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Old 06-30-2012, 07:18 PM   #136
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JW, acording to Tobes marker this was where Custer camped the night before finding Company M the following day on the 12th.

Texas Canyon, is pretty cool seems like when they put 34 in they uncovered burials from the old trail along that stretch and they were reinterred there by the Historical Marker for Texas Canyon along 34.

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Old 06-30-2012, 07:22 PM   #137
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Old 07-01-2012, 04:43 AM   #138
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Originally Posted by OneBall View Post
Plaque commemorating the Raid on St Nazaire



And part of the memorial that always makes me smile



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Nazaire_Raid
My wifes Grandfather was on the St Nazaire raid and was awarded the Croix de Guerre and a Mention in Despatches. He was issued with a revolver before they set sail to which he replied "What the F**k do I want with that thing, I'm a Matelot not a bloody Cowboy!"
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Old 07-01-2012, 11:00 AM   #139
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Founding of the western territory...

Initial pioneer settlers gradually mingled with the Indians east and west of the Platte River with land grants. Whites and Indians were granted land separately but many new early settlers (trappers and traders) married into the Indian tribes. Mostly male trappers taking Indian squaws. With no place to put the "half breeds" the government resurveyed the territory to allocate land to the "half breeds". Located on a back road in the middle of corn country in Nebraska.



Half Breed Drive still lives today:



"Half Breed Road" in the distance:

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Old 07-01-2012, 01:19 PM   #140
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Fort Wallace.

This will be a little long winded, I know thats got to be hard to believe.
My only goal with all the postings is to get folks to maybe go check some of these places out many of them are slowly fading away. The people that really cared about this history are fading away as in the old folks still left in these small western Kansas towns, the folks with a link to it's past, who have cared for it and protected it the best they could over the years. The crush of people that fought so hard to take the Great Plains the place of new beginnings, they were turned back not by Indians but by the land itself. The population of western Kansas peaked in the 1920s and its been a steady decline since, Ghost Towns or those hovering on the verge are the norm out here.





The cemetery and the location of where the fort stood is about two miles from the town of Wallace, looking east from the cemetery.




The township of Wallace placed their cemetery on the east side of the old Fort Wallace cemetery and built a rock wall around the old fort cemetery.

Fort Wallace, it sat one half mile to the south of the cemetery, no buidings remain now only the cemetery stands to tell the story, many head stones of the civillian contractors that died here and the wives and children of enlisted men, the soldiers remains were removed to Fort Leavenworth, some beleive that a few soldiers do still lie here. There is something really special that still sits here on the plains in solitude, it has stood here on the western prairies of Kansas, for 145 years, weathered beaten as it is, it stands as testement to the men that died here in combat with the many tribes of the Plains Indian war's. The Monument was erected in 1867, erected and paid for by the men who fought from this fort, quaried from near by bluffs, engraved with the names of those that died in the year eighteen sixty seven.

Before we take a look at the monument we will look through the old Fort cemetery. Most all of these markers have always been wood, even the German familys was a wood marker untill 1957, they show their names and where they hailed from if known, with cause of death. they came from all over the world to find their final resting place on the far western prairies of Kansas.

Looking east from inside the fort cemetery out over the township cemetery.





Looking west into the fort cemetery. These civilian plots are all kept up by the township of Wallace they have a historical society that has kept these plots marked over the years. This is not a tourist boot hill these folks are buried here and cause of death on the grave markers are from the fort records.





Because of the determination of the Plains Indians to prevent white encroachment on their western Kansas lands, military force became necessary for the acquisition of that area. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman, commander of the Military Division of the Missouri, planned to provide that force by fortifying the Western Plains with a chain of posts as strongly garrisoned as possible.





In addition to Fort Riley, which already existed, the army constructed Forts Harker, Hays, and Wallace, plus a host of minor camps along the Smoky Hill trail. These forts provided protection for stage coaches, wagon trains, railroad surveyors and laborers, and settlers. Fort Wallace, originally known as Camp Pond Creek, was the most western post in Kansas along the Smoky Hill trail, and from 1865 to 1878 bore the brunt of the hostile Indian activity in the state.






