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An Attempt to Make False History* .
Un 1er the caption "Spirit and In tentions/' tbje Portland Standard of Deeeînber 1st, in reply to an ex prêt ioa in the Idaho Statesman, makes a fu tile and silly attempt to falsify facts which occurred during the lute Nez Perce rebellion. The expression of the Statesman which called forth the Standard's article was as follows : "That General Howard erred at the commencement of the discussion with Joseph in failing to understand the spirit and intentions of the Indians and in making the necessary preparation to prevent or meet hostilities, no one, him self included, can now doubt." In justice to Gen. Howard wo have ever believed the above expression true and were it not for the fact that it is generally knowp and understood that what appears in the Standard upon the subject of this war has the sanc tion of Gen. Howard, we should be led to treat this article of the Stand ard as effusion of an imaginary brain, desirous of lauding his hero beyond measure nolens volens and regardless of the facts well known to exist in the history of the rtar. Put the manifest confidence of the Standard in its statements leads us to apprehend thÿ the article is written and published at the instance, and with the knowledge of Howard himself, or someone inter ested in his behalf, for the purpose of wilfully perverting these historical facts in order to reruovo the stain attached to his knowledge and prowess as an In dian fighter. Wo from dian fighter. Wo quote from the Standard as follows : "If anyone in the world thoroughly understood the intentions and spirit of the Nez Perces before the outbreak, that person was Gen. Howard, lie had been among them from the very beginning of the hostilities—in fact, before it was thought there would he any war, and if anyone was a eon>cien tious student of their "spirit and inten tions," it was this fame General. None knew better than Gen. II oward that the spirit in these men was brave, that there was a strong probability of their fighting, and even the Indians them selves say their "intentions" were to go to the Wallowa valley, and there stay, "to the hitter end"—just, as Gen. How ard predicted, and took occasion to stop by ordering troops to that neigh borhood as quickly as possible. Every preparation possible was made by How ard with less than a thousand men, scattered from Alaska to Fort Yuma." Tf Gen. Howard from the beginning knew there was strong probability of their fighting, then the country may justly charge Gen. Howard with the murder of the settlers upon Salmon river and Camas Prairie, for he was in a position to havo duly notified these settlers,of this probability, that they might have placed themselves in a state of defense months before the outbreak, aud he himself might have made a much more early disposal of his forces so as to have averted these murders. Your declaration of this pre-existing : knowledge of the purpose of these In dians fight, poves altogether too much to subserve the honor of Gen. Howard. As a fact, on the morning of the 15th of Jnue, in our presence at Lapwai, a message was received an nouncing that the Indians had mur dered some men on Salmon river. The day before a message reached Gen. Howard that the Indians were occupy ing a menacing attitude towards the settlers ou ('amas Prairie aud request . ing that troops be forthwith sent there to prevent disturbances. But Howard sent no troops. On the 15th when the n.. ; age was received that men had been killed by them. In response to the question, will troops be sent? The emphatic answer was "no," aud Gen. Howard then turned to us and said in substance as fullows : "The men killed are Lary Ott and a party with him who have been killed in revenge of the death of an Indian by said Ott, some years ago. I have already sent to have the chiefs give up the murderers. The people have no cause for alarm. There will be no general outbreak," and no troops were ordered to the scene of troubles upon the receipt of this news. Others were present and heard these remarks, among them was W. G. Lang ford Esq., of Walla Walla, who well knows that what we have narrated are facts. Now Mr. Standard if Gen. Howard had this pre-existing knowl edge of the purpose of the Indians why did he class these murders as only acts of private revenge ? And why did he say the people had no eau«e for alarm unless lie desired that the citizeus should be murdered. After these re marks on the 15th of June and during the afternoon of that day, testimony was being taken before Col. Watkins at tho Lapwai Agency. We were pres Col. ent, Col. Watkins, Agent Monteith, W. G. Langford and perhaps others. Two or three allusions were made to the purposes of Joseph aud White Bird to come upon the reservation, and Agent Mouteith then and there expressed the fullest confidence that they would peace ably come at tho appointed time, be cause as be said they bad promised to do so. Col. Watkins asked us what was our opmiou in the matter, to which : we replied that we thought their prom ise was merely (o gain time, that it was a forced promise which wo doubted their fulfilling. So far a 3 wo could jmicro from what was said by Gen. Howard ftu that day before the last message came from Camas Prairie, he partook of the same opinion of the in tentions of Joseph and White Bird, as uid Agent Monteith, and he seemed to act fully upon that belief. But as conviction often does, force itself upon the mind of the most skeptical, so did it force itself upou the mind ef these deluded men when at about 5 p. m. of tho same day, the letter was received from L. P. Brown of Camas Prairie of the killing of Norton, and others on the piairie, aud oi the hostiles having com