Edited by W. Stitt Robinson
Winter, 1957 (Vol.
XXIII, No. 4), pages 382 to 400
Transcription and HTML composition by Larry E. & Carolyn L. Mix;
digitized with permission of The Kansas State Historical Society.
NOTE: The numbers in brackets are links to footnotes for this text.
THE duties of the United States army on the frontier were many and varied during the decade preceding the Civil War. There were both military and nonmilitary services to perform. The military involved primarily campaigns against hostile nomadic Indians, campaigns which were on the whole limited to minor skirmishes and which can hardly be classified as wars. Nonmilitary duties involved the army as policeman rather than soldier and as the builder of forts which ringed the frontier area. Both military and nonmilitary services were vital parts of the mission of the army on the eve of the Civil War.
Greatest attention in the writing of American military history has been devoted to the fighting role.  Even with this emphasis, the story is not complete as evidenced by the lack of printed material concerning some of the campaigns on the frontier. The diary reproduced here has only recently come to light and supplies new and detailed information on the Kiowa and Comanche campaign of 1860.  The record was kept by Lt. James Ewell Brown Stuart who is best known to history as "Jeb," the dashing cavalry leader of the Southern Confederacy. The military units included Companies F, G, H, and K of the First regiment of cavalry with some attention to the two attached companies of the Second dragoons, Companies C and K. As an appropriate background to the diary of the 1860 campaign, a brief resume will be given of Stuart's early military career which involved mainly his service with the First cavalry.
A Virginian by birth, Stuart received an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point and graduated in the class of 1854. His first assignment as an officer was with the regiment of mounted rifles under the command of Maj. J. S. Simonson, who was then carrying out orders for both military and nonmilitary services along the Texas frontier from Fort McIntosh near Laredo to Fort Davis and El Paso.  Federal troops were responsible for protecting the area from Indian raids, securing the emigrant routes, fortifying the Mexican border, supporting the enforcement of revenue laws, and curbing the activity of bandits and murderers.  Stuart's service in Texas was cut short by his appointment to the First regiment of cavalry which along with the Second cavalry was organized in March, 1855, by act of congress to expand the number of mounted troops in the army. Command of the First cavalry was assigned to Col. Edwin V. Sumner and Lt. Col. Joseph E. Johnston.
Stuart reported in June, 1855, to Colonel Sumner at Jefferson Barracks in Missouri where the regiment was being organized, and before the end of the month the unit moved on to Fort Leavenworth in Kansas. Colonel Sumner assumed command of the post and appointed Stuart to his staff as regimental quartermaster and as assistant commissary of subsistence of the post.  While organization was still under way, orders were issued for the First cavalry to participate in the campaign against the Sioux Indians in August and September, 1855. The major skirmish of the expedition involved Bvt. Brig. Gen. William S. Harney and Lt. Col. Philip St. George Cooke of the Second dragoons in an attack on the Sioux on Blue Water creek near Ash Hollow along the North Platte river in Nebraska territory.  But for the First cavalry, the venture was little more than an exercise in organization and an orientation to the Plains, for on the march to Fort Kearny and beyond toward Fort Laramie, no Sioux were encountered. 
Upon return from the Sioux campaign, Lieutenant Stuart completed plans for his marriage to Flora Cooke, daughter of Lt. Col. P. S. G. Cooke of Virginia, plans which had been tentatively made after a whirlwind courtship following their first meeting at Fort Leavenworth. The event was solemnized on November 14 at Fort Riley where Lieutenant Colonel Cooke was stationed with the Second dragoons. 
The increased tensions of the Kansas struggle in late 1855 and 1856 resulted in the call for military personnel for a wide variety of assignments, more as policemen than as soldiers. Commanders of federal troops were ordered by the Secretary of War to assist the territorial governor in enforcing the law and maintaining the peace. While many of the assignments were common for normal frontier conditions, the number increased for such missions as the following: preventing bloodshed between Proslavery and Free-State factions; guarding the polls and land sale offices; stopping the raids of freebooters and bandits; providing military escorts for the mail, for Indian agents delivering annuities to the tribes, and for visiting or local officials; and prohibiting white encroachment upon the land reserves of friendly semisedentary Indians. Calls were made upon the First cavalry for all these tasks. 
