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.
During 1860 Secretary of War Floyd decided to ascertain the practicability of moving troops to the Pacific Coast. Among those coming under this order were the Headquarters, Band, and Companies B, E, and H, Second Dragoons, which left Camp Floyd, Utah, June 5, and arrived at Porto Neuf Bridge, Oregon, June 21, a distance of 219 miles. They were then used in escorting emigrants along this route.
Most of Companies C and K were sent from Fort Kearney, Nebraska, in search of hostile Kiowa Indians during the summer of 1860. After many futile marches, word came to Captain Steele on July 10 that the Indians were encamped some distance away. The two companies started out with four officers and eighty-six enlisted men. After riding very fast for nearly six hours, the dragoons arrived at the place where the Indians were reported to be, but there were no signs of them. Captain Steele then grazed the horses for an hour and moved on to another water hole, and then to another, but without success. Having traveled about sixty miles in fifteen hours, the command went into camp. The next morning after traveling eighteen miles, a party of Indians was discovered near Black Water Spring, Nebraska. Lieutenant Armstrong with Company C was sent rapidly forward and captured the women and children in the camp. A large party was seen approaching in the distance and the remainder of the force went after it. It proved to be Lieutenant J. E. B. Stuart, with a company of the First (later Fourth) Cavalry. Both commands then pursued the retreating Indians, killing two.