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Appendix 3: Conflicting Policies

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Major F. Mears, Company I, Ninth Infantry, having arrived on

Wednesday from Camp Sheridan, Spotted Tail Agency, and Camp

Robinson, Red Cloud Agency, in Nebraska, our reporter had an interview with him, and gleaned the following interesting facts:

He started on the twenty fourth of September. The Peace Commissioner had just completed their labors. Some were en route for

Washington, and others for the Agency on the Missouri River.


Crook was on his way to [Fort] Laramie to have a conference with General Sheridan, and since Major Mears had left the Red Cloud

Agency he had learned that an active Winter campaign against the hostile Sioux had been determined upon. It will be conducted mainly with the Second, Third, Fourth and Fifth Cavalry regiments, all of these with the exception of the Fourth Cavalry having taken part in the Summer campaign. Six companies of the Fourth are now lying at the Red Cloud Agency and the other six are down in the Indian

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o the nineteenth century army, the horse was every bit as important as the tank or armored vehicle to the army of the twenty-first century. In combat, the soldier’s life depended on the quality and stamina of the mount. Much of this section is taken with a remount detail to acquire new horses for the cavalry.

“The business of inspecting horses for Government use is a very serious affair,” Bourke writes, adding, “Not more than one horse in three has been accepted.”1 Equally important was the care the soldier himself put into an animal. Bourke recalled that Capt. Jerry

Russell would not allow recruits to take horses on pass “until he was satisfied they knew how to take care of them.”2

To purchase the horses, Bourke had been entrusted with a large amount of money, and this entailed risk. During this period, Army

Regulations recognized two forms of embezzlement, viz., actual embezzlement, in which government funds were stolen, and constructive embezzlement, in which the person responsible for those funds was unable to account for them, for whatever reason.3 Either

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8: A Summons to Washington

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Chapter 8

A Summons to Washington


unday, December 12th 1880.

In obedience to the telegraphic instructions from Washington, as follows:

Washington, D.C., 12-10-80.

The President desiring to see you in regard to the Ponca Indians, the Secy. of War directs you to report to this city when convenient for you to do so.

(Sign.) R. C. Drum

Adjutant General.

General Crook, accompanied by his Aides, Captain Roberts and

Lieut. Bourke, left Omaha, Neb., for Washington, D.C. At Council

Bluffs, Iowa, we met Mr. S. S. Stevens, General Passenger Agent of the Chicago, Rock-Island and Pacific Rail Road, and Mr. Morris of the Wabash Line and Mr. Ezra Willard.

On our train, were Dr. George L. Miller, Editor of the Omaha Herald, ex-Senator P. W. Hitchcock, Mr. N. Shelton, Cashier of the U.P.R.R.,

Mr. Frank Murphy of the State Bank—all of Omaha and all en route to New York to consult with the Union Pacific officials about the erection of grain elevators at Omaha. We also met Mr. Dows, a very bright, companionable old gentleman from the Pacific Coast; and

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Appendix 1: Persons Mentioned in the Diary

Edited and Annotated by Charles M. Robinson III University of North Texas Press PDF

Appendix 1

Persons Mentioned in the Diary

Due to the large number of sources for the biographical sketches in this section, footnotes or endnotes would have been impractical.

Consequently, I have placed the sources in parentheses at the end of each entry. In cases where the author has only one publication in the bibliography, I have used only the author’s last name. In cases of multiple publications by the same author, I have placed the date of publication of the edition cited.


When discussing the careers of cavalrymen, the designation of units overlapping the Civil War tends to be confusing. In mid1861, the Regular Army had six mounted regiments, viz. First and Second Dragoons, Mounted Riflemen, and First, Second and

Third Cavalry. On August 3, 1861, Congress reorganized these regiments, designating them all “cavalry,” and renumbering them as follows:

First Dragoons to First Cavalry

Second Dragoons to Second Cavalry

Mounted Riflemen to Third Cavalry

First Cavalry to Fourth Cavalry

Second Cavalry to Fifth Cavalry

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pon returning to Washington to finalize the work with the

Ponca Commission, Bourke met with Maj. John Wesley

Powell, director of the two-year-old American Bureau of

Ethnology. Powell had learned of Bourke’s work from E. S. Holden of the Naval Observatory, who had been a year behind Bourke at West

Point, and from Rev. Dorsey, who, aside from his ministry with the

Episcopal Church, and his work with the Ponca Commission, also was an ethnologist on the bureau’s staff. Both Holden and Dorsey believed the bureau could benefit from Bourke’s experiences. From this meeting came formal sanction for his ethnological interests, and thus he embarked on the work that would secure his own place in history. Indeed, with and without Crook, and with and without official support, the remaining fifteen years of his life would be devoted to this work.1

Although Bourke undoubtedly could have worked solely under the aegis of the Bureau of Ethnology, at this point in his life, he preferred to continue within the framework of his military duties. His position as Crook’s aide gave him substantial flexibility, and most likely he preferred this to the potential control of Powell. He also

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