent on the part of the men. By his judicious
  management he breathed into it the breath of life, raised the
  spirits of the men, and inspired them with hope and confidence. In
  his hands the company has acquired a great reputation in the

  His lieutenants, McClellan and Foster, are both brave, intrepid,
  efficient, and devoted to duty. At Molino, Foster was dangerously
  wounded in the leg.

  But perhaps no officer of engineers has rendered more brilliant
  service than Captain Mason. Of remarkable intellectual force, great
  quickness of apprehension, highly cultivated, an ambitious student,
  and frank and honest in his life, on the field of battle, in a
  reconnoissance of the enemy's position, indeed in every emergency,
  he has been conspicuous for force, rapid decision, and the most
  daring intrepidity.

  In my own case, delicate health has much diminished my efficiency.
  Our long rest in Puebla did something towards restoring my strength,
  and I entertained the hope that it would prove equal to any
  emergency. I rode in an ambulance to Buena Vista, and subsequently
  from Ayotla to San Augustin. My reconnoissance of the Peñon, in
  which I was employed seven hours in mud and water, and within almost
  point-blank range of the enemy's guns, was highly satisfactory to
  General Scott. On the 19th, at Contreras, I was too much exhausted
  and in too delicate health to remain on the field exposed to the
  rain. I in consequence returned to San Augustin, and was not present
  in the splendid attack of General Smith on Valencia's intrenched
  camp. At Churubusco I was the senior engineer officer of Twiggs's
  division. At the close of that day I was almost wholly prostrated by
  my exertions, and I had not renewed the strength with which I left
  Puebla on the termination of the armistice. At Molino del Rey I
  accompanied the reserves to the field, and on Mason and Foster
  becoming disabled from wounds, did duty during the remainder of the
  action. Subsequently, in conjunction with Beauregard and Tower, I
  reconnoitred the southern front of the city. In consequence of
  physical exhaustion I was not assigned to duty in the establishing
  of batteries against Chapultepec, but on the day of the 13th was on
  duty till I was wounded, in the San Cosme suburb, about half past
  one o'clock.

  September 13. At half past one o'clock I was wounded in the foot,
  whilst posting a picket at a little work at a village some five
  hundred yards beyond the English cemetery. Dr. De Lein cut out the
  ball. It struck close to the little toe, and crossing over a little
  obliquely to the rear, was cut out just in front of the instep. The
  bones are fractured and the tendons lacerated. About half past
  three o'clock I was taken to Tacubaya in an ambulance, and in the
  evening Dr. Barnes dressed my wound.

  September 14. I was removed to the city this day, and placed in
  comfortable quarters in the palace. I suffered some little pain last
  night and through the day. I owe many thanks to Major Smith for his
  unwearied kindness.

  September 15. To-day I am relieved of pain, though last night I got
  but indifferent rest. Dr. Barnes attends me, and has commenced
  applying poultices.

  September 17. Dr. Barnes, on examining my wound this morning,
  observed, in a manner that showed he was relieved of much anxiety,
  "I can save the foot."

  September 18-30. During this period my wound has done famously. I
  have been in no pain whatever. News has come of large reinforcements
  pouring in from below, and many expect them to reach Mexico as early
  as the 10th proximo. It seems to me we cannot reasonably expect
  their arrival till the 20th or 30th proximo.

  Santa Anna, some few days after our entrance, abdicated the
  presidency in favor of the chief justice, Peña y Peña, and announced
  his intention to go to Puebla, organize a force, and operate against
  Childs and reinforcements coming up from below. No one here is much
  apprehensive of the result.

  The general has found it necessary to issue stringent orders in
  regard to assassinations of men, and to enforce the utmost vigilance
  on the part of our guards. In some of the regiments the police is
  bad, and the guards totally neglectful of their duty.

  A large city is ruinous to the _morale_ of troops. The officers in
  our army spend the nights at the gambling-houses (tigers), and the
  men indulge in women and drink as long as their money lasts.

  A camp of instruction alone affords the means of putting troops in a
  high state of discipline and efficiency. Yet the occupation of
  cities has great advantages. The residents become familiar with our
  character and customs, and friendly relations grow up.

  October 1. This day I have sat up the first time,--a most agreeable
  change from the recumbent posture. We hear news from below that
  Childs has been severely pressed. Here, we are firmly of opinion
  that he cannot be driven from his post. It is hoped and believed
  that no troops will march up from below except in a strong column,
  four to six thousand men. A small body might tempt the enemy. He
  might fall upon it with a large force and gain some success.

  October 2-11. Rumors accumulate in reference to Santa Anna's attack
  on Puebla. From all accounts, his troops are of poor quality, and he
  is not on the best terms with his subordinates. My wound is doing
  exceedingly well, and I have at length found an opportunity to write
  to my wife and father by way of Tampico.

  October 12-24. My wound has been doing badly, and my general health
  has been poor. For several days the foot became much inflamed, and
  poultices had to be applied. The new flesh has sloughed off, and the
  process of granulation has to be gone over again. At the present
  time my wound is doing well, and the fever or flux, which has
  threatened me for many days, I have nearly driven off.

  November 1. A train of six hundred wagons departed for Vera Cruz
  with a large number of wounded officers and men, on their return to
  the States; Generals Quitman and Shields, Colonels Garland, Andrews,
  and Morgan, Major Smith, and other distinguished officers being of
  the number.

  General Quitman leaves behind him the most enviable reputation.
  Courteous in deportment, just in conduct, a man of business devoted
  to his duty, he is second to no commander of division in this army.
  As a military man he is said to be well informed, and to understand
  well the principles of his profession. He has extraordinary vigor,
  courage, and coolness, and he has exhibited great ability in the
  management of the volunteer division.

  General Shields has all the dashing and enthusiastic bravery
  peculiar to the Irish race. There is no braver man in our army.
  Since entering the military service he has assiduously studied his
  profession, and is fast rising as a military man.

  November 2. Yesterday and to-day have been festival (All Saints')
  days. Word came from Colonel Childs that General Lane on the 29th
  set out from Puebla with a column to meet the train, and that
  General Patterson left Vera Cruz with five thousand men. There is
  still an impression that General Patterson will assume the command,
  and that General Scott will be recalled. But I discredit it
  entirely. Very few cases of stabbing now occur.

  On the departure of Major Smith, with whom I have messed nearly the
  whole time I have been in the country, I find myself entirely alone.
  Colonel Watson (in command of Shields's brigade) and staff occupied
  adjoining rooms, and we made a very pleasant little circle. Colonel
  Watson is a candid, sensible, and good man. I esteem him highly.
  Lieutenant Baker is a gentleman of much intelligence, considerable
  acuteness, and of the most friendly feelings. They are now all gone,
  and I am now installed in Colonel Watson's apartment. I am in a
  spacious room, with three large windows hung in damask looking on
  the street, and having at one extremity a raised platform, carpeted,
  and canopied with damask. Here I have my bed, my table, and my
  armchair, as comfortable as all the world. Indeed, I now very much
  feel as if I were in the halls of the Montezumas. My brother
  officers have most kindly offered to do all they can for me.

  November 3. Since the departure of the train the weather has been
  beautiful. Captain Naylor this morning very summarily dispelled my
  dreams of luxuriating in the halls of the Montezumas by saying that
  the room I now occupied was needed for a commission, and that he
  must ask me to remove to my old quarters. As they were exceedingly
  damp and uncomfortable, and totally unfit for an invalid, Captain
  Lee referred the matter to General Smith, the governor of the city,
  who decided that I should not be moved till a suitable room could be

  Captain Naylor is an enthusiast on the subject of the regeneration
  of Mexico through American intervention. As superintendent of the
  archives, he avails himself of his opportunities to understand this
  people. They are undoubtedly degenerating. The cities are falling
  into decay; the mechanic arts do not improve; misrule and anarchy
  have long been the every-day experience of this unfortunate people.
  In the City of Mexico not a new house has been built for years, and
  many structures are crumbling into ruins.

  November 4. My friends, Captains Lee, Power, and Hardcastle, give
  glowing accounts of the scenic representations at the Santa Anna
  theatre,--more perfect in the mechanical contrivances, and more
  splendid in effect, than anything to be seen in our own country. I
  regretted to learn that Captain Lee's man Peter was murdered in
  Ayotla after the arrival of the train on the evening of the 1st

  The officers are hard at work at their drawings, and hope to finish
  them against my going down in the next train.

  November 11. During the past few days I have been ill and well
  again,--a bad cold and the wound inflamed. The doctor, however,
  still confines me to my room. He considers that rest is necessary to
  prevent my foot's inflaming.

  Information has come that General Patterson, on the 27th ultimo,
  left Vera Cruz. He will probably require twenty days to reach
  Puebla, and some twelve days more to make his arrangements there and
  his journey to Mexico. I shall not, therefore, look for a mail
  before the 17th instant.

  November 14. Nothing of interest has occurred in the city. Anaya is
  said to have been elected provisional president. A piece of leather
  of the size of half a tlaco came from my wound to-day. It was cut
  out of my shoe by the ball and carried into my foot.

  November 15. A general order was published to-day announcing the
  determination of the general to bring to trial and punishment all
  officers who shall, contrary to regulations, furnish for publication
  accounts of operations in the field, and censuring in the severest
  terms the authors of "Leonidas" and of the Tampico letter in the
  "North American."

  November 16. Colonel Duncan, in a letter breathing defiance to the
  general, announced himself as the author of the Tampico letter, and
  exonerated General Worth from all knowledge even of its having been
  written till it was well on its way. It was not written for
  publication, Colonel Duncan avers. Colonel Duncan was arrested in
  consequence of these matters.

  November 18. The long-expected train arrived to-day, bringing me
  three letters from my dear wife, and news of my little family being
  in excellent health. Mr. Trist has been recalled, and it seems to be
  the determination of the government to abandon all attempts to
  negotiate a peace, and to prosecute the war unto the occupation of
  the whole country.

  November 20. Much to my delight, I mounted my crutches to-day and
  moved about my room.

  November 21. I made a call on my friend Major Kirby, and met several
  of my acquaintances.

  November 22. To-day I got as far as the engineer office. General
  Pillow is in arrest.

  December 4. Went into the streets to-day and was much rejoiced to be
  relieved from confinement. Called to see my friend Foster, and found
  him doing nicely.

  December 5. Went to the theatre, and was charmed with Cañete. My
  friends had spoken of her in glowing terms, and I went prepared to
  find her overrated. She is remarkably natural, chaste, and graceful
  in all her impersonations, and I do not wonder that she is so very
  popular with the whole world of theatre-going people.

  December 9. The train finally got off to-day, and proceeded as far
  as Venta Nueva. Foster and myself have a tolerable ambulance
  assigned to us. We got off late, the last wagons not leaving the
  city till towards noon. The mules were a good deal fagged, and the
  train will not probably get down so soon by two days in consequence
  of the length of this day's march. Distance, main plaza to Ayotla,
  fourteen miles.

  December 10. Proceeded to Rio Frio. Here I met my classmate, Colonel
  Irvin, in command of the 5th Ohio regiment. The night was quite
  cold, and, not finding a room, we were obliged to sleep in an

  December 11. This day went to San Martin, where we found some
  excellent pulque. Distance, fifteen miles.

  December 12. Reached Puebla. Distance, twenty miles.

1847. The diary ends here.

Lieutenant Stevens's wound was far more serious than he, in his cheerful
way of making the best of everything, admitted. The ball ploughed across
the bridge of the foot, breaking nearly all the bones. At first the
surgeons were extremely doubtful of saving the foot. The wound was slow
in healing, and the foot never fully recovered its strength and
usefulness. Three times, at intervals of one or two years, the wound
opened and expelled pieces of bone. For many years he had to wear a
special shoe with extra-thick sole.

The chief of the robbers who served as spies for General Scott, a man of
striking presence and romantic though blood-stained career, known as Don
Juan el Diablo (Don John the Devil), formed a strong attachment to
Lieutenant Stevens, and took care of him during a great part of his
sickness, and was devoted and unwearied in his attentions to the wounded

                        ST. CHARLES, NEW ORLEANS, December 28, 1847.

  MY DEAREST WIFE,--I have just reached this city after a four days'
  passage from Vera Cruz, and a twenty days' journey in all from the
  City of Mexico. I am in splendid health, although my wound still
  keeps me on crutches. We are all going up the river to-morrow, and I
  am full of the most blissful anticipations at the idea of seeing
  you, the children, and friends. You will not see me for eight or ten
  days after the receipt of this. I shall be obliged to stay in
  Washington some days. Love to friends, and to Hazard and Sue. I hope
  to see you soon.

                                        Yours affectionately,


  [2] The hill of Chapultepec, famed as the ancient country-seat of
      the Montezumas, rose some two miles outside the city, and was
      crowned by a strong castle. An extensive grove of huge and hoary
      cypresses clothed its slopes and stretched half a mile westward,
      the whole surrounded by a solid wall of masonry. Molino del Rey,
      the King's Mill, a group of stone buildings, stood at the foot
      of the grove, and the Mexican line of defenses extended thence
      to a strong work, the Casa Mata, and far beyond it. It was
      reported that the enemy had a gun foundry in Molino, and General
      Scott determined to capture it.

                              CHAPTER XII

                        HEROES HOME FROM THE WAR

                                  WASHINGTON, January 23, 1848.

  MY DEAREST MARGARET,--At the strong desire of the colonel, I must
  remain here a few days longer. He wishes me to go with him over all
  the reports in order to get at all the facts in relation to the
  services of the engineer officers in the recent campaign of Mexico.
  I am able to afford many explanations of the reports, presenting in
  a stronger light the services of our officers, which will enable the
  colonel to present a strong case to the Secretary in matters of

  The colonel and his family have been very cordial to me, and nothing
  could be more grateful than the high appreciation they have for the
  services of our officers. The colonel takes great pride in the
  distinction which our corps has acquired. Indeed, the services of
  the engineers have been so conspicuous that the corps has become
  popular. Every one knows that the engineers have important functions
  in the field.

  I have paid my respects to the President and Secretary, and was
  highly gratified with my interview. The Secretary had a half hour's
  leisure, and I took the opportunity to express my sense of the great
  ability, wisdom, and patriotism of General Scott. The Secretary has
  the highest admiration for his military achievements, and is indeed
  a just and judicious friend to the service.

  I am boarding at Mrs. Janney's with my old friends, Gilmer and
  Woodbury. Woodbury married Miss Childs, a very pleasant lady. Her
  mother is also boarding at the same place, a highly intelligent
  person, and the wife of Colonel Childs, distinguished for his
  defense of Puebla.

  You may be sure I am very impatient to see you and my little ones.
  Nothing but a sense of duty to my brother officers, who are absent
  in the field, could have induced me to remain. I hope to reach
  Newport within the week, certainly by next Sunday morning.

  Affectionate remembrances to friends, and love, much love, to my
  Hazard and Susan.

                                        Yours most affectionately,

  My health is splendid, my wound improving.

The enforced visit to Washington was not without pleasant features. He
was received with the gratifying attentions due an officer just from the
seat of war, who had distinguished himself for gallantry and conduct,
and enjoyed the congenial duty of explaining the military operations to
his chief, and aiding in securing for his absent comrades the honors and
rewards they had so well earned. A letter of February 6 from his friend,
Captain Foster, is of interest in this connection:--

  "On arriving at Washington I went immediately to Mrs. Janney's.
  There I heard of you. They all spoke very highly of you,
  particularly Mr. Robbins, who was very much interested in you. I
  dined at Colonel Totten's on Wednesday, and Mrs. T. told me all
  about your being here. They all paid you some very fine compliments.
  Mrs. T. said she gained more information from Mr. Stevens than from
  _all_ the other officers who had come from Mexico, your manner of
  speaking of men and things was so frank and just. Miss Kate said she
  was _delighted_ with Mr. Stevens; he was correct and reliable in all
  he said. The colonel seemed glad to see me, and proud of the
  reputation of his corps. The result of all this, I hope, will be
  that he will give us two brevets, make you a major in charge of a
  work, and send me as your assistant.... It made me right jealous to
  hear the flatteries that the ladies at Mrs. Burr's bestowed on the
  'gallant Mr. Stevens.'"

It was a joyful reunion when he reached Newport, and enfolded his dearly
loved wife and little ones in his arms. A fortnight later he visited
Andover, and one may imagine how his father, brother Oliver, and cousins
and fellow townsmen received the soldier, returned on crutches, with
open arms, and lionized him to the full. The country had been at peace
for thirty years, and the returning soldiers from Mexico, especially the
wounded officers, were received with mingled feelings of awe and
admiration. Writes a brother officer, "The boys look at me around the
corner, remarking, 'I see him.' 'There he goes.' 'The man that's been to

                              NEWPORT, R.I., February 28, 1848.

  MY DEAR FATHER,--We reached Newport about half past eight o'clock in
  the evening the same day we left Andover. I am now in my office, and
  am devoting some six hours each day to official matters. My wound is
  improving; I go about the house with a cane simply, and through the
  streets with one crutch and a cane. In one month, or at least in two
  months, I hope to be able to dismiss my crutches entirely.

  I hope in all sincerity that our difficulties with Mexico are in the
  way of a permanent adjustment. The general opinion is that the
  Senate will ratify the treaty. The only difficulty (and one which in
  my opinion is much to be apprehended) is that Mexico, in consequence
  of a pronunciamiento, may disavow her own act. I trust, however,
  that such will not be the case, though I think it incumbent upon our
  government to continue to raise and push out troops till the thing
  is settled. Should there be want of faith on the part of the
  Mexicans, we should be in condition to punish it with most exemplary
  severity. Let our war measures be all pushed through without delay,
  and let there be the greatest activity in raising troops. This
  course of procedure, whilst ratifying the treaty, will make the
  treaty an effective thing.

  Remember me to friends. Margaret wishes to be affectionately
  remembered to you. Hazard has not forgotten your stories of King
  George and the Redcoats.

At this time he was being considered for the colonelcy of one of the new
regiments, which, if the war continued, would have to be raised. A
prominent member of Congress from Maine, Hezekiah Williams, writes him,
"I think our delegation would unite in recommending you. It certainly
would give me pleasure to aid in obtaining your appointment." Mr.
Stevens writes Oliver:--

  "My policy is to get elected to the command of a volunteer regiment,
  and get a leave of absence, so as to hold on to my present
  commission. I should like to command a Massachusetts regiment and
  put it through some good service in Mexico, should we be obliged to
  resort to the alternative of renewing the contest."

An incident occurred one day, when a light rifle that Mr. Stevens had
taken to Mexico, but had never used in action there, stood in good
stead. A mad dog ran amuck down Broad Street, frothing at the mouth and
snapping at all he met. The people on all sides rushed into the shops
and houses for refuge, with loud outcries of alarm and warning. Mr.
Stevens, apprised of the danger, seized the light rifle, hobbled out on
his crutches to the sidewalk, followed up the maddened beast, which had
now dashed into the hall of a neighboring house, and shot him through
the head, killing him on the spot.

He might now reasonably expect a little rest until he could recover from
his severe wound and injury. He writes Oliver, March 15:--

  "I am taking things very quietly in this most quiet of all places.
  There is no danger from dissipation or over-excitement, and I need
  not, therefore, be apprehensive of anything like inflammation in my
  wounded part. My wound is doing exceedingly well. I can now move a
  little about the house with a cane."

That very day he received orders to proceed to Savannah, Ga., with the
view of taking charge of the fortifications on the Savannah River. After
his arrival there he writes Oliver, March 27:--

  "I am here on temporary duty for a few days, and shall return home
  next week. This is to be my permanent station in the fall. The
  summer I shall spend in amusing myself. A portion of it will be
  passed in Andover.

  "Savannah is an old-looking, handsomely laid out, and pretty
  well-built place, the most important town in the State, and the only
  one having much trade.

  "Colonel Mansfield will relieve me in Bucksport during the latter
  part of April, at which time I shall bid adieu to my friends in

  "I am tolerably well pleased with my new station. It is healthy
  throughout the year, and I have no doubt the change will prove
  highly advantageous so far as health is concerned.

  "The duties are trifling. The large work, Fort Pulaski, is finished,
  and nothing remains to be done but to prepare a bridge-head of
  timber, and secure the island from overflow by the construction of
  dikes. The small work, Fort Jackson, will require an expenditure of
  something less than one hundred thousand dollars in the way of
  enlargement and repair.

  "My duties will therefore be comparatively light. Nothing will be
  doing from June to October; so I shall be able to go North
  occasionally to pass the summer.

  "The people are very hospitable, and I shall make many acquaintances
  before I leave. I have an old classmate just rising at the bar here,
  and many officers' families reside here."

His next letter to Oliver, from Newport, April 6, is interesting as
presenting his view of Cromwell:--

  "I am just back from Savannah after an absence of twenty days, and
  return thither to commence operations in November next. The
  intermediate time will enable me to get well of my game foot, and to
  pass some little time among my friends. I go down to Bucksport week
  after next to turn over the public property to Colonel Mansfield,
  and I shall probably be in Portland on Friday, April 21.

  "I am rather late to answer the principal thing in your letter of
  the 25th ultimo. Both subjects are good. I should think that
  'Individuality of Character' would be preferable, because its
  handling does not require so much reading as Cromwell. With ample
  leisure for investigation, I should prefer the latter. I do not know
  of a single unprejudiced authority. Foster's Statesmen of the
  Commonwealth and Clarendon's History are the best I have seen.
  Russell's Biography is poor and inaccurate. Hume is very
  superficial. Catherine Macaulay is a great bigot. Carlyle's Cromwell
  is good, because it consists principally of Cromwell's letters and
  speeches. Babington Macaulay's essays on the various statesmen of
  the rebellion are good.

  "I like your idea of treating the subject of individuality. The
  greatest example of the influence of a strong, original character in
  moulding a great people in our own history is Franklin. It was the
  strong, original characters of our Revolution that achieved our
  independence. The many are always ruled by a few, frequently by one,
  the wise, the strong man, or men. I have found in this view many
  fine ideas in Carlyle's Heroes.

  "As regards Cromwell: he and he alone achieved the overthrow of the
  Stuarts. Without him there would have been no glorious restoration,
  as Burke calls the expulsion of James. The French monarchy would
  have still been absolute, and the French people would have still
  been in chains. Cromwell was bold, direct, far-seeing, a great
  governor of men. Cromwell was vastly superior in the elements of a
  great man to Hampden, to Pym, to Strafford, to Vane. A bold sketch
  of Cromwell's actual part in the greatest drama of English history
  would be highly interesting. Dwell on his great foresight, grasp,
  directness, sincerity; his boisterous youth, his religious fervor in
  after years, his unswerving advocacy of the rights of his neighbors,
  which caused him to be called the Lord of the Fens; his unshrinking
  avowal of his opinions in his early parliamentary career; his
  extraordinary sagacity in organizing his Ironsides, the greatest
  soldiers of ancient or modern times; his self-denying ordinance, in
  which by a bold stroke he threw half-way, indecisive men from the
  army, and sent it forth to victory; his earnest efforts to settle
  matters with Charles after the forces of the latter were dispersed,
  and he a prisoner; his invincible opposition to all ecclesiastical
  tyranny, whether presbyterian or prelatical; his part in the
  execution of the king; his great Irish and Scotch campaigns,
  particularly the battle of Dunbar, where his famous rallying cry,
  as the sun shone through the morning clouds, 'Let God arise, and
  let his enemies be scattered!' spread dismay through the ranks of
  his enemies, and brought a glorious victory to his arms."

Now he enjoyed a month of the rest he so much needed. With his wife and
little ones he occupied rooms in the old family mansion, a welcome guest
to Mrs. Benjamin Hazard and her daughters, who always regarded him with
the greatest affection and admiration. As spring opened, he took great
pleasure in making a famous garden in the spacious yard behind the
mansion, having the ground manured and cultivated in the most thorough
manner, and planting the greatest profusion of vegetables. His friend
Mason was also in Newport, recovering from his wound, and many were the
accounts and discussions had with him and Mr. Brooks and other congenial
spirits of the stirring scenes of the war.

Major Stevens was fully convinced of the justice and necessity of the
Mexican war. The repeated depredations by Mexico upon Americans, and her
long-continued refusal or evasion of all redress; her publicly declared
purpose of conquering the republic of Texas after its independence had
been established and acknowledged for ten years; her arrogant demand
that the United States should not admit Texas to the Union, and her
still more arrogant threat that she would regard such admission as an
act of war; the departure of her minister from Washington; and the
breaking off of all friendly relations instantly upon the passage by
Congress of the resolution admitting the Lone Star State,--left no
alternative but to bring the inflated and treacherous pronunciamientos
to terms by force of arms, since they were amenable neither to justice
nor reason, and to "conquer a peace" which even they would have to
respect. And, glorious as were her arms, not less creditable were the
moderation and magnanimity of the Great Republic, when Mexico, her
armies destroyed, her capital taken, lay prostrate, in paying a large
indemnity for the far-distant and almost tenantless regions of New
Mexico and California, which, while ready to fall from Mexico's feeble
grasp, were essential to the expansion of the populous and fast-growing
Republic of the North.

In the latter part of May he visited Boston and Andover with his little

The following month the Savannah orders were countermanded, the Engineer
Department deeming it best that he should continue in charge of Fort
Knox, and the other works in Maine and New Hampshire.

After a preliminary visit, he moved his family again to Bucksport, in
June, and occupied a cottage at the fort opposite the town.

He gathered about him his former assistants, A.W. Tinkham and John Lee,
and continued in charge of the works for upwards of five years.

Having a strong desire to own a home of his own, he purchased a house,
with a generous lot of half an acre, overlooking the river. The house
was of two stories, seven rooms, with a barn in the rear connected by a
woodshed. The principal wharf was at the foot of the street, and here
Major Stevens kept his boat. The house had an ill repute as being
unhealthy, some of the former inmates having died from consumption. When
cautioned on this score, he replied: "It is high time some one took the
house who can give it a good reputation." He had the cellar and grounds
thoroughly drained, sunk a well, blasting through a ledge of rock, and
put the grounds and garden in fine order. He took great pains with, and
pleasure in, the garden, raising all kinds of vegetables. They kept
poultry also, and among them was a flock of twelve ducklings that every
day solemnly waddled down to the river in single file, and as solemnly
waddled up the hill again after their daily bath and paddling in the
river, an unceasing source of interest and pleasure to the children.

The government was contemplating the fortification of the more important
points on the Pacific coast, and to an inquiry as to his willingness to
be sent to that distant field, he writes the following characteristic

  "As regards engineer duty on the Pacific coast for a year or two, I
  should be well pleased with it did I feel certain that I was
  physically in condition to undertake it. If the passage thither
  should be an easy one, as mostly by sea, I have little doubt that on
  my arrival at the scene of my duties my lameness would be
  essentially gone. If the journey should be overland, I should hardly
  be able to bear the fatigues of it in less than two or three months.
  If ordered, I should go _without hesitation_, and do the best I
  could. I must leave this matter entirely with you. No officer should
  feel at liberty to decline a distant duty of this kind, and in this
  case, as in all others, let the public interests alone have weight."

Ambitious he was, but with a lofty ambition, not to aggrandize himself,
but to serve his country, ever ready to sacrifice personal interests and
feelings to the public service. In this and other letters he displays a
certain impatience that personal convenience or interests should be
consulted at all in matters of public duty.

When the brevets were announced, Lieutenant Stevens was brevetted
"Captain, August 20, 1847, for gallant and meritorious conduct in the
battles of Contreras and Churubusco," and "Major, September 13, 1847,
for gallant and meritorious conduct in the battle of Chapultepec."

He took great pains to secure justice to all the engineer officers in
the way of brevets, conceiving that he was in a measure responsible
therefor because, as adjutant of the corps in Mexico, the engineer
reports had been made through him; he had had charge of the records, and
had been closely consulted by the chief, General Totten, and spent no
little time and effort in behalf of those who had been overlooked.

The engineers felt themselves treated with injustice in the matter of
brevet pay, for while the officers of artillery, cavalry, and infantry
were allowed full pay when assigned to duty according to their brevet
rank, the former were denied the same right, although frequently placed
in charge of works and assigned to duties above their nominal rank. They
had other grievances, too, in the allowances for rations, horses, etc.
One so disinterested and indefatigable in behalf of his corps and
brother officers as Major Stevens would be sure to be often called upon.
He took great interest in these matters, and even more in the general
reorganization of the army, upon which he corresponded and consulted
largely with able and public-spirited young officers of other corps as
well as his own.

It was not until November that his friend and classmate, Lieutenant J.F.
Gilmer, relieved him of the vouchers and papers relating to Savannah
forts. Writing from Washington, November 6, Gilmer says: "Captain Fred.
A. Smith would like much to have you here this winter. It is possible
you may do the corps a great service by being in Washington this

A call for service in any direction always appealed strongly to him, and
accordingly he determined to visit Washington, as he writes his brother
Oliver, under date of Bucksport, December 8, 1848. This letter displays
a humorous vein not usual with him, and gives his view of the character
and public policy of General Taylor, then just elected President:--

  MY DEAR BROTHER,--I rejoice to learn that you are still in the land
  of the living, and that that severe and noble pursuit, the law, does
  not prevent your seeing the lions of the town. But you are very
  cruel to triumph over us benighted creatures in this region of
  frosts and snows. In truth we lead a quiet, rational, country life,
  perhaps as much to be envied as the more attractive life of the
  great city. I wish you, however, distinctly to understand that we do
  not suck our paws during the winter, and I feel bound to disabuse
  you of this misapprehension. That is done still farther down East, I
  believe. We do not sleep more than twelve or at most fourteen hours
  a day. We manage to eat three meals per day. But it is hard work;
  they approximate rather too closely. We drink tea nights, and eat
  apples mornings. We get the newspapers generally every day, and
  expect to read the Message to-morrow. By way of diversion, we slide
  down hill on a moonlight evening. Then there are prayer and
  conference meetings _ad libitum_. What a consolation these latter
  privileges would be to one of your serious turn of mind! I can
  almost see your grave countenance lighted up with heavenly radiance
  on such an occasion.

  By the bye, I hope to see you in about four weeks, as I pass on to
  Washington. There I shall probably remain till after the
  inauguration. I find in the election of General Taylor the great
  fact indicated that we poor devils in the army are citizens of the
  country, and eligible to civil offices of trust. I should have voted
  most cordially for General Cass, had I a vote to throw. His election
  I vastly preferred. But there has been in this canvass a vast deal
  of nonsense about the camp not being the place to find our
  Presidents, and I am much mistaken if General Taylor, in his own
  person, does not prove a happy instance of the mingling of military
  and administrative ability. And those miserable hacks of party, who
  have sought to depreciate his military services and talents, have
  now the consolation to reflect that their efforts at detraction
  served to promote his election, as it did that of General Harrison.

  "I unhesitatingly believe that General Taylor will administer the
  government in an able, impartial, and patriotic manner, and if
  during his presidency an emergency arises, he will prove a
  hero-President as he has proved a hero-soldier. The Democratic party
  ought not to prejudge him. Let them maintain a firm attitude in
  Congress, and keep well organized everywhere. The Whigs cannot carry
  any of their favorite measures through Congress for two years at
  least. We may then have a Democratic Congress, and, my word for it,
  there will be no collision between such a Congress and General
  Taylor. On that great cluster of questions, the public lands, the
  encouragement and protection of distant settlements, the development
  of the great Pacific coast, the old man will be right. If the
  Democratic party will show candor and liberality towards General
  Taylor, he may be their nominee four years from this time."

As one result of his visit to Washington, Major Stevens took hold of the
brevet pay question in his usual thoroughgoing and indefatigable manner.
He first corresponded with every brevetted officer of the corps whom he
had not already consulted personally. Having thus learned their views,
he prepared a strong memorial on the subject, which, after being
submitted to, and warmly approved by, Colonels Thayer and Mansfield and
Major Tower, was sent to all the officers for their signatures. And in
July he transmitted the memorial to General Totten, signed by every
brevetted officer of the corps save one, with an urgent letter asking
his interposition with the War Department in their behalf.

It was the intention, in case the department denied the application, to
appeal to Congress, but the manifest justice of the cause as presented
was unanswerable. The department, after some doubts, concluded that it
had the necessary authority under the law regulating brevet pay, and at
length the engineers were placed on an equality with the other arms in
this respect. His brother officers conceded that the gratifying triumph
was due to the well-directed and persistent efforts of Major Stevens,
and showered upon him their warm thanks and applause. This success,
however, was followed by more and more frequent applications from them
and others for assistance and advice in their own personal matters. He
never failed to expend his thought, energy, and time in every deserving
case as promptly and freely as, ay, far more than, if he was working for
himself, and he never shunned, nor complained of, these gratuitous
tasks, which in the next few years became a great burden, but always
seemed to take real pleasure and satisfaction in helping others, even
many who had little or no claim upon him.

In April writes Captain George B. McClellan, who was stationed at West
Point with the engineer company, an urgent appeal to Major Stevens to
use his influence to have the company ordered away from the Point, and
to Fort Schuyler:--

  MY DEAR STEVENS,--The detachment of artillery (laborers) stationed
  here are to be transferred to the engineer company,--at least so
  many as may be necessary to fill up the company. On our company then
  will it devolve to do all the police of the Point, to make the
  roads, drive the carts, feed the oxen, work in the blacksmith and
  carpenter shops, etc., etc.,--in plain terms, the engineer company
  is destroyed; it has become a company of mud-diggers; it will no
  longer be an engineer company, for it will be impossible to do
  military duty, and no instruction in the duties of engineer troops
  can be given them. The object of the whole business is to get
  Shover's company of light artillery ordered on here, and we are
  sacrificed to attain that object.

  This is a matter that concerns equally all the officers of our
  corps. We are disgraced if this order is allowed to remain in force,
  and I beg of you to use whatever influence you may possess in
  Washington to have the order rescinded, and the company ordered away
  from here. I am in haste,

                                        Truly your friend,
                                            GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN.

Partly in response to this letter, but more to express his own views as
to the true policy in regard to engineer troops, Major Stevens writes at
length to General Totten. It is characteristic that he does not treat
the matter from McClellan's narrow, personal standpoint, but at once
elevates the whole subject to a discussion of the requirements of the
service. After referring to his intimate association with the engineer
company in its organization and in Mexico, he continues:--

  "I think every one owes something to his profession. Something is
  due to my profession, not inferior certainly in dignity to any
  other. I would endeavor to discharge it according to my ability. It
  will be in this spirit that I shall submit the following
  observations. In this spirit will I from time to time communicate
  with the department on this and other topics appertaining to the
  noble profession of arms, not doubting that my suggestions will be
  kindly received.

  "By law, the engineer company is restricted to one hundred men, a
  number entirely inadequate even to the duties of peace.... The
  remedy I would propose is this: Let the utmost care be exercised in
  enlisting men. Let no man be enlisted who cannot in due course of
  time be made a non-commissioned officer. Let there be in no case
  transfers from other branches of the service. Let the whole strength
  of the officers of the company be applied to discipline and instruct
  the men, so that in time of need we shall have a band of splendid
  non-commissioned officers, the peers of Everett and Hastings and
  Starr,--men who have received commissions for their gallant services
  in Mexico, and each of whom, had Smith and McClellan and Foster
  fallen, could have gloriously led on the company to its duty.

  "I would propose a complete system of practical instruction six or
  seven months of the year, sapping, mining, and pontooneering, and
  the whole subject of field-works, at some suitable place, say Fort
  Schuyler, and a course of theoretical instruction the remaining five
  months, embracing an elementary course of mathematics (including
  drawing, surveying, and the use of instruments) and of engineering.
  There should also be a good general and military library. As regards
  the library, the corps could be applied to for aid, if necessary. I
  will for one, and I doubt not many officers would, liberally make

  "Even if the engineer arm were increased to four companies, which I
  trust will be done the next session of Congress, I would recommend
  this course. The fine practical education which would thus be
  secured would induce men to enlist. And we shall have the
  satisfaction that in the next war with England, and when the
  question is to besiege Montreal, Quebec, and Halifax, our four
  companies can be soon converted into twenty companies."

Ever since his return from Mexico, Major Stevens was deeply interested
in the reorganization of the army. Even while so vigorously fighting for
his corps in the matter of brevet pay, in discussions and correspondence
with Mansfield, Mason, Tower, G.W. Smith, F.A. Smith, Beauregard, Hunt,
and others, after disposing of this particular grievance he would
enlarge upon the reorganization of the whole army, giving his own ideas,
and urging them as a patriotic duty, not as members of any corps, but
from the standpoint of the whole army, to prepare memoirs, or letters,
giving their views.

He advocated an organization that would admit of fourfold extension in
case of war; the keeping of at least one third of the troops in camps of
drill and instruction in order to maintain the highest degree of
military knowledge and discipline; and the raising of the standard of
the rank and file, attracting thereby American-born young men as
soldiers by increased pay, better instruction, and greater opportunities
for advancement, even to conferring commissions in meritorious cases.
These letters and replies, particularly a memoir by Hunt (afterwards the
distinguished general, Henry J. Hunt, chief of artillery of the Army of
the Potomac), are full of interest and instruction. The army, with all
the improvements adopted in recent years, has not yet reached the
standard set by these patriotic and able young officers fifty years ago.
How Major Stevens followed up these preliminary efforts will appear

                              CHAPTER XIII

                              COAST SURVEY

During the summer Professor A.D. Bache, the distinguished scientist,
chief of the United States Coast Survey, found himself obliged to obtain
a new "assistant in charge of the Coast Survey Office," the second
position on the survey, in place of Captain A.A. Humphreys, of the
topographical engineers, who under the labors of that office had become
broken down in health and was obliged to relinquish it. It was no light
tribute to the rising reputation of Major Stevens that so wise and
sagacious a man as Professor Bache, and so excellent a judge of men,
should have selected him out of the whole army as his right-hand
assistant and executive officer. He tendered the position, August 7, in
a letter well calculated to appeal to a patriotic and ambitious young
man, dwelling upon the important character of the duties of the office,
and the opportunities it afforded "to build up a name for executive
ability," and "to reflect credit upon the corps," etc., and stating that
the chief engineer (General Totten was an intimate friend of Professor
Bache) would look favorably upon his acceptance.

At first Major Stevens was disposed to decline the post; but after
several interviews with Professor Bache in Cambridge and Boston, he
reluctantly decided to accept it, but upon condition that he should
retain charge of the Bucksport works in addition to the new position for
a year longer, with the right then to retain either the Coast Survey or
Fort Knox, as he might prefer, and relinquish the other. This unique
condition, by which an officer about to undertake new and arduous duties
stipulated to retain also his former ones, thus voluntarily adding to
his labors instead of diminishing them, was at once accepted by
Professor Bache and agreed to by the engineer department, a convincing
proof of the esteem in which he was held by both.

The concluding part of the following letter to his brother Oliver shows
that it was the wider field for his energies and ambition, the better
opportunities for service and for putting in force his ideas of
reorganizing the army, of performing his "duty to his profession," that
really caused him to accept the onerous position:--

  MY DEAR BROTHER,--I am ready at once to give you a decided opinion
  as to the course you should pursue, and I know it will be in
  accordance with your own judgment.

  Remain in Cambridge a year and a half longer. Then go to Boston.
  Throw yourself into the arena of the strongest men in the State.
  Contend with strong men, the stronger the better, and rise above
  them all.

  I have watched your progress with the anxiety and tender solicitude
  which an older brother must feel in a younger and only brother. This
  is one of the turning-points of your life.

  I have not the slightest doubt, in one year from being admitted to
  the bar, you will be able to marry and have a home of your own.

  Don't trouble yourself about the cost. If things go right with me
  here, I have no doubt I shall be able to let you have, from July,
  '50, to July, '51, all you will require.

  I write with the earnestness of deep conviction. I am proud of your
  talents, but you have a weight of character which gives to talent
  its force. Let me hear from you soon. I beg of you not to give way
  to despondency, and the least as to the bold course I have

  You and I both do best by taking bold, self-relying courses. I never
  once failed in my life from the boldness of my course. You will not.

  I feel I have come to Washington at the right time. The Coast Survey
  _needs me_ to overhaul it. I feel that the army has a representative
  in me which it has not had in Washington in years. I know my
  position,--my strength,--and I swear by the Eternal, to use
  Jackson's expression, I will put it forth.

In the following he gives his views on Coast Survey and other matters.

                              WASHINGTON, D.C., October 22, 1849.

  MY DEAR BROTHER,--To-day I enter upon my duties. I see no particular
  difficulty. There is no need of being a mere office drudge. All the
  work can be done without any one's breaking down. The Coast Survey
  is a large operation, and the charge of the office here can be made
  an agreeable duty. The responsibility will be considerable. But all
  details can be thrown upon subordinates. The fact is, the work in
  the world has got to be done. But it can be done by proper
  distribution and arrangement in an easy, quiet manner. This will be
  my study in my new duties.

  We shall have a great session of Congress the coming winter. The
  whole subject of our communications with the Pacific will be
  discussed, railroad and ship canal across the Isthmus,--railroad
  through our own border. I have no doubt Congress will direct the
  necessary explorations and surveys to determine the practicability
  of the various schemes.

  I am now boarding at a private house. But in a few days I shall
  occupy rooms, and take my meals at one of the public houses. This is
  the favorite mode with gentlemen that can afford it. A good parlor
  with sleeping-room adjoining, in a good situation, will cost me
  twenty-five dollars per month, the rooms being furnished, and
  provided with fuel, light, and attendance. And board simply, at the
  best public houses, will cost about twenty dollars more. This mode
  of living is free and easy. You go into retiracy when you choose,
  and can again at any moment mingle with the crowd.

  I am becoming acquainted with our Maine and Massachusetts
  congressmen. Duncan, of Haverhill, I find quite an agreeable
  gentleman. Hamlin, one of the Maine senators, seems to be quite a
  clever fellow. Maine, however, has a mediocre representation in both
  branches. I was present last evening at a reception at the White
  House. The President looks hardy, and as though he would survive the
  attacks that are being made upon him. His nonchalance is by many
  mistaken for vacuity. The old man has an iron will and most
  inflexible resolution, and I assure my Democratic friends, who say
  that he is in the keeping of others, that before his four years are
  through they will be convinced of it. Take my opinion for what it is
  worth, brother Oliver.

  The Democrats, as regards General Taylor, are pursuing the very
  course to reëlect him. What did the Whigs gain by representing
  General Jackson to be in leading-strings? Can't we learn from our

The Coast Survey Office was indeed "a large operation." All the maps,
charts, computations, drawings, printing, engravings, instrument-making,
and business administration of the survey were done here under the
management and supervision of the assistant in charge. The force
immediately under him comprised from sixty to seventy persons, including
several army officers. The office occupied a large brick block of houses
on New Jersey Avenue, corner of B Street, the house at the northeast end
being the residence of the professor. The Coast Survey now occupies the
other end of the same square.

The first step taken by the new chief was to organize the force into
separate bureaus, each under a responsible head, and performing a
particular branch of the work. This had not yet been done, although the
difficulty, or impossibility, of the head of the office personally
directing and supervising so many employees singly, and the details of
such multifarious and complicated work, was daily becoming more evident,
and doubtless was the prime cause of Captain Humphreys's breakdown.

  "On entering on my duties," he remarks in his first report, "I saw
  at once that my only hope of filling the situation, with
  satisfaction to the survey and to myself, was in at once applying my
  exertions to enlarging and adapting the organization of the office
  to the increasing wants of the survey. The office work would
  necessarily increase for two or three years without any increase of
  field work. But it was manifest that the field work of the survey
  itself must increase, and thus involve a still greater increase of
  office work."

Accordingly he established the Departments of Engraving, Drawing,
Computing, Publication and Distribution of Maps, Archives and Library,
and Correspondence. To these were soon added Electro-plating, Printing,
and Instrument-making. The best-fitted men were selected from the force,
or new assistants were employed and put in charge of the departments.
The arrears of work were rapidly brought up; the geographical data were
collected and indexed; the registry of land work was improved; volumes
of observations were bound; and the register, two years behind, was
brought up to date. In his first report, the new assistant in charge
announced that the Drawing Department would be up to the wants of the
survey in one year, and made many useful recommendations for the
improvement of the service.

Professor Bache warmly acknowledged the efficiency of his young
assistant in his reports. December 5, 1851, he declares:--

  "For the development of the plans of office work, the urging to
  completion the list of geographical positions, and the increased
  rapidity of publication, the Coast Survey is indebted mainly to the
  zeal and industry, guided by knowledge and intelligence, of
  Brevet-Major Isaac I. Stevens, of the corps of engineers, in
  acknowledging which, in connection with the remarks on the speedy
  completion of the results of the survey, I feel that I am doing
  simply an act of justice.

  "Every department of the office has, under his able supervision,
  continued to improve, and has filled the full measure required by
  the increasing number, amount, and variety of results returned by
  the field work of the coast. It is due to Major Stevens to
  acknowledge the promptness which is secured in the publication of
  results, and the maturing of a system by which sketches and
  preliminary work of charts are made in every case to precede the
  more finished work, furnishing valuable results to the navigator as
  soon as obtained by the survey.

  "The rapid execution of the engraved charts of the Western coast
  reconnoissance is a proof of the perfection of this organization,
  and of the zeal of those who administer it. Three well-executed
  sheets of reconnoissance were engraved and ready for publication
  within twenty working days after the beginning of the engraving."

During Captain Humphreys's illness the work had fallen greatly in
arrears; many of the employees had become careless and idle, some of
them dissipated; and great disorder and confusion prevailed. It was
common report that the Coast Survey was the worst-conducted office in
Washington. Major Stevens set himself to correct this state of things
with a vigor, at times a severity, that admitted no delay and brooked no
opposition. Strict punctuality, prompt compliance with orders, and
complete and exact performance of duty, he required and exacted with
military discipline. There was great discontent and indignation among
the old officers and employees, and no little ridicule at the idea of
the young major enforcing army rule in a scientific institution. Even
the professor feared he was carrying it too far, and rather pettishly
remarked, "Since Major Stevens took hold, there has been a continual
jingling of bells all over the building, but I suppose it won't do to
interfere with these army officers." It seems that Major Stevens had
caused bells to be placed in the various offices with wires running to
his own room, so that he could summon his subordinates without delay
when he wished to see them.

But the new assistant pursued the course he had marked out unswervingly,
without fear and without favor. He summarily dismissed several of the
worst offenders. Others he degraded in pay or position. He made himself
master of every branch and detail of that great institution. The old
computers, engravers, draughtsmen, topographers, and others, who had
passed years in the office, were astonished to find that the new chief
fully understood their technical work, and was watching, criticising,
and directing it with expert skill and judgment. As usual, he took a
warm interest in the men under his charge, ever ready to encourage and
reward the deserving, and to assist them in their personal affairs. He
caused one of the messengers, who had lost both arms in an explosion, to
learn to write with his foot, and gave him copying to do to eke out his
scanty pay. One of the higher employees was addicted to periodical
attacks of intemperance utterly beyond his power to resist, but
otherwise was a respectable and useful man. Major Stevens quietly told
this gentleman to come to him whenever he felt one of these attacks
coming on too strong for him to withstand, and he should have a leave of
absence for a few days, enough to have, and recover from, his spree, and
on this footing he continued on the survey for years.

Under his firm, masterful, and exacting but generous treatment the
outraged feelings of the office soon changed. They could not but respect
a chief who, if he required good and full work, appreciated and
acknowledged it; and their respect changed to admiration, and finally to
affection, when they saw how he was building up the efficiency and
reputation of the office, and realized that his strict rule was
characterized by justice and impartiality, and tempered by the kindness
of a warm-hearted and generous man. Professor Bache found in his new
assistant not only relief from the cares of the office and of
administration, but one whose ideas in most subjects agreed with his
own, and whose strong, bright, and well-instructed mind could travel
with his own through other fields. A warm and generous friendship grew
up between them, which lasted unbroken during life.

The task he had undertaken at the Coast Survey made this a very
laborious winter for Major Stevens, but one that gratified his ambition
for public service. He met many of his brother officers, "the men of
Mexico," and discussed with them the questions of army reorganization,
fortifications, etc. He also made the acquaintance of members of
Congress, and freely impressed upon them his views of these measures.
General Shields was now a senator from Illinois, and was always ready to
adopt and advocate the ideas of the young major of engineers, and was
glad of his aid in preparing his reports and bills. Always and
emphatically a national man, believing that the preservation of the
Union was essential to liberty and national existence, Major Stevens
took great interest in the compromise measures so ably carried through
by Henry Clay, in support of which Webster delivered his noted 7th of
March speech, and fully approved the measures of these great statesmen
to allay sectional strife and preserve the Union.

The plans and hopes of the Southern leaders were cruelly disappointed by
the action of California, which adopted a free constitution, and knocked
at the doors of Congress for admission as a free State. Consequently
they refused her admission unless additional safeguards were thrown
around the "peculiar institution," as slavery was termed; and many of
the fire-eaters openly advocated disunion as the only means of
preserving it against the free ideas of the North, and the
preponderating increase of free States. For a time the difference seemed
irreconcilable, and disunion and civil war imminent; but at length, by
the wise counsels of Clay, Webster, and the more broad-minded men of
both sides, a compromise was effected, and California entered the Union
a free State.

The old Puritan in Andover, in his abhorrence of slavery, condemned all
compromise, and writes the son he so much loved and admired a pathetic
and reproachful letter, marked, too, by a sublime faith in the ultimate
triumph of right:--

  DEAR SON,--I have been confined to the house since the 22d of last
  November, but am now very well, excepting a weak leg. I have thought
  much of my daughters during my sickness, especially of the two
  youngest, who were ever ready to wait upon me by night or day.... I
  was sorry you should so much commend D. Webster's speech, and
  thought no man could commend it who was opposed to slavery. I do
  think Webster to be a demagogue; that he is so lost to every good
  principle as to court slaveholders' approbation, and vote shame on
  the descendants of the men of '75.

  I believe the great Being who rules the destinies of nations has
  ordained that we remain united, that we extend the area of freedom,
  not slavery, that other nations may copy our example,--too late in
  the day for Liberty to take a backward march in our country, however
  much she may swing to and fro in the old country.

                                            ISAAC STEVENS.

His wife and family remained in Bucksport during the winter, not wishing
to break up the comfortable home until he decided to remain on the Coast
Survey permanently. Early in April he visited Bucksport, where, on the
28th of that month, a daughter was born to them, named Gertrude Maude.

This winter Major Stevens's wound broke out afresh, and discharged
several small fragments of bone, causing considerable suffering and much
inconvenience. This recurred several times during his stay in
Washington, and it was over four years before the wound permanently
healed. Sometimes, when walking, his foot would give out entirely, and
he would have to hail the nearest omnibus or carriage. He used to wear a
shoe with very thick soles, which best protected and served the injured

A letter to Professor Bache, written from Newport while on his way to
Bucksport, shows that he had decided at this time to relinquish the
Coast Survey, a decision which he afterwards reconsidered:--

  ... "In Baltimore I met Colonel Lee and Captain Foster. Colonel Lee
  was kind enough to go over my article on the Mexican war. His
  suggestions and criticisms will very much improve the article. The
  colonel thinks I have made a mistake in determining not to remain on
  the survey.

  "I saw General Scott in New York. He went over many of the
  operations in the valley, and you may be assured it was a great
  pleasure for me to meet my old chief.

  "I need not say to you how very gratifying to me was your letter in
  reply to mine communicating my intention to retire from the survey;
  and in answer to the concluding paragraph, you may rely upon me to
  do all in my power to respond to your wishes. I have been growing
  stronger every day since I left Washington. I hope to return in
  condition to do more satisfactory service than was in my power for
  some weeks previous to my leaving."

So it would seem that his hard work and close application were telling
upon his health and strength.

In the spring he moved his family to Newport for the summer. In August
he paid off four hundred dollars of the debt on the Bucksport house.
Plain, simple, and even frugal in personal habits and expenses, and
careful in money matters, he saved this sum from his pay. Yet he never
cared for money-making; and notwithstanding the straitened circumstances
of early life, and the lessons of economy so diligently inculcated by
his father, he was very generous, a free giver, a great provider, and
inclined to spend money freely.

He was obliged to spend most of the summer in Washington, making
occasional visits North to look after the Bucksport works and see his
family. He now definitely decided to stay on the Coast Survey. After a
short visit at Newport in August, he returned to Washington, and spent
no little time during the next month in hunting up suitable quarters.
How thoroughly sick and tired he was of being separated from his wife
and children; how he longed to live united with them; how lofty and
noble were his ideals of woman, of marriage, of duty, of ambition; and
what success he was gaining on the survey,--are graphically depicted in
his letters to his wife:--

                                  WASHINGTON, September 5, 1850.

  MY DEAREST WIFE,--I began to-day seeking for a boarding-house. I
  find great objection is made to children coming to table. I think a
  great deal of our children taking their meals with us, and I think I
  had rather go to the second table myself than to be deprived of the

  I regret I did not remain a week longer. I found on reaching
  Washington that there was no necessity for my hurrying back. We
  should all of us have enjoyed the bathing. It is mighty lonesome
  here, particularly from sundown till about eight in the morning. It
  spoils a man on some accounts to be married, particularly if he gets
  a good, lovable wife. He is not good for much away from her. I
  assure you I will never be separated from you again another winter
  unless it is an absolute impossibility for us to be together. We are
  young, and let us not renounce the comfort and support of each
  other's society unless the necessity is imperative. I know you will
  say amen to this....

                        WASHINGTON, Saturday, September 6, 1850.

  MY DEAR WIFE,--... A devoted, loving, tender, sympathizing wife is
  the greatest element of my success in life. It adds to my strength
  in all respects. Think of this, Margaret. If I achieve what may be
  truly called success, it will be due mainly to you. I have no desire
  for place, or wealth, or station. But should I do something for my
  kind, should it be said of me when I am gone that the world owes
  something to my memory, that my fellow-men are happier and better
  for my labors, this is what I call success. It can be achieved only
  by constancy, by nobility of purpose, by a self-sacrificing spirit.
  Your example and your affection for me will help me to cultivate
  these virtues.

  Yesterday the House passed by ten votes the Texas Boundary and the
  New Mexico Territorial Bill. You cannot imagine the gratulation
  which was shown by all persons, both in and out of Congress, when
  the result was announced. The feeling was that all the danger which
  had menaced us had been averted. If necessary, a great many members
  would have changed their votes. On Wednesday the measure was
  defeated by a majority of forty-six votes; on Thursday by a majority
  of eight votes; and yesterday it passed by a majority of ten. All
  the other measures will be rapidly pushed through, and Congress will
  rise early next month.

