By Bryan Carter
“In short, it is a war of Gen. Wool and the Indians against…the inhabitants of this portion of the Pacific coast.”1
- Pioneer and Democrat
By 1855, Isaac I. Stevens, the ambitious young governor of Washington Territory, successfully established numerous treaties with American Indians in the Pacific Northwest. The Indians were rapidly losing possession of their ancestral lands, and Stevens’ surveys began to chart potential routes for railroad access to the East. Railroad access to the Northwest would bring a stream of immigrants and goods to bolster Washington Territory’s economy. Stevens marched from one tribe to the next, through Montana, Idaho, and Washington, to gain government “rights” to Indian lands through any means necessary. Many tribes, however, saw through Stevens’ deceit and resisted.
The Indians, however, were not the only ones who opposed Stevens’ plans. In 1856, the commanding general of the Department of the Pacific for the U.S. Army, General John Ellis Wool, proved to be an even greater threat to Stevens. Wool, a renowned veteran of the Mexican-American War and one of the commanding officers who oversaw the Cherokee Removal in the 1830s, sided with the plight of the Indians. The Stevens-Wool Controversy in 1856 and 1857 embodied the divisive views that often pitted settlers and frontier politicians against the army. While the predominant Anglo-American view was to drive the Indians off their land by force, Wool was a part of a small contingent who believed in preserving Indian rights.
As a result of the controversy, Wool became the great defender of Indians in the Pacific Northwest. He created policies that aimed at preventing white access to Indian lands, and he openly challenged Stevens and the territorial governments of Washington and Oregon, criticizing their efforts to infringe upon the land rights of Indians. On February 12, 1856, Wool penned a letter to Stevens outlining his critical views. His major points were influenced by his previous military experiences and interactions with volunteer troops, state governments, and Indian tribes. These experiences served as the basis for his motivation to openly defend the Indians.
Wool’s military career began on April 14, 1812, as a captain in the regular army. A native of Troy, New York, he lost his mercantile business to a fire two years earlier. With the outbreak of a second war with Britain, Wool seized the opportunity to change careers. He displayed prowess as a military leader at Queenston Heights, Ontario, in October of 1812, and eventually earned the rank of brevet lieutenant colonel. After the war, the army was downsized, disbanding over 75% of the officer corps. Wool, reduced to a major, kept his commission and was appointed Inspector General of the Northern Division.2
Now an experienced officer, Wool’s career took him abroad. He traveled to Europe in 1832 to observe Belgian, French, and British military tactics in an effort to improve American training. He participated in the Cherokee Removal in 1836 and the Mexican-American War from 1846-1848. Wool briefly commanded the Department of the East from his home in Troy, but was reassigned in January, 1854, to command the Department of the Pacific in San Francisco. Now a brigadier general, Wool was renowned for his heroism and experience. His status within the army was second only to the commanding general of the army, General Winfield Scott. He, like Scott, was notorious for his fiery disagreements with politicians.3
When Stevens met Wool in 1854, the two men were immediately at odds. Stevens stopped in San Francisco on his way to Olympia, and while attending a social event, he questioned General Wool’s ability to claim credit for the victory at Buena Vista during the Mexican-American War. During the first stages of the battle on February 22, 1847, General Zachary Taylor was absent from the field. Wool took charge, selecting a choke point at Buena Vista where 5,000 U.S. troops stood against 20,000 Mexican soldiers under General Santa Anna. The vastly outnumbered Americans soundly rebuked General Santa Anna’s advance by constantly maneuvering their artillery around the battlefield. The heavy losses caused by American artillery were the result of improved tactics and training introduced in part by Wool in the 1830s.4
