Thursday
May152014

7th Infantry - California Civil War Regiment

Mustered In:  December 1864; Mustered Out:  June 28, 1866

Total Enrollment 994 men of which 5 men were killed in action or died of wounds; 40 men died of disease; and 10 men were discharged for disability.

Organized at large October to December 1864.

Attached to Department of the Pacific Companies A, C, and K ordered from San Francisco to Camp Drum, Southern California in March 1865. Companies A and K to Fort Yuma. Company C to Fort Mojave. Regiment moved to District of Arizona in June 1865, and duty there, stationed at various posts until June 1866.

Field and Staff Officers: Colonel Charles W. Lewis; Lieutenant Colonel Madison Bulware; Major Alfred Morton; Surgeon Edward Phelps; Assistant Surgeon Joseph W. Davis; Adjutant William E. Emery and Quartermaster Charles P. Dudley.

For Company I, in which my 2nd Great Grandfather, William Samuel Kidder served as a Private, the Captain was George D. Kendall; First Lieutenant William McNeill, and Second Lieutenant Edwin Darling.

Information from: History of California Civil War Regiments:  Cavalry and Infantry by Christopher Cox, 2013.

 

Wednesday
Apr252012

Arms for Honey Lake

1857 October 29, San Francisco Bulletin- The Governor has dispatched sixty stand of arms to the people of Honey Lake Valley by the way of Quincy, Plumas county. This is all the aid, it is said, the Governor can render. Col. Henley has appointed Major Isaac Roop, Peter Lassen and Jonathan Williams as agents to conclude a peace with the Indians. He dispatched yesterday clothing and other articles by Mr. Lassen to distribute among the Indians, should peace be restored.

Thursday
May152014

Camp Nome Lackee

1854 September - Nome Lackee Indian Reservation formed on Thomes Creek about 20 miles west of Tehama. Originally situated in Colusa County, in 1856 the reservation was then in Tehama County with the drawing of the political lines.

1854 December 1, Daily Placer Times and Transcript (San Francisco, CA) - Nome-Lackee, the Northern Indian Reservation - Since the accounts which have before published of the condition of affairs at the new Reservation recently established by Col Henley in Colusa county, the number of Indians who have there congregated has recently increased and now reaches very nearly the neighborhood of eight hundred. A visitor who has just returned from the reservation informs us that this large body, made-up principally of Digger tribes, with a few Indians from the Sierra Nevada, is actively employed in procuring supplies of wild oats, acorns, grasshoppers, fish and other food for the winter season, and a portion in preparing ground for crops.

The Indian boys who have been set to ploughing (sic) prove as apt as those of the same years taken from among our white population. They exhibit truly remarkable skill and application, and show no disposition to avoid work. Two hundred acres of excellent land are already prepared for sowing and Col. Henley expects to have in the ground this fall about 1000 acres of wheat and barley.

The only serious inconvenience at present experienced on the reservation is the want of an adequate supply of good water, and this will be remedied in a short time. There is a fine stream rising in the mountains nearby which can be conducted through all the valleys included in the reservation at the small expenditure of $5,000. This stream is large and unfailing. The work of introducing it will be undertaken at an early period.

There has been some slight sickness on the reservation which is attributed to the nature of the water used, but this will soon be avoided and in all other respects the locality possesses every recommendation as to the healthiness, facility of irrigation, fertility and convenience.

The head quarters of the Superintendent is a good frame building containing ______ rooms, a kitchen and an upper story. Another commodious building is occupied by the officers and the Commissary department, as a depot of provisions, stores, etc., to be dispensed to the Indians. The Indian Chiefs have also accommodations in smaller frame houses covered with clapboards. As the Indians being chiefly Diggers are not used to animal food, this is dealt out sparingly, only a moderate supply being required.

All the Indians assembled seem happy and contented and engage with considerable zeal in the duties which have been assigned them. A grand dance was held on the 27th in honor of Col. Henley's return after a visit to the Tejon Reservation in the South.

The excellent results which have succeeded the establishment of the reservation at Nome-Lackee and the Tejon suggest the importance of another being located as early as possible for the coast Indians, including the Rogue River, Klamath and Trinity tribes. These tribes are causing much disquiet in their vicinity, and have become obnoxious to settlers upon the agricultural lands in these districts as well as to the miners. Several difficulties have lately occurred between them and the whites. No time should be lost therefore in providing a home for these Indians, where under proper directions, they could be enabled to contribute largely to their labor to their own support, while the community would be relieved from any danger of depredations. (to be continued)

1855 May 24, Daily Democratic State Journal (Sacramento, CA) - Two Thousand Indians have been collected on the Nome Lackee Reservation.~

1855 June 9, Weekly Oregonian (Portland, OR) - We learn from the Nome Lackee Indian Reservation in Colusi county, that about 2,000 Indians are collected there, and that they have 1,500 acres of land under cultivation.~

1855 August 30, Evening Star (Washington D.C.) - Appointed - Alonzo Ridley has been appointed Indian Sub-Agent at the Sebastian Military Reserve, Cal., and H.L. Ford, Indian Sub-Agent at the Nome Lackee Military Reserve, in the same state. [This would be Henry L. Ford of the Moon & Ford Ranch on the Sacramento River near Corning.]

