Author Topic: Ulzana's Raid - Scout Dress  (Read 21691 times)

Offline Trailrider

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Re: Ulzana's Raid - Scout Dress
« Reply #50 on: October 25, 2014, 10:46:40 pm »
Scouts, teamsters, packers and other employees of the Quartermaster Dept., were paid more than the individual private soldier. In 1875-76, for example, a teamster was paid $30 per month, plus one meal a day! Scouts, such as Buffalo Bill Cody, the Norths, et al, were paid as much as $100 per month! Civilian employees were often in the field with the troops, and supplied with firearms and ammunition, depending on their duties and the likelihood of getting into a firefight with Indians. Sometimes, a trusted scout, such as Frank Gruard were sold a Colt's revolver, and also given another (by General Crook, in this instance). It wasn't uncommon for these people to "lose" a rifle, pistol, etc. In one case, a teamster had around $16 deducted from his pay for the loss of a Trapdoor Carbine, cal. .45, and 100 rounds of ammunition! The latter sounds a bit suspicious IMHO. Essentially, he bought the piece and ammo, since loss or expenditure of ammo in combat was not chargeable! In another case, one of the five Sharps Carbines charged against Co. G, 3rd Cavalry, probably was sold to a young civilian teamster through this process, and he carved his name in the stock to distinguish it from the other four pieces. These were issued to these employees, along with ammo (there were 50,000 rounds of .50-70 ammo a Sidney Barracks, NE, in late fall 1875)! It is probable this teamster liked the carbine so much that he "acquired" it, though the records don't confirm it. There is sufficient circumstantial evidence to confirm the theory, however. 8)
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Offline Charles Isaac

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Re: Ulzana's Raid - Scout Dress
« Reply #51 on: October 27, 2014, 11:39:35 am »


Some really great info in this thread! I often wondered about those "lost" and "stolen" Indian War arms.





Each of these cans had maggots corned right along with the Beef. This meat had to be maggot infested before it was corned or otherwise preserved!
This was not served to the crew! It was "Shit" canned as we called it.



I hear of this ceremony in the old Navy and those Sailors would have had a use for that rotten corned beef.

Google  "shellback ceremony" and hit "images". It will really blow your freakin' mind.


Online Blair

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Re: Ulzana's Raid - Scout Dress
« Reply #52 on: October 27, 2014, 01:42:35 pm »
Charles,

Be careful... who you antagonize.
We all, now know, that whole Beef Briskets were not corned and canned. Ever!
The "real" canned corn beef was corned, chopped, and then canned, Don't you know anything?  ;)
My best,
 Blair
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Offline Bruce W Sims

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Re: Ulzana's Raid - Scout Dress
« Reply #53 on: October 27, 2014, 04:38:13 pm »
I guess that stuff about the beef is, in its way, the same sort of thing I am running across concerning Civilian Scout
dress. I have a lot of information about regulations for the Indian Scouts as well as the Infantry and Cavalry troopers
from 1868 to 1890. All well and good. But regarding the Civilian Scouts there just does not seem to be much. As I say, I have posed pictures such as the well-known portrait done of William ("Medicine Bill") Comstock. There are also the fanciful pictures of Buffalo Bill Cody--enbroidery and beads and all. Somewhere there must be pics of these contractors in their "work clothes" rather than their "Sunday-go-ta-meetin'"-s. I'm thinking about simple things like footgear, for instance. I'm guessing boots rather than shoes......a pretty safe guess. But then there is the question of how far up the calf, and whether they favored the cavalry boots or the lighter moccasin boots. I also discovered that belt loops didn't show up before about 1885-1890 or so, which could suggest that braces (aka"suspenders") were a lot more common until then. In the hopes of getting more insight I just finished
"Fifty Years on the Trail"--the autobiography (aka: "as told to") of John Y Nelson but except for his talk of buying store clothes to go back East and impress his family (...he never did make that trip...) there not one word about what he wore.

