The Eighth Cavalry, organized in 1866, is one of the four cavalry regiments by which the military peace establishment was increased under an Act of Congress of July 28th of that year.
By G. O. No. 92, A. G. O., 1866, the field officers who had accepted appointments were Colonel John I. Gregg, Lieut.-Colonel Thomas C. Devin, Majors William Gamble and William R. Price. Colonel Gregg joined for duty at Camp Whipple, Arizona, in December, 1866, assuming command of the regiment and the District of Prescott, Arizona,—Lieut. Colonel Devin and Major Price in January 1867,—Major Gamble never joined.
The first troop, A, was organized at the Presidio of San Francisco, September 19, 1866, 1st Lieut. James H. Lord, 2d Artillery, being assigned to command. Troop B, 85 men, at the same place October 23, 1866; 2d Lieut. S. A. Porter, 14th Infantry, assigned to command. Troops C, D, E, F, G and H, 49 and 50 men each, at Angel Island, California, October 27, 1866, with officers assigned to command as follows:
C, 1st Lieut. R. I. Eskridge, 14th Infantry; D, 1st Lieut. O. I. Converse, 14th Infantry; E, 1st Lieut. I. H. Gallagher, 14th Infantry; F, 1st Lieut. C. B. Western, 14th Infantry; G, 2d Lieut. C. Gillott, 2d Artillery; H, 2d Lieut. Louis R. Stille, 14th Infantry.
Troop I, 84 men, was organized at the Presidio of San Francisco, November 12, 1866, 2d Lieut. J. E. Eastman, 2d Artillery, assigned to command.
Troop K, 85 men at the Presidio, December 1, 1866, 2d Lieut. Greenleaf Cilley, 1st Cavalry, assigned to command.
These troops were composed chiefly of men enlisted on the Pacific Coast, and included many of the class styled "Forty-niners"; men who had passed months or years in the mines and were typical specimens of the roving order of citizens. Many of them were wild characters who enlisted in the same spirit of adventure which led them to the frontier, and who could not generally adapt themselves to the restraints of a military life. Many desertions occurred; the percentage to the end of the year 1867, being 41.8.
Troops L and M were organized February 1, 1867, at Angel Island, California; Captain E. V. Sumner and 1st Lieut. W. R. Parnell, 1st Cavalry, being assigned to command respectively.
The early part of the year 1867, found the troops at stations which they were to occupy for some time, viz.:
Headquarters, Camp Whipple, A. T., Colonel John I. Gregg, 8th Cavalry, commanding regiment and District of Prescott, A. T.
Troop A, Camp Winfield Scott, Nevada; Captain Murray Davis, 8th Cavalry, commanding.
Troop B, Camp Cadiz, California; 1st Lieut. Charles Hobart, 8th Cavalry, commanding, a detachment of 20 men being stationed at Rock Springs.
Troop C, Fort Vancouver, Washington Territory; Captain William Kelly, 8th Cavalry, commanding.
Troop D, Fort Walla Walla, Washington Territory; 1st Lieut. O. J. Converse, 14th Infantry, commanding.
Troop E, Fort Lapwai, Idaho; 1st Lieut. J. H. Gallagher, 14th Infantry, commanding.
Troop F, Camp Logan, Oregon; 1st Lieut. C. B. Western, 14th Infantry, commanding.
Troop G, Camp Reading, California; Captain R. H. Chapin. 8th Cavalry, commanding.
Troop H, Benicia Barracks, California; 2d Lieut. William K. Owen, 32d Infantry, commanding.
Troop I, Benicia Barracks, California; 2d Lieut. J. E. Eastman, 2d Artillery, commanding.
Troop K, Benicia Barracks, California; 2d Lieut. Greenleaf Cilley, 1st Cavalry, commanding.
Troop L, Benicia Barracks, California; Captain E. V. Sumner, 1st Cavalry, commanding.
Troop M, Benicia Barracks, California; 1st Lieut. W. R. Parnell, 1st Cavalry, commanding.
During the year 1867, Troop B, I, K and L, had been sent to posts in Arizona, and the troops of the regiment remained separated at posts in Oregon, Nevada, Idaho, California, and Arizona, until 1870, when ordered to New Mexico.
