The Arrows John Walter Potter Named Campaigns - Indian Wars
The 22nd Regiment Of Infantry
The Arrows That Wounded The West
It's a simple and obvious truth that American Military men and women no longer go off to war fearing fatal injuries from bows and arrows. These days, once deadly arrowheads have become popular collectors items. But not so long ago, soldiers in the U.S. Army, including physicians, officers, and enlisted men, had to be exceedingly brave to confront American Indians armed with bows and arrows. Even though those basic armaments seem antiquated today, the folks who made and used bows and arrows meant business and the Army surgeons of the middle 1800's had quite a challenge on their hands.
Removing arrowheads from open, gaping wounds that often gushed blood and other body fluids required skill, strength, and ingenuity. Perhaps one of the most incredible recuperation's from a serious head wound was reported by Dr. C.C. Gray, an Army surgeon assigned to the Dakotas in the late 1860's. Dr. Gray wrote that Private John Krumholz of Company H, 22nd Infantry, was wounded at Fort Sully on June 03, 1869, by an arrow that entered his left eye and penetrated the skull for two (2) inches. The soldier was admitted to the forts hospital the same day.
After he was anesthetized with chloroform, an operation was begun to remove the point. Surgeons sawed nearly all the way through his skull with a Hey's Saw until they reached the arrowhead, which they removed. Private Krumholz's post-operative care consisted of rest, a diet low in calories, elevation of the head, applications of cold to the operative site, and saline cathartics. The soldier returned to active duty four days later, June 07, 1869 ! Deeds Not Words !
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John Walter Potter submitted by Joe Bradley
My great grandfather served in the 22nd from 1889 to 1891. He wrote about his experiences as follows: The spelling and grammar is exactly as he wrote it. Joe Bradley
When I was eighteen years old (1889) the Indians were causing trouble in our western states. They thought there were too many white settlers killing off the game. The Sioux nation under Sitting Bull went on the war-path and was killing settlers. This was taking place in the winter of 1889. I was in Minneapolis on my way to the old homestead. Bulletin boards throughout the city were calling for volunteers. I loved to use a gun but hadn't thought about shooting people. How-ever, I signed up with a large group of rookies. The recruiting office was in an upstairs room. The stairs were on the outside of the building to the Army's office. The recruiting sergeant asked my age, and being I was over six feet tall and very muscular, he had me lie about my age. They wanted good strong men. My date of enlistment was December 12, 1889.
The Sergeant marched us to the doctor's office for our physicals; then to a restaurant for our meals. They had a room for us to sleep in until they had enough men to ship out on the train to the West. We were put on the Northern Pacific Railroad headed for Bismarck, North Dakota. On board the train I met a friend who had been drinking. He saw that I was in uniform and told me of all the woes of army life. I had enlisted without my parents' consent. My drinking friend got off the train in a town near my home and he must have told my parents about me being in the army. At Bismarck we were met by army personnel who put us on Pollyannas which hauled us to Fort Abraham Lincoln which was about seven miles from Bismarck.
When we arrived the main body of soldiers was out in the field. We had a sergeant in charge of us whose duty was to make soldiers out of us. The food was poor as they hadn't watched their rations. We had a lot of bread and coffee--no butter for the bread and no sugar for the coffee. It seemed we were always hungry. I remember once when the sergeant was drilling us with rifles and close order drill, and mess call sounded. We all dropped our weapons and ran for the mess hall. The sergeant was taken by surprise. I looked back as I was running and he was just standing there agape. Not a word could he utter. You can be sure this was never repeated. When the main body of troops returned to the Fort our food quality improved greatly. We were all very glad they didn't stay out in the field too much longer.
Fort Abraham Lincoln consisted of the 12th and 22nd Infantries. I was assigned to Company A of the 22nd. We had two troops of the 7th Cavalry and two detachments of artillery. We also had a well-equipped hospital. Our company commander was Captain Irvine and the Adjutant was A. Sharp. The Adjutant looked at me and decided I would make a good school teacher, so I had to teach the children of the post. I liked teaching because I was boss and everyone had to be quiet and mind me. There are not too many jobs in the army like that. I was in charge of two departments. We had two rooms. I had an assistant who was in charge of teaching the soldiers. His name was Copper.
When we weren't in any turmoil with the Indians, the soldiers had the privilege of going to school to help kill the monotony. Sometimes when they came to school after payday, they would be more or less incorrigible. They would read a story, and if it had any animals in it they would carry on with the sounds and go through all kinds of gyrations they thought the animals made. We were able to live through it.
The post adjutant looked me over and thought I would make a good school teacher. I had excelled in my schooling in Minnesota and I agreed. I had the officer's children to teach. I had an assistant by the name of Copper. His room was next to mine. His job was to teach the soldiers. They could go to school to help break the monotony of soldiering when we were not in turmoil with the Indians. I liked teaching because I was boss and everyone had to mind me and be quiet. Sometimes when the soldiers came to school after pay day, they would be more or less incorrigible, but we managed to live through it. They would read a story about some animal and they would go through all kinds of gyrations and imitate the noise they thought the animal made. I can remember one day the class room became dark. In turning around, I could see all the windows were covered with Indian faces. Some of the new children became upset, but the laughter of toe older ones put them at ease. The Indians were in to draw their rations. They just wanted to see what was going on.
Many of the Indian warriors had acquired some of the white man's pants. It would seem so natural to be walking toward a couple of braves dressed in our style only to take a second look after they passed you. The complete seat had been cut out. This was for their convenience, I suppose.
The Fort had a lot of Indians come through. The Indians loved to gamble. We would set up a penny at 50 paces. They would shoot at it with their arrows and they would be so good at hitting it we wouldn't want to set up anything larger. They would gamble anything - stones or whatever. They enjoyed it. The Indians had their own games. They would pick sides. They would toss a spear as far as they could, run, pick it up and toss it again. They had a goal about ˝ mile away. The first brave there was the winner. We called their game "Long Tennis".
We were paid $13.00 a month. They held back four dollars a month so we would have some money waiting for us when we got our discharge. It was not hard to spend that $9.00 a month. They gave us food and a place to sleep, but haircuts could be bought on post; tobacco and other luxuries had to be bought.
Fort Abraham Lincoln was right on the Missouri River. The winters were very very cold. A blizzard would come up quickly out on that prairee. We would be sawing fire wood and a blizzard would come up suddenly and we would have to make a run for the fort which was a half mile away. Our nose and ears would get frost bitten. The air would just fill with snow and ice. Most of us were young lads and could take it. Many came from Minnesota and we were used to the cold. One of my buddie's name was Gustav PohI. He was a farmer from Minnesota and he enlisted shortly after I did. We were both privates and we enjoyed each others company, being both from Minnesota.
There was one young man in the Army with me that had never fired a gun. I was raised with a gun and I knew how to handle them. This young man did not know our Springfields had a ninety pound recoil. Someone told him they would kick back so he held it inches away from his shoulder. His shoulder got very sore so he made a pad to go under his shirt to protect his shoulder. The next time out on the rifle range, the Captain found it out and said, "Sergeant, take that pad out of the soldier's shirt and give him forty more rounds of ammunition. We had some pretty tough sergeants back then, too!
Soldiering was quite a game. I enjoyed the time I was in, but I don't think I would have made it my career. I liked our uniform, the brass and the polished shoes. I had some close comrades like McCormack, Fritzgerald, Royer, Nelson and Twohy.
At Fort Abraham Lincoln, General Custer had a theater built. Some of the men wanted to know if I would put on a show. I found actors among the soldiers. I also had some of the students under me in the play. It went off very well. The play was so well done even the officers and their wives came to see it. The children did very well. I was proud of my cast. We had a gymnasium right off the canteen where we could take most any kind of exercise we wanted. I always picked the boxing gloves as I was pretty handy with them before I went into the service. I was raised with a bunch of fellows about my age and we use to box, It was good exercise and entertainment.
A lot of the soldiers were heavy drinkers. They would go into Mandan when the Fort ran out of beer. In Mandan, they could buy whiskey. I remember one holiday the Army sent out polyannas to pick up soldiers that did not make it back to the Fort. They would make it to the outskirts of town and pass out. They were scattered here and there. 1 never did get this bad off. One enlisted man by the name of Jack, (we will let his last name go), was a sergeant and a very good one. He got along with the men and the men respected him. He had one bad habit. He loved to drink. He would be so drunk, you would never believe he could make roll call, but he never missed. He would be sergeant about two-thirds of the time. It wouldn't be too long before he was sergeant again. He use to call me over to his bunk and he would say, "Kid, never get excited. I was never excited but once and that was when I was born. I thought I was a girl!"