Preoccupied during 1856 with these problems, the First cavalry was not able until 1857 to undertake a campaign against the Cheyenne Indians. Although signers of the treaty at Fort Laramie in 1851,  the Cheyenne had been guilty of raiding Western trails and murdering whites. The purpose of the campaign, therefore, was to punish the tribe for depredations and at the same time so to overawe them by a show of force that peace would be maintained. Two moving columns led by Col. E. V. Sumner and Maj. John Sedgwick were employed from May until August, the major encounter with the Cheyenne occurring on July 29 on Solomon's fork of the Smoky Hill river.  Lieutenant Stuart began the expedition as regimental quartermaster officer, but was relieved during the campaign by Colonel Sumner because of a difference of opinion over the question of signatures for responsibility of government property.  Continuing as a company officer, Stuart was in the thick of the fight with the Cheyenne on July 29; and while attempting to save a fellow officer, he was wounded in the chest by a pistol shot of an attacking Indian. 
Further expeditions against the Cheyenne were prevented by the order for federal troops to join the forces being organized in 1857 for the Utah campaign. The Mormons were reported to be in rebellion against the United States; and only two U. S. officials, both being Indian agents, remained in Utah. Alfred Cumming was appointed as new governor of Utah territory, and orders were issued to organize some 2,500 troops at Fort Leavenworth to accompany the governor and other new officials to the Mormon country.  Companies of the First cavalry were assigned to various columns that were to march at designated intervals. Stuart was a member of the column under Major Sedgwick and served as quartermaster officer of the expedition. However, agreements worked out by negotiators in the Mormon country ended the campaign without fighting; and Stuart's column, not leaving Fort Riley until May 29, 1858, went beyond Fort Laramie only as far as the Valley of the Sweetwater in present Wyoming before returning to Fort Riley on August 29. 
Following a winter in quarters at Fort Riley, the First cavalry received assignments for field duty for the summer of 1859 to protect the emigrant route along the Arkansas river. Stuart obtained a six months' leave and returned to Virginia. While on leave he completed his invention for a sabre attachment devised in Kansas. By means of "a stout brass hook" Stuart made it possible for the mounted soldier to leave his sabre on the pommel of the saddle when dismounting to fight; when remounting, he could easily return the sabre to his belt. Stuart patented the invention (patent number 25684 dated October 4, 1859)  and he was successful in selling to the United States government the right to use the improvement for mounted troops. 
While in Washington on October 17 waiting outside the office of the Secretary of War for a conference about his invention, Stuart was asked to deliver a message to Lt. Col. Robert E. Lee across the Potomac at his Arlington home. Learning that the mission involved quelling the uprising at Harpers Ferry, Stuart volunteered his services and accompanied Lee as his aide to the scene where John Brown was captured on October 18. Writing to his mother on January 31, 1860, after returning to Fort Riley, Stuart stated that one of his greatest services was the recognition from his experience in Kansas, that the insurgent leader Smith was actually "Old Brown." 
Back in Fort Riley, Stuart rejoined the regiment and assumed command of Company G on December 15, 1859, until Capt. William S. Walker returned from leave.  Orders from army headquarters were received in March to begin preparations for a campaign against the Kiowa and Comanche Indians. These two tribes along with the Apaches had signed the treaty in 1853 at Fort Atkinson on the Arkansas river (near present Dodge City). The agreement was made to maintain "Peace, friendship, and amity" with the United States and to preserve peace among the signatory Indian tribes. The right was provided for the United States to build roads or highways and military or other posts in territories occupied by the Indians. The three tribes also promised "to make restitution or satisfaction for any injuries done by any band or any individuals of their respective tribes to the people of the United States" legally residing in or traveling through their territories, and not to molest them in any way but rather to aid them if possible. In return the United States was to pay $18,000 annually in annuities for ten years and to protect the tribes from depredations by people of the United States. Violation of the treaty, it was agreed, could result in the withholding of annuities; and if at a later date it seemed desirable to establish farms among the Indians, the United States could use the annuities for that purpose. 
