Indian War on the Plains Threatened—Mismanagement in the Indian Depart-ment—The Through Emigration to California.
From Our Own Correspondent.
SALT LAKE CITY, Aug. 13, 1862.
As long as we could we have striven to believe in peace, hut the conviction is clearly growing upon us that an Indian war on the Plains and in this Ter-ritory is almost inevitable. The few, who have everything to gain and nothing to lose by the pres-ence of soldiers, are evidently very much satisfied with their approach toward the capital of Mormon-dom, and are in no ways grieved at the probabilities of their presence being justified by the necessity of chastising the Indians. The people—the community who live to toil in town and country, and who travel from settlement to settlement—heartily dislike the "ugliness" of the Indians, and are not over pleasant toward those who ever rejoice in the strife that desolates the land, endangers the lives of the hus-bandman, and fills the pockets of vampires with gold.
The responsibility of the outbreak that now threat-ens us on every side may not be directly traceable to any person or party, and the old fogyism of the In-dian Department is at a heavy discount. The policy of that Department has been for years back pernici-ous and destructive. The Superintendents of the poor Indians have been men of broken fortune sent here to recuperate, and if they have not honored their appointments in that particular, they have been sadly abused men. The present incumbent of that office, a very respectable gentleman—of course, for that reason—must be kept without a dollar that can be employed in behalf of the Indians, and the Commissioner in his annual report, will be furnished another occasion for charging home upon the Indians the stereotyped abuse of his office, and outraging the citizens who are despoiled of their property, with being the abettors of the Indians who rob and plun-der them.
The Indians have not for ten years been so trouble-some as at present, and as far as I can learn the Superintendent here has nothing to give them, and cannot get it to give them. This is not the time for honest men so assume debts for the Government, and so far removed from the facility of representation few persons would be willing to give the credit if sought. It is exceedingly difficult to get it under-derstood at Washington that we are "a thousand miles from everywhere," and can only get imports from the East during three months of the year. To the neglect of the Indians are chargeable the mail depredations, and the impunity with which they were permitted to carry on their work has emboldened them everywhere.
Capt. Lott Smith and the hundred Mormon Volun-teers who were called out for ninety days to guard the mail line have returned and were disbanded this forenoon. Sixty of them finished up their ninety days and added two weeks more in the pursuit of a band of Indians who had stolen nearly 200 head of horses and mules from Fort Bridger. Capt. Smith had a hard ride of between 600 and 700 miles, and that over a terrible country, but had to abandon the chase at the base of the Green River Mountains, near by the Three Tetons. Nearly all the horses of the Expedition were used up for pursuit—the In-dians having the advantage of changing animals as often as they pleased, and when the chase was over the Volunteers had to subsist on horse- flesh alone.
The immigration to Salmon River has been a temptation to them and the reports of murders are not unfrequent. A disappointed miner informs me that himself and four others in attempting to get on to the Humboldt road for California last week came up to the remnants of a burned wagon, by the side of which lay three bodies perforated with bullet holes. He picked up two New Testaments and a few papers belonging to one of them—Carl Bart-lett, formerly of Rock County, Wisconsin.
Three Indians were arraigned before Judge Drake in this city, two days ago, for stealing about forty sides of leather, from which they made lariats and sold them to immigrants. They were remanded into the bands of the Sheriff, who placed them in the county jail—secure enough, as he thought—and before morning they escaped, making their way through gates and bars, to his astonishment. When the three were taken, they had on and about them fifty pounds of powder and ammunition. The Sheriff would have attempted their recapture, but the Judge, Governor and Superintendent of Indian Affairs concluded on defensive warfare till the Cali-fornia volunteers arrived, and then war to the knife, if need be.
The through emigration to California is very large—seems to be no end to it. It is reported that a large number of the immigrants will Winter here. The season is not, so very late; but the reports con-cerning Salmon Mines are very contradictory. It is generally regarded a fizzle. Should prospects be favorable, the miners who Winter here will doubt-less take that direction, and if to the contrary, they will continue on to the Pacific.
Every person in the Territory is busy—plenty or work for man and beast, in husbandry, and in haul-ing for the Overland Mail Line, east and west, and also in providing for the coming troops. ZIP.
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