KanColl: The Kansas Historical Quarterlies


Fort Aubrey

by Louise Barry

Summer, 1973 (Vol. XXXIX, No. 2), pages 188 to 199
Transcription & 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.


ON SEPTEMBER 15, 1865, Bvt. Maj. Gen. W. L. Elliott, at District of Kansas headquarters, Fort Lyon, Colorado territory, issued Special Order No. 20, which stated: "The Post to be established near Aubrey's Crossing of the Arkansas, formerly Camp Wynkoop, will be known as Fort Aubrey." [1] Located 20 miles east of the Colorado line, at a spring branch, on the north side of the Arkansas, the site was four miles east of present Syracuse, Hamilton county, in Sec. 23, T. 24 S., R. 40 W. [2]

     Sixteen months earlier (May 12, 1864) Col. John M. Chivington, head of the First Colorado cavalry, had instructed Fort Lyon's commander -- Maj. Edward W. Wynkoop -- to "Establish a stray picket down the Arkansas River, say at the southeastern line of Colorado, and an officer in charge. . . ." Its purpose: to keep a lookout for rebels, and to check on Indian movements. The order was soon carried out. On May 21 Wynkoop notified Chivington: "I have just received a dispatch from Lieutenant [Luther] Wilson, commanding Camp Wynkoop, a picket camp 60 miles east of this post, to the effect that the Cheyennes are about establishing a large camp in his vicinity. . . ." [3]

     Major Wynkoop, reporting, August 9, 1864, an Indian (Kiowa-Comanche?) attack on a wagon train some seven miles from Fort Lyon, wrote: "I immediately sent word to Captain [Isaac] Gray, at Camp Wynkoop, to throw his command on the opposite side of the Arkansas river to cut off the retreat of the Indians should they proceed in that direction. . . ." Four days later he wrote Chivington that Captain Gray, Company E, had arrived at Fort Lyon. In the same dispatch he listed recent Indian depredations, stating that "two men of Company E while at Camp Wynkoop are supposed to have been murdered [by Indians]. . . ." [4]

     The August 31, 1864, report on organization of troops in the District of Colorado showed Lt. George W. Hawkins and Company A, First Colorado cavalry stationed at Camp Wynkoop. The next report -- October 31 -- did not list the camp. [5] However, the withdrawal of the troops that fall did not mean the site had been abandoned. In his reminiscences, pioneer Robert M. Wright stated that a ranch (stage station) which he and a partner built at "Fort Aubrey" in the late spring or early summer of 1864, continued in operation. [6]

     Wright (in 1901) described the attempt he (accompanied by his wife and two small children), and a partner, made, in the early spring of 1864, to establish a ranch at "Spring Bottom" on the Arkansas (this was upriver, not many miles from Fort Lyon), and the Indian attack that soon occurred which forced abandonment of the site. His account says: "After the fight at Spring Bottom, I moved down to Fort Aubrey [i. e., Camp Wynkoop in 1864], where, in conjunction with Mr. James Anderson I built a fine ranch. At that place we had numerous little skirmishes, troubles, trials, and many narrow escapes from the Indians."

     In other recollections (1907) Wright commented:

     I built nearly all the overland stations between Fort Larned and Fort Lyon, I think it was in 1864. . . . The stations were built about thirty miles apart. . . . The stations were dugouts. I would select a bank, cut the face straight down, and make a square excavation about 13[18?] or 20 feet square, make a chimney of sods in the back, level up the sides and fill in the front with sods and put on a roof with poles, hay & dirt. The stable would be made the same way. As the stations were all on the north side of the river, they faced south, the door and one or two windows in front. I had to select men to stay at these stations to care for and protect the mules. [7]

     Wright, in his Dodge City . . . (1913) stated: "The summer of 1866, I was closing up my business at Fort Aubrey, preparatory to moving to Fort Dodge. For a few years previous to this, I had been ranching at the abandoned government post of Fort Aubrey (which I had strongly fortified against the Indians), and erecting stage stations for the overland stage line of Barlow, Sanderson & Co."

     In 1901 he had said:

     Just before I moved from Aubrey, J. F. Bigger and I had a subcontract to furnish hay at Fort Lyon, seventy-five miles west of Aubrey. While we were preparing to move up to go to work a vast herd of buffalo stampeded through our range one night and took off with them about half of our work cattle. The next day the stage-driver and conductor told us they had seen a few of our cattle about twenty-five miles east of Aubrey. . . . I started after the missing beasts, while my partner took those that remained and a few wagons and left for Fort Lyon. . . .

