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two years. So far as the body that I am connected with is concerned we have been striving very earnestly to accomplish that.
By Mr. McDoOUGALL:
Question. What is the moral tone and character of the officers of the Army in the Indian country?
Answer. I would like to say for the officers of the Army, that for those gentlemen with whom I have come in contact, I have the highest regard. I have generally found them to be men of whose conduct I could not complain. I have been treated with very great courtesy and kindness at the military posts, and have formed friendships with many of the officers of the Army. I have not been in a position that would enable me to see their defects.
By Mr. ALBRIGHT:
Question. So far as the military is necessary to control the Indian question you have now a duplication of officers-you have the Indian agents and the military posts?
Answer. That is exactly the case in every branch of the Government. The military is totally distinct from the other departments in its origin and purposes.
Question. The military must, in a sense, be subject to the Indian agents?
Answer. No, sir; I do not understand that it is necessary that they shall be subject to the Indian agents in any subordinate sense.
Question. If the Indian business is in the hands of the Interior Department the military have nothing to do with the Indian question, and can only act on the complaint of the agents?
Answer. Yes; I think that is so as to the affairs of his agency.
Question. The question is, then, whether, as the military is necessary, the expense of the civil officers could not be avoided?
Answer. A very large proportion of the Indian service is as far from having any necessary connection with military matters as is any other part of the civil service of the country. It is only at occasional places that there can seem to be the least occasion for connecting the two things together; that is in the neighborhood of these wild tribes.
By Mr. HAWLEY, of Illinois:
Question. You do not mean to say that the Army is never brought into requisition in regard to the Indians, except at the request of somebody connected with the Indian Department? Your answer would seem to imply that. Was it your intention to say that the Army is never brought into requisition as against the Indians, except at the request of an Indian agent or somebody connected with Indian affairs?
Answer. No, sir; I did not mean to say that. It is the duty, for instance, of the military to guard the Texas border. It is assumed that depredations are occasionally committed along the Texas border. There are forts there to guard the settlers. It is the duty of the military to do that. If the military find Indians or whites who have committed depredations or murders, it is their duty, without any requisition from the Indian agent, to attack them, pursue them, and punish them.
By Mr. ALBRIGHT:
Question. Take the localities where the military is posted for the express purpose of protecting Indians against the whites, and the whites against the Indians; in what way then do the Indian agents use and employ the military?
Answer. Take a post like the post in the neighborhood of the Nez
Percés reservation, where the Indians are peaceable and quiet, trying to work, and are doing work. If some disturbance should occur among the Indians, or if whisky were sold or given to them, causing such disturbances, an agent may notify the military officer and request that aid may be given for the arrest of the white mischief-makers, or the Indians engaged in the disturbance.
Question. And is the military officer bound to afford assistance !
Answer. He is bound to do so. He has orders from the War Department to do so. It is a co-operation between the two departments, and is authorized by the laws.
Question. That must be a general order and arrangement between the two departments!
Answer. Yes; it is by an arrangement between the two departments. I suppose tbat some of the posts are for general military purposes, not for any special purpose, connected with the Indians.
Question. I understood you to say, in connection with Round Valley, that the whites had encroached upon the Indian reservation there, and that the military could not prevent it.
Answer. I did not mean to say so, in the light in which you seem to understand it. I say the military could not prevent it, because it has become a question for the courts. The whites have been there so long that the decision of the authorities is, that the matter has to be decided by the courts. If I were the authority I should put these whites off the reservation and let the courts decide the question afterward, knor. ing, as I do, that the whites are there by wrong. There are certain ques tions entering into the matter which have led to the decision that it must be done by the courts. Consequently, that military post there is not of any importance for the purpose of putting off these particular trespassers, is what I meant.
Question. Are you particularly acquainted with that section of country?
Answer. I said, in speaking of it, that I had my information from a member of our board who visited that country for the purpose of examining into the situation of Indian affairs there, and from other ofticial sources. I bave not been nearer than Sau Francisco, and am only acquainted with the facts from gathered information.
