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South Carolina had withdrawn from the Union on December 20, 1860, to be followed by the other six states of the deep South. On April 12 Confederate guns opened on Fort Sumter, and its defenders surrendered the next day. President Abraham Lincoln then called for 75,000 volunteers to surpress the rebellion, and four states of the upper South left the Union. For the next four years, the bloody Civil War was to occupy much of the nation's energy.

Regular army units scattered about the frontier posts would be recalled to fight the South. Because his superiors held Crook in high repute, his unit was one of the first to receive its marching orders. In June, Crook took Company D to Crescent City, where on June 11 it was embarked on a steamboat for San Francisco, the next stage on its journey to the Atlantic Seaboard. Crook's Autobiography and official correspondence demonstrate that his Fort Ter-Waw years taught him many valuable lessons, which he successfully applied in the Indian Campaigns of the 1870s and 1880s. Unlike many of his brother officers, Crook observed the redmen closely and sought to understand them.

The Crescent City citizens were disappointed to see that Lieutenant Crook's command had been withdrawn from Fort Ter-Waw, At a mass-meeting, held on June 24, a memorial was framed and addressed to the commander of the Department of the Pacific, Brig. Gen. Edwin V. Summer. It was pointed out that the presence of troops had been "effectual in awing and restraining the Indians" in Del Norte and Klamath Counties, and that their continued presence was essential to the preservation of peace. They asked General Summer to return Crook's company to Fort Ter-Waw, and if this were impracticable to send an officer and arms to organize a militia company.

To illustrate the danger, the citizens pointed out that the Indians, in Del Norte County, outnumbered the whites two to one, and moreover many of them were well-armed. If the government refused protection the citizens would "make preparations at our own expense as we do not desire a repetition of the scenes of 1855 and 1856." [34]

The last thing that General Summer wanted was a repetition of the Rogue River War, so he ordered Company C, 4th U. S. Infantry, Capt. Lewis Hunt commanding, to Fort Ter-Waw. Hunt's people would remain on the Reservation until such time as the California Volunteers were ready to take the field. Company C left Camp Sumner on the steamboat Columbia on August 20. The unit disembarked at Crescent City on the 24th and marched to the mouth of the Klamath over a mule trail. There they were embarked in canoes on the 28th and taken upstream to the post. [35]

Captain Hunt found that his stay at Fort Ter-Waw would be pleasant. Apart from the high cost of transportation ($25 to $30 per ton) from Crescent City, the post would not be an expensive one to maintain. Half the forage allowance would be sufficient, and good beef cattle could be purchased, on the hoof for five cents per pound or less. The Yurok was quiet and well disposed, so there would be no trouble with them. The buildings were of solid construction, and the gardens, seeded by Company D, lush. [36]

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Last Updated: 15-Jan-2004