Author Topic: Volunteer units in the Indian Wars 1866'-90'  (Read 1883 times)

Offline Doc Jackson

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Volunteer units in the Indian Wars 1866'-90'
« on: October 22, 2018, 03:53:18 pm »
From the reading I have done volunteers played only a small part in the Indian wars from 1866'-90'. Still, I am interested in learning about these units. Here is some of what I know already. Does anybody have anything else?

18th Kansas Volunteer Cavalry Battalion

Organized, July 15, 1867.
Mustered Out of service, November 15, 1867.
Strength, 353 men.
Service, Hancock's War 1867.

Mainly used to patrol, Action at Beaver Creek August 22-23, 1867 against Sioux and Cheyennes.



19th Kansas Volunteer Cavalry Regiment

Organized, October 21, 1868, Camp Crawford, Topeka, KS.
Mustered Out, April 19, 1869, Fort Hays, KS.
Strength, 1300 men.
Service, Southern plains campaign, winter of 1868-1869 .

Commanded by Samuel J. Crawford, saw service on the southern plains but no combat. Outfitted and paid the same as regular troops.







Online Pitspitr

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Re: Volunteer units in the Indian Wars 1866'-90'
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2018, 04:57:04 am »
Would your definition of "volunteers" include the Pawnee Scouts?
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Offline Doc Jackson

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Re: Volunteer units in the Indian Wars 1866'-90'
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2018, 07:15:31 am »
Im not sure what I'd call them, auxiliaries?

Offline St. George

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Re: Volunteer units in the Indian Wars 1866'-90'
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2018, 08:53:07 am »
Contact the Kansas Historical Society - they have what information you're looking for.

For that matter, contact every State Historical Society that borders on your interests - if you do your own work, you'll retain the knowledge.

These volunteer units didn't play much of a part in the Army's campaigns - They were formed much like the Civil War's volunteer units, with short contracts - quite unlike North's Pawnee Scouts, and the Crow.

Read about those in 'Wolves of the Blue Soldiers'.

Scouts Out!

"It Wasn't Cowboys and Ponies - It Was Horses and Men.
It Wasn't Schoolboys and Ladies - It Was Cowtowns and Sin..."

Online DJ

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Re: Volunteer units in the Indian Wars 1866'-90'
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2018, 09:05:12 am »
I believe there were significant numbers of volunteers in the Idaho battles of the Nez Perce War (mid-1877).  I don't believe any of these were comprised of organized (i.e. "government funded") militia, but they may have styled themselves as "units" rather than just being a bunch of individuals who showed up together.  I believe Grangeville and Cottonwood, Idaho, supplied a number of volunteers, so if you're including non-organized militia you might research to see if those locales had some kind of local "guard" or "ranger" organizations in that year.  Maybe you'll discover something like the "Grangeville Rangers," which has a nice ring to it.

This link may give you a starting point.  I just stumbled on it in a quick search, so I cannot vouch for its accuracy, but it comports with my recollection of early Idaho military history.

http://sfcompanion.blogspot.com/2018/03/militia-organized-again-then-becomes.html

Here's another link that might yield more info.  You need to scroll down to "1877" to read about a "Captain D.B. Randall" who was killed leading volunteers against the Nez Perce at the Battle of Cottonwood.  Again, it may not be absolutely accurate, but probably captures the essence of what occurred.

https://yellowpinetimes.wordpress.com/category/weekly-history/

Depending on what you mean by "volunteer units," you might also count the Texas Rangers.

Good luck with your search--I hope you'll post what you find.

--DJ

Offline The Pathfinder

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Re: Volunteer units in the Indian Wars 1866'-90'
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2018, 02:29:26 pm »
I could always portray a member of the 'Denver Free Militia'.  ;D

Online DJ

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Re: Volunteer units in the Indian Wars 1866'-90'
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2018, 07:58:50 pm »
I poked around over the lunch hour and found a few more interesting sources.

http://idaho.idgenweb.org/Military/Pensions/Bingman.htm  is a transliteration of a widow's pension request in 1923 based on her husband's service as an Idaho volunteer during the Nez Perce War.  The unit discussed is Company B, 2nd Idaho Volunteers.  Based on affidavits from other members of the unit, the widow got her money.