1855 November 27, Daily Placer Times and Transcript (San Francisco, CA) - NOME LACKEE FISHERY - this fishery, established near Tehama for the benefit of the Indians of the Reservation, says the Shasta Courier is proving quite a profitable enterprise. Rhodes & Whitneys agent sends us the annexed statement from the books of Captain Young, Superintendent, of the number of fish together with their weight taken in five hauls of the seine viz: Nov 12, 500 fish, net weight 1,000 pounds; Nov 15 & 16, 14 sturgeon, net weight 1,000 pounds; Nov 18, 1,737 fish, net weight, 2,744 pounds; Nov 20, 2,787 fish, net weight 5,787 pounds. Total  number of fish, 5,088, weight 10,531 pounds net.~

1856 November 11, Rock River Democrat (Rockford, IL) - Tobacco is indigenous to California. Dr. Cabaniss, physician at the Nome Lackee Reservation says that wild tobacco is found growing in all the fertile valleys of Colusi, Tehama and Shasta counties.~

 

Sunday
Dec112011

Civil War, Veterans Honored, 1925

1925 May 31, Searchlight, Redding, California: Civil War Veterans honored in ceremonies were: John W. McNeeley, Ezra B. Hall, Benton Jones, F.H. Cox, William Frazer, and T.F. Chenoweth.

Tuesday
Mar082011

Civil War, HAYNES, Elisha

Elisha Haynes, direct line, 2nd Great Grandfather, born 3 August 1819 in Swan Township, Hocking County, Ohio, served from his residence of Buffalo, Dallas, Missouri with the Union as follows:

26th Regiment of the Enrolled Missouri Militia, Company 6 as Private under Captain Morgan Kelly, enrolled 6 August 1862 into active duty and relieved from duty 3 April 1863. Number of days total service = 210.

6th Provisional Regiment Enrolled Missouri Militia from Buffalo, Missouri under Captain Morgan Kelly ordered into service by General Holland on 5 September 1863 and relieved from duty on 15 March 1864 by special order number 13.

Saturday
Feb052011

Civil War, KIDDER, Edward Phillip

Relationship to author - younger brother of my 2nd great grandfather, William Samuel Kidder

Edward Phillip Kidder was born 16 January 1839 in Charing, Kent, England to John and Mary Ann Payne Kidder. Coming to the United States at a young age, Edward grew up in Pittsfield, Otsego, New York, on a farm.

In 1858, he married Louisa Josephine Thompson in Otsego County, New York. The couple's only child, Rushton Edward Kidder was born 5 March 1860.

Edward joined  the 121st New York Infantry (Union) in 1862 at the age of 23 years. As a Private he fought at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania in July 1863. He was wounded in the left arm at the Salem Church skirmish and was discharged for disability on 26 January 1864, from Finley Hospital, Washington, D.C. He returned to the family farm.

Edward, Louisa and Rushton relocated to Little Sioux, Harrison Iowa. Edward still affected by the arm wound managed to earn a living as a plasterer and mason. He was 82 years old when he applied for his pension just a few months before he died on 15 June 1922. He is buried in the Little Sioux Cemetery.

Louisa had died a few years before. Rushton with wife, Anna Margaret Grafton Kidder, and family relocated to Stanislaus County, California after the deaths of his parents and continued farming near Turlock. Rushton Edward Kidder died 14 Dec 1937.

Sunday
Mar072010

Civil War, KIDDER, George Thomas

Relation to author: Maternal side of family, older brother to 2nd great grandfather William Samuel Kidder.

George T.  Kidder joined the Union Army in New York. He died in the battle of the Wilderness in Virginia 6 May 1864 leaving a wife and two children.

A farmer, in Otsego County, New York, he joined the War of the Rebellion, Union, 152nd NY, in 1863 and became a 2nd Lieutenant at age 33 years. His body did not come back from the Wilderness battlefield.

Born in Charing, Kent, England 28 June 1831, he came to New York with his family in 1841. He married Ann Elizabeth Starr on 6 Feb 1855, in Morris, Otsego, New York. His son, Starr Kidder was born in 1859 and daughter, Mary Ann Kidder in 1862 in Morris, Otsego, New York.

Letter to William Samuel Kidder in French Gulch, Shasta, California from his brother, George Thomas Kidder, of Company C, 152nd Regiment, New York  written 6 October 1863 from New York City -

Dear Brother:

You ask whether  the Army of the Potomac is demoralized or not. I answer emphatically, No. The army is loyal to a man. We are anxious for the time to come when we can measure steel with Lee and his rebel hosts. I will admit that about this time last year the army was somewhat discouraged, mostly so made by the pernicious copperhead influences scattered amongst them by the rebel's northern allies - Seymour, Wood, Vallandigham & Co *- the two former of our state, who were then endeavoring to gain the control of the Empire State by false and alluring dogmas they christened loyalty to the Union and the glorious Constitution, as they construed that instrument. But I am happy to say that their teachings have at last been revealed; yet not till their legitimate results were seen and felt in this city during the riots of July last, when peace Democrats butchered innocent men, women and children in cold blood, burned and destroyed Orphan Asylums, and committed thefts, murder and arson in their hideous forms. had it not been for the teachings of persons calling themselves Democrats these things would not have been so. But this is not all. These good, loyal, law-abiding Democrats were then collected together and received the benediction of their chiefs, Seymour & Co., in the shape of "Bravo, my good citizens and friends, you are avenging your wrongs and defending your sacred rights, etc. Go ahead, but be careful and not get caught. Democracy must rule, saith the lord of hosts for without which we have no more loaves and fishes."

I have had an opportunity of seeing various regiments from different parts of the country and must say that their condemnation of the copperhead leaders of the North is universal and thousands here in the State who caught at Seymour's stop-draft doctrine, denounce him in round numbers now. The truth of this will be seen at the next election in November.

