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    Photograph of Cadet T. T. Thornburgh, Killed in White River Massacre, 1879. Nathan Meeker was struggling with his job as Indian Agent at White River. Many of the Utes in his charge rebelled against his plans to change their way of life. Some of them fled the agency to raid nearby farms. After the raids increased, Meeker sent out a plea for military help. His request was answered.

    Major Thomas T. Thornburgh, a West Pointer and Civil War veteran from Tennessee, and a professor of military strategy, had been based at Fort Steele in Wyoming on scouting duty for more than a year. He led a command of 153 soldiers and 25 civilians toward the Ute Reservation, and agreed to ride alone to meet Meeker and two of the complaining Indian leaders. But when he reached Milk Creek, 25 miles north of White River, he found the creek dry. He ordered his troops to move some miles into the reservation where there was available water. Indian eyes were watching. Suddenly a gun was fired, then a firefight began. Within minutes, Major Thornburgh and at least 11 of his troopers and teamsters lay dead, another 28 were wounded, and three-quarters of the horses and mules were killed. The trapped Army survivors found refuge behind wagons and piled up bodies of dead horses, and managed to hold off the warriors until relief troops arrived six days later.

    Three-quarter view photograph of Thornburgh in his cadet uniform with officers stripes taken out of the 1867 West Point yearbook. Depicts photograph of Thomas T. Thornburgh. Inscribed "T. T. Thornburgh 2nd Lt. 2nd Artillery 17th June 1867." Very scarce Indian Wars item. Measures approximately 9" x 11.25".

    Condition: Very fine.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2008
    13th Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 0
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 413

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