The old general was in earshot and heard Stevens’ comment, fuming from the incessant remark, and the young governor’s comment was not dismissed. In a rare move, the general remained silent, though by 1856 as their personal feud developed, it was clear to Stevens that Wool cared little for the governor. Wool’s February 12th missive to Stevens condemned whites for prosecuting campaigns against the Indians. The recent outbreak of a war with the Yakama was particularly troublesome, though he assured Stevens the campaign would be “prosecuted with all the vigor, promptness, and efficiency I am master of.” Wool, however, was not convinced the war was necessary, stating he would conduct the war “without wasting unnecessarily the means and the resources at my disposal by untimely and unproductive expeditions.” He informed Stevens he was unwilling to actively pursue a war against the Yakama.5
His restraint to conduct a war against the Indians was largely a result of both experience and observation. He believed whites were responsible for inciting conflict, stating that “the extermination of the Indians, which I do not approve of,” was the cause. The only solution was for the war to “not determined on, and private war prevented, and the Volunteers withdrawn from the Walla Walla Country.” He held great disdain for settlers and volunteers, particularly those from Oregon, where he found “many citizens, with a due proportion of Volunteers and two newspapers, advocated the extermination of the Indians.” These views shared in Oregon were “acted on in several instances without discriminating between enemies and friends, which has been the cause in Southern Oregon of sacrificing many innocent and worthy citizens.”6
He was referring to the recent actions of Major Lupton and his volunteers who killed 25 American Indians in the Rogue River Valley, 18 of whom were women and children. “These were friendly Indians on their way to the Indian reservation,” Wool wrote, “where they expected protection from the whites. This barbarous act is the cause of the present contest in the Rogue river country, and, as Captain Judah, U.S.A., reports, is retaliatory of the conduct of Major Lupton.” He blamed the actions of Lupton and his volunteers as the responsible instigators of the Rogue River conflict. His disdain for volunteers, however, did not begin with the Red River incident.7
Wool had extensive experience with the unruly nature of the volunteers in the Mexican-American War. In September of 1846, he court-martialed two volunteer officers for drunkenness, disorderly conduct, and insubordination. Several men were removed from command for bringing prostitutes with them from New Orleans to San Antonio. When one volunteer removed the cross from atop a Mexican church, Wool issued a harsh warning that severe punishment would be given to anyone who offended “the religious sentiment of his fellow beings.”8
As a result, Wool became increasingly unpopular among the volunteers. “Old Wool,” as they called him, was “less liked every day by the volunteers because of his aristocratic manner and his harsh treatment of them [the Arkansas ‘Mounted Devils’].” Some felt that if “provoked by him, would at the first opportunity blow out his life.” In several instances, Arkansas volunteers taunted the general and expressed their disdain for him. In one case, a volunteer passing the general’s tent looked in on him. “It displeased the General,” one volunteer wrote, “and he told him to leave; as he did not leave immediately, he told his orderly to point his gun at him. The Arkansas soldier pointed his gun at General Wool and said, ‘Old Horse, damn your soul, if you give such orders I will shoot you for certain.’” In another instance, when General Wool sent his orderly to the Arkansas camp with the request to refrain from making too much noise, one man replied, “Tell Johnny Wool to kiss our —-.” Another soldier wrote home, “Old Granny Wool will not allow us to impose on them [the Mexicans] in the least but on the contrary if any of our boys should take a piece of bread or lump of sugar from them without paying for it he will have them court martialed or punished in some way.”9
Wool was often more forgiving towards Indians than volunteers. During the Mexican-American War, Comanches, Lipans, and Tonkawas were rumored to be marauding along the Rio Grande. Wool ordered his patrols to retrieve any prisoners found by marauding bands and issued a warning to the Indians to cease depredations. After consulting the chiefs of the tribes, he was able to convince them to concede to his demands and “not to cross the Rio Grande to plunder the Mexicans, and to communicate my orders to the Camanches.” Wool used the opportunity to maintain peace between whites and Native Americans with diplomacy rather than force.10