The officers assigned to the regiment were all veterans of the War of the Rebellion, and came to duty with the experience which that involved.
During December, 1867, and January, 1868, the headquarters was en route from Camp Whipple, Arizona, to Churchhill Barracks, Nevada, which became the headquarters of the District of Nevada, Colonel Gregg commanding. In May, headquarters was moved to Camp Halleck, Nevada, where it remained till May 5, 1870, when it was moved to Fort Union, New Mexico, by rail, via Cheyenne and St. Louis, Mo. The several troops took stations at Forts Union, Craig, Selden, Wingate, Bascom, Stanton, in New Mexico, and Fort Garland, in Colorado Territory. The duties during this period were of almost continuous field service by troops or detachments, scouting after Indian depredators, furnishing guards, escorts, etc. Some of the details of service performed will be given under the headings of the different troops.
The regiment remained in New Mexico, then far beyond railroad communications, performing the same duties till July, 1875, when it marched to Texas by battalion, headquarters taking station at Fort Clark, Texas, January 8, 1876. During the period between 1875 and 1888, the regiment
remained in Texas, troops at different times being stationed at posts and camps from Fort Brown, near the mouth of the Rio Grande, to Fort Hancock, near El Paso. In May of the latter year the regiment was concentrated at Fort Concho, Texas, and made a march to Dakota, arriving at Fort Meade, Regimental Headquarters, September 3d, having made a continuous march of 1800 miles, while some of the troops in reaching their stations marched over 2000 miles. To give a complete account of the scouts and marches of each troop, which would be necessary to a full history of the regiment, would be a mere repetition of details, so that only the most important will be noted.
TROOP A. —Lieutenant Lafferty with 14 men, while scouting country in vicinity of Camp Winfield Scott, Nevada, engaged a band of Indians on January 17, 1867, at Eden Valley, Nevada, killing two and destroying their rancheria and a large quantity of provisions. One enlisted man was wounded. The same party on February 11th encountered at Independence Valley another band of Indians, killing six.
On the 29th of April, 1868, Lieut. Pendleton Hunter, with Sergeant Kelly and Privates Reed and Ward, while in pursuit of Indian horse thieves, were attacked in a cañon on the cast side of Paradise Valley, Nevada, by seventeen Indians. All their horses were killed; Lieutenant Hunter was shot through the thigh and wrist, and Sergeant Kelly and Private Ward was so severely wounded that they died soon after. Lieutenant Hunter, with a detachment of 14 men, on the 30th of October, 1870, captured 9 Indians and 4 ponies in the Guadaloupe Mountains, Arizona.
Captain Wells and Lieutenant Sprole, with a detachment of 9 men, surprised an Indian camp, capturing 18 bucks, squaws, and pappooses; 14 ponies, 2 guns, a large quantity of bows, arrows and camp equipage, and destroying their wicky-ups.
On November 30, 1877, Captain Wells and Lieutenant Phelps, with Companies A and K, under command of Captain Young, crossed the Rio Grande River and engaged a band of Mascalero Apaches in the Sierra Carmel Mountains, Mexico, under Chief Alsota. Two Indians were killed and three wounded, and their camp equipage was destroyed. Twenty-two horses, five mules and one burro were captured. Sergeant Wilson, Troop K, was wounded.
The ten years from 1877 to 1887 were spent at stations along the Rio Grande River at Forts Clark, Duncan, McIntosh and Ringgold Barracks, with frequent scouts after cattle thieves and smugglers. In 1887 the troop marched to Fort Davis, Texas, and in the summer of 1883 to Fort Meade, Dakota.
TROOP B,—The troop, in conjunction with Troop I, 8th Cavalry, engaged a band of Apaches on the 16th and 17th of April, 1867, in the Black Mountains of Arizona; in which encounter George W. Drummond, saddler, was killed. Several Indians were killed and wounded.
Lieutenants Carrick, Somerby and Curtis, with Troop B and detachment of Troop L, engaged a band of Hualapais Indians on May 18, 1868, on the Rio Solinas, Arizona, killing six and destroying their provisions and rancheria. On the 22d of August, 1868, the troop, under command of
Lieutenant Somerby, while scouting in the vicinity of Santa Maria River, Arizona, encountered a band of Indians, killing two and capturing one.