     Wright went on to relate his difficulties in getting the animals back to the Fort Aubrey ranch. After which, accompanied by a young man named Ward, he set out for Fort Lyon with "fourteen or fifteen yoke of cattle and four or five wagons." (He "coupled all the wagons together and strung all the fifteen yoke of oxen to them.") En route, the second day out, they met the eastbound stage. Aboard were Wright's "partner, Mr. B. F. Bigger, and four or five other men besides the driver." Earlier, Indians had "stopped the coach and robbed it, whipped the mules with their quirts until they got them on a dead run, then fired at them, and shot several arrows into the coach." (At that time, following the peace treaties of October, 1865, the Plains tribes, as Wright put it, "were supposed to be peaceable, although small war parties of young men, who could not be controlled by their chiefs, were continually committing depredations, while the main body of the savages were very uneasy, expecting to go out any day.") Wright, despite the danger ahead, was determined to proceed to Fort Lyon. Bigger refused to join him, saying he was going to the Fort Aubrey ranch to protect his wife and child. To this Wright said he replied: "My wife and children are there too, in one of the strongest little forts in the country, six or eight men with them, and plenty of arms and ammunition; all the Indians on the plains cannot take them." (Although the Indians, subsequently, did stop Wright and Ward, they robbed them of "grub and rope, but nothing else.") [8]

     Wright does not say who succeeded him as operator of the stage station; and nothing in his reminiscences indicates the presence of troops while he lived there. But soldiers were stationed at Camp Wynkoop from May to September(?), 1864, and in August-September, 1865; and at Fort Aubrey from mid-September, 1865, to mid-April, 1866. The 1864 occupancy has been related. These were the developments in 1865:

     On July 1, 1865, Bvt. Maj. Gen. John B. Sanborn, U. S. Volunteers, received orders (from Maj. Gen. G. M. Dodge) to "proceed without delay to Fort Riley and assume command of the District of the Upper Arkansas." Dodge, in a July 14 letter to Sanborn, wrote:

     Consider whether it would not be well for you to have a good supply of stores of all kinds at Fort Larned -- I mean in addition to those needed for that post -- so that escorts, expeditions, etc., could be supplied at all times. Also, if it would not be well to put a post about 90 or 100 miles this side of Fort Lyon, near Aubrey Crossing, or in that vicinity, so as to relieve escorts to stages oftener. I propose to send some fifteen light wagons, rigged for five mules, to be used for escorts to coaches. Send more wagons, and lighter loads . . . . [9]

     As a result of General Dodge's suggestion, Camp Wynkoop (just over 100 miles west of Fort Dodge and 67 miles east of Fort Lyon) was reoccupied. The first troops sent there were "galvanized Yankees" (ex-Confederates) of the Fifth U. S. volunteer infantry. Lt. Charles H. Hoyt and Company H of this regiment, returning to Fort Dodge in mid-July, after escorting a wagon train to Fort Lyon, got orders to retrace, again, 100 miles of the route and activate Camp Wynkoop. John C. McDade, of Pike county, Alabama, was sergeant major of "H" Company; and a good share of the men were from Alabama and Georgia. Lacking horses, their activities, and usefulness, were limited. They garrisoned Camp Wynkoop through August and into the month following. In September orders came to march to Fort Kearny and join the rest of the Fifth regiment in Nebraska. [10]

     Meantime, Maj. Gen. John Pope, on August 22, 1865, sent Bvt. Maj. Gen. W. L. Elliott (commanding Dist. of Kansas, headquarters, Fort Lyon, C. T.) orders to "reduce greatly the number of troops and the expenditures in that district." He further instructed: "I desire you to break up all posts in your district except the following . . . Fort Leavenworth . . . Fort Riley . . . Cow Creek . . . Fort Larned . . . A post at or near Cimarron Crossing of the Arkansas River [which would have] one company infantry and One company cavalry. A post at or near Aubrey Crossing of Arkansas River [which would have] one company of cavalry and one company of infantry; Fort Lyon [to be reduced to] two companies of cavalry and one company of infantry." Pope also directed Elliott to visit Forts Riley, Larned, and Lyon and reduce the garrisons and supplies, and then stated: "On your way to Lyon you will locate the post near the Cimarron Crossing, and also near Aubrey Crossing of the Arkansas, and at once move the garrisons of those posts to the points selected, and have them commence to build quarters and prepare for winter. . . ." [11]

     As things developed, Forts Ellsworth, Zarah, and Dodge (affected by Pope's order) were not "broken up." Fort Dodge, 25 miles below Cimarron Crossing, substituted for the new post specified to be located "at or near" that crossing of the Arkansas. But the new fort ordered for a site "at or near Aubrey Crossing . . ." did result from Pope's directive. On September 15, 1865 (as previously stated), General Elliott, at Fort Lyon, issued Special Order No. 20: "The Post to be established near Aubrey's Crossing of the Arkansas, formerly Camp Wynkoop, will be known as Fort Aubrey."

