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The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised


Wayne Miller
Dalton Wayne Miller, 1916-1974. Writing in the mid-1960s, he somehow managed to elude the myths that pervade other Southern Oregon histories of the period.

Dalton Wayne Miller, January 1955 (from findagrave.com)
Dalton Wayne Miller, January 1955 (from findagrave.com)

William G. T'Vault's Contributions to Oregon Are Recalled
By WAYNE MILLER
Mail Tribune Correspondent
    In 1845 occurred an event that boded much for the state of Oregon.
    A wagon train rolled from the city of St. Joseph, Mo., out across the prairies, bound for the Oregon Territory. It was commanded by William Green T'Vault.
    For weeks the tumult and the yellow dust crawled over the prairie. When the Rockies were behind, the train moved southward over the high desert plateau of Eastern Oregon. It became lost in the waterless region of the Malheur, appropriately enough named for the French word [for] "unhappy."
    The cattle stampeded, and the pioneers who were still alive went to search for them. When the hunters returned, the guards were dissuaded, at gunpoint, from hanging the guide, Stephen Meek. Meek escaped that night and sent aid from The Dalles.
    Several years later, after gold had been discovered in Oregon, the members of the train found that they had stumbled upon the site of what is known as the "Lost Blue Bucket Mine," but had not known what they had found.
Legislator
    Captain T'Vault went to Oregon City, where he became a member of the Provisional Legislature. He became the territory's first and only postmaster general. The following year, he edited the first newspaper west of the Missouri. Later, he established a stage line from Winchester to Yreka. Still later, he established the Scottsburg Umpqua Gazette, and in 1855 he founded the Table Rock Sentinel, in what is now Jacksonville.
    He became the first attorney general of the territory, had a private law practice, and served twice as prosecuting attorney for the First Judicial District.
To Rogue Valley
    In 1851, T'Vault first saw [i.e., guided] the major, later general, Phil Kearny to San Francisco. Next, he was engaged by Captain William Tichenor to help explore a land route to the interior from Port Orford. Four men returned from the expedition after a battle with Indians on the Coquille River.
    In 1852, T'Vault settled at the Dardanelles, which he named because its location was said to resemble the ancient city of Dardanus, an Asiatic fortress for which the Asiatic Dardanelles is named. Taking out a donation land claim, which he later traded for a shotgun, he became Jackson County's first postmaster.
    Late in the fall of 1863 a smallpox epidemic raged in Jacksonville. [The epidemic took place in 1868-69.] A pesthouse was set aside to protect the living from the dying. The citizens piled great heaps of logs at street intersections, and the fires filled the air with flame and smoke by day and cast a lurid blaze at night in a futile effort to stop the disease.
    T'Vault went to his grave at midnight, tamed at last by the only foe ever to conquer his fiery spirit.
    His biography reads like a history of the state of Oregon. Details of his birth and the date are often disputed by the historians, but his grandson, Chris Kenney, Jacksonville, says that he was born at sea.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 22, 1965, page B4


Legends Add Color to Jacksonville's Historic Background
By WAYNE MILLER
Mail Tribune Correspondent
    Less than 115 years ago, Jacksonville was literally carved out of the wilderness by miners, loggers, Indian fighters, gamblers, sailors, farmers, soldiers and adventurous tradesmen who flocked here because of gold.
    Lively times ensued.
    One of these was at the Jacksonville race course. Two horses, "Glass-Eyed Filly" and "Jim Crack," ran the mile for a $1,000 stake. Many persons attended. The bets were heavy.
    When "Glass-Eyed Filly" won, feelings rose high. Several fist fights erupted, and one spectator bit off his opponent's underlip.
    For many years Jacksonville was the county seat of Jackson County. Its courts tried cases of any kind, and sheriffs executed condemned criminals.
    Pioneer deputies recounted weird stories and compared the jail to the Bastille. Blood-curdling tales of sights and terrifying and mysterious noises were told to explain their alleged belief that the place was haunted.
    One of these concerned a convicted murderer. He had killed a sheepherder near Rogue River so that he could rustle the stock. [I'm unable to find confirmation or corroboration that any such murder--or subsequent events recounted below--took place.]
    Sentenced to hang, the prisoner refused to eat. He became an emaciated skeleton. Those who saw him knew that he would never live to hang if he continued to refuse food.
    When news of the prisoner became public knowledge, a group of local ladies became interested. They sought and obtained permission to visit the prisoner in order to offer him nourishment and spiritual consolation.
    In the death cell, the ladies explained the purpose of the visit and requested that he allow them to pray for him. He accepted their assurance that they could waft him to heaven on the wings of prayer.
    They also brought him "grub" in sufficient quality and quantity to tempt the dormant appetite of an Egyptian mummy. The doomed man summarily rejected [it]. The ladies departed weeping and left him to die in his cell.
    Early-day weddings were not always the joyous, tearful occasions that rumor infers. In Phoenix one Sunday, a group of some 60 persons gathered to celebrate the wedding of a respectable and well-known Irishman to an equally respectable and charming lady of the community.
    The groom, who had imbibed one too many to bolster his courage, stood with the ceremony half finished. When the local justice asked him if he took the lady to be his wife, he answered in a mellifluous and blurred voice, "Don't do nothin' else, old hoss."
    As unvoiced merriment swept the room, the justice asked the lady if she accepted her betrothed. She snapped, "No," and sat down.
    The would-be groom quickly reduced himself to an advanced state of inebriation. For various opinions he expressed, the male spectators dumped him in the millrace, showered him with lampblack and "sundry and diverse indignities."
    The ungroomed groom promptly left town.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 8, 1965, page 10


Applegate History Is Traced
By WAYNE MILLER
Mail Tribune Correspondent
    Southern Oregon in the early 1840s was known chiefly for the Rogue River Indians. The only white men here were a few fur trappers, mostly French or French Canadians. [The trappers only passed through.]
    A few daring spirits risked the warlike Rogue Indians' wrath, among them Jesse and Lindsay Applegate. Their party sought and found a way from the Willamette River to California. On the way, they prospected the Applegate River, later named for Lindsay.  [The Applegates' exploring party found a path to the east in 1846; the route to California was already well established. They are not known to have done any prospecting on the way.]
    The Rogue Valley remained a wilderness until the discovery of gold in what is now Jacksonville in 1851. The next year saw a thousand miners invade the area. They spread out quickly over the hills and into the Applegate country.
    The influx of miners sparked a series of wars which swirled over most of the valley. Only a few incidents touched the Applegate. [During the Rogue River Indian Wars the Applegate Valley was the home territory of Chief John, war chief of the Rogue Indians.]
    The Rogue River Valley proved especially favored by climate and soil for farming, as by its geology for mining. Fruits, grains, vegetables, cattle and timber soon appeared in abundance. The Applegate River Valley continually suffered a dry season water shortage.
Applegate Grows
    In 1853, the Applegate set up a precinct with U. S. Hayden as justice of the peace.
    Pack trains moved into the area from Jacksonville, providing mail and freight service. [The Applegate Valley lay astride a major pack route between Crescent City and Jacksonville.] Later, stage lines and freight wagons appeared with the construction of good roads. Sawmills were set up, quarries were dug for building stone, and fire clay and lime was kilned for mortar.
    Minerals found in this river area included silver, copper, lead, salt and coal. The chief products of the mines was the rich placer gold.
Mining Developments
    At first the miners used gold pans to extract the gold from the gravels, then the rocker speeded up the process. The use of the "long tom" further improved the extraction. When the Gallagher brothers opened a ditch, the hydraulic mining machine added its characteristic gravel cairns about the vicinity.
    Next came the exploitation of hard rock deposits. A crude set of millstones operated by mule power crushed the ore. One of these mines, the Applegate quartz lode, netted $315,000. The Sterling mine, a hydraulic operation, continued to work until 1937.
    Most mining areas disintegrate when the ore is unprofitable to work. The farmer-miner of the Applegate plowed much of his gold back into his farm. He turned the old mining ditches into irrigation ditches that better crops might be raised.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 18, 1965, page B5


