Map of Wounded Knee and Its Maker – Second Lieutenant Sydney Amos Cloman, 1st Infantry Regiment

Lieutenant Sydney A. Cloman's original map of the Wounded Knee BattlefieldAs Major General Miles contemplated an investigation of Colonel Forsyth and the 7th Cavalry Regiment’s actions at Wounded Knee, he knew he needed a detailed map depicting the location of the troops, the Indian council and their village, and the surrounding terrain, particularly the ravine.  Late on 2 January 1891 he ordered Major Samuel M. Whitside back to the scene of carnage along with an engineer.  In a letter to his wife, Whitside described his task.

Monday, January 5th, ‘91.–At midnight Friday, I received instructions to proceed at day light Saturday A.M. with a burial party to the battle ground of Wounded Knee for the purpose of assisting in making a complete map of the ground locating thereon the exact position the Troops occupied from the commencement to the end of the battle.[1]

General Miles similarly ordered Captain Folliott  A. Whitney to the battle ground to count the number of Lakota casualties.  Whitney also mentions a map maker present on the battlefield on the 3rd and 4th of January, “I have not furnished a sketch or map of camp or vicinity, as Major Whitside arrived about noon to-day and informed me had an officer with him for this purpose.”[2]

2nd Lieut Sydney A. Cloman at the Pine Ridge Agency on 13 January 1891.

2nd Lieutenant Sydney A. Cloman at the Pine Ridge Agency on 13 January 1891.[3]

The map maker was a young second lieutenant just over eighteen months out of the Military Academy. Twenty-three-year-old Sydney Amos Cloman served several roles during the course of the Pine Ridge campaign.  He was the most junior officer in the 1st Infantry Regiment serving in G Company.  His regiment’s commander was Colonel William R. Shafter, and his company commander was Captain Frances E. Pierce.  The regiment departed from Angel Island, California, on 4 December and slowly made their way by train from the Pacific Ocean.  On 10 December newspapers reported, “Colonel Shafter, with headquarters band and the entire regiment, has been ordered to take station at Fort Niobrara,” Nebraska. For the purposes of making a map of the Wounded Knee battlefield, General Miles appointed Lieutenant Cloman acting engineer of the Division of the Missouri.[4]

Perhaps the most well known photograph of Sydney A. Cloman is of him sitting astride a horse on the killing fields of Wounded Knee surrounded by dead Lakota members of Big Foot's Band.[9]

Perhaps the most well known photograph of Sydney A. Cloman is of him sitting astride a horse on the killing fields of Wounded Knee surrounded by dead Lakota members of Big Foot’s Band.[5]

Cloman’s completed map was one of the principal pieces of evidence during the Wounded Knee Investigation, and was used as a reference by most every officer that testified. The sketches that Cloman made at the beginning of January formed the basis of a detailed map that General Miles used in his annual report to the secretary of war that he rendered in fall of 1891.

Lieut. S. A. Cloman's map of Wounded Knee depicting the scene of the fight with Big Foot's Band, Dec. 29th 1890.

Lieut. S. A. Cloman’s map of Wounded Knee depicting the scene of the fight with Big Foot’s Band, Dec. 29th 1890.

Lieutenant Cloman’s role during the campaign was not limited to that of an engineer.  He later was given command of a company of Indian Scouts.  Cloman gained recognition during the campaign when he made the arrest of the Lakota youth responsible for killing Captain Edward W. Casey on 7 January 1891.  Cloman caught up with the alleged murderer, Plenty Horses, almost five weeks after Casey’s killing, and almost a month after the campaign officially ended.  The infantry lieutenant provided a detailed account of the arrest in the following report.

PINE RIDGE, SOUTH DAKOTA,
Feb. 19, 1891.

To the Camp Adjutant.
Sir:
In accordance with verbal orders from the Camp Commander, I broke camp at this place on the morning of the 7th inst., and marched down the White Clay Valley with my troop (“C”) of Ogalalla Indian Scouts.  From the nature of the roads, the wagons could be moved only at a very slow gait, so that while en-route we had time to visit all the Indian lodges in the valley as far as we went.  While going down I stopped at the lodge of Corn Man, whose grandson Plenty Horses or Plenty Little Bear, murdered Lieut. Casey some time since.  I found the lodge occupied by the aforesaid Plenty Horses and two other young bucks, who refused to come out of the tepee or hold any communication with us.  No arrest was attempted at this time. I camped for the night at a point near the mouth of No Water Creek, about six miles from the White River.  The stop here was imperative as the roads beyond were as yet unbroken and practically impassable for loaded wagons.  After making camp I rode down to the place where No Water was said to be living, but found no one there.  Early the next morning I left with a detachment of eight men and visited the Ogalalla and Brule villages on a small tributary of the White Clay and about one mile from it.  I was there told that No Water and his sons had formerly lived there, but had a few days before moved up the creek about two miles.  I then sent a messenger back to the troop with orders to break camp and follow us, while the detachment and myself went on up to No Water’s place.  We found this located in the vicinity of two log houses and two or three tepees in a thicket on the White Clay.  In reply to our questions, No Water’s wife stated that she had two boys, but that they were both at the agency getting beef.  About this time one of them stuck his head out of the tepee, I arrested him, but could not find the other one.  I afterwards found out that he is living in Red Cloud’s camp near the Agency.  This arrest was made without any trouble or excitement whatever.  The man said he did not know us, but when I showed him that I was an officer, he obeyed me implicitly.  By this time the company had come up, and we proceeded without further stop to Corn Man’s Lodge.  I had noticed that a great many bucks were absent at the beef issue, and after consultation with my older non-commissioned officers, I had determined to make the arrest of the murderer of Lieut. Casey at once if possible.  Leaving wagons and prisoner in the road with a guard of six men, I moved the company around in rear of the five tepees occupied by Corn Man’s band.  I then took six men, two of them dismounted beside myself and went around in front of the lodges.  I entered each lodge in succession with the other two men, and finally found Plenty Horses in the last tepee, telling him that we had to arrest him, but that he would not be hurt in any way if he would submit quietly.  He seemed surly, but promised to obey.  Leaving him with the other two men, I started to remount my horse, when the man broke away and started for his tepee.  We ran after him and caught him as he was going through the door.  He was then mounted on a horse belonging to one of the scouts, and brought with us to Pine Ridge Agency, where I turned both men over to the Camp Commander.  There were only three men besides Plenty Horses in the Indian camp at the time the arrest was made, and they looked on without showing any excitement or anger whatever.  The grandfather of Plenty Horses accompanied me to the Agency at his own request, and told me his grandson’s story of the murder.  It differs in several respects from the newspaper version.  Three men who were with Plenty Horses at the time he shot Lieut. Casey, are also in Corn Man’s camp.  Another man who was with him is a half breed, the son-in-law of Red Cloud, and is now in Red Cloud’s camp.
I met no Indians on the trip who wished to enlist in the service as either scouts or foot soldiers.  Many of the young Brules said they wanted to get Short Bull’s advice on the subject, and would await his return from Washington.
Very respectfully, Your obedient servant,
S. A. Cloman, 2d Lt. 1st Infy.,
Com’g. Tr. “C”, I. S.[6]

Cloman’s report was forwarded through Colonel Shafter and Brigadier General Brooke to Major General Miles who endorsed the report commenting, “Lieutenant Cloman is entitled to great credit for the manner in which he executed my instructions.”  Commanding General of the Army Major General John M. Schofield concurred with General Miles and recognized Cloman in General Order No. 100 the following December.[7]

2d Lieutenant Sydney A. Cloman, 1st Infantry, commanding Troop C, Ogallalla Indian Scouts: For the excellent judgment and discretion with which he executed the instructions of Major General Miles in the arrest, at White Clay Creek, South Dakota, of the Indian Plenty Horses.[8]

Sydney Cloman, at fifty-five years of age, died shortly after World War I.  In his retirement he wrote a popular narrative of his service in the Philippines titled, Myself and a Few Moros, published shortly after his death.  Cloman’s official military record was recorded in the 1925 Annual Report of the West Point Association of Graduates.  It describes his unusual career as a military attache, his rare resignation of his commission, and his return to service during the Great War.

Lieutenant Colonel Sydney Amos Cloman, circa 1919.

Lieutenant Colonel Sydney Amos Cloman, circa 1919.[9]

As a Major, U. S. Volunteers, in 1898, he sailed to the Philippines on the first expedition and remained until 1901. In 1903 he was appointed a member of the General Staff upon its organization, a selection which to all those who knew him seemed quite a matter of course. Then came an interesting mission to Venezuela, Columbia and Panama, followed by an assignment as Military Attache and Observer with the Russian Army in Manchuria in 1904-5 during the Russo-Japanese War. In 1907 he was appointed Military Attache to the United States Embassy in London, which gave him his opportunity for seeing the Turkish Counter Revolution of 1910 and, on a mission, of visiting Liberia and Sierra Leone.
His service in London over, he was placed in command of the Guard at the Panama-Pacific Exposition of 1912-14 in San Francisco and was appointed the War Department representative to it. This took him to Australia, New Zealand and the Malay States as a member of a commission. Garrison duty followed to his resignation in January, 1917, as a Major of Infantry.
Upon the entrance of the United States in the World War, he returned to the army as a Lieutenant Colonel. After organizing and commanding the 159th Depot Brigade, he served in the St. Mihiel campaign as an Assistant Chief of Staff of the 1st Corps, and during the campaign in the Argonne, and the Heights of the Meuse he was Chief of Staff of the 29th Division. With the Armistice he was assigned as Assistant Finance Officer, Member of the Board of Contracts and Adjustments, and Chief of the Administrative Liaison Bureau until May, 1919, when he returned to the United States and, at his own request, was placed on the retired list as a Lieutenant Colonel.
He received the Distinguished Service Medal, the Croix de Guerre, the Order of St. Michael and St. George, the Order of Stanislaus of Russia, the Order of Danilo of Montenegro and was an officer of the Legion of Honor.[10]

Following his death on 12 May 1923, his widow, Mrs. Flora Clement Cloman, held a memorial service at their residence in Burlingame, California.  Then, per the colonel’s wishes, his body was taken to the Fort Mason dock and out to sea for burial.[11]

Endnotes

[1] Samuel L. Russell, “Selfless Service: The Cavalry Career of Brigadier General Samuel M. Whitside from 1858 to 1902,” Masters Thesis, (Fort Leavenworth: U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, 2002), 144.
[2] Foillet A. Whitney, report dated 3 Jan 1891, from National Archives “Sioux Campaign, 1890-91,” 824.
[3] Denver Public Library Digital Collection, “Gen. Miles & staff during late Indian War at Pine Ridge Agcy.” (http://cdm15330.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15330coll22/id/24030) accessed 27 Sep 2014.
[4] Omaha Daily Bee, “Another Disposition of Troops,” 11 Dec 1890.
[5] Richard Erodes, Wounded Knee, Crazy Horse [9 of 33 Slides], Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Yale University (http://brbl-dl.library.yale.edu/vufind/Record/3498222) accessed 27 Sep 2014.
[6] Sydney A. Cloman, reported dated 19 Feb 1891, from .National Archives “Sioux Campaign, 1890-91,” 1165-1168.
[7] Ibid., 1170.
[8] Adjutant General’s Office, “General Order No. 100, Headquarters of the Army, December 17, 1891,” General Orders and Circulars – 1891, (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1892), 9.
[9] Sydney A. Cloman, Myself and a Few Moros (Garden City, N. Y.: Double Day, Page & Company, 1923), ii.
[10] John R. M. Taylor, “Sydney A. Cloman,” from Fifty-sixth Annual Report of the Association of Graduates of the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, June 11, 1925 (Saginaw, Mich.: Seaman & Peters Printers and Binders, 1925), 109.
[11] San Francisco Area Funeral Home Records, 1895-1985, “N and Gray Company,” Microfilm publication, 1129 rolls, Researchity.,San Francisco, California.

