Fort Larned, April 1867---This often reproduced view of Fort Larned was sketched by Theodore R. Davis while he visited the Fort with the Hancock Expedition. It first appeared in Harper's Weekly, June 8, 1867. Davis, an artist correspondent, apparently chose for his vantagepoint a site southwest of the present fort buildings, near the sutler's complex. In his view are several adobe structures, including, in the background left to right, a shops building, two barracks and two building believed to be part of the quartermaster's stable complex. The men in the foreground are perhaps quartered in some of the many dugouts that ringed the Fort on the banks of Pawnee Fork. Later in 1867, the character of the post changed dramatically as those "shabby, vermin-breeding adobe and wooden houses" were replaced with new sandstone structures; only the flag pole remains in the position shown.
1867 -- January to April
A Year Of Threats And Treaties, Cholera And Construction
It was 1867. The United States invested $7.2 million in a piece of frozen real estate called Alaska. "Waltz King" Johann Strauss wrote what would become one of the century's most popular tunes, The Blue Danube. And, noted explorer David Livingston set off to find the source of Africa's Congo River.
That same year, the reporter who would ask---in 1871---"Dr. Livingston, I presume?" was on assignment in Kansas, near a lonely outpost on the Plains:
Standing on the summit of the hill that overlooks the plain of Larned as we approach it from the eastward, our eyes were gladdened by the sight of the fort, and close to it could be traced the tortuous course of the Pawnee Fork. . . . The spot on which the fort is situated is a green oasis in the Sahara of bleached grass. Beautiful as the plain is at present, it was lovelier by far before the volunteer soldiers came and destroyed more than two-thirds of the trees that lined the Pawnee's banks. From the top of one of the barracks can be seen a wide area, stretching away in all directions, the hills swelling into every variety of form, until the indistinct outline of their summits blends with the sky where it touches the horizon. . . . The whole, to be appreciated, must be seen as we saw it just then, in the approaching twilight, through a bright, clear atmosphere, and amidst the opening foliage and bursting blossoms of early spring.
Fort Larned is commanded by Major Henry Asbury, a gentleman who served with some distinction in the late war. It is a model of neatness. Everything is carried on according to the strict letter of the military code. Guard mounting, inspection, and dress parade are announced by the familiar sounds of the fife and drum, accompanied by all the pomp and circumstance of military form. The officers are affable with their equals, and gracious towards their subordinates. . . .
Henry M. Stanley made these observations as he accompanied General Winfield Scott Hancock's expedition to Fort Larned in April 1867. The general, in command of the sprawling Department of the Missouri, was bent on impressing Indians that spring-and he did. When his 1,400-man force approached a Cheyenne and Sioux camp upstream from Fort Larned, the cautious Indians fled, memories of the 1864 Sand Creek massacre fresh in their minds. Hancock, suspicious at their sudden departure, burned their large camp-and unwittingly started an Indian war.
That fall, another major Indian operation was carried out near Fort Larned when the Peace Commission negotiated treaties with the Plains tribes on Medicine Lodge Creek. But like so many other Indian treaties of the period, the agreements were doomed from the start. Government representatives presented terms that Indian leaders perhaps did not fully understand, and then validated the documents with the signatures of tribal representatives who were present---regardless of their standing in the tribe. The Cheyennes, for example, operated under a tribal decision-making body, the Council of Forty-four, and yet at the Medicine Lodge negotiations 32 members of that important group were not even present.
The year 1867 also saw an outbreak of cholera in the region. While not as serious as cholera epidemics in 1866 and 1873, Kansas was especially hard hit. There were 146 deaths reported among troops traveling across the state or at Kansas military posts---including Fort Larned.
With the passage of time, however, one man's work in 1867 has had an impact on the Fort more lasting than any Indian campaigns, peace treaties or epidemics. For it was in that year that Captain Almon F. Rockwell arrived at Larned to superintend construction of several stone buildings---the same structures that still stand proudly at Fort Larned National Historic Site.
1867: A Chronology
This chronology includes selected correspondence relating to the daily routine at Fort Larned in 1867---as well as a sampling of the voluminous paperwork that resulted from the Hancock Expedition, the Medicine Lodge treaties and the Cheyenne and Arapaho Indian Agency at the Fort. Sources are listed at the end of the article.
The first letter is reproduced in its complete form; others are shown without headings and closings in order to save space. The only changes made in the original text are the few punctuation and spelling corrections noted.
January 1 --- Hd. Qrs. Fort Larned Kansas
January 1st 1867
The Adjt. General
I have the honor to forward herewith a Descriptive list of Deserters from companies Col "B" & "D" 3d U.S. Infty. stationed at this Post for the month of December 1866.
I am Sir
Your Obd. Servt,
[signed] Henry Asbury
Capt. 3d U.S. Infty
Bvt. Maj. U.S.A. Comdg.
Special Orders, No. 1, signed by Captain Asbury, commanding Fort Larned:
I. 2nd Lieut. John P. Thompson 3d U.S. Inf. will proceed to Fort Zarah Kansas and relieve 1st Lieut A. Kaiser 3d U.S. Infty. in his duties at that Post.
II. Lieut. Kaiser will return to this post without delay and report to the commanding officer for duty.
Special Orders, No. 3, signed by Captain Asbury, same date:
1st Lieut. August Kaiser 3d Infantry will relieve 1st Lt. I.A. Helm 3d U.S. Infty in the duties of Post Quarter Master and Post Commissary.
Lieut Helm will as soon as practicable turn over to Lt. Kaiser all money and property appertaining to the Quarter Master and Commissary Departments which he may have in his possession.
January 5 --- Letter Captain Asbury to the adjutant general, Washington, D.C.:
I have the honor to transmit herewith Muster rolls of the Hospital at this post, also rolls of Company "B" & "D" 3d U.S. Infantry, stationed at this Post, for the months of November and December 1866.
January 9 --- Special Orders, No. 6, signed by Captain Asbury:
Pvt. OConners Co. "B" and Pvt. Smith Co. "D" 3d U.S. Infty. are hereby detailed as escort to Citizen employes enrout[e] to Fort Riley Kansas. On their arrival at that Post, Pvt. OConners will report to the Comdg. Officer of the Post, and will return to this Post without delay.
January 12 --- Letter from Brevet Major General E.W. [Burth ?], Acting Quartermaster General, Washington, to E.M. Stanton, Secretary of War:
I have the honor to submit herewith certain papers relative to the proposed purchase of the Sutlers buildings at Fort Larned, Kansas.
The following is their substance, viz:
On the 11th September 1866, J.H. Crane Post Sutler at Fort Larned proposed to sell to the Government his buildings and improvements at that Post at the following valuations;
|For the Sutlers Store||$3000.00|
|For the Mess House||$1300.00|
|For the Residence, including||2 Stables, Ice House, carriage house, chicken house and smoke house|
With the above proposition he submitted a plan of a portion of the buildings.
It appears that the Storehouse is a stone structure; the other buildings are of wood.
Bt. Col. C(uvier) Grover, Major 3rd Infantry Comdg. the Post of Fort Larned states that there is a great necessity for more accommodation there for storage purpose and for quarters for officers---that in case the purchase is authorized he proposes to use the storehouse for Quartermasters stores; the residence and mess house for officers quarters; he considers the price asked, reasonable and much below what it would cost to build.
