Military History | Death of Logan Fontenelle|
The Rebellion | Proclamation|
First Infantry (afterward First Cavalry)|
Second Nebraska Cavalry|
First Battalion Nebraska Veteran Cavalry|
The First Regiment in Nebraska.
The Curtis Horse|
The Curtis Horse (cont.)|
Public Acknowledgment | The Distinguished Soldiers|
Department of the Platte
When the Second Nebraska Cavalry was mustered out of service, in the fall of 1863, Gov. Saunders authorized the raising of an independent battalion of cavalry from the ranks of the Second to serve for the balance of the war. Maj. Armstrong was commissioned to organize this body, which, in four companies, was mustered into service as the First Battalion Nebraska Veteran Cavalry and assigned to duty on the plains. The companies were commanded thus:
Company A--Captain, George Armstrong; Lieutenants, C. F. Porter and H. F. C. Krumme.
Company B--Captain, Z. Jackson; Lieutenants, J. N. Tuttweiler, James M. Nosler.
Company C--Captain, Henry Kuhle; Lieutenants, M. B. Cutler, George P. Belden.
Company D--Captain, A. F. C. Krumme; Lieutenants, William R. Bowen, S. A. Lewis.
In the spring of 1864, the Indians throughout the Territory, who had been comparatively quiet for some time, began to become troublesome and dangerous. Gen. Mitchell, then in command of the district, became convinced of the necessity of vigorous action, and at once set about prosecuting the war against the savages. The difficulty of the situation was aggravated by the fact that the Mormons in Utah and the emissaries of the Confederate Government used every means to induce the Indians to rise against the settlers in the northern border States and Territories. Renegade whites were frequently seen in the Indian camps and on the battle-field, urging their more respectable barbarian allies to atrocities of the most fiendish nature.
On the 1st of July, a dispatch was received at Omaha announcing the killing of two whites and the wounding of several others by the Indians on the Pawnee Reserve, near Fremont. The Yankton Sioux were the perpetrators of this crime. A company of the Seventh Iowa Cavalry was dispatched in pursuit of the offenders. Speaking of this and kindred attacks, the Omaha Republican said:
"The time has arrived when it becomes a necessity to wage a war of extermination against the Indians who infest the north side of the Platte. Outrages are becoming so numerous and so flagrant that white settlers must either receive ample protection or abandon the frontier settlements."
July 19, news was brought to Omaha of the killing of three men and the loss of much stock on ranches in the neighborhood of Julesburg. Gen. Mitchell, with two companies of cavalry and a park of artillery, started from Fort Kearney in pursuit. Three weeks later, a party of 100 Indians attacked a train of nine wagons east of Plum Creek, killing the men in charge and driving off the stock. Two women and four children were taken away as prisoners. A day or two later, another train was attacked near the same place, and three whites killed. Several ranches in the neighborhood were raided and destroyed. In these villainies the Indians were assisted by whites, supposed to be remnants of Quantrell's gang. Capt. Summers and eighty men left Fort Kearney to overtake, if possible, the savages and rescue the prisoners in their hands. Much fear was entertained at this time that an attack would be made on Laramie, and protection was begged for from that quarter. The whole country between Forts Kearney and Laramie was ravaged by the Indians. August 18, a party of sixteen whites was killed by the savages on the Blue River, in Southern Nebraska. Gov. Saunders called upon the people to organize militia for home protection. This call was responded to with an alacrity born of fear. Four companies were organized at Omaha, with the following commissioned officers:
Company A--R. T. Beall, Captain; George C. Yates, First Lieutenant; J. H. Barlow, Second Lieutenant.
Company B--John Taffe, Captain; Edwin Patrick, First Lieutenant Abraham Deyo, Second Lieutenant.
Company C--Charles S. Goodrich, Captain; Martin Dunham, First Lieutenant; David T. Mount, Second Lieutenant.
Company D--Jesse Lowe, Captain; E. Estabrook, First Lieutenant; O. B. Selden, Second Lieutenant.
A gun squad was also organized, with the following officers: E. P. Child, Captain; A. J. Simpson, First Lieutenant.
These, with two other companies under Capts. Porter and Riley, organized some two years before, afforded a home guard large enough for all practical purposes.
In addition to the companies mentioned above, Gov. Saunders authorized the calling into active service of the following militia companies, constituted and commanded thus:
Company A--First Regiment, Second Brigade; fifty-three men, rank and file; mustered into service August 12, 1864; served four months and nine days; Thomas B. Stevenson, Captain; F. J. Bruner, M. B. Corbin, First Lieutenants; R. Andrews, Second Lieutenant.
