Author Topic: With Gen'l Crook at Camp Cloud Peak, Wyoming Territory, June 16, 1876.  (Read 1900 times)

Offline Trailrider

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Orders have been passed to all troops, both infantry and cavalry, as well as our Indian allies, to break camp early tomorrow morning, continuing our search for hostile Sioux, reportedly in the Rosebud Creek tributary of the Tongue Rover camtonment. The general has ordered our supplies and ammunition loaded on pack mules, as our wagon trains will be left at the camp under gueard of our teamsters and some of the less fit troops. We have 10 companies of the 3rd Cavalry, five of the 2nd Cavalry, three companies of the 9th Infantry, plus two of the 4th Infantry. In addition, we have about 176 Crow, plus Shoshone Indian scouts. Crook's chief scout, Frank Grouard, who has lived with Crazy Horse, and Louis Richaud and Big Bat have been out scouting, but no one seems to know exactly where the hostiles are. Reville is to be at 3:00 AM tomorrow.  General Crook is "bristling for a fight" according to Mr. John Finerty, a correspondent for the Chicago Times. Well, we will see... Coincidentally, tomorrow is also the anniversary of the Battle of Bunker Hill. (A good omen, or not? Time will tell.  Somewhere to the North General Terry and Col. Gibbon are supposed to act as a blocking force to prevent the hostiles from escaping. But we have not been able to get any couriers through to them...
Ride to the sound of the guns, but watch out for bushwhackers! Godspeed to all in harm's way in the defense of Freedom! God Bless America!

Your obedient servant,
Trailrider,
Bvt. Lt. Col. Commanding,
Southern District
Dept. of the Platte, GAF

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Update: June 17, 1876 -  Big fight on the Rosebud!   Having departed Camp Cloud Peak this morning about 3:00AM, we marched until about 6:00 AM, when we went into a morning break for coffee and a quick bite to eat. Not long after, our Crow and Shoshone scouts came galloping into camp shouting, "Sioux! Sioux!" This proved true, as the hostiles were hot on their heels. General Crook immediately sent Companies C and G of the 3rd Cavalry, under Capt. Fred Van Vliet, with 1Lt. Emmett Crawford commanding Company G, to the hills to the south of Rosebud Creek. They were just in time to prevent the hostiles from gaining that strategic position, which would have enabled the Sioux to fire on the rest of our body!

Meanwhile, Crook sent Capt. (Bvt. Col.) Wm. B. Royall's battalion to counter a large force of Sioux and apparently some Cheyenne to the West. The Indians retreated, and Royall went after them down into a ravine. As the cavaly troops spread out, the hostiles swarmed back in.  Currently, Meinhold's Co. B, 3rd Cav. is in dire straights down there!  Oh! Capt. Guy V. Henry has just been shot in the face! The Indians are upon him! A little Shoshone named "Humpy" has run over to him! Crook has just sent infantry, with their "Long Tom" Springfield rifles to provide covering fire from high ground overlooking the ravine!  He has also recalled Van Vliet and Crawford to our main position on "Crook's Hill".  Some 20-odd packers, a few teamsters, and Montana miners have grouped themselves in some rocks and are fighting as a unit. Many have .50 caliber Sharps, some of the old pattern cartridge conversion carbines that were standard issue to the cavalry before issuing the present .45 cal. Springfields! These were issued to those not already possessing arms of their own.  More later...if we are still able. There must be a thousands of these Indians!
Ride to the sound of the guns, but watch out for bushwhackers! Godspeed to all in harm's way in the defense of Freedom! God Bless America!

Your obedient servant,
Trailrider,
Bvt. Lt. Col. Commanding,
Southern District
Dept. of the Platte, GAF

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Well, this fight really developed into a brawl! Every time our boys charged the hostiles, they retreated. But when we followed, they swarmed back in and for awhile things were very difficult. Capt. Meinhold's Co. B, 3rd Cav, were roughly used. Trumpeter Snow received wounds to both wrists, and was only able to turn his horse to safety by holding the reins between his forearms! Capt. Guy V. Henry has been greviously wounded by a bullet that went through both sides of his face. He may be blinded for life, although he is beginning to regain some sight in one eye! General Crook sent Capt. (Bvt Col.) Anson Mills and his battalion of 3rd Cavalry down Rosebud Canyon in search of an Indian village supposed to be down there. However, the general thought better of it, and sent his aide to recall Mills. The galloper found Mills just as they passed a defile in the canyon wall, and they rode up out of the canyon, which put them behind the main body of the hostiles. This was about one o'clock or so. The Indians saw this, and broke off the battle.  As we held the field, the general expressed the sentiment that we won! But we expended about 50,000 rounds of rifle and pistol ammunition, and with a number of dead and wounded, it was determined to return to Camp Cloud Peak. It is difficult to determine the number of Indian casualties, as they have a tendency to carry off both their dead and wounded.

Once we have regrouped and resupplied, and couriers are dispatched to the nearest telegraph station, and the general's request for the Fifth Cavalry under Lt. Col. Wesley Merritt to come up, we will attempt to track the hostiles and drive them into the arms of Gen. Terry.  With this many troops, including Terry's strike force of the 7th Cavalry, commanded by Lt. Col. (Bvt. Maj. Gen.) Cutster, we should have little trouble with the Sioux and their Cheyenne allies.  ::)
Ride to the sound of the guns, but watch out for bushwhackers! Godspeed to all in harm's way in the defense of Freedom! God Bless America!

Your obedient servant,
Trailrider,
Bvt. Lt. Col. Commanding,
Southern District
Dept. of the Platte, GAF

 

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