  In my judgment the most dangerous crisis that has occurred since the
  foundation of the government has been happily passed. Henry Clay has
  been throughout the master spirit of the times. His services the
  present session are enough to immortalize his name. It is the
  crowning triumph of his civic life, and he will descend to posterity
  as one of the heroes and benefactors of his age and generation. He
  has not his peer in Congress. No man that combines his intrepid
  soul, his extended views, his large American heart, his admirable
  tact and presence of mind, and that quality of leadership which
  enables him through doubt and defection, in spite of unexpected
  difficulties and notwithstanding repeated defeats, to undauntedly
  pursue his course and finally achieve the ultimate triumph. This is
  Henry Clay in his seventy-fifth year. He has not his peer in our
  whole parliamentary history.

  Sunday, September 8. Yesterday the California and Utah bills passed
  the House. Last evening a salute of one hundred guns was fired, and
  a large multitude assembled in front of the National to listen to a
  serenade to Henry Clay. But the glorious old man had gone out to
  enjoy a quiet Sunday in the country, and was not to be seen.

  Little Sue must, I know, miss me very much. She is a great pet of
  mine. I never feel as if I could be put out with her, let her be
  ever so whimsical. Tell Sue she shall see her papa in a few weeks,
  and then we shall keep together for many months. Our long
  separation, dearest wife, is drawing to a close, and we shall be
  again united. My last visit was an oasis in the desert.

  I saw the doctor in relation to my sore throat. He says it has very
  much improved. The only precaution I must take is not to expose
  myself to the night air. My general health is quite good, and is
  still growing even better. My foot gives me very little trouble. It
  has not been so strong for eight months as for the last ten days. I
  now am not obliged to make much use of the crutches. You may be sure
  I feel very much encouraged about my health, and I have no fears as
  to its being perfectly reëstablished. I eat well, sleep well, and am
  not worried by work. Remember me, my dear wife, to all the friends.
  Kiss the little Sue and Maude.

                                    Your ever affectionate husband.

                              WASHINGTON, September 29, 1850.

  MY DEAREST WIFE,--You must not think I have forgotten you. I have
  been very much occupied the last few days. Our appropriations were
  in danger, and both Professor Bache and myself have been hard at
  work to save them. We have carried everything,--secured no less than
  one hundred and ninety thousand dollars for the Western coast.

  A portion of this appropriation we carried in the House in the teeth
  of the Committee of Ways and Means. They opposed it vehemently, yet
  we went to work on Friday, worked hard all day, and carried it two
  to one nearly against them.

  The professor is in one respect a most skillful manager, but his
  skill consists in his perfect directness, truthfulness,
  disinterestedness, and good temper. He is perfectly frank and open.
  Margaret, such men have most influence with all men of sense,
  whether members of Congress, or men in official station, or in
  private life. This is the secret of his getting along so well. You
  know I have always insisted that such a course was the most sure and
  reliable. You stand on the solid rock, and nothing can move you when
  you cast aside all intrigue and low cunning, and pursue an open,
  truthful, manly course. Cunning men cannot cope with you. This is my

  My duties in the office are becoming more and more pleasant. The
  office is becoming systematized, the back work is all coming up, and
  in the spring I have no doubt everything will be in the best
  possible condition.

  Every department is improving, and a very fine spirit pervades all
  the employees. I am bringing to bear upon the men my personal
  weight, and you know I rarely ever fail whenever I am brought into
  direct personal contact with men. All the men are beginning to know
  me. They know I am firm and steadfast, but that I am as true to them
  as I am to the work itself. Every man will find that he can have
  entire confidence in my justice, and in my judgment of his merits. I
  am determined to be deserving of their confidence, and, if so, I
  shall most assuredly gain it.

  The professor's confidence in me seems to be greater every day. This
  makes my position pleasant. It makes me more efficient. My judgment
  is all the clearer for it. The truth is, I take the same general
  view of things that he does, and my judgment almost invariably
  brings me to the same conclusions. Thus, in operating to secure our
  appropriations, we agreed perfectly in the mode of proceeding.
  Indeed, the professor left the management entirely to me in the
  first instance. When things were prepared for him, I sent an express
  to his camp to bring him in. All my arrangements entered admirably
  into his plans. This was pleasant. My part was, of course, a
  subordinate one, but it was in harmony with all that was done.

In the latter part of 1849 appeared the "History of the Mexican War," by
Major Roswell S. Ripley, of the 1st artillery, who had served in Scott's
campaign, and who had been given a year's leave of absence to enable him
to write the work. The history is fairly well written, and accurate for
the most part, but marred by the constant effort to depreciate the
character and services of General Scott, and to extol Generals Worth and
Pillow at his expense. The former of these officers, a fine soldier, and
deservedly of high standing in the army and before the people, needed no
encomiums; the latter was unworthy of them. Some of Ripley's statements,
too, were deemed erroneous by many of the ablest officers who
participated in the contest, and there was a strong sentiment among them
that these errors ought to be exposed, and the truth vindicated before
the public. None felt this sentiment more strongly than Major Stevens.
An admirer of Scott's military talents, and a member of his staff during
the famous campaign, his sense of justice and truth outraged by the
attempt to disparage the general's great services, and to heap unearned
honors upon Pillow, he deemed it his duty, even in the midst of his
arduous labors at the Coast Survey, to give to the world a tame and just
account of these events, thus defending his former chief, and
vindicating the truth of history.

He labored upon this work with his usual energy and thoroughness,
submitted it in manuscript to Mason, Mansfield, Robert E. Lee, and other
officers, by whom it was highly approved, and early in 1851 published
his "Campaigns of the Rio Grande and of Mexico." In the preface he

  "His object in appearing before the public was to testify to the
  services of those heroic officers and soldiers who were in his
  judgment depreciated in the work of Major Ripley. He felt impelled
  to this course by a sense of duty, and he appeals to all the actors
  in those scenes to bear testimony in vindication of the truth."

It is a strange instance of the foibles of a really great man that this
work, inspired by the noblest and most disinterested motives, and the
ablest defense of Scott's course in Mexico, was the cause of an
estrangement for years between the writer and the commander he so well
vindicated. Immediately on the publication of the book, Major Stevens
presented General Scott with a copy with his compliments, fully
expecting the warm thanks and appreciation of his former chief. To his
astonishment, a few days later General Scott returned the book by the
hands of General Totten, with the message that Major Stevens was to
observe that the leaves were still uncut, thus implying that he
disdained even to read it. This affront he offered to the officer whom
for bravery and services in Mexico he had highly commended and
recommended for brevets, whose advice he had listened to in councils of
war and followed on the battlefield, whom, hand upon his shoulder, he
had presented to the shouting multitude in Washington as 'My young
friend, Major Stevens, to whose courage and ability I owe much of my
success in Mexico,' and who was his warmest and ablest defender against
the aspersions of his enemies.

Whether General Scott, whose overweening vanity could ill brook the
least criticism, was inflamed by some remark in the work, which seems
incredible, or whether his mind was poisoned by one of those parasites
that ever hang upon the great, is uncertain. In truth, his movements and
entire course are highly commended, and in only a few instances is he
criticised. Major Stevens pronounced his attack of Molino del Rey a
mistake, and also the not insisting upon the surrender of Chapultepec
when the armistice was granted after the battle of Churubusco. Major
Stevens was not in the least cast down by this unwarranted rebuff. He
simply pitied the foibles of the man, while he retained his admiration
for the general's military talents. He always made it a point to call
upon him on New Year's, and to show him the respect due the head of the
army. But the cordial personal relations were broken forever.

                              CHAPTER XIV

                           LIFE IN WASHINGTON

In October, 1850, Major Stevens moved his wife and little ones to
Washington, and took quarters at Mrs. Kelley's on Eighteenth Street,
opposite Lafayette Square, in a large, spacious brick house, known as
the club-house. Here also lived General Talcott, of the ordnance,
Colonel Ethan Allen Hitchcock, Senator McWillie, of Mississippi, and
Representative Burt, of South Carolina, with their families, and
Commodore Matthew C. Perry, soon to become famous for opening Japan to
the commerce and intercourse of the world. The latter took a great fancy
to the little Sue, a sprightly, graceful child, and used to keep a store
of candy in his room for her especial benefit. They were all cultivated
and agreeable people, who lived together harmoniously and pleasantly,
and with social calls, receptions, and parties the winter passed off
rapidly. They enjoyed, too, the pleasant intimacy and cordial sympathy
of their Portsmouth friends, Mr. and Mrs. Hayes, and Mr. and Mrs. Coues,
who were now living in Washington.

During this winter Major Stevens took up the fourteen years' bill, a
measure to promote lieutenants of engineers, topographical engineers,
and ordnance to the rank of captain after fourteen years' service, with
the same energy and thoroughness that characterized his efforts to
procure for officers on duty according to brevet rank the full pay of
such rank. He first induced the officers of these corps in Washington to
agree upon the proposed bill, and to unite in actively supporting it,
no small task, for there was much jealousy between them, and different
schemes for benefiting one or another corps. How he enlisted the
coöperation of officers at other stations will be seen from the
following letter to Lieutenant M.C. Meiggs, afterwards major-general and
quartermaster-general of the army:--

  DEAR MEIGGS,--The inclosed memorial, asking that lieutenants of
  engineers, topographical engineers, and ordnance be promoted to the
  rank of captain after fourteen years' service, was introduced into
  the Senate yesterday and referred to the Military Committee.

  We are all of us determined to do our best to get this measure
  through. We are all acting with great unanimity. The idea is not to
  touch the question of the increase of either corps, or the
  equalization of the third corps. It is simply a measure of relief
  for the old lieutenants, and we ask for it for the reasons stated in
  the memorial.

  We must urge the measure especially on the ground that there is no
  characteristic duty for the particular grades, but that with the
  proposed promotion not only will all our captains, but many of the
  lieutenants, have the same duties essentially as field officers.

  The chiefs of our three corps have been consulted and approve our
  course. The Secretary of War is also favorable and advises us to
  this action. General Shields will strongly support it.

  Every man must help in this business, if he approves of it. The
  committee desires each officer to correspond without delay with such
  members of Congress as he personally knows, and lay before them at
  length the grounds why this measure of relief should become a law.

  Let me hear from you soon, and let us all put our shoulders to the
  wheel. If each officer can carry conviction to the understanding of
  one member of Congress, the measure will prevail.

His friend, General Shields, then senator from Illinois, presented the
memorial and advocated the bill in the Senate with hearty goodwill. The
young major of engineers lost no suitable opportunity of impressing
other members with the justice of the measure, and his earnest and
forcible language, straightforward sincerity, and rising reputation for
character and ability made him always listened to with attention and
respect. He enjoyed the satisfaction of seeing the bill become a law in
1853, and of receiving the well-earned thanks and plaudits of his
brother officers.

The subject of the reorganization of the army, which ever since the
Mexican war held first place in his thoughts and correspondence, now
engrossed his attention more than ever. His enlarged views, patriotic
spirit, and generous nature abhorred the personal and corps jealousies
too rife among army officers. He was emphatically an army man, not a
corps man, seeking the best for the whole army and the country, and not
the advancement of his corps or himself. Accordingly he corresponded on
this subject with officers of every branch of the service, and
especially with those who had served on the frontier; for he rightly
foresaw that the most important duties devolving upon the army would be
the exploration of the vast regions acquired by the Mexican war, and the
protection of the settlers thereon. By this correspondence he sought to
draw out and gather the views of the ablest and most experienced
officers, in order to unite them upon, and to formulate, a sound scheme
of army reorganization, and to impress it upon the country and Congress.
He wrote very many letters setting forth his own views, and urging other
officers to treat upon one or another branch of the subject, or to
pursue some line of inquiry, and called upon them freely to look up
authorities and collect information. Thus he induced Major H.J. Hunt to
prepare valuable papers upon artillery and army reorganization in
general. He begs Captain Kendrick to prepare a memoir on the New Mexico
military problem; Lieutenant-Colonel W.J. Hardee, on the defense of the
frontier; Captain G.W. Smith, on "General Camp of Discipline, where all
the army come together to learn the military art;" Captain George B.
McClellan, on engineer troops; Captain G.W. Cullum, subject of military
instruction; and others. Most of these officers responded readily and
favorably to his appeals. In the following letters his ideas are clearly

  MY DEAR HUNT,--We must move quietly as well as firmly in this matter
  [army reorganization]. We must make up our minds to encounter a
  violent opposition. The bureaucracy of Washington will probably be
  against us. We should first endeavor to get their aid, at least
  their neutrality in whole or in part. If they combine against
  reform, we must resolve to accomplish reform in spite of them. But
  time is necessary. A right direction to public opinion is necessary.
  Many men in Congress, the able men, must understand the question and
  be ready to act. We must first, then, enlighten public opinion, and
  enlighten members of Congress. We must bide our time, and, when it
  comes, act.

  Let it first, then, be stirred quietly in the army. Let a great many
  officers in all good time, all discreet and sensible men, be
  interested, and let them write for the papers....

  We must work to get public men informed. I would not have the
  movement partake in the slightest degree of a party character. But
  we must act on the known fact that the Democratic party is the only
  party that can govern the country. The Whig party is totally
  incompetent. We must throw our strength chiefly on Democrats.
  Douglas would be a tower of strength in the Senate. Would it not be
  a good idea to address a series of letters to him, and request
  _him_, if he approves of their general spirit, to publish them in
  the "Washington Union"? This he could do without pledging himself to
  the particular views of the letters. In the House is Fuller, of
  Maine, a new member but a rising man, a particular friend of mine.
  There is Bissel, of Illinois. There is Rusk, of Texas. General
  Bayly, Stanton, of Tennessee, and others I might mention, are
  strong, reliable men. The Southern _disunion_ men will look coldly
  on all attempts to improve the army. Mr. Burt will be lukewarm. I am
  somewhat fearful of Jefferson Davis. But they are both strong, good
  men, and we should act on the presumption that sectional views will
  not sway them from their duty.

                                        Yours, etc.,
                                            I.I. STEVENS.

He urged the elevating of the _personnel_ of the army by--

  "enlisting none but intelligent, respectable men, a fair
  representation of our people, attracted by increase of pay, and by
  opportunity of promotion to the grade of commissioned officer; that
  by care in selecting men, by schools, by libraries, and by camps of
  instruction, we can actually make of the common soldier a pretty
  good military man, so that going into civil life he may do good
  service in the militia, and in time of war be an important element
  in rapidly organizing armies. In this way the influence of West
  Point can be felt throughout the length and breadth of the land, in
  peace as well as on the breaking out of a war. It should be a
  settled principle to officer the infantry and mounted regiments in
  part from the rank and file. I know of no measure which is so
  calculated to elevate the service, and impart to it a greater
  efficiency. Young men of character would enter it, and our own
  citizens would fill up the ranks.

  "Commanding officers on the frontiers should have entire discretion
  in matters of clothing, subsistence, and transportation. Officers of
  the administrative departments would in this case make their usual
  returns and reports to their chiefs in Washington. But the
  directions from Washington should be to the commander, and should be
  of the most general character; else there will be divided,
  discordant government, there will be a want of unity of purpose,
  there will be feebleness and delays in action. It may be said that
  this involves great judgment, energy, and foresight on the part of
  the commanding officer. Undoubtedly, and none but officers of high
  qualities should be placed in command. This is one of the most
  important duties in the direction of affairs at Washington. Send the
  most competent man to take command. Throw the responsibility upon
  him. _Build him up_, or _break him down_. In the latter case,
  promptly supply his place by another officer."

He also suggested planting military colonies:--

  "Farmers and artisans to be enlisted, heads of families as well as
  young men, all intelligent, sober, moral men, at advanced rates of
  pay, and with their families be located at important points in the
  Indian country, the whole to be organized in a military manner;
  heads of families as the stationary infantry force, and the young
  men as the dragoon force, always in the saddle, and making up in
  mobility for paucity of numbers.

  "I know well some of the prominent members of the Military
  Committee. My opinion is sometimes asked, and I wish to communicate
  sound, practical views. Here I am, and in my intercourse with
  members of Congress I intend to be, an _army_ man and not a _corps_
  man. Let me tell you that truthful, intelligent officers have weight
  with Congress. The prominent members will give heed to their
  suggestions, and will be apt to adopt their views. There is a strong
  feeling in Congress that things are not managed rightly. Officers
  here must not only show what things are managed well; they must also
  show wherein things are _mis_managed, and they must suggest the
  remedy. It is time for officers having a common purpose to act
  together, and do something for their profession. I am at all events
  determined to do my duty. If we will act in concert, compare views
  in a fraternal and generous spirit, merging the _arm_ in the _army_,
  and taking views as large as our country, and occupying the whole
  ground of the public defense, and thus come to conclusions, we shall
  be right, and Congress will act accordingly, I care not what
  opposition be made in interested quarters."

In a letter to Captain G.W. Smith, he declares--

  "that the experience of our corps is too confined in time of peace,
  and that a portion ought to serve with troops in the West. This has
  always been my opinion, and the first year I entered the army I
  corresponded with Halleck in relation to it, and was in favor of a
  strong effort being made by our officers to get a change in our
  duties.... Were I not tied up on the Coast Survey as I am, I would
  make a great effort to get ordered to New Mexico or Texas. There is
  a field for such of us as will go there with a determination to
  carve one out, if it is not, in consequence of the stupidity of
  superiors, offered us."

Major Stevens followed up this subject with great diligence, expending a
vast amount of thought and work upon it for three years, and until the
engrossing duties of the exploration of the Northern route to the
Pacific in 1853, and of the governorship of Washington Territory, the
making of Indian treaties, and the conduct of the Indian war in the
Pacific Northwest occupied his whole time and energies. Some of his
ideas bore fruit, and have since been adopted, notably the raising of
the standard of the rank and file by increasing the pay of the private
soldier, improving his opportunities, and allowing him to compete for a
commission. And the thoroughgoing and comprehensive plan he suggested of
deciding upon the best system of national defense by the study and
conferring together of the ablest military men, the appeal to patriotic
and intelligent citizens, and the enlightening of public opinion, is as
wise and practical now as then, and as necessary. For the dear-bought
experience of our four great wars is entirely unheeded, indeed almost
unknown to the mass of the people; and the army to-day, in organization
as in numbers, in its influence upon the military ideas and aptitudes of
the nation in peace as in its capacity for expansion in time of war, is
inadequate to our needs as a great nation.

Upon this subject the following characteristic letter of McClellan is of


  MY DEAR STEVENS,--The inclosed are the result of a search through
  the libraries of the War and Eng'r Dep'ts. I hardly feel satisfied
  that they are precisely what you need.

  If they do not suit you, inform me of it, and I will gladly renew
  the research.

  I had another conversation with the general this morning about the
  sappers. It's of no use whatever,--his mind is made up to detail
  fifty men on the Coast Survey. He says the duty I propose for them
  in Texas is not legitimate and belongs not to them. Amen! I have
  said my say. I've done what I could. Some one of more influence than
  I possess must convince him,--my words are idle breath and of no

                                        Truly your friend,
                                            GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN.

It should be remembered that he was undertaking this great task of
reorganizing the army, expending so much thought, labor, and time upon
it, in addition to the incessant labors of the Coast Survey and the
cares of the fortifications in Maine. It was his lofty and patriotic
ideals, his noble ambition to do his duty by his profession and his
country, that spurred him on, and his untiring energy and power of
concentration that enabled him to throw off work so rapidly and
effectively. His great ambition was to accomplish results, and he was
careless and indifferent as to claiming credit for himself, or pushing
himself in any way.

Notwithstanding all these engrossing labors, he responded as promptly
and generously as ever to the personal calls of his friends and others.
He writes and interviews the War Department and Generals Scott and
Totten in behalf of another brevet for Captain G.W. Smith, aids
McClellan in regard to the engineer company, obtains information for
H.L. Smith, has the accounts of Sergeant Lathrop, of the engineer
company, passed, and is ever ready to lend a helping hand to any
deserving man or cause.

Early in 1851 Major Stevens moved to Mrs. Janney's, an excellent and
well-known boarding-house on Eighth Street, next the Avenue. Here lived
several members of Congress and government officials, and also the
Turkish ambassador, a grave, quiet man in a dark red fez, with whom
Major Stevens occasionally played checkers in the evening. At this
establishment breakfast was served at eight, dinner at four, with a
lunch at noon, and at nine in the evening tea and thin sandwiches were
handed around in the parlor.

In June Major Stevens carried his family to Newport for the summer,
where leaving them, he visited Bucksport to look after the works at Fort
Knox, which still remained under his charge. He hastened back to
Washington before the month was out. Passing through New York, he again
sat to Professor Fowler for his "phrenological character," but this time
was not accused of being a poet. Whether informed by the bumps or other
means, the phrenologist seems to have drawn his characteristics pretty
accurately, with some glaring exceptions.

Desirous of keeping house, Major Stevens now leased a roomy brick house,
one in a block of two, on the west side of Third Street, and only a
block north of the Avenue. This house had a large garden fronting on the
street, and in the rear of it was a stable opening on an alley behind.
Having obtained a position on the Coast Survey for his cousin, George
Watson Stevens, a son of uncle William, a young man of nineteen, Major
Stevens invited the youth to become a member of his family.

                                    WASHINGTON, July 27, 1851.

MY DEAR, GOOD WIFE,--I have read your last letter over three times, and
it has done me a world of good. I love to have you write so from your
heart. You know that in marriage, in my wife and children, are centred
all my hopes of earthly happiness. I am conscious it occupies too large
a space in my youthful longings. It seems to me, with a devoted, loving,
and lovely wife and lovely children, I might shut out the cares of life,
and give myself up to happiness and joy. But we have duties to perform,
trials to encounter, victories to achieve. Life is a warfare. We must
contend with evil. We must accomplish good. I feel that I have done
something, but that I have just begun; that I am entering upon the great
field of useful exertion. I feel that the past has simply given me the
experience and the knowledge to wisely conquer the present, and thus
achieve a future. I feel there is something heroic and noble in this
view of life. I feel that the greatest support, next to the
consciousness of well-doing, is the sympathy and support of you, my dear
companion and friend, and the confiding, tender helplessness of our dear

I like George in the house very much, and, so far as I am concerned, I
should like to have him a member of our family. I think, moreover, it
would be to his advantage. Charging him simply the actual outlay to us,
it will diminish his expenditures. Moreover, I shall be absent on
inspections more or less, and you will thus have some one to call on.

He is studious, attentive to his duties, is impressing every one
favorably with whom he is brought in contact, and is advancing steadily
and quite rapidly. I feel highly pleased with his progress. With economy
his pay will, the first year, pay his expenses.

I fear, if I am off in August, it will embarrass me very seriously in
the fall. Our reports are still coming in, and now is the time to put
things in a successful train. I do not wish, by inaction or delay now,
to make trouble hereafter. My health is remarkably good. I have never
had a better appetite, or more ability to work, than I have now. I am
surprised at my vigor. I don't care how hot the weather is. The
perspiration will drop from my face and hands, and I will feel neither
languor nor fatigue. The other men in the office complain and have to
slacken in their exertions, whilst I seem to have, with every hot day,
fresh strength and force.

Give my love to the bairns. I want very much to see them.

                                        Yours affectionately,

                                    WASHINGTON, July 28, 1851.

  MY DEAREST WIFE,--I was very glad to learn that you were so well,
  and that the visit to Tom's was so pleasant. The farm is the place
  for children. On their account I wish I could pass four months every
  summer in that way. Hazard should go to school seven or eight
  months. I am delighted with his doings,--learning to swim, and do
  all kinds of work. Maude, too, learning to walk,--yes, actually
  walking, little darling. She must have forgotten me, but she will
  soon recollect me on seeing me again. And Sue learning to ride on
  horseback! Why, verily, Margaret, you have a hopeful family, one of
  which you may well be proud. Whether I go on to Tom's farm this
  summer is doubtful. I am glad they are doing so well. Daniel is a
  first-rate business man, and, as he likes farming, why not make it
  his business? I believe he could in a few years clear from debt a
  large farm, going upon it without a cent in his pocket. This is my
  opinion, and in a pecuniary point of view it is much better than a
  salaried place,--far better.

  You may be assured my health is remarkably firm and good. I never
  knew it better. This warm weather does not affect me in the least. I
  bear labor better than any man in the office. Not a man in the
  office can do as much as I can.

  Well, as to the book. It is said to sell pretty well. Most of the
  copies have been disposed of. Very good notices have appeared both
  in the "Intelligencer" and "Republic." The notice of the
  "Intelligencer" I sent you. The notice in the "Republic" was short,
  but very good. Some of my friends think it will excite a
  controversy. Others think it will be found a very hard thing to
  reply to. The fact is, whilst I have endeavored to clearly discern
  errors, I have sought to look charitably on all that was done. This
  seemed to me the only true wisdom. Some of my friends think I have
  carried this spirit too far, and that I have not censured enough.
  The general criticism is that I am too favorable towards Ripley. I
  think I have simply done him justice.

                                    WASHINGTON, August 8, 1851.

  MY DEAREST WIFE,--My health is remarkably good, my duties
  multifarious, and I must not spend time in recreation which my
  health does not require. I have not had such health for years, and
  have enjoyed this summer.

  We are getting on famously with our housekeeping. The woman is a
  neat, respectable, honest person, who tries to do her duty, a very
  respectable washer and ironer as well as cook. I think you will be
  pleased with her. I shall send a boy whom we have had for a month
  away in the morning. One of the messengers comes to the house every
  evening to attend to the garden. So we are getting along. To-day we
  put six chickens into our coop, and to-morrow eight hens will be
  admitted. You will find us getting on swimmingly when you come on in

  Friday morning. I have just received two very gratifying letters,
  one from General Shields, which I send you. Don't show it to any
  one, for he is very extravagant in praise of my book, and his
  suggestions are made in a corresponding spirit. But I value what he
  says very much, because he writes from his heart and in the spirit
  of friendship. I feel, too, there are many points of sympathy
  between him and me, and I value his friendship and words of

  The other letter is from Major Pitman. His article on my book in the
  "Providence Journal" of August 6 is altogether the best that has
  appeared. He has presented his own views with clearness and force on
  certain points of difference. This is what I want. I don't want
  eulogies, but discriminating notices. I want to see my errors
  exposed, otherwise I shall not learn to correct them.

  Taylor & Maury have sold out all the copies of my book, and in
  consequence I loaned them half a dozen that I still had on hand.
  They think they will sell a great many more.

  I am pushed exceedingly, and can write no more to-day. Love to the


In the latter part of September Major Stevens made a hasty visit North,
spent a few days at Andover and Newport, and brought his family back to
Washington. His wife's youngest sister, Miss Nancy Hazard, accompanied
them and spent the winter with them. He still retained charge of the
works at Bucksport, although the second year of duty on the Coast Survey
was near its close, and writes full and explicit instructions to Mr.
A.W. Tinkham, C.E., concerning it. At a later date he obtained a good
position for Mr. Tinkham on the Coast Survey, and also secured a
situation in the same service for Mr. John E. Lee, whom he had employed
in Bucksport as clerk.

The family this winter was increased by George W. Stevens and Miss Nancy
L. Hazard. There was the colored cook, and Bridget Sullivan, the
children's nurse, and Sampson Ingraham, a most faithful, capable, and
respectable colored man and a free man. Sampson had one cross to bear
which sorely tried his devotion to the family, and that was milking the
cow and taking care of it, which Major Stevens compelled him daily to
do; for Sampson, never having done any farm work, regarded this as
derogatory, and was much distressed and mortified thereby. But finally
Major Stevens, perceiving his trouble, relieved him from this duty. In
the next house, on the south side, lived the family of Captain Simon F.
Blount, of the navy. Nearly across the street Senator William Gwin, of
California, and family occupied a roomy mansion, where they dispensed a
generous hospitality. After breakfast, at eight, Major Stevens usually
walked down to the Coast Survey Office, and walked back in time for
dinner at four in the afternoon. In the evening there was tea at eight

Louis Kossuth, the Hungarian patriot, visited Washington this winter,
and attracted the greatest attention and admiration. He was a man of
noble presence, a finished orator, speaking English with great purity
and ease. The Democratic Jackson Club gave a banquet on January 8 in
honor of Kossuth, which was attended by Webster and many of the first
men of the country. Major Stevens was called upon to respond to the
toast of "The Army and Navy," and spoke as follows:--

  GENTLEMEN,--In the name of the army I return my thanks for the honor
  of this toast. I speak in behalf of the American army,--that army
  which presents its breast to the enemy, which pours out its blood,
  which lays down its life. A weighty significance already attaches
  to these words, "the American army." For, first, it achieved the
  independence of these States against the most powerful nation of
  modern times; second, it waged against the same power the second war
  of independence to maintain the freedom of the seas, the war the
  culminating glories of which we this evening celebrate; and, third,
  when a contiguous republic interfered with the domestic concerns of
  one of our States, the vindication of the law of nations, thus
  trampled under foot, was placed in its hands, and the stars and
  stripes soon waved over the ancient seats of the Montezumas. The
  American army will never forget what is due to its past renown and
  its future glory. We feel that, citizens alike with you, we are the
  army of a free people. We know, too, that our country possesses
  elements of military strength scarcely appreciated by the
  inattentive observer of events,--elements that have been nurtured by
  the wonderful growth, the trials and vicissitudes, of our young
  nation struggling into manhood. No other people so combines command
  and obedience, is so subordinate to law, yet is so much a law unto
  itself. No other people of ancient or modern times possesses such
  elements of military power. It is the profound conviction of my
  heart that in a just cause we could meet the world with a million
  armed men, each man a tried and true soldier, surpassing even the
  iron men of Cromwell, those men who feared God but not man; those
  men stern in fight yet merciful in victory; those men who achieved
  the great triumph of English independence, and transmitted to us its
  glorious recollections.

  The members of both services, which you have honored to-night, see
  that the American people are marching forward to mighty destinies,
  and that upon them heavy responsibilities will rest. We mean to do
  our whole duty. We mean at all times to be in harness and at our
  posts. We know not when the time may come,--probably in our
  lifetime, and perhaps to-morrow. We feel no despondency, but are
  filled with joy and hope. When our beloved nation, "a power on
  earth," shall determine to measure its strength with other powers in
  the maintenance of right, and in vindication of violated law and
  outraged humanity, the army and navy will carry their country's flag
  in triumph over all seas and through all lands.

Congress was disposed then as now to starve the coast defenses,
appropriating scarcely enough to maintain the works already built. Major
Stevens, deeply interested in the proper fortification of the coast,
both from his professional knowledge and experience and his enlarged and
patriotic views, with his accustomed zeal and energy undertook the task
of inculcating upon the country and Congress sound ideas in regard to
this important subject, and of obtaining the appropriations necessary to
keep up and complete existing works. In this, as in everything he
undertook, was evinced his prominent characteristic of going to the
bottom of a subject, of basing his action upon broad principles; and so,
instead of being satisfied with simply securing the needed
appropriations for the time being, he treats of the whole system of
fortifications required for national defense, both present and future.
He had repeated conferences with General Shields on this subject, who in
March, as chairman of the Military Committee, brought into the Senate a
favorable report and bill. In support of this, and advocating a proper
system of coast defenses, Major Stevens wrote a number of articles,
which were published in the "National Intelligencer" of Washington, the
"Boston Post," Portland "Eastern Argus," "Bangor Democrat," and papers
in New York, Richmond, New Orleans, and other places. He caused these
articles, with Shields's report, to be sent to many officers and
influential men in different parts of the country, urging them to
advocate the matter on patriotic grounds. These articles were much
commended, especially by his brother officers of the engineers.

He also at this time published in the "Boston Post" an article on the
lighthouse system.

In April, 1852, Major Stevens was appointed a member of the Lighthouse
Board, which was considered no slight honor, and which added much to his
responsibilities and his duties. His colleagues on the board were all
men of talent and reputation, the association with whom was congenial
and gratifying. In May he visited Wilmington on this duty.

The Bucksport house had remained on his hands all this time, a source of
more care than income; but in April a purchaser was found in Mr. Knox
for $1350, evidently quite a sacrifice.

He took his two elder children, Hazard and Sue, to Newport for the
summer; but his wife and Maude, the youngest child, remained in

General Franklin Pierce, having been nominated for the presidency by the
Democratic party, was outrageously assailed by the unscrupulous press
and partisans of the other side on account of his services in Mexico,
and even his personal courage was impugned. Major Stevens, having met
Pierce in Mexico, and having been favorably impressed by him, was
indignant at these slanders, and felt called upon to aid in refuting
them. Accordingly he published six letters in the "Boston Post" and two
in the "Republic," a Washington paper, warmly, but in a temperate and
courteous style, vindicating the unjustly assailed public man. He takes
pains in these articles to eulogize the military talents of General
Scott, the rival candidate nominated by the Whig party, quotes his
favorable mention of Pierce in his reports of operations in Mexico, and
shows that the rival candidates entertained warm feelings of esteem for
each other, thus ingeniously making Scott a witness to refute his own
reckless partisans. He concludes the last article as follows:--

  "You well know, Mr. Editor, my exalted appreciation of the conduct
  and services of General Scott in Mexico. It has been a pleasing
  reflection that the standard-bearers of the two great parties were
  warm personal friends, each possessing in an eminent degree the
  respect and confidence of the other. The friends of General Pierce
  have never claimed that he was a great military man. They concede
  with pride and gratification that General Scott is, and that he is a
  judge of military qualities. They simply claim that General Pierce
  in his service in Mexico did his whole duty as a son of the
  Republic, that he was eminently patriotic, disinterested, and
  gallant, and that it has added a laurel to his beautiful civic
  wreath: as a citizen he has been ready to make sacrifices for his
  country; as a soldier and commander, he has shown gallantry before
  the enemy, and was eminently the friend and father of his command."

Colonel Charles G. Greene, editor of the "Post," writes that General
Pierce was much pleased with, and highly commended, these letters.

Major Stevens always took great interest in public affairs. He was
emphatically a national man. He held the Union as the noblest work of
our Revolutionary patriots, and as indispensable to liberty and national
greatness. An ardent Democrat from boyhood, he regarded the Democratic
party as preëminently the national party, the party of progress. He
fully justified the Mexican war, the great Democratic measure, and
believed with full faith in the future growth and destiny of the Great
Republic. The slavery question, destined in a few brief years to wreck
that party and so nearly destroy the nation, was still in abeyance, and
it was almost universally believed that the compromise of 1850 had
averted all danger from that quarter.

Not content with vindicating Pierce in the papers, Major Stevens now
concluded to support him on the stump. He wrote Gayton P. Osgood, and
other friends in Massachusetts, as to the advisability of this step, but
received rather discouraging replies, one correspondent even taking him
to task for speaking so highly of General Scott in his articles, and
recommending him to become a thoroughgoing partisan if he took the
stump. But as usual he held to his own opinion, and in August addressed
a large public meeting in Hillsborough, N.H., in support of the
Democratic principles and candidate, and later, in October, spoke in
Andover, Newport, and Portsmouth. His brother officer and friend,
Colonel James L. Mason, also addressed the meeting in Newport, and Hon.
Charles Levi Woodbury spoke with him in Portsmouth. In his speeches
Major Stevens took pains to do full justice to General Scott as a
military man, without disparaging him as a statesman or otherwise. His
arguments were drawn from the ideas and objects of the two parties,--a
contest of principles, not men.

It appears that the course of the young army officer in stumping for
Pierce, and as in Mason's case even stirring up other officers to do
likewise, excited no little commotion in the War Department, for it was
a Whig administration. On his return, the Secretary of War, Charles M.
Conrad, undertook to take him to task for it, and wrote Major Stevens a
severe letter, demanding an explanation of his conduct. This was soon
bruited about Washington, and many of his friends and brother officers
came anxiously to advise with him about it. They felt that he was in an
embarrassing position, and one from which he could hardly hope to
extricate himself with credit, and they were not a little troubled as to
the outcome.

At length Major Stevens prepared his answer to the Secretary, and,
before sending it, read it to a group of his anxious brother officers.
In a direct, forcible, but courteous style, he reminded the Secretary
that, in becoming an officer of the army, he had not forfeited his
rights as a citizen, nor become relieved from his duties as such; that,
while he had never failed in the respect due his superior officers, he
had the right of an American citizen to advocate such public measures as
he deemed best for the country, and to vote for the public servants best
fitted to carry them out; and he concluded in a somewhat sarcastic but
perfectly respectful way by calling the Secretary's attention to the
fact that General Scott himself was a candidate for the presidency, and
was setting the example of that participation in politics which the
Secretary so severely reprobated, and suggested that his animadversions
would have greater weight with the service, and be more worthy the
dignity of the War Department, if launched against the senior
major-general of the army instead of a simple lieutenant and brevet
major; that they were more applicable to the former than the latter, and
might well be deemed an attempt to scourge General Scott over his back.

As Major Stevens read aloud this letter, the faces of his friends
cleared up; soon they began to applaud it, and as he finished they
crowded around him with cheers and laughter and exclamations,--"That's
good! that covers the ground!" "You are right, Stevens. You are
perfectly right." "He can't answer it," etc. Sure enough, the Secretary
did not answer it, and attempted no further action.

In fact, Major Stevens had now become quite a leader among the able
young officers. They were constantly calling at his house, and
discussing with him the measures he was pushing forward for the
improvement of the army, fortifications, etc. He was always ready to
assist any of them, too, and it was known that his aid was frequently
effective. He obtained a detail on the Coast Survey for his friend,
Captain J.C. Foster, and secured for several others lighthouse
inspectorships. He also had a number of the engineer company detailed on
the Coast Survey, although his friends Cullum, G.W. Smith, and McClellan
strenuously opposed it.

Writes a young man on the survey, whose pay Major Stevens had tried to
increase but without success:--

  "Having been informed to-day that you did not succeed in your
  efforts to make my compensation $1500 per annum from October 1,
  1851, and consequently was obliged to pay out of your own pocket $50
  to make your word good, I believe it unbecoming a gentleman to
  remain a moment longer in possession of said money. The inclosed
  check will indemnify you for your loss sustained for my sake, and
  joyfully I return my heartfelt thanks for the efforts you have made
  in my behalf."

Writes Cullum from West Point:--

  "Your feeling and commendatory remarks on the death of private Logan
  were read to the company [engineer], and will doubtless produce an
  excellent impression."

In truth, these personal demands grew to be a grievous burden upon his
time and energies, yet he never refused his aid to any claim of
friendship or desert. Among others a lady, who had long prosecuted a
claim before Congress in vain, was introduced by his corps chief,
General Totten, to Major Stevens, as the only man who could win her
cause. Although the latter felt that this was a task altogether outside
of his sphere of duty, and one which should not have been thrust upon
him, he cheerfully undertook it, and succeeded in having it allowed by

The friendship between Major Stevens and Professor Bache grew stronger
the longer they were associated together. They appreciated and admired
each other. Both were gifted with uncommon powers of mind, uprightness
and purity of character, and disinterestedness. Bache was more the
philosopher, the student; Stevens, the man of action. Major Stevens also
saw much of Professors Henry and Baird, of the Smithsonian. He took
pains to meet the able men in Congress, and other men of talent and
reputation who visited Washington. Occasionally of an evening he would
take his little boy by the hand, and make the rounds of Willard's and
other hotels, meeting and chatting with old army and other friends and

With but little intermission, Major Stevens was an indefatigable worker,
and never so well content as when driving his work at high pressure; and
his sound judgment guided his energy so well that he would throw off an
enormous load with astonishing rapidity. He had the faculty of getting a
great deal of work out of his subordinates. But, not realizing that
others lacked equal ability and power of labor, he was at times too
exacting and severe. He was also inclined to overrate both the good
qualities and the ability of others, and too often had cause to regret
having done so from the ingratitude of many whom he befriended.

The two elder children, Hazard and Sue, returned to Washington in
October, and Miss Mary W. Hazard, Mrs. Stevens's sister, also came on
and spent the winter with them.

The youngest daughter, Kate, was born in the Third Street house on
November 17, 1852.

In September Major Stevens with Professor Bache was appointed on a
commission for the improvement of the James, Appomattox, and Cape Fear
rivers, and in November visited Richmond and Wilmington on this duty.

But all these additional duties and pursuits made no impairment of his
vigorous hold upon, and improvement of, the Coast Survey. The character
and standing of the office was steadily rising, and able young officers
were glad to accept details in it under Major Stevens. Lieutenant John
G. Foster became his principal assistant. Professor H.E. Hilgard, who
afterwards rose to be chief of the Coast Survey, had charge of the
computing; Lieutenant Richard C. Rush, and afterwards Lieutenant A. A.
Gibson, of drawing; and Lieutenant E.B. Hunt, of engraving. The field
work, as fast as it came in, was given to the public in preliminary
sketches, or charts, which served as a great incentive both to parties
in the field, who saw at once the fruits of their labors, and to the
office force in affording a better opportunity to train the younger
members, and prepare them for the finished charts; and for the first
time the annual report was illustrated by these sketches, giving all the
field work done to date. He greatly facilitated the sale and
distribution of Coast Survey maps, declaring that "they should be
carried to every man's door having an interest in commerce, navigation,
geography, or science." He took every means to encourage and reward the
deserving, and opened the office to young men to learn the art of
engraving, for there was a scarcity of skillful engravers, most of whom
were foreigners. He reports:--

  "The system of teaching the art of engraving to youths of promise is
  succeeding admirably. By combining lessons in drawing, instructions
  at night schools, with engraving, the best spirit is excited, and
  the greatest excellence attained. There are now six lads in the
  office, whose terms vary from two to nineteen months.

  "During the past year there has been a visible improvement of the
  office in all its branches, and it is my pleasure and duty to bear
  unqualified testimony to the zeal and efficiency of the several
  assistants in charge of the departments, and of the numerous
  employees under them. Each man has shown an honest purpose to do his
  duty, and I have been much oftener obliged to moderate exertion than
  to rebuke indifference and neglect."

And Professor Bache in his reports declared:--

  "The office under the charge of Major Stevens has improved in the
  system and order of every one of its divisions; and the zeal and
  ability of the assistant in charge has been reflected in the spirit
  of the officers under him, and in the general diligence of the
  employees. The office is characterized by a very marked spirit of
  industry, of working to results, and of progress. Every
  encouragement, as it should be, is afforded to those who endeavor to
  advance in their several occupations.

  "The office work has, by great diligence on the part of the persons
  employed, and by the excellent administrative arrangements of Major
  Stevens, been kept close to the field work. In no former year have
  so many preliminary sketches been promptly issued, and so much
  information of various kinds been published, or furnished to the
  officers of government or to individuals."

                               CHAPTER XV


The triumph of the Democratic party in November, 1853, and the election
of General Franklin Pierce as the next President insured a more vigorous
policy of exploration and settlement of the vast domain stretching from
the Mississippi to the Pacific. Major Stevens was strongly attracted to
this field. It appealed to his ambition. It afforded a greater
opportunity for public service and achievement. Prominent and gratifying
as was the position and standing he held in Washington, he realized its
limitations. He knew, too, that with the army on a peace footing and
filled with young officers, no promotion in his corps could be expected
for years. In brief, feeling the powers and ambition of a leader, he was
not content to remain longer a subordinate.

In March Congress formed the new Territory of Washington out of the
northern half of what was then Oregon, being the territory extending
from the Columbia River and the 46th parallel northward two hundred and
fifty miles to the British Possessions and the 49th parallel, and from
the crest of the Rocky Mountains westward six hundred miles to the
Pacific, an area larger than New England and New York combined. Save a
handful of settlers on the lower Columbia and the shores of Puget Sound,
and a few missionary and trading posts in the interior, the whole vast
region was unsettled, and much of it unexplored by civilized man. It
contained many thousands of Indians, some of whom had lately been at
war with the whites, and regarded their approach with jealous and
hostile eyes; the Indian title to the land had not been extinguished;
and there were troublesome questions with the Hudson Bay Company, which
still held its posts in the Territory, and claimed extensive rights as
guaranteed by treaty.

On March 3 Congress appropriated $150,000 for the exploration and survey
of railroad routes from the Mississippi to the Pacific, to be expended
by the Secretary of War under the direction of the President. Jefferson
Davis entered the new cabinet as Secretary of War, and it was early
determined to survey four principal routes to the Pacific.

Early in the year Major Stevens applied for the governorship of the new
Territory, to which was attached, _ex officio_, the superintendency of
Indian affairs, and also for the charge of the exploration of the
Northern route. Either of these fields was enough to fully task the most
able and energetic man, but his ambition reached for both. Equally
characteristic was the high ground upon which he based his application.
He asked the appointment, not as the reward of political services, nor
for the sake of personal or political friendship, but because he was the
fittest man for the place, the one who could best serve the public
interests. He told General Pierce that if he could find any one else
better qualified for the position, who would accept it, it was his duty
to appoint him. There was no question on that score. But his wife and
many of his friends thought that he was making a great personal
sacrifice in relinquishing the enviable position he had attained in
Washington for the toils, hardships, and dangers of the Western
exploration and governorship. Professor Bache was of this opinion, and
deeply regretted to lose his efficient assistant and friend.

One of the first acts of the new President was to send the name of Isaac
I. Stevens to the Senate as governor of Washington Territory; he was
confirmed, and his commission was issued March 17. He was just
thirty-four years old, in the prime of life and of mental and physical

Major Stevens's letter of resignation from the army and General Totten's
reply show the cordial and appreciative feelings of both.

                              WASHINGTON, D.C., March 21, 1853.
      _Chief Engineer._

  _Sir_,--I herewith resign my commission of lieutenant of engineers
  and brevet major United States army, to take effect on Wednesday,
  the 16th instant.

  This resignation is tendered with a profound sense of the high
  honor, intelligence, and sentiment of duty which is characteristic
  of the officers with whom I have been associated the best years of
  my life, whom I have known and honored in peace and war, in sunshine
  and in storm, and whose equals I can scarcely expect to find in the
  new career upon which I have entered. I shall carry into civil life
  the conviction that the country owes the army a debt of gratitude,
  and is yet to receive signal benefits at its hands.

  This conviction, rest assured, will show itself both in words and
  deeds whenever the service has to be vindicated or maintained.

  To yourself, both personally and officially, as a friend and as a
  superior officer, permit me to acknowledge the kindness and
  confidence which I have received at your hands. It has had no
  hindrance or interruption during the period of nearly fourteen
  years, many of them years of weighty responsibilities and perplexing
  cares, during which I have served under your command.

  And to me, sir, not only my commanding officer, but my honored
  friend, it is the completest of satisfactions to be able to say that
  during my service in the army I have not had a serious difficulty
  with a brother officer, and that I am not aware that between me and
  any officer in or out of the service there is the slightest feeling
  of unkindness.

                        Very truly and respectfully,
                            Your friend and obedient servant,
                                ISAAC I. STEVENS.

Writes General Totten in reply:--

  While regretting that the corps of engineers are thus deprived of
  the future services of an officer whose high traits of character
  have, both in peace and war, so fully vindicated its position, I
  anticipate the more unhesitatingly that these characteristic
  qualities will continue to procure for you, in the new and wider
  scenes on which you have now entered, all the rewards which they so
  justly merit....

  For myself, I have to make acknowledgment for great assistance
  rendered in every form, and under all the circumstances that your
  military duties admitted,--at all times fulfilling my wishes,
  abridging my cares, and exalting the usefulness and reputation of
  the corps. And in all our personal relations you have observed a
  kind consideration which I have fully appreciated. These things have
  created a warm interest in your welfare, and make me feel that,
  while the service is losing a most valuable officer, I am parting
  from a friend.

                        I remain with high respect,
                            J.G. TOTTEN,
                 _Bvt. Brig.-Gen. and Col. Engineers._

Major Stevens turned over the charge of Fort Knox to Colonel John L.
Smith, and was succeeded on the Coast Survey by Captain H.W. Benham.
Major Stevens had long since overcome the ill feelings excited by the
vigorous and drastic way in which he had reformed the office, and had
long since won the confidence of the force, and their admiration as
well. They deeply regretted his departure, and in token of their esteem
presented him with a beautiful service of plate, consisting of a large
silver pitcher and salver, with two goblets, in _repoussé_ work.

                              PRESENTED TO
                           ISAAC I. STEVENS,
                           U.S. COAST SURVEY,
                      AS A TOKEN OF ESTEEM, BY HIS
                         FRIENDS ON THE SURVEY,
                           WASHINGTON, D.C.,
                              MARCH, 1853.

In his next annual report after Major Stevens had left the Coast Survey,
Professor Bache remarks:--

  "The gain to the country in his appointment, and especially to that
  new region to which he has been called, will no doubt be great, but
  our loss is proportionably great. An administrative ability of a
  high order was joined to unceasing activity and great force of
  character; varied general and professional knowledge to great
  clearness in discerning ends, and fixedness of purpose in pursuing
  them; remarkable knowledge of men, and easy control of those
  connected in business with him, to personal qualities which rendered
  official intercourse agreeable to those about him. The system with
  which he followed up plans, complicated as well as simple, insured
  success in his administration, and was felt in every department of
  the office, of which he had thoroughly mastered the details as well
  as the general working. The experience acquired by such an officer
  is invaluable to the work, and not soon to be replaced, whatever may
  be the resources of his successor."

A remark of Benham's, soon after he assumed charge, well illustrates his
egotistic and assuming character: "Major Stevens grew up with the office
from its infancy, but I grappled the lion when full-grown." Benham did
not long remain on the survey.

Scarcely was the ink dry on his commission, when Governor Stevens set to
work to obtain charge of the exploration of the Northern route, and the
rapid and masterly way in which he effected it, and planned the survey
and increased its magnitude and importance, must have astonished the red
tape officials of Washington. As usual, all his recommendations were
based upon the highest grounds of public welfare and public service. On
March 21 he writes the Secretary of War, Jefferson Davis, a strong
letter, proposing to conduct an exploration to determine the emigrant
route, and the route for a railroad from the sources of the Mississippi
to Puget Sound, and submits a memoir for accomplishing it by means of
three parties, with estimates of organization and cost in detail, and
concludes, "Should an expedition be intrusted to my charge, I pledge the
devotion of all my force, energy, and judgment to its accomplishment."

The following day he addresses the Secretary of State, William L. Marcy,
submitting his project, and showing that he could best promote the
interests of the new Territory by exploring the route to it, obtaining a
large amount of useful information in relation to the agricultural,
mineral, commercial, and manufacturing resources, and publishing the
information thus obtained, thereby inviting emigrants, filling up the
Territory, and developing its resources. He shows that this duty need
not greatly delay the organization of territorial government, and calls
attention to--

  "the great influence which this exploration will exercise over the
  Indian tribes, the exceeding efficiency which it will give to me in
  discharge of my duties as Superintendent of Indian Affairs, and the
  interesting information which it will enable me to collect in regard
  to their numbers, customs, locations, history, and traditions. This
  I design making the subject of a special communication to the
  Department of the Interior. Should my views meet the approbation of
  the department, I will earnestly request that the necessary
  communication be had with the War Department to arrange the
  exploration in conformity with the plan which I have thus rapidly
  sketched. I ask that it be done with the least possible delay, so as
  to insure its complete success. I think it important that my
  arrangements here should be brought to a close in sixteen days, that
  previous to that time competent men be dispatched to the Mississippi
  River to assure the expedition, and thus we shall all be hard at
  work in the field the first week of May."

As governor he was under the jurisdiction of the State Department. On
the same day he addresses a similar letter to the Secretary of the
Interior, Robert McClelland, for, as Superintendent of Indian Affairs,
he came under that department. Governor Stevens enforced his views by
personal interviews with the secretaries and the President; and his
earnestness, zeal for the public service, sound judgment, and strong,
convincing way of expressing his views, carried all before him. Within
four days his proposal to lead the expedition was accepted, and all his
suggestions adopted. The administration were only too glad to find such
a man to head the most important of the explorations and insure its
success. Perhaps no part of his career more clearly stamped Governor
Stevens as a born leader of men than this. At a time when the new
President and cabinet were overwhelmed with the pressing questions and
personal claims ever engrossing the incoming administration, a mere
subordinate, not content to simply await the instructions of his
superiors, surveys the whole field of Western exploration intrusted to
him, and its attendant problems of white settlement, Indians, etc., with
comprehensive and far-sighted vision, decides upon the measures and
action required by the needs of the country and the public service, and
then so impresses his views upon the President and three great
departments by sheer force of character, earnest patriotism, and sound,
good sense, that all his recommendations are adopted without delay, and
he is given _carte blanche_ to carry them out. The bare conception, if
broached in March, when the new administration assumed charge, of
obtaining both the governorship of Washington Territory and the charge
of the Northern Pacific exploration, of inducing three secretaries to
adopt his measures, of completely organizing and outfitting and starting
in the field a great expedition for the survey of two thousand miles of
wilderness, and all to be accomplished within two months, would have
seemed not merely bold, but visionary and presumptuous, and nothing
could have relieved Governor Stevens from such reproach but the fact
that all this he actually accomplished.

The following letter to Jefferson Davis, Secretary of War, shows how
energetically Governor Stevens was already gathering information and
assistance for the exploration. The last part touches upon a delicate
question, the placing army officers under the command of a civilian, as
Governor Stevens now was, a thing repugnant to all military ideas and
usages, and almost without precedent. But Governor Stevens held that his
case was altogether exceptional, and found no difficulty in securing the
voluntary services of as many able officers as he needed. It is believed
that there is no similar instance in our history where twelve army
officers came under the command of a civilian:--

                                   WASHINGTON, March 25, 1853.

  HON. JEFFERSON DAVIS, _Secretary of War_.

  _Sir_,--I am now quite certain that a sufficient number of army
  officers will volunteer to go with me on the proposed exploration
  from the headwaters of the Mississippi to Puget Sound, as will much
  reduce the force of civilians to be employed. Several accomplished
  officers would be glad to be detailed, and would do effective
  service as astronomers, engineers, artists, naturalists,
  draughtsmen, etc. I can make arrangements both with the American Fur
  and Hudson Bay Company for active coöperation and assistance. The
  distinguished geologist, Dr. J. Evans, who has gone over the
  greater portion of the country between the Mississippi and the
  Pacific, has explored two of the passes in the Rocky Mountains north
  of the South Pass, and has received much information of the
  topography of the country, has kindly given me much valuable
  information, and is ready to coöperate with all his energy in a plan
  whereby each shall render to the other every possible facility, and
  best promote the public service without an unnecessary expenditure
  of means.