Bt. Major General I.W. Davidson, Cmdg. the District of Upper Arkansas at Fort Riley, strongly recommends the purchase of these buildings, either at the Sutler's valuation or upon the appraisal of a Board. Having passed through there recently, he knows the imperative necessity for more buildings and storage at the Post.
Bt. Brig. Gen. L.C. Easton Chief Qr.Mr. Dept. of the Mo. states that the buildings are needed, considers $6000. for them a reasonable price and recommends their purchase.
Major General W.S. Hancock Comdg. Dept. of the Mo. also recommends their purchase.
I respectfully recommend that the purchase of these buildings be authorized and that they be paid for, by the Chief Quartermaster, Military Division of the Missouri[,] from the funds placed at the disposal of Lieut. General Sherman for the purpose of sheltering troops on the plains, &c., provided the purchase is approved by Genl. Sherman.
Endorsement on the back of the above letter, dated January 24, 1867, Headquarters, Military Division of the Missouri, and signed by W.T. Sherman:
I saw these buildings last October, and they are in good condition can be easily made to confirm to the General plan of Fort Larned, and would cost us more than $6000 to construct. I approve & recommend the purchase.
January 14 --- Letter from Captain Asbury to the assistant adjutant general, Department of the Missouri:
I have the honor to request to be informed as to who are considered "authorized persons" in Genl Orders No 70 Hd Qrs, Dept of the Mo. Fort Leavenworth Ks. July 30th '66.
I have learned that all the traders who are with the Indians, are selling or trading arms and ammunition. One of them[,] Mr. D A Butterfield who is here now, has also been disposing of these articles and has a permit which allows him to do so[,] if it is sufficient authority. I enclose a copy of his permit. I have given him instructions, and have also sent word to the other traders, to discontinue all sale of arms and ammunition, until they should hear from me again.
I should like to be informed as to whether the permit enclosed is sufficient authority to dispose of arms and ammunition.
January 22 --- Letter from Captain Asbury to the assistant adjutant general, District of the Upper Arkansas:
In compliance with Genl. Orders No 1 Hd Qrs. Dist. Upper Arkansas Jany. 11th 1867.
I have the honor to state that there are no enlisted men at this Post not belonging to regiments stationed in this district.
January 24 --- Letter from Captain Asbury to the adjutant general, U.S. Army:
I have the honor to report that Pvt. George W. Eckert a deserter from company B 3d U.S. Infty. may be found in Philadelphia in the vicinity of the north east [Sub. ?] Post Office, the said Eckert deserted on or about the 28th of Nov. 66.
Letter from Captain Asbury to the assistant adjutant general, District of the Upper Arkansas:
I have the honor to request that the garrison of this Post may be relieved from the furnishing of the picket at Zarah.
There are but two companies of Infantry here, and but two officers besides myself, while at Ellsworth there are five companies of troops. They duty at this post is sufficient to keep the two companies composing the garrison hard at work, and a detail of an Officer and Non Com officer and two privates makes a great difference.
If this request cannot be granted I would ask that another company be sent here.
January 26 --- In response to rumors of a possible Indian uprising in the spring and to reports of unauthorized sales of arms and ammunition to the Plains tribes, Major General Winfield Scott Hancock, commanding the Department of the Missouri, issued an order from Fort Leavenworth forbidding the sale or bartering of weapons and ammunition to Indians "by any person or persons whomsoever within the limits of this Department, save at military posts to be hereafter designated." The posts Hancock designated were Forts Larned and Dodge.
February 1 --- Letter from Captain Asbury to the adjutant general, U.S. Army:
I have the honor to forward herewith a Descriptive list of Deserters from Cos B & D 3d U.S. Infty. stationed at this Post for the month of January 1867.
February 2 --- Letter from Captain Asbury to the assistant adjutant general, District of the Upper Arkansas:
I have the honor to make the following report in compliance with Genl. Orders No 62 HdQrs. Dept. of the Mo.
Trains have passed this Post during the month of January 1867 as follows:
January 12 18 wagons and 20 armed men going w[est]
January 19 18 wagons and 20 armed men going e[ast]
January 28 25 wagons and 30 armed men going w[est]
February 7 --- Special Orders, No. 19, signed by Captain Asbury:
The Garrison Court Martial which was convened at this post by Special Orders No. 7 dated Hd Qrs. Fort Larned Ks Feby 1st 1867 is hereby ordered to re-convene for the trial of John H Kujough Pvt Co "D" 3d U. Infty. and such other persons as may properly be brought before it.
February 8 --- Special Orders, No. 11, signed by Captain Asbury:
A Board of Survey will convene at this Post to day at 2 o'clock P.M. or as soon thereafter as practicable to examine into, and report upon, an alleged deficiency in an original bale of blouses, for which 1st Lieut A Kaiser A.A.Q.M is responsible.---The Board will be guided in its action by parag. R. Am Reg. '65.
Detail for the Board:
1st Lieut IM Helm 3d Infty Bvt Cap USA
2d Lt Jno P Thompson 3d Infty.
The junior members will record the proceedings.
Letter from Captain Asbury to the assistant adjutant general, District of the Upper Arkansas:
I have the honor to enclose herewith a letter I have just received from Maj. Douglass Comdg Off. Fort Dodge, also to state that Major Page and Mr Tappen came in here a few hours befor[e] the messengers from Fort Dodge arrived. Maj. Page tells me about the same facts as ar[e] mentioned in the enclosed letter. He also says that the Indians are going to have a large Council near this Post somewhere, before long to determine on the cours[e] to be taken. From all I can learn both from different Indians and from persons identified with them[,] as well as Maj. Page's staternent[,] there is very little doubt but that they will break out before long.
The garrison of this Post is small but 44 for duty and there will be 13 men discharged this month, which will greatly reduce it. I would respectfully request and urge that in view of the circumstances more troops be sent here.
February 13 --- Letter from Captain Asbury to the assistant adjutant general, District of the Upper Arkansas:
I have the honor to forward herewith map of the reserved land at Fort Zarah Kansas.
Letter from Captain Asbury to the assistant adjutant general, District of the Upper Arkansas:
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of a letter addressed to J.H Leavenworth U.S. Indian Agent.
From what I can learn Col Leavenworth is at present at Washington, On his return I will forward the letter to him.
February 14 --- Special Orders, No. 12, signed by Captain Asbury:
Before a Garrison Court Martial which convened at Fort Larned Kansas pursuant to Special Orders No 7 from these Hd. Quarters, and of which 1st Lieut. I.M. Heim 3d U.S. Infty. Bvt Capt. U.S.A. is Present, were arraigned and tried
1st Julius Londner Pvt Co. "B" 3d U.S. Infantry on the following charges and specifications.
Specification --- In this, that he, Julius Londner Private Co. "B" 3d U.S. Infantry[,] being room orderly[,] when ordered by Corpl. John McGlinn of said Company to scoop som[e] soot off the floor, did refuse to obey said order saying[,] I will be damned if I do[.] I will go to the Guard House first, where I will get another night off guard, or words to that effect.
This at Fort Larned Kansas, on or about the 14 day of January, 1867.
To which charges and specification the prisoner pleaded "Not Guilty."
Finding: The Court having maturely considered the evidence [against] the prisoner as follows.
Of the Specification "Guilty."
Of the Charge "Guilty."