Jacksonville Cemetery Holds Key to Many Stories of Past
By WAYNE MILLER
Mail Tribune Correspondent
    The rays of the westering sun angled downward through the branches overhead in silvered lances to the leaf-strewn ground. Above, the rustling leaves of oak and laurel arched cathedral-like to provide an accompaniment of murmuring sound. Small clearings among the trees, gilded by the unhampered sun, opened to vistas of luminescent blue where waves of mountains rose to the far horizon. Over all spread the cloudless turquoise sky.
    This was the scene as Lem Turner, sexton of the Jacksonville Cemetery from 1949 to 1951, explained the place.
    In this tranquil, almost primeval solitude lie 113 years of history. It records one of the last phases of continental expansion and the final stand of a nearly vanished race. The joys and sorrows, the triumphs and miseries, the rights and wrongs of thousands of individuals lie here at rest in a population perhaps three times as numerous as that in the small city below the hill.
Sections
    The Jacksonville Cemetery is divided by sections: the Jacksonville section, the Odd Fellows section, the Redman section, the Masonic section, the Jewish section and potter's field. The graves represent a cross-section of the times and the people who made them.
    Two brothers, children who died in 1852 within a few days of each other, are near the beginning of the Jacksonville section. Jesse Applegate, whose brother Lindsay gave his name to the Applegate area, rests here. [The Jacksonville Cemetery resident is Jesse A. Applegate, son of Lindsay.] Alice Applegate and her husband, Lt. Col. H. H. Sargent, in whose honor the wall of the road leading to the cemetery is named, are in the same lot.
    The Rev. M. A. Williams, the first Presbyterian missionary in Jacksonville, has lain here since 1897. William Green T'Vault and his wife, Rhoda, a [granddaughter] of Daniel Boone, lie here. John McDaniel, 1787-1872, is here. So is Elijah Davidson, discoverer of the Oregon Caves. An unidentified grave is said to be that of a man hanged for murder.
    Martin Angell, killed in 1856 by Indians, lies here along with members of the Boddy family, slain by Modocs in 1872, and various other Indian war victims.
    In the Jewish section, few graves are identifiable. As in other sections, vandals have been at work, and some grave markers have been hauled away.
    Boot Hill, or potter's field, is without identified graves. Overgrown with ivy, it is a series of ridges between sunken graves. On one, some plastic flowers have been placed. Indigents and Chinese were buried here. Later the Chinese were disinterred for removal to China.
Chinese Funeral
    Turner explained that the Chinese left an offering of food for their dead. Often this food would be stolen by small boys. A sexton of those times once climbed a tree [and] at the opportune moment emitted dismal groans, and was responsible for the fastest exodus ever made by small boys.
    In the Odd Fellows section, the tombstone of one young man, who died in 1885, bears, curiously enough, the same inscription written on the tombstone of Belle Starr:
    "Shed not for him the bitter tear
     Nor give to vain regret
     'Tis but the casket that lies here
     The gem that filled it sparkles yet."
    Yes, the Jacksonville Cemetery holds its memories.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 10, 1965, page B4


Gen. Joseph Lane's Courage Recalled
By WAYNE MILLER
Mail Tribune Correspondent
    The white man paused, his ringing voice stilled in the awesome silence which greeted the end of his speech. Some 20 minutes passed. The wind sighed in the trees. The brands snapped in the blazing council fire.
    Then a soul-shattering yell cut the silence. Scores of voices thundered an echo to the war cry of Apsakahah, chief of the Table Rock Rogue Indians. Chief Quatley, seated beside the Rogue, flashed a knife before his throat as he seized him.
    The speedy reaction gave pause to the Rogues. The few whites and the friendly Klickitats immobilized at a signal from the white leader who strode into the midst of the Rogues, knocking their weapons aside.
    As the Klickitat chief's knife menaced Aspakahah's throat, the white general barked, "Sit down!" The Rogue chief obeyed.
    To the Rogue warriors, he said, "Go home."
    Sullenly they departed.
    The Rogues thus met General Joseph Lane, the Territorial Governor of Oregon.
    For two days, Apsakahah remained in Lane's camp conversing with the general until he concluded a treaty of peace for the Rogue Valley. So impressed was he with the general that he requested the white man's name. The general gave him "half his name." [Miller is apparently quoting Joseph Gaston's Centennial History of Oregon.] So Apsakahah became Chief Joe.
    Born in North Carolina and reared in Kentucky, Lane went to Indiana at the age of 20 and farmed there successfully for 25 years. During most of that time he served in the state legislature.
    His introduction to military service came when the war with Mexico broke out. Commissioned a colonel in the 2nd Indiana Volunteers, he became a brigadier before he could get into action.
    So brilliant was his performance as a military commander that he ended the war as a major general, known as the "Marion of Mexico."
    His left shoulder, wounded at Buena Vista, was to be wounded many times in later adventures. [He was shot in the same shoulder at Evans Creek in 1853, then he accidentally shot himself in that shoulder on his return to Oregon in 1861.]
Appointed Governor
    He returned to Indiana to be appointed Governor of the Oregon Territory almost immediately. When his term expired, he mined for a short time in California. Returning to Oregon, he was elected delegate to Congress, representing the Oregon Territory.
    In 1853, Lane was wounded in the battle of Evans Creek. He remained in the field until a peace treaty was negotiated at Table Rock [a few weeks later]. His wisdom, daring, military skill, sympathetic understanding and friendship for the Indians enabled him to bring an end to the war.
    From 1857 to 1861, he served as U.S. Senator from Oregon. He became the vice presidential candidate with John Breckinridge, on the divided Democratic Party in 1860.
    Defeated, he retired to his farm near Roseburg, and he died in 1881.
    Fort Lane, near Central Point, was named in his honor [in 1853].
Medford Mail Tribune, November 15, 1965, page B2


