The stockholders of the Republican River Bridge Company gathered a crowd and went to the relief of that bridge. The slough about half way between town and the fort had three feet of water rushing from the Republican to the Smoky Hill. The bridges, both the passenger and the railroad, were saved by the assistance of these men and soldiers from the fort under the direction of Lieutenant Asbury.

The rivalry between Manhattan and Junction City existing in their early days is aptly illustrated by the following squib


from the Union of May 15, 1869, “They had an excitement at Manhattan last week. A chap who couldn’t pay his fare was ejected from the train at that station: and the Manhattans came pretty bear holding a glorification meeting over the rapid increase of their population.”

In 1871 a man named Hynes thought the park in Junction City would be a fine place for a residence. He got the idea that the claim could be successfully “jumped” due to some real or supposed flaw he had discovered in the title. Acting on this discovery he “jumped” and put up a shack in the park overnight. When he got this far he was “jumped” and fined fifty dollars for trespass. Out of this grew various lawsuits between the city and Hynes as to ownership of the park.

In 1873, some men tried boring coal near where the U.

P. shops now stand. At a depth of 290 feet they found a vein of highly impregnated salt brine. An analysis showed that one gallon of brine made three and one-half pounds of salt. Sak was made here by an evaporation process for a time but the venture was not profitable.

The year of 187 4 was an unlucky one for Junction City. In April a fire destroyed the Hale House, Brown’s Hall and several other buildings and in August the Illinois House and a number of stables were burned.

Fogarty’s dam across the Smoky Hill was completed this year. (This is the dam on Sixth Street where Charlie Daw­ son and Granny Wells now hold forth and where the fishermen congregate in the springtime) . A little farther up the stream an old mill known as the “Smoky Hill Mill” was then located. Miss Ella Mackey told the writer an interesting bit of local history concerning this old mill. September 17, 1865, a team was stolen which was later found driven by a man and a boy. The man confessed to the theft but pleaded for the boy, stating that he was not implicated; that he did not know him, but was merely giving him a ride. The boy corroborated this

  • story. The two were taken back to Junction City and the same night both were hanged at the old mill, which was then used as a sawmill. Later, it was operated as a grist mill but ever after the hanging, those who undertook to run it lost money, until no one would take it and it was torn down. While it was never definitely supposed to be haunted, it was claimed that the ill luck pursuing its owners was the result of the hanging.

In 1880, the people voted for bonds to the amount of $12,000 to build a city hall. This, with $6,000 in cash in the hands of the treasurer, made a total of $18,000 turned over to the contractor. Before the work was finished the city government issued $10,000 in city script, bringing the total up to $28,000


This issue caused considerable feeling and the city was divided. When the walls were nearly completed the opposing party brought an injunction suit to restrain the builders from proceeding further but the court decided they were too late and the work went on. Shortly after this, the tower fell costing an additional $2,000. By the time the building was finished the original $12,000 vote had been increased to $30,000 and instead of merely a city hall the people had an opera house.

Like all frontier towns Junction City passed through some lurid days but it has been extremely fortunate in its selection of peace officers. Thomas Allen Cullinan, commonly known as

Tom Allen was a very famous city marshal. serving as such for many years and leaving a glorious record behind him. He made his reputation and kept the peace with his fists.

George W. Martin wrote an article, published in Volume IX of the Kansas Historical Collections, from which the following extracts are taken:

“He had a fist with which he could split an inch board and he always gave a lick under the left jaw which never failed to lay a man out. While he always carried a gun, he preferred to use his fist. He was afraid of the gun, because he never wanted to kill, or to take the chance there was in a gun.

“One evening six men came from a hay camp at Riley for the purpose of having a time. The marshal warned them not to attempt it. They started along the street, overturning boxes and disturbing everybody. He overtook them and in less time than I can tell it four of them lay on the ground. Another time he took, without assistance, six soldiers out of a gang of eight, shooting two of them slightly.

“A ‘bad man,’ a recruit in one of the troops at Riley, once came over to lick the marshal. He was accompanied by twelve or fifteen soldiers. The ‘bad man’ went home in an ambulance, the affair occurring in the midst of his friends. About the first thing of this kind happening to Tom was in a saloon . under Brown’s Hall. on Sixth Street. Eight soldiers were having a great time when Tom entered. He knocked seven of them down and dragged them off one at a time and the next morning went over to Riley and got the eighth.

“In those days Junction City was noted for the famous hospitality of Madam Blue, who had statesmen do her homage and her name appeared in fifth district and legislative politics. To all appearances the house was as quiet and orderly as a house could be. Tom was mighty particular in suppressing signs of lewdness on the streets. His watchtower was generally in front of the Bartell House, while south, on the opposite side, in the next block, was the madam’s resort. A fresh or green girl came to town and put up at the madam’s.

( Photo loaned by Sheriff Peeso)

Peace Be With Us

M, D. Peeso (standin!’) and Tom Allen in 1896,


In the evening she was out swinging on the front gate. Tom walked over and told her that that was not allowed; that if she wanted to play she must go in the backyard. She did it a second night and he stopped her; she did it a third night, when Tom went into the house, found her trunk in a second­ story room, threw it through the window, sash and glass, into the street, and made her go down to the depot and wait for a train.

“At the time of his death (June, 1904) he had been mar­

shal of Junction City, accepting a few years on a farm and in the service of the Metropolitan Street Railway Company in Kansas City, since 1871, being either elected by the people or appointed. During “this time he served under some sixteen or eighteen different mayors, representing all sorts of political sentiment, and by the common consent of the people was trusted to do all police duty in his own way.”

Tom Allen· was about five feet nine inches in height and weighed 170 or 175 pounds. He met all comers for many years and was never defeated.

Sheriff M. D. Peeso started his career under Tom Allen and has proved a worthy successor to him. The job of peace officer is less arduous than in the seventies but calls for as much nerve as ever and in these two men Junction City has just cause for pride.

No attempt has been made in this discussion of the early days of Junction City to write a detailed history. To do the subject justice would require far more time and space than the writer had available. The endeavor has been rather to give the reader an idea of the trials and tribulations, the most important events and something of the individual lives of those who helped to make the town what it is today. If the reader is interested in local history, or in stories of the old army, there is a fund of such material in the people of the town. Probably no other town of 1ts size in the country contains more retired non-commissioned officers with years of an honorable career

  • behind them, then Junction City. Many of the cavalry regiments are represented, the old Sixteenth Infantry, and civilian employees by the score.



It would be almost impossible at this late date to write an accurate and detailed history of Fort Riley during the days of the Civil War. Many organizations occupied the Post during those four years, the majority of which were regiments, or detachments, of militia or volunteers. They remained there for only a short time and when they left, their records went with them. The sutler, chaplain and some of the non-commissioned staff officers were the only permanent personnel of the time and there were changes among them, as will be seen. The records are scattered and the men and officers who were there are fast passing to their last bivouac. Accordingly, no attempt has been made to write a detailed account of all the various organizations stationed at the Post. The effort has been, rather, to seek for the more important facts in the history of Fort Riley of that day.

Prior to the outbreak of the Civil War many of the officers at Fort Riley were Southerners and ardent Pro-Slavery men. In those days most of the officers of our army came from the old aristocracy of the South and the condition referred to was not peculiar to Fort Riley. Some of the officers stationed there in the days “befo’ de wah’ ‘ afterwards became famous, “Jeb’ ‘ Stuart, Lyon and Armisteaa being probably the most prominent. The Pro-Slavery feelings of the officers were so pro­nounced that there was a good deal of enmity between them and the early Free-State settlers. The enmity probably was justified from the viewpoint of both parties for those were the days of misunderstandings.