Lieutenant Somerby, with a detachment of 17 men, encountered a band of Hualapais Indians, September 9, 1868, killing 2 and capturing 4 squaws. On the following day he surprised a party of 10 Indians, killing 4 bucks and capturing 3 squaws. A large quantity of provisions and camp equipage was destroyed. On the 11th, the same detachment, attacked a band of Hualapais Indians, killing 5 and destroying a quantity of provisions and camp equipage. On the 13th, with 10 men, Lieutenant Somerby surprised a band of Tonto Apaches near the mouth of the Dragoon Fork of the Verde River, killed 2 Indians, and captured a rifle and provisions. Private Charles Gardner was wounded.
On the 9th of November, 1868, a detachment of Troop B with detachment of Troop L, under Lieutenant Wells, attacked a band of Apaches, killing 11 warriors and destroying a large quantity of stores.
Captain Wade, while scouting with the troop in the " Bill William" Mountains, encountered a band of Indians, killed 2, wounded 1, and destroyed 20 lodges with a large quantity of stores.
The troop, under command of Lieutenant Somerby, on the 25th of August, 1869, surprised a band of 40 Indians on Date Creek and succeeded in killing 9 and wounding 7. On the 5th of September they captured and killed 3 Indians.
TROOP C.—On the 5th of April, 1868, while scouting on the middle fork of the Malheur River, Oregon, Captain Kelly, with 48 men of the troop, charged an Indian camp of 4 lodges, killing 12 warriors, capturing 3 head of cattle, and 1 horse, and destroying 5000 pounds of dried beef. On the 11th of June the troop, in conjunction with troop F, brought in 138 surrendered Indians.
The troop, under command of Captain Kelly (Lieutenant McCleave and 57 men), while scouting in the vicinity of Camp McDowell, Arizona, on June 3, 1869, surprised and destroyed an Indian rancheria, and the following day, overtaking the Indians, killed several, captured some horses and mules, and destroyed a large number of bows and arrows. On the 6th of July, 1869, Lieutenant McCleave, with a detachment of 17 men at Hacquahalla, was attacked by a large body of Indians. After a severe engagement the Indians were driven back with a loss of seven of their number killed and ten wounded. Private James Howell was mortally wounded. A short time previous to the attack 3 Indians were discovered on the trail leading to the above water and were killed.
Captain Kelly with 21 men, in pursuit of some Indians who had stolen horses and mules from citizens at Silver City, overtook the marauders in the Chiricahua Mountains on February 12, 1871, a severe engagement ensued, and the command succeeded in killing 14 Indians and capturing and destroying a large quantity of provisions. The stolen stock (except what was killed during, the fight) was recovered.
Captain Kelly and his men were specially commended by the department commander (General Pope) in General Orders, for "the gallantry and perseverance displayed by them in the recent pursuit and encounter with
a band of Apaches who had stolen a number of horses and mules from citizens in the vicinity of Silver City, New Mexico."
Captain Chilson, with 10 men, left Fort Selden on June 9, 1873, and after four days and four nights riding, overtook and engaged a party of Indian marauders who had committed depredations at Sheddo Ranch, killing 3, and capturing 12 horses and 1 mule. Corporal Frank Bratling was killed in this engagement. The department commander in General Orders thanked Captain Chilson and his men for the soldierly manner in which they had acquitted themselves. The detachment returned on the 16th. having marched 350 miles in seven days and four hours. Special mention was made by Captain Chilson of 1st Sergeant I. L. Morris, Sergeant L. S. Lytle, Corporal Frank Bratling (killed), blacksmith John Sheerin, and Private Henry Wills. Their names were forwarded to the War Department with recommendations that medals of honor be conferred upon them.
On October 1st, Captain Chilson with his troop struck a party of Indians, killing 3, and capturing large quantities of supplies.
In 1874, Troop C, with Troops K and L, formed part of an expedition under Major Price, 8th Cavalry. On the 12th of September while marching through the breaks of the Llano Estacado, Texas, the command was furiously attacked by a large body of Indians. The Indians opened the fight by charging in line from the top of a mesa upon which they had taken position, and firing heavy volleys into the command. They were met by a counter-charge from the troops and driven from hill to hill for six miles. The fight lasted three hours when, darkness coming on and the Indians scattering, the troops were withdrawn. Casualties among the Indians unknown. The U. S. troops suffered no loss.