Citation for this article: Samuel L. Russell, “Map of Wounded Knee and Its Maker – Second Lieutenant Sydney Amos Cloman, 1st Infantry,” Army at Wounded Knee, posted 27 Sep 2014, accessed date ___________, http://wp.me/p3NoJy-xc.

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First Lieutenant William Wallace Robinson, Jr, Adjutant, 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry

They turned like a flash of lightning almost, throwing off their blankets, all of them grasping their rifles, and fired a volley into the men to the direction of the battery.

First Lieutenant William W. Robinson, Jr., at target range camp at the Fort Riley, Kansas in 1888.

First Lieutenant William W. Robinson, Jr., at target range camp at the Fort Riley, Kansas in 1888.

At forty-four years of age, First Lieutenant William W. Robinson, Jr., was the oldest of the lieutenants in the 7th Cavalry.  He had been with the regiment for over fourteen years since being transferred from the 3rd Cavalry as a second lieutenant the day after the Little Bighorn battle.  This put him in the awkward position of being junior to a number of newly promoted 7th Cavalry first lieutenants who graduated from the Military Academy several years after him.  He was promoted to first lieutenant two months after his transfer and assigned to D Troop. Lieutenant Robinson’s troop commander, Captain Edward S. Godfrey, graduated from West Point just two years prior to Robinson but had been advanced to captain fourteen years sooner than would Robinson due to the effect Little Bighorn had on the army’s regimental promotion system within the 7th Cavalry.

In late November 1890 as the regiment prepared to deploy to Pine Ridge, Lieutenant Robinson had been commanding D Troop for almost two years, as Captain Godfrey was on detached service at Fort Leavenworth.  Robinson was deeply chagrined when Godfrey was released from his service with the Tactical Board and caught up with the regiment at Pine Ridge on 6 December to assume command of the troop.  The awkward situation did not escape notice of the regiment’s commander, as Colonel James W. Forsyth commented the same day in a letter to his daughter, “Robinson is disgusted because the arrival of Godfrey leaves him without a troop.”  Forsyth solved the dilemma by appointing Robinson the acting adjutant of his 2nd Battalion commanded by Captain Charles S. Ilsley.[1]

Lieutenant Robinson was the fourth officer called to testify on 9 January 1891, the third day of Major General Miles’s investigation into the Wounded Knee affair.  After being duly sworn, Robinson provided the following statement concerning his personal observations at Wounded Knee.

The Battalion of which I was Acting Adjutant was ordered to deploy mounted so as to form a cordon of troops in connection with the 1st Battalion around Big Foot’s band of Indians.  E Troop, commanded by Captain Ilsley, who was also Battalion Commander, is correctly located on the map (handed to him), as are also the rest of the troops.  After watching this disposition for a time, the Battalion being adjusted, and I having no particular duties to perform, of my own accord I rode down among the Indian tepees and volunteered to assist Captain Varnum in searching the tepees.  While receiving and carrying away the arms that were found, we found two bucks in one of the tepees, who refused to come out, in disobedience of the order that had been given.   I took both of them and conducted them out, placing them inside of the interior guard that had been placed about the other bucks.

Inset of Lieut. S. A. Cloman’s map of Wounded Knee depicting the scene of the fight with Big Foot’s Band, December 29, 1890.

Inset of Lieut. S. A. Cloman’s map of Wounded Knee depicting the scene of the fight with Big Foot’s Band, December 29, 1890.

This guard consisted, as I observed, of Troops K and B, drawn up something in the form of a V, with the apex of the angle towards the Hotchkiss gun.  The apex at that time was not open, but was covered by men in dispersed order about from 2 to 3 feet apart.  As I placed the two Indians inside, a sergeant of the 7th Cavalry called out to me “Lieut. Robinson,” pointing to one of the bucks in the crowd that had not up to this time been disarmed, “that buck or that Indian has a rifle concealed under his blanket.”  I called the sergeant to come up to me, and immediately reported this fact to Major Whitside, who was at the time within a few feet of me.  He told me to have the sergeant identify the Indian.  I called the sergeant up to me.  He endeavored to identify him, but was unable to do so, as he was lost in the crowd.
Just at this moment, the man, who seemed to be most conspicuous, a ghost dancer, and dressed in that costume, commenced his chant or incantation and immediately after, turned and started deliberately to the rear, that is away from the direction of the battery, followed at first by about 8 or 10 of the bucks.  I immediately realized that they were trying to make a break away from the troops, but not even then anticipated firing from their guns.  I put spurs to my horse, had my bridle in my right hand, but did not draw my pistol, anticipating no firing from them.  I rode hastily to within 3 or 4 feet of this ghost dancer, with my left hand motioned them back to where they belonged.  They turned like a flash of lightning almost, throwing off their blankets, all of them grasping their rifles, and fired a volley into the men to the direction of the battery.  The instant I saw them draw their rifles I called to the men on my right, I being between the men and the Indians, “Look out, men, they are going to fire.”  Lieut. Mann was on my left at this time and gave the same order about the same instant.  I dashed through the line of men, realizing that it was no position for a mounted man, passed around in rear of this interior guard, and galloped up the hill to the rear of the battery and was a careful observer of all that occurred until the end of the engagement, dismounting and going to the crest of the hill.
I observed especially that the bucks, who escaped being killed or wounded ran at once towards their tepees, among their women and children. Before the firing had commenced, I had observed the children, of all ages especially, playing among the tepees, and had commented upon it as a favorable indication, saying that it was a proof to me that there was no hostile intent on the part of the Indians.  When I saw these bucks running into their own village, it occurred to me that the fire, which was directed towards them, must necessarily be fatal to a great many of their women and children, as even from my position, with all the experience I have had with Indian affairs, and I have been associated with them since I was 8 years old, I could not possibly at 3 or 400 yards tell a squaw from a buck when running.
During the fight at different times I heard officers several times caution their men not to fire upon women or children or in any manner injure the wounded bucks, and rode down once myself and cautioned the men on that point.
It is asserted, I understand, that a Hotchkiss gun was fired before our men had had an opportunity to clear the ground.  I know positively that this was not true because I placed myself immediately in rear of the left gun on the line as soon as I could dismount and get to the crest.  I heard Captain Capron give the order to the man who was holding the lanyard to remove the friction primer, evidently fearing that the man might get nervous and discharge the gun before he had orders; and no Hotchkiss gun was fired until our men, whom had been around the Indians, had had ample time to get out of the way.
I observed no firing on the part of any of our men, which I considered endangered the lives of other men of the command, and I believe our dead were killed and wounded by Indian bullets, and after what I observed on the part of the Indians and their magazine guns I was not at all surprised at our loss, except that it was not greater than it was.[2]

Lieutenant Robinson’s fifteen-year-old son, Edward Winsor, accompanied his father on the campaign to the Pine Ridge Agency, and, unbeknownst to the lieutenant, his son followed the 2nd Battalion to Wounded Knee on the evening of 28 December.  This made him an unlikely participant during hostilities the following morning and certainly the youngest combatant on the side of the government.  The Salt Lake Herald highlighted this extraordinary occurrence in an article three weeks later.

Lieutenant Robinson, of the Seventh cavalry, has his little boy of sixteen years with him.  At Wounded Knee the boy was in the thickest of the mess and not being armed, he quickly ran to where a soldier had fallen, grabbed his gun and fought like a tiger to the end.  After that his place has ever been on the skirmish line and the lad’s coolness and nerve under fire shows him a born soldier.[3]

Writing less than a year later, Captain Allyn Capron, commander of Light Battery E, 1st Artillery, whose Hotchkiss steel mountain rifles wreaked havoc on the Lakota in the Indian village and the ravine at Wounded Knee, provided additional detail of young Edward Robinson’s role at the Wounded Knee and Drexel Mission fights.

He was in the thickest of the fight and advanced, carbine in hand, with the dismounted cavalry, coolly delivering his fire and setting an example worthy of emulation. Again at Drexel Mission, S.D., on December 30, 1891 [sic: 1890], my attention was called to the lad who, with a number of cavalrymen, had taken a position on the reverse side of a slight rise, where they were firing against the Indians, who were advancing. A greater part of the men in his immediate vicinity had fallen back, while he, with a few, maintained their position until the line was reformed. His conduct was superb and worthy of the highest praise.[4]

Concerning Lieutenant Robinson’s actions at the Drexel Mission fight, Major Guy V. Henry in his official report recorded, “Horses of the 7th Cavalry were met south of the Mission Building rushing to the rear.  Lieutenant Robinson of the 7th was endeavoring to stop them.”  In this same action, Captain Godfrey recorded that, “One private horse the property of 1st Lieut. W. W. Robinson, Jr., 7th Cavalry [was] wounded.”[5]

A month after the regiment returned from the campaign Colonel Forsyth recommended Lieutenant Robinson and four other lieutenants be given honorable mention from the Adjutant General of the Army for their actions in both battles; he was not accorded such honors when Major General Schofield recognized many officers and troopers from that winter’s campaign.[6]

Born on 2 April 1846 at Amherst, Ohio, William Wallace Robinson, Jr., was the third of five children of William Wallace and Sarah Jane (Fisk) Robinson. She was the daughter of Daniel and Sarah (Bowen) Fisk, and he the son of John and Rebecca (Merritt) Robinson.  Together William and Sarah had five children, three that survived to adulthood: Edward Lorenzo, who died at the age of eight in 1851; Leonora Calista, born in 1844 and later married to Brevet Brigadier General Hollon Richardson; William Wallace, the subject of this post; Herbert Fisk, born in 1857; and Inez Euseba, who died in 1864 three weeks shy of her fourth birthday.[7]

The senior William W. Robinson, educated at Norwich University Military College, was serving as a professor and co-founder of the Cleveland High School and Academy at the time of his name sake’s birth. Shortly thereafter the elder William enlisted in the Ohio volunteers when President Polk and Congress declared war with Mexico in May 1846.  He was following in the footsteps of his father, John Robinson, who had served as a lieutenant during the War of 1812, had fought at Sackets Harbor and Plattsburg, and had been severely wounded at Stone Mill.  William Robinson was quickly elected an officer in company G, Third Ohio Volunteers, and served as the unit’s captain through the campaigns of Matamoras, Carmargo, Monterey and Buena Vista.  After the war, William returned to life as a civilian and relocated the family variously to California, Minnesota, and ultimately settled in Sparta, Wisconsin.  At the onset of the Civil War the elder Robinson was appointed the lieutenant colonel of the 7th Wisconsin Infantry, and went on to command the regiment and later the Iron Brigade with distinction.  He led his regiment at Ganesville, where he was wounded, and at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, and commanded the brigade at Gettysburg and periodically during General Grant’s Overland Campaign including battles at the Wilderness, Spottsylvania and Cold Harbor. Wallace resigned in July, 1864, due to weariness and the effects of his earlier wounds. Later in civil life he served as the U.S. Consul to Madagascar under the Grant administration.[8]

Cadet William W. Robinson, Jr., at West Point circa 1868.[9]

Declining a brevet promotion to brigadier general, the elder Robinson instead was able to secure an appointment for his son to the United States Military Academy.  The younger Robinson entered West Point in July 1864, but left six months later so as to see action before the end of the Civil War.  Eager to follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, eighteen-year-old William Robinson enlisted, with his parents permission, in his father’s old 7th Wisconsin Regiment in March 1865 and saw action as a private in Company E at Gravelly Run, White Oak Road, Five Forks and Appomattox.  The younger Robinson mustered out of the volunteers in July 1865 in time to return to West Point that same summer.  Graduating thirty-second of thirty-nine from the class of 1869, Robinson was commissioned a second lieutenant in the 3rd Cavalry.[10]

Heading west to join his regiment, Robinson saw duty against Apache Indians from posts like Fort Seldon, New Mexico, and Camps Goodwin and Grant in the Arizona Territory. Writing in September 1871 to the Indian Commissioner, Second Lieutenant Robinson provided his opinion of the Aravapa Apaches that had been involved in a recent outbreak near Camp Grant.  “The general reputation for honesty of the Apache tribe is poor; but these people, as I have before stated, gave no cause of complaint until their final outbreak, the causes of which it would, perhaps, be well to consider before condemning all.” Robinson went on to write, “I do not consider the statements of a few citizens that some of these Indians had committed depredations a sufficient proof to warrant the indiscriminate murder of a whole band….”  Some critics of Wounded Knee might consider the young lieutenant’s words an ironic foreshadowing of the actions of the 7th Cavalry two decades later.[11]

Robinson’s service with the 3rd Cavalry saw him posted to Wyoming, the Dakotas and Nebraska at Forts Russell and McPherson and Camps Robinson and Collins. He was involved in excursions against Ute and Sioux Indians during this time and was in the field in the summer of 1876 with General Crook’s Rosebud campaign before being transferred to the 7th Cavalry and promoted to first lieutenant that August when he joined his new regiment at Bismarck.  He was active in campaigning with the 7th Cavalry in the Dakota territories for the next eleven years taking station at Forts Lincoln, Abercrombie, Totten, Bufford, and Meade before the regiment located to Fort Riley, Kansas, in 1887.[12]

While serving with the 7th Cavalry in the Dakota territories, Robinson served as the Regiment’s Quartermaster from 1883 to 1887, a position that provided him the equivalent pay of a captain, and would form the bases for the later half of his military career. Five months after Wounded Knee, Robinson requested and received an appointment to Captain and Assistant Quartermaster, which took him out of the regimental army and placed him under the Quartermaster Bureau where he served for the next two decades. In this capacity, he served at various posts across the country from Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, to Fort Sam Houston, Texas, from Denver, Colorado, to Buffalo, New York, and from the Presidio at San Francisco, California, to Fort Lawton near Seattle, Washington.[13]

Colonel William W. Robinson, Jr., U.S. Army Quartermaster Department.

