Best Preserved Frontier Fort in the West - Fort Larned Old Guard Newsletter

September 1 --- Letter from Major Kidd to Captain Rockwell, Fort Larned:

     One (1) Mule the property of the U.S. in the team of Morris Fitzgerald has glauders.

     You are therefore ordered to have it killed to prevent contagion.

September 5 --- Letter from Captain Asbury to General McKeever, Department of the Missouri:

     I have the honor to submit the following.

     The Sergeant of the detachment of the 37th Infantry stationed at Big Coon Creek reports, that on the morning of the 31st ult. about an hour before daylight, the Indians made a demonstration against the Post and fired two shots at the sentries stationed on either side of the station[.] Upon the appearance of the detachment from the Sod house the Indians immediately fled

     The Indians were all mounted and were divided into three detachments

     From citizens who passed the station at Big Coon a short time after I have received information that the report is a canard, and the Indians, supposed to have been seen, were weed.

Special Orders, No. 127, signed by Lieutenant Cavenaugh:

     The six [6] horses, the property of the U.S. which have been brought to this Post by a Mexican, Mr ----, will be turned over to Capt A.F. Rockwell A.Q.M. at this Post.

    Capt Rockwell can give Mr ---- a receipt for the animals.

September 6 --- Letter from Captain Asbury to General McKeever, Department of the Missouri:

     I have the honor to transmit herewith copies of records relative to depredations committed and threats made against the whites, by the Indians, called for by letter dated August 16th Hd Qrs Dept of the Missouri.

     As far as I have been able to obtain information, I find that the Indians in this vicinity are armed with bows and arrows, and nearly all the warring have revolvers but are short of ammunition

     Their stock is in fair condition

September 8 --- Letter from Captain Asbury to Brevet Major General A.J. Smith, commanding the District of the Upper Arkansas:

     I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of telegram of Major General Hancock, dated Fort Leavenworth Kansas Sept 5th 1867, relative to the Indian boy Wilson Graham, and in reply would respectfully state, that he has been delivered up to his relatives, and a receipt taken from Little Raven for him, which receipt I enclose.

     I believe that it was policy for him to be delivered to them, as they had been sent for, and had come for the purpose of getting him.

     His grand-mother came up with "Little Raven, Chief of the Arrapahoes, for the purpose of getting the boy, and they have been, for some time, expecting to have him delivered to them.

     It was Major Kidd's intention to turn the boy over, and I followed what I am convinced he would have done himself.

Letter from Captain Asbury to General McKeever:

     I have the honor to report that 415 recruits for the 37th Infantry and 7th Cavalry, under command of Bvt Brig. Gen'l Brooks, passed this Post, to-day---enroute to Fort Union New Mexico.

September 9 --- Letter from Captain Nicholas Nolan, 10th U.S. Cavalry, commanding Fort Larned, to General McKeever:

     I have the honor to report that Co "C" 38th Infantry, Captain H.C. Corbyn in command, passed this Post to-day, enroute to New Mexico.

September 10 --- Letter from Captain Nolan to General McKeever:

     I have the honor to transmit herewith Special Return of Co "C" 3rd Infantry, Lieut Stanley A Browne commanding.

     Co "C" left Fort Hays Kansas on the morning of September 7th 1867 and arrived at this Post at 4 P.M. September 9th 1867.

September 12 --- Letter from Captain Nolan to Superintendent Murphy:

     In reply to your communication dated Sept 11th 1867, I would state that Mr Carmichael was confined in the guard House, and released within two hours, by me as Officer of the Day acting on orders received from Major M.H. Kidd 10th Cavalry, then Commanding Post, but for what reasons I am unable to state.

     The wagons were brought to the Post by a detachment of soldiers, and unloaded under supervision of Major Kidd, and the stores placed under shelter.

     What became of the stock, I am not aware: in regard to the goods, I do not know the amount received nor whether there are any missing.

     For further information, if required, you can obtain by addressing 1st Lieut G.F. Raulston 10th Cavalry, who brought the train to the Post.

September 14 --- Letter from Agent Wynkoop to Superintendent Murphy:

     My attention having just been attracted to a communication in the 'Army and Navy Journal' and other papers from Major General Hancock to General Grant in reference to his late opperations in the country of the Indians included in my Agency, which is calculated to cast some reflection upon me in consequence of the representation that I made at the time to my Department in regard to his course; which representations were simply the facts in the premises, but which Gen. Hancock endeavours to prove were misrepresentations, on my part, I consider it a duty I owe to myself to set myself right before the Dept. and the public; by replying to the communication mentioned, and endeavouring to prove that Gen. Hancock and not myself was mistaken in some particulars referred to by him, I shall also endeavour to prove that Gen. Hancock was not only mistaken in certain particulars but that his whole course in reference to the Indians of my Agency was a mistake and as long as Gen. Hancock's communication has had publicity given to it by being published in numerous Journals throughout the United States, I think it will be no more than an act of justice to myself, to have the same publicity given to this, my reply.

     In the first communication that Gen. Hancock addressed to myself informing me of his intention of making an expedition to the plains he says, "I request that you will inform them [the Indians] in such a manner as you may think proper, that I expect shortly to visit their neighbourhood and that I will be glad to have an interview with their chiefs. . . . [Hancock's complete letter appears under the March 11 entry.]

     In accordance with the request made by Gen. Hancock I assembled the principal chiefs of the dog soldiers of the Cheyennes at Fort Larned for the purpose of having an interview with him [Gen. Hancock]. These chiefs obeyed my summons with alacrity coming a distance of 35 miles to this Post through a deep snow though their ponies who subsist entirely upon grass were in miserable condition being scarcely able to travel[.] The chiefs referred to belonged to the village which was afterwards destroyed by Gen. Hancock. a council was held with these chiefs by the General in his camp at night such a thing being heretofore unknown as holding a friendly converse with an assemblage of Indian chiefs after sunset it is as they term it "against their medicine" and that fact alone was calculated to a certain degree to make them feel suspicious.