Although General Sherman did not officially authorize the construction of Fort Wallace until October 26, 1865, a detachment of troops made camp at the bluffs of the south fork of the Smoky Hill river and Pond creek in September, 1865. This camp was about two miles west of the permanent location of the fort.





These troops spent the winter in dugouts and had begun minor construction when Capt. Edward Ball, Second cavalry, arrived with Company H and assumed command in March of 1866. Ball reported the building for the quartermaster's stores bad already been constructed with lumber received from Denver. He further noted the commissary was nearly completed, and the 46,000 board feet of lumber remaining would he utilized to provide storehouses for the commissary and the quartermaster.





A substantial building program, however, was needed to make the post comfortable and large enough to hold a garrison for a year. Ball recommended the construction of two quarters for a company of cavalry and one of infantry; a mess room and kitchen; quarters and kitchen for two captains; quarters and kitchen for the medical officer and four lieutenants; guardhouse; stables for the cavalry horses and quartermaster's animals; a building for the carpenter, the wheelwright, and the blacksmith; and two buildings for the quartermaster's and subsistence stores. One problem the army faced, though, was the need to transport all the necessary lumber to the site because such a large quantity was not available in the vicinity of the post.





In May, 1866, Capt. James J. Gordon, Sixth infantry, assumed command of the post, and Company B, Sixth infantry, and Company M, Second cavalry replaced the garrison. Gordon reported plentiful grass along the river, a heavy meadow five miles to the south, and sufficient timber for building purposes which could supply the post for an unlimited period of time. In addition to grossly over estimating the physical resources of the area, Gordon reported the post now consisted of two storehouses, and a hospital constructed from pine lumber. At this time the officers and troops were sheltered in wall tents, and as yet no stables had been built.





1st Lt. A.E. Bates, Second cavalry, replaced Gordon the following July. Bates immediately complained the situation was not as favorable as Gordon claimed, since the camp was located on a low bottom which could be approached from any direction entirely unknown to the command. Thus, the camp, thrust deep into Indian country, was in a dangerous position and could easily suffer a surprise attack. Furthermore, not more than 150 tons of hay could be cut along the Smoky Hill river. Two assets of the vicinity, however, were an excellent stone quarry and a favorable tableland several miles east of the camp.





Since a fort built on the tableland could be easily defended, Bates requested permission to move the camp to the more defensible position. Although he informed the district headquarters that he would not move the camp until he received authority, Bates sent 20 men the next day to begin cutting stone for the quarters and stables as fast as 18 teams could haul the stone. The work at the quarry proved difficult because the soldiers lacked the proper tools and were forced to use pick axes and wooden spades to cut the stone. Nevertheless, they managed to take stone out at the rate of eight to 10 cords a day.





Bates began moving the post to the new site before he received authority to do so on July 9. By mid-July, 40 cords of stone were on the ground, and the construction of a permanent fort was about to begin. At this point, Bates wrote, "As I am the only man in the company who knows even theoretically how a stone wall should be built, this must necessarily be a somewhat slow process." To remedy the situation, he requested permission to hire one or two civilian masons to help lay up the walls necessary to house a two - company post before cold weather arrived. Lack of expertise and inadequate tools, then, thwarted post construction. Bates complained, "My experience with the Quartermaster's Department out here has been such that I am not sanguine about getting the necessary material for building until I have done most of the work without them." He again appealed for permission to employ civilian labor and requested information as to whether he was to construct a two- or three-company fort.





The construction went more smoothly than Bates anticipated; by mid-August one stable and one set of quarters were completed and two sets of officers' quarters were well under way. L.C. Easton, chief quartermaster of the Department of the Missouri, aided the construction when he authorized Bates to purchase lumber and shingles and to employ private teams to deliver those materials. Still, Bates realized the garrison needed more help for the completion of the storehouses before winter, even though he had hired two Civilian masons.





In September Bates hired 12 more civilians which brought the total civilian work force to 14 - four carpenters and 10 masons. And, as the fort increased in size, the civilian personnel - teamsters, clerks, blacksmiths, packers, and herders - also increased in number. Fort Wallace employed the largest civilian work force, encompassing construction, clerical, and maintenance personnel, during January, 1869. At that time 215 civilians were on the payroll. As construction terminated, however, and as Indian hostilities decreased, more soldiers could assume the civilians' positions. By April, 1882, when the fort was ready for abandonment, the army employed only one civilian, a blacksmith, at the post.