By 1857 the Kiowas and Comanches were reported in large numbers for extended periods of time on the Arkansas river, and by 1859 were residing permanently in the area between the Canadian and Arkansas rivers.  Indian Agent Robert Miller (or Millar) met the Comanches, Kiowas, and other tribes on July 19, 1858, at Pawnee Fork and found the Comanches unwilling to treat with the United States, threatening to annul the treaty of 1853. The Kiowas were more amenable, but parties from both tribes had been guilty of attacking and robbing two Mexican trains in sight of the agent's camp. Miller found both Kiowas and Comanches arrogant and confident of their superiority over U. S. forces, an opinion held by them, he thought, because of their lack of knowledge of the size and resources of the United States. In his report to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, he concluded that "Nothing short of a thorough chastisement, which they so richly deserve, will bring these people to their proper senses." 
A few weeks later Colonel Sumner en route from Fort Kearny to the Arkansas river met a band of Kiowas under Little Mountain, one of the leaders with whom Miller had conferred. Sumner found the leaders of the Kiowas desirous of peace, although they indicated great "difficulty in restraining their turbulent young men." Pledges were made to Sumner to exert every effort to keep the young braves off the warpath. 
The Kiowas and Comanches were "encountered" the following year on September 16, 1859, at the mouth of Walnut creek by Agent W. W. Bent, who reported their number as 2,500 warriors. As to conduct, they appeared peaceable in the presence of federal troops; but when troops returned to Fort Riley, Agent Bent stated that they "assumed a threatening attitude, which resembles the prelude of predatory attacks upon the unprotected whites" along the Santa Fe road. Bent was convinced that a "smothered passion for revenge agitates these Indians"; and he recommended the establishment of two additional military forts along the Arkansas river to provide the "perpetual presence of a controlling military force." Because of the pressure of white settlement, he foresaw a war of extinction unless the federal government provided for the reduction of the nomadic tribes to an agricultural and pastoral way of life. 
Orders from army headquarters of March 10, 1860, ordered "active operations" against the hostile Comanches and Kiowas with instructions to hold no intercourse with them until punishment had been inflicted by military attack. Columns of troops, operating independently, were organized to begin the march in May. Six companies of the First cavalry (A, B, C, D, E, and I) were dispatched under Capt. S. D. Sturgis. The other four companies of the regiment (F, G, H, and K) along with Companies C and K of the Second dragoons were assigned to the column commanded by Maj. John Sedgwick.  Writing to his sister in April about the command appointment, Sedgwick stated that "I have no desire for it, but if I have it I shall do my best to bring it to a successful issue." 
Special instructions of May 9 were forwarded to Major Sedgwick from Colonel Sumner at headquarters of the Department of the West in St. Louis. Drawing upon his varied experience as an Indian fighter, Sumner advised that in order to be able to pursue, overtake, and attack the enemy, it was necessary to leave the wagon train at Pawnee Fork and to make the expedition from there with supplies conveyed by pack mules and beef cattle on foot. In pursuing Indians traveling with their families, a "steady determined march" would overtake them and when closely pressed, the warriors would separate themselves to protect the families. This, according to Sumner, was an excellent time to strike them; and in case the Comanches and Kiowas should unite to pose a strong threat, efforts should be made to turn their flanks for "Indians can never stand that." One further suggestion from Sumner reflected the problem of the military in distinguishing friendly from hostile Indians and the tendency of Federal troops to make little or no distinction within one tribe when punitive expeditions were under way. When "proffers of peace and disclaimers of all connection with the hostiles" approach you, stated Sumner, it is impossible to make distinctions; therefore, "whenever Comanches or Kiowas are found they must give the character to the whole party." 
Lieutenant Stuart accompanied Major Sedgwick's column as a company officer in Company G, and he was appointed journalist of the expedition. In addition to keeping an official record of events,  he recorded a more informal and personal impression of the expedition in a "Daily Miniature Diary for 1860" which had been printed by the New York concern of Kiggins and Kellogg. There are gaps in the personal diary, mainly in July. But it is valuable for giving new information of the 1860 expedition and the terrain over which it was made, as well as affording some insight to the personal reaction of Stuart and other military personnel to the events of the campaign.