In Volume IV of the Kansas Historical Collections appeared an address by James Humphrey entitled, “The Country West of Topeka Prior to 1865,” in which he stated that Nathaniel Lyon and J. E. B. Stuart was admitted to the bar of the District Court of Davis County in 1860. “In passing upon the report of their examination the judge announced that he would make the order for their admission nisi, which being interpreted was understood to mean that their admission was on condition that they produced a basket of champagne. It is needless to say that the nature of the order had been anticipated. “In the early period of its history Junction City contained a Southern element, which upon the approach of secession became rampant. It was declared that the national flag should



not wave in the air at Junction City. This, however, was quickly settled by Captain J. R. McClure, who before the assembled town, hoisted the colors in the public square and defended the Union cause in an earnest speech. Junction City raised the first company in this part of Kansas for service in the same cause, which was led by Captain McClure to the front.“

Captain James R. McClure settled in Junction City in 1859. He enlisted in the Second Kansas Infantry as Captain of Company B. At the Battle of Shelbina a cannon ball took off his right foot and he was then made quartermaster and commissary, serving until August 5, 1865, being stationed much of the time at Fort Riley. He served from 1867 to 1869 as register of the land office at Junction City.

Early in 1860 the Fourth U. S. Cavalry was stationed at Fort Riley but it was not there for long and soon after the outbreak of the war the influx of Kansas regiments began. A company was organized at Ogden called the Ogden “Mudsills.” This was a volunteer company which afterwards became Com­pany G of the Tenth Kansas. James M. Harvey, afterwards Governor of Kansas and for whom the Governor Harvey Road and Canyon are named, was elected captain of this company.

(Author’s note: Mr. William E. Connelley in reply to an inquiry of the writer gave the following explanation of the term “mudsills:”-“the word ‘mudsills’ is an opprobrious epithet applying to the people of the lower classes in the Southern part of the United States. Of course the origin of this term comes from the use of the sill of the lower part of the structure of any building erected in swampy places, or in streams for mills. Being the underlying piece of timber, and lying in the mud, you will see how apt the term became when applied to the classes. It was a term used prior to the Civil War in the discussion of slaves and slave owners, and white trash, and the lower classes of Northern citizen towns.”)

In the fall of 1860 Captain Lyon was in command at Fort Riley. In April 1861, Theodore Weichselbaum of Ogden, carried the news of the breaking out of the Civil War from Fort Riley to Fort Wise (Bent’s old fort) with an ox team.

The Smoky Hill and Republican Union informs us that in November 1861, Robert Wilson was still sutler, as he was then advertising in that paper as the “Oldest Established Trading Depot in Western Kansas.” Under the date of January 30, 1862, we find that the garrison of Fort Riley consisted of two companies of volunteers.

Several other items from that paper for 1862 are of interest. May 1, 1862. “The long expected soldiers have at last ar­

rived at Fort Riley. The First Kansas and Jennison’s regiment arrived last Thursday evening and the Wisconsin Twelfth and


Thirteenth some time Friday. The Second has not yet arrived but is expected every day. In all there will be some 4,000 soldiers and the probability is that they will remain there for a month unless ordered East again. The First Kansas and Wisconsin regiments are camped on the northeast side of the Fort on the main road to Leavenworth and Jennison’s on the opposite side of the Republican near the ford.”

During the summer of 1862 there were about 130 Confederate prisoners at Fort Riley. They belonged to the 2nd, 4th, 5th, and 7th, Texas Mounted Volunteers and several officers were among them. Most of them were paroled but about 25 were employed under sentries at work about the Post. Captain Daniel S. Whittenhall, Co. C, Second Kansas, and a nephew of General Nathaniel Lyon, was in command of the Post. The garrison consisted of Companies B and C of the Second Kansas. This was during July and later summer months of 1862.

An item appearing July 19, 1862, illustrates the local opinion of Indians: “Our town has been graced for a few days by the presence of about a dozen of those dirty, most miserable of God’s creatures, Kaw Indians. Persons having anything stealable lying around loose will do well to keep their eyes on it.”

August 30, 1862. “In November, 1857, a woman named Agner, widow of an Ordnance Ser17eant, was found dead at Riley. She had been strangled and robbed of $1, I 00 in gold. Previous to her death, she had made a will which gave to two female slaves named Stina and Patsee, still living at the Fort, their freedom and $500.00 each. Suspicion immediately fell on these two and they were put in the guard house and every means taken to make them confess, even to putting rope around their necks. They were finally released, the whole thing remaining a mystery. The circumstance was almost en­ tirely forgotten when a letter was received a few days ago from Fort Laramie stating that four or five months since, there died at that Post a soldier belonging to Company C of the Second Dragoons who confessed, upon his death bed, to having been the murderer.” (Author’s note: This is the thil:’d and probably most truthful account of the story of Aunts Cely and Patsy as told in Chapter VI.)

Captain A. C. Pierce was Post Adjutant at Fort Riley in 1863. At that time he was a Second Lieutenant in the Second Kansas Cavalry. Major E. G. Ross, afterward U. S. Senator from Kansas, was in command of the post, which was garrisoned by two companies of Kansas cavalry. Captain Pierce as adjutant had his office in the basement of the Commanding Officer’s quarters. (Author’s note: This probably was in the


original commanding officer’s quarters, i. e., the middle set on the north side of the parade ground, although Captain Pierce believes it was in the building now used as the Officer’s Club.) In January of 1864, these troops went down on the Kansas border near Olathe.

In the fall of 1863, a militia company was organized at Wabaunsee and in July it was ordered to Fort Riley. Arriving at Fort Riley, this -,.,moany was joined by other companies from Pottawatomie, and Riley Counties and one from Zean­ dale. All of the companies were put under command of Captain Henry Booth of the Eleventh Kansas Cavalry. From Fort Riley the command was ordered to western Kansas to operate against the Indians but so far as can be determined nothing of importance resulted. This is the same expedition referred to by Theodore Weichselbaum in his statement in Volume XI of the Kansas Historical Collections, from which the following quotation is taken:

“In July, 1864, Major General S. R. Curtis was sent out to Fort Riley by the War Department to raise all the militia he could to go to the relief of trains which were corralled at Cow Creek on the Santa Fe road because of the hostile Indians. As soon as he reported at Fort Riley, Captain James R. McClure, who was in command of that post, sent for me to report to him and go as a guide on that expedition. We crossed the Arkansas river south of Larned. After we crossed Pawnee fork we went east without seeing any Indians. We recrossed the river near the mouth of Walnut Creek, near Fort Zarah. Curtis found nothing. It was the state militia from Riley, Davis, and Pottawatomie counties I accompanied.”

The first paper ever published at Fort Riley, so far as can be determined, was one called the “Soldier’s Letter,” and published by the Second Colorado Cavalry in 1865. R. 0. Rizer of Junction City was a First Lieutenant in Company E of this regiment and his daughters very kindly lent the writer a number of copies of this old paper. It was a four-page paper, about 8 by 10 inches in size, with the third page blank except for ruled lines upon which the soldiers could write letters to the folks at home. Oliver V. Wallace was the editor and proprietor.

The first copy of the paper was published in Kansas City, Mo., August 8, 1864, in a room on the third floor of the Union Hotel and its purpose was best expressed in the words of an editorial appearing in that number: “We design this sheet for the use of the Second Colorado and intend it shall contain, so far as practicable, all accounts of battles, skirmishes, scouts, marches, and all items of interest to those connected with the Regiment, and our friends at home. We also aim to give a brief,


consolidated history of the Regiment, from its organization up to the present period, to be continued in each successive issue as long as the Regiment is in the service. The blank pages are designed for each individual to write his own personal matters upon, the printed matter containing all other news of interest.”

In carrying out its policy, the paper published an excellent and detailed history of the regiment.

The date on which the regiment moved to Fort Riley is not known but issue Number 9 of Volume One under date of January 3, 1865, was published at Fort Riley. As the paper was published every two weeks, the move must have been made in the latter part of the year 1864.

Two directories were published in this number, both of which are of interest. The first was a military directory, as follows:

“Headquarters District of the Upper Arkansas. Col. Jas. H. Ford, Comdg.