He was, however, not afraid to use force against whites. Wool informed Stevens that he had received a report that “the friendly Cayuses are every day menaced with death by Governor Curry’s Volunteers…they have despoiled these Indians–who have so nobly followed the advice of Mr. Palmer to remain faithful friends to the Americans–of their provisions.” He believed the volunteers were not satisfied and wanted to “take away the small remnant of animals and provisions left.” Wool added a warning he received that if the men were not brought to justice, the Cayuse “will save themselves by flying to the homes of their relations, the Nez Perces, who have promised them help.” His informant warned that “all the Indians of Oregon and Washington would join in the common defense.”11
Northwest tribes were on the verge of allying with each other to drive out all whites. Wool attributed the brewing hostilities to the undisciplined and murderous volunteers that promoted genocide rather than peace or justice. To check the unruly volunteers, Wool issued orders to Colonel George Wright, commander of the 9th Infantry at Fort Vancouver, to “give protection as soon as he could to the friendly Cayuses from the depredations of the Volunteers.” Wool gave Wright, albeit not explicitly, discretion to combat the Volunteers in defense of the Cayuses if necessary. In a rare instance in American military history, the army arguably issued orders to suppress American volunteers, with force if necessary, in order to protect Indians.12
Despite his benevolent intention towards the Indians, the situation was incredibly grim. Unfortunately, Wool was unsure if he could repair the damage already done. He believed that “if Governor Curry’s Volunteers have not driven the friendly Cayuses and the Nez Perces into the ranks of the hostile tribes,–and they should be withdrawn from the Walla Walla Country,–I have great hopes that I shall be able to bring the Indians in the region to terms.” He was afraid, though, that the murder of the Walla Walla chief Peo-peo-mox-mox would deter many of the tribes from peace.13
The incident involving Peo-peo-mox-mox began the year before when Indian Agent Nathan Olney in the Walla Walla country grew anxious with the growing tensions in the area. Fear of white volunteers induced terror among the Walla Walla tribe. Olney saw the Walla Walla under Chief Peo-peo-mox-mox camped on the north side of the Columbia River near the mouth of the Yakima River. He believed the Walla Walla were attempting to assist the Yakamas fighting in the west, and he reported that the tribe was turning hostile. He consulted the British Hudson’s Bay Company at Fort Walla Walla, known also as Fort Nez Perces, on the developments. James Sinclair, the Company trader in charge, and several of his men suggested destroying the fort along with its supplies and munitions to prevent their capture by the Walla Walla. Sinclair, despite observing no apparent danger, burned the fort, and dumped the fort’s ammunition and powder into the Columbia River. He and his men were then ordered to leave the area by Olney. Fort Walla Walla, which still contained supplies valued at $37,000, was abandoned. Despite the “ominous warnings” of Olney, many ex-employees and mountain men did not see any impending danger and felt the agent was grossly exaggerating the situation.14
The arrival of the Oregon Volunteers exacerbated the declining relations in the Walla Walla country. Under Lieutenant Colonel James Kelley, 339 volunteers set out for Fort Walla Walla on December 2, 1855. The volunteers, after discovering a looted and destroyed fort, went about killing members of the Walla Walla, raiding villages, capturing horses and cattle, and attacking any Indian they found without cause. The raiding and violence continued unchecked until the Walla Walla sought to confront the white incursion.15
On December 4, 1855, Peo-peo-mox-mox and five companions approached Kelly’s Oregon volunteers under a flag of truce. Peo-peo-mox-mox sought to end the violence being waged against his people. During a brief parley, Peo-peo-mox-mox asked the colonel why he and his volunteers had come to the region, to which Kelley replied that the volunteers sought to punish the Indians for crimes against whites. Peo-peo-mox-mox denied any crimes against the whites, only admitting that some of his young warriors looted an abandoned British fort at Walla Walla. He offered to gather whatever he could to repay any losses, but Colonel Kelley decided that Peo-peo-mox-mox was too valuable to bargain with and held him and his men hostage.16