Rogue Valley Was Nature's Paradise for Indian Tribes
Three Chiefs Led Fight to Hold Land
By WAYNE MILLER
Mail Tribune Correspondent
    Before the arrival of the white man, the dominant Indian tribe of the Rogue Valley was the Takelma, otherwise known as the Rogue.
    In addition, there were also scattered bands of other tribes who so closely affiliated with them that all tribes acted as one in times of danger. The Indians numbered in all perhaps 700, of whom possibly 200 were warriors. These few comprised a military potential almost unbelievably effective compared with their numbers.
    Chief John, who led the Ech-ka-tawa band on the Applegate, proved to be the most redoubtable foe of the whites. Endowed naturally with great intelligence, foresight and determination, his strategy and energetic leadership almost succeeded in driving the whites out.
    Limpy, chief of the Haw-quo-e-hav-took band on the Illinois River, occupied a strategic ground difficult of access to invading troops; it afforded, however, three easy exit routes for withdrawal. His implacable hatred of the whites made him John's most formidable lieutenant.
    Another able follower of John was George, whose band lived near Vannoy's Ferry [current site of Grants Pass].
    These three chiefs led the violent resistance to the whites that terrorized the settlers during the Indian wars.
    All the groups owed a loosely confederated allegiance to chiefs Jo and Sam (for whom Sams Valley is named) of the leading band of the region, the Table Rock band. Although these two chiefs resisted the white occupation fiercely in the beginning, Gen. Joseph Lane succeeded in pacifying them and gaining their good will and trust. From that time onward, they engaged in treaties which they kept better than the whites did.
A Paradise
    Their native wilderness was a hunter's paradise. The Rogue Valley abounded with game. Deer and bear were plentiful. Countless groves of trees yielded an abundance of pine seeds, hazelnuts, black walnuts, manzanita berries, and the acorns from which they made their bread.
    Roots, including leeks, wild onions and camas, were plentiful. Salal, salmonberries, blackberries, blackcaps and other berries could be harvested in great quantities. Rivers and pools produced lily seeds and vast amounts of fish.
    The rugged configuration of the topography and the many streams meant a country which the warlike natives could utilize for military offense, or, on the defensive, they could disappear and reappear at will.
Hemmed In
    It was not until a chain of forts was built across the Rogue country that the Indians were hemmed in and rounded up to go on reservations. [Except for Orford, Lane and Lamerick, the forts mentioned below were ad-hoc affairs thrown together to protect white settlers. They were not part of a coordinated campaign to control the natives.]
    Some of these forts were: Fort Orford and Miner's Fort, on the coast; Fort Lane and Birdseye, on the Rogue in Jackson County; Bailey, on Wolf Creek; Briggs, in the Illinois Valley; Hayes near Grants Pass; Leland, at Grave Creek; and Lamerick, in Curry County. They gave refuge to settlers and strategically placed bases from which troops could operate to contain the Indians no matter where they retreated from the Illinois.
    The gold seekers of 1852 inundated the valley, overwhelming the Indians with sheer numbers. Lawless elements and resentful natives provided the flint and steel to ignite a war extinguished only by the total defeat of the Indians.
Medford Mail Tribune, November 24, 1965, page 7


Siege of Hay's Fort Recalled; Women Stay Cool Under Fire
By WAYNE MILLER
Mail Tribune Correspondent
    When the Rogue River Indians attacked the Hay family's ranch headquarters, then known as Hay's Fort, they met in Mrs. Hay an opponent as formidable as any man in the troop of Captain Hugh O'Neil, who defended the stockade.
    "Mammy" Hay, already late along in life, and her daughter Elizabeth, better known as "Big Sis," behaved as coolly under fire as any soldier. It happened this way:
    Captain O'Neil, camped below Eight Dollar Mountain, received an urgent request to reach the fort before the onrushing Rogues could get there. With a pack train, he set out. En route this train mixed with another pack train. Overtaken by a superior number of hostiles, they ran through a third pack train. All three jammed together, and everyone took flight to reach the fort any way possible.
Reach Fort
    Those inside opened the gate, and most of them made it inside with as many horses as possible. The Indians took the pack trains and captured or shot the horses outside. Showers of bullets thudded into the walls as the Indians twice attempted to take the fort by direct assault. Then both sides settled down to a siege.
    The siege was interrupted briefly when O'Neil led a sortie of four men to rescue a dying comrade. The Indians advanced, and the defenders sallied forth to the captain's assistance. The rescue effected, the volunteers retreated after inflicting heavy losses on the assailants.
    Mrs. Hay observed the battle, encouraging the soldiers as she fed them. Some of the volunteers later told that her conduct gave them the courage they needed to continue the fight.
Help Arrives
    Darkness closed down, but the firing continued.
    When it became too dark to see, two messengers took to saddle and fled the fort to seek help. The Indians rushed to intercept them but were themselves beset by the defenders.
    A general battle ensued in the night until the volunteers reached the fort. Firing ceased for a time. The defenders sent a patrol outside to find and besiege the Indians in the stable. Other Indians inside the stockade tried to take the fort, and the battle moved to the entrance. The Indians escaped the stockade and resumed the battle from outside.
    Mrs. Hay and her daughter now served the defenders bacon and beefsteak. She fed the men by relays, some eating, the others answering the bullets smashing into the logs.
Indians Feast
    The fire now slackened. The Indians had decided to eat, too. They withdrew to a safe distance and prepared a feast. For this, they had the best fare they had seized from the settler's cattle, the packers' trains and the army chow from O'Neil's captured mules. As they told "miserable Boston man," they "lived high" that night. [These last quoted phrases are from J. M. Sutton's December 27, 1878 account in the Ashland Tidings.]
    Then firing broke out again, deadly as before. At one o'clock the next morning, it slackened, then ceased.
    Mrs. Hay served breakfast and resumed caring for the dying men. The battle was over.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 1, 1965, page B2


Military Prowess of Rogue Indian Chief John Is Recalled
By WAYNE MILLER
Mail Tribune Correspondent
    Major James Bruce, one of the finest volunteer officers the Rogue River Indian Wars produced, had grievous personal reasons to know the military prowess of Chief John because of a battle fought in the Applegate River country.
    John, with a few warriors and their women, fortified three abandoned miner's cabins there, almost under the noses of Fort Lane's regulars. Bruce and captains Alcorn and Rice fought them there for three days without success until 40 regulars arrived from Fort Lane with a howitzer.
    The Indians had dug a tunnel underground leading to open country and rifle pits in the corners of the cabins, with loopholes in the logs. They fought the U.S. troops until nightfall. After dark the Indian men and women filtered through the 130 encircling troops. They escaped.
Strategist
    Chief John was the man the settlers aroused to action in 1851. General Joseph Lane noted before the U.S. Senate that John once very nearly annihilated the command of Captain A. J. Smith, whom he termed "one of the most gallant officers in the world."
    Nationally known for his exceptional Mexican War record, Lane stated that he himself "knew little about the arts and stratagems of Indian warfare" until he fought John. In one battle, half his men were killed. In another, all but one, including Lane, were wounded or killed. He considered himself fortunate that John really wanted a treaty rather than a battle.
    "The Indians never were really whipped," he reported. "They retreated. John himself was beaten in the field but only after the other bands had deserted him for peaceful ways." [These last two paragraphs paraphrase Lane's 1860 speech to Congress.]
    Few American Indians ever displayed the military ability that marked John. Hopelessly doomed, he did not know that: he knew that the Rogues were lost unless he fought. His response to that challenge ranks him with the greatest Indian leaders.
Had Small Area
    Chiefs such as Kamiakin, Sitting Bull and Geronimo had almost limitless areas in which to maneuver and avoid capture. John had but 600 square miles.
    The combined talents of the finest American soldiers and 3,000 troops were necessary to capture him, an effort equal to that required for Sitting Bull's 7,000 men and Joseph's handful. His warfare sharpened the claws of some of the best Civil War generals. Prussian military genius studying those campaigns later produced the most fearsome armies in Europe.
    John not only spread terror to the overwhelming number of settlers but struck chiefs Jo and Sam because of what he regarded as treason for concluding and observing treaties negotiated with the whites.
    Outnumbered more than 15 to one, he utilized his wilderness and high mobility to move and protect his noncombatants in an area highly fortified. He seized ammunition, rifles, food and blankets, kept troops in hazardous pursuit, occasionally defeated them and rendered the whole area highly dangerous to the enemy.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 15, 1965, page C7


