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Abstract of journals from the 1845 Kearny Expedition

Abstract of journals from the 1845 Kearny Expedition
Date: 1846
This excerpt from the congressional report of the Secretary of War includes the abstracts of two journals, one by Lieutenant William B. Franklin, a topographical engineer, and another by Lieutenant H.S. Turner of the 1st dragoons stationed at Fort Leavenworth. Under the command of Stephen Kearny, the 1st dragoons and their accompanying engineers left Fort Leavenworth on a military march, heading northwest on what would become the Oregon Trail, down along the Rocky Mountains to Mexican territory, and back up via the Santa Fe Trail. This march was intended as a display of the United States' military power to both native tribes and the British government (which at this time was exerting its authority over Oregon Territory). For the most part this abstract details their route, but it does include a transcription of a conversation between Kearny and a Sioux chief named Bull Tail.


A memory of old Fort Harker

A memory of old Fort Harker
Creator: The Club Member
Date: February 1908
This reminiscence by Mrs. Henry Inman, published in The Club Member, describes her experiences as a Kansas pioneer. She moved to Fort Harker in January 1868 after a difficult journey in severe winter weather. She details various aspects of frontier life, including the U.S. military's conflicts with Native Americans and the daily struggle for survival. She also mentions how she met "Mother" Bickerdyke, and that her husband served in the Seventh Cavalry under General George Armstrong Custer.


Arrival of the Caravan at Santa Fe

Arrival of the Caravan at Santa Fe
Date: Between 1844 and 1845
This illustration from Josiah Gregg's Commerce on the Prairies depicts a caravan of Americans arriving in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The Santa Fe Trail, opened in 1821 by William Bucknell, served as a freight route and passed through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado, and New Mexico.


Bennett C. Riley

Bennett C. Riley
Date: 1880s
This photograph shows a portrait of Bennett Riley that was probably commissioned by his family in the 1880s. Riley died June 9, 1853. The portrait has resided at the U.S. Cavalry Museum at Fort Riley, Kansas, since about 1903. Bennett Riley, after whom Fort Riley was named, had a long and prestigious career in the U. S. military. Born in Virginia in 1787, he entered the army in 1813. In 1829 he commanded the first military escort on the Santa Fe Trail. In that same year, he succeeded Colonel Henry Leavenworth as commander of Fort Leavenworth. In 1847 he became a brigadier general. He also served during the Mexican War and, in 1848, he served as the last territorial governor of California, where he helped create their state constitution.


Covered wagons, Manhattan, Kansas

Covered wagons, Manhattan, Kansas
Date: 1910
This photograph, taken by an unknown photographer in 1860, shows a train of covered wagons, oxen, and men on horseback setting out from Manhattan, Kansas. These wagons were a common form of transportation on the plains.


Fort Harker, Kansas

Fort Harker, Kansas
Creator: Gardner, Alexander, 1821-1882
Date: 1867
This stereograph shows U.S. Army troops on the grounds of Fort Harker, Kansas. The photo was taken 500 miles west of St. Louis, Missouri, in present day Kanopolis, Kansas. It is from Alexander Gardner's series, Across the Continent on the Union Pacific Railway, Eastern Division.


Fort Leavenworth, Kansas

Fort Leavenworth, Kansas
Date: 1864
This photograph of Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, was taken in 1864 by an unidentified photographer. The building in the background is the guardhouse, and in the foreground is an African-American battery. This battery appears to be the precursor to the 9th and 10th Colored Regiments, formed in 1866.


Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, 309 miles west of St. Louis, Mo.

Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, 309 miles west of St. Louis, Mo.
Creator: Gardner, Alexander, 1821-1882
Date: 1867
This stereograph shows buildings and grounds at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, was taken in 1867 by Alexander Gardner, a protege of Civil War photographer Matthew Brady. During the Civil War, Gardner had become well-known for his portrayals of such battles as Antietam and Gettysburg. After the war, in 1867, he began working for the Union Pacific Railroad and consequently traveled through the state of Kansas. This image shows the fort from a distance. It is from Alexander Gardner's series, Across the Continent on the Union Pacific Railway, Eastern Division.


Fort Riley

Fort Riley
Date: Between 1860 and 1900
This north west view of Fort Riley, Kansas, depicts the post hospital and various other buildings. Ft. Riley was built in 1853 and was named after Major Bennett C. Riley, who had served on the first military escort on the Santa Fe Trail. Our catalog records estimate this photo was taken around 1860, but another credible source suggests the photograph dates sometime between 1887-1897, possibly 1896.


