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Records Relating to Investigations of the Ft. Philip Kearney (or Fetterman) Massacre
Testimony of Col. Henry B. Carrington - Page 4
M740 roll 1 of 1
National Archives & Records Administration
Transcribed by Billy Markland




Head Quarters Mountain District
Department Platte
Fort Philip Kearney D.T.
September 21st 1866.



Special Order
No. 75   (Extract)


I. x 4.   The fastenings of all gates must be finished this day. The locks for large gates will be similar and the District Commander, Post Commander, Officer of the day and Quartermaster will alone have keys. Keys for the wicket gates will be with the same officers.

Upon a general alarm or appearance of Indians in force, or near the gates, the same will be closed and no soldier and citizen will leave the Fort without orders.

No large gate will be opened except the Quarter Master gate, unless it shall be necessary for wagons. Stock must invariably pass in and out of that gate.

The west, or Officer's gate will not be opened without permission even for wagons, unless for timber wagons or ambulances, or mounted men.

II. x 4.   Upon a general alarm the employees in the Sutler's Department will form at the store and wait for orders and assignment to some part of interior defence, but will not be expected to act without the fort unless voluntarily, and then after sanction is given, and under strict military control.

III.        All soldiers, however detailed or attached, or in whatever capacity serving, will upon a general alarm, take arms, and be subject to immediate disposal with their companies or at the Head Quarters or Department with which serving.

IV.        All horses of mounted men will be saddled at reveille.

V.        It is also expressly enjoined that in no case there be needless running in haste upon an alarm, shouting, tale bearing and gross perversion of facts by excited men does more mischief than Indians, and the duty of guards being to advise of danger, soldiers who have information must report to the proper Officer and not to comrades.

VI.        At the sounding of the assembly, the troops of the garrison not on daily duty, will form in front of their respective quarters.

The general alarm referred to in foregoing paragraph will be indicated by the sounding of the assembly followed by three quick shots from the "guard house", which latter will be the distinction between the general alarm and the simple alarm for turning out the troops of the garrison.

VII.        This order will be placed upon a bulletin board for early and general information.

Officers and non commissioned officers are charged with its execution and the soldiers of the 18th Infantry are especially called upon to vindicate and maintain, as they ever have, the record of their regiment.

This will require much hard work, much guard duty and much patience, but they have an honorable field to occupy in this country, and both Indian outrages and approaching winter stimulate them to work, and work with zeal and tireless industry.

Their Colonel will, with his Officers, share all, and no idling or indifference can under these circumstances have any quarters in the breast of a true soldier.

By order of

Col. H.B. Carrington
Comd'g. District.
(sd) J. Adair
1st Lt. & Bvt. Capt. U.S.A.
Regtl Adjt. 18th Infy.
A.A.A. Genl.





The Cheyenne Indians, referred to as having approached the fort on the 27th of September, had with their party, "Little Moon", "The rabbit that leaps", and "The wolf that lies down". These chiefs have been previously named as among those with whom I held council on the 15th of July, and they came on behalf of "Black Horse", who was the leading participant in the July councils, and old "White Head" a prominent man among the Northern Cheyennes, to ask permission to hunt in Tongue river valley and to trade at the Post. The massacres that morning at the Pinery, and the fact that these Indians were met by Captain Brown, while in pursuit of the Sioux who had perpetuated that massacre, engendered such bitterness among the troops at the post, that at night, nearly one hundred of the garrison armed themselves and climbed the stockade, or went through the wicket of the Quarter Master's gate to the fire where these Indians had been having supper, cocked their pieces, and were ready to deliver fire, when their muskets were thrown up by two reliefs of the guard sent to quell the disturbance.

The men returned. The Post Commander tried to stop them to learn who they were, but failed. I ordered them to halt, twice, was disobeyed, but two shots from my revolver halted the men, and returned them to their quarters ashamed of their conduct.

The next morning I had an interview with these Indians, who gave me the following information, which tallied exactly with information received through the Crows.