Company B--First Regiment, Second Brigade; fifty-three men, rank and file; mustered into service August 13, 1864; served six months; Isaac Wiles, Captain; Henry J. Straight, First Lieutenant; Leslie C. Johnson, Second Lieutenant.
Company C--First Regiment, Second Brigade; fifty-seven men, rank and file; mustered into service August 24. 1864; served five months and thirteen days; Alvin G. White, Captain; William B. Rapier, First Lieutenant; Levi Anthony, Second Lieutenant.
Company A--First Regiment, First Brigade; forty-seven men, rank and file; mustered into the service August 30, 1864; served two months and twelve days; John R. Porter, Captain; Allen T. Riley, First Lieutenant; Martin Dunham, Second Lieutenant.
A detachment of artillery militia, under command of Capt. Edward P. Childs, numbering thirteen men, rank and file, was mustered into the service August 30, 1864, and served two months and twelve days.
A company of Pawnee Indians, under Capt. Frank North, were called into the service by command of the Provost Marshal General for the term of one year. They were known as Company A, Pawnee Scouts, and numbered ninety men, rank and file. They were mustered in January 13, 1865.
Under authority of the War Department, a company of Omaha Indians, eighty-five strong, served one year, under command of Capt. Edwin R. Nash, from July, 1865.
There are no statistics in the office showing the part taken by them against the Indians. The following order was issued upon the expiration of their term of service:
The commander-in-chief tenders to the several militia companies organized during the past summer under General Orders No. --, thanks on behalf of the people of Nebraska. and compliments them alike for the ready and willing response to the call, as well as the bravery and endurance with which they have met the perilous duties they have been called upon to undergo. Leaving behind them all the comforts of home, they, the citizen soldiers of Nebraska marched cheerfully, and without a murmur, and whenever duty called, were to be found ever on the alert to repel the skulking attack of the treacherous Indian foe. The battles of Plum Creek and Cottonwood attest their bravery, scouts and skirmishes without number bear witness to the hard and perilous duties they had to perform, and testify also to the eager willingness these citizen soldiers ever manifested.
Their conduct during the fall and winter campaign warrants the assertion that, should there again be a call for Nebraska to defend her frontier against savage foes, her citizens will at least emulate the example of these noble men.
The General Government armed and subsisted them, but the Territory was obliged to defray all other expenses, in order to do which the Territory was obliged to issue bonds in 1865 to the amount of $36,000. The total expenses amounted to the sum of $40,000 and upward.
Returning to the narrative of those Indian troubles, dropped for the moment that we might preserve continuously a statement of the method and time of calling out local defenders, we find that, in July and August, 1864, there was an outbreak of serious nature against the settlers in the western portion of the Territory by the Indians of several bands. The Sioux, Cheyennes, Arapahoes, Kiowas, Comanches and Apaches were evidently confederated for the purpose of attacking the frontier settlements and emigrant trains in Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado and Southeastern Idaho. Suddenly, and almost simultaneously, without the slightest warning, ranchmen and emigrants were assailed at no less than four different places, remote from each other, thus proving beyond doubt that the plan had been matured, and the co-operation of the several tribes secured in the work of destruction. The necessities of the General Government had caused the withdrawal, from time to time, of nearly all the United States troops stationed in Nebraska for the purposes of defense in such emergencies as this; so that, when the outrages were perpetrated, there were no sufficient forces at hand to punish the offenders. The attack was made upon settlements along the Little Blue River in Nebraska, and men, women and children were slain; or, where women were not killed, they were reserved for a life involving worse horrors than the infliction of a speedy though barbarous death. More than three hundred miles in extent were the places of assault, driving emigration from the road and settlers from their homes. When call was made for aid in defending the lives and property of the people, and the Pacific Telegraph Line, which ran through the region of hostilities, the few troops within hearing nobly and promptly responded.
Friday, August 26, was a momentous day in Omaha's history. For some time, suspicious characters had been observed around town, and rumor quickly gave rise to the belief that they were members of Quantrell's noted guerrilla band. On the day mentioned, the news was suddenly brought in that a large number of Indians had appeared in the neighborhood. Settlers and refugees began to flock into town from the Elkhorn Valley, bringing dire reports of the prospects of a bloody war. All business was suspended. Every citizen was pressed into service, and day and night the city was kept under a strong guard. Scouts were sent out in every direction, and excitement ran riot for two or three days. No Indians materialized, however, and it finally developed that the whole scare had originated from the sudden appearance of a band of friendly savages from one of the reservations. The alarm was not without its beneficial results, as it showed the young city's ability to take care of itself in event of open hostilities.