     The October, 1865, Fort Aubrey post return shows a garrison then composed of Companies K and D, 13th Missouri volunteer cavalry, and Companies D and F, 48th Wisconsin volunteer infantry -- just over 300 men -- with Cpt. W[ilson] L. Parker, Company K, of the 13th Missouri regiment as commanding officer. Written on the manuscript return is this statement: "Since last return [no September report has been located] the Post has been reinforced [italics supplied] by Cos. F and D, 48th Wisconsin infantry, and Co. D, 13th Missouri cavalry." [12] Unmistakably then, Captain Parker and Company K, 13th Missouri volunteer cavalry were the first troops to replace Lt. Charles H. Hoyt and his Company H, Fifth U. S. volunteer infantry at Camp Wynkoop; and formed the first garrison at Fort Aubrey. (All previous historical sketches of Fort Aubrey have stated, erroneously, that the post was established by Companies D and F, 48th Wisconsin volunteers.) [13]

ROBERT M. WRIGHT, builder of stage stations along the Santa Fe trail, rancher, prominent early day citizen of Dodge City,
and author of the popular eye-witness book
Dodge City, the Cowboy Capital (1913)

ALICE J. WRIGHT (married to Robert in 1859) joined her husband to pioneer in southwestern Kansas at Fort Aubrey ranch (1860's)
and Dodge City (1870's). Photo courtesy Boot Hill Museum, Inc., Dodge City.

FORT AUBREY, a military post of the middle 1860's, was still shown on the 1872 Asher & Adams map of
Kansas the southwest section of which is here reproduced.

The remains of Fort Aubrey (in what became Hamilton county) as shown in the original survey of the area in 1872.

     Eight companies of the 13th Missouri volunteer cavalry had arrived at Fort Riley early in June, 1865. Company K was assigned to Cow Creek Station; Company D to Little Arkansas Crossing. They escorted mail stages and wagon trains during the summer; and were based at Fort Larned when assigned to Fort Aubrey. [14] The 48th Wisconsin volunteer infantry (organized early in 1865) had arrived at Lawrence in late August, expecting to be mustered out; instead got orders to posts on the Plains. Companies D and F, under Cpt. Adolph Wittman, having arrived at Fort Larned in September, marched from that post October 1 for Fort Aubrey. [15]

     The November return showed the same four companies (an aggregate force of just over 300) at the post, with Captain Parker as commandant. Other officers present were: Asst. Surg. H. E. Zielley, Cpt. Adolph Wittman, Cpt. A. J. Lumsden ("sick in post hospital" -- as on the October return), 1Lt. Franklin Davis, 1Lt. George S. Rogers, and 2Lt. James E. Brown -- all of the 48th Wisconsin volunteer infantry; 1Lt. Thomas Doyle, 1Lt. T. J. Shinn, 2Lt. John Viets, and 2Lt. J. D. L. Parks -- all of the 13th Missouri volunteer cavalry.

     During the preceding summer, while at Cow Creek Station, Fort Aubrey's commanding officer, Cpt. Wilson L. Parker, [16] had come to know the ranch proprietor there -- William Mathewson (the first "Buffalo Bill"). To Mathewson, at the beginning of December, Parker addressed this letter:

Hed Qrt. Fort Aubrey
Kansas December 1, 1865

Friend William
     I received notice from Genl Elliott to prepair my Books & Papers. Preparitory to being mustered out on arrival at Fort Leavenworth. All Cos's. of the 13 is to be mustered out I cant tell when I will receive orders to march. cant leave untill other troops comes. I want you if you pleas to git me some six or 8 No. 1" Buffalo Robes and enough wolf skins to make me 2 or 3 first rate robes & I will be by to git them I will write you when I start & give the letter to the conductor Be shure and git the robes and skins for me -- The men all send thare best respects to you. And I want you to accept my best wishes and kindest regards for your self and family. I expect to leave in about a week
Your Friend

W L Parker Capt
13 Cav Mo Vol
Commanding Post [

     But it was the end of December before replacement troops (for the Missourians) reached Fort Aubrey. The January, 1866, post return contains Bvt. Maj. Anton Mills's statement that he assumed command on January 1. His Company H, 18th U. S. infantry, and Company M, 2d U. S. cavalry were the regular army detachments under his command. Companies D and F of the 48th Wisconsin volunteer infantry departed for Fort Leavenworth (and mustering out) on January 21. [18]

     William N. Byers, copublisher of the Rocky Mountain News, left Denver, C. T., on an eastbound stage early in January, 1866. While at Fort Aubrey on January 7, he wrote a letter for his paper from which excerpts are given here:

     We left Fort Bent [Old Fort Bent] the morning of the 5th. That station is the headquarters or depot, of the Kansas City and Santa Fe Stage Company. It is the diverging point of the Denver and Santa Fe branches, and consequently the most important station on their route. . . . We spent the day between Bent and Lyon. . . .

     We left [Fort] Lyon the 6th, at 10 a. m., having made preparation for the long drive of 240 miles without change of team. There were six through passengers, occupying a coach drawn by a team of five mules. A baggage wagon with a similar team, accompanied us, loaded with baggage, provisions for men and forage for animals. The noon camp was made in the dry bed of Sand Creek . . . near its mouth. After a two hour's halt we again rolled out, and continued traveling until almost midnight. The weather after dark was exceedingly cold, and the whole