In passing over the ground during the following month, it was found that the number of Indians (Kiowas and Cheyennes) must have been great, as 329 sets of lodge poles, five or more in a bunch, 25 saddles, many pans, kettles, and skin lodges, sacks of salt, paints, and articles valuable to Indians, were found and destroyed. Twenty-seven ponies were found dead on the ground, and at a distance from the scene of the fight a number of Indian graves were found. When the site of their camp, some 12 miles north, was reached, 294 additional bundles of lodge poles were found and destroyed, besides much other property that had been abandoned. This would indicate that there were about 46o warriors engaged in the fight. Lieutenant Farnsworth, commanding Troop H, with the wagon train, several days after the occurrence struck their trail far to the north of the Wichita, finding quantities of abandoned property and ponies. This was evidently the same party of warriors which had previously delayed a wagon train under Captain Lyman for four days. Warned of the approach of Major Price's command they had selected a good position and made the attack with confidence, but were driven off with serious losses in men, animals and property. The condition of the command at this time, being entirely out of rations and forage, subsisting upon a limited supply of buffalo meat, and having been marching continuously since the 20th of August, accounts for there having been no further pursuit.
The troop under command of Captain Hartwell, in conjunction with
Troops H, K and L, forming the command under Major Price, on November 29, 1874, had a skirmish on Muster Creek, Texas. A number of Indians were killed and wounded, and a considerable amount of Indian equipage was captured and destroyed.
On the 14th of October the troop pursued a band of Indians in the Wichita Mountains, pressing them so close as to cause them to abandon all their camp equipage which was afterwards destroyed.
From 1875 to 1879 the troop was stationed at posts and camps on the lower Rio Grande River in Texas, and from 1879 to 1885 at Forts Clarke and Duncan, and at camps on the Nueces and Pecos Rivers, Texas.
In June, 1885, it left San Antonio, Texas, and took part in the campaign against Geronimo's band of Chiricahua Apaches in New Mexico, returning to San Antonio in October, 1886.
On December 9, 1885, the troop, under Lieutenant Fountain, attacked a body of these Indians at Lillies Ranch in the Mogollon Mountains, New Mexico, as they were burning the ranch; killed 2 Indians, captured 16 horses and 1 mule, and destroyed all their provisions and blankets. Darkness permitted the Indians to escape.
On the 19th the troop, under Lieutenant Fountain, was attacked by Chiricahua Apaches ambushed on a hill near Little Dry Creek. The fight lasted fifteen minutes, when the Indians were dislodged and scattered, making their escape in a rocky cañon. Several Indians were killed and wounded. In this fight 1st Lieut. J. C. Maddox, Assistant Surgeon U. S. A., Wagoner Frank Hutton, Privates George Gibson and Harry McMillan were instantly killed; Blacksmith Daniel Collins was mortally wounded, dying two hours later, and Corporal Wallace McFarland was wounded. Three horses were killed and several wounded.
In 1887 the troop marched from San Antonio to Fort Davis, Texas, and the following year to Fort Meade, South Dakota.
TROOP D.—Captain Bassford in command of troop while scouting near Keeny's Ranch on Malheur River, Oregon, in February, 1868, surprised an Indian camp, capturing all their horses and destroying the camp.
A detachment under Sergeant New attacked a party of Indians on Owyhee River, Oregon, March 26, 1868, killing one Indian.
In an engagement near Red Creek, A. T., September 23, 1869, 18 Indians were killed and a number wounded.
Lieutenant Weeks, with a detachment of 18 men, captured 200 head of cattle near Hubbard Cross Roads on the staked plains, New Mexico, on July 9, 1870, and on the 10th of August, 1870, captured a pack train loaded with contraband goods, destroying the goods, and capturing two Indians.
