«Item type text; Electronic Dissertation Authors DeJong, David Henry Publisher The University of Arizona. Rights Copyright © is held by the author. ...»
under strict orders to “pay promptly for anything purchased from the … Pimas and Maricopas.”225 Calloway pursued Hunter to Picacho Pass, where he immediately ordered an attack. On April 15, Lieutenant James Barrett caught up with sixteen Confederate cavalry at Picacho Pass, where desperate fighting ensued for more than an hour. Barrett and two Union cavalry lay dead, while three Union and possibly two Confederate troops were injured.226 Calloway immediately withdrew to the Pima villages, where he could acquire supplies from the Pima “provided that we can get manta. Send us manta or we will starve.”227 In the meantime, a combined Union force advanced up the Gila River to the Pima villages, where it constructed a modest military post in Casa Blanca and named it Fort Barrett.228 From this point the Union Army purchased “every necessary article of subsistence and forage” for 2,350 soldiers and nearly as many animals.229 West had a difficult time making the Pima “understand the magnitude of [Union] demands” and was fettered in his requests to purchase wheat and other supplies from the Pima as he had “nothing but promises” to offer in payment.230 225 “Benjamin C. Cutler to Lieutenant Colonel J.R. West,” dated Los Angeles, California, March 31, 1862, in War of the Rebellion, Series I, Volume L, Part I, pp. 969-970. “Edwin Rigg to James Carleton,” dated Fort Yuma, California, March 25, 1862, in War of the Rebellion, Series I, Volume L, Part I, p.
226 Colton, p. 104. The three Union dead were Lieutenant James Barrett and Privates George Johnson and William S. Leonard (often listed as Denerd). “Benjamin C. Cutler—General Order #8,” dated Fort Yuma, May 10, 1862, in War of the Rebellion, Series I, Volume L, Part I, p. 1061. In his report, McCleave noted Barrett would have taken the Confederates “without firing a shot” if he had not ridden into the thicket single file, losing the element of surprise. Finch, p. 185.
227 “William Calloway to Edwin Rigg,” dated Sacaton Station, April 18, 1862 in Finch, pp. 205-206.
228 Will C. Barnes, Arizona Place Names (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1988), p. 38, described the post as “only an earthwork thrown around a trading post.” “Cutler—General Order #8,” dated May 10, 1862, p. 1061.
229 “James H. Carleton to Señor Gobernador Don Ignacio Pesqueira,” dated Fort Yuma, California, May 2, 1862, in War of the Rebellion, Series I, Volume L, Part I, p. 1044. Carleton offered to purchase from Sonora Governor Don Ignacio Pesqueria flour, pork, mutton, sugar, coffee, wheat, barley, fruit, vegetables and any other supplies the Mexicans might be willing to sell and transport to the Pima villages (later Tucson).
230 “J.R. West to B.C. Cutler,” dated Pima Villages, May 4, 1862, in War of the Rebellion, Series I, Volume L, Part I, p. 1050.
124 Cognizant the Pima had the food and forage crops necessary to sustain the army—and that the military could not simply confiscate the goods without risking hostilities with the Pima—West agreed to a scale of prices with the Indians: one yard of manta would be exchanged for four quarts of flour, seven quarts of wheat, four quarts of pinole, fifty pounds of hay or 150 pounds of green fodder. The daily consumption of the advanced guard of the California volunteers was equivalent to 400 yards of manta. West quickly discovered the Pima were not willing to “trade wheat for more manta than they wanted for the moment.” More importantly for military concerns, West was acutely aware that Pima and Maricopa demands for manta would decline “after 20,000 yards have been distributed,” and the army already had an obligation for 3,000 yards. While at that instant seeking to purchase a standing field of wheat, West feared that if the Pima did not agree to sell more wheat, he might have “to enter their wheat fields and cut the grain for forage.” In a private letter to Carleton, West reiterated an earlier request for 5,000 pounds of Indian trade goods, believing such goods “would work wonders” in securing additional wheat from the Pima.231 In mid-May, as West prepared to advance on Tucson via Fort Breckinridge, additional manta, calico, flannel and drills arrived from Fort Yuma. More than 30,000 pounds of Pima wheat was purchased in one day and all outstanding credits were redeemed. Despite the windfall, West remained concerned that there was “no guarantee how long the flow of grain [would] continue.” Nonetheless, he estimated that when the wheat crop was harvested he would be able to purchase an additional 400,000 pounds. To