Capt. D. W. Scott, A. Q. M., U.S. Vols., Chief Q. M. and Commissary.

Capt. H. Booth, 11th Kansas Cav. Vols., District Inspector and Chief of Cavalry.

Capt. U. B. Holloway, 2d Colorado Cavalry, Judge Advocate.

Lieut. Robert S. Roe, 2d Colorado Cavalry, Actg. Ass’t.

Adj’t. General.

Lieut. A. Helliwell, 9th Wisconsin Battery, Vols., Acting Ordnance Officer.



Act’g. Ass’t. Adj’t. Gen’l.,

U.S. Vols.”

The second was a Post Directory containing the following names: .

“Maj. J. L. Pritchard, Comd’g. (Post of Fort Riley). Lieut. A. L. Gooding, Adj’t.

Capt. D. R. Scott, Q. M.

·Irving J. Pollock, Surgeon.

E. N. Stearns, Hosp. St’d.

Rev. Charles Reynolds, Chaplain. Serg’t. H. Ashley, S’g’t. Maj.

Serg’t. Black, U. S. A. Ordnance Sergeant. Wm. Sage, Bandmaster.

G. W. Hobbs, Chief Bugler.

H. F. Mayer, Sutler.”

(Author’s note: June 27, 1863, the following item ap­ peared in the Union: “Col. Wilson retires from the Sutlership


at Fort Riley and is succeeded by Mr. Henry F. Mayer. Col. Wilson has occupied this position since Fort Riley was built and retires with a character for integrity unimpeachable.”

Chaplain Reynolds was at one time Chaplain of the 2d Kansas Cavalry. He succeeded Chaplain Clarkson at Fort Riley and remained there for many years.)

The writer was unable to determine the location of the Soldier’s Letter office at Fort Riley. An announcement in the paper gave it as on the “North side of Parade Ground.” If that is to be taken literally, the only location possible would have been in the basement of the commanding officer’s quarters­ the Adjutant’s office. And that probably is where it was printed. The editor was a soldier, although whether he was a noncommissioned officer or a private is not known.

In the issue of January 14th we find that “The 11th Kansas arrived at this Post on Thursday.” (The reference is to the 11th Kansas Cavalry) . And in the same issue, a paragraph concerning a hunting trip is of interest: “A party of ten men of G company returned last evening from a buffalo hunt of 10 days’ duration. They went beyond -Cow Creek, a distance of about 110 miles southwest; found considerable buffalo and brought in a wagon load of meat; saw 30 or 40 Indians, but were not disturbed by them.”

About the middle of January Companies C, E, G, and K, of the 2d Colorado, under Captain Green, left Fort Riley for Fort Zarah.

During January also, Professor Willey opened a dancing school in the Post and Chaplain Reynolds established a day­ school. The dancing school was evidently quite popular for frequent mention of the large classes conducted by the professor.

The Letter of February 18th contained a letter from a soldier in one of the four companies that made the march to Fort Zarah, extracts from which are of interest.

“We had a hard time making the trip. At Salina we encountered a very severe snowstorm, which continued for one day and night. The boys as a general thing suffered to a considerable extent, more especially K company, who were without tents. We saw four or five buffalo on the road, the severe cold weather having driven them farther south. In consequence of this, the boys missed considerable sport.

“On arriving here, we relieved several companies of the 3d Wisconsin Cavalry. We took possession of their ‘quarters,’ consisting of holes dug in the ground, and covered with brush and dirt. The duty at this post is very heavy, for the amount of men stationed here. We escort the mail coach from here to Smoky Crossing, between this Post and Ft. Lar-


ned, and about twenty-five miles of the road to Council Grove

-also, all Government trains pass by the Post in either direction. The guard details call for four and five men from each company per day.

“Fort Zarah is situated on Walnut Creek, about one mile

above its entrance into the Arkansas River. It is 130 miles west of Fort Riley and 35 miles east of Fort Larned.”

The Commanding Officer, and other officers, came in for their share of squibs, as they have always in soldiers’ papers. The Letter of February 18th contained this paragraph: “The Leavenworth Conservative is responsible for the following: ‘Major Pritchard, Commander of the Post of Fort Riley, is a strict military disciplinarian, and withal. a good fellow. While going the rounds, a new recruit, probably being on duty for the first time, failed to salute the Major, when the following colloquy ensued:

Major-‘Who are you?’

Recruit-‘! I think they call me one of Company H. sir.’ Major-‘Are you one of the new recruits?’

Recruit-‘Yes sir.’

Major-‘Do you know who I am?’ Recruit-‘No sir.’

Major-‘! am Major commanding this Post.· • Recruit-‘Is yes?’

Major (emphatically)-‘! am Major commanding thi_s Post.’

Recruit-‘An’ sure, it’s a damned good place with a mind to kape it!’ “

The Eleventh Kansas was relieved from duty at Fort Riley on the 20th of February with orders to proceed to Fort Kear­ ney. During the same month the Department of Kansas was merged into that of Missouri with Headquarters at Leavenworth and General Dodge in command. General Curtis was transferred to the Department of the Northwest with Headquarters at Milwaukee and Major General Pope was appointed to command the Military Division of the Missouri, including the Departments of the Missouri and the Northwest, with Headquarters at St. Louis.

In the issue of March 4th, we find that, “The Pontoon bridge at Manhattan and the Ferryboat between this Post and Junction City, were swept away a few days after, by high water. The Ferry has since been repaired.”

The issue of May 27th was heavily bordered in black, mourning the death of Abraham Lincoln. Two columns of the front page were taken up with a poem by the editor,

0 V. Wallace, entitled, “Our Nation Mourns” and a reading of the poem impresses the reader with the fact that Wallace was a writer of more than average ability.


Life at Forts Larned and Zarah was not without its dangers these days. Correspondents of the Letter at those places frequently reported deaths of soldiers at the hands of Indians. A General Court Martial was in session at Fort Riley in May, 1865, and one of the sentences is indicative of the punishments meted out in those days. “John S. Mickle, private Co. D, 2d Col. Cav.. was found guilty of ‘being drunk and disorderly’ and ‘conduct to the prejudice of good order and military discipline,’ and was sentenced to 6 months hard labor, with ball and chain attached, and the stoppage of $13.00 per month of his pay. during confinement.”

The Thirteenth Missouri Cavalry arrived at Fort Riley early in June. The Letter of June 10th contained an article entitled, “Three Years or During the War,” which discussed expiration of terms of service. Those men who enlisted for three years were being mustered out as soon as their terms expired. The others were being held and the writer of the article expressed the situation in these words: “The majority, however, claim their discharge from the fact that the war is over. Had we been in any other department, we doubtless should have been discharged ere this; but, unfortunately for us, we are located amongst hostile Indians, or Indians who have recently evinced hostility to the Government, and under the circumstances it would be impolitic and unwise to discharge troops already in the field until these difficulties were settled, or other troops sent here to relieve us-.”

In the Letter of June 17th we find that, “Captain U. B. Holloway, Assistant Commissary of Muster, is busily engaged in mustering out all troops in the District, whose muster-in Rolls show the expiration of term of service, prior to October 1st.”

The most important event in 1866 was the coming of the railroad to Fort Riley. The Post was also visited by its first disastrous fire in January of that year, in which the Quartermaster and Commissary stores were burned. G. 0. 68, War Department, A. G. 0., August 24, 1866, granted a right of way to the U. P. R. R. in the following terms:

“The following Acts and Resolutions of Congress are published for the information and government of all concerned:

* * * * * * * * * *


“A RESOLUTION granting the right of way through military reserves to the Union Pacific Railway Company and its branches.

“Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled. That, subject


to approval by the President, the right of way one hundred feet in width, is hereby granted to the Union Pacific Railroad Company and the companies constructing the branch roads connection therewith, for the construction and operation of their roads over and upon all military reserves through which the same may pass; and the President is hereby authorized to set apart to the Union Pacific Railway Company, eastern division, twenty acres of the Fort Riley military reservation for depot and other purposes in the bottom opposite ‘Riley City’; also fractional section ‘one’ on the west side of said reservation, near Junction City, for the same purposes; and also to .re­ store, from time to time to the public domain, any portion of said military reserve over which the Union Pacific Railroad or any of its branches may pass. and which shall not be required for military purposes: Provided, that the President shall not permit the location of any such railroad or the diminution of any such reserve in any manner so as to impair its usefulness for military purposes, so long as it shall be required therefor.” The “twenty acre” tract was surveyed by one Robert Armstrong, Deputy Surveyor, in 1870. In 1902 it was conveyed to the United States by a quitclaim deed of the Union Pacific Railroad, dated August 19, 1902.

The first depot at Fort Riley was located about one hundred and fifty yards west of the stone crusher near the Quartermaster Laundry building and south of the old road. It was just under the hill south of the cemetery. The electric railroad track passes directly through the site of this building and a part of the old foundation is still visible. It was in use until a depot was erected on the present station site about 1879 or 1880. After that time the old depot was used as a warehouse until it burned down in 1888. It was occupied by civilian employees of the Quartermaster for a part of the time during those eight or nine years.

At the Odd Fellows Home near Manhattan, there resides an old timer known about the home as “Uncle Jimmy” Dawson. To Uncle Jimmy the writer is, in a manner, indebted for the inspiration which started this history. It was in response to a letter written by one of the inmates of this Home to General

E. E. Booth in the winter of 1925-26 that “Uncle Jimmy ” was the first of many old settlers interviewed. In April of 1866, James W. Dawson and his brother walked from Leavenworth to Junction City. They walked because they were nearly broke and were seeking work. “Uncle Jimmy ” got a job at Fort Riley as messenger. Colonel Bradley was Quartermaster at that time. Custer and Arnold were then at the Post. Dawson was only about fifteen years old at the time and his job was to carry mail and act as a messenger between Fort


Riley and Junction City. The post school was in the little stone chapel. “Uncle Jimmy” was only at Fort Riley about a year when he went to Fort Harker to work.

Coincident with the construction of the railroad, and largely because of it, serious •Indian uprisings developed and troops were hurried into the country to protect the settlers and workmen engaged in building the railroad. The Seventh U. S. Cavalry was organized at Fort Riley in the fall of 1866, under an Act of Congress of July 28, 1866.

Andrew J. Smith,.a veteran of the Mexican and Civil Wars, was Colonel and George A. Custer, already famous as the “boy general” of the Civil War, was its Lieutenant-Colonel. Custer was then only about twenty-seven years old.

The majors were Alfred Gibbs, Joel H. Elliott, and Joseph

G. Tilford.

Captains: William Thompson, F. W. Benteen, Miles W. Keogh, Edward Myers, Robert M. West, Louis M. Hamilton, Albert Barnitz, Michael V. Sheridan, Louis M. Dayton, Lee P. Gillett, George W. Yates, and Thomas B. Weir.

First Lieutenants: Samuel M. Robbins, Matthew Berry, Owen Hale, Miles Moylan, F. Y. Commagere, Thomas W. Cus­ ter, Henry J. Nowlen, Henry H. Abell, Charles Brewster, James M. Bell, D. W. Wallingford, William W. Cook, and Henry Jackson.

Second Lieutenants: James T. Leavey, John M. Johnson Edward S. Godfrey, Bradford S. Bassett, William B. Clark, John F. Weston, Algernon E. Smith, J. H. Shellabarger, Edward Law, H. Walforth Smith, Donald McIntosh, Edward

G. Mathey, Frank M. Gibson, and Oliver W. Longan.

First Lieutenant Thomas W. Custer was a brother of the General. He was killed in action at the Little Big Horn June 25, 1876, being a captain at that time. The story is that an Indian named Rain-in-the-Face made a special vow to “get” Tom Custer and was successful.

The new regiment received its baptism of fire at Washita,

I. T., in 1868 under Lieutenant-Colonel Custer who was on the trail of some Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians, having left from Camp Supply where General Sheridan had his headquarters.

Many stories have been told about General Custer and the old Seventh and of what a hard drinking, hard fighting crew they were. All regiments were hard-boiled and hard drinking in those days, but to the everlasting credit of General Custer let it be known that he did his best to have a temperate regiment. An old sutler’s ledger of the time discloses the fact that most of the officers in the post ran heavy liquor bills, but there is never an entry against the name of George A. Custer.


Mrs. Custer wrote a book, “Tenting on the Plains”, in which there is a very interesting account of the daily official and social life of Fort Riley at that time. Amusements were few and the sutler ran the only Officer’s Club. Schedules were not as complicated then as they are now and time dragged heavily. There is little wonder that occasionally wild oats were sown.

In an article published in the Union of April 28, 1866, under the caption, “Fort Riley and the Reservation” the following extract is of interest:

“The Washington correspondent of the Lawrence State Journal furnishes the following interesting information: ‘The once famous townsite of Pawnee, a matter which once acquired national notoriety, and even had a decided influence upon the politics of Kansas, bids fair to be again of importance, at least to the section affected by its expected revival.

” ‘Pawnee, it will be remembered, is situated upon the Fort Riley Military Reservation. It was located about a mile and a half from the fort buildings. The Union Pacific Railroad (E. D.) Company has made an application for a resumption of this site. This application has been made to General Sherman, approved by him with certain other recommendations of which mention will be made, and by the General referred to Lieutenant-General Grant. General Grant approves the paper and refers the matter to the Secretary of War. Mr. Stanton declines to meddle with the lines as now laid down and so the Company has appealed to Congress for legislation.

“Another application looking toward a mulcting of this

reservation is also pending before the Senate Military Committee. Mr. McBratney, as representing the Junction City interest, opposes the reviving of Pawnee, of course. But the parties interested with him ask the cession of the land belonging to the reserve, lying south of the Republican and in the bend between that stream and the Smoky Hill. This tract comprises about 3,500 acres. Part of it is to be ceded to the railroad for the purpose of a depot and the remainder used to construct a bridge across the Republican.”

We have already seen in the preceding chapter how the Republican River Bridge Company got the land and the government eventually built the only permanent bridge that has ever been constructed over the crossing specified. The act of Congress granting that land to the State of Kansas was published in General Orders, No. 27, War Department, Adjutant General’s Office, Washington, March 21, 1867, as follows:

“The following resolution of Congress is published for the information and government of all concerned:



“Joint Resolution for the reduction of the military reservation of Fort Riley and to grant land for bridge purposes to the State of Kansas.

“Be it resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, that the southwestern boundary of the military reservation of Fort Riley, in the State of Kansas, be, and the same is hereby, de­ clared to be hereafter the channel of the Republican River, from its mouth to the point where said river intersects the present western line of said reservation; and the land released from said reservation, and lying between the Smoky Hill and Republican rivers, is hereby granted to the State of Kansas to aid in the construction of a bridge over the Republican River, on the public highway leading through the present reservation; but upon the express condition that this grant shall be accepted by the State of Kansas with a guarantee given by said State, by an act of the legislature thereof, that said bridge shall be kept up and maintained in good condition and shall be free to the use of the government of the United States for all transit purposes forever, without tolls or charges; and on such acceptance and guarantee being filed in the office of the Secretary of the Interior, together with the certificate of the governor of Kansas that a good and permanent bridge has been constructed over the said Republican River, it shall be the duty of the said Secretary to issue patent for the land hereby granted, to the State of Kansas, or to such company as may be authorized by act of the legislature of said State to construct said bridge; Provided, howeoer, that nothing herein contained shall be construed to interfere with any grant of any part of said land heretofore made by the United States.

Approved March 2, 1867.

By order of the Secretary of War:


Ass’t Adjutant General.”