  I think it exceedingly important that the whole exploration from the
  Mississippi River to Puget Sound, including a thorough examination
  of the passes of the Cascade Range, should be placed under the
  charge of the same person, he, under general instructions from the
  department, giving the necessary direction to the several parties,
  thus securing united and energetic action, and guarding against the
  almost certain failure of the expedition should it be divided into
  two independent commands. As soon as the department shall decide
  upon the scale of the operations, and shall issue its orders
  assigning me to the duty, which I presume from the correspondence
  with the Department of State to be definitely decided upon, I will
  at once submit a more detailed plan of operations, and make the
  necessary requisition for the detail of officers, and for the
  various facilities which may be extended by the administrative
  branches of the service. As in the Coast Survey, I propose no
  assignment of officers except by their own desire, and of officers
  who have especial adaptation to the particular duty.

                        Very respectfully your obedient servant,
                            ISAAC I. STEVENS.

Among his first acts Governor Stevens, on March 31, applied for Brevet
Captain George B. McClellan, then in Texas, to be "at once assigned to
duty with me as my principal officer. I design to put him in charge of
the exploration of the Cascade Range, and I can not only speak with
confidence of his great ability for the particular duty, but as his
friend can say that the duty will be in the highest degree agreeable to

                                    WASHINGTON, April 5, 1853.

  MY DEAR MCCLELLAN,--I have succeeded in securing your detail to take
  charge of the Western party in the Northern Pacific Railroad survey.

  You will get the orders to-day, and be directed probably to repair
  to New Orleans, and there await instructions. The route is from St.
  Paul, Minn., to Puget Sound by the great bend of the Missouri River
  through a pass in the Rocky Mountains near the 49th parallel. A
  strong party will operate westward from St. Paul; a second but
  smaller party will go up the Missouri to the Yellowstone, and there
  make arrangements, reconnoitre the country, etc., and on the
  junction of the main party they will push through the Blackfoot
  country, and, reaching the Rocky Mountains, will keep at work there
  during the summer months. The third party, under your command, will
  be organized in the Puget Sound region, you and your scientific
  corps going over the Isthmus, and will operate in the Cascade Range,
  and meet the party coming from the Rocky Mountains.

  As soon as my force is at work in these mountains, I shall push
  forward with a small reconnoitring force and find you, and, after
  conference with you, arrange the entire plan of operations.

  Your scientific corps will consist of a physician and naturalist, an
  astronomer, a draughtsman and barometer man, and an officer of the
  artillery, Johnson K. Duncan, who, I am informed by Foster, is a
  strong friend of yours, and will work under you. You will have
  authority to call upon the officers and troops stationed in the
  Territories of Oregon and Washington, and I have no doubt you will
  be able to secure valuable assistance. At the same time funds will
  be placed in your hands to hire suitable guides, hunters, etc. A
  complete set of instruments and appliances will be sent with the
  necessary instructions.

  Your friend, Professor Baird, is arranging the natural history part
  of the business. The expedition will be altogether the most complete
  that has ever set out in this country, and if we are true to it, the
  results will be satisfactory to the country. The amount of work in
  the Cascade Range and eastward, say to the probable junction of the
  parties at the great bend of the north fork of the Columbia River,
  will be immense. Recollect, the main object is a railroad survey
  from the headwaters of the Mississippi River to Puget Sound.

  We must rely upon the ordinary astronomical observations in the
  field, upon the odometer and barometer and the compass, for getting
  the direction, length, and profiles of routes. With the sextant for
  determining height along the route, and with a good sketcher and
  draughtsman, you will be able to get good results. I may get for you
  a small detachment of sappers, and I shall try to get you assigned
  to duty according to your brevet rank.

  I telegraphed you some days since, asking your views, but in
  consequence of your great distance from Washington it was essential
  to act at once. Knowing your views so intimately in relation to such
  service, and venturing on our long acquaintance and mutual
  friendship, I have in the strongest terms pressed your case, on the
  ground that, could you be consulted, the duty would be sought by
  you. In my telegraphic message I informed you that I was put in
  charge of the duty in consequence of my civil position. It has been
  done at the joint desire of the War Department, of the Department of
  State, and of the Department of the Interior. Officers have
  volunteered for the service, and I shall receive the services of
  several very valuable and experienced men. I have in the strongest
  terms taken the ground that my having left the army and standing in
  a civil position would not, under the circumstances of the case, be
  any objection on your part to acting under my direction.

  As your friend, and knowing the opportunity for distinction it would
  give you, I would not hesitate for a moment.

  One word more as to the railroad survey. We must not be frightened
  with long tunnels or enormous snows, but set ourselves to work to
  overcome them. When you reach New Orleans you will find your

                                       Truly your friend,
                                           ISAAC I. STEVENS.

The warning in the last paragraph seems almost prophetic; for, as will
be seen hereafter, McClellan's fear of deep snows caused him to fail in
an important part of his survey of the Cascade passes, viz., the
determining the depth of winter snow.

Governor Stevens also obtained the detail for his survey of Lieutenant
A.J. Donelson, of the engineer corps, and ten non-commissioned officers
and men, of the engineer company, also known as sappers and miners, and
of Lieutenant Beekman Du Barry, of the 3d artillery. He also obtained
from the War Department authority to call upon the several army
administrative departments for transportation, subsistence, and arms,
and even the pay of two civilian surgeons and naturalists, thus
providing for all the expenses of the expedition except those pertaining
to civilians employed as a scientific corps and their assistants, which
were to be defrayed by the funds allotted to the Northern route out of
the civil appropriation, viz., $40,000 out of the $150,000 thus
appropriated. By these arrangements he vastly increased the extent,
thoroughness, and value of his exploration.

On April 7 Governor Stevens sent Lieutenant Donelson to Montreal armed
with letters from the British Minister in Washington to Sir George
Simpson, governor of the Hudson Bay Company, to obtain all the
information possible relative to the country from the Great Lakes to the
Pacific, the location of the trading-posts, the amount of supplies
obtainable from them for the exploration party in case of emergency, the
names of hunters and half-breeds who might serve as guides and
interpreters, and to learn all possible about the geography, and examine
all books and maps, making copies of the latter if necessary, etc.

  "The information we already have of this region," he writes
  Donelson, "is based upon the following works: Lewis and Clarke's
  Travels; Irving's Astoria and Rocky Mountains; Travels by the
  Missionary De Smet, Nicollet, and Pope; Governor Simpson's Journey
  around the World; and some information, not yet published, obtained
  from Dr. Evans on his geological survey of those regions. A book
  recommended by the British Minister, 'Hudson Bay Company,' by
  Montgomery Martin, I wish you to obtain. He suggested it might be
  obtained from Governor Simpson. As soon as you have finished your
  inquiries at Montreal, which I think you can do in a week, return to
  Washington, and report to me in person.

  "In reference to the detachment (sappers), it is necessary that the
  men be selected with great care. None should be taken who cannot
  assist the scientific corps as sketchers, draughtsmen, or
  collectors, etc. It is necessary that they should be put under
  special training. Captain Seymour, perhaps, might be willing to take
  charge of one, and Lieutenant Du Barry of another, giving them
  instructions in the use of the barometer and astronomical
  instruments used in the field."

This is interesting as showing how little was then known of the region
to be explored, and how few and meagre were the works describing it.

Governor Stevens had thus been driving the work of preparation and
organization for a fortnight, when, on April 8, the formal order placing
him in charge and giving full instructions was issued by the War
Department. These instructions exactly embody his own suggestions, much
of them in the very language of his letters and memoir to Secretary
Davis. In fact, he really prepared his own instructions. The following
brief synopsis will give some idea of the scope and magnitude of the
exploration, of the task Governor Stevens had set himself:--

1. The exploration and survey of a route for a railroad from the sources
of the Mississippi River to Puget Sound is placed in charge of Isaac I.
Stevens, governor of the Territory of Washington, to whom all officers
detailed for the same will report for instructions.

2. To operate from St. Paul, or some eligible point on the Upper
Mississippi, towards the great bend of the Missouri River, and thence
on the table-land between the tributaries of the Missouri and the
Saskatchewan to some eligible pass in the Rocky Mountains. A depot to be
established at Fort Union, at the mouth of the Yellowstone, with a
subsidiary party to await the coming of the main party. A second party
to proceed to Puget Sound and explore the passes of the Cascade Range,
meeting the eastern party between that range and the Rocky Mountains, as
may be arranged by Governor Stevens.

3. To explore the passes of the Cascade Range and Rocky Mountains from
the 49th parallel to the headwaters of the Missouri River, and to
determine the capacity of the adjacent country to supply, and of the
Columbia and Missouri rivers and their tributaries to transport,
materials for the construction of the road, great attention to be given
geography and meteorology of the whole intermediate region, to the
seasons and character of freshets; the quantities and continuance of its
rains and snows, especially in the mountain ranges; to its geology; in
arid regions the use of artesian wells; its botany, natural history,
agricultural and mineral resources; the location, numbers, history,
traditions, and customs of its Indian tribes; and such other facts as
shall tend to develop the character of that portion of our national
domain, and supply all the facts that enter into the solution of the
particular problem of a railroad.

4-7. Assigns to survey, in addition to those already assigned, Captain
John W.T. Gardiner, 1st dragoons; Second Lieutenant Johnson K. Duncan,
3d artillery; Second Lieutenant Rufus Saxton, 4th artillery; Second
Lieutenant Cuvier Grover, 4th artillery; and Brevet Second Lieutenant
John Mullan, 1st artillery; and twenty picked men of the 1st dragoons
and two officers and thirty men to Captain McClellan's party.

8. The administrative branches of the army, on requisition approved by
Governor Stevens, to supply the officers, soldiers, and civil employees
of the expedition (except the scientific corps and their assistants),
with transportation, subsistence, medical stores, and arms, and to
furnish funds for the same when not supplied in kind.

9-10. After completion of field work, the expedition to rendezvous at
some suitable point in Washington Territory to be designated by Governor
Stevens, and reports to be prepared. Officers and enlisted men to be
sent to their stations and employees to be discharged.

11. $40,000 set apart from the appropriation for the survey thus
intrusted to Governor Stevens.

It is difficult to realize the magnitude of the task here outlined. It
was to traverse and explore a domain two thousand miles in length by two
hundred and fifty in breadth, stretching from the Mississippi River to
the Pacific Ocean, across a thousand miles of arid plains and two great
mountain ranges, a region almost unexplored, and infested by powerful
tribes of predatory and warlike savages; to determine the navigability
of the two great rivers, the Missouri and the Columbia, which intersect
the region; to locate by reconnoissance and to survey a practicable
railroad route; to examine the mountain passes and determine the depth
of winter snows in them; to collect all possible information on the
geology, climate, flora and fauna, as well as the topography, of the
region traversed; and finally to treat with the Indians on the route,
cultivate their friendship, and collect information as to their
languages, numbers, customs, traditions, and history; and all this,
including the work of preparation and organization, to be accomplished
in a single season.

It was Governor Stevens's plan to effect this vast work by means of two
parties operating simultaneously from both ends of the route, the
principal one starting from St. Paul at the eastern end, under his own
immediate charge; and the other, starting from the western end, under
McClellan, to meet on the upper Columbia plains between the two great
mountain ranges; and two subsidiary parties,--one, under Lieutenant
Donelson, to ascend the Missouri to Fort Union with a stock of supplies,
and there await the coming of the main party; and the other, under
Lieutenant Saxton, to proceed from the lower Columbia to the Bitter Root
valley, in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, with an additional stock of
supplies for the main party. The subsidiary parties were also to examine
the country traversed by them, and collect all the information possible
bearing on the various objects of the expedition. By this plan McClellan
was required simply to explore the Cascade Range, or about 200 miles of
the route; while Governor Stevens allotted all the remainder, some 1800
miles, including the great plains, the Rocky and Bitter Root Mountains,
to the parties under his immediate charge.

During the next four weeks Governor Stevens drove forward the work of
preparing and organizing the expedition with tremendous energy. He
applied for and obtained the assignments of officers and men from the
army; made requisitions upon the administrative branches for supplies
and funds for the several parties; obtained $6000 from the Interior
Department for the purchase of Indian goods and for treating with them;
employed A. W. Tinkham, his former assistant at Fort Knox, and Fred. W.
Lander, afterwards the Brigadier-General Lander who was wounded at
Ball's Bluff and died of his wounds, as civil engineers; appointed
George W. Stevens as secretary and astronomer; placed Professor Baird,
of the Smithsonian, in charge of the zoölogical and botanical
collections, and of preparing the outfits and instructions for field
work; made Isaac Osgood, his former clerk at Bucksport, disbursing
officer; Dr. John Evans, geologist; Drs. George Suckley and J.G.
Cooper, surgeons and naturalists; J.M. Stanley, artist, and engaged a
number of other subordinates, including six young gentlemen who went as

Early in April Lieutenant Saxton and Lieutenant Duncan started for the
Columbia via the Isthmus and San Francisco, with detailed instructions,
that no time might be lost in organizing the western parties, and were
followed by McClellan as soon as he reached Washington from Texas and
received his instructions. He was also furnished by Governor Stevens
with letters from Sir George Simpson to the officers of the Hudson Bay
Company's posts, and with letters from the governor to many of the
prominent American settlers in Washington and Oregon, and also a
circular letter bespeaking their goodwill and support for Captain

Governor Stevens also placed under McClellan's charge the construction
of a military wagon-road from Fort Steilacoom, on Puget Sound, to Fort
Walla Walla on the Columbia, for which Congress had appropriated
$20,000, and which the Secretary of War had placed in Governor Stevens's
hands, with authority to assign an officer or a civil engineer to its
construction, as he deemed best. The governor gave very full
instructions in regard to this road; furnished the names of prominent
citizens and advised McClellan to consult with them as to the best
location for the road, and gave him full notes of his correspondence
with them bearing on the matter.

Sir George Simpson having proposed to forward an extra stock of supplies
to his posts in the interior for the expedition, Governor Stevens made
haste to decline the proffered assistance, not wishing to incur such an
obligation to a foreign company, assuring Sir George that his own
government would provide ample supplies, and that he merely wished to
know what the company's posts could spare from their usual stock in
case of emergency. On this point he is emphatic in his instructions to
Saxton and McClellan:--

  "I am exceedingly desirous no exertion should be spared to have
  means of our own for our expedition, and shall much prefer to be in
  condition to extend aid than to be obliged to receive aid from
  others. Whilst we will gratefully receive aid from the company in
  case of necessity, let it be our determination to have within
  ourselves the means of the most complete efficacy. I am more and
  more convinced that in our operations we should be self-dependent,
  and whilst we exchange courtesies and hospitalities with the Hudson
  Bay Company, the people and the Indians of the Territory should see
  that we have all the elements of success in our hands. The Indians
  must look to us for protection and counsel. They must see that we
  are their true friends, and be taught not to look, as they have been
  accustomed to, to the Hudson Bay Company. I am so impressed with
  this fact that I wish no Indian presents to be procured from British
  posts. I am determined, in my intercourse with the Indians, to break
  up the ascendency of the Hudson Bay Company, and permit no authority
  or sanction to come between the Indians and the officers of this

The Hudson Bay Company still held trading-posts in the new Territory at
Steilacoom, Vancouver, Walla Walla, and Colville, and claimed extensive
but ill-defined rights and possessions, and its officers lost no
opportunity to cultivate the goodwill of Governor Stevens, hoping to win
his favoring view, if not support, of their claims.

Lieutenants Donelson and Mullan, with part of the sappers, were sent to
St. Louis to prepare the supplies, etc., for ascending the Missouri to
Fort Union. Governor Stevens had already ascertained by correspondence
the character of the river boats at St. Louis and at Pittsburg, and the
cost of purchasing or chartering them, but was unable to find one of
sufficiently light draught and power, and therefore decided to send the
party by the American Fur Company's boat.

Captain Gardiner was dispatched to St. Paul to select the dragoon
detachment, establish a camp, and make preliminary arrangements for
starting the main party afield as early as possible. The civil
engineers, Lander and Tinkham, were also sent to the same point to
examine the crossings of the Mississippi and their approaches.

Lieutenant Grover, as assistant quartermaster and commissary of the
expedition, was also sent to St. Louis, assisted by a civilian employee,
to procure supplies and forward them to St. Paul. Lieutenant Du Barry
was directed to push on beyond St. Paul to Pembina to procure guides.

The most detailed and careful instructions were furnished all these
officers; requisitions and arrangements made with the officers of the
army administrative branches in Washington, St. Louis, St. Paul, San
Francisco, and Vancouver for the outfit and supply of the different
parties; all existing information in the way of maps, reports, etc., was
copied and furnished, and full instructions for the making and
preservation of natural history collections, and for the astronomical
and meteorological observations were prepared and printed, and placed in
the hands of all those having charge of those branches.

The very full, carefully considered, and complete instructions given
these various officers by Governor Stevens would fill two hundred pages.
They are not only a remarkable monument of industry, but show a complete
grasp and mastery of the whole field, great foresight of the conditions
and difficulties to be encountered, and are remarkably clear and precise
in stating the objects to be obtained, but leave much to the judgment of
the officer addressed in the ways and means of attaining them.

Not content with omnivorously devouring all the books, reports, and
maps upon the field of operations, and seeking information by
correspondence with the officers of the Hudson Bay Company and citizens
of Oregon and Washington, Governor Stevens procured and studied all the
available works on the steppes of Russia and Asia, as throwing light
upon the formation and characteristics of the great plains.

During these four weeks the Third Street house was filled with clerks
and draughtsmen, hard at work on instructions, requisitions, maps, etc.,
with officers and civil employees conferring as to their duties and
making preparations, and with many others anxious to accompany the
expedition and seeking positions upon it; and was crammed from garret to
cellar with books, maps, papers, instruments, arms, and other
paraphernalia incident to such an undertaking. Professor Baird took the
greatest interest in the scientific collections, preparing rules, and
getting up panniers and apparatus, and made that feature so important
that Governor Stevens was impelled to say, "I want you to understand,
Professor Baird, that my exploration is something more than a
natural-history expedition." The fitting out of the expedition attracted
much attention in Washington, and the parlors were filled every evening
with gentlemen connected with or interested in it. Among them was Fred.
W. Lander, a tall, athletic young man, confident in bearing, frank and
ready in conversation, and fond of relating the adventurous experiences
and escapes, especially with horses, into which his daring not to say
reckless disposition often led him. Lieutenant George B. McClellan,
afterwards the well-known commander of the Army of the Potomac, was of
charming manners and personality. On being asked how he liked being
under Governor Stevens, he replied, "At any rate, I shall serve under a
man of brains." Lieutenants Saxton and Grover rose to be major-generals
in the Civil War. General Joseph Lane, who represented Oregon in
Congress, was a frequent caller. He was a man of native grace and
dignity of manner and fine character,--one of nature's noblemen.

The energy and capacity for effective work displayed by Governor Stevens
during this time astonished his friends. His labors with the pen alone
were enough to fully occupy any man. Besides this, he was incessantly
engaged in consultations, conferences, and interviews with the
subordinates and others, and was embracing every opportunity of talking
with men who had experience on the plains or the Pacific coast. George
Stevens declared that no human being could stand such a strain, and on
another occasion exclaimed, "The major is crazy, actually crazy, or he
never could work as he does!"

In just a month from the date of the order placing him in charge,
Governor Stevens had effected the whole work of organization and
outfitting, and on May 9 left Washington for St. Paul to start the
expedition. During the same month he also broke up housekeeping,
disposed of his furniture, and moved his family into private lodgings.
His wife was seriously ill, and was obliged to remain in Washington with
her young child and her sister Mary until sufficiently recovered to
stand the journey to Newport.

He also at this time selected and purchased of D. Appleton & Co., of New
York, the Territorial Library,--for which $5000 had been appropriated by
Congress,--and had the books sent out by sea around Cape Horn. This was
no small task, for he went over the lists of books and made the
selection with great pains. He stated in his first message to the
legislature that he had taken care to get the best books in each
department of learning, and had applied to the executive of every State
and Territory and to many learned societies to donate their

This work is not the place to narrate the progress and results of that
great exploration and survey. They are ably and fully recorded by
Governor Stevens himself in three large volumes, comprising 1500 pages,
with many views and illustrations, published by Congress, being the
first and twelfth volumes (the latter in two parts) of "Reports of the
Explorations and Surveys for a Railroad Route from the Mississippi River
to the Pacific Ocean." And it is only from these pages that one can
learn and appreciate with what thoroughness and completeness Governor
Stevens executed the vast work intrusted to him. For years these volumes
were the great storehouse of information relating to the region treated
by them, the source of innumerable reports and articles, and are to-day
full of interest and valuable information. These reports really embody
the results of three years' labors. And it will be related farther on
how Governor Stevens, not content with having most successfully
conducted his exploration across the continent in one season and fully
performed his instructions, did, of his own patriotic devotion to the
public interests, carry on that great work for two years longer, using
the Indian service and the volunteer forces under his command, and gave
the full and final results of his labors in vol. xii., published in

                              CHAPTER XVI

                         THE PARTY.--THE START

Leaving Washington May 9, and, after spending a day in New York to
complete arrangements, going by way of Detroit and Chicago, Governor
Stevens reached St. Louis on the 15th. Here he was disappointed in
finding the outfits not so far advanced as he expected, and was even
seriously alarmed at the mules furnished by the St. Louis quartermaster,
which were only three or four years old, and perfectly wild and
unbroken. This was the more inexcusable from the fact that he had
previously sent Mr. Charles Taplin to St. Louis with instructions that
only well-broken and serviceable animals were to be procured.
Consequently he remained there a week hastening the necessary outfits,
during which time he started Lieutenant Donelson's party up the Missouri
on the American Fur Company's steamboat with Lieutenant Mullan, Mr.
William H. Graham, and six sappers, and 10,000 rations. Dr. John Evans
and Mr. Alexander Culbertson also accompanied them. The latter, having
spent twenty years on the upper Missouri as a fur-trader and married a
Blackfoot squaw, had great influence over that warlike tribe. He was
appointed by Governor Stevens as special agent for these predatory and
intractable savages, and sent forward to prepare the way for the
expedition through their country by securing guides and hunters and
arranging for a council.

Leaving St. Louis on the 23d and proceeding up the Mississippi, Governor
Stevens, in order to repair the neglect of the quartermaster, purchased
at the several landings and at Galena a number of teams of strong,
well-broken mules and horses, in some instances taking them off the
wagons where they were at work. Four days were spent on the Father of

  "Leaving Galena on the 25th," says the governor, "on the steamer
  Nominee, we proceeded up the river, and were enabled to make short
  stops at Dubuque, Prairie du Chien, Lansing, La Crosse, and other
  places. Intervals of leisure were employed in reporting fully to the
  War and Interior Departments my proceedings thus far, and the
  arrangements in contemplation for the execution of my several
  trusts. The scenery on the Mississippi is bold and at times
  beautiful, though but little variety is presented. Bluff banks on
  both sides, topped with trees, line its banks, and occasionally
  marked views occur, among which I might mention as most prominent
  Lake Pepin, Maiden Rock, Barn Bluffs, etc.

  "St. Paul is beautifully situated upon a high bluff on the east bank
  of the river, and is rapidly growing in size and importance."

St. Paul is said in the report to have then had a population of 1200.

While on the Nominee, Governor Stevens writes a letter of eight pages to
his wife's brother, Mr. Daniel L. Hazard, who had had much experience
with Mississippi boats,--but was then at Newport recovering from
malarial illness,--on the draught, power, and size of steamboats
suitable for the navigation of the upper Missouri, and suggests to him
the opportunity for steamboating on Puget Sound, concluding with the
following remarks, showing his own feelings towards the new country, and
how completely he was adopting it:--

  "I have no doubt that it is one of the most delightful and
  salubrious regions in the whole country, with all the health of
  Newport, but with a grandeur and largeness of scenery far surpassing
  it. It is just such a place as I have for many years proposed to
  myself, one of these days, to carve out a home. I am satisfied my
  family will all be pleased with their new home, and that we will be
  willing to settle down there for life."

Long before daylight the next morning after reaching St. Paul, Governor
Stevens was in the saddle, riding to the camp established by Captain
Gardiner two days before, and had the pleasure of rousing the gentlemen
of the expedition from their sleep. The camp was situated on the borders
of Lake Amelia, about nine miles from St. Paul and about three northwest
from Fort Snelling, and, in honor of the President, the governor named
it Camp Pierce.

  "About a quarter of a mile to the eastward lay another lake,
  connected with Lake Amelia by a creek, which was very convenient for
  watering our animals, and formed a fine meadow on which they grazed.
  These lakes furnished us with fish in abundance, consisting of bass,
  pickerel, and sunfish.

  "The mules presented a fine appearance, and were apparently strong
  and healthy, though young, and even more unbroken and unserviceable
  than I had feared. Not a single full team of broken animals could be
  selected, and well-broken riding animals were essential, for most of
  the gentlemen of the scientific corps were unaccustomed to riding. I
  felt that time was precious and a great difficulty to be overcome,
  so at once resolved that the whole force should set to work to break
  them. Fortunately, my purchase of mules along the river enabled me
  to break in the animals rapidly to the teams, by which they were
  started several days earlier than otherwise could have been done."

A letter of George W. Stevens gives the following amusing account of the
scenes which occurred when every man, by the governor's order, set to
work to break his own mule:--

  "Of the 200 mules received, much to the chagrin and disappointment
  of the major, not ten of them were broken. But though the unbroken
  and unqualified age of our young mules presented a hindrance, the
  major has the more vigorously cut out his plans. In a week's time,
  of very hard labor on the part of the men, we were able to move.
  Even the members of the scientific corps put their shoulders to the
  wheel, and each gentleman broke his own riding animal. The operation
  of breaking these most stubborn of creatures was highly exciting and
  interesting. First they were tolled into a corral by leading in the
  bell mare, which they follow with the most laughable devotion. Then
  lassos were thrown over their necks, and after a long process of
  choking and hauling they were sufficiently exhausted to allow
  themselves to be led out and tied to a long picket rope stretched
  across stakes some four feet high. They did not at all relish the
  feeling of the rope about their necks, and such capers as they cut
  up, turning summersets 'both before and behind,' throwing themselves
  upon the ground, and jumping and doubling themselves with all the
  agility of the cat. At length nearly all of the 200 were tied to the
  picket rope, and, after a sufficiently elapsed interval to regain
  their minds and strength, the same antics were gone through with
  again. Some leaped over the ropes, some tangled themselves with
  their lariats. Breaking them to the saddle proved highly
  interesting. After breakfast each morning we all went out and
  saddled our own animals, and spent an hour or two in a _pleasant
  drive_. Behold some fifteen or twenty of us mounted; off we start,
  and in a moment all sorts of scenes are being enacted. Here one is
  thrown headforemost; here one is borne through the air with
  lightning speed, fortunate if not brushed off beneath the scrubby
  oaks. Some of the mules lie down, and some persist in running among
  a number of picketed animals, and tangling themselves in the
  lariats; the riders--however good--are sent 'bounding through the
  air.' I had a truly tough job in breaking my animal. Every time I
  mounted her I was sure to be thrown, and it was not until some
  weeks' march that she became well trained, but afterwards there was
  not a better-broken mule in the train. Many were badly beaten and
  bruised in the breaking operation, and certainly a whole month's
  delay in our arrival at Fort Union was the result of the selection
  of these young, unbroken animals by the St. Louis quartermaster."

The next few days the rains were almost incessant; but, says the
governor, June 1:--

  "Although it rained heavily all day, every one in camp was engaged
  in breaking mules, causing many an amusing scene. Several of the
  party were thrown repeatedly, but the determination they evince must
  overcome all obstacles; and I feel not only pleased to see their
  spirit, but to congratulate myself and them that no accident has
  occurred worthy of mention. Much hilarity was produced by the
  efforts of different persons, and each fall occasioned a laugh. Thus
  what I had seriously expected to prove a great difficulty was, in
  the midst of heavy rains and gloomy weather, a source of mirthful

The main party here organized, including a few members who joined soon
after starting, consisted of Governor Isaac I. Stevens; Lieutenant
Cuvier Grover, 4th artillery; Lieutenant Beekman Du Barry, 3d artillery;
detachment of four sappers; detachment of twenty men, 1st dragoons;
Fred. W. Lander, A.W. Tinkham, civil engineers; Dr. George Suckley,
surgeon and naturalist; Isaac F. Osgood, disbursing agent; J.M. Stanley,
artist; John Lambert, topographer; George W. Stevens, secretary and
astronomer; James Doty, A. Remenyi, astronomical and magnetic
observations; Joseph F. Moffett, meteorologist; T.S. Everett,
quartermaster and commissary clerk; Elwood Evans, Thomas Adams, F.H.
Burr, Max Strobel, A. Jekelfaluzy, B.F. Kendall, ---- Evelyn, aides;
C.P. Higgins, wagon-master; William Simpson, pack-master; Pierre
Boutineau, Le Frambois, Belland, Henry Boulieau, Paul Boulieau, guides;
Menoc, hunter; and sixty teamsters, packers, and voyageurs, numbering
altogether one hundred and eleven members. Captain Gardiner was relieved
from duty in consequence of illness, and did not accompany the

The pay was certainly moderate: $125 for Mr. Stanley, the artist; $100
to the civil engineers, Lander and Tinkham; and $25 to each aide, per

The subsidiary party, ascending the Missouri to Fort Union, where it was
to join the main party, consisted of Lieutenant A.J. Donelson, engineer
corps; Lieutenant John Mullan, 1st artillery; six sappers; William M.
Graham, astronomer; Dr. John Evans, geologist; Alexander Culbertson,
special Indian agent.

The other subsidiary party, which met the main party in the Rocky
Mountains, consisted of Lieutenant Rufus Saxton, 4th artillery;
Lieutenant Robert Macfeely, 4th infantry; Lieutenant Richard Arnold, 3d
artillery; Mr. D.L. Arnold; Mr. D.S. Hoyt; detachment of eighteen
soldiers; twenty-nine packers, herders, etc.,--in all, fifty-two.

The western party consisted of Lieutenant George B. McClellan;
Lieutenant Johnson K. Duncan, 3d artillery, astronomer, etc.; Lieutenant
Henry C. Hodges, 4th infantry, quartermaster and commissary; Lieutenant
Sylvester Mowry, 3d artillery, meteorologist; George Gibbs, geologist
and ethnologist; J.F. Minter, civil engineer; Dr. J.C. Cooper, surgeon
and naturalist; Mr. Lewis, interpreter; detachment of twenty-eight
soldiers; thirty civil employees,--in all, sixty-six in number.

The entire force under Governor Stevens's command for the exploration
comprised eleven officers and seventy-six enlisted men of the army,
thirty-three members of the scientific corps, and one hundred and twenty
civilian employees, teamsters, packers, guides, herders, voyageurs,
etc.,--altogether, some two hundred and forty.

Governor Stevens's general plan was, while surveying a continuous
compass and odometer line with the principal train, to keep detached
parties far out on the sides of the route, examining the topography of
the country, and gathering all possible information concerning it, and
thus to embrace the widest possible field in the exploration. The
following pages will give simply the governor's personal experiences on
the expedition, and largely in his own language, referring the reader to
his reports, especially the final report in vol. xii., for the details
of this most interesting exploration.

  "As rapidly as the breaking-in of the mules and heavy rains for half
  the time allowed, the expedition moved seventy miles up the
  Mississippi in detachments, crossed to the west bank, and on June 10
  were again assembled on the Sauk River, two miles above its mouth,
  in Camp Davis, so named in honor of the Secretary of War. In this
  first movement of the expedition on the 31st, Lander was sent ahead
  to explore, and Tinkham to run the survey line. Doty on June 3, and
  Simpson on 4th, took the route with small trains, with such animals
  as were sufficiently broken in to be worked, and on the 6th Camp
  Pierce was broken up, and the remainder of the force followed in
  three parties, Grover with the scientific men and instruments by
  steamboat, Du Barry with Stanley, Dr. Suckley and sixteen dragoons,
  and Everett with the train, both these by land up the east bank of
  the river. Thus, despite the mules and the weather, the least
  possible time was lost in starting afield, and the young
  subordinates were being taught to command and operate detachments,
  which the governor regarded as of great importance, 'in order to
  infuse hope into the whole party, and avail myself of the present
  high spirit of the camp.'"

Having seen the several parties started off, and the camp broken up, the
governor continues:--

  I remained at St. Anthony until noon of June 7 to secure the
  services of several voyageurs, and particularly of the guide Pierre
  Boutineau and the hunter Menoc, in which I was successful, and
  starting about noon, and taking a rapid conveyance, I pushed forward
  the same day forty miles, overtaking at Rum River Lieutenant Du
  Barry, and, some miles beyond, both Doty and Simpson, and reaching
  Sauk Rapids, a distance of thirty miles farther, by eleven A.M.,
  found Mr. Tinkham actively engaged in the survey of that portion of
  the river. The crossing at St. Anthony is by a rope ferry, its
  motive power being the action of the current, having a short rope at
  the bow and a longer or slack rope astern. On the west side of the
  Mississippi, about three miles above Rum River, there was a large
  encampment of Winnebago Indians, consisting of about one hundred
  lodges. These are constructed of oak bark, fastened by strips of
  buckskin over arched poles, resembling in shape the cover of a
  wagon; they are about eight feet high, and from ten to thirty feet
  long, according to the number of families to be accommodated. The
  chief's lodge in the centre is much larger, and distinguished by the
  flags upon it, two British and two American colors. The shores are
  lined with canoes, and the village extends an eighth of a mile along
  the river. The country, for the first seven miles after leaving camp
  and striking the St. Anthony road, is a wet prairie. After leaving
  St. Anthony the country appears to rise towards the north; the road
  lies on the eastern bank of the Mississippi, along the plateau,
  which is generally timbered with the smaller varieties of oak, in
  some places forming beautiful groves. On the road, and at Sauk
  Rapids, several additional men were engaged, among them some
  Canadian voyageurs. These men, being sometimes half-breeds, speak a
  jargon of patois French, Chippewa, and other Indian dialects. They
  are a hardy, willing, enduring class, and used to encounter all
  sorts of difficulties in their journey between different posts of
  the fur companies. They must be treated with kindness and a certain
  degree of familiarity, and, their confidence and affections being
  secured, they are the most obedient and hard-working fellows in the
  world. This morning I learned that Lieutenant Grover and his
  steamboat party had landed late last evening about five miles below
  Sauk River, and had there encamped. In the afternoon, accompanied by
  Boutineau, I crossed the Mississippi to find him, and went three
  miles in a drenching rain without reaching his position.

  I dispatched Henry Boulieau in search of Lander, and he returned
  with the information that Lander was about eighteen miles ahead at
  Cold Spring, and that he had made there a good crossing for wagons.

  June 9. I went to Mr. Lander's camp, and examined the crossing,
  which I find to be practicable, and the work well done.

  June 10. I returned to Lieutenant Grover's camp, which was
  beautifully situated on the north bank of the Osakis or Sauk River,
  about two miles from its mouth. The grass was indifferent and
  backward, but, with half rations of oats, abundant for the animals;
  water excellent. In honor of the Secretary of War, we named it Camp
  Davis. Lieutenant Du Barry arrived this afternoon with his party, as
  did the small trains of Doty and Simpson. A very severe
  thunderstorm, with heavy rain for about five hours, occurred at
  night, amounting in the rain-gauge to 6.1 inches.

  My acquaintance with the voyageurs, thus far, has impressed me
  favorably. They are thorough woodsmen, and just the men for prairie
  life also, going into the water as pleasantly as a spaniel, and
  remaining there as long as needed; stout, able-bodied, and willing
  to put their shoulders to the wheel whenever necessary; no slough or
  bog deters them.

                  Camp Davis, two miles west of the Mississippi River,
                                  June 10, 1853.

  MY DEAREST WIFE,--We are getting on finely. Camp Pierce was broken
  up on Monday, and in five days we have gone up the river seventy
  miles, and the bulk of the party is now west of the Mississippi.
  Yesterday I rode forward twenty-six miles to the crossing of the
  Sauk River to make arrangements for the advance of the civil
  engineer party. I had previously traveled rapidly from St. Anthony
  to Sauk Rapids in a carriage, passing all the parties on the road.
  It was a beautiful ride all the way, and I had a most interesting
  companion in Pierre Boutineau, the great guide and voyageur of
  Minnesota. He is famous as a buffalo-hunter, is a Chippewa
  half-breed, and surpasses all of his class in truthfulness and great
  intelligence. Not only is he experienced in all the vicissitudes of
  travel and frontier life, being the hero of many interesting events,
  but he has the broadness of view of an engineer, and I am confident
  he will be of the greatest service to us in finding our way. At the
  Falls of St. Anthony, where he resides, he is greatly esteemed, and
  is known throughout the Territory. I breakfasted with him Monday
  morning, and was delighted with the affection and respect with which
  he inspired his whole household. There was his old Indian mother;
  his four children by his first wife, a half-breed; his second wife
  and babe; his sister; his brother and wife; and the wife of an
  absent brother. We all sat down to a breakfast of two roasted
  sucking-pigs, eggs, beefsteak, etc. He is a natural gentleman, and
  in his family I saw exhibited the most refined and courteous

  He drove a pair of very spirited horses, and on the road, seeing
  some plover, he called them to him and shot one. He understands, as
  Mr. Sibley in Washington told me, everything from shooting a bird or
  paddling a canoe to hunting buffalo, and conducting a large party
  through a long extent of difficult country. I have also secured
  Menoc, the best hunter of the Territory. He joins the party
  to-morrow, and will in ten days be able to supply us with deer and

  June 12. Messrs. Osgood and Kendall reached camp this morning with
  the barometers and india-rubber boats. At St. Louis I was
  telegraphed that many of the barometers had been broken, and they
  could not be supplied short of New York. They were absolutely
  indispensable. I sent Mr. Kendall there immediately, and in thirty
  days the boats and instruments were made and brought to my camp,
  eighty miles on our way. Mr. Everett also arrived about noon to-day.
  I regretted to observe that many of his animals were in very bad
  condition. Of our whole number some forty were disabled, and eight
  or ten so much so as to give very little hope that they could do any
  further service. I refused, however, to sell even these to the many
  applicants who expressed a willingness to take them off our hands
  below the cost of purchase. Assembling both officers and men to-day,
  I caused to be read the camp regulations, which I had prepared for
  the government of the party, and made a short address, in which I
  informed them that every man would be expected to look to the safety
  of his comrades; that all alike, whether soldier or civilian, would
  be expected to stand guard, and in case of difficulties to meet them
  promptly. I exaggerated the difficulties which lay before us, and
  represented that the country through which they would pass was
  intersected by bogs, marshes, and deep morasses; that rivers were to
  be forded and bridged, mountains and valleys to be crossed; that the
  first one hundred and eighty miles of the journey was reported to
  be through a continuous marsh, barely practicable, where every man
  would have to go through mud and water and apply his shoulders to
  the wheel; that in ten days we would reach the Indian country, where
  heavy guard duty would have to be performed to protect property and
  preserve lives; that still farther on we would probably be compelled
  to force our way through the country of the Blackfoot Indians, a
  tribe proverbially treacherous and warlike, that then the snows of
  the mountains would have to be overcome, and that every man would be
  expected to follow wherever he might be led; that no one would be
  sacrificed, nor would any one be subjected to any risk which I would
  not freely incur; and that whoever was not willing to coöperate with
  us had better at once retire. After these remarks the camp
  regulations were read by Mr. Kendall, and my views were cordially
  approved. I dispatched Lieutenant Grover with a picked party of
  fifteen men, with instructions to reconnoitre the country north, and
  in the vicinity of White Bear Lake.

  June 13. Continuing the project of sending off the train in detached
  parties, and thus gradually breaking up the camp, much of the day
  was spent in preparing a party to be placed in charge of Dr.
  Suckley. All was effected by four P.M., when his party, consisting
  of Belland the guide, Menoc the hunter, a cook, Corporal Coster, and
  two dragoons, with two led horses and two led mules, two men in
  charge of them, Belland's riding horse, and a Pembina cart in charge
  of Henry Boulieau, started from camp. He was instructed to follow
  Lieutenant Grover's trail in easy marches, looking carefully to his
  animals, and paying particular attention to the collections in
  natural history.

  To-day I issued an order creating assimilated rank in the
  expedition, by which certain gentlemen of the party were appointed
  to the grade of lieutenant, and others to the grade of
  non-commissioned officer, for convenience in detailing guard. By
  this course the relative position of each man was fixed; and,
  whether in the main or detached parties, it was known whose duty it
  was to give orders in case of necessity. Military organization is in
  some degree indispensable, and the idea of an escort has been
  entirely abandoned. All are soldiers in the performance of guard
  duty, and the soldiers accompanying us are on fatigue duty, and not
  merely to escort us by day and to stand guard at night. Several of
  the Pembina carts purchased by Dr. Borup arrived in camp to-day.
  They are made entirely of wood, having no iron at all about them,
  very roughly constructed, and the wheels usually wrapped with
  rawhide or buffalo skin in place of an iron tire, to prevent their
  cutting through the marshy ground so extensive between here and
  Pembina. They are drawn by horses, oxen, or mules, one person
  usually driving from two to six carts, and when loaded they will
  carry from six to eight hundred pounds. They look as if made for
  only one trip, and the creaking of the wheels on the wooden axle
  does not give the idea of their standing much service. Their first
  appearance, to those of the party unaccustomed to the sight, with
  the oxen harnessed in them, caused much merriment, and as they moved
  over the prairie, the singular noise produced by their wheels
  assured us that, with such an accompaniment, no need existed for any
  musical instrument or players, for these discoursed most sweetly.

"There is no such thing as an escort to this expedition. Each man is
escorted by every other man," begins this order. It required each man
habitually to go armed; arms to be inspected morning and evening; no
march on Sundays, on which days thorough inspection of persons and
things to be made, and each man to bathe his whole person; each member
of the scientific corps to take care of his own horse, and to take from
and place in the wagons his own personal baggage; no firing on the
march; personal baggage reduced to twenty-five pounds per man. By the
strict enforcement of these stringent but salutary regulations, and the
extreme care with which all were required to treat the animals, Governor
Stevens conducted the entire expedition without the loss of a man, save
one who shot himself by accident, and the animals actually improved on
the march.

  June 14. Spent the day in making the necessary arrangements to push
  forward the whole camp, to be organized for the present in detached
  parties under separate heads, and all under my general direction.
  Lieutenant Du Barry was placed in general charge of the
  meteorological observations and of the train, as executive officer.
  Everything now presents a favorable aspect, and all will be ready to
  move off to-morrow morning. Procured several more Pembina carts.
  Engaged to-day Paul Boulieau, a half-breed Chippewa of collegiate
  education, who has filled a seat in the territorial legislature with
  credit, and also been long in the service of the fur company. He was
  placed in charge of the Pembina train, so called, which, consisting
  at first of five carts, each drawn by an ox, was this day increased
  by a very superior wagon team, drawn by two yoke of very large and
  serviceable oxen. It may here be observed that the Pembina train,
  managed entirely by the voyageurs, invariably moved by itself,
  crossed all the streams without additional assistance, gave us the
  least trouble in supervision, and was altogether the most economical
  and effective transportation we had. A pioneer wagon containing
  rations for the advance party and the india-rubber boats, loaded
  lightly in order in case of necessity to be pushed rapidly forward
  to the advance parties, and a wagon of Indian goods, were with the
  train. The arrangements thus made left me free to be either with the
  advance parties or with the train, or to make personal examinations
  of important features of the country off the lines of the trail.

Again sending on detached parties, under Lieutenant Grover, Dr. Suckley,
Lander, and Tinkham, the march was resumed to Pike Lake, a distance of
eighty-one miles. The season was unusually backward, the rains frequent
and heavy, and great labor was required in crossing the swollen
streams,--some by bridging, others by means of the india-rubber floats
for ferrying over the goods while the animals swam across. The wagons,
bogged in the miry ground, had to be frequently unloaded and loaded
again; but many soft and marshy places were made passable by covering
the road deep with cut grass, for which purpose the governor, with his
usual foresight, had provided scythes. The country, with its beautiful
prairies, groves, and lakes, and many streams and bogs to be crossed,
and the incidents of the march are graphically described in Governor
Stevens's report, with many views taken along the route. The following
extracts will show the character of the country and the difficulties

  June 16. Three miles from Camp Davis we passed through a belt of
  woods for two miles, where the flies were excessively annoying,
  persecuting our animals so that it was hard to keep them in the
  road, as they constantly attempted to rush into the bushes. The
  country to Cold Spring has a rich alluvial soil, with scattered
  groves of timber. It is mostly level prairie, occasionally broken by
  a small stream, and is excellent for agricultural purposes. Passing
  through Lieutenant Du Barry's camp, I went on to Dr. Suckley's, on
  the west side of the Sauk. Sauk River at our ford is about one
  hundred and twenty feet wide, though, owing to the obliquity of the
  banks and rapidity of current, the ford is near three hundred feet
  wide and the water five feet deep.

  June 17. This morning I started with Dr. Suckley and went on to Lake
  Henry, nineteen and a half miles. The country was a rolling prairie,
  interspersed with small sloughs filled by the recent rains; the soil
  is rich and black, grass good, and occasionally gravelly hillocks.
  In the crossing of the Sauk by the main train, the india-rubber
  boats were for the first time used. The larger one is about twelve
  feet long and four wide, weighing seventy-five pounds, the other
  about one fifth smaller. A rope was stretched across the stream, and
  the boats ferried across by means of a ring attached to their bows,
  and sliding along the rope. They succeeded admirably, and a birch
  canoe, managed by one of the voyageurs, was also used in crossing.
  Some of the men were in the water for hours, but worked faithfully
  and efficiently. Lieutenant Du Barry effected the crossing in one
  day, and encamped on the west side of the river, six miles from Cold

  June 18. Left camp about seven o'clock, and in about three quarters
  of a mile crossed a bad place, requiring some grass. The water was
  two feet deep, and the bottom miry. Our road lay through a beautiful
  prairie. The shores of Lake Henry are heavily wooded. In two and a
  half miles farther we found two very wet places, one hundred yards
  apart. In two miles farther we came to a long marsh, where the
  ground was very soft, and where our wagons stalled. Three quarters
  of a mile beyond we encountered a very deep, muddy slough, to cross
  which we had recourse to a long rope, and all our force pulled on
  it. A branch of Crow River is then reached in a mile, or a little
  more. It is about twelve feet wide and two deep; both sides are
  overflown marsh, making the place very difficult to cross. To avoid
  breaking bulk, we again used the long rope, and attaching three
  pairs of mules to it, all our men pulling on it at the same time, we
  got the wagon through. We arrived about noon at Crow Wing River,
  nine miles from camp. It was four or five feet deep and twenty feet
  wide, and at this time overflowing its usual banks. Broke bulk here,
  the men packing our stuff across. Passing Crow River, we find a
  continuous grove of oak-trees on our left, and in five miles a
  series of small lakes on our right, not wooded but abounding in
  game. Arrived at camp on Lightning Lake about half past eight P.M.
  Distance traveled, eighteen miles and three quarters. The frequent
  sloughs and bad crossings in our march to-day added much to the
  labors of the men and animals. After the hard day's march we enjoyed
  our supper of game, cooked in hunter's style on sticks before the
  fire, although it was midnight before we could have it ready.

  June 19, Sunday. Lightning Lake is a very beautiful sheet of water,
  so called from the fact that during Captain Pope's expedition, while
  encamped here, one of those storms so fearfully violent in this
  country occurred, during which one of his party was instantly killed
  by a stroke of lightning. Its northern shore is thickly studded with
  timber, and the southern side, upon which we are encamped, affords
  an ample supply for all camping purposes. Pickerel, pike, and bass
  fill the lake, numbers of which our parties caught; and ducks,
  geese, swans, plover, and prairie chicken abound in the vicinity.
  The day of rest was enjoyed by the whole party; some fishing,
  washing and mending their clothes, others trying various modes of
  cooking the game and fish which abounded. Evans succeeded admirably
  in roasting a fish in the ashes, first rolling it up in brown paper
  dampened, which, when removed, brought off the scales with it,
  leaving the meat clean and well done. Early after dinner Mr. Osgood
  arrived, informing me that Lieutenant Du Barry, misconstruing my
  instructions, had declined to allow him to bring forward the two
  wagons which I had ordered for the use of the advanced parties.

  June 20. Started at 3.30 A.M. to go back to the main train, which I
  met five miles west of Lake Henry. Taking charge of the train
  myself, I directed Boutineau to explore in advance for the most
  practicable route. The bad crossing referred to in the narrative of
  the 18th was, by great exertion and the united force of the whole
  party, effected without accident, and the whole train reached
  Lightning Lake by 4.30 P.M.

Lieutenant Du Barry appears to have felt affronted at the action of the
governor in taking the personal charge of the train, and indeed the
latter was apt to be pretty severe and decided if anything went wrong.
It will be observed how summarily he weeded out and sent back
inefficient men:--

  June 21. In compliance with his own request, I relieved Lieutenant
  Du Barry from duty with the expedition, and ordered him to report in
  person to the Adjutant-General in Washington. He was desired to call
  upon the Secretary of War and acquaint him with the whole history of
  the expedition up to this point; and, to enable him to reach the
  settlements with some degree of comfort and expedition, I dispatched
  Mr. Kendall and two of the voyageurs to accompany him as far as Long
  Prairie on his return, whence there would be no difficulty in his
  procuring transportation to Sauk Rapids.

  Captain Remenyi and his assistant, Mr. Jekelfaluzy, were discharged
  to-day, as they did not perform their duties to my satisfaction.

  All these matters detained us until 4.30 P.M., when I pushed forward
  with Dr. Suckley's and the scientific parties. The clouds were
  gathering and indicated a severe gust. We reached a beautiful lake
  about three miles distant, called by us Lake Stanley, in honor of
  the artist of the expedition, and had just time to get into camp to
  save ourselves from a very severe storm, which continued with great
  violence till near seven P.M.

  June 22. My party, leaving Dr. Suckley, got off about six A.M. We
  arrived at White Bear Lake, about nine and a half miles from the
  morning's camp, at 10.15 A.M. Leaving Lightning Lake the country
  seems to change its character, and is no longer a flat,
  undiversified surface, with occasionally a gentle undulation
  scarcely attracting attention. It has gradually changed to a heavy,
  rolling prairie, which, before approaching White Bear Lake, becomes
  broken up into hills, valleys, and basins varying from thirty to
  fifty feet in depth. Boulders and stones, from the size of pebbles
  to paving-stones, are very numerous. Our route to-day appears to be
  gradually ascending at a probable rate of eight or ten feet per
  mile. White Bear Lake is a beautiful sheet of water, bordered with
  timber, about fourteen miles long and two wide, with high, swelling
  banks, running back a mile or so, and rising to the height of about
  one hundred and fifty feet. As the animals looked so fresh, and the
  day was cool and good for traveling, we halted only for a rest.
  About five miles from the lake we came to a stream, apparently
  running into it. Other bad places occurred; soft bogs, marshes, and
  brooks impeded our progress so much that we did not get into camp
  until three P.M., making nine and one third miles from our
  halting-place, and eighteen and three fourths for our day's march.
  Our camp was on a very rapid stream, with steep, high banks. We
  called it Lambert River, in honor of our topographer, who received a
  sad overturn as he crossed it with Lieutenant Grover's command.

  The main train in charge of Mr. Osgood moved from camp on Lightning
  Lake at seven o'clock, after settling a difficulty of a very serious
  aspect growing out of a strike of all the teamsters, in consequence
  of a discharge by him of six of their number, according to my
  directions, because their services were not required. They
  threatened to shoot the first driver who moved out of camp. Mr.
  Osgood declared that he would drive out each wagon himself. Finally,
  after some discussion, the discharged men moved off cheerfully, and
  the main train pushed forward to White Bear Lake.

  June 23. Our first labor this morning was to cross the stream at a
  point half a mile from our camp, from which we moved about six. This
  crossing delayed our little party some two hours. Grass had to be
  cut and placed on both sides of the stream. The banks were steep and
  soft, and it required the presence of a man or two at each wheel to
  keep the wagons in motion and prevent their being stuck in the mire.
  The country to-day appears admirably adapted to grazing purposes,
  and the bottoms, of frequent occurrence, are of a very rich
  character. Marshes and little streams, bordered by soft places,
  occur frequently. In one of these places, fully one hundred feet in
  length, one of our wagons got mired, making it necessary to remove
  part of its load to get it through.

  About ten A.M. I left the train in charge of Mr. G.W. Stevens, and,
  pushing on, reached Lieutenant Grover's camp about twelve. The train
  arrived at half past one, crossed a marsh and a small stream, and
  encamped opposite the camps of Messrs. Grover, Lander, and Tinkham.
  Lieutenant Grover's camp is beautifully situated on the shores of
  Pike Lake. The main train and Dr. Suckley's party arrived about half
  past eight, and the whole expedition was again brought together.
  This I consider the real starting-point of the expedition, and named
  our camp here Camp Marcy, in honor of the Secretary of State. We
  remained here a day in order to give the animals a chance to rest.
  They appear to be in very good condition, and the grazing is fine.
  Received of the various scientific chiefs reports of their labors to
  this point.

                              CHAPTER XVII

                        PIKE LAKE TO FORT UNION

From Pike Lake the expedition pursued a general course westerly by ten
degrees northerly in order to clear the great northeastern bend of the
Missouri, and reached Fort Union in thirty-eight days, traversing a
distance of five hundred and fifty miles. A compass and odometer line
was run with the main party. Pursuing his system of exploring a wide
scope of country by means of detached parties, Governor Stevens
dispatched Lieutenant Grover with a picked party to survey a separate
route south of that of the main body as far as Fort Union, and kept
Lander, Tinkham, Dr. Suckley, Lambert, Doty, and Adams, with small
parties of the voyageurs, examining the country within forty miles of
the route by frequent side trips. The main train crossed the Red River
near the town of Breckenridge, the James River some distance north of
Jamestown, and skirted the Mouse River near Minot, on the Great Northern
Railroad, from which point to Fort Union, and for hundreds of miles
beyond, that railroad follows Governor Stevens's route. It is
characteristic of the governor that in sending officers on the detached
trips he always furnished them the best men and animals of the party,
frequently allowing them to select them themselves. On July 12 he
overstrained himself in his exertions to prevent a herd of buffalo from
stampeding the train, and the old rupture, which had given him so much
trouble in Mexico, broke out afresh, and obliged him to ride in an
ambulance for many hundreds of miles. But his spirit and energy were
no-wise quelled by this grievous physical disability. The graphic
descriptions of the country, the incidents of the march, the encounter
with countless herds of buffalo, and the meetings with the Red River
hunters and Assiniboine Indians are given in the final report with a
fullness of detail which cannot be attempted here, but the following
extracts will give a fair idea of this stage of the exploration:--

  June 24. I directed Lieutenant Grover to select a party of twenty
  picked men, twenty-six mules, three horses, and twenty-five days'
  provisions, including an ox, with which to go forward on the Dead
  Colt Hillock line. In thus giving to Lieutenant Grover his own
  selection of animals and men, my purpose was to make him in the
  highest degree effective in the means at his disposal, and to
  demonstrate by the success of his undertaking the entire feasibility
  of operating in detached parties. Messrs. Lander and Tinkham moved
  forward this afternoon to Chippewa River.