We in the army are not fools. We see and appreciate who are our friends, and who back us up with a support we mostly need, viz: recruits and encouraging words, instead of finding fault with everything we do.

Brother, dispel all doubts about the army - They are loyal to the core. There was no need of depleting Meade's army some thirty or forty thousand, to put down rebellion in the North, if Gov. Seymour had taken the responsibility and used the authority at his command. The then armed force of the State would have been ample to have put down any disturbance whatever, and sufficient to be now enforcing the draft, which we are here for; but no, he refused to do anything of the kind and the State militia are now idle, we doing their duty.

This is our motto - Fight till every inch of territory is brought in subjection to the Constitution and the laws of the Federal Government. This is the onlly honorable way it can be settled, and this is the way it will be. The sky is growing brighter, and may God hasten that glorious day is the prayer of

Your brother, Geo. T. Kidder

Co C, 152nd Reg't. N.Y. S.Y. 

* Reference to Seymour: Horatio Seymour, twice governor of New York, the 2nd term from 1 Jan 1863 to 31 Dec 1864. He opposed the Lincoln Administration institution of the military draft and he opposed a bill giving votes to the soldiers leading to opposition by many.

*Reference to Wood: Fernando Wood served a 2nd mayoral term in 1860-1862, and was one of many New York Democrats sympathetic to the Confederacy, called Copperheads by the staunch Unionists. He suggested that New York City declare itself a "free" city to continue the revenue which depended on Southern cotton.

*Reference to to Vallandigham: Clement Vallandigham of Ohio, was the acknowledged leader of the Copperheads and in May 1862 coined their slogan: "To maintain the Constitution as it is, and to restore the Union as it was." He was a vigorous supporter of constitutional States Rights and opposed Lincoln and the war.

 

Sunday
Mar072010

Civil War, KIDDER, John Swain

John Swain Kidder (1830-1905), a line officer in the 121st New York Volunteers and brother to my 2nd great-grandfather William Samuel Kidder is the subject of a well-written book:

Subdued by the Sword by James M. Greiner, 2003, State University New York Press.

". . . it will be too bad to have those suffer with them [the Confederates] who are good Union People but I look for such a state of things. It will come as sure as the sun rises and sets unless this rebellion is subdued by the sword. People may laugh at my opinion but they will live to see my words proven true." - Captain John S. Kidder, 121st New York Volunteers

Thus the title of Greiner's book. Deeply researched, with Kidder's letters and with input from living family members Dick Rose, Frances Warren and especially Jerry Reed, all of the John and Harriet Matteson Kidder family line, Greiner, an independent historian and researcher, has provided a collector book for anyone interested in Kidder family history, Civil War history (several names of those that served with Kidder as well as the military history) and New York during Civil War times and after.

The book may be obtained from www.abebooks.com or contact www.sunypress.edu

Saturday
Feb052011

Civil War, KIDDER, Major Henry Payne

Relationship to author, youngest Kidder brother of my 2nd great grandfather William Samuel Kidder

Major Kidder was the youngest of the Kidder clan and the only one born in America. Major Henry Payne Kidder was born 13 October 1844 in Pittsfield, Otsego, New York to John and Mary Ann Payne Kidder.

At age 19 years, he volunteered to the 69th New York Infantry (Union) enlisting 20 August 1864 at Norwich, New York. Due to a mix-up in paperwork, he found himself in the predominantly Irish 69th New York Volunteers. This unit had seen some hard fighting in the early stages of the war, but by this time, older brother Lieutenant Colonel John Swain Kidder was not worried about his little brother's safety. Major mustered out at the Appomattox Court house in  April 1865.

In 1867, Major married Emma Jeanette Mickle, and the couple bought a farm in Harrison County, Iowa by 1880. By 1913, the couple moved to Boulder, Colorado to be near daughters Gertrude Kidder Cole (1871 - 1946) and Anna Elizabeth Kidder Hagerman (1871 - 1938) and their families.

Major died 30 June 1925 and is buried in the Green Mountain Cemetery in Boulder, Boulder, Colorado. Emma died before him on 7 May 1924 and is also buried in the Green Mountain Cemetery as are their daughters and other family members.~

Sunday
Mar072010

Civil War, KIDDER, William Samuel

William Samuel Kidder, 30, Single, Preacher and School Teacher, joined the California 7th Infantry Regiment, Company I, (Union) on 10 November 1864, at Marysville, Yuba, California.  As indicated in his letter below, he went in with men from French Gulch where he was living at the time, and men from Trinity County. He served as a private at Fort Whipple, Arizona Territory, mustering out at the Presidio in San Francisco on 31 March 1866. The unit had been ordered back to San Francisco from Fort Whipple in February 1866. Private Kidder spent a good deal of his time marching from Drum Barracks to Fort Whipple and being on guard duty while at the Fort. His unit did not fight Confederates nor Indians. Nevertheless, Kidder served the Union cause the best he could coming from northern California. His three brothers from New York, were much more involved receiving injuries in major battles, with George being killed in the Battle of the Wilderness.

26 October 1864, Letter from French Gulch - Union Cause - John Soater [Souter] elected President and William S. Kidder to serve as Secretary.~

The Regiment -This Regiment was recruited from the state of California at large and was mustered into the U.S. Service from 27 October 1864 - 28 January 1865  for three years. The Regiment served by detachments at different posts in the Arizona Territory during most of its term of service.