Fort Scott soldiers

Fort Scott soldiers
Date: 1863-1865
This photograph of two men on horses at Fort Scott was probably taken between 1863 and 1865. The man in the foreground is Corporal George Henry McCoon, company saddler in the 3rd Wisconsin Cavalry. The photograph shows the Fort Scott stables in the background. Corporal McCoon married in Fort Scott shortly after the Civil War, then relocated to Oregon and later to California.


General Order No. 1, 18th Kansas Cavalry

General Order No. 1, 18th Kansas Cavalry
Creator: Moore, Horace L. (Horace Ladd), 1837-1914
Date: July 17, 1867
This order for the 18th Kansas Cavalry, located at Fort Harker, regulates the maintenance of cavalry horses. Fort Harker was established to provide protection for the Kansas Stage Line and the military supply trains traveling the Smoky Hill Trail and the Fort Riley Road. As stated in the order, these regulations are essential because "the efficiency of every cavalry command depends much upon the condition of its horses."


General Order No. 2, 19th Kansas Cavalry

General Order No. 2, 19th Kansas Cavalry
Creator: Crawford, S. J. (Samuel Johnson), 1835-1913
Date: January 2, 1869
This order established the daily routine that must be observed by the cavalry forces located near Fort Cobb. This includes reveille (5:45am), calls for meals, and finally taps (8:25pm).


General Order No. 2, 19th Kansas Cavalry

General Order No. 2, 19th Kansas Cavalry
Date: October 29, 1868
This order establishes the 19th Kansas Cavalry at Camp Crawford, which was located outside Topeka, Kansas. This camp had been named after Samuel Crawford, the former governor of Kansas who took command of this cavalry regiment in 1868. It also laid out the regulations that must be obeyed by officers and enlisted men and established the daily routine (including the calls of reveille, meals, and taps) that must be observed by these soldiers. The 19th Kansas Cavalry was organized to fight against various Indian tribes in the Great Plains.


George L. Higby, Volunteer Enlistment in the 19th Kansas Cavalry

George L. Higby, Volunteer Enlistment in the 19th Kansas Cavalry
Creator: Kansas. Adjutant General's Office
Date: October 15, 1868
This volunteer enlistment form belonged to George L. Higby, who volunteered to serve in the 19th Kansas Cavalry, Company D, for the period of six months. The 19th Kansas Cavalry was organized in 1868 in order to fight native tribes in western Kansas and Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma).


Henry Leavenworth

Henry Leavenworth
Date: 1812-1834
Henry Leavenworth, after whom Ft. Leavenworth was named, was a prominent military figure in the white settlement of the American West. Born in 1783, Leavenworth's military career began in 1812 during the war with Great Britain. He established Ft. Snelling in Minnesota in 1819, and during the early 1820s commanded the garrison at Ft. Atkinson in present-day Nebraska. He established Cantonment Leavenworth (later to be designated Ft. Leavenworth) on May 8, 1827 on the banks of the Missouri River. He held this post for two years. Leavenworth died on July 21, 1834.


Henry Leavenworth to E.G.W. Butler

Henry Leavenworth to E.G.W. Butler
Creator: Leavenworth, Henry, 1783-1834
Date: May 8, 1827
In this letter Henry Leavenworth, founder of Cantonment Leavenworth (later Ft. Leavenworth) described the location he had chosen as the site of this military outpost. Leavenworth also mentioned that, because various tribes of Indians would certainly be coming to visit the new fort, it would be best for John Dougherty, the Indian agent in Council Bluffs, Iowa, to move his office into the fort.


James R. Mead to his father

James R. Mead to his father
Creator: Mead, James R. (James Richard), b. 1836
Date: August 13, 1859
In this letter, James Mead writes from Tecumseh, Kansas Territory, to his father about his efforts to secure a claim. He includes information about the people of the territory, the beautiful vegetation, and the flourishing towns. Mead also writes of the immense amount of traffic along the Santa Fe Trail and of the roads to Lecompton and Topeka, which he declares are "the best roads I ever saw anywhere." In addition, he describes the buildings of Burlingame, Kansas Territory, and the make up of the community. At the end of the letter, he mentions the new constitution, which "is all Free State." These typed copies of the James R. Mead's letters were donated to the Kansas State Historical Society by Mr. Mead's family in 1940 when the originals were still owned by the family. The originals are now held by Wichita State University.


Kansas : early routes, old trails, historic sites, landmarks, etc.

Kansas : early routes, old trails, historic sites, landmarks, etc.
Creator: Root, George A. (George Allen), 1867-1949
Date: 1939 December
This map, created by George Allen Root and later reproduced by the Kansas Turnpike Authority, depicts trails, landmarks, and historic sites in the state of Kansas. The original map was compiled by George Allen Root and delineated by W. M. Hutchinson from information obtained from the Kansas State Historical Society.