Question. You stated that you wonld locate military posts at not less than twelve miles from a reservation ?
Answer. Yes, sir.
Question. What would be your suggestion as to the intermediate territory?
Answer. If I said twelve miles from a reservation, I meant from the agency. I think I said from the agency. Question. The agencies are on the reservations !
Answer. The agencies are on the reservations. By placing a military post twelve miles from the agency it is not necessarily placed off the reservation. I do not mean that the post should be off the reservation, but away from the agency. There is a question of economy which properly comes into the consideration of a change of system. I do not be. lieve that it would be economy to place the Indian service in the hands of the military. I believe it would be more costly than even the present arrangement.
By Mr. HUNTON : Question. Would the treatinent of the Indians under the military department be as bumane as it is under the Indian department?
Answer. I do not think it would ; not, however, from any lack of kind and humane inclination on the part of the higher officers of the Army.
By Mr. HAWLEY, of Illinois : Question. Have you stated any reason why it would be more economi. cal to manage the Indians through the Interior Department than through the War Department ?
Answer. I do not know that I have stated it.
Answer. I perhaps may do that by an illustration. During the last two or three years there bas arisen a question in reference to the Sious, Kiowas, and Comanches, and, later on, that question has become of some importance. There is a military post at what we call the Fort Sill reservation, where the Kiowas and Comanches are. The military idea of treatment there is that when there are raids committed by individual Indians on the borders of Texas the tribes shall be held responsible for the acts of the individuals. And the mode of settling the question is to demand the criminals from the tribe, and if they fail to give them up in a given time, punish them. Punishment means an attack upon the camp, which is war. The result would probably be the escape of the guilty, who usually keep out of the way; the killing of the many innocent, who are sure to be there, and the driving of the survivors to the war-path, burning undera sense of the wrong done to them; the cost of a war similarly inaugurated against a single tribe has often been greater than the entire cost of the Indian service for the last four years under the peace management. In such and other ways the military control would be vastly more expensive than the present system of controlling the Indians. The present system has been a success, as any one may see in looking over the last three or four years.
Question. You mean to say that it has been more economical, for the reason that war has been, to a great extent, obviated ?
Question. In answer to my former question, as to whether it is more economical to continue the management of the Indians in the present form, you mention the practice of the military of demanding from Indian tribes the surrender of the particular persons who have violated the law. What is the system under your management ?
Arswer. I did not state that as the system. I suppose that if I knew positively by my examination of the temper of the Indians, and my per. sonal intercourse with them, that by making such a demand it would be complied with, I would make it myself, under the right circumstances, in order to get the criminal.
Question. That is, you would demand of the tribe the actual offenders ?
Answer. I would get the offenders, if I could do it without involving great expense and the great wrong of punishing the innocent. I only spoke of that incidental case as illustrating my meaning.
Question. I did not understand you now to state how it is done differently under the present system.
Answer. Under the present system the effort is made in every way in accordance with the treaties, and with reference to each individual case as it arises, to get possession of the criminals and to bring them to pun. ishment, precisely in the way it is being done, or rather that it should be done, in regard to white criminals.
By Mr. ALBRIGHT. Question. In your estimates of tlie relative cost of managing the Indians by the military or by the Interior Department, I suppose you embrace the expense of maintaining the Army in the Indian country.
Answer. That is to some extent a portion of the expense. But I have not made what can be precisely called an "estimate” of the relative cost.
Question. Do you embrace now the expense of the Army, or a portion of it, in the management of the Indian question ?
Answer. Yes; I cousider a portion of that expense to be properly applicable to the management of the Indian business.
By Mr. HAWLEY, of Illinois. Question. Would you not consider the whole expense of that portion of the Army which is in the Indian country as applicable to the Indian business?
Answer. No, sir.
Answer. The employment of the Army in regard to Indian affairs, as things are now, becomes, in many places, rather incidental than otherwise.
Question. Still that portion of the Army that is in the Indian country is used for the sole purpose of securing quiet there?