In July, 1865, a detachment under Captain Messenger was surrounded and attacked while on a scout in the Guachuca Mountains by between 100-200 Indians. After an engagement of about 1 hour, the Indians were driven off with considerable loss. The loss of the detachment was 2 killed and 1 wounded.

In the spring of 1866, 7th Regiment was ordered to the Presidio, San Francisco where it was mustered out, 31 March to 28 June 1866. 

Company H was stationed at Fort Yuma during most of its term, and was mustered out at Drum Barracks, 1 March 1866.

Battles Fought -21 July 1865 - Skull Valley, Arizona Territory; 22 July 1865 - Tubac, Arizona Territory

1865, W. S. Kidder Letter to Shasta Courier 25 July 1865 from Fort Whipple, Arizona Territory -

Knowing that many of your readers would like to hear of the whereabouts of the boys who left French Gulch and Trinity Centre in November last, to join the service of our country, I send you a few items, which may be of interest to our friends in those localities.

You are aware that the Seventh Infantry, C. V. [California Volunteers] has been assigned to the command of General Mason* in Arizona. At present the various companies are stationed as follows: A, K, F, and H at Fort Yuma; B, D, E, and G at Tubac; C at Fort Mohave and I at this post [Fort Whipple].

Our company, one of the last to leave San Francisco, took its departure on the steamer "Pacific" for Drum Barracks, May 20th arriving at the latter named place on the 22nd. Drum Barracks is situated one mile from Wilmington, or what is better known as San Pedro, 22 miles south of Los Angeles. Here we received orders to march overland to this fort. Our outfit, which consisted of arms, ten thousand rounds of ammunition, clothing, three six-mule teams, ten pack mules, and rations for 19 days being completed, we left Drum Barracks on the 26th. We numbered 100 persons in all.

June 1st we reached Cajon Pass, and then followed the route surveyed by Lieut. Whipple, in 1853. From Cajon Pass to Fort Mohave, a distance of 225 miles, through the county of San Bernardino, there are but half a dozen houses, scattered along the Mohave River. Sand hills and cactus bushes are about all that one sees; in fact, the larger portion of San Bernardino County is but one vast, sandy, barren, uninhabited plain, fit only for rattlesnakes, and, I would like to have said, copperheads, to eke out the remainder of their miserable and detestable existence. Water at this season of the year is very scarce; the longest distance without it was 35 miles. This march we had to make during the night.

June 6th we arrived at Camp Cady, where we found Company C, 4th Infanty, C.V., stationed. Captain B. R. West, formerly of French Gulch, commands this company. The quarters of this camp are made entirely of brush, and intended for shelter from the sun only. Here we were obliged to leave one of our boys, he having the day before accidentally shot himself, the ball entering his left hand, and passing up, came out above the wrist. He has scence died, his arm having mortified, and being 160 miles from any physician, there was no helf for him.

June 12 we reached the Colorado River, but owing to its high stage of water, did not cross till the next day. We were somewhat surprised, on reaching is called Fort Mohave. Strictly speaking, it is nothing but a barracks, the buildings being made of cottonwood poles placed perpendicularly in the ground, and daubed with adobe.

The country around Mohave is quite uninviting, and the land unfit for agricultural purposes. Quite a number of the Mohave Indians, including their chief, Arataba, live near the fort. Arataba has just come in with a scouting party and was clothed in the uniform of a major General, the gift of President Lincoln, when he was in Washington three years ago.

Arataba speaks very highly of what he saw in the East, especially of our lamented President. He intends returning to Washington in about a year, when he will take a number of other chiefs with him upon whose united testimony their tribes agree to rely in regard to the superiority of the white man over the Indian. The report of AratAba they call a "big lie". After a few days of much needed rest, we left on the 18th, having received fourteen day's rations at Fort Mohave.

After leaving Union Pass, which is 25 miles from Mohave, we marched through a fertile scope of country, which some day will yield an abundant return to the toil of the husbandman. Water is not so abundant as might be wished, but still enough for ranching purposes. Timber is rather scarce till we get near this post.

June 21st, one of our men strayed from the command and was lost, probably killed by the Waliopi Indians. On the 25th, Private Whitfield S. Somerindyke, formerly of French Gulch, was instantly killed by the accidental discharge of his own gun, the ball entering just below the left breast, and passing upward through the heart, came out through the left shoulder. We buried him at what is known as the Oak and willows, about sixty miles west of this post. Early on the morning of the 29th we reached Fort Whipple, rejoicing to know that our long and weary march was ended. Distance from Mohave 180 miles, making some 500 miles from Drum Barracks. We saw but three Indians after leaving the Colorado.

Fort Whipple is beautifully located on Granite Creek, three quarters of a mile north of Prescott, the capital of Arizona. There is one small company of cavalry, First New Mexican Volunteers, numbering 20 men, commanded by Captain Thompson, who is commander of this post. Company F, Fifth U.S. Infantry is also here, numbering 15 men, commanded by Lieut. Barr. General Mason is daily expected here, where it is understood he will establish his headquarters.

The climate here is beautiful, indeed, the thermometer scarely ever reaching 95 degrees. Light snows in winter, but do not remain long. Thunder showers frequently during the summer, which vividly remind one of his home in the East. [ W.S. Kidder lived in Otsego County, New York, before moving to California]. The hills and fields are beautifully green during the whole year. Quartz ledges are said to exist in rich quantities, but as yet have not been prospected as desired, owing to the Indians, who are very troublesome at times.