     Gen. Hancock says in his communication from which I have quoted that he will defer certain matters to me connected with the Indians of my Agency but in the council referred to he took upon himself the whole conduct of affairs, reprimanded the Indians for supposed depredations committed by them and stated that he was about to march his column of troops up to their village which village was 35 miles from any travelled road. "Tall Bull" one of the principal men of his tribe in reply to Gen. Hancock stated---that from the time that he had taken me by the hand about a year previous he had held firmly to the peace then made and that his band had not been engaged in any acts of hostility towards the whites subsequent to that date; and afterwards in a conversation with myself said that he was fearful of the consequences of Gen. Hancock marching his column up to his village as it was calculated to frighten the women and children who had not yet forgotten the fearful massacre at Sand Creek; previous to Gen. Hancock's departure from this Post I expressed to him my fears of the result of his marching troops immediately on to the Indian village but notwithstanding he persisted in doing so[.] The village was located 35 miles west of this Post on the Pawnee Fork and the column started directly away from the Santa Fe road, the great highway of this country and marched up the Pawnee Fork in the direction of the Indian village; said column was composed of Cavalry, Infantry, and Artillery together with a Pontoon train and had as formidable an aspect and presented as warlike an appearance as any that ever marched to meet an enemy on a battle-field[.] I accompanied the column for the purpose of subserving the interests of my Dept. by looking after the interests of the Indians of my Agency as far as lay in my power; some of the chiefs who had been in council on the first days march rode along side of me exhibiting in various ways their fear of the result of this expedition not fearful of their own lives or liberty as they rode boldly in the midst of the column but fearful of the panic which they expected to be created among their women and children; upon the arrival of the troops; some 22 or 23 miles from Fort Larned we went into camp[,] the chiefs still remaining with the troops as well as another small party of warriors who had met the column during the day, upon going into camp it was the understanding that we were within five or six miles of the Indian village and Gen. Hancock despatched some of the chiefs that night to bring the principal men in at 9 o'clock the next morning for the purpose of having a talk with them; the Indians had not made their appearance at the time specified the Gen. allowed a short time to elapse and their not still making their appearance he expressed himself to the effect that he believed that they felt guilty and would not come and accordingly struck his camp and started in the direction of the Indian village the majority of the chiefs who had been present at the council still remaining with the column, after making a march of about six miles we came in sight of about three hundred Indians rapidly marching toward the camp, we had left, our column was immediately halted the Infantry and Artillery formed in line the Cavalry coming up at the same time with drawn sabres the whole command presenting such an appearance as I have seen just prior to the opening of an engagement[.] The consequence was that the Indians halted at some distance became unsteady and some of them who were in the rear on foot precipitately fled, not knowing what the Indians might do under the circumstances I asked permission of Gen. Hancock to ride toward the Indian lines for the purpose of reassuring them with my presence, permission being granted I rode into the centre of their line, apparently overjoyed when they recognized me the surrounded my horse expressing their delight at seeing me there saying that now they knew everything was all right and they would not be harmed, recognizing one of their principal war chiefs Roman Nose I galloped toward him instructing him to immediately send and bring those Indians who were in flight and keep all his people steady as they would not be harmed. I then learned that the Indian village instead of being five or six miles from our camp as we had supposed, was at least fifteen---that the Indians had started as soon as possible after receiving Gen. Hancock's message for the purpose of obeying his instructions by coming to talk with him I conducted the principal men and met Gen. Hancock with his Generals and their staffs nearly midway between the two lines. Gen. Hancock then told the chiefs that it was too windy to talk then and there, that he was going to march on to their village and he would hold a council there that evening. The chiefs then left and the balance of the Indians then moved off rapidly in the direction of their village. Gen. Hancock's column then took up the line of march in the same direction in a short time afterward, during one of the halts, at the solicitation of Bull Bear the principal chief of the Dog Soldiers as interpreted by Edmond Guerrier I appealed to Gen. Hancock requesting him not to march his column of troops up to the village as I feared the result would be the flight of the women and children from the same. He said, it was his intention to camp his troops in the immediate vicinity of said village; upon our arrival after having made camp within a few hundred yards from said village we learned that the women and children had fled but that the men still remained. Gen. Hancock immediately summoned the principal men before him which summons they obeyed promptly and presented themselves before his tent, he asked them why the women and children had fled on his approach. Roman Nose one of the chiefs replied by asking him the question whether the women and children of the whites were not as a general thing more timid than the men who were supposed to be warriors and not afraid of anything that he himself [Roman Nose] who was a warrior and his comrades who surrounded him were not afraid of Gen. Hancock and his troops but their women and children were and also desired to know whether Gen. Hancock had ever heard of the massacre at Sand Creek where many women and children of his tribe were murdered by U.S. troops who came under the same aspect as that now presented by Gen. Hancock's column and whether it was not natural under those circumstances for their women and children to become panic stricken; the only reply that I heard from Gen. Hancock was that he wanted them [the principal men] to immediately start out and bring in their women and children as he considered it an act of treachery on their part the fact of their having fled. Three of the chiefs replied that they were willing to start immediately and that they would endeavour to bring back the women and children but appeared doubtful as to their meeting with success. They asked the General to loan them some horses as their ponies were not in condition. The horses were furnished, and they started, returning at midnight sending back the horses borrowed and stating that it was impossible to return their women and children who were then scattered in every direction on the Prairie. A short time after the chiefs returned Gen. Hancock surrounded the village with his Cavalry and found it evacuated by all except an idiot girl and an old broken legged Sioux Indian. That night in my presence, expressed his determination of burning the village the next day; in his letter he says---"My official report of the opperations of the Expedition last Spring shows conclusively that I did not determine to destroy the Indian villages until I had learned officially of the outrage committed on the Smoky Hill by the Indians [Sioux and Cheyennes] who had treacherously left their camps on Pawnee Fork on the 14th of April or during the previous night.["]

     Although Gen. Hancock states that no offensive opperations were carried on against the Indians of my Agency prior to the burning, of the Station on the Smoky Hill I have to refer to his own report with reference to the killing of the six Cheyenne Indians who were attempting to cross the Arkansas River near the Cimerone Crossing. Those Indians were killed before any word had been received from Gen. Custer and in accordance with an order from Gen. Hancock despatched on the night of the Indians flight to stop all Indians from crossing the Arkansas River.

     Prior to the burning of the village I sent to Gen. Hancock the following letter of protest to which I never received any written reply:

Camp on Pawnee Fork
April 13th 1867

     For a long time I have made the Indian character my chief study. . . . [Wynkoop's complete letter appears under the April 13 entry.]

     Gen. Hancock states that the depredation[s] committed on the Smoky Hill immediately after the evacuation of the village were committed by a portion of the same body of Indians about eight hundred strong who crossed the Smoky Hill road on the 16th of April and reported themselves to be "Sioux" "Cheyennes" & "Pawnees"; I would beg leave to draw your attention to the fact that is well known by every man who has the least knowledge of Indian Affairs in this country; that the Pawnees are the hereditary enemies of the Cheyennes and Sioux and war has always existed between them. I also reiterate what I have stated in former communications that he first courier who arrived from Gen. Custer after leaving in pursuit of the Indians brought the news that the Cheyennes had turned south while Gen. Custer has following the Sioux trail.

Gen. Hancock also says:---

     "In reference to the statement of Colonel Wynkoop that the village of the Cheyennes was distinct from that of the Sioux I can only say that the villages stood upon the same ground, and I was unable after an inspection which I made in person to distinguish with any certainty the lodges of the Cheyennes from those of the Sioux; nor could any of the officers who were with me say positively where the line of separation between the villages commenced."---

     And yet Gen. Hancock ordered his Inspector General to furnish me with an inventory of the property contained in the Cheyenne village as well as the Sioux which inventory was made out under the head of "Cheyenne village" and "Sioux village" and forwarded by me to your Dep't. [See April 19 entry.]

     Gen. Hancock again says "that it is not seen upon what grounds the Indians became fully impressed with the belief that he had come for the purpose of murdering their women and children as had previously been done at Sand Creek." In reply to that I would state that the only way the Indians had of judging what his intentions might be were from appearances and appearances were much the same as those prior to the massacre at Sand Creek.

     The nation knows, and I know who Gen. Hancock is--- now him for the good, brave, faithful soldier, who has won the proud position he now holds through gallant and meritorious services but, the Indians were not aware of Gen. Hancock's antecedents, and had no means of discriminating between him and Colonel Chivington; or distinguishing the man from the monster.

Special Orders, No. 132, signed by 2nd Lieutenant L. Wesley Cooke, 3rd U.S. Infantry:

     1. In compliance with instructions received dated Headquarters Dept. of the Missouri August 28th 1867, Captain A.F. Rockwell A.Q.M. at this Post will deliver to Messrs Powers and Neuman, Contractors, the eleven [11] mules, now in his possession, belonging to them, taking the necessary receipts therefor.

     2. Pursuant to Special Orders No 160 c.s. dated Head Quarters Dpt of the Missouri July 26th 1867, Co "K" 37th Infantry, Lieut H.G. Cavenaugh in command, is hereby relieved from duty at the Post. [Co "C" 3d Infantry having reported for duty], and will proceed to Fort Reynolds C.T. without unnecessary delay.

     All prisoners of Co "K" now at this Post not undergoing sentence of Court Martial will proceed with their Company under guard.

     3. Private Connolly Co "K" 37th Infantry is hereby relieved from daily duty as assistant baker and will report to his Company Commander for duty.

     4. Private James Fallon Co "K" 37th Infantry, is hereby relieved from daily duty as attendant in the Post Hospital and will report to his Company Commander for duty.

     5. Private William Roy Co "C" 3d Infantry is hereby detailed on daily duty as assistant baker and will report to the Post Treasurer for duty.

     6. Private Hugo B. Kohl Co "C" 3d Infantry is hereby detailed on daily duty as attendant in the Post Hospital and will report to the A.A. Surgeon for duty.

     7. One Non Com Officer and three [3] men are hereby detailed from Co "A" 10th Cavalry to proceed to Fort Dodge Kansas.

     On arrival at the station at Big Coon Creek, the Sergeant in charge at that Post, will turn over the cattle in his possession, to the Non Com Officer in charge of escort, who will drive them to Fort Dodge.

     The escort will be provided with rations to include September 18th 1867.

     On completion of this duty, they will return to this Post without delay.