Christmas During Rogue River Indian Wars Recalled; Men Cold
By WAYNE MILLER
Mail Tribune Correspondent
    Bitter chill it was. The owl, for all his feathers, stilled his hunting cry. Nothing moved in the forest except the rushing torrents of rain-swollen brooks.
    In the soldiers' camps, miserable sentries shivered through each minute, dreaming only of the changing of the guard and the all-too-short tours of relief. The fortunate ones under the blankets slept fitfully, waking to curse the armor-clad iron biscuit. Waking or sleeping, they dreamed of home, loved ones, delicious hot biscuits dripping with butter and of turkey and fresh meat.
    Homesickness spread among them like a disease. They longed for their green valley with its beautiful river, for feather beds and comforters, for brightly glowing fireplaces, dancing flames and above all the silvery tinkle of a woman's laughter.
    They cursed the mud, the savage foe who held them here, the screaming bullets that came from nowhere to wound and maim and kill. They cursed the sleepless nights, the exhausting marches in chilled, rain-sodden clothes. They cursed the tedium of a foe ever present, who yet never appeared.
    They cursed the military discipline, their noncoms and officers, just as their officers cursed battalion and regiment and the war itself. "Merry Christmas, pard, yuh got K.P."
    "Merry Christmas, indeed!" snorted their captain. He, too, hated the war, the lonely, far-flung wilderness and the reaches of mountain and valley and flooded stream that separated him from home.
Winter, 1855
    That winter of 1855, the Indians debouched from their reservations to raid all over the Rogue River Valley, looting, burning, killing. [The raids referred to occurred mostly along the Siskiyou Trail between Evans Creek and the Umpqua Divide.] Then they disappeared. Captain Keeney and his Eugene farmers garrisoned Fort Bailey near Wolf Creek, guarding the road from there to Camp Gordon. He applied to Colonel Williams, commanding the Second Regiment, Oregon Mounted Volunteers, for furlough. The colonel refused. When Keeney persisted, Williams snapped, "Go to grass!" [i.e., "Start grazing!" "Give it a rest!"]
    Keeney, thus abruptly dismissed, returned to his men and exploded, telling his wrongs to his men. A private suggested, "Probably he meant the Willamette; that's the only grass we've seen." Suddenly inspired, the captain shouted, "Boys, shall we go to grass?" The cheering company swiftly broke camp in joyous disregard of military red tape.
    They passed through Roseburg on Dec. 27. New Year's Eve they whooped it up with their friends on the banks of the Willamette.
Back to Camp
    All good things come to an end. The troops terminated their unilateral peace campaign and dutifully marched the weary miles back to station.
    Lt. Col. William Martin went upon the warpath then. The farm boys who had so happily suspended the war faced charges. Keeney found himself in an unenviable position. He was charged with abandonment of his position in the face of the enemy, disobedience of orders, uniform ungentlemanly conduct and other serious charges.
    Martin would have served Keeney and his men as a burnt offering to the gods of war. Governor George Curry could not condone the troops' arbitrary suspension of command. He simply returned them to duty status without prejudice. Keeney and his G.I. Joes had won their internecine war.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 24, 1965, page 10


Supply Problem Aggravated Oregon Mounted Volunteers
By WAYNE MILLER
Mail Tribune Correspondent
    Private Harvey Robbins, Company C, Northern Battalion, Oregon Mounted Volunteers, served in the Rogue River Indian War of 1855. He didn't like the Quartermaster Corps. On Dec. 12 of that year, he wrote in his diary [published December 1933 in the Oregon Historical Quarterly]:
    "It seems as though the quartermasters and pack masters are trying to manage so as to starve us out. Five or six pack trains are here idle and have been for five or six days, and there is nothing to hinder them from going back."
    That indictment spoke for all the volunteers. Pack masters idling about a soldier's camp ate up rations the soldiers needed. Their mules and horses ate up feed which the volunteers' mounts needed. With no forage and rations in the vicinity, all feed and other supplies came slowly by pack train from the Willamette Valley. That posed a serious supply problem.
    Company C had been marching or fighting ever since they formed on Oct. 23, at Harrisburg. Their first battle was Hungry Hill, where they did not fight. They were held in support.
    Major William Martin refused to let them go directly to battle. They remained in the vicinity of Grave Creek, 15 miles away. When Captain Andrew Jackson Smith withdrew, C Company helped to evacuate the wounded.
Supply Problem
    Their supply problem was aggravated from the start. At Roseburg, on their way south, the citizens refused to let them sleep in their barns. They had no tents. They slept under the skies in the cold rain.
    One man refused to let them cut cooking fuel in his woodlot. They helped themselves from his woodpile.
    They received this treatment despite the fact that they rounded up some threatening Indians who frightened the Umpqua Valley settlers.
    A month later, while they were building Fort Bailey near Wolf Creek, they still had no tents. After that, they were out on campaign most of the time. They suffered 23 casualties, killed and wounded in one battle. Yet, a month later, when December was nearly over, they still had no clothing nor winter equipment.
Short Rations
    Much of this time, they were on short rations. Sometimes their food consisted of a half-ration of flour. Sometimes they had a short ration of beans without salt, and nothing else. Occasionally they received a little rice and meat. When they could shoot game, it wasn't so bad. Once they shot a fine hog, who shouldn't have been there, anyway.
    Another time, Captain Keeney, taking some soldiers, conducted a reconnaissance in force upon the quartermaster warehouse. He made a highwayman's delivery of a keg of syrup, liberating it for his men.
    The troops felt that they deserved rations, clothing, winter equipment and tents. They fought icy, flooded streams, sticky mud, cold rains, two and a half feet of snow, steep mountains and Indians in thick underbrush.
    The conditions under which they fought would have tried the patience of a battalion of saints. When Colonel Williams refused Captain Keeney a Christmas furlough, human patience was exhausted. These saints went marching out.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 29, 1965, page 12