After the summer of 1866 post construction at Fort Wallace slowed because Company M, Seventh cavalry, left in September and the remaining garrison of 30 volunteers of Company B, Sixth Infantry, expected to be mustered out of the army very soon.





Evidently their enthusiasm for further construction lagged and the troops accomplished little until Company E, Third infantry, arrived on October 19. These soldiers were joined a few days before Thanksgiving by I troop of the Seventh cavalry. Perhaps the approach of another Kansas, winter caused the men to hurry their work because the construction suffered from poor planning and shoddy craftsmanship - a problem that plagued the building and repair of Fort Wallace as long as it was an active post.


Fort Wallace.

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Old 07-01-2012, 02:06 PM   #141
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Rogers Pass, near the Panamint Range, in Death Valley. The next time I'm back there, I'm going to check out the other locations listed on the sign.


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Old 07-01-2012, 02:38 PM   #142
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Capt. M.W. Keogh, Seventh cavalry, assumed command of the post in November,this is the Capt. Keogh who owned the horse Comanche, Keogh would die in battle, at The Little Big Horn, Comanche would survive. Comanche was Keogh's favorite War Horse. In 1868, when Comanche received his first wound while fighting Comanche Indians on the Cimarron River near Fort Dodge, Kansas, legend has it that it was Captain Keogh who cradled his head while a farrier removed the arrow shaft that had broken off in his right hind quarter, and perhaps even suggested the horse’s name. Comanche died in 1891 at Fort Leavenworth his remains were sent to the University of Kansas and preserved, where they can still be seen today in the university's Natural History Museum.




He reported everything possible was being done to forward the work on the fort. But, Keogh found the troops still housed in tents since one company quarters was not due to be completed until the end of the month, and the other did not have its foundation laid. In addition the walls of the nearly completed quarters were so poorly laid, he doubted a roof of even the lightest material could be supported. Although the heating stoves had arrived, the stove pipe had not, so the tents were without heat. Since many of the men were away from the post on escort or scouting duties, and because the soldiers could receive some medical treatment at the tent hospital, these poor living conditions were partly relieved.





Fort Wallace is the post Custer was Court Marshaled for abandoning, when he rode from here to Fort Harker, catching the train to Fort Riley to see Liby during the Cholera scare of 1867.
Several months later, on March 4, 1867, Keogh reported parties from Denver and elsewhere cutting down trees within a 40-mile circuit of Fort Wallace with the speculative idea of selling firewood to the post quartermaster. Because many of the trees were landmarks and often designated the presence of water, and it highly agravated the Indians as many of these groves were burial grounds, the practice had to be stopped. Trees were a big deal out here, some of these groves were very old, these were really large trees, kind of like an oasis on the plains.





Keogh agreed to purchase the wood already cut, but pledged to prevent any further cutting by "robbers and cut throats" that had no intention of permanently settling in the area. To prevent such exploitation the post reservation was laid off, subject to approval from higher authority, to keep settlers from occupying the land and using the resources - grass, timber, stone, and water - necessary for the existence of the fort. The reservation extended five miles in each direction from the center of the parade ground. W. H. Greenwood, a civil engineer for the Union Pacific, Eastern division, officially surveyed this reservation about June 22, 1867. And, on August 28, 1868, Pres. Andrew Johnson declared the 8,926.09 acres surrounding and including Fort Wallace a military reservation.









Looking south west from the cemetery, the town Wallace is on the horizon, Fort Wallace was about a half mile out in the left portion of the pic, nothing is left but a ghost fort if you look hard enough. Where the fort stood is private property. Pond Creek station was just a little west of where the town of Wallace now stands, about two miles west of the fort. Pond Creek was probably one of the most attacked B.O.D. stations on the Smoky Hill Trail but it was the best defended also, and unlike the Fort it still stands today it was moved to the north edge of the town of Wallace on the horizon, sits right on I-40.