Colonel Kelley and his Oregon Volunteers, with Peo-peo-mox-mox and his party captive, marched to Waiilatpu, the historic location of Peo-peo-mox-mox’s village and the more recent Whitman Mission. Near a group of settlements collectively called Frenchtown, fighting erupted on the morning of December 7, 1855, and for three days the Walla Walla inflicted heavy casualties on the volunteers. By the fourth day, white reinforcements arrived and shifted the battle in Kelley’s favor. According to Kelley, “during the battle…[Peo-peo-mox-mox] made an effort to escape. In doing so, he was killed, together with four others who were made prisoners at the same time, and who also attempted to get away.”17
The incident remains a mystery. Colonel Kelley claimed that he gave his men orders to restrain them but to shoot them if they resisted or tried to escape. He noted that the Walla Walla chief and his men cheered on their attacking compatriots. In a letter to Secretary of War Jefferson Davis, Governor Stevens reported that this “Chief was taken prisoner by the Oregon Volunteers while endeavoring to lead them into an ambush. During the heat of the first day’s battle he and four other prisoners attempted to escape by ferociously attacking the guard and were at once shot down.” Captain David Dayton reported that when Kelley’s men went to bind the captives, one Walla Walla “drew a butcher knife and stabbed a man in the arm.” Peo-peo-mox-mox allegedly went for another soldier’s gun. “Warfield struck him with such a blow upon the back of the head that knocked him to the ground.” While trying to stagger to his feet, Peo-peo-mox-mox was struck again. Lying unconscious, the volunteers surrounded and fired a volley into him. “All the others were killed excepting one, who did not resist or show fight.” The reasons why the Walla Walla chief and his men were killed by Kelley’s guards is complicated by disagreeing testimony. While there is some indication he and the others may have attempted to escape, the motivations of Kelley’s men are brought into question with the mistreatment of the chief’s remains. Their actions argue a darker and more sinister motive.18
Peo-peo-mox-mox was dismembered and mutilated by Kelley’s men. “They skinned him from head to foot, and made razor-straps of his skin.” One volunteer observed, “Peu-Peu-Mox-Mox [had] been taken up by Dr. [Benjamin Franklin Shaw] and his ears cut off and today he has been taken out and subject to further indignities.” These further indignities include flaying Peo-peo-mox-mox’s skin, carving off his limbs, cutting off his hands, and ripping his eyes from their sockets. Wool also described the event, writing that after Peo-peo-mox-mox was taken hostage, the Oregon Volunteers “scalped him, cut off his ears and hands” and “sent them to their friends in Oregon.” He also wrote in another letter that extermination “of the Indians was the order of the day, and no efforts on the part of the Territorial officers were made to check it.” They sent parts of Peo-peo-mox-mox as souvenirs for friends and relatives in Oregon. The gruesome and barbarous end to the dignified and peaceful Walla Walla chief at Frenchtown created an untrusting relationship between the tribes of the Walla Walla country and the whites. Wool described the relationship as “feelings difficult to overcome.” With the death of a popular chief like Peo-peo-mox-mox, any sentiment of cooperation or peace among many of the Walla Walla and Umatilla likely died with him.19
The abuse of Indians was also not new to Wool. The Cherokee Removal in 1836 presented Wool with an incredible dilemma. On one hand, he had his orders to ensure the migration of the Cherokee out of Georgia to Indian Country, later Oklahoma Territory. On the other, he witnessed an incredible tragedy and injustice that was common practice under American Indian policy. In one instance, when dealing with land disputes between Cherokees and whites in Alabama, the state legislature accused him of ignoring civilian authority and states’ rights. In response, he criticized the state legislature for the destruction of Cherokee culture and their way of life. As a result, General Wool faced a military court. Wool explained, “My crime has been not in using the language here supposed, but in listening to his [the Cherokees’] complaints and redressing his wrongs.” General Wool was vindicated and cleared, due in large part to the fact that his old friend, General Winfield Scott, presided over the court. In another instance, after volunteers insulted a female Cherokee while they repaired a road between Athens and the Valley River in Tennessee, Wool issued a warning that anyone guilty of such conduct would be discharged. He maintained a position that, despite the injustice of the situation, he and all under his command would “keep no man in service who cannot conduct himself with decency and propriety.”20