They stated that "Red Cloud" and "The Man afraid of his horses", was operating on Powder river. They represented that the "Big Bellies", "The Bad Arrows", "Those that wore a bone in the nose", and "Those that put meat in the pot", (a small band of Sioux) were on the Big Horn, below the new fort, and were at peace with the Crows, but hostile to the whites and the new road, and had just united with "Red Cloud's" band. Also that 25 lodges of Arapahoes, with "Bob North" (a white man) with one thumb, and their big medicine man, joined the Sioux in August. Also that the Indians on the north Missouri were fighting white men near Fort Bannock, and would do so more in the fall.

The following morning, "White Head" and eight other of the Cheyennes came near the post and had a talk with some of the Officers. I was not present, as I had given permission to pass the Fort to Tongue river, and expected the whole band would pass in a few days. They did not however come again to the Fort nor communicate with me.

In this connection, and as combining in one summary the general information derived from communication with Indians in my command, I also furnish abstract of my communication with the Crows.

Guide Brannan, formerly with General Connor, and whom I sent with General Hazen, was scalped near Fort Smith, on his return. But Guides Bridger and Williams, sent by me to the Crows, and through to Virginia City to initiate a new survey of the route, visited a Crow Village of five hundred warriors at Clark's Fork.

At this interview, "White Mouth", "Blackfoot" and "Rotten Tail", the leading chiefs present, insisted that they were at peace, and wished to be always, with the whites. They said the young men in some cases, wished to join the Sioux and thus compromise their own title to the Country, of which they had been robbed by the Cheyenne and Sioux.

"Red Cloud" had recently visited their village. They returned the visit but refused to join them on the war path against the whites. "The man afraid of his horses", was with "Red Cloud"; [said] that "tobacco had been sent him from Laramie", (meaning an invitation) and was asked to go and sign the treaty which he would not sign in summer; that his young men would not mind him, but would join "Red Cloud", but would wait for his return if he went. "Rotten Tail" said it took him a half days ride to go through the village of the War parties on Tongue river; that the "Sissetons", "Bad Faces", "O'Gallallas" from the Missouri, the "Mianacosis" [sic], from the Black Hills, the "Uncpapahs", some "Cheyennes", some "Arapahoes" and "Big Bellies" were together and would not touch the fort built on Powder river last year, (meaning Fort Reno) but would destroy the two new forts in their hunting grounds, meaning Fort Phil Kearney and Fort C.F. Smith, which were encroachments, and they had not agreed to, and would have two big fights with the whites, one at Pine Woods and one at Big Horn.

They said that "Iron Shell" with some young men of the "Minneconjous" and "Brules" would join "Red Cloud" though they had made a treaty at Laramie, and most of them had gone south; that the "Snakes", "Nez Perces" and "Flatheads" were persistently friendly, but reported the "Piegans" and "Bloods" as hostile; that the "Blackfeet", "Assinaboines" and Crees were at peace with the whites and at the same time on fair terms with the hostile tribes.

The foregoing, in substance, was confirmed by their subsequent interviews with other bands of Crows between Clark's fork and Big Horn, and information from Beckwith, (mulatto guide) whom I sent to the Crows at their request. Bridger said that two hundred and fifty young Crows would go on the war path during the winter if I wished it. Having authority to enlist only fifty Indian scouts, and having already sent a competent man to Omaha for authority, there to enlist and bring to me from the Pawnees or Winnebagoes, some of whom the year before had been under my command, I could not accept the proposition, especially as the necessary delay in procuring their arms, would defeat the object of their employment. I sent back kind messages and for further information. Beckwith died in their village, without giving me the result of his visit.

The Crows sent word, also, that a treaty was made with them on the Upper Missouri, on board the steamer Ben Johnson, whereby, for the sum of $25,000 they surrendered the route to Montana, south of the Big Horn Mountains. That "Iron Shell" was present at such treaty, and did not regard it as covering the road north of the Big Horn range, meaning the one along the line of my command, but for himself, he would keep peace until it was settled by another talk with the whites.

The Crows also said that the Sioux told them about a fight with the white men at Fort Phil Kearney, giving date and place correctly and referring to the fight when Captain Brown's party, with a citizen party, recaptured one hundred and ninety head of cattle. They acknowledged five killed, eight wounded who died of their wounds, and many shot who would recover.

