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Extract From The “General Orders.”
Indian Battles For The Past Year and The Officers Engaged.
General Orders NO. 22
Head Quarters of the Army,
New York, Nov. 10, 1858
The following combats with hostile Indians in which the conduct of the troops, including volunteers and employees in the United States military service, is deserving of high praise for gallantry and hardships have occurred, or been brought to the notice of the General-in-Chief since the publication of General order. No. 14, of 1857, viz:
XIV. September 1, 1858. The expedition under Colonel Wright, 9th infantry, composed of companies C, E, H and I, 1st dragoons; A, B, G, K and M, 3d artillery; and B and E, 9th infantry aggregate five hundred and seventy with a company of thirty Nez Percés Indians, marched from Fort Walla Walla, Oregon, on the 7th and 15th of August; crossed Snake River on the 25th and 26th; established a post at the crossing, which was left in charge of Brevet Major Wyse and his company D, 3d artillery; and, after a march of nearly a hundred miles, mostly over a forbidding country, during which they were twice attacked came upon a large body of united Spokan, Coeur d’Alene and Pelouse Indians, of which some four hundred were mounted.
After securing his baggage and supplies, by leaving them under the guard of Company M, 3d artillery, with a mountain howitzer, and a detachment of fifty-four men, commanded by Lieutenants H. G. Gibson, G. B. Dandy and Lyon, the whole under Captain Hardie, 3d artillery. Colonel Wright moved with the rest of his force against the Indians, who had taken possession of a high hill and an adjoining wood, and awaited his attack. They were driven by the foot troops from both their positions into the plain, and then charged and utterly routed by the dragoons, with a loss of some seventeen killed and many wounded.
The troops sustained no loss in either killed or wounded.
Colonel Wright mentions the following as entitled to credit for their coolness and gallantry:
Brevet Major Grier, 1st dragoons; Captain Keyes, 3d artillery;
Captain Dent, 9th infantry;
1st Lieutenant Mullan, 2d artillery, acting as topographical engineer and commanding the friendly Nez Percés;
1st Lieutenant P. A. Owen, 9th infantry; Acting Assistant Adjutant General;
Captain Kirkham, Assistant Quarter-master; and
Assistant Surgeon J, F. Hammond, Medical Department.
The following are also mentioned as having been highly commended by their immediate commanders:
Medical Department, Assistant Surgeon Randolph.
1st Dragoons. Lieutenants Davidson, Pender, and 2d Lieutenant Gregg.
1st Sergeant James A. Hall; Sergeants Bernard Korton and Patrick Byrne; Bugler Robert A. Magan, and privates James Kearney and Michael Meara, Company C.
1st Sergeant C. Goetz; Sergeant J. F. Maguire; and Privates J. G. Trimbell, J. Buckley, Wm. Ramage and T. W, Smith, Company E.
1st Sergeant E. Ball; Sergeant M.M. Walker; and Bugler Jacob Muller, Company H.
1st Sergeant W. H. Ingerton; and Sergeant Wm. Davis, Company I.
3rd Artillery. 1st Lieutenants Tyler, White and Ihrie, and 2d Lieutenant Kip.
9th Infantry. Captain Winder and Lieutenant Fleming.
Nez Percés, Hute-E-Mah-li-kah, Captain John, Edward and We-ash-kot.
XV. September 5th to 15th. Colonel Wright, 9th Infantry, after defeating the united hostile tribes at the Four Lakes, in Washington Territory, on the 1st (as noticed above, par. XIV.), continued to advance in the Indian country with the same force, and on the 5th of September, was again met by the Spokan, Pelouse and Coeur d’Alene Indians who had been joined by the Pend d’Oreilles.
After a continuous conflict of seven hours, over a distance of fourteen miles, and a fatiguing march, in all, of twenty-five, the Indians were completely routed with the loss of two chiefs two brothers of the Chief Gearry and many others of lesser note killed and wounded. The troops had but one man name not given wounded, and he but slightly.
Colonel Wright bears witness to the zeal, energy, perseverance and gallantry of his officers and men. He specially mentions the following:
Brevet Major Grier, 1st Dragoons, commanding squadron;
Captain Keyes, 3d Artillery, commanding artillery battalion, acting ds infantry;
Captain Winder and Lieutenant Fleming, 9th Infantry, detached to support the howitzer battery:
1st Lieutenant and Adjutant Owen, 9th Infantry, Acting Assist. Adjutant General;
Captain Kirkham, Assistant Quarter-master;
Assistant Surgeons J. F. Hammond and J. F. Randolph;
1st Lieutenant Mullan, 2d Artillery, acting as engineer officer and commanding the friendly Indians.
The following officers are spoken of in the highest terms by their several immediate commanders, viz:
2d Artillery, Company K,
Captain E. O. C. Ord and Lieutenant Morgan;
Captain J. A. Hardie and 1st Lieutenant Ransom;
1st Lieutenant Gibson and 2d Lieutenant Dandy;
1st Lieutenant Tyler and 2d Lieutenant Lyon.
1st Lieutenant White, commanding howitzer battery composed of a detachment from Company D, 3d Artillery and 2d Lieutenant Kip, Adjutant of Keyes’ battalion.
Captain Dent, 9th Infantry, with his Company (B ), and
1st Lieutenant Davidson, 1st Dragoons, commanding Company E, together with the friendly Nez Percés, guarded the train effectually.
After resting on the 6th, Colonel Wright continued his pursuit of the Indians through their country, arriving at the Coeur d’Alene Mission on the 15th of September. During this march he had a skirmish with the enemy, on the 8th of September, took from them some nine hundred horses, a large number of cattle, with quantities of wheat, oats, roots, &c, all of which were converted to the use of the troops or destroyed.
Those severe blows resulted in the unqualified submission of the Coeur D’Alenes, the dispersion of the other tribes, and, it is not doubted, ere this in the subjugation of the whole alliance.
Results so important, without the loss of a man or animal, gained over tribes brave, well armed, confident in themselves from a recent accidental success, and aided by the many difficulties presented by the country invaded, reflect high credit on all concerned.
Colonel Wright is much to be commended for the zeal, perseverance and gallantry he has exhibited.
To Brigadier General Clarke, commanding the Department of the Pacific, credit is primarily and eminently due for the sound judgment shown in planning and organizing the campaign (including Major Garnett’s simultaneous expedition), as well as for his promptness and energy in gathering, from remote points in his extended command, the forces, supplies, Ac necessary for its successful prosecution.
In this merited tribute to the General his staff is included.
By command Brevet Lieutenant General Scott.
L. Thomas, Assistant Adjutant General.