The winters were very cold at Fort Abraham Lincoln. The Army issued us buffalo coats. The Missouri River would freeze so thick you could walk across it. A fellow from Mandan built a shack across the river from the Fort. He had beer, whiskey and a couple of girls to help out. His place was always busy as it saved the soldiers a long walk to Mandan. I had crossed the river several times. This one afternoon, a bunch of us went to the shack. With us was an actor soldier. He was a very good story teller. He worked on the bar keep and ended up with his arm around the bar keep's shoulder. The bar keep's attention was captivated. We were putting bottles of beer inside the buffalo coat's liners. Each side would hold about six bottles of beer. When the actor soldier finished his story, someone asked for a beer. There was nothing! The barkeep's face showed shock. Laughing, we began pulling out the bottles of beer. The bar keep was good-natured about the whole thing, but he never would let the actor soldier get to him again.
We used Springfield rifles and the cartridges were the "center cap". At the time of Custer, they had the "Rim fires". Just out of Fort Lincoln, they built an earth bank about 1/2 mile long for a firing range. We would find the "rim fires" and arrow heads. When they first built the Fort, there weren't too many soldiers and the Indians would attack the Fort. This is why arrow heads were so easy to find near the Fort.
They transferred the 22nd to Fort Keogh on July 22, 1891. We went there on a river steamer. A little later, I was sent back to Fort A. Lincoln with ten other men. We were to dismantle the Fort and put everything on a river steamer from St. Louis. This took us a couple of months. Later, I returned to my company at Fort Keogh, Montana. This Fort was a very large Fort. It was built different than any other. It was all open. It was only two miles from Miles City which had nothing but sport-ing houses and saloons. Miles City was a soldier and cowboy town.
Sergeants: Zobel Wilcox, Burrows, Dalton and Haney
Corporals: Burke and Vaberg
Officers: Capt. Javan B. Irvine, Lt. Alfred C. Sharpe, Lt. John Mc A. Webster, Lt. William E. Bruce, and Lt. Albert Dalton. Lt. Dalton became a General.
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NAMED CAMPAIGNS - INDIAN WARS
Streamers: Scarlet with two black stripes.
|Creeks||January 1790-August 1795|
|Seminoles||21 September-18 November 1811|
|Black Hawk||26 April-30 September 1832|
|Apaches||1873 and 1885-1886|
|Little Big Horn||1876-1877|
|Utes||September 1879-November 1880|
|Pine Ridge||November 1890-January 1891|
Miami, January 1790 - August 1795. In the late 1780's a confederacy of hostile Indians, chiefly Miamis, in the northern part of present-day Ohio and Indiana restricted settlement largely to the Ohio Valley. Three separate expeditions were required to remove this obstacle to expansion.
Late in 1790 a force of 320 Regulars and 1,000 Kentucky and Pennsylvania militiamen under Brig. Gen. Josiah Harmar moved north from Fort Washington (Cincinnati) and was badly defeated in two separate engagements on 18 and 22 October 1790 in the vicinity of present-day Fort Wayne, Indiana. Congress then commissioned Governor Arthur St. Clair of the Northwest Territory as a major general, and he collected a force of about 2,000 men consisting of two regiments of Regulars (300 men each), 800 levies, and 600 militiamen. This force advanced slowly north from Fort Washington in September 1791, building a road and forts as it progressed. On the night of 3 - 4 November 1791 some 1,000 Indiana surrounded 1,400 of St. Clair's men (one Regular regiment was in the rear) near the headwaters of the Wabash. The force was routed, and St. Clair, having lost 637 killed and 263 wounded, returned to Fort Washington.
Congress reacted to these disasters by doubling the authorized strength of the Regular Army in 1792 and appointing Anthony Wayne to succeed St. Clair. Maj. Gen. Wayne joined his troops near Pittsburgh in June 1792 and reorganized his Regulars to form a "Legion" composed of four sub-legions, each a "combat team" consisting of two battalions of infantry, a battalion of rifles, a troop of dragoons, and a company of artillery. After intensive training the Legion moved to Fort Washington in the spring of 1793 where it joined a force of mounted riflemen, Kentucky levies.
Early in October 1793, after peace negotiations had failed, Wayne's troops advanced slowly along St. Clair's route toward Fort Miami, a new British post on the present site of Toledo. They built fortifications along the way and wintered at Greenville. In the spring of 1794 a detachment of 150 men under Capt. Alexander Gibson was seat to the site of St. Clair's defeat where they built Fort Recovery. At the end of June, more than 1,000 warriors assaulted this fort for ten days, but the Indiana were effectively beaten and forced to retreat. Wayne moved forward in July with a force of some 3,000 men, including 1,400 levies from Kentucky, paused to build Fort Defiance at the junction of the Glaize and Maumee, and resumed pursuit of the Indians on 15 August. At Fallen Timbers, an area near Fort Miami where a tornado had uprooted trees, the Indians made a stand. On 20 August 1794 the Indians were thoroughly defeated in a two-hour fight that was characterized by Wayne's excellent tactics and the able performance of his well-trained troops. Wayne's men destroyed the Indian villages, including some within sight of the British guns of Fort Miami.
Jay's Treaty (1794) resulted in the evacuation of frontier posts by the British. By the Treaty of Greenville, 3 August 1795, the western tribes of the region ceded their lands in southern and eastern Ohio, and the way was opened for rapid settlement of the Northwest Territory.
Tippecanoe, 21 September - 18 November 1811. In 1804 Tecumseh, a Shawnee, and his medicine man brother, the Prophet, with British backing, began serious efforts to form a new Indian confederacy in the Northwest. Governor William Henry Harrison of the Indiana Territory rejected Tecumseh's demand that settlers be kept out of the region. In the summer of 1811 Harrison, with the approval of the War Department, undertook to break up the confederacy before it could organize a mayor attack against the settlements.
In September 1811 Harrison moved from Vincennes up the Wabash with a well-trained force of 320 Regular infantry and 650 militia. After building Fort Harrison at Terre Haute as an advanced base, Harrison marched with 800 men toward the main Indian village on Tippecanoe Creek, bivouacking in battle order on the north bank of the Wabash within sight of the village on 6 November. Tecumseh being absent, Harrison conferred with the Prophet who gave the impression that he would not attack while a peace proposal was under consideration. Nevertheless, just before dawn on 7 November 1811, the Indians attacked Harrison's forces. In a wild hand-to-hand encounter the Indians were routed and their village destroyed. Harrison lost 39 killed and missing, 151 wounded; the Indians suffered a similar loss. This indecisive victory did not solve the Indian problems in the Northwest. The tribes of the area were to make common cause with the British in the War of 1812.
Creeks, 27 July 1813- 9 August 1814 and February 1836 - July 1837. The first of the Creek campaigns constitutes a phase of the War of 1812. The Upper Creeks, siding with the English, sacked Fort Mims in the summer of 1813, massacring more than 500 men, women, and children. These same Indians, grown to a force of about 900 warriors, were decisively beaten at Horseshoe Bend (Alabama) late in March 1814 by Andrew Jackson and his force of about 2,000 Regulars, militia, and volunteers, plus several hundred friendly Indians. In 1832 many Creeks were sent to the Indian Territory, and most of those remaining in the Southeast were removed there in 1836-37 when they went on the warpath during the Second Seminole War.
Seminoles, 20 November 1817 - 31 October 1818, 28 December 1835 - 14 August 1842 and 15 December 1855 - May 1858. This conflict began with the massacre of about 50 Americans near an army post in Georgiaclimax to a series of raids against American settlements by Seminoles based in Spanish Florida. Brig. Gen. Edmund P. Gaines, Indian commissioner of the area, attempted countermeasures but soon found himself and his force of 600 Regulars confined to Fort Scott (Alabama) by the Seminoles. War Department instructions to Gaines had permitted the pursuit of Indians into Florida but had forbidden interference if the Indians took refuge in Spanish posts. Maj. Gen. Andrew Jackson, who was ordered to take over the operation, chose to interpret Gaines' instructions as sanctioning a full-scale invasion of the Spanish colony. He organized a force of about 7,500 volunteers, militia, subsidized Creeks, and Regulars (4th and 7th Infantry and a battalion of the 4th Artillery), and invaded Florida with part of thin force in the spring of 1818. Jackson destroyed Seminole camps, captured Pensacola (capital of Spanish Florida) and other Spanish strongholds, and executed two British subjects, Alexander Arbuthnot and Robert Ambrister, accused of inciting and arming the Indians. These activities threatened American relations with Great Britain and jeopardized negotiations with Spain pertinent to cession of Florida (Adams-Onis Treaty, 1819). Eventually the British were mollified and a compromise agreement was reached with the Spanish under which American forces were withdrawn from Florida without repudiating the politically popular Jackson. As for the Seminole problem, it was temporarily allayed but by no means solved.