The Stuart diary presented here is a literal transcription from photographic reproductions of the diary in the possession of the Alderman Library of the University of Virginia and is reproduced with the permission of that institution. Raised letters in the manuscript have been uniformly lowered and deletions by the diarist have been omitted. All other changes have been indicated by the usual square brackets.
Stuart's references to the streams of western Kansas are of considerable interest since history has recorded 1860 as a year of Great Drought for Kansas and adjacent Plains area.
MAY, TUESDAY, 15, 1860. Left Fort Riley on Kiowa campaign, take route up Smoky Hill for Pawnee Fork of Arkansas. camped first night on chapman's creek. comd. composed of cos F G H & K 1st. cav. under Mai Sedgwick.  We expect a 5 mos arduous campaign principally with packmules having our grand depot at Pawnee Fork. Walker  & I mess together the 2d Lt absent I like co duty far better than staff. Detailed in camp to get wagons over chapman's creek. Hard work. Some ladies came to cr from Fort R[iley] but could nt cross
MAY, WEDNESDAY, 16, 1860. I am the Journalist of the Expedition, continue up Smoky Hill 16. miles camp just beyond Sand creek & spring, on bank of Smoky Hill. Water of this stream salt-- banks boggy. passed settlements all the way-- farm houses with wells and springs. Rock Sp and a cluster called 7 springs opposite Kansas Falls.  Soil very rich in Smoky Hill bottom Miles 16
MAY, THURSDAY, 17, 1860. Crossed Solomons Fork at Ferry-- 8 miles farther camped on Saline Fork days march. 13. miles-- Smoky Hill Fork all day in sight to our left. solomons Fork has good water st Cloud  on east bank thriving settlement-- caught a fine cat in Saline water of saline salt
MAY, FRIDAY, 18, 1860. Passed up Saline to Ferry two miles above During delay here I caught another fine cat. Advanced 4 miles through town on Smoky Hill called Salina-- thriving place. Houses weather boarded with clapboards-- belongs principally to one Phillips  of Laurence [Lawrence] K. T. Much corn raised in vicinity. This is the last settlement. 2 miles crossed Dry cr. with water (?) in it. 1-1/2 miles pond to right. 2-1/2 miles to camp on Spring creek
SATURDAY, 19, 1860. Country from here west barren &
unproductive. passed up Spring creek and its tributaries
through country broken & hilly camp on clear creek--
MAY, SUNDAY, 20, 1860. Pass at 1-1/2 miles from camp fine Spring in ravine to left of road. peculiar formation supposed to be a buffalo lick. come in sight of Smoky Hill in front 5 miles from camp cross Smoky Hill at Bryans bridge  of which only foundation is left at rocky bottom ford. camp on south bank Jo. Taylor's  horse Roderick took French Leave of camp to day-- not recovered.
MAY, MONDAY, 21, 1860. Passed several creeks where water was expected now all dry. passed in afternoon to our left immense lake thought at first to be the Arkansas-- but found to be lake of good water-- in centre of a very large basin of parched soil passed through myriads of buffalo lassooed a calf at head of column. & put it in wagon. at 42 miles strike Walnut creek. having passed 3 tributaries of cow cr. all now dry.
MAY, TUESDAY, 22, 1860. spent to-day in camp resting after the long march yesterday caught a small cat. Thunder storm in afternoon-- very refreshing shower.
MAY, WEDNESDAY, 23, 1860. At 12 miles march to-day strike Santa Fe route at Pawnee rock. Many wagons on route to Santa Fe & Pike's Peak-- 6 miles on Santa Fe road bring us to Ash creek-- a ranch-- and here turning to right 7 miles farther reach Pawnee Fork cross it at Bell's bridge. Substantial structure built by Bell D. & mail agent. Camp Alert  on west bank and above. Called on Maj Wessells.  comd. camped just below bridge.
MAY, THURSDAY, 24, 1860. Moved camp to-day 5 miles lower down, to Arkansas for better grass. Went up to Camp Alert & dined with Maj Wessells Lt W. F. Lee  & lady treated me with marked kindness also Maj W & wife. I gave the calf to Maj W's boys. Visited camp of 2d. Drags. Squadron under Capt Steele.  Cos C & K. Armstrong  & Sol Williams  with it. In afternoon got odometer Lt Lee Mrs L & Mrs Wessells went down to camp in Wing's ambulance. The young officers rather on frolic. Armstrongs horse in leaping pole in Newby's  hands shyed & knocked N. senseless. I serenaded ladies at night.