Capt. Murphy, from Fort Kearney, met a party of 500 Indians near the Blue River on the 15th of August, and had a prolonged contest with them. Two soldiers were killed in this engagement.
Gen. Curtis arrived to take command of the district in person.
It is at this date we find the First Nebraska Cavalry doing noble duty on the frontier. We left their history where they were detailed for duty against the Indians, August 18, 1864, at which date they left Omaha for Fort Kearney.
September 1, 1864, the regimental headquarters of the First were at Plum Creek. The dismounted portions of Companies E, H and G remained at Plum Creek during the month. On the 3d, Companies F and I, and a portion of Companies E, G and H, left Plum Creek with the command of Gen. Curtis, and marched on an expedition after hostile Indians on the Republican and Solomon Forks of the Kansas River, returning to Fort Kearney September 26, having marched 800 miles in twenty-three days.
The regimental headquarters during the month of October was at Fort Kearney; companies stationed at Fort Kearney, Plum Creek and Mellallas Station, engaged in scouting and escort duty; October 11, Private Fitzpatrick, of Company G, wounded in skirmish with Indians near Medway's Station while guarding mail coach; on the 13th, Privates Jackson and Kelley, of Company I, killed, and Blacksmith Lyons and Bugler Walker, of Company I, wounded in fight with Indians near Mellallas Station; Lieut. Pollock and paroled prisoners, taken at Grand Prairie, Ark., now reported at Benton Barracks, Mo. During the month of November, the regiment was engaged in building quarters, guarding overland route, scouting and escort duty; regimental headquarters at Fort Kearney during the month of December. The commissioned officers of Companies B and D having been mustered out with the men who did not re-enlist, the veterans and recruits were assigned to other companies by authority of Maj. T. J. Weed, Commissary of Musters, Department of Kansas.
The famous Chivington massacre took place at about this time, creating no little stir among both Indians and whites. Although this event happened within the borders of Colorado, it may not be altogether out of place to refer to it here, inasmuch as it affected the same Indians who were making so much trouble in the Territory of Nebraska The so- called "massacre" was the result of a most dastardly outrage on the part of the Indians, who murdered in cold blood two women prisoners whom they had agreed to turn over to the troops. Exasperated by this exhibition of bad faith, Col. Chivington, commanding the troops in that district, determined to mete out a speedy punishment. Pursuing the savages, he overtook them after a three-days march, and gave battle, killing over four hundred and dispersing the balance. In this slaughter, many women and children were included, though unintentionally, as the details of the encounter showed. Sentimentalists, however, raised a loud wail of indignation through the land, and preferred all manner of charges against the officer in charge. In the end, public opinion indorsed Col. Chivington in his action, and held that, from the circumstances, it was justifiable upon every principle of modern warfare.
In his annual message to the Territorial Legislature, January 7, 1865, Gov. Saunders spoke on the Indian question as follows:
" I congratulate you upon the termination of the Indian war on our own frontier, which, for a time, since the close of your last session, disturbed the quiet which had hitherto prevailed in our Territory, and created the most serious apprehensions for the safety of the exposed settlements on our western and northern borders. From facts which have come to the knowledge of this department, it is deemed certain that these Indian depredations and disturbances were the result of combined action between several tribes, instigated, aided and counseled by lawless white men, who hoped to share in the plunder which would result from their robberies and massacres. It is by no means certain that these coadjutors of the savages were not the emissaries of the rebel government, prompted to their inhuman work by the hope of creating a diversion in favor of their waning cause in the South. Portions of the Sioux, Cheyennes, Arapahoes, Kiowas, Comanches and Apaches were evidently confederated for the purpose of attacking the frontier settlements and emigrant trains in Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado and Southeastern Idaho. Suddenly and almost simultaneously, without the slightest warning, ranchmen and emigrants were attacked at no less than four different points, remote from each other, thus proving, beyond the possibility of doubt, that the plan had been matured, and the co-operation of the different tribes secured in the work of destruction. The necessities of the General Government had caused the withdrawal, from time to time, of nearly all the United States troops stationed in this Territory for its defense; so that, when the outbreak commenced, we possessed no adequate force to suppress it. The few United States volunteers within reach did their duty nobly. The Nebraska First, rendered illustrious by so many brilliant achievements in the South, and the Second Nebraska Veteran Cavalry, promptly responding to the call of the Executive, moved at once to the post of danger; and the militia, with equal alacrity, hastened to the relief of their brethren on the more exposed frontier, and the emigrants upon the plains. These efforts were crowned with substantial success. The feeble settlements were protected from the impending danger; the Indians, with very few exceptions, were driven from our border, and the various lines of communication between the Missouri River and the mountains and mining districts of the West were again opened to the traveler and emigrant. It is to be regretted that these savages were not more severely punished so as to effectually deter them from a repetition of their barbarities in the future. But, considering the limited number of troops available for the purpose, the result of the campaign furnishes the people of the Territory abundant reason for congratulations.