September 16 --- Letter from Captain Nolan to General McKeever:

     I have the honor to report that Co "K" 37th Infantry, left this Post, yesterday morning [15th] enroute for Fort Reynolds C.T., Lieut H.G. Cavenaugh commanding the Company, in compliance with Par 5, S.O. 160 c.s. Dept of the Missouri

September 19 --- Reports from Captain [Brevet Lieutenant Colonel] A.F. Rockwell, assistant quartermaster:

"Statement of Transportation" at Fort Larned, Sep. 19th 1867

September 23 --- Letter from Major M.I. Ludington, chief quartermaster's office, District of New Mexico, at Fort Lyon en route to Santa Fe to General Easton, Fort Leavenworth:

     I have the honor to transmit herewith my report of an inspection made at Forts Larned and Zara[h] Kansas, In compliance with your instructions on the 11th instant, under the provisions of Par. 5 Genl. Orders No. 76, War Dept. A.G.O. Current Series. [See Inspections]

Letter from Major Kidd to Captain Samuel L. Barr, Acting Assistant Adjutant General, District of the Upper Arkansas:

     In compliance with the order of the Bvt Major General, I have the honor to submit the following report in regard to the statement contained in enclosed letter of H.L. [Weunud ?] Esq

     In enforcing Circular Order from Hdqrs Dist of the Upper Arkansas, of date August 1st 1867, to allow no train with Government Stores to pass without escort. I was, in a few instances, compelled to detain trains a short time, until the strength of the garrison would enable me to supply the necessary escort and in no case has any train been detained beyond what was absolutely necessary for this purpose.

     The statement that trains have been detained going east, is untrue, so far as I am informed.

     I have arrested but one wagon master, and this for persisting in going to Fort Dodge without an escort, in disregard of orders.

Special Orders, No. 135, signed by Lieutenant Cooke:

     In consequence of the beef cattle, left at Fort Zarah Kas. for the supply of the garrison at that Post, having run away, the A.C.S. at this Post will make an extra issue, of five [5] days Pork, to the command of Fort Zarah

September 26 --- Letter from Major Kidd to Captain Rockwell, Fort Larned:

     The assembling of the Indians, one hundred [100] miles from this Post, by Mr Murphy, Supt of Indian Affairs for Kansas, preparatory to meeting the Peace Commissioners, has created a demand for transportation, to supply them with Subsistence Stores far beyond the ability of this Post to furnish.

     You will therefore contract with the wagon master of Mr Kitchens train, to supply you with a train of wagons not to exceed twenty [20], to be employed in transporting Subsistence Stores for the Indians, to any point designated by the Indian authorities, on the north bank of the Arkansas river.

     Should you be unable to make a satisfactory arrangement, you will seize the train above mentioned and use it for this purpose

September 28 --- Letter from Major Kidd to Captain Barr:

     Mr Murphy, Supt Indian Affairs for Kansas, is assembling the Indians one hundred miles south of this Post and has called on the A.Q.M. for twenty [20] six mule teams to transport Subsistence Stores to them.

     My instructions from Gen. Hancock are to deliver these stores on this bank of the Arkansas river and while the Indians are daily attacking trains and murdering soldiers and citizens, sixty [60] miles west, I am not willing to send trains one hundred miles south, without a sufficient escort which the strength of this garrison will not allow me to furnish.

     Mr Murphy represents that perhaps their very lives depend on supplying these stores, but I am unwilling to assume the responsibility of exceeding my instructions in the present threatening condition of affairs.

     If it is deemed proper to send these wagons south of the Arkansas river, I respectfully request instructions to this effect.

Letter from Major Kidd to Captain James A. Byrnes, 10th U.S. Cavalry:

     The bearer of this will hand you a dispatch for Col. Leavenworth Indian Agent at the mouth of Little Arkansas.

     It is of great importance and I would be pleased if you would forward it speedily.

     If he is not at that point it should be sent to him if in reach.

October 3 --- Special Orders, No. 137, signed by Lieutenant Cooke:

     Sergeant Harkness and twenty [20] men are hereby detailed from Co's "B C and D" 3d Infantry, as escort to Mr Kitchens train en route to Fort Dodge Kansas

     They will be supplied with rations to include October 7th 1867.

     On completion of this duty they will return to this Post without delay.

October 5 --- As Indians gathered nn Medicine Lodge Creek for treaty negotiations with the Peace Commission, a task force under Superintendent Thomas Murphy began distributing food purchased by the commission and 50,000 Army rations authorized by General Sherman. The subsistence had been shipped by rail to Fort Harker, and hauled overland to Fort Larned. Wagon convoys out of Larned then carried the supplies to Medicine Lodge Creek. Letter from Superintendent Murphy, in camp on Medicine Lodge Creek, to Commissioner Taylor:

     . . .As far as I am concerned, I feel perfectly safe among these Indians without soldiers, yet, if the honourable Commissioners feel otherwise, it might be better to have an escort with them, and in this event I would suggest that you bring regulars, and in number not exceeding two hundred. I make this suggestion for the reason that the strictest military discipline will have to be enforced while these soldiers are among the Indians. This discipline is not often found outside the regular army. It would be wiser to come without any soldiers, than to come with a few; hence I name two hundred as a sufficient number for an escort, and few enough not, to alarm the Indians. I will meet you at Fort Larned, and will have some of the chiefs of each tribe with me. Do not leave that post until I get there.

Second Letter from Murphy to Taylor, same date:

     Having been selected by the Hon. Peace Commission to proceed to the Indian country and put myself in communication with the Indians of the plains, Cheyennes, Arapahoes, and Apaches, with a view of assembling them at some point near, [or] south of Fort Larned, there to await the arrival of the Commissioners at Full Moon in October, and, if possible, have the Indians, now on the warpath, come in and cease fighting, I have the honour to report that I have assembled at this place the following number of Indians:

Number of lodges
Arapahoes 171
Apaches 85
Cheyennes 25
Kiowas 150
Making in all 431

     Little Big Mouth, of the Arapahoes, who has 21 lodges, is far away south, and will not be here with his lodges, but is represented. The Cheyennes sent in word last night that they were moving their whole village, numbering some 200 lodges, and would be here in a few days. The Comanches who, I am informed, number 100 lodges, are in camp about thirty miles below here, and would be present no, but that they have made some arrangements with Colonel Leavenworth, and were waiting to see him. They sent me word to that effect yesterday, and also that they would be here in two days.

     We count now on the ground 431 lodges; those coming in and who will be represented, 421 lodges; making in all 852. Averaging each lodge at six persons, we have over five thousand Indians.

     In the performance of this service both myself and those with me have taken considerable risk so far as our persons and lives were concerned. We were compelled to go into their country in order to gather the Indians together, or go home and abandon the whole project; and, in order to make our mission a success, were obliged to come without soldiers. These Indians have been so often deceived by whites and sought by soldiers, that they are very suspicious of the former, and cannot see why people calling themselves friends of the Indians cannot come among them without bringing their enemies, the soldiers, with them. So far our mission has been a perfect success, and I hope the honourable Commission will crown our efforts by making with the Indians such a treaty as will insure peace in the future to the Indians, and security to the forntiersman and pioneer. Everything now looks well.

October 8 --- Letter from Major Kidd to Captain Barr, District of the Upper Arkansas:

     I observe in the Leavenworth Conservative of the 4th inst. a statement, that Mr Murphy and others are captured by the Indians, as also a wagon train sent with goods: This is all a mistake---the trains have all returned to this Post, and up to the 6th inst. all was quiet at the Indian encampment.

     The order to report facts in reference to seizing Citizen train is just received. At the urgent solicitation of Mr Murphy to send Commissary Stores to his camp, I directed Col A.F. Rockwell A.Q.M. at this Post, to hire a citizen train, which he did, and which is to be paid for by the Indian Department.

     I will report the facts in full at the earliest moment.

Letter from Major Kidd to General McKeever, Department of the Missouri:

     . . .On the 25th ult. Mr Thomas Murphy, Supt of Indian Affairs, acting under authority of the Peace Commissioners, made requisition on the A.Q.M. at this Post, for twenty [20], six mule, teams, to transport Commissary Stores to the Indian camp, a copy of which requisition and the letter of Mr Murphy accompanying it, are enclosed, marked "A" and "B"

     Bvt Lieut Col Rockwell A.Q.M. at once informed me, that to fill the requisition, would require nearly all the transportation at the Post, and throw out of employment, his laborers and mechanics, to the number of 200, whom he would be compelled to discharge at once; In the present unfinished conditions of the Post, this would greatly detrimental to the interest of the Government, and to be avoided, if possible.

     Whether I should furnish the transportation at all, was, to me, a vexed question; and was carefully considered.