I'm trying to imagine how a guy who bounced from pillar to post across the great plains and transitioning from Indian village to Wagon Train to town and ranches and back agin would have kept himself covered. The easy answer was to replace whatever wore-out with what was at hand...but that doesn't quite say it, does it? Thoughts?
Best Wishes,

Bruce

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Re: Ulzana's Raid - Scout Dress
« Reply #54 on: October 27, 2014, 05:03:54 pm »
Bruce,

I am sad to say the subject of beef, in any form, ever came up.
I wish I could offer more in your search.
It does seem that some folks have given you some good leads in your quest.
My best,
 Blair
A Time for Prayer.
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God and the soldier we adore.
But in times of peace and all things right,
God is forgotten and the soldier slighted"
by Rudyard Kipling.
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Offline ChuckBurrows

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Re: Ulzana's Raid - Scout Dress
« Reply #55 on: October 27, 2014, 07:08:07 pm »
Scouts in less formal clothing - more later

Yellowstone Kelly


Fred Remington


Bill Cody


Yuma, AZ - BTW these coats are not buffalo hide turned inside out - the hair on section are add ons and the coats are usually made of lighter weight braintan deer or elk. Below is such a coat and you can see the inside the dark brown is due to heavy smoking for water resistance




Bill Cody wearing that coat


Custer Scouts - Black Hills expedition - California Joe Milner on the far right - the image is from R. L. Wilson's "The Peacemakers's" and the caption lists all names (my copy is on loan or I would post them). Note the gent next to Ca Joe is wearing a buckskin shirt/jacket and what appear to be angora hair on wooly chaps. A second thing to note is that three of these scouts are riding mules and not horses. Mules reportedly did not like Indians (difference in smell?) and vice a versa


Hank Wormwood in working clothes - scout for Crook on the Rosebud, etc.


Charles Stobie and Jim Baker standing.


California Joe Milner - purportedly Custer's favorite Scout






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Offline Bruce W Sims

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Re: Ulzana's Raid - Scout Dress
« Reply #56 on: October 28, 2014, 08:04:41 am »
BINGO!!  Great pics, Chuck!! That really gives me something to go on.
Thanks very much.

BTW: I had head that comment about mules a few times. Apparently they had
a better level of endurance than the vast numbers of Army ponies. I remember
seeing a picture of General Crook and his mount - "Apache" - from his time during the campaigns
in the Southwest. There was also a comment about Wild Bill Hickock using mules
to accomplish some of his dispatch deliveries while a scout. Probably does not cut the romantic image
that a spirited stallion might, but.....

Best Wishes,

Bruce
Best Wishes,

Bruce

Offline ChuckBurrows

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Re: Ulzana's Raid - Scout Dress
« Reply #57 on: October 28, 2014, 12:33:46 pm »
You're welcome - the four Custer Scouts on the Black Hills Expedition are:
Will "Medicine Bill" Comstock, chief of scouts. - either this is wrong or the picture is from an earlier expedition/campaign (Washita perhaps?)since Comstock was killed in August of 1868
Ed Guerrier, a half-blood Cheyenne
Thomas Adkins, courier
Moses "California Joe" Milner

Custer in his "Life on the Plains" wrote that he first met Joe near Fort Dodge in October 1868 just prior to the Washita attack:

"He was a man about forty years of age, perhaps older, over six feet in height, and possessing a well-proportioned frame. His head was covered with a luxuriant crop of long, almost black hair, strongly inclined to curl, and so long as to fall carelessly over his shoulders. His face, at least as much of it as was not concealed by the long, waving brown beard and moustache was full of intelligence and pleasant to look upon. His eyes were undoubtedly handsome, black and lustrous, with an expression of kindness and mildness combined. On his head was generally to be seen, whether awake or asleep, a huge sombrero, or black slouch hat. A soldier's overcoat, with its large circular cape, a pair of trousers, with the legs tucked in the top of his long boots, usually constituted the make-up of the man I selected as Chief of Scouts. HE was known by the euphonious title of "California Joe"; no other name seemed ever to have been given him, and no other name appeared to be necessary."
« Last Edit: October 28, 2014, 12:40:54 pm by ChuckBurrows »
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Offline St. George

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Re: Ulzana's Raid - Scout Dress
« Reply #58 on: October 28, 2014, 01:02:43 pm »
Why no pant's belts in the west?
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2006, 03:14:39 pm »     

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

We've covered this before and there's more in the back pages - but once more - we'll re-visit.