In connection with these interviews with the Indians reported lying within the command, it is proper to add that my general policy while having so small a force at my control, received encouragement from certain instructions from Lieutenant General Sherman, dated August 30th 1866, at Fort Laramie, while en route westward and south westward on a tour of inspection, from which I make a brief extract as follows and by which I have been governed.

"I shall instruct General Cooke to reinforce his force at this point so that expeditions in sufficient strength can go out to punish the Indians. We want to avoid the necessity of a general Indian war, as long as possible, until we get the new army further advanced in recruiting."

"The Indians seem to oppose the opening of the new road, but that must stimulate us to its prosecution, and you may rest assured that you will be supported all that is possible."

"There is a general feeling of distrust of the Indians, but I can discover no signs of a general combination, though I do of hostility occasioned by their own sense of insecurity, by reason of seeing our troops and our trains everywhere."

"We must try and distinguish friendly from hostile, and kill the latter, but if you, or any other Commanding Officer strike a blow, I will approve, for it seems impossible to tell the true from the false."

At the same time I was advised by General Sherman, and also by General Cooke, that the latter had control of all the troops along the Platte, and would have the 2nd U.S. Cavalry, with the three regiments made up from the 18th and "should have force enough to open and keep open the new route to Montana, on which I was engaged."

It was also expected at that time that I would retain my command until Spring, to complete the work. I commenced in the Spring of 1866, and General Cooke telegraphed me I would probably remain until Spring.

Twelve companies of regular troops were soon concentrated and retained at Fort Laramie.

With the exception of Company "C", 2nd U.S. Cavalry, which came in small parties, escorting trains, and poorly armed with old Springfield rifles and Star Carbines, (these nearly all recruits and uninstructed in the sabre exercise, and even in mounting, until I had personally taken them in hand) and forty five recruits from general recruiting depot at New York, dismounted Co. "K" 27th U.S. Infantry, being a new company of the reorganized regiment, I received no reinforcements from the day I left Kearney in the Spring of 1866, with two hundred and twenty soldiers and about five hundred recruits, during my command of the Mountain District, or of Fort Phil Kearney.

In my judgement, the force at Laramie, late in the fall, allowing four companies at that post, which was accepted as a four company post in the Spring, left as disposable by the Department Commander, under the general instruction of General Sherman, a competent force to have enabled me to maintain my line intact, so far as I was authorized to advance it and keep open my line of communication.

On the 5th of October, I issued an order for regulation of differences among owners of trains, and reported condition of affairs to Head Quarters.


Head Quarters Mountain District
Department Platte
Fort Phil Kearney D.T.
October 5th 1866.



General Order
No. 11

The attention of Post Commanders is directed to the constant difficulties arising between owners of trains, or Government Contractors, and their teamsters and employees.

Men hire at the Missouri river ostensibly as teamsters, but really to obtain hereby the means of transportation to this new country. Hence it is frequently the case that trains are partially deserted and much property exposed to loss by Indians, if the train returns short of men, or the owner is put to great expense by delay in supplying himself with teamsters.

Whenever teamsters desert at any post and a fair examination that they so desert without fault of their employer, and in breach of their contract, for the purpose of higher wages such teamsters will not be hired by an Quarter Master, or other officer, of this command, neither will they be harbored, or permitted to remain within the limits of any post.

In the present condition of this District, where no civil tribunals are open for the redress of personal wrongs, it is often possible for judicious officers to regulate and correct abuses and so inspire the confidence of emigrants and travellers as to facilitate the developments of this country, and accomplish much substantial good.

No needless or arbitrary exercise of authority would be encouraged, but the absolute direction of emigration must be conformed to existing orders until the Military forces have secured a peaceable and safe line of travel, and idlers or trespassers upon property or person must be responsible for their good behavior towards both friendly Indians and Whites.

By order of

Col. H.B. Carrington
Comd'g. District
(sd) John J. Adair
1st Lt. & Brevet Capt. U.S.A.
Regtl. Adjt. 18th Infy.
A.A.A. Genl.