     I beg to call attention to the orders and instructions, which I had received, bearing on the subject:

     The first was, Par 5 Special Orders No 177 c.s. Hdqrs Dept of the Missouri; and clearly does not contemplate that I shall furnish any transportation for these stores:

     The next is, a communication, [a copy enclosed, marked "C"], from the Major General Commanding the Department, and directs the delivery of these stores, on this bank of the Arkansas river, and calls attention to the fact of the importance of the subject:

     Next is, an order of the President, [a copy enclosed, marked "D"], requiring, "That all Dept, District and Post Commanders, and all Officers of the Army, on duty in the Indian Country, afford any aid and facility in their power to said Commissioners.["]

     The change in the place of assembling the Indians, having been made since the order and instructions of the Dept Commander were issued, renders them, to at least an extent, inapplicable.

     General Sherman had expressed a desire, that this effort to make peace, should have a fair trial; and I had no doubt if rations were not furnished, the Indians assembled, as had been promised by Mr Murphy, they would disperse and put an end to all hope of an early negotiation with them.

     Under these circumstances, I sought the advice of Bvt Brig General Marcey, who was at this Post, who suggested, the hiring of Buckley and Kitchen's train, to transport supplies to the Indians.

     I accordingly issued an order to the A.Q.M. to hire, if possible, and to impress, if necessary, the train above mentioned, for this purpose [a copy of which is enclosed, marked "E"].

     Under this order, Bvt Lieut Col. A.F. Rockwell, A.Q.M. contracted with this train, and I dispatched it to the Indian camp, laden with stores, which Mr Murphy had made requisition for.

     This morning it returned safely, and the contract was promptly terminated.

     The entire expense of this train is to be paid from the appropriation for making peace with the Indians; and Mr Murphy, with whom I have just had an interview, assures me, its expense will be promptly met, on the arrival of Gen. Sanborn, who is the disbursing Officer of the fund.

     Beyond the reach of immediate instructions, I acted in this emergency, as the interests of the service seemed to require, and trust it may meet the approval of the Bvt Major General Commanding.

October 9 --- The Peace Commission left Fort Harker, accompanied by about 200 men from Companies G and M, 7th U.S. Cavalry, and Battery B, 4th Artillery. Traveling with the commission were Kansas governor Samuel Crawford and the state's junior senator, Edmund G. Ross. The group also included an array of secretaries, aides, interpreters, teamsters, cooks as well as correspondents for newspapers and journals in New York, Chicago, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Topeka and Leavenworth.

October 11 --- Special Orders, No. 141, signed by Lieutenant Cooke:

     1. Private John L. Sloane Co "D" 3d Infantry, is hereby relieved from daily duty in the Post Adjutant's Office and is detailed on extra duty in the Office of the A.C.S. at this Post, to date from October 1st 1867.

     2. To enable Captain Nolan 10th Cavalry, to be present at the meeting of the Indian Peace Commission, on Medicine Lodge Creek, he is hereby granted Leave of Absence for seven [7] days.

     3. To enable Lieut Thompson 3d Infantry, to be present at the meeting of the Indian Peace Commission on Medicine Lodge Creek, he is hereby granted Leave of Absence for seven [7] days.

     As the Peace Commission neared Fort Larned, much of the caravan bypassed the post and headed for the Arkansas. Barnitz journal:

     Marched about 20 miles and halted for lunch on Pawnee Fork, as I was told. Fine water. Expected to lunch with the commissioners, but they did not press their hospitality upon us, and we accordingly ransacked our own mess wagon, and had a couple of cans of fresh peaches &c. While on the march sent detail to Fort Larned for forage and rations. Left Pawnee Rock away to our right---After lunch, marched about 8 miles, crossed the Arkansas River, and went into camp on its southern bank. . . .

     Day cold till 1 am. & hot in afternoon. Lieut. [George W.S.] Stouch expected to night with 2 companies, 110 men, 3d Inf. Satanta, Stumbling Bear, and Kicking Bird [Kiowa's] & Yellow Bear & Little Raven [Apaches] &c are at Fort Larned, and expected tomorrow.

     The Army ambulance carrying General Harney and Commissioner Tappan detoured by way of the Fort. Close behind were the ambulances carrying the press. A dispatch from correspondent Stanley dated October 16 described changes at Fort Larned since his April visit with Hancock:

     A complete change has been effected at Fort Larned since Hancock's army swept by in pursuit of "Roman Nose" and "Tall Bull's" tribes. The shabby, vermin---breeding adobe and wooden houses have been torn down, and new and stately buildings of hewn sandstone stand in their stead. The comfort of the troops has been taken into consideration by the architect and builder. The fort is now garrisoned by six companies of infantry and one company of cavalry. Major Kidd is the commandant.

     Agent Wynkoop and Commissioner Sanborn were already at Fort Larned, and arranged a meeting between the correspondents and several Indian leaders. After exchanging greetings and "firewater," the group left the Fort to rejoin the train. Stanley's dispatch:

     While we were in the private room of the sutler, a number of Indians, among whom were the redoubtable Satanta; Little Raven, head sachem of the Arapahoes; Stumbling Bear, and two fine---looking Apache chiefs, walked in.

     Satanta, or White Bear, gave me a bear's hug as his greeting. He was introduced to the other members of the press, who looked upon him with some awe, having heard so much of his ferocity and boldness. . . . Little Raven is a fat, good---natured sachem; one who loves to smoke his pipe peacefully in his lodge, surrounded by dusky concubines. . . .

     After a brief examination of the fort we started for camp, and for the first time, crossed the celebrated Arkansas River, three miles south of Fort Larned. At this point the river was very shallow, at no place over two feet in depth. The southern bank of the river was covered with luxuriant grass, into which the pedestrian sunk to his waist.

     Here our train was increased by sixty waggons, containing stores and presents. The number of waggons and ambulances with the expedition is now one hundred and sixty-five. Six mules to each waggon, and two hundred cavalry horses, make the number of animals twelve hundred and fifty. The number of men on this trip, including the camp followers, is six hundred. When on the march we present quite a formidable appearance.

October 12 --- The two-mile-long Peace Commission parade proceeded south, sighting buffalo along the way. Dispatch from Stanley:

     On our first day's march south from the Arkansas river, we saw about ten thousand buffaloes. In herds of about a thousand they grazed, with sentinals and videttes marching isolated far away from the herds watching our advance suspiciously and snorting their alarm to the main body.

     At night we fared on buffalo. Jack Howland, Harper's artist, mounted on a bay nag, brought down a fine buffalo expressly for the Bohemians' mess.

Barnitz journal:

     Reveillee at 4 a.m. Stood to horse from 5 1/2 a.m. till 8 a.m. waiting for Infantry which at length arrived, and we set forward---Marched half a mile, and waited two hours longer, for the Indians, who at length arrived with their agent Col. Leavenworth, about 10 a.m. When we finally moved on marched about 25 miles in a South Easterly direction, seeing many buffalo on the way. . . No grass here fit for horses---all eaten off by the buffalo---larger herds of which are grazing within sight of our camp. . . . Wolves, quite noisy. Air still. Night very pleasant.

October 13 --- Barnitz journal:

     We marched to day at 5.30 a.m., and I found after starting that the Indians & Murphey, had gone on ahead. Major [Joel] Elliott placed in arrest by Genl Harney, [for allowing men to straggle and shoot buffalo,] and myself placed in command.

October 14 --- Dispatch from Stanley:

     [This] morning, about ten o'clock, we came in sight of the great encampment of the Southern Indians. A natural basin, through which meandered Medicine Lodge Creek, between gracefully wooded banks, was the place selected for their winter camp. On the extreme right was the Arapahoe camp, consisting of 171 lodges. Next to this, and almost buried in a dense grove of fine timber, was the camp of the Comanches, numbering 100 lodges; adjoining which was the Kiowa camp, 150 lodges. At the western extremity of the basin were the camps of the Apaches, numbering 85 lodges, and the Cheyennes, 250 lodges.

     Thousands of ponies covered the adjacent hills, while in the valley grazed the cattle. The camps resembled a cluster of villages. All these camps were pitched so as to form a circle, in the centre of which sported the boys and girls, and little papooses in a complete state of nudity.

     Quite a multitude of olive---skinned warriors, braves, young bucks, papooses, damsels, and squaws, from the different villages, hurried up to see the Commissioners. The escorts were left to come on after us in an hour or so. This was a wise plan, as so many treacherous deeds have been done whenever the troops have come up, that the Indians are extremely suspicious.