Civility is what made Wool standout during the Cherokee Removal. He was recognized by Cherokee leaders for his civil demeanor and the honorable behavior during treaty negotiations at the Red Clay council in Georgia. In fact, his strict adherence to established treaties casted a positive impression on the Cherokee, but not on the Indian commissioners. One Indian commissioner, former Georgia governor Wilson Lumpkin, felt Wool ignored the opinions of others involved at Red Clay. Lumpkin wanted to disperse $72,000 intended for the Cherokee poor to those assembled at Red Clay. Wool denied the request on suspicion that the money would be squandered, and it betrayed the New Echota treaty. Despite his authority, Wool was forced to submit to Lumpkin and the other Indian. Just as during the Cherokee Removal, Wool saw the same injustices taking place in the Pacific Northwest.21
Wool was outspoken about what he viewed were malicious intentions on the part of Stevens and the territorial volunteers. He concluded that “at no time were Volunteers required, or in any sense of the term necessary for the defense of the inhabitants of Oregon from the depredations or barbarities of Indians occupying the Country East of the Cascade Mountains.” He also concluded that there was no “circumstance to justify Governor Curry in sending his troops from Oregon to Washington Territory to make war on the Walla Walla, from whom the Oregonians had no danger whatever to apprehend.” The use of volunteers, he argued, was his responsibility, and the liberal use of the volunteers by the state governments to wage private wars was both careless and wrong.22
Despite Wool’s efforts to defend the Indians in the Northwest, politics won the day. After receiving the five-page lecture from Wool, Stevens composed a letter in response to President Franklin Pierce. On March 23, 1856, he wrote, “General Wool no longer enjoys the compliance of the authorities and the people of Oregon and Washington and that in my judgment some officer should be sent to take special charge of the military affairs of the two territories.” He also suggested appointing the acting Inspector General, Colonel Joseph King Fenno Mansfield, to replace Wool. Mansfield, a fellow engineer like Stevens, was also a veteran of the Mexican-American War and a likely candidate to support Stevens’ expansionist policies, including a shared vision to build major access roads into the Northwest.23
Stevens also forwarded his complaints against Wool to Secretary of War Jefferson Davis. He openly expressed his displeasure with General Wool, writing that it was a “necessity of removing from the Command of the Department of the Pacific a man who has by his acts so far as this Territory is concerned, shown an utter incapacity.” He argued against each point presented in Wool’s letter, praising the volunteers and condemning the general for inaction.24
The newspapers were even harsher. In an article on February 15, 1856, Olympia’s Pioneer and Democrat bombarded the general. “The most charitable conclusion that we can arrive at,” the newspaper claimed, “as explaining the remarkable, unjustifiable, and, in one sense of the word we might say, criminal conduct of Gen. Wool, is to assume that he is insane.” The Pioneer and Democrat added, “he has, by his recent conduct, disgraced himself, and as far as he has been capable, brought discredit on the military profession.” A woeful conclusion of the general who took Queenston Heights, won the Battle of Buena Vista, and condemned white depredations committed against the Cherokee.25
In the end, Stevens, now a delegate to Congress, emerged victorious. In 1857, Wool was reassigned to the East coast and replaced by General Newman S. Clarke. By 1858, hostilities erupted again in the Northwest, and a bloody campaign led by Wright in the fall brought an end to the Indian wars of the 1850s. Many tribes on the Columbia Plateau were forced to surrender their lands. Railroads and military roads were constructed, and the inland Northwest was opened to white settlement. Arguably, Wool’s removal guaranteed the ultimate demise of Indian sovereignty in the region.
