Friday, March 28, 2008

The Personal Diary of J.E.B. Stuart -Epilogue

The Kiowa and Comanche Campaign of 1860

As Recorded in the Personal Diary of Lt. J. E. B. Stuart Edited by W. Stitt Robinson Winter, 1957 (Vol. XXIII, No. 4), pages 382 to 400Transcription and HTML composition by Larry E. & Carolyn L. Mix;digitized with permission of The Kansas State Historical Society.

III. Epilogue

Stuart's personal diary falls silent during most of July except for the few entries printed here. During this time the command continued the march up the Arkansas river as indicated for July 8 and went a little beyond Bent's New Fort near present Prowers, Colo. The return march was then made along the Arkansas to the vicinity of present Garden City where a turn was made to the northeast with three companies proceeding along the Smoky Hill river, the other three along Walnut creek. Stuart marched with the Smoky Hill group which continued to present Ellsworth county before turning back to the southwest to join the remainder of the command about 18 miles south of Fort Larned. [69] From there Stuart returned to Fort Riley.

By August 11 when orders were received to break up the expedition, Sedgwick's column had marched 1,404 miles. The only skirmish for the command involved Lieutenant Stuart and a detachment of 20 men who pursued a small body of Kiowas near Bent's New Fort on July 11 and combined with forces under Capt. William Steele to kill two warriors and take prisoner 16 women and children. [70]

In the same campaign the column of six companies of the First cavalry under Capt. S. D. Sturgis encountered a large group of Kiowas and Comanches along the Republican fork on August 6. Reporting on all of the summer's expedition, Sturgis claimed 29 of the enemy killed. [71]

These skirmishes of 1860 along with the appearance in force of U. S. troops on the Plains contributed to the restoration of peace with the Kiowas and Comanches and to the security of the emigrant route. Indian Commissioner William P. Dole reported in November, 1861, that recently the two tribes had "manifested a disposition" to resume friendly relations with the U. S. government and to be "restored to its confidence." [72]

About the Author:
Dr. W. Stitt Robinson, a graduate of the University of Virginia at Charlottesville, is associate professor of history at the University of Kansas, Lawrence.

The author acknowledges the aid of a research grant from the General Research Fund of the University of Kansas for investigation at the National Archives, Washington, D. C., of materials relating to this publication.


[69] Report of the Secretary of the Interior," Sen. Ex. Doc. No. 1, 36th Cong., 2d Sess. (1860-1861), v. 2, p. 18.

[70] Ibid., pp. 15-17.

[71] Ibid., pp. 19-22.

[72] Ibid., Sen. Ex. Doc. No. 1, 37th Cong., 2d Sess. (1861-1862), v. 1, pt. 1, p. 634.