October 15 --- Letter from Major Kidd to John B. Sanborn, Peace Commission:

     A train of fourteen [14] wagons laden with Military Clothing, Coats, blouses and shirts, consigned to you, arrived here to-day: in the absence of instructions, I have directed it to proceed to your camp on Medicine Lodge Creek, and send a courier in advance with this dispatch.

     If you wish the goods to remain at this Post, please send a courier with orders to the wagon-master of the train to return here

October 17 --- Dispatch from Stanley:

     A council was held this morning at which the Peace Commissioners, Colonel Leavenworth, Colonel Wynkoop, Dr. Root, A.S.H. White, and the reporters were present, with twenty-five chiefs of the Kiowas, Arapahoes, Cheyennes, Apaches, and Comanches. In the front row sat Kicking Bird, Little Raven, Spotted Wolf, Fishermore, Heap of Birds, Black Kettle, Elk, Poor Bear, Satanta, Satank, and Mrs. Adams, interpretress for the Arapahoes.

     This woman came dressed in a crimson petticoat, black cloth cloak, and a small coquettish velvet hat, decorated with a white ostrich feather. She appears intelligent, and speaks fluently the English, Kiowa, and Arapahoe languages.

     Before the council commenced, the village crier, in a loud voice, gave command to the nations sitting around "to be good, and to behave themselves."

Barnitz journal:

     Visited Indian [Arrapahoe] camp at night---went to "White Mans" Lodge---and to dance, in company with Maj. Elliott, Maj. [Henry] Douglass 3d Inf., Lieuts. Stouch, [Thomas S.] Wallace & [Edward S.] Godfrey, Gov. Crawford, of Kansas &c &c. Bradley, the Scout, was along, as interpreter---The Indians have had 150 ponies stolen last night They suppose the thieves were Pawnees---we believe it more than probably that they were whites---This evening an Arrapahoe, whom I have never noticed before brought and presented me a pair of moccasions---

October 18 --- Special Orders No. 143, signed by Lieutenant Cooke:

     I. To enable Lieut A Kaiser 3d Infantry, to be present at the meeting of the Indian Peace Commission on Medicine Lodge Creek, he is hereby granted Leave of Absence for seven [7] days.

     II. To enable Lieut G.F. Raulston 10th Cavalry to be present at the meeting of the Indian Peace Commission on Medicine Lodge Creek, he is hereby granted Leave of Absence for seven [7] days.

October 19 --- Dispatch from Stanley:

     A great clearing had been made in the centre of a grove of tall elms for the convenience of the grand council. Logs had been arranged so as to seat the principal chiefs of the Southern nations, and tables had been erected for the accommodation of the various correspondents. In front of these tables were the seats ranged in a semicircle for the Commissioners. Facing the Commissioners were a few of the most select chiefs of the different tribes. Beyond all were the ponies of the chiefs, forming a splendid background to the scene. Over the space allotted to the Commissioners and the press were placed a few branches as a shelter from the sun.

Part of a speech delivered by Satanta:

     All the chiefs of the Kiowas, Comanches, and Arapahoes are here today; they have come to listen to good words. We have been waiting here a long time to see you and are getting tired. All the land south of the Arkansas belongs to the Kiowas and Comanches, and I don't want to give away any of it. I love the land and the buffalo and will not part with it. I want you to understand well what I say. Write it on paper. Let the Great Father see it, and let me hear what he has to say. I want you to understand, also, that the Kiowas and Comanches don't want to fight, and have not been fighting since we made the treaty. I hear a great deal of good talk from the gentlemen whom the Great Father sends us, but they never do what they say. I don't want any of the medicine lodges within the country. I want the children raised as I was. . . .

     A long time ago this land belonged to our fathers; but when I go up to the river I see camps of soldiers on its banks. These soldiers cut down my timber; they kill my buffalo; and when I see that, my heart feels like bursting; I feel sorry. I have spoken.

October 20 --- Barnitz journal:

     Was present to day again at the Council---The Indians had little to say---A band of Osages arrived---Senator Henderson explained the terms of proposed treaty and requested the Indians to come up and sign it tomorrow.

October 21 --- Nine Kiowas [including Satanta, Satank, Lone Bear, Stumbling Bear and Kicking Bird], and ten Comanches [including Ten Bears and Standing Feather], signed treaties at the Medicine Lodge gathering. Barnitz journal:

     Indians signed treaty. Presents distributed---among other things 65 new revolvers!---and hundreds of new butcher knives! The distribution of presents was quite amusing! The Indians have recovered about 50 of their stolen ponies.

Letter from Major Kidd to General McKeever:

     I have the honor to report in compliance with Circular dated Headquarters Dept of the Missouri August 29th 1867, that as far as I am able to ascertain, there have been no Soldiers or citizens killed or wounded by Indians, at or in the immediate vicinity of this Post, since April 14th 1867

Letter from Major Kidd to Commissioner Taylor:

     Without any knowledge of your wishes in the matter, I have allowed two wagon loads of powder, lead &c, to proceed to your camp, and believing these war-like stores, if destined for the Indians, is surchaged with valuable lives, and suspecting it to be an illicit private enterprise, I have directed the escort to allow these goods to be delivered only on the order of the Commission.

     The Sergeant in charge will receive your orders in regard to them

Special Orders, No. 144, signed by Lieutenant Cooke:

     . . . 2. Sergt O Connor Co "B" 3d Infantry and six [6] men are hereby detailed to proceed to Medicine Lodge Creek Kas as escort to two wagons loaded with ammunition &c.

     Upon arrival at Camp of Indian Peace Commission, Sergt O Connor will present the dispatch of which he is the bearer to Hon N.G. Taylor, and turn the goods over to whom he may direct, but will allow no one to interfere with them except on the order of the Indian Peace Commission.

October 22 --- Six Kiowa-Apaches signed treaties. Barnitz journal:

     The weather has been very fine every day since our arrival here---We are drilling daily, and the camp is daily thronged with Indian spectators, of all ages, sexes and tribes. . . . The distribution of Indian goods still continue, and daily "talks" are held by the commissioners with certain of the chiefs.

October 23 --- The main body of the Cheyennes, camped a day's ride away from the Medicine Lodge gathering, had not yet arrived. According to Little Robe, they were holding their Medicine Arrow ceremony and could not leave until the four-day ritual was completed. Commissioners sent word that they would give them until October 26 to come in.

October 26 --- Barnitz journal:

     The Cheyennes have not yet come in. It is now 8 p.m.---and night cold. The Arrapahoe Indians continue to dance and sing, and fire off pistols and carbines as usual! They generally keep up their dances, and nocturnal noises of all kinds, especially the firing of pistols in our vicinity until near daybreak.

October 27 --- Barnitz journal:

     About noon today the Cheyennes arrived, they crossed the creek on our front and emerged from the woods, in line of battle firing their guns into the air, singing and yelling!

October 28 --- Thirteen Cheyennes [including Black Kettle Little Robe, Bull Bear, Tall Bull and Heap of Bears], and eight Arapahoes [including Little Raven, Yellow Bear and Tall Bear], signed treaties. Barnitz journal:

     The big council with the Cheyennes and Arapahos came off today, in front of the cimmissioners tents. I was present, and took down the speeches---After the council the Cheyennes were with great difficulty persuaded to sign the treaty. They were superstitious in regard to touching the pen---or perhaps they supposed that by doing so they would be "signing away their rights"---which is doubtless the true state of affairs, as they have no idea that they are giving up, or that they have ever given up the country which they claim as their own---the country north of the Arkansas. The treaty amounts to nothing, and we will certainly have another war sooner or later with the Cheyennes, at least, and probably with the other Indians, in consequence of misunderstanding of he terms of present and previous treaties.

October 29 --- Special Orders, No. 147, signed by Lieutenant Cooke:

     I. Bvt Major W.H. Forwood Asst Surgeon U.S.A. having reported at this Post in compliance with Special Order No 25 c.s. Hdqrs Dept of the Missouri October 10th 1867 will relieve Acting Asst Surgeon J.J. Marston in the duties of Post Surgeon.

     II. Acting Asst Surgeon J.J. Marston will transfer all public property and funds appertaining to the Medical Department at this Post for which he is accountable, to Bvt Major W.H. Forwood Asst Surgeon U.S.A. who will give the necessary receipts therefor.