"The militia engaged in repelling these hostile savages were provided with subsistence, transportation, ammunition and ordnance stores by the Federal military authorities; but in no case have they received compensation for their personal services or for services of the horses furnished by them. I therefore urgently recommend that, at an early period of your present session, you provide by law for their full and just compensation for these services. Congress will doubtless promptly reimburse the Territory for these expenses when the question shall be properly presented for its action; and I therefore respectfully suggest that provision be made for an early settlement of these just claims, in order that Congress may be enabled to act upon them before the close of the present session."
Just as Gov. Saunders was felicitating the Legislature upon the subsidence of the Indians, they broke out again. On the 6th of January, a band of 500 Indians attacked the stage and telegraph stations at Julesburg, destroying them and a large amount of supplies belonging to the Pacific Telegraph Company. Capt. O'Brien, commanding the post there, attacked the Indians with eighty men, and, after a fight of six hours duration, routed them. Nineteen whites--fifteen soldiers and four citizens--were killed. The same day, a train was captured by the Indians west of Julesburg, and five men killed and twelve were reported missing. Another train east of the same place was taken the same day, and one man killed. These depredations aroused the anxieties of the settlers again to a high pitch. Gen. Mitchell started out from Omaha for the seat of war in haste, determined upon summary action. January 17, the savages burned three ranches west of Julesburg and ran off the stock. During January, 1865, the companies belonging to the First Regiment stationed at Omaha, Plum Creek and Fort Kearney, engaged in guarding the overland mail route, scouting and escort duty.
In February, Company A marched from Fort Kearney to Julesburg, Colo., escorting supply-trains, and returned, having marched a distance of 580 miles; Companies F and K, and detachments of Companies E, G, I and H, marched from Fort Kearney and Plum Creek to Julesburg and Mud Springs, in pursuit of Indians and repairing telegraph line; returned during the month; distance marched, 700 miles. March 1, regimental headquarters still at Fort Kearney; Company C moved from Fort Kearney to Omaha on the 6th; same day, Company F and detachments of Companies E, G and I left for Fort Laramie, W. T., a distance of 400 miles; on the 26th the regiment moved to Cottonwood Springs.
April 12, left Cottonwood Springs for Fort Kearney, arriving there on the 14th; engaged in scouting and escort duty.
During the month of May, regimental headquarters were at Fort Kearney, and were engaged in scouting, guard and escort duty; Company F left Fort Laramie, W. T., on the 3d, on a scout west to Wind River Mountains, and returned on the 22d; left Fort Laramie on the 25th for Fort Kearney; they were at Julesburg on the 31st, having marched during the month 660 miles; on the 12th, Private Lohones, of Company H, was wounded in the hip by an arrow, in a skirmish with the Indians near Dan Smith's Station; on the 18th, Private Bond, of Company K, was wounded in a skirmish with the Indians near Elm Creek, Neb.; Company C arrived at Fort Kearney on the 31st. During the month, the following special order was received from the War Department:
Upon the receipt of this Order by the Commanding General, Department of Kansas, the First Battalion Nebraska Veteran Cavalry will be consolidated with the First Nebraska Veteran Cavalry, the consolidated force to bear the designation of the First Nebraska Cavalry.
The Commanding General, Department of Kansas, will charge the proper Commissary of Muster with the prompt execution of this Order.
The consolidation effected, the Commissary of Muster will forward to this office the transfer rolls, as directed in circular No. 64, August 18th, 1864, from this office.
During the months of June and July, the headquarters of the regiment remained at Fort Kearney; Col. Rivingston was mustered out of the service in accordance with the provisions of General Order No. 83, War Department, Adjutant General's Office, Current Series.