Head Quarters Mountain District
Department Platte
Fort Phil Kearney
October 4th 1866.



Litchfield H.G. Major
Asst. Adjt. Genl.
Omaha

The success in fight with the Sioux, reported last week, has prevented further movement in force. I think they suffered even more than I reported on the 26th of September. However, a party of sixteen coming from Big Horn, scalped one soldier of the wood party, who straggled. They lost two men in the attempt.

Same day "Little Moon", "The Rabbit that leaps", "The Wolf that lies down", who were here in July, returned from Fort Casper. They report, as I had already learned from other sources, that "Red Cloud" and "The Man afraid of his horses", were operating on Tongue [sic] river, that "Buffalo Tongue" was operating on Powder river.

Also that the "Big Bellies", "Bad Arrows", "Bone in the nose" and "They that put meat in the pot" are on Big Horn, at peace with the Crows, but hostile to whites and this new road.

Also that twenty five lodges of Arapahoes, with Bob North, white man, with one thumb, united with the Sioux in August. This confirms my report of last week.

Also that the Indians on North Missouri are fighting whites near Fort Bannock in that region, and will so this fall.

I had trouble to keep my men from killing the Cheyennes. They are so bitter against all Indians. I do not feel full confidence in them yet, but those that came seemed faithful to their agreement of July. They are great beggars and I give them very little as they find plenty of game, but they seem to fear the Sioux.

When I get cavalry I can test them, but they have too many mules and American horses for their number, while I have not even a reasonable force to visit them, and take decided ground [sic]. I gave the three chiefs one days ration of flour, but refused any luxuries, and told them they must hunt for their living, and if they kept away from the road and trains, I would keep peace with them.

Mail from Big Horn is not in, neither from Laramie, though both are due, and I shall not delay this. I wish to visit the other posts and inspect them as soon as I can get a few mounted men. I fear Captain Proctor is too ill and nervous to command, but have no one to succeed him. He has lost nearly all his stock, has arrested his Adjutant, Lieutenant Kirtland, without notifying me, or furnishing me, or the Lieutenant with a copy of charges. He may have sent them up direct to you, as he follows no regulations in correspondence with these Head Quarters. If so, please return them for my action. General Hazen told me he found the same inefficiency. I hope to go there in a few days, and judge for myself.

Henry B. Carrington
Col. 18th U.S. Infantry
Comd'g. Mount. District




On the 7th of October I issued an order assuming command of Fort Phil Kearney, to have more immediate personal command of the post at which were my district Head Quarters.

October 13th I announced that the District was abolished, as per order from Department Head Quarters, and some day made following report to Department Headquarters [sic].


Fort Phillip Kearney D.T.
October 13th 1866.



Telegram
Litchfield H.G. Major
A.A. General
Omaha.

Since last weeks mail Indians have avoided the post. Their signal punishment and loss of life, before reported, had its effect. On Saturday last, nearly one hundred attacked the wood party, five miles distant, killing two and wounding one. I went out with thirty men and howitzer, cleaned the woods and ravines and no trouble has occurred since. Two couriers who started for Big Horn, from which I have had no reports for several weeks, returned on account of Indians. I shall force communications and report by next mail.

The change to fine weather fills the valley with Indians, who are getting winter provisions, and I expect some trouble with them, but can meet it. Supplies have arrived, except ammunition and forage train, which should be here tomorrow. I delayed this mail for one day for report from Big Horn, but will do so no longer.

Henry B. Carrington
Col. 18th U.S. Infantry
Comd'g. District




I took charge of the system of police and discipline of the post, entertaining the idea that the future policy might involve more formidable Indian aggression, and require more exact and careful watchfulness and defence. In this connection I refer to orders deemed necessary to good order and discipline of the command.


Head Quarters Post
Fort Phillip Kearney
October 23rd 1866.