October 30 --- Letter from C.H. Armes, Hays City, to Commissioner Taylor, Washington:

     We have just learned of your success in making peace with the Indians. I have been confident that you would succeed, and have been making arrangements to trade with them, and I am now ready, all but the permit, which I have felt sure you would not deny me.

     I wanted to get over to the Council and ask it of you in person, but had no available means of doing so. I hope you will give me permission to trade with any Indians I change to meet.

Letter from Brevet Major General A.J. Smith, commanding the Department of the Missouri, Fort Leavenworth, to Commissioner Taylor:

     In the evidence of Col. Wynkoop, Agent for the Cheyennes and Arapahoes, given before your Commission at Medicine Lodge Creek, Octr 17th, as published in the "Missouri Democrat" of the 23rd inst., occurs the following:

     "The old man and young girl who had been in the deserted village, and who had been taken to Fort Dodge by General Hancock, died a few days after the expedition left, at that Post.

     "In answer to a question by General Sanborn, as to whether he had any idea who had committed the outrage upon her, Wynkoop said, 'I firmly believe that the soldiers ravished the child. It was the conclusion I arrived at when I heard that she was ravished. It is my belief now.'"

     The facts concerning this matter, I will briefly state. General Hancock camped the command, on the evening of 16th April, about one mile from the Indian village [Wynkoop says within three hundred yards], and sentries were posted at once, to prevent all intercourse on the part of our soldiers with the Camp of the Indians. No soldier entered this village from the time of our arrival, until General Custer marched to it about 9 o'clock at night. His command surrounded it in perfect order, officers at the heads of their companies and platoons; so that it was impossible for a soldier to leave ranks without the knowledge of his officer. Besides, the column was in readiness for any movement on the part of the Indians.

     The first persons who entered the Camp, were: General Custer, General Davidson, Doctors Coates and Lippincott and Liuet. Moylan, Adjutant of the 7th Cavalry. General Custer states positively, that he and Dr Coates first discovered the outraged child, and that she was in that condition when they found her and it was well known that up to that time there had not been an officer or soldier in the village. General Davidson carried back the information to General Hancock of the abandonment of the Indian camp and, on his way back, passed the whole column, every man at his place, and in the same perfect order as when it reached the village.

     Further,---the girl herself stated to the Interpreter [Curtis] that the outrage committed upon her person was done by the Cheyennes. Of course, in view of these facts, the statement of Col. Wynkoop, unsupported by an evidence, is worth nothing; and he could have made himself with all that is herein stated, had he been disposed to follow the matter up to a just and truthful conclusion.

October 31 --- During the month of October, Major Kidd moved his wife Millicent and their children---eight-year-old Rose, five-year-old Edmund and two-year-old Lelia---into the new stone commanding officer's quarters. The major had recently accompanied his family from Indiana. Their new quarters were valued at $2,543. Included in the structure's list of materials were 26,440 feet of lumber: 3,540 feet of flooring; 28,000 shingles; 14,200 laths; 712 stone perches, 757 bushels of lime; 4,299 bushels of sand---and four closet catches.

Letter from Agent Wynkoop to Superintendent Murphy:

     I have the honor to herewith submit the following estimate for funds to pay for transportation of Indian goods from Fort Larned to Medicine Lodge Creek in accordance to instructions from the department, viz.

     [35] Thirty-five Wagons at $15.00 per day for fourteen days $7350.00.

Second Letter from Wynkoop to Murphy, same date:

     I have the honor to forward the following as an estimate for funds for the purpose of paying the expenses of proceeding to Washington with a delegation of ten Indians of my Agency in accordance with instructions from Commissioner of Indian Affairs viz:

     For expenses incurred in proceeding to Washington D.C. with delegation of Indians of Upper Arkansas Agency

     Five thousand dollars [$5000.00].

Third Letter from Wynkoop to Murphy, same date:

     I have the honor to forward the following as an estimate for funds for the purchase of animals and wagons for the use of Interpreter to remain with Arapaho Indians in accordance with instructions from Commissioner of Indian Affairs viz:

Two mules or horses $400.00
One wagon 150.00
Sets [of] Harness 45.00
[Total] $595.00

November 3 --- Special Orders, No. 149, signed by Lieutenant Cooke:

     1. Bvt. Major H. Asbury Capt 3d Infantry is hereby authorized to proceed as far east as Fort Harker Kas, in search of horses stolen from this Post

     2. Sergeant John McLaughlin and one man of Co "B" 3d Infantry are hereby authorized to proceed as far east as Council Grove Ks, in search of horses stolen from this Post.

November 18 --- Letter from Brevet Major General J.L. Donaldson, Assistant Quartermaster General, U.S. Army, St. Louis, to General Easton, Fort Leavenworth:

     As regards the Hand Engine for Fort Larned; is it imperatively needed, more than at Fort Lyon, or at any other important post on the plains? It seems to me, with a fire Engine at the Depot, the other posts can get on with ordinary care. I ask these questions because I cannot purchase a hand engine here, they having gone out of use, and having been gotten rid of long ago.

November 19 --- Letter from Major Kidd to General McKeever:

     I respectfully invite attention to the importance of having the Reservation at this Post and Fort Zarah declared by the President. A preemption claim might involve the title to the very ground on which valuable buildings are being erected.

Second Letter from Major Kidd to General McKeever, same date:

     I respectfully request to be furnished with a copy of my supplemental Report in regard to the Indian Annuity Goods

     This report was made while I was at Leavenworth on leave of Absence and no copy retained. One should be on file as part of the records of this Office.

     I also request permission to furnish copies of all my reports on this subject, to one or more members of Congress.

     Mr Carmichael claims of the Government $14,000 damages in consequence of my action in the premises. His claim was disallowed by the Peace Commission, and he is now prosecuting it, as I understand, before the Dept of the Interior[,] but if allowed there it will require a specific appropriation to pay it. Believing his claim to be unfounded, it seems proper to place the facts in possession of the Congressional Committees to enable them to defeat it

November 20 --- Letter from Major Kidd to General McKeever:

     I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of communication dated Hdqrs Dept of the Missouri November 11th 1867, directing me to transfer to Col Wynkoop Agent for the Cheyenne Indians, the tents, cooking utensils &c taken from the Indian village on Pawnee Fork Burned in April 1867, and stored at this Post

     In reply I would respectfully state that there are no articles of this kind at this Post, and as far as I am able to learn, there were none of the goods taken at the village ever stored here

November 22 --- Letter from General Easton to General Donaldson:

     Your letter of the 19th inst. relative to Hand Engines for Fort Larned, has been received.

     There is no more necessity for Engine at Fort Larned than at any other post, but as the attention of officers has been called by the authorities at Washington, to the importance of providing against fire; I do not feel authorized to disapprove requisitions for fire engines when they are made.

November 26 --- Letter from L.B. Sutton, Department of the Missouri, to General Donaldson:

     Copy, together with copies of enclosures respectfully furnished for the information of the Quartermaster General.

     The blockhouse at Fort Zarah was planned by Lieut. M.R. Brown U.S. Engineers, and ordered built by General Hancock Dept. Commander.

     The work has been put under the supervision of Major Inman and is now progressing favorably. In my opinion the block house is too elaborate and expensive.

November 27 --- Letter from General Donaldson, to Brevet Major General D.H. Rucker, Acting Quartermaster General, U.S. Army, Washington:

     I have the honor to transmit herewith, for your information, copies of communcation on the subject of providing a Fire engine at Fort Larned, Kans., in connection with your letter to this Office of 8th inst., giving authority for the purchase of an engine for that post, if deemed necessary.

Letter from General Donaldson to General Easton:

     After duly considering your letter of 22nd inst., in reply to mine of 18th inst., in reference to a Hand Engine for Fort Larned, and, after consultation with the Lieut. General Commd'g the Division,---I have decided not to furnish the hand engine asked for. The Lieut. General approves of this course, remarking at the same time, that where stores are not accumulated at posts, beyond the wants of the troops occupying them, the troops themselves should take care of their stores by proper organization of fire buckets &c. against fire. The Steam fire Engine furnished for Fort Harker or such point as you may require it from time to time, is designed to protect large accumulation of stores at depots.

November 29 --- Special Orders, No. 158, signed by Lieutenant Cooke:

     . . . III. All persons in this vicinity, owning stock of whatever description are hereby directed to have them properly corralled, and notice is given that after three days from the publication of this Order, the sentinels on the various Government haystacks will have instructions to shoot all cattle approaching their posts.