MAY, FRIDAY, 25, 1860. Pack mules & saddles distributed this morning generally gentle-- the day was consumed in adjusting saddles & packing experimentally. Walker went to Camp Alert to-day-- six miles off.
MAY, SATURDAY, 26, 1860. To-day Maj Sedgwick determined to sent a party of 30 men, south of Arkansas to reconnoitre & if expedient attack the enemy if there. a smoke having been seen the night previous I go in command also Jo Taylor & Sol Williams. go S. E. 25 miles & arrive at Otter cr.  at 9 P. M. no Indians, camp without cooking. having 2 days rations on our horses-- suffered some from cold.
MAY, SUNDAY, 27, 1860. Continued at 4.30 AM up creek N. E. for 32 miles halting 2 hours at noon to graze & rest-- then left creek & went nearly due north reach 20 miles to the Arkansas just before sun down. & camped. Having a fine roast of buffalo on sticks Saw no trace to day of Indians. Otter creek has no timber, good grass, thousands of buffalo Saw also antelope, duck, curlew, plover, snipe, sand hill cranes otter & muskrat to say nothing of prairie dogs. & such ilk.
MAY, MONDAY, 28, 1860. Proceeded at 4.30 AM up Arkansas-- south bank over waste of barren sand hills full of gofer holes & recrossed river opposite camp days march 25. Whole march 102 miles in 48 hours. Men & horses in fine condition. Find letters & package from wife. Bless her heart. Who with my experience could live without a wife. heightening every joy, lightening every sorrow. Mrs. Ruff  in camp near here visit her. She is en route to M.
MAY, TUESDAY, 29, 1860. Camp at Pawnee Fork. Saw D W Scott. Sent letter to wife by Mrs. Ruff. & list of Distances.
WEDNESDAY, 30, 1860. In camp reading "what will he do with
Officer of the Day. Dine with Lee at Fort.
JUNE, FRIDAY, 1, 1860. Marched about 8. o'clock up Arkansas. Recd. letters of mail, 1 from wife-- no news Camp on Arkansas. [blank] miles beyond crossing of coon cr. several of the ladies go out as far as coon creek in Capt Hayden's ambulance. I never commenced a march with more buoyant feelings. Everything smiles auspiciously notwithstanding Friday Scott came this far with us & took back our last dispatches for home. I gave Gaffner a strong recommendation for wagon mr at Pawnee. days march 15.33/100 miles
JUNE, SATURDAY, 2, 1860. Marched up Arkansas & camped on its bank Bayard has dubbed Merrill "Gig Lamps," a very appropriate soubriquet, taken from Verdant green.  Merrill is mounted on a mule wears spectacles & a citizen's dress! 20. 20/100 miles
JUNE, SUNDAY, 3, 1860. March up River along Santa Fe road. Coon creek is very little to our north. Camp about 18 miles farther 5 [?] miles above Jackson's Island. Bright Sabbath day. A few Arrappahoe lodges on river in sight. In afternoon their chief came in bearing aloft on a pole the stars and stripes which he rightly conjectured was the surest passport through our lines. He was dressed in a dressing gown and wore a[n] Infantry Cap 18 43/100 miles
JUNE, MONDAY, 4, 1860. Forded the Arkansas & without difficulty sending back all the wagons but a Light ammunition wagon & sick ambulance  at 3-1/2 miles reach Mulberry cr. which empties into Arkansas a few miles below our camp. -1/2 mile above cross its dry bed. Cross near waters of Nuscatunga R  & camp. plenty of timber & water grass in timber. S. 17 45/100 miles
JUNE, TUESDAY, 5, 1860. Travelled down the dry bed of stream, 15 miles & camped in wide valley groves of cottonwood. Last year this valley must have been thronged with Indians Camped at holes of water. grass tolerable, water unpleasant & boggy to the taste. Citric acid corrects it sufficiently Bayard caught some fine perch here. S. E. 15 miles
JUNE, WEDNESDAY, 6, 1860. March East 3 miles then S. E. at 5 miles from last camp a tributary running S W joins the one we follow, & after junction their course is nearly South.  Camp on it. water scarce wood plenty, grass sufficient for a squadron only. E & S. E. 14 68/100