Even more interesting is a long record of telegrams among various civil and military authorities in response to the panic arising out of the start of the Nez Perce hostilities--Idaho's governor begging for troops or authority to raise and arm (and pay) volunteers, and the far-removed authorities in D.C. trying to avoid incurring too much financial liability. 

https://shareok.org/bitstream/handle/11244/35331/Senate-50-2-Executive-82-Serial-2612.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

Details of several volunteer units are mentioned.  I particularly like the roster for the "Pataha Rangers" (apparently from farming areas in southeastern Washington) with columns for Name, Age, Residence, How Armed, and Remarks.  The roster lists 28 volunteers and among them 3 Spencers, 2 Winchesters, 1 Ballard, 1 Henry, and one 20-pound "target gun," a muzzleloader, some shotguns, and some revolvers.  Thirteen of the 28 rangers are listed as “no gun,” one is listed as “no horse,” and one is listed as “no money.”  Two of the "no gun" rangers had revolvers (one of the two had no ammo), so "no gun" might have meant "no long gun."  Eighteen-year-old Samuel Shawley, the "no money" ranger, had a Spencer and six rounds of ammo.

Some of the units mentioned in the various sources for the Nez Perce (1877) and Bannock (1878) Wars are the Silver City volunteers (once boasting a population exceeding 2,500, Silver City is now a ghost town with a summer population of 17 and a winter population of 2); the Alturas volunteers (Alturas was once a very large county covering the center of Idaho, but it no longer exists); the Crescent City Militia (which may have continued to exist briefly after the end of the Nez Perce War); the Lewiston Volunteers; Co A, Columbia County Volunteers aka “Dayton Volunteers” (of Dayton, Washington?); and Co. A, Idaho Volunteers. 

Some of the commentary on the perceived value of volunteer units is also interesting reading--the regular army apparently made use of them but proclaimed them to be basically useless.

Hope this helps with your research.

--DJ



Offline Doc Jackson

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Re: Volunteer units in the Indian Wars 1866'-90'
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2018, 08:25:41 pm »
Wow, thank you, I'll be busy studying this. A Spencer and only 6 cartridges, yikes. These smaller adhoc groups are really giving me some ideas. Until I can fully assemble my regular army impression, I can represent one of these volunteers; I was hesitant about participating in any shoots in civilian clothing. I dont have enough  of the required skill to really represent a teamster or frontier scout, but I am a barber by trade and was in the army, so I certainly fit the role of a townsman. Im certain that I could be basically useless.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2018, 08:33:34 pm by Doc Jackson »

Online DJ

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Re: Volunteer units in the Indian Wars 1866'-90'
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2018, 05:48:38 pm »
With volunteers from Lewiston, Dayton, Pataha, Grangeville, and Mt. Idaho you have a pretty broad range of possible occupations.  I believe they were already growing wheat in the Palouse, and they also raised cattle, so pretty much any kind of agricultural getup would fit.  Mt. Idaho would furnish both gold miners and townies.  Or you could be off a riverboat docked at Lewiston.

Online Niederlander

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Re: Volunteer units in the Indian Wars 1866'-90'
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2018, 05:23:58 am »
Portraying a barber would be great!  People in the West filled pretty much every occupation that was in the East.  Not every civilian was a cowboy or a gambler.  Carry on!
"There go those Nebraskans, and all hell couldn't stop them!"

Online Pitspitr

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Re: Volunteer units in the Indian Wars 1866'-90'
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2018, 11:49:31 am »
Personally, I don't need a barber much. ;) But I hear some guys do. You might want to talk to Silver Creek Slim. He might need your services worse than me.  ;D Either way, we'd love to have you attend a muster.
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Offline 1961MJS

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Re: Volunteer units in the Indian Wars 1866'-90'
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2018, 01:13:19 pm »
Personally, I don't need a barber much. ;) But I hear some guys do. You might want to talk to Silver Creek Slim. He might need your services worse than me.  ;D Either way, we'd love to have you attend a muster.

Hey Jerry, barbers used to shave you also back then.  Your haircut don't take long, but the shave would.   ;D

Later
Mike
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Division of Oklahoma

Offline Doc Jackson

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Re: Volunteer units in the Indian Wars 1866'-90'
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2018, 01:15:18 pm »
Personally, I don't need a barber much. ;) But I hear some guys do. You might want to talk to Silver Creek Slim. He might need your services worse than me.  ;D Either way, we'd love to have you attend a muster.

Did you guys need haircuts and shaves at the muster? I want to attend a muster as soon as possible.

Offline smoke

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Re: Volunteer units in the Indian Wars 1866'-90'
« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2018, 02:36:51 pm »
Did you guys need haircuts and shaves at the muster? I want to attend a muster as soon as possible.

How I see this working out.



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