Sentence --- And the Court does therefore sentence him, Julius Londner Pvt. Co. "B" 3,d U.S. Infty. to walk the ring with a log on his shoulder in charge of the Guard in front of the Guard House from Reveille till retreat with thirty minutes for each meal for  fifteen days, and to forfeit to the United States $10.00 ten dollars of his pay for one month.
Finding and sentence confirmed. So much of the sentence as relates to walking the ring is remitted. The stoppage of pay will be made by the proper officer. The prisoner will be relieved from arrest and returned to duty.
February 17 --- Letter from Captain Asbury to the assistant adjutant general, District of the Upper Arkansas:
I have the honor to request that a board may be appraised a Quarter master horse.
I have need of a horse almost every day, and [except] through the Qr. Mr Dept. am unable to procure one.
February 22 --- Letter from Edward W. Wynkoop, U.S. Indian Agent for the Arapahoes, Cheyennes and Apaches, Upper Arkansas River Agency, Fort Larned to Lewis Bogy, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Washington:
I have the honor to respectfully call your attention to the fact that since my appointment after entering upon my duties as Indian Agent I have not received any funds in the shape of salary or for contingencies. I have made several applications besides forwarding an Estimate for Funds through the Superintendant.
I have also represented the necessity of being furnished with an ambulance being obliged to travel over the Plains far from the common highways in visiting the different bands of the Indians of my Agency: I would respectfully request some action of your office in the promises.
February 23 --- Special Orders, No. 29, Headquarters, Military Division of the Missouri, St. Louis, signed by W.A. Nichols, Assistant Adjutant General:
The Quarter Master Brevet Lieutenant Colonel CW Thomas will sent to Fort Leavenworth Kansas an Indian Boy answering to the name of Wilson R Graham, and deliver him to the Major General Commanding the Department of the Missouri, who will send him to Fort Larned with directions to the Commanding officer of that Post to restore him to his natural parents or guardian among the Cheyennes, with the knowledge of the Indian agent for that tribe, keeping a record and making a report back to these Headquarters.
February 26 --- Report from Captain Asbury to the assistant adjutant general, District of the Upper Ark
February 27 --- Letter from Captain Asbury to the assistant adjutant general District of the Upper Arkansas:
Kicking Bird[,] a chief of Kiowas[,] and a party of a few men and squaws to the number of 27, passed this Post last Thursday, and proceeded to Fort Zarah to get their goods[.] Their arrival there was reported to me by Lt. Thompson. On Monday they returned and went on south. On Sunday "Satanta," a chief of Kiowas[,] passed by here enroute to Fort Zarah under charge of Lt. Hesselberger from Fort Dodge[,] They returned yesterday and will proceed to Fort Dodge to day.
Kicking Bird told me of an occurrence which happened south of the Arkansas, on the Cimarron, viz the running off of the stock of some wolf hunters which was charged to the Kiowas, and which he stated was done by the Cheyennes.
But very little dependence can be placed on the statement of any Indian in reference to such a thing as this, for each tribe will invarably accuse the other of committing any depredation that may have happened.
In his talk with the Sub-Agent at Zarah the substance of what Satanta said was, "That the hearts of the Indians were bad, that the white men must build no more houses out here, must burn no more of their wood, must drink no more of their water, must not drive their buffaloes off, that the Rail-Road must not come any further, and that the Santa Fe line must be stopped.["]
All this may be in a measure bravado, but it illustrates the feelings that actuates the Indians.
Not long ago, some of them whilst at Zarah drew an axe on the Sub-Agent of Col. Leavenworth, and threatened his life, because they did not get their goods.
They have, as far as I am enabled to learn[,] some cause of complaint against Leavenworth, but I think it only hastens, but will not be the cause of the impending troubles.
A band of Sioux, crossed the Arkansas river going south, a few days ago, between this Post and Fort Dodge, for the purpose, it is understood, of having a "talk" with the tribes belonging to that region, probably to determine the time for an outbreak.
I have just understood, since his departure, that Satanta said while here, "That when he got back home some white man had got to be killed, on this road near this Post, that he had a spite against this Post, and that he was going to take revenge from it."
I cannot too strongly urge the necessity of Cavalry at this Post, as the Garrison is small and there is every indication of a speedy outbreak.
I shall keep you informed as far as I am able, of any and all movements of the Indians in this vicinity.
March 2 --- Letter from Captain Asbury to the assistant adjutant general, District of the Upper Arkansas:
I have the honor to make the following report in compliance with General Orders No 62 Hd Qrs Dept of the Mo Trains have passed this Post during the month of February as follows:
February 3d 25 wagons and 31 armed men going West:
February 10 25 wagons and 31 armed men going East
February 19 15 wagons and 19 armed men going East
March 3 --- Letter from Captain Asbury to 2nd Lieutenant S.W. Bonsak, Adjutant, 3rd U.S. Infantry:
The Post Treasurer has on hand Forty-eight [$48] Dollars which will be forwarded on the first opportunity as I do not think it safe to trust it to the Mail.
March 6 --- Letter from Captain Asbury to the assistant adjutant general, District of the Upper Arkansas:
In compliance with Gen. Order No 3rd Hd Qrs Dist Upper Arkansas, I have the honor to make the following report:
On last 6, the 28th of February, a small party of Cheyennes went to a "ranch", kept by a man by the name of Parker, six  miles below this Post, and ordered him to cook supper for them: he had to comply and they, on finding he had no sugar to give them, threatened his life and would undoubtedly have killed one of his men, it he had not concealed himself.
At such a distance from the Post, I could of course know nothing of the occurrence when it happened. It was reported to me two days after[.]
"Roman Nose", a chief of the "Dog Soldiers", came in a day or two ago, to see his agent, Col Wynkoop. A half breed interpreter came with him, and reports that everything in their camp is quiet and very little is said, their attention being directed to the operations, upon the Platte.
The Dog Soldiers are camped about 70 miles up the Pawnee Fork, on one of its forks, they have runners and couriers in almost every day from the North.
March 9 --- Letter from Captain Asbury to the assistant adjutant general, Department of the Missouri:
In reply to you communication of Feby 25th 1867 in reference to the U.S. Reservation at Fort Zarah Ks. I have the honor to make the following report.
The boundary lines on the map of the U.S. Reservation at Fort Zarah Ks. are the boundary lines of the Reservation, the southern boundary line being drawn due East and West from the Round House, two  miles on either side, and the whole Reservation lying north of the Arkansas River.
It was laid off in November 1866, the whole work being done by a Compass and Line and not from a sketch, and the work being done under the supervision of Lieut Thompson 3d U.S. Infantry.
There are no records at this Post to show that it has been previously proclaimed as a Reservation
Special Orders No 22, signed by Captain Asbury:
I. Private Thomas Riley Co "B" 3rd U.S. Infantry, is hereby relieved from daily duty in the Post Bakery, and will report to his Company Commander for duty.
II. Private Patrick Burke Co "B" 3rd U.S. Infantry is hereby detailed on daily duty in the Post Bakery and will report to the Post Treasurer for duty
March 11 --- Letter from Major General Hancock, Fort Leavenworth, to Agent Wynkoop, Fort Larned. [Hancock sent a similar letter to Jesse Leavenworth, agent for the Kiowas and Comanches, at Fort Zarah]:
I have the honor to address this letter to you for the purpose of informing you that I have about completed my arrangements to move a force to the plains, and only await a proper condition of the roads to march.