Indian Wars Were Proving Grounds for Military Men
By WAYNE MILLER
Mail Tribune Correspondent
    Table Rock, the flat-topped mountain across the Rogue River from the mouth of Bear Creek, was more than a dominating valley feature in the early 1850s.
    It was the Rogue River Indians' political capital and strategic center. Here they located their central fortress, dominating the network of trails through the valley. In times of war, the big rock became a citadel of refuge. At all times, it provided a lookout that enabled the Rogues to know, unseen, whatever moved within the valley.
Home of Chief
    Here lived Chief Jo, the chief of all the Rogues. Here subordinate (and often insubordinate) chiefs gathered to pay their respects, to expound their differences, and to hold tribal councils of war.
    Also, at various times, many soldiers of the regular army, the local militia and the Oregon volunteers who fought the Rogues gathered to give battle or negotiate treaties. [No battle between whites and Indians was ever fought at Table Rock.] Many of them later gained fame as local or national soldiers or public servants. The regular officers' experiences seeped in the West Point training, which later molded such generals as John J. Pershing and George Patton.
    Phil Kearny, then a major of regulars, passed through the valley during the Rogue troubles in 1851. His first attack, on the Rogues on Bear Creek, cost the life of Captain James Stuart. [The battle in which Stuart was mortally wounded took place a few miles above Table Rock.]
Hold Fortress
    The Rogues next repulsed three more attacks on Table Rock itself. [I know of no source for such an assertion.] The hostiles then successfully escaped.
    Kearny turned some prisoners over to General Joseph Lane and continued on to California, taking with him William Green T'Vault. Later, he fought under Napoleon III at the Battle of Solferino. A Union Army major general at Bull Run, he was killed at Chantilly.
    Captain Andrew Jackson Smith, First U.S. Dragoons, built and commanded Fort Lane, 1853-1860 [sic--Fort Lane was abandoned in 1856]. It protected the whites as Table Rock protected the treaty Indians. [Fort Lane was built to keep the Indians on the reservation. In practice it protected the Indians from the settlers.] Capt. Smith also protected the treaty Indians. This aroused some of the settlers and led the Indians to consider him weak. Fearless, indomitable, he proved a furiously energetic leader in action.
    Amid the kaleidoscopic changes of war, Capt. Smith sometimes found himself trapped--win, lose or draw, he hung on and chewed the enemy until the latter withdrew to escape a countertrap or was defeated.
Untrained Troops
    Capt. Smith's troopers rode mounts frequently as untrained for battle as the men themselves; raw recruits usually constituted the bulk of his command. He trained them in the field. These troops carried the [unrifled] musketoon, "a weapon dangerous at both ends," inferior in range, speed and accuracy to the Indians' bows and rifles.
    Having been of major assistance in ending hostilities, Capt. Smith left here in 1860. [Smith left the Rogue Valley with his transfer to Fort Yamhill in 1856.] Most of the best regular officers joined the Confederacy in 1861. President Lincoln desperately needed regular officers who could fight and win. Smith became a noted major-general.
    Lieutenant George Crook, then fresh out of West Point, fought here under Capt. Smith and went on to serve brilliantly in the Civil War. He commanded against Geronimo afterwards. He also became a major-general.
    The wars here thus became a proving ground for future generals.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 3, 1966, page 13


Battle to Establish Post at Fort Orford, 1851, Recalled
By WAYNE MILLER
Mail Tribune Correspondent
    All that day the noise of battle rolled and echoed from the mountains to the sea in a rugged coastal area now known as Battle Rock, at Port Orford.
    It was June 10, 1851, and a mild spring sun blazed a path of gold over the blue Pacific to the manmade thunder of a four-pounder ship's cannon. The soft breezes wafted dense clouds of white smoke inland from a monolithic headland jutting from the ocean. It also carried savage yells and anguished shrieks, the fury of fighting men.
    Nine white men held this rock against the onslaughts of scores of raging Indians. Their backs to the sea, they faced the Indians across a narrow trail leading down the landward side of the escarpment. The clear skies disclosed neither smoke nor sail on the horizon--the only direction from which help could come.
    Four men were wounded, none seriously.
    A few pounds of lead and powder, a sword, a rifle and three muskets constituted their armaments. A barricade guarded by the cannon stood athwart the only approach, the steep, narrow pathway leading to their position.
    As the Indians rushed the barricade, the white leader, J. M. Kirkpatrick, touched a lighted brand to the cannon. The missile slashed through the hostiles, killing or wounding 35 of them. Terrified by the flame and smoke, the thunderous report, the sudden death and the screams of the wounded, those still unhurt tumbled off the steep cliff into the sea.
    Later that day the Indians attacked again, only to be repulsed. Their chief asked for a truce to gather his dead. Both sides agreed to a two weeks' extension.
    The whites remained under observation. They were alone. No rescue came. When the truce ended, the Indians attacked again. Repulsed again, [omission] nearby.
    While unobserved, the whites hastily gathered what food they could carry and their firearms and ammunition. Descending the rock, they fled inland through the woods and turned to the north, hoping to reach Umpqua City.
    When their provisions gave out, they lived on tidewater mussels and salmonberries. After skirmishing with some Indians and fleeing others, they reached their goal.
No Post Established
    Thus ended Captain William Tichenor's first attempt to establish a trading post and a trade route inland to the gold mines. The captain arrived in his steamer the day after the Kirkpatrick group escaped. He supposed them dead.
    Undaunted, he returned to San Francisco and brought back a well-armed company of adventurers and speculators. They established Fort Point with a palisade and two blockhouses and armed it with six-pounder field pieces.
    Next, Tichenor sent William Green T'Vault with 10 men to explore the route inland. On the way, mistaking the South Fork of the unmapped Coquille River for the Umpqua, they followed it. Here the Coquille Indians attacked them, possibly near what later became Myrtle Point. Six men were killed.
    The others escaped, including T'Vault, though one of them was partially scalped. The other two men were in no better case. All four finally made it back to safety. Friendly Indians gave some assistance.
    These incidents, leading as they did to military action and the establishment of forts Point and Orford, were eventually to assist in the final defeat of Chief John.
    Fate hung in the gun smoke over Battle Rock that day.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 7, 1966, page 8


General Decides to 'Overawe" Indians; Patrol Wild Area
By WAYNE MILLER
Mail Tribune Correspondent
    General Hitchcock, commander of the U.S. Army's Pacific Department, decided in 1851 to overawe the Indians of the Rogue Valley area. He sent 20 men under a lieutenant in Captain William Tichenor's newly established Port Orford.
    He ordered them to patrol the unmapped hundred miles between Camp Stuart, near Phoenix, and Port Orford. The Indians there numbered chiefs Sam and Jo, John, George and Limpy of the untamed Rogues, the more hostile Coquilles, and the coastal Indians, who had driven Kirkpatrick's army from Battle Rock and forced the establishment there of Fort Point.
    Naturally, the Indians faced with such an overwhelming display of armed might would cease all hostile demonstration and remain quiet. Naturally, the Indians did no such thing.
    They killed many of William Green T'Vault's party sent by Captain Tichenor to explore the route inland to the mines. T'Vault and the other survivors counted themselves lucky that the Coquilles didn't kill them, too.
    Hitchcock sent Lieutenant Colonel Silas Casey to Port Orford in command of companies A, C and E of the First U.S. Dragoons. Lieutenants Wright, Stanton and George Stoneman, later a brilliant Civil War general, commanded these units as subordinates.
Fight Across River
    The first skirmish occurred Oct. 5. Each side remained on its own bank of the Coquille River, the Indians using rifles, revolvers, pistols and muskets. The noise scared all the blue jays from the vicinity.
    Casey then spent several days across the river in pursuit. He burned all the empty villages he found but captured no prisoners. He returned to the coast and came back up the river with 60 men in three boats. At the junction of the North and South Forks, he sent out scouting groups. Lieutenant Wright ascended the North Forks, found nothing and returned. Stoneman with 14 men on the South Fork was fired upon and returned to report to Casey.
    Casey's force now proceeded up the right bank until near the village. He sent 40 men in two boats to alert the village. Casey and Wright took one bank and Stoneman took the other. Both parties took care to conceal themselves. The boats made as if to land on one bank in full view of the hostiles.
Strategy
    All the Indians hastily gathered on that side to oppose them. As they began to fire, Casey and Wright suddenly struck from the rear. Stoneman now appeared, firing into the Indians, who were exposed to the murderous crossfire of all these groups.
    In 20 minutes, the Indians lost 45 dead and an unknown number of wounded. The whites reported on casualties. The hostiles quickly escaped into the woods. Stoneman, with a howitzer, then attacked and destroyed their principal village. The campaign is said to have been very costly to the hostiles.
    Colonel Casey returned to Port Orford. Before he left, he established Fort Orford, about 100 yards from Fort Point. It was a substantial place with 15 buildings, constructed from heavy cedar logs. It was intended to protect the local settlers and immigrants coming in through Southern Oregon.
    This post and others, both civilian and military, which were constructed nearby and throughout the Rogue Valley, effectively boxed in the Indians, confining their operations into limited space. Lieutenant Stanton with 12 dragoons and Lieutenant Wyman with 20 artillerymen provided the first garrison.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 17, 1966, page 10