JUNE, THURSDAY, 7, 1860. Leaving valley of streams Cross S W 8 miles to another which must be the main Nuscatonga now dry-- pools deep & clear of fresh water full of fish in a beautiful grove of timber. Quail & deer abound here. birds singing at the greatest rate. Some horse shoes gems of Civilization found here. fine grass. Then S for 12 miles then S. E to camp on small tributary of Cimaron Cimarone is here dry-- water in tributary stagnant grass very bad water & soil worse S W & S. & S. E. 25. 42/100
JUNE, FRIDAY, 8, 1860. Crossed dry bed of Cimaron & going south 1-1/2 miles crossed distinct wagon trail. probably Col Johnstons 1857 outward route  days march over very rough & broken country. find dry bed of stream with holes of water impregnated with salts, incrustations on ground of Gypsum. Scarcely any grass. Soil red & barren. this is probably the Red Fork of Cimaron.  S 10. 17/100 miles
JUNE, SATURDAY, 9, 1860. Cross directly South for 7 miles. country intersected by deep & rugged ravines with a few clumps of cedar & cottonwood. Two streams in full view. cross the first above their junction. It is the north Fork of Canadian the other Middle R. Both well-timbered. 4 bear & several deer & buffalo killed. water slightly salt but clear Grass better than since left Arkansas. Col J's return trail found near camp. S & S. E. 9. 91/100
JUNE, SUNDAY, 10, 1860. Ly by in camp on north Fork of Canadian.  just above junction with it. majority of officers are inclined to make scout towards Antelopes Hills on Main Canadian. But Maj S. is going up the north Fork of Canadian but will take Middle River as we afterwards ascertain
JUNE, MONDAY, 11, 1860. Marched up what we believed to be north Fork of Canadian (Middle River) at 10 miles enter a very extensive bottom of fine grass. Remains of Indian camps passed. Timber & grass fine. water good. Camp on south bank S. S. W. 26. 81/100
JUNE, TUESDAY, 12, 1860. Continued the march. This stream abounds in bear deer & turkey. Cross & recross several times finally camp on north bank. after reaching camp we were so fortunate & [as] to find a surveying party Boundary commission, one of whom Mr Weyss  was with Col Johnston in 57. We get a copy of Col J's map find that we are in Middle fork or River. main canadian dry. No Indians. our Long is 100°. Lat 36°. 16° W S W 17. miles
JUNE, WEDNESDAY, 13, 1860. To-day we left the Boundary party who follow up 100°degree of Longitude. we continue up Middle R. our camp on 10th. was on north Fork now about 30 miles north of us. This stream gives indications of continuing very little farther up. West 21. 70/100
JUNE, THURSDAY, 14, 1860. up Middle River. Timber scarcer. Bluffs bolder & valley narrows. Passed remains of Indian camp 2 months old. abrupt cedar bluffs. water now in detached holes banks very steep & high. Evidence of great freshet on the banks early in spring. Camp the last time on Middle R. a very romantic & picturesque camp. bird serenade at night also thunderstorm-- West 13. 50/100
JUNE, FRIDAY, 15, 1860. Struck across from Middle River 5° [ 15°?] west of north to north Fork of Canadian. 34 miles about 10 AM a large herd of mustangs to the N. W. are pronounced by the Delawares  Kiowas. We make preparations for battle-- marching by squadrons in two columns All are eager for the fray Dragoons too far behind to join us. But Armstrong co trotted up. Steele was ordered to remain behind with the pack mules. we were sadly fooled. This ended mustang battle. north 24 75/100
JUNE, SUNDAY, 17, 1860. Camp on north Fork of Canadian, march 14. miles.
JUNE, MONDAY, 18, 1860. Marched up N. F. Canadian 19. miles & camped on good grass no fuel.
JUNE, TUESDAY, 19, 1860. Lay by to-day. took bath ponds full of cat & sunfish. fish for every meal. Dr. Madison's mustang potatoes [?]