In the Treaties of Payne's Landing (1832) and Fort Gibson (1833) the Seminoles had agreed to give up their lands, but they refused to move out. Following the arrest and release of Osceola, their leader, in 1835 Seminole depredations rapidly increased. These culminated 28 December in the massacre of Capt. Francis L. Dade's detachment of 330 Regulars (elements of the 2d and 4th Artillery and 4th Infantry) enroute from Fort Brooke (Tampa) to Fort King (Ocala)a disastrous loss for the small, Regular force of 600 men in Florida. Brig. Gen. Duncan L. Clinch, commanding Fort King, took the offensive immediately with 200 men and on 31 December 1835 defeated the Indians on the Withlacoochee River.
The War Department, meanwhile, had ordered Brig. Gen. Winfield Scott, commander of the Eastern Department, to Florida to direct operations against the Seminoles. Most of the hostilities had occurred in General Gaines' Western Department, but the War Department expected impending troubles in Texas to keep Gaines occupied. Nevertheless, Gaines had quickly raised about 1,000 men in New Orleans and, acting on his own authority, embarked for Florida in February 1836. Even after learning of Scott's appointment, Gaines seized supplies collected by Scott at Fort Drane and pressed forward until heavily attacked by Seminoles. He succeeded in extricating his force only with help from Scott's troops. Shortly thereafter Gaines returned to New Orleans.
Completion of preparations for Scott's proposed three-pronged offensive converging on the Withlacoochee were delayed by Gaines' use of Scott's supplies, expiration of volunteer enlistments, and temporary diversion of troops to deal with the Creeks who were then on the warpath in Georgia and Alabama. (See Creek Campaigns.) Before the campaign could get underway, Scott was recalled to Washington to face charges of dilatoriness and of casting slurs on the fighting qualities of volunteers. Beginning in December 1836, Maj. Gen. Thomas S. Jesup carried out a series of small actions against the Seminoles, and in September 1837 Osceola was captured. Colonel Zachary Taylor decisively defeated a sizeable Indian force near Lake Okeechobee in December 1837.
After Taylor's expedition no more large forces were assembled on either side. Numerous small expeditions were carried out chiefly by Regular troops commanded successively by Jesup, Taylor, and Brig. Gen. Walker A. Armistead, and many posts and roads were constructed. Col. William J. Worth finally conceived a plan which consisted of campaigning during the enervating summer seasons with the object of destroying the Indian's crops. This plan was successful in driving a sufficient number of Seminoles from their swampy retreats to permit official termination of the war on 10 May 1842.
During the long and difficult campaign some 5,000 Regulars had been employed (including elements of the 1st, 2d, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th Infantry) with a loss of nearly 1,500 killed. Nearly 20,000 volunteers also participated in the war which cost some thirty-five million dollars and resulted in the removal of some 3,500 Seminoles to the Indian Territory.
The final campaign against the remnants of the Seminoles in Florida consisted mainly of a series of skirmishes between small, roving Indian bands and the 4th Artillery which was stationed at Fort Brooke.
Black Hawk, 26 April - 30 September 1832. A faction of Sauk and Fox Indians, living in eastern Iowa and led by Black Hawk, threatened to go on the warpath in 1832 when squatters began to preempt Illinois lands formerly occupied by the two tribes. The faction held that cession of these lands to the Federal Government in 1804 had been illegal. Black Hawk asserted he would remove the squatters forcibly and attempted without success to organize a confederacy and make an alliance with the British. Finally, when Black Hawk's followers, including some 500 warriors, crossed the Mississippi into Illinois in early 1832 and refused to return, the 1st and 6th Infantry under Brig. Gen. Henry Atkinson, together with Illinois militia, set out in pursuit up the Rock River. A volunteer detachment suffered heavy losses in a skirmish on 14 May 1832 near present-day Dixon, Illinois, and Atkinson had to pause to recruit new militia. On 21 July a volunteer force severely chastised Black Hawk's band at Madison, Wisconsin, and Atkinson completely defeated what remained of it at the confluence of the Mississippi and Bad Axe on 2 August 1832, capturing Black Hawk and killing 150 of his braves.
Comanches, 1867-1875. Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan, commander of the Department of the Missouri, instituted winter campaigning in 1868 as a means of locating the elusive Indian bands of the region. Notable incidents in the campaigns from then until 1875 against the Indians in the border regions of Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas were the nine-day defense of Beecher's Island against Roman Nose's band in September 1868 by Maj. George A. Forsyth's detachment; the defeat of Black Kettle on the Washita (Oklahoma) on 27 November 1868 by Lt. Col. Custer and the 7th Cavalry; the crushing of the Cheyennes under Tall Bull at Summit Spring (Colorado) on 13 May 1869; the assault on the Kiowa-Comanche camp in Palo Duro Canyon on 27 September 1875 by Col. Ranald S. Mackenzie; and the attack and rout of Greybeard's big Cheyenne encampment in the Texas Panhandle on 8 November 1875 by 1st Lt. Frank Baldwin's detachment, spearheaded by infantry loaded in mule wagons.
Modocs, 1872-1873. The Bloc Campaign of 1872-73 was the last Indian war of consequence on the Pacific Coast. When the Modocs, a small and restless tribe, were placed on a reservation with the Klamaths, their traditional enemies, they soon found the situation intolerable. A majority of the Modocs soon left the reservation, led by a chief known as "Captain Jack," and returned to their old lands. A detail of 1st Cavalry troops under Capt. James Jackson became involved in a skirmish with these Modocs on Lost River on 29 November 1872 when the troops sought to disarm then and arrest the leaders.
Following the skirmish, Captain Jack and about 120 warriors with ample supplies retreated to a naturally fortified area in the Lava Beds east of Mount Shasta. On 17 January 1873 Col. Alvan Gillem's detachment of some 400 men, half of them Regulars from the 1st Cavalry and 21st Infantry, attacked the Modoc positions, but the troops could make no progress in the almost impassable terrain, suffering a loss of 10 killed and 28 wounded.
By spring of 1873 Brig. Gen. Edward R. S. Canby, commander of the Department of the Pacific, had collected about 1,000 men (elements of the 1st Cavalry, 12th and 21st Infantry, and 4th Artillery) to besiege the Modocs. Indian Bureau officials failed in attempts at negotiation, but General Canby and three civilian commissioners were able to arrange a parley with an equal number of Modoc representatives on 11 April. The Indians treacherously violated the truce. Captain Jack, himself, killed General Canby while others killed one commissioner, Eleazer Thomas, and wounded another. The siege was resumed.
Brig. Gen. Jefferson C. Davis, who arrived in May to replace Canby pushed columns deep into the Lava Beds, hurrying the Indians day and night with mortar and rifle fire. When their source of water was cut off, the Indians were finally forced into the open, and all were captured by 1 June 1873. Captain Jack and two others were hanged, and the rest of the tribe was removed to the Indian Territory. During the course of the siege some 80 white men were killed.
Apaches, 1873 and 1885-1866. After Brig. Gen. George Crook became commander of the Department of Arizona in 1871 he undertook a series of winter campaigns by small detachments which pacified the region by 1874. In the years that followed, the Indian Bureau's policy of frequent removal created new dissatisfaction among the Apaches. Dissident elements went off the reservations, led by Chato, Victorio, Geronimo, and other chiefs, and raided settlements along both aides of the border, escaping into Mexico or the United States as circumstances dictated. To combat this practice the two nations agreed in 1882 to permit reasonable pursuit of Indian raiders by the troops of each country across the international boundary.
Victorio was killed by Mexican troops in 1880, but Chato and Geronimo remained at large until May 1883 when they surrendered to General Crook and elements of the 6th Cavalry, reinforced by Apache scouts, at a point some 200 miles inside Mexico. Two years later Geronimo and about 150 Chiricahua Apaches again left their White Mountain reservation (Arizona) and once more terrorized the border region. Elements of the 4th Cavalry and Apache scouts immediately took up pursuit of the Chiricahua renegades. In January 1886 Capt. Emmet Crawford and 80 Apache scouts attacked Geronimo's main band some 200 miles south of the border, but the Indians escaped into the mountains. Although Crawford was killed by Mexican irregulars shortly thereafter, his second in command, 1st Lt. M. P. Maus, was able to negotiate Geronimo's surrender to General Crook in late March 1886. But Geronimo and part of his band escaped within a few days (29 March). Capt. Henry W. Lawton's column (elements of the 4th Cavalry, 8th Infantry, and Apache scouts) surprised Geronimo's camp in the mountains of Mexico on 20 July. Although the Chiricahuas again fled, by the end of August they indicated a willingness to surrender. On 4 September 1886, 1st Lt. Charles B. Gatewood of Lawton's command negotiated the formal surrender to Brig. Gen. Nelson Miles who had relieved General Crook in April. Geronimo sad his band were removed to Florida and finally to the Fort Sill military reservation.
