Oregon Military Department Records Guide

Record Series Descriptions

Indian War Calendar Records

Reference Room east alcove (drawer 37)
10 reels of microfilm; 1 binder
Arrangement: Generally numerical by calendar number

Series documents the actions of the Oregon Militia during the Cayuse, Rogue River, and Yakima Indian wars in the 1840s and 1850s. The records include muster rolls, general orders, special orders, correspondence, and related documents that were assigned calendar numbers as a method of organization.

The Cayuse Indian War calendar records microfilm consists of two reels of 35 mm microfilm containing documents numbered 1-1127. A small number of the records were missing when they were microfilmed in 1954 (see explanatory note in microfilm). Access to the calendar records is provided by a photocopied index in the Reference Room library entitled "Cayuse Indian War Calendar Records." See the related use instructions below.

The Rogue River and Yakima War calendar records microfilm consists of eight reels of 35 mm microfilm containing documents numbered 1-1593 as well as additional unnumbered muster rolls and correspondence. There is no index reflecting the names of individuals or subjects associated with particular calendar records. However, many of the original documents are part of functional record series described in this guide (e.g. muster rolls).

See other record series in this guide documenting specific Indian wars for more description.

Cayuse Indian War Calendar Records Use Instructions
The index in the Reference Room library entitled "Cayuse Indian War Calendar Records" is a photocopy of a typescript copy of the original manuscript document calendar of Cayuse Indian War records from the Oregon Military Department record group. The entries generally are arranged by company. Within a company, the officers are listed first in order of rank. The enlisted members are then listed in alphabetical order by the first letter of the surname. Following each name are document calendar numbers that refer to various documents mentioning that individual. A section at the end lists "teamsters and other parties not found in any company." Among other notable names in this section is John McLoughlin who is mentioned in relation to four documents.

In 1989 the original hard copy records were arranged and described as functional record series (Adjutant General's Correspondence, Muster Rolls, Unit Orders, etc.) effectively ending any connection to the calendar system. However, two reels of microfilm do include the documents in their earlier numerical calendar order. These reels are entitled "Adjutant General Cayuse War" and are located in the microfilm alcove in drawer 37 (Provisional and Territorial Government Records). They are arranged numerically by document calendar number from 1 to 1127. Some of the document numbers listed in the calendar do not exist on microfilm.

Please use the following steps to gain access to the records of an individual:

1.) Find the name of the individual in this binder.
2.) Note the document calendar numbers after the individual's name.
3.) Find the two Cayuse War microfilm reels in drawer 37 of the microfilm alcove.
4.) Search numerically for the appropriate document numbers.

The document calendar and the numerically arranged records on microfilm are valuable for compiling the service record of those who served in the Cayuse Indian War. The military card indexes in the West alcove do not begin until 1852 and therefore do not provide access to records of the Cayuse Indian War. Muster rolls (oversized sheets that acted as a more centralized record of service in later Indian wars) apparently were not comprehensively created for the Cayuse Indian War. Thus, the calendar and microfilm record serve as the only workable method of bringing together the various documents that document different aspects of an individual's military service. While not as fast or easy as a straightforward index, the calendar can be searched in a reasonable period of time.

The Early Indian Wars of Oregon written by Frances Fuller Victor in 1894 includes an extensive narrative description of the war; printed copies of some of the related correspondence; and basic muster roll information including name, company, rank, and date of service.

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State Archives • 800 Summer St. NE • Salem, OR 97310

Phone: 503-373-0701 • Fax: 503-378-4118 • reference.archives@state.or.us