JUNE, WEDNESDAY, 20, 1860. Lie [?] by to reconnoitre for water volunteered to go on march with 2 men to see if water is 40 miles ahead. start at 5 am. find water at 40 miles at 2-1/2 P. M. rest 1-1/2 hours & starting back reached camp at 1¼ at night. slept 1-1/2 hours and marched at 5 am back with command over the 40 miles. Walker characterizes my reconnaisance as very successful & creditable service.
JUNE, THURSDAY, 21, 1860. Arrived at camp 4.10 P M. I have marched 120 miles in 35 hours during all which time I have slept but 1-1/2 hours.
JUNE, FRIDAY, 22, 1860. March n. n. W. by compass cross Santa Fe road about 20 miles, & reach Cimaron at Aubrey's crossing.  Finish letter to wife, to send by Express to Pawnee Fork tomorrow. Express sent for provisions.
JUNE, SATURDAY, 23, 1860. Went up stream 4 miles & camped on better grass. Lay by remainder of day.
JUNE, SUNDAY, 24, 1860. Lay by till 4 P. M. March on Aubreys trail N. E. till 10-1/2 A M [P. M.] Halt picket out on prairie. Saddle up & resume march early-- without breakfast on 25th. Reach Bear river (two Butte) River, whole march 45 miles Last night Walker at Sedgwick. Water of Bear river plenty & good in large pools. Reuben killed 2 ducks at one shot.
JUNE, MONDAY, 25, 1860. See preceding page. Found Otis  here, who had been sent forward to reconnoitre for water.
JUNE, TUESDAY, 26, 1860. Fine antelope killed by Johnny Williams (Delaware). I got the antlers -- a superb pair. -- to present to P W H of N C. Lay by till about 4 P. M. when saddling up we go down Bear river about 18 miles & find water & large cottonwoods. about 10 P. M. camp by moonlight. take cold lunch & to-bed.
JUNE, WEDNESDAY, 27, 1860. Lay by till P. M. Loll in the shade of the gigantic cottonwoods. all day. At 4 P. M. saddle up & march on aubrey's trail 21 miles, picket out about 10 P M on roadside, & with cold lunch to-bed. N E 21 miles
JUNE, THRSDAY, 28, 1860. At first dawn saddle up & continue march warming some cold coffee we brought in a canteen, & after 15 miles march N. E. reach the long wished for arkansas. How comparative all our joys are. That stream upon which I have heaped so much abuse, appears now -- lovely & most welcome to view. Fall Leaf's rifle burst today mangling his face a good deal. I crossed with McI.  & Lom  to a train no news no nothing N E 15 miles
JUNE, FRIDAY, 29, 1860. Yesterday the same Arrapahoe visited us, now on his way to Bents Fort  with one of Bents trains on the other side. Crossed to north bank of arkansas & camped. aubreys crossing.  a very extensive bottom-- many islands with brushwood in the river. And some large trees on an island above.
JUNE, SATURDAY, 30, 1860. Muster at 8 A M-- Horses & mules inspected. G has best horses but worst mules. Our ration period expires to-day.
JULY, SUNDAY, 1, 1860. In camp. Col. St. Vrain  the old trader passed in ambulance P. M. Says our supply train left Pawnee Fork on 28th, & ought to be here tomorrow. Pegram  has passed en route to New Mexico. Kiowas reported to be on cow creek & south Platte Randall & Reuben kill six ducks.
