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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1874

[New Mexico],   pp. 300-311 PDF (5.7 MB)

Page 300

The health of the Indians has thus far been excellent, cases of malarial
fever being very 
infrequent, and other diseases being mainly confined to those bands which
have but recently 
returned from the mountains. 
Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 
Second Lieutenant Fifth Cavalry, Acting Agent. 
Department of Arzzona, Prescott, Ariz., 
(Through headquarters Camp Verde, Arizona.) 
True copy respectfully furnished Commissioner of Indian Affairs for his information.
Second Lieutenant Fsfth Cavalry, Acting Agent. 
Santa F6, New Mexico, June 30, 1874. 
SIR: I have ti e hcnor to submit the following report of my visit to Chiricahua
valion, and of my interview with Agent Jeffords and Cochise under instructions
from your 
Atter making my last report from Fort McRae, in which I described the proposed
Springs reservation, and gave reasons why I believed the Tulerosa Apaches
should be re- 
moved there, I traveled down the valley of the Rio Grande as far as old Fort
Thorn, and 
thence westward by Fort Cummings to Fort Bayard. At this point I saw several
who had recently talked with the man Bullard, who proposed to kill "Chiseta
" and "Ponce," 
while acting as guides for Gen. 0. 0. Howard. From these persons I learned
that Bullard 
had entirely changed his mind regarding the effect of the peace mission of
General Howard, 
and now said that the peace effected with Cochise had, contrary to his expectations,
productive of the most beneficial results; that the Tucson road could now
be traveled 
in safety, and that the stock of the country was safe from molestation. 
I may as well remark 
at this point that the same feeling existed at all points visited, and that,
while at first all the 
settlers were opposed to any negotiations with Cochise, all preferring that
he and his band 
should be hunted and eyterminated by the troops, they are now thoroughly
convinced that 
peace is less expensive and far more safe. Should General Howard to-day visit
the neigh- 
borhood affected by his negotiations with Cochise, he would find a warm welcome,
receive the thanks of the people for having protected their lives and property
by his indi- 
vidual exertions, when other officers had failed with many armed men at their
The officers at Camp Bowie and the citizens generally concur in the opinion
that the pres- 
ence of Cochise and his Indians upon the Chiricahua reservation is a protection
to the 
Tucson road, as they aid the troops in keeping the Apaches farther north
from depredating 
along that road; and were there no other reasons for their removal I believe
they should be 
kept there. But upon this point I shall have more to say a little further
After staying two days at Fort Bayard for repairs upon my wagons I left for
Camp Bowie, 
attended by a military escort of seven men, kindly tendered me by Gen. T.
C. Devon, com- 
manding troops in Southern New Mexico. 
This is hardly a proper place to enlarge upon the discomforts of the journey;
suffice it to 
say, that I do not recommend it as a pleasure-trip. Upon my arrival at Camp
Bowie I re- 
ceived the hospitable attention of the gentlemanly commanding officer, Maj.
S. S. Sumner, 
Fifth United States Cavalry, and from him received many suggestions that
were of great 
service in my future efforts. I learned that Cochise was lying very ill in
the Dragoon 
Mountains, about forty miles distant, and that it was feared he might die.
To hear fear ex- 
pressed that the greatest and most warlike Apache might die, sounded strange
enough; but 
when I ascertained that the great chief retained in peace the wonderful power
and influence he 
had exercised in war, and that he regarded his promises made to General Howard
and not to be violated upon any pretext whatever, I knew that it would be
a calamity to the 
frontier to lose him from the ranks of living men. 
On the morning after my arrival at Camp Bowie I started for the Indian agency,
twelve or fifteen miles distant, over one of the worst mountain-trails I
have seen, accom- 
panied by Capt. J. L. Haskell, Twenty-third United States Infantry. I more
than appre- 
ciated the attention of Captain Haskell, because infantry soldiers do not
often care to vol- 
unteer for a twenty-five or thirty mile ride on horseback on a day when the
thermometer in- 
dicates near 1000, and the road lies over a rugged mountain-trail. Upon reaching
the agency, 
I found Agent Jeffords and saw a few of the Indians, and made an appointment
to meet the 
agent at Camp Bowie that night, that we might start early the following morning
for the 
camp of Cochise. At this point I desire to submit a few remarks upon a subject
which may 
be a little outside of the instructions with which I was favored, but which
I think is neces- 
sary for the good of the service I should notice. I found the agent living,
and the supplies 

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