Colonel William W. Robinson, Jr., U.S. Army Quartermaster Department.

From the west coast Robinson oversaw the U.S. Army Transport Service from 1896 to 1901, providing the movement of cargo during the Spanish-American War.  Despite his requests to be sent to the front during the war, his position in Seattle overseeing transport to Alaska and the Philippines was too crucial to afford his reassignment.  Promoted to Major in 1900, Robinson was next assigned to Honolulu, Hawaii, until finally being sent to the Philippines in 1902, where he served the campaigning army supplying almost two hundred military outposts.  Robinson returned to the United States in 1904 when he was promoted to lieutenant colonel and served as the Chief Quartermaster for the Department of Dakota and later the Department of the Great Lakes.  His final active duty promotion came February 1910, at which rank he served for two months as Assistant Quartermaster General before retiring in April at the age of 64.[14]

In 1904, Congress authorized the President to promote all retiring Civil War veterans to the next highest rank from which they last served on active duty.  Because of his service as a private in company E, 7th Wisconsin Infantry, at the close of that war, Robinson was promoted to brigadier general on the day of his retirement.[15]

Within two months of graduation from the academy, Robinson married his Sparta hometown sweetheart, Miss Ella Lucina Winsor, the twenty-one-year-old step-daughter of Henry M. Harrington.  Bearing the hardships of an army wife in the frontier, she bore him three children: Ella Nora, born in 1873 at Fort Laramie, Wyoming territory; Edward Winsor, born in 1875 at Sparta, Wisconsin; and Mae Josephine, born in 1880, also at Sparta.  Through Robinson’s many assignments across the west, Ella remained in Sparta more often than not, and the marriage did not last.  William and Ella divorced sometime during the 1880s.  The 1900 census records Ella Robinson living with her two daughters.  The son, Edward, a child-veteran of the battles of Wounded Knee and Drexel Mission, was at that time serving as a captain in the Philippines in the U.S. Volunteers’ 35th Infantry Regiment.[16]

William Robinson married in August 1887 Miss Minnie Lane TenEyck, the thirty-seven-year-old daughter of Brevet Major Tendor and Martha (Hascall) TenEyck.  William and Minnie spent the remainder of their lives together residing at their retirement home in Seattle.  They had no children.[17]

News article from the 28 October El Paso Herald detailing the funeral cortege of Captain Edward W. Robinson.

News article from the 28 October El Paso Herald detailing the funeral cortege of Captain Edward W. Robinson.

In 1912, the retired general received the devastating news that his son, Captain Edward W. Robinson of the 13th U.S. Cavalry Regiment, and the fourth generation of Robinson men to serve his country in uniform, died of a ruptured appendix while on duty at Fort Bliss, Texas.  His body was returned by train to his father in Seattle with all the pomp and circumstance that only a military cortege can provide.  In addition to his parents and sisters, Edward was survived by his widow, Mrs. Elizabeth Crowell Robinson, ten-year-old daughter Catherine May, and seven-year-old son Edward Gordon.[18]

Ella Winsor Robinson, William’s first wife, died in 1916 in her hometown of Sparta having never remarried.  Their eldest daughter, Ella Nora or “Nellie” had a son, Roland, out of wed-lock, and by 1910 was an inmate in the Monroe County Insane Asylum in Sparta.  Her son died in 1923 and she in 1959.  The Robinson’s youngest daughter, Mae Josephine, married Jason P. Williams, and lived for decades in Juneau, Alaska, where he worked for the U.S. Forestry service.  They had two sons, Donald and Dean Williams.  Mae’s husband died in 1954 and she in 1966.[19]

Headstone of Brigadier General William Wallace Robinson, Jr., and his wife, Minnie Lane Ten Eyck, at Arlington National Cemetery.[21]

With the coming of America’s entry into the Great War in 1917, at the age of seventy, the retired general returned to Washington, D. C., to offer his services to the War Department; while there he fell ill.  Brigadier General, retired, William Wallace Robinson, Jr., died in Walter Reed Army Hospital on 24 March 1917 and was buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery three days later.  His second wife, Minie TenEyck Robinson joined him in death six years later and was buried by his side.[20]

 


[1] General Forsyth’s Diary, 4.
[2] Jacob F. Kent and Frank D. Baldwin, “Report of Investigation into the Battle at Wounded Knee Creek, South Dakota, Fought December 29th 1890,” in Reports and Correspondence Related to the Army Investigations of the Battle at Wounded Knee and to the Sioux Campaign of 1890–1891, the National Archives Microfilm Publications (Washington: The National Archives and Records Service, General Services Administration, 1975), Roll 1, Target 3, Jan. 1891, 692-695.
[3] J. G. Warren, Salt Lake Herald, “Capt. Allyn Capron,” (Salt Lake City: January 19, 1891), 2.
[4] Allyn Capron, in letter dated 23 Dec 1891 quoted in The Sparta Herald, “Sparta Boy’s Promotion,” (Sparta, Wis.: March 20, 1899), 2.
[5] NARA, Army Investigations of the Battle at Wounded Knee, 1792; Adjutant General’s Officer, “7th Cavalry, Troop D, Jan. 1885 – Dec. 1897,” Muster Rolls of Regular Army Organizations, 1784 –  Oct. 31, 1912, Record Group 94, (Washington: National Archives Record Administration); George W. Collum, Biographical Register of the Officers and Graduates of the United States Military Academy at West Point, N. Y., vol. 3, (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1891), 140.
[6] James W. Forsyth, James W. Forsyth Papers, 1865-1932, Series I. Correspondence, Box 1, Folder 1 – Box 2, Folder 49, The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Libraray, Yale University Library.
[7] Frederick Clifton Pierce, “Fiske and Fisk Family: Being the Record of the Descendants of Symond Fiske, Lord of the Manor of Stadhaugh, Suffolk County, England, from the time of Henvy IV. to Date, including all the American Members of the Family.” (Chicago: Press of W. E. Conkey Company, 1896), 427-428.
[8] H. O. Brown and M. A. W. Brown, Soldiers and citizens’ album of biographical record [of Wisconsin] containing personal sketches of army men and citizens prominent in loyalty to the Union. Also a chronological and statistical history of the civil war and a history of the Grand Army of the Republic; with portraits of soldiers and prominent citizens. (Chicago: Grand Army Publishing Company, 1890), 553-556.
[9] Paul Johnson, “Gen. William W. Robinson, Jr.,” Johnson Family War Veterans (http://www.newnorth.net/~johhnson/cw/wwr_jr.html) accessed 23 Sep 2014.
[10] United States Military Academy Association of Graduates, Forty-eighth Annual Report of the Association of Graduates at West Point, New York, June 12th, 1917 (Saginaw, Mich.: Seamann & Peters, Inc., Printers and Binders, 1917), 111.
[11] Ibid.; W. W. Robinson, Jr., letter dated 10 Sep 1871, as recorded in the Board of Indian Commissioner’s Peace with Apaches of New Mexico and Arizona, Report of Vincent Colyer, (http://library.brown.edu/cds/repository2/repoman.php?verb=render_xslt&id=1227634538575563.xml&view=1226416901875000.xsl&colid=55) accessed 23 Sep 2014.
[12] USMA AOG, Forty-eighth Annual Report, 112.
[13] Ibid., 112-113.
[14] Ibid., 113-114.
[15] Ibid.
[16] Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services, Wisconsin Vital Record Index, pre-1907, Madison, WI, USA: Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services Vital Records Division, vol. 2, page 9; Ancestry.com, United States Federal Census [database on-line], Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009, Year: 1860, Census Place: Sparta, Monroe, Wisconsin, Roll: M653_1424, Page: 171, Image: 177, Family History Library Film: 805424; Year: 1870, Census Place: Sparta, Monroe, Wisconsin, Roll: M593_1729, Page: 170A, Image: 343, Family History Library Film: 553228; Year: 1880, Census Place: Sparta, Monroe, Wisconsin, Roll: 1439, Family History Film: 1255439, Page: 78B, Enumeration District: 028; Year: 1900, Census Place: Sparta, Monroe, Wisconsin, Roll: 1808, Page: 8B, Enumeration District: 0108, FHL microfilm: 1241808; ; Jerome A. Watrous, The Minneapolis Journal, “Soldiers Thru Three Generations,” (Minneapolis: October 31, 1903), 11.
[17] Ancestry.com, United States Federal Census [database on-line], Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009, Year: 1880, Census Place: Chicago, Cook, Illinois, Roll: 185, Family History Film: 1254185, Page: 461B, Enumeration District: 017, Image: 0317; Year: 1900, Census Place: Seattle Ward 8, King, Washington, Roll: 1745, Page: 8A, Enumeration District: 0115, FHL microfilm: 1241745; Year: 1910, Census Place: Chicago Ward 7, Cook, Illinois, Roll: T624_247, Page: 3A, Enumeration District: 0398, FHL microfilm: 1374260.
[18] El Paso Herald, “Capt. Robinson Dies at the Post,” 25 Oct 1912; El Paso Herald, “Son of Gen. W. W. Robinson Dies,” 26 Oct 1912; El Paso Herald, “Shriner Parade Waits Upon Funeral Cortege,” 28 Oct 1912.
[19] Ancestry.com, United States Federal Census [database on-line], Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009, Year: 1910, Census Place: Sparta, Monroe, Wisconsin, Roll: T624_1729, Page: 2A, Enumeration District: 0142, FHL microfilm: 1375742; Year: 1930, Census Place: Juneau, First Judicial District, Alaska Territory, Roll: 2626, Page: 13B, Enumeration District: 0020, Image: 652.0, FHL microfilm: 2342360; Ancestry.com, Washington, Deaths, 1883-1960 [database on-line], Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2008; Ancestry.com, Wisconsin Death Index, 1959-1997 [database on-line], Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007; Ancestry.com, Oregon, Death Index, 1898-2008 [database on-line], Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2000, Oregon State Library, Oregon Death Index 1931-1941, Reel Title: Oregon Death Index L-Z, Year Range: 1951-1960, certificates 481 and 5299.
[20] Interment Control Forms, 1928–1962, Interment Control Forms, A1 2110-B, Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General, 1774–1985, Record Group 92, The National Archives at College Park, College Park, Maryland; The Washington Post, “To Have Military Burial,” 26 Mar 1917.
[21] Paul Johnson, “Gen. William W. Robinson, Jr.,” Johnson Family War Veterans (http://www.newnorth.net/~johhnson/family/military/wwrjr.html) accessed 24 Sep 2014.

