Bear River Expedition
The Bear River Expedition took place between June 12 and October 18, 1859. Led by Major F. J. Porter, Company "G" from Camp Floyd was sent to investigate an incident between Native Americans and immigrants traveling on the California Trail, where it was claimed that the native peoples had murdered the travelers on that trail.
2nd Lieutenant E. Gay, under the command of Major Porter, encountered a group of Shoshone in Devils Gate Canyon in Weber County, Utah in what was at the time the Utah Territory and assumed that this was the same group involved in the incident he was sent to investigate. Leading a group of 42 men and some light provisions, he made an attack upon the encampment of what he estimated to be between 150 and 200 Shoshone warriors. In the official report, Lt. Gay claims to have killed 20 "indians" and about 6 of his men were wounded in the action, but there were no American soldier deaths.
The expedition continued on to the California Trail, where Major Isaac Lynde took over command.
While in what is today called Idaho, they encountered Chief Pocatello and had him arrested under suspicion of property theft and being responsible for the murder of several travelers on the road. Pocatello was eventually released after being cleared of the charges, and a meeting was arranged with the elder leaders of some of the surrounding tribal groups.
Other minor encounters with the native inhabitants of the area continued, and eventually the expedition returned to Camp Floyd satisfied that the issue had been resolved.
- Appendix. CIRCULAR-PUBLICATION COMMITTEE. THE MILITARY SERVICE INSTITUTION, GOVERNOR'S ISLAND, N. Y. H., Nov. 10, 1889. Reproduced at the United States Army Center of Military History.
- Many Of America's Wars Remembered By Very Few: United States Has Taken Up Arms On Average of Every Year and a Half During Entire National Existence by Mary Jane Moore
- Thompson, Jacob (1860), Message of the President of the United States: communicating, in compliance with a resolution of the Senate, information in relation to the massacre at Mountain Meadows, and other massacres in Utah Territory, 36th Congress, 1st Session, Exec. Doc. No. 42, Washington, D.C.: U.S. Dept. of the Interior.
- Deseret News links
- Sept. 21,1859: The Late Massacre Near Fort Hall, The Army and the Indian Massacres. http://udn.lib.utah.edu/cdm4/document.php?CISOROOT=/deseretnews2&CISOPTR=6019&REC=39&CISOSHOW=6020
- Aug. 17,1859: Army Intellegince, Indian Massacre, Indian Difficulties(2 articles), More Indian Difficulties, The Indian Massacre. http://udn.lib.utah.edu/cdm4/document.php?CISOROOT=/deseretnews2&CISOPTR=5767&REC=34&CISOSHOW=5768
- Aug. 24,1859: The Late Indian Difficulties(2 articles) http://udn.lib.utah.edu/cdm4/document.php?CISOROOT=/deseretnews2&CISOPTR=5808&REC=35&CISOSHOW=5809
- Aug. 31, 1859: The Indian War at the North. http://udn.lib.utah.edu/cdm4/document.php?CISOROOT=/deseretnews2&CISOPTR=5846&REC=36&CISOSHOW=5847
- Sept. 9, 1859: Indian Difficulties Again. http://udn.lib.utah.edu/cdm4/document.php?CISOROOT=/deseretnews2&CISOPTR=5915&REC=37&CISOSHOW=5916
- Sept.14, 1859: The Diffuculties North. http://udn.lib.utah.edu/cdm4/document.php?CISOROOT=/deseretnews2&CISOPTR=5962&REC=38&CISOSHOW=5963
- Oct. 19, 1859: The Indian War ended. http://udn.lib.utah.edu/cdm4/document.php?CISOROOT=/deseretnews2&CISOPTR=6287&REC=43&CISOSHOW=6288
- Oct. 19,1859: By California Mail(the condition of massacre survivor and rape victim)http://udn.lib.utah.edu/cdm4/document.php?CISOROOT=/deseretnews2&CISOPTR=6287&REC=43&CISOSHOW=6288
- Aug.3, 1859: Emigrant Cruelty and Indian Revenge.http://udn.lib.utah.edu/cdm4/document.php?CISOROOT=/deseretnews2&CISOPTR=5675&REC=32&CISOSHOW=5676