I was in Captain Hall's company of Oregon Volunteers, enlisted after the Whitman massacre. The first fight we had was at Well's Springs, and Captain Hall's company was in it. We traveled from there to Whitman's Station, where the massacre took place. We went out afterwards and had a running fight from the Tucannon to Touche River, we falling back. The next expedition was out on Snake River, and crossed it, and a party of about sixty, of which i was one, went on to Colville to get the missionaries from there, which we did, and brought them back with us. After that we came down home in squads. When we got back from Colville most of the men had already gone home. I was mustered out about July 4, 1848, by proclamation of Governor Abernethy.
I am the same person before described as a member of Captain Hall's company. The statements above given about the service of the company are true to my certain knowledge.
Subscribed and sworn to before me at Vancouver Barracks, Washington Territory, this 2d day of April, 1889.
WM. E. BIRKHIMER,
Captain, Acting Judge Advocate.
After we got to The Dalles we went out after the Indians on the Des Chutes. We had a battle with the Indians there. We routed the Indians and made peace with them, and captured some horses. We did not treat with the Indians; only the fight resulted in their keeping quiet the rest of the time. We then worked our way up towards the Whitman Mission. We met the Indians about 10 miles the other side of Wells Springs, in ground they had picked. We had what we called a battle there. We fought them all day the best we could, as they had so much the advantage of us, being on fast horses. None of Captain Hall's company were killed or wounded that I remember. The company was the one chosen that day to guard the baggage wagon, and it threw us into a different position. We camped on the field, without water or food. We had nothing much to eat; but not much. Every man stood guard during part of the night, which was very cold. Next day we started on our way, and got to Umatilla with something for our stock and also something to eat. After we were rested a little we went on towards Whitman's Station. The next camping place was near Fort Walla Walla now called Wallula. We got to Whitman's the third day after we camped on the Umatilla.
We picked up the remains of those who were not properly buried and buried them. We arranged a kind of fort and a hospital for the wounded and some sick with measles. There were quite a number wounded. Then the next thing we did was to take Joe Meek to Umatilla, to the mountains. This was done by Captain Hall's company. Meek's company was composed of George W. Meek, Jacob Lebo, and some one else; don't remember. They went under orders from Governor Abernethy to Washington. Then we went back to the fort. We dallied with some pretended friendly Indians while others were driving stock off. Then when we found this out the regiment went after them, leaving a garrison at the fort. I was taken sick with measles two days out and had To go back to the fort.
After the Tucannon fight (and while I was back sick) my next service was to go on another campaign after the Indians. We, crossed Snake River near the Tucannon. We went to the mouth of the Paleuse, up this river, and camped there, I think, two nights. The only Indians up to this time were the Spokanes. About this time we sent lbr Eels and Walker, missionaries at Fort Colville. The leader of the party sent for them was our lieutenant, O'Bryant. We saw we were not going to overtake any hostile Indians and came back towards Snake River, when we saw some, who ran, and some of them were killed, but I don't know whether they were friendly or not. We crossed Snake River somewhere above where we crossed going out and came back to the fort at Whitman's Mission.
The Indians were all gone; we could not find where they were. We gathered up some Indian stock - horses - and then started home. We were recalled, as I was informed, by order of the governor. It was after the llth of June, 1848, that we got back to Oregon City; but I don't know just when. We met then, answered to roll-call, and were discharged, except some who happened to be absent on some duty.
We, Alvan C. Brown and Isaac Butler, privates in Capt. Lawrence Hall's company of Oregon Volunteers, each for himself swears that the statements before made are true in every particular; they are true to my certain knowledge.
ALVAN C. BROWN.
ISAAC (his x mark) BUTLER.
Witness: Wm. E. BIRKHIMER, U. S. Army.
Subscribed and sworn to before me this 3d day of April, 1889, at Vancouver Barracks, Washington Territory.
We, John J. Gerrish and A. Williams, privates of Capt. Lawrence Hall's company, each for himself, states that the facts set forth in the foregoing affidavit are true to his certain knowledge, and with this additional fact regarding the battle between the Tucannon and Touchet Rivers. We located the Indians on the Tucannon and took their stock. They followed us, and we kept up a running fight in retreat. We held on the cattle until 10 o'clock at night. The next day we fell back to the Touchet, where we made a stand and drove the Indians. I recollect that two men were wounded in Hall's company. I do not pretend to remember all who were wounded in the company. We killed some horses for food before we got back to the fort again.
JOHN J. GERRISH.
A. (his x mark) WILLIAMS. Witness: WM. E. BIRKHIMER, U. S. Army.
Subscribed and sworn to before me this 3d day of April, 1889, at Vancouver Barracks, Washington Territory.
I, Robert Walker, farmer, of Greenville, county of Washington, and State of Oregon, being now sixty-four years of age, depose and say that I was a member of what has been known as Captain Lawrence Hall's Company of Oregon Volunteers; that said company was mustered into service on or about the 8th day of January, A. D. 1848, at Portland, Oregon; that said company left Portland, one or two days after having been mustered in, for The Dalles; that said company was to some extent provided with ammunition, blankets, and tents, and also with some flour, but to the best of my knowledge with no other provisions; that Lawrence Hall was captain of said company, and remained such all through the campaign, until we were disbanded; Hugh D. O'Brien was first lieutenant, and John Enyart was second lieutenant of said company; that from The Dalles we went after the Wascoes (Wasco Indians) up Des Chutes River, overtook them about 60 miles above the mouth of said river; did chastise them effectually, and then returned to The Dalles again.
