Excerpt from Field Return of Seventh Cavalry “In the Field,” Commanded by Colonel James W. Forsyth, for the Month of December, 1890


As required by Army Regulations, the 7th Cavalry submitted its monthly return on the last day of December, two days after the battle on Wounded Knee Creek and the day after the battle on White Clay Creek near the Drexel Mission. As was standard practice, the report was concise, to the point, and devoid of any emotion–a mere listing of dates, facts, and casualties.

Record of Events

Field Return of Seventh Cavalry in the field commanded by Colonel James W. Forsyth, for the month of December, 1890.

(Click to enlarge) Field Return of Seventh Cavalry in the field commanded by Colonel James W. Forsyth, for the month of December, 1890.

The command performed the usual routine duties pertaining to troops in the field up to Dec. 27th, on which date Troops A, B, I and K (1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry) under command of Major S. M. Whitside, 7 Cav., left camp, in compliance with instructions from Comd’g Genl. Dept. Platte, in the field, marched 18 miles & camped at Crossing of Wounded Knee Creek, S.D., same date; on Dec. 28, marched 9 miles towards Porcupine Creek, S.D., & captured Big Foot’s Band of Hostile Indians, returning with them to camp at Wounded Knee Ck, same date.

Headquarters, R.C.S. & Troops C, D, E, and G (2nd Battalion, 7 Cavalry) under command of Colonel James W. Forsyth, 7 Cav. Left camp in compliance with instructions from Comd’g Genl. Dept. Platte, in the field, marched 18 miles, joining 1st Battalion, 7th Cav., at Crossing of Wounded Knee Creek, S.D., same date. On Dec. 29th, while disarming Big Foot’s Band of Hostile Indians, a battle ensued, in which the Indians were defeated, with a loss to the command of 1 commissioned officer & 25 enlisted men killed & 2 commissioned officers & 32 enlisted men wounded. The command returned to camp at Pine Ridge Agency, S.D., the same night. On Dec. 30th, the command under Colonel James W. Forsyth, 7th Cav., in accordance with verbal orders from the Department Commander left camp and marched 8 miles below the agency, on White Clay Creek, S.D., and were engaged in a skirmish with Hostile Indians during the day, with a loss to the command of 1 enlisted man killed, and 1 commissioned officer & 6 enlisted men wounded, and returned to camp same day.

Names of Officers and Soldiers Killed & Wounded in Battle with Hostile Indians at Crossing of Wounded Knee Creek, S.D., Dec. 29, 1890

Killed

Commissioned Officers

Capt. George D. Wallace, 7 Cav. Tp. K

Enlisted Men

Hosp. Steward Oscar Pollak, General Non-Com. Staff
Sergeant Major Richard W. Corwine, Regimental Non-Com. Staff
Sergeant Arthur C. Dyer, Troop A, 7 Cav.
Private Henry Frey, Troop A, 7 Cav.
Private George Johnson, Troop A, 7 Cav.
Private Michael Regan, Troop A, 7 Cav.
Private James Logan, Troop A, 7 Cav.
1st Sergeant Bora S. Coffey, Troop B, 7 Cav.
Corporal Harry R. Forrest, Troop B, 7 Cav.
Private John Costello, Troop B, 7 Cav.
Private Ralph L. Cook, Troop B, 7 Cav.
Private William S. Mezo, Troop B, 7 Cav.
Private Jan DeVreede, Troop C, 7 Cav.
Private Frank E. Reinckey, Troop D, 7 Cav.
Sergeant Robert H. Nettles, Troop E, 7 Cav.
Private August Kellner, Troop E, 7 Cav.
Blacksmith Gustav Korn, Troop I, 7 Cav.
Private Daniel Twohig, Troop I, 7 Cav.
Private James Kellog, Troop I, 7 Cav.
Private James Cummings, Troop I, 7 Cav.
Sergeant William Hodges, Troop K, 7 Cav.
Private John M. McCue, Troop K, 7 Cav.
Private Joseph Murphy, Troop K, 7 Cav.
Private William F. McClintock, Troop K, 7 Cav.
Private Philip Schwenkey, Troop K, 7 Cav.

