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The Modocs Win A Battle

The Modocs Win A Battle image
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New York, April 20.- The Hcrald'a special from the lava beds, dated the 2(Sth, says the force under Capt. Thomas, which started to reconiioitre the position suppoaed to be held by tho Modocs, mimbered sixty-nine men. The object ivas maiuly to find out how the Modocs were situated and whether mortars could be brought up and used effectively against them. The troops approached the cave in the lava beds about half past ten. Our oommand was brought to a halt and the men were allowed to take a rest. The story of the first fire was differently reported. Some say fivo or six shots were fired, and others only four, but Ticknor says positively that it carne froiu a party of niue Indians who occupied a bluff to the eastward of whero the troops were stationed. Major Thomas immediately threw tho men into skirmishing order, with Lieut. Wright'a company on the right. The latter, howevsr, had not got into position beforo they were flanked to the right by a party of fourteen other Indians that had come up to the advance of thoso who fired first. The cross fire on Wright's men proved very deinoralizing, and they broke bick in confusión, leaving their gallan t leader in an exposed condition and supported by a few non-coniinissioned officers. In the meantime another small party of Indians hajl appeared to the lelt and opened a raking fire on the tv.-o batteries uf artillery. It was a fearful trap, and the fiist four shots were 3nly firod to draw the troops more ïy Decween tue tiro oí the Indians on right and left. The rout was complete, and with the exception of theofficors and non-commissioned officers, a majority ol whom lay stretched on the rocks with their Hfu blood ebbing fast away, the watchword was muve qui qeut. Confused and demoralized as they were, the men becarno an easy prey to the Modocs, who, confident in the protection of thoir nativo rocks, shot thein down like so many frightened der. Occasionally news was brought iu by the scared stragglers, exagggerated in the extreme, bïit sigrnificant of some dire disaster. Many of these men who had deserted thcir officers in time of peril had seen a hundred Indians all around thein. Fear had distorted their visión and made them so helpless that one of their number was aiterward found dead on the field without a shot. He had been butchered by knives, and so panic-struck that he could not fire a shot in his own defense. There was a mystery about the attack that body appears able to solve, as to how the troops were so completely surpnsed. If in camp, whero were the pickets or advanced skirmishers ? It appeared go strange that a party of sixty-nino men should be almost surrounded by Indians without their being aware of a sign of Indians as far as they could see. This tact alone will give the public an idea of the nature of the ground in which these Indians fight, and what our soldiers have to contend against. During the iiight Indians were croeping through the rocks to Bcalp and strip the dead soldiers. Coming through Col. Green's line, he told hiin where the remains of Batteries H. and A. were to be found. Col. Green iminediately moved forward his line to the place indicated, and there, hid in some sage brush were tho nakod bodies of Major Thomas, Lieut. Howo, Sergt. Romer and six others. Col. Wright's body lay a little to the ieft, and on the right waa Lieut. Harris severely wounded, and the bodies of five of his men stripped of all their clothing. Forty-nine were killed and wounded out of a command of sixty-nine men. OFFICIAL REPORT OF GEIT. GILLEXT. Washington, April 30. -Gen. Shennan to-day received the annexed dispatch from Gen. Schofield : Lava Beds, April 58.- On the 26th Major Green, comraanding the camp on the west side of lava bed?, ordered Capt. Thomas, of the Fourth Artillery, and a party of Warm Spring Indiana - about seventy soldiers andtfourteen Indiana to make a reconnoissance in a southeasterly direction to a point about four miles frotn the camp. lue party left the camp about twelve noou, reacüed the designated point and were resting. No Indians had been seen. Suddenly the party was firedupon by Indians, v.henuponsearching in the lavu chasms, the bodies of Capt. Thomas and Lieut. A. P. Howe, Fourth Artillery, and Lieut. Thomas F. Wright, Twelfth Infantry, ■ were fouud. First Lieutenant Arthur Cranston, Fourth Artillery, has not been found. It is supposed that they were killed. Lieut. Geo. M. Harris, and Acting-Assistaut Surgcou B. Seruig was seriously, tbough I hope not dangeiously woutided. Fourteen enlisted men were killed and wounded. All tho officers and part of tho mea reiuained togethor and fought like héroes, but the Indians had secured the advantage of position before discovered. The remnins of tho officera will bo taken to Yreka to-morrow. The bodies of four warriors have been found at or near the scène of tho battle. Capt. Mendenhall reporta froni Burlettsville, aud is' expected to join us on the 3üth. The Indians occupy a position in the rof.ks about four miles south of their caves. It will be iinpossible to surround thetn with the forco at or en route to this place. The circumference of the lava bed3 is about thirty miles'. AL V All GlLLEM. The State Boards mil Cominissions. Just provious to the close of the session Gov. BaOLEY made the following appointtuents whieh were confirmed by the Beuate : STATE BOARD OF HEALTH. Homer A. Hitcheoek, of Kalamazoo County, for six years. Zenas E. Bliss, of Kent, for six years. Eobert C. Kedzie, of Ingham, four years. Charles H. Brigham, of Washtenaw, four years. Henry F. Lystor, of Wayne, two years. John S. Goodman, of Saginaw, two years. FISII C0MMISSIONER8. George Clark, of Wayne. George H. Jorome, of Berrien. OOMMISSIONERS TO SELECT A SITE FOR A NEW ASYLUM. E. II. Van Dusen of Kalamazoo. Amos Ilathbun, of Kent. Ueo. Haimahs, oí Van Puren. COMiflSSIONEIlS OF PENAL AND PAUPER IiFOEilATOEY. IJÍSTITUTIONS. Charles I. Walker, of Wayne, for eight years. William B. Williams, of Allegan, for six years. Heury. W. Lord, of Oakland, for four years. Zebulou E. Brockway, of Wayne for two years. Tho sHeriff of Tioga, Connty, N. Y., was recently oalled upon to sell the effects of a widow to satisfy judgruente. After he had performed his duty, he said to the spectators thaf he proposed to con-, tributo the amount of his fees to the unfortuuata woman. The good oiample proved contagious; one donation after another was handed iu ; the purchasers returned the articlos which they had bought; The non-purchasers gaye caeh and provisions, so that the widow was scon bettür off thu.ii ever.


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Michigan Argus