The Stevens-Wool Controversy, in a larger context, exemplifies the exception rather than the norm. However, Wool’s efforts indicate the army was far from unified or universal in its policies regarding American Indians. As historian Sherry Smith concluded in The View from Officers’ Row, “the officers’ views yields no neat formulas or patterns that explain them…Staff officers appeared neither more nor less sympathetic than line officers.” She adds that the “only apparent keys to differing perceptions of Indians were the nebulous, even unmanageable, ones of individual personality, temperament, and circumstance.” Wool’s perception, being an exception to the norm, was also the result of experience. He spent years observing and, regretfully, participating in the unjustified removal and mistreatment of American Indians throughout the United States.26
John Ellis Wool’s military experiences stretched from the War of 1812 to the Civil War, a career unmatched by any other. He endured the challenges of war and led troops under fire with valor. But his experiences off the battlefield changed him. He observed the destruction and exploitation of the Cherokee people during their forced removal and the unruliness of volunteers in the Mexican-American War. He watched whites abuse, exploit, and kill Indians for much of his career. In 1856, he took a stand against the Washington and Oregon territorial governments. He made every attempt to protect Indians in the Pacific Northwest, moving against the norms of contemporary society. In the end, politics overruled common sense. The destruction of Indian cultures in the United States remains a black mark on American history. Wool’s efforts serve as an example that not all soldiers accepted the status quo, that the army was not simply a band of Indian fighters. He used his position of authority to defend them to the best of his abilities. But even good intentions seldom sway unchecked ambitions.
1 Pioneer and Democrat as quoted in Robert Ficken, Washington Territory (Pullman: Washington State University Press, 2002), 49.
2 Harwood Perry Hinton, “The Military Career of John Ellis Wool, 1812-1863” (Ph.D. diss., University of Wisconsin, 1960), 11-20, 36-37; Edward M. Coffman, The Old Army: A Portrait of the American Army in Peacetime, 1784-1898 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1986), 43-44.
3 Hinton, “Military Career of John Ellis Wool,” 69-76.
4 Alvin Josephy, Jr., The Nez Perce Indians and the Opening of the Northwest (Omaha: University of Nebraska, 1965), 361; James Henry Carleton, The Battle of Buena Vista: With the Operations of the “Army of the Occupation” for One Month (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1848), 28-32; Carleton’s book details the events of the battle, including the effective use of artillery.
5 John Ellis Wool to Isaac I. Stevens, February 12, 1856, Wool Controversy, Washington State Archives.
6 Wool to Stevens, February 12, 1856.
7 Wool to Stevens, February 12, 1856; see more on the Rogue River conflict in E. A. Schwarz, The Rogue River Indian War and Its Aftermath, 1850-1980 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1997).
8 Hinton, “Military Career of John Ellis Wool,” 188-190; General Order 20, August 28, 1846, Orders, as quoted in Hinton, “Military Career of John Ellis Wool,” 189.
9 Augustus Fredrick Ehinger, Manuscript Diary, as quoted in Walter L. T. Brown, “Mexican War Experiences of Albert Pike and the ‘Mounted Devils’ of Arkansas,” The Arkansas Historical Quarterly 12, no. 4 (Winter, 1953), 305; John B. Duncan to Alexander M. Wright, January 30, 1847, as quoted in Hinton, “Military Career of John Ellis Wool,” 209.
10 Hinton, “Military Career of John Ellis Wool,” 190-191; Wool to Taylor, September 15, 1846, as quoted in Hinton, “Military Career of John Ellis Wool,” 191.
11 Wool to Stevens, February 12, 1856.
12 Wool to Stevens, February 12, 1856.
13 Wool to Stevens, February 12, 1856.
14 Hurbert Howe Bancroft, History of Washington, Idaho, and Montana: 1845-1889 (San Francisco: History Co., 1890), 139-140; William Compton Brown, The Indian Side of the Story (Spokane, Washington: C. W. Hill, 1961), 148.