Captain Randlett with 40 men, scouting south of Canadian River, on the Texas border, on the 28th of May, 1871, captured a train en route to the Comanche Indians. Twenty-three animals loaded with whiskey, powder, lead, etc., with 10 men and 1 Indians, were captured. On the same day 506 head of cattle and 26 burros were captured. The prisoners and stock were turned over to the commanding officer of Fort Bascom, and the stores destroyed.
Lieutenant Wilkinson with 6 men, en route to Tulerosa River, were
attacked by armed Mexicans, 25 in number. One Mexican was killed and 3 wounded.
On the 17th of November, 1875, Captain Randlett, Lieutenant Wilkinson and 44 men pursued a band of Mexican cattle thieves and struck them at Las Cuevas, Texas, 18 miles below Ringgold Barracks, just as they reached the Rio Grande River. Some of the cattle were captured on the Texas side and two of the thieves were killed, the remainder escaping to Mexico. Captain McNally, with a troop of State Rangers, arrived on the scene during the day and under cover of darkness crossed the river by means of a small boat and attacked the Mexicans at a ranch some 3 miles from the river, killing 4 Of them. The Mexicans, however, gathered in such large numbers, that the Rangers retreated to the cover of the banks of the river, where they were protected by the U. S. troops firing over their heads. In this fire the leader of the Mexicans was killed. The Mexicans made a second attack during the day but were repulsed, when the State troops recrossed the river. On the following day the command was reinforced by troops from Fort Brown and Ringgold Barracks under Major Alexander. A flag of truce was sent over by the Mexicans and an agreement entered into by which they were to surrender the cattle and thieves, if possible, at Ringgold Barracks. With this understanding the troops were withdrawn, and the cattle were afterwards received at Ringgold Barracks and returned to the owners.
From 1875 to 1837 the troop was stationed at posts and camps near the Rio Grande River in Texas. In the latter year it took station at Fort Davis, Texas, and in 1888 marched to Fort Meade, S. D.
TROOP E.—In December, 1868, a detachment of 30 men of Troops E and K, under command of Major Price, surprised a large rancheria consisting of 20 lodges near Walker Springs, A. T., killing 3 Indians, wounding several, capturing some squaws and children, and destroying their provisions and camp equipage. Three days later another rancheria was surprised by the same command. Eight Indians were killed and 14 captured. A large quantity of supplies was destroyed.
In 1869 a detachment of Troops E and K under Captain Young, left Camp Whipple on January 19th. While scouting in Juniper Mountains, 5 rancherias, located in a deep and large cañon, were destroyed. While encamped in this cañon the camp was at 4 A. M. attacked by Indians. The horses had been fastened to a strong picket line and were soon in hand, but the burros of the pack train, being hobbled, were stampeded and secured by the Indians. Corporal Parker, Troop K was severely wounded. At daybreak the trails of the Indians, with the burros which had been taken off by twos and threes in different directions, were followed by detachments and many of them recovered. The detachment left in camp was surrounded and harassed by another party of Indians all day. This command returned to its post, Camp Whipple, on the 13th of February, having suffered greatly through the inclemency of the weather, and from the difficult country through which it was necessary to travel. It rained or snowed every day except five during the month.
Lieutenant Carrick, with detachment of 23 men of Troops E, F and K,
between the Aqua Frio and Rio Verde, near Toll Gate, A. T., encountered a band of Indians on the 25th of August, 1869, and engaged them, killing 6, wounding several, capturing 1, and destroying a large amount of property, On the 26th a rancheria was surprised and 2 Indians killed. This detachment was attacked by a party of about 100 Indians, seven miles from Toll Gate. Private Eberhard was killed. Two Indians were killed and the remainder, after a severe fight, were driven off and scattered.
On September 2, 1874, Captain Kauffman with 11 men captured 2 horses and 13 mules from Apaches at Ojo Caliente, N. M.
From 1875 to 1888, the troop was stationed on the lower Rio Grande in Texas, at Forts Clark and Duncan. It marched from the latter post in May, joined the regiment at Fort Concho, marched with it to Fort Meade, and thence to Fort Buford, N. D., a distance of over 2000 miles.
TROOP F.—A detachment of 13 men while scouting, March 19, 1867, on the Selvies River, Oregon, had an engagement with Indians, killing 6, and wounding the chief, and capturing 32 horses and a large amount of dried beef, etc.
