Headquarters Peace Commission,
Camp at Hot Creek, California,
March 15, 1873. [By telegraph.]
olonel Biddle, with fifty men of Troop K, First cavalry, from Camp Halleck, arrived at Van Bremer’s ranch on the evening of the 13th. In crossing from the old emigrant road along the south margin of the lava bed he surprised four or five Indians herding horses. He captured the horses, thirty-four in number, and brought them into Bremer’s. The Indians showed no hostility and Biddle did not attack them, as he thought it might complicate the arrangements of the Peace Commission.
Artena Choakus, a Modoc [woman], arrived from the lava beds yesterday evening. She reports that the Indians were ready to leave the rocks at the time agreed upon with Squire Steele; but when packing up to leave the women raised a wail, which caused the children to cry. The warriors, seeing this, became divided and gave up all intention of coming.
Artena says it was only the friendship of Captain Jack and Scar-faced Charley that saved Steele from being murdered on his late visit to the Modocs. The Modocs have concluded that Rosborough and Steele are their enemies, because they advised them to leave their old home.
There is no movement of the military against the Indians, and probably there will be none until after the arrival of the new Commission. Major Kimball arrived from Camp Harney, with his command, K Troop, First cavalry. The whole number of troops at all points is about six hundred.