plete possession of the prairie, save the town of Mount Idaho. Then there was a pallor like the pallor of death itself, which seemed to sieze the countanances ot those I ; sieze the countanances ot those know ing agents of tlie government. All business oi W atkin s Court was quick ly suspended, and there was gathering to and fro, in hot haste, and orders given aud -dispatches sent for troops, and the fullest evidences given that no preparation had ever been made by Howard for auy emergency whatever, looking to the actual hostility of Joseph aud his band. Howard's first convic tions of the real purpose of the Nez Perces then siezed upon him, when the murders had boon nearly all committed. Does the Standard want to make out his hero of this war such an ass, that knowing as that paper says he did, that there was strong probability that Joseph would fight, and having both Joseph aud Y\ bite Bird and a u-Lui hul-sut in his power at the Lapwai Council, ho should let them go out among their people to make prepara tions for war for CO days, upon a mere promise that they would come back peaceably upon the reservation. If you take that horn of the dilimma Mr. Standard you make your hero directly answerable for the murder of our set tlers. But we quote further from the Stan dard's article "He started once and was well on the way" towards Lewiston, from which piace he intended to take the command, ria the Spokane country to Missoula, and thus "head off" Joseph as he should emerge from the Lo Lo trail ; but the peoples fear was so great, backed byr such men as Brown and Congressman Fean, and the evidences of Joseph turning back so strong, that Howard delayed until Col. Sanford's arrival, but no longer, and even then his co operat ing force, under Col. Wheaton had not reached Lewiston. Furthermore, while «Joseph's men were coming in as pris oners Howard was trying to get a force behind the hostiles by the way of Oro Fine ferry and road. A straight push was sure to "flush the game" and an attempt to turn their positions al most hopeless, though possibly worth trying." Suppose the fears of the people of which you speak had not foiled the intentions of Howard, to "take the command via Spokane country to Mis soula, and then he id off Joseph as ho should emerge from the Lo Lo trail." Where would «Joseph, have been by the time Howard's force had reached the emerging point of said trail ? From Kamia to said point via. the trail which the Indians traveled, is about 130 miles. From Kamia to the same point via the route of Spokane, How ard's intended route, is over - 600 ruiies, which at Howard's usual rate of travel after the Nez Perces, (20 miles per day.) would have taken his command full 30 days to reach said point. Surely Mr. Standard you don't mention this inteution of Howard as evidence of military skill in your heroic leader. You are cmly burlesque ing him. But again you say "while Joseph's men were coming in as nris a oners, Howard was trying to get a force behind tho hostiles by the way of Oro Fino ferry and road." Npw this is sheer perversion of the facts. The facts are these. Some days before the Clearwater fia:ht the citizens of Fierce City by petition asked Howard for one or two companies to be sent to join these citizens, and go and block tho Lo Lo trail so as to prevent the escape of the hostiles in that uirectiou. Howard never much never as much deigned to answer this petition, again after the Indians had recrossed to the Lo Lo trail side of the Clearwater, and were evidently making for the entrance of said trail, Howard ordered the volunteers under McCon ville and two companies of regulars to go down to the Oro Fino ferry and move around to get first on to the said trail and intercept tho Indians, and this they would have accomplished had not Howard countermanded that order so soon as Joseph sent in a messenger under a flag of trace, to Howard, under a pretence of wanting to surrender, and before Howard found out that this flair of truce was only a ruse to gain time, Joseph and his band was near the en trance of said trail. These facts as are attested to bv At T 1 and the whole command ordered upon said trail. Here i s „ A stauce 'wherein Howard evinced« he did not know the "spirit and' 1 tions" of the foe with which, h* contending, and wherein he l 0st advantage he could have bad in k e the hostiles from going over said * if not of inflicting upon them the f blow that would have ended the He took good care never again to counter the hostiles with the fo rce hud under his immediate comman Some of his companies were present the time of the stampede of the and also at the Sturgis fight. Bu" was halo Gen. Howard till after Mi had whipped Joseph and the surrend had commenced. Mr. Standard , Ge Howard would do himself credit having a more truthful and consiste writer than you have proved yourself to urge his claims for the honors oft public who know the faefs. JOHN BREARIiÊY BROKER AND ASSAYER • \ N. W. Cor. Mon tgomery & Fourth Stmt LEWISTON. I. T. PURCHASER OP Cold Dust an d Cold Bars. Inegal Ten. ders and Government Vouchers Boueiit aud Sold. * AJ.SO EIC 1 MGE SOLD ON Portland and San Francisco. 1-t! LIVERY STABLE, SS. NOLAND & IT. A. CALDWELL. PROPRIETORS. A T THE OLD ST AND FORMERLY KEPT A. 'ey II. Crites, on the north side of E Street, LEWISTON, NORTH IDAEQl general feed, sale AND LIVERY BUSINESS. Old and new Patrons arc invited, who will find the management "!¥ot So Coarsc. ,, i-*r ESTABLISHED 1861 C. F3ALDWI Wholesale and Retail Dealer in O-EKrER-AX. 84-tf LEWISTON. I. T. NEW BARBER SHOP. I d ETWEEN J. P. VOLLMERS AND TIIE Jold store formerly kept by Loewenberg Pros. SHAVING and HAIR-DRESS ING done tip in the latest styles with neat ness and dispatch. J. A. IIoag, 2-2-3m Proprietor.