  On counting rations, it was found that for the main party there was
  a supply for twenty days, while it might take forty-five to reach
  Fort Union. But with the eight oxen in the carts, and the known
  abundance of game, I feared no scarcity. The men showed some
  anxiety, and talked of a strike, but, seeing the confidence of the
  officers, abandoned any open demonstration. I had ordered a reducing
  of rations whenever the quantity of game would justify it, and
  henceforward I gave the most particular attention to it, so that,
  although we did not reach the Yellowstone for thirty-eight days,
  there was at no time a scarcity of provisions.

  June 25. To-day the expedition may be considered fairly under way.
  Lieutenant Grover started at 7.30 A.M. The main party, under my own
  direction, moved forward at about the same time. In ten miles
  reached the Chippewa River. The india-rubber boats did good service,
  carrying over each time more than half a wagon-load. The whole train
  was all well encamped two miles further on at a fine lake by sunset.

  June 26. The main party moved to-day to the camp of Mr. Tinkham of
  last night, and the whole command was over the river and in camp by
  six o'clock. As we were now approaching the Indian country, I
  systematized all the arrangements of camp and guards, and the
  details of duty on the march. The dragoons were distributed as
  follows: two for the pack-train; two with a led horse each for
  reconnoitring duty; two to strike and pitch tents; two to catch
  fish; two with the howitzer; Sergeant Lindner and seven men with the
  main column. The sergeant was, moreover, charged with the duty of
  laying out the encampment under my direction. For the care of the
  camp, an officer of the guard, who also served as officer of the
  day, two non-commissioned officers, and six privates were detailed.

  Cook-fires to be made at two A.M.; the cooks and teamsters called at
  three, and the animals to be put in good grass; reveille to be
  sounded at four, and all the officers to be called by name; the
  whole camp to breakfast about four, and the teamsters immediately to
  commence harnessing up; tents struck by half past four, and camp in
  motion by five; the sentinels instructed to fire upon any prowling

  June 27. Camp roused at four A.M. While at breakfast, Lieutenant
  Moffett gave me notice that we had but four minutes left to eat in,
  and, as we failed to get through, he had the tents struck over our
  heads. The train moved at five o'clock. About eight miles from camp
  passed Elbow Lake, fourteen miles reached Rabbit River, followed the
  stream to where it empties into Bell's Lake, and, going along the
  beach through water eight inches deep with a pebbly bottom, we found
  a good crossing, though a ridge has to be ascended before getting
  upon the plain where our camp is placed. The grass is most
  excellent, and the animals, accustomed to each other, are visibly

  Tuesday, June 28. At half past ten A.M. the advance had crossed
  Rabbit River, fifteen miles from camp, and halted until the arrival
  of the main train. Leaving the train to rest, the advance started at
  two. In three miles met Mr. Lander, whose camp was with Mr.
  Tinkham's, and went into camp at five on the Bois de Sioux, and were
  joined by the whole party at nine o'clock, after a march of
  twenty-seven miles over a country that had been invariably reported
  the very worst of the whole route. Our animals, though somewhat
  tired, immediately went to feeding. There were some soft places
  between the Rabbit River and the Bois de Sioux, in which the animals
  were mired and wagons stalled; but we were agreeably disappointed in
  having comparatively a very comfortable day's journey.

  Numerous large catfish were caught this afternoon, some weighing
  from twelve to twenty pounds. At half past eleven P.M. we sat down
  to a supper of ducks, catfish, and coffee, and all the men were in
  fine spirits. The Bois de Sioux had been a great point to
  reach,--the end of bad roads and the commencement of the buffalo
  country. Here we may take a general review of the country since
  leaving St. Paul.

  Between Camp Pierce and Sauk Rapids, seventy-nine miles, the road
  passes through beautiful prairies and oak openings, with occasional
  meadows, wet at this early season, and, at some distance to the
  right, groves of tamarack, varying the landscape with their light
  and feathery foliage.

  From the crossing at Sauk Rapids to Lightning Lake most of the
  country is rolling prairie, with the wooded banks of Sauk River on
  the south, and numerous small ponds and lakes with trees on their
  banks, abundant and excellent pasture, and swarms of water-fowl,
  supplying plenty of fresh provisions.

  A similar delightful country continues to the Bois de Sioux River,
  with some decrease in the amount of timber, until the banks of that
  river are reached.

  After leaving Lightning Lake the country seems to change its
  character; no longer a flat, undiversified surface, or with gentle
  undulations scarcely attracting notice, it has gradually changed to
  a heavy, rolling prairie, and at White Bear Lake becomes broken up
  into hills, valleys, and basins. Boulders and smaller stones are

  This whole dividing ridge, then, separating the waters of the
  Mississippi from those of the Red River, which flow into Hudson Bay,
  is not the lofty range of mountains which might be supposed to
  separate the sources of two such great bodies of water flowing in
  opposite directions and to outlets so widely distant, but is a
  gently undulating and exceedingly rich prairie country, abundantly
  wooded and watered, having a width of one hundred miles, and an
  elevation not exceeding six hundred feet above the river and about
  sixteen hundred above the sea. There is a very slight rise in the
  general level in going westward, the Bois de Sioux being at the
  crossing only thirty-one feet higher than the Mississippi at Sauk
  Rapids. Undulating and level prairies, skirted by woods of various
  growth, and clothed everywhere with rich verdure; numerous and rapid
  streams, with innumerable small but limpid lakes, frequented by
  multitudes of wild fowl, most conspicuous among which appears the
  stately swan,--these, in ever-recurring succession, make up the
  panorama of this extensive district, which may be said to be
  everywhere fertile, beautiful, and inviting.

  The most remarkable features of this region are the intervals of
  level prairie, especially that near the bend of the branches of Red
  River, where the horizon is as unbroken as that of a calm sea. Nor
  are other points of resemblance wanting: the long grass, which in
  such places is unusually rank, bending gracefully to the passing
  breeze as it sweeps along the plain, gives the idea of waves (as
  indeed they are); and the solitary horseman on the horizon is so
  indistinctly seen as to complete the picture by the suggestion of a
  sail, raising the first feelings of novelty to a character of wonder
  and delight. The flowing outlines of the rolling prairies are broken
  only by the small lakes and patches of timber, which relieve them of
  monotony and enhance their beauty; and though marshes and sloughs
  occur, they are too small and infrequent to affect the generally
  attractive character of the country. The elevation of the rolling
  prairie is generally so uniform that even the summits between
  streams flowing in opposite directions exhibit no peculiar features
  to distinguish them from the ordinary valley slopes.

  Wednesday, June 29. The advance parties crossed the river before
  seven o'clock, but the train was not started till eleven, so as to
  give the animals rest. The ford, very good for a small train, became
  very muddy towards the last, and though we unloaded all the wagons
  and carried the loads over in boats, the wagons and animals were
  badly stalled at the edges and on the soft and steep banks of the
  river. The country from the Bois de Sioux to the Wild Rice River is
  a broad, level prairie, covered with luxuriant grass eighteen inches
  high; the distance eleven miles, with occasional sloughs. The heat
  to-day was excessive, and the mosquitoes very annoying to men and
  animals. At four o'clock, profiting by our experience in crossing
  the Bois de Sioux, I sent Mr. Lander with a select force of axemen
  to cut timber to bridge the Wild Rice. The train came up slowly, the
  last wagons not reaching camp till midnight.

  Thursday, June 30. Part of the men were employed in carefully
  currying and washing the animals, and in catching fish; the
  remainder were detailed to build the bridge, which was completed by
  one P.M. It was made of heavy logs, filled in with cut willow-brush
  and mown grass. Moved at two o'clock; in three miles came to a small
  creek, which was quite marshy, and caused delay to cross. Moving a
  mile and a half farther we again struck the same stream, and
  encamped at half past four P.M. During our march we encountered a
  very severe storm, accompanied with thunder and lightning. Boutineau
  brought in an elk, which furnished about two pounds of excellent
  fresh meat to each man, and was much enjoyed. Kendall and the two
  Boulieaus overtook us to-day, bringing supplies and five Indian

  July 1. I determined to push forward with the engineer party to the
  Sheyenne, and, if I found it necessary, have it bridged. Smooth
  prairie extended all the way, road good, and the distance twenty-six
  and a half miles. A very severe thunderstorm occurred this morning,
  lasting an hour, and wetting us thoroughly. At eleven A.M. we met
  the train of the Red River traders, and visited their camp, six
  miles distant. We were very hospitably received, purchased some
  pemmican, common moccasins, and articles of dress worked with
  porcupine quills. Bought also some carts and oxen, being very
  deficient in transportation.

  The main train only proceeded thirteen miles, and I returned to them
  about three P.M., accompanied by Kittson, Father Delacour, Roulet,
  and Cavilaer. Kittson and Roulet were members of the territorial
  legislature from Pembina; Cavilaer, the collector of customs; and
  Delacour is a very clever, shrewd priest. They are on their annual
  trip to St. Paul with robes, skins, pemmican, and dried meat of the
  buffalo, collected by trading with the half-breeds of the Red River
  settlements. We found that they had bridged the Sheyenne, saving us
  considerable trouble and delay. Their company proved very agreeable,
  and we were glad that a heavy thunderstorm coming on obliged them to
  be our guests for the night.

  July 2. Struck camp at seven o'clock and parted with our new
  friends, sending back with them Strobel and two teamsters, who
  proved inefficient. The whole train crossed the Sheyenne bridge
  safely by noon, and camped on the other side. We had apprehended
  that possibly the heavy rain of last night would swell the river and
  carry away the bridge, but hurrying up the wagons, we made the
  crossing just before the water had risen sufficiently to flow over
  the bridge. I called this camp McClelland, intending to halt here
  over Sunday and make up dispatches for Washington. I sent Lander and
  Tinkham to reconnoitre both up and down the river.

  July 3, Sunday. Lander came back from his reconnoissance, having
  been as far south as Dead Colt Hillock. He met with a singular
  adventure, which afforded us a great deal of amusement. Riding along
  with his four voyageurs, whom he used to call his "men of iron," at
  some distance ahead they saw a skunk moving leisurely through the
  grass, with tail erect and defying their approach. Lander leveled
  his glass at it, and, satisfying himself that it was an Indian
  watching their movements and trying to hide himself, gave the order
  for his gallant band to "charge." They did charge, and at the same
  time firing their revolvers, the poor skunk fell, riddled with balls
  and weltering in his blood; when coming up, they discovered the
  extent of their bold exploit. Joking in camp is one of the pastimes
  to relieve the annoyances of the march, and every little thing is
  seized upon to feed the disposition.

  Fourth of July. The train started at six A.M. I remained behind to
  get off a mail. Started about ten and followed the Red River trail
  some twelve miles, when we left it altogether. Crossed Maple River,
  and camped on its banks. About dusk we raised the American flag,
  made of red and white shirts, contributed by the party and sewed
  together by Boulieau. As it went up, the assembled command gave it
  three hearty cheers, and then indulged in some refreshments in honor
  of the day, ending the evening with songs and story-telling.

  July 5. Traveled twenty miles over a high, firm, and almost level
  prairie, camping on a small branch of Maple River without any wood
  near it. The pack-train requiring more attention and care of the
  animals than has been given by the man in charge, who does not take
  sufficient pains with the disabled animals, I to-day directed Mr.
  Kendall to oversee them and have them properly attended to.

  July 6. Went twenty miles farther, making a noon halt of two hours,
  when Mr. Tinkham returned from a long and rapid reconnoissance
  ahead. Prairie more rolling, but road good. A high butte to the left
  of our course enabled me to get a fine view of the surrounding
  country. Two Indians were seen by Boutineau, who was out after
  buffalo, which he did not find; but abundance of ducks continue to
  supply the camp with fresh meat.

  July 7. About 8.30 we struck the Sheyenne six miles from camp, and
  rested an hour. Keeping the Sheyenne on our left, we moved forward
  ten miles and camped about a mile and a half from the river on the
  banks of a fine lake. To-day Le Frambois and Menoc killed an old
  buffalo bull, and also brought in some dozen geese. Several of the
  messes supplied themselves with frogs, which have been most abundant
  on our march for the past two days. The whole command took supper
  off of buffalo, and the meat, though old and tough, tasted very
  good, and saved us an ox which had been destined for the slaughter.
  Several antelopes and wolves were seen to-day.

  July 8. Started this morning at 6.30, and arrived at the crossing of
  the Sheyenne River after a march of fifteen miles. Buttes in
  considerable number are seen ahead, among which the Horse Butte and
  the Butte Micheau are plainly visible. Mr. Tinkham, Paul, and Henry
  were out again to-day, making a reconnoissance on the Sheyenne. We
  went into camp about one o'clock on the east and south side of the
  Sheyenne, and a party was at once detailed to cut wood and prepare
  charcoal. The magnetic tent was put up, and the astronomical and
  meteorological parties went immediately to work. I called our camp
  Camp Guthrie, in honor of the Secretary of the Treasury, and
  determined to remain here all day to-morrow.

  Boutineau and Henry Boulieau went out this afternoon, and returned
  with the choice pieces of a fine, fat, young buffalo bull, and we
  made a delightful meal, around the fire, of the ribs, marrow-bones,
  etc., cooked hunter's fashion. Towards evening, on the coteau on the
  other side of the river, a herd of some twenty elks made their
  appearance. Numerous wolves were also seen, which, during the night,
  kept up a constant howling. We planted flags on high hills in the
  vicinity as signals to Lander, who may follow the Sheyenne River to
  find our crossing-place.

  July 9. An accurate return was made of the provisions on hand, so as
  to regulate its weekly distribution. Our flour is fast diminishing,
  and the issue was reduced to half a pound per day to each man. This
  state of affairs caused considerable grumbling in camp. We are fast
  approaching the buffalo country, and then shall be expected to do
  with much less. About 2.30 P.M. the main train under Mr. Osgood
  crossed the river, and moved forward to a good camping-place. The
  astronomical, magnetic, and meteorological parties, with the detail
  of three men attending to the coal-pit, and Mr. Evans and myself,
  remained at Camp Guthrie, intending to join them before they moved
  in the morning.

  July 10. After partaking of a cup of coffee at three o'clock, our
  little train, consisting of an ambulance and spring wagon with a
  cart loaded with charcoal, had crossed the Sheyenne by sunrise.
  About seven o'clock we reached the main train, encamped some seven
  miles off. The train was preparing to move, and soon after we came
  up it started; at eight o'clock we followed and passed them. About
  five miles from camp we ascended to the top of a high hill, and for
  a great distance ahead every square mile seemed to have a herd of
  buffalo on it. Their number was variously estimated by the members
  of the party, some as high as half a million. I do not think it is
  any exaggeration to set it down at 200,000. I had heard of the
  myriads of these animals inhabiting these plains, but I could not
  realize the truth of these accounts till to-day, when they surpassed
  anything I could have imagined from the accounts which I had

  The timber bordering on Lake Jessie was distinctly visible ahead,
  and between us and it were countless herds of buffalo, through
  which we were compelled to pass. The train moved on till eleven
  o'clock, when we all halted, drew up in line, and picketed the loose
  animals. Six of the hunters, Boutineau, Menoc, Le Frambois, the two
  Boulieaus, and Rummell, were mounted upon the best horses in the
  command, some of which were specially reserved, and rode off in fine
  style, keeping together till ready to dash in among the herd. The
  immense sea of flesh remained quiet until their approach, and then,
  separating, they rode in among them, selected the fat cows, and,
  riding around until the proper time to do execution, the quick
  succession of shots announced the fact that our supplies of meat
  were fast being added to. In less than an hour a wagon was called
  into requisition to collect the choice pieces of nine buffalo cows.
  While we were resting, several small bands came within firing
  distance of our train. One or two dragoons on foot gave one a chase,
  but the buffalo, of course, distanced them. The most amusing scene
  was the dog Zack, of the dragoon detachment, dashing into a whole
  herd, and following them a considerable distance. Paul Boulieau and
  Rummell were both thrown by their horses stumbling in one of the
  numerous holes with which the prairie abounds. They were
  considerably, though not seriously, hurt.

  We arrived at Lake Jessie at three P.M., the bluff shore on which we
  encamped being sixty-four feet above the level of the lake. The
  water of Lake Jessie is considerably saline in its character; but
  about three quarters of a mile from camp, an excellent spring of
  good, fresh water was found by Henry Boulieau and myself while out
  on a reconnoitring trip.

  Between one and two o'clock at night a herd of buffalo approached
  our camp, and it required all the exertions of the guard, assisted
  by many of the men, to prevent an entire stampede of all our
  animals. As it was, some got loose, though none were lost. The
  buffalo were followed a considerable distance, and some ten or a
  dozen shots were fired before the animals without were entirely
  driven off.

  July 11. Having proceeded about four miles, a small band of buffalo
  started off ahead of us. Le Frambois's horse and four loose mules
  near the head of the column started in pursuit, the horse taking the
  lead. Boutineau, Le Frambois, Menoc, Guy, Lindner, and Paul
  Boulieau, all well mounted, gave chase in hopes of recovering them.
  By this time they had mixed up in the herd, and, though they were
  followed some twelve or fifteen miles, all efforts to secure them
  were unavailing. About a mile farther we encountered a very severe
  slough, the approach to which was marked by a very great curiosity
  in the form of a buffalo trail; at least 100,000 must have crossed
  here by the footprints and marks visible, and I determined on
  crossing the slough at the same point which the instinct of these
  animals had selected.

  July 12. In company with Tinkham and some of the guides, I started
  from camp this morning at five o'clock, designing to be in advance
  of the train some miles, to reconnoitre and pick out a good road,
  our route lying over high hills.

  At about eight o'clock I sent off Mr. Tinkham, accompanied by the
  two Boulieaus, well mounted, with instructions to go southward,
  determining the position of the headwaters of Bald Hillock Creek,
  and thus connecting his work with Mr. Lander's reconnoissance;
  thence westward in a line nearly parallel with our route of to-day,
  making a reconnoissance of the tributaries of the Jacques River
  (James), leaving it to his discretion whether to join our camp
  to-night or the next day. By this we would secure the reconnoissance
  of a belt of country forty miles wide, lying between the Sheyenne
  and Jacques (James) rivers.

  About eleven miles from camp we crossed a deep slough. About a mile
  farther on we crossed a fine little stream which I took to be Beaver
  Lodge Creek. Shortly afterwards Boutineau killed a fine buffalo cow,
  not twenty feet from the compass line. The dispatch and dexterity
  with which these men cut up buffalo is truly astonishing. Before the
  cart came up, the animal was entirely butchered, and had only to be
  thrown into the cart. We moved forward to-day some sixteen miles,
  and camped on the side of a small lake. We had scarcely got into
  camp before we were visited by a very severe storm, accompanied by
  thunder and lightning. Our fires were put out by the rain, and
  during a temporary cessation were built up again; but it soon came
  on with increased violence, and our fires were again washed out.
  About six o'clock two of Mr. Lander's party who left us on the 4th
  arrived in camp, announcing that Mr. Lander and the rest of his men
  were only some three or four miles behind, with considerable
  difficulty bringing in the horses, which were giving out.[3] I
  dispatched two men with led horses to meet them, and about sundown
  they came up. We found great difficulty in keeping up our fires so
  as to get our supper cooked. The rain fell in torrents, our supply
  of wood was limited, and the buffalo chips were so wet as to be
  entirely useless.

  Towards the close of the day's march I became disabled from my
  exertions in endeavoring to keep off a herd of buffalo from the
  train, causing an old wound to break out, which compelled me to ride
  many hundred miles in the ambulance.

  July 13. A very heavy fog this morning delayed our getting off as
  early as expected, and the hope of Tinkham and his small party
  joining us made me less hurried about starting. Sixteen miles from
  camp we struck James River, and crossed over a good ford, from which
  point I sent Mr. Lander down the river to examine it. Noticing that
  the river ran very nearly in the course of our compass, we followed
  it, and again crossing it some five miles above, we encamped. I had
  a large amount of rushes collected, with a view of building as large
  a camp-fire as practicable, in order to give notice to Tinkham of
  our position, he not having returned.

  July 14. The missing party not having arrived, three rounds of the
  howitzer were fired at sunrise, and we started later than usual. It
  was evident that the whole camp was in a great state of anxiety for
  the safety of our comrades. Many believed that they had fallen in
  with Indians, and were deprived of their horses and their lives.
  Taking everything into consideration, I deemed it best to leave a
  party at this point so equipped as to combine great energy and force
  with promptness of movement, so as to be able to overtake the main
  train without difficulty. Accordingly Mr. Lander was left in charge
  of the engineer wagon and the wagon belonging to the mountain
  howitzer, which was made light enough to be moved with ease forty
  miles in a single day. The howitzer was also left with him for the
  purpose of making signals. Mr. Doty, with three voyageurs and three
  men to manage the howitzer, together with the teamsters of the
  ammunition wagon, remained with Mr. Lander, having abundance of
  arms, provisions, animals, etc., to supply any emergency. This party
  was instructed to keep up fires, to fire three rounds with the
  howitzer at noon and at sunset should the party not arrive, and to
  communicate with us if any casualty occurred.

  A party of four brave and thorough woodsmen, whose knowledge of the
  prairie life was derived from experience in many expeditions, and
  who well understood the Indian character, were sent out on the route
  traveled yesterday, and were directed, after traveling some eight or
  ten miles, to leave the road, and, going in different directions, to
  plant signals and scour the country. I felt certain that Mr. Tinkham
  would be found by these men, if found at all.

  The remainder of the train left about seven o'clock, pursuing the
  same course as yesterday. The first ten miles was over a level
  plateau. We encamped about 4.30 o'clock at the bank of a fine lake,
  having made to-day a distance of little over twenty miles. The
  mosquitoes were exceedingly annoying, flying against the sides of
  the tents with a noise like the pattering of rain, while the inside
  was perfectly black with them. Their constant humming drove the men
  out into the open air, and rendered it almost impossible to sleep.

  July 15. At daybreak Broadwell went back to Lander's camp, and I
  dispatched Osgood and Kendall to a high hill to reconnoitre and look
  for a new camp. The guides and hunters were also sent on to the
  Sheyenne to ascertain the distance, and if not too far we would go
  to it. Being very unwell, I laid by all the morning, and the delay
  of the train was employed in shoeing the animals, equalizing loads,
  and arranging them in such a manner as to give about nine hundred
  pounds to each wagon, and so distributed in bulk that a portion of
  each wagon could be appropriated to the conveyance of wood and the
  meat killed each day.

  The men are much interested in the labors of Dr. Suckley, the
  naturalist. It is amusing to see each one making his contribution of
  snakes, reptiles, birds, bugs, etc.

  Near noon Osgood and his party returned, having been to the
  Sheyenne, where they found no wood, poor grass, and swarms of
  mosquitoes. Soon after the guides returned, announcing that they had
  seen a party of Sioux of a thousand lodges, not more than nine miles
  in advance of us. Boutineau's manner was full of fear, and his
  public announcement spread alarm through the whole camp. I at once
  gave orders to make ready, with the intention of visiting their
  camp; and, calling Boutineau to my tent, asked him whether they were
  not the Red River hunting party. He assured me indignantly that "he
  knew half-breeds from Indians, and that they were certainly Sioux."

  I suggested that they might be friendly Sioux, who, being engaged in
  the hunt and hearing of our approach, were coming forward to meet
  us, to receive the usual presents and gratify their curiosity. He
  still insisted that they were hostile Sioux, and saw in their
  presence the explanation of the cause of the absence of the missing
  party. We were, in his opinion, to be surrounded and cut off.

  After dinner, as the alarm was spreading throughout the command, the
  arms were inspected and ammunition distributed, and orders given to
  have the train in readiness to move at once. I sent Boutineau, Le
  Frambois, and Menoc to the top of a high ridge as a lookout, while a
  flag was prepared to be sent forward if necessary. Word soon came
  that the country was alive with Indians, who were fast surrounding
  us; and I sent scouts to hills on the right and left, having the
  lake to protect our rear. Mounting my horse, I rode to the hill in
  front, and saw two horsemen rapidly approaching. Our flag-bearers
  rode forward to meet them, and soon discovered that they were two of
  the Red River hunters, and that their camp was three miles beyond
  the Sheyenne. Having discerned our party, they came to invite us to
  visit them, and expressed their kindly feelings for us. The train,
  which before this was in motion, arranged in a double line, with the
  pack and loose animals between, proceeded two miles, where there was
  better water, and encamped.

  The agreeable disappointment established a fine feeling throughout
  camp; and, half an hour after, Boulieau and Lindner arrived in camp
  with news of Tinkham's safety, which was received with three cheers.
  The men to-day showed a good spirit, and although there was
  naturally some anxiety, they obeyed every order with alacrity. Thus
  ended the apprehensions of the command concerning Indians.

                           RED RIVER HUNTERS.

  July 16. Awaited the coming up of the back parties, and during the
  morning Tinkham arrived and was received with nine cheers, being
  followed soon after by the rest of the rear guard. About two P.M.
  the whole Red River train came in sight, and as they approached,
  fired a succession of volleys of firearms as a salute, which we
  returned with three rounds from the howitzer. The train consisted of
  824 carts, about 1200 animals, and 1300 persons, men, women, and
  children, the whole presenting a very fine appearance.

  They encamped near by, and the close yard which they formed
  presented quite a contrast to the open camp adopted by us. They made
  a circular or square yard of the carts, placed side by side, with
  the hubs adjoining, presenting a barrier impassable either to man or
  beast. The tents or lodges were arranged within at a distance of
  about twenty feet from the carts, and were of a conical shape, built
  of poles covered with skins, with an opening at the top for the
  passage of smoke and for ventilation. They were one hundred and four
  in number, being occupied generally by two families, averaging about
  ten persons to the lodge. Skins were spread over the tops of the
  carts, and underneath many of the train found comfortable
  lodging-places. The animals were allowed to run loose during the day
  to feed, but were driven into the corral at dark. Thirty-six of the
  men were posted as sentinels, remaining on guard all night. We had
  but twelve guards, three reliefs, not more than four men being on
  guard at one time.

  As our camps were only about two hundred yards apart, there was much
  visiting between them. I was struck with the good conduct and
  hospitable kindness of these people. A small band of prairie
  Chippewa Indians, who accompanied this party, visited our camp
  during the evening, and entertained us with one of their national

  I was much pleased with Governor Wilkie, who is the head of the
  expedition. He is a man about sixty years of age, of fine
  appearance and pleasant manners. This party are residents of Pembina
  and its vicinity. When at home they are engaged in agriculture,
  raising wheat, corn, potatoes, and barley. The land yields about
  twenty-five bushels of wheat to the acre, their farms averaging
  about fifteen acres each. They are industrious and frugal in their
  habits, and are mostly of the Romish persuasion, leading a virtuous
  and pious life. They are generally accompanied by their priests, and
  attend strictly to their devotions, having exercises every Sabbath,
  on which day they neither march nor hunt.

  Their municipal government is of a parochial character, being
  divided into five parishes, each one presided over by an officer
  called the captain of the parish. On departing for the hunt, they
  select a man from the whole number, who is styled governor of the
  hunt, who takes charge of the party, regulates its movements, acts
  as referee in all cases where any differences arise between the
  members in regard to game or other matters, and takes command in
  case of difficulty with the Indians.

  In the early part of the year, till the middle of June, these people
  work at agriculture, when they set out on their first hunt, leaving
  some thirty at the settlements in charge of their farms, houses,
  stock, etc. They start out to the southward in search after buffalo,
  taking with them their families, carts, and animals. These carts,
  when loaded, contain about eight hundred pounds, and are used in
  common. There were three hundred and thirty-six men in the present
  train, of whom three hundred were hunters. Each hunt, of which there
  are two every year, continues about two months, the first starting
  in June, the second about the middle of October. Their carts were
  already half full, and they expected to return to their homes in the
  latter part of August. On their first trip the buffalo are hunted
  for the purpose of procuring pemmican, dried meat, tongues, etc.;
  the skins, being useless for robes, are dressed for lodge-skins,
  moccasins, etc. In October the meat is still better and fatter, and
  they procure a like quantity of dried meat, reserving sufficient for
  a year's provisions, which is about one half of the whole amount
  procured; they dispose of the rest at the trading-posts of the
  Hudson Bay Company. The meat which they carry home finds its way,
  through the Red River traders of the Fur Company, to Fort Snelling,
  where it is exchanged for goods, sugar, coffee, etc., at the rate of
  fifteen cents a pound.

  The trade of this country is all in dry-goods, sugar, tea,
  ammunition, etc. Notes are also issued by the Hudson Bay Company,
  which are currency among them. Several of these, of the denomination
  of five shillings, payable at York Factory and bearing the signature
  of Sir George Simpson, were offered in change to various members of
  the expedition on purchasing articles. The skins collected in the
  summer hunt are usually retained by the hunters for their own use,
  while the robes collected in the fall hunt are a staple of trade
  with the Fur Company, and also with the Hudson Bay Company, which
  latter company do a large business in this portion of the country,
  supplying the settlers with most of their clothes, groceries, etc.

  The Red River settlements are made up of a population of
  half-breeds, traders of the Hudson Bay and Fur Companies, discharged
  employees of these companies, and Indians, representatives of every
  nation of Europe,--Scotch, Irish, English, Canadians,--and speaking
  a jargon made up of these dialects, intermingled with Chippewa and
  Sioux, patois French being the prevailing tongue. These settlements,
  started some twenty-five years since, now number, in the vicinity of
  Pembina Mountain, some four thousand people. The men are generally
  much finer looking than the women. On the latter depend all the
  drudgery of camp duties, pitching the tents, attending to animals,
  cooking, etc. The men dress usually in woolens of various colors.
  The coat generally worn, called the Hudson Bay coat, has a capote
  attached to it. The belts are finely knit, of differently colored
  wool or worsted yarn, and are worn after the manner of sashes. Their
  powder-horn and shot-bag, attached to bands finely embroidered with
  beads or worked with porcupine quills, are worn across each
  shoulder, making an X before and behind. Many also have a
  tobacco-pouch strung to their sashes, in which is tobacco mixed with
  kinnickinnick (dried bark of the osier willow scraped fine), a
  fire-steel, punk, and several flints. Add to these paraphernalia a
  gun, and a good idea will be formed of the costume of the Red River
  hunter. The women are industrious, dress in gaudy calicoes, are
  fond of beads and finery, and are remarkably apt at making
  bead-work, moccasins, and sewing.

  We purchased from the train a supply of pemmican, dried meat, sugar,
  and other things, some of the men buying moccasins, whips, and other

  I engaged the services of Alexis Le Bombard, who was in company with
  this encampment, as guide to the Yellowstone. He came from the
  Yellowstone this season, and the impression gathered from my
  interview with him, as well as the representations of others,
  satisfied me that he will be extremely valuable as a guide.

  July 18. Started a few minutes before seven, still following the
  trail of the Red River train. About eight o'clock we crossed a
  branch of the Sheyenne, flowing through a deep valley with an
  extended plateau, bounded on both sides by the high coteau. This
  stream appears to take its rise in a number of small lakes, and the
  branch crossed this morning is slightly brackish. Many of the lakes
  are very salt. These appear to have no outlet, and their saline
  qualities are accounted for by the fact that they are never washed
  out, and consequently retain the salt deposits and incrustations. We
  often notice in this region lakes lying very close to each other, in
  some cases not more than twenty yards apart; one will be so saline
  as to be offensive, while the water of the other will be excellent
  to the taste. We passed to-day a narrow lake, some three miles in
  length, somewhat resembling a canal. It lay at the foot of a high
  hill, called the Butte de Morale. Here occurred an engagement
  between some half-breeds and Sioux, in which one of the former, by
  the name of Morale, was killed; hence its name. The altitude of this
  butte, as determined by barometric measurement, is 281.8 feet above
  the level of the Sheyenne River.

  Our way was strewn with the carcasses of many buffaloes killed by
  the Red River hunting party. At times the air was very much tainted.
  One of our men reported having ridden through a section of land, a
  quarter of a mile square, on which were strewn the remains of some
  three hundred buffaloes. In killing these animals, only the choice
  bits and hides are taken, and the remainder is left as a prey to
  wolves, or to rot on the ground.

  We had wood to-day, for the first time since leaving Lake Jessie,
  our fuel in the mean time consisting of greasewood and buffalo
  chips. The sight of a camp-fire of wood is quite a treat to us. Our
  camp is beautifully located on a range of hills, nearly surrounded
  with salt lakes, called the White Wood Lakes. An excellent spring
  near by furnishes us an abundant supply of cold, fresh water. The
  odometer line measured to-day was twenty and a half miles. That
  pursued by the train was probably two miles longer.

  July 19. Our course lay over a level country. After proceeding ten
  miles we crossed a branch of the Sheyenne River, at this time very
  shallow, but the high banks on each side, together with the grass
  and deposits, gave evidence of its size during the freshets in the
  spring. After traveling sixteen and one half miles, we encamped near
  a small lake in sight of the Maison du Chien, which by bearings and
  calculation Mr. Tinkham estimated to be about twenty-one miles
  distant. We passed on the march several salt-marshes abounding with
  tadpoles, from which the effluvia was very offensive. In some places
  the ground was covered with deposits of salt to the depth of a
  quarter of an inch. I am much pleased with our new guide, Le
  Bombard, who appears to have a very accurate knowledge of the
  country, although his ideas of distance are not found to be very
  reliable, which is generally the case with voyageurs.

  July 20. Fitted out Lander's party, consisting of himself, Le
  Frambois, Guy, and Rummell, to make a reconnoissance of Butte Maison
  du Chien and the Coteau du Missouri, to connect our work with
  Lieutenant Grover's survey, and join us on the Mouse River in four
  days. We moved off about half past six, and after traveling five
  miles reached the first tributary of the Mouse River. The crossing
  occupied nearly three hours, the water being shoulder deep; half the
  wagon-loads were removed and carried across in the india-rubber
  boat. The road was generally very good, passing over a level prairie
  intersected with lakes and sloughs. About twelve miles from camp we
  struck a beautiful ridge, resembling a railroad embankment, which
  lay directly in our compass course; on the top of this the train
  moved for some miles. We passed around the first coulee of the Mouse
  River, and after a march of some seventeen miles (odometer
  measurement, 15.7), encamped on the bank of a small lake.

  July 21. Left camp at six A.M. It commenced raining about nine, and
  lasted an hour or more. About eight miles from camp we saw the
  tracks of Grover's train in a slough, by which we judged that he had
  passed some days previous. Soon after this we crossed one of the
  coulees making into Mouse River. These coulees are very severe on
  the animals, in some places being very steep. We traveled to-day
  sixteen miles. Our camp is located on the top of a ridge, which
  descends into a coulee. We are about one hundred and fifty feet
  above the valley of Mouse River. There is plenty of timber in the
  coulee which we are to cross to-morrow in starting.

  July 22. Left camp about 6.30 o'clock, and found the crossing of the
  coulee, about half a mile to our left. On the other side of the
  coulee we have a fine level plateau ahead. The grand Coteau du
  Missouri was in sight all day. The depth of the first coulee, as
  indicated by the barometer, was eighty-two feet below our camp.
  About four miles out we crossed another severe coulee one hundred
  and eight feet below the level of our camp. The third coulee was a
  depression of fifty-four feet, the prairie level being some
  forty-two feet lower than the level of our last camp.

  While making our usual midday halt we were overtaken by two hunters
  of the Red River train from the vicinity of the Selkirk settlements,
  who were encamped some eight miles distant. They invited me to visit
  them, which I determined upon doing, and, placing the train in
  charge of Dr. Suckley, I gave him directions to move on some eight
  miles, find a good camping place, and await my return.

  July 23. During my absence this morning Dr. Suckley sent Le Bombard
  and Sergeant Lindner ahead some twelve miles to reconnoitre for a
  good road for the train; Messrs. Tinkham and Burr went to the Mouse
  River, and Mr. Moffett, accompanied by Broadwell, went to the Grand

  I sent Guy and Rummell ahead to Dr. Suckley's camp to apprise him of
  our coming. At about four o'clock, accompanied by Governor de L'Orme
  and seven of his principal men, we started towards Dr. Suckley's
  camp. The whole force of the survey, headed by Dr. Suckley,
  Sergeant Lindner bearing an American flag, met us about a mile out
  of camp, and saluted us with a volley from their guns, the mountain
  howitzer being fired three times. A large tent was put up for the
  accommodation of our guests, and Governor de L'Orme was invited to
  share my tent. The guard tent was made use of as a banqueting-room,
  and several of the men were detailed to collect buffalo chips. The
  cooks of the various messes assisted each other, and the meal was
  ready for us about nine o'clock. Tinkham and Burr got in just in
  time to partake of it with us, as also did Moffett and Broadwell.
  Mr. Moffett reported the height of the bluff or Coteau range as
  seven hundred and two feet above the level of Mouse River, and
  distant twenty miles from it; the height of the hill seven miles
  from the camp of to-day is two hundred and fifty-six feet.

  Seated around the camp-fire, we had a very pleasant conference with
  our friends. I was very favorably impressed with Governor de L'Orme,
  and with his opinion in regard to their right to hunt on our
  territory, they being residents of the country north of our boundary
  line. They claim the protection of both governments, and the doubt
  as to the position of the boundary line makes them ignorant as to
  which one they have the most claim upon. During the hunting season
  they carry with them their families and their property, and they
  consider that this territory is open to them, that the right to hunt
  on it belongs to them, and that their children born during this
  transit over our soil possess the heritage of American citizens.
  With but little care, our government could obtain the whole of these
  people as citizens, thus protecting and building up our frontier,
  and having in this vicinity always a controlling check upon the
  Indians. Already is the salutary effect of their presence visible in
  the entire safety, now, with which single white men and small
  parties can go through this country. Their virtuous mode of life,
  their industry and frugality, their adaptation to frontier life, all
  combine to render them a valuable class of people, and well worthy
  the attention of our government. They expressed a desire that I
  should represent these things to the government, and I assured them
  that I would do so with pleasure. Governor de L'Orme, before
  retiring to rest, attended to his devotions, and I have been struck
  with his piety and real goodness, manifested in his conduct and

  July 24. We took a late breakfast this morning, and after parting
  with our guests we got off at nine A.M. We halted for two hours at
  noon, during which time the hunters went out and drove a herd of
  buffalo towards us, and right on the line killed two fine cows. I
  sent Mr. Tinkham and Paul Boulieau out to the Mouse River, which
  they followed some distance, as also the River of the Lakes, joining
  us at camp at eight P.M. We made fifteen miles and a quarter to-day,
  and the grazing is excellent.

  July 25. The express started this morning at six for Fort Union,
  which I think cannot be over one hundred and fifty miles distant. It
  consists of Mr. Osgood, Boutineau, Henry Boulieau, and Gray. They
  are to procure additional wagons or carts at Fort Union, and carry
  letters to Lieutenants Grover and Donelson. Messrs. Tinkham, Lander,
  and Paul Boulieau went to-day to make an examination of the Mouse
  River valley and the River of the Lakes. We had but one coulee to
  cross, and that was shallow, and offered no impediment. We made
  to-day twenty-one miles, and found fine grass and excellent water at
  our camp.

  July 26. We started this morning about six o'clock, and, traveling
  eleven and one half miles, we halted on the bank of a lake. A herd
  of buffalo approached on the south side of this lake to drink, and
  crossed within gunshot on the opposite side. Some of our party fired
  at them, and Le Bombard followed, and killed a fine, fat cow. About
  seven miles farther on I received a letter from Mr. Osgood by the
  hands of an Assiniboine Indian. The express party camped last night
  about ten miles ahead of this place at a large encampment of
  Assiniboine Indians, numbering some one hundred and fifty lodges and
  twelve hundred persons. The Indians built for them a lodge in the
  centre of their camp, and treated them with great hospitality. One
  of them offered to act as Mr. Osgood's express, and he told them
  that on my arrival I would have a talk with them and make them some
  presents. By this note I also learned that Lieutenant Grover had
  passed some eight miles to the east of our line about four days ago.

  July 27. Reaching camp a little after noon, fifteen miles from last
  night's camp, and about a quarter of a mile from that of the
  Assiniboines, numbers of Indians rode out to welcome us. We found
  them to be under the command of the chiefs Blue Thunder and Little
  Thunder, the latter probably thirty-six years of age. As soon as we
  were encamped, they informed me that they had reserved a present of
  skins for me, and were making preparations to have a talk. While
  dinner was being prepared, many seated themselves in squads around
  the tents, smoking with the men. One large pipe served a dozen, and
  the custom adopted is to smoke it a little and pass it to their
  neighbor, and thus go round. It is the first signal of welcome or
  friendship after the hand is offered, and they will have no business
  or other transaction previous to it.

  After dinner, accompanied by Dr. Suckley, Messrs. Stanley, Lander,
  Tinkham, Everett, Evans, Adams, Menoc, with Paul Boulieau, Le
  Bombard, and Le Frambois as interpreters, I went to their camp,
  which was irregularly arranged in a sort of corral, consisting of
  about one hundred and fifty lodges, averaging ten persons to each

  Our approach was hailed by the barking of an immense number of dogs.
  These dogs are a prominent feature in every Indian camp, being used
  for drawing lodges, provisions, and property from place to
  place,--indeed, furnishing the entire transportation of the Indians
  in winter. A sledge drawn by four dogs will carry two hundred pounds
  over the snow with great ease. They appeared also to be abundantly
  supplied with horses, many of which were of good quality. All the
  women and children turned out of the lodges as we passed, curious to
  see us. Frames of poles stood around, upon which skins and meat were
  drying. Yet, in spite of the appearance of plenty, all had a look of
  poverty, judging from the meagreness of clothing and the length of
  time it appeared to have been worn, while all appeared very filthy
  and miserable.

  A very large lodge, about fifty feet in diameter, had been erected
  for our reception in the centre of the inclosure, within which we
  found seated two circles of chiefs, braves, warriors, and others. At
  the back of the lodge was arranged a long seat for us, consisting of
  a pile of skins, which were afterwards presented to me.

  There were about eighty persons present, including our own party.
  During the preparation for the ceremonial reception, there was a
  general smoking among all present, during which an old man, one of
  the dignitaries of the tribe, prepared the pipe of reception, only
  smoked on great occasions. The stem was decked with ribbons of
  various colors, and when it stood obliquely, feathers would drop
  down like the wing of a bird. At the lower end of this pipe, where
  it enters the bowl, was a duck's head. The pipe-stem was supported
  against a small stick stuck in the ground and crotched at the end.
  The pipe was turned towards the sun, the invariable practice in such
  cases. Some sweet grass, platted, was then set on fire and used in
  the manner of incense, both to the bowl and the stem. After lighting
  the pipe with the scented grass, it was planted near by in a small
  hole and burned.

  During the smoking the bearer of the pipe shook hands with each
  member of our party, handing the pipe after this ceremony was over.
  Then a bowl of water was handed around by a second individual, who
  also shook hands with each one of us before we drank of the contents
  of the bowl. Next came the eating of soup, made of buffalo and
  typsina, a species of turnip, which was rich and greasy but quite
  palatable. Soon after this ceremony, which completed the reception,
  an old man advanced to me and shook hands, after which he shook the
  hand of each member of our company. His appearance was much in his
  favor, carrying himself with great dignity. With considerable
  fluency, and at times with many gestures, he addressed me
  substantially as follows:

    "My father, you see us now as we are. We are poor. We have but few
    blankets and little clothing. The Great Father of Life, who made
    us and gave us these lands to live upon, made the buffalo and
    other game to afford us subsistence; their meat is our only food;
    with their skins we clothe ourselves and build our lodges. They
    are our only means of life, food, fuel, and clothing. But I fear
    we shall soon be deprived of these; starvation and cold will
    destroy us. The buffalo are fast disappearing, and before many
    years will be destroyed. As the white man advances, our means of
    life will grow less. We will soon have to seek protection in our
    poverty from the Great Father, who can so well supply it.

    "My father, we hear that a great road is to be made through our
    country. We do not know what this is for, we do not understand it,
    but we think it will drive away the buffalo. We like to see our
    white brothers; we like to give them the hand of friendship; but
    we know that, as they come, our game goes back. What are we to

  After shaking hands with all of us he sat down, and after a short
  interval of silence the chief, through his interpreter, signified a
  desire to hear me reply.

  I explained that the road to be made from the Mississippi to the
  Pacific would not injure the Indians, nor deprive them of comforts;
  that whites would settle along the line, and, though they would
  drive off the buffalo, they would also supply other articles in
  place of them. They would receive from the President implements of
  agriculture, and learn to till the soil, so as to obtain food with
  less labor than now.

  I told them that I would go through the lands of the Blackfeet and
  other Indians beyond the Yellowstone, carrying the friendly messages
  of the Great Father, and insisting on peace among all, to secure the
  safety of the whites. My remarks seemed to make a very favorable
  impression, and were received with every mark of respect. Their
  approbation was shown, as each paragraph was interpreted, by the
  ejaculation "How!" a common word, answering every purpose of
  salutation, approval, or concurrence.

  The present they gave me consisted of thirty-two dressed skins and
  two robes.

  We spent about half an hour in going around among the various
  lodges, and then returned to our camp, being followed by the whole
  encampment. During the time we were engaged in inspecting their
  camp, they became aware of the profession of Dr. Suckley, and there
  was scarcely a lodge that did not contain some patient for his
  medical attention. The doctor vaccinated some eight or nine, and
  through Le Frambois explained its object. It was near dusk when the
  party arrived at our camp and were arranged to receive their
  presents. They were seated around in the form of three sides of a
  square, the open side being opposite the places occupied by our
  party, the chief, and higher order of the Indians. At each of the
  four corners was posted a brave or chief. These men never receive a
  gift, considering it a degradation to receive anything but what
  their own prowess acquires for them. Their hearts are so good and
  strong that they scorn to take anything, and self-denial and the
  power to resist temptation to luxury, or easily acquired property,
  is a boast with them. On these men in time of peace, when
  difficulties occur among themselves, the tribe relies, and in time
  of war they are their leaders to the scene of action. To two old men
  of the tribe was assigned the duty of making the distribution, and
  the presents were placed in the centre of the area. During the whole
  distribution the Indians sat in perfect silence. All seemed
  satisfied with the articles they received, and not a grumble escaped
  one of them. After this was over they returned to their camp, the
  chiefs and braves remaining. At half past eight we had a collation
  of coffee and bread in our mess tent, and remained till a late hour,
  smoking and conversing. Soon after this our friends left, myself and
  the interpreters escorting them outside the sentinels. I was much
  pleased with these Indians, and they seemed to be very favorably
  inclined towards the whites, and sincere in their professions of
  friendship. Nothing to-day of the slightest value has been missed,
  as far as I can learn.

  July 28. It was very late this morning before we started, being
  occupied in fitting out a party, consisting of Mr. Lander, Dr.
  Suckley, Mr. Burr, and Corporal Rummell, with instructions to strike
  the Pierced Rock on Mouse River, and make a careful examination for
  coal and iron. They were to explore the White Earth River, examine
  the Coteau du Missouri, and, reaching the 49th parallel, make a
  detour to the northwest, and arrive at the Yellowstone in some three
  or four days.

Four days later, on August 1, after a march of eighty miles along the
Mouse River and the River of the Lakes, they reached Fort Union. As the
broad Missouri and its beautiful bluff banks dotted with timber came
into view, the whole party gave three cheers. Lieutenants Donelson and
Grover, who had already arrived at the fort, and Mr. Denig, the trader
in charge, came out to meet them. The governor mounted his horse, for
the first time since the false alarm about the Sioux, and received them
with a salute of a volley of small-arms, which was answered by thirteen
guns from the fort. News was brought of the death of sapper White, of
Donelson's party, by the accidental discharge of a gun in his own hands.
Camp was soon pitched, and the whole party assembled at the governor's

  "I congratulated them on the zealous performance of their duty, gave
  them a cordial invitation to go on, and whatever their
  determination, even should they leave us here, promised them an
  honorable discharge. All seemed desirous of going on, and not one
  availed himself of the opportunity to leave the expedition.

  "By the great vigilance exercised on the march, the animals had been
  constantly improving, gaining flesh and becoming cured of sores, so
  that, though we started from the Mississippi with forty disabled
  animals, all but one were serviceable on our arrival at Fort Union.

  "The whole distance from St. Paul to Fort Union is by odometer
  measurement 715.5 miles, and we had accomplished it in 55 days, and,
  excluding halts from time to time, in 48 traveling days. The rate of
  traveling was therefore about 15 miles a day, most of the way over a
  country almost unknown, without roads, and with such an imperfect
  knowledge of the distances to be made between camps as to cramp our
  movements much more than if the route had been measured and
  itineraries constructed for our use."


  [3] Lander, it seems, was an inveterate horse-killer, and almost
      always returned from his trips with his animal badly used up.
      Buffalo chips are the dried dung frequently used on the plains
      as a substitute for fuel where there is no wood.

                             CHAPTER XVIII

                       FORT UNION TO FORT BENTON

  "Fort Union is situated on the eastern bank of the Missouri, about
  two miles and three quarters above the mouth of the Yellowstone. It
  was built by the American Fur Company in 1830, and has from that
  time been the principal depot of that company. It is framed of
  pickets of hewn timber, about sixteen feet high, and has two
  bastions, one at the northwest and one at the southeast corner. The
  main or front entrance is on the side opposite the river. The fort
  is 250 feet square. The main buildings, comprising the residence of
  the superintendent and the store, are on the front or eastern side.
  They are two stories high, and built of wood. The shops and
  dwellings of the blacksmith, the gunsmith, the carpenter, the
  shoemaker, the tailor, and others are of adobe or of wood, and
  occupy the other sides. These mechanics are mostly French
  half-breeds, and have half-breed or Indian wives and many children.
  There is a grassy plain around the fort, extending to the base of
  the rising ground, which is a full mile distant on the eastern side.
  The Assiniboines, the Gros Ventres, the Crows, and other migratory
  bands of Indians trade at this fort, exchanging the skins of the
  buffalo, deer, and other animals for such commodities as they
  require. Mr. Culbertson, who has occupied the position of chief
  agent of the company during the past twenty years, has under his
  supervision not only Fort Union, but Forts Pierre and Benton also.
  He is a man of great energy, intelligence, and fidelity, and
  possesses the entire confidence of the Indians. His wife, a
  full-blooded Indian of the Blood band of the Blackfoot tribe, is
  also deservedly held in high estimation. Though she appears to have
  made little or no progress in our language, she has acquired the
  manners and adapted herself to the usages of the white race with
  singular facility. Their children have been sent to the States to
  be educated in our best schools."

Fort Union was long since abandoned.

Agreeably to instructions, Mr. Culbertson, immediately on reaching Fort
Union, dispatched expresses to the chiefs of the Blackfoot nation with
presents of tobacco and goods, and Governor Stevens's message:--

  "I desire to meet you on the way, and assure you of the fatherly
  care and beneficence of the government. I wish to meet the Blackfeet
  in a general council at Fort Benton. Do not make war upon your
  neighbors. Remain at peace, and the Great Father will see that you
  do not lose by it."

The Blackfeet at this time numbered 12,000, divided into four great
bands,--Blackfeet proper, Bloods, Piegans, and Gros Ventres. Pressing
down from the north over a century before, they drove back the Crows,
Shoshones, and Flatheads, and took possession of all the country about
the headwaters of the Missouri from above the boundary line to the
Yellowstone, and from the Rocky Mountains eastward to Fort Union. True
Ishmaelites, they waged perpetual war upon all other tribes, and
cherished special and inveterate hostility against the whites ever since
one of their number was slain by Captain Lewis, of Lewis and Clark's
expedition, in 1807. They suffered, indeed, two rival trading-posts on
the upper Missouri, three hundred miles above Fort Union, namely, Fort
Benton and Fort Campbell, for it was indispensable for them to exchange
their peltries for arms, ammunition, blankets, and goods; but the
traders never dared admit them within the forts.

War was their sole business, the only means by which the young braves
acquired influence, gained wealth, and found favor in the eyes of the
maidens. Their war parties invariably started out on foot, each warrior
trailing a long lariat, and bearing a bundle of moccasins with rawhide
soles. It was a point of honor never to return unless mounted, and war
parties were sometimes absent over a year before they succeeded in
capturing their steeds. Penetrating thus on foot from three hundred to a
thousand miles into the country of their foes, they would patiently lurk
in the mountains, or some hidden resort, until an opportunity offered,
when, running off the horses, and perhaps lifting a few scalps, they
would retreat home at full speed, mounted and triumphant. Thus they
raided the Crows and Assiniboines on the east and south, the Shoshones,
Snakes, and Flatheads on the west, and even beset the emigrant trail of
the Platte and South Pass, eight hundred miles distant; and many a
lonely trapper and emigrant had fallen victim to their cunning and
ferocity. Yet the chiefs and elders plainly saw that this incessant
warfare was slowly but surely cutting off their warriors in detail, and
threatened the ultimate extinction of the tribe, and were not unwilling
to relinquish it for a more peaceful mode of life, but ever found it
impossible to restrain the young braves.