December 5 --- Letter from Charles E. Mix, Acting Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Washington, to General I.C. McGerran, Deputy Quartermaster General, Washington:

     I have to acknowledge the receipt by reference from the Hon. Sec'y. of the Interior of the Letter from [James ?] B. Kitchen to you dated the 21st ult., relative to a contract made by Col. AF Rockwell, A.Q.M. with said Kitchen, for the transportation of Commissary stores on account of the Dept., from Ft Larned, Kansas, to Medicine Lodge Creek, together with said contract and other papers connected therewith.

     This matter will be considered in due time, and Mr. Kitchen advised of the action had thereon at the earliest day practicable.

Letter from Acting Commissioner Mix to Agent Leavenworth, Fort Zarah:

     I am in receipt of your letter of the 3rd inst., inclosing an estimate of funds required for the service at the Kiowa and Comanches Agency, during the 4th qr. 1867.

     In compliance with such estimate, I have this day caused a requisition to issue for $1655.25, to be remitted to you, present, from the appropriations and for the objects designated in the tabular statement herewith and for the proper care and disposition of which sum you will be held to account under your bond.

December 7 --- Letter from Acting Commissioner Mix to Superintendent Murphy:

     I am in receipt of your telegram dated the 5th inst., stating that the Indians on the Plains are suffering for food and asking if they cannot be supplied under the contract, which you understand has been made to feed them.

     In reply I have to say that a contract [copy herewith] has been made with Thos. A. Osborn to furnish subsistence for friendly Indians at the Big Bend of the Arkansas River near Ft Zarah. Such subsistence to be delivered at that place, or at such other point nearly as may be required, &c.

     Having failed to designate what particular Indians require to be fed, I have to request that you advise this office, without delay, of the tribe, or parts of tribes, needing assistance, what the probably number to be fed will be and at what place in your opinion, the subsistence should be distributed.

     It is not intended or desired by the Dept. to feed any Indians, that can by hunting, subsist themselves. Those only who are unable to support themselves, and are actually in want of provisions, will be fed, and you will take this into consideration in determining what Indians, and how many should be subsisted by the government.

     In deciding at what point the subsistence should be delivered, if it is at some place other than the Big Bend of the Arkansas, you will take into consideration the additional cost of transportation, as provided for in said contract, and also the fact that it is not desired to have the supplies delivered or issued near any settlement, but as far distant therefrom as is practicable, and as can be, without any great addition in the cost of transportation.

Second Letter from Mix to Murphy, same date:

     I am in receipt of your letter of the 21st ult, requesting to be informed whether or not this Dept. considers Agent Leavenworth's Agency, as belonging to the Central Supt'cy, and if so, making the further request that he be instructed to communicate with the Dep't. through your office.

     In reply I have to say that, owing to the peculiar condition of the affairs of the Kiowa and Comanche Indians, the fact that they are sometimes in the Central, and sometimes in the Southern Supt'cy, and the uncertainty at present existing in regard to their future location, it is deemed advisable that the Agent should continue to communicate direct with this office, until such time, at least, as these Indians shall be definitely located.

December 11 --- Special Orders, No. 161, unsigned:

     I. The exigency under which an Interpreter was hired at this Post pursuant to General Orders No 3 c.s. dated Headquarters Dist of the Upper Arkansas Feby 5th 1867, no longer existing, Bvt Lieut Col A.F. Rockwell A.Q.M. is hereby directed to cancel the contract engaging an Interpreter at this Post.

     II. Pursuant to Special Orders No 63 c.s. Par II dated Hdqrs Dept of the Mo. November 30th 1867, the allowance of fuel at this Post, will be increased one-half [1/2] of the regular allowance, until April 30th 1868.

December 12 --- Letter from Acting Commissioner Mix to John L. Smith, in care of Agent Wynkoop, Fort Larned:

     I am in receipt of a Letter from Thos. Murphy, Esq. Supt. &c., dated the 2nd inst., transmitting an account in your favor for services rendered as interpreter at the Upper Arkansas Agency, from Oct. 15 to Dec. 15, 1866, amounting to $200.00.

     The account has been examined and allowed in this office and is this day referred to the 2nd Auditor of the Treasury for settlement, payment to be made to you, care of Supt. Murphy at Atchison, Kansas.

December 13 --- Special Orders, No. 162, signed by Lieutenant Cooke:

     . . . II. 2nd Lieut Wm N Williams, Sergeant Harkness[,] Copl's Burlin[,] Cooke and Wilson[,] and twenty one [21] privates of Co's "B" "C" and "D" 3rd Infantry will proceed without delay to Fort Zarah, Kansas and relieve 1st Lieut J.P. Thompson and the detachment of Co's "B" and "D" 3d Infantry now on duty at that Post.

Letter from Acting Commissioner Mix to Agent Leavenworth, Fort Zarah:

     Referring to you letters of the 31st of Oct. last, and the 4th inst., also to office letter of the 14th ult., all relative to the matter of purchasing agricultural implements for the Kiowa and Comanche Indians, I have to say that, your letter of the 4th inst., having been submitted to the Hon. Sec'y. of the Interior, with a report from this office, the subject has been reconsidered, and it has been determined to have the necessary utensils purchased, in time to commence farming operations early the coming spring.

     I enclose herewith a list [copy of the one submitted with your letter of the 31st of Oct.,] of the articles to be purchased, and you are hereby authorized and instructed to buy the articles named therein---or such of them as in your opinion are actually needed---at the earliest day practicable, and have then transported to their destination without delay, the means for which transportation, I understand, is now at your command. As the exigencies of the service will not admit of first advertising for proposals to furnish the required articles you will make the purchase in open market, at such place or places as will be most advantageous, in view of economy and transportation, and at the lowest prices for which the implements can be obtained---the entire cost not to exceed the sum of $3,136.50.

     It is expected that in performing this duty, you will use your best judgment in selecting the different articles---choosing such as will be best suited for the objects for which they are desired, and taking into consideration the quality and cost of each kind. You will immediately after completing the purchase, make a detailed report of your action in the premises, accompanying the same with statement of the character, quality, and price of the articles purchased by you.

     The point, at which farming operations are to be commenced, is left for you to determine. It must, however, be within the limits of the tract set apart for the Kiowas and Comanches, by the treaty made with them Oct. 18, 1865.

     To enable you to make the purchases herein authorized to be made, I have this day caused a requisition to issue for $3,136.50, to be placed to your credit in the 2nd Nat. Bk. Leavenworth City, Kansas, from the appropriation designated in the tabular statement herewith, and for the proper care and disposition of which sum you will be held to account under your bond.

December 16 --- Telegram from G.I. Lawler, clerk in the Central Indian Superintendency, Atchison, to Acting Commissioner Mix, Washington:

     Agent Wynkoop telegraphs that his Indians are about one hundred [100] miles South west of Fort Larned and that post would be most central point to collect them.

December 19 --- Letter from Acting Commissioner Mix to Superintendent Murphy:

     I have to advise you that I have this day caused a requisition to issue for $1500. to be remitted to you at Atchison, Kansas, from the appropriation designated in the tabular statement herewith, and for the proper care and disposition of which amount you will be held to account under your bond.

     These funds will be turned over to Agent Wynkoop, to be used by him, so far as the same may be necessary, in defraying the expenses that may be incurred by him in bringing a delagation of the Arapahoe and Cheyenne Indians to this city.

December 20 --- Letter from Acting Commissioner Mix to Agent Leavenworth:

     I am in receipt of your letter of 27th ult., in closing accounts in favor of Wm Griffenstein and Wm Mathewson, amounting to $10,342.94---being for goods and subsistence stores, purchased by you for the Kiowa and Comanche Indians.

     The accounts, with all the papers connected with them, were, on the 16th inst., submitted to the Hon. Sec'y. of the Interior, for his consideration and determination. The Hon. Sec'y. under date of the 19th, returned the accounts and papers, and propounded certain questions among which are the following, in substance: Were the goods specified in said vouchers delivered to the Indians referred to? if so, when and what point, and what evidence exists of such delivery? Are not the articles, substantially, duplicates of the annuity goods sent out by the Indian Bureau? if so, what has been done with the annuity goods; have they been delivered to the same Indians? What prevented there delivery at such time as to cause the necessity of the purchase by you? Was there a necessity for delivering the goods purchased by you at about the same time of the delivery of the annuity goods? Do these two accounts embrace all the goods purchased by you? If the prices agreed to be paid are truly stated, why is 40 per cent of the aggregate amount added to Mr. Mathewson's account? Is transportation of the goods, to the place of their delivery, covered by the accounts now rendered, or are other bills to be presented for that service.