Lieutenant Jerome, with 21 men (in conjunction with Troops E and K), under Major Price, destroyed 15 wicky-ups, killing 3 warriors and captured a horse and rifle. The same detachment was attacked by a large body of Indians near Toll Gate. Private Kline was wounded. Two Indians were killed. Lieutenants Carrick and Jerome with 42 men under Major Price came upon and surprised a band of Indians on the Santa Maria River on June 26, 1869, killing 4, and destroying 200 wicky-ups and large quantities of supplies.
During the month of May, 1871, Lieutenant Caraher with 52 men pursued, and captured near Kiowa Springs, N. M., 21 Indians, 1 Mexican, 700 head of cattle, 12 horses and 49 burros.
Lieutenant Hennisee, in June, 1871, captured a large herd of cattle in the same vicinity.
Detachments of the troop participated in several skirmishes with Indian marauders along the Rio Grande River, Texas, in 1876, destroying several Indian camps and a large amount of property.
In 1877, Lieutenant Phelps with 10 men (in conjunction with Lieutenant Bullis, in command of Seminole Scouts) on the 26th of September, crossed the Rio Grande River, and attacked a band of Lipan and Apache Indians, capturing 5, together with 12 horses and 2 mules.
In 1888, the troop marched with the regiment to Dakota.
TROOP G. —In 1867, a detachment under Sergeant Stickney, from August to December, had several skirmishes with Indians and captured and destroyed a large amount of property.
On May 1, 1868, a detachment had an engagement near Hoag's Bluffs, Oregon, in which Private Arnshedt was severely wounded. A number of the Indians were killed and wounded.
Lieutenant Lafferty with a detachment of 21 men (in conjunction with Troop G, 1st Cavalry, Captain Bernard) encountered a large band of hostiles at Chiricahua Pass, A. T., October 20, 1869. Lieutenant Lafferty was very seriously wounded and Sergeant Stevens and Private Fuller were killed,
Private Elwood was severely wounded. The number of Indians killed and wounded was supposed to be large.
On the 27th of January, 1870, a detachment (in conjunction with a detachment of Troop G, 1st Cavalry) engaged with Apaches in the Dragoon Mountains, A. T., killing 13 and capturing 1 Indian and 12 horses. The Indian supplies were all destroyed.
In the Oscura Mountains, N. M., in 1875, the troop, Captain Fechet commanding, surprised a large camp of Apaches, routing them, and capturing 300 buffalo robes, 51 horses, 70 saddles, 3 mules, and a large quantity of powder and lead and camp equipage.
From 1875 to 1888, the troop was stationed at camps and posts in Texas, marching from Camp Pena Colorado, Texas, to Fort Yates, Dakota, in the latter year.
TROOP H.—Lieutenant Farnsworth with 28 men while scouting as a detachment from the command of Major Price in 1874, engaged about 100 well-mounted Cheyennes on McClellan's Creek, Texas. The fight lasted from 1.30 P. M. till dark. The Indian loss was 4 killed and 10 wounded, as well as many ponies killed. The detachment lost Privates William Densham and Rufus Hibbard, killed. Corporal Thomas J. Thompson, Blacksmith Henry Fields, Privates Hermann Fehrand George Robinson wounded. His ammunition being exhausted, Lieutenant Farnsworth retreated under cover of darkness. Major Price, who visited the scene of the fight soon afterwards, says in his report, "There were evidences of an encampment of at least 150 Indians on both sides of the stream. I followed the entire course of Captain Farnsworth's fight for eight miles, and considered it a stubbornly contested and desperate fight. I make no estimate of the number of Indians killed. The troops and Indians were at all times in close bullet range of each other and I know that there are cool, daring men in the troop, and good shots. The body of Private Hibbard was found and buried."
(The troop was engaged in a skirmish on Muster Creek as noted in the history of troop C.)
From 1875 to 1879 the troop was in camps or at posts along the lower Rio Grande. In 1884, it took station at San Antonio, Texas. In 1885 and 1886 it served in New Mexico in campaign against the Apaches. In 1887 it marched to Fort Davis, thence in 1888 to Fort Keogh, Montana.