During the years immediately following the Civil War, Wild Bill Hickock, Buffalo Bill. California Joe, Comstock, Charlie Reynolds and other men later famous for their prowess with firearms were employed by the government as scouts. Wild Bill and Buffalo Bill were frequent visitors at Fort Riley and Junction City and, at least once or twice, Hickock was at the Post in his capacity as scout.

Mr. Henry Thiele told the writer he had seen Wild Bill stand on the corner of Sixth and Washington Streets in town, and with a six-shooter, shoot silver half dollars out of the cleft


of a stick stuck in the grass in the park. Jack Ebbutt, an old settler on Dry Creek, told of seeing Hickock shoot rats in Callen’s livery stable with a six-shooter in either hand. But Junction City was always peaceful and few serious shooting

·affrays occurred.

During the summer of 1867 the cholera again broke out in Kansas and visited many of the frontier posts. Mr. George Faringhy states: “The Asiatic cholera broke out at Fort Riley in I 867, during the summer, while part of the Seventh Cavalry and part of the Tenth Cavalry were there. This epidemic caused a stampede and everyone left the buildings and went into tents beyond the limits of the Post. My father (Hospital Steward at the time) took care of the soldiers who were brought to the hospital. There were many cases out of which

79 died and are buried in rows near the north wall of the cemetery. A detail of prisoners under a sentry dug the graves. In those days prisoners wore shackles and some carried a ball and chain. Father put the dead in their coffins, which were made at the Quartermaster’s carpenter shop, mostly of black walnut, and drove the mules, hooked to an ambulance, to the cemetery where prisoners lowered the coffin and covered it up. Chaplain Reynolds, who came to Fort Riley in 1865, an. Episcopalian Clergyman, and an Englishman, conducted the services.” With the coming of cold weather in the fall the epidemic ceased.

General Custer was at Fort Wallace when the epidemic broke out. Fearing for the safety of his wife, who was at Fort Riley, he left his regiment under command of a subordinate and with an escort of one hundred men under Captain Hamilton, hurried to Fort Riley. For leaving his command without authority, Custer was tried by court martial and sentenced to “loss of rank and pay for one year,” though part of the sentence was afterward remitted upon the recommendation of General Sheridan.

The garrison at the Post that summer was small. not over a hundred men and most of them belonged to the Tenth Cavalry. General Grierson, the famous cavalry leader of the Civil War, noted chiefly for his raids, was in command, and Brevet Captain C. N. Warner was Quartermaster. Late in the fall of 1867 the Seventh Cavalry arrived and went into camp on the Republican and in December three companies of the Tenth Cavalry arrived at the Post.

December 28th the following item appeared in the Union: “Thursday night, at !heir camp about two miles south of town, the Kaws gave a war dance. It was largely attended by officers from the fort and parties from town.••


Mayer’s period as proprietor of the sutler’s store was brief, for on May 12, 1866, John T. Price, who has been previously mentioned, was advertising in the columns of the Junction ·City Union as proprietor. And in February, 1868, Streeter and Strickler had bought out Price and were running the store. They in turn sold out to the McGonigle Brothers in 1869.

In April, 1868, the Tenth Cavalry left Fort Riley for Fort Hays and General Grierson took command of the District. One company of the Third Infantry was then at Fort Riley.

In 1869 Fort Riley was selected as the location for a “School of Application for Light Artillery.” The school was established by General Orders, No. 6, 1869, which reads in part as follows:

“The following light batteries will proceed without delay to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and report to the Commanding General, Department of Missouri, who will select a suitable post at which these, and Light Battery ‘B,’ 4th Artillery, shall be stationed in order to carry out effectively the system of instruction in Light Artillery. A field officer of Artillery will hereafter be designated to command the Post and the four batteries:

Ist Artillery-Light Battery ‘K’. 2nd Artillery-Light Battery ‘A’. 3rd Artillery-Light Battery. ‘C’.

“Battery ‘K’ 1st Artillery, will turn over its horses to the Quartermaster’s Department to be sold and will take its battery to Fort Leavenworth. The Quartermaster will transport the horses of Battery ‘G 4th Artillery, from Detroit to Fort Leavenworth for this Battery; and purchase new horses as may be necessary to make up its complement.

“Battery ‘A’· 2d Artillery will turn over its battery to the

Ordnance Officer at Benicia, and its horses to the Quarter­ master’s Department to be sold, and will proceed via the Isthmus of Panama to Fort Leavenworth. The Ordnance Department will supply a new battery and the Quartermaster’s Department, new horses at Fort Leavenworth.

“Battery ‘C’ 3d Artillery, will march across the country to its new station.”

An interesting account of the Post during this year was written in the Weekly Union, under date of August 28, 1869, and is quoted:

“As an item of news to our readers, we give this week a few brief notes touching the garrison at Fort Riley which we were able to obtain through the courtesy of Lieut. Dun­ woody, Post Adjutant. The command consists of Batteries ‘B, A, K, and C’ of the 4th, 2d, 1st, and 3d regiments of Light


Artillery respectively. The command devolves upon Col. (evidently Brevet Colonel) Hamilton, Major 1st Artillery. Colonel Hamilton is one of that type of gentlemen of the

\old school’ whom we love to meet, but for some unaccountable reason the race in this generation is fast becoming extinct. The command at present numbers about 400 men. Two detachments are stationed up the Republican under commissioned officers. The following is a list of the officers of the several batteries.

BatteryCaptain1st Lieutenants2nd Lieutenants
Battery ACapt. I. Gales Ramsey1st Lieuts. H. C. Dodge, R. C. Howell 
Battery BCapt. H. C. Hasbrook1st Lieuts. A. Morris, H. H. C. Dunwoody2nd Lieuts. W. Howe, Peter Leary
Battery CCapt. William Sinclair1st Lieut. and Brevet Capt. H. Meinell, 1st Lieut. C. Chase2nd Lieuts. C. C. Wolcott, P. D. Dahlgren
Battery KCapt. W. H. Graham1st Lieut. M. O’Brien2nd Lieuts. E. M. Merriman, W. H. Hubbell

“The Quartermaster and Commissary Departments are headed by Lieut. M. O’Brien, an efficient and courteous officer. Surgeon George M. Sternber and assistant surgeon Leonard Y. Loring has charge of the sanitary department and no better commendation can-be extended to these gentlemen than the simple statement that they have nothing to do. By the way, we are informed that Dr. Sternberg is shortly to receive a leave of 30 days for the purpose of taking a trip east. During our brief stay at the Post we could discern nothing unusual in his manner, except that just after dinner he exhibited no mean talent for whistling and while promenading slowly and meditatively up and down the veranda of his ·quarters, a few shrill notes-rather antiquated in style-appropriate, how­ ever, on certain occasions and having the effect no doubt, of reminding him of pleasing reminiscences of the past and awakening golden visions of the future-when he need no longer sign for a ‘lodge in some vast widow’s nest.’ We leave the doctor with our best wishes and hearty congratulations and hope soon to see him back at Riley in possession of the prize he so richly deserves.

“Another important enterprise is the Sutler department. This establishment has recently passed into the hands of Messrs. Ed T. McGonigle and Co., late of St. Louis, Mo. McGonigle, who has personal supervision of the store, has been busy since the change occurred in refitting and remodeling the concern. He is making an addition to the east side of the old building to be fitted up as a billiard room for officers.


The old room will be reserved for enlisted men. (Author’s note: This is evidently an error as the officers’ building was west of the main store.) The stock is arranged in good order and everything about the room presents a neat, orderly and business-like appearance.

“Under the supervision of the Post Commander and Quartermaster, the Fort already presents a decided improvement. With a very limited force–consisting of daily details from the command considerable work has been done. They are plastering the quarters and before the season closes they will all be stripped of their present roofs and newly shingled. The contract for roofing the stables is let at $14,000. The present command feel an interest in keeping the Post up to the standard in point of neatness and order as it is a settled fact that it is designated for a school of practice for artillery, which of course gives them a show of permanency not often felt by soldiers.