Wounded

Commissioned Officers

1st Lieut. E. A. Garlington, 7th Cav., Tp A
1st Lieut. J. C. Gresham, 7th Cav., Tp B

Enlisted Men

Q.M. Sergeant Charles Campbell, Regimental Non. Com. Staff
Sergeant A. H. Haselwood, Troop A, 7 Cav.
Private Adam Neder, Troop A, 7 Cav.
Private H. L. Duncan, Troop A, 7 Cav.
Private Daniel McMahon, Troop A, 7 Cav.
Private Herman Grandberg, Troop A, 7 Cav. [Died Dec. 30, ’90 at Pine Ridge, S.D.]
Sergeant William H. Toohey, Troop B, 7 Cav.
Sergeant James Hard, Troop B, 7 Cav.
Corporal Charles H. Newell, Troop B, 7 Cav. [Died Dec. 29, ’90 on the march back to Pine Ridge, S.D.]
Private Frank Lewis, Troop B, 7 Cav.
Private Harry Stone, Troop B, 7 Cav.
Private John McKenzie, Troop B, 7 Cav.
Private E. Schriver, Troop C, 7 Cav.
Private William H. Green, Troop C, 7 Cav.
Wagner George Yorke, Troop D, 7 Cav.
Sergeant John F. Tritte, Troop E, 7 Cav.
Sergeant Henry Howard, Troop I, 7 Cav.
Corporal Albert S. Bone, Troop I, 7 Cav. [Died Dec. 29, ’90 on march back to Pine Ridge, S.D.]
Private Bernard Zehnder, Troop I, 7 Cav. [Died Dec. 29, ’90 on march back to Pine Ridge, S.D.]
Private Gottlob Hipp, Troop I, 7 Cav.
Private Harvey H. Thomas, Troop I, 7 Cav.
Corporal Harold L. Clifton, Troop K, 7 Cav.
Trumpeter James Christiansen, Troop K, 7 Cav. [Recognized in General Order No. 100)
Private William Adams, Troop K, 7 Cav. [Died Dec. 30, ’90 at Pine Ridge, S.D.]
Private Ed. Sullivan, Troop K, 7 Cav.
Private C. H. Martin, Troop K, 7 Cav.
Private William Davis, Troop K, 7 Cav.
Private Samuel F. Smith, Troop K, 7 Cav.
Private Fred K. Yoder, Troop K, 7 Cav.
Private George Elliott, Troop K, 7 Cav.
Private Hugh McGuinness, Troop K, 7 Cav.

Names of Officers and Soldiers Killed & Wounded in Battle with Hostile Indians on White Clay Creek, S.D., Dec. 30, 1890

Killed

Enlisted Men

Private Dominick Franceschetti, Troop G, 7 Cav.

Wounded

Commissioned Officers

1st Lieut. James D. Mann, 7 Cav., Tp K

Enlisted Men

Private Marrion C. Hillock, Troop B, 7 Cav.
Private William S. Kirkpatrick, Troop B, 7 Cav.
Private Peter Claussen, Troop C, 7 Cav.
Private William Kern, Troop D, 7 Cav.
Farrier Richard J. Nolan, Troop I, 7 Cav.
1st Sergeant Theodore Ragnor, Troop K, 7 Cav.

Source: National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Washington, D.C., Returns from U.S. Military Posts, 1800-1916, Microfilm Serial: M617, Microfilm Roll: 1532.
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About Sam Russell

I am a fifth-generation Army officer with over twenty-eight years of commissioned service. I have been researching the frontier Army for over fifteen years and am interested in documenting the lives of the soldiers that participated in the battle of Wounded Knee using primarily official reports, diaries, letters, newspaper articles and other primary source documents. My interest in Wounded Knee stems from my kinship to one of the principal participants. I am the great-great-grandson of Samuel M. Whitside, who was a major and battalion commander at the battle. I welcome and encourage comments on posts and pages and am always interested in any new primary sources. If you have copies of letters, diaries, etc, from participants and are willing to share, please contact me. Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog are strictly my own, and should in no way be construed as official Army or U.S. Government positons.
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