VII. THE ARMY AND THE KLAMATH RIVER RESERVATION (continued)
D. TWO and ONE-HALF ROUTINE YEARS at FORT TER-WAW
The Ordnance Department in the fall of 1858 shipped to Crescent City new firearms and accoutrements to replace those currently in use. At Crescent City, the ordnance stores were transferred from the steamer that had brought them up from Benicia to the schooner Charlotte. As Charlotte tried to beat her way into the Klamath, she was stranded and wrecked on the bar.
Crook turned out a fatigue party, and, assisted by the Yurok, he was able to salvage a number of weapons and cartridge-boxes. The firearms, however, were badly rusted by the saltwater, while the leather in the cartridge-boxes was worthless. The arms and accoutrements were accordingly returned to Benicia, and on December 10 Ordnance Officer Capt. Franklin D. Callender turned over to the Quartermaster's Department for transportation to Companies B and D "new model arms with accoutrements and ammunition." This time there were no shipwrecks, and the ordnance stores were received at Fort Ter-Waw and issued to the troops. 
The high opinion his superiors held of Crook was again demonstrated in January 1859. In December 1858 Crook had complained to Adjutant Mackall that there was no medical officer at Fort Ter-Waw, and there were men on sick call who required medical attention. In addition, if one of his men met with a serious accident, he would be "at a loss to know what to do." Crook would also like to see Fort Ter-Waw placed on the list of posts entitled to double rations. The department commander acceded to Crook's request, whereas six months before he had turned down Collins when that officer had asked that a medical officer be detailed to the Klamath. 
In the spring of 1859 Lieutenant Collins and Company B were with drawn from Fort Ter-Waw and sent to Hoopa Valley, where they were assigned to Fort Gaston. Crook that summer, in response to a plea for protection against the Hupa, ordered a sergeant and a score of privates to establish an outpost at the confluence of the Klamath and Salmon. This news did not sit well with the residents of Crescent City. As they had several times in the past, they held a meeting and drafted a protest, which was forwarded to department head quarters. In expressing their regret at Crook's action, they pointed out that the mouth of the Salmon was within 36 miles of Fort Gaston; the number of Indians in Hoopa Valley was one to ten, when compared with the number in the vicinity of Fort Ter-Waw and Crescent City; and that the Hupa were "all of a friendly habit and there was no fear of an outbreak among them." At the same time, the Tolowa were uneasy and restless, because most of their land had been occupied by settlers. And, it was pointed out, these settlers were not squatters, the Indians' land having been purchased either by the United States or California, These settlers, since they held legal title to their property under the law of the United States, wanted the Tolowa removed for a thirdand they hoped finaltime to the Klamath River Reservation, so they could be "left in the peaceable occupation of their lands." 
Many of the Tolowa congregated in Crescent City. At nights they could be found everywhere. Drunken Indians were in the habit of sleeping in barns, sheds, and abandoned buildings, and there was constant danger of fire. Protests had been made but the officials in charge of the Reservation took no action. 
The citizens therefore petitioned that "all orders now issued or contemplated which will tend to divide or remove the command of Lt. Crook from the Klamath Reservation may be countermanded . . ., and the entire Company kept" at Fort Ter-Waw, "where they will be of service." If the army would agree to their two requests, it would be serving "the cause of humanity," while placing the citizens of recently organized Del Norte County under its obligation. 
The military pocketed the memorial. In regard to recalling the outpost at the mouth of the Salmon, it would be unwise to allow civilians to dictate how an officer was to deploy his unit, while Superintendent Henley had overruled the forcible return of the Tolowa to the Reservation. If the citizens wished the Indians back on the Reservation, they would have to approach officials of the Department of the Interior.
Lieutenant Crook in mid-September took a canoe up the Klamath to visit his detachment. He found the Hupa peaceful, andon discussing the situation with several influential members of the white communitythat no outbreak was anticipated. He was told that those who had agitated for the stationing of troops in the area had done so not for the protection the military would afford, "but for the personal benefit they would derive" from the sale of goods and services to the army. He learned that several buildings at the Orleans Bar diggings had been burned, but he was not satisfied the Indians were the arsonists.
If the detachment were to remain where it was through the winter, quarters would have to be erected, because the snow back in the mountains got very deep. Moreover, the nearest doctor was at Fort Gaston, and this point had been driven home when Crook was compelled to "bring down one of his men to the post for medical attention." 
The people at Benicia, after evaluating Crook's report and taking cognizance that Company D was too scattered to take the field if trouble developed with the Tolowa, ordered the outpost recalled. Crook accordingly recalled the detachment from the mouth of the Salmon and concentrated his company at Fort Ter-Waw. 
In August 1859 the Fort Ter-Waw guardhouse was partially destroy ed by fire. As to be expected, a grog shop had been opened by an enterprising white just off the Reservation, but within easy walking distance of the post. With a supply of rotgut whiskey so near and little else for the troops to spend their money on, the guard house was usually full after each visit by the paymaster. Consequently, Crook "assumed the responsibility of placing soldiers on extra duty to build a new house, trusting it will meet with the general's approval." 
Crook, in the last week of September, turned out a fatigue party to improve the trail from Fort Ter-Waw to Crescent City. The rugged terrain and thick undergrowth made this a difficult and unpopular chore. Sgt. William Hunt, who was detailed to push the men, tried to be a friend to the privates and permitted them to straggle. Crook could be a stern disciplinarian, and he had the sergeant locked up in the new guardhouse. The lesson was learned, and the project was completed without further incidents. 
In September 1860 Crook secured a 60-day leave to visit friends and relatives in the east. Lieutenant Turner commanded at Fort Ter-Waw while Crook was absent. Crook returned to duty on Christmas.  Soon after his return, Crook organized "The Ter-Waw Dramatic Association," and the performances were said to "be very interesting and to reflect great credit on its members." 
Last Updated: 15-Jan-2004