“The citizens of Junction feel the importance of the arrangement to no small degree. It not only adds to the trade of our town, but it brings among us the very best class of troops in the service. It is proverbial that the enlisted men of the light artillery arm of the service are very superior in point of discipline to any other branch and as such it naturally follows their conduct and general deportment are superior. This we have learned from experience in our town had we never otherwise known it. It would be superfluous to say that the officers, one and all, are gentlemen-that is a paramount quality if the officer of the army would be represented and we have no instance to record wherein the gentlemen at Fort Riley representing that department of our Uncle’s household have not deported themselves in accordance with our ideal of the officers of the U. S. Army.”

By the tone of the article the reader may determine that Junction City was the same in ’69 as in ’26, always loyal to the army and boosting the troops that were stationed at Riley. According to the Junction City papers there must be many “best” outfits in the service.

In May, 1869, Chaplain Reynolds’ daughter Bessie, was married to Lieutenant George P. Borden, 5th U. S. Infantry, in the Post Chapel at Fort Riley, the Rt. Rev. Thomas H. Vail,

D. D., Bishop of Kansas, performing the ceremony.

The Union of May 29, 1869, contained the following paragraph, “Last Tuesday was pay day at Fort Riley. Ever since the boys have been in town enjoying themselves, if that is what it can be called. They were boisterous but not troublesome. A few got locked up. We understand there are 600 troops at the Post.”


Apparently, Fort Riley was a sportsman’s paradise about this time for an anonymous writer expressed himself as follows in one of the service papers of the time and his article was copied in the Union: “To the subalterns who are sports­ men-and we don’t think much of a bachelor subaltern who doesn’t love his dog and gun-we can say that this is almost a hunter’s paradise. At every rod of your way through the woods of the government reserve you startle coveys of quail. The cover for them being perfect-an open woodland with dwarf undergrowth only two or three feet high. And further out in the woods which skirt the reserve there are flocks of turkeys, and in one of our rambles we started a pair of deer from their lair. On the prairie there are numbers of plovers and grouse, and flocks of wild ducks dot the river. It is not so bad a place either for the disciple of Isaack Walton. The place suits. We are not ambitious to view the classic shades of the Heavy Artillery School. We prefer to point our double­ barrel rather than to aim a Columbiad. We had rather stood under the willows fishing than wattle gabions of them. We prefer the exterior slope of our horse’s back to that of a field­ work and had rather make him clear a ditch than bone the rules for digging one.”

That unknown writer may not have been a cavalryman but he had the heart of one at any rate.

Indians were active along the border at this time and interfered with the schedule of the new school by requiring frequent detachments of men therefrom.

The following dispatch from Hays City, dated June .

I 869, throws some light on the Indian activities:

“Dispatches from Camp Supply were received today at .t’on Harker. The commandant reports that a party of Arapahoes, apparently friendly, came in for rations, and immediately started on the warpath, commencing operations by firing inco the Government mail going from Fort Dodge to Camp Supply, with an escort of the Seventh Cavalry.

“Camp Supply is in Indian Territory, at the junction of Wolf River and Beaver Creek, which form the north fork of the Canadian. (Author’s note: Where Fort Sill is now.)

“It is believed on good authority, that the Indians who are committing depredations on the frontier do not belong to the tribes who were operated on last winter south of the Arkansas, but belong to the Northern Cheyennes, Siouxs, and Arapahoes who came south from the Platte.”

A big Fourth of July celebration was planned in Junction City in 1869. Battery “B”, 4th Artillery, was to be in the parade and fire a salute. There were to be speeches, picnics, barbecue and a real old fashioned celebration, but the flood


which caused so many deaths in the surrounding country causes its cancellation.

About Thanksgiving Day, the enlisted men of Batteries B and K gave a ball, in one of the barracks, that was largely attended by the people of Junction City as well as by the officers_of the Post.

That “roadhouses” had their existence at that time is evidenced by the fact that one James King conducted a place just outside the city limits where liquor and wild women abounded. One night a soldier of B Battery on his way home from King’s with a companion, was killed at the home of a notorious “high­ yaller” girl called the “Swamp Angel.”

At the first crossroads north of Estes Gate stands an old schoolhouse known as the Vinton Schoolhouse. West of that school and on the opposite side of the road stands the residence of James M. Harvey, Governor of Kansas from January, 1869, to January, 1873. The Governor Harvey Road and Harvey Hill are named for him. Vinton was once a post office, although the writer was informed by sons and daughters of James Harvey, now living on the same farm settled by their father, that there was never a settlement there; merely the schoolhouse and a post office kept by some farmer in his house. The name Vinton was derived from the vineyards of Governor Harvey.

In 1922 an article by Miss Martha Harvey was printed in the Junction City Union and extracts from it are made here with her kind permission. The paper was entitled “Twice Told Tales-Some Stories of Our Early Kansas Settlers” and was very complete and interesting. Space, however, does not permit its reproduction as a whole.

“In April, 1859, a party of twelve young men left western Illinois bound for the reputed gold fields of Pike’s Peak. They traveled in covered wagons. Among these men was James M. Harvey, then in his 26th year. They passed through Hannibal. St. Joseph and Doniphan County. Reaching the Big Blue they crossed it by Ferry and traveled northwest into Nebraska. When they reached a point not far west of Fort Kearney they met so many disappointed men returning from Pike’s Peak with discouraging tales they concluded its promise must have been somewhat like that of the traditional rainbow’s end. There the company divided, some going on to California and the others, including my father, returned to Kansas, going by way of Fort Kearney and Fort Riley.

“They went into camp at Ogden about June 13, 1859. A few days later my father took his compass and looked over the surrounding country.


“He at once took the team and hauled some logs for the beginning of a cabin, thus founding a home.” (Author’s note: This was on the site of the present Harvey home.) “In all the broad expanse of prairie there was no house in sight, although hidden by the hills and timber, the home of M. D. Waters was less than two miles to the east and that of James Dixon about three miles southwest.

“Later in the summer my mother and the little daughter and son joined him, happy to be together again, and little dreaming what trials were before them in the near future-the drought of 1860, the Civil War, and the death of the little son and his infant sister.

“In the earliest days many a settler from miles away to the

north or west, overtaken by night or storm on his way to Ogden to file upon his claim, sought shelter in the little log cabin which was our parents’ home. I do not know by what trail these travelers reached the Harvey claim. No great trail came near it, although there was one known as the Mormon Trail which passed about one-half mile from where the cabin stood. When I can first remember this trail it consisted of about eight parallel roads, some very deeply gullied. Probably in some parts of the trail’s length its gullies may still vex farmers who know nothing of its history. Only very recently were the last signs of it effaced where it crossed our land.” (Author’s note: This confirms what has already been written concerning the Mormon Trail in Chapter III and establishes the course of the trail quite definitely along the high ground between the Republican Valley and the Valley of the Big Blue.)

“After terms in both houses of the state legislature James M. Harvey was elected governor of Kansas in 1868 at the age of

35. He was re-elected in 1870.”

Harvey was the fifth governor of the State of Kansas and no higher praise can be given him than the fact that he was known throughout his political career by the name of “Old Honesty.”

There was little construction at Fort Riley during the sixties, the reconstruction of the Ogden Monument and the building of the eastern set of Laundresses’ Quarters being the most important. There probably were other frame buildings erected, including the gun sheds where the West Riding Hall now stands and some renovating and repairing, which has already been referred to. The period was one in which the Post was occupied by many different organizations for a short time with frequent forays against hostile Indians and other marauders.



We have already learned that the first church in this part of the country was the little stone chapel at Fort Riley. But few people remember that the first theater was also located here. An article in the Union of March 19, 1870, is of interest in this connection:

“Some months since an association was formed among the soldiers -of this Post for the purpose of financial success as well as the edification derived from the amusements of the drama and to this end, after much labor and unceasing energy, success has crowned their efforts in the erection of a fine spacious theatrical hall, a credit to any town or city east of us of 30 times the population.