convert the grain into flour required White’s mill be repaired or that a small mill be sent from San Francisco. West was further aware of the value of arming the Pima and Maricopa in their campaign against the Apaches. “It would be of much benefit to us in our negotiations about supplies,” West reminded his superior officers. Carleton agreed.232 When Carleton arrived in the Pima villages on May 23, he purchased an additional 143,000 pounds of wheat and expected to buy another 200,000 pounds when it matured. Having met in council with Antonio Azul and the village leaders, Carleton promised to send from San Francisco fifteen wagon loads of trade goods for the Pima and Maricopa. “The Pima and Maricopa are the finest Indians I have ever seen,” Carleton waxed, and should be afforded every advantage. To this end, he requested 100 old percussion muskets and 10,000 rounds of buck and ball cartridges (and bullet molds) be sent to Fort Barrett to be distributed to the leading men. “This would be a great favor to this worthy people, who have always been our fast friends.”233 From Tucson, West discovered wheat difficult to procure and, where it was available, its cost—6 cents per pound—“exorbitant.” While expecting the per pound cost to drop after an estimated 100,000 pounds was harvested in the coming weeks, West proposed introducing “a train load of wheat from the Pimas”—as a show of competition to drive down the costs in the Santa Cruz Valley.234
The temporary redoubt constructed at Fort Barrett was moved upstream by order of Carleton on June 21 to a more defensible position where it would also better protect the national roads that entered the villages.235 Now located within a mile and a half of Sacaton Station on the Overland Mail route, two companies of troops were stationed at the post to guard 200,000 rations. They also continued purchasing grain from the Pima.
The wheat mill—six miles downstream—was afforded all necessary protection.236 As the California Column moved east towards Mesilla and the Rio Grande, Carleton moved his headquarters from the Pima villages to Tucson. The demand for Pima wheat, however, did not lessen. By August, Fergusson dispatched Lieutenant C. P.
Nichols to the villages to determine if any “Mexicans or others are trading with Indians.” Any traders other than White and his business partners were to be arrested and brought to Tucson to be charged with interfering with military orders. Nichols was also ordered to purchase all the wheat and flour he could and make whatever arrangements necessary for the purchase of future wheat.237 While the war effort after 1862 shifted east of Arizona, the Pima remained very much a part of the war-effort, both through the production of wheat and other food stores and as volunteers in the Army. While wheat, flour, beef and some forage could be acquired in Sonora, most came from Arizona, with the Pima providing the bulk of the wheat and flour. In the initial months of this relationship, the California Column “trad[ed] 235 “James H. Carleton to Colonel West,” dated Santa Fe, New Mexico, October 21, 1862, in War of the Rebellion, Series I, Volume L, Part II, p. 188. White was released by the Confederates on July 6, 1862. Upon his return to Casa Blanca White was provided by Carleton with “a bolt, belt and … credit for some lumber for the making of a bolting chest.” White retained his exclusive rights to purchase Pima wheat.
236 “James H. Carleton to Major Theodore A. Coult,” dated Fort Barrett, Arizona Territory, June 21, 1862, in War of the Rebellion, Series I, Volume L, Part I, p. 1152.
237 “D. Fergusson to Lieutenant C. P. Nichols,” dated Tucson, Arizona Territory, August 17, 1862, in War of the Rebellion, Series I, Volume L, Part II, pp. 74-75.
127 under every disadvantage” because it lacked resources with which to purchase or trade for Pima crops.238 Lacking resources, the federal army purchased wheat from the Pima on credit, using vouchers that were disliked by the Indians. When White began purchasing these vouchers from the Indians “at a great discount,” Fergusson and Carleton became alarmed. White was reprimanded and warned to cease and desist. Fergusson, meanwhile, requested Lieutenant James Coleman be sent back to the villages to settle the vouchers since it was he who had initiated their use. The Pima expected full payment for their wheat, and Fergusson did not want White’s discounted purchase of the vouchers to interrupt trade. Since Coleman had completed vouchers without stating the quantity of wheat and the price the Pima were to be paid, a potentially damaging problem resulted.