With these powerful and intractable savages Governor Stevens undertook
to make a lasting peace, not only between them and the whites, but also
between them and their hereditary enemies, the other Indian tribes. He
early realized that the establishment of peace and the cessation of
Blackfoot war parties were indispensable to the exploration and
settlement of the country, and the passage of emigrants through it, and
characteristically set to work to effect it, without waiting for orders.
He took every opportunity to meet and confer with the chiefs and parties
of the Blackfeet, urging them to make peace, and proposing a great
council for the next year, at which they and the whites and the other
Indian tribes were to meet together and unite in bonds of lasting
friendship. From Fort Benton the governor reported his views and action
to the government, and in the strongest manner recommended the holding
of the council. He sent Mr. Culbertson expressly to carry his report to
Washington, and impress his policy upon the government. It is remarkable
how Governor Stevens, although eminently loyal and subordinate to
authority, always impressed his own views upon the government, and
caused them to be adopted, instead of waiting for instructions to be
given him. With his sagacious foresight and ardent patriotism, he was
quick to discern needed measures, which always appeared to him as duties
to be undertaken, and moreover he had such courage and force of
character that he never hesitated to take the responsibility of any
action that he deemed necessary for the public welfare.

Thus far the expedition had met with most gratifying success. Lieutenant
Donelson made a satisfactory examination of the Missouri to a point one
hundred and twenty-five miles above Fort Union, and an extended
reconnoissance of the country north of that point. The main party
surveyed two routes westward from Pike Lake, and ascertained the
topographical features on both flanks for a wide scope, while Lander,
during the stay at Fort Union, examined the Mouse River country
northward to the 49th parallel. Dr. Evans was at work geologizing in the
Bad Lands on the other side of the Missouri. The force was now hardened
to field work and in fine spirits, and the animals were toughened,
thoroughly broken, and in fine condition.

  "From the 2d to the 9th of August we were closely occupied in
  preparing for the continuation of the survey. The men were engaged
  in making Pembina carts, and additional transportation was purchased
  of the fur companies. Our experience thus far had shown how well
  adapted ox-trains were to transportation, and accordingly two
  additional teams were added at Fort Union. In all these
  arrangements both the fur companies zealously coöperated, placing at
  my disposal not only all the animals they could spare, but guides,
  hunters, and their information in regard to the country. We were
  much pleased and benefited by the good offices of the Indian women
  at the two posts, the wives of the officers, who fitted us out with
  a good assortment of moccasins, gloves, and other guards against the
  severity of the weather in the fall and winter.

  "The voyageurs belonging to the fur companies' posts thought it a
  good practical joke to spread bugbear stories about the immense
  snows to be expected early in the season, and many of the men got to
  believe that they would find snow knee-deep before they reached Fort
  Benton, and that it would be twenty feet deep in the passes of the
  Rocky Mountains in October, and the men became exceedingly alarmed.
  Fortunately I had with me some books of travel in that country,
  particularly De Smet's 'Oregon Missions,' and had carefully
  investigated the climates of the country west of the Rocky
  Mountains. Mr. Culbertson and the officers of the companies also
  gave me reliable information in reference to the lightness and
  lateness of the snow this side of the mountains, and therefore
  little difficulty was found in satisfying the men that they had been
  trifled with in this matter."

Advancing the expedition westward again in two parties under Lieutenants
Grover and Donelson on the 9th of August, the governor, to quote from
his final report,

  started on the 10th from Fort Union at about twelve o'clock,
  followed by a war party of the Blackfeet, consisting of twenty Blood
  Indians and forty Piegan Indians, who arrived at Fort Union on the
  8th on a visit to my party, and with whom I had had the most
  friendly interchange of civilities. I desired their company for two
  or three days in order to impress them fully with the beneficent
  policy of our government towards the Indians, and with the peaceable
  character of my own duties and objects, intending then to dispatch
  them on their way to their several tribes, and to make generally
  known to the Blackfoot nation our objects in passing through their
  country. I camped that evening with Lieutenant Grover on the Little
  Muddy River, when, towards night, a serious difficulty came near
  happening between them and our party. Mr. Culbertson and myself,
  however, succeeded in arranging the matter, and we spent a most
  interesting evening with the principal men in conversing about the
  Blackfeet and the Indian policy of our government. On this occasion
  I presented the subject of a general council to be held at Fort
  Benton the ensuing year, to make peace between the Blackfoot Indians
  and the hunting tribes west of the mountains, and to preserve peace
  with the white children of the Great Father. On this as on previous
  occasions, Mrs. Culbertson, a native of the Blood tribe of the
  Blackfeet, was unwearied and efficient in her good offices.

  The next day we reached the Big Muddy River. The crossing was at a
  difficult ford, and we were all highly gratified at the zeal and
  efficiency of one of the Blackfeet, who pulled as steadily at the
  rope as any man of my party.

  Before leaving the Big Muddy I had a long conversation with the
  White Man's Horse, the chief of the war party of Blackfeet. He had
  frequently visited the Bitter Root valley, and stolen horses from
  the Flatheads. He observed, "I take the first Flathead horse I come
  to; it is sure to be a good one." He and one of his men had just
  returned from the Flathead country, and they gave a very favorable
  description of the route, assuring me, pointing to my wagons and
  Pembina carts, that there would be no difficulty in taking them
  through the mountains. The country between Fort Union and this point
  is broken and rolling, with occasional formations of the _mauvaise
  terre_ and outcroppings of sandstone. On the Big Muddy there is
  quite a large and open valley of a very good soil and excellent
  grass, with a very heavy growth of cottonwood near its junction with
  the Missouri.

  On starting from the Big Muddy on the 14th of August, the command
  was in most excellent condition and spirits. Two of the mule teams
  were strengthened by an additional pair of mules, and the wagons
  were somewhat overloaded; for I determined to take nearly all my
  provisions along, so there should be no possibility of suffering for
  want of food, even though the depot of provisions in the Bitter Root
  valley had not been established by Lieutenant Saxton. We made eleven
  and a half miles, and encamped at a most beautiful point in the
  midst of luxuriant grass. The day was very sultry, some rain fell,
  and one ox died from the heat.

  August 15. Excellent road all day. Crossed Poplar River and encamped
  on the west side, distance eighteen miles. I now felt the importance
  of renovating my health in order to prepare for the mountain work.
  It had been my custom thus far to continue at work till midnight,
  and to be up with the first in the morning.

  August, 16. The road to-day was over the level river-bottom of the
  Missouri. Timber in sight all day, the route running through timber
  for about a mile. Reached a camp where there was excellent water,
  grass, and abundance of timber at five o'clock, making twenty three
  and two thirds miles. I issued this evening an order directing every
  person in the expedition, so far as it was consistent with his
  duties, to walk a portion of the way each day; for in approaching
  the mountains my effort was that the animals should be increasing
  rather than diminishing in flesh, and our experience had taught us
  that, by care in all these particulars, long marches could be made
  and the animals improved each day.

  August 17. Made fifteen miles to-day, and camped on the Missouri at
  two o'clock. The road was over the level river-bottom. Much side
  work has been done since leaving the Big Muddy by Lieutenant Grover,
  Mr. Lander, and Mr. Tinkham, and the meteorological observations
  have been as numerous as they were on the route up to Fort Union. We
  organized to-day a day guard for the care of the animals, the object
  being to keep them in the best grazing without picketing as long as

  August 18. Passed through to-day villages of prairie dogs. Crossed
  the Porcupine River about five miles from camp. Encamped on Milk
  River, sixteen miles being the day's march. Here we determined to
  remain a day to prepare charcoal for the blacksmith, and to make
  observations for the geographical position of its mouth, which is
  considered a very important point in the survey. Our camp was
  surrounded by a large grove of cottonwood, and near it was a
  delightful spring of water. The valley of Milk River is wide and
  open, with a heavy growth of cottonwood as far as the eye can reach,
  which is also to be found along the adjacent shores of the Missouri.

  At this camp, which I named Camp Atchison, in honor of the acting
  Vice-President, I reduced to writing, and issued in an order, the
  instructions for the government of the expedition and the
  distribution of duties, under which we had been moving by my verbal
  instructions from the Big Muddy River. I availed myself of this
  opportunity to express my sense of the services of the several
  members of my party. On the 19th there was some little alarm in camp
  in consequence of false reports about the vicinity of a war party of

  We left Camp Atchison on the 20th, and after moving fifteen miles
  reached a very pleasant camp, with excellent grass, wood, and water.
  In the evening there was a very heavy thunder-storm. My order was
  read to the gentlemen of the party this evening, and was the subject
  of general congratulation, and not a little mischievous by-play or

  August 21. This morning was clear, cool, pleasant, and delightful
  for moving. Engineer parties, both yesterday and to-day, have been
  actively at work getting in the country bordering the route of the
  main party. I dispatched a small party across Milk River to Panther
  Hill to observe the country. Game was very abundant; plenty of
  buffalo, antelope, and beaver. A heavy rain and thunder-storm
  occurred about noon. Wild horses were reported as having been seen
  to-day by the reconnoitring parties. A fine eagle was shot and
  brought in to Dr. Buckley, our naturalist. To my exceeding regret, I
  found that there were points arising regarding the relations of army
  officers and civilians, and I concluded that the only way to
  overcome all difficulty was to pursue a firm, steady course,
  according to the terms of my written order. The distance to-day was
  seventeen and two thirds miles.

  August 22. We crossed Milk River five miles from camp, and took a
  cut off to the south. We made our camp, after moving nineteen and a
  half miles, a quarter of a mile from the river, in the vicinity of a
  very heavy growth of cottonwood, there being a high bluff between us
  and the river. As usual, the evening was spent in considering the
  question of the proposed Blackfoot council, and in examining the
  work of the parties, and preparing for the work ahead. We passed
  through large herds of buffalo to-day.

  August 23. We left camp late in consequence of the oxen straying,
  and about a mile from camp crossed Milk River. The order to walk
  some miles each day has been carefully observed, and the effect was
  to be seen upon our animals. On reaching our camping-ground, we
  found a deputation of Gros Ventres, consisting of seven of their
  chiefs, five of whom were accompanied by their wives. Among these
  was the Eagle Chief and his son, White Eagle, and the Little
  Soldier. The wife of the son of Eagle Chief was a very pretty woman.
  Her name was the White Antelope. They welcomed us in the most
  cordial manner, and were dignified in their deportment, which was
  marked by the strictest propriety. We were invited to visit their
  camp, about thirty miles farther on. After smoking and talking for
  some time, lunch was served up about dusk, consisting of coffee,
  rice, etc., after which they made us presents of horses, giving one
  to myself and two to Mr. Culbertson, to whom they seemed to be much
  attached. There was a large tent put up for their accommodation, and
  supper was provided about ten o'clock.

  As my health had now been rapidly improving for some days, I
  determined to push ahead as rapidly as possible with two advance
  parties in order to examine the approaches to the mountains.
  Accordingly I organized two parties, under Lieutenant Grover and Mr.
  Lander, for the above purpose. To Mr. Lander I assigned four and to
  Lieutenant Grover five members of the party. Each was provided with
  reserve horses, and with fifty days' rations of flour, sugar, and
  coffee. These arrangements delayed me, so that on the following

  August 24, I got off somewhat late, and was obliged to go into camp
  seven and a half miles this side of the Indian camp. Our Indian
  friends were again with us to-night, and we treated them with bread
  and coffee.

  I learned to-day that a feud has lately broken out between the Gros
  Ventres and the Blackfoot tribes. A Gros Ventre was married to a
  Blackfoot woman. Traveling along, he was attacked, killed, and a
  fleet horse of his stolen. His wife was with him at the time, and
  the assassin proposed that she should marry him, go northward, and
  the Gros Ventres would never learn of the death of one of their
  tribe. She assented. He gave her the slow animal, upon which he had
  ridden himself, mounting the fast horse, which had been taken from
  her murdered husband. They soon arrived at water; she went off to
  get some, and on her return pressed him to go, as the water was very
  good. He did so, leaving his horse with the squaw. After he had gone
  some two or three hundred yards she mounted the fast steed, and,
  pursuing a contrary direction, joined the tribe of her deceased
  husband, and gave such information as would lead to the revenge of
  his untimely death. I find these Indians determined to revenge this
  outrage, and they are now fitting out war parties for the purpose of
  cutting off straggling Blackfeet, and stealing their horses.

  August 25. Took an early breakfast, making to-day twenty-two and a
  half miles, when we reached the camp of Gros Ventres on the bank of
  Milk River, at half past three o'clock. This camp consisted of three
  hundred lodges, at least one thousand horses, and over two thousand
  Indians. We were soon waited on by others of the tribe, dressed in
  their finest costumes, among whom I would name the Cloudy Robe, who
  presented me with a horse; the Eagle, Big Top, the Discoverer or
  Ball in the Nose, the Man who goes on Horseback, the White Tail
  Deer, the Running Fisher, the Two Elks, the Wolf Talker, the Bear's
  Coat, White Bear, the Clay Pipestem Carrier, the Old Horse, the
  Sitting Squaw, the Little White Calf. Accompanied by the gentlemen
  of the party, I visited their camp and the lodges of the principal
  chiefs, at all of which we were treated with the utmost kindness and
  hospitality. They first received us in a large lodge prepared for
  the occasion, some twenty-five feet in diameter, within which some
  sixty were seated. We here smoked, drank, and ate, talked some time,
  and then visited the lodges. I was much struck with the prominent
  characteristics of this tribe. Polygamy is universal; several of the
  chiefs above named having four, five, and even six wives, one of
  whom is the especial favorite and mistress of the household. The
  husband will appropriate any of them to purposes of prostitution
  when he can profit by so doing. They are filthy in the extreme in
  their habits, many of the women actually eating the vermin out of
  each other's heads, and out of the robes in which they sleep. Being
  improvident, it is always feast or famine. Returned to camp about
  eight o'clock, and fixed the next day for a council.

  August 26. The Pembina train arrived shortly after breakfast, and
  the main train about noon. The necessary preparations were made for
  the feast, and about one o'clock the Indians were seated around in
  squads of twenty or thirty to the number of two hundred. Before the
  feast the Indians seemed to be in high glee, passing the time in
  singing their songs, accompanying them with rattles made of the
  hoofs of antelopes strung very fancifully upon a piece of wood about
  a foot long, with which they marked time.

  Shortly after the feast was over we had a council, at which the
  chiefs and many of the principal men were present. Mr. Culbertson
  acted as interpreter. When I first commenced talking with them, I
  found they were deeply enraged against the Blackfeet for the cause
  alluded to in the journal of the 24th; that they were determined to
  wage war against that tribe. I determined to put an end to this, and
  at once made a proposition to them to settle with that tribe on
  their delivery of the offender, or making a suitable reparation. I
  then explained the folly of going to war; how much they would suffer
  from it and how little was to be gained; that it was the desire of
  the Great Father that all his children should be at peace with each
  other; that while war parties of both tribes were scouring the
  country, the road was dangerous to the whites who should go there;
  and it was my duty to demand that they should not so act as to
  endanger the life of a single man of my own party, or any white man
  who should hereafter travel through this region.

  I then proceeded to explain the objects of the expedition in passing
  through their country. I wished to make a treaty of peace between
  the Gros Ventres, Blackfeet, Piegans, and Bloods, and between these
  and the Indians west of the mountains who resort to the plains of
  the Missouri to hunt the buffalo. I then proceeded to explain the
  advantages which would arise to the Indians from entering into such
  a treaty, and receiving from the government directly what they now
  get from other Indians. They would then obtain goods, provisions,
  etc., in the way of annuities; could keep their horses, instead of
  being obliged to go with their horses and purchase of other Indians
  at an increased price, what the liberality and benevolence of the
  Great Father, in his fostering care over his children, would at once
  freely and abundantly supply them. "Think well of the matter.
  Suspend for the present your difficulty with the Blackfoot Indians.
  Let some of your chiefs come with me to Fort Benton, and we will try
  to settle the difficulty between the tribes. If it cannot be settled
  there, let it be referred to a commissioner sent here by the Great
  Father, who will settle all your differences at a council of the
  tribes to be held next year, where the grievances of both parties
  will be fully heard. But I must insist on the safe conduct of every
  white man through this country."

  They then held a consultation with their braves and principal men.
  In about an hour we met again. They assented to every proposition
  made. Some of their chiefs consented to accompany me to Fort Benton,
  and the whole tribe announced their willingness to wait until some
  time next year, and refer their difficulties to such a council. We
  continued the talk for some time, after which the Indians were
  invited to come over to the camp of the main party and witness the
  firing of the howitzer, which seemed to give them much pleasure.
  About five o'clock we made a distribution of the presents and
  provisions designed for this tribe, consisting of blankets, shirts,
  calico, knives, beads, paint, powder, shot, tobacco, hard bread,
  etc. They received them with the greatest satisfaction; no grumbling
  or envy was manifested. They continued about our camp, loitering,
  smoking, and talking, all the afternoon and evening.

  August 27. Busy this morning in the purchase and exchange of horses
  with the Indians. We secured several very good horses in place of
  six very indifferent mules. Several members of the expedition bought
  horses for clothing, guns, etc., their private property, thus
  relieving for the use of the expedition their present riding
  animals. By the distribution of presents and provisions, and
  consumption at camp, we lightened our loads some two thousand
  pounds, apart from the issue to the detached parties, and have
  received twelve serviceable animals in place of unserviceable ones,
  besides four new ones purchased by members of the party, two
  presented to me, and two purchased by Mr. Culbertson.

  August 28. I made to-day twenty-four and a half miles with the
  advance parties. I was very much pleased with the good offices of
  the Running Fisher, who brought into camp two of our missing horses.
  By my invitation he will accompany us to Fort Benton.

  August 29. The road to-day was not as good as usual: the
  river-bottom was much dried up, with deep cracks in the soil, and
  the numerous holes made by the prairie dogs were even, at times, a
  worse obstacle to our progress. Made our halt about twelve miles
  from camp, where we dined. By an accident, the wind being high, the
  prairie took fire, which extended over considerable surface. Our
  dining-place was on a branch of Milk River, flowing from Cypress
  Mountain. Parallel to this, and some three miles farther on, crossed
  a second branch, issuing also from the Cypress Mountain. By a bend,
  the two branches nearly meet, forming what is called the junction.

  Mr. Culbertson estimates the number of the Gros Ventres at about
  three hundred lodges, ten persons to the lodge, of which the
  proportion of men to women is one to two, the number of men being
  about six hundred. On his arrival in the country twenty-three years
  ago, they numbered four hundred lodges. In 1838-39, by a junction of
  the Crees and Assiniboines, some sixty lodges were entirely
  destroyed at Julius Mountain. A few years subsequently another
  attack was made at Cypress Mountain, in which sixty more lodges were
  exterminated, three men only escaping on this occasion, one of whom
  was the Sitting Squaw, father of the one already mentioned. Soon
  after Mr. Culbertson's arrival in the country, he and four or five
  other whites, with a party of Blackfoot Indians, were attacked by a
  war party of Assiniboines, numbering some seven or eight hundred.
  The field was contested all day, night only ending the conflict. In
  the morning the Assiniboines did not resume the attack, and
  abandoned many of their dead on the field. A considerable number of
  the Blackfeet were also killed, but none of the whites.

  August 30. Yesterday we were in sight of the Bear's Paw, quite a
  broad and rugged mountain upheaval, stretching from Milk River to
  the Missouri. I sent off Lieutenant Grover, Mr. Lander, and Mr.
  Stanley, to make an examination of the Bear's Paw, so far as it
  could be done by ascending one of its highest peaks, estimated to be
  about seventeen or eighteen miles distant. I moved on myself with
  the remainder of the party, having determined that I would no longer
  ride in the ambulance, but would make the effort to push forward
  either on horseback or on foot. After moving seven or eight miles I
  suffered so exceedingly from riding that I walked some five or six
  miles with great difficulty, until, coming to a good camp on our
  second crossing of Milk River, and the point where we were to leave
  it on our way to Fort Benton, I halted the party and rested for two
  hours. This gave me strength enough to mount my horse and ride to
  camp, eighteen miles farther on, on a tributary of the Box Elder
  Creek. We crossed several branches of this creek, which is a
  tributary of Milk River, that has its source very near the Missouri
  and is on our general line to Fort Benton. The ascent is very
  gradual from Milk River to our camp; the soil generally is very
  good. The view this afternoon was delightful. Bear's Paw itself
  presents a rugged, grotesque appearance, and it requires no great
  stretch of the imagination to see in it the paw of a grizzly bear,
  ready to spring upon the plain.

  The Three Buttes, or the Sweet Grass Hills, some sixty miles to the
  northward of us, are a favorite resort of the Blackfeet, who say
  that Providence created these hills for the tribe to ascend and look
  out for buffalo. Southward we have a view of mountains on the other
  side of the Missouri. Our distance to-day was twenty-nine and a half

  August 31. We made an early start this morning, and in twelve miles
  came to the upper waters of the Box Elder Creek, which is a clear,
  limpid stream, affording an unfailing supply of water. We then
  pushed on five miles over a fine rolling prairie to a coulee in the
  hills, where there was a spring, and here we halted to dine. This
  spring is a great resort for buffalo. Considerable water flows from
  it, but the ordure of the buffalo was in such great quantities about
  it that it infected the water, and moreover they had trampled all
  the ground, and had stirred up the water of the spring with their
  feet. We however thought it would be well enough for us to make
  coffee, and we managed to get up a very respectable meal. After
  stopping three hours, we continued on over a very good road. There
  was a shower of rain and hail about four P.M. At five the Missouri
  was in sight, the Belt Mountains looming up beyond it at a distance
  of not less than fifty miles. After a march of thirty-three miles
  from our morning camp, we came to a place called the Springs; here
  the water was dried up, and there was no wood, but excellent grass.
  We pitched our camp in a coulee surrounded by high hills, and went
  to work to dig wells for water, in hopes to procure some for our
  animals. We succeeded in getting only a small quantity for each.
  There was a very high wind and a heavy thunder-shower until near
  midnight. Our Indian friends assisted us very much in the night in
  looking out for our animals. Grover, Stanley, and Lander have not
  come in, which gives me a good deal of apprehension. The Running
  Fisher told me a story to-day illustrating one of the phases of
  Indian life. The Bear's Paw, as one would infer from its wild and
  stern appearance, has been a scene of Indian fight and massacre.
  Seven years ago a fight occurred in the Bear's Paw between their
  tribe, allied with the Blackfeet, and the Crows, in which he killed
  one of the latter. The Crows occupied an impregnable post, from
  whence they could shoot down all who approached within twenty paces.
  A Blackfoot was shot in the head through a fissure in the rocks. The
  Gros Ventres then determined to surround and starve them out; at
  night the Crows got off with the loss of one man, killed by Running

  September 1. This morning we made an early start, and, crossing over
  a high, rolling prairie, in eleven miles and three quarters came to
  the Marias River. The descent to this river on the trail is somewhat
  steep, the prairie plateau being over two hundred feet above the
  river-bottom. The river itself here presents a beautiful view. It is
  a clear, limpid stream, flowing over a pebbly and sandy bed, the
  bottoms lined with cottonwood of heavy growth, with thickets of the
  service and other berries. The Belt Mountains are very distinctly
  visible in the distance, as is also Citadel Hill, called so because
  its base rests upon the Missouri, and it rises perpendicularly like
  a bastion some two hundred feet high. Near by is Square Hill, so
  called from its supposed resemblance to that geometrical figure.

  At our noon halt, or near by, was the scene of a sanguinary conflict
  between the Gros Ventres and the Crows in 1849, in which the latter
  were all killed. Several of those traveling in our company figured
  in the action. A party of Crows to the number of twenty-two were
  concealed in the hollow just in advance of where we dined, for the
  purpose of stealing horses from the Gros Ventres' camp, consisting
  of two hundred lodges. Being discovered, the Gros Ventres surrounded
  them, and threw up dust in the air, which was carried by a strong
  wind in the faces of the Crows, blinding them, when the Gros Ventres
  rushed in upon them, and killed the whole number without losing a
  man. None were left to carry home the news.

  We were off about noon; passed over the prairie, and descended in
  the valley of the Teton, where we met Mr. Clarke, in charge of Fort
  Benton, who came out to meet us. We arrived at Fort Benton at 3.30
  o'clock, where we were received with a salute of fifteen guns.

  Fort Benton stands on the eastern bank of the Missouri, near the
  Great Bend, and three hundred and seventy-seven miles by the trail
  taken by me above Fort Union. The river is here perfectly
  transparent at most seasons of the year. The Teton River empties
  into the Missouri six miles below Fort Benton, the Marias twelve
  miles below, and the Milk two hundred miles below. The falls of the
  Missouri are seventy miles above this fort. The muddy character of
  the Missouri has its commencement at the mouth of Milk River, which
  takes its name from the whitish muddiness of its waters. The ascent
  from the wide, grassy plain in which the fort is located to the high
  table-land is somewhat abrupt, the only passage on a level with the
  plain being close to the river on the south and very narrow. Fort
  Benton is smaller than Fort Union. Its front is made of wood, and
  the other sides of adobe, or unburned brick. It usually contains
  about a dozen men, and the families of several of them. The
  Blackfoot Indians are the principal traders here. It is the custom
  of the several bands of this tribe to locate in sheltered and
  otherwise eligible places in the vicinity of wood, water, and grass
  in the early winter, where they remain as inert as possible until
  the melting of the snow. At such times the half-breeds of the fort
  visit them with goods upon horses and mules, and exchange their
  merchandise for the skins and furs captured by the Indians.

  Fort Campbell is situated on the same plateau with Fort Benton,
  about half a mile above it, and is built in very much the same way
  as the latter place.

  I was agreeably relieved by the missing gentlemen coming into the
  fort September 3. They were in fine spirits, although they had eaten
  but little food since they left me on Milk River, had traveled a
  very long distance, partly on foot, and had been a good deal annoyed
  at the loss of so much time.

                              CHAPTER XIX


For several days Governor Stevens was busily engaged in examining
voyageurs and Indians in regard to the mountain passes and the general
character of the country. Additional horses were procured, and
arrangements made for sending out parties to explore in advance and both
north and south of the route. Lieutenant Donelson with the main train
reached the fort on the 6th. Dr. Evans arrived on the 5th, after an
extended trip through the Bad Lands, where he made a large collection of
geological specimens. The same day Lieutenant Grover was sent forward
with a small party to the Bitter Root valley, crossing the main divide
of the Rocky Mountains, for the purpose of ascertaining if Lieutenant
Saxton had established his depot of provisions at that point. Thence he
was directed to forward an express to Captain McClellan and return to
Fort Benton.

Lieutenant John Mullan, with a party of six men, was sent southward to
the Muscle Shell River, not only to examine the country, but also to
convey to a band of Flathead Indians supposed to be in that region "a
message of peace and goodwill, to express my desire to make a permanent
peace between them and the Blackfeet, and to build up anew their
beautiful St. Mary's village." Thence he was to cross the mountains by a
more southerly pass and rejoin the main party in the Bitter Root valley.

The governor decided to send Lieutenant Donelson ahead with a party of
twenty-five men to examine the approaches to Cadotte's Pass, the main
train to follow more slowly in charge of Mr. Osgood, and to dispatch
Lander to examine a pass at the head of the Marias River, considerably
north of Cadotte's. "I gave Mr. Lander," says the governor, "authority,
with certain exceptions, to select his animals from my whole train,
deeming it important that he should be exceedingly well fitted out, as
he would probably have a long distance to make before he joined the main
party in the valley of Clark's Fork." The governor was exceedingly
desirous of taking his wagons across the mountains as the most striking
demonstration of the practicability of the passes.

The following from a letter of George W. Stevens, of September 10, shows
the high spirits and fine condition of the party:--

  "We have reached this point with our full number of scalp-locks, and
  now are preparing to cross the mountains. Up to this point we have
  proceeded with wonderful success, and have done what no American
  expedition has done before us. We have not felt the slightest
  hardship, but the journey of over one thousand miles has been made
  with as much ease and comfort as we could possibly have experienced
  in traveling at home fully equipped. Our train, of forty wagons and
  carts, over two hundred animals, and more than one hundred men, has
  safely arrived. Not a man has died (except one who accidentally shot
  himself), nor has there been a single case of serious illness. Not
  more than a dozen or fifteen animals have been lost, and as a
  general thing they are now in as good condition as when we left the
  Mississippi. We are now eighty miles from the Rocky Mountains. On
  Monday we leave with a train of twelve wagons, with which we hope to
  make a comfortable crossing of the mountains in twenty days.
  Yesterday the fort was the scene of the greatest confusion, growing
  out of the preparations making to fit out four 'war parties,' as we
  term them. The first, under Mr. Lander, explores the Marias Pass,
  the most northern and nearly in the latitude of the boundary line.
  The second, under Lieutenant Mullan, goes to the Muscle Shell. The
  third war party is under the direction of Lieutenant Donelson, and
  is to survey the approaches to Cadotte's Pass, the one which will be
  taken by the main train. A fourth war party is the major's own to a
  camp of Piegan Indians. Lieutenant Grover is already in the
  mountains. The major's health is excellent, and though the labor is
  enormous, he is the only man who could have carried the expedition
  through in so glorious a manner. If he succeeds in getting the
  wagons through, he will have opened a good emigrant road from the
  Mississippi to the Pacific, and you may be sure the attempt will be
  most vigorously made. If fortune continues with us, within two
  months we shall reach Puget Sound, that looked-for garden-spot. We
  have met the Assiniboine and Gros Ventre bands of Indians, and by
  both were hospitably received. Upon the Sheyenne River we first came
  upon buffalo, and from that point until a week's journey back we
  have met them in the greatest abundance. Buffalo meat has,
  therefore, been our principal article of food, and we ask nothing

A very serious difficulty of another kind now confronted Governor
Stevens. He found that the funds allotted to his exploration would not
suffice to carry on the work so far and so thoroughly as he deemed
necessary, and he was forced to the alternative of cutting it short or
incurring a deficiency. He decided to continue the work, notwithstanding
the great pecuniary risk to himself, and the risk, too, of incurring the
serious displeasure of the government:--

  "I very frankly and explicitly stated that to continue the survey,
  and to carry out the instructions with regard to the work to be
  accomplished, it was absolutely necessary to incur a deficiency:
  believing that, if the facts as they existed were known to Congress
  and the department, their instructions would be for me to continue
  the exploration, I determined to incur the deficiency and make the
  survey. My instructions required me to examine into the question of
  the snows on the route, into the freshets of the streams, and the
  period of time they were locked up by the ice, to do which it was
  indispensable that there should be winter posts established at Fort
  Benton, and in the Bitter Root valley; and it was desirable, in
  connection with these posts, to have such arrangements made, and
  such facilities afforded, as would enable the gentlemen in charge of
  them to continue the explorations of the passes and the adjacent

In a letter to Professor Bache the governor gives the reasons for his
incurring the deficiency, which were, briefly stated, the delay in the
start, owing to the young and unbroken animals furnished by the
quartermaster's department, notwithstanding that the governor had sent
an agent especially to St. Louis to insure the securing of seasoned and
broken animals, and to the unusually late and rainy season; the distance
across the continent, which turned out to be greater than the best
estimates previously obtainable; the fact that in consequence of the
great number of Indians on the route, and the warlike and treacherous
character of some of them, particularly the Sioux and Blackfeet, it was
necessary to make the expedition strong, especially in guides,
interpreters, and hunters; and that to carry out the instructions and
objects of the exploration it was indispensable to make extended
examinations, and to leave parties to continue the work throughout the
winter, in order to determine the questions of snow and climate.

It is perfectly apparent that the $40,000 allotted to the Northern
route, even though eked out by the details and supplies furnished by the
War Department, were altogether inadequate to the task intrusted to
Governor Stevens. His management was marked by strict economy and good
judgment; he was simply not given sufficient funds for the work. And it
is most creditable alike to his judgment and moral courage that he
shouldered the responsibility of the deficiency, and made his complete
and exhaustive exploration.

Having completed all these arrangements, made his reports to the War and
Indian departments, and started off the several detached parties, the
governor decided to visit personally the main camp of the Blackfeet,
near the Cypress Mountain, about one hundred miles north of Fort Benton,
and just above the 49th parallel, in order to confer with their chiefs
in regard to the contemplated council at Fort Benton next year, and
secure guides for the survey of the Marias Pass. He desired, also,
personally to examine the approaches to the several passes of the
mountains from the boundary southward, expecting to overtake the main
party before it reached the Bitter Root valley. Says he in the final

  I gave my instructions to Lieutenant Donelson on the 9th instant,
  inspected the train, found everything in good order, the men
  cheerful, satisfied, and confident as to going on, and the means of
  transportation ample, and set off towards night, having been
  preceded a few hours by Mr. Lander, on the way to Cypress Mountain.
  I encamped that night on the Teton, fourteen miles from Fort Benton.
  Besides the party of Mr. Lander, I was accompanied by Mr.
  Culbertson, special agent; Mr. Stanley, artist; Augustus Hammell,
  interpreter; and three voyageurs.

  September 10. We had been joined last evening by a considerable
  party of the Blackfeet, who accompanied us to-day, the principal men
  being the Little Dog, the Three Bears, and the Wolf that Climbs.
  Started before seven, and after traveling three hours reached a fine
  spring, with excellent grass, at a celebrated landmark known by the
  name of the Rotten Belly Rocks. It is a formation of sandstone, and
  has the characteristic of _Les Mauvaises Terres_. Columns with
  capitals, resemblances to the human figure, etc., etc., abound.
  Beneath, in the coulee, passes the broad Indian trail leading to the
  Piegan camp. Here was killed Rotten Belly, the Crow chief, in an
  encounter between one hundred of his braves and eleven well-armed
  Gros Ventres of the prairie. This celebrated chief, urged on by his
  people, had previously beleaguered Fort McKenzie. He captured all
  the animals of the fort,--thirty-five horses. The place was in
  charge of Mr. Culbertson, and there were but nineteen men to defend
  it. For a month this little force baffled all the attempts of the
  Crows to get possession of the fort. Being, however, in a starving
  condition, and it being apparent that it could not hold out much
  longer, resort was had to stratagem. All the squaws, twenty-nine in
  number, were dressed in men's clothes, and with arms in their hands
  were distributed around the fort in sight of the Crows, who, thus
  deceived in reference to the force defending the place, became
  disheartened, drew off, and separated. Rotten Belly, with a portion,
  mortified at his failure, declared that he would go north and seek
  death in battle. On reaching the rocks, and seeing the Gros Ventres,
  he said: "Here I will die to-day; you have brought me to this!" And,
  rushing upon his enemies, he killed two, and then received his death
  wound. Before his death he advised his people to be the friends of
  the whites, saying it was their only chance to escape defeat and
  utter ruin.

  Kept on through the afternoon, passing over a rolling country, and
  reached the Marias about half past four o'clock, where we camped.
  This stream at our crossing was about fifty yards wide, one foot
  deep, and of somewhat rapid current, and the river valley was about
  a mile wide. There was plenty of cottonwood, and we had a most
  excellent camp. Spent the evening in conversing with the Indians who
  accompanied us.

  September 11. We were off about seven o'clock, and after traveling
  until near noon halted at a spring, where we procured a small supply
  of water. Continuing on without unsaddling, in less than an hour I
  was overtaken by Baptiste Champagne with an express from Lieutenant
  Donelson, inclosing a brief report from Lieutenant Grover, to the
  effect that he met Lieutenant Saxton near the dividing ridge, and
  that they were returning together to Fort Benton. Lieutenant Grover
  intimated in his brief letter that Lieutenant Saxton reported the
  route could not be traversed by wagons. This changed the aspect of
  affairs, and I determined to send Mr. Stanley to the Piegan camp
  with the interpreter Hammell, and to return immediately with Mr.
  Culbertson to Fort Benton. I determined, also, to defer the
  examination of the Marias Pass to another season. There was not that
  harmony in Mr. Lander's party which I deemed indispensable to
  making the examination which I had intrusted to him. Accordingly I
  ordered him to return with me. Stanley continued on to the Piegan
  camp, and I started back on my way to Fort Benton. It made a long
  march for us, for to get a good camp it was necessary to reach the
  Marias. Our Indian guide made his way pretty directly to the camp:
  one hour and a half we traveled in the dark. The descent to the
  river was steep and difficult. We succeeded in getting into a good
  camp about eight o'clock. Before starting on my return, I dispatched
  an express to Lieutenant Donelson to push on with his advanced
  party, but to keep the main train till my arrival.

  September 12. Started early, and, pushing rapidly, reached the fort
  by three o'clock.

  Lieutenants Saxton and Grover also reached Fort Benton the same day.
  The former successfully led the western subsidiary party by way of
  Pend Oreille Lake to the Bitter Root valley, from which point
  Lieutenant R. Macfeely, with twenty-six men and sixty animals, no
  longer needed, returned to the Dalles, crossing the Bitter Roots by
  the southern Nez Perces trail, a more direct but vastly more
  difficult route than that of the lake. Lieutenant Richard Arnold,
  with his brother, Mr. Daniel Lyman Arnold, and four men, remained
  with the supplies at Fort Owen in the valley; while Lieutenant
  Saxton, with seventeen men, pushed on across the mountains, and was
  met by Lieutenant Grover at the summit on September 8; and, as the
  governor remarks, "He felt rejoiced that the plan of our operations
  had been successful and the object of the expedition accomplished,
  as a party from the Atlantic and one from the Pacific, each in
  search of the other, had met by appointment, after traversing
  thousands of miles of unknown country, at the foot of the dividing
  ridge between the oceans."

The same evening Mr. Tinkham arrived, after an extensive and successful
trip of exploration up the Milk River to the Three Buttes, across
country to Marias River, and thence to Fort Benton.

In consequence of Lieutenant Saxton's positive representation that it
was impracticable to take the wagons across the mountains, Governor
Stevens reluctantly decided to leave them at Fort Benton, a decision he
afterwards regretted, for after traversing the route he was satisfied
that he could have taken them at least across the main range to the
Bitter Root valley without difficulty. The whole train was now outfitted
with pack animals, and was pushed forward on the 16th under Lieutenant
Donelson. Lieutenant Saxton, with all but three of the dragoon
detachment and some discharged men, and accompanied by Mr. Culbertson,
making a party of twenty-eight all told, was sent down the Missouri by
keelboat with instructions to examine the river, especially as to the
navigability for steamboats of its upper waters, disband his party at
Fort Leavenworth or St. Louis, thence proceed to Washington, and make a
full report, in which he was to urge the necessity of holding the
proposed Blackfoot council, and of continuing the surveys of the
mountain section of the route. The governor also instructed him to
advise with Professor Bache in relation to the continuation of the
survey, and to providing for the deficiency, necessarily incurred, in
the next deficiency bill; giving him letters to the professor, and to
Judge Stephen A. Douglas, Hannibal Hamlin, Dr. Gwin, H.M. Rice, then
delegate from Minnesota, and other prominent senators and members of
Congress. Mr. Culbertson carried the governor's reports to the Indian
Department, and was charged also to urge upon that department the
importance of the council.

Mr. Doty, with three men, was stationed at Fort Benton for the winter to
make meteorological observations, and such examinations of the country
as he could, and more especially to collect information about, and take
a census of, the Blackfeet, and improve every opportunity to impress
upon them the benefits of the proposed council and peace with the
western Indians. As already stated, Lieutenant Grover was directed to
examine the Missouri for two hundred and fifty miles below the fort,
and the country between it and Milk River, and afterwards to cross the
mountains in midwinter with dog-sledges, and study the depth of snow and
winter climate.

Lander, with a detached party, was directed to examine along the base of
the mountains from the Marias Pass to Cadotte's Pass. As already stated,
the governor had countermanded the survey of the former by Lander in
consequence of the lack of harmony in that engineer's party. After
leaving Fort Union, Lander developed a fractious, almost insubordinate
disposition. He chafed at the presence and authority of the army
officers. At Fort Benton Governor Stevens had to curb his insubordinate
spirit with some severity, and even told him that he would shoot him
down like a dog if he disobeyed his orders. Lander, realizing that
Governor Stevens would enforce discipline at whatever cost, yielded,
professing his readiness to obey instructions, but thereafter he did so
according to the letter, not the spirit. Yet the governor, both before
and after this occurrence, gave him the best opportunities for
distinction, intrusting to him the most important side explorations, and
in the reports gave him full and generous commendation for all he
accomplished, passing lightly over his shortcomings. A bold, energetic,
high-strung man, Lander could ill brook any authority. He afterwards
conducted an independent government survey with credit, and but for his
early death would undoubtedly have achieved distinction as a soldier.
This appears to have been the only instance of lack of due
subordination, or harmony, shown during the whole expedition, and
certainly some of the governor's orders had been rigorous enough to
cause restiveness, as, for instance, requiring the scientific gentlemen
to break their own mules, to stand guard, and to walk a part of each
day's march. Remarks the governor:--

  "I was exceedingly gratified at this time by the spirit of the men.
  Several men, who I was afraid had not strength to make the trip, and
  whom I had ordered to accompany Lieutenant Saxton down the Missouri,
  were so anxious to go on that they brought me a certificate from the
  surgeon, Dr. Suckley, stating that in his opinion they were strong
  enough for the journey, and accordingly I allowed them to go on. We
  had now been together some three months, and there was great
  confidence between the several members of the exploration."

On the 20th Mr. Stanley returned from his trip to the Blackfoot camp,
having traveled on horseback three hundred and twenty miles in eleven
days. A thousand Indians accompanied him back as far as Milk River,
where the main body remained to hunt, while thirty of their chiefs, with
their families, came with him to Fort Benton to hold council with the
great white chief, who remained for that purpose.

  "On the 21st we held our talk with the Blackfeet. The chiefs and
  warriors were all richly caparisoned. Their dresses of softly
  prepared skins of deer, elk, or antelope were elegantly ornamented
  with bead-work. These are made by their women, and some must have
  occupied many months in making. The other articles of their costume
  were leggings made of buffalo skins, and moccasins, also
  embroidered, and a breech-cloth of blue cloth. Their arms were the
  Northwest guns, and bows and arrows. On all solemn occasions, when I
  met the Indians on my route, they were arrayed with the utmost care.
  My duties in the field did not allow the same attention on my part,
  and the Indians sometimes complained of this, saying, 'We dress up
  to receive you, and why do you not wear the dress of a chief?'

  "The governor addressed them in the same strain as the Gros Ventres:
  'Your Great Father has sent me to bear a message to you and all his
  other children. It is that he wishes you to live at peace with each
  other and the whites. He desires that you should be under his
  protection, and partake equally with the Crows and Assiniboines of
  his bounty. Live in peace with all the neighboring tribes, protect
  all the whites passing through your country, and the Great Father
  will be your fast friend.'"

Low Horn, the principal Piegan chief, replied favorably in behalf of the
Indians, but spoke of the difficulty of restraining their young men, who
were wild, and ambitious in their turn to be braves and chiefs. They
wanted by some act to win the favor of their young women, and bring
scalps and horses to show their prowess. To this the governor

  "'Why is it that you have two or three women to one man? Is it not
  because your young men go out on war parties, and thus the flower of
  your tribe is cut down? And you will go on diminishing every year
  until your tribes are extinct. Is it not better that your young men
  should have wives and children, and that your numbers should
  increase? Won't your women prefer husbands to scalps and horses? The
  Gros Ventres desire to meet you in council, and have the
  difficulties between you arranged. Will you meet them in council?'

  "While in the council, Low Horn, the principal chief and speaker,
  made all his replies without rising from his seat, and in a quiet,
  conversational tone. After the council he assembled his braves, and
  resumed the lofty bearing of a chief. He addressed them with great
  fervor and eloquence, commanded them henceforth to cease sending out
  war parties, and threatened them with severe punishment if they
  disobeyed. It will not be uninteresting here to state that Low Horn,
  the quiet spokesman of the council and the trumpet-toned chief in
  the presence of his men, crossed the Missouri in 1855 with his whole
  band, moved up the Judith, and camped on the Muscle Shell,--the
  first man who extended the hand of welcome and friendship to the
  western Indians as they crossed the mountains on their way to the
  council, showing most conclusively that faith can be put in Indians;
  for it must be remembered that two years intervened between my
  conference with the Indians at Fort Benton in 1853 and their
  reassembling in 1855 at the council appointed at that time."

[Illustration: LOW HORN
               _Piegan Chief_]

                               CHAPTER XX


  September 22. This morning we bade adieu to Fort Benton, and
  separated from the portions of the expedition who were assigned to
  duty east of the mountains. Before sunrise we saw Lieutenant Saxton
  off in his keelboat, drawing eighteen inches of water, accompanied
  by Mr. Culbertson, who was directed by me to report to the
  department at Washington, and to urge the importance of the
  Blackfoot council. Lieutenant Grover, on a smaller craft, commenced
  his minute examination of the Missouri. Mr. Doty, who had won very
  much upon me by his intelligence, his fidelity, his promptitude, and
  energy of character, parted from me with feelings of hope and pride
  at the idea that now a field was opening to him where he could be
  useful to his country, and make a reputation for himself.

  In order to make a long march this day, the evening before I
  dispatched my train to a point well up on the Teton, some twelve
  miles from Fort Benton; and there Mr. Osgood and Mr. Stanley, who
  had remained behind with me at Fort Benton, and myself, breakfasted
  with the rest of our party. Dr. Suckley and Messrs. Evans and
  Kendall, who had assisted me in my correspondence, were the
  additional members of my party.

  The whole party moved off at nine o'clock, continuing for some
  distance up the valley of the Teton, when we ascended a hill to the
  prairie, and in twenty-one miles reached a coulee, where there were
  springs of water sufficient for our animals. Large bands of
  antelopes were seen on the road. We struck the Prairie Lake at five
  P.M. Our guide, the voyageur Baptiste Champagne, took us to the
  nearest point of Sun River, hoping to get in before dark, but we did
  not reach camp till some time after. The view at almost any point of
  the plateau between the Teton and Sun rivers is exceedingly
  picturesque and suggestive. The various minor upheavals and swales
  of ground, which here and there dot the surface of the country,
  have connected with them some story of Indian war, wrong, or
  suffering. This whole country was once occupied by the Snakes, and
  in later times by some of the tribes of the Flathead nation. It
  belongs now to the Blackfeet by conquest.

  September 23. Moved up the valley of the Sun River, having made an
  early start this morning. The Sun has a wide, open valley, grazing
  exceedingly good and soil excellent. We continued up in the
  direction of the pass between the Crown Butte and the Rattlers,
  prominent landmarks west of the river, and visible at a great
  distance. This is a favorite resort of deer, antelope, and bighorn.
  They were present to-day in very large numbers. Continuing on, we
  came in view of the Bird Tail Rock, and immediately to the west, in
  a line near it, is another landmark, known as the Piegan's Tear.
  After making forty miles we found a camp a little off our route, in
  a most delightful valley, a spring of water gushing out near by, and
  the remains of an old camp of the Blackfeet at hand, furnishing us
  with fuel already prepared to our hands.

  September 24. Started as usual very early this morning, and in four
  miles came to Beaver Creek, a very beautiful stream of water. The
  stream is now full of beaver, and is much obstructed by their dams.
  The country is somewhat more broken to-day than it was yesterday;
  timber comes in view on the tops of the mountains, and the scenery
  becomes more grand with each mile as we proceed. Three miles beyond
  Beaver Creek, a high peak, called the Goose's Neck, comes in view to
  the south of us; at the southern foot of which equally as good a
  road is found, though some two days longer, as the one now being
  traveled by us. It is a branch of the present trail, and is usually
  pursued by the Flatheads on their way to buffalo. That is called the
  Flathead and our own the Blackfoot trail.

  We now crossed several mountain streams in the course of a few
  miles, and in sixteen miles we struck the Dearborn River. At noon we
  moved forward to the dividing ridge, which was reached at four
  o'clock. To this point our road from near the Dearborn lay over
  sideling hills and through timber. As we ascended the divide, a
  severe pelting hail and rain storm, accompanied with high wind,
  thunder, and lightning, suddenly came upon us, and did not abate
  until we had reached the summit. The wind blew very violently, and
  the mist resulting from the storm prevented our getting a very clear
  view of the country before us. It was with great gratification that
  we now left the plains of the Missouri to enter upon the country
  watered by the Columbia; and it was the more especially gratifying
  to me as, looking to my future duties in the Territory, I felt that
  I could welcome to my future home and the scene of my future labors
  the gentlemen of the party, which I did very cordially and heartily.
  The scenery throughout the day's march, up to the divide, has been
  picturesque in the extreme; and the latter portion of it, from the
  entrance proper to the pass, our road passed between hills on every
  side covered with timber, on the sides of which we were constantly
  traveling; while many feet below are to be seen the small upper
  tributaries of the Missouri, flowing from their source in a valley
  that is very wide for so small a channel, and lined with verdure and
  the foliage in yellow leaf. All this made a combination full of
  interest to the eye of one who could appreciate the beauties of

  The ascent from the eastern base by the Indian trail is somewhat
  steep, though in 1855 I gained the summit by a large, wide, open
  ravine north of the Indian trail by a very gradual ascent, and
  without much increase of distance; I was a good deal surprised to
  find how small an obstacle this divide was to the movement of a
  wagon-train. Had we gone on with our wagons, there would not have
  been the slightest interruption, up to the entrance of the pass, to
  making the usual journeys each day.

  We were twenty minutes simply descending on the western side, which
  was somewhat more steep than the eastern. Continuing on, we followed
  the valley of the Blackfoot River some ten miles, and camped in good
  grass, with excellent water and abundance of wood. Shortly after
  getting into camp it commenced raining, and continued steadily all
  night, the weather being raw and cold.

Immediately on crossing the divide, on the summit of the Rocky
Mountains, Governor Stevens issued his proclamation, declaring the civil
territorial government extended and inaugurated over the new Territory
of Washington. And then, as related in the narrative, he heartily
welcomed the members of the party to his new home.

It was on the summit of Cadotte's Pass that this dramatic and
interesting scene occurred. As originally outlined, the main divide of
the Rocky Mountains formed the eastern boundary of Washington, but
subsequently the mountain section was joined to Idaho and Montana.

  September 25. Raining hard this morning. The animals having strayed
  some distance, we were detained until eight A.M. The first fourteen
  miles was through an open, wide, and beautiful prairie, after which
  much of our way was through wood, where fallen timber offered
  serious impediment to our rapid progress. At one o'clock Stanley and
  myself, having gone rapidly ahead, had a big fire built to receive
  our party as they came up. Here we lunched. By three o'clock the
  clouds were breaking away, and the rain had ceased. Crossed several
  hills to-day, traveling on the sides of some of them. Just before we
  came out on the prairie on which we found Lieutenant Donelson and
  the main train encamped, we were three hundred feet above the level
  of the river. On the sides of the hill below us was growing the
  mountain pine; in the valley beneath, right at the base of this
  hill, was the clear, rapid stream; beyond was the foliage of the
  trees growing in the bottom. The tops looked like a rich, green
  carpet; further on were wide prairies, all bounded by a high ridge
  of beautiful hills, altogether forming a scene of surpassing beauty.
  At five P.M. we reached Lieutenant Donelson's camp, and found we had
  traveled one hundred and forty-four miles since leaving Fort Benton.

  September 26. The gentlemen not required by my rapid trip to the
  westward, namely, Dr. Suckley, Mr. Evans, and Mr. Kendall, now
  joined the main party, and we pushed on over the Blackfoot prairie
  (called, in Lewis and Clark's narrative, the Prairie of the Knobs),
  and after a march of thirty-odd miles came to a beautiful camp, near
  what is known in the country as the cañon. To show the condition of
  the animals of the expedition, I will observe that as I passed by
  the mules of the train (for I remained somewhat late in camp this
  morning to confer with Lieutenant Donelson, the whole party being
  several miles on the march before I started), I observed that their
  rate of travel on a fast walk was from four to four and a half miles
  per hour, and the advance of the train moved thirty miles that day,
  getting into camp early, the animals being apparently not fatigued.
  We had hardly made up our camp-fire, when seeing a black bear and
  two cubs near by, we felt sure that we should have bear-meat for
  supper, but although all the voyageurs were on their track, they
  made their escape.

  September 27. We started about seven o'clock, and soon entered the
  cañon, not, properly speaking, a cañon, for throughout its extent,
  until you reach the debouch of Hell Gate, there is no special
  difficulty on the trail, nor would there be excessive work to open a
  good wagon-road. But a good many sharp spurs come down close to the
  river, throwing the trail well back, or involving a crossing of the
  stream to avail one's self of the prairies invariably found opposite
  each of these spurs. Much of the country was of a very excellent
  description, abounding in timber, well watered, and with soil of an
  excellent quality. Emerging from the cañon, we came into a wide,
  open valley, commencing half a mile before reaching the mouth of the
  Blackfoot, continuing down the valley of the Hell Gate until we
  enter the Hell Gate Ronde, a large, extensive tract of many miles in
  circuit, and where the Hell Gate joins its waters to the Bitter
  Root. Crossing the Bitter Root at a good ford, we continued up its
  valley and reached a most excellent camp on the west side of the
  Bitter Root, some twenty miles from Fort Owen.[4]

  September 28. Keeping up the west bank of the Bitter Root River we
  crossed two streams, one being the Traveler's Rest Creek of Lewis
  and Clark, and, passing through a grove of pine timber, in twelve
  and one half miles crossed the Bitter Root River, just before
  reaching which we met some Indians from Fort Owen. Lieutenant
  Arnold, whom we met after crossing the river, on his way to
  Victor's camp, returned with us. We reached Fort Owen[5] about noon,
  where we met the other gentlemen of Lieutenant Arnold's party. I
  found Mr. Lander in camp near Fort Owen, and learned that he arrived
  the day before yesterday.

  Fort Owen is situated on the Scattering Creek of Lewis and Clark. It
  was a matter of the greatest gratification, with their narrative in
  hand, to pass through this valley and realize the fidelity and
  graphic character of their descriptions. Lieutenant Arnold had been
  jerking beef against our arrival, and making all arrangements to
  enable us without delay to push on westward. I examined very
  carefully into the condition of the train left by Lieutenant Saxton,
  and of the provisions brought to this point, and had every reason to
  congratulate myself for having assigned to him this undertaking. We
  found there nearly two thousand rations, but the animals were very
  few of them serviceable, yet from their appearance it was obvious
  that none of them would continue unserviceable for any considerable
  time, and I believed they would be entirely equal to any service
  which Lieutenant Mullan's duties might require of them.

  September 29-October 3. During these days we were all occupied in
  making arrangements for the movement of the parties westward, and to
  establish Lieutenant Mullan's winter post. Lieutenant Donelson
  arrived on the 29th with the main party, and Lieutenant Mullan on
  the 30th with a delegation of chiefs from the Flathead nation.