My object in making an expedition at this time is, to show the Indians within the limits of this Department, that we are able to chastise any tribes who may molest people who are traveling across the plains. It is not our desire to bring on difficulties with the Indians, but to treat them with justice and according to our treaty stipulations, and I desire especially in my dealings with them, to act through their Agents as far as practicable.
In reference to the Cheyenne of your Agency in particular, I may say that we have just grounds of grievance. One is that they have not delivered up the murderer [said to have been Fox Tail, son of Medicine Arrows] of the New Mexican at Zarah [in November 1866]. I also believe that I have evidence sufficient to fix upon different bands of that tribe, whose Chiefs are known, several of the outrages committed on the Smoky Hill, last summer.
I request that you will inform them in such a manner as you may think proper, that I expect shortly to visit their neighborhood, and that I will be glad to have an interview with their Chiefs; and tell them also, if you please, that I will go fully prepared for peace or war, and that hereafter, I will insist upon their keeping off the main lines of travel, where their presence is calculated to bring about collisions with the whites.
If you county prevail upon the Indians of your Agency to abandon their habit of infesting the country traversed by our Overland routes, threatening, robbing and intimidating travellers, we will defer that matter to you. If not, I would be pleased by your presence with me when I visit the locality of your tribes, to show that the officers of the Government are acting in harmony.
March 14 --- Letter from Captain Asbury to Brevet Major General A.J. Smith, District of the Upper Arkansas:
I have the honor to report in compliance with General Orders No 6, dated Feby 21th 1867, from your Head Quarters, that the Artillery at this Post is as follows, viz:
Four  12 Pds. Mountain Howitzers with Prairie Carriages
Two  Prairie Ammunition Carts
Two  Caissons and Limbers.
Letter from Captain Henry E. Noyes, acting adjutant general, District of the Upper Arkansas, Fort Riley, to Agent Wynkoop, Fort Larned:
The Bv't Major Gen. Commanding directs me to inform you that Wilson Graham, the Cheyenne boy who was captured from that tribe sometime since, is now enroute to this post. As soon as he arrives, he will be sent to you, in order that he may be delivered to his nearest relatives.
Please inform this office of the name and band of his nearest relations.
March 15 --- Letter from Captain Asbury to the assistant ad utant general, District of the Upper Arkansas:
I have just learned that a band of Arapahoes ran off some Forty  head of mules, a few days ago, at a point above Fort Aubrey, called "Pretty Encampment"
The mules belonged to a man who was driving them into Leavenworth or some other point on the Missouri River.
I understood that the Indians had been staying at the 'ranche' for a day or two, and had been well treated, but reciprocated the kindness by driving of[f] the stock.
There is a camp of some One hundred thirty five  lodges, about Thirty five  miles from this Post, up the Pawnee Fork. They consist of the "Ogallallahs" and other bands of the 'Sioux' and profess to be friendly and say they came down this far to get out of the way of the war on the Platte.
I have understood that "Spotted Tail" is one of the chiefs.
They are camped near the "Dog Soldiers" who are led by "Roman Nose[,]" "Tall Bull" "White Horse" and "Bull Bear" are also chiefs of the soldiers[,] "Tall Bull" and "White Horse" being the head chiefs.
"The Bear's Robe[,]" a son of old "Red Plume," and a chief of the Sioux, was in to see me yesterday. He says that the principal chiefs in this Sioux camp above mentioned are, "Spotted Tail", "Swift Bear," "The man that killed the Pawnee" and "The man that falls twice"
He said in answer to the question by me, as to why they left their own country and came down here, that they were all friendly to the whites and were advised by the officers at Fort Laramie D.T. to come down here to get out of the way, that they would be safer here than up there
"The Bears Robe" brought in a message from "Spotted Tail" and the other Sioux chiefs, requesting permission to come in with some of the Cheyennes to have a "talk". I told him that Five  chiefs from each tribe might come, but no more
I shall report to you the substance of their remarks.
In answer to your communication of Feby 21st recd last mail, I would state, that of the Kiowas, nearly all talk bad and have treated traders, who were among them, badly
"Satanta" is the most prominent chief in the Kiowas, and has repeatedly sent me insulting messages, telling me "I must leave the country, etc". The other chiefs are reported to me as talking badly and a great deal, but "Satanta" and "Kicking Bird" are the only ones who have been away from their villages.
"Satanta", "Kicking Bird" and "Lone Wolf" are all chiefs of the tribe.
They Cheyennes have perhaps been quieter than the rest, but only as to talking.
"Black Kettle" say[s] there will be war in the spring, of a certainty, and to prove what he says, he has taken his band and they families of his tribe, away south to the borders of Texas, for safety.
The Cheyennes talk but little but are among the most dangerous of the Indians, on the Plains, on account of their superior qualities as soldiers.
"Roman Nose", as well as another chief, whose name I cannot recall, talked impudently here last fall.
Of the Arrapahoes, I have heard but little, but have heard that it was "Little Raven's" son who ran off the stock mentioned before
"Little Raven[,]" you are doubtless aware, is the head chief of the tribe.
March 19 --- Special Orders, No. 26, signed by Captain Asbury:
I. 1st Lieut A. Kaiser 3rd U.S. Infantry A.A.Q.M. will transfer Fifty  Axes and One hundred and twenty five  Axe helves from the returns of Camp and Garrison Equipage to the returns of Quartermasters Stores.
Letter from Captain Asbury to the assistant adjutant general, District of the Upper Arkansas:
"Black Bird," a chief of the Kiowas[,] together with "Sitamon" and a number of Indians and Squaws, were in here yesterday to see me.
They say that they are camped about Forty  miles south of here, below the Arkansas river, on Salt Creek and that there are Ten  lodges in their Village.
Some of the Kiowas, "Satanta" with them, are over beyond the Cimaron, while "Lone Wolf and a large village are on Bluff Creek, almost south of Fort Dodge
They state they are going further south to find Buffalo, but as this season of the year the Buffalo are commencing to come north, the real object in my opinion is, to take there families there for safety.
March 20 --- Letter from Captain Asbury to the assistant adjutant general, District of the Upper Arkansas:
I have the honor to report that Company "H" 3rd U.S. Infantry, Lieut Borden comrnanding[,] arrived at this Post on the 18th Inst. enroute for Fort Dodge, and departed this morning as escort to the train transporting the new arms.
March 23 --- Letter from Captain Asbury to Captain Bradley, Assistant Quartermaster, Fort Larned:
I have the honor to inform you that I am unable to hire suitable employes, for the purpose of erecting the buildings in contemplation at this Post, and to request that you will hire and forward at the earliest opportunity the following number of men viz
Thirty  Stonemasons
Fifteen  Carpenters
Fifty  Laborers
Six  Plasterers
Six  Attendants
One  Tinsmith
Two  Blacksmiths.
March 25 --- Letter from Captain Asbury to the assistant adjutant general, District of the Upper Arkansas:
I have the honor to report that Company "H" 3rd U.S. Infty. Lieut. Borden commanding, arrived at this Post today, and have reported for duty.
March 26 --- Letter from Captain Asbury to the assistant adjutant general, District of the Upper Arkansas:
A Kiowa, whose name I was unable to learn, but who having an Apache squaw, lives entirely with that tribe, came in on March 22nd Inst, to find as he said, whether the reports they had heard of the Fort Phil Kearney massacre were true.