July 13, 1865, the citizens of Omaha tendered Gen. Thayer, who had come home after four years of hard work, a complimentary public dinner. At about this same time, Col. Livingston was mustered out of service, and the command of the First Nebraska Veterans, who had been consolidated with the First Battalion Nebraska Cavalry, passed to Lieut. Col. Baumer, who was then promoted to the colonelcy.
The consolidation of the First Battalion Nebraska Veteran Cavalry with the First Regiment Nebraska Veteran Cavalry having been effected on the 18th of July, the following order was issued:
From and after this date, the organization heretofore known as the First Battalion Nebraska Veteran Cavalry Volunteers ceases to exist, it having been consolidated with the First Regiment of Nebraska Veteran Cavalry Volunteers, as per S. O. No. 49, War Department, Washington D. C., dated January 31st, 1865, providing for the consolidation of one fraction of a State or Territory.
The officers and men of the several squadrons of the First Battalion Nebraska Veteran Cavalry, who have been transferred to fill vacancies in squadrons of the First Regiment Nebraska Veteran Cavalry, will report to the respective squadrons to which they hare been assigned, without delay, and will be carried on the rolls of said squadrons as members thereof.
July 19th the following special order was promulgated:
VII. * * * The consolidation of the troops of the First Nebraska Regiment of Volunteer Cavalry and the First Battalion of Veteran Cavalry having been effected, Major Majors, the senior officer present, will proceed without delay to consolidate the men of the respective companies according to the rolls as furnished by the Assistant Commissary of Musters of this Division.
VIII. The commanding officers of the respective companies of said regiment, in accordance with the consolidation, will at once take charge of the men assigned to their respective companies, and, under direction of the senior officer of the regiment present, forthwith attach them to their companies for duty, excepting those belonging to Company C, now at these headquarters.
IX. All officers of the regiment not on detached duty will proceed at once to their respective company headquarters.
On the 20th of July, the regiment was distributed for duty, as per the following order:
II. * * First Lieut. Martin B. Cutler, Nebraska Veteran Cavalry, will immediately proceed with his company (A) to Pawnee Ranche. He will furnish mounted escorts to the overland stage coaches to and from Sand Hill to Thompson's Station, and will establish ten (10) men of his command at each stage station.
III. * * Capt. W. W. Ivory, First Nebraska Veteran Cavalry, with his company (H), will proceed to Midway Station, and will furnish mounted escorts to the overland stage coaches from Plum Creek to Cottonwood, keeping ten (10) men at each stage station.
IV. * * Capt. T. J. Weatherwax, First Nebraska Veteran Cavalry, with his company (G), will retain his company headquarters at Plum Creek, and furnish mounted escorts to the overland stage coaches from Plum Creek to Hook's Station, establishing ten (10) men at each stage station.
V. * * Capt. Henry Kuhl, First Lieut. John Talbot and Capt. Henry T. C. Kramme, First Nebraska Veteran Cavalry, will immediately report with their companies (F, I and K) to the Post Commandant at Fort Kearney, for duty.
VI. * * First Lieut. William B. Stout, First Nebraska Veteran Cavalry, will immediately proceed with sixty-five (65) men of his company (E) to Post South Loup Fork, relieve Company E, Seventh Iowa Cavalry, and await further instructions.
VII. * * Second Lieut. Lewis J. Boyer, First Nebraska Veteran Cavalry, will immediately proceed with thirty-five (35) men of his company (E), to Gened, and await further instructions.
X. * * All officers belonging to either of the above-named companies, not on detached service, will immediately proceed to their respective commands for duty.
XI. * * The prompt execution of the movements contemplated in this order, as far as they relate to the First Nebraska Veteran Cavalry, is confided to Major Majors, the senior officer of that regiment present.
An attack was made, July 25, upon Platte Bridge Station by 1,000 Sioux, Cheyennes, Arapahoes, Blackfeet and Comanches. The telegraph line was destroyed for some distance, and Lieut. Collins and twenty-six soldiers were killed and nine wounded. Two weeks later, Capt North's Pawnee scouts attacked some Cheyennes at Fort Connor, D. T., and killed twenty-six of them. During the following month, Gen. Heath made an expedition west from Fort Kearney, engaging the Indians in two fights and killing fifty of their number.