Our duties here are quite laborious, owing to the numerous parties sent out scouting, which makes guard duty on those who remain at the post, as the stock has to be guarded at night. Two of our company were killed by the hostile Apaches while out hunting. Our boys have since killed two of them. There is work sufficient here for four large companies! The Couriercomes regularly to hand.

Signed - W.S.K.

* Reference to Mason means John S. Mason career officer in the U.S. Army, who from 7 March 1865 - 21 July 1865 was commander of the District of Arizona under the department of the Pacific. In the omnibus promotions at the end of the Civil War in 1865, he was brevetted through the regular army grades to that of brigadier general.

This letter appeared in the Shasta Courier on 9 September 1865 and is also reproduced in the Kidder Family History by three of his daughters.~

Sunday
Dec182011

CROOK, George W. (1828-1890)

1853, Did you know when the Humboldt Fort was established (30 Jan 1853) Lt. George Crook was in its first detachment. By 1861, the Humboldt had four forts (Humboldt, Crook, Gaston and Bragg) and the camps of Baker, Lyon, Anderson, and Lincoln. By 1865, there was only Humboldt, Gaston and Lincoln and built in 1863 near Blue Lake was Camp Iaqua.

George Crook then served under Captain Judah (Fort Jones) in Fall River Valley and on an independent mission there killed his first Indian. While Crook and his men had been fighting Indians, the dragoons under Captain Gardiner had been busy building the fort. Gardiner is the one who named it Fort Crook (1 Jul 1857). Crook was then called back to Fort Jones and given the mission of establishing a temporary military post at the mouth of the Klamath River. This was Fort (or Camp) Ter-Waw on north bank of Klamath River about 6 miles up from the mouth (1857-1862).

1864 August 11, San Francisco Bulletin via Red Bluff Independent  - Gen. G.W. Crook, lately appointed Major-General for gallant and meritorious conduct, was formerly a lieutenant at Fort Jones, in Siskiyou County, and from him Fort Crook took its name. In 1856, while on an Indian scout with a portion of the troops from Fort Jones, he was brought into Scott valley, which prevented him from assuming command of the military post which he had established in the Fall River Valley. Hood, who has superseded Johnston at Atlanta, was also stationed at Fort Jones in 1856.~

Sunday
Dec022012

Fort Bidwell (Military)

1869 September 25, Lowell Daily Citizen and News (Lowell, MA) - The Indians in Northern California are becoming hostile. A party of savages have given the commander of Fort Bidwell ten days to release several Indians held as prisoners in the fort, or otherwise they will be taken by force. The settlers are anxious to exterminate the whole, but the military authorities refuse their permission to so summary a proceeding.~

1874 October 9, Weekly Journal Miner (Prescott, AZ) - Fort Bidwell, California, is to be a 4-company post.~

1874 October 17, Owyhee Avalanche (Silver City, Idaho) - Camp Warner, in South Eastern Oregon has been abandoned and the troops removed to Fort Bidwell, California.~

1883 November 3, Owyhee Avalanche (Silver City, Idaho) - Co. "E" from Fort Bidwell, California, under command of Colonel Bernard, pass through town on the 18th ult., en route for Walla Walla, Washington Territory. Col. Bernard is well known in this country as the best of Indian fighters. - Baker City Reveille The citizens of Idaho will be pleased to know that Col. Bernard has been stationed at a pleasant place so near Idaho. Colonel Bernard is a gentleman as well as a soldier, in whom the people have confidence, and for whom they entertain a high regard.~

Saturday
May142011

Fort Crook 

Did you know the flag pole at Fort Crook was a tall yellow pine tree? Most all the limbs were taken off and some limbs on the tree were sawed to purposely make steps to the top where Old Glory floated in the breeze. The Fort Crook Reservation extended one mile in each direction from the Flag Pole. -from early history notes by Mrs. Kate Callison

1976 January 29, Inter Mountain News - Editors Note: The following is the first in a series of articles on the Bicentennial theme about historical happenings in the Fall River Valley. These articles are compiled and written by Lillian Kent and Norman Smith. Most information has been obtained from the Fort Crook Museum records.

On the county road between Glenburn and Dana in northeastern Shasta County directly beneath Soldier Mountain Lookout in Shasta National Forest is a rock memorial erected in 1934 on the spot where once stood old Fort Crook with the following inscription: 

  • FORT CROOK Established by Lt. George Crook in July 1857 for the protection of immigrant and settlers. Later occupied by Capt. John W. Gardiner and Capt. McGregor. The boundaries of this fort were designated one mile every direction from the flag pole. Abandoned in June 1869. Marked November 11, 1934, by the Fort Crook Historical Society, Fall River Valley.

In April 1854 the War Department ordered a reconnaissance to the Pit River Valley to check the warlike activities of the Pit River Indians and to establish a military post. But before the fort could be built the Indians massacred all the white who remained in Fall River Valley during the winter of 1856-57, destroying the ferries on the river and burning their homes.

About the middle of May 1857, Capt. Judah, with the Company E (called Forty Thieves) and 2nd Lt. George Crook with Company D left Yreka for Fall River Valley to punish the Indians. The two companies proceeded to the Lockhart Ferry site at the juncture of the Pit and Fall River. (Note: Capt Judah's Forty Thieves consisted onf 65 men. The term Forty Thieves probably resulted from the fact the regular Army men in those days lived off the land, taking whatever they needed from those who possessed it.)

These troops, while referred to as regular Army troops were a special type of soldier called Dragoons.