He said that some of the Cheyennes had told them about it, and that they, the Cheyennes, were having a great time over it in the way of rejoicing, etc
He, being a Kiowa, would of course, say nothing about his own tribe, but from what I can hear, they all are rejoicing over the massacre, and say it was a great victory.
I expect the Indians in every moment[,] and will report what they have to say
April 1 --- Continued rumors and reports of a possible Indian uprising convinced department commander General Hancock that a show of military might was necessary on the Plains. By this date he had assembled an impressive force at Fort Harker: seven companies of the 37th Infantry, a battery of the 4th Artillery and several troops of the 7th Cavalry, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer---who was about to have his first encounter with Indians. Hancock's scouts included James B. "Wild Bill" Hickok and some Delawares. In a communique the general stated his objectives---in more belligerent language than his March 11 letter to Agent Wynkoop:
It is uncertain whether war will be the result of the expedition or not; it will depend upon the temper and behavior of the Indians with whom we may come in contact. We go prepared for war, and will make it if a proper occasion presents. We shall have war if the Indians are not well disposed towards us. If they are for peace, and no sufficient ground is presented for chastisement, we are restricted from punishing them for past grievances which are recorded against them; these matters have been left to the Indian department for adjustment. No insolence will be tolerated from any bands of Indians whom we may encounter. We wish to show them that the government is ready and able to punish them if they are hostile, although it may not be disposed to invite war. In order that we may act with unity and harmony with these views, no one but the command detachment or otherwise, will have interviews with Indians. Such interviews as may be necessary with them will be reserved, and corresponding reserve will be required from those under his command.
Letter from Captain Asbury to the assist ant adjutant general, District of the Upper Arkansas:
I have the honor to make the following report in compliance with General Orders No 62 Hd Qrs Dept of the Mo.
Trains have passed this Post during the month of March 1867 as follows:
March 18th 26 wagons and 30 armed men going West
March 18th 9 wagons and 10 armed men going West with "H" Co as escort
March 20 18 wagons and 20 armed men going East
March 24th 12 wagons and 17 armed men going East
March 24th 7 wagons and 16 armed men going East
March 25th 10 wagons and 15 armed men going East
March 26th 10 wagons and 11 armed men going East
March 27th 14 wagons and 18 armed men going East
March 27th 14 wagons and 18 armed men going East
March 30th 26 wagons and 30 armed men going West with an escort of 63 recruits for 7th Cavalry
March 30 --- Special Orders, No. 32, signed by Captain Asbury:
On and after April 1st 1867, until further Orders, calls will be beaten as following:
|Breakfast||6 30 A.M.|
|Surgeons||7 - -|
|Fatigue||8 - -|
|Guardmounting||8 - -|
|Drill||10 - -|
|Recall from Drill||11 - -|
|Recall from Fatigue||12 - -|
|Orderly||12 - -|
|Dinner||12 - -|
|Drill||2 - -|
|Recall from Drill||3 - -|
|Recall from Fatigue||5 - -|
|Tattoo||8 30 P.M.|
|Taps||9 - -|
April 2 --- Letter from Captain Asbury to the assistant adjutant general, District of the Upper Arkansas:
Two Cheyenne Indians, "Porcupine Brush" and "Gray Beard", came into the Post the day before yesterday.
They said there were Thirty-eight  lodges of the Cheyennes camped at the mouth of Coon creek 10 miles from here
They were on their way to join the band of Dog Soldiers, who are camped on the Middle Fork of the Pawnee, about 60 miles from here, having moved from their camp on the North Fork. The whole nation are going there, with the exception of "Black Kettle" and a few of his band, together with a number of Squaws and Children, who have gone still further south.
The tribe are to concentrate at the camp of the Dog Soldiers, for the purpose of making their Medicine Arrows.
I have sent word to them to be in readiness to come in whenever I shall send for them.
The Sioux are still encamped with the Dog Soldiers.
Special Orders, No. 35, signed by Captain Asbury:
I. In compliance with summons to appear as a witness before a General Court Martial now sitting at Fort Dodge, Lieut Stanley A Browne 3rd U.S. Infty will proceed immediately to that Post by the most expeditious route
Immediately on the completion of his duties at that Post Lieut Browne will return to Fort Larned and report for duty.
The Q.M. Dept will furnish the necessary transportation.
April 4 --- Special Orders, No. 36, signed by Captain Asbury:
I. Lieut Geo. P. Borden 5th US Infty will proceed to Fort Zarah without delay and relieve Lieut John P. Thompson 3rd US Infy in command of the Picket at that Post
Lieut Thompson sill turn over all public property in his possession at Zarah to Lieut Borden and take memorandum receipts therefor
Lieut Borden will make weekly reports, on Mondays, to these HdQs, of any thing he may hear of the movements of the Indians, and any other items of interest in reference to them.
He will altogether prohibit the sale of liquor, and will allow none to be brought on the reserve, except in small quantities and for the individuals private use.
As soon as relieved Lieut Thompson will return to this Post, and report to these HdQr for duty.
Letter from Captain Asbury to the assistant adjutant general, District of the Upper Arkansas:
I have the honor to transmit herewith Charges and Specifications against Privates Thomas Barrett, Seth J. Crosby[,] Edgar Maloy, and Charles Stratton Co "H" 3d U.S. Infantry.
April 5 --- Joumal entry of Captain Albert Barnitz, 7th U.S. Cavalry, en route from Fort Harker to Fort Larned with the Hancock Expedition:
Broke camp at the usual hour, and marched 12 or 14 miles to Fort Zarah, where we went into camp on left bank of Walnut Creek. Many skeletons of buffalo seen on the march. Skirmishing for wild geese. Prairies on fire on the left, wind being from the N.W. Took bath in evg. standing on the sagy bank of Walnut Creek. Tonight it is quite cold. Received a Letter from [wife] Jennie today. No. 4.
April 6 --- Bamitz joumal:
Marched 23 or 4 miles, passing to left of Pawnee Rock and to right of "The Lone Tree" Chased Antelope. Constant and almost blinding wind from S.W. in our face---hats blowing off every moment. At night encamped on A[s]h Creek, a tributary of the Arkansas. Water scarce. Horses very much fatigued. Drilled on the march as usual. One horse ordered to be abandoned---but was afterwards got to camp.
April 7 --- General Hancock and his expedition of infantry, cavalry and artillery units arrived at Fort Larned. Along the way, he had picked up Indian Agent Leavenworth at Fort Zarah. By the time two more troops of 7th Cavalry were added at Larned, Hancock's force numbered nearly 1,400 men. In a meeting with the general, Agent Wynkoop reported that the Cheyenne Dog Soldiers and some Sioux were camped on Pawnee Fork above Fort Larned. He said the Indians had agreed to gather near the Fort on April 10. Barnitz journal:
Broke camp at the usual hour, marched about 14 miles [roundabout course], and reached Ft. Larned at 11 a.m. Weather very warm---rather too warm to wear a coat. Prairie took fire in camp---had 30 or 40 men at work with saddle blankets to put it out---it came near burning some of the horses, and setting ammunition wagon afire. April 8 --- Barnitz journal:
Wrote to Jennie---letter No. 12---Bought $5. worth of bread checks [15 cts per loaf] of Post. Q.M., and a "bake kettle" [or Dutch oven---small] of the Post Suttler, for $2.40 [20 cts. per lb.]