General Order
No. 28

I.     No citizen will be permitted to enter or leave the gates after retreat, unless connected with the Sutler, or Quarter Master's Department, and then to be properly passed by the Officer of the day, or Sergeant of the guard.
II.     All gates and wickets will be locked at retreat, except that at the Quarter Master's gate, which will be closed at tattoo, and then only will be opened by the Officer of the day, or Sergeant of the guard, in their line of duty, or for good cause.
III.     All soldiers absent from quarters after tattoo, will be promptly arrested, and unless sent on messages by officers, or otherwise duly authorized to be absent, will be confined and held to answer to charges before a Garrison or General Court Martial.
IV.     This order is to be read at the first parade after its issue, and posted upon the bulletin board for three days from said issue.

By order of

Col. H. B. Carrington
Comd'g. Post
(sd) William H. Bisbee
1st Lieut. & Brevet Capt. U.S.A.
Post Adjutant





Head Quarters Post
Fort Phillip Kearney D.T.
November 11th 1866.



General Order
No. 38

I.   That perversion of authority on the part of non commissioned officers, which displays itself in profane swearing, verbal abuse, kicks and blows, and which violates every social , moral and military principle in the government of men, will be dealt with in the most decided manner. There can be few instances in garrison life when reference to a Commissioned Officer, the aid of the guard or other ready agencies, will not furnish the necessary support of the authority requiring exercise, without resort to the method hereby rebuked. No less useless is vulgar, profane, abusive language, - it never can command respect, - it never will prompt a cheerful obedience, where the soldier retains a spark of manhood, though many obey implicitly the very letter of the order given. Army regulations, and General Orders, from the time of General Washington to the recent order of General Grant, upon this subject, fully vindicate the position, that whatever, (not his own act) degrades a man, destroys the soldier, and that it is perfectly compatible with perfect discipline, and the highest order of military subordination, to command that the personal right of the soldier be held as sacred as those of Officers.
II.   Officers at this post will communicate and carefully enforce this order, seeking to inspire among non commissioned officers by precept and example, that calm and steady habit of command, which will surely secure implicit obedience, and no less augment respect for the authority requiring obedience. The value of established penalties will be enhanced, and not lessened. Whatever imparts dignity and pride to the common soldier will make him a better soldier, and the regiment or command which shall stand foremost in the observance of these sound laws of human action, will be first in peace, first in war, and first in every honorable endeavor.
III.   The soldiers of this garrison, hereby receiving due credit for the unexampled skill and faithfulness with which they have built the Post, during constant Indian hostilities, but having in their hours of additional voluntary labor for themselves, become accustomed to act by their own judgement and mechanical skill under general plans, have also to some extint [sic] acquired a habit of discussing methods, and details, which is wholly subversive of military discipline. Discussion of or hesitation to obey the orders of a non commissioned officer, is wholly wrong. Army regulations, which are the first cardinal principles of military life, enjoined prompt obedience, also provide ample redress for all just grievances and personal abuse, but obedience must be complete and immediate. The case of Sergeant Garrett and Private Burke furnish a fit occasion to demand an immediate and thorough conformity to the spirit of this order.
IV.   Company Commanders will be furnished with a copy of this order, for promulgation, and a copy will be placed upon the bulletin board of the Post.

By order of

Col. H.B. Carrington
Comd'g. Post
sd. William H. Bisbee
1st Lieut. & Brevet Capt. U.S.A.
Post Adjutant



I had forwarded the requisition for Spencer arms. I had insisted since July that the Springfield rifle was useless to men on horseback, and that success in fighting Indians must be with my men dismounted, and armed as well as the Government could arm them.

I needed not far from one hundred Springfield rifles to supply those without arms. The Ordnance Officer at Leavenworth sent invoices of Arms &c, "so far as approved by the Department Commander", indicating to my mind that the Department Commander had rejected the estimates for "Spencer" rifles or carbines.

Those rifles and the ammunition turned over to the Quarter Master at Leavenworth for transportation, September 2nd 1866, reached me in January 1867, just in time to turn them over to Brevet Brigadier General Wessels, my successor. I repeatedly telegraphed and wrote as to the delay of my ammunition. I had at Fort C.F. Smith, at one time, but ten rounds to the man. This was in September. I sent these fifteen thousand rounds from my magazine.

