The July release of Territorial Papers of the United States, 1765-1953, includes many revealing letters between military officers, territorial officials, and the executive branch of the federal government. This correspondence from New Mexico Territory, October 1862, showcases a single episode in the wide range of military campaigns against the Navajo and other tribes covered in this digital collection.
Captain J.C. Shaw to General B.C. Cutler. Unauthorized Indian Campaigns, etc., Oct. 6, 1862
Writing from Head Quarters, Western Military District, Department of New Mexico, Captain Shaw reports his observations and requests orders:
Sir: In the instructions for the guidance of the Officer commanding this District it states that all parties not legally authorized will be prevented from campaigning against the Navajo Indians etc., and that due notice of any such force being authorized would be furnished to the Commanding Officer of the District.
The Alcalde of this place is now enrolling militia men to be ready to march on the 15th of the month against Navajos. I have seen the Governor …. in relation to the movement, but have no official notice of it.
The attention of the General Commanding is respectfully called to this subject, and his orders, thereon requested.