In the letter to his wife, Barnitz described the march from Fort Harker:
We have been drilling all the way here---under Geni. Custer. We had a fine field for maneuvering; the open, rolling prairies. The Artillery usually forming one column, the Infantry and wagon train another, and the Cavalry away off on the flank moving in squadron [or close] column [two companies abreast]---or in column of fours, or platoons, and occasionally forming in line at the gallop---sabres drawn, guidons fluttering, and bugles repeating the signals. Occasionally we would pass over a prairie dog village, and then the troopers had to look out, or the horses would sink into the holes up to their knees, and be likely to fall down. The prairie dogs are very jolly little fellows!. . .
Capt's West & Morrow 7th Cav. joined us yesterday, from Forts Hayes & Dodge, with their two companies, Lieut. Wallingford is with Capt Morrow [Co "E".] About ten thousand Indians are within a radius of 40 miles of this Fort, and have been sent for, and are expected to come here [a few are about here now---fine looking men]---at least the principal men among them,---to a council. They are reported to be in favor of peace. I suppose they always are when troops approach their hunting grounds in any force! The result is uncertain but we will see. Genl. Hancock has a band of Indians---noted scouts &c along. "Wild Bill" is along.
April 9 --- Hancock's planned meeting with the Cheyennes and Sioux was delayed by the onset of a heavy snowstorm. Barnitz joumal:
10 p.m. A violent snow storm set in this morning, with wind from the North. It has continued without abatement until this hour. An extra ration of grain ordered for the horses. Ordered the horse guards to keep the horses awake, and from lying down all night, to prevent their freezing. Men and officers in bed all day. Wrote an eight page letter---No. 13---to Jennie. Told her of our future prospects, and the probabilities that the Reg't. would go west, in detachments, the latter part of May, gave her the Programme as announced to me by Gl. Custer this morning. The Officers were to have called on Genl. Hancock this a.m. but owing to the inclemency of the weather the visit was indiffinitely postponed. Capt. West has a cellar, or basement, dug in his tent, and a chimney, which smokes rather too much for comfort, but I think it would draw finely if he had sufficient fuel to keep a good blazing fire going. He has only a very little miserable Elm wood. The head of a buffalo lying near our camp excited considerable curiosity yesterday. Not a blade of grass was yet visible here before the snow fell.
Special Orders, No. 41, signed by Captain Asbury:
I. Corporal Thomas Ryan and two men 3rd U.S. Infty are hereby detailed to proceed to Fort Zarah Ks, upon his arrival at that Post, Corporal Ryan, will report to Lieut Thompson 3rd U.S. Infantry, and the two men will return immediately to this Post with the Team.
II. Corporal Ryan will take sufficient ammunition with him to supply the Picket with 200 Rounds per man.
April 10 --- Bamitz joumal:
Sun came out warm this morning. Signed receipts for ordnance and ordnance stores received from Genl. Custer. Constructivelystores not yet received. Receipts and invoices dated March 31. Wrote to Adjt. Genl. U.S.A. acknowledging receipt of Commission, and Official Register.
In Ev'g. and official Letter from Hd.Qrs. Dept. Ivn. [in a sibley tent about 300 yds from here!] addressed to Genl. Custer, informing him that Genl. Hancock would be pleased to see the officers of his regiment at 10 a.m. tomorrow, was sent around for the information of the officers of the Regt. Weather continued moderatly warm today---but it is quite chilly tonight. Expected a letter this ev'g. but none arrived!
April 11 --- Barnitz joumal:
The official visit to Genl. Hancock was the chief incident today. The Pow Wow with the Indians is to come off tomorrow. Only 3 chiefs and their counselors have reported this ev'g.---they are at some point 3 or 4 miles from our camp. Sent my Returns of Ordnance and ordnance stores for part of First quarter to day with Company History and letter of transmitted d. 10th. Heavy frost last night. One of my horses died last night.
April 12 --- Letter from Captain Asbury to the assistant adjutant general, Department of the Missouri, in the field:
I have the honor to make the following report.
1st Lieut August Kaiser has this day been ordered to turn over to 1st Lieut I.A. Helm 3rd U.S. Infty Bvt Capt USA A.C.S., Funds to the amount of $2367.38 appertaining to the Commissary Department at this Post.
Of the above amount, $1917.38 is in Treasury Notes and Fractional Currency and the balance $4500 being a check No drawn by Major Rodney Smith P.M. USA to the order of Sergt. J. McDermott and by him endorsed which is as good as money.
That same day Cheyennes Tall Bull, White Horse and fifteen warriors arrived at the Fort. Hungry and cold after traveling in the snow, they asked to eat and warm themselves. They then met Hancock and his officers in council around a large fire in front of the general's tent. Correspondent Henry M. Stanley described the scene:
The Council which followed their arrival presented a most curious yet somewhat imposing sight by the light of the fires. The military officers were dressed in full uniform---gold epaulettes, tall hats glittering with gold. The artillery especially made a fine show, with their red horse tails.
On one side of the great camp fire sat Generals Hancock, Smith, Custer, Davidson, and Gibbs, and a score of other officers; while on the other sat the Indian chiefs with Major Edward Wynkoop, their agent and interpreter. The Indians were dressed in various styles, many of them with the orthodox army overcoat, some with gorgeous red blankets, while their faces were painted and their bodies bedizened in all the glory of the Indian toilette. To the hideous slits in their ears were hanging large rings of brass; they wore armlets of silver, wrist-rings of copper, necklaces of beads of variegated colours, breast ornaments of silver shields, and Johnson silver medals, and their scalp-locks were adorned with a long string of thin silver discs.
During the council, General Hancock said he was disappointed that so few chiefs had come to see him. If the Indians wanted to fight, he was ready. He had other important things to say, but he wanted to talk to all the chiefs at once. He would, therefore, march to the village the next morning. Tall Bull replied that he had held to peace for over a year. He wanted no killing, for when the diminishing herds of buffalo and antelope were gone, his people would have to come to the Fort to eat. That was all he had to say, and he would have nothing more to tell Hancock even if he came to the village. The council ended with the general repeating his intention to march. Barnitz journal:
Have just returned from the Pow-wow with the Cheyennes. It is now 15 minutes to 11 p.m. We are to march tomorrow at 7 a.m. Will write a line to Jennie before I retire. Wind from the south threatening to extinguish my light. Recd. two letters from Jennie this ev'g. No's 2 and 5.
April 13 --- By midafternoon, Hancock's force had marched about 21 miles up Pawnee Fork. On a pontoon bridge, the column crossed to the north side of the stream. Soon the force was met by White Horse, Pawnee Killer---a Sioux chief--- and a party of warriors. Pawnee Killer said the village was not far away, and all the chiefs would join them in council the next morning. Thinking the village was five or six miles distant---it was actually closer to fifteen miles away---Hancock ordered his men to make camp. He said he would expect the chiefs by 9:00 a.m.; Pawnee Killer said he did not think they could arrive before ten or eleven.