I also repeatedly applied for reinforcements. They failed to arrive, as heretofore stated.

During this time, by order from Department Head Quarters, I was directed to keep up a weekly mail, travelling at a rate of not less than fifty miles per day.

As has already appeared, more than half of the horses properly attaching to the four companies at Fort Phil Kearney, (thirty three in one day,) had been stolen by Indians. Snow fell even in September, and nineteen days were occupied in one trip to Fort Laramie and back, the party stopping but one day at that post. My recommendation to authorize the establishment of sub posts, as relay stations, was never responded to. I however sent three mails in October and on the return of the last, had but twenty eight horses reported serviceable and these hardly fit for duty.

The Commanding General called my attention to the fact that I was disregarding the order to keep up the weekly mail.

My reply covered the ground as follows.

Fort Philip Kearney D.T.
November 5th 1866.



Litchfield H.G. Major
Asst. Adjt. Genl.
Omaha

I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of telegram of the General Commanding dated October 23rd which overtook mail party at Bridger Ferry.

I am confident that my last letters and dispatches cannot all have been received. I fully appreciate the necessity for the General Commanding to be punctually and often advised of the movements and status of troops under his command, and I have so far endeavored to realize a weekly mail, that I have scarcely had horses to keep up my main picket.

I sent a mail September 26th, October 6th, October 15th and October 22nd.

Meantime I had to open communication with Fort C.F. Smith.

Twenty six picked men and horses were with General Hazen.

One contract train with supplies for Fort C.F. Smith (thirty one wagons) had but five arms with the party. I had to furnish an escort, especially as I had to send ammunition to Fort C.F. Smith, then reduced to ten rounds per man.

My mail, just received, having additional escort of sixty men, Company "C", 2nd U.S. Cavalry, was twelve days, on account of snows, bad roads and weather, and this on their return trip alone.

It must not be overlooked that our snows, which leave the hills bear [sic], fill these intermediate ravines, valleys and gulches, so that no one can travel. While I had no snow at this post, owing to its position, there were four feet within a mile of it.

By reference to report of operations since last mail, it will be seen, that I am actually risking much, by the details for escorts and mail parties, and that I look to the whole line of operations, for basis of action, and not at the necessities of this Post, which is itself almost impregnable with my infantry force.

I believe that the General Commanding would prefer to loose a mail occasionally, with the assurance that, in an emergency, I will advise him at all risk, rather than embarrass me in any skirmish or temporary encounter which calls for use of my present force.

With respect to returns, I make my own, as soon as I have the data, and I know that if the General Commanding could see what has been done on this line, he would say it has not its parallel. In this I assume nothing, but speak of facts. My work has been well done, sparing myself by day and night less than I have others.

Henry B. Carrington
Col. 18th U.S. Infantry
Comd'g.



November 12th 1866, a special express brought a telegram from Laramie, asking for certain monthly and tri-monthly returns since July 1866, and stating,

"If not immediately sent with explanation, this matter must be brought before a general Court Martial"

The same courier was overtaken at Bridger's Ferry, fifty five miles west of Laramie, by a telegram acknowledging the receipt of a portion of said monthly returns, which had been sent regularly, and had been made up at once upon receipt of post returns.

Bearing same date (November 12th) the following telegram was received.


Head Quarters, Department of the Platte
Omaha, Neb.
November 12th 1866.



Col. Henry B. Carrington
18th U.S. Infantry
Comd'g. Fort Philip Kearney D.T.

Colonel,

You are hereby instructed, that as soon as the troops and stores are covered from the weather, to turn your earnest attention to the possibility of striking the hostile bands of Indians by surprise in their winter camps, as intimated in telegram of September 27th ulto. From these Head Quarters.

An extraordinary effort in winter, when the Indian horses are inserviceable, it is believed, should be followed by more success than can be accomplished by very large expeditions in the summer, when the Indians can so easily scatter, and into deserts and mountain hiding places almost beyond pursuit.

Four companies of infantry will be available besides some cavalry. You have a large area of murderous and insulting attacks by the savages upon emigrants trains and troops, to settle, and you are ordered, if there prove to be any promise of success, to conduct, or to send under another officer, such an expedition.