Citation for this article: Samuel L. Russell, “First Lieutenant William Wallace Robinson, Jr, Acting Adjutant, 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry,” Army at Wounded Knee, posted 9 Sep 2014, accessed date __________, http://wp.me/p3NoJy-xk.

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E Troop, 7th Cavalry Regiment, Muster Roll

Muster Roll of Captain Charles S. Ilsley’s Troop E of the Seventh Regiment of Cavalry, Army of the United States, (Colonel James W. Forsyth,) from the 31st day of October, 1890 to the 31st day of December, 1890. [Names in bold are believed to have been present at the battle of Wounded Knee.  Those annotated with * were wounded in action, those annotated with § were killed in action or died of wounds, and those annotated with ¥ were awarded the Medal of Honor or the Certificate of Merit.]

Captain Ilsley, Charles S.: Commanding troop.

First Lieutenant Sickel, Horatio G.: On leave of absence since Sept. 19, ’90 per paragraph II Special Order 129 Headquarters Department of Missouri Sept.16, ’90, and is extended per paragraph 3 Special Order Headquarters of the Army, Adjutant General’s Office. Oct 21, ’90 further extended 3 days per paragraph 7 Special Order 257 Headquarters of the Army Adjutant General’s Office, Nov. 3, ’90. Rejoined troop Nov. 5, ’90. On duty with troop.

Second Lieutenant Rice, Sedgwick: On leave of absence from Nov. 6 to Nov. 22, ’90, per paragraph II Order 153 Headquarters Department of Missouri Nov. 4, ’90. Sick in quarters from Nov. 27 to Dec. 4, ’90, contusion right knee contracted in line of duty.  On duty with troop.

First Sergeant Clark, Charles M.: Enlisted on 30-Aug-88 at Fort Meade, Dakota Territory, by Lt. Bracom.  Entitled to Re-enlisted Pay!

Sergeant Whitbrick, Lot: Enlisted on 28-Aug-86 at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, by Lt. Craig.  On detached service at Fort Riley, Kans. Since Nov. 24, ’90 in charge of post garden per paragraph 2, Order 207 Ft Riley, Kansas Sept. 19, ’90.

¥ Sergeant Austin, William G.: Enlisted on 24-Jan-87 at New York, New York, by Lt. Wheeler.  On furlough from Sept. 5 to Nov. 4, ’90 per endorsement Headquarters Department of Missouri Aug. 25, ’90. Joined troop at Fort Riley, Kansas, Nov. 4, 1890. Granted a Medal of Honor.

* ¥ Sergeant Tritle, John F.: Enlisted on 11-Sep-88 at Baltimore, Maryland, by Capt. Huggins.  Sick in Hospital “severe perforating gunshot flesh wound, right shoulder.”  Wounded in engagement with Hostile Sioux Indians Dec. 29, ’90 at Wounded Knee Creek S. Dak. Granted a Certificate of Merit June 18, ’91.

Corporal Sham, Robert B.: Enlisted on 4-Jan-90 at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, by Capt. Dodd.  Entitled to Re-enlisted Pay!

Corporal Healy, Thomas: Enlisted on 26-Apr-86 at Boston, Massachusetts, by Capt Ewers.

Corporal Glennon, James: Enlisted on 8-Jun-89 at Camden, New Jersey, by Lt. Heyl.

Corporal Johnson, Andrew: Enlisted on 26-Mar-88 at Davenport, Iowa, by Lt. Lovell.  Relieved from daily duty Post Canteen Nov. 24, ’90.  Appointed Corporal from Private per Order 89 Headquarters 7 Cav December 8, ’90.

Trumpeter Fries, Elmer: Enlisted on 3-Aug-88 at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, by Lt. Scott.

Trumpeter Myers, Allen: Enlisted on 26-Jul-90 at Boston, Massachusetts, by Capt. Kendall.  Assigned to troop to date Nov. 28 per Order 88 Headquarters 7 Cav at Pine Ridge Agency, S. D. Dec. 6, ’90.  Appointed Trumpeter from Private per Order 18 troop Dec. 13, 90.  Joined troop at Camp at Pine Ridge Agency, Dec. 6, ’90.  Due U.S. Laundry 25 cents.

Farrier Sheridan, Joseph B.: Enlisted on 27-Jul-88 at Camden, New Jersey, by Lt. Heyl.

Blacksmith Sutor, Oliver: Enlisted on 28-Oct-90 at Baltimore, Maryland, by Capt. Hamilton.  Assigned as horse shoer to troop per telegraphic instructions dated Headquarters Recruiting Station Dec. 12, 90.  Joined troop at Pine Ridge Agency, S. Dak. Dec. 17, ’90.  Appointed Blacksmith from Private per Order 19 troop Camp at Pine Ridge Agency, S. D. Dec. 18, 90. Due U.S. Laundry 22 cents.

Saddler Donahoe, John: Enlisted on 20-Oct-86 at Fort Meade, Dakota Territory, by Lt. Hare.

Wagoner Humphreys, Michael J.: Enlisted on 26-Mar-90 at Brooklyn, New York, by Capt. Boyle.  Appointed Wagoner from Private to date Nov. 1, per Order 16 troop, Ft. Riley Kans. Nov. 10, 90.

Private Allen, William: Enlisted on 31-Dec-89 at St. Louis, Missouri, by Capt. Kauffman.  Assigned to troop to date Nov. 28 per Order 88 Headquarters 7 Cav at Pine Ridge Agency, S. D. Dec. 6, ’90. Joined troop at Camp at Pine Ridge Agency, S. Dak. Dec. 6, ’90.

Private Arrick, Clarence S.: Enlisted on 5-Sep-88 at Cleveland, Ohio, by Capt Kellogg.  Reverted from Trumpeter to Private per Order 18 troop Camp at Pine Ridge Agency, S. Dak. Dec. 13, ’90.

Private Becker, Henry B.: Enlisted on 1-May-88 at Detroit, Michigan, by Capt Loud.  Relieved from extra duty by verbal order of post commander.

Private Beard, James H.: Enlisted on 17-Aug-88 at Chicago, Illinois, by Capt Goodwin.  Relieved from litter bearer by verbal order of post commander.

Private Caldwell, Eugene S.: Enlisted on 25-Apr-89 at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, by Lt. Dodd.

Private Carroll, Peter C.: Enlisted on 16-Aug-88 at Springfield, Massachusetts, by Capt. Ropes.  Relieved from litter bearer by verbal order of post commander.

Private Clark, Charles F.: Enlisted on 21-Feb-89 at Cleveland, Ohio, by Capt. Heiner.  To forfeit to the U.S. $2.00 of his pay per Order 53, Fort Riley, Kans. Nov, 12, ’90. Deducted Nov. Rolls ’90.

Private Cook, Charles: Enlisted on 21-Mar-88 at Baltimore, Maryland, by Capt. Huggins.  Relieved from daily duty by verbal order of Post Commander.

Private Curren, Patrick J.: Enlisted on 17-Aug-88 at Boston, Massachusetts, by Capt. Miller.  To forfeit to the U.S. $2.00 of his pay per Order 53, Fort Riley, Kans. Nov, 12, ’90. Deducted Nov. Rolls ’90.

Private Davis, Joseph A.: Enlisted on 12-Nov-88 at Newark, New Jerey, by Lt. Carter.

¥ Private Feaster, Mosheim: Enlisted on 23-Oct-89 at Cleveland, Ohio, by Capt. Carpenter.  To forfeit to the U.S. $3.00 of his pay per Order 255, Ft. Riley, Kans. Nov. 14, ’90.  Deducted Nov. Rolls ’90. Granted a Medal of Honor.

Private Finney, Burton W.: Enlisted on 14-Apr-90 at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, by Capt. Dodd.  Assigned to troop to date Nov. 28, per Order 88, Headquarters 7 Cav. Camp at Pine Ridge Agency, S. Dak. Dec. 6, 90.  Joined troop at Pine Ridge Agency, S. Dak. Dec. 6, ’90.  Due U.S. Laundry 61 cents.

Private Finney, Charles L.: Enlisted on 14-Apr-90 at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, by Capt. Dodd.  Assigned to troop to date Nov. 28, per Order 88, Headquarters 7 Cav Camp at Pine Ridge Agency, S. Dak. Dec. 6, 90.  Joined troop at Pine Ridge Agency, S. Dak. Dec. 6, ’90.  Due U.S. Laundry 89 cents.

Private Fonsleth, Harry: Enlisted on 20-Oct-87 at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, by Lt. Scott.  On furlough since Nov. 1, ’90 per endorsement Headquarters Department of the Mo. Oct. 29, ’90.  To forfeit to the U.S. $2.00 of his pay per Order 224 Fort Riley, Kansas, Nov. 2, ’90.

Private Furman, Everet D.: Enlisted on 26-May-90 at Buffalo, New York, by Capt. Van Opsdah.  Assigned to troop per paragraph I Order 92, Headquarters 7 Cav, Dec. 17, ’90 to date Nov. 28, ’90. On detached service at Fort Riley, Kansas, since Nov. 29, ’90. Due U.S. Laundry 80 cents. Due U.S. for jacket stores 35 cents.

Private Gale, John: Enlisted on 11-Feb-87 at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, by Lt. Scott.

Private German, Henry: Enlisted on 5-Sep-88 at Detroit, Michigan, by Capt. Loud.  Relieved from litter bearer by verbal order of post commander.

Private Harris, Zachariah T.: Enlisted on 26-May-88 at Baltimore, Maryland, by Capt. Huggins.  To forfeit to the U.S. $1.50 of his pay per Order 256 Fort Riley, Kans., Nov. 15, ’90. To Forfeit to the U.S. $5.00 of his pay per Order 257 Ft. Riley, Kans., Nov. 26, ’90. Deducted Nov. Rolls 90.

Private Hayden, Francis H.: Enlisted on 8-May-89 at Brooklyn, New York, by Capt. Boyle.

Private Hug, Gottfried: Enlisted on 7-Sep-87 at St. Louis, Missouri, by Capt. Smith.

Private Imhoff, Jospeh: Enlisted on 17-Oct-89 at Detroit, Michigan, by Lt. Lockett.

Private Jones, Albert J.: Enlisted on 1-Sep-90 at Detroit, Michigan, by Lt. Lockett.  Assigned to troop to date Nov. 28 per Order 88 Headquarters. 7 Cav. Camp at Pine Ridge Agency, S. Dak. Dec. 6, 90.  Joined troop Dec. 6, ’90 at Pine Ridge Agency, S. Dak. Due U.S. Laundry 49 cents.

Private Keating, Patrick: Enlisted on 3-Jan-88 at Boston, Massachusetts, by Capt. Miller.

Private Kemp, Willis A.: Enlisted on 19-Oct-89 at Cleveland, Ohio, by Capt. Carpenter.  Relieved from litter bearer by verbal order of post commander.

Private Klein, Michael: Enlisted on 17-Jan-87 at Cincinnati, Ohio, by Lt. Hunter.

Private Livingston, Henry: Enlisted on 5-Jan-87 at Cleveland, O. by Lt. Vernon.  On special duty as Asst. Cook since Nov. 27, 1890.

Private Lockwood, John W.: Enlisted on 27-Aug-90 at Cleveland, Ohio, by Capt. Carpenter.  Assigned to troop to date Nov. 28 per Order 88 Headquarters. 7 Cav. Camp at Pine Ridge Agency, S. Dak. Dec. 6, 90.  Joined troop Dec. 6, ’90 at Pine Ridge Agency, S. Dak. Due U.S. Laundry 75 cents. Due U.S. for subsistence stores 17 cents.

Private Marr, George: Enlisted on 23-Jul-88 at Springfield, Massachusetts, by Capt. Ropes.

Private May, Patsey: Enlisted on 10-Jan-90 at Cincinnati, Ohio, by Capt. Haines.  Assigned to troop to date Nov. 28 per Order 88 Headquarters. 7 Cav. Camp at Pine Ridge Agency, S. Dak. Dec. 6, 90.  Joined troop Dec. 6, ’90 at Pine Ridge Agency, S. Dak. Due U.S. Laundry 75 cents.