The post was established on about 1 July 1857 and consisted of 20 small cabins built of logs with flooring and cribbing of planks. The logs were chinked with mud. The stockade of logs was 12 feet high erected in a rectangular shape. The boundaries were designated by a tree which served as a flag pole for one mile in any direction.

The post was situated directly on the main immigrant road between California and Oregon.

The fort was named Fort Crook by Lt. Gardiner. Lt. George Crook was a man of compassion who regarded the Indians as human beings to be treated as men rather than animals, which led him to be the greatest among the frontier Army officers.

In 1861 the main body of troops were withdrawn to Fort Bidwell and were replaced by California volunteer troops under the command of Capt. Henry B. Mellon.

The fort was abandoned in 1869, and the bodies of the soldiers buried in the fort cemetery were moved to Fort Bidwell. In 1870 the buildings and land were sold. The headquarters building was later used as a schoolhouse to which many of our pioneers attended.~

1859 May 14, Shasta Courier- A man by the name of McKinney, a private in Lt. Carr's company, 2nd Dragoons, stole a government horse at Ft. Crook a few days since and deserted. The horse was recovered at Middletown, but the deserter escaped. 

1859 September 17, Shasta Courier -

On the 10th instant, Lt. M.P. Carr arrived at Ft. Crook with the balance of his command amounting to 24 men, he having been recalled from Honey Lake Valley on account of the various Indian depredations being committed in Pit river Valley and vicinity.~

1865 November 25, Shasta Courier -

In the 11th instant at Fort Crook, Edward Steed, s soldier stationed at that post, committed suicide by swallowing opium. The unfortunate man had been for some days acting as clerk in the Sutler's store. On that day he got drunk and threatened to kill himself. To prevent him destroying himself, he was put in the guard house. In the evening he asked permission of the guard to visit the hospital to get his clothes, which was granted. It is supposed he obtained the opium at the hospital. In the morning he was found dead with a package containing the opium close by and labeled "Steed's Poison."~

1868 August 10, San Francisco Bulletin - CALIFORNIA LAND SURVEYS - Commissioner Wilson, of the General Land Office, has just received returns of the survey of eleven additional townships in Shasta and Siskiyou counties, California, embracing an area of 276,232 acres.

. . .The Fort Crook military reserve is situated in townships 37 and 38, of Range 4 East, in Shasta County.~

1869 January 30, , Shasta Courier - "The garrison formerly at Fort Crook is now at Surprise Valley. The fort is dismantled and will probably be sold at auction by the government."~

1869 April 24, Shasta Courier,  Fort Crook - "This place, as a military post, has evidently seen its day. We are informed that all the soldiers lately stationed here have been withdrawn and sent to Surprise Valley where they will hereafter be quartered. The fort is left in charge of William Cayton."~

1881 February 17, San Francisco Bulletin - "The President* has approved the bill to restore the lands included in the Fort Reading and Fort Crook Military Reservations, in California, to the public domain." 

[*The President was Rutherford B. Hayes before he left office on 4 March 1881.]~

1939 December 6, Times-Picayune,Sacramento, Dec 5 - Six additional sites where the life of early California once throbbed were designated historical landmarks by the department of natural resources recently. The sites are the Old Lobero Theatre, Santa Barbara County; Tapio Tapia Adobe, San Bernardino County; Bale Mill, Napa County; the town of Woodbridge, San Joaquin County; Fort Crook, Shasta County; and, Old Pacific House, Monterey County.~

 

 

 

Sunday
Dec022012

Fort Jones

1853 Nov 1, Daily National Intelligencer, INDIAN TROUBLES IN CALIFORNIA - A letter from Yreka, California dated 19th September, to a gentleman in New York says:

"The recent skirmishes had with the Indians in this vicinity can hardly be dignified with the name of war, although several struggles have taken place of a nature disastrous both to the Indians and the Whites. It is a matter still of speculation in what manner the affair will end.  Many of the volunteers have returned to their homes, some in apparent disgust and others seemingly under the impression that the difficulty is over. The treaty, however, it is hardly thought will be ratified, and will probably be broken by the Indians themselves, many of whom seem quite unwilling to accede to terms. As yet no regulars have appeared in the field except Capt Alden, with some fifteen soldiers from Fort Jones about sixteen miles distant. *I hear, however, that Col. Wright, from Fort Reading, has recently arrived at Fort Jones with a Battalion of the 21 Infantry, under Major Patten from Benicia, and also that a company of the Infantry from Fort Reading is enroute for the same station. Should these troops not be required to take to the field, their presence at this period in our vicinity will doubtless expedite the settlement of the difficulties. Capt Alden is doing well. His wound, although severe, is not dangerous."~

1853-54, Mansfield on the Condition of the Western Forts 1853-54, Edited by Robert W. Frazer. 1963. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, Oklahoma

Fort Jones is well located in Scotts Valley on a reservation of 640 acres on Scotts River, in latitude 41* 35' 56" and longitude of 122* 52', and 18 miles from the junction with the Klamath. It is 120 miles from Fort Reading over a mule trail, 150 miles over a mule trail to Fort Humboldt, 15 miles from the town of Yreka, [and] 84 miles from Fort Lane [Oregon] over a good wagon road.

There is abundant grazing, wood, water, tillable land for gardens, oats, barley, wheat and vegetables in the immediate vicinity, and grist mill and saw mill convenient. All other supplies have been heretofore received via Shasta City and Fort Reading but in my opinion should hereafter come from San Francisco, over the wagon road thro' Fort Lane to Scottsburg, 224 miles.