TROOP I.—On the 16th day of April, 1867, the troop under Captain Fechet and in conjunction with Troop B, had an engagement with hostile Apaches in the Black Mountains, A. T. No casualties were reported.
On the 18th of the same month, in an engagement near the Rio Verde, 1 man was killed. The Indians lost a number killed and wounded.
The troop under Captain Fechet, near Camp Grant, A. T., had an engagement with Indians on the 21st of April, 1868, killing 2; and on the 1st of May the same command attacked a band of Indians, killing 6 and wounding 4.
The troop under command of Major Alexander, while scouting in the Tonto Creek Valley, came upon, and engaged a band of Apaches, killing 1 and capturing 1 Indian and all their stock.
On September 6, 1868, the same command pursued a party of Indians
who had stolen Government property, overtook them, killed 1, recovered the stolen property, and destroyed a large quantity of bows, arrows, etc.
In 1869 the troop and detachments travelled in execution of escort, scouting duties, etc., an aggregate of 8000 miles, which indicates the arduous service performed in that desolate country.
In 1873 a detachment of 20 men under Lieut. William Stephenson pursued a party of Indian thieves, overtook them, killing one and recovering the stolen stock.
From 1875 to 1888 the troop was stationed at camps and posts on the lower Rio Grande in Texas, marching to Fort Meade, Dakota, in the latter year.
Troop K.—Captain S. B. M. Young, with two commissioned officers (Lieuts. J. D. Stevenson and A. A. Reese, 8th Cavalry) and 42 enlisted men, left Camp Mojave, January 9, 1868. On the 13th, one-half the command, under Lieutenant Stevenson with Lieutenant Reese, was instructed to scout on the west slope of the Cerbert Range for 15 or 20 miles, thence across the range to Fortification Springs, down the eastern slope to Three Buttes and towards Peacock Springs. With the remainder of his command, Captain Young attempted to cross the range at Difficult Pass, but could not get the animals up on account of the ice and snow. They marched north to O'Leary's Pass, camping in a wash on the eastern slope, having marched 25 miles. The command had been obliged to walk the most of the day through several inches of snow which melted during the day and froze at night. At 3 P. m. a snow storm set in, lasting till 11.30 P. M. About midnight a guide came into camp and reported a camp of Indians within six miles. At 3 o'clock A. M. on the 14th, camp was broken, a cold breakfast eaten and, leaving 3 men to guard the pack train, the command set out exploring every cañon with dismounted men. At daylight Indian signs were discovered and at 8 o'clock it became evident that the Indians were in the vicinity and apparently unaware of the presence of the troops. Their camp was finally located in Difficult Cañon, and, leaving 4 men to hold the horses at the mouth of the cañon, Captain Young proceeded with 14 men to attack a rancheria of 11 wicky-ups, which developed a force of upwards of 100, Indians. The Indians took to the rocks about 10 yards from their houses. Here they fought desperately, being armed with about 40 breech-loading and 20 muzzle-loading arms. After a hard fight of one hour and, a half, 2 men having been seriously wounded, and more Indians appearing on both flanks, the command was successfully withdrawn to the horses, bringing every man out. Sixteen dead Indians were counted and several wounded. Atone mile distant from the scene of this action the wounds of the two men were dressed. Coffee was made and the command proceeded to Beal's Springs, arriving at 10 P. M.
At 2 o'clock A. M., a courier from Lieutenant Stevenson, brought in word that his detachment had had an engagement, and that he had been seriously wounded. Lieutenant Stevenson's detachment discovered a large body of Indians (60 or 70) on the 15th, well armed, and posted on a high ledge of rocks. Lieutenant Stevenson was wounded in three places at their first fire. He directed his men to seek shelter in the rocks and a desperate
fight was kept up till dark, when the command slowly withdrew. Several Indians were killed and wounded. By the 16th, the wounded had been sent in to the post and Lieutenant Reese had joined with 19 men. The interim had been spent in scouting the vicinity dismounted, giving the animals a much needed rest after the rough marching over the foot-hills in mud, rain and snow.