Little Big Horn, 1876-1877. Discovery of gold in the Black Hills in 1874, bringing an influx of miners, and extension of railroads into the area renewed unrest among the Indians, and many left their reservations. When the Indians would not comply with orders from the Interior Department to return to the reservations by the end of January 1876, the Army was requested to take action.
A small expedition into the Powder River country in March 1876 produced negligible results. Thereafter, a much larger operation, based on a War Department plan, was carried out in the early Sumner months. As implemented by Lt. Gen. Philip Sheridan, commander of the Division of the Missouri (which included the Departments of the Missouri, Platte, and Dakota), the plan was to converge several columns simultaneously on the Yellowstone River where the Indians would be trapped and then forced to return to their reservations.
In pursuance of this plan, Maj. Gen. George Crook, commander of the Department of the Platte, moved north from Fort Fetterman (Wyoming) in late May 1876 with about 1,000 men (elements of the 2d and 3d Cavalry and 4th and 9th Infantry). At the same time two columns marched south up the Yellowstone under Brig. Gen. Alfred H. Terry, commander of the Department of Dakota. One column of more than 1,000 men (7th Cavalry and elements or the 6th, 17th, and 20th Infantry), under Terry's direct commend, moved from Fort Abraham Lincoln (North Dakota) to the mouth of Powder River. The second of Terry's columns, numbering about 450 men (elements of the 2d Cavalry and 7th Infantry) under Col. John Gibbon, moved from Fort Ellis (Montana) to the mouth of the Big Born.
On 17 June 1876 Crook's troops fought an indecisive engagement with a large band of Sioux and Cheyenne under Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull, and other chiefs on the Rosebud and then moved back to the Tongue River to wait for reinforcements. Meanwhile, General Terry had discovered the trail of the same Indian band and sent Lt. Col. George A. Custer with the 7th Cavalry up the Rosebud to locate the war party and move south of it. Terry, with the rest of his command, continued up the Yellowstone to meet Gibbon and close on the Indians from the north.
The 7th Cavalry, proceeding up the Rosebud, discovered an encampment of 4,000 to 5,000 Indians (an estimated 2,500 warriors) on the Little Big Horn on 25 June 1876. Custer immediately ordered an attack, dividing his forces so as to strike the camp from several directions. The surprised Indians quickly rallied and drove off Maj. Marcus A. Reno's detachment (Companies A, G, and M) which suffered severe losses. Reno was joined by Capt. Frederick W. Benteen's detachment (Companies D, H, and K) and the pack train (including Company B) and this combined force was able to withstand heavy attacks which were finally lifted when the Indians withdrew late the following day. Custer and a force of 211 men (Companies C, E, F, I, and L) were surrounded and completely destroyed. Terry and Gibbon did not reach the scene of Custer's last stand until the morning of 27 June. The 7th Cavalry's total losses in this action (including Custer's detachment) were: 12 officers, 247 enlisted men, 5 civilians, and 3 Indian scouts killed; 2 officers and 51 enlisted men wounded.
After this disaster the Little Big Horn campaign continued until September 1877 with many additional Regular units seeing action (including elements of the 4th and 5th Cavalry, the 5th, 14th, 22d, and 23d Infantry, and the 4th Artillery). Crook and Terry joined forces on the Rosebud on 10 August 1876, but most of the Indians slipped through the troops, although many came into the agencies. Fighting in the fall and winter of 1876-77 consisted mostly of skirmishes and raids, notably Crook's capture of American Horse's village at Slim Buttes (South Dakota) on 9 September and of Dull Knife's village in the Big Horn Mountains on 26 November, and Col. Nelson A. Miles' attack on Crazy Horse's camp in the Wolf Mountains on 8 January. By the summer of 1877 most of the Sioux were back on the reservations. Crazy Horse had come in and was killed resisting arrest at Fort Robinson (Nebraska) in September. Sitting Bull, with a small band of Sioux, escaped to Canada but surrendered at Fort Buford (Montana) in July 1881.
Ft. Randall, S.D. 1856 -1892. One of the frontier forts the 22nd Infantry Regiment was stationed at during the Indian Wars. All picture courtesy of Double Deucer John Miedema of Mitchell, S.D.
Plat of Ft. Randall
Ft. Randall established
US Army Ft. Randall
Cemetery Roster 22nd Infantry Regiment
Cemetery at Ft. Randall
Ft. Randall Church
Ft. Randall Church East
Ft. Randall Church "North"
Nez Perces, 1877. The southern branch of the Nez Perces led by Chief Joseph refused to give up their ancestral lands (Oregon-Idaho border) and enter a reservation. When negotiations broke down and Nez Perce hotheads killed settlers in early 1877, the 1st Cavalry was sent to compel them to come into the reservation. Chief Joseph chose to resist and undertook an epic retreat of some 1,600 miles through Idaho, Yellowstone Park, and Montana during which he engaged 11 separate commands of the Army in 13 battles and skirmishes in a period of 11 weeks. The Nez Perce chieftain revealed remarkable skill as a tactician and his braves demonstrated exceptional discipline in numerous engagements, especially those on the Clearwater River (11 July), in Big Hole Basin (9-12 August), and in the Bear Paw Mountains where he surrendered with the remnants of his band to Col. Nelson A. Miles on 4 October 1877. Maj. Gen. O. O. Howard, commander of the Department of the Columbia, and Col. John Gibbon also played a prominent part in the pursuit of Joseph, which, by the end of September 1877 had involved elements of the 1st, 2d, 5th, and 7th Cavalry, the 5th Infantry, and the 4th Artillery.
Bannocks, 1878. The Bannock, Piute, and other tribes of southern Idaho threatened rebellion in 1878, partly because of dissatisfaction with their land allotments. Many of them left the reservations, and Regulars of the 21st Infantry, 4th Artillery, and 1st Cavalry pursued the fugitives. Capt. Evan Miles so effectively dispersed a large band near the Umatilla Agency on 13 July 1878 that most of the Indians returned to their reservations within a few months.
The Sheepeaters, mountain sheep hunters and outcasts of other Idaho tribes, raided ranches and mines in 1879. Relentless pursuit by elements of the 1st Cavalry and 2d Infantry compelled them to surrender in September of that year.
Cheyennes, 1878-1879. After the extensive surrenders in 1877 of the hostile Northern Cheyennes, in the Departments of Dakota and the Platte, a number were sent under guard to the Cheyenne and Arapaho Agency, at Fort Reno, Indian Territory, on 8 August 1877. Subsequent to that date other small parties surrendered and some died, so that on 1 July 1878, the number of Northern Cheyennes, at Fort Reno amounted to more than 940. An attempt had been made by General Pope, commending the Department of the Missouri, to disarm and dismount these Indians, so as to place them on the same footing with the Southern Cheyennes, but as it was found this could not be done without violation of the conditions of their surrender, they were permitted to retain their arms and ponies.
A large part of the Northern Cheyennes found friends among the Southern Cheyennes, mixed with them, and joined the various bands. About one-third of the Northern Cheyennes, however, under the leadership of "Dull Knife," "Wild Hog," "Little Wolf," and others, comprising about 375 Indians, remained together and would not affiliate with the Southern Cheyennes. Dissatisfied with life at their new agency, they determined to break away, move north, and rejoin their friends in the country where they formerly lived. Their intention to escape had long been suspected and their movements were consequently watched by the troops, but by abandoning their lodges, which they left standing, about 89 warriors, and slightly less than 250 women and children escaped from the agency on 9 September 1877.
Although troops were dispatched from several posts to intercept and return them to the agency, the Indiana eluded their pursuers and continued north raiding settlements for stock and committing other depredations. On 21 September a minor skirmish took place between the Indians and Army troops assisted by citizens. Six days later, Colonel Lewis' command overtook the Cheyennes on "Punished Woman's Fork" of the Smoky Hill River, where the Indians were found very strong entrenched and waiting for the troops. Colonel Lewis attacked them at once and was mortally wounded while leading the assault. In the clash, 3 enlisted men were wounded, one Indian killed; 62 head of stock were captured.
In spite of all precautions, the Cheyennes managed to escape and continue north. Two Cheyennes who had been taken prisoner by cowboys told authorities the fugitives had intended to reach the Cheyennes, supposed to be at Fort Keogh, Montana, where, if permitted to stay, they would surrender, otherwise they would try to join Sitting Bull, who still remained in Canada. The prisoners also said that the escaping Cheyennes had lost 15 killed in the various fights subsequent to their escape from Fort Reno.