“The building is framed and is 135 feet long and 68 feet in width. The stage is large, being 60 feet x 65 feet, the auditorium, 60 feet x 41 feet, is capable of seating 800 persons. The entire cost of the building and scenery has been about

$6,000.00. The officers of the Fort Riley ‘Amateur Military Dramatic Association’ are: President, John McManus; Secretary, F. N. Godin; Treasurer, T. Deegan. The Stage Manager is Mr. Connell Henley who is assisted in the performances by Mrs. Tannehill and Miss Alice Raymond, both from the Boston Theatre, together with twelve members of the Association.

“Last Monday evening was opening night when ‘The Gentleman from Ireland’ was presented with music by Barry’s band from this city.

“Among those who have aided in the designing and completion of the building we name Sergeant-Major C. H. Howard and Sergeant Tom Newton of Battery K.

“We have heard the amateurs have engaged the services of Mr. J. M. Murray who is associated with the Rouse N. Y. troupe, lately performing here, and intends to have, in a short time, the services of some of the most celebrated actors of the day.”

Another article in the issue of March 26, 1870, describes the scenery at some length.

“Their scenery is elegant and betrays the skillful touch of an artist of rare ability. The drop curtain represents a scene in the Bay of Naples with Mt. Vesuvius in the distance, while



on either side of the grand picture, the painter’s brush has cunningly counterfeited the rich graceful folds of the curtain. The top of the proscenium is superbly ornamented and shows an original and beautiful design, representing the firmament spangled with stars, while in the foreground is seen the world rising from the misty clouds, while on either side are arranged the words which make complete the grand sentence which Shakespeare puts in the mouth of Jacques, ‘All the World’s a Stage.’ Their many other scenes, which characterize the changing drama, are indeed excellent.

“There is talent in that Association, which, when fully developed, will be universally acknowledged and appreciated. This evening will be produced by the great and exciting drama entitled ‘The Old Guard.'”

It is not necessary that we should have sat in the audience to visualize this theatre. In the days, not so long ago, before the nickel movie house in every• country town, there were many such stages. Every country had one and every little town. Lighted with their kerosene lamp footlights and the tin reflectors, with their magnificent scenery and curtains, many stirring scenes were enacted.

Mr. Faringhy described the location of the theatre as “just west and ahead of the line of stables.” As there were five stables in the line it must have been in the vicinity of the present Isolation Ward of the Veterinary Hospital and as nearly as can be determined that location is correct. The company consisted of Mr. Frank Tannehill, his wife Nellie Tannehill, hi, son Edward, Miss Alice Raymond and such personnel as was available in the Post.

The theatre and actors were evidently much appreciated by the people of Junction as many allusions, in terms of enthusiastic praise, were made to them in the local press. The company sometimes gave performances in Junction City• in Brown’s Hall.

On the first day of January, 1870, the famous firm of Streeter and Strickler went out of business. Strickler retired and Streeter continued the business as before. At this time Junction City had a population of about 3,000.

Major George M. Sternberg, Post Surgeon, seems to have been active in the field of science. In March 1870, he received a patent for an Electro-Magnetic Regulator for dampers and valves, described as, “an invention of great value and scope and claims a place beside the electric telegraph. It is a regulator of heat and the pressure of steam and will no doubt come into speedy use as one of the first class appliances of the day.” In July of the same year the Major received a patent for a fruit drier.


The garrison of the Post gave a public muster and review on the 30th of April. It was held on the ground north of Washington Street, probably on the north side of the river. Apparently the officers on this occasion reverted to their brevet ranks for we find that General Graham reviewed the troops. His staff consisted of the Adjutant, S. R. Jones and the Assistant Surgeon L. V. Loring.

K Battery was commanded by Captain O’Brien with Cap­tain

Andrews and Lieutenants Merriman and Hubbel; C Battery by Brevet Major Arthur with Lieutenants Chase and Wol­cott; B Battery by Captain Hasbrook with Captain Morris and Lieutenant Tillman, and H Battery by Captain Ramsey with Captains Howell, Dodge and Rodgers and Lieutenant Price. Major Sinclair was in command of the battalion.

Following the inspection and review there was battery and battalion drill and firing. The event was described by an eye­ witness in the.Union as being, “the grandest spectacle that ever took place in Kansas.” It makes one wonder what that writer would have to say concerning a demonstration of today with airplanes laying a smoke-screen and dropping bombs, artillery firing 5,000 yards and 50 caliber machine guns nearly as far, with tracer ammunition.

The instruction at this first school at Riley was purely of a practical nature. There were no regular classes as we now know them and theoretical instruction probably was in the form of critiques delivered during, or following, the exercise.

Mr. George Faringhy furnished the writer with the following interesting comments on the school: “About where the Artillery Post now stands and even further toward where Camp Funston stood was the drill ground. I can recall the drill and firing at targets which were very large and of a square pattern, placed along the foot of the bluffs which extend towards Ogden. These targets were outlined, or marked, with lines dividing them into squares and, I believe, were made of wood.

One of the strange sights connected with this practice was that the men wore full dress uniforms. Their shakos were shaped something like those the West Point cadets wore and had red horse hair tails or tassels which fell toward the front. All knowledge of the use of field artillery- was imparted to the enlisted men by their officers at practice. The time limit of fuses was very short. I have seen cannoneers turning to the post with their faces streaked with shoe black­ ing (from the shakos) and cannon smoke after a morning’s practice. I never heard of classes. Officers, as a rule, spent a great deal of their time when not at drill, in social intercourse, reading, hunting and at the sutler’s store where the club was. I can only remember Captain Sinclair, or as he was known,


Major Sinclair, and a Captain Ramsey. The others have faded from my memory.”

The school was destined to have a short career for it ceased to exist by virtue of General Orders,. No. 17, Adjutant General’s Office, dated March 4, 1871. which directed that:

”The school of instruction for Light Artillery will be discontinued and the Batteries distributed to their respective head­ quarters of their respective regiments, where the instruction and practice will be continued under the immediate supervision of their respective Colonels.”

Battery K First Artillery, was sent to Fort Hamilton, New York Harbor; Battery A Second Artillery. to the Presidio. San Francisco; Battery C Third Artillery, to Charleston, South Carolina; Battery B Fourth Artillery, to Fort McHenry, Mary­ land.

The Junction City Union referred to the breaking up of the

school in the following terms: “The artillery school at Fort Riley is busted. An army order disposes of our friends at Riley as follows: We understand their places are to be filled by six companies of cavalry. The officers have a general auction sale of effects today at Booths. We regret to part with our neighbors, for without exception, the officers and men at Riley are known to our community only as first-class gentlemen.”

And under the date of March 11. 1871. we find the following notice: “The Fort Riley Theatre, with scenery and furniture, will be sold at auction by Booth and Kennedy, on Wednesday the 15th instant. Those wishing to make a safe investment should not lose this opportunity.” This sale of the theatre and effects was not brought about by the closing of the school alone, but was due in part to financial failure of the management.

Following the departure of the artillery, Fort Riley was almost deserted. In the fall of 18 71 the garrison consisted of but one company of the Sixth Cavalry, aggregating 4 officers and 65 enlisted men, under the command of Captain Adna R. Chaffee.

The Junction City Union of April 1. 1871. had a brief account of the career of Robert Wilson. He was originally a Military Storekeeper in the army. serving as such from 1814 to 1821. He was a member of the Junction City Land Company and a member of the Pawnee Association. He brought the first paper press to Junction City. During his career he made and lost several comfortable fortunes for those days. He was at Fort Leavenworth from 1833 to 1842, presumably as sutler. In 1844 he was sutler at Council Bluffs. He was also sutler for a time at Vancouver Island and was the first sutler at Fort Kearney, as well as the first at Fort Riley. He built


the first houses at the two last named posts. In later years he was Superintendent of the Davis County Poor Farm.

