INDIAN ATTACKS UPON EMIGRANTS
Robbery, Murder, and No Protection.
ATTACK ON A TRAIN FROM IOWA.
Correspondence of The N. Y. Tribune.
SALT LAKE CITY, Sept 10, 1862.
The reported discovery of gold in Salmon River. Mountains, and in other portions of Washington Territory and Oregon, together with the evils of the Rebellion, have probably sent upward of ten thou-sand persons over the Plains this season, and, with the exception of some who have skedaddled to save themselves from the punishment due to their trea-son, the greater portion of these have been families formerly in comfortable circumstances in the At-lantic States—not fleeing from the war to avoid their own personal share in its direct obligations, but from the rapine of guerrilla hordes, or from the mis-eries entailed upon those directly dependent on their daily labor for support; by the complete boulverse-ment of the ordinary channels of industry. Whether they may finally realize their expectations or no, one thing is certain, that they have, in the first part of their experience, had bitterness enough to raise the doubt in their minds whether they had not fled from lesser to greater evils.
There was a time when the whisper of murder in the West would have aroused the attention of the folks at Washington, and told upon the ears of the great public; but in these days of blood, the recital of wholesale massacres on the plains, will, I pre-sume, fail to elicit even a moment's attention from any, save those who are directly interested—for the latter, then, I write; believing that the extensive circulation of THE TRIBUNE in the North-Western States, will warn multitudes of the evils, into which thousands have fallen this year, and against the re-currence of which the Government has made no pro-vision, nor is it the least likely to do so, so long as the Southern Rebellion taxes its best energies and resources.
From the returning emigrants from Salmon River, and from the country to the north of us, we learn of numerous murderous attacks upon emigrants, the detailed recital of which sickens the soul. The Indians appear to have thrown off all restraint, to have forgotten every amicable relation they ever had with the white race, and to make plunder and murder their chief delight. No person is spared. The stranger passing through their country, and the familiar mountaineer, are alike threatened, and at the mercy of the deadly rifle, from which now both are fleeing for safety, leaving the Indians to the sole possession of the country. It is too late in the season for this letter to warn emigrants against that northern route to California; but for the future the emigrant must note it, and never permit the vampires on the plaius to send him over a "road that has never been free from the stains of blood. There are men who would, without remorse, send scores of helpless women and children right into the midst of death, if only an hour before they could make a dollar on the sale of a sack of flour, or on a gallon of poisonous whisky by sending the company in that direction.
The immigrants have been deluded into the confi-dence of security from the parade of some Congres-sional appropriation for the protection of the overland immigration to the Pacific, which has been a fatal confidence. A certain Union officer is said to have passed over the country on his way to Port Walla Walla, and with him a train of immigrants, in security. But what of that? Nothing. Who can fancy anything more absurd than such a demon-stration of sabers and revolvers? Frighten Indians! Pshaw! Indians are not babies. They are mur-derous rebels, and have displayed vastly better skill in their plans and purposes than that department which had the handling of that $50,000 appropria-tion. The Indians stopped their plundering to let the gallant captain pass in peace, and resumed it the moment he disappeared from their sight; while he the while, no doubt, congratulated himself on his immigration. This is not the irony of a correspond-ent, quietly at his desk, ruminating over the in-numerable absurdities of dotted red tape; it is the bitter language of complaint, from the mouths of the suffering immigrants.
The last attack that we have heard of has just been narrated to me by one of the sufferers, an im-migrant from Iowa, which is fearfully interesting. I will not attempt details to lengthen my letter; but as this is the first intimation of the utter destitution of that company that will reach their friends in Iowa, I shall be particular in my statement for their ser-vice. The company was from Warren County, Iowa, left there sometime about the middle of May, finally left the Missouri River on the 26th of May, and was composed of the following persons: John Adams Smith, Jonathan Smith, Lewis Smith, Bu-chanan Smith, Joseph Jones. Hyram Baker, James Lynch, Taylor Waterhouse, Elias Shaw, Charles Braudus, Frederick Heymen, Thomas Ball, John Bull, and Henry Ball.
Two other persons were in the train, but their names I could not learn, and with the company were twelve women and about the same number of chil-dren. Nothing occurred in their journey till they reached, on the 26th of August, Sublett's Cut-Off, a little to the south-east of Fort Hall. The Indians attacked them there early in the morning, and after a fight of an hour and a half, succeeded in driving away from the immigrants 45 oxen, 7 horses, and 4 mules, leaving only 6 oxen for 12 wagons. The company filled one wagon with provisions, and has-tened away from the camping-ground, as they dread-ed the return of the Indians to pillage the wagons. They traveled in fear, and before sundown the Indi-ans, greatly increased in numbers, came upon them and renewed the attack. The immigrants attempted to reach some willow bushes, in hopes of finding pro-tection, but seeing their intention, the savages reached it first, and encircled the company, leaving men, women, and children without other shelter than the stunted sage bushes, that were no barriers to the flight of the rifle ball.
The immigrants fought with the desperation of despair, till darkness concealed them, and the In-dians left them thoroughly despoiled of everything but 40 pounds of flour, which some, in fleeing from the wagon, had the prudence to retain. Several of the Indians were killed or wounded, and of the im-migrants were killed: John Ball, who left a wife and two children; Thomas Ball, whose wife and family are in Warren County, Iowa; Thomas Hey-men from Minnesota, and Taylor Waterhouse, who disappeared and was never found again. Capt. Jonathan Smith was shot through both legs, above the knees, and shot through the right arm. His father was shot through the right hand, and his brother through the left hand. A ball traversed the body of his wife, entering her right side and coming out at her left side. His daughter, 4 years of age, was shot through the body; and died the third day after. The life of Capt. Smith is despaired of, but the others are recovering.
They placed the bodies of the dead side by side end left them unburied, as they were destitute of the means of burying them, and were uncertain of the position of the Indians. The wounded were carried by the men who were unhurt, and the chil-dren were carried in the arms of the others. In this way they traveled the first night, and afraid to ven-ture out in daylight, they rested in the bushes till the return of darkness. The second night and second day they traveled another path in the direc-tion of the settlements on Bear River. Three of the men left in advance in hopes of procuring aid end traveled three more days till they reached the Bear River Ferry. Here their sad tale was heard, and a Mormon of the name of Loveland immediately fitted out three wagons with provisions and sent five men to bring in the destitute company. Alter five days absence the wagons returned, and on Sun-day last took the wounded and destitute into the Box Elder Settlement, where they will, in all proba-bility, remain during the Winter. While one of the company was relating to me what I have here writ-ten, his eyes were gleaming with tears. "Yes," said he, "the Mormon people have been kind to us, we will never forget them, yet all kinds of bad stories are told against them by men who have an interest in sending immigrants over that terrible road."
My narrative need go so further; only let me say, immigrants abandon that northern route, unless you go in force to bid defiance to the Indians. ZIP.
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