In presenting this preliminary report, it has been deemed advisable to divide it into two separate parts, the first giving the localities included in the survey, some general details, and an average of the cost, based upon the area traversed; the second giving, as plainly as circumstances permit, the present condition of the results from this work.

The following are copies of the special orders from the War Department:

Special Orders No. 109.-Extract. }



Washington, March 18, 1871.

2. Upon the recommendation of the Chief of Engineers, 1st Lieutenant George M. Wheeler, Corps of Engineers, is hereby assigned to the charge of the exploration, under the direction of the Chief of Engineers, of those portions of the United States territory lying south of the Central Pacific Railroad, embracing parts of Eastern Nevada and Arizona.

The Quartermaster General will, in addition to the transportation and supply of the escort, procure the necessary animals and forage them en route. He will furnish transportation from the East to San Francisco, and thence to the field, for the civilian assistants of Lieutenant Wheeler, and the subsistence stores, instruments, &c.

The Commissary General of Subsistence will furnish the necessary rations and anti-scorbuties for the party.

The Surgeon General will furnish one medical officer and two hospital stewards, and the necessary medical stores.

The Chief of Ordnance will supply horse equipments, arms, and ammunition at such points as may be necessary.

By order of the Secretary of War:


Adjutant General.


Special Orders No. 110.-Extract. }



Washington, March 18, 1871.

2. The Commanding General Military Division of the Pacific will furnish proper escort to the exploration party referred to in Special Orders No. 109, of this date, from the War Department, for the exploration of those portions of the United States territory lying south of the Central Pacific Railroad, embracing points of Eastern Nevada and Arizona.

By command of General Sherman:


Adjutant General.


The general plan to be pursued was indicated in the letter of instructions of the Chief of Engineers, dated March 23, 1871, and was only modified as imperative circumstances required, The following is a copy of the letter of instructions mentioned:



Washington, D. C., March 23, 1871.

SIR: The Secretary of War, in his orders of March 18, 1871, a copy of which has been furnished you, has assigned you to the charge of the exploration, under the direction of the Chief of Engineers, of those portions of the United States territory lying south of the Central Pacific Railroad, embracing parts of Eastern Nevada and Arizona.

The main object of this exploration will be to obtain correct topographical knowledge of the country traversed by your parties, and to prepare accurate maps of that section. In making this the main object, it is at the same time intended that you ascertain as far as practicable everything relating to the physical features of the country, the numbers, habits, and disposition of the Indians who may live in this section, the selection of such sites as may be of use for future military operations or occupation, and the facilities offered for making rail or common roads, to meet the wants of those who at some future period may occupy or traverse this part of our territory.

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In ascertaining the physical features, your attention is particularly called to the mineral resources that may be discovered, and, where the indications would seem to justify it, you should have minute and detailed examinations made of the locality and character of the deposits.

The influence of climate, the geological formations, character and kinds of vegetation, its probable value for agricultural and grazing purposes, relative proportions of woodland, water, and other qualities, which affect its value for the settler, should be carefully observed.

The latitude and longitude of as many as possible of the important points should be accurately determined, and in order to assist you in this, it is suggested that you make arrangements with the officers in charge of the United States Lake Survey and United States Naval Observatory, so as to determine by telegraph the longitude of those points nearest your field of labor, with which your field-work can be connected.

To accomplish these objects most effectually, you will divide your expedition into two parts, and have both parties start from points to the west of Elko Station, proceeding in a southerly direction; meet at or near Belmont; following the same plan and direction leaving Belmont, meet at Camp Independence, in California. Leaving Camp Independence, following a southeasterly direction, they will meet at or near Stump Springs, on the old Salt Lake road. Upon arriving at this point, you will organize a party to go to Fort Mohave, and using the boats already stored there, make an examination of the Colorado River as far as the crossing of the old Santa Fé trail, where they will be met by the main expedition. The boat party will continue to examine the Colorado River, as far as practicable, while the main party will camp at Peacock's Spring. Leaving Peacock's Spring after the junction of the parties, the expedition will divide as before; diverging from this station, will come together at Prescott, Arizona Territory. Hence making an examination of the country on both sides of the San Francisco Mountains, when the field-labor may be terminated.

The following places are designated as convenient for depots, viz: Camp Independence, California; Camps Mohave, Hualapais, Whipple, and Apache, in Arizona; and Camps Wingate and Bayard, in New Mexico.

You will use your own judgment in modifying the plan proposed in the event of any unforeseen circumstances or physical obstacles preventing an adherence to it.

To aid you in the discharge of these duties, Lieutenant D. W. Lockwood, of the Corps. of Engineers, has been ordered to report to you, and you are authorized to employ ten assistants as topographers, geologists, naturalists, &c., at salaries already authorized from this office in letters of previous date; also, the necessary number of packers, guides, and laborers, to complete your party. The whole number of civilian employés not to exceed thirty in number. You will procure your assistants, employés, equipments, supplies, &c., at those points which seem to insure the most economical and effective organization for the party, and are authorized to pay their actual transportation to and from, and to subsist them while in, the field.

You will make requisition on this office for such instruments as you may require, and are authorized to purchase one spring-wagon for transporting the astronomical instruments, sextants, chronometers, and magnetic instruments for the use of the expedition.

All necessary transportation, provisions, supplies, &c., which you cannot obtain from the supply departments of the Army, and books, stationery, and drawing materials, will be paid for from the funds in your hands.

You will communicate with this office as often as the means of communication will allow, forwarding the usual reports and returns required by the regulations, and such other reports as will keep this office apprised of your movements, and the progress of the expedition under your charge.