Though 'belts' have been around - 'trouser' belts haven't, since there were no trouser loops.

They're essentially a turn of the century invention.

Braces, galluses, or suspenders - all were used during the time - as were the high-waisted trousers.

They were effectively 'hidden' - both from view and from entanglement - by vests and coats - and 'all' men wore those as working dress.

If you didn't like wearing a pair - for reasons best known to yourself - then the adjustment belt was available at the rear and could be tightened as needed.

Many men did this - using friction to hold their pants in place.

The sewn trouser loop wouldn't become a 'staple' of men's furnishings for many years - despite what's seen in the 'John Ford Reference Library'...

I 'do' like this quote from the Dodge City Live Stock Journal:

"A fashion item says that leather belts are in favor.
They were in favor here at one time.
Perhaps there was a difference in them.
Ours were studded with cartridges, and were very popular..."

Vaya,

Scouts Out!

******

Now that said - for good examples, look at the various reprint catalogs of the big mail order houses, that you can find at both the Public Library and at Barnes & Noble's - they reprinted different pre-1900 editions of both the 'Sears, Roebuck & Co.' and the 'Montgomery Wards & Co.' catalogs, and they're a wealth of information on just what was 'really' worn at the time.
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Offline ChuckBurrows

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Re: Ulzana's Raid - Scout Dress
« Reply #59 on: October 28, 2014, 01:52:11 pm »
re: belt loops - while not popular until after 1900 there is a pair of buckskin pants in the Museum of the Fur Trade's "Scouts, Buffalo Hunter's Sketchbook, etc." that does have some so while not common they were apparently used by some. On the other hand the belt or lace up at the back of the pants works well and with high waisted pants a belt can be worn at waist highth and will generally stay in place without loops.
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Re: Ulzana's Raid - Scout Dress
« Reply #60 on: November 06, 2014, 05:07:34 am »

Cody's coat today

[/


IMO The condition of Cody's coat coupled with the fact that he's know to have loaned it to other scouts for photo's, confirms that it was not his everyday go to work coat.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2014, 05:55:41 am by Pitspitr »
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Offline ChuckBurrows

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Re: Ulzana's Raid - Scout Dress
« Reply #61 on: November 06, 2014, 11:24:46 am »
thanks for the images - first time I've seen the backside. There's one here in Durango in the shorter "scout" style similarly decorated. The bead work looks maybe Arikara.

The gents in that first group image are: E. Green, Wild Bill Hickok, Buffalo Bill Cody, Texas Jack Omohundro and E. Overton - this was a theatrical production in the 1870's.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2014, 11:29:53 am by ChuckBurrows »
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Offline Bruce W Sims

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Re: Ulzana's Raid - Scout Dress
« Reply #62 on: November 06, 2014, 12:10:36 pm »
Thanks, Chuck:

I've been also finding quite a bit of confusion about the knives that the scouts are carrying.

References to knives carried by Native Americans always seems to characterize them as "trade goods" or
"butcher knives" which are pretty non-specific descriptions. OTOH, the knives attributed to "Mountain Men"
and on display seem to be more of the Bowie Knife architecture. This wouldn't unsettle me so much
except that judging from the outline of the sheathes in the photographes it seems that the
common-carry was something more along the lines of what we might call a simple Survival Knife albeit
with a heavier and longer (7 inch?) blade. I tried going out to various knife-makers in MUZZLELOADER
magazine but they tend to focus more on the scouting and hunting culture of the Eastern half. Thoughts?

Best Wishes,

Bruce
Best Wishes,

Bruce

Offline St. George

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Re: Ulzana's Raid - Scout Dress
« Reply #63 on: November 06, 2014, 01:08:59 pm »
You 'do' know that this topic's been discussed many times on the 'Cutting Edge', 'Historical Society' and 'NCOWS' forums, don't you?

Sources are even cited.

Men carried what was obtainable, and the most common knife of the Old West was a skinner - a 'Green River' type - because they were ubiquitous - sold in the towns, and by sutlers, and traders and because they 'worked'.