This is an important post from its vicinity to the Trinity and Klamath rivers, and the number of Indians on and about them, and should be maintained till the population becomes sufficient to protect themselves beyond doubt and be secure against massacre. The Indians within 30 miles number about 100 warriors, and are armed with good rifles and guns; and this post, in conjunction with Fort Lane on the Rogue River, exercises a constraining influence over say 1,000 warriors within 250 miles. The American population within 30 miles, including the town of Yreka, may be put down at 2,000, scattered as miners and traders and farmers.

This is a beautiful valley about 30 miles long and about 10 broad and is fast filling up with American farmers. The small grains grow extremely well here, and the mountains afford abundant timber for lumber. There is a semi-weekly stage line from this valley to Jacksonville in Oregon over the Siskiou [Siskiyou] Mountains.

In the spring of 1853, Colonel Joseph K. F. Mansfield was ordered to inspect the Department of New Mexico; the following year, he inspected the Department of the Paciifc. This is his report on Fort Jones.

Fort Jones was established on 16 October 1852, and abandoned on 25 June 1858. Its location was the same as that of the present town of Fort Jones.~

1873 December 27, San Francisco Bulletin- Washington, Dec 26 - Luttrill will, after the holidays, introduce a bill granting two sections of land per mile to the State of California, to construct a military road from Etna Mill, Siskiyou County, via Sawyer's Bar and Arcata, to Ukiah, Mendocino County; and also a branch from Fort jones, via Happy Camp, Del Norte County, to intercept the main road at Orleans Bar, Klamath County. Precedents for such a grant are found in legislation for Oregon, Washington Territory and Wisconsin.~

Thursday
Jul262012

Fort Reading

1854, Fort Reading was established 26 May 1852. The garrison was withdrawn 1 Apr 1856, although the post was occupied occasionally thereafter. It was located on the right bank of Cow Creek, a mile and one-half above its junction with the Sacramento River.

The following is the report of Colonel Joseph K.F. Mansfield on his inspection tour of 1854:

This post is on Cow Creek, an eastern tributary of Sacramento River, and 25 miles above Red Bluff, the head of navigation of that river in the Sacramento Valley. It is 25 miles by good wagon road south of Shasta City. It is 185 miles by mule trail over mountains from Fort Humboldt on Humboldt Bay, 120 miles by mule trail over mountains from Fort Jones, 115 miles by wagon road from Marysville.

There is abundant of grazing, wood, water, and facilities for a good garden. All other supplies, except fresh beef, must come from San Francisco via the Sacramento River and [are] landed either at Colusa, 120 miles off, at the low stage of the water, or at Red Bluff, 25 miles off, at the high stage. Thence to be transported in wagons.

The Indians in this vicinity within seventy-five miles number about 400 warriors, armed with bows and arrows, known under different local names, but are disposed to work for the whites in many instances. The Americans within the same distance are, inclusive of Shasta city, scattered as miners and farmers, and may be said to number at least 2,000 souls.

It appears to me, however, that this post is not at this time properly located, however suitable it might have been when established in 1852. I would therefore recommend this post should be removed further eastward towards the emigrant trail at the mountains, after a suitable reconnaissance, as a post in that quarter seems necessary.

Another objection to this post is its decidedly sickly locality (the Sacramento Valley) where the ague and fever prevails and the officers and men are kept constantly sick and unfit for duty in the field. further it is exposed to overflows in the rainy season, and a bridge has been actually constructed to communicate with the soldiers kitchens on such occasions.

Taken from Mansfield on the Condition of the Western Forts 1853-54 Edited by Robert W. Frazer. 1963. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, Oklahoma.~

1854, Statement of the Posts, Companies, Departments, Commissioned Officers Present & Absent; Enlisted Men Present and Absent, Military Store Keepers & Citizens Employed; Serviceable Small Arms and Artillery when visited by Colonel Mansfield sometime between 4 May 1854 to 30 Sep 1854:

Field and Staff, 4th Infantry - Commissioned Officers present:  2; 12 Pounder Brass Mountain Howitzers:  1

3rd Artillery, Company D - Commissioned Officers present:  1; Absent:  3; Enlisted Men present:  47; Absent: 0;  Percussion Muskets:  74; Percussion Rifles:  3; Non-Commissioned Officers Swords:  4.

4th Infantry, Company D - Commissioned Officers present:  3; Absent:  1; Enlisted Men present: 41; absent: 1; Percussion Muskets:  100; Percussion Rifles:  4; Percussion Pistols: 4; Colt Revolvers:  1; Non-Commissioned Officers Swords:  12.

Quartermasters' Department - Commissioned Officers present:  1.

- Mansfield on the Condition of the Western Forts 1853-54. 1963. Edited by Robert W. Frazer.~

1855 August 31, Charleston Courier -The California papers state that the United States Surveying Expedition under charge of Lieut. Williamson, accompanied by an escort of about one hundred and twenty-five soldiers, under the command of Lieutenants Gibson and Hood, left Fort Reading on the 26th July for the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, directly east of Shasta. The object of this expedition is to discover, by actual and careful survey, the existence of a practicable route for a rail road between the Columbia River and the Sacramento Valley. It is thought the party will be out about four months. The whole expedition numbers very nearly two hundred men.~

1856 November 17, Daily Democratic State Journal -

Fort Reading - This military post situated on Cow Creek, has been some time unoccupied by troops. It is a delightful place for winter quarters. We are informed that two companies of soldiers have lately been ordered to Fort Reading, and that they will remain there during the winter. Col. Beall will be commander of the post.~