Map of Kansas, with parts of neighboring states and territories

Map of Kansas, with parts of neighboring states and territories
Creator: Hunnius, Ado, 1842-1923
Date: 1870
This map was drawn by Ado Hunnius at the request of Major General J. M. Schofield. It was compiled under the direction of 1st Lieutenant Henry Jackson of the 7th U.S. Cavalry in March 1870. It includes the location of forts in Kansas, southern Nebraska, eastern Colorado, and northern portions of Indian Territory (Oklahoma), as well as noting natural features (rivers, hills, etc.), trails, and Indian reservations.


Map of the route pursued by the late expedition under the command of Col. Stephen Watts Kearny

Map of the route pursued by the late expedition under the command of Col. Stephen Watts Kearny
Creator: Franklin, William Buel, 1823-1903
Date: 1845
This map, included in the Report of the Secretary of War, illustrates the route taken by Stephen Watts Kearny and the 1st Dragoons in an 1845 expedition. This expedition began in Fort Leavenworth and proceeded on a circular march, heading northwest on what would later become the Oregon Trail, down along the Rocky Mountains to Mexican territory, and back up via the Santa Fe Trail. This march was intended as a display of the United States' military power, both for the benefit of local Indian tribes and also for the British government, which at this time was trying to exert control over Oregon Territory. The map was drawn by a topgraphical engineer named Lieutenant William B. Franklin. It was published in U.S. serial set 480.


Officers' quarters, Fort Scott

Officers' quarters, Fort Scott
Date: 1842
This photograph, taken by an unknown photographer, depicts the officers' quarters at Fort Scott. The building to the left was Col. Charles W. Blair's residence, which was razed between 1905 and 1906. The site was identified in 1993 as HS-3, because of the sub-surface stone foundation which has survived. The building to the right was a boarding house and was identified in 1993 and HS-4. The photograph was taken at the intersection of Blair and Lincoln Avenues.


Philip Henry Sheridan to Governor Samuel Johnson Crawford

Philip Henry Sheridan to Governor Samuel Johnson Crawford
Creator: Sheridan, Philip Henry, 1831-1888
Date: October 8, 1868
General Philip Henry Sheridan, a veteran of the Civil War, wrote this telegram to the Governor of Kansas to inform him of the current state of affairs in western Kansas. General William B. Hazen had informed Sheridan that their efforts to secure peace with the Kiowa and Comanche tribes was unsuccessful, and that Crawford should muster a cavalry regiment to assist in the military's efforts to place these tribes on reservations. This regiment was the 19th Kansas Cavalry, consisting of five companies.


Price List of Clothing, 19th Kansas Cavalry

Price List of Clothing, 19th Kansas Cavalry
Date: 1868
This balance sheet outlines the articles of clothing issued to Company 9 of the 19th Kansas Cavalry as well as their prices. Although the sheet is titled "Price List of Clothing," it also includes the prices of other items such as knapsacks, canteens, and blankets. It is not clear whether these prices are for single items or for multiple items.


Proclamation Activating the 19th Kansas Volunteer Regiment

Proclamation Activating the 19th Kansas Volunteer Regiment
Creator: Crawford, S. J. (Samuel Johnson), 1835-1913
Date: September 14, 1868
This proclamation, signed by Governor Samuel J. Crawford in 1868, activated the 19th Kansas Volunteer Regiment. This regiment was created specifically to fight in any impending conflicts between native tribes and the U.S. government. According to this proclamation, the 19th Kansas would be composed of five companies of cavalry (80 to 100 each) serving for a period of three months.


Report of a summer campaign to the Rocky Mountains, etc., in 1845

Report of a summer campaign to the Rocky Mountains, etc., in 1845
Creator: Kearny, Stephen Watts, 1794-1848
Date: September 15, 1845
This typescript recounts the journey of the 1st Dragoons under the command of Stephen Watts Kearny. In 1845, the dragoons (cavalry troops) left Fort Leavenworth on a circular march, heading northwest on what would become the Oregon Trail, down along the Rocky Mountains to Mexican territory, and back up via the Santa Fe Trail. This march displayed the military power of the United States to both native tribes and to the British government (which at this time was exerting its authority over Oregon Territory). Kearny described in detail the route taken by the dragoons, their encounters with the Pawnee, Sioux, Cheyenne, and Arapaho, the soil and landscape of the plains, and the traders moving goods to and from Santa Fe. Kearny also discussed his opinion on the best way to protect American settlers traveling to Oregon--he disliked the idea of establishing a military post near Fort Laramie and instead advocated making large circular marches every few years to remind the Indian tribes of "the facility and rapidity with which our dragoons can march through any part of their country." The report includes a postscript by General Winfield Scott and was published as part of the Report of the Secretary of War delivered to the 29th Congress, in serial set 480, document 2, no. 1, pp. 210-214.


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