On 23 October, two troops of the 3d Cavalry captured 149 of the Cheyennes and 140 head of stock. "Dull Knife," "Old Crow," and "Wild Hog" were among the prisoners. Their ponies were taken away, together with such arms as could be found, but the prisoners said they would die rather than be taken back to Indian Territory. "Little Wolf" and some of his followers escaped and, in January 1879, additional members of the tripe escaped to join "Little Wolf" after a skirmish with troops near Fort Robinson.
Some of the escaping Cheyennes strongly positioned on some cliffs were intercepted, but again they escaped. However, two days later they were again located near the telegraph line from Fort Robinson to Hat Creek, where they were entrenched in a gully. Refusing to surrender, they were immediately attacked and the entire party either killed or captured. "Dull Knife" their leader was among those killed.
On 25 March "Little Wolf" and his band were overtaken near Box Elder Creek by a force made up of two troops of Cavalry, a detachment of Infantry, a field gun, and some Indian scouts. The Indians were pursuaded to surrender without fighting and gave up all their arms and about 250 ponies, and marched with the troops to Fort Keogh. The band numbered 33 men, 43 squaws, and 38 children.
Utes, September 1879-November 1880. The Indian agent, N. C. Meeker, at White River Agency (Colorado) became involved in a dispute with Northern Utes in September 1879 and requested assistance from the Army. In response, Maj. T. T. Thornburgh's column of some 200 men (parts of the 5th Cavalry and 4th Infantry) moved out from Fort Steele (Wyoming). On 29 September this force was attacked and besieged in Red Canyon by 300 to 400 warriors. Thornburgh's command was finally relieved by elements of the 9th Cavalry that arrived on 2 October and of the 5th Cavalry under Col. Wesley Merritt who arrived on 5 October, but in the meantime Meeker and most of his staff had been massacred. Before the Utes were pacified in November 1880, several thousand troops, including elements of the 4th, 6th, 7th, 9th, and 14th Infantry had taken the field. In 1906 the Utes of this area left their reservation and roamed through Wyoming, terrorizing the countryside, until they were forced back on their reservation by elements of the 6th and 10th Cavalry.
Pine Ridge. November 1890- January 1891. Accumulated grievances, aggravated by teachings of an Indian prophet named Wovoka, who claimed to be the Messiah, brought about this last major conflict with the Sioux. General Miles, commander of the Department of the Missouri, responded to a Department of Interior request to check the rising ferment by ordering apprehension of the great Sioux leader, Sitting Bull, who was killed during the attempted arrest at Standing Rock Agency on 15 December 1890. Meanwhile, large numbers of Sioux had been assembling in the Bad Lands, and a serious clash took place at Wounded Knee Creek on 29 December 1890 between Col. James W. Forsyth's 7th Cavalry and Chief Big Foot's band with considerable losses on both sides. Almost half the infantry and cavalry of the Regular Army (including elements of the 1st, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th Cavalry and the 1st, 2d, 3d, 7th, 8th, 12th, 16th, 17th, 20th, 21st, 22d, and 25th Infantry as well as the 4th Artillery) were concentrated in the area, and in January 1891 the warriors were disarmed and persuaded to return peaceably to their reservations.
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THE TWENTY-SECOND REGIMENT OF INFANTRY
By CAPTAIN OSKALOOSA M. SMITH, C. S., U. S. ARMY.
(LATE FIRST LIEUTENANT 22D INFANTRY.)
THE 22d Regiment of Infantry was originally the Second Battalion of the 13th
Infantry, (a regiment of three battalions of eight companies each) which was
organized by direction of the President, May 4, 1861, and confirmed by Act of
Congress of July 29, 1861. It became the 22d Infantry under the Act of Congress
of July 28, 1866, which act reorganized the Army of the United States. It is not
the intention in this short sketch to go into the history of the regiment prior
to its reorganization in 1866, as its previous services will no doubt be shown
in the history of the 13th Infantry, further than to say that official records
show that during the War of the Rebellion it participated in the following
battles, viz.: Chickasaw Bayou, Miss., December 29, 1862; Arkansas Post, Ark.,
January 11, 1863; Walnut Hills, Miss., May 19; Siege of Vicksburg, Miss., which
culminated July 4; Colliersville, Tenn., October 11; Missionary Ridge, Tenn.,
November 24 and 25, 1863. Many of the officers of the original 13th Infantry had
varied and peculiar records, the most noted and distinguished of which were
those of the first colonel, William T. Sherman, and one of the original
captains, Philip H. Sheridan, each of whom in turn became General of and
commanded the Army of the United States.
In looking over the names of the original officers of that regiment, we find
only three remaining upon the active list; some have been retired from service,
others are in civil life, and many have heard the last tattoo.
In the organization of the 22d Infantry the field officers were Brevet
Major-General David S. Stanley, colonel; Brevet Colonel Elwell S. Otis,
lieutenant-colonel; Brevet Colonel Alexander Chambers, major. The regiment was
reorganized in May, 1869, by the consolidation with it of the 31st Infantry,
under the Act of Congress approved March 3, 1869. The field officers remained
the same except that Brevet Colonel Joseph N. G. Whistler was assigned as major,
vice Chambers, who was transferred to the 10th Infantry.
he regiment no longer has in its midst the other field officers mentioned.
Stanley is a brigadier-general, Otis is colonel of the 20th Infantry and
Whistler, who became colonel of the 15th Infantry, is retired from active
service. There were, as the years passed on, numerous changes among the field
officers, but only one in the grade of colonel. General Stanley was succeeded by
Colonel Peter T. Swaine, who was promoted from lieutenant-colonel 15th Infantry.
As the 31st Infantry, which originally was the 3d Battalion of the 13th
Infantry, was embodied in the 22d Infantry in the consolidation of 1869,
one-half the officers and all of the enlisted men of the 31st joining the new
22d, a brief synopsis of the history of that regiment will appear in these
pages. The consolidation of the companies of the two regiments to form "the new
22d Infantry " was effected by consolidating the companies of the 22d—A and I
becoming A; B and K, B; C and F, C; D and E, D; G and H, H. 31st Infantry
Companies B and E, E; F and H, F; C and G, G; D and I, I; A and K, K.
In April, 1866, the 2d Battalion, 13th Infantry, was concentrated at Fort
Leavenworth, Kansas ; on the 26th of that month it left for the upper Missouri
River taking station as follows: Headquarters and Companies A and B at Fort
Randall; C, E and H, Fort Sully; D, Fort Dakota; F, Fort James; G, Fort
Thompson, all in Dakota Territory. Companies I and K were organized at Fort
Ward, Bedloe's Island, N. Y., October 2, 1866, (this after the designation had
been changed to 22d Infantry) and left the same day, via Fort Leavenworth, for
Fort Randall, where they took station.
The 3d Battalion, 13th Infantry, was organized at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri,
and left that post for the upper Missouri River April 21, 1866, taking station:
Headquarters and Companies B, E, F, G and H at Fort Rice; A, Fort Sully; C, Fort
Buford; D, Fort Berthold, all in Dakota Territory. Company C, at Fort Buford,
which at that time was nothing more than a camp, had seventy enlisted men, and
there were only two officers with it—Capt. W. G. Rankin and Lieut. H. H.
Ketchum, who was detached from the 2d Battalion. Their orders were to build a
post; the only tools they had to do it with were the company axes. The second
night after arrival the camp was attacked by Indians, who were driven away, but
at the expense of one soldier wounded. The next day the Indians attacked and
attempted to drive off the herd of beef cattle, but were repulsed and two
Indians killed. The Indian attacks upon the camp were of almost daily occurrence
during the summer and fall. Parties of men cutting and rafting logs from the
mouth of the Yellowstone were often attacked and driven to camp, where, being
joined by other men of the company, the Indians were driven off, the fighting
lasting from two to six hours, often with loss on both sides.
Three civilian wood choppers in government employ having been killed at the
mouth of the Yellowstone, Lieut. Ketchum, with sixty men, repaired to the spot,
drove off the Indians and recovered the bodies with slight loss to his
detachment. These were trying times, for the Indians, having been heavily
reinforced, boldly boasted that they intended to annihilate the soldiers. During
that winter the post was besieged by Indians; the troops were virtually cut off
from water (the Missouri River) and had to sink wells near the quarters. Several
times during the winter rumors reached the States that the garrison had been
massacred, for in that time only one or two mails had been received at and sent
from the camp, so it was spring before the people in the East knew what the real
condition of affairs had been. Captain Rankin's wife spent that winter in camp,
bravely enduring the hardship and danger incident thereto. Company I was
organized at Fort Wood, and Kat Fort Columbus, N. Y., October 3,1866 (this after
the designation had been changed to 31st Infantry), leaving the same day for
Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where they remained until May, 1867,
when they moved to Dakota.