Answer. In some places the Army is used for that purpose, but then there are other portions of the Indian country in which the Army is located where it is not at all necessary for that purpose. For instance, there is a fort at Salt Lake City, which is there for the purpose, as I beliere, of eating ip Brigham Young's provisions—his surplus food. And there are other portions of the West where the same thing happens, and wbere a great outcry is heard as to disposition of the Indians, and all for the express purpose of getting troops out there to eat up provisions which are so far from the market that they cannot be otherwise disposed of. A case of that kind occurred a year ago in regard to the Flat-beads. Mr. Garfield, a member of the House, went out there and became perfectly satisfied that the Indians were as peaceable, and that there was as little possibility of their harming anybody as there would be in the most peaceable community of whites in the country. Yet it was pretended that the whites there were in immediate danger from an outbreak, and the Government granted arms to the settlers to protect themselves. But it was afterward developed that their sole object was to get troops in that remote region to eat up their provisions. One of the uses of the Army is to spend money iu the western Territories.
Question. Then, in your opinion, there is but a small military force needed in the western country?
Answer. There are only some points where the military force is needed.
Question. Can you designate those points ?
By the CHAIRMAN : Question. Is there anything else you desire to say in reference to the general question ?
Answer. I do not wish to say anything else.
WASHINGTON, D. C., January 17, 1874. Examination of General Nelson H. DAVIS, one of the inspectors. general of the Army.
By the CHAIRMAN : Question. State whether you have been on inspecting duty in connection with the engineer battalion within a year or so; and, if so, what
our opinion is as to the possibility or feasibility of dispensing with or inustering out a part of that battalion.
Answer. I made an inspection of Willet's Point, and of the battalion of engineers there last fall. It is commanded by Major Abbott, of the engineers, brevet brigadier-general. I consider this corps efficient, and indispensable to the interests of tbe service. I do not think it could be dispensed with. The men are instructed not only in the ordinary mili. tary duties, but in their professional duties pertaining to the Engineer Department, and the condition of the post and the result of their labors (both of officers and men) was exceedingly gratifying and satisfactory. i consider that, for the defense of our sea-coast, and barbors, and cities, this corps cannot be replaced by the same kind of intelligence and efficiency without a much greater expense than it would be to retain it. In connection with the ordinary post and engineering duties, the system of torpedoes for harbor and river defense is established and being perfected at Willet's Point. The great proticiency to which it has already arrived reflects great credit on Major Abbott and his corps, and I think on the country. I consider it one of the principal elements of defense for our harbors and rivers, and, as I understand this torpedo system there, it is principally on the defensive against attack-it is for the de. fense of rivers and harbors; the others are offensive propelling torpedoes for the attack of ships, and that has been given to the Navy more especially.
Question. State the comparative expenses of erecting large works of defense, and of continuing in the service this engineer battalion at its present numbers, if any comparison of expense can be instituted.
Answer. I do not see that you could dispense with this engineer bat. talion in either case.
Question. State what you think as to our works of sca-coast defense, and as to the introduction of the system of torpedoes.
Answer. I think the system of fortifications heretofore adopted for the defense of our sea-coast and harbors is of a character too expensive and inefficient at the present time in view of the inereased calibers of the armament of vessels, and that a different system, less expensive, using heavy metal in connection with the torpedoes, will be a much more effective protection to our sea-coast and harbors, than the old system. Fort Adams, which was considered one of the model forts in the old system, is not considered, I believe, capable of resisting the heavy guns with which vessels are at the present day armed. Such was my view, and on expressing it to General Warren, he agreed with me.
Question. What has been the result of firing on the works of masonry protected by the addition of iron shields and other obstructions at Fortress Monroe ?
Answer. I was informed by one of the engineer officers who was present at an experiment made at Fortress Monroe, in the firing of 15-inch guns at the embrasures that were specially prepared with a view to resist this heavy metal, that the results showed conclusively that they would not resist the effect of the shot, but were badly broken, and were considered unsafe.