1869 February 11 Letter to W. H. Hooper


1869 February 11 Letter to W. H. Hooper


Expense reports for Indian Suppression are forwarded. The claims have been reduced to meet army regulation. The petty compensation does not cover the loss of summer work or personal clothing.


Indian Affairs


Brigham Young


W. H. Hooper


1869 February 11


Salt Lake City
Washington D. C.

Number of Pages



Indian Affairs
Financial Matters


Salt Lake City,
Feb. 11th. 1869

Hon. W.H. Hooper, M.C.
Washington City. D.C.

Dear Brother,

This day we have forwarded the Reports, Pay Rolls &c. pertaining to the expense for the suppression of Indian hostilities in this Territory for the years 1865, 1866, 1867.

It may be thought that proceedings against Indians should not be taken without previous orders direct from Head Quarters or the Governor, but you are aware that when an Indian Raid is made and people killed or stock taken, there is no time to send or wait for orders; if anything is done it must be done instantly else the Indians are again out of reach; supplies occasionally have to be obtained at a moments notice, frequently at disadvantageous rates. Men also are taken from their various employments at 3 or 4 times the rates of compensation allowed by the Government Army rates. In our former difficulties the Rolls were made out at low rates of Wages for this country and now cut down as you well remember to the army rates. We have this time saved the Government this trouble by making all these claims conform as per Army regulations.

Men taken from distant settlements in the Spring or Summer months although it may be for a short expedition of say 2 or 3 months yet it involves the loss of the whole summer's operation, find but very little compensation of receiving some 2 or 3 years afterwards say from 13 to 20 dollars per month. All of the pay will not in the majority of cases compensate for the clothes worn out during the service which were necessarily purchased at Utah prices.

It should be very readily seen that it requires some other and far greater influence than such a trifling pittance to induce people to respond to requirements of this kind; but perhaps I have said sufficient upon these subjects. The accounts and expenses show for themselves and are incontestably true and just and if needed can be fully substantiated in every particular. We have taken a great deal of pains to get them up correct -- hence one reason for their being so long delayed; we did not get in the last of them until the meeting of the Legislature, which came by Hon. Erastus Snow from Washington County.

I have no doubt myself that if this service had been undertaken by the regular Army it would have cost the Government 3 or 4 times the amount and not have been half as successful either, although we do not feel that we have much to boast of on that score. The most we can say is that we did the best we could under the circumstances with the means we had to operate with which you are aware has been in many respects rather limited. But the experience of the Government in Indian fighting has been sufficient for it to know all about these matters. If it can only think of it in our case as well as other peoples. I prefer and trust that you will be able to obtain an appropriation this time to cover the whole amount, which as you will perceive has in the final footing come considerably below the estimate made last year and mentioned in the Memorial to Congress to last session approved by Governor Durkee and which is included in the Adjutant General's Report to the Secretary.
D.H. Wells

P.S. Accompanying this is a map showing the general features of the country over which this conflict extended. We dont give it as exactly correct inasmuch as it is taken from rough scetches made by the boys on expeditions after the Indians, but may serve to give some idea of the country