Private McCarbrey, Michael: Enlisted on 4-Jan-87 at Boston, Massachusetts. by Capt. McKeever.

Private McDowell, James: Enlisted on 26-Mar-88 at Annapolis, Maryland, by Capt. Smith.

Private McKibbin, Harold H.: Enlisted on 19-Sep-90 at Hagerstown, Maryland, by Capt. Rogers.  Assigned to troop to date Nov. 28 per Order 88 Headquarters. 7 Cav. Camp at Pine Ridge Agency, S. Dak. Dec. 6, 90.  Joined troop Dec. 6, ’90 at Pine Ridge Agency, S. Dak. Due U.S. Laundry 65 cents.

Private Moran, Michael: Enlisted on 4-May-89 at Chicago, Illinois, by Capt. Porlan.

Private Penninger, Theodore: Enlisted on 3-Aug-88 at Baltimore, Maryland, by Capt. Huggins.

Private Porris, John B.: Enlisted on 12-Sep-88 at Baltimore, Maryland, by Capt. Huggins.  On special duty as Cook since Nov. 27, 1890.

Private Reese, Wilfred D.: Enlisted on 7-Oct-90 at Buffalo, New York, by Capt. Wilson.  Assigned to troop to date Nov. 28 per Order 88 Headquarters. 7 Cav. Camp at Pine Ridge Agency, S. Dak. Dec. 6, 90.  Joined troop Dec. 6, ’90 at Pine Ridge Agency, S. Dak. Due U.S. Laundry 36 cents. Due U.S. for subsistence stores 41 cents.

Private Risse, Joseph: Enlisted on 17-Feb-87 at Fort Yates, Dakota Territory, by Capt. Haley.

Private Smith, James A.: Enlisted on 20-Jul-88 at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, by Lt. Scott.

Private Steine, Allen M.: Enlisted on 22-Oct-88 at St. Louis, Missouri, by Lt. Guilfoyle.  Sick in Hospital. From Oct. 22 to Nov. 2 90. “Gonorrhea” not contracted in line of duty. Sick in Hospital. From Nov. 8 to Nov. 23, ’90. “Retention of urine” not contracted in line of duty. Absent sick at Fort Riley, Kans, since Nov. 24, 90.

¥ Private Sullivan, Thomas: Enlisted on 20-Sep-89 at Newark, New Jersey, by Lt. Carter.  Granted a Medal of Honor.

Private Sullivan, Tim: Enlisted on 10-Apr-90 at Boston, Massachusetts, by Capt. Kendall.

Private Tague, John V.: Enlisted on 21-Apr-90 at Providence, Rhode Island, by Capt. Thompson.  Relieved from detail duty in post garden by verbal order of Post Commander.

Private Thompson, Harry: Enlisted on 22-Jul-90 at Camden, New Jersey, by Capt. Rogers.  Assigned to troop to date Nov. 28 per Order 88 Headquarters 7 Cav. Camp at Pine Ridge Agency S. Dak. Dec. 6, ’90. Absent sick at Fort Robinson, Neb. From Dec. 2 90 to Jan’y 3 91 with incised wound back of right hand con. In line of duty.

Private Young, Edward: Enlisted on 11-Jul-88 at Newark, New Jersey, by Lt. Carter.

¥ Private Ziegner, Hermann: Enlisted on 21-May-86 at Baltimore, Maryland, by Capt. Parke.  Transferred from troop I, 7 Cav. Per paragraph I Order 84 Headquarters 7 Cav. Fort Riley, Kans., Nov 20, 90. Joined troop at Ft. Riley, Kans., Nov. 20, ’90. On special duty as troop clerk since December 1, 1890.

Attached

Sergeant Bengs, August H.: Enlisted on 28-May-87 at Fort Buford, Dakota Territory, by Lt. McGinnegle.  Troop L, 7 Cav. Attached to troop E, 7 Cav. since Sept. 9, 90, per paragraph I Order 67 Headquarters 7 Cav. Sept. 9, 90.

Discharged General Order 80 Adjutant General’s Office

Private Busk, Ingebigt L.: Enlisted on 26-Aug-87 at St. Louis, Missouri, by Capt Smith.  Discharged at Fort Riley, Kans., Nov. 25, 90 per paragraph 2 Special Order 150 Headquarters Department of Mo Oct 30, 90. under provisions of General Order 80 of Adjutant General’s Office. Discharge and final statements forwarded by registered mail to Wichita Falls, Texas. Receipt received. Character “Excellent.” Single Due soldier for clothing not drawn in kind $15.32. Pay due as Corporal from July 1 to Aug 31 and as Private from Sept 1 to Nov. 25, 90. On furlough from Sept 1, 90 to Nov. 25, 90, per paragraph 6, Special Order 114 Headquarters Department of Missouri Aug. 25, 90.

Private Foster, Charles: Enlisted on 8-Sep-87 at Chicago, Illinois, by Capt. Hennesee.  Discharged at Camp at Pine Ridge Agency, S. D. Dec. 7, 90, per paragraph 2 Special Order 161 Headquarters Department of Mo Nov. 21, 90, under provisions of General Order 80 Adjutant General’s Office. Discharge and final statement forwarded by registered mail to 53 Locust Street, Chicago, Ills. Receipt received. Character “Good” Single. Due soldier for clothing not drawn in kind $9.35. On furlough from Sept. 7 to Dec 7, 90 per paragraph 6 Special Order 114 Headquarters Department of Missouri, Aug. 25, 90.

Private German, George H.: Enlisted on 9-Sep-87 at Detroit, Michigan, by Capt. Loud.  Discharged at Camp at Pine Ridge Agency, S. Dak. Dec 8, 90 per paragraph 2 Special Order 161 Headquarters Department of Mo Nov. 21, 90 under provisions of General Order 80 Adjutant General’s Office. Discharge and final statement forwarded by registered mail to Junction City, Kans. Receipt received. Character “Good” Single. Due soldier for clothing not drawn in kind $57.56. Pay due as Sergeant. from Sept 1 to Sept 19 both inclusive and from Sept. 20 to Dec. 8, both inclusive as Private. On furlough from Sept. 16 to Dec. 8, 90 per paragraph 6, Special Order 114 Headquarters Department of Missouri Aug. 25, 90.

Private German, Walter L.: Enlisted on 9-Sep-87 at Detroit, Michigan, by Capt. Loud.  Discharged at Camp at Pine Ridge Agency, S. D. Dec. 8, 90 per paragraph 2 Special Order 168 Headquarters Department of Mo, Dec. 6, 90 under provisions of General Order 80 Adjutant General’s Office. Discharge and final statement forwarded by registered mail to 212 West 2nd Street, Sedalia, Mo. Receipt received. Character “Good” Single. Due soldier for clothing not drawn in kind $21.27. On furlough from Sept. 16 to Dec. 8, ’90 per paragraph 6 Special Order 114 Headquarters Department of Missouri Aug. 25, ’90.

Private Segerbund, Charles: Enlisted on 12-Sep-87 at Chicago, Illinois, by Capt. Hennesee.  Discharged at Camp at Pine Ridge Agency, S. Dak. Dec. 11, ’90, per paragraph 2 Special Order 161 Headquarters Department of Mo Nov. 21, 90 under provisions of General Order 80 Adjutant General’s Office. Discharge and final statement forwarded by registered mail to St. Charles, Ills. Receipt received. Character “Excellent” Single. Due soldier for clothing not drawn in kind $30.94. Pay due as Corporal. from Sept. 1 to Sept. 19, ’90 both inclusive and from Sept. 20 to Dec. 11 both inclusive as a Private. On furlough from Sept 16 to Dec. 11, 90 per paragraph 6, Special Order 114 Headquarters Department of Missouri, Aug. 25, 90.

Private Schroder, William: Enlisted on 12-Sep-87 at St. Louis, Missouri, by Capt. Smith.  Discharged at Camp at Pine Ridge Agency, S. Dak. Dec. 11, ’90 per paragraph 2, Special Order 163, Headquarters Department of Mo Nov. 26, ’90 under provisions of General Order 80 Adjutant General’s Office. Discharge and final statement forwarded by registered mail to Fort Riley, Kans. Receipt received. Character “Excellent” Single. Due soldier for clothing not drawn in kind $18.37. On furlough from Sept. 16 to Dec. 11, ’90 per paragraph 6, Special Order 114 Headquarters Department of Missouri, Aug 25, 90.

Private McCaughna, George B.: Enlisted on 13-Sep-87 at Detroit, Michigan, by Capt. Loud.  Discharged at Camp at Pine Ridge Agency, S. Dak. Dec. 12, 90 per paragraph 2 Special Order 161 Headquarters Department of Mo. Nov. 21, ’90 under provisions of General Order 80 Adjutant General’s Office. Discharge and final statement forwarded by registered mail to Junction City, Kans. Character “Excellent” Single. Receipt received. Due soldier for clothing not drawn in kind $7.59. On furlough from Sept. 16 to Dec. 12, ’90 as per endorsement Headquarters Department of Missouri, Sept 2, ’90.

Died

§ Sergeant Nettles, Robert H.: Enlisted on 20-Jun-86 at Fort Meade, Dakota Territory, by Lt. Wilkinson.  Killed in action against Hostile Sioux Indians at “Wounded Knee Creek” S. Dak. Dec. 29, 1890. Due soldier for clothing not drawn in kind $26.79. Due soldier retained $54.30. Buried at Pine Ridge Cemetery, S. Dak. 31 Dec. 90 Grave No. 13.

§ Private Kellner, August: Enlisted on 19-Sep-09 at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, by Lt. Hughes.  Killed in action against Hostile Sioux Indians at “Wounded Knee Creek” S. Dak. Dec. 29, 1890. Due soldier for clothing not drawn in kind $13.10. Due soldier retained pay $13.33 1/3 <General Order 85 Adjutant General’s Office. ’90> Buried at Pine Ridge Cemetery, S. Dak. 31 Dec. 90 Grave 14.

Transferred

Corporal Spring, Thomas: Enlisted on 3-Aug-88 at Cleveland, Ohio, by Capt. Kellogg.  Transferred to troop B, 7 Cav. As a private per Order 84. Headquarters 7 Cavalry Fort Riley, Kans., Nov. 20, 1890. Due soldier for clothing not drawn in kind June 30, 90. $15.15. Hossay value of clothing drawn since last settlement $2.56. Character “Very Good.” Single.

¥ Sergeant McMillan, Albert W.: Enlisted on 15-Aug-87 at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, by Lt. Fountain.  Transferred to the H.Q. Staff and appointed Sergeant Major of the regiment to date Dec. 30, 90 per Order 95. Headquarters 7 Cav. Camp at Pine Ridge Agency S. Dak. Dec. 30, 90. Due soldier for clothing not drawn in kind to date Dec. 31, 90 $26.06. Character “Excellent” Single.

Deserted

Private Farrell, George D.: Enlisted on 18-May-89 at Chicago, Illinois, by Capt. Nowlan.  Reverted from Wagoner to Private to date Nov. 1, 90 per Order 16 troop Fort Riley, Kansas Nov. 10, 90. Deserted at Fort Riley, Kans. Nov. 12, ’90. Due U.S. for Ordnance and Ordnance stores $13.50.

 

The Recapitulation and Record of Events Page of A Troop, 7th Cavalry Regiment’s Muster Roll of December, 1891.

The Recapitulation and Record of Events Page of E Troop, 7th Cavalry Regiment’s Muster Roll of December, 1891.

Record of Events Which May Be Necessary or Useful for Future Reference at the War Department, or for Present Information.

The troop performed the usual garrison duty at Fort Riley, Kansas form Nov. 1 to Nov. 23, 90 inclusive. In the field since Nov. 24, ’90. Left first by rail, arrived at Rushville, Neb. Nov. 26, ’90. Marched overland Nov. 26, ’90, camped at Water Lake. Distance marched 12 miles. Marched from Camp at Water Lake Nov. 27, to Pine Ridge Agency, S. Dak. Distance marched 16 miles. Total Miles marched 28. In camp at Pine Ridge Agency from Nov. 27 to Dec. 28 ’90. Left Camp at Pine Ridge Agency and marched to “Wounded Knee Creek” S. Dak. distance 17 miles.