JULY, MONDAY, 2, 1860. In camp
JULY, SATURDAY, 7, 1860. Marched up Arkansas & camped just below Big Timbers. 20. 00/100 miles
JULY, SUNDAY, 8, 1860. Contind march up River passing Boon of Mo & several other Pike's Peak trains. Scattered trees continuation of Big Timbers, soil sandy & poor grass good in bottoms. 22. 40/100
AUGUST, WEDNESDAY, 1, 1860. Left at 6 A M on scout Merrill & 36 men Fall Leaf Wms. & Wilson-- at 8-1/2 AM reached trib[utary] to Smoky Hill. Signs-- halt half hour-- march at 9 AM 10 degrees 176; E of N, halt at dry bed half way to skin anteelope-- pack it and at 11.20 reach another creek same signs. go down it at 12.20
AUGUST, SUNDAY, 5, 1860. Crossed northward and taking ridge several miles from river marched generally East parallel to gen'l course of river. No grass buffalos have devoured all-- timber at intervals water in bed in holes. Emigrant road coincides generally with our course-- Do grass arr. 2.20 P. M. feed on cottonwood 24-1/2 miles [profile sketch included]
AUGUST, MONDAY, 6, 1860. Gen course East coinciding with Emigrant road. crossed many ravines springs of del. water oozing from banks & sinking immediately no grass. Camp on Smoky Hill march 20.95 miles I killed fine antelope buck, at spring named antelope spring. no grass fed horses on cottonwood & elm & grape vine. ar 12.20 [profile sketch included]
AUGUST, FRIDAY, 10, 1860. Travelled S. W. from Sarcoxie spring & after 12 miles came to walnut cr. halted & grazed. then crossed S. W. the Santa Fe road and camped on arkansas. Here we met Sedgwick's guides who informed us that Sedgwick had preceded us several days at Fort Larned and that the Expedtn. was broken up-- 4 cos of cav ordered to Bent's Fort to winter & build post. Startling news. 2 cos 2d Drags to take post at Fort Larned. Wms & I left camp about sundown & went up to Larned 18 miles that night. Lee told me I had a fine son. 
AUGUST, SATURDAY, 11, 1860. Steele's command came in about 11 a. m. McIntyre is going in to Riley for co property. I apply for 7 days leave to go with him. granted. We are to leave tomorrow, with 6 wagons & 4 sergts. Every body is blue & disgusted.
AUGUST, SUNDAY, 12, 1860. Start for Fort Riley. Go by Larned-- take in my two mules. They follow. I ride my roan Kiowa, leaving Beppo[?] with Lee at Larned. camp on Walnut creek.
AUGUST, MONDAY, 13, 1860. Travelled pretty briskly reaching the Smoky Hill & camp.
AUGUST, TUESDAY, 14, 1860. Marched beyond crossing of Saline. Left the train late in afternoon on our ponies to make Riley tomorrow. About dark reach Solomon's Fork where Col Crittenden  with an encampment of 20 or 30 families & 700[?] recruits horses &c. for New Mexico. Spent the night there. Saw Dr. Webster, Forney, McNally, Kelly, Moore [?], I. N. McRane [?], Wheeler of N. Y. [?], Gibbs, Lane, Whitall.
AUGUST, WEDNESDAY, 15, 1860. Early this morning left Crit's camp & after 40 miles jog arrived with joyous tramp at our own doors at Fort Riley, taking our families completely by surprise. This page need not be filled out.
Stuart's personal diary falls silent during most of July except for the few entries printed here. During this time the command continued the march up the Arkansas river as indicated for July 8 and went a little beyond Bent's New Fort near present Prowers, Colo. The return march was then made along the Arkansas to the vicinity of present Garden City where a turn was made to the northeast with three companies proceeding along the Smoky Hill river, the other three along Walnut creek. Stuart marched with the Smoky Hill group which continued to present Ellsworth county before turning back to the southwest to join the remainder of the command about 18 miles south of Fort Larned.  From there Stuart returned to Fort Riley.
By August 11 when orders were received to break up the expedition, Sedgwick's column had marched 1,404 miles. The only skirmish for the command involved Lieutenant Stuart and a detachment of 20 men who pursued a small body of Kiowas near Bent's New Fort on July 11 and combined with forces under Capt. William Steele to kill two warriors and take prisoner 16 women and children. 
In the same campaign the column of six companies of the First cavalry under Capt. S. D. Sturgis encountered a large group of Kiowas and Comanches along the Republican fork on August 6. Reporting on all of the summer's expedition, Sturgis claimed 29 of the enemy killed. 
These skirmishes of 1860 along with the appearance in force of U. S. troops on the Plains contributed to the restoration of peace with the Kiowas and Comanches and to the security of the emigrant route. Indian Commissioner William P. Dole reported in November, 1861, that recently the two tribes had "manifested a disposition" to resume friendly relations with the U. S. government and to be "restored to its confidence." 
Dr. W. Stitt Robinson, a graduate of the University of Virginia at Charlottesville, is associate professor of history at the University of Kansas, Lawrence.