POWDER RIVER

From:
ONE HUNDRED YEARS WITH THE SECOND CAVALRY
By Joseph I. Lambert, Major, Second Cavalry
Copyright 1939 Commanding Officer, Second Cavalry, Fort Riley, Kansas
Capper Printing Company, Inc.

IWGENERAL ORDERS
No. 86
Headquarters, Fort Keogh, M. T.
April 7th, 1879

EXTRACT

Sergeant T. B. Glover, with ten (10) privates, Company B, 2nd Cavalry, will proceed hence to crossing of road to Powder River Telegraph Station with Mizpah Creek, at or vicinity of which place, he will find and follow the trail of the hostile Indians who recently committed depredations on detachment of U. S. Troops. Sergeant Glover will use every effort to secure the surrender of or punish these hostiles, and be extremely vigilant, guarding against the surprise of his detachment or capture of his stock. The Quartermaster will furnish the necessary pack animals and packers. The detachment will be fully armed and equipped and supplied with ten (10) days’ rations and forage.

By order of Major General GIBSON,
OSCAR F. LONG,
2nd Lieutenant, 5th Infantry,
Post Adjutant.


In compliance with the above order, I left the post of Fort Keogh, M. T. At about 11 o’clock on the morning of April 7th 1879, with my detachment (fully equipped for ten days) in pursuit of the hostile Indians who had committed the depredations at Mizpah Creek, M. T.

By rapid marching this point was gained about an hour after sunset of that day, and by my instructions the scouts at once began a search for the trail. This was easily found and the detachment went into camp for the night. At daybreak of the morning of April 8th, camp was struck, and the trail taken up. This was persistently followed during the day, and I was satisfied from the signs that the Indians were moving swiftly as they could, probably being suspicious that they were being followed. This exacted from us renewed exertions and I at once ordered that the detachment should push forward with all speed. Whenever it appeared practicable, apparent short cuts were taken, through ravines, which resulted on several occasions in a pack mule or two becoming mired in a mud hole, requiring the united efforts of the detachment to extricate them and to save our rations, for I had determined, if possible, to comply with my orders and capture these Indians (our rations constituted a most important factor in this). Stopping twice during the day for coffee, I continued the march until 11:30 that night, when nature demanded a rest.

On April 9th, camp was again struck at daylight, and we at once pushed forward on the trail which was at many times difficult to follow, from the fact that the Indians would avail themselves of every barren and rocky spot to obliterate any traces which they might leave behind them. On account of the rapid pace which I assumed and the almost constant traveling which we had done since leaving the post, I noticed at about 3 o’clock of that afternoon that our horses were becoming jaded and that the packs could with great difficulty be kept within a quarter of a mile of the detachment.

In the meantime the trail was becoming fresher and I was becoming confident that if my stock would hold out, that I would overtake the hostiles that evening. To further this idea I decided to rest my animals, for a couple of hours, before proceeding further. We had just completed arrangements for going into a temporary camp when I saw a column of smoke ascending about 400 yards to my right. I sent two men to reconnoiter; they returned and informed me they had seen Indians. I at once placed my packs under a guard in a ravine and arranging my party in the best possible manner, to conform with the lay of the country, I advanced. I had gone but a short distance when I discovered two Indians on a rock, waving a white flag. Taking an interpreter and one other man with me and deploying the balance of the men in a semicircle, with orders to advance, I approached the rock and ascertained that they were the Indians we wanted, and much to my regret they signified their intentions to surrender. I agreed to accept this, and assuring them of their safety, ordered them to bring the arms and ponies of the entire band and leave them at the base of the rock. This, they did and I then, after securing the arms and ponies, completed the capture of the entire band, and in a subsequent search discovered the watch and other items belonging to the man whom they had murdered at the Powder River Telegraph Station.

Placing my prisoners under a strong guard, I started for the post reaching there during the morning of April 12th, reporting to, and turning the Indians over to the Post Commander.

Sergeant T. B. GLOVER
Company B, 2nd Cavalry
Headquarters, Fort Keogh, M. T.
April 16th, 1879.

GENERAL ORDERS
No.21

The Lieutenant Colonel Commanding takes pleasure in announcing to his Command the capture of that proscribed part of Little Wolf’s band of hostile Cheyennes who are guilty of the atrocity recently perpetrated on Mizpah Creek, M. T. The credit for this success rests with Sergeant Glover, Company B, Second Cavalry, commanding detachment B, Second Cavalry, who aided by Indian scouts, with energy, promptness and good judgment secured these outlaws, and placed it in the power of the Government to inflict on them that punishment which they so justly deserve.

By order of Lieut. Col. J. N. G. WHISTLER,
OSCAR F. LONG, 2nd Lt., 5th Infty,
Post Adjutant.

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