Opening of Southern Route Leads to Defeat of Indians
By WAYNE MILLER
Mail Tribune Correspondent
    The Rogue River Indians would have laughed if they had known that the Americans in the Willamette Valley were afraid. They might have surprised the Applegate expedition of 1846 in the Rogue River Valley, divested it of clothes and weapons and jeered it back to civilization accompanied by well-aimed kicks.
    Had they realized that the expedition would ultimately assist in depriving them of lands, homes and liberty, they undoubtedly would have mustered full strength to slaughter these men as they traveled.
    The Americans thought their position would be untenable should war arise between Britain and the U.S. over the unsettled boundary of Oregon. On the east, the Cascades hemmed them in with heavy timber, deep winter snows and all but impassable grades. Americans drowned each year trying to come down the Columbia Gorge. [Two boys of the Applegate family were drowned on the Columbia in 1843.]
    The British army could march down from Canada. Hostile Yakima and Cayuse Indians and a chain of Hudson Bay posts protected the route from the Great Plains. The British Navy controlled navigation up the Columbia from the Pacific.
    In the event of war, American forces could neither reinforce nor retreat. The provisional government of Oregon therefore wanted a southern route developed.
Seek Route
    Jesse and Lindsay Applegate, Levi Scott and 12 others sought and surveyed this route in 1846. On their return from the Oregon Trail, they led a wagon train into the Willamette Valley, paring off 200 miles from the distance. [The Southern Route--now called the "Applegate Trail"--turned out to actually be a longer journey to Oregon City than the original Oregon Trail.]
    Their primary considerations were water and forage. They began exploring from near Ashland, to Klamath, skirting Lower Klamath, Tule and Goose lakes and crossed the Sierras. They went by way of the Humboldt River, Thousand Springs Valley and the Snake River to the Pontneuf on which stood Fort Hall.
    Levi Scott brought back 100 wagons in a train which fought Indians in the Sierra and at Clear Lake. At Bloody Point, near Malin, they fought Modocs. Near Ashland, they turned north to strike for the Willamette.
$20,000 Appropriated
    In 1847, after another train came through, the Provisional Legislature appropriated $20,000 to improve the road.
    Settlers moved into the Klamath country, among them William Parker, Levi Scott and the Applegates from the exploring party.
    Before this, the isolation of the Rogue Valley and its hostile Indians had kept white settlers out of the valley. The 1848 discovery of gold at Sutter's Fort caused cattle drives to California from the Willamette and opened roads in that direction. Gold in Jacksonville meant miners. Farmers came into the Rogue Valley to raise their food.
    The miners alone quickly outnumbered the Indians. The farmers and others who came greatly augmented these numbers. Mining and farming communities spread everywhere to provide forts of refuge during hostilities.
Country Opens Up
    These forts also assisted to box in the Indians and to observe and control their movements. [As suggested above, other than the few military forts, Southern Oregon forts were stockades where settlers gathered for protection. They played little or no part in "controlling" the Indians.] The roads meant easy and comparatively rapid transportation for food and army supply and munitions trains. They allowed rapid troop transit to threatened areas. [The roads were little more than trails. Almost all supplies entered the valley by pack train--on the backs of horses and mules--until the 1860s.]
    The settlers' farm products eased the troops' supply lines.
    The Indians suspected nothing in 1846.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 24, 1966, page 8


Indians' Military Intelligence Could Have Altered History
By WAYNE MILLER
Mail Tribune Correspondent
    Even at the time few persons realized that the western Indians possessed an effective system of military intelligence in the mid-1850s. It stretched from the Rockies to the Pacific Ocean and from Canada to Northern California. That it was not formally organized nor consciously developed in no way impaired its competence. [The Indians did deliberately--consciously--send runners between tribes during the Rogue River Indian Wars.]
    It failed because few could evaluate what they knew; fewer still could apply it; and very few could combine it with tactics and strategy. None had the political power to combine the tribes' full fighting strength at any point of contact with the enemy.
    Each tribe fought as a separate unit under an independent commander. Some tribes refused to join the Indian cause through fear of the whites. Some, like the Klickitats, joined the whites to fight enemy Indian tribes.
Hoped for Unification
    The Cayuse under chiefs War Eagle and Five Crows took the first decisive action. They began the Cayuse War with the Whitman Massacre, believing that the other tribes would unite with them. They fought alone and were decisively beaten. General Joseph Lane, then Territorial Governor of Oregon, ordered five Cayuse hanged for the Whitman murders. U.S. Marshal Joe Meek carried out the executions at Oregon City in 1850.
    Chief Kamiakin of the Yakamas was one of the few who could evaluate the great American immigration of 1843, when the Applegate family reached Oregon, in its proper light. He is reported to have told John McLoughlin that he intended to "kill the Bostons or they will kill us."
    Before 1850 chiefs Sam and Jo indulged only in sporadic raids for glory or loot. After that, they realized that they faced the common lot of Indians to the east. A year later, they began to fight in earnest. Two years later they realized the futility of war, ceded their lands by treaty and accepted the reservation. Chief John continued to fight.
Calls War Council
    Kamiakin called a war council in the Grande Ronde Valley in 1854, his purpose to unite the Northwest tribes in a war of extermination against the whites. He ignited war from the Columbia Gorge to the California border lands.
    Enos, John and Kamiakin could not unite in a geographic sense. [Enos and John did unite in 1856 at Big Bend.] In a series of separate actions, they kept troops busy all over the state. Each one by striking in his own area kept troops in one section from being added to those facing another. It was the best they could do, and it kept the war going.
    They arrived on the historical scene too late to alter its course. Enos was captured and hanged for murder. Kamiakin soon capitulated, unable to survive in war, where the states involved, Washington and Oregon, could bring large numbers of troops against him.
    Chief John, who best utilized his very limited numbers in war for five years, surrendered the summer of 1856 at Oak Flats.
Struck Too Early
    The Cayuse struck prematurely, and the others could not unite the tribes. Had Kamiakin at that time been able to unite all the tribes who later fought, he might have emerged from the war with a greater name. He was not yet ready. Other tribes postponed going to war until it was too late. One by one, the Modocs, the Bannocks, the Nez Perces and other tribes arose to give battle and were separately destroyed.
    Had the tribes been able to fully utilize the intelligence system they had, they might have united in 1843 and attacked the 1843 wagon train in full force. That would have entirely altered the course of the Oregon wars.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 31, 1966, page 10