Shortly after that the regiment was stationed with Headquarters and
Companies H and I at Fort Stevenson; Companies A, D and K at Fort Totten;
Companies B, C, E, F and G, at Fort Buford. That regiment built the posts
mentioned, and Buford and Stevenson, under great difficulties. The working
detachments carried their arms with them and oftentimes the Indians pounced upon
them, causing them to leave their work, fall into line and open fire upon the
enemy. Building logs were obtained under great hardship several miles distant
from the posts, large escorts were sent with the wagons, and many men while on
that duty were killed and wounded in fights with the Sioux Indians. The troops
lived in tents until late in the winter of 1867. There was deep snow before they
moved into their quarters and they got in none too soon at Stevenson and Totten,
as a severe snowstorm came upon them, lasting three or four days; the wind was
fierce and the weather extremely cold. Officers and soldiers were kept in their
quarters for several days. At Stevenson the fuel in some of the quarters gave
out and the officers burned their furniture to keep from freezing. A wagon train
loaded with lumber and canned goods en route from Fort Abercrombie to Totten was
forced to stop on the Cheyenne River, and to keep from freezing and starving the
men burned the lumber and ate a large quantity of the canned articles.
Mails were received in the winter once in ten days at some of the posts; once a
month at the more distant ones. They were carried on sleds drawn by large dogs,
usually three in tandem, half-breeds being employed for this service. In the
summer they were carried by soldiers. It was a very dangerous service between
Rice, Stevenson and Buford, and between Totten and Stevenson. Those sections
were infested by hostile Indians who oftentimes attacked the mail parties and
many men were killed in that service. In the beautiful spring of 1868, after a
hard winter, a party of soldiers left Totten with the mail for Stevenson, in
high spirits, anticipating an enjoyable trip and a meeting with friends at the
distant post. About midway between the two posts the party was attacked by a
large number of Sioux Indians and every man killed. A rescuing party found their
bodies stripped of clothing and mutilated. On June 10th, the same year, Capt.
Albert M. Powell, a brave and accomplished officer of the regiment who rendered
good service during the war as chief of artillery of the 17th Army Corps, was
killed by being thrown from a vicious horse.
In the meantime the 22d was building Forts Sully and Rice; repairing and adding
new buildings to Fort Randall under difficulties similar to those above recited.
Detachments also occupied Indian Agencies where they had to build shelter. All
of those posts were from time to time attacked by Indians. In the summer of 1868
a large number of Sioux Indians attacked the guard with the cattle herd at Fort
Buford. The guard, including two or three officers who joined it on horseback,
fought desperately, but were overpowered, Lieutenant Cusick having been wounded
and several men killed or wounded, and the cattle stampeded and driven off. This
was so sudden and the work so quickly done that the infantry could not get on
the ground in time to take part in it. Lieutenant Hogan followed the Indians
with men in wagons. (there were only enough horses at the post for a small detachment) and had some skirmishing with them, but could not recapture the cattle.
At that time there was not one mile of railway in Dakota or Montana and not more
than two or three state lines in the two territories; most of the military
travelling was done with Government transportation. The railway had not reached
Sioux City, Iowa; St. Cloud, Minn., 75 miles distant from St. Paul, was the
western terminus of the railroad from that place. At this date everybody knows
that there are several thousand miles of railway in Montana and the two Dakotas,
and all military posts in those States are within reasonable distance of it. As
an instance of how difficult it was to go from one post to another in those
times when travelling without military escort, in 1870 three officers of the 22d
Infantry being ordered from Fort Sully to Totten,—a distance, as the crow flies,
of about 250 miles,—had to go via Sioux City, Chicago and St. Paul, travelling
1633 miles—3266 miles in the round trip. With the railroad facilities, of the
present day, the distance as usually travelled is about 450 miles.
In the summer of 1870 the 17th Infantry, under command of General T. J.
Crittenden, went up the Missouri River and part of the regiment took station at
Rice, relieving the companies of the 22d at that post. The headquarters and
several companies of the 17th were stationed for some time at Sully, and we thus
had two regimental headquarters, including bands, at the post, which made it one
of the gayest and liveliest posts in the United States. Finally that regiment
took station at posts along the river above Sully, and the 22d occupied Sully,
under command of the colonel, with Companies A, E, F and H; and Randall, under
command of the lieutenant-colonel, with Companies B, C, D and G. Company I was
sent to Crow Creek Indian Agency and K to Lower Brulé Agency, which are situated
about eight miles apart and about midway between Sully and Randall, Crow Creek
on the left and Brulé on the right bank of the Missouri. There those companies
constructed with soldier labor substantial one-company posts. At the end of nine
months affairs were so quiet at Crow Creek that Company I was withdrawn to
Sully, and the military buildings were transferred to the Indian Department for
school purposes and to this day are used in that way.
In the fall of 1871 the first expedition to the Yellowstone River, as escort to
Gen. T. J. Rosser's surveying party of the projected Northern Pacific Railway,
was organized at and started from Fort Rice. The column was composed of
Companies D and H, 17th; B, 20th; and A, C, H and I, 22d Infantry; two Gatling
guns and twenty-six Indian scouts, all under command of Bvt. Col. J. N. G.
Whistler. The transportation consisted of 104 wagons. The expedition marched
from Rice, September 9; reached the Yellowstone, at the mouth of Glendive Creek
near where the town of Glendive is now situated, October 2; from there returned
to Rice, arriving on the 16th, having marched over 600 miles. Some days the
marches were short, others as many as twenty miles were made, and from time to
time, a day was spent in camp resting. The companies returned to their posts
from Rice by steamer, resuming garrison duty and the ordinary detached service
until July, 1872, when a larger expedition to the Yellowstone, under command of
Bvt. Maj. Gen. D. S. Stanley, was organized at Fort Rice.
General Rosser continued in charge of the engineers.
The Headquarters and Companies D, F and G, 22d; A, B,
C, F, H and K, 8th; A and F, 17th Infantry, and a detachment of Indian scouts
took part in the expedition, which marched from Rice, July 26, arriving at the
mouth of Powder River, August 18. On the afternoon of that day General Stanley
accompanied by several officers was having a parley with a party of Indians
headed by Gaul, who stood upon the opposite bank of the river, when suddenly the
Indians treacherously opened fire upon the group; strange to say not an officer
was hit. A detachment of troops rallied to the spot and the Indians beat a
retreat. Thence the command marched back to Cabin Creek, encountering the
Indians in skirmishes; O'Fallon's Creek, August 21 and 22, and arrived at Rice,
October 15, except Captain Miner's company, which was detained a few days longer
with some of the engineers and then marched to that post. During the summer the
troops had marched over 1000 miles. Among the casualties were 1st Lieut. Eben
Crosby, 17th Infantry, killed by Indians, October 5, and 1st Lieut. Lewis D.
Adair, 22d Infantry, who served gallantly during the war as an officer of Ohio
volunteers, died the same day of wounds received at the hands of the Indians.
General Stanley's colored servant, Steve, a faithful man, was killed about the
In May, 1873, the third expedition to the Yellowstone was organized at Fort Rice
and again commanded by General Stanley. The composition of it was: Troops A, B,
C, E, F, G, H, K, L, M, 7th Cavalry; Companies C, 6th; B, C, F, H, 8th; A, D, E,
F, H, I, 9th; A, B, H, 17th; Headquarters and B, E, H, I, K, 22d Infantry, and a
detachment of Indian scouts. This expedition, accompanied by a large wagon train
loaded with supplies, left Rice, June 20, arriving at the point of crossing of
the Yellowstone, about fifteen miles above where the town of Glendive is now
located, July 31, thence proceeded up the left bank of the river as far as
Pompey's Pillar, but not without opposition from the Indians, who evidently had
concluded that the surveying had gone far enough. On August 4th, just opposite
to where Fort Keogh now stands, they attacked the advance guard, killing the
veterinary surgeon, sutler and one soldier of the 7th Cavalry, which dashing
regiment pursued the savages for several miles, killing a number of them. On
August 11th, the Indians were again encountered by the cavalry opposite the
mouth of the Big Horn River and a desperate fight ensued with loss of life on
both sides. Lieut. Charles Braden, 7th Cavalry, was severely wounded. Lieut. H.