     The Sec'y. before disposing of this matter desires to be informed of all the facts in connection with these accounts; you will, therefore, make a full and explicit answer to each of the foregoing questions, and state any and all other facts connected with the purchase and delivery of the articles named in said vouchers, together with your reasons for purchasing without authority, and the circumstances requiring the goods to be given to the Indians, at the time they were distributed.

     You will please give this matter your earliest attention.

December 23 --- Letter from Murphy to Mix:

     I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 7th inst. in relation to the subsistence of friendly Indians by the Government, enclosing copy of a contract for this purpose, and requesting information from me as to the tribes or parts of tribes needing assistance, what the probably number to be fed will be, and at what place in my opinion the subsistence should be distributed.

     In reply thereto I have the honor to report that when I sent you my dispatch of the 5th inst. the information that I had at that time received was unofficial. When I received your letter above referred to I immediately wrote and telegraphed Agent Wynkoop for official information to enable me to answer intelligently the interrogatories [pursued ?] by you---which action is the cause of the delay in answering your letter at our earliest day.

     I herewith enclose you a letter of the 18th inst. from Agent Wynkoop on this subject from which it will be seen that he is of the opinion that if the Indians are not permitted to visit Fort Larned for their supplies, that Bluff Creek would be the proper point to distribute the provisions to them, and without giving the exact number to be fed he simply says that all of his Indians are in need of food, and that, under any circumstances, it would be bad policy to feed a portion only of them.

     I concur in opinion with the Agent that it would be bad policy to feed only a part of a tribe of Indians, and not the whole, for they are in many respects like children, and cannot be made to understand why some should be kindly treated by the Government, while others are neglected and as the Agent has failed to give the precise number of the Indians under his charge, I know of no other way of ascertaining how many there are, except from the number of lodges as represented at the late Grand Council on Medicine Lodge Creek, viz:

Cheyennes 400 lodges at 6 persons to ea: 2400
Arappahoes 185 lodges at 6 persons to ea: 1110
Apaches 86 lodges at 6 persons to ea: 516
Total number of Indians   4026

     If the provisions are delivered to them at the head of Bluff Creek, as recommended by Agent Wynkoop, the distance which they will have to be transported from Fort Zarah to that point will be about one hundred miles. I am aware that this will add considerably to the cost of feeding these Indians, but under the circumstances I cannot see how it can be avoided.

     In the cold winter weather the ponies belonging to the Indians are very poor, and it would be impossible for them to carry any large quantity of provisions any great distance. In addition to this I am very much opposed to holding out any inducements to these Indians to come to the Arkansas river, or near military posts; because the hostile feeling of the whites towards them is not yet wholly repressed, and the shooting of one Indian may induce another out-break, and besides this, experience has taught me that at or in the neighborhood of military posts Indians will somehow get liquor to drink which is very apt to cause them to commit acts of hostility against the whites, all of which I consider to be our duty to prevent as much as possible.

     To get to the head of Bluff Creek the Arkansas river would have to be crossed at Mulberry Creek, some 15 miles east of Fort Dodge, and from the crossing to the head of Bluff Creek is about 30 miles south.

     If the Department intends to feed these Indians this winter I consider it a matter of great importance that some suitable person should be appointed by the Department to receive[,] inspect and receipt for the supplies delivered.

     These duties would properly [evolve ?] upon Agent Wynkoop, but that officer is under instructions to visit Washington this winter, with a delegation of his Indians, for which reason I recommend that an appointment be made as above suggested.

     Considering that these supplies are to be delivered at one point only, I respectfully submit if it would not be better to make a monthly or semi-monthly, rather than a daily issue of supplies to these inds.

December 24 --- Letter from Acting Commissioner Mix to Messrs. Jay Cooke arid Company, Washington:

     I am in receipt of your letter of the 29th ult., inclosing for examination and payment two accounts---one in favor of J.H. Leavenworth for $179---the other in favor of Wm Mathewson for $1734---in all $1931, the first being for a wagon and harness furnished for the Arapahoes and Cheyenne Indians and the last for transportation in collecting Kiowa and Comanche Indians for Council with Peace Comm.

     The account in favor of J.H. Leavenworth, has been examined and allowed in this office, and is this day referred to the 2nd Auditor of the Treasury for settlement---payment to be made to you present. The other account will be settled, when the Hon. Secretary of the Interior shall have determined what funds are applicable to its payment.

Letter from Mix to John E. Tappan:

     I am in receipt of your letter of the 21st inst., inclosing certified voucher in duplicate issued in favor of Edward Gurrier for services as Scout &c. in gathering together the Dog Soldiers of the Cheyenne Indians, amt'g. to $225.00.

     In reply I have to say that, the voucher is presented by you in duplicate, when the issue purports to have been made in triplicate, it will, therefore be necessary, in compliance with the requirements of the accounting officers of the Treasury, to have the outstanding voucher, before action can be had with a view to the settlement of the same, unless Mr. Wynkoop certifies that duplicates only were executed.

December 27 --- Special Orders, No. 164, signed by Lieutenant Cooke:

     I. The following instructions are furnished for the guidance of the Officer Commanding the outpost at Fort Zarah Kansas

     1st The Officer in Command shall not leave his post without authority from these Hdqrs unless in case of a great necesity which will be promptly reported with a full explanation

     2nd The detachment will drill twice daily, one of which drills the Officer will command

     3d Being at peace with the Indians it is of the greatest importance to avoid collisions or giving offence. If Indians visit the Post on business they should be sent to this Post

     4th Men requiring treatment in Hospital will be sent to this Post. When necessary an ambulance will be sent from this Post for their transportation

     5th A book for that purpose will be furnished and a complete record kept of the orders received and issued which will be turned over to the relieving officer

     6th The monthly returns will be made to this Hdqrs on the 5th 15th and 25th of each month.

     II. Permission is granted P.A. Becker Esq. to keep a trading house on the Military Reservation near this Post. this privilege is to be terminable at the pleasure of the commanding Officer or higher authority and to be subject in all respects to such regulations as may be prescribed.

Chronology sources
Microfilm in the collection of Fort Larned National Historic Site:

Fort Larned, Kansas, Post orders, 1867
Fort Larned, Kansas, Letters sent, 1867
Fort Larned, Kansas, Letters received, 1867
Office of Indian Affairs, Washington, Letters sent, 1867
Office of Indian Affairs, Washington, Letters received, 1867
Barnitz, Albert, Letters and journal, 1867

Books and periodicals:
Berthrong, Donald J., The Southern Cheyennes (University of Oklahoma Press, 1963)
Burgess, Henderson Lafayette, "The Eighteenth Kansas Volunteer Cavalry," in Kansas Historical Collections, volume 13 (Kansas State Historical Society, 1913-14)
Custer, George Armstrong, My Life on the Plains (University of Oklahoma Press reprint, 1962)
Grinnell, George Bird, The Fighting Cheyennes (University of Oklahoma Press reprint, 1956)
Jones, Douglas C., The Treaty of Medicine Lodge (University of Oklahoma Press, 1966)
Leckie, William H., The Military Conquest of the Southern Plains (University of Oklahoma Press, 1963)
Nye, Wilbur Sturtevant, Plains Indian Raiders (University of Oklahoma Press, 1968)
Oliva, Leo E., Fort Larned (Kansas State Historical Society, 1982)
Oliva, Leo E., Soldiers on the Santa Fe Trail (University of Oklahoma Press, 1967)
Powers, Ramon and Gene Younger, "Cholera on the Plains," in Kansas Historical Quarterly, volume 37 (Kansas State Historical Society, 1971)
Stanley, Henry M., My Early Travels and Adventures in America (University of Nebraska reprint, 1982)
Utley, Robert M., Frontier Regulars: The United States Army and the Indian, 1866-1891 (MacMillan, 1973)
Utley, Robert M., Life in Custer's Cavalry (Yale University Press, 1977)
Vanderwerth, W.C., compiler, Indian Oratory (University of Oklahoma Press, 1971)

     Thanks to George Elmore, Resource Management Specialist, FLNHS; Felix Revello, Chief Ranger, FLNHS; and Fort Larned Old Guard board members William Chalfant and Leo Oliva

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