Settlement of Area Recalled; Miners Invade Wilderness
By WAYNE MILLER
Mail Tribune Correspondent
    In the summer of 1851 the Rogue River Valley presented a scene of unbroken wilderness. No road, no farmhouse, not even a lonely cattle ranch met the eye. The Rogue River swirled down to the sea past Table Rock. Here and there, perhaps, a traveler wandering through might have seen an Indian village of pit houses covered with earth or skins. [Rogue Valley pit houses are typically described as being covered with bark or split planks.]
    Into this scene came two white men who followed Jackson Creek toward its source. Now and then they camped. Occasionally they stopped. Taking a bowl, they filled it with gravel and sand from the creek, swirling it around in the water. Usually, after throwing out the gravel and most of the sand, they examined the contents. Soon they went on.
    Not far upstream from where Daisy Creek enters into the larger stream, one of the men gave an exclamation, then both set to work with a will. The shimmering pale yellow grains they sought gleamed in the bowls. [For a compilation of the many competing versions of the Rich Gulch discovery story, click here.]
    Today Jackson Creek, supposedly, takes its name from one of those men. [By almost all accounts, the creek, town and county were named for Andrew Jackson.] He told of his find to two packers, James Clugage and [James] Poole, men who traveled between the gold fields at Sutter's Fort and the Willamette Valley. [All other accounts hold they packed between Yreka and the Willamette. Sutter's Fort had no need of supplies from Oregon.] The hungry miners' need for food provided the packers with their living. The growing agricultural area in the Willamette Valley supplied an abundance of food.
    Pack trains brought in food. No roads existed. If the food was shipped by sea, the crews frequently deserted to go to the gold fields themselves.
Stake Claim
    In December the two packers camped in Rich Gulch on Daisy Creek. Discovering gold, they staked out a claim which speedily brought about the establishment of Jacksonville. The hundreds of miners following them raised tents which enterprising sawyers and carpenters quickly supplemented with frame houses. [Frame houses were rare until the late 1850s. Miners lived in tents and rough cabins.]
    By February, men named Appler and Kenney had opened a small general store. Saloons and dance halls flourished. The tinkle of glasses and bottles marked the flow of gold from the hills to the saloon keeper's pockets. The wilderness became a lively little town overnight.
Leads to Industry
    The discovery created Jacksonville, Jackson County and a mining industry responsible for the economic and political development of Southern Oregon. As well as the rough element which homes in on such strikes, a number of illustrious individuals came here at one time or another. Some of these included Peter Britt, John Miller, Senator James Nesmith and Matthew Deady. Many of them remained to build the town.
    The original miners soon exchanged their bowls for dishpans. The present gold pan then replaced these. An early development led to the use of the rocker. The long tom followed. Next came the development of sluices and hydraulic equipment. The final development embraced the exploitation of hard rock veins.
    Wells Fargo Company alone sent out $10,000,000 worth of gold after 1856. In Jackson County alone, 5438 mining claims were taken between 1856 and 1880, most of them gold placers, in 20 mining districts. This gold helped not only the local economy but strengthened national finances.
    Control of the gold fields in gold-producing states helped the Union to build the army and navy that strangled the Confederacy. As a result, the United States emerged from the Civil War as one of the great powers.
Medford Mail Tribune, February 21, 1966, page B2


Judge Deady Brings Law and Court to Early Jacksonville
By WAYNE MILLER
Mail Tribune Correspondent
    In long-vanished Umpqua County, Judge Matthew Deady opened the territorial court in 1853. He pounded his gavel on a homesteader's chopping block. The hearings took place at the county seat, Elkton, on the Umpqua River.
    In August of that year Deady started for Jacksonville in the company of a Lieutenant Grover. They learned of the battle of Evans Creek and proceeded to Camp Alden, near what became known as Bybee's Ferry. The battle was over, but the judge assisted General Lane in writing up the peace treaty ratified some days after he left. This was the treaty of Sept. 10, in which Indian chiefs Sam and Jo agreed to cede their lands and accept a reservation.
Deady in Jacksonville
    The judge opened court in Jacksonville. His appointment ended the people's court there. Technically, the provisional government of 1845 established the first Oregon law, based on the Iowa State Constitution. The law remained far away at Oregon City. The people of Jacksonville appointed their own court to hear such cases as, inevitably, arose.
    A murder case, land questions and mining and water rights clamored for attention. The settlers convened and elected their own court. The new judge [alcalde Clark Rogers] refused to back down on an unpopular decision. The miners held that the authority to constitute a court also held the authority to create a court of appeal. They then created a "superior court."
    The people's court functioned from 1852 to 1853. It had, undoubtedly, an effect toward discipline among the unruly. Deady's appointment ended it. He proved fearless and incorruptible, an able attorney. He made enemies. They rejoiced when he left the bench but had no long continued cause for it.
Returns
    Judge O. B. McFadden was transferred to Washington Territory after a few trials. Deady returned in his stead.
    At that time, Josephine County did not exist. The jurisdiction lay within Jackson County. No roads connected that part with the county seat. That distance created hardships for those having business here. Legal matters held great force in the factors creating Josephine County. Judge Deady presided over the first court held at Waldo in 1856.
    In 1857, he was a delegate to the constitutional convention. The delegates elected him president of the convention. He became justice of the territorial supreme court.
Replace Code
    He worked out a code of civil law procedures. The legislature adopted it in 1862, replacing the former code based on the Iowa law. That law, while suitable for a Midwest farming community, did not quite measure up to the situation in Oregon.
    In 1864, the legislature enacted Deady's code of criminal procedure into law. He was then directed to collect, revise and rearrange the laws, which were published in book form in 1874.
    Deady, a poor boy who worked himself into a distinguished career, educated himself as did so many frontier attorneys. He lived to see himself regarded as the greatest lawyer and judge west of the Rocky Mountains. Ready to serve on the battlefield or to write peace treaties, he brought justice and law to an unsettled frontier.
    It seems natural and fitting that he should also bring law to the state which he helped bring into being. We in Southern Oregon live 113 years later under the laws as he developed them while serving as the Jacksonville judge.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 9, 1966, page C4