A few days after having returned the company prepared and left for Walla Walla (present town site). On the way there we had an encounter with the Cayuse Indians. Said encounter took place about half way between what was known then as Well Springs and Umatilla. Said encounter was named and referred to afterward as the battle of the "Dry Plains." John Lousignot, a member of our company, was crippled by a rifle or musket shot. His wife is alive yet, and lives in needy circumstances. Indians were defeated in said encounter, but our horses and ponies being poorer than those used by the Indians we could not follow up our victory. Camped on battle-ground said night without water, but struck Indian camp next morning, where we found water. The Cayuse Indians, whom we had started out to punish for the murder of the Whitman family, had spread the falsehood among related tribes that the whites had slain most of the half-breeds living on French Prairie, in Marion County. We had reasons to believe that those Indians who had joined the Cayuses, after being informed that, no half-breeds on French Prairie had been murdered, left the Cayuses and took no part any more in the hostile demonstrations.
Marching on further and reaching Walla Walla we threw up fortifications and named said work "Fort Waters," in honor of Major Waters, major of the regiment our company belonged to. Previous to building said fort, however, our company was detailed to escort Mr. J.L. Meek, who was on his way to Washington, D. C., as Delegate from Oregon Territory, beyond the territory occupied by hostile Indians, which was the summit of the Blue Mountains. After being back in Fort Waters or camp, we, about one month afterwards, made a raid toward the Touchet River after the Cayuses. At a certain point the colonel of the regiment ordered all of those volunteers who had horses which could not make forty miles a day back to the fort. I was among those who went back. Those who were allowed to go forward had a most severe engagement with the Cayuses somewhere between the rivers of Snake and Touchet. After all our forces were in the fort again we about two months afterward made another raid eastward, but no hostilities took place.
After reaching the fort again we soon broke camp and prepared for returning to our homes in the different parts of western Oregon. We were disbanded at Oregon City on or about the 28th day of June, 1848. My recollection as to the names of members of our company is about as follows:
Isaac Butler, Alvin C. Brown, John Butt, S. T. Cook, T.R. Cornelius, Abraham Engart, Peter S. Engart, Thomas Fleming, Samuel Ferguson, J. J. Garrish, J. N. Green, Noah Job, Allen Kennedy, H. Lavelly, J.W. Linginfelter, John H. Linebarger, Andrew Linebarger, John Lousignot, Gilbert Mundan, Marchall Martin, G.H. Merch, P.G. Northrup, W. R. Nolan, Sherry Ross, F.H. Ramsey, S. Richards, William Shelden, William Slockes, D. C. Smith, Isaac Smith, J.L. Scroggin, H. M. Stephens, A. Stewart, D. Shoemaker, John Sylvester, A. Williams, W.M. Walter, Randall Yarbaron, John J. Zachary, and A. Zachary.
The statement above given and the names mentioned are all to the best of my recollection.
Subscribed and sworn to before me this 6th day of April, A. D. 1889.
Notary Public for Oregon.
On or about the 7th of December, 1847, intelligence was received in the Willamette Valley that Dr. Whitman and others had been cruelly murdered by the Cayuse Indians in the Walla Walla country, and a report was also flying over the country that the Indians contemplated an attack on the Willamette settlements, intending to massacre all, and thus wipe out the whites. These two reports being substantiated, meetings were held, and those in authority decided it would be better to meet the foe in the Indian country and fight it out there rather than have the horrors of an Indian war in their midst. Therefore couriers were sent out over the country calling for volunteers. The call was readily responded to, the men equipping themselves and gathering at Portland, where Hall's company of Oregon volunteers were organized, with Lawrence Hall as captain, H.D. O'Bryant, first lieutenant, John Enyard, second lieutenant, and William Sheldon, orderly sergeant. The men of Hall's company were from Washington County, Oregon, and each man furnished his own horse and outfit, and each mess a packhorse. About the 1st of January, 1848, we started on the line of march for the Cayuse country. We traveled by land from Portland to Vancouver, where we procured boats of the Hudson Bay company and crossed to the north side of the Columbia, then we followed up the Hudson Bay trails to a point above the Cascades, where we constructed a boat and crossed back to the south side of the Columbia, thence to The Dalles, the first fight with the Indians being on the Des Chutes river, 20 miles above its mouth. The whites were victorious. Hall's company took part in all engagements with the Indians. The second fight was at Well's Spring's, on the old emigrant road, where we were met by about six hundred Indians, when a battle ensued, lasting from early morning until dark. The volunteers again won the battle. We then proceeded to Waiilatpu Mission, where we buried the dead who were left scattered about the yards, then we tore down the mission buildings and built a small fort of the sun-dried bricks which had formed the walls of the mission. We also built a stockade for the horses. After getting the defenses built and all settled, Captain Hall's company and one other were detailed to escort Joseph L. Meek and party to the Blue Mountains, as he started to Washington to seek aid. We accompanied them to the snow line then returned to camp.
The third fight with the Indians occurred between the mouth of Tucannon and Touchet; we fought two days and nights, and with marching and fighting were out three days and nights without food.
The suffering was great, as we had to carry the wounded on litters and our progress was slow; the first food we got was Cayuse horse-meat. The volunteers subsisted on just what the country afforded; that was chiefly beef and horse-meat, we had no flour. During the last-named fight there were ninety volunteers and about seven hundred Indians in the battle. We, however, conquered the Indians and drove them out of the country and they abandoned the idea of invading the settlements: thus we saved Oregon. The volunteers scoured the whole country and drove the Indians out after the recruits came in the spring. We then returned to the Willamette and were discharged at Oregon City by Governor Abernethy about the last of June, having served six months, which were