This act of “stupidity,” Fergusson complained to Cutler, had to be corrected and the Indians paid as soon as possible lest they cease trading.239 After months of delay, the Pima were paid with a new shipment of “Indian goods” that included tobacco, knives, paint, beads, needles, looking glasses, fishhooks, hoes and other supplies distributed “in payment of the Government indebtedness in the hands of the Indians.”240 As summer progressed, West grew increasingly desperate in securing trade goods with which to purchase wheat from the Pima, who were reluctant to accept any more vouchers. When the first supply of manta arrived, it was used to purchase 131,250 pounds of wheat. By the time Carleton purchased 143,000 pounds of wheat from the Pima, he was again reduced to issuing vouchers. Special government agent J. Ross
Browne reported the Pima and Maricopa sold in excess of 1,000,000 pounds of wheat in 1862—as well “green peas, green corn, pumpkins and melons.” Brown estimated that at least one thousand soldiers were fed with food purchased from the Pima and Maricopa, meaning at least forty percent of the food supply for the California volunteers came from the Pima and Maricopa villages.241 The spring of 1863 was as trying for Fergusson as the summer and fall of 1862.
Purchases from Sonora virtually dried up as the Mexicans refused to sell more grain except it be purchased with “gold or silver.”242 By then Fergusson had amassed a debt of nearly $100,000. In October, Captain William Ffrench met with the leading men of the Pima villages and was informed by them that they had “an abundance of wheat on hand” but that they did not “offer it for sale as freely as they had some time since.”243 By the summer of 1863, wheat and other food stores were running low, a grave concern for the army. When no one answered a government advertisement for 500,000 pounds of grain that spring, the army contracted with John B. Allyn to provide grain at 3 cents per pound in exchange for trading privileges at the Pima and Maricopa villages for one year. White continued purchasing as much wheat as his mill could process. Allen purchased 600,000 pounds in 1863, even though the Indian crop was reduced due to a damaged acequia.244 By the spring of 1864, wheat was scarce in Arizona, with Carleton ordering troops to go on half rations.
military authority in the territory, was not calculated to inspire the Indians with very powerful respect for the representative of their great father at Washington,” Poston lamented.245 Coult, nonetheless, reported to Davis that he intended to purchase the grain one way or another. He did not propose taking it by force from the Pima but, rather, seizing it from White (or others who might be holding it) and issuing receipts at 3 cents per pound. While Poston was en route to the Pima villages, Coult sent a rider to meet Corporeal John D. Walker at Bluewater and ordered him to advance to the villages and take possession of all the grain he could secure, an order with which the corporeal fully complied.246 Antonio Azul, however, favored the sale of all Pima grain and opposed Poston, calling him “a thief.” Azul traveled to Tucson and complained of Poston’s
actions. A military board subsequently found the superintendent guilty of defrauding the government.247 A long-standing request of the Pima and Maricopa had been for arms with which they might better defend themselves against the Apaches, who already had access to guns. In 1860, Silas St. John broached the idea of providing 100 old Mississippi rifles for the Indians but without success. When the California volunteers arrived in the villages, Azul complained that the Apaches had firearms but the Pima could get none. West later requested arms for the Indians, believing it would aid in his efforts to purchase grain and other supplies and Carleton requested 100 old percussion muskets and 10,000 rounds be sent to the chiefs and leading men.248 None had yet been distributed.
On December 30, 1862, Major Theodore Coult reported rifles were en route to the villages, although he requested the same rifles be used to raise three companies of infantry and two of cavalry to defend southern Arizona by making punitive raids against the Apache.249 By April, Fergusson reported two sources of guns. During the winter, a shipment of arms had arrived from Fort Craig and Mesilla in New Mexico and was stored in Tucson. But there was also an invoice for rifles from Fort Yuma requested by Carleton. In April, Fergusson penned a letter to Azul informing him that he would issue the chiefs and headmen “arms and ammunition if they would make a campaign against the Apaches.”250 Poston also requested “some common muskets” for the Pima and
Maricopa so they might serve as “valuable auxiliaries against their hereditary enemies the Apaches.”251 Unknown to Poston, arms were distributed on April 17, when Fergusson ordered Lieutenant George Burkett to proceed to the villages and distribute them.