The troop was engaged with hostile Sioux Indians at “Wounded Knee Creek” S. Dak. December 29, 1890. Two men killed and one wounded and 2 horses killed in action. The troop left camp at “Wounded Knee Creek” S. Dak. 4 P.M. the 29th inst. and marched to Pine Ridge Agency, S. Dak. arriving there at about 11 P.M. the 29th inst.

The troop was engaged with Hostile Sioux Indians in “Bad lands” about 9 miles north of Pine Ridge Agency, S. Dak. December 30, ’90. One horse slightly wounded in action.

In Camp at Pine Ridge Agency.

Source: Adjutant General’s Officer, “7th Cavalry, Troop E, Jan. 1885 – Dec. 1897,” Muster Rolls of Regular Army Organizations, 1784 –  Oct. 31, 1912, Record Group 94, (Washington: National Archives Record Administration).

Citation for this article: Samuel L. Russell, “E Troop, 7th Cavalry Regiment Muster Roll,” Army at Wounded Knee, posted 17 Sep 2014, accessed _______, http://wp.me/p3NoJy-xu.

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Private Frank T. Reinecky, D Troop, 7th U.S. Cavalry – Killed in Action

My men killed three bucks and I had one man killed and one wounded. –Lieutenant Tommy Tompkins

"The Cavalier. The young soldier and his horse on duty at camp Cheyenne," by J. C. H. Grabill, 1890, Deadwood, Dakota.

“The Cavalier. The young soldier and his horse on duty at camp Cheyenne,” by J. C. H. Grabill, 1890, Deadwood, Dakota.  Privates in the 7th cavalry at Wounded Knee were equipped like the trooper pictured.

On the morning of 29 December 1890, Frank T. Reinecky, a private in Captain Godfrey’s D Troop, was mounted with his troop on the south side of the ravine.  He had little more than a year left on his five-year enlistment, making him one of the more experienced privates in the unit.  When some of the fleeing Indians crossed the ravine and headed to the southerly Wounded Knee Road that led to the Pine Ridge Agency, Reinecky was on the line. Captain Godfrey relocated the unit south of a hill to avoid the line of fire from Indians, other troopers, and the Hotchkiss guns.  Reinecky also was likely a part of the firing line that Godfrey initiated when he stated, “I know the men did not aim deliberately and they were greatly excited. I don’t believe they saw their sights. They fired rapidly but it seemed to me only a few seconds till there was not a living thing before us; warriors, squaws, children, ponies and dogs—for they were all mixed together—went down before that unaimed fire, and I don’t think anything got nearer than a hundred yards.”[1]

Inset of Lieut. S. A. Cloman’s map of Wounded Knee depicting the position of C and D Troops, December 29, 1890.

Inset of Lieut. S. A. Cloman’s map of Wounded Knee depicting the position of C and D Troops, December 29, 1890.

As there was only one man killed in D Troop, Second Lieutenant Tommy Tompkins must have been referring to Private Reinecky’s death when he stated in a letter to his father, “I was detached with twelve or fourteen men and had quite a little time. My men killed three bucks and I had one man killed and one wounded.”  According to a New Year’s Day article in the Omaha Bee listing the soldiers’ causes of death at Wounded Knee, Reinecky was shot in the head.  Tompkins described the action where Reinecky was likely killed in his testimony at General Miles investigation of Wounded Knee, “I was ordered down to the ravine to the left to hold the ravine and stop the Indians from firing into the rear of our line as they had been doing.  There were a number of the Indians in the ravine; my men killed three bucks that I know of.”  Private Reinecky and his comrades were buried two days later next to the Episcopal Church at the Pine Ridge Agency.[2]

The Evangelical Parish of Dierdorf, Prussia listing Franz Anton the son of Wilhelm Moritz Reineck and Katharina Heer.[6]

The Evangelical Parish of Dierdorf, Prussia listing Franz Anton the son of Wilhelm Moritz Reineck and Katharina Heer.[4]

Reinecky’s given name was Franz Anton Reineck.  He was born on 6 January 1858 at Dierdorf in the Kingdom of Prussia, what today is known as the Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany.  His father was Wilhelm Moritz Reineck, a thirty-four-year-old tailor and native of Dierdorf, and his mother was Katharina Heer from Wissen thirty-five kilometers to the north.  Wilhelm and Katharina were married in Dierdorf six years earlier and had  a four-year old daughter, Katharina Maria, when Franz was born. Wilhelm was the son of a locksmith, Johann Friedrich Reinecke and his wife, Anne Elisabethe Schroeder.  Katharina was the daughter of a cultivator, Simon Heer and his wife, Maria Chatharina Marzheuser.[3]

In 1866, Wilhelm left his family and emigrated to America, perhaps to establish himself in his new country before bringing his wife and children across the ocean.  He settled in the village of Ravenna, Portage County, Ohio, working again as a tailor and anglicizing his name to William M. Reineck.  Before joining her husband in America, Katharina died in April 1871. Her two teenage children made the trip alone in September of that year, arriving in New York City aboard the ship Ohio, also anglicizing their names to Catherine and Frank. Within two years of his children’s arrival, William married twenty-eight-year-old Sarah Deuble, the daughter of German emigrants who was working as a domestic servant for the Reverend George S. Davis in Ravenna, where the Reverend married the couple at his home.  William and Sarah had at least five children over the next decade including Henry, who died in 1877; William who died in 1875, the same year he was born; Mrs. Bertha Mahoney, born in 1877; George Davis, born in 1879, and Frederick, born in 1883.  By 1880 neither of William’s children from Germany, by then of adult age, were living with their father and step-mother.[5]

Abandoning the life of a butcher, Frank T. Reineck, enlisted 11 January 1887 at Cleveland, Ohio. His recruiting officer, Lt. Vernon, recorded his name as Reinecky and signed him up for five years in the cavalry.  Stating that he was twenty-seven years of age, two less than actual, Frank Reinecky also stated that he was born at Long Island, N. Y, rather than his native Dierdorf, Germany.  He had blue eyes, blond hair, a fair complexion, and stood five feet, seven and a half inches in height.  Reinecky was assigned as a private in Captain Godfrey’s D Troop, 7th Cavalry.[6]

Letter from the War Department to the Commissioner of Pensions verifying the Private Frank T. Reinecky was killed at Wounded Knee.

Letter from the War Department to the Commissioner of Pensions verifying that Private Frank T. Reinecky was killed at Wounded Knee.[7]

Following his death at Wounded Knee, William Reineck filed for a dependent father’s pension in July 1891, stating that his son was never married, had no children, and that he, William, had never remarried.  He provided official documents from the Evangelical Parish of Dierdorf proving that he was married to Katharina Heer and that Franz Anton was their son.  He also stated that he had no income and no one to support him, even though seven years later he was still working as a tailor and was living in Ravenna with his second wife and three of their children, including his eldest daughter, Bertha, and her husband, Henry Mahoney, a rail road brakeman.  William died in January 1903, and his wife, Sarah, applied for the unpaid balance of his $12-per-month pension providing proof that she had been married to William Reineck for the past thirty years.[8]

More than three years after William Reineck’s death, his son’s body was disinterred in October 1906 and  moved to Fort Riley, home of the 7th Cavalry Regiment in 1890, where Private Frank T. Reinecky was buried in the post cemetery along with most of his fallen comrades from Wounded Knee.[9]

Private Frank T. Reinecky is buried at the Fort Riley Post Cemetery.[10]


Endnotes:

[1] Adjutant General’s Officer, “7th Cavalry, Troop D, Jan. 1885 – Dec. 1897,” Muster Rolls of Regular Army Organizations, 1784 – Oct. 31, 1912, Record Group 94, (Washington: National Archives Record Administration); Edward S. Godfrey, “Cavalry Fire Discipline,” Journal of Military Service Institution of the United States, Volume XIX,” (Governor’s Island: Military Service Institution, 1896), 259.
[2] Selah R. H. Tompkins, letter to Colonel Charles H. Tompkins, Carroll, as quoted by John M. Carroll in The 7th U.S. Cavalry’s Own Colonel Tommy Tompkins: A Military Heritage and Tradition (Mattituck, N. Y.: J. M. Carroll & Company, 1984), 74; Omaha daily bee., January 01, 1891, Part One, Image 1, (http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn99021999/1891-01-01/ed-1/seq-1/) accessed 4 Nov 2013; Jacob F. Kent and Frank D. Baldwin, “Report of Investigation into the Battle at Wounded Knee Creek, South Dakota, Fought December 29th 1890,” in Reports and Correspondence Related to the Army Investigations of the Battle at Wounded Knee and to the Sioux Campaign of 1890–1891, the National Archives Microfilm Publications (Washington: The National Archives and Records Service, General Services Administration, 1975), Roll 1, Target 3, Jan. 1891, 697-698.
[3] Adjutant General’s Office, The National Archives, Pension Application Certificate No.: 338377, Pensioner: William M. Reineck, Stack area: 18E3, Row: 5, Compartment: 2, Shelf: 4. Research conducted by Vonnie S. Zullo of The Horse Soldier Research Service; Ancestry.com, Germany, Select Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898 [database on-line], Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014, FHL Film Number: 489978.
[4] William M. Reineck Pension File.
[5] Ibid.; Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, United States Federal Census [database on-line], Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010, Year: 1880, Census Place: Ravenna, Portage, Ohio, Roll: 1059, Family History Film: 1255059, Page: 381A, Enumeration District: 128, Image: 0419; Year: 1870, Census Place: Ravenna, Portage, Ohio, Roll: M593_1258, Page: 455B, Image: 508, Family History Library Film: 552757.
[6] Ancestry.com, U.S. Army, Register of Enlistments, 1798-1914, 1885-1890, L-Z, image 309, line 34.
[7] William M. Reineck Pension File.
[8] Ibid.; United States Federal Census,Year: 1900, Census Place: Ravenna, Portage, Ohio, Roll: 1314; Page: 9B, Enumeration District: 0090, FHL microfilm: 1241314.
[9] Dakota County herald., October 05, 1906, Image 1, http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/2010270500/1906-10-05/ed-1/seq-1/ accessed 11 Dec 2013.
[10] Jana Mitchell, photo., “Frank T. Reinecky,” FindAGrave, (http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=59152423) accessed 3 Aug 2014.

Citation for this article: Samuel L. Russell, “Private Frank T. Reinecky, D Troop, 7th U.S. Cavalry – Killed in Action,” Army at Wounded Knee, posted 5 August 2014, accessed date __________, http://wp.me/p3NoJy-uS.

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Major Samuel Marmaduke Whitside’s Campaign Letters

I am fully convinced the trouble will terminate without a shot being fired.

Major Samuel M. Whitside, 7th U.S. Cavalry, circa 1890-1891.

The 7th Cavalry arrived at the Pine Ridge agency on 27 November 1890 and Major S. M. Whitside, as with many of the officers, began writing letters to his wife, Carrie McGavock Whitside, at Fort Riley.  Of his letters, fifteen remain and provide a fantastic, candid glimpse of life in the regiment during the campaign.  Whitside usually referred to each of the officers using their brevet rank.  I have inserted full names where officers are introduced.

