We do not know his name: Klatsassin and the Chilcotin War

News from the Chilicooten Country

The British Columbian, August 3, 1864

Strange as it may appear, we are yet without any official intelligence from the Indian expedition. Although messengers are said to have arrived at Alexandria yet no dispatches have reached the Colonial Secretary. The reported death of Mr. McLean is, we regret to say, substantially confirmed. It appears he went out some distance from camp with an Indian guide to reconnoitre. The Indian, hearing the click of a gun in the woods, warned McLean of the proximity of the enemy, and advised him to lie down. This he declined to do, and the next moment he was shpt dead. The Indian overheard the enemy laying their plans to surround and kill him, and, hastily crawling under the bushes, he succeeded in making good his escape to camp, where he gave an account of what had happened, and McLean's body was brought in.

It was understood at Alexandria that the Governor had reached within three days travel of that place, and had put back to camp at Punt-zeen Lake, for what reason is not known. We learn that 30 of Mr. Ladner's mules left Alexandra on the 27th ult., freighted with provisions for the expedition; and that five fresh volunteers went out with the train. We believe much dissatisfaction is felt amongst the men on account of the strict discipline respecting shooting Indians indiscriminately, the general feeling being in favor of shooting them as fast as seen. It is really very trying to be kept so long without official information.

The following extract from a letter written by one of the volunteers to a friend in this city, and dated Fort Alexandria, July 26th, may be interesting to our readers: — “Mr. McLean was shot through the heart by Indians on the 17th, and one man wounded belonging to Mr. Cox's party. There have been no other men killed or wounded by Indians. The two expeditions are joined. The strength of the Alexandria party is 65, all told. I have been sent here with a party of eight men to guard a provision train to Benshee Lake. We intend to clear the Indians out if possible. We believe they are on the Bute Inlet trail. The Governor is still with the party, and going to fight for himself. I believe the Bella Coolas are friendly. They dare not be otherwise. Our great drawback is getting grub out for such a number of men.

Source: "News from the Chilicooten Country," The British Columbian, August 3, 1864.

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Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History