On the 17th the united command marched by way of Hualapais Valley, and on the 18th reached Difficult Cañon, finding that the Indians had buried their dead and horses. The command returned to Camp Mojave on the 20th January, having averaged 25 miles per day for 10 days, marching through snow, rain and mud, over a mountainous country, besides spending much time in scouting dismounted. Those familiar with the nature of the ground in the mountainous regions of Arizona will thoroughly appreciate the difficulties of the scouting and Indian fighting encountered on these expeditions, which in the last instance recorded, is but a fair sample of many of the others more briefly referred to. It is either snow, rain and mud in winter; or burning heat and no water in summer.
On the 11th of December, 1868, a detachment of i o men under Major Price had two engagements with Indians near Willow Grove, killing 8, wounding several, and destroying their camps and supplies. Sergeant Curtin C. Miller was killed.
In the same month a detachment of 10 men of Troops E and K under Major Price, surprised a rancheria of 20 lodges; killed 11 Indians, captured several and destroyed their supplies.
On June 7, 1869, Captain Young, with ig men, engaged a party of hostile Indians at Mammoth Cañon in the Santa Maria Range, killing 3 Indians and destroying a large amount of supplies.
In August, 1869, Lieutenant Carrick, commanding a scouting party of Troops E, F and K, had several encounters with Indians, killing 8, capturing several, and destroying their camps and supplies.
In November, 1869, detachments under Lieutenants Stevenson and Pullman captured and destroyed a quantity of Indian property. The troop formed a part of the command under Major Price in 1874, and participated in the engagements heretofore recorded.
The troop in 1885 and 1886, under Captain Sprole, took part in the Geronimo campaign in New Mexico.
In 1888 it marched with the regiment to Fort Meade, S. D., thence to Fort Buford, N. D.
TROOP L.—October 6, 1867, the troop under command of Lieutenant Wells had an engagement with Indians in the vicinity of Trout Creek, A. T., killing 7 and destroying their property. On the 25th a detachment under Lieutenant Wells had a skirmish near Truxell Springs, killing 1 Indian.
A detachment of 9 men under Lieutenant Hasson, 14th Infantry, with a detachment 1st Cavalry, had a severe engagement on the 3d of November, 1867, near Willow Grove, killing 32 Indians and destroying their property.
Thirty men under Lieutenant Wells, scouting near Toll Gate, A. T.,
surprised a band of Indians on the 7th of November, killing 3 Indians and capturing 2 horses.
A detachment under Lieutenant Wells, on the 13th of August, 1868, engaged a party of Indians near Walnut Grove, killing several and destroying their camp supplies.
On November 9th a detachment of Troops B and L, under Lieutenant Wells, attacked a band of Indians, killing 15 and wounding 7; and on the 11th surprised a band, killing 6 and capturing 4. Privates E. R. Aston and William Cubberly were slightly wounded.
A detachment Of 4 men, under Sergeant Rowalt, in pursuit of a band of 17 Kiowas, overtook them February 26, 1873, and engaged them, killing 5 and wounding 3. The gallant action of this little party was commended by the department commander in G. O. No. 5, Dep't Mo., Series of 1873.
In 1874 the troop under Captain Morris formed a part of the command of Major Price, participating in fights on the Rio Negro, Muster Creek, etc.
In 1888 it marched from Fort Hancock, Texas, to Fort Keogh, Montana.
TROOP M.—Until 1870 the troop was stationed in Nevada, the greater part of the time at Fort McDermitt, furnishing escorts and guards and making frequent scouts.
From 1870 to 1875, while stationed in New Mexico, much of the time was spent in field duty. In 1875 the troop marched from Fort Union, New Mexico, to Ringgold Barracks, Texas. Until 1881 it occupied camps and posts in Texas, from Fort Brown to Fort Clarke. From 1881 to 1885 it was at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. In 1886 and 1887 it was at Fort Brown, and in 1888 marched to Fort Meade, S. D.
The foregoing brief notices of a few of the scouts and expeditions participated in by the different troops of the regiment are confined to those only where certain results were accomplished in the way of dispersing bands of Indians by actual contact with them. Numerous hard marches through the mountains and deserts of Arizona, exposed to the extremes of heat and cold, thirst and hunger, were made by troops and detachments when, though the results were not so apparent, the work was equally difficult. Some of the officers and men who experienced the trials and hardships of those comparatively early days in Arizona are still in the regiment.