H. Ketchum, adjutant 22d Infantry and adjutant-general of the expedition, who
was temporarily with General Custer then commanding the 7th Cavalry, had his
horse shot under him. Upon the approach of the infantry the Indians abandoned
the field. That night the battalion of the 22d occupied the advance posts and
exchanged shots with the Indians, who tried to approach the camp, probably to
stampede the horses, mules and cattle herd. During the afternoon of that day the
artillery detachment, which was composed of men of the 22d and commanded by
Lieutenant Webster, was obliged to shell the timber along the bank of the
Yellowstone to dislodge a large body of Indians, who were evidently preparing to
impede the next day's march. They were dispersed and seen again only in small
parties, one of which fired into the camp at Pompey's Pillar and then beat a
hasty retreat, having done no damage. From Pompey's Pillar the expedition
marched to the Musselshell river, thence to the Great Porcupine, following it
until the Yellowstone was again reached. This was a new and unexplored country
and it was a very difficult thing to take a large command and wagon train
through it. There was a great deal of hardship, especially from frequently
having to drink alkaline water and sometimes having no water at all. The command
marched into Fort Lincoln, arriving there September 22d, thence the companies
proceeded to their respective stations. They had marched during the expedition
over twelve hundred miles and returned in excellent physical condition.
The following year was a happy one to the regiment, as it was ordered to
exchange stations with the 1st Infantry. This was accomplished in July, and
stations were taken as follows: Headquarters and Companies D, F, and H, at Fort
Wayne (Detroit), Michigan; A, Madison Barracks (Sackett's Harbor), N. Y.; B and
K, Fort Porter (Buffalo), N. Y.; C and G, Fort Brady (Sault Ste. Marie); E, Fort
Mackinac; I, Fort Gratiot, Mich. This was a new and happy experience for the
regiment which had been so long on the northwestern frontier, but it was not to
last long without interruption. On the evening of September 16 telegraphic
orders came for Companies A, B, D, F, H, I and K to repair without delay to New
Orleans to aid in maintaining the peace which had been broken by a complication
of affairs, one of the principal elements being the organization known as the
White League. The companies were packed and ready to start by midnight, and took
the train early on the morning of the 17th, reaching New Orleans on the night of
the 20th. It had been intimated that the duty would be of ten days' duration,
instead of which it lasted eight months—until May, 1875—the battalion quartering
from time to time in various parts of the city and at Greenville, one of its
suburbs. Companies A and K were for a time at Jackson Barracks. Early in July,
1876, the news of the Custer massacre was flashed through the country, and the
22d Infantry was again placed under marching orders from the lake stations to go
to the field. Never before or since were the troops at those stations sent on
active service, but it appeared to be the fate of the 22d to remain in repose
for short intervals only. On July 4 the companies at Fort Wayne participated in
the parade at Detroit; on the 11th, except Company A which remained at Wayne,
they left to join General Terry's command at the mouth of the Rosebud, Montana,
being joined at Fort Lincoln by the other companies ordered out, the battalion
then consisting of Companies E, F, G, H, I and K, Lieut.-Col. E. S. Otis in
command. In a few days the steamboat Carroll was sent to take the battalion and
a detachment of recruits for the 7th Cavalry to the Rosebud. On July 29, when
the boat was passing the mouth of Powder River, the Indians in large number from
the right bank of the Yellowstone made a vigorous attack upon it. The troops
responded promptly and the boat was landed and two or three companies sent
onshore. The fight lasted some time, engaged in by the troops on the boat as
well as those on shore, until the Indians were driven back into the hills, with
what loss we never knew. Their camp was taken possession of and burned, a few
firearms and other trophies being found and taken on the boat. There were
two or three soldiers slightly wounded. On August 1 the battalion arrived at
General Terry's camp, where it remained until the 7th. The next day it marched
with General Terry's command up the Rosebud. The valley of the lower Rosebud is
very rough and the marches were short and difficult. In the forenoon of the 10th
there was great excitement, as a heavy dust was seen rising some two or three
miles in our front and horsemen riding around. Reports went down the line that
we were approaching the hostiles and an engagement was expected within a few a
minutes, when W. F. Cody (Buffalo Bill) with some Indian scouts came within
recognizing distance and informed us that General Crook's column was marching
down the valley. That night the two columns camped together. The battalion was
kept constantly on the march following Indian trails along the Rosebud, Tongue
and Powder rivers and affluent streams, then crossed to the north of the
Yellowstone and marched to the rugged ridge which divides its waters from those
of the Missouri. Seeing no signs of Indians it moved in the direction of
Glendive Creek and camped opposite the mouth of that stream on the bank of the
Yellowstone, August 31, where the campaign ended. The battalion of the 22d, and
Companies C and G, 17th Infantry, having received orders to remain in Montana
during the winter, commenced constructing huts for
winter quarters, some of the companies being constantly on the road escorting
supply trains to the cantonment at the mouth, of the Tongue River now Fort
Keogh. In September Companies E and F were ordered to Custer Creek, and early in
October they went to Tongue River for station.
On October 10th an escort to a wagon train, consisting of Companies C, 17th, and
G, H and K, 22d Infantry, left Glendive for the cantonment on Tongue River; that
night camp was made on Spring Creek, about fourteen miles distant. At three
o'clock the next morning the camp was attacked, with a galling fire, by a large
number of Indians, which attack was repulsed, but the mules became excited and
many of them broke loose, over forty of them escaping from the corral, and
failing into the hands of, the Indians. The train was so crippled and the Indian
force increased so in numbers by recruits, that the command was compelled to
return to Glendive. Upon the return of the train, Col. E. S. Otis, the
commanding officer at Glendive, reorganized it and on the 14th set out with it
for Tongue River, with a command consisting of Companies C and G, 17th, and G, H
and K. 22d Infantry. At 7 o'clock on the morning of the 15th, fifteen miles
above Glendive, it was attacked by about one thousand Indians, and a desperate
fight ensued lasting until 7 o'clock in the evening, during which time the train
advanced several miles until, reaching a high plateau, it went into camp. The
Indians practised every artifice to capture the train, among other things
setting the prairie on fire, through which the troops and train had to pass.
Considerable damage was inflicted upon the Indians, but the exact facts were
never ascertained. Several men of the escort were wounded, but none killed.
Private Donahoe, Company G, who was wounded July 29th, was again wounded in this
fight. It was expected that the Indians would renew their attack in the morning,
for we knew they were not far distant and
by the first light could see them mounted in large numbers on our left flank.
Shortly after the journey had been resumed a runner approached and left a
written communication upon a hill to the front, which was taken to Colonel Otis
by a scout; it read as follows :
I want to know what you are doing travelling on this road. You scare all the
buffalo away. I want to hunt on the place. I want you to turn back from here. If
you don't I'll fight you again. I want you to leave what you have got here, and
turn back from here.
I am your friend,
"I mean all the rations you have got and sonic powder. Wish you would write as
soon as you can."
The above was written by a half breed well known to the 22d, who had cast his
fortunes with Sitting Bull.
Colonel Otis sent word through one of his scouts that he intended to take the
train through to Tongue River and would be pleased to accommodate them at any
time with a fight. The Indians gathered again as if to commence battle, when
presently a party bearing a flag of truce approached our lines and after a
parley they concluded that they were tired of fighting and wished to arrange for
a surrender. Colonel Otis very graphically describes this fight in his official
report, which is published in the annual report of the General of the Army of
1876. In concluding it he says: "I cannot speak too highly of the conduct of
both officers and men. The officers obeyed instructions with alacrity and
executed their orders with great efficiency. They fought the enemy twelve hours
and fired during that time upwards of seven thousand rounds of ammunition. They
defeated a strong enemy who had defiantly placed himself across our trail with
the deliberate purpose of capturing the train, and gave him a lesson he will
heed and never forget."
Shortly after the return of the battalion to Glendive, Colonel Otis was ordered
to duty at regimental headquarters, Brevet Col. A. L. Hough succeeding him in
command. In the latter part of December, 1876, Companies E and F participated in
General Miles' successful expedition against the hostile Indians who were with
Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse in the Big Horn Mountains. They returned to Tongue
River January 18, 1877, having greatly suffered in their camps and marches from
the snow and very inclement weather. There were some casualties in those
companies resulting from their fights with Indians, the most distressing being
the severe wound of Private Bernard McCann, Company F, from which, after great
agony, he died the next day.
In March, 1877, Companies G and H marched through deep snow to Tongue River,
joining the garrison at that place for duty.