The sum of $50,000 has been set apart to meet your expenses until June 30, 1872, and you are particularly requested to be economical in your disbursements, and under no circumstances to exceed this amount. On the completion of your field duty you will dispose of the public property in your charge, discharge such assistants and employés of your party for whom yon have no further need, and return to Washington to make your report and prepare the necessary maps.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier General, and Chief of Engineers.



Corps of Engineers, Washington, D. C.

In accordance with telegraphic orders from the War Department, dated March 11, and as mentioned in letter of instructions from the Chief of Engineers of March 23, 1871, Lieutenant D. W. Lockwood, Corps of Engineers, was to have assisted in the performance of the duties of the exploration; but, owing to some misapprehension on the part of the commanding officer of the

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department in which Lieutenant Lockwood was serving, he was not able to enter upon his labors until early in August. This single matter, because of the incident vexatious delays occasioned by the multiple nature of the duties thrust upon my shoulders, was the reason for the loss of nearly one month in time before the parties could be said to have fairly organized for systematic work. This caused serious inconvenience through the entire season, and it often seemed almost certain that, in consequence, the entire field of the labor projected could not be finished prior to the setting in of the winter.

Second Lieutenant D. A. Lyle, Second United States Artillery, who had been serving with his company in Alaska, was, at my request, ordered to join the expedition, but was unable to reach any of the rendezvous camps until that one established at Belmont, Nevada, a little prior to July 1, when he was at once placed in charge of main party No. 2 and the escort. He performed this latter duty until the close of the season's operations, and in many ways allied himself with the professional undertakings of the exploration.

The Medical Department was to furnish one surgeon and two hospital stewards. These persons came from the Military Division of the Pacific, and were as follows: Acting Assistant Surgeon A. H. Cochrane; Hospital Stewards Frank Hecox and T. V. Brown, the latter joining the command at Halleck Station, Nevada. Subsequently, Acting Assistant Surgeon Walter J. Hoffman reported at Carlin, Nevada, having been appointed by the honorable Secretary of War at the instance of Professor S. F. Baird, of the Smithsonian Institution, and upon the recommendation of the Surgeon General. He was at once placed in charge of the departments of mineralogy and natural history. Dr. Cochrane performed the duties of ‘‘"surgeon to the expedition,"’’ while the two hospital stewards accomplished excellent services as meteorological observers.

The areas intended to be examined were entirely, with the exception of certain small sections, in Southwestern Utah, within the limits of the Military Division of the Pacific, and the furnishing of the escort was effected through the commanding general, whose kindness in this as well as in all matters relating to the supplies and furthering the objects of the expedition was constantly evinced. The permanent escort that continued with the expedition until its termination came from Troop I, Third United States Cavalry, and consisted of two sergeants, four corporals, and twenty-six privates, then serving in the Department of California, Brigadier General E. O. C. Ord commanding, to whom, for his generous aid and counsel at this time, as well as at all others, I feel especially grateful. Other temporary escorts were obtained from several of the posts in Arizona, and Lieutenant Colonel George Crook, commanding this department at the time of our entering its limits, was very kind in authorizing the facilities asked for in our informal requisitions.

No lieutenant of cavalry was available to be placed in charge of the escort, as the troops of the Third Cavalry at Camp Halleck were about changing for a southern station. This resulted in no serious inconvenience, as this escort, except for the very few days spent at rendezvous camps, were always divided into two, and often into as many as four parts. In the matter of the determination of the main astronomical stations, especially fruitful assistance was furnished on the part of the officers in charge of the United States Naval Observatory, the United States Lake Survey, and by the officers and certain operators of the Western Union Telegraph Company. I would particularly express my sense of obligation to Admiral Sands, of the United States Naval Observatory, whose active co operation secured to me the services of Professor J. R. Eastman at the observatory in Washington; to General C. B. Comstock, of the United States Lake Survey, who allowed Civilian Assistant O. B. Wheeler to perform similar service at the observatory at Detroit; to Mr. Orton, president, Messrs. Stager, Tinker, and Ladd, respectively, managers at Chicago, Washington, and San Francisco, of the Western Union Telegraph Company, as well as

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to Brigham Young, president of the Mormon Church, Salt Lake City, Utah, who, through the intervention of Hon. William H. Hooper, tendered the use of the Mormon telegraph from that point to Saint George, Utah. It requires but a hasty examination to conclude that the elements placed at my disposal were varied and complete, none too many, however, for the wants of an expedition to operate in so severe a section of country for such a length of time.

For the full co-operation of the supply departments of the Army too many thanks cannot be rendered. It would have been impossible, with the means placed at my disposal by the Engineer Department, to have conducted an expedition of such magnitude over so great a range of country within the limited time of one season, except for this very solid and generous assistance. It shall be among my endeavors to show that this has not been illy merited, and ask that refrence be made to some of the succeeding pages for a hasty summary of most of the results that have been so far accomplished.

It is with the greatest difficulty that these can be made to seem not meager, since memory has to furnish so much material in the writing of this report, at a time when the majority of the notes are en route, or rather blockaded, upon the Union Pacific Railroad. To the many officers in command of military posts along our route, as well as quartermasters and commissaries, to very many gentlemen, superintendents of mines and residents of the mining districts, to various State, territorial, and county officials, to members of the public press, contiguous to areas of the exploration, and to various private citizens and others who have extended cordial aid and sympathy to the work allotted to my care, I desire to express my thanks, as well as those of several of the members of the expedition.


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