POST IN PERIL

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.

IWColonel Carrington decided to send to Fort Laramie for help at once. But it was not believed that any courier would stand a fair chance of ever passing through the hostile country. At this juncture, John Phillips, an employee of the quartermaster department, who was used to frontier life, volunteered his services as dispatch bearer. He finally reached a telegraph station and sent his message, only a short time before it was attacked. He then pushed on and arrived safely at Fort Laramie, having traveled two hundred twenty-five miles under the most trying conditions of severe weather and with Indians along the entire route.

Six companies of the Eighteenth Infantry under Major Voast, and Companies D and L, Second Cavalry, under Captain David S. Gordon, were sent to the relief of Fort Phil Kearney. Lieutenant Colonel Wessells, who was to relieve Colonel Carrington because of the late massacre, joined the command at Fort Reno. This march was a trying one on account of the severe weather, especially on the animals, as the long forage was exhausted after ten days from the post. After much discomfort, the command arrived at Fort Phil Kearney, January 16, 1867, with the loss of one man frozen to death. On account of the shortage of forage at the post, Colonel Carrington decided to send the horses back to Fort Laramie at once. This march was a disastrous one, as every horse, 150 in number, died on the way.

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