Major James Van Voast has volunteered, and has been instructed to make such a one in December from Fort Laramie D.T.

By command of

Bvt. Major Genl. Cooke
(sd) H.G. Litchfield
Bvt. Major U.S.A.
Aide de Camp



I had at that time just four companies of infantry at the post, and a fragmentary Company "K" from 27th Infantry. I also received an order from Department Head Quarters shortly after, to employ no civilian mail carrier or guide, but to depend upon mounted troops and Indian carriers.

Upon my earnest remonstrance to General Cooke, asking "whether I must discharge James Bridger and all the guides who know the country in which I was operating," he modified the order, giving me discretion to employ, in certain cases.

In fact, of a party of one corporal and twelve cavalry sent with the guide Bailey, and returning just after the subsequent massacre, the Corporal and six men abandoned Bailey at Bridger's Ferry, and the receipt of my dispatches depended upon his persistency and courage.

My reports for the months of November and December, show continual aggressions, and are as follows, the full report of November 5th having been already cited in connection with negotiations with the Crows.


Fort Philip Kearney D.T.
November 14th 1866.



Litchfield H.G. Major
Asst. Adjt. Genl.
Omaha N.T.

Only valuable information since last week's mail is that Crows in large numbers have camped near Fort C.F. Smith, and are friendly.

Guide Beckwith died while in their village.

The Arapahoes in considerable numbers, renounce alliance with the Sioux, and ask peace.

Only one hostile demonstration the last week, in attempt to ambush wood party, which failed. Whole line quiet.

Defence of Fort Smith complete and quarters progressing well. Courier arrived last night. Continued snows make woods heavy.

Henry B. Carrington
Col. 18th U.S. Infantry
Comd'g. Post




Fort Philip Kearney D.T.
November 24th 1866.




Litchfield H.G. Major
Asst. Adjt. Genl.
Omaha N.T.

I have the honor to report that during the last week, work has been prosecuted with industry and success, and that Indians have appeared but twice.

Late on Wednesday night, the beef contractor, just arrived, reported Indians having fired upon his train, threatening his stock. In a few minutes, Captain Powell started with his company in rapid pursuit, but failed to overtake the Indians. The stock was brought in safely and all was accomplished that was proposed.

Yesterday, two teamsters (now in arrest) deserted their mules, turning them loose, because of wagons breaking while returning from the Pinery. Indians were reported to have captured the stock. Brevet Captain Bisbee, with one party, and myself with another, made thorough scouts for hours, but found no Indians.

Three of the mules are in camp and charges will be preferred against the teamsters.

I have the honor to be
Very respectfully
Your Obedient Servant

Henry B. Carrington
Col. 18th Infantry
Comd'g. Post




Fort Philip Kearney D.T.
November 25th 1866.



Bvt. Major H.G. Litchfield
Asst. Adjt. General
Omaha N.T.

Company "C" 2nd U.S. Cavalry, came here partly armed with Springfield rifles. Their carbines have not arrived. One hundred Springfield rifles, turned over to Quarter Master at Leavenworth, September 10th for shipment have not arrived. I need them all to replace broken and worn out arms.

I shall look for another company of Cavalry soon, as mentioned in previous telegram.

Henry B. Carrington
Col. 18th U.S. Infantry
Comd'g. Post




Fort Philip Kearney, D.T.
November 25th 1866.



Bvt. Major H.G. Litchfield
Asst. Adjt. General
Omaha N.T.

After closing mail, courier arrived from Laramie, with letter of instructions of November 12th and telegrams of nineteenth. My telegram and letter of yesterday anticipated the subject matter. Contents of letters regarded.

Courier passed around an Indian war party, below Reno, night before last.

I sent mail party tonight to Fort Smith. A short interval free from storm or snow, has started. Indians again hunting.

I will in person command expeditions when severe weather confines them to their villages, and make the winter one of active operations in different directions, as best affords chance of punishment.

Henry B. Carrington
Col. 18th U.S. Infantry
Comd'g. Post








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