15 Bancroft, History of Washington, 141; Brown, The Indian Side, 148.
16 Josephy, Nez Perce Indians, 349.
17 Josephy, Nez Perce Indians, 349-350; Kelley to Farrar, December 8, 1855, printed in (Olympia, Washington Territory) Pioneer and Democrat, December 21, 1855.
18 Josephy, Nez Perce Indians, 350; Stevens to Jefferson Davis, February 19, 1856, Wool Controversy, Washington State Archives; Captain David Dayton as quoted in Richard Scheuerman and Clifford Trafzer, Renegade Tribe: The Palouse Indians and the Invasion of the Inland Pacific Northwest, (Pullman: Washington State University Press, 1986), 68.
19 Josiah Parrish, “Anecdotes of Intercourse with the Indians,” 87, as quoted in Bancroft, History of Washington, 141; Scheuerman and Trafzer, Renegade Tribe, 69; K.B. Mercer Diary, December 14, 1855, as quoted by Scheuerman and Trafzer, Renegade Tribe, 69; Wool to Stevens, February 12, 1856; Wool to Thomas, May 15, 1856, as quoted in Scheuerman and Trafzer, Renegade Tribe, 69.
20 Coffman, Old Army, 74; Hinton, “Military Career of John Ellis Wool,” 81, 110-111; Wool, “Military Courts,” as quoted by Hinton, 134; General Order 23, July 21, 1836, Orders, as quoted in Hinton, “Military Career of John Ellis Wool,” 91.
21 Hinton, “Military Career of John Ellis Wool,” 106-107.
22 Wool to Stevens, February 12, 1856.
23 Isaac Stevens to President Franklin Pierce, March 23, 1856, Wool Controversy, Washington State Archives.
24 Isaac Stevens to Jefferson Davis, March 21, 1856, Wool Controversy, Washington State Archives.
25 (Olympia, Washington Territory) Pioneer and Democrat, February 15, 1856.
26 Sherry Smith, The View from Officers’ Row: Army Perceptions of Western Indians (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1990), 183.
Carleton, James Henry. The Battle of Buena Vista: With the Operations of the “Army of Occupation” for One Month. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1848.
General Wool/Governor Stevens Controversy. Governor Isaac I. Stevens Papers, 1853-1857. Washington State Archives, Olympia, WA.
Pioneer and Democrat. Olympia, Washington
Bancroft, Hurbert Howe. History of the Pacific States of North America: Washington, Idaho, and Montana, 1845-1889. San Francisco: The History Company, 1890.
Brown, William Compton. The Indian Side of the Story. Spokane, Washington: C.W. Hill, 1961.
Coffman, Edward M. The Old Army: A Portrait of the American Army in Peacetime, 1784-1898. New York: Oxford University Press, 1986.
Ficken, Robert E. Washington Territory. Pullman: Washington State University Press, 2002.
Josephy, Alvin M., Jr. The Nez Perce Indians and the Opening of the Northwest. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1965.
Richards, Kent D. Isaac I. Stevens: Young Man in a Hurry. Pullman: Washington State University Press, 1993.
Scheuerman, Richard D. and Clifford E. Trafzer. Renegade Tribe: The Palouse Indians and the Invasion of the Pacific Northwest. Pullman: Washington State University Press, 1986.
Schwarz, E. A. The Rogue River Indian War and Its Aftermath, 1850-1980. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1997.
Smith, Sherry. The View from Officers’ Row: Army Perceptions of Western Indians. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1990.
Brown, Walter L. T. “The Mexican War Experiences of Albert Pike and the ‘Mounted Devils’ of Arkansas.” The Arkansas Historical Quarterly 12, no. 4 (Winter, 1953): 301-315.
Wallace, Lee A. “The First Regiment of Virginia Volunteers, 1846-1848.” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 77, no. 1 (Jan., 1969): 46-77.
Theses and Dissertations
Hinton, Harwood P. “The Military Career of John Ellis Wool, 1812-1863.” PhD diss., University of Wisconsin, 1960.