Pine Ridge, South Duke St.,
Monday 10 A.M. Dec. 1st ‘90

This is the first day of winter and the change in weather seems to indicate that this is really the commencement of winter. The air this morning is sharp and dry. Small flakes of snow are now falling and by tomorrow a real old Northern blizzard will probably be raging–two more days have gone since I wrote you last, but nothing of a war like nature has happened. Several thousand Indians are in Camp near the Agency. They all seem anxious and uneasy as if they were expecting something to turn up.
[Brigadier] General [John R.] Brook [sic: Brooke] is in Command, and is evidently preparing for a raid on some of the absent Tribes still out and who will not accept the invitation to come in. If we go at all, from appearances I conclude it will be a night march and a few pack mules will go with each Co. to carry rations. This will be for the purpose of surprising the Indians while in their camp, capturing and bringing them in here but all of this will probably be accomplished without firing a shot. I am fully convinced the trouble will terminate without a shot being fired.
Captain [Myles] Moylan arrived last evening. He is looking well and says he is glad to be here. Lt. [Herbert G.] Squires is also on hand, but I guess after sleeping two nights with [First Lieutenant] Jim Mann for a bed companion, on the cold ground, he will wish himself back to his comfortable house on the Hudson River.
Lt. [Edwin C.] Bullock is a very sick man and will probably be sent to Riley.

Pine Ridge Agency
Saturday, 10 A.M. Dec. 6

We are certainly favored by having most charming winter weather, which continues uninterrupted. The nights are quite cold, ice forms on the water in our buckets, three or four inches thick, but it is a still cold, free from wind. No new developments have taken place in the last two days, regarding the Indian affairs.
I have just been informed by Dr. [Capt. John Van R.] Hoff, who just came down from Headquarters that General Brook and the Agent of Indians were having an interview with his honor the Great Chief Two Strike and Short Bull and several other lesser lights who are leaders of the Rose Bud Indians, still out and up to this time have failed to obey the Agent’s orders to come into the Agency. The council now in session may result in all of the Indians coming in. Should such be so, the next thing to do will be to disarm all of the Indians in this section of the country, take from them all of their war ponies and then turn them over to the Missionaries with the advice to behave themselves. Should there be any outbreak whatever, the Troops were never in better condition for service than we are today. The Indians are surrounded by several thousand soldiers and should they attempt to get away and raid the settlements, it would be the signal for a general advance of the Army and a certain destruction of the Indians would follow. I am still of the opinion that the whole question and trouble will be adjusted and not a hostile shot will be fired. It would be folly for the Indians to go on the War Path at this season of the year and now that they know so many soldiers are on the ground and are in readiness to jump on them.
Col. [John M.] Bacon has applied to join his Battalion so the General informed me last evening and will join tomorrow.  [First Lieut. Luther R.] Hare is having the same old trouble of fainting spells, in fact he is a wreck in mind and body and may keel over at any moment–he is not fit for duty. [First Lieut. Loyd S.] McCormick is unwell, suffering with a cold and is about laid up for repairs. Capt. [Charles A.] Varnum is not well. The great [Second Lieut. Sedgwick] Rice is on duty again having recovered from the smash up–still goes about with a black eye and a lame knee. I remain in fine condition, have an enormous appetite and eat three substantial meals each day and ready for any duty that may come up. I will return to my old Nickle [sic] plated Battalion on the arrival of Bacon.
Dr. [Lt. Col. Dallas] Bacha [sic: Bache] reported for duty yesterday. He came over to camp to see me last evening. I never saw him looking better. His trip East did him good. He told me that he wanted to remain here but that General Brook rather discouraged his staying. The Battalion from Leavenworth is in the same locality–the 1st, 5th and 7th Infantry are on their way to join us. The 2nd & 8th Infantry are already on the ground so that nearly one third of the whole Army is here. There never has been such a great gathering since the War of any people as we have here so you see should there be any outbreak we are able to settle it in short order, with very little danger to any body of Troops engaged.

Major Bacon held a brevet of colonel and was the senior major in the 7th Cavalry.  He was serving as Brooke’s Inspector General.  Bacon had married Colonel James W. Forsyth’s daughter, Mary, the previous year, making him the son-in-law of the regiment’s commander.  Bache, General Miles’s assistant surgeon, was a widower; his first wife, Alberta McGavock who died in 1878, was the sister of Carrie McGavock, making him Whitside’s brother-in-law.

Pine Ridge,
Monday, Dec. 8th – 90.

The Command still remains in permanent camp waiting for something to turn up to solve the Indian problem. When I last wrote you I said Two Strike and a number of his War Chiefs were holding a council with General Brook. After a few hours parley Mr. Two Strike agreed to return to his fortifications in the Bad Land where his 2000 bold bad men were located.–that he would immediately cause the General to be sounded and cause his camp to be broken up, traps packed and take up his line of march to the Agency and on his arrival report to General Brook to be dealt with as the Great Father may direct. The known white men at the Agency including newspaper reporters, say that Two Strike will never come in with his people. I believe they will comply with their promise and if they do, it will wind up the business so far as the hostiles now absent from the Reservation are concerned. It is generally believed that the Interior Department has decided to pursue a new policy with these Indians but what it really is to be we are at a loss to know. It is my opinion that if we are not ordered home by January 1st we will remain here all winter. Should the Indians come in as they have promised to do, I cannot see any reason why we should be kept here, as there is a sufficient force in this Department which properly belong here to look after the hostiles and send us back to our loved ones to enjoy home comforts and steam heat.
Major Bacon is here with General Brook. It was expected he would command a Battalion but General Brook told me before he arrived that he would be kept at Headquarters.
Lt. Hare is on the sick report suffering with old trouble, and will probably be sent home soon. He is a broken down and a used up man both mentally and physically and if he does not improve and change his habits he has but a short time to stay on Earth.
The weather remains most favorable for our work in Dakota. The days are bright and clear and free from wind. Should this weather continue during December, we will be in big luck. The new comer, Capt. [Edward S.] Godfrey, says he suffers with the cold at night. I sleep warm and retain my appetite, so I have nothing to complain of.
Several thousand Indians are camped within five miles of our Command. They are quiet and seem well satisfied with their condition. There is no more danger here then at Riley.

Pine Ridge So. Dakota
Tuesday, Dec. 9th ‘90

The situation remains unchanged. All is quiet along the White today. The weather is all that can be desired. In about five days the hostiles under Two Strike will commence arriving here if they come at all. [Major] General [Nelson A.] Miles, the papers say is on his way here from Chicago, and should the Indians fail to come in according to promise, the peace and quiet of camp life will be a thing of the past, as we will mount our horses and pack our mules and proceed to the Bad Lands, and pay Mr. Two Strike a visit with a view of escorting him and his family to the Agency.

Pine Ridge, S. D.
Thursday, Dec. 11th, 1890

During the last two days and nights the weather has been very warm, but a sudden change took place this A.M.–a strong wind is blowing from the North and the Mercury must have gone down thirty degrees during the last two hours. Buffalo overcoats and arctic overshoes are in demand today. Old Mr. & Mrs. Two Strike and the young Two Strikes have not yet reported. Their journey from Bad Wonderland has been very slow on account of the broken down condition of their horses, oxen and wagons. The scouts sent out from here report their approach and that they may reach here today. The question which remains unanswered is what are we to do when the blanket robed bucks are all in here, banqueting on Uncle Samuel’s beef and flour. Judging from the extensive preparations being made by the Government in the way of the arrival of a very large quantity of stores of all kinds, such as an extra large supply of buffalo overcoats, 200 extra pack mules and 50 additional four mule wagons, I should say it looks very much as if the Troops were to spend the winter in camp at or near this place. Although the Riley detachment hope to be permitted to enjoy the steam heat at Riley instead of living in a cloth house with Mercury 40° below zero as we will do here if we remain.
I have taken advantage of the last two days good weather in getting some lumber and nails and having my tent floored and framed and going so far as to indulge in the luxury of a door, so I am pretty well prepared for a change in the temperature. I slept in my new palace the first time last night and when I awakened this A.M. and heard the wind blowing and the air filled with pulverized sand, I congratulated myself on being more enterprising than any of my brother officers–heretofore my bedding and tent has been full of dust and I have really been sleeping in sand and dirt like a pig but now as clouds of dust are rolling swiftly Southward, I laugh and say, lucky man thou art to be in a clean room. The paymaster paid off the men yesterday, as this is a Prohibition State and an Indian Reserve no intoxicants can be had, consequently no drunks follow payday. The Indian Traders are reaping a rich harvest and are disposing of a great many goods to the soldiers.
Lts. Hare, [Horatio G.] Sickle [sic: Sickel], Rice and [Thomas Q.] Donaldson all of the Nickel-plate Battalion are on the sick list. Nothing serious. Col. Bacon is here with General Brook in his capacity as Inspector. Lt. [John A.] Harmon [sic: Harman] has applied to be relieved from his college detail and ordered to join his troop for duty in the Indian Campaign at this place. General Miles has gone up North to Standing Rock Agency and he is expected to reach this place in six or seven days, when it is thought some permanent disposition will be made for the winter, when we will know whether we return home or stay out here.

Saturday 10 A.M.
December 13th, 1890

No change has occurred during the last twenty four hours to break the monotony of Camp life. Every other day I have Battalion Skirmish drill for an hour and a half. Every man except the cooks are required to turn out. Every alternate day 60 men and one commissioned officer with 20 six mule teams march out to the timber section where they cut and load the wagons with wood, returning to camp about 3 o’clock–this with the usual daily duty is all we have done since our arrival here. The reported hostile Indians that broke away from the Rose Bud Indians and went into the Bad Land country, under Two Strike, Short Bull, Chicken Hawk and Young American Man-Afraid-of-his-Horse and several other lesser lights, in all comprising 2000 men, women and children it is reported will arrive here today, with the exception of 50 lodges of 100 fighting men who have decided not to come in but prefer to stay out and fight the whole Army. –but it is generally believed that these Indians will soon change their minds and sneak in a few at a time. If they do not they will be sent for and forced in or suffer the consequences, which would result in their complete destruction. The policy of the Government seems to be to handle these people gently and kindly and not to resort to force until all other measures fail.
Lt. [William W.] Robinson is now on the sick report, suffering with a severe cold–in fact all of the Lieuts. in the Nickle [sic] plate Battalion except [Edwin P.] Brewer and [Selah R. H.] Thompkins [sic: Tompkins] have been or are sick since our arrival here. Lt. Hare is again out for duty but is looking badly–young wounded knee Rice has sufficiently recovered from the accident he met with on his way up here which was the result of drunkenness as to do a share of his duty. He is without a doubt the most useless appendage in the way of an officer I have met for many a day. We are all waiting anxiously for a decision of General Miles as to what disposition he is going to make of us during the winter–whether we are to return to Riley or go into permanent camp for the winter. The sooner the question is decided the better it will be for us. We are all hanging onto the hope that we will anchor at Riley for the winter.

Sunday Dec 14 ‘90

The situation here remains unchanged. Whatever is being done or is to be done has a good deal of mystery connected with it. I begin to think that General Brook does not know anything more regarding the situation here than I do. The whole business has been a bungle and a big scare and there is nothing in it. I firmly believe the Indians here never had any intention of leaving the reservation or engaging in War with the whites but all of this movement of large bodies of soldiers had been brought about by false reports made by the Indian Agent [Daniel F. Royer], who is a new man and did not have the force of character to control and manage the Indians. Some few of the Indians had a fight among themselves and when the Agent’s Police interfered to arrest the fighters a resistance and threats were made against the Agent, which so frightened him that he ran away and abandoned his post of duty–went to Fort Robinson for protection where he remained until troops were ordered to escort him back to this place, when he sent to the Interior Department the most alarming reports as to the Messiah and the Ghost dance and the war like demonstration made by the Indians which resulted in the whole Army being placed under marching orders and now that we are here, it is evident some one has made a serious mistake and is only waiting for a way to crawl out of the dilemma.
This is a most disgusting day, a high wind is raging and the air is filled with dust.