On April 30th, Companies E, F, G and H, together with two companies of the 5th
Infantry, four troops of the 2d Cavalry and Lieutenant Casey's scouts, made up
of men of the 5th and 22d Infantry and a few civilians, marched under command of
General Miles from the cantonment, the object being to attack a renegade band of
Indians, chiefly Minneconjous, under the leadership of Lame Deer, which was
camped on the Rosebud. over 100 miles distant by the detour which it was
necessary to make. At a point on Tongue River, sixty miles from the cantonment,
the train was corraled and left under guard of Companies E and H, 5th, and G, 22d Infantry;
the scouts, Troops
F, G, H and L, 2d Cavalry, and Companies E, F and H, 22d Infantry, with a few
pack-mules to carry ammunition and rations, cut across the Rosebud, moving up
that stream, and after a very hard march with scarcely a halt during two nights
and one day, early on the morning of May 7th surprised and attacked the Indians
near the mouth of Muddy Creek, now called Lame Deer, an affluent of the Rosebud,
a beautiful valley where the Northern Cheyenne Agency is now located. Lieutenant
Casey, with his detachment closely following him, was the first to dash through
the slumbering camp, surround and take possession of the herd of 450 ponies. He
was quickly followed by Lieutenant Jerome, who headed a troop of the 2d Cavalry,
then followed the rest of the cavalry. The Indians opened fire, which was
responded to by the troops. As soon as possible they were called upon to
surrender. Lame Deer and Iron Star, his head warrior, appeared desirous of doing
so, but the Indians again commenced firing upon the troops, which ended the
peace-making; the fight was resumed and they were driven from the camp. Fourteen
of them were killed, including Lame Deer and Iron Star, 450 ponies and the
entire camp fell into the hands of the troops, among whom there were several
killed and wounded.
The battalion of the 22d hearing the firing in front, quickened its march,
arriving upon the scene shortly after the engagement and immediately took posts
surrounding the camp. Firing between the troops and Indians was kept up the
entire night, so there was very little sleep in camp. The next morning after
burning the captured camp, the troops started back toward Tongue River, every
infantry soldier being mounted on a captured pony, besides which there was a
herd of them to be driven. That night the Indians made another attempt to
recapture their ponies, but they were driven off by the rifles of the troops,
and the ponies were successfully taken in to the cantonment, where they were
used for several years in mounting the infantry.
Company E returned to the cantonment, but F, G and H made a scout, in company
with the 2d Cavalry, toward the Little Big Horn, returning to the cantonment May
31st. Companies I and K left Glendive May 25th, reaching Tongue River by steamer
on the 27th, and soon thereafter the battalion was again consolidated under
command of Colonel Hough. About this time however it was understood that the
Indian hostilities had ended and that the 22d would return to its eastern
station. Colonel Hough was ordered to his post, Fort Mackinac, and the
companies, under command of Col. H. M. Lazelle, 1st Infantry, together with a
troop of 7th Cavalry and two companies of the 1st Infantry, left by boat June
16th, arriving at the mouth of Powder River the same day, thence a long scout
was made toward the Black Hills country. The trail of Lame Deer's band was
struck and followed in a northerly direction for several days, the troops
getting so close upon the band at one time that the scouts under Lieutenant
Casey were attacked by a large number of them, one Indian being killed. Their
camp was located in the bad lands of the Little Missouri near Sentinel Buttes,
to which place the expedition made an all night march but the Indians had taken
the alarm and escaped. At that point Colonel Lazelle relieved the battalion,
and under command of Bvt. Major C. J. Dickey, it made a famous march to Fort
Upon arrival at Lincoln we were made glad by an order to proceed to our stations
by steamer from Duluth, but before the symposium which was necessary under such
good news was finished, the order was changed and the battalion was directed to
repair forthwith to Chicago to aid in suppressing the railroad riots, where it
arrived on the 25th and again fell under command of Colonel Hough. It remained
there several days, until quiet was restored, being stationed in various parts
of the city, and was then ordered to Wilkes-Barre, Pa., owing to the disturbed
condition of the mining districts. The battalion then under command of Colonel
Otis consisted of Companies A, B, C, half of D, E, F, G, H, I and K. They
remained there until October when they were ordered to their proper stations.
During the time from August, 1876, to July, 1877, the battalion that went to
Montana marched upward of three thousand miles.
In 1879 the regiment was ordered to the Department of Texas and started for that
department in April. While en route, on account of some Indian difficulties,
Companies D, E, F and K, under command of Colonel Hough, were ordered to take
station at Fort Gibson, Indian Territory, and the other companies would no doubt
have been stopped also, but they were in advance and had already reached Texas.
The colonel, lieutenant-colonel and Companies B, C, H and I were assigned to
Fort McKavett, A to Fort Griffin. Fort McKavett was made sad and gloomy July
4th, by the death of Capt. T. H. Fisher, a very popular officer in the regiment.
Early in the summer Company E went to Vinita, I. T., and K to Coffeeville,
Kansas, where they
remained until October, for the purpose of keeping boomers out of Oklohoma and
to protect the inhabitants from the robbers who infested that part of the
In the fall of 1879 a general war with the Ute Indians in Colorado was
anticipated and the companies at Gibson under command of Col. Hough were ordered
to go there. They went to Alamosa, Colorado, by rail, thence they marched over
the mountains to Animos, where, together with two troops of the 9th Cavalry and
four companies of the 5th Infantry, they went into a camp of observation under
command of Col. G. P. Buell to prevent the Southern Utes from joining the
Northern Utes at Ouray. In January, 1880, the companies of the 22d were ordered
back to Gibson, and on account of deep snow in the mountains, they were
compelled to march to Santa Fé, New Mexico, where they met with a grand ovation.
From that place they went by rail to Gibson, having marched over five hundred
miles. From Fort Gibson they went by rail to San Antonio, Texas, where Company E
took station, Companies D and K marched one hundred and twenty-six miles to Fort
Clark, where they took station, regimental headquarters and Company H having
some time before been ordered to that post.
The regiment remained in Texas, serving at several different posts, and doing
much scouting, until November, 1882, when it was ordered to the Department of
the Missouri; Headquarters and Company E at Santa Fé, N. M.; A, Fort Garland; B,
G, H and K, Fort Lewis; C, D, F and I, Fort Lyon, all in Colorado.
The regiment campaigned and changed stations a good deal in the Department of
the Missouri until May, 1888, when it was removed to the Department of Dakota,
Headquarters and Companies A, B, C, D, F, H and K taking station at Fort Keogh,
Montana, E and G at Fort Totten and I at Fort Abraham Lincoln, Dakota.
The companies were not in the "coffee cooling business," but were from time to
time scouting or camping at agencies where the Indians were restless or were
thought to be preparing to go upon the war path. In the latter part of 1890
there was an uprising of the Indians at Pine Ridge and Rosebud Agencies, South
Dakota. Companies A, B, D, G and H were ordered into the field and campaigned
more or less all of that winter, sometimes in very inclement weather. Company D,
under command of Lieut. J. G. Ballance, made an extraordinary march to the
relief of Captain Fountain's troop, 8th Cavalry, reported to have been
surrounded by 500 Indians at Cane Hills, South Dakota. On December 23d, at 7.45
P. M. it started upon its march in a wind and snow storm, from Beisigl's ranch,
reaching New England City, a distance of 63 miles, at 1 o'clock A. M., the 25th,
293 hours; it was necessary to make a halt there to rest and thaw out the half
frozen men. In a few hours the march was continued 22 miles, when a portion of
Captain Fountain's troop was met, which reported the safety of the troop, and
the company then returned to the New England City. In the meantime Companies C
and K had hard tours of duty at the Cheyenne Agency, Montana.
In December, 1890, Lieut. E. W. Casey, who commanded a company of Cheyenne
scouts which he had organized by authority of the War Department under plans
originated by himself, marched from Keogh to the theatre of hostilities, and on
January 7, 1891, was camped on White River, near the mouth of White Clay Creek,
not far distant from the Pine Ridge Agency and the hostile camp. Early that
morning several of the Sioux had entered his camp and held a friendly talk with
him. At 9 o'clock he started out with two of his scouts to examine the hostile
camp and when within a short distance of it was brutally murdered by a Brulé
Sioux (Plenty Horses) belonging to that camp, who, in a cowardly manner, shot
him from the rear. Casey was a brave and energetic officer and an enthusiastic
friend of the Indian. He originated the plan of organizing them into military
companies, believing that by it much would be done to elevate and civilize them
and looked forward to the realization of his efforts. He died before he had
reached the meridian of his strength, full of intellectual vigor and generous
impulses, and as most of us might wish to die—in harness. It was some time after
the close of hostilities before the companies returned to their stations—July,
1891, found them all back at their posts.
Pursuant to G. O. 76, Headquarters of the Army, July 21, 1890, Companies I and K
ceased to exist. The officers were assigned to companies, replacing absent
officers, the enlisted men were transferred to other companies and the company
records were laid away in the archives of the adjutant's office. Company I has
since been resuscitated and is now being recruited as an Indian company.
During its varied service the 22d has come in contact with nearly every
regiment in the Army and its relations with other troops have uniformly been
pleasant. It has always been a regiment of great espirit de corps and the
officers are proud to have the number of the regiment upon their commissions.
Under the Act of Congress approved October 1, 1890, no more commissions for the
regiment will be issued, an officer will be in the 22d Infantry by assignment
only and may be transferred to another regiment at any time.
The entire regiment is now stationed at Fort Keogh, Montana, the first time it
has ever been united at a post.
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