It will not be attempted here to give any extended account of the
explorations made by the detached parties, which is very fully done in
the final report by Governor Stevens. No less than nine passes across
the main chain, covering the range from the 49th parallel to the
Yellowstone, and four passes across the Bitter Root Range, were
examined. The most northerly of these, the Marias Pass, is now traversed
by the Great Northern Railroad, and one of the more southerly ones, the
Mullan Pass, situated some fifty miles south of Cadotte's Pass, is
crossed by the Northern Pacific Railroad.

Mr. Lander ran a line from the Marias River via the Teton, Sun, and
Dearborn rivers to Lewis and Clark's Pass, being the one crossed by
Captain Lewis on his return trip, and situated twelve miles north of
Cadotte's Pass, and made an examination of the pass. After traveling
some distance down the valley of the Blackfoot, he left it, and went
across country to the Hell Gate River, and moved up the valley of this
stream, mistaking it for the Bitter Root. Finally, realizing his
mistake, he turned from it, and, crossing over a number of divides and
streams, he followed an Indian trail which led him to Fort Owen. In
consequence of this eccentric route, and his animals having been much
pushed, they came in exceedingly jaded, although he started with the
best train of the whole party. He made no observations bearing upon the
railroad line except for seven miles of the pass, a short distance
thence down the Blackfoot valley, and a small portion of the Hell Gate

Lieutenant Mullan's trip to the Muscle Shell was a very extended one,
four hundred and fifteen miles in length. He returned by the pass which
now bears his name, accompanied by a delegation of the Flathead Indians.

Mr. Tinkham, after examining the approaches to Cadotte's Pass from the
Sun River, on a more northern route than that taken by the main party,
had left it at the camp of the 26th on the Blackfoot to explore a route
westward to the Jocko and Clark's Fork, which it was expected might
prove a cut-off, and had not yet rejoined the main party.

On September 30 and October 1 Governor Stevens had conferences with the
chiefs of the Flatheads, and broached to them his great idea of a
Blackfoot peace council. They were very doubtful at first, having too
recent and bitter experience of Blackfoot depredations. What should they
do, they asked, in case the Blackfeet came near their camp at night? In
reply the governor advised them not to attack unless it was evident they
intended to do mischief. Still they must not remain quiet and see their
men killed or horses stolen. "I would leave Lieutenant Mullan with ten
or fifteen men to protect you from the Blackfeet, but they have promised
not to disturb you, and I believe they mean to abide by it," etc. After
considering the matter for a day among themselves, the Indians promised
to attend the council.

The governor decided to establish a post in the Bitter Root valley for
the winter, under the charge of Lieutenant Mullan, in order to determine
the winter regimen of the mountains, the depth and duration of snow, the
climate, etc. Thirteen men were left with Lieutenant Mullan, and a large
band of animals and ample supplies, and he was instructed to make
careful meteorological observations during the winter, to continue the
exploration of the mountain section, extending it to Fort Hall on the
south, and as far as Flathead Lake or Clark's Fork on the north, and to
keep a watchful and protective eye over the Flathead Indians.

The governor directed Lieutenant Donelson to proceed with the main party
by way of Clark's Fork and Pend Oreille Lake, and assigned Lander to
duty with him for side examinations, while the governor himself took the
more direct but rugged C[oe]ur d'Alene route over the Bitter Roots. To
Dr. Suckley was intrusted the adventurous duty of descending the Bitter
Root River, Clark's Fork, Pend Oreille Lake, and the Columbia River by
canoe to the Dalles, then the frontier settlement. Lieutenant Arnold was
to proceed from Pend Oreille Lake, separating from the main party at
that point, in a direct westerly course to Colville, and thence to
explore the plains of the great bend of the Columbia, east of that

Mr. Tinkham, who came in a few days later, was directed to explore the
Marias Pass from the west side, and, crossing the mountains by it, to
proceed to Fort Benton, confer with and take letters of instruction to
Lieutenant Grover and Mr. Doty, and return to the Bitter Root valley by
one of the southerly passes. Thence he was to cross the Bitter Root
Mountains by one of the Nez Perces trails, and proceed to Walla Walla
valley and Olympia.

Thus by the establishment of the two stations at Fort Benton and in the
Bitter Root valley, under Mr. Doty and Lieutenant Mullan, respectively,
and by the explorations of the detached parties, Governor Stevens kept
the whole mountain region under observation and solved the questions of
climate and snows. Indeed, he had the range crossed at every month in
the year by one or other of these parties.

Continues the personal narrative:--

  Accordingly, on the 2d Mr. Lander went down the valley to make some
  examinations of Hell Gate, and on the 3d Lieutenant Donelson was
  under way with the main party. I left on the 4th and overtook and
  camped with the main party in my old camp of the 27th and 28th of
  September. Continuing on, on the 5th we both moved down the valley,
  and encamped on the Bitter Root, some three or four miles below the
  mouth of Hell Gate. Here I ascertained that Mr. Lander, instead of
  waiting for the arrival of Lieutenant Donelson to receive the
  instructions which I had directed to be issued to him, to go down
  the Bitter Root to its mouth and join the main party at the Horse
  Plain, had preceded him on the main trail, and must be somewhere
  near the divide between the Bitter Root and the Jocko. Accordingly
  instructions were sent directing him to return in order to proceed
  on the duty which had been assigned to him.

  This same day I visited Victor at his camp on the Hell Gate, three
  miles above its junction with the Bitter Root, and in return was
  visited by him at our camp, where we had much interesting
  conversation in regard to the Indians, the character of the country,
  and the passes, particularly in the winter. I determined to remain
  here until Mr. Tinkham returned, who had not yet been heard from.

  October 6. Lieutenant Donelson moved off this morning on the route
  of the Jocko River and Clark's Fork. Mr. Lander, who had returned to
  my camp in compliance with instructions, moved down the Bitter Root
  this afternoon. I sent up to Fort Owen for Lieutenant Mullan, and we
  remained in camp, passing the time as pleasantly as we could,
  awaiting the arrival of Mr. Tinkham. Meanwhile a huge joint of beef
  was placed upon the spit, to be in readiness when the explorers
  should come in, and honest Sergeant Simpson undertook to act as
  cook. Bending over the fire, with huge drops of perspiration rolling
  from his glowing red face, a picture was presented which Mr. Stanley
  thought not unworthy a trial of his pencil, while Osgood jokingly
  told Simpson he was working then for "two dollars a day and roast
  beef." The meat was cooked in the nicest manner, and at half past
  five o'clock we sat down to it, having as guests Mr. Tinkham and his
  party, the returned "lost sheep of the house of Israel," also
  Lieutenant Mullan, who had arrived in season to join in our meal.

Having no guide, Mr. Tinkham had not succeeded in finding a direct
route, but after a circuitous trip got through to the Jocko, and, moving
back on Lieutenant Donelson's trail, joined the governor, who now gave
him the instructions to examine the Marias Pass, etc. The narrative

  It is extraordinary how easy of passage the mountains are in this
  latitude. A favorite time of the return of the Flathead Indians from
  the buffalo hunt is between Christmas and New Year's; it is only in
  winters of unusual severity that they are unable to cross during any

  We have to-day seen at our camp a good deal of Victor, the Flathead
  chief, celebrated in the book of De Smet. He appears to be
  simple-minded, but rather wanting in energy, which might, however,
  be developed in an emergency. I secured a Flathead guide to go with
  Mr. Tinkham through the Marias Pass, returning with him by the
  Flathead Pass. He was at first reluctant to go, but afterwards
  consented. In the course of the evening he came to me to decline
  going, and one or two of the men wished to back out. On tracing the
  cause to its source, I found they had been alarmed by some remarks
  of the guide Monroe, who told them he was afraid they would fall in
  with parties of Blackfoot young men. I will here remark that the
  Indian agent, Dr. Lansdale, in 1856 went over the route from the
  Jocko to the Big Blackfoot, sought by Mr. Tinkham in 1853. It is
  much used by the upper Pend Oreille Indians in going to hunt buffalo
  east of the mountains.

  October 7. At 8.30 o'clock we were on the road, the party consisting
  of Mr. Stanley, Mr. Osgood, and four voyageurs, with Antoine Plante,
  the half-breed guide. Mr. Lander, who had preceded us, we overtook
  in twenty-seven miles, when continuing on eight miles over a rolling
  country, we came to a good camp on a small stream of water; wood and
  grass most excellent. The valley of the Bitter Root is generally a
  wide valley, with occasional spurs running sharp down to the banks
  of the stream, but having opposite to such spurs an open prairie on
  the other side of the river.

  October 8. We started at 7.30 o'clock, passing over a hilly, wooded,
  and at times difficult country, with several patches of prairie, one
  of which, two and a half miles long and containing probably 1000
  acres, was covered with an excellent growth of grass. Here we met a
  band of fifty Nez Perces Indians going to hunt. They have from 250
  to 300 horses, most of them splendid animals, in fine condition, and
  with perfectly sound backs. Women and children helped to compose the
  band, and babies of fifteen months old, packed in a sitting posture,
  rode along without fear, grasping the reins with their tiny hands.
  We met them in the entrance to a narrow place, a mile in length,
  leading along the water's edge; and wishing to have a talk with
  them, but unwilling to lose time in returning to the open ground, I
  invited them to turn around to the first prairie, which Antoine
  assured me was not more than a mile or two beyond. The prairie we
  found to be well grassed, open, and wooded. We now made our halt,
  and, while preparing for our talk, a band of C[oe]ur d'Alenes
  joined us. They, too, were on their way to the hunt, and numbered
  about sixty, men, women, and children, and had about 200 horses. We
  had a long talk. I told them about the steps taken to meet in
  council at Fort Benton; dwelt particularly upon the prospect of the
  Blackfeet making peace with all the Indian tribes,--upon the promise
  they had given that their war parties should be stopped; and told
  them that at Fort Benton and at St. Mary's I had left men who would
  interfere unless these war parties ceased. This intelligence was
  most gratefully received. They tell me that they return from the
  hunt in March, going home by the Pend Oreille route. We parted with
  them at two o'clock, and at six made a good camp near the ford by
  which we mean to cross to the left bank of the Bitter Root River.
  Two miles from camp we met two Pend Oreilles, who turned around with
  us. At the camp we found a mother and daughter who had just crossed
  the river and pitched their lodge. They had eight pack and as many
  spare animals, and were on their way to join the Indians we met this
  morning. We gave all the Indians coffee, and the women in return
  gave us some cooked kamas root. It is of a dark color, small,
  between the pear and onion in shape, and of a sweet, agreeable

  October 9. We started at eight, and crossed the ford. The ride of
  to-day has been rather tedious. We left the valley to get rid of the
  undergrowth of bushes, and took a trail over the side-hill, which
  carried us up and down hill successively, and in some instances
  through woods, occasionally obstructed by fallen timber. At noon we
  halted at a creek, where we found a single Indian family drying
  venison. For a little tobacco they gave us some fresh meat and
  trout, which we roasted before the fire, and which made us a
  substantial lunch; after which, pursuing our course, we fell upon a
  stream flowing from the dividing ridge, and, continuing up it six
  miles, made a camp where we found an abundance of grass. Distance
  to-day nineteen miles.

  October 10. We continued in the valley about ten miles, the road
  leading through wood. Larch and spruce, and inexhaustible supplies
  of limestone and marble, were met with, and the latter we afterwards
  found in large quantities all through the mountains. At this point
  the trail forks, one keeping to the right along the stream, and the
  other turning to the left, and passing over a high, overhanging
  mountain spur. Our guide, Antoine, informed us that the mountain
  trail was more easy for the animals, the one to the right being much
  obstructed by fallen timber. After commencing the ascent we heard
  the voices of our men driving the animals in the valley beneath us,
  and waited until we had turned them upon the trail we had concluded
  to take. We ascended the dividing ridge, and reached a camp with
  good grass upon a small lake, within a mile of its top. The lake, to
  which we were obliged to descend for water, is twelve hundred feet
  below the camp.

                    C[OE]UR D'ALENE OR STEVENS PASS.

  October 11. The pass beneath us was made by two rivers flowing from
  the dividing ridge in opposite directions, having their sources in
  lakes not more than half a mile apart; the general direction of the
  valleys being east and west. We estimated our camp to be two
  thousand feet above the eastern base of the mountain, and two
  thousand five hundred feet above the western base. The lake upon the
  eastern side was about twelve hundred feet below us, and that upon
  the western side about seven hundred feet higher. After pitching
  camp last night a drizzling rain commenced falling, which we
  supposed would turn into snow before morning. Upon awakening this
  morning we were surprised to greeted with one of the loveliest days
  imaginable. The sky was clear, and the air as soft and balmy as a
  morn in summer. After striking camp we ascended to the highest point
  of the ridge, about a mile and a half from camp. Here we made a long
  halt, enjoying the magnificent view spread open to us, which, I
  venture to say, can scarcely be surpassed in any country. Far
  distant in the east the peaks of the Rocky Mountains loomed up into
  view, stretched out to a great length, while the Flathead Lake and
  the valley thence to the Blackfoot Pass were plainly visible. Nearly
  the entire range of the C[oe]ur d'Alene Mountains, clothed with
  evergreen forests, with here and there an open summit covered with
  grass; numerous valleys intersecting the country for miles around;
  courses of many streams marked by the ascending fog,--all conduced
  to render the view fascinating in the greatest degree to the
  beholder. The mountains were covered with luxuriant, coarse grass.
  Seated on this point, Mr. Stanley was enabled to transfer this
  beautiful panorama to his sketch-book. Descending the peak to the
  general level of the ridge, we continued on for six miles, when the
  descent commenced, and in less than three miles we passed down a
  very steep descent and gained the base of the mountains, which we
  estimated rose thirty-five hundred feet above us. This brought us
  into a valley filled with gigantic cedars. The larch, spruce, and
  vine-maple were found in to-day's march in large quantities, the
  latter giving a pleasing variety to the forest growth. About four
  o'clock we encamped upon the bank of a stream, which here grows much
  wider. A C[oe]ur d'Alene accompanied us to this point from the
  eastern base of the dividing ridge, and at to-night's encampment we
  found a C[oe]ur d'Alene and his wife on their way to hunt.

  October 12. The scarcity of grass last night caused our animals to
  wander, and three of them were found at the base of the mountains
  six miles back. It was not until half past ten o'clock that our men
  had them all collected, and we were prepared to move. We rode until
  half past three, when we halted at a beautiful camp, although the
  day's march had been but twelve miles. Learning from Antoine that
  the C[oe]ur d'Alene Mission was only eleven miles beyond, I
  determined on going in to-night. Antoine and I accordingly mounted,
  and rode to the Mission in an hour and three quarters.

                        C[OE]UR D'ALENE MISSION.

  The Mission is beautifully located upon a hill overlooking extensive
  prairies stretching to the east and west towards the C[oe]ur d'Alene
  Mountains and the Columbia River. About a hundred acres of the
  eastern prairie adjoining the Mission are inclosed and under
  cultivation, furnishing employment to thirty or forty Indians, men,
  women, and children. I observed two ploughing, which they executed
  skillfully; others were sowing wheat, and others digging potatoes.
  Père Gazzoli received me with the most pleasing hospitality.
  Associated with him are Père Ravalli, now absent to procure
  supplies, and Brothers Charles Huet and Maginn. Towards evening I
  witnessed the burial of an Indian chief. The funeral ceremonies were
  conducted after the Catholic form, and I was struck with the
  harmonious voices of the Indian choristers, and with their solemn
  observance of the ceremonies.

  The Mission is composed of buildings inclosing a square. Some of
  them are quite old, but the barn is large and new. The church stands
  a little distance from the rest, and does much credit to those who
  erected it. It is constructed upon a plan designed by Père Ravalli,
  and is of the Roman demi-style of architecture. Pulleys and ropes
  were the only mechanical aids in the construction. The interior is
  prettily arranged. The altar is supported by two massive timbers of
  pine which are four feet in diameter. The priests live in a
  self-denying manner, and the good effect of their influence over the
  Indians around them is plainly manifest. There is quite a village of
  Indians near the Mission. They have some half dozen log-houses, but
  most of them live in lodges.

  October 13. While awaiting the arrival of the train, I was enabled
  more particularly to observe the manner in which the affairs of the
  Mission are conducted. Brother Charles has charge of the buildings,
  and attends to the indoor work, cooks, makes butter and cheese,
  issues provisions, and pays the Indians for their work, which
  payment is made in tickets bearing a certain value, "good for so
  many potatoes, or so much wheat," etc. By this arrangement the
  Indians are able to procure their subsistence in the summer by
  hunting and fishing, and have tickets in store for living during the
  winter. They are well contented, and I was pleased to observe habits
  of industry growing upon them. In the barn we saw their operations
  of threshing: four boys rode as many mules abreast in a circle,
  being followed by two girls with flails, who appeared to be
  perfectly at home in their business. One half of the barn is
  reserved for their crops, while the other is arranged for cattle.
  Their stock at present consists of twenty cows, eight pairs of oxen,
  and ninety pigs, which are driven to pasture upon the prairie by
  Indian boys daily. I noticed an Indian woman milking, and was
  surprised to see her use both hands, something rarely seen amongst
  the Indians. We afterwards visited the field; a large fire was
  burning, and around it sat Indians roasting and eating potatoes.
  There appeared to be a great scarcity of proper implements, and in
  digging potatoes many had nothing better than sharpened sticks. The
  train arrived about one o'clock, and Père Gazzoli allowed us to turn
  our animals into the inclosure.

  I have heard of an ingenious method of hunting deer which is
  practiced by the Indians. When the C[oe]ur d'Alenes, Pend Oreilles,
  Spokanes, and Nez Perces meet together to fish and hunt, they form a
  large circle, and upon the trees, around its circumference, attach
  pieces of cloth made to resemble the human figure as much as
  possible. Then the hunters enter the area and start up the deer.
  Each cloth having the effect of a man, the deer, being afraid to
  pass them, are kept within the circle and easily killed. Last year
  the Pend Oreilles killed eight hundred in one hunt; the C[oe]ur
  d'Alenes, more than four hundred.

  When the Indians returned from the field I addressed them as

    "I am glad to see you and find that you are under such good
    direction. I have come four times as far as you go to hunt
    buffalo, and have come with directions from the Great Father to
    see you, to talk to you, and do all I can for your welfare. I see
    cultivated fields, a church, houses, cattle, and the fruits of the
    earth, the work of your own hands. The Great Father will be
    delighted to hear this, and will certainly assist you. Go on, and
    every family will have a house and a patch of ground, and every
    one will be well clothed. I have had talks with the Blackfeet, who
    promise to make peace with all the Indian tribes. Listen to the
    good Father and to the good brothers, who labor for your good."

  October 15. We started at eight o'clock, after having given Brother
  Charles as many lariats for raising the timbers of the church as we
  could spare, and made eighteen miles and a quarter, meeting on the
  way some forty Indians, C[oe]ur d'Alenes, Nez Perces, and Spokanes,
  on their way to buffalo. We camped to-day in a beautiful prairie,
  called the Wolf's Lodge, with good grass. Here we found nearly a
  hundred Spokanes, with some three hundred horses, on their way to
  the hunt. Towards sundown this evening I was greatly interested in
  observing the Spokanes at their devotions. A bell rang, and the
  whole band gathered in and around a large lodge for evening prayers.
  There was something solemn and pathetic in the evening psalm
  resounding through the forests around us. This shows what good
  results can flow from the labors of devoted missionaries, for the
  Spokanes have had no religious instruction for the last five years.
  As I went down the river and met band after band of the Spokanes, I
  invariably found the same regard for religious services.

  Afterwards they came around to my camp-fire, and we had a talk.
  Garry, they say, is at his farm, four miles from the Spokane House.

  October 16. We started at eight o'clock, our route being through an
  open wooded prairie. Soon after leaving camp the C[oe]ur d'Alene
  Lake came in view to the south of us, and eleven miles from camp we
  struck it near its western extremity. It is a beautiful sheet of
  water, surrounded by picturesque hills, mostly covered with wood.
  Its shape is irregular, unlike that given it upon the maps. Its
  waters are received from the C[oe]ur d'Alene River, which runs
  through it. Below the lake the river is not easily navigable, there
  being many rapids, and in numerous places it widens greatly, and
  runs sluggishly through a shallow channel. Above the lake I am
  informed by the missionaries that it is navigable nearly to the
  Mission. Leaving the lake, we followed the river on its northern
  bank, passing a camp of C[oe]ur d'Alenes, occupied with their trout
  fisheries. Here we witnessed a touching sight, a daughter
  administering to her dying father. Still keeping through open woods
  on a most excellent road, in two miles farther we came to the
  C[oe]ur d'Alene prairie, a beautiful tract of land containing
  several hundred square miles. After crossing the prairie, a distance
  of some eighteen miles, we continued on and encamped at a spring
  with sparse grass. Had we gone two miles farther, we should have
  found an excellent camp on the river, and the next morning some of
  our animals were found in this very spot. The horses of the Spokanes
  roam over this prairie in herds of from twelve to twenty. Towards
  the latter portion of the march the river runs over a rocky bed of

  October 17. Leaving camp, Antoine, Osgood, Stanley, and myself
  turned from the trail to visit the falls of the C[oe]ur d'Alene
  River, while Lavatte took the train ahead on the trail to the
  Spokane House. There are two principal falls, one of twenty feet and
  the other of from ten to twelve feet, in the latter there being a
  perpendicular fall of seven or eight feet; for a quarter of a mile
  the descent is rapid, over a rough bed of rocks, and in this
  distance we estimated a fall of ninety or one hundred feet. One mile
  below this point we came to the ferry crossed by Saxton. Here there
  is a small Indian village, and the inhabitants were engaged in
  catching salmon. I noticed one large woman who seemed to pride
  herself upon her person, which she took pains to set off in the most
  becoming manner by means of a blanket wrapped around her. The road
  to the Spokane House was over a sandy prairie, interspersed with
  groves of pine. Crossing a dividing ridge with high and steep banks,
  we came into the prairie in which the Spokane House is situated, in
  which were two Spokane villages. We inquired for Garry, and I sent
  him a request that he would visit me at my camp. The train we found
  a mile below the junction, across the Spokane. The Indians
  indicating a good camp some distance beyond, we moved on eight and a
  half miles to it, which we reached half an hour before sundown. Here
  there was good grass and plenty of water, and we soon made up a
  large campfire. After arranging matters in camp, I observed about
  nightfall a fire down the river, and, strolling down to the place,
  came upon a little camp of Spokane Indians, and found them engaged
  in religious services, which I was glad of an opportunity to
  witness. There were three or four men, the same number of women, and
  half a dozen children. Their exercises were, 1, address; 2, Lord's
  prayer; 3, Psalms; 4, benediction, and were conducted with great

  In the evening Garry visited us with some of his tribe. They gave
  rumors of a large party having arrived opposite Colville, also of a
  small party having gone from Walla Walla to Colville.

  Garry was educated by the Hudson Bay Company at Red River, where he
  lived four years with six other Indians from this vicinity, all of
  whom are now dead. He speaks English and French well, and we have
  had a long conversation this evening; but he is not frank, and I do
  not understand him. He has an extensive field, where he raises a
  large quantity of wheat. To-morrow he is going to Colville to get
  some of it ground. Garry promises to send me to-morrow the Indian
  who has just arrived from the Yakima country, and who is posted up
  concerning the news of that place.

  October 18. A Spokane breakfasted with us this morning, and we
  started at 8.30 o'clock. After riding till ten o'clock we were
  joined by the old Indian referred to yesterday, and Antoine's
  services were immediately put into requisition to obtain
  information. At twelve o'clock we lunched. The old man stated that a
  large party reached the bank of the river opposite Colville
  yesterday, and that they would cross to-day. I was satisfied from
  his accounts that the party was McClellan's, and accordingly
  determined on going to Colville to-night. Antoine has horses half
  way. We rested until two o'clock and then set out, Antoine and
  myself pushing ahead of the train. We met Antoine's family encamped
  on a fine prairie, with whom Antoine remained, sending his
  brother-in-law with us as a guide. At 4.15 we reached the ferry,
  where we were detained fifteen minutes. At 4.45 we met Jack
  (Lieutenant Macfeely's guide), who informed me that Macfeely reached
  Walla Walla three weeks ago, being twenty-two days coming from St.
  Mary's. He lost twenty animals, and was detained two days in an
  unsuccessful search for a man who had strayed from the trail. The
  road was bad, and they got off the trail, having struck too high up.
  Jack told us it was twenty-eight miles to Colville, and that we
  could not reach there to-night, but, being determined to do so, we
  pushed on and reached Brown's at 5.45, who informed us that the
  distance to Colville was eighteen miles. After partaking of some
  bread and milk, we resumed the road with the same animals, dashing
  off at full speed, going eight or nine miles an hour most of the
  way, and reached Colville at nine o'clock. Mr. McDonald, the trader
  in charge, gave me a most hospitable reception, and addressed a note
  to McClellan, who had just gone to his camp near by, informing him
  of my arrival. McClellan came up immediately, and, though I was
  fairly worn out with the severeness of the ride, we sat up till one
  o'clock. At eleven we sat down to a nice supper, prepared by Mrs.
  McDonald, and regaled ourselves with steaks cooked in buffalo fat,
  giving them the flavor of buffalo meat. I retired exhausted with the
  fatigues of the day.


It took Captain McClellan a month to fit out his train after he reached
Vancouver, on the lower Columbia, so that he did not start on his survey
until the last of July. Crossing the Cascade Range by a pass south of
Mount Adams, he proceeded northward over the plains on the eastern side
of the range to the Yakima valley, moving one hundred and eighty miles
in thirty days, and remained there a month longer, during which Mr.
Gibbs examined the lower and Lieutenant Duncan the upper valley. Captain
McClellan himself, leaving his party in camp, made a hasty examination
of the Snoqualmie Pass, at the head of the main Yakima. Then he crossed
over a dividing ridge to the Columbia River, and continued up its right
or western bank to the Okinakane (Okanogan) River, a distance of ninety
miles, spent several days in exploring that and neighboring streams,
then ascended the Okinakane (Okanogan) River some fifty miles to Lake
Osoyoos, and moved eastward from this point eighty-two miles to the
Columbia, opposite Colville, and crossed on the 18th, the very day of
Governor Stevens's arrival at the same point.

McClellan, as appears from his report, took a decidedly unfavorable view
of the country, and of a railroad route across the Cascades. He declared
in substance that the Columbia River Pass was the only one worth
considering, that there was no pass whatever north of it except the
Snoqualmie Pass, and gave it as his firm and settled opinion that the
snow in winter was from twenty to twenty-five feet deep in that pass.

His examination of the pass was a very hasty and cursory one, with no
other instruments than a compass and a barometer, and extended only
three miles across the summit. His only information as to the depth of
winter snow was the reports of Indians, and the marks of snow on the
trees, or what he took to be such. Thus the most important point, the
real problem of the field of exploration intrusted to him, namely, the
existence and character of the Cascade passes, he failed to determine.
He failed utterly to respond to Governor Stevens's earnest and manly
exhortation, "We must not be frightened with long tunnels, or enormous
snows, but set ourselves to work to overcome them." He manifested the
same dilatoriness in preparation and moving, the same timidity in
action, the same magnifying of difficulties, that later marked and
ruined his career as an army commander.

Two railroads now cross the range which he examined,--the Northern
Pacific, by a pass just south of the Snoqualmie and north of the
Nahchess, the very place of which McClellan reported that "there
certainly is none between this (the Snoqualmie) and the Nahchess Pass;"
and the Great Northern, by a pass at the head of the Wenachee or
Pisquouse River, of which stream he declared, "It appears certain that
there can be no pass at its head for a road." The snows he so much
exaggerated have proved no obstacle, and in fact have actually caused
less trouble and obstruction in these passes than in the Columbia Pass


  [4] The town of Missoula is seated at the entrance to Hell Gate. The
      Bitter Root River is now known as the Missoula, the name Bitter
      Root being transferred to a branch of Clark's Fork. The Bitter
      Root or St. Mary valley is likewise now known as the Missoula

  [5] Fort Owen occupied the site of the Flathead village and Catholic
      mission of St. Mary, which had been recently abandoned in
      consequence of the incessant forays of the Blackfeet.

  [6] One of the lines of the Northern Pacific Railroad now crosses
      the C[oe]ur d'Alene Pass on Governor Stevens's route, to the
      vicinity of the Mission, running thence south of the C[oe]ur
      d'Alene Lake to Spokane.

                              CHAPTER XXI

                     UPPER COLUMBIA TO PUGET SOUND

Upon learning the results of McClellan's explorations, Governor Stevens
proposed to send him up the Yakima again to carry the survey clear
across the Cascades to Puget Sound, and at first that officer seemed
willing to undertake the duty. After spending two days at Colville the
governor, accompanied by McClellan and his party, moved south in three
marches to a camp six miles south of the Spokane River, named Camp
Washington, where on October 28 arrived Lieutenant Donelson with the
main party. During these days there was a fall of snow covering the
ground, which, however, soon melted and disappeared. But it was enough
to dismay McClellan. He now demurred to crossing the Cascades, claiming
it to be impracticable so late in the fall. It was indeed late; snow had
already fallen on the plains, and presumably would be deeper in the
mountains; and the Cascades were McClellan's own particular field, of
which he ought to be the best judge. The governor therefore reluctantly,
and rather against his better judgment, relinquished the plan of
crossing the Snoqualmie Pass that fall, and gave orders for both parties
to move by way of Walla Walla and the Dalles to Vancouver, and thence to
Olympia, at the head of Puget Sound.

  "Had I possessed at Camp Washington," says the governor,
  "information which I gained in six days afterwards at Walla Walla, I
  should have pushed the party over the Cascades in the present
  condition of the animals; but Captain McClellan was entitled to
  weight in his judgment of the route, it being upon the special field
  of his examination."

The incidents of the march to Camp Washington are thus narrated:--

  During our stay at Colville, we visited McDonald's camp. Near it
  there is a mission, under the charge of Père Lewis, whom we visited.
  The Indians about the mission are well disposed and religious. As we
  returned to the fort, Mr. Stanley was just going into camp, having
  made a march of thirty-five miles. In the evening we listened to the
  thrilling stories and exciting legends of McDonald, with which his
  memory seems to be well stored. He says intelligence had reached him
  through the Blackfeet of the coming of my party; that the Blackfeet
  gave most singular accounts of everything connected with us. For
  instance, they said that our horses had claws like the grizzly bear;
  they climbed up the steep rocks and held on by their claws; that
  their necks were like the new moon; and that their neighing was like
  the sound of distant thunder. McDonald has, of course, given a free
  translation of the reports made by Indians. We listened to his
  accounts of his own thrilling adventures of his mountain life, and a
  description of an encounter with a party of Blackfeet is well worth
  relating. At the head of a party of three or four men he was met by
  a band of these Indians, who showed evidences of hostility. By signs
  he requested the chief of the Blackfeet to advance and meet him,
  both being unarmed. When the chief assented, and met him half way
  between the two parties, McDonald caught him by the hair of the
  head, and, holding him firmly, exacted from the remaining Indians
  promises to give up their arms, which they accordingly did, and
  passed on peaceably. He has lived here many years, and is an
  upright, intelligent, manly, and energetic man.

  October 21. We moved off. McDonald presented us with a keg filled
  with cognac to cheer the hearts of the members of all the parties,
  and obliged us also to take a supply of port wine. We passed his
  gristmill on Mill River, the only one in the neighborhood. A march
  of twelve miles brought us into camp, McDonald accompanying us. We
  had a glorious supper of smoking steaks and hot cakes, and the
  stories added to the relish with which it was eaten. McDonald again
  charmed us with a recital of his thrilling adventures.

  October 22. We got off early, and at Brown's we stopped to purchase
  horses, and succeeded in obtaining two, one for McClellan and the
  other for myself. McDonald accompanied me some distance farther,
  when, bidding each other adieu, I pushed ahead, and, reaching a
  small stream, I found that McClellan's party had taken the left
  bank, and that the captain had gone on to join them. We took the
  right, and thus avoided a bad crossing in which McClellan's party
  became involved. We encamped upon the borders of the stream. Our
  train is larger and more heavily laden than heretofore, in
  consequence of the increased supplies. To-day we have thirteen
  packs. At night we killed a cow purchased of Brown, and we still
  have an ox in reserve, to be killed when we meet Donelson. The air
  is cool and fresh, and our appetites keen. I may say here that two
  pounds of beef and half a pound of flour per man are not too much
  for a day's allowance.

  October 23. Snow is falling this morning, and it has cleaned our
  beef admirably. We journeyed but ten miles, encamping near where we
  had seen Antoine's family in going to Colville. The snow ceased
  falling about noon, with five inches upon the ground. It is light,
  and we think it will disappear in a few days. The Indians inform me
  that we shall not probably find it south of the C[oe]ur d'Alene, and
  from their statements it would seem that this river is a dividing
  line as regards climate.

  October 24. We started this morning with the intention of reaching
  the appointed place of meeting to-night. McClellan, Minter, Osgood,
  Stanley, and myself pushed ahead, and at noon we reached the old
  Chemakane Mission, so called from a spring of that name near by. The
  mission was occupied by Messrs. Walker and Eells, but in 1849, in
  consequence of the Cuyuse difficulties, it was abandoned. These
  gentlemen labored ardently for the good of the Indians. Walker was a
  good farmer and taught them agriculture, and by them his name is now
  mentioned with great respect. The house occupied by Walker is still
  standing, but Eells's has been burned down. The site of the mission
  is five miles from the Spokane River, in an extensive open valley,
  well watered and very rich. Here we met Garry and two hundred
  Spokanes. Garry has forwarded the letter to Donelson, but has
  received no intelligence of his arrival in the C[oe]ur d'Alene
  plain. We therefore concluded to encamp here, and to-morrow
  McClellan and myself are to accompany Garry to the Spokane House.
  The Colville or Slawntebus and Chemakane valleys have a productive
  soil, and are from one to three miles wide, and bordered by low
  hills, covered with larch, pine, and spruce, and having also a
  productive soil. In the evening the Indians clustered around our
  fire, and manifested much pleasure in our treatment of them. I have
  now seen a great deal of Garry, and am much pleased with him.
  Beneath a quiet exterior he shows himself to be a man of judgment,
  forecast, and great reliability, and I could see in my interview
  with his band the ascendency he possesses over them.

  In the Colville valley there is a line of settlements twenty-eight
  miles long. The settlers are persons formerly connected with the
  Hudson Bay Company, and they are anxious to become naturalized, and
  have the lands they now occupy transferred to themselves. I informed
  them that I could only express my hopes that their case would be met
  by the passage of a special act. They are extensive farmers, and
  raise a great deal of wheat.

  October 25. Having left the necessary directions for moving camp to
  the place of meeting with Donelson, Captain McClellan and myself
  accompanied Garry to the Spokane House. The road was slippery in
  consequence of the melting of the snow, and we were obliged
  frequently to dismount. We found Garry's family in a comfortable
  lodge, and he informed us that he always had on hand flour, sugar,
  and coffee, with which to make his friends comfortable. We then went
  to our new camp south of the Spokane, which had been established
  whilst we were visiting Garry's place. From the Chemakane Mission
  the train left the river, and, passing through a rolling country
  covered with open pine woods, in five miles reached the Spokane, and
  crossing it by a good and winding ford, ascended the plain, and in
  six miles, the first two of which was through open pine, reached
  Camp Washington.

  October 26, 27, 28, and 29. During these days I was occupied at our
  camp (Camp Washington) in making the arrangements for moving
  westward. Lieutenant Donelson arrived on the 28th, and we all sat
  down to a fine supper prepared for the occasion. All the members of
  the exploration were in fine spirits; our table was spread under a
  canopy, and upon it a great variety of dishes appeared, roasted
  beef, bouillon, steaks, and abundance of hot bread, coffee, sugar,
  and our friend McDonald's good cheer. But the best dish was a beef's
  head cooked by friend Minter in Texas fashion. It was placed in a
  hole in the ground on a layer of hot coals, with moss and leaves
  around it to protect it from the dirt, and then covered up. There it
  remained for some five or six hours, when, removing it, the skin
  came off without difficulty, and it presented a very tempting dish,
  and was enjoyed by every member of the party.

Having given the necessary instructions to McClellan and Donelson to
proceed with their parties to the Walla Walla, thence to the Dalles,
Vancouver, and Olympia, making careful survey of the country on the
route, the governor, with his small party, pushed on ahead, having Garry
and his brother as guides. Starting late in the afternoon of the 29th,
they journeyed thirteen miles over undulating hills and a high
table-land, and encamped upon a small stream called Se-cule-eel-qua,
with fine grass and fertile soil.

  October 30. We commenced to move at sunrise, and at three P.M.
  encamped on a small lake twenty-two miles from our place of
  departure in the morning. In view of this camp were the graves of a
  number of Spokane Indians, indicated by mounds of stones, designed
  to protect the bodies from the wolves, and by poles supported in an
  upright position by the stones. It was the usage until within a few
  years past, for the Spokanes and other northern tribes towards the
  Pacific to slay the horses and cattle of the deceased at his grave,
  and also to sacrifice his other property, but they are gradually
  relinquishing this pernicious practice, under the influence of the
  counsels and example of the white man.

  October 31. We continued to follow the general course of the stream
  upon whose banks we were encamped, and after riding eight miles we
  crossed another small stream, rising in a chain of small lakes south
  of our last camp. These lakes abound in wild fowl, which at this
  season are very plentiful, and they are therefore much resorted to
  by the Spokanes and other Indians. We saw in one of these lakes,
  surrounded by ducks and geese, a pair of white swans, which remained
  to challenge our admiration after their companions had been
  frightened away by our approach.

  Garry assures us that there is a remarkable lake called
  En-chush-chesh-she-luxum, or Never Freezing Water, about thirty
  miles to the east of this place. It is much larger than any of the
  lakes just mentioned, and so completely surrounded by high and
  precipitous rocks that it is impossible to descend to the water. It
  is said never to freeze, even in the most severe winter. The Indians
  believe that it is inhabited by buffalo, elk, deer, and all other
  kinds of game, which, they say, may be seen in the clear,
  transparent element. He also narrates the story of a superstition
  respecting a point of painted rock in Pend Oreille Lake, situated
  near the place now occupied by Michal Ogden. The Indians, he says,
  do not venture to pass this point, fearing that the Great Spirit
  may, as related in the legends, create a commotion in the water and
  cause them to be swallowed up in the waves. The painted rocks are
  very high, and bear effigies of men and beasts and other characters,
  made, as the Indians believe, by a race of men who preceded them as
  inhabitants of the land.

  Our route to-day has been through a rocky and broken country, and
  after a march of thirty-two miles we encamped on a small stream
  called En-cha-rae-nae, flowing from the lake where we last halted,
  near a number of natural mounds.

  November 1. Our course lay down the valley of the En-cha-rae-nae, a
  rugged way, beset with deep clefts in the volcanic rocks. We crossed
  the Pelouse River near the mouth of the former, and near the stream
  flowing from the never freezing lake, and twelve miles from the
  mouth of the Pelouse. Four miles from our place of crossing the
  Pelouse runs through a deep cañon, surrounded by isolated volcanic
  buttes, to its junction with Snake River. At two P.M. we arrived at
  the mouth of the Pelouse, and, crossing Snake River, we encamped on
  its southern bank, several Pelouse Indians accompanying us, and
  among them a chief from a band but a few miles distant from our
  camp, Wi-ti-my-hoy-she. He exhibited a medal of Thomas Jefferson,
  dated 1801, given to his grandfather, as he alleges, by Lewis and

  November 2. I have referred in an early stage of this narrative to
  the condition of my health, and will state that not a day was I on
  the road from Fort Benton to this point that I did not suffer much.
  The day I made my long ride to Colville, I was so feeble and
  exhausted that, on making my noon halt after moving fifteen miles, I
  was obliged to have my bed spread in order to rest; but the idea of
  meeting gentlemen so soon, from whom I had been so long separated,
  enabled me to bear the fatigue of my afternoon fifty miles' ride to
  Colville. Although in great suffering, I determined to move with
  Garry from Snake River to Fort Walla Walla to-day, leaving Mr.
  Stanley to come on with my party and train in two days. I desired to
  save a day in order to collect information at Walla Walla, and to
  visit the Walla Walla valley. Accordingly we set off. It required me
  three hours to get my courage up to the sticking-point, so that I
  could bear the pain growing out of traveling at a gait faster than a
  walk; but, getting warm in the saddle, we increased our speed, and
  on reaching the Touchet we dismounted for a slight halt. Pushing on
  a little before two o'clock, we reached Fort Walla Walla at sundown,
  moving the last twenty-five miles at the rate of about eight miles
  an hour, and were there hospitably received by Mr. Pembrum, the
  factor in charge, and after a little conversation I refreshed myself
  with reading some late papers. On the road my time was much occupied
  with studying the deportment of the mountain ranges in view, and all
  the peculiarities of the country about me, to judge something of its
  winter climate and the probable fall of snow; and on reaching Walla
  Walla I became satisfied from these things, and especially from a
  view of the highest spur of the Blue Mountains in sight, that the
  snows of the Cascades could not be so formidable as they had been
  represented. I accordingly determined to search thoroughly into this
  matter at Walla Walla.

  November 3-8. I remained in the Walla Walla country during these
  days, spending two days up the valley and the remainder at the fort.
  Mr. Stanley, with the train, reached the fort on the 3d, and,

  November 4, we started upon the trip through the valley, riding upon
  our horses. Arriving at the Hudson Bay farm, we exchanged them for
  fresh ones. This farm is eighteen miles from Walla Walla, and is a
  fine tract of land, well adapted to grazing or cultivation. It is
  naturally bounded by streams, and is equivalent to a mile square.
  There is the richest grass here that we have seen since leaving St.
  Mary's. From this we went to McBane's house, a retired factor of the
  company, from whence we had a fine view of the southern portion of
  the valley, which is watered by many tributaries from the Blue
  Mountains. Thirty miles from Walla Walla, and near McBane's, lives
  Father Chirouse, a missionary of the Catholic order, who with two
  laymen exercises his influence among the surrounding tribes.

  November 5. We remained with Mr. McBane overnight, and returned to
  the fort to-day by way of the Whitman Mission, now occupied by
  Bumford and Brooke. They were harvesting, and I saw as fine potatoes
  as ever I beheld, many weighing two pounds, and one five and a half.
  Their carrots and beets, too, were of extraordinary size. Mr.
  Whitman must have done a great deal of good for the Indians. His
  mission was situated upon a fine tract of land, and he had erected a
  saw and grist mill. From Bumford's to the mouth of the Touchet are
  many farms, mostly occupied by the retired employees of the Hudson
  Bay Company. On our return we met Pu-pu-mox-mox, the Walla Walla
  chief, known and respected far and wide. He possesses not so much
  intelligence and energy as Garry, but he has some gifts of which the
  latter is deprived. He is of dignified manner, and well qualified to
  manage men. He owns over two thousand horses, besides many cattle,
  and has a farm near that of the Hudson Bay Company. On the
  occurrence of the Cuyuse war, he was invited to join them, but
  steadily refused. After their destruction of the mission, he was
  asked to share the spoils, and again refused. They then taunted him
  with being afraid of the whites, to which he replied: "I am not
  afraid of the whites, nor am I afraid of the Cuyuses. I defy your
  whole band. I will plant my three lodges on the border of my own
  territory at the mouth of the Touchet, and there I will meet you if
  you dare to attack me." He accordingly moved his lodges to this
  point, and remained there three or four weeks. Stanley was on his
  way from Walker and Eells's Mission to Whitman's Mission, and indeed
  was actually within three miles of the latter, when he heard of the
  terrible tragedy which had been enacted there, and the information
  was brought to him by an Indian of Pu-pu-mox-mox's band.
  Pu-pu-mox-mox has saved up a large amount of money (probably as much
  as $5000); still he is generous, and frequently gives an ox and
  other articles of value to the neighbors. Some of his people having
  made a contract to ferry the emigrants across the river, who crossed
  the Cascades this year, and then having refused to execute it, he
  compelled them to carry it out faithfully, and, mounting his horse,
  he thrashed them until they complied. He has the air of a
  substantial farmer.

On the 6th Lieutenant Donelson and on the 7th Captain McClellan reached
old Fort Walla Walla with the main parties. Governor Stevens was now
satisfied, both from his own observations and from information furnished
by Pembrum, Pu-pu-mox-mox, and others, among them a voyageur who had
actually crossed the Cascades in the month of December, that it was not
yet too late to send a party across these mountains. Accordingly he
directed Mr. Lander to proceed up the Yakima and over the Nahchess Pass
in order to run the line to the Sound.

The governor had a remarkable faculty for getting information from
people of every kind and condition, Hudson Bay Company men, settlers,
voyageurs, and Indians, and always took great pains to learn all they
could impart, while his keen and sound judgment enabled him to
distinguish the chaff from the wheat in their reports.

Having provided fresh animals for Mr. Lander, given him his written
instructions, and in conversation urged upon him the entire feasibility
of the survey intrusted to him, the governor, with Mr. Stanley, on
November 8 started down the Columbia in a canoe managed by voyageurs,
and reached the Dalles on the 12th. Says the governor:--

  "We took with us two days' provisions, and were four days in
  reaching the Dalles, having been detained nearly two days in camp by
  a high wind which blew up the river, but we eked out our scanty
  stores by the salmon generously furnished us by the Indian bands
  near us. At the principal rapids I got out and observed the
  movements of the canoe through them, and, from the best examination
  which I was able to make, I became at once convinced that the river
  was probably navigable for steamers. I remained at the Dalles on the
  13th to make arrangements for the moving forward of the parties and
  for herding the animals, looking to a resumption of the survey,
  where I was the guest of Major Rains, and had a most pleasant time,
  meeting old acquaintances and making new ones with the gentlemen of
  the post. On the 14th I reached the Cascades, where I passed the
  night. Here I met several gentlemen--men who had crossed the plains,
  and who had made farms in several States and in Oregon or
  Washington--who had carefully examined the Yakima country for new
  locations, and who impressed me with the importance of it as an
  agricultural and grazing country. November 15 we went down the river
  in a canoe, and on the 16th reached Vancouver, where I remained the
  17th, 18th, and 19th as the guest of Colonel Bonneville, and where I
  also became acquainted with the officers of the Hudson Bay Company.

  "Leaving Vancouver on the 20th, I reached Olympia on the 25th, where
  for the first time I saw the waters of Puget Sound. No special
  incident worthy of remark occurred on the journey, except that I was
  four days going up the Cowlitz in drenching rains, and two nights
  had the pleasure of camping out. I will now advise voyageurs in the
  interior, when they get suddenly into the rains west of the
  Cascades, to take off their buckskin underclothing. I neglected to
  do this, and among the many agreeabilities of this trip up the
  Cowlitz was to have the underclothing of buckskin wet entirely
  through. I was enabled to examine the country pretty carefully all
  the way to Olympia, and had with me a very intelligent man, who
  could point out localities and inform me about the country not in
  view of the road; and I saw that not only was it entirely
  practicable for a railroad line to the Sound, but that the work was
  light, and the material for construction of all kinds entirely

  "After considerable delays at Vancouver, the gentlemen of the
  parties under Captain McClellan and Lieutenant Donelson arrived at
  Olympia for office duty, being preceded a few days by Mr. Lander,
  who for reasons not conclusive to my mind did not persevere in the
  examination of the Nahchess Pass. One of his reasons for not
  continuing his examination was that it was not on the railroad line,
  which did not apply, because that fact was well known to him
  previously, having been announced to him positively in my written
  instructions. I did not censure Mr. Lander for not continuing on
  this duty, as I know the perplexity of mind in which one is placed
  by the contradictory character of the information gained; but I
  resolved to get my line to the Sound, and accordingly dispatched an
  express to the Walla Walla, directing Mr. Tinkham on his arrival at
  that point to cross to Puget Sound by the Snoqualmie Pass, my object
  being twofold,--to get at some facts which would decisively settle
  the question of the depth of snow, in regard to which Captain
  McClellan and myself differed, as well as really to connect our work
  with the Sound itself."

Thus Lander purposely balked the task intrusted to him, and threw away
another fine opportunity of achieving credit for himself.

Upon McClellan's arrival at Olympia, Governor Stevens directed him to
take up from the Sound the reconnoissance for a railroad line to the
Snoqualmie Pass, connecting with his examination on the eastern side,
which had extended three miles across the summit. But again McClellan
failed to accomplish the task, deterred as usual by the reports of
Indians, and magnified difficulties. Leaving Olympia December 23, with
Mr Minter, civil engineer, and four men, he spent five days at
Steilacoom in a vain attempt to procure horses and guides for the
Snoqualmie Falls, intending to proceed thence on snowshoes. Then he went
by canoe down the Sound and up the Snohomish River to the falls, and
pushed forward on foot four miles to the prairie just above the falls.

  "I found," he reports, "the prairie to be about as represented,--in
  places bare, but in others with three or four inches of snow.
  Leaving my companions at the Indian bivouac to make the best
  preparations they could for passing the night (for we had neither
  tent, blanket, nor overcoat), I went forward on the trail with two

  "As soon as we left the prairie the ground became entirely covered
  with snow; it soon became a foot deep in the shallowest spots, and
  was constantly increasing. All signs of a trail were
  obliterated,--the underbrush very thick and loaded with snow,--the
  snow unfit for snowshoes, according to the Indians. I now turned
  back to our bivouac, and there awaited the arrival of an Indian who
  was out hunting, and who was said to possess much information about
  the country. He soon arrived, and proved to be a very intelligent
  Yakima, whom I had seen on the other side of the mountains in the
  summer. He had been hunting in the direction I wished to go, and
  stated that the snow soon increased to 'waist-deep' long before
  reaching the Nooksai-Nooksai, and that it was positively
  impracticable to use snowshoes. He also said that the Indians did
  not pretend to cross over the mountains at this season, but waited
  till about the end of March, and then took their horses over.

  "Next morning, after again questioning the Indian, I reluctantly
  determined to return, being forced to the conclusion that, if the
  attempt to reach the pass was not wholly impracticable, it was at
  least inexpedient under all the circumstances in which I was

Could any man but McClellan have seriously asserted that "it was
positively impracticable to use snowshoes" on snow, and that, too, on
the authority of Indians, who were notoriously unreliable, and who, in
their jealousy of white exploration, habitually exaggerated the
difficulties of the country? This seems the very acme of imaginary
obstacles. It was January 10 that McClellan turned back. Had he manfully
taken to his snowshoes, he could have reached the summit in three or
four days, and connected with his reconnoissance on the eastern side,
and this was soon demonstrated to his deep disgust.

Far different was the action and spirit of Tinkham. He had just arrived
at Walla Walla from a remarkable and arduous trip, during which he
crossed the Rocky Mountains by the Marias Pass, proceeded to Fort
Benton, recrossed the mountains by a more southern pass to the Bitter
Root valley, and thence crossed the Bitter Root Range on snowshoes by
the rugged southern Nez Perces trail, when he received Governor
Stevens's instructions to push to the Sound by way of the Snoqualmie
Pass. Starting from Walla Walla on January 7 with two Indians, he
proceeded up the Yakima to its head on horseback, and there leaving his
animals, he crossed the mountains on snowshoes, and reached Seattle on
January 26, seven days after leaving the eastern base of the divide, and
twenty days from Walla Walla. He carefully measured the depth of snow
and reported:--

  "From Lake Kitchelus to the summit, some five miles, and where
  occurs the deepest snow, the average measurement was about six feet,
  but frequently running as high as seven feet. Passing on to the west
  side of the Cascades, the snow rapidly disappears; fourteen miles
  from the summit there was but eight inches of snow, and thence it
  gradually faded away as approach was made to the shores of the
  Sound: for only a few miles was the snow six feet deep; the whole
  breadth over twelve inches deep was somewhat less than sixty miles
  in extent."

Thus Tinkham actually crossed the range and reached the Sound, making
the very trip that McClellan pronounced "impracticable" and would not
even try, only ten days after the latter's failure.

But McClellan's pride was hurt by this incident. He took Governor
Stevens's opinion as to the snow question, and his action in sending
Tinkham across the pass, in high dudgeon as a reflection on himself,
and, regardless of the true friendship shown him and benefits conferred
upon him by the governor, treated him with marked coldness. In his usual
generous and magnanimous way, Governor Stevens took no notice of this
changed attitude of McClellan, but gave him all possible credit in his
reports. Some years afterwards, when Governor Stevens was in Congress,
their mutual friend, Captain J.G. Foster, came to him, and said that
McClellan wished to meet him again and renew their old friendship.
Accordingly they met at Willard's, and McClellan appeared as cordial and
agreeable as of old.

Captain McClellan had been instructed, after completing his
reconnoissance of the Snoqualmie Pass, to examine the harbors on the
eastern shore of the Sound as far as Bellingham Bay. But he gave up this
duty also, after proceeding a single day's trip in canoes about twenty
miles north of the mouth of the Snohomish River to the northern
extremity of McDonough or Camano Island, where he encamped for the
night, alleging as usual the inclemency of the weather: "During that
night six inches of snow fell and a violent gale arose, so that on the
next day we were unable to proceed. On the next day (14th), the wind
still continuing dead ahead and very violent, I turned back," etc.

Yet at this very time Governor Stevens was making a complete tour of the
Sound in a small open sailboat, regardless of wind and weather.

McClellan also failed to do anything towards opening the military road
across the Cascades between Steilacoom and Fort Walla Walla; and
Lieutenant Richard Arnold, under the governor's general supervision,
relieved him of the charge of the road, and completed it in 1854.

It will be remembered how Governor Stevens had placed this road in
McClellan's hands, had furnished him with information and correspondence
relating to it, and had advised him to consult with the prominent
settlers in regard to the best location of it. Of these people the
governor remarks in his report:--

  "They have crossed the mountains, and made the long distance from
  the valley of the Mississippi to their homes on the Pacific; they
  have done so frequently, having to cut out roads as they went, and
  knowing little of the difficulties before them. They are therefore
  men of observation, of experience, of enterprise, and men who at
  home had by industry and frugality secured a competency and the
  respect of their neighbors; for it must be known that our emigrants
  travel in parties, and those go together who were acquaintances at
  home, because they mutually confide in each other. I was struck with
  the high qualities of the frontier people, and soon learned how to
  confide in them and gather information from them."