Camp Stuart Story Is Recalled; Named for West Point Man
By WAYNE MILLER
Mail Tribune Correspondent
    Camp Stuart long ago vanished into the history of the Rogue River Valley. Today, the exact site location is not definitely known. During the brief existence of the camp, from 1851 to 1853, it afforded a gathering place and base of operations to the federal soldiers who established it and to the Oregon volunteers and local militia who used it then and later. In its day, it became a link in the chain of posts and fortifications which ultimately closed about the Indian Chief John.
    Numerous outrages, committed both by whites and Indians, violated the peace that year of 1851. Both sides apparently adopted a police of brute terror. The Indians intended to prevent the whites from using the road through their home grounds.
    Many white travelers used the route at that time. Miners traveled to and from the gold fields in California. The proximity led to frequent skirmishes.
Battle Starts
    At Table Rock, a Captain Long, from Shasta, Calif., confronted Indian Chief Sam, demanding the surrender of two alleged Indian murderers. The same day some travelers were attacked and on the next day, the Indians fought three more parties. Indian Chief Chucklehead lost his life on the third day of battle, attacking 32 miners, and then the Indians retreated.
    Major Phil Kearny, exploring as he came, led two companies of U.S. Army troops from the Umpqua Valley toward the Rogue. With William Green T'Vault as guide, he sought a satisfactory military road toward the south. A small detachment under Major Alvord, with Jesse Applegate, as surveyor, mapped the route. The dragoons were led by Captain James Stuart; the mounted rifles company was under Captain Walker.
    Informed of the hostilities by messenger, Kearny took 28 men and pushed forward as rapidly as he could. Heavy rains had flooded the streams and made progress a slow matter. He did not reach Table Rock until June 17.
Men Gather
    Thirty men gathered at nearby Willow Springs awaiting orders. They expected to intercept the Indians if they came that way. General Lane with Jesse Applegate pushed on toward Kearny's camp with 40 men.
    Kearny, reinforced with settlers and miners, divided his own forces. Walker's mounted rifles moved up the south bank of the Rogue toward the main body of Indians. Stuart crossed and ascended the north bank to cut off any Indian retreat on that side.
    He found there an Indian rancheria, which he promptly charged. The Indians skirmished briefly, then vanished into thick brush. They fought until dark and retreated. During the fight at the rancheria, Captain Stuart received an arrow through the kidneys. He lay sick the next day in camp near Phoenix.
    A West Point graduate, who had served with distinction in the Mexican War, the irony of his fate struck him.
    "It is hard to fight through half the battles of the Mexican War and meet death here at the hands of a naked Indian," he said before he died.
    Kearny fought the Indians behind well-fortified breastworks with a ditch in front on the north side of Table Rock. They fought, escaped and led the soldiers [in] a chase, fighting as they went. General Lane negotiated a treaty to end hostilities. These battles were fought under chiefs Sam and Jo.
    Kearny's camp was named Stuart, after the man who died there.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 18, 1966, page 8


Troubles of 1852 Extended from Shasta County North
By WAYNE MILLER
Mail Tribune Correspondent
    Events in 1852, from the Modoc and Shasta country in California to Galice in the Rogue River Valley, led to military action in which Jacksonville played a part.
    The Modocs, the Shastas and the Rogue River Indians all belonged to the larger group known as Klamaths. Although all four of these tribes fought each other, savagely at times, they were sensitive to outside interferences from the whites.
    The Shastas were friendly to the whites, but under provocation sometimes reacted furiously. When the whites sought the alleged murderers of a man named Calvin Woodman, the Shastas cooperated because the murderers were believed to be Rogues. Three Shasta chiefs, Old Tolo, Tyee John and Tyee Jim, became hostages to assist in the apprehension of the killers.
Steele Arrives
    The wanted men fled to Chief Sam at Table Rock. Elijah Steele, who had been commissioned at Yreka to capture the fugitives, arrived at Table Rock in June. Among others accompanying him were James Bruce, later a Jacksonville businessman and major in the Rogue River Wars, the three Shasta chiefs, and a Klickitat named Bill. At Table Rock they met Judge Alonzo Skinner, the Indian agent.
    Chief Jo, the peace chief of the tribe, wanted to negotiate. His brother Sam, the war chief, objected and left. Quarreling then broke out and led to fighting. Thirteen Indians were killed.
    A company of Jacksonville settlers under Captain John Lamerick joined forces with Steele when he arrived. Both companies with other settlers joined in the fighting.
    Steele moved up the south side of the river to cross with the intention of coming down on the Indians' stronghold on the south end of the river. Lamerick sent a detachment down the river to cross and seize Upper Table Rock, which commanded the locality. He took his main force across the river to await daylight.
Agree to Truce
    He moved up against the Indians' rancheria, which was protected by heavy underbrush. His flanking forces did not arrive. The Indians opened fire. Both sides agreed to a truce when the white reinforcements did arrive.
    Meanwhile, the Modocs occupied themselves attacking all white men at Bloody Point, where the mountains pressed the Scott-Applegate Trail into the waters at Tule Lake. They annihilated any parties not strong enough to defend themselves, including whole wagon trains. Ben Wright, a noted Indian fighter, organized a group to rescue persons in distress, bury any dead and avenge the unfortunates.
    Captain John Ross, a Jacksonville butcher, led a company of 30 men to assist Wright. He was too far from his base at Jacksonville to remain long. His services at that time, however, undoubtedly led to his advancement to colonel in the Rogue River Wars and to his commission as brigadier during the Modoc War. He assisted in burying slaughtered immigrants, gathering their personal effects, hunting missing persons and protecting those in need.
    Wright, with plenty of time and supplies, remained. The Indians regarded him as the greatest warrior living; now, enraged at the massacres, he ravaged the Modocs' lands like a hurricane of death for three months. He returned from his foray to a hero's welcome at Yreka.
    Now, another federal fort was established in the vicinity of Scott Valley, in California, with fateful consequences to all four tribes. Fort Jones played its part in Oregon as well as in California.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 28, 1966, page 8


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D. WAYNE MILLER
    D. Wayne Miller, 57, of 605 S. Third St., Jacksonville, died Friday afternoon at his home. Funeral arrangements will be announced by Perl Funeral Home.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 14, 1974, page C2


D. WAYNE MILLER
    Graveside funeral services for D. Wayne Miller, 57, of 605 S. Third St., Jacksonville, who died Friday, will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Jacksonville Cemetery. The Rev. Robert Maxon, pastor of the Jacksonville Presbyterian Church, will officiate. Perl Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
    Mr. Miller was born Sept. 10, 1916 at Coburg, Ore. He was a veteran of World War II, serving in the U.S. Army. During his service in the Army, he was stationed in Puerto Rico. He was a veteran of the Korean Conflict and served with the U.S. Air Force.
    For several years, he had been the editor and publisher of the Jacksonville Bulletin and was employed on a part-time basis as night watchman at the Jacksonville Museum.
    He is survived by one son, John Miller, Riverside, Calif.; two sisters, Mrs. Lila Kimpton, Central Point, and Mrs. Beryl Guerin, Benicia, Calif.; one brother, Harold Miller, Norwalk, Calif.; and several nieces and nephews.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 15, 1974, page 9


Memoriam
    To the Editor: We in the Jacksonville community are shocked and saddened by the sudden demise of our local "scribe," Mr. Wayne Miller.
    Mr. Miller, who has edited and published the local paper for many years, was found dead of an apparent heart attack.
    Mr. Miller was well noted as a history buff, and his editorials and pithy comments of the current scene made the little paper popular.
    His legion of friends will join me in mourning his passing. So we will say farewell and "30" to a great little guy.
R. W. Roberson
P.O. Box 593
Jacksonville, Ore.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 16, 1974, page 4


Last revised August 29, 2015