Letter from Agent Wynkoop to General Hancock, in camp on Pawnee Fork. This copy was taken from a report Wynkoop submitted to his superiors on September 14 [see his letter of that date], and is the first indication that Hancock planned to destroy the village. Although the letter was dated April 13 in Wynkoop's September report. he appears to be discussing events that happened April 14:
For a long time I have made the Indian character my chief study. I regard the late movement for the Cheyennes of my Agency as caused by fear alone, so far as I am able to judge. They met us at first with a determination to have a peaceful talk, at such a distance from their village as would make their women and children satisfied that no danger need by apprehended by them. Your movement toward the village terrified the squaws and children, who left with such movable property as they could gather.
I learn that you propose destroying the lodges and other property now remaining in the village. I would most respectfully request you not to do so.
I am fully convinced that the result would be an Indian outbreak of the most serious nature, while at the same time there is no evidence, in my judgement, that this band of Cheyennes are deserving this severe punishment. I am influenced alone in this communicating with you by what I consider a strict sense of duty.
April 14 --- Pawnee Killer left Hancock's camp early in the morning to bring the chiefs in for a council. About 9:30 a.m. one of the Dog Soldier chiefs, Bull Bear, arrived and reported that the Indians were on their way. The general, impatient for the meeting, ordered his column to march closer to the village. Five or six miles farther, a large body of Indians was sighted. Hancock formed his artillery and infantry in lines, and ordered the cavalry up at a gallop---sabres drawn. Agent Wynkoop advanced and arranged a hasty meeting between Hancock and Roman Nose. Hancock demanded to know if the Indians desired a fight; Roman Nose said if they did they would not have come so close to his big guns. The general then said it was too windy to talk and ordered his command to move on and camp near the village. Barnitz journal:
Command broke camp [during very high wind from the west] at 11 a.m. I was rear guard with my squadron. Command moved in order of battle with the trains massed in three columns. Several hundred Indians appeared in our front. A flag of truce was displayed [by us], and a party ensued, the result of which I could not learn---the command then moved forward, and the Indians disappeared except small parties which hovered about the flanks. Five wagons mired, and the mules being quite exhausted, were unable to get them along without assistance, in consequence of which I dismounted my squadron repeatedly, and had the men lift the wheels---did not reach camp until about sundown. Found command encamped on North Fork of the Pawnee, about 3/4 of a mile below Indian encampment, which appears to be situated on [eroded ?] islands in some stream. Indian Teepes---many of them---visible among the trees, but no Indians show themselves. We learn that they have sent off their squaws and old men, and that "Roman Nose" a famous chief, and inveterate enemy of the whites, is with them in their camp. The encampment is said to belong partly to Sioux, and partly to Cheyennes.
When Hancock leamed a little past 9:00 p.m. that the last of the Indians appeared to be leaving their camp, he ordered Custer to surround the village. Barnitz journal:
Indians abandon their camp---we hearing of their intensive endeavor to foil them in same---surround the camp about [- ?-] but find it deserted---My squadron sent in to occupy it---spen[t] a couple of hours in examining tents [which are to remain unmolested] and overhauling buffalo robes &c &c---bows, arrows, saddles, and everything which an Indian can accumulate---then ordered to return to our own encampment---followed by little white pony colt---withdraw my pickets, and reach camp in time to make hasty preparations for the pursuit which commenced at day break---no one in my squadron having any sleep---
In a dispatch filed that same day, correspondent Stanley described the scene at the abandoned Indian camp:
The Indian village consists of about three hundred hide lodges. They show unmistakable traces of the haste of their owners to get away,---dogs half eaten up, untanned buffalo robes, axes, pots, kettles, and pans, beads and gaudy finery, lately killed buffalo, stews already cooked in the kettles, are scattered about promiscuously, strewing the ground. Detachments of infantry guard the camps to prevent spoliation by the troops. But in spite of the strict guard kept, the "boys in blue" are continually carrying away mementoes of their bloodless victory, such as stiff buffalo robes, dog skins, calumets, tomahawks, war clubs, beadwork, moccasins, and we saw one officer of the artillery carrying off a picininny Indian pup which looked very forlorn. Arrows and knives are picked up the by dozen, and also little dolls, which had been the gratification of the papooses. The soldiers rummage and pick up things in the most senseless manner, and after carrying them a few yards throw them away, when they are soon picked up by somebody else, and thrown away again. We saw plenty of dog hash and dog heads cooked. The chiefs' wigwams were painted in a gaudy manner. A young white girl has been found who, according to the surgeon, has been outraged by no less than six Indians. She is now in our camp, and is a most pitiable object to look at.
General Hancock is so angry that he intends to burn the camp to-day.
April 15 --- Custer, with eight companies of cavalry and his Delaware scouts, left in pursuit of the Sioux and Cheyennes. The trail led north across Walnut Creek and toward the Smoky Hill River. But the Indians had scattered in every direction, and by 5:00 p.m. the Delawares had lost the trail.
Letter from Agent Leavenworth, in the field on Pawnee Fork 30 miles from Fort Larned, to Nathaniel G. Taylor, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Washington, D.C.:
Knowing the wish of the Dept. to learn all, pertaining to the Military expeditions of Majr. Genl Hancock, I will state, that a council was held near Fort Larned by Genl H. and some of the Chiefs of the Cheyenne tribe of Indians, at which the Indians, I am informed, expressed themselves unfriendly. Genl Hancock marched for Fort Dodge on the 13th inst[,] advanced up the Pawnee Fork 21 miles in the direction of a Camp of about 300 lodges, Cheyennes & Sious. Genl H. was visited that evening by Chiefs from both tribes, and informed that his approach towards their camp caused great anxiety among their Squaws and children. On the 14th Genl H. again resumed his march in the direction of their village, and was met some five or six miles from their town by a white flag, and [was] earnestly requested not to approach any nearer, but he still advanced and went into Camp about 3 Oclock P.M. a short mile below their lodges. When it was found all their women and children had left with what few articles they could hastily gather together, leaving their lodges and a large amt of their property just as they had been occupying their homes, some one hundred or more of their warriors were still in Camp armed, and apparently ready for fight. Some of their Chiefs called upon Gent H. and he wanted their women & children back, [f]or no harm was intended them, and furnished the chief good horses to go for them. In the evening he Ind head men returned and he was informed they had so scattered they could not be found and at the same time information was hot that the warriors were [-?-]. Cavalry was ordered out and their village surrounded, and searched, but nothing was found but a [stolen ?] [-?-], and one old Sioux and a girl of about 8 years of age, blind in one eye, and horribly ravished. This morning she was brot to camp and properly cared for. Some suppose her white, others part white, whilst others pronounce her Indian. If indeed she is not a Cheyenne or Sioux. She was a pitiable object indeed. Many of their lodges were found cut, as tho, the party wished for a small part [of hide with which] to make a small "tepee" for a night's lodging, on a rapid march. This morning Genl Custer pursued with a heavy body of Cavalry. This is only to the Dept. to let them know that [-?-]. Major Wynkoop is exerting himself all he can in the line of his duty and will without doubt make to you a [-?-] full report. In haste
April 17 --- Reports from Custer arrived at Hancock's camp, telling of Indian outrages committed at three stage stations on the Smoky Hill route. Dispatch from Stanley:
This outbreak is attributed to the Sioux, who encamped with the Cheyennes in this village. General Custer has divided his command, taking five companies of cavalry himself to pursue the main body of Cheyennes and Sioux, while three companies of cavalry have been sent after that particular band which committed the raid, and is supposed to belong to those Sioux who were in the massacre lately at [Fort] Phil Kearney. We strike out for Fort Dodge [April 19].
