Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice

    Description

    Indian Wars: A Detailed 1867 Diary of the Journey of an Army Wagon Train from Fort Leavenworth in Kansas to Fort Lyon in Colorado. Included are entries from May 6th through June 8th. The wagonmaster was none other than "William Hickok, brother of Wild Bill." (Actually, the writer got the name wrong. Hickok's brother was named Lorenzo, but he was indeed a wagonmaster in that area at the time.) The trek was through hostile Indian country, and the writer describes a number of sightings and interactions, including one which left five men scalped. Also present are several accounts of buffalo hunting along the way. The author is articulate and the account is much more than a typical military log of miles traveled and places camped. The transcription in full is to be found with our website description of the lot. Excellent condition.

    More Information:

    Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

    May 6th. 1867

    Left on the earo (train?) today for Fort Riley - arrived at 5 p.m.. we unable to get any quarters
    or rations. Will have to sleep in the mule karell tonight. Distance 130 miles.

     

    May 7th - this morning we drew rations, camp and garrison equipage from Capt. Bradley AQM
    for which Colonel Larrin(?) gave a receipt for Capt. (Ezra) Kirk. Fort Lyon. Colorado - also 32
    revolvers and ammunition with which we expect to defend ourselves in crossing the plains.

     

    May 8th - camped near Fort Riley in army style, waiting transportation. (The party waited until

    May 14th). By order of Capt. Bradley we were today furnished transportation. 14 wagons.
    Wagon Master is Wm. Hickok, brother of Wild Bill. Started forward about 10 a.m. -
    passed through Junction City - camped at Seven Springs for the night

     

    May 15th - drove to Chapman's Creek, went into camp - water too high to cross. Distance 10
    miles.

     

    May 16th - water still too high to cross. One wagon gone back to Fort Riley for forage.

     

    May 17th. Wagon returned from Fort Riley with forage at 9 p.m. We go forward this morning -
    succeeded in crossing Chapman's Creek and camped at Sand Spring for the night. Distance 18
    miles - considerable rain.

     

    May 18th - broke camp at Sand Spring 6 a.m. - after crossing two rivers by ferry, camped near
    Salina. Distance 20 miles, tremendous shower of rain and hail during the night. Saw Sam Field
    who used to run a candy shop in Oshkosh. He is in the same business here.

     

    May 19th - broke camp near Salina and drove to Dry Creek - 12 feet (of) water (?) camped for
    Sunday - waiting for the water to go down.

     

    May 20th - Water still too high to cross, tremendous rain last night - wood getting scarce.

     

    May 21st - broke camp at Dry Creek 5 a.m. - crossed the creek - drove to Rock Branch,
    camped for the night - distance 18 miles.

     

    May 22nd - broke camp at Rock Branch, crossed Clear Creek, passed by Fort Harker over the
    Smoky River and camped for the night. Distance 20 miles. Had a requisition for rations at Fort
    Harker but did not have time to draw them.

     

    May 23rd - broke camp near the Smoky at 6 a.m. - drove to Plum Creek - camped for the
    night. During the march we were joined by another train and also received a colored escort -
    16 men and 1 Sergeant. Distance 18 miles, considerable rain. There is a ranch here - the
    ranch man gave us some buffalo meat. It was the first I ever ate (splendid). Some of the boys
    (went) out hunting - saw a large body of Indians. We put out a strong guard at once to prevent
    surprise.

     

    May 24 - broke camp at Plum Creek at 5:30 a.m. and drove to Walnut Creek and camped - on
    the way a large herd of buflalos were darned fools enough to charge past the train close range.
    Some of the boys thinking that they were carrying moore sail than maritine law allowed,
    proceeded to furnish them with a little leaden ballast, consequently we are feasting on tender

    loin tonight - camp is very near Fort Zaro? (Zarah). Distance 18 miles.

     

    May 25th - broke camp at Walnut Creek at 6 a.m. - drove to the banks of the Arkansas River -

    camped for the night - distance 13 miles - water very muddy.

     

    May 26th - broke camp near the Arkansas and drove to Fort Learned. Camped, crossed Ash

    Creek on our way - (it) rained and hailed tremendously all the afternoon. We drew 15 day

    rations in the rain, also some wood to cook with. Had to moove - our tent got drowned out

    good - a (?) to say "Davi" organized (?) 3 messes.

     

    May 27th - still in camp near Fort Learned waiting an escort of 200 soldiers - weather was

    awful last night, wind blew some of the tents down - you should have heard our Army swear in

    Flanders but Lo! what a change this morning, imagine if you can a wall tent situated on the

    banks of a little creek whose gentle ripple contrasts so strangely with the schrill revilee at the

    fort nearby or the neighing of the mules as they prance about gathering their morning (?) from

    the boundless prairie. Heaven's Land grant to the red men such musings as these may do to

    feed the imagination of some romantic school girl. But I apprehend they would not have a very

    salutory effect upon the gastric Juries of an able-bodied man. D- Ah! Even as I write I catch

    the aromatic fragrance of old government Java as it bubbles and boils over the edge of the

    kettle into the blazing fire below. A skillett of desicrated potatoes smoking hot. profusion of

    Uncle Sams hard tack and a (?) of Juicy bacon - isn't it enough to make the heart of an

    epicure palpitate with estatic Joy. After all. the old adage "Hunger is the best sauce'' is a good

    one (?) and rumors of (?) a voice replied far upthe hight (not Excelsior) but fall in your cusses

    and get your hash.