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Old 07-01-2012, 03:41 PM   #143
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During the winter of 1866-1867, department headquarters notified Keogh the strategic importance of Fort Wallace had increased because of the threat of renewed Indian hostilities in the spring. Funds were now available for the construction of a large and expensive fort. Had such plans been determined a year earlier the appearance and utility of the post would have been greatly improved. Nevertheless, in the spring of 1867 Fort Wallace was busy with new construction. Soldiers and civilians completed another set of quarters, began construction of a permanent hospital, and built a dam across the Smoky Hill river to provide a source of water and ice.





By mid-June, though, hostile Indians brought construction to a standstill. The lumber contractor from Denver had not yet made his delivery because the road was unsafe. Keogh could not send troops to escort him because he needed all the soldiers to guard the fort and stage stations in the vicinity. Indeed, Fort Wallace was undermanned. Although the 243-man garrison in June had been boosted to 541 men with the arrival of Company F, Seventh cavalry, in July and Companies B, H, and I, Fifth infantry, in August, all members of the cavalry were deployed on patrol, and infantry detachments guarded the stations as far as 50 miles east and 90 miles west of the fort. The situation was further complicated because 20 prisoners at the post had to be guarded.





Quarry work was hazardous at best because the command could not furnish an adequate guard. Nevertheless, civilians and men from the quartermaster's department managed to continue cutting stone. With the timber necessary to finish the buildings lacking, the forage gone, the officers' supplies used up, and the general supplies almost gone, morale began to drop. In July things took a turn for the better -- supplies arrived along with the proper tools for cutting stone and the Indian hostility decreased long enough to allow construction to resume. The hospital was going up rapidly, and it promised to be a "splendid"' building; work on the magazine was about to begin, and it would be completed in about a week.





Because the construction of permanent frontier forts was a basic element of long-range strategy by 1867, the Department of the Missouri issued a set of guidelines in November of that year to insure regulation and uniformity of design and construction. In compliance with those guidelines, the commanding officers were to employ economy in the building of their respective posts, and they were to see that all buildings were completed in a plain though comfortable manner. Negligence, however, rather than economy caused the troops at Fort Wallace to experience a cold winter because Capt. H. C. Bankhead, Fifth infantry, now commanding officer, failed to have doors put on the buildings.





Little major construction was done in 1868 because Indian hostilities once again occupied most of the soldiers' time. Completion of the post hospital particularly lagged much to the aggravation of the post surgeon. Matters got worse when the building was "suddenly curtailed in its most essential points by orders from high authority requiring the immediate discharge of the mechanics employed in its construction." Because other post construction continued, such as unauthorized improvements on the officers' quarters and the quartermaster's quarters, the post surgeon no doubt rightfully suspected misuse of funds allocated for the hospital.





Officers Quarters Fort Wallace.





By 1870 the officers' quarters were completed at the north end of the parade ground. Although these quarters were cramped, the plaster interiors improved their appearance. The exteriors of these cottages were of rough lumber, and the roofs were wood shingled. Verandas and picket fences decorated the fronts of these houses, while more solid but less attractive board fences protected the rear. The officers and their families also had the security of permanent outhouses, while those of the enlisted men often changed location. Perhaps the condition of the post improved in later years and the command gave more consideration to its repair, because the records make only casual note that all was well. But further repair is doubtful since after 1878 the Indian threat to western Kansas no longer existed. Fort Wallace was no longer needed to protect the area, and funds to maintain the post were meager. Indeed, as early as 1870, Gen. Alexander Pope, commander of the Department of the Missouri, recommended to the secretary of war that Fort Wallace he partially abandoned. General Pope proposed that only a small detachment of men remain there until it became uninhabitable. The site could then be used for a summer camp and as a place to store supplies. Most of the buildings could be moved to Fort Hays which would remain a permanent post.






Two years later General Pope again urged that Fort Wallace be abandoned because the buildings were in such a poor state of repair that the coming winter would be almost unbearable for the men. On October 3, 1879, however, Pope issued a report which indicated he had changed his mind regarding the status of Fort Wallace. At that time he believed western Kansas needed one well-located and well-garrisoned fort to guard the routes between the Indian territory in the south and the reservations to the north to deter unauthorized Indian movement between them. To achieve that objective, General Pope proposed Fort Wallace be enlarged to a six-company post with four companies of cavalry and two companies of infantry. He also suggested moving the buildings from Fort Hays to Fort Wallace to provide ample shelter for the garrison.