Contrast with this McClellan's assertions in his letter to Secretary of
War Davis, of September 18, 1853:--

  "But the result of my short experience in this country has been that
  not the slightest faith or confidence is to be placed in information
  derived from the employees of the Hudson Bay Company, or from the
  inhabitants of the Territory; in every instance, when I have acted
  upon information thus obtained, I have been altogether deceived and

But he was ready enough to adopt the reports of Indians in support of
obstacles which existed chiefly in his own imagination.


  [7] Pacific R.R. Reports, vol. i. pp. 622-624.

                              CHAPTER XXII


It was indeed a wild country, untouched by civilization, and a scanty
white population sparsely sprinkled over the immense area that were
awaiting the arrival of Governor Stevens to organize civil government,
and shape the destinies of the future. A mere handful of settlers, 3965
all told, were widely scattered over western Washington, between the
lower Columbia and the Strait of Fuca. A small hamlet clustered around
the military post at Vancouver. A few settlers were spread wide apart
along the Columbia, among whom were Columbia Lancaster on Lewis River;
Seth Catlin, Dr. Nathaniel Ostrander, and the Huntingtons about the
mouth of the Cowlitz; Alexander S. Abernethy at Oak Point; and Judge
William Strong at Cathlamet. Some oystermen in Shoalwater Bay were
taking shellfish for the San Francisco market. At Cowlitz Landing,
thirty miles up that river, were extensive prairies, where farms had
been cultivated by the Hudson Bay Company, under the name of the Puget
Sound Agricultural Company, for fifteen years; and here were a few
Americans and a number of Scotch and Canadians, former employees of that
company, and now looking forward to becoming American citizens, and
settling down upon their own "claims" under the Donation Act, which gave
320 acres to every settler, and as much more to his wife. A score of
hardy pioneers had settled upon the scattered prairies between the
Cowlitz Farms and the Sound; among them were John R. Jackson, typical
English yeoman, on his prairie, ten miles from the Cowlitz; S.S.
Saunders, on Saunders's Bottom, where now stands the town of Chehalis;
George Washington, a colored man, on the next prairie, the site of
Centralia; Judge Sidney S. Ford on his prairie on the Chehalis River,
below the mouth of the Skookumchuck Creek; W.B. Goodell, B.L. Henness,
and Stephen Hodgdon on Grand Mound Prairie; A.B. Rabbeson and W.W. Plumb
on Mound Prairie. A number of settlers had taken up the prairies about
Olympia, the principal of whom were W.O. Bush, Gabriel Jones, William
Rutledge, and David Kendrick on Bush Prairie; J.N. Low, Andrew J.
Chambers, Nathan Eaton, Stephen D. Ruddell, and Urban E. Hicks on
Chambers's Prairie; David J. Chambers on the prairie of his name. James
McAlister and William Packwood were on the Nisqually Bottom, at the
mouth of the river, just north of which, on the verge of the Nisqually
plains, was situated the Hudson Bay Company post, Fort Nisqually, a
parallelogram of log buildings and stockade, under charge of Dr. W.F.
Tolmie, a warm-hearted and true Scot. Great herds of Spanish cattle, the
property of this company, roamed over the Nisqually plains, little cared
for and more than half wild, and, it is to be feared, occasionally fell
prey to the rifles of the hungry American emigrants. Two miles below
Olympia, on the east side of the bay, was located a Catholic mission
under Fathers Ricard and Blanchet, where were a large building, an
orchard, and a garden. They had made a number of converts among the

Towns, each as yet little more than a "claim" and a name, but each in
the hope and firm belief of its founders destined to future greatness,
were just started at Steilacoom, by Lafayette Balch; at Seattle, by Dr.
D. S. Maynard, H.L. Yesler, and the Dennys; at Port Townsend, by F.W.
Pettygrove and L.B. Hastings; and at Bellingham Bay, by Henry Roder and
Edward Eldridge.

Save the muddy track from the Cowlitz to Olympia and thence to
Steilacoom, and a few local trails, roads there were none. Communication
was chiefly by water, almost wholly in canoes manned by Indians. The
monthly steamer from San Francisco and a little river steamboat plying
daily between Vancouver and Portland alone vexed with their keels the
mighty Columbia; while it was not until the next year that reckless,
harum-scarum Captain Jack Scranton ran the Major Tompkins, a small black
steamer, once a week around the Sound, and had no rival. Here was this
great wooded country without roads, the unrivaled waterways without
steamers, the adventurous, vigorous white population without laws,
numerous tribes of Indians without treaties, and the Hudson Bay
Company's rights and possessions without settlement. To add to the
difficulties and confusion of the situation, Congress, by the Donation
Acts, held out a standing invitation to the American settlers to seize
and settle upon any land, surveyed or unsurveyed, without waiting to
extinguish the Indian title, or define the lands guaranteed by solemn
treaty to the foreign company, and already the Indians and the Hudson
Bay Company were growing daily more and more restless and indignant at
the encroachments of the pushing settlers upon their choicest spots.
Truly a situation fraught with difficulties and dangers, where
everything was to be done and nothing yet begun.

It is a great but common mistake to suppose that the early American
settlers of Washington were a set of lawless, rough, and ignorant
borderers. In fact they compare favorably with the early settlers of any
of the States. As a rule they were men of more than average force of
character, vigorous, honest, intelligent, law-abiding, and
patriotic,--men who had brought their families to carve out homes in
the wilderness, and many of them men of education and of standing in
their former abodes. Among them could be found the best blood of New
England, the sturdy and kindly yeomanry of Virginia and Kentucky, and
men from all the States of the Middle West from Ohio to Arkansas. Most
of them had slowly wended their way across the great plains, overcoming
every obstacle, and suffering untold privations; others had come by sea
around Cape Horn, or across the Isthmus. They were all true Americans,
patriotic and brave, and filled with sanguine hopes of, and firm faith
in, the future growth and greatness of the new country which they had
come to make blossom like the rose. Governor Stevens, as has been shown,
at once appreciated the character of these people.

After the arduous and exposed journey up the Cowlitz by canoe,--where
the Indian crew had to gain foot by foot against the furious current of
the flooded river, oftentimes pulling the frail craft along by the
overhanging bushes,--and over the muddy trail by horseback, Governor
Stevens reached Olympia on November 25, 1853, just five months and
nineteen days since starting from St. Paul. He found here awaiting his
arrival the new territorial secretary, Charles M. Mason, brother to his
old friend Colonel James Mason, of the engineers, who had just come out
by the Isthmus route. Mason was of distinguished appearance and bearing,
with fine dark eyes and hair, fair, frank face, and charming but
unobtrusive manner. He was highly educated, gifted with unusual ability,
and a noble and amiable disposition, and was beloved by all who knew
him. The other territorial officers on the ground were: Edward Lander,
chief justice, and Victor Monroe, associate justice; J.V. Clendenin,
district attorney; J. Patten Anderson, marshal; and Simpson P. Moses,
collector of customs.

[Illustration: CHARLES H. MASON
               _Secretary of Washington Territory_]

Among the settlers welcoming their new governor were: Edmund Sylvester,
the founder of Olympia; Colonel William Cock, Shirley Ensign, D.R.
Bigelow, George A. Barnes, H.A. Goldsborough, John M. Swan, C.H. Hale,
Judge B.F. Yantis, Judge Gilmore Hayes, John G. Parker, Quincy A.
Brooks, Dr. G.K. Willard, Colonel M. T. Simmons, Captain Clanrick
Crosby, Ira Ward, James Biles, Joseph Cushman, S.W. Percival, Edwin
Marsh, R.M. Walker, Levi and James Offut, J.C. Head, W. Dobbins, Isaac
Hawk, Rev. G.F. Whitworth, Jared S. Hurd, H.R. Woodward, B.F. Brown, and
M. Hurd.

The arrival of the governor and his party was the great event for the
little town, as well as for the new Territory generally, and warm and
hearty was his greeting by the pioneers. And when shortly afterwards,
December 19, the governor delivered a lecture, giving a description of
his exploration and an exposition of the Northern route, their hopes and
expectations were raised to the highest point, and they already saw in
the mind's eye the iron horse speeding across the plains and through the
mighty forests, and the full-flowing tide of immigration following its

Without delay the governor issued his proclamation, as empowered by the
organic act marking out and establishing election districts, appointing
time (January 30) and places for holding the elections, for a delegate
in Congress and members of the legislature, and summoning that body to
meet in Olympia on the 28th of February.

The Indian service next engaged his attention. He appointed Colonel M.T.
Simmons Indian agent for the Puget Sound Indians, with B.F. Shaw and O.
Cushman as interpreters and assistants, and sent them to visit the
different tribes and bands, to assure them of the protection and
guidance of the Great Father in Washington, to urge them to cultivate
the soil and "follow the white man's road," that is, to adopt the
habits of civilized life; and to impress upon them the necessity of
making treaties, in order to prevent future trouble and secure them
peace and safety. He also appointed A.J. Bolon agent for the Indians
east of the Cascades, and William H. Tappan agent for the coast and
river Indians on the Chehalis and Columbia rivers, Gray's Harbor, and
Shoalwater Bay.

Governor Stevens deeply commiserated the condition and probable future
of the Indians under his charge, and felt the greatest interest and
concern in their welfare and improvement. How wise, generous, and
beneficent a policy he established in his treaties, with what great
kindness, justice, and firmness he uniformly treated them, will be shown
later in this work. It is enough to say now that the Indians came to
know him as their friend and protector, and to this day hold his memory
in reverence; that the treaties he made and the policy he inaugurated
have remained in force to the present time, and that under them the
Indians of Washington have more fully preserved their rights and
improved their condition than the aborigines of any other State.

Having thus started the civil government and Indian service, and set the
young men of the exploration hard at work preparing the reports, and, as
already related, dispatched McClellan to run the line from the Sound to
the Snoqualmie Pass, the governor took the Sarah Stone, a small
sailboat, or "plunger," and, accompanied by Mr. George Gibbs, went down
the Sound in person, in order, as he states, "to visit and take a census
of the Indian tribes, learn something of the general character of the
Sound and its harbors, and to visit Vancouver Island and its principal
port, Victoria.

  "In this trip I visited Steilacoom, Seattle, Skagit Head, Penn's
  Cove, the mouths of the Skagit and Samish rivers, Bellingham Bay,
  passed up the channel De Rosario and down the channel De Haro to
  Victoria, and on my return made Port Townsend and several other
  points on the western shore of the Sound. We examined the coal mines
  back of Seattle and Bellingham Bay, and saw a large body of Indians
  of nearly all the tribes. I became greatly impressed with the
  important advantages of Seattle, and also with the importance of the
  disputed islands."

In a report to the Secretary of War, written immediately after this
trip, he remarks:--

  "I was agreeably impressed with Elliott's Bay, on which are the
  flourishing towns of Seattle and Alki, and I agree entirely in the
  opinion of Captain McClellan that it is the best harbor on the
  Sound, and unless the approach to it from the pass should, on a more
  minute examination, prove less favorable than to some other point,
  which is hardly to be expected, that it is the proper terminus of
  the railroad."

In his reports Seattle is assumed as the terminus on the Sound, and all
the distances measured and calculations of cost, etc., are made with
reference to that point as the western end of the route.

The above is a provokingly brief and meagre record of this trip, which
occupied the whole month of January, the same month that McClellan,
after balking the Snoqualmie survey, turned back from Camano Island and
abandoned the examination of the lower Sound in consequence of the
inclemency of the weather. The governor's trip could have been no
holiday excursion, in an open sailboat in that stormy, rainy season, and
among the swift tides and fierce gales of the lower Sound. But it was
fruitful in results. He grasped with the acute and discriminating eye of
an engineer the whole system of waters and the several harbors and
points of importance, talked with the principal men of each place and
gleaned all the information they could furnish, and gained a
comprehensive and correct idea of the numbers, distribution, and
character of the Indians.

Moreover, he met at Victoria Governor Sir James Douglass and the other
officers there of the Hudson Bay Company, and discussed with them their
claims within our borders. He had now visited and personally examined
all but one (Fort Okanogan) of that company's posts within his
territory, Colville, Walla Walla, Vancouver, Cowlitz Farms, and
Nisqually, and had discussed their claims with the officers in charge of
them, and with the chief factor, Sir James Douglass. As the result of
this investigation he made, on his return to Olympia, an exhaustive
report to the Secretary of State, setting forth in detail the actual
holdings and improvements of the company at each point. He estimated
that their value could not exceed $300,000, and recommended that a
commission be appointed to adjudicate the claims, and that such sum be
appropriated by Congress to extinguish them. Secretary Marcy adopted his
views and recommendations, and transmitted them to Congress, and a bill
appointing the commission and making the appropriation passed the Senate
the following session, but failed in the House. These claims remained a
bone of contention between the countries for many years, until finally
Great Britain, by means of a joint commission, and by sticking to the
most extravagant demands with true bulldog tenacity, succeeded in
wringing nearly a million dollars from the United States.

At the election Columbia Lancaster was chosen delegate in Congress. He
was a lawyer by profession, and a man of ability and education.

The legislature assembled on the appointed day, and Governor Stevens
delivered his first message. Briefly reviewing the great natural
resources of the Territory and its commercial advantages, with its
unrivaled harbors and location to control in due time the trade of China
and Japan, he recommended the adoption of a code of laws, the
organization of the country east of the Cascades into counties, a
school system with military training in the higher schools, and the
organization of the militia. The latter he declared necessary in view of
their remote situation, compelling them to rely upon themselves in case
of war, for a time at least, and to enable them to draw arms and
ammunition from the general government, which could be issued only to an
organized militia force. He dwelt on the importance of extinguishing the
Indian title and the claims of the Hudson Bay and Puget Sound
Agricultural Companies, and settling the boundary line on British
territory, and recommended them to memorialize Congress in behalf of
these measures. He informed them that, under instructions from the
Secretary of State, he had already notified the foreign Fur Company that
it could not be allowed to trade with Indians within the Territory, and
would be given until July to wind up their affairs. He also urged them
to ask Congress for a surveyor-general and a land office, for more rapid
surveys of public land, so that they might be kept in advance of
settlement; to amend the land laws by facilitating the acquisition of
title, and by placing single women on the same footing with married
women; for a grant of lands for a university; for improved mail service;
for roads to Walla Walla, to Vancouver, and to Bellingham Bay along the
eastern shore of the Sound; and for continuing the geographical and
geological surveys already begun. He boldly advocated the construction
of three railroads across the continent, undoubtedly the first to
foresee the necessity of more than a single line. From this time he
always advocated three transcontinental roads.

All these recommendations were promptly adopted by the legislature,
except as regarded the militia, concerning which no action was taken; an
unfortunate neglect, which left the people almost defenseless when the
Indian war broke out less than two years later.

Soon after arriving at Olympia, Governor Stevens writes his friend
Halleck announcing his arrival and the successful achievement of the
exploration. In this letter he expresses the opinion that the waters of
San Francisco Bay and Puget Sound should both have their connections
with the States by railroad.

He asks Halleck how lands should be donated and managed for the
establishment of a university in Washington Territory, and his views as
to a plan, etc.

January 9 he writes Joseph Grinnell & Co., of New York, a great
mercantile and shipping and whaling firm, suggesting to them the
establishing of a whaling and fishing depot on one of the harbors of the
lower Sound.

Halleck writes a cordial letter in reply to the governor's, and gives
him a glimpse "behind the curtain" of California and Southern Democratic
politics, which throws light on Jefferson Davis's action in shutting off
the further exploration of the Northern route.

  "I have by no means lost my interest in the Democratic party, or the
  great public questions of the day. The first and most important of
  these is the great continental railroad. Present examinations would
  seem almost conclusive against Benton's central project. If so, this
  road must run from some point in New Mexico to some pass near Los
  Angeles, and thence to San Francisco (and San Diego, perhaps).

  "If this southern route should be selected, it would lead to another
  northern route, perhaps the one explored by yourself to Puget Sound.
  Even if a single road should be adopted on the central line, it must
  fork to San Francisco and Puget Sound, the two great termini of the
  Pacific coast.

  "The pro-slavery extension party will work very hard against the
  North Pacific States, which must of necessity remain free. The first
  branch of this project was to call a new convention in California
  dividing it into two States, making the southern one a slave State,
  with San Diego as the port and terminus of a railroad through Texas.
  Circulars and letters to that effect were sent to pro-slavery men in
  California, and the attempt made to divide the State, but it
  failed. The next move was to acquire Lower California and part of
  Sonora and Chihuahua, making Guaymas the terminus, and the newly
  acquired territory slave States. Two separate plans were set on foot
  for the same object, the Walker 'filibustering' expedition against
  Lower California and Sonora, and Gadsden's treaty with Santa Anna.
  The former is thus far a most complete and contemptible failure, but
  rumor says the latter is likely to be successful, and will be
  undoubtedly, if backed with sufficient money. If the territory is
  acquired, it will be slave territory, and a most tremendous effort
  will be made to run _a_ railroad if not _the_ railroad from Texas to
  Guaymas, with a _branch_ to San Francisco."

Amid all these pressing and engrossing official duties the governor
found time to purchase his future homestead in Olympia, Block 84, and
also a tract of ten acres a little farther back, where Maple Park is now
situated. He also contracted for the purchase of the north half of the
Walker Donation claim, a tract of three hundred and twenty acres
situated a mile and a half south of the town and half way to Tumwater.
All these tracts were then buried in the dense and tall fir forest; but
when the country was cleared, it appeared that the governor had selected
them with unerring judgment, for they are the finest sites in the town
or vicinity.

During all this time the governor and the officers and scientific men of
the exploration were hard at work on the reports of their operations,
working up the observations, and classifying the collections. As
McClellan, Donelson, Lander, Suckley, Gibbs, Arnold, Tinkham, and Grover
successively reached Olympia, bringing fresh contributions of
information gathered in their trips, each took hold of the work. The
offices of the survey were in two small, one-storied buildings on the
west side of Main Street, between Second and Third, hired of Father
Ricard, and presented a busy scene, filled with desks, tables,
instruments, collections, maps, and papers, among which the young men
were writing and working for dear life.

Lieutenant Arnold and Dr. Suckley executed the reconnoissances intrusted
to them most satisfactorily. Lieutenant Grover, starting from Fort
Benton in January with his dog-train, crossed the main range to the
Bitter Root valley, finding only eight inches of snow, and thence
continued with horses down Clark's Fork and Pend Oreille Lake and to the
Dalles. On reaching Vancouver the governor dispatched an express to
Lieutenant Mullan by Spokane Garry, who had accompanied him to that
point, and in January he sent wagonmaster Higgins with a second express
to the same point. Thus, by these expresses going and returning, he had
the route between the Bitter Root valley and Olympia traversed four
times in addition to Grover's trip. Lieutenant Mullan crossed the main
continental divide six times that winter, extending his trips to Fort
Hall, on the upper Snake River, and traveling nearly a thousand miles.
The explorations made by the young officers, including Tinkham and Doty,
were very remarkable and valuable, and were attended at times with great
exertions and privations, and full accounts of them are given in the
final report.

Thus, by his winter posts and parties, the governor was solving, in the
most complete and satisfactory manner, the questions of mountain snows
and climates. From Olympia he reported to Secretary of War Davis the
results of the explorations, and particularly on these points. He urged
that the posts be continued, and a closer examination made of the more
favorable mountain passes, and that lines be surveyed from the Northern
route to Great Salt Lake and to San Francisco.

At this juncture Governor Stevens received a curt and peremptory order
from Secretary Davis, disapproving his arrangements, and ordering him to
disband the winter parties and bring his operations to a close.
Acknowledging the receipt of the order, February 13, he declares that it
shall be promptly obeyed, and continues:--

  "But I earnestly submit to the department the importance of the
  continuation of these surveys, and indulge the hope that Congress
  will make liberal appropriations, both in a deficiency bill and in
  the general appropriation bill, in order that the field now so well
  entered upon may be fully occupied.

  "I will respectfully call the attention of the department to the
  peculiar circumstances of my exploration, which will, it seems to
  me, explain the exceeding of the appropriation, with every desire
  and effort on my part so to arrange the scale and conduct it as not
  to involve a deficiency. The field was almost totally new, rendering
  it impossible to form an estimate. Much work of reconnoissance had
  to be done, which had previously been done for all the other routes,
  before a direction could be given to the railroad examinations and
  estimates proper. Unforeseen expenses in the way of presents, etc.,
  had to be incurred to conciliate the Indian tribes, for our route
  was the only one, so far as I was informed, that at the time was
  deemed particularly dangerous; and the investigation of the question
  of snow was a vital and fundamental one, essential to making any
  reliable report at all, and included within the express requirements
  of the original instructions. I deeply regretted the deficiency
  which I found impending at Fort Benton, and I took at that place
  that course which I believed Congress and the department would have
  taken under the circumstances."

Moreover, to provide funds indispensable for the immediate needs of the
survey, the governor had drawn on Corcoran and Riggs, government bankers
in Washington, to the amount of $16,000, and these drafts all went to

But the Secretary's order arrived too late to frustrate Governor
Stevens's thoroughgoing measures for determining the snow question. The
problem was solved before the work of the winter parties could be
arrested, and this most important point was clearly and satisfactorily
set forth in the report. The much-feared mountain snows were found to be
greatly exaggerated, and to present no real obstacle to the operation of
railroads. In this respect the report has been fully confirmed by
subsequent experience, and in fact less difficulty has been encountered
from snow in the mountains than on the plains of Dakota.

He decided, therefore, to hasten to Washington the earliest moment his
threefold duties of the governorship, Indian service, and the
exploration would admit of, filled with the fixed determination to
prevent the discontinuance of the exploration, to secure the payment of
the protested drafts, and to enlighten the government as to the
necessity of the Blackfoot council, and of extinguishing the Indian
title within his own Territory.

To justify his going without leave first obtained, the legislature
passed a joint resolution that "no disadvantage would result to the
Territory should the governor visit Washington, if, in his judgment, the
interests of the Northern Pacific Railroad survey could thereby be

                             CHAPTER XXIII


Governor Stevens left Olympia on March 26, and, proceeding by way of the
Cowlitz to the Columbia, and by steamer down the coast, reached San
Francisco early in April. Here he found a group of his old friends and
brother officers, including Mason, Halleck, and Folsom, and how warmly
he was received by them, and how interesting they found his accounts of
the exploration, the Indians, and the many wild and new scenes he had
passed through, may be imagined. His arrival attracted much public
attention; his exploration was deemed a very important and remarkable
one, and one conducted with remarkable ability and success; and in Music
Hall, on Bush Street, April 13, before a crowded audience, and
introduced by Mayor Garrison, he gave an able address upon the Northern
route. In this address he boldly advocated three railroads across the
continent, declaring that the subject of internal communications was too
great to be treated from a sectional point of view. He demonstrated the
favorable character of the route and country he had explored, the
navigability of the upper Columbia and Missouri, and the little
obstruction from snows. The impression made by this address is reflected
in the editorial of the San Francisco "Herald:"--

  "Of all the surveys ordered by the general government at Washington
  with a view to the selection of a route for a railroad across the
  continent, that intrusted to Governor Stevens is by far the most
  satisfactory. He took the field in June last, having left the
  Mississippi River on the 15th of that month, and, moving steadily
  westward,--throwing out parties on the right and left of his line,
  surveying every stream of any consequence, exploring every pass
  again and again,--he has accomplished in that time the survey of a
  belt extending two thousand miles from east to west, and from one
  hundred and fifty to two hundred miles from north to south. In the
  Rocky Mountains his explorations have extended over four hundred
  miles from north to south, and in the Cascade Mountains over two
  hundred and fifty miles. While the main work of reconnoissance was
  going on, the auxiliary departments of geology, natural history,
  botany, etc., were prosecuted with vigor and success. The results
  obtained in so short a space of time are, as far as we are aware,

  "The route thus occupied by Governor Stevens and his party is the
  route of the two great rivers across the continent, the Missouri and
  Columbia. Their tributaries interlock; the whole mountain range is
  broken down into spurs and valleys, and no obstruction exists from
  snow. The whole route is eminently practicable. The highest grade
  will be fifty feet to the mile. The summit level of the road will be
  about five thousand feet above the sea. There will be but one
  tunnel. The snows will be less than in the New England States. The
  Missouri River has been surveyed, and found to be navigable for
  steamers to the Falls, about seven hundred miles from Puget Sound,
  and five hundred miles to the point where the main Columbia is first
  reached by railroad from the East. This five hundred miles is in
  part along Clark's Fork, affording one hundred miles navigable for

  "The results of the survey may be summed up as follows: Three lines
  run from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains; nine passes
  explored in the Rocky Mountains; three lines run from the Rocky
  Mountains to the Columbia River and Puget Sound; the Cascades
  explored from the Columbia to the 49th parallel; Puget Sound
  examined with reference to a railroad depot; the fact that not the
  slightest obstruction will occur from snow established beyond

After a short stay in San Francisco, Governor Stevens took the steamer
for the Isthmus, and reached New York in May, and the next morning had
a joyful reunion with his wife and little girls in Newport. After his
severe and long-continued labors, the sea voyage compelled him to a
much-needed rest. On such voyages he threw off his wonted intense, high
pressure mood of work, and, with mind relaxed, enjoyed the soothing
influence of old Neptune.

He proceeded immediately to Washington with his family, except his son,
who was at school at Phillips Academy in Andover, and who joined him
later at the summer vacation, and took rooms at the National Hotel on
Pennsylvania Avenue. A great deal was still to be done to complete the
report of the exploration, and with Tinkham, Osgood, and other
assistants he drove it with his accustomed vigor. On June 30 he
submitted it to the department, the first report of all the routes,
although it covered the greatest field, and was by far the most
comprehensive and exhaustive.

Secretary Davis, recognizing that in his measures for prosecuting the
survey Governor Stevens was actuated solely by zeal for the public
service, submitted an estimate to cover the deficiency, which was duly
appropriated, and the protested drafts were honored. General Hunt gives
the following incident, which shows the confidence Governor Stevens's
old friends had in his ability to carry his points:--

  "I followed him in the thorough work he made of the Northern Pacific
  Railway survey,--of his row with Jeff Davis for overrunning in his
  expenditures the amount assigned him, and so preventing Jeff's
  designs of defeating that road. In 1854 I had, at Fort Monroe,
  occasion to describe your father to old Major Holmes, a classmate of
  Jeff. He went to Washington, and on his return told me, 'Your friend
  Stevens is ruined. Davis refuses to recommend to Congress to make
  good the expenditures as contrary to orders. It will ruin Stevens.'
  'Wait awhile,' said I; 'I see by the last "Union" that Stevens has
  just arrived en route to Washington at Panama. He will leave Jeff
  _nowhere!_' Soon after he arrived in Washington, was followed by an
  appropriation covering all his bills, and so Jeff failed all round."

Secretary Davis was in fact astonished and deeply disappointed at the
results of the survey, and the very favorable picture of the Northern
route and country given in Governor Stevens's report. A leader among the
Southern public men, who were so soon to bring on the great rebellion,
of which he was to be the official head, he had set his heart upon the
Southern route, and was anxious to establish its superiority to all
others and secure its adoption as the national route, in order to
aggrandize his own section. He could ill brook, therefore, Governor
Stevens's clear and vivid description of the Northern route, showing its
great superiority in soil and climate, the easy grades, absence of snow,
and accessibility by inland river navigation. He chose to consider the
accounts overdrawn as the best way of sustaining his chosen route. In
his report to Congress, transmitting the surveys of the several routes,
he took great pains to belittle the results of Governor Stevens's labors
and disparage the Northern route. In his comparison of routes, he
arbitrarily increased the governor's estimate of cost from $117,121,000
to $150,871,000, or nearly $38,000,000; magnified the physical
difficulties; condemned the agricultural resources; declared that "the
country west of the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific slope may likewise be
described as one of general sterility," and that "the severely cold
character of the climate throughout the whole route, except the portion
west of the Cascade Mountains, is one of its unfavorable features." He
ignored the governor's statements, and Tinkham's reconnoissance as to
the snow in the Snoqualmie Pass, and the practicability of the latter,
and, quoting McClellan with approval, declared that "the snow is twenty
feet deep, the pass barely practicable, and the information now
possessed is sufficient to decide against this route." It is significant
that he pays a warm compliment to McClellan, remarking that "his
examination presents a reconnoissance of great value, and, though
performed under adverse circumstances, exhibits all the information
necessary to determine the practicability of this portion of the route."
And this of an officer who had consumed a whole month in moving one
hundred and eighty miles; lay another month in camp in the Yakima
valley, making only the most cursory examinations; found the passes
non-existent, or "impracticable;" reported the snow twenty to
twenty-five feet deep on the credit of Indians; ignobly quailed at
inclement weather and snows, which other men bravely faced and overcame;
and generally condemned the country, and vilified the hardy pioneers. In
sober truth McClellan found credit in the eyes of the Secretary, not for
what he accomplished, but for what he failed to accomplish, for his
unfavorable and condemnatory report on the route and the country, which
was precisely the kind of testimony the Secretary wanted. The country,
stigmatized as one of "general sterility," and which Governor Stevens
pronounced a fine, arable region of great fertility, is now one of the
great wheat-fields of the country, yielding twenty to thirty million
bushels a year.

Moreover, Mr. Davis manifested a dissatisfied and fault-finding spirit
towards the governor. On one occasion, when the latter was calling on
him, and asking his attention to some matter of importance connected
with the survey, Davis interrupted him with marked impatience, and
intimated that he had no time to hear him. "I do not come here to talk
with Jefferson Davis," exclaimed the governor with dignity, "but to
confer with the Secretary of War upon the public business intrusted to
my charge, and I demand his attention." The Secretary at once gave him
full and considerate hearing until the matter was fully gone into, and
as the governor took his leave, followed him to the door, and frankly
apologized for his momentary rudeness. Jefferson Davis was not without
generous and magnanimous traits, and appreciated the earnest and sincere
character of his caller. But he put a stop to further work on the
Northern route, prevented any more appropriations for it, and kept up
his fight against it. Some time afterwards, in speaking of the route to
a mutual friend,[8] he declared: "Governor Stevens is a man of great
ability, and of upright and high-toned character, but he has entirely
misconceived and exaggerated the agricultural resources of the Northern
route. The fact is, he has no knowledge of agricultural soils or
conditions." When this was repeated to the governor he remarked:
"Indeed, perhaps Mr. Davis does not know that I was brought up on a farm
until my seventeenth year."

But Governor Stevens indulged in no complaints at this unworthy
treatment. He knew that the information given in his report was too well
founded and abundant to be refuted by mere official rancor. Despite the
deprivation of funds, he continued the work of exploration, survey, and
observation for the next three years, making free use of the Indian
agents and volunteer troops under his command, and unsparing in his own
personal exertions, and on February 7, 1859, submitted to the War
Department "My final report of the explorations made by me and under my
direction in the years 1853, 1854, and 1855, to determine the
practicability of the Northern route for a railroad to the Pacific."
This report, published by order of Congress in two large quarto volumes,
as Parts I. and II., vol. xii., Pacific Railroad Reports, contains over
eight hundred pages, with plates, tables, and views, and most fully
sustains the earlier report, besides adding an immense amount of new
information. And this was Governor Stevens's answer to Secretary Davis.

But the governor found the sultry summer in Washington a very trying
one, in cramped quarters, overburdened with the voluminous data and
details of the report, and subject to many annoyances. Unfortunately,
the meteorological and astronomical observations, while in care of
Lieutenant Donelson, were lost, presumably on the Isthmus, by the
carelessness of the express company, and could not be recovered,
although that officer returned to San Francisco expressly in search of
them, and this loss caused serious embarrassment. The governor found,
too, that some of the scientific corps were proposing to publish as
their own separate work the materials gathered as members of the
exploration, and had to adopt decided and severe measures to prevent the
barefaced attempt. During great part of July he was seriously ill, and
incapacitated from work.

In addition to all these labors and cares, he obtained the sanction of
the government for holding the Blackfoot council he had so much at
heart, for which he was appointed a commissioner, and allotted $10,000
for assembling and bringing the western Indians to Fort Benton. His
views and recommendations in regard to treating with the Indians of
Washington Territory, and purchasing their lands, were also adopted, and
he was appointed the commissioner to make such treaties. As already
stated, his recommendations in regard to the claims of the Hudson Bay
Company were adopted by the Secretary of State. Congress appropriated
$30,000 for a wagon-road from Fort Benton to Walla Walla, a matter which
the governor strenuously urged; and also amended the land laws, created
the office of surveyor-general, and made appropriations for universal
surveys and mail service. To all these matters "Governor Stevens
addressed himself with the energy, ability, and straightforwardness
which were his characteristics, supplementing the feebler efforts of
Lancaster, and, with Lane of Oregon, coming to the rescue of the most
important bills for Washington, and really doing the work of the
delegate."[9] Notwithstanding Secretary Davis's attitude on the Northern
route, Governor Stevens seems to have lost none of his influence with
the administration. When about to return to the Pacific coast, President
Pierce invited him to write him personally and frequently.


  [8] Major George T. Clark.

  [9] Bancroft's _Pacific States_, vol. xxvi. p. 88.

                              CHAPTER XXIV

                          CROSSING THE ISTHMUS

Governor Stevens, with his family, consisting of his wife, four
children, the two youngest being only two and four years old
respectively, and the nurse Ellen, a bonny young Irish woman, sailed
from New York, September 20, 1854, en route for his far Western home.
The vessel was packed full, with thirteen hundred passengers. The food
was execrable, meats and poultry tainted and almost uneatable. Ice was
charged extra, twenty-five cents a pound. The second cabin table rivaled
at times a scene from Bedlam. The hungry passengers would often hurl the
spoiled chickens overboard amid loud complaints, laughter, and the
imitated crowing and cackle of cocks and hens. Christy's minstrels were
on board, bound to San Francisco,--a reckless, noisy, drinking crew, but
fine performers, both instrumental and vocal, and always ready and
willing to entertain the passengers with their pleasing melodies. The
best state-rooms were allotted the governor and family, with seats next
the captain at table, but the younger children had to sit at the second
table. The ship put in at Havana for a day, where the family enjoyed a
delicious repast of broiled birds on toast and guava jelly at the
Dominica restaurant, and viewed the cathedral and tomb of Columbus.
Crossing the Caribbean sea in hot and sultry weather, they arrived at
Aspinwall on the 29th.

This place was squalid, dreary, and repulsive. Low, flat, swampy morass,
some filled-in land; great pools of dirty, green, stagnant water; a
frail, rickety wharf, which the ship hardly dared touch lest it fall
over; a railroad track along the shore; a hundred yards back, a number
of large, cheap-built wooden houses, like overgrown tenement houses,
unpainted and dilapidated; the street a bed of mud, littered with broken
boards and refuse lumber and piles of rubbish; black pigs roaming and
rooting about; many rascally and worthless-looking natives, in whom the
negro predominated,--the whole thoroughly wet down by heavy, drenching,
tropical showers,--such was Aspinwall, as the disappointed passengers
landed, and sought the shelter of the buildings supposed to be hotels,
but where almost everything was lacking except extortionate charges.

After a comfortless night and miserable breakfast, the party embarked on
the cars, and proceeded about twenty miles to the "Summit," which was
half way to Panama, and as far as the road then extended, and which was
reached about noon, and learned that the rest of the way across had to
be made on horse or mule back. There were no animals ready, but it was
announced that the party would have to wait until the next morning, when
plenty of mules would be provided. Some railroad sheds, a few native
huts, and a huge pavilion, consisting of an immense pyramidal thatched
roof surmounting low sides mostly open, comprised the only shelters, and
into them the passengers flocked.

The great pavilion belonged to a huge, jet black Jamaica negro, named
Carusi, and was not partitioned off, consisting of nothing indeed but
the earthen floor and the roof above it, with the low sides. At night
this rude structure was thronged with the weary passengers. Delicate
ladies and children, rough men, and people of every kind and condition
fairly covered the floor, or rather ground, seeking rest as best they
could; while in the centre of the apartment, in a big, old-fashioned,
four-poster bed, lay the gigantic Carusi side by side with his fat wife,
their ebony faces contrasting with the white pillows and sheets. The
minstrels improved the occasion with banjo and song until late at night,
when some of them, becoming drunk, began disturbing the company with
oaths and obscene language, but Governor Stevens rebuked them in such
stern and minatory manner that they were cowed, and relapsed into

The expected mules began arriving in small bands under charge of natives
about noon the next day, and with much bargaining and contention the
passengers secured their mounts, and started off in groups. The governor
employed two natives to carry the two youngest children, who were mere
babies, on their backs in chairs, and set off followed by the rest of
the family mounted each on a mule. It soon began to rain in torrents. In
an hour it as suddenly ceased, and the sun came out, hot and sultry,
soon to be followed by another downpour, and so deluge and sunshine
alternated all day. After riding two hours over narrow, muddy trails,
and up and down steep though short hills, where the mules had trodden
the clay into regular steps, they reached the Chagres River, and found
all the passengers who had preceded them collected on the bank, gazing
in dismay on the raging yellow flood, for the stream was up under the
tremendous rains, and fearing to essay its passage. After viewing the
river carefully, the governor forced his mule into it, and, guiding him
diagonally across, safely made the opposite bank. Then, returning, he
led the way across again, his little daughter Sue, only eight years old,
close behind on her mule, then the rest of the family, and after them
followed all the waiting crowd. It was dark when they reached Panama,
and found shelter in an old cloistered stone convent, now used as a
hotel, exchanged their wet clothes for dry purchased at the nearest
shop, and obtained much-needed food and rest. But nothing was seen or
heard of the natives with the two babies, since they stole off on a
footpath soon after starting, and late in the evening the governor
mounted a fresh animal, and with a guide went back to find them,
spending the greater part of the night in a vain search. At breakfast
the next morning the natives brought in the children, safe and well and
perfectly contented. They had taken the little ones to their huts on
account of the heavy rains, where the native women fed them and put them
to bed, dried their clothes, and sent them in the next morning, safe and

During the day the passengers were taken out in boats to the steamer
Golden Age, which was anchored in the bay three miles from the town. She
was a larger and more commodious ship than the other. The voyage up the
coast began the next morning. A stop of several hours was made in the
land-locked harbor of Acapulco, which the governor improved by taking
his family ashore, and treating them to a dinner of fried chicken at a
small posada on the old and quaint paved main street. The Panama fever
soon made its dreaded appearance among the passengers, owing to their
exposure on the Isthmus; many fell sick, and a considerable number died
and were buried at sea. The weather was fine, the sea calm and smooth
save for the long rollers of the Pacific, and the voyage would have been
an enjoyable one had it not been for the fearful fever and the crowded
condition of the vessel. On the fourteenth day she entered the Golden
Gate, and rested in the welcome port of San Francisco.

The governor took rooms at the Oriental Hotel. His wife and the three
little girls were all seized with the fever on the ship, and their
condition was serious when they landed. Doctors Hitchcock and Hammond,
old army friends of the governor, were unremitting in their attentions,
and after several weeks' care brought the sufferers past the danger
point, all except the little four-year-old Maude. Her case they at
length pronounced hopeless. But her father would not give her up. He had
a hot bath administered as a last resort, and sat by her bedside hour
after hour, giving liquid nourishment drop by drop, and at last she
passed the crisis and began to recover. By all this sickness they were
forced to remain in the city over a month; but in the society of his old
friends, and amid the bright, vigorous men and bustling scenes of the
new-born metropolis, the time passed rapidly and well improved. Folsom,
a man of wealth, placed his fine carriage and horses at Mrs. Stevens's
disposal. Halleck would have long talks with the governor. Dr. Gwin and
his family, old friends and neighbors, met them with real Southern

One incident is worth relating, because it materially affected
subsequent events, as the governor believed. A number of officers and
other gentlemen were conversing together at the hotel one evening, among
whom was General John E. Wool, then commanding the United States forces
on the Pacific coast. The talk turned on the battle of Buena Vista, and
General Wool loudly claimed for himself all the credit for that battle,
disparaging in an offensive manner General Taylor and the part he took
in it. At length Governor Stevens, whose strong sense of justice was
outraged by the boastful and unfair tirade, spoke up and said: "General
Wool, we all know the brilliant part you bore in the battle, but we all
know and history will record that General Taylor fought and won the
battle of Buena Vista."[10] Wool, although visibly offended, made no
reply to this rebuke, but it rankled and caused a bitter animosity,
which subsequently found vent in hostile speech and action.

The voyage up the coast was made without special incident; they crossed
the bar, steamed up the Columbia, and landed at Vancouver early in
November. Here they remained a fortnight, the guests of Captain Brent,
the quartermaster, in order to enable the sick members to gain strength
sufficiently to stand the hard trip to the Sound. After this brief stay
the governor took his family on a little steamboat to Portland, where
they spent the night. The town then consisted only of a string of small
wooden buildings along the river-bank. The street, or road, was a
perfect quagmire of mud-holes. Single planks laid along irregularly,
with many intervals, furnished the only sidewalks. The next morning they
embarked on a steamer and went down the river to Rainier, where they
landed. This place consisted of a wharf and a sawmill. It was called
Rainier, it was said, by way of a joke, because it rained here all the
time; but doubtless it was named after Mount Rainier, which was named by
Admiral Vancouver after a lord of the British admiralty. The party took
canoes, manned by Indians, the same afternoon, crossed the Columbia, and
paddled a few miles up the Cowlitz to Monticello, where they spent the
night. At daylight the next morning the governor and family embarked in
one large canoe, while the trunks and baggage followed in another, and
pushed upstream against a swift current. There were in the canoe the
governor, his wife and four children, the nurse, and a crew of four
Indians, two at each end. It was a dark, drizzling day, with frequent
showers. The passengers sat upon the bottom of the canoe upon plenty of
Indian mats, and well wrapped in blankets, and, except for the
constrained and irksome position, were fairly comfortable. The Indians,
urged by promise of extra pay, paddled vigorously. At the rapids (and
it seemed that nearly all the stream was in rapids) they laid aside
their paddles, and, standing up, forced the canoe ahead with poles,
which they wielded with great skill and vigor. All day long they paddled
and poled with unabated energy, now paddling where they could take
advantage of an eddy or stretch of back water, now forcing the canoe up
swift rapids, gaining inch by inch. It was after dark when they reached
Cowlitz Landing, thirty miles above Monticello, and found shelter for
the night at the hospitable inn kept by Dr. and Mrs. U.G. Warbass.

Writes Mrs. Stevens of this trip:--

  "We were placed in the canoe with great care, so as to balance it
  evenly, as it was frail and upset easily. At first the novelty,
  motion, and watching our Indians paddle so deftly, then seize their
  poles and push along over shallow places, keeping up a low, sweet
  singing as they glided along, was amusing. As we were sitting flat
  on the bottom of the canoe, the position became irksome and painful.
  We were all day long on this Cowlitz River. At night I could not
  stand on my feet for some time after landing. We walked ankle-deep
  in the mud to a small log-house, where we had a good meal. Here we
  found a number of rough, dirty-looking men, with pantaloons tucked
  inside their boots, and so much hair upon their heads and faces they
  all looked alike. After tea we were shown a room to sleep in, full
  of beds, which were for the women. I was so worn out with this novel
  way of traveling that I laid down on a narrow strip of bed, not
  undressed, all my family alongside on the same bed. The governor sat
  on a stool near by, and, strange to say, slept sound through the
  long, dismal night. He had been shown his bed up through a hole on
  top of the shanty. He said one look was sufficient. Men were strewn
  as thick as possible on the floor in their blankets. The steam
  generated from their wet clothes, boots, and blankets was stifling.
  One small hole cut through the roof was the only ventilation.

  "As soon as breakfast was over the next morning, we mounted into a
  wagon without springs and proceeded on our journey. The governor
  took M. in his arms to keep her from being jolted. There surely were
  no worse roads to be found anywhere in the world than this. The
  horses went deep in the mud every step; the wheels sank to the hub,
  and often had to be pried up. We forded rivers, the water coming
  above our ankles in the wagon. Many big, deep holes they would jump
  over, making the horses run quick, when the wagon would jump across,
  shaking us up fearfully. In one of these holes our horses fell down,
  and we stuck fast in the mud. We were taken from the wagon by men of
  our party plunging up to their knees in the mud, and carrying us out
  by sheer force of their strength. After seating us upon a fallen
  log, the horses were with difficulty extricated from the mud. After
  another long day's tiresome travel we stopped at a log-house for the
  night. Upon entering from the porch we found a big room, with a wood
  fire filling up one side, blazing and crackling, low chairs in
  front; in the centre of the room was a table with a clean cloth on
  it, and a repast of well-cooked food, relishing and abundant, was
  placed upon it, to which we did ample justice. Our host was an
  Englishman, a farmer, who was getting on well, a genial, hospitable
  man. His wife was a superior woman. She had crossed the plains with
  her first husband. On the journey they were surrounded by Indians.
  He was killed. She was taken prisoner by these savages, and after
  passing through untold suffering she managed to make her escape, and
  after walking hundreds of miles, living upon berries by the way, she
  came into the Dalles, a forlorn, starved woman, almost destitute of
  clothing, with her boy ten years of age. It was here our host met
  her and offered shelter to her child and herself, which she gladly
  accepted, and finally became his wife. She was a fine-looking woman
  and a thorough housekeeper, but had the saddest expression on her
  face. At night she took us across the yard into another log-house,
  where we found a bright fire burning on the hearth, and nice, clean
  beds. I felt like staying in this comfortable shelter, hearing the
  rain patter on the roof, until the rainy season was over, at least."

The host referred to was John R. Jackson. His farm was only ten miles
from Cowlitz Landing, but the roads were in such wretched state that a
whole day was consumed in traveling this short distance.

After a cheerful breakfast the next morning, the journey was resumed.
George W. Stevens and several other gentlemen came out to meet the
governor and family, and escorted them to Olympia. The governor mounted
his horse Charlie, which he purchased of the Red River half-breeds, and
which was brought out to him. This was a great, powerful gray charger,
of high spirit, and able to cover twelve miles an hour in a swinging
trot without distress. It was another rainy, drizzling day. The road was
almost impassable. At Saunders's Bottom, where the town of Chehalis now
stands, the mud was knee-deep for two miles, terribly wearing on the
animals. At length, after fording the Skookumchuck at its mouth, and
traversing an extensive prairie, the wet, tired, and bedraggled party
reached the log-house of Judge Sidney S. Ford, and found hospitable
shelter for the night, having traveled about twenty-five miles that day.

The next day the party reached Olympia late in the afternoon, after a
thirty miles' journey over much better and pleasanter roads, traversing
prairies over half the distance, including Grand Mound, Little Mound,
and Bush's prairies. It was a dreary, dark, December day. It had rained
considerably. The road from Tumwater to Olympia was ankle-deep in mud,
and thridded a dense forest with a narrow track. With expectations
raised at the idea of seeing the capital and chief town of the
Territory, the weary travelers toiled up a small hill in the edge of the
timber, reached the summit, and eagerly looked to see the future
metropolis. Their hearts sank with bitter disappointment as they
surveyed the dismal and forlorn scene before them. A low, flat neck of
land, running into the bay, down it stretched the narrow, muddy track,
winding among the stumps which stood thickly on either side; twenty
small wooden houses bordered the road, while back of them on the left
and next the shore were a number of Indian lodges, with canoes drawn up
on the beach, and Indians and dogs lounging about. The little hill
mentioned is where now stands the Masonic Building, opposite the Olympia
Hotel. The site of the Indian camp is now Columbia Street, between Third
and Fourth. There were only one or two buildings above, or south of,
Sixth Street. The public square was a tangle of fallen timber. Main
Street terminated in Giddings's Wharf, which was left high and dry at
low tide.

Mrs. Stevens continues her account as follows:--

  "At night we were told, on ascending a hill, 'There is Olympia.'
  Below us, in the deep mud, were a few low, wooden houses, at the
  head of Puget Sound. My heart sank, for the first time in my life,
  at the prospect. After ploughing through the mud, we stopped at the
  principal hotel, to stay until our house was ready for us. As we
  went upstairs there were a number of people standing about to see
  the governor and his family. I was very much annoyed at their
  staring and their remarks, which they made audibly, and hastened to
  get in some private room, where I could make myself better prepared
  for an inspection. Being out in rains for many days had not improved
  our appearance or clothes. But there seemed no rest for the weary.
  Upon being ushered into the public parlor I found people from far
  and near had been invited to inspect us. The room was full. The sick
  child was cross, and took no notice of anything that was said to
  her. One of the women saying aloud, 'What a cross brat that is!' I
  could stand it no longer, but opened a door and went into a large
  dancing-hall, and soon after, when the governor came to look me up,
  I was breaking my heart over the forlorn situation I found myself
  in,--cold, wet, uncomfortable, no fire, shaking with chills. What a
  prospect! How I longed to find myself back in my childhood's home,
  among good friends and relatives! Just then we were told we were
  expected across the street. The governor had his office there, and
  had us taken directly there. It was a happy change. We went into a
  large, cheerful room, with the beds on the floor, a bright fire
  burning, book-cases filled with books smiling upon us. We soon had a
  good repast, and felt comfortable at last. In a few days we were at
  housekeeping, very pleasant indeed, all picking up in health, and
  good friends around us.

  "Many of the people called on me. I found them pleasant and
  agreeable people; many of them were well-educated and interesting
  young ladies who had come here with their husbands, government
  officials, and who had given up their city homes to live in this
  unknown land, surrounded by Indians and dense forests.

  "I remained three years at Olympia, a great part of the time living
  alone with the children, the governor being away in all parts of the
  Territory, making treaties with the Indians, planning and arranging
  the settlement of the country. There was a pleasant company of
  officers, with their wives, stationed at Steilacoom, twenty miles
  from Olympia, with whom I became acquainted, and had visits from and
  visited. Naval ships came up Puget Sound with agreeable officers on
  board. I had a horse to ride on horseback across the lovely
  prairies. Almost daily I took a ride about the picturesque,
  beautiful country, with the rich, dense forests and snowy mountains,
  green little prairies skirted by timber, lakes of deep, clear water,
  all of which was new to me, affording great pleasure in exploring
  Indian trails and country, which was completely new. I also had a
  boat built, in which I made excursions down the Sound. About two
  miles down there was a Catholic mission, a large, dark house or
  monastery, surrounded by cultivated land, a fine garden in front
  filled with flowers, bordered on one side, next the water, with
  immense bushes of wall-flowers in bloom; the fragrance, resembling
  the sweet English violet, filling the air with its delicious odor.
  Father Ricard, the venerable head of this house, was from Paris. He
  had lived in this place more than twenty years. He had with him
  Father Blanchet, a short, thickset man, who managed everything
  pertaining to the temporal comfort of the mission. Under him were
  servants who were employed in various ways, baking, cooking,
  digging, and planting. Their fruit was excellent and a great rarity,
  as there was but one more orchard in the whole country. There was a
  large number of Flatheads settled about them, who had been taught to
  count their beads, say prayers, and were good Catholics in all
  outward observances; chanted the morning and evening prayers, which
  they sang in their own language in a low, sweet strain, which, the
  first time I heard it, sitting in my boat at sunset, was impressive
  and solemn. We went often to visit Father Ricard, who was a highly
  educated man, who seemed to enjoy having some one to converse with
  in his own language. He said the Canadians used such bad French."

Mrs. Stevens was still suffering from the Panama fever, and it was a
year before she and little Maude recovered from it. The new quarters
consisted of two long, one-story wooden buildings, one room wide, little
more than sheds, hired of Father Ricard at $900 a year. They were
cheaply built, without plastering, but lined inside with cotton cloth.
There was a narrow passageway between them, from which doors gave access
to the different rooms. In rear was a large yard, extending to the
beach, upon which a gate in the rear fence opened, and where a boat was
kept. The Indian camp began at the corner of the yard. The governor had
secured two men servants, Agnew as cook, and W.F. Seely, man of all
work. The latter was a lusty young Irishman, strong as a bull and quick
as a cat, witty, boastful, brave, and devoted to the governor and his
family. He was a member of the exploring party, where he had fought and
beaten all the pugilistic heroes up to the wagon-master, C.P. Higgins,
by whom he had been handsomely vanquished, and whom he regarded ever
after with great admiration and esteem.

The family soon felt at home in the new abode, amid the novel scenes and
experiences, and cheered by new and old friends. George Stevens, Mason,
and Lieutenant Arnold came in and out like brothers. There were Evans
and Kendall, who came with the exploration; Major H. A. Goldsborough,
George Gibbs, Colonel Simmons, Frank Shaw, and Orrington Cushman, known
as "Old Cush," with his great red beard, a great favorite with children,
and liked and trusted by both whites and Indians. Major James Tilton,
the surveyor-general, arrived with his family after a voyage around the
Horn,--a man of soldierly bearing and aristocratic tastes, who was to
render valuable service. Captain J. Cain also arrived, as Indian
agent,--a typical Indiana politician, but a man of parts and integrity
and public spirit, and a true friend.

The second legislature met on December 4, and the governor on the 5th
delivered his message in person.

After acknowledging the consideration shown him as their executive, and
congratulating them on the flattering prospects of the Territory, he
recommended them to memorialize Congress for roads, mail service,
steamer lines, etc., and other needs, and mentioned with regret the
failure of Congress to provide for objects for which he had earnestly
striven, viz., the extinction of the Hudson Bay Company's claims, the
running of the northern boundary line, and a geological survey of the
coal measures. He urged the organization of an effective militia,
referring to the danger of Indian hostilities, his recommendation to the
first legislature, and to the fact that the government had refused his
recent applications for arms because the militia was not organized. He
summed up the results of his exploration in saying: "Beautiful prairies
and delightful valleys, easy passes practicable at all seasons of the
year, have taken the place of savage deserts and mountain defiles
impracticable half the year from snow.... The more the country is
examined, the better it develops."

In closing he invoked their support of his efforts in behalf of the

  "I will indulge the hope that the same spirit of concord and exalted
  patriotism, which has thus far marked our political existence, will
  continue to the end. Particularly do I invoke that spirit in
  reference to our Indian relations. I believe the time has now come
  for their final settlement. In view of the important duties which
  have been assigned to me, I throw myself unreservedly upon the
  people of the Territory, not doubting that they will extend to me a
  hearty and generous support in my efforts to arrange on a permanent
  basis the future of the Indians of this Territory."

Referring to the military road across the Nahchess Pass, he said:--

  "It would be a great benefit to those traveling this road should the
  legislature take some step toward sowing with grass-seed the small
  prairie known as the Bare Prairie, situated a little below the mouth
  of Green River, as also the sides of the mountain known as La Tête.
  These points are intermediate in a long distance destitute of grass,
  and are almost necessarily stopping-places on the march. A very
  small sum would cover the expense of planting them, and the
  advantage would be incalculable."