April 18 --- Letter from Captain Asbury to the assistant adjutant general, Department of the Missouri, in the field:
I have the honor to report the receipt of your communication this A.M. and in reply would respectfully state, that I have no information to furnish your Headquarters of the movements of the Indians
Co "F" 3rd US Infty Capt J.H. Page Bvt Maj USA commanding passed this Post, at 10 OClock A.M. to-day enroute for Fort Riley, escourting Four  trains comprising in all 95 Wagons enroute from Fort Dodge to Fort Riley, Ks. There have no trains arrived at this Post from Fort Harker excepting one train of 20 Wagons containing Forage, invoiced to the A.A.Q.M. at this Post, and I have received no information concerning the supply trains for the Expedition.
By the train that arrived here, the Flags for Gen. Hancock come to hand and I have them here awaiting your arrival.
There are no signs as yet of the messenger with the Engineer Instrument.
Co F 3rd US Infty Capt J.H. Page Bvt Maj USA Commanding are at present encamped within a mile of the Post and will resume their march to Fort Riley tomorrow morning.
The messenger from your Hd Qrs with Gen Hancock['s] dispatch, reports having been fired on between your Hd Qr and this Post
April 19 --- Pronouncing the Sioux and Cheyennes guilty of "bad faith" and calling their abandoned camp "a nest of conspirators," Hancock ordered the destruction of the village. Three companies of the 37th Infantry gathered the lodges, buffalo robes and the camp equipment into great piles and set everything ablaze. Dispatch from Stanley:
The loss of these articles will be severely felt by the Indian tribes---Cheyennes and Sioux. It will require 3,000 buffaloes to be killed to procure enough hides to make their "wigwams." The whole outfit of an entire wigwam costs, on an average, one hundred dollars. Six different stacks were made of the effects taken from the village; everything was promiscuously thrown in, and fire set to them all at the same moment. The dry poles of the wigwams caught fire like tinder, and so many burning hides made the sky black with smoke. Flakes of fire were borne on the breeze to different parts of the prairie, setting the prairie grass on fire. With lightning speed the fire rolled on, and consumed an immense area of grass, while the black smoke slowly sailed skyward. Every green thing, and every dead thing that reared its head above the earth, was consumed, while the buffalo, the antelope, and the wolf fled in dismay from the destructive agent.
April 19 --- List of the Cheyenne and Sioux property destroyed by order of Major General W.S. Hancock. "A true copy of Original inventory," signed by E.W. Wynkoop, U.S. Indian Agent:
|178||Head Mats||200||Horn Spoons|
|125||Fry Pans||200||Tin Plates|
|200||Tin Cups||100||Brass Kettles|
|116||Tin Pans||15||Setts Lodge Poles|
|44||Sacks Paint||17||Stew Pans|
|42||Coffee Mills||25||Tea Kettles|
|420||Buffalo Robes||25||Fleshing irons|
|142||Head Mats||54||Brass Kettles|
|138||Kettles||5||Setts Lodge Poles|
|190||Tin Cups||4||Stew Pans|
|146||Tin Pans||9||Drawing Knives|
|63||Water Kegs||3||Pitch forks|
|7||Coffee Mills||4||Pick axes|
|280||Ropes [Lariets]||1||Sword & extra|
|50||Curry Combs||1||Mail Bag|
|58||Coffee Pots||[blank]||Stone Mallets|
April 20 --- Hancock broke camp and led his force toward Fort Dodge where he planned to deliver his war---or---peace message to the Kiowas and Arapahoes.
Letter from Captain Asbury to the assistant adjutant general, Department of the Missouri, in the field:
I have the honor to report that I have received no information of the movements of the Indians, to furnish your Headquarters.
Capt Thompson 7th US Cavalry arrived at this Post yesterday evening and will leave for Fort Dodge at the same time the Coach starts. "F" Co. 3rd US Inft Capt JH Page Bvt Maj USA Commanding, resumed their march for Fort Riley, yesterday morning
There are no signs as yet of the supply train, nor of the messenger with the Engineer Instruments
April 21 --- Letter from Agent Wynkoop, at Fort Dodge, to Commissioner Taylor, Washington:
I write hastily as a mail is about leaving to inform you that on the 19th inst. Gen. Hancock burnt the Indian village, three hundred lodges, Sioux and Cheyennes. I know of no overt act that the Cheyennes had committed to cause them to be that punished not even since their flight. I have just arrived with Gen. Hancock's column at this Post and learn since my arrival here that a few days ago six Cheyenne Indians on foot were attacked by one hundred and thirty cavalry about twenty-five miles west of this Post and all of them killed. I also learn that they had done nothing to provoke an attack but were of the party that fled before Gen. Hancocks approach. This whole matter is horrible in the extreme and these same Indians of my Agency have actually been forced into war.
April 22 --- Letter from Captain Asbury to Brevet Major General L.C. Easton, Chief Quartermaster, Department of the Missouri:
I have the honor to acknowleqge receipt of your communication of the 13th inst. and in reply would respectfully state, that the sevices of a tinsmith are not absolutely required at this Post at Present, and I think there is no immediate necessity for the employment of one.
April 23 --- Kiowa chiefs Kicking Bird and Stumbling Bear, who had been awaiting the arrival of General Hancock at Fort Dodge, met with the general in council. They gave their assurance that all the tribes south of the Arkansas wanted peace.
April 24 --- Letter from Agent Wynkoop, at Fort Larned, to Commissioner Taylor, Washington:
My last communication was written hastily from Fort Dodge, and I have since arrived at the Head Quarters of my Agency. Since the killing and scalping of the six Cheyenne Indians above Fort Dodge nothing new has transpired with reference to Indian affairs. Contrary to my expectations the Cheyenne Indians who fled from their village committed no depredations while crossing the Santa Fee road, and have not to my knowledge up to the present time, nothwithstanding their persecutions. It is rumored here that considerable stock has been run off the Smoky hill road by the Sioux Indians on the occasion of their flight north; Gen Hancock is still at Fort Dodge with his Troops. Since the Indians of my Agency have not as yet retaliated for the wrongs heaped up them, it may be possible if proper action be taken by the Department of the Interior to prevent the military from forcing trouble on; that a general Indian raid may be prevented; as far as [-?-] in my power I have struggled to arrest this awful calamity. The Arapahoe and Apache Indians are far south of the Arkansas River and have not yet got into any trouble. I enclose herewith a copy of the inventory taken of property destroyed in both the Cheyenne and Sioux village.
Am in receipt of communication from your office stating that my bonds had been approved and enclosing my commission. I would respectfully state that I have not received any funds since entering upon my duties as Indian Agent[,] that I am sadly in want of the same and have made repeated applications; I am obliged to hire a private conveyance when traveling in the performance of my duty, and though notified some time ago that the commissioner had [approved] the purchase of an Ambulance and team for my use[,] as yet I have seen nothing of it.
April 28 --- Dispatch from Stanley:
A council was held with the Arapahoe chiefs under Little Raven, Yellow Bear, Cut Nose, and Big Belly, at Fort Dodge. . . . Hancock made a speech begging them to cultivate feelings of amity and friendship towards the whites. He also made a demand on them for the immediate restitution of twenty-five mules, which were taken by them from Putin-encampment [east of Fort Lyon].
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