Thomas O'Donnell, died November 18, 1868 in the Post Hospital from his wounds received at Beechers Island, and was buried here in the Fort Wallace Cemetery. The town of Wallace near Pond creek Station, on the B.O.D. is on the horizon. Pond creek was just a few miles west of Wallace.





In spite of this recommendation, on April 25, 1882, the secretary of war authorized the withdrawal of the Fort Wallace garrison. Although not all the men left the post at that time, maintenance soon became expensive because the army had to have a company at Fort Dodge and a detachment at Fort Wallace to watch the buildings. General Sheridan recommended the secretary of war end that problem by advertising the buildings for sale, but this action was not taken.




On May 31, 1882, the army officially abandoned Fort Wallace, although a small detachment of troops remained at the post until September. The War Department did not transfer the reservation to the jurisdiction of the Department of the Interior until July 22, 1884. And, the secretary of war did not authorize the removal of the soldiers buried at Fort Wallace to the Fort Leavenworth cemetery until December 21, 1885.






The exhumation of 80 officers and men was completed by the end of May, 1886. The graves of the army scouts who were not officially a part of the military, together with the civilian graves remain at the old post cemetery. In 1886 settlers began salvaging the lumber and stone from the buildings. At first they worked at night; however, when the caretaker offered no resistance, they worked by day. The Department of the Interior did not object because it preferred the settlers remove the buildings and thereby eliminate the expense for maintenance.The homestead law of 1888 opened the Fort Wallace reservation to public entry except for the Union Pacific railroad's right of way.






The federal government deeded the property that the old cemetery stood on to the township of Wallace. Today, little physical evidence remains to mark the location of Fort Wallace -- a post which played an instrumental role in the military conquest of the Plains Indians.

Many of these peoples familys probably never knew what happened to them, they simply disappeared, but you now know what happened to them.


I'll tell the 7th I-Company memorial story next.



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Old 07-02-2012, 04:38 AM   #144
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Band of Brothers

The monument,
donated by Tom Hanks, Bastogne, Belgium









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Old 07-02-2012, 08:07 AM   #145
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Christiaan... Terrific. Rode through the Ardennes a few years ago, a fitting conclusion to a ride starting in Normandy. Was not aware of this monument there. Thanks.
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:52 AM   #146
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Starting close to home:





Is a spelling error worse on a tattoo or when it's cast in bronze?
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:56 AM   #147
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Another:





The story behind this one. The tides are usually low enough to reveal the remains of the ship in January and June. The sands shift enough that you won't likely see the same bits one year to the next.
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Old 07-02-2012, 10:41 AM   #148
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I was involved in placement of that rock in 1979. Maritime Historical Society, Mercer-Fraser contractors who brought the donated rock in on a lowboy, and a big Wagner log loader from Louisiana-Pacific Mill placed the rock on the beach.

Time to place: Maritime wants to place a rock for Milwaukee... ok, sure, got a rock? Ok, can we run a log loader to place it. When do you want to do it... Tuesday, sure, why not.

Today... would take probably 10 years for permits to do it. Require permission from the Coastal Commison, shorebirds, whales, salmon, county building permits, county road department, caltrans, sewage dept, ... and probably have to survey for newts.

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Old 07-02-2012, 10:50 AM   #149
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June 26th 1867

Dawn, Wednesday June 26th, 1867. Three hundred Southern Cheyenne, Arapaho, and Lakota, attacked Pond Creek station on the B.O.D. Pond Creek was heavily fortified it had tunnels runing out to bunkers that sat just above the ground with firing slits. The Cheyenne only managed to run off the Overland stages stock, the old stage station sat about two miles west of Fort Wallace.





The Indians quickly moved towards the fort, Company G of the 7th United States Cavalry, under command of Captain Barnitz, moved west to meet them. The Indians fell back two miles to the north of the fort, the Warriors stoped at the brow of a hill and waited for Company G to close. The Fetterman Massacre had occured just six monthes before in December where a company of 100 men had been lured into ambush in the same way, and killed to the last man.

(The bullet holes in the old station are all covered with a small patch, it was bought by a local rancher, it was a store for a while and a home, a family was raised in it, it was later donated to the Fort Wallace Historical Society, and now sits on the edge of the town of Wallace.
The only B.OD. station that has survived the years, Pond Creek. It still sits out here looking just as it did in 1867.)