     

    May 28th - still camped near Fort Learned - no orders to moove. Cold and windy, a herd of

    buffalo dashed by camp on the other side of the creek with about 20 men on horseback after

    them. Buffalo hide is pretty hard, but once bullets are harded. one old fellow just gave up the

    gost(?) near the creek. It took 50 shots to bring him down. Our boys got a quarter. The ladies

    are out from the fort to see the sport. Plains, all plains as far as (the) eye can reach.

     

    May 29th - broke camp near Learned at 5:30 a.m. Drove to Big Coon, camped for the night -

    some rain - distance 22 miles. Stage station here. Two stages passed us with a heavy guard.

    California Overland route. Indians scalped 6 or 7 men (a) short distance from here yesterday.

     

    May 30th - broke camp on Big Coon at 5 a.m. Drove to Fort Dodge - distance 33 miles. On the

    Way, crossed Little Coon. Some rain as we go into csamp.

     

    May 31st. Still camped near Fort Dodge - wagon quarter (master) Is drawing rations for his

    teamsters - will go forward tomorrow - rained all night and is raining today - chilly.

     

    June 1st - broke camp near Fort Dodge - drove to a ranch. The first stage station on route

    from Dodge. Weather warm and pleasant. Distance 25 miles. This place is called Simron(?)

    Crossing.

     

    June 2 - broke camp at Slmron Crossing - drove to the Arkansas Fork, weather fine, distance

    21 miles.

     

    June 3rd - broke camp near the Arkansas - drove to Baltimore Ranch and camped. The

    Indians drove off 2 mules from the Ranch last night. Weather fine. Distance 21 miles. Did not

    lariett the mules at night for fear the Indians would make a dash on them. Look out for red

    skins.

     

    June 4th - broke camp near Baltimore Ranch - drove to Golden Hill. 24 miles, camped for the night - very warm. I am sitting out behind the tent, copying this diary with a cussed-poor pen

    and the lid to the mess chest for a writing desk and if some of the red skins don't get my top

    knot (scalp) before I get to Fort Lyon I will send this record of the meanderings of a verdant

    youth Jack-Bob-Son while crossing the plains to my crossed-eyed sister Helen.

     

    June 5th - broke camp at Golden Hill - drove to Arrberry(?) Ranch - saw a large body of

    Indians on the way - went into karrell and got ready to fight them but they did not attack us -

    All on the alert tonight to prevent surprise, Distance 18 miles.

     

    June 6th - broke camp near Arberry Ranch - drove to Encampment Ranch, camped for the

    night. One man killed, one wounded by the Indians yesterday. Look out for red skins. 18

    miles.

     

    June 7th - broke camp at Encampment Ranch, drove to Sand Creek, went into camp. Distance

    28 miles.

     

    June 8th - broke camp on Sand Creek, drove to Fort Lyon, our destination. We are going about

    25 miles from here to build the new fort - direct your letters to Fort Lyon, care (of) Major Kirk.

    Expect to have a rough time earring stones, etc etc. but my time will be over the 4th

    November. 1867 - they can't bust me in that time then I shall either go to Denver City or come

    back to St. Louis Just as I please. Have not heard from home in 13 weeks - everything is hub-

    bub today. Sunday, getting ready to march tomorrow. Let me know all the news when you

    write - hope you are all write. Give my regards to all, you may not hear very often from me -

    got to slick it through (?) is cussed rough though. Remember. I have not heard a word from

    Oshkosh for 13 weeks - only 5 months longer to serve in the Quarter Master's Department and

    then I am free again . (I) shall have a few stories then. Good by. Bob.

     

    Hurrah for Hannah(?). Still later, detailed today as clerk for Col. Larrin Master Mechanic. Him

    and I are about 25 miles from where the new fort is to be built, making out bill of lumber,

    nails, doors, windows, etc. I am going to sleep and mess with the Colonel. All Hunky Dora. For

    God's sake, write and send Oshkosh papers. More anon. Exit omnen(?).

     



    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2015
    25th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 14
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 771

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $100,000 (minimum $14), plus 20% of any amount between $100,000 and $1,000,000, plus 12% of any amount over $1,000,000 per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    VIEW BENEFITS
    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
      winnings 
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 43 days left to consign to the 2019 October 24 Estate of John Steinbeck Manuscripts Grand Format Auction - Dallas!

    Learn about consigning with us

    The department director has the heart of a true and highly knowledgeable collector with the business acumen of someone who has been not only successful but has decades of an impeccable track record
    David Greenburg,
    Chicago, IL
    View More Testimonials

    HA.com receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source: Similarweb.com)

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2019 July 16 - 18 The Armstrong Family Collection III Space Exploration Signature Auction - Dallas
    2019 July 16 - 18 The Armstrong Family Collection III Space Exploration Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED SO FAR $4,640,331