Up to October 21, the First Regiment was engaged in protecting the United States overland mail route, escorting coaches from Fort Kearney to Fort Sedgwick, Colorado Territory, scouting, etc.; on the 21st, a detachment of Company C, under command of Lieut. Smith, fought 300 Indians near Alkote Station, Neb., losing three men killed and one wounded; on the 31st, Capt. Krumme, with thirty-seven men of Company K, fought a number of Indians on Whiteman's Fork of the Republican River; they killed twenty-one Indians and completely routed their entire force without losing a man of the company; on the 6th of November, the Indians attacked the station at Pole Creek, and at about the same time, another party attacked the mail escort about a mile above the station; the men at the station drove the Indians off, then, led by Sergt. Elwood, of Company H, went to the assistance of the mail escort; two men of Company H and nine head of horses that were out grazing were captured by the Indians; Company H recaptured thirty head of cattle that the Indians had stolen from a train a few nights previous. From the great disparity in numbers, and, under all the circumstances, the Sergeant, together with. the men under his command, deserve more than a passing notice. The gallant conduct of Sergt. Cain, whom some of the men wanted to fall back to the station, in keeping them together when opposed to such superior numbers, by appealing to their pride as war-worn veterans, he got them to make a firm stand. Private John Boyle was shot in the leg with an arrow, which he pulled through, and then fired seven shots before any of the men knew he was wounded; he was recommended by Capt. Ivory as deserving a medal of honor from the Legislature of the Territory.
In December, the headquarters of the Nebraska First were moved from Fort Cottonwood to Omaha, with Maj. Armstrong in command. In March, however, they were moved back to Fort Kearney. Gov. Saunders, on the 23d of January, 1866, sent a communication to the Legislature asking it to pass a joint resolution requesting Congress to muster the First Nebraska Veterans out of service. The Legislature complied with this suggestion and made the request.
In May, 1866, the "Laramie Treaty" was made with the hostile tribes, thus giving a reasonable assurance of a season of peace along the frontier. The shadow of war having thus been lifted from the Territory, Congress authorized the disbandment of the Nebraska troops, and, accordingly, on the 10th of June, the following order was issued to the regiment:
1. The field and staff officers and companies of the First Veteran Regiment Nebraska Volunteer Cavalry, now at Fort Kearney, N. T., under the command of Lieut. Col. William Baumer, will turn over all public property in their possession to the Post Commander of Fort Kearney, and proceed, without delay, to Omaha, Nebraska Territory, reporting to Brig. Gen. P. St. George Cook, U. S. A., for muster out of service.
The Quartermaster's Department will furnish the necessary transportation, by public trains to Columbus, Nebraska Territory, and arrangements will be completed with the railroad company for their transportation from that point to Omaha, Nebraska Territory.
The public trains having completed the transportation of troops heretofore directed, will proceed direct to Fort Leavenworth, as originally ordered.
All companies of the First Veteran Nebraska Volunteer Cavalry arriving at this post will proceed, without delay, to Omaha, Nebraska Territory, and report for muster out of service. The Quartermaster's Department will furnish transportation, as herein directed.
On the 17th, the following special order was issued:
In compliance with Special Field Order No. 2, Headquarters Department of the Missouri, Fort Kearney, Nebraska Territory, June 10, 1866, all companies of the First Nebraska Veteran Volunteer Cavalry arriving at this Post will proceed without delay to Omaha, Nebraska Territory, and report for muster out of service.
The Quartermaster's Department will furnish transportation as herein directed.
Upon the receipt of the above order, the regiment marched to Omaha, Neb., and, on the 1st of July, 1866, they were mustered out of the service.
They marched, during their term of service, upward of 9,000 miles, and were transported, by steamboat and railroad over 5,250 miles, making an aggregate of about 15,000 miles traveled by them.
The regiment served faithfully in defense of the glorious principles of liberty to all men, for upward of five years, hewing their way through the columns of the traitorous foes in many a hard-fought battle of the South, as attested on the fields of Donelson, Pittsburg Landing, Corinth, Sycamore, Chalk Bluffs, Red Banks, Cape Girardeau, Milford, Jacksonport, Clarendon and many other hotly-contested fields of battle. And after their presence was no longer needed to assist in crushing the most gigantic rebellion ever written upon the tablets of history--after the last traitorous foe had laid down his arms and acknowledged the supremacy of the Stars and Stripes over the Stars and Bars of the so-called Southern Confederacy--after all this, when they had an opportunity of returning to their homes and firesides, and enjoying the repose they had so nobly earned, they rushed to the protection of our own borders from the ravages of hostile Indians, and to the First Nebraska are we indebted that our Territory was not overrun and our bounteous harvest-fields turned into graveyards for our citizens--that the tomahawk and scalping-knife were driven from our midst, and that we now enjoy the prosperity of a quiet peace. All honor to the noble soldiers of the First Nebraska Cavalry!