Monday 9 A.M. Dec. 15

Everything seems to indicate that the troops now here will be on the march in the direction of the Bad Lands inside of twenty four hours. Extra rations are being issued. Pack mules are being put in readiness for immediate use. Covers are being put on the wagons which have heretofore been stripped for hauling wood and no wood detail has been sent out today. General Forsyth was directed to report to General Brook at 8 o’clock this A.M. and at this writing is still absent. It appears that the promises made to General Brook by Two Strike and other Chiefs at the Council held twelve days ago have not been kept by the Indians, to come in to this Agency. They are still out although it is reported about two thirds of these Indians are on their way in but move slow in consequence of their broken down transportation, but it is now believed that this excuse is given merely to gain time to enable these Indians to receive reinforcements from other Agencies as they are so inspired by the influence they have in the coming Messiah as to believe they can whip all the troops we can take against them and that a bullet cannot injure them.
We have been here nearly three weeks and during that time the weather has been most delightful for field service, and we have done nothing. Today the weather is very threatening–North winds, cold, and the sky is overcast with snow clouds, which is anything but promising for a march North in the direction where the War Party of Indians are supposed to be located.
General Forsyth has just returned and has issued orders for the Command to be in readiness to march at a moment’s notice, which means that we will leave here tomorrow morning or tonight. We will move with 12 companies of Cavalry, one battery and 90 Indian Scouts–in all about 700 men. We take our wagons and pack mules with us. We have sufficient force to suppress any body of Indians now away from here. I do not apprehend that we will have much fighting to do–as soon as the Indians see our large force they will take to their heels and make their way back to the Agency the best way they can. Daily telegrams will be sent to [Maj. Edward B.] Willitson regarding our movements as usual.

Tuesday 10 A.M. Dec. 16

As I stated in my letter of yesterday that everything indicated an advance of the troops to the Bad Land today. Later in the day an order of march was issued, directing the Military to move out of camp at 8 A.M. today and as a matter of fact every body was in readiness. But about 8 o’clock last evening a telegram was received from General Miles announcing that the arrest of Sitting Bull has been effected [sic] at Standing Rock Agency and an attempt to rescue him was made by his followers which resulted in the killing of Sitting Bull and several other Indians. Also that the advanced movement ordered of this Command would be suspended until further orders–So here we are still in our old quarters. This is one of the most charming days of the season. I presume it is expected that the killing of this Old Chief will influence the troublesome Indians here for the better by proving to them that none of them are bullet proof and if they go to war some of them will meet the same fate as their Great Chief has.
Lt. Hare leaves here for Riley today being rendered unfit for duties by illness. He is a wreck both physically and mentally and cannot ever recover.

Thursday A.M. Dec. 18th

All quiet along the banks of the White Clay. No change and we are just where we were three weeks ago today when we arrived here. The killing of old Sitting Bull seems to have changed the whole plan of our Campaign as originally decided upon–yesterday General Brook had a council with all of the friendly Chiefs now here, when subject of bringing in the Indians from the Bad Lands was fully discussed and it was suggested that all of the friendly Indians go out to the Bad Lands in a body and urge upon the Indians now there to come in and surrender and should they decline to do so peacefully to compel them by force to come in–The Indians could not decide last evening whether they would go out or not but promised to take the matter under consideration and make known their decisions at noon today–if they decide to undertake the job we will remain quietly in camp and wait developments but should they conclude not to go which they probably will do, why then we may be sent out and I feel confident we will make short work of the business.
I do not believe there is any more prospect of the 7th Cavalry going to New Mexico than there is to go to New York. We are sure to remain at least two years longer at Riley or at least the 7th Cavalry will, regardless of the reports made by Capt. [George E.] Pond and other knowing persons to the contrary. As affairs now stand the chances are very favorable that what dinner we have on Christmas, one week from today, will be eaten right here in this Camp.

Friday Evening
December 26th ‘90

When I wrote to you this morning little did I think that I would be 20 miles from Pine Ridge at this time–At noon I received orders to proceed with my battalion, and the section of Artillery under Lt. [Harry L.] Hawthorn, to this point and try to intercept the Sitting Bull Indians who escaped from Col. [Edwin V.] Sumner, who were reported trying to join the hostiles in the Bad Land. I am now camped on Wounded Knee Creek. Tomorrow I will scout in all directions from this place and am in hopes of being successful in finding the Indians. If I do not succeed it will not be any fault of mine but because the Indians are not in this part of the country to find.
I will probably be back to Pine Ridge by the time this reaches you. It is now 11 o’clock at night and I am sending a scout back to the Agency with an official dispatch for General Brook, and he will take this note with him to mail.

George E. Trager's 29 Dec. 1890 photograph titled "Birds eye view of 7th Cav Camp at Wounded Knee S.D. before the fight with Chief Big Foots Band."

George E. Trager and the Northwestern Photographic Co., dated 29 Dec. 1890, titled “Birds eye view of 7th Cav Camp at Wounded Knee S.D. before the fight with Chief Big Foots Band.”

Friday, January 2nd, 1891

Yesterday General Brook, his staff, the 2nd Infantry, one Battalion 9th Cavalry and two small Mountain guns left here about 9 A.M. for active service in the field, with a view of getting in rear of the hostile Indians. General [Eugene A.] Carr with his Command is moving up on their right, the troops from Rose Bud are in position the troops now here–1st Infantry and my regiment, with four guns under Capt. [Allyn] Caperon [sic: Capron] will advance direct on the Red Skins and a demand will be made on them to surrender and return to the Agency with the promise that they will receive good, kind treatment. Should they disregard the demand to surrender and fire on our men, why of course a bloody battle will ensue and again the Indians will get the worst of it. I firmly believe, however, the whole difficulty will be adjusted by General Miles without another shot being fired. He is working day and night to induce the head men now out to come in and have a talk and arrange terms with them, for them to come in and behave themselves. General Miles is terribly worked up over the battle with Big Foot as it was his desire to settle matters without the loss of life. I guess from what I hear that he is dissatisfied with Brook’s management of affairs and as soon as he reached here, he ordered Brooks to take the field; so as to get him away from the Agency. We are in readiness to leave here on an hour’s notice and if we go at all, I feel it will be our last campaign, as with the large number of troops on horse the work should be settled either by peace or war. I hope the end may be reached before you receive this paper, or letter I should have said. The wounded are all improving and appear cheerful. No provision had been made by the Medical Department to provide for so many wounded men and of course there must be discomforts. This time of the year is recognized as the season of abundant merriment and genuine good fellowship. The good fellowship can be found here but all luxuries are not with us.

Monday, January 5th, ‘91

At midnight Friday, I received instructions to proceed at day light Saturday A.M. with a burial party to the battle ground of Wounded Knee for the purpose of assisting in making a complete map of the ground locating thereon the exact position the Troops occupied from the commencement to the end of the battle. I obeyed the order literally and only returned to my camp here last evening at 8 o’clock pretty badly used up, but a good night’s rest was most refreshing and I am feeling very much improved this morning. Eighty four Buck Indians were buried yesterday, ten are wounded in the hospital and nine were taken away and buried by friendly Indians. 8 are at the Catholic Mission wounded. So out of 120 present at the beginning of the fight we know of 111 that were either killed or wounded, leaving nine unaccounted for. On my arrival here I find General F. has been relieved from Command of his regiment and a Board of Officers ordered to investigate what brought on the fight, whether it could not have been avoided and whether a proper disposition of the troops was made for disarming and fighting. The settlement of the Indian trouble has been a failure according to the plans arranged by Gen. Miles, and now some one must shoulder the responsibility and be sacrificed and from appearances Gen. F. is the man selected, for other people to unload on. I regard the management of the Council with the Indians, the disarmament of them as far as it went, and the placing of troops before and during the battle as judicious. Every thing was done to avert an outbreak, considering the circumstances and our position that mortal man can do.
The General is terribly worried and distressed over his position as he says, although he may be fully exonerated from all blame, the great harm has been done his record which can never be erased. I am willing to shoulder all the responsibility of the affair, as I really managed the whole business. The Inspector General was with me on the battle field yesterday and he was perfectly satisfied with every thing done and will so report to General Miles. I have just been sent for by General Miles to report to him in person.

Lieutenant Sydney A. Cloman's original map of the Wounded Knee Battlefield

Lieutenant Sydney A. Cloman’s original map of the Wounded Knee Battlefield.

Wednesday
January 7th ‘91

I have been before the Board of Officers investigating our Wounded Knee Battle all the morning and it is within a few minutes of mail time so I can only say that everything remains quiet at Pine Ridge. There has been no movement of Troops since I wrote you yesterday as we are all waiting to see how many hostiles will come into the Agency and surrender as they have been invited to do.
All evidence offered so far has been based on facts as they occurred on the battle field, that every precaution was taken to guard against an accident and the whole affair reflects great credit on each and everyman connected with the capture and management of those Indians.
Tell Miss Bessie to cheer up as the daughter of a soldier who did his whole duty and did it well and he will come out of it without a stain on his fair name and the report of the Board will be that the 7th Cavalry should have commendation of the War Dept. and no praise is too great to bestow on us.
The Indians are coming in slowly and there is great prospects of the trouble ending without any further fighting.
Lt. [J. Franklin] Bell joined us yesterday direct from Mexico. We are all well.

Bessie, or Elizabeth, was Forsyth’s eldest daughter.  Within a year of the campaign, she married Lt. Col. Dallas Bache, making him the son-in-law of Forsyth and the brother-in-law of Bacon, and from his first marriage, the brother-in-law of Whitside.

Thursday 10 A.M.
Camp at Pine Ridge So. Dakota
January 15th 1891

Another day has gone and the military situation at the seat of War remains unchanged. Yesterday was spent by the Commanding General in holding councils with a number of the head men of the hostiles in which the subject of surrendering their arms was fully discussed, and I understand the Indians agreed to bring in their arms today, turn them over to the Agent and receive his receipt for the same–the arms to be returned to them at some future time, or the money value therefore. It remains to be seen whether the hostiles, young and old will comply with the arrangements made by their representative men, as the Indian values his gun more highly then any of his belongings. We are evidently held here waiting the result of the disarmament. As soon as the matter is settled we will be told to go home and the Indians will be sent to their farms.
A military officer has been sent here, to set an Agent in place of the imbecile just relieved and who in a measure is responsible for all of the trouble at this place.
This is a cold foggy day and if all weather signs do not fail, we will be visited by a blinding snow storm and a Northern blizzard within the next seventy four hours. I pity our poor horses as they stand at the picket line on the side of the hill exposed to the wind and cold.
Gen. Forsyth has just come into my tent with a telegram from Hare, saying [First Lieut. James D.] Mann died yesterday. I am shocked and distressed beyond expression to hear such sad news. The information is such a surprise as the Medical officers here did not regard his wound as in any way serious, and his sudden ending must be the result of blood poisoning. Mann was a fine brave and gallant officer, always ready and willing for service and did his duty cheerfully. There is many a sad heart here to day among the officers and especially among the enlisted, as he was a great favorite of the men, as he always treated them kindly. I will miss poor Mann as I have always been very fond of him and appreciated his many good qualities. Gen. Forsyth’s status remains unchanged. –he is more cheerful and is becoming reconciled to the unfortunate position in which he is placed. The investigation developed nothing to his discredit but as one of the officers of the Board [Capt. Frank D. Baldwin] was the confidential advisor of Gen. Miles, the report of the Board will probably be in accordance with the will or desires of Gen M. instead of the facts in the case as shown by the evidence adduced. As soon as the report of the Board is made public, Gen. F. will demand a Court of Inquiry, when I am confident he will be exonerated. The Court will be composed of officers of high rank who are not under Miles’ Command, and therefore not afraid to express their opinion. Mr. Hermann Dennison, a brother-in-law of Gen. F. is expected here today. Col. [William R.] Shafter called yesterday.

William R. Cross, No. 747. "Camp of the 7th Cavalry, Pine Ridge Agency, S. D. Jan. 19th, 1891. W. R. Cross, 1891. "

William R. Cross, No. 747. “Camp of the 7th Cavalry, Pine Ridge Agency, S. D. Jan. 19th, 1891. W. R. Cross, 1891. “

Source: Samuel L. Russell, “Selfless Service: The Cavalry Career of Brigadier General Samuel M. Whitside from 1858 to 1902,” Masters Thesis, (Fort Leavenworth: U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, 2002), 138-144.

Citation for this article: Samuel L. Russell, “Major Samuel Marmaduke Whitside’s Campaign Letters,” Army at Wounded Knee, posted 1 August 2014, accessed date __________, http://wp.me/p3NoJy-wl.

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