Yosemite > Library > Outlaw Piutes >
Camp Barbour in 1851 produced the great frontiersman. Major James D. Savage, leader of the Mariposa Battalion, who with Andrew D. Firebaugh, chased outlaw Piute Indians back into Yosemite Valley, which led to its discovery. It is obvious they were not Miwoks and Diggers. They were peaceful, certainly not war-like enough to go out raiding Fort Barbour (later Fort Miller) built with soldiers armed with cap and ball muskets. Also, this is refuted by the testimony of veteran David Williamson to the Pony Express the late Williamson (born at Fort Churchill in the 1860s) whose father was an army officer, was told differently by Johnny Calico, son of Chief Winnemucca. Johnny as a kid in 1860, witnessed White Man’s route up the Truckee River from Lake Pyramid, in the so-called battle of Lake Pyramid which was not a “battle” but a very fast route, so fast as the soldiers could get away on horseback. His father told him that all unruly renegades in the tribe (The Piutes had no jails) had been exiled for generations over the mountains west of the big lake (which was Mono Lake). So there are your tough out-law Yosemite Indians that Savage and Firebaugh chased with their Mariposa Battalion in 1851.
Herb S. Hamlin, editor, “Yosemite Indians are Outlaw Piutes,” The Pony Express: Stories of Pioneers and Old Trails (Placerville, California: March 1956).
Digitized by Dan Anderson, January 2007, from a copy in my possession. —Dan Anderson, www.yosemite.ca.us