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Mojave Desert History: Pioneer of the Mojave
Lane's Crossing

MILITARY RENIGS ON PEACE TALK PROMISE

Throughout the summer months of 1860, up until the time of the camel fiasco, there had been a cessation of Indian hostilities. On July 2nd, Major Carleton had held a peace talk with the Paiutes and told them what was expected of them. He also told them that if they kept their promises, other soldiers would come in the fall and give them presents. The next day, July 3rd, Carleton closed Camp Cady and he and his troops left the area.

October arrived with no presents, and the Indians became unsettled again. The newspaper complained that Colonel Beall needed to send some troops out to the desert again to remind the Indians of what was in store for them if they did not keep on their good behavior.

The Paiutes had believed Carleton when he told them that soldiers would return to the Mojave River with gifts. When they failed to do so, the Indians stopped an express rider and told him they were waiting for the Major to fulfill his promise. They next stopped Joseph Winston's freight train and threatened to attack it when it came through again. The Paiutes told the freighters they thought Carleton was afraid to come back. Carleton was informed of this, but he did not want to get involved, and told his superior, "I am not a volunteer...to council with, or to fight the Pah Utes."

Winter arrived, but the troops still had not been sent to the desert, nor would they be for quite some time. With the beginning of 1861 the attention of Carleton and other soldiers became focused on the events that were to lead to the Civil War. When Fort Mojave was abandoned in May 1861, the Paiutes were reinforced in their thinking that they were winning their war with the whites. During the next few years, this attitude made things very hazardous for the handful of settlers living on the Mojave River.

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ecology: wildlife - plants - geography: places - MAPS - roads & trails: route 66 - old west - communities - weather - glossary
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