During the fall of 1871 and the winter of 1871-72, great interest was taken throughout Kansas in the visit of the Grand Duke Alexis of Russia to this section of the country on a hunting trip. He passed through Junction City on his special train, was received by Governor Harvey at Topeka, and his trip was the subject of conversation and newspaper comment for weeks. In November 1871. a company of fourteen enlisted men of the Sixth Cavalry were organized under the name of the “Sixth Cavalry Dramatic Association.”The officers readily assured them all needed assistance and a canvass was made for the purchase of such necessary appurtenances as were requisite to outfit a theatre, Lieutenants Abbott, Morrison, Perrine, and Smith volunteered to paint the curtains. The opening night was January 24, 1872.

The following quotation is from the Union:

“The scenery painted by Messrs. Peters and Deegan is well executed, producing excellent effects and, under the direction

.of M. L. Nutz, is suspended on an entirely original principle. The house is amply lighted with kerosene lamps and chandeliers, tastefully decorated with flags by Messrs. Jameson and Ganghorn. Miss Louise Sylvester as Elizabeth, in the ‘Golden Farmer’, reflected the utmost credit upon her already enviable reputation. Mr. Joseph H. DeCastro played the title role. Others were L. A. Newburg, Shorty Vandever, B. F. Bradley,

S. S. Peters, Messrs. Ganghorn, Ira, Kendall, and Clark.”

On the eve of Washington’s Birthday, 1872, the officers of the Sixth Cavalry gave a ball, in the theatre, which was attended by many Junction City people. There were four companies there at the time. The decorations were done by Lieutenant Abbott. General T. H. Neil. known as “Beau” Neil. was mentioned as being in command of the Post.

Late in January 1872, Companies G and K of the Sixth Cavalry left Fort Riley for Tennessee.

During the days of Indian uprisings on the frontier, in fact from 1855 to 1890, troops at Fort Riley nearly always went out on a summer campaign during the summer months. Fort Riley itself was never in any danger from Indians and the troops were needed elsewhere. This probably is the principal reason why the abandonment of the Post was recommended a little later. Early in May 18 72, the Sixth Cavalry left for its summer campaign. Quoting again from the Union:

“We acknowledge the complement of a serenade last Thursday night by the Sixth Cavalry Silver Cornet Band. They played delicious music about town all evening. Prof. John Argesheimer leads the band and its perfection speaks


greatly to his praise. The command passed through town Friday for their summer camp in the vicinity of Hays. Social relations of the utmost cordiality have heretofore, and do now exist, between our people and the officers and men of the Sixth Cavalry and the sincere wish of our citizens is, that their next winter’s quarters may be at Riley.”

The “command” referred to consisted of Companies A, B, and L. On their march to Hays they had two adventures. Camp was pitched one night near Bavaria, some distance east of Ellsworth, in the midst of a terrific wind, which sometimes sweeps the plains. The grass caught fire from one of the cooking fires and spread through the camp. Many tents were destroyed and two horses were so badly burned they had to be shot. A few days after this the marching troops passed through a hailstorm so severe that one man, struck by a hailstone, was knocked senseless.

Early in June the remaining Company of the Sixth left Fort Riley. The garrison then consisted of about 25 men. Lieutenant L. A. Abbott was ordered from Fort Hays to relieve Captain Kimball as Post Quartermaster, Kimball having been ordered to New Mexico.

The summer passed quietly at the Post but all was not peaceful on the plains. Late in August Theodore Weichselbaum of Ogden received word that his train, consisting of thirty six­ mule teams, had been captured between Kit Carson and Fort Lyon.

About this time Dr. B. J. D. Irwin, father of Brigadier General George LeR. Irwin was Surgeon at Fort Riley. The hospital was remodeled to some extent, making a single dormitory, or ward, of the main part of the building. The dining room and kitchen were in the south wing. Water for the hospital was obtained from a cistern which was just east of the center of the main building, in the center of the rectangle between the two wings. This old cistern and pump remained there until quite recent years-until the drive was paved.

The following concerning the hospital was contributed by Mr. Faringhy: “Quinine was given for colds and was always prescribed. A shot of good whiskey was always given to the fol­lowing dose, as capsules were unknown. Whiskey was cheap. You could buy it in the Commissary and an enlisted man could get it if he had the wherewithal. But he could easily get a cold and the steward would give him a dose of quinine and a good chaser for nothing, so who would want to suffer?

J. C. was a tough burg and Abilene worse, horse thieves were

all over the land. Father prescribed for many of the ranchers. (Author’s note: Mr. Faringhy’s father was hospital steward at the time). Once he took up a man in J. C. who had re-


received a bullet in his hip. He extracted the bullet, kept the man in the hospital until he was entirely recovered, then one night this man repaid the kindness of father by stealing his mare and colt and also two black horses from Chaplain Reynolds. Nothing was ever heard of them.”

Mr. Faringhy also told the writer that: “-back of the riding hall stood two log buildings, (Author’s note: One of the buildings shown in diagram as noncommissioned officers’ quarters) one of which was occupied by a widow, Mrs. Sarah Allender, whose husband was a soldier who had been killed. The widow remained there doing sewing and laundry for officers’ families to support herself and her children. This woman married a farmer. I remember being present at the wedding, I think in 1872, which took place in this same log building. This rancher’s name was Micheal McCann.” Mc­ Cann died in the eighties and Mrs. McCann moved to Junction City, where she resided for some years.

In Volume VII of the Kansas Historical Collections, in an

the article entitled, “The Territorial and Military Combine at Fort Riley,” is an account of Sarah Allender’s first marriage. One of the officers in 1855 brought with him from the East a good-looking servant maid who immediately began to be courted by the soldiers. Her favorite was one Corporal Allen­ der of Captain Lyon’s company. The corporal asked Lyon for permission to marry and to have his wife rated as a company laundress.

Lyon gave his permission and the girl told her employers she was about to leave them. This officer went at once to Major Montgomery, who forbade the marriage. Lyon-and-Montgomery were never on the best of terms and the incident so incensed Lyon that he performed the ceremony himself. The certificate he furnished read as follows: “Robert Allender and Sarah Ahren wishing to enter upon the marriage relation, I have pronounced to them the solemn obligations thereof, which they have assumed, in the presence of the accompanying witnesses. Fort Riley, Kan., April 23,



“Witnesses: William A. Hammond, Charles E. Ha!Jlmond, John Trueman, Robert Long.”

Lyon and Surgeon Hammond were promptly placed in arrest but were afterward released and nothing ever came of the affair. Lyon acted within his rights as Major Montgomery had no right to forbid the marriage; he could only have forbidden the woman to reside on the reservation.

A short time later, Lyon was forced to eject the Dixons from the reservation. He was convinced that Major Montgomery was in the wrong and that the Dixons had a right to the land,


upon which they had settled. After carrying out his orders Lyon preferred the charges by which Montgomery was later tried.

Late in October of 1872 those companies of the Sixth Cavalry that had been on the plains during the summer returned to Fort Riley. Early in November a ball was given in the hospital in honor of Lieutenants Winchester, Goddard, and Abbott, who were about to depart on leave. •

About the middle of November Colonel James Oaks arrived at the Post from a prolonged leave of absence and relieved Lieutenant-Colonel Neil of command of the regiment and the Post.

Lieutenant Winchester returned from leave· on the 21st of November with a bride and was received with all the old time ceremony.

The theatre was revived again during the winter, opening for drama early in January and continuing for about two months. This theatre was located in one of the old gun sheds formerly used by the artillery, the original theatre building having been torn down. After the winter of 1872-73 no more attempts were made to operate a theatre at the. Post for many years although various dramatic societies and minstrel troupes flourished from time to time. After the post was built up in the eighties, entertainments were given in the mess hall and the auditorium (now the library).

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