When one looks at original knives associated with Indians - and Scouts were associated with them - what's seen are the variations of utility blades sold throughout the West and handled with whatever the owner liked - often rawhide-wrapped and tack-decorated.

Surviving knives have often been sharpened to within an inch of their lives, because they were sharpened with rocks, but as long as what was left of the blade held an edge that could cut - it could still be used, so it wasn't discarded.

Scouts Out!
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Offline ChuckBurrows

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Re: Ulzana's Raid - Scout Dress
« Reply #64 on: November 06, 2014, 03:16:08 pm »
as St George noted it's been discussed in detail. The most common knives used by Indians, Mountain Men, and Scouts up through the 1870's were of two basic trade knife types:
1) pre-1850 there was the scalper made mostly by English Sheffield makers such as John Wilson here's an example of an 1820's era scalper - this is from the Museum of the Fur Trades "Fur Trade Cutlery Sketch Book"
http://www.furtrade.org/store/books?product_id=126 - IMO a must have for anyone interested in historic knves:

These typically had half tangs and thin blades in the 6-8" range

The other style that became the most popular after 1830 (albeit they began being made in the 1770's) was the so-called butcher with the most common blade lengths being 7-10" length and again the blades were thin by modern standards usually no more than 1/8 thick. Thousands were imported from England by again such makers as Wilson, but by the 1840's the Green River knives made by Russell in the USA were making a large dent in the market. Butcher's were made with either half or full tangs with the fill tangs becoming more popular by the 1850's. On the later full tang knives 5 iron pins were used to attach the slabs to the tang. The three cutler rivets as still seen on these knives are post 1880.
Here's a link to a vintage 10" Green River with a five pin handle
http://img.auctiva.com/imgdata/4/2/5/1/6/9/webimg/605653845_tp.jpg


While other knives such as Bowies, Spanish Belduques, daggers, etc. were available and used by some scouts and later period mountain men the most common knife, if commonality, is important to you then a 7-8" butcher style is the way to go. IMO the big curved skinners were common to buffalo hunters since in reality they are fairly specialized usage knife whereas the butcher was a more general purpose knife. While Russell still makes the Green River in both finished knives as well as blades only they need to be changed to five iron pin handles to be period correct and easy fix especially of you buy the blade only and do the handle yourself or cover the three rivets with a rawhide "repair". On the other hand 1870 and later vintage butchers by Wilson and Russell are often available on Ebay and other sources for decent prices with the bonus you are using a knife from the period you are portraying.  A knife like that carried in a simple Indian style sheath like the one Charles Stobie is wearing would be a very appropriate and commonly used combo by white or mixed blood scouts for the 1860-1870's era:
« Last Edit: November 06, 2014, 03:25:27 pm by ChuckBurrows »
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Offline Bruce W Sims

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Re: Ulzana's Raid - Scout Dress
« Reply #65 on: November 06, 2014, 03:28:40 pm »
What?...no Elkhorn handles or brass fittings?

Sheesh ::)

BTW: I went to GOOGLE Images to confirm a suspicion about the Green River Buffalo Skinners.

I gotta tell ya that as "popular" as they may have been it seems that extreme curve would really
make them stand out. I've gotta feeling that this may be one of those DIY sorts of things.

Best Wishes,

Bruce
« Last Edit: November 06, 2014, 03:33:14 pm by Bruce W Sims »
Best Wishes,

Bruce

Offline ChuckBurrows

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Re: Ulzana's Raid - Scout Dress
« Reply #66 on: November 06, 2014, 03:33:53 pm »
BTW - even period Bowies seldom had thick blades with the majority being no more than 3/16" just forward of the spine with a distally tapered blade - a blade tapering/thinning in width from the guard to the tip even on the blade lengths of 8-12". While some period blades were thicker, thicker blades - 1/4" and more, are a more modern concept for survival/military use. In the past knives were generally used as knives and not as pry bars or for cutting metal container straps or opening cans, etc. as is not uncommon today in a survival/military usage and for fighting a thicker 1/4"+ blade really has no more advantage than a blade of around 1/8" thick at the spine.
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