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Settling the Mountains

About half a century has elapsed since the idea of possessing and settling the Rocky Mountain region began to develop in the minds of the American people. Before that time it existed only as a speculative belief of farsighted men, or a daring hope of adventurous ones. We then owned but little of our present western territory. On the south and west our boundary was the present eastern border of Texas, with the line of the ” Panhandle ” carried north to the Arkansas River, thence up the Arkansas and the continental divide to parallel forty-two of north latitude, and west on it to the Pacific. We have since acquired on that side all of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, and Utah, the greater portion of Colorado, and parts of Wyoming, Kansas, and Indian Territory. On the north our line was wholly unsettled west of the summit of the Rockies – we claiming as far north as the Russian possessions, and England claiming as far south as California, but both offering to take less. Meantime the disputed territory was under a joint occupancy by the traders of both countries. The causes which operated on the public mind in regard to occupying this mountain region were various, though they afterwards blended to a certain extent. First may be mentioned the Texas agitation. Large numbers of Americans had settled in Texas, under grants of the various Mexican governments, but they did not revolutionize with the facility of the natives, and the two races did not harmonize. In 1833 the Americans, who numbered over 20,000, determined to separate from the State...

Massacres of the Mountains

J.P. Dunn wrote Massacres of the Mountains in an attempt to separate historical fact from sensational fiction and to verify the problems that plagued the Indian tribes in this country of years. He doesn’t assign blame, but lets it fall where it belongs by meticulous research and the accurate, unbiased depiction of the true causes and subsequent results of some of the most famous Indian conflicts.

Lieutenant Colonel Fetterman Impatient for a Fight

Among those at the fort who were impatient for a fight was Brevet Lieutenant colonel William J. Fetterman, a soldier by birth, instinct, and profession, who joined the command at the fort in November. He had his first opportunity on December 6. The wood train was attacked two miles from the fort, and forced to corral for defense. Fetterman was sent, with thirty-five cavalry and a few of the mounted infantry, to relieve the wood party, and drive the Indians across Lodge Trail Ridge, in which direction they usually withdrew, while Carrington, with twenty-five mounted infantry, crossed the Big Piney, to intercept the Indians on Peno Creek. Fetterman’s party put the Indians to fight and chased them for about five miles, when they faced about and attacked the troops. Nearly all the cavalry fled, leaving Fetterman, assisted by Captain Brown and Lieutenant Wands, with a dozen men, to face over a hundred warriors. They stood at bay until Carrington’s force came in sight, when the Indians retired. In the mean while Lieutenant Bingham, joined by Lieutenant Grummond, with two or three men from Carrington’s command, pursued a single dismounted Indian into an ambuscade, two miles from the remainder of the troops, where Bingham and Sergeant Bowers were killed. In this affair Red Cloud commanded in person. He had lookouts on all the neighboring hills, signaling the progress of affairs, and it is probable that he had planned a more extensive ambuscade, but that his plans miscarried. The Indians made their arrangements better the next time. It was Friday, December 21, 1866. The morning was bright and pleasant, though there...

Little Bighorn Telegraph Message

In some places the writing is very difficult to read.  Very little punctuation was used in the 21 hand written pages.  Some names not be spelled correctly. Chicago, Illinois July 8, 1876 Adjt. Genl. US Army Washington DC The following is a copy of General Terry’s report of the action of June twenty-fifth (25) camp on Little Big Horn River. June twenty seventh (27) Division of the Missouri, Chicago, Ills. It is my painful duty to report that the day before yesterday the twenty-fifth 25instant a great disaster overtook Genl. Custer and the troops under his command at twelve 12 o’clock of the (p 2)twenty second 22. He started with his whole regt. and strong detachment of scouts and guides for the mouth of the Rosebud up that river about twenty 20 miles he struck a very heavy Indian trail which had previously been discounted and pursuing it found that it led as it was supposed that it would lead to the Little Big Horn River.  Here he found a village of almost unexampled extent and at once attacked it with that portion of his force (p 3) which was immediately at hand. Maj. Reno with three co’s. A ___ and M of the regiment was sent into the valley of the stream at the point where the trail struck it.  Gen Custer with five companies C, E, F, I, and L attempted to enter it about three miles lower down. Reno forded the river charged down its left bank dismounted and fought on foot until finally completely overwhelmed by (p 4) numbers he was compelled to mount recross...

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