Search billions of records on Ancestry.com
   






Records Relating to Investigations of the Ft. Philip Kearny (or Fetterman) Massacre
Report of Capt. Burrows 7/25/1866
Post Returns from Ft. Phil Kearny, D.T.
D000840 roll 910
Combat Arms Research Library , Ft. Leavenworth, KS
M617 roll 910
National Archives & Records Administration


TN: This writing on this report was extremely faint. By magnifying the microfilm on the viewer immensely, I was able to decipher the majority of the words. All words not identified absolutely are enclosed with a bracket and followed by a question mark, i.e., [word?]




[Comdr?] 2nd Batt. 18th U.S. Infantry
near Fort Philip Kearny, D.T.
July 25th 1866




Sir:

I have the honor to report that in obedience to [P.C.?] Hd. Qs. 2nd Batt. 18th U.S. Inf., Ft. Reno, D.T. dated July 18th 1866, I started from Fort Reno D.T. in the morning of July 20th 1866 in charge of a train of thirty four wagons with an escort of forty seven men of [G?] Co. 2nd Batt. 18th U.S. Inf.

Marched the command to the springs four miles S.E. of the crossing of Clear Fork of Powder River and nooned for two hours and then pushed on toward Crazy Woman's Fork. Arriving in sight of the crossing at Crazy Woman's Fork I noticed a small train corelled [sic] and also saw Indians around it. Presuming that the train was attacked I pushed forward with my Infantry to relieve them. As I was moving to their rescue I found by the roadside the body of Lance Corporal Terrence Callerly of [G?] Co. 2nd Batt. Corpl. Callery had without my knowledge ridden off from the train in pursuit of buffalo and had struck the road in advance of the train and been killed by the Indians before they were discovered by me.

Arriving at the train before alluded to I discovered that it consisted of five officers of the 18th Inf. with their baggage and servants, with an escort of 10 or 12 men in route to Fort Reno, D.T. 1st Lieutn. G.M. Templeton 18th U.S. Infy. in command.

Upon the arrival of my train, I correlled [sic] with them and assumed command. All possible precautions were taken to guard against surprise and the camp placed in fighting condition.

From Lt. Templeton I learned the following. Upon the arrival of their train at Crazy Woman's Fork he in company with Lieutn. N.H. Daniels 18th U.S. Inf. had ridden forward to select a camp ground and while thus engaged they were attacked by Indians and Lieutn. Daniels was killed. I learned that Lt. Daniels had been killed about 10 o'clock [A?].M. It being 9 o'clock P.M. before I had my command in camp I deemed it unsafe to search for his body before the next morning. No Indians molested us during the night.

At daybreak next morning (July 21, 1866) a portion of my infantry together with an ambulance were placed under the command of Lt. H.H. Link 18th U.S. Infy. with directions to search for and bring in the body of Lt. Daniels. The body was found stripped of its clothing, scalped, mutilated and pierced with twenty two arrows.

The train belonging to the Officers before referred to I ordered back with me to Reno Station D.T.

Prior to leaving Crazy Woman's Fork, Lieutn. T.S. Kirtland 18th U.[S.]I. arrived in command of thirteen mounted men (a courier having been dispatched to Reno Station for assistance prior to my arrival). This command I also ordered back with me.

The command then marched toward Reno Station. When distant from Powder River about 12 miles I met a train of 39 wagons under charge of Wagonmaster [Ettrager?] Paden with supplies for Ft. Reno, D.T. Deeming the escort (a corporal and eight men) to small, I ordered him also to return to Reno Station. Arrived at Reno Station, D.T. July 21st 1866 at 3 o'clock P.M.

The body of Lieut. Daniels was turned over to Captain J.L. Proctor 18th U.S. Inf. Post Comd't for burial. Corp Callery had been buried the night previous in my camp at Crazy Woman's Fork.

Lt. Daniels was buried with military honors on the morning of Sunday July 22nd 1866, Chaplain White officiating. During Sunday loaded my train with supplies. At about 5 o'clock P.M. of Sunday the Indians made a dash into the mules under my charge and attempted to stampede them, but they were frustrated in their attempt and driven off, not a single mule was captured by them.

On Monday morning, July 23rd 1866 at daybreak I started to return to Ft. Reno, D.T. with all the trains heretofore alluded to under my command.

Arriving at Crazy Woman's Fork, I overtook two trains which had started the day previous from Reno Station, one team consisting of 42 mule teams under command of Mr. Kirkendoll, and the other consisting of 35 cattle teams under command of Mr. William Dillon. Camped close to them on the night of July 23th [sic] 1866.

While I was encamped at Crazy Woman's Fork on my return to Fort Reno an affray occurred between two teamsters of Mr. Wilson's train in which one of them (name unknown) was stabbed. His wounds were dressed by myself as well as I was able to do it and the man upon my arrival at Ft. Reno turned over to the Post Surgeon. The man inflicting the injury (name unknown) was placed under guard and turned over by me to the Post Commandant Ft. Reno D.T. No medical Officer accompanied the expedition.

On the morning of July 24 started at daylight, Messr. Kirkendoll & Dillon following.

When I arrived near the crossing of Clear Fork, Indians were seen in large numbers. The trains were correlled [sic] and preparations made for an attack. Upon their near approach they were recognized as Cheyennes with protection papers signed by Col. H.B. Carrington 18th Infy. Comd'g. Mountain District, Dept. Platte. Presuming that they were friendly, I moved on my command and went into camp on Clear Fork.

I had scarcily [sic] gotten my command into camp, when the Cheyennes again appeared, numbering about 300 men, women and children. They desired something to eat. Deeming that the easiest way was the best to get rid of them, I acceeded [sic] to their request and issued to them one box hard bread, three sacks flour, 100 lbs. sugar and 50 lbs. coffee. I stipulated that I would give them nothing unless they would leave my camp as soon as they received what I had to give them. This was agreed to & upon my giving them the articles above enumerated, they withdrew.

At about 8 ½ P.M. I received a note from Mr. Dillon saying that Mr. Kirkendoll's train was attacked by a large force of Sioux and calling on me to render assistance. I at once dispatched couriers to Fort Reno for assistance and then sent a Sergt. and 10 men back to Mr. Dillon. Previous to sending this detachment back, Mr. McGlee of Mr. Kirkendoll's train came up with the news that Mr. Dillon was wounded. Upon hearing this I dispatched an ambulance with the Sergeant & his command to bring him up. No Indians attacked during the night.

Wednesday morning July 25 at 5 ½ A.M. Captain N.C. Kinney 18th Inf. Bvt. Lt. Col. U.S.A. arrived at my camp on Clear Fork with 60 mounted men and one mountain howitzer. On his arrival he assumed command. Prior to his arrival my ambulance came up containing the dead body of Mr. Dillon.

Lt. Col. Kinney ordered me forward with my train. In obedience to this order I arrived at Fort Reno D.T. Wednesday July 25 at 2 o'clock P.M.

The above is respectfully submitted to the Comd'g Officer Mountain District, Dept. of the Platte.


(signed) T.B. Burrows
Captain 18th U.S. Infy.
Comd'g.



A true copy
William H. Bisbee
1 Lieut. 18 Inf.
Bvt Capt.


To:
Bvt. Captain John J. Adair
A.A.A.G.
Mountain District, Dept. of the Platte