This humane and sensible suggestion was turned into ridicule and
defeated by one of those wiseacres, strong in their own conceit and
ignorance, that infest most assemblies, who cried out, "Governor Stevens
needn't try to make grass grow where God Almighty didn't make it grow."

There was great jealousy on the part of the settlers of the far-reaching
claims of the Hudson Bay Company, and under the influence of this
feeling the council requested the governor to communicate any
information he had as to the manner in which Congress arrived at the
estimated amount of $300,000 as the value of such claims. The attentions
paid him by the officers of that company, in their open efforts to gain
his goodwill and support, were well known, and, with the fact that an
appropriation of the above amount for extinguishing the claims had
passed the Senate, had excited some mistrust as to the governor's action
and attitude on that important question. In reply he simply gave a
synopsis of his report to the State Department, which set all doubts at


  [10] Governor Stevens's own statement. See Bancroft's _Pacific
       States_, vol. xxvi. p. 117, note.

                              CHAPTER XXV


Governor Stevens regarded his Indian treaties and Indian policy, and his
management of the Indians of the Northwest, as among the most important,
beneficial, and successful services he rendered the country. By ten
treaties and many councils and talks, he extinguished the Indian title
to a domain larger than New England; and by the Blackfoot council and
treaty he made peace between those fierce savages and the whites and all
the surrounding tribes, and permanently pacified a region equally
extensive, embracing the greater part of Montana and northern Idaho; and
during the four years, 1853-56, he treated and dealt with over thirty
thousand Indians, divided into very numerous and independent tribes and
bands, and occupying the whole vast region from the Pacific to and
including the plains of the upper Missouri, and now comprising the
States of Washington, part of Oregon, northern Idaho, and the greater
part of Montana. Moreover, by gaining the wavering friendship and
fidelity of doubtful tribes, and even many members of the disaffected,
he frustrated the well-planned efforts of the hostile Indians to bring
about a universal outbreak, and saved the infant settlements from
complete annihilation at the hands of the treacherous savages.

His Indian policy was one of great beneficence to the Indians, jealously
protected their interests, and provided for their improvement and
eventual civilization, while at the same time it opened the country for
settlement by the whites. The wisdom with which it was planned, and the
ability and energy with which it was carried out, during this brief
period, are attested by the remarkable success which attended it, and by
the fact that many of these tribes are to-day living under those very
treaties, and have made substantial progress towards civilized habits.
It is believed that in their extent and magnitude, in their difficulties
and dangers, and in the permanence and beneficence of their results,
these operations are without parallel in the history of the country. Yet
for several years Governor Stevens's Indian treaties were bitterly
assailed and misrepresented both by hostile Indians and by officers high
in authority; their confirmation was refused by the United States
Senate, and he himself was made the target for virulent abuse. It was
his intention to write the history of these operations, an intention
which the pressure of public duties during the few remaining years of
his life, and his early death, prevented. In his final report on the
Northern route he remarks, in words of manly fortitude and confidence:--

  "I trust the time will come when my treaty operations of 1855,--the
  most extensive operations ever undertaken and carried out in these
  latter days of our history,--I repeat, I trust the time will come
  when I shall be able to vindicate them, and show that they were wise
  and proper, and that they accomplished a great end. They have been
  very much criticised and very much abused; but I have always felt
  that history will do those operations justice. I have not been
  impatient as to time, but have been willing that my vindication
  should come at the end of a term of years. Let short-minded men
  denounce and criticise ignorantly and injuriously, and let time show
  that the government made no mistake in the man whom it placed in the
  great field of duty as its commissioner to make treaties with the
  Indian tribes."

And in another place he adds:--

  "I intend at some future day to give a very full account of these
  large operations in the Indian service."

In his journey across the plains, amid all the cares and labors of the
great exploration, Governor Stevens took the utmost pains, by messages,
talks, and councils to and with the Blackfeet and other tribes, to
prepare them for the great council and peace treaty which he saw was
necessary for the opening and settlement of the country, and on arriving
in his own Territory was equally indefatigable in impressing upon the
Indians there the advantages of living at peace with the white man, of
adopting his better mode of livelihood, and of securing the aid and
protection of the Great Father in Washington. Among his first acts was
the appointment of Indian agents, and sending them to urge these views
upon the tribes. It was high time for judicious and prompt action; for
the Indians, especially the powerful and warlike tribes of the upper
Columbia, were becoming alarmed at the way the whites were pouring into
the country, and, under the invitation of Congress given by the Donation
Acts, were taking up their choicest lands without asking their consent.
On his recent visit in Washington he had impressed his views upon the
government, obtained its sanction and authorization for the Blackfoot
council, and the necessary authority and funds for treating with the
Indians of his own superintendency. He now planned treating first with
the tribes on Puget Sound and west of the Cascades for the cession of
their lands, then with the great tribes occupying the country between
the Cascades and Rocky Mountains for their lands, and then, crossing the
Rockies, to proceed to Fort Benton, accompanied by delegations from the
hunting tribes of Washington and Oregon, and there hold the great
pre-arranged peace council with the Blackfeet, Crows, and Assiniboines
of the plains east of the mountains, and the Nez Perces, Flatheads, Pend
Oreilles, etc., of the western slope.

Immediately on his return to Olympia the governor sent out the agents
and messengers to assemble the Sound Indians at designated points for
council and treaty making, and early in January dispatched Mr. Doty with
a small party east of the Cascades to make the preliminary arrangements
for bringing together in council the Indians of that region.

The Indians on the Sound, including those on the Strait of Fuca,
numbered some eight thousand five hundred, and were divided into a great
many tribes and bands. They were canoe Indians, and drew most of their
food from the waters, chiefly salmon and shell-fish, eked out with game,
roots, and berries. Those about the upper Sound had bands of ponies,
with which they roamed the prairies in summer. They lived in large
lodges, several families together, constructed of planks split from the
cedar, with nearly flat roofs, and often thirty or forty feet long and
twenty wide. They showed no little artistic skill in their canoes,
paddles, spears, fish-hooks, basket-work impervious to water, and mats
of rushes. Out of a single cedar-tree, with infinite pains and labor,
they hewed and burned the most graceful and beautiful and finest canoe
ever seen, the very model, in lines and run, of a clipper ship. These
varied in size from the little fishing-craft, holding but two persons,
to a great canoe carrying thirty. They held as slaves the captives taken
in war and their descendants, and, singularly enough, the heads of the
slaves were left in their natural state, while the skulls of the
free-born were flattened by pressure during infancy into the shape of a
shovel. Many of the bands were remnants of former large tribes, for they
had been greatly diminished in numbers by the ravages of smallpox and
venereal disease. They lacked the energy and courage of the Indians of
the upper country, and lived in perpetual dread of the gigantic and
savage northern Indians,--the Hydahs and other bands of Tlinkits of
British Columbia and Alaska,--who would periodically swoop down the
coast in their great war canoes and raid these feebler folk, ruthlessly
slaughtering the men, and enslaving the women and children. They
suffered also, but to a less degree, from incursions of bands of Yakimas
across the mountains, equally on trade and plunder bent, whom they
designated "Klikitats," or robbers, a term which has been taken as a
tribal name. To these dangers were now added the fear of the
all-powerful and ever-increasing whites. Thus situated and thus
apprehensive, the messages and exhortations of the governor promising
them protection, pointing out the way of bettering their condition, and
of even imitating the envied superior race, broke upon them like a
lighthouse in a dark night upon the storm-tossed mariner, relieved their
fears and anxieties, and gave them hope. They hastened to assemble at
the appointed council grounds, eager to listen to the new white chief,
and to learn what he offered from the Great Father for their benefit.

On December 7, only two days after delivering his message to the
legislature, Governor Stevens organized his treaty-making force by
appointing James Doty secretary, George Gibbs surveyor, H.A.
Goldsborough commissary, and B.F. Shaw interpreter, Colonel M.T. Simmons
having already been appointed agent. The governor assembled these
gentlemen to confer upon the projected treaties. After giving his views,
and showing the necessity of speedily treating with the Indians and
placing them on reservations, he had Mr. Doty read certain treaties with
the Missouri and Omaha tribes, which contained provisions he deemed
worthy of adoption, and invited a general and thorough discussion of the
whole subject. So many points were settled by this frank and free
interchange of views that Mr. Gibbs was directed to draw up a programme,
or outline of a treaty, which on the next meeting on the 10th, after
discussion and some changes, was adopted as the basis of the treaties to
be made with the tribes on the Sound, coast, and lower Columbia.

No better advisers could have been found than the men with whom he thus
took counsel; and one is struck by the clever and considerate way in
which he secured the best fruits of their knowledge and experience, and
enlisted their best efforts in carrying out the work. Simmons and Shaw
were old frontiersmen, among the earliest settlers, and had dealt much
with, and thoroughly understood, the Indians, and were respected and
trusted by them. Simmons has been justly termed the Daniel Boone of
Washington Territory. Shaw was said to be the only man who could make or
translate a speech in Chinook jargon offhand, as fast as a man could
talk in his own vernacular. The Chinook jargon was a mongrel lingo, made
up for trading purposes by the fur-traders from English, French, and
Indian words, and had become the common speech between whites and
Indians, and between Indians of different tribes and tongues. He greatly
distinguished himself afterwards in the Indian war as lieutenant-colonel
of volunteers. Gibbs and Goldsborough were men of education, and had
lived in the country long enough to know the general situation and
conditions, and to learn much about the Indians. Gibbs, indeed, made a
study of the different tribes, and rendered an able report upon them as
part of the Northern Pacific Railroad exploration. Doty, a son of
ex-Governor Doty, of Wisconsin, was a young man of uncommon ability and
energy, who had spent the preceding winter at Fort Benton, and had
studied and made a census of the Blackfeet.

The salient features of the policy outlined were as follows:--

1. To concentrate the Indians upon a few reservations, and encourage
them to cultivate the soil and adopt settled and civilized habits.

2. To pay for their lands not in money, but in annuities of blankets,
clothing, and useful articles during a long term of years.

3. To furnish them with schools, teachers, farmers and farming
implements, blacksmiths, and carpenters, with shops of those trades.

4. To prohibit wars and disputes among them.

5. To abolish slavery.

6. To stop as far as possible the use of liquor.

7. As the change from savage to civilized habits must necessarily be
gradual, they were to retain the right of fishing at their accustomed
fishing-places, and of hunting, gathering berries and roots, and
pasturing stock on unoccupied land as long as it remained vacant.

8. At some future time, when they should have become fitted for it, the
lands of the reservations were to be allotted to them in severalty.

"It was proposed," reported the governor, "to remove all the Indians on
the east side of the Sound as far as the Snohomish, as also the
S'Klallams, to Hood's Canal, and generally to admit as few reservations
as possible, with a view of finally concentrating them in one." It was
found necessary, however, in consequence of the mutual jealousies of so
many independent tribes, to allow more reservations than he first
intended, but some of them were established temporarily, with the right
reserved in the President to remove the Indians to the larger
reservations in the future.

The schooner R.B. Potter, Captain E.S. Fowler, was chartered at $700 per
month, manned and victualed by the owner, to transport the _personnel_
and treaty goods from point to point on the Sound. Orrington Cushman,
Sidney S. Ford, Jr., and Henry D. Cock, with several assistants, were
employed as quartermasters, to prepare camps and council grounds, make
surveys, etc.

In all his councils Governor Stevens took the greatest pains to make the
Indians understand what was said to them. To insure this he always had
several interpreters, to check each other and prevent mistakes in
translation, and was accustomed to consult the chiefs as to whom they
wanted as interpreters.

  "It was my invariable custom," he states in the introduction to his
  final railroad report, page 18, "whenever I assembled a tribe in
  council, to procure from them their own rude sketches of the
  country, and a map was invariably prepared on a large scale and
  shown to them, exhibiting not only the region occupied by them, but
  the reservations that were proposed to be secured to them. At the
  Blackfoot council, the map there exhibited of the Blackfoot
  country--of the hunting-ground common to the Blackfeet and the
  Assiniboines, of the hunting-ground common to the Blackfeet and the
  tribes of Washington Territory, and of the passes of the Rocky
  Mountains by which this hunting-ground was reached--was the
  effective agent in guaranteeing to the Indians the exact facts as to
  what the treaty did propose, and to give them absolute and entire
  confidence in the government."

He always urged and encouraged the Indians to make known their own
views, wishes, and objections, and gave them time to talk matters over
among themselves and make up their minds. Between the sessions of the
council he would have the agents and interpreters explain the terms and
point out the benefits of the proposed treaty, and would frequently
summon the chiefs to his tent, and personally explain matters to them,
and draw out their ideas. He also frequently invited public officers,
and citizens of standing, to attend the councils, and would make use of
them also to talk with and satisfy the Indians. All the proceedings of
these councils, the deliberations and speeches as well as the treaties,
were every word carefully taken down in writing, and transmitted to the
Indian Bureau in Washington, where they are now on file. No one can read
these records without being impressed with Governor Stevens's great
benevolence towards the Indians, and the absolute fairness, candor, and
patience, as well as the judgment and tact, he manifested in dealing
with them. One is also likely to be enlightened as to the native
intelligence, ability, and shrewdness of the Indians themselves.

The first council was held on She-nah-nam, or Medicine Creek, now known
as McAlister's Creek, a mile above its mouth on the right bank, just
below the house of Hartman, on a rising and wooded spot a few acres in
extent, like an island with the creek on the one side (south) and the
tide-marsh on the other. This stream flows along the south side of the
Nisqually bottom, parallel to and half a mile from the river. The
governor and his party, including Mason, Lieutenant W.A. Slaughter, of
the 4th infantry, Doty, Gibbs, Edward Giddings, and the governor's son,
Hazard, a boy of twelve, went down to the treaty ground by canoes on
December 24, and found a large space cleared of underbrush, the tents
pitched, and everything made ready for the council by Simmons, Shaw,
Cock, Cushman, and others, who had been sent ahead for that purpose.
Seven hundred Indians of the tribes dwelling upon the upper Sound and as
far down as the Puyallup River, including the Nisqually, Puyallup, and
Squaxon tribes, were encamped near by. It rained nearly all day. In the
afternoon the Indians drove a large band of ponies across the creek,
forcing them to swim. Provisions were issued to the chiefs to distribute
among their people.

On the following day the Indians assembled, taking seats on the ground
in front of the council tent in semi-circular rows, and the objects and
points of the proposed treaty were fully explained to them. The governor
would utter a sentence in simple and clear language, and Colonel Shaw
would interpret it in the Chinook jargon, which nearly all the Indians
understood. The governor was extremely careful to make the Indians
comprehend every sentence. Colonel Simmons, Gibbs, Cushman, and the
citizens present, all knew the Chinook, and attentively followed Shaw as
he interpreted, so that no mistake or omission could occur. It was slow
and fatiguing work, this going over the ground sentence by sentence, and
after several hours the Indians were dismissed for the day, told to
think over what they had heard, and to assemble again the next morning.
The governor wished to give them time to fully understand and reflect
upon the proposed treaty, and encouraged them to talk freely to himself
or any of his assistants in regard to it.

On the 26th the Indians assembled about nine o'clock to the number of
650, and Governor Stevens addressed them as follows:--

  "This is a great day for you and for us, a day of peace and
  friendship between you and the whites for all time to come. You are
  about to be paid for your lands, and the Great Father has sent me
  to-day to treat with you concerning the payment. The Great Father
  lives far off. He has many children. Some of those children came
  here when he knew but little of them, or of the Indians, and he sent
  me to inquire about these things. We went through this country this
  last year, learned your numbers and saw your wants. We felt much for
  you, and went to the Great Father to tell him what we had seen. The
  Great Father felt for his children. He pitied them, and he has sent
  me here to-day to express these feelings, and to make a treaty for
  your benefit. The Great Father has many white children who come
  here, some to build mills, some to make farms, and some to fish;
  and the Great Father wishes you to learn to farm, and your children
  to go to a good school; and he now wants me to make a bargain with
  you, in which you will sell your lands, and in return be provided
  with all these things. You will have certain lands set apart for
  your homes, and receive yearly payments of blankets, axes, etc. All
  this is written down in this paper, which will be read to you. If it
  is good you will sign it, and I will then send it to the Great
  Father. I think he will be pleased with it and say it is good, but
  if not, if he wishes it different, he will say so and send it back;
  and then, if you agree to it, it is a fixed bargain, and payments
  will be made."

The treaty was then read section by section and explained to the
Indians, and every opportunity given them to discuss it.

Governor Stevens then said:--

  "The paper has been read to you. Is it good? If it is good, we will
  sign it; but if you dislike it in any point, say so now. After
  signing we have some goods to give you, and next summer will give
  you some more; and after that you must wait until the paper comes
  back from the Great Father. The goods now given are not in payment
  for your lands; they are merely a friendly present."

The Indians had some discussion, and Governor Stevens then put the
question: "Are you ready? If so, I will sign it." There were no
objections, and the treaty was then signed by Governor I.I. Stevens, and
the chiefs, delegates, and headmen on the part of the Indians, and duly
witnessed by the secretary, special agent, and seventeen citizens

The presents and provisions were then given to the chiefs, who
distributed them among their people. Towards evening Mr. Swan arrived
with twenty-nine Indians of the Puyallup tribe, and reported twenty more
on the way. They had started three days before, but had been detained by
bad weather. The governor decided to send them presents from Olympia.

Thus it will be seen that the governor first explained the objects and
terms of the treaty generally, and the next day had the text of it read
to them and also explained. The idea of selling their lands and being
paid for them was not new to the Indians, for the settlers were in the
habit of assuring them, when they objected and complained at the
appropriation and fencing up of their choicest camping, root, and berry
grounds, that the Great Father would soon pay them well for their

The scope and policy of the treaty will best appear by the following
abstract of its thirteen articles:--

1. The Indians cede their land to the United States, comprising the
present counties of Thurston, Pierce, and parts of Mason and King.

2. Sets off and describes the reservations, viz., Klah-she-min Island,
known as Squaxon Island, situated opposite the mouths of Hammersley's
and Totten's inlets, and separated from Hartstene Island by Pearl
Passage, containing about two sections of land, or 1280 acres, a square
tract of two sections near and south of the mouth of McAlister's Creek,
and another equal tract on the south side of Commencement Bay, now
covered by the city of Tacoma. Provision is made for the Indians to
remove to these reservations, and for roads through them and from them
to the nearest public highways.

3. Gives the Indians the right of fishing at their accustomed grounds,
except the right of taking shell-fish from beds staked out or cultivated
by citizens, and the rights of hunting, gathering berries and roots, and
pasturing herds on unclaimed land.

4. $32,500 to be paid in annuities of goods, clothing, and useful
articles during the next twenty years.

5. And $3250 to be expended in aiding the Indians to settle on their

6. Empowers the President to remove the Indians to other reservations,
when the interests of the Territory require it, by remunerating them for
their improvements.

7. Prohibits the use of annuities to pay the debts of individuals.

8. Prohibits war or depredations, and the Indians agree to submit all
grievances to the government for settlement.

9. Excludes ardent spirits from the reservations on penalty of
withholding annuities.

10. Provides at a central or general agency a free school, a blacksmith
shop, and a carpenter shop, and to furnish a blacksmith, a carpenter, a
farmer, and teachers, all to give instructions for twenty years.

11. Frees all slaves and abolishes slavery.

12. Prohibits the Indians from trading outside the dominions of the
United States, and forbids foreign Indians to reside on the reservations
without the permission of the superintendent or agent.

13. The treaty to go into effect as soon as ratified by the President
and Senate.

The twelfth article was aimed against the liquor traffic, and also to
counteract the undue influence of the Hudson Bay Company. It carried out
the idea expressed in the governor's instructions to McClellan and
Saxton at the outset of the exploration, already quoted. "The Indians
must look to us for protection and counsel.... I am determined, in my
intercourse with the Indians, to break up the ascendency of the Hudson
Bay Company, and permit no authority or sanction to come between the
Indians and the officers of this government."

Sixty-two Indians signed this treaty, "chiefs, headmen, and delegates of
the Nisqually, Puyallup, Steilacoom, Squawksin, S'Homamish, Steh-chass,
T'Peek-sin, Squiaitl, and Sa-ha-wamish tribes and bands of Indians,
occupying the lands lying around the head of Puget Sound and the
adjacent inlets, who, for the purpose of this treaty, are to be regarded
as one nation." The Indians all made their marks to their names as
written out in full by the secretary. They were: Qui-ee-metl,
Sno-ho-dum-set, Lesh-high, Slip-o-elm, Kwi-ats, Sta-hi, Di-a-keh,
Hi-ten, Squa-ta-hun, Kahk-tse-min, So-nan-o-youtl, Kl-tehp, Sahl-ko-min,
T'Bet-ste-heh-bit, Tcha-hoos-tan, Ke-cha-hat, Spee-peh, Swe-yah-tum,
Chah-achsh, Pich-kehd, S'Klah-o-sum, Sah-le-tatl, See-lup, E-la-kah-ka,
Slug-yeh, Hi-nuk, Ma-mo-nish, Cheels, Knut-ca-nu, Bats-ta-ko-be,
Win-ne-ya, Klo-out, Se-uch-ka-nam, Ske-mah-han, Wuts-un-a-pum,
Quuts-a-tadm, Quut-a-heh-mtsn, Yah-leh-chn, To-tahl-kut, Yul-lout,
See-ahts-oot-soot, Ye-tah-ko, We-po-it-ee, Kah-sld, La'h-hom-kan,
Pah-how-at-ish, Swe-yehm, Sah-hwill, Se-kwaht, Kah-hum-kit, Yah-kwo-bah,
Wut-sah-le-wun, Sah-ba-hat, Tel-e-kish, Swe-keh-nam, Sit-oo-ah,
Ko-quel-a-cut, Jack, Keh-kise-be-lo, Go-yeh-hn, Sah-putsh, William.

Lesh-high, the third signer, was the principal chief and instigator of
the Indian war that broke out the following year, and, after the
outbreak was suppressed, was tried and executed for the murder of
settlers, after an excited controversy and strenuous efforts to save him
on the part of some of the regular officers. Born of a Yakima mother, he
was a chief of unusual intelligence and energy, had much to do with the
Hudson Bay Company's people at Fort Nisqually, by whom he was much
trusted as a guide and hunter, and was supposed to be well affected
towards the whites. The first signer, Qui-ee-muth, was Lesh-high's
brother, and met with a more tragic fate, being slain by a revengeful
settler after he was captured. Sta-hi, the fifth signer, was killed
during the Indian war.

The witnesses who signed the treaty, nineteen in number, including
well-known public men and pioneers, were the following: M.T. Simmons,
Indian agent; James Doty, secretary; C.H. Mason, secretary of the
Territory; W.A. Slaughter, 1st lieutenant, 4th infantry, U.S. A.; James
McAlister, E. Giddings, Jr., George Shazer, Henry D. Cock, Orrington
Cushman, S.S. Ford, Jr., John W. McAlister, Peter Anderson, Samuel
Klady, W.H. Pullen, F.O. Hough, E.R. Tyerall, George Gibbs, Benjamin F.
Shaw, interpreter, Hazard Stevens.

The governor became satisfied at a later date that the reservations set
off for the Nisquallies and Puyallups were inadequate for their future
needs, being of inferior soil and heavily timbered, and in 1856 caused
them to be exchanged for two larger tracts of fine, fertile bottom
land,--one on the Nisqually, a few miles above its mouth, and the other
at the mouth of the Puyallup River, directly opposite the city of
Tacoma, which the Indians still occupy.

In the evening, after the council broke up, the governor had another
long conference with his advisory board, and settled the points and
programme for other treaties. The next morning, directing Gibbs to
survey the lines of the two reservations on Nisqually and Commencement
bays, and dispatching Simmons and Shaw with the rest of the party in the
schooner to the lower Sound to assemble the Indians for the remaining
treaties, he returned to Olympia with Mason and Doty. The treaty was
immediately forwarded to Washington, and was ratified by the Senate,
March 3, 1855, but little over two months after the council.

                      THE TREATY OF POINT ELLIOTT.

The next council was held at Mukilteo, or Point Elliott, where, between
January 12 and 21, the Indians of the east side of the Sound assembled
to the number of 2300. On the latter date Governor Stevens arrived on
the Major Tompkins, accompanied by Secretary Mason, and by his friend,
Dr. C.M. Hitchcock, of San Francisco, who was visiting the country.
After a long conference with his assistants in regard to the most
suitable points for reservations, and the views and feelings of the
Indians, he appointed Gibbs secretary, in place of Doty, who had
departed on his mission east of the mountains, and directed him to
prepare the draft of a treaty embodying the points decided upon, and in
terms similar to the one recently concluded.

The next morning the Indians all assembled; the four head
chiefs--Seattle, chief of the Duwhamish and other bands on White River
and the Sound within twenty miles of Seattle; Pat-ka-nim, chief of the
Snohomish; Goliah, chief of the Skagits; and Chow-its-hoot, chief of the
Bellingham Bay and island Indians--took seats in front on the ground;
the sub-chiefs occupied a second row, and the various tribes took places
behind them in separated groups. The governor then addressed them as
follows, Colonel Shaw interpreting:--

  "My children, you are not my children because you are the fruit of
  my loins, but because you are children for whom I have the same
  feeling as if you were the fruit of my loins. You are my children
  for whom I will strenuously labor all the days of my life until I
  shall be taken hence. What will a man do for his own children? He
  will see that they are well cared for; that they have clothes to
  protect them against the cold and rain; that they have food to guard
  them against hunger; and as for thirst, you have your own glorious
  streams in which to quench it. I want you as my children to be fed
  and clothed, and made comfortable and happy. I find that many of you
  are Christians, and I saw among you yesterday the sign of the cross,
  which I think the most holy of all signs. I address you therefore
  mainly as Christians, who know that this life is a preparation for
  the life to come.

  "You understand well my purpose, and you want now to know the
  special things we propose to do for you. We want to place you in
  homes where you can cultivate the soil, raising potatoes and other
  articles of food, and where you may be able to pass in canoes over
  the waters of the Sound and catch fish, and back to the mountains to
  get roots and berries. The Great Father desires this, and why am I
  able to say this? Here are two thousand men, women, and children,
  who have always treated white men well. Did I not come through your
  country one year since? Were not many of you now present witnesses
  of the fact? [All said Governor Stevens came.] Did I then make
  promises to you? [All said he did not.] I am glad to hear this,
  because I came through your country, not to make promises, but to
  know what you were, to know what you wanted, to know your
  grievances, and to report to the Great Father about you. I have been
  to the Great Father and told him your condition. Here on this Sound
  you make journeys of three and four days, but I made a journey of
  fifty days on your behalf. I told the Great Father I had traveled
  six moons in reaching this country, and had never found an Indian
  who would not give me food, raiment, and animals to forward me and
  mine to the great country of the West. I told him that I was among
  ten thousand Indians, and they took me to their lodges and offered
  me all they had, and here I will pause and ask you again if you do
  not know that I have been absent several months on this business?
  [All shout, 'Yes.'] I went away, but I left a good and strong man in
  my place. I call upon Governor Mason to speak to you."

Mr. Mason then addressed them, and then the governor called upon Colonel
Simmons, who made them a speech in Chinook, at the conclusion of which
the Indians cheered.

The governor then resumed:--

  "The Great Father thinks you ought to have homes, and he wants you
  to have a school where your children can learn to read, and can be
  made farmers and be taught trades. He is willing you should catch
  fish in the waters, and get roots and berries back in the mountains.
  He wishes you all to be virtuous and industrious, and to become a
  happy and prosperous community. Is this good, and do you want this?
  If not, we will talk further. [All answer, 'We do.']

  "My children, I have simply told you the heart of the Great Father.
  But the lands are yours, and we mean to pay you for them. We thank
  you that you have been so kind to all the white children of the
  Great Father who have come here from the East. Those white children
  have always told you you would be paid for your lands, and we are
  now here to buy them.

  "The white children of the Great Father, but no more his children
  than you are, have come here, some to build mills, some to till the
  land, and others to build and sail ships. My children, I believe
  that I have got your hearts. You have my heart. We will put our
  hearts down on paper, and then we will sign our names. I will send
  that paper to the Great Father, and if he says it is good, it will
  stand forever. I will now have the paper read to you, and all I ask
  of you two thousand Indians is that you will say just what you
  think, and, if you find it good, that your chiefs and headmen will
  sign the same."

Before the treaty was read, the Indians sung a mass, after the Roman
Catholic form, and recited a prayer.

  Governor Stevens: "Does any one object to what I have said? Does my
  venerable friend Seattle object? I want Seattle to give his heart to
  me and to his people."

  Seattle: "I look upon you as my father. All the Indians have the
  same good feeling toward you, and will send it on the paper to the
  Great Father. All of them--men, old men, women, and
  children--rejoice that he has sent you to take care of them. My mind
  is like yours; I don't want to say more. My heart is very good
  towards Dr. Maynard [a physician who was present]; I want always to
  get medicine from him."

  Governor Stevens: "My friend Seattle has put me in mind of one thing
  which I had forgotten. You shall have a doctor to cure your bodies.
  Now, my friends, I want you, if Seattle has spoken well, to say so
  by three cheers. [Three cheers were given.] Now we call upon
  Pat-ka-nim to speak his mind."

  Pat-ka-nim: "To-day I understood your heart as soon as you spoke. I
  understood your talk plainly. God made my heart and those of my
  people good and strong. It is good that we should give you our real
  feelings today. We want everything as you have said, the doctor and
  all. Such is the feeling of all the Indians. Our hearts are with the
  whites. God makes them good towards the Americans." [Three cheers
  were given for Pat-ka-nim.]

  Chow-its-hoot: "I do not want to say much. My heart is good. God has
  made it good towards you. I work on the ground, raise potatoes, and
  build houses. I have some houses at home. But I will stop building
  if you wish, and will move to Cha-chu-sa. Now I have given you my
  opinion, and that of my friends. Their feelings are all good, and
  they will do as you say hereafter. My mind is the same as Seattle's.
  I love him, and send my friends to him if they are sick. I go to Dr.
  Maynard at Seattle if I am sick." [Cheers for Chow-its-hoot.]

  Goliah: "My mind is the same as the governor's. God has made it so.
  I have no wish to say much. I am happy at heart. I am happy to hear
  the governor talk of God. My heart is good and that of all my
  friends. I give it to the governor. I shall be glad to have a doctor
  for the Indians. We are all glad to hear you, and to be taken care
  of by you. I do not want to say more." [Cheers were given for

The treaty was then read and interpreted to them, and the governor asked
them if they were satisfied with it. If they were, he would sign it
first, and then they should sign it. If not, he wished them to state in
what they desired it to be altered. All having signified their
approbation, it was signed first by Governor Stevens, and afterwards by
the chiefs and headmen.

The hour being late when the signing was finished, the distribution of
the presents was deferred to the next day.

Tuesday, January 23. The Indians having reassembled, Governor Stevens
informed them that he was about to distribute some presents. They were
not intended as payment for their lands, but merely as a friendly token
of regard. He gave them but few things at this time, but the next summer
he should again give them a larger present, when the goods intended for
them arrived.

Seattle then brought a white flag, and presented it, saying:

  "Now, by this we make friends, and put away all bad feelings, if we
  ever had any. We are the friends of the Americans. All the Indians
  are of the same mind. We look upon you as our father. We will never
  change our minds, but, since you have been to see us, we will always
  be the same. Now! now! do you send this paper of our hearts to the
  Great Chief. That is all I have to say."

The presents were then given to the chiefs to distribute among their
people, the camp was struck, and the party embarked on board the
steamer, which had been chartered for the purpose of expediting the
preparations for the next council, that with the S'Klallams and
Sko-ko-mish, but, a heavy blow coming on, she lay at anchor till
morning. An Indian express arrived with news that the Indians were
collected at Fort Gamble, awaiting the arrival of the governor.

The tribes, as enumerated in the treaty, furnish a long list of
unpronounceable Indian names, as follows: Dwamish, Suquamish,
Sk-tahl-mish, Sa-mah-mish, Smalh-ka-mish, Skope-ah-mish, Sno-qual-moo,
Skai-wha-mish, N'Quentl-ma-mish, Sk-tah-le-jum, Sto-luck-wha-mish,
Sno-ho-mish, Skagit, Kik-i-all-us, Swin-a-mish, Squin-a-mish,
Sah-ku-me-hu, Noo-wha-ha, Nook-wa-chah-mish, Me-see-qua-guilch,
Cho-bah-ah-bish, and others.

The fifteen articles of this treaty contain the same general provisions
as that of She-nah-nam Creek. The territory ceded by Article 1 extends
from the summit of the Cascades to the middle of the Sound, and from the
49th parallel as far south as the Puyallup River, very nearly, and
comprises the present counties of King, part of Kitsap, Snohomish,
Skagit, Whatcom, Island, and San Juan.

The reservations, Articles 2 and 3, included 1280 acres at Port Madison,
1280 acres on the east side of Fidalgo Island, and the island called
Chah-chu-sa in the Lummi River. An entire township on the northeast side
of Port Gardner, embracing Tulalip Bay, was made the principal
reservation, to which the Indians might be removed from the smaller
ones; $150,000 in annuities in goods, etc., for twenty years, and
$15,000 for improvements on the reservation were provided. The rights of
fishing, hunting, gathering berries and roots, and pasturage on vacant
land were secured to the Indians. Slavery was abolished, liquor
prohibited on the reservations, wars and depredations forbidden, and
trading in foreign dominions prohibited. A free school, teachers,
doctor, blacksmith and carpenter with shops, and a farmer were provided
for, and provision made for eventually allotting the reservations to
them in severalty.

The first chief to sign the treaty was Seattle, after whom was named the
metropolis of the Sound; the next was Pat-ka-nim, then Chow-its-hoot,
then Goliah, and then follows the long list of guttural and sibillant
native names, unspeakable by white lips, some of which were accompanied
by an alias, as the Smoke, the Priest, General Washington, General
Pierce, Davy Crockett, etc.

The treaty was witnessed by M.T. Simmons, C.H. Mason, Charles M.
Hitchcock, H.A. Goldsborough, George Gibbs, John H. Scranton, Henry D.
Cock, S.S. Ford, Jr., Orrington Cushman, Ellis Barnes, P. Bailey, S.M.
Collins, Lafayette Balch, E.S. Fowler, J.H. Hall, Robert Davis, and
Benjamin F. Shaw,--seventeen in number.

The ratification of this and all Governor Stevens's subsequent Indian
treaties was delayed some four years in consequence of the Indian war
which broke out in the fall of 1855, and the misrepresentations made
concerning them, and the charges that they were the cause of the
war,--misrepresentations and charges originally started by the hostile
Indians, and taken up by prejudiced army officers and political and
personal enemies; and it was not until he entered Congress, and
personally vindicated his treaties before the government and Senate,
that they were ratified, on March 8, 1859.


The next council was held at Point-no-Point, on the west side of the
Sound, opposite the southern end of Whitby Island. The weather was very
stormy on the 24th and 25th, but twelve hundred Indians assembled here,
comprising the S'Klallams or Clallams, who occupied the shores from half
way down the Strait of Fuca to the council ground; the Chim-a-kums, of
Port Townsend Bay and the lower end of Hood's Canal; and the Skokomish
or Too-an-hooch, from Hood's Canal and the country about its southern
extremity. The Major Tompkins reached Point-no-Point on the 24th, and,
leaving the schooner at anchor, and the men on shore to form camp, ran
down to Port Townsend to bring up additional provisions, and returned in
the afternoon. On the 25th, notwithstanding the storm, the Indians
gathered at the council ground, and, having seated themselves in a
circular row under their chiefs, Governor Stevens addressed them as

  "My children, you call me your father. I, too, have a father, who is
  your Great Father. That Great Father has sent me here to-day to pay
  you for your lands, to provide for your children, to see that you
  are fed, and that you are cared for. Your Great Father wishes you to
  be happy, to be friends to each other. The Great Father wants you
  and the whites to be friends; he wants you to have a house of your
  own, to have a school where your children can learn. He wants you to
  learn to farm, to learn to use tools, and also to have a doctor.
  Now, all these things shall be written down in a paper; that paper
  shall be read to you. If the paper is good, you will sign it and I
  will sign it. I will then send the paper to the Great Father. If
  the Great Father finds that paper good, he will send me word, and I
  will let you know. The Great Father lives a long way off, and some
  time will be required to hear from him. I want you to wait patiently
  till you hear from him. In the mean time the Great Father has sent
  to you some presents simply as a free gift. Some of these presents I
  will give you to-day, but I shall give you more in the course of the
  summer. You will also have your agent, Mr. Simmons, to take care of
  you. This you will have all the time; and, when the paper comes from
  the Great Father, then you will have your own houses and homes and
  schools. Now, what have you to say? If good, give your assent; if
  not, say so. Now, sit quiet a moment, and the paper will be read."

After the treaty had been read and interpreted, Governor Stevens again
asked them if they had anything to say.

Che-lan-teh-tat, an old Skokomish, then rose and said:--

  "I wish to speak my mind as to selling the land. Great Chief, what
  shall we eat if we do so? Our only food is berries, deer, and
  salmon. Where, then, shall we find these? I don't want to sign away
  all my land. Take half of it, and let us keep the rest. I am afraid
  that I shall become destitute and perish for want of food. I don't
  like the place you have chosen for us to live on. I am not ready to
  sign that paper."

S'Haie-at-seha-uk, a To-an-hooch, next spoke:--

  "I do not want to leave the mouth of the river. I do not want to
  leave my old home and my burying-ground. I am afraid I shall die if
  I do."

Dah-whil-luk, the Skokomish head chief, an old man, rose and said:--

  "I do not want to sell my land, because it is valuable. The whites
  pay a great deal for a small piece, and they get money by selling
  the sticks [timber]. Formerly the Indians slept, but the whites came
  among them and woke them up, and we now know that the lands are
  worth much."

Hool-hole-tan or Jim said:--

  "I want to speak. I do not like the offers you make in the treaty to
  us. You say you will give us land, but why should you give us the
  mouth of the river? I don't like to go on a reservation with the
  S'Klallams; and, in case of trouble, there are more of them than of
  us, and they will charge us with it. Before the whites came among
  us, we had no idea who made the land; but some time ago the priests
  told us that the Great Chief above made it, and also made the
  Indians. Since then the Americans have told us that the Great Father
  always bought the land, and that it was not right to take it for
  nothing. They waked the Indians up by this, and they now know their
  land was worth much. I don't want to sign away my right to the land.
  If it was myself alone I signed for, I would do it; but we have
  women and children. Let us keep half of it, and take the rest. Why
  should we sell all? We may become destitute. Why not let us live
  together with you? I want you to hear what I have to say. All the
  Indians have been afraid to talk, but I wish to speak and be
  listened to."

Chits-a-mah-han or the Duke of York, the head chief of the Clallams:--

  "My heart is good. I am happy since I have heard the paper read, and
  since I have understood Governor Stevens, particularly since I have
  been told I could look for food where I pleased, and not in one
  place only. Formerly the Indians were bad towards each other, but
  Governor Stevens has made them agree to be friends. Before the
  whites came we were always poor; since then we have earned money,
  and got blankets and clothing. I hope the governor will tell the
  whites not to abuse the Indians, as many are in the habit of doing,
  ordering them to go away, and knocking them down."

Other chiefs of the Clallams and of the Chem-a-cums followed in the same
strain as the Duke of York, approving the treaty. After further
explaining its provisions the governor adjourned the council to the
morrow at the request of the Skokomish chief, in order that they might
talk it over and understand it thoroughly.

It will be observed that this treaty encountered considerable opposition
on the part of the Skokomish, who were, however, the most benefited by
it, as the reservation was located in their country. They were largely
influenced by the example of the other tribes, and after much discussion
among themselves, and talks between sessions with the governor and his
assistants, concluded to accept it.

The next morning was a fine, pleasant one, and the Indians came to the
council bearing white flags. The governor addressed them, pointing out
that the treaty gave them all those things that a father would give his
children, as homes, schools, mechanics, and a doctor; the right to fish,
hunt, and gather roots and berries. Besides, it prohibited fire-water,
and does not a father prevent his children from drinking fire-water? The
Great Father was good to his children, and did not wish to steal their
lands. It was for them to say what they thought right. If they had
anything to say, say it now.

The Duke of York then presented a white flag, saying:

  "My heart is white, so are those of my people, and we will never
  stain it with blood."

Dah-kwil-luk, the Skokomish chief, said:--

  "My heart, too, has become white, and I give it to the chief. I put
  away all bad feelings. I will be as a good man, not stealing or
  shedding blood. We have thrown away the feelings of yesterday and
  are now satisfied."

He also presented a flag to the governor.

Kul-kah-han, the Chem-a-cum chief, then presented his flag, saying:--

  "We can say nothing but what this flag tells. We give our hearts to
  you with it in return for what you do for us. We were once wretched,
  but since you came you have made us right. Formerly other Indians
  did wrong us, but since the whites came we are free and have not
  been killed."

Then all signed the treaty, and at a signal a salute was fired from the
steamer in honor of the event.

Some hostile feelings having previously existed between the tribes,
Governor Stevens now declared that they must drop them forever, and that
their hearts towards each other should be good as well as towards the
whites. Accordingly the three head chiefs, in behalf of their people,
then shook hands. Then the presents were distributed to them. In the
afternoon the party reëmbarked, Mr. Mason returning to Olympia on the
steamer, and Governor Stevens with the remainder proceeding to Port
Townsend in the schooner, on his way to Cape Flattery, the next point of

The tribes mentioned in the treaty as parties thereto are the Skokomish,
To-an-hooch, Chem-a-cum, and S'Klallam, and the sub-bands of the last,
viz., Kah-tie, Squah-quaihtl, Tch-queen, Ste-teht-lum, Tsohkw, Yennis,
Elh-wa, Pishtst, Hun-nint, Klat-la-wash, and O-ke-ho, occupying lands on
the Strait of Fuca and Hood's Canal.

A reservation was set off at the mouth of the Skokomish River, of 3840
acres. $60,000 in the usual annuities, and $6000 for the improvement of
the reservation, were provided, and the other provisions were the same
as in the Tulalip and She-nah-nam Creek treaties. This treaty was
witnessed by the same gentlemen who witnessed the preceding.


From Port Townsend the schooner sped rapidly down the Strait of Fuca,
running one hundred and twenty miles in two days,--no holiday voyage, in
a small vessel in midwinter, along that exposed and shelterless
coast,--and reached Neah Bay on the evening of the 28th. At this point,
just inside Cape Flattery, the Makah Indians had their principal
village. Messengers were immediately dispatched to call in the Indians
of the other Makah villages, and of tribes farther south on the coast.
The tents, goods, and men were landed on the 29th, and camp established.
The following day the governor, accompanied by Mr. Gibbs, crossed the
Cape Flattery peninsula to the Pacific coast, and examined the country
for the purpose of selecting a suitable reservation. In the evening he
called a meeting of the Makah chiefs on board the schooner, the other
villages having come in during the day, and explained the principal
features of the proposed treaty. The Great Father had sent him here to
watch over the Indians. He had talked with the other tribes on the
Sound, and they had promised to be good friends with their neighbors,
and he had now come to talk with the Makahs. When he had done here, he
was going to the Indians down the coast, and would make them friends to
the Makahs. He had treated with the other Sound Indians for their lands,
setting aside reserves for them, giving them a school, farmer,
physician, etc., etc. When he concluded, Kal-chote, a Makah chief,
spoke: "Before the big chiefs Klehsitt, the White Chief, Yall-a-coon or
Flattery Jack, and Heh-iks died, he was not the head chief himself, he
was only the small chief, but though there were many Indians then, he
was not the least of them. He knew the country all around, and therefore
he had a right to speak. He thought he ought to have the right to fish,
and take whales, and get food where he liked. He was afraid that if he
could not take halibut where he wanted, he would become poor."

Keh-tchook, of the stone house: "What Kal-chote had said was his wish.
He did not want to leave the salt water."

Governor Stevens informed them that, so far from wishing to stop their
fisheries, he wished to send them oil-kettles and fishing apparatus.

Klah-pr-at-loo: "He was willing to sell his land. All he wanted was the
right of fishing."

Tse-kan-wootl: "He wanted the sea. That was his country. If whales were
killed and floated ashore, he wanted, for his people, the exclusive
right of taking them, and if their slaves ran away, he wanted to get
them back."

Governor Stevens replied that he wanted them to fish, but the whites
should fish also. Whoever killed the whales was to have them if they
came ashore. Many white men were coming into the country, and he did not
want the Indians to be crowded out.

  Kal-chote: "I want always to live on my old ground, and to die on
  it. I only want a small piece for a house, and will live as a friend
  to the whites, and they should fish together."

  Ke-bach-sat: "My heart is not bad, but I do not wish to leave all my
  land. I am willing you should have half, but I want the other half

  It-an-da-ha: "My father! my father! I now give you my heart. When
  any ships come and the whites injure me, I will apply to my father,
  and tell him of my trouble, and look to him for help, and if any
  Indians wish to kill me, I shall still call on my father. I do not
  wish to leave the salt water. I want to fish in common with the
  whites. I don't want to sell all my land. I want a part in common
  with the whites to plant potatoes on. I want the place where my
  house is."

Governor Stevens asked them whether, if the right of drying fish
wherever they pleased was left them, they could not agree to live at one
place for a winter residence and potato ground, explaining the idea of
subdivision of lands, and he desired them to think the matter over
during the night. They were asked to consult among themselves upon the
choice of a head chief. As they declined doing this, on the ground that
they were all of equal rank, the governor selected Tse-kan-wootl, the
Osett chief, as the head, a choice in which they all acquiesced with
satisfaction. Temporary papers in lieu of commissions were then issued
to a number of the sub-chiefs.

The Indians assembled in council on the morning of January 31. The
number of the tribe was found to be six hundred. Governor Stevens
explained the provisions of the treaty:--

  "The Great Father sent me to see you, and give you his mind. The
  whites are crowding in upon you. The Great Father wishes to give you
  your homes, to buy your land, and give a fair price for it, leaving
  you land enough to live on and raise potatoes. He knows what whalers
  you are, how far you go to sea to take whales. He will send you
  barrels in which to put your oil, kettles to try it out, lines and
  implements to fish with. The Great Father wants your children to go
  to school, to learn trades."

The treaty was then read and interpreted and explained, clause by

Governor Stevens then asked them if they were satisfied. If they were,
to say so. If not, to answer freely and state their objections.

Tse-kan-wootl brought up a white flag and presented it, saying: "Look at
this flag. See if there are any spots on it. There are none, and there
are none on our hearts."

Kal-chote then presented another flag and said, "What you have said is
good, and what you have written is good."

The Indians gave three cheers or shouts as each concluded. The governor
then signed the treaty, and was followed by the Indian chiefs and
principal men, forty-one in number, of the Neah, Waatch, Tsoo-yess, and
Osett villages, or bands of the Makahs. Among the names are
Klah-pe-an-hie or Andrew Jackson, Tchoo-quut-lah or Yes Sir, and Swell
or Jeff Davis.

The witnesses were M.T. Simmons, Indian agent; George Gibbs, secretary;
B.F. Shaw, interpreter; C.M. Hitchcock, M.D.; E.S. Fowler, Orrington
Cushman, and Robert Davis.

The provisions of this treaty are the same as in the others. The
annuities in goods, etc., amounted to $30,000, and $3000 were provided
to improve the reservation, which embraced Neah Bay and Cape Flattery
and their principal village. It was intended only for a place of
residence, with enough cultivable land for potatoes and vegetables, and,
what was more important, to prevent their being crowded off by fishing
establishments. The locality is unfit for agriculture, being rocky and
sterile, with an annual rainfall of 122 inches. And the reserve was all
they needed, for the Makahs are bold and skillful fishermen and sailors,
accustomed to venture thirty to fifty miles out to sea in their large
canoes, and take the whale and halibut, while inshore they hunt the seal
and sea-otter, and catch the salmon. They are a more sturdy, brave, and
enterprising race than the natives of the Sound, more resembling the
northern Indians. In their remote, rocky stronghold, protected by the
strong arm of the government extended over them by this treaty, but
depending upon the sea and their own efforts for a livelihood, they have
prospered greatly, putting up vast quantities of fish, furs, and oil for
market; and there are few white communities that have so much wealth per
capita, or wealth so evenly distributed, as these industrious and manly

Immediately after the signing the presents were distributed, the camp
was broken up, and in the evening the party reëmbarked. The little
vessel at once hoisted sail for Port Townsend, where, after a three
days' trip, being delayed by head winds, she arrived February 3. The
next day the governor, with some of the party, took the Major Tompkins
for Victoria, in order to confer with Governor Douglass upon the means
of preventing the piratical incursions of the northern Indians upon the
Sound. On the 5th he returned to Port Townsend, and reached Olympia on
the night of the 6th.

This brief campaign was Napoleonic, in rapidity and success. In six
weeks Governor Stevens met and treated with five thousand Indians, of
numerous independent and jealous tribes and bands, and in four separate
councils carefully and indefatigably made clear to them the new policy,
convinced them of its benefits to them, and concluded with them four
separate treaties, by which the Indian title to the whole Puget Sound
basin was extinguished forever, and the great source and danger of
collision between the races was removed. For the eight thousand five
hundred Indians hitherto ignored by Congress and treated by the settlers
as mere vagrants, to be shoved aside at the whim or self-interest of any
white man, he established nine reservations, containing over 60,000
acres, for their permanent homes and exclusive possessions; provided
annuities of clothing, goods, and useful articles for twenty years,
aggregating $300,000; abolished slavery and war among them; excluded
liquor from the reservations; extended over them the protection of the
government, with agents, schools, teachers, farmers, and mechanics to
instruct them; and, in a word, set their feet fairly on "the white man's
road." To accomplish this astonishing work in such brief time, he
traveled eight hundred miles upon the Sound and Strait in the most
inclement season of the year, half the distance, and that the most
dangerous, in a small sailing-craft. He disregarded the storms and rains
of that inclement season, and spared neither himself nor his assistants.
It is not easy to say who had the hardest task, the agents and
messengers who traveled all over the Sound in canoes in the tempestuous
rainy season to call the scattered bands together, or the unfortunate
secretary, who had to catch and set down on paper the jaw-breaking
native names.

The success and rapidity with which he carried through these treaties
were due to the careful and thorough manner in which he planned them,
and prepared the minds of the Indians by his tour among and talks to
them a year previous, and by the messages and agents he had sent among
them. Besides, the Indians realized their own feebleness and uncertain
future, divided into so many bands, exposed to the depredations of the
northern Indians, and dreading the advent and encroachments of the
whites. Their minds consequently were well attuned for treating; and
when they understood the wise and beneficent policy and liberal terms
offered by the governor, they gladly accepted them, and put their trust
in him as their friend and protector, a trust never withdrawn and never

The Indian war which occurred soon after, and the delay in the
ratification of the treaties, seriously militated against carrying out
the beneficent policy so well inaugurated, and later the occasional
appointment of inefficient and dishonest agents has proved even more
detrimental; but notwithstanding all these drawbacks the Indians have
made substantial advances in civilization, and it is interesting to
compare their present condition, as given in the last reports of the
Commissioner of Indian Affairs, and from local sources.

Their numbers have diminished only about one half. No one seeing their
debased condition in 1850 to 1860 (except the Makahs) would have deemed
it possible for them to hold their own so well.

        Makahs                                750
        Tulalip Agency, lower Sound Indians  1700
        Puyallup Agency, upper Sound Indians 1850

All now wear civilized dress, and live in houses. Many can read and
write, and many of their children attend the reservation schools.

  "Among the Makahs, many of the younger Indians are turning their
  attention to farming and raising stock, and many of them have fine
  gardens. They still catch a great many fish, sending them to market
  in Seattle by steamer, and have caught and shipped as high as 10,000
  pounds in one day. There are few places with so large a population
  where so little crime is committed."

All the reservations on the Sound have now been allotted, and the
Indians are living on their respective allotments. A considerable number
have taken up farms under the homestead laws, or purchased lands from
the whites, and are farming successfully. Such Indians are frequently
seen driving into the towns with good wagons and teams, as well dressed
as the average white rancher, and accompanied ofttimes by their wives
and children.

  "Practically all these Indians dress as civilized men and women, and
  live in houses, some of which are good, comfortable, and roomy,
  fully equal to the average farm dwellings in prosperous communities
  of whites, and from these they grade down to the most squalid shacks
  imaginable. Under the influence of the teachers, and the example of
  the more advanced Indians and the better class of white neighbors,
  there is slow but sure improvement in this particular."

During the fall hundreds of them congregate on the hop-fields, where
they supply the most reliable hop-pickers, whole families--men, women,
and children--diligently working together. After this harvest crowds of
them flock into the towns, and lay in stores of clothing and provisions
for the winter before returning home.[11]

  [11] Commissioner of Indian Affairs' Report for 1899, pp.
       301-303, 612.

                       The Riverside Press

         _Electrotyped and printed by H.O. Houghton & Co._

                     _Cambridge, Mass, U.S.A._

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's note:

Some compound words (e.g., 'wagon-master') appeared both with and
without a hyphen. They are given as printed. Where a word is hyphenated
on a line break, the hyphen is retained if the preponderance of other
appearances indicate it was intended.

Illlustrations cannot be reproduced here, but the approximate position
of each is indicated as: [Illustration: ].

Footnotes are repositioned at the end of each chapter. They have been
re-numbered consecutively.

The following minor issues are noted and corrected.

  The name 'Boulineau' was likely misprinted based on that of another
  member of Steven's party, Pierre Boutineau. The instance on p. 330
  refers to Paul Boulieau.

  p. 2  there is scar[c]ely a State in the Union   Added 'c'.

  p. 28  and Schuyler Hamilton[.]                  Added full stop

  p. 97  ponto[o]n                                 Added.

  p. 99  Do not fa[l/i]l to                        Corrected.

  p. 137 about twelve [P.] M.             Supplied missing 'P'.

  p. 141 but about nine o'clock[,/.]               Corrected.

  p. 182 at good esc[a/o]pette range               Corrected.

  p. 210 formid[id]able                            Removed.

  p. 216 the Cerro [C/G]ordo                       Corrected.

  p. 330 Bouli[n]eau                               Removed spurious 'n'.

  p. 373 dress of a chief?["/']                    Corrected.

VOLUME I (OF 2)***

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