1857 June 20, San Francisco Bulletin - Lieut. Williams, of the 1st regiment of U.S. Dragoons, passed through Red Bluffs on Tuesday last, with ninety-six mounted men and eight six mule wagons en route for Fort Reading, where they wait further orders. It is understood that they are bound to Columbia River. ~

1859 December 6, San Francisco Bulletin - DROWNED IN COW CREEK - Shasta County, On Sunday, 17th November, Dr. Edward Owen was drowned, says the Shasta Courier, in Cow Creek, Fort Reading. It appears that in attempting to ford the river on horseback, both horse and rider were swept down stream by the force of the current, which, at the crossing, owing to the recent flood, was extremely violent. The horse escaped to the shore. Owen succeeded in catching hold of a bunch of willows growing in the middle of the stream, where he remained, up to his waist in water, for four hours. Several persons, after much labor succeeded in fetching a boat from below to his assistance, but just as the boat was almost within arms length of him, he sunk down suddenly, as if shot through the heart, and was seen no more alive. He was from Fort Crook, where he had acted in the capacity of steward of the Hospital. He had some $800 in gold, and it was supposed, valuable papers, upon his person.~

1881 February 17, San Francisco Bulletin - "The President* has approved the bill to restore the lands included in the Fort Reading and Fort Crook Military Reservations, in California, to the public domain." 

[*The President was Rutherford B. Hayes before he left office on 4 March 1881.]~

1913 Jan 3, Denver Post - "James Robert Keene, one time owner of the most famous string of race horses in the United States and the most spectacular speculator on the New York Stock Exchange, was born in London, England, in 1838. His parents migrated to California and settled in Shasta County in 1852. Mr. Keene's first job came soon after the family's settlement in the West. He was given a position as the guard of animal pets at Fort Reading, Cal. Young Keene saved his wages for a few months and then he bought a miner's outfit and prospected for gold. He went broke, however, and became editor of a country newspaper. Later he left for Nevada practically penniless, once more to attempt fortune in the mining business. Mr. Keene's arrival in that state was propitious. The "Comstock Lode" had just been discovered and by dealing judiciously, investing in this property, he was able to make about $125,000, enough money to return to San Francisco and engage in the stock speculating business. . ."~

Friday
Sep212012

Navy, S. N. Briceland Died

1859 May 30, Daily National Intelligencer -

In Shasta City, California, April 23rd, suddenly from a rupture of a blood vessel of the heart, S. N. Briceland, formerly Lieutenant of the United States Navy, and a native of Steubenville, Ohio.

Saturday
Mar062010

Revolutionary War, JUDY, John

John Judy, direct line, 4th great grandfather, born 2 February 1759 in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania served with the Pennsylvania troops from his residence in Berks County, Pennsylvania as follows:

In the Fall of 1777 - two months in Captain Jacob Shartel's Company in Colonel Balser Gheer's Regiment.

In the Fall of 1778, two months in Captain Francis Umpenhacker's Company in Colonel Balser Gheer's Regiment.

In the Fall of 1779, two months in Colonel Lindemuth's Regiment.

In the Fall of 1780, two months in Colonel Lindemuth's Regiment.

In the Fall of 1781, two months in Captain Henry Krause's Company, in Colonel Lindemuth's Regiment.

John Judy was allowed pension on his application executed 19 September 1832, then a resident of Pickaway County, Ohio.

John Judy died on 20 May 1834 in Salt Creek, Pickaway, Ohio and is buried in the Stempf (or Jerusalem) Cemetery five miles south of Tarlton, Pickaway, Ohio.

"At least four soldiers of the American Revolution are buried here, as are also their wives:  John Judy and his wife Abaliza..."

Friday
Aug032012

Sanitary Commission Contributions

1865 March 13, San Francisco Bulletin

Chico Soldiers Aid Society, $95.25; French Gulch Soldiers' Aid Society, $25.; Truman Head Rifles, French Gulch, $10.; Shasta county Soldiers' Relief Society, $133.38; Taylorsville Soldiers Aid Society, $33.25; Yankee Jim's Soldiers' Aid Society, $300.; Greenwood Soldiers' Aid Society, $11.50; collections from the city, $208. Total, $716.38.

Woodward's Garden and Art Gallery will be open again, for the benefit of the Sanitary Commission, tomorrow, from 3 to 5 PM.

Sunday
Jan292012

Shasta Guards

1858, According to May Southern Scrapbooks, Binder 1:  "In January 1858 the residents of Horsetown found it necessary to organize a company of volunteers, known as the Shasta Guards for the purpose of fighting the redmen."~

2 Oct 1861, San Francisco BulletinThe Shasta Herald says, our town represents a military camp, and almost every other man in the street appears in uniform. Monday week was a gala day, and it seemed as though the whole population of the county turned out to take a last look at the brave boys composing the Shasta Guards, who would in a few days depart for the capital, to be enrolled in their country's service.~

Sunday
Jul152012

WW I, Hackler Brothers

1918 May 25, Riverside Daily Press, Redding May 25 -

Charles E. Hackler, of Millville, one of the men lost on the Moldavia,[British Transport that sank with 482 American soldiers aboard] left Shasta County with the first draft quota.

His mother, Francis Hackler, died a few weeks ago following a nervous breakdown, said to have been caused by worry over her three sons being drafted into service.

A fourth son has just reached draft age and a fifth, still under the age limit, is determined to enlist.