Capt. Albert Barnitz of Company G, 7th Cavalry, left the fort with 50 men of his company and a few from Companies E and I to run after them. The soldiers galloped north, then swung west to cut off what appeared to be 75 mounted Indians. Barnitz stopped to form a line on open ground about three miles northwest of present-day Wallace, Kansas.

Looking northwest out of the cemetery towards where the battle took place.





As Barnitz began the move against the Indians, more warriors appeared from over the crest of a slight ridge to the northwest, and others came up from the southwest out of the Pond Creek valley. The 300 Cheyennes and Lakotas did not follow their usual custom of circling, but charged right in for a hand-to-hand struggle. Barnitz termed it "quite a desperate little fight."


Fort Wallace.




The fight was most savage on the south side, where the Dog Soldier Bear with Feathers lanced a trooper off his horse and another Cheyenne, Big Moccasin, scooped up bugler Charles Clark and carried him off. Sgt. Frederick Wyllyams was cut off and overwhelmed. Barnitz himself was shot at several times but came out unscathed. The line held its own briefly, but a portion fell back at the order of Sgt. William Hamlin of Company I, who was later tried for cowardice. Barnitz managed to extricate his command and make it back to the fort.





The next day Barnitz returned for the bodies. Clark and Wyllyams were horribly mutilated. Six troopers had been killed and six wounded. Barnitz surmised that the Indians lost an equal number.





This narative will come from Harper's Weekly, July 1867. While Roman Nose probably was in this battle he was not killed here, as the article states, this would have been the spring before the Beecher's Island battle.

LATE INDIAN OUTRAGES. The war on the "Smoky Hill Route" through Kansas, continues with great fury. On the 26th of June last a band of three hundred Cheyennes, under a chief called "Roman Nose," attacked a station two miles from Fort Wallace, and ran off the Overland Stage Company's stock. They then advanced toward the fort, when Company G of the Seventh United States Cavalry, under command of Captain Barnitz, went out of meet them. The Indians fell back to the brow of a hill two miles from the fort, then turned and awaited the attack. The cavalry charged at a gallop, and were met by a counter charge. The Indians, with lances poised and arrows on the string, rode at them with great speed, and a hand-to-hand fight followed, in which the savages displayed unlooked-for daring.




With their overwhelming numbers they succeeded in driving the cavalry back to the fort, with a loss of seven men killed, several wounded, and half the horses captured or killed. "Roman Nose" was very conspicuous in the fight, dashing into the midst of the fray on his powerful gray horse. He carried a spear, with which he unhorsed a soldier, and was about to spear him as he lay on the ground, when Corporal Harris struck the savage with his sword, which he had in his left hand. "Roman Nose" turned upon him, but as he did so Harris placed the muzzle of the Spencer rifle which he carried in his right hand at the breast of the savage and fired. With the blood spouting from his wound the Indian fell forward on his horse.





The Indians committed unheard of atrocities. A powerful warrior was seen to pick up the bugler, Charles Clark, who had been pierced by three arrows, and strip him as he rode along; after taking off all his clothing he mashed the head to a jelly with his tomahawk, and then threw the body under his horse's feet.




The body of Sergeant Frederick Wyllyams was also fearfully mutilated. His scalp was taken, two balls pierced his brain, and his right brow was cut open with a hatchet. His nose was severed and his throat gashed. The body was opened and the heart laid bare. The legs were cut to the bone, and the arms hacked with knives. We give an engraving of the body from a photograph. This engraving is the one of Wyllams on the cover of Harpers, above.





I shall minutely describe this horrid sight, not for the sake of creating a sensation, but because it is characteristic of a mode of warfare soon--thank God!--to be abolished; and because the mutilations have, as we shall presently see, most of them some meaning, apart from brutality and a desire to inspire fear.

The Photo of Wyllyams




portion of the sergeant's scalp lay near him, but the greater part was gone; through his head a rifle-ball had passed, and a blow from the tomahawk had laid his brain open above his left eye; the nose was slit up, and his throat was cut from ear to ear; seven arrows were standing in different parts of his naked body; the breast was laid open, so as to expose the heart; and the arm, that had doubtless done its work against the red-skins, was hacked to the bone; his legs, from the hip to the knee, lay open with horrible gashes, and from the knee to the foot they had cut the flesh with their knives. Thus mutilated, Wylyams lay beside the mangled horse. In all, there were seven killed and five wounded.




As I have said, almost all the different tribes on the plains had united their forces against us, and each of these tribes has a different sign by which it is known.
The sign of the Cheyenne, or "Cut arm," is made in peace by drawing the hand across the arm, to imitate cutting it with a knife; that of the Arapahoe, or "Smeller tribe," by seizing the nose with the thumb and fore-finger; of the Sioux, or "Cut-throat," by drawing the hand across the throat. The Comanche, or "Snake Indian," waves his hand and arm, in imitation of the crawling of a snake; the Crow imitates with his hands the flapping of wings; the Pawnee, or "Wolf Indian," places two fingers erect on each side of his head, to represent pointed ears; the Blackfoot touches the heel, and then the toe, of the right foot; and the Kiowa's most usual sign is to imitate the act of drinking.





If we now turn to the body of poor Sergeant Wylyams, we shall have no difficulty in recognising some meaning in the wounds. The muscles of the right arm, hacked to the bone, speak of the Cheyennes, or "Cut arms;" the nose slit denotes the "Smeller tribe," or Arapahoes; and the throat cut bears witness that the Sioux were also present. There were, therefore, amongst the warriors Cheyennes, Arapahoes, and Sioux. It was not till some time afterwards that I knew positively what these signs meant, and I have not yet discovered what tribe was indicated by the incisions down the thighs, and the laceration of the calves of the legs, in oblique parallel gashes. The arrows also varied in make and colour, according to the tribe; and it was evident, from the number of different devices, that warriors from several tribes had each purposely left one in the dead man's body.


I had made the acquaintance of poor Sergeant Wylyams only the day before. He was an Englishman, educated at Eton, and of good family, but while sowing his wild oats, he had made a fatal alliance in London, and gone to grief. Disowned by his family, he had emigrated to America, joined the army, and was daily expecting promotion out of the ranks.


Killed in Battle with the Southern Cheyenne and Lakota, June 16th, 1867, Fort Wallace, Kansas.

Company G and E

Sergeant Frederick Wyllyams.

Bugler Charles Clark.

Corporals:

James Douglas.

James K. Ludlow

Privates:

Nathan Trail.

Frank Rahme.

Wyllyams, story continued after his death, it would seem he had a tattoo on his chest in which the Cheyenne removed and taned, it was later found in a Cheyenne camp.



The tattoo comprises strong British military symbols and shows a lion and a unicorn separated by a pile of cannon balls. Behind the creatures are six flags, each apparently a version of the royal ensign. In the centre is a royal coat of arms surmounted by a crown and peeping out from either side of the flags is a cannon.





The old Monument reads, Erected by I Troop 2 U.S Cav and E Co 3 U.S Inf "In Memory of the Sodiers Killed By Indians"
It was erected in 1867 in honor of this battle. The old rock was quaried from the same hillside as those to build the fort, the small shed was built over it not to long ago. as you can see the 144 years have taken a toll, but it still stands on the high plains of western Kansas, a reminder of a time long past and a small battle long forgotten.






There are two other Plains Scouts buried here at Wallace, Abner Sharp Grover who was wounded at Beechers Island. The other is Medicine Bill Comstock the other Buffalo BIll.

On February 16, 1869, a drunk Grover began to harass a man named Moody. Having had trouble with Grover before, Moody shot and killed an unarmed Grover.




On one scouting expedition, Abner Grover and William Comstock encountered a band of Cheyenne. After being received coldly, the two scouts left the camp. Unexpectedly, Comstock and Grover were both shot in the back. Comstock died instantly. Using Comstock's body as a shield, the wounded Grover held off the small party until nightfall. He made his way to a set of railroad tracks where a passing train picked him up. Grover was still recovering from these wounds when he left with Forsyth's Scouts.

I have not found Comstocks grave site as it is not marked but he is buried here, must have been before they kept records.

Medicine Bill Comstock, Plains Scout one of Custers favorite Scouts. Who once challenged Bill Cody for the title Buffalo Bill.




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Old 07-02-2012, 11:51 PM   #150
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