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4: Wilderness Trails

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

Chapter 4

Wilderness Trails


ugust 16th 1880. Monday. Awakened at 3.30 a.m. to discover heavy frost on the ground. Breakfasted at 4 o’clock, the piêce de rësistance being steak, and liver from an antelope shot the day before yesterday by “Old Faithful”. Alunged [sic] at once into the

“forest primeval” and began to re-ascend the Continental Divide. The trail was much better than that of yesterday altho’ it wound through miles of storm-wrecked timber which gave some trouble to our animals. The breeze playing with the branches above us was heavy with the fragrance of balsam; the rays of the sun scarcely touched the ground such was the thickness of the interlacing foliage.

A ride of eight or ten miles took us across the crest of the Rocky mountains and out of the worst of the forest. Sloping down before us in a gentle grade was a beautiful grassy terrace spangled with wild flowers and enclosed by a matted forest of pine & fir, and there, grandest scene of my life, there lay at our feet, the unruffled bosom of Yellowstone Lake, miles in length and breadth, guarded by giant mountains upon whose wrinkled brows rested the snows of Eternity.

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Appendix 13 • Letter from Bourke regarding Lieutenant Jacob Almy's Death

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

Appendix 13

Letter from Bourke regarding

Lieutenant Jacob Almy's Death

Undated Clipping from the Arizona Miner

Volume 1, Page 187

[Handwritten comment by Bourke] Murdered May 27th 1873

[Clipping from newspaper]

“Readers of the MINER will be pained to learn of the murder, at the San Carlos Indian agency, on the 27th ultimo, of lst Lieut. Jacob

Almy, 5th Cavalry, a young officer of prominence during the recent campaign.

From the meagre details thus far furnished, I can only state that

Lieut. Almy’s death occurred while endeavoring to quell a disturbance among the Indians of the San Carlos Reservation. These disturbances, growing out of rivalry and antagonism between the former and the present agent, to which the Indians became involved. The particulars of this hostility have been known to the Indian Department in this Territory for some time.

Lieut. Almy was, I believe, a native of Massachusetts and a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, in the class of 1867.

His first services were seen in the campaign of 1867-68, against the hostile Cheyennes and Arapahoes, in which he displayed the same high qualities which afterwards made him so conspicuous in General Crook’s operations against the Apaches. He was present for duty during that campaign, from its first inception to its close, and such were his gallantry, coolness, sound judgment and enthusiastic

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1. Camp Life

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

Chapter 1

Camp Life

[28 July 1876]1

I begin in this note-book an attempt to reproduce the contents of the 5th Volume of the Journal of the Sioux campaign, which 5th Vol. was lost or stolen sometime in the year 1877–1878.

That volume comprehended the period between July 28th 1876 and the morning of Sept. 8th of the same year or the dates covering the reinforcement of General Crook’s column by the 5th Cavalry under

Colonel Merritt, the advance down the valley of the Rosebud until we joined General Terry, our abandonment of the great Indian trail, which we had followed to Powder River, our stay on the Yellowstone to replenish supplies, our resumption of the pursuit and parting from

General Terry, and the incidents of the ensuing painful and trying march through the grassy wastes of Dakotah: it covered the pages of my journal from 704 to 863 inclusive.

This loss would have been a much more serious one, had I not occupied the position of Adjutant General of the Expedition and as such had access to the official records which have not alone supplied much of what was in the original volume, but served as aids

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Part 3 The Great Sioux War 1876–1877

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



he remaining Bourke manuscripts in this volume deal with the Great Sioux War of 1876-77, a brutal conflict most famous for the destruction of Lt. Col. George Armstrong

Custer and five companies of the 7th Cavalry at the Little Bighorn on June 25, 1876. The war was an outgrowth of many factors. The

Indians were increasingly disillusioned with reservation life, and those who had never gone on the reservations were contemptuous of those who had. As more abandoned the reservation for the free, nomadic life, the center of resistance shifted from Red Cloud, who had more or less come to terms with the government, to the

Hunkpapa Sioux chief Sitting Bull, who advocated breaking all connections with the whites, including the acceptance of government rations.1

The great sore point was, of course, the Black Hills, which, regardless of what the Indians might have thought of them as a geographical feature, were increasingly becoming a point of honor. Although Red Cloud, Spotted Tail, and other agency chiefs indicated a possible cession of the Black Hills to the government, leaders of the northern, non-agency bands of Lakotas and Cheyennes an1. Robinson, Good Year to Die, 29-31.

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


De Graaf (fishing companion), 26,

27, 28, 29

Delaney, Hayden, 319

De Jañon, Patrice, 112, 453 de Lesseps, Ferdinand, 169 n14,


Denel, Harry, 273

Denver, Colo., 344, 345,

Denver Pacific Railroad, 343, 344

Denver & Rio Grande Railroad,

344, 345, 346, 356, 398, 401,

Denver & South Park Railroad,


Dermotty, (Adjutant General’s

Office), 275

De Smet, Pierre-Jean, 87, 492–93

De Witt, Calvin, 5, 125, 128, 129,


De Witt, Mrs. Calvin, 132

Dickey, J.J., 48

Dickens, Charles, 269, 382 n4

Dickinson, Alice, 129, 130

Dillon, Sidney, 315

Disraeli, Benjamin, Earl of Beaconsfield, 319, 372

Dodd, George Allen, 178, 434,


Dodge, Frederick Leighton, 454

Dodge, Richard Irving, 7, 279,

294, 454

Dorantes, Andrés, 415 n9

Dorsey, J. Owen, 157, 172, 174,

188, 190–91, 204, 209, 212,

216–17, 219, 234–35, 238–39,

242, 244, 247, 258, 266–68,

271, 276, 287, 493; and

Bourke, 157; testimony before

Ponca Commission, 223–29,

231–32; description of Ponca clans, 229–31

Douglass, H.M., 33

Dows, Mr., 158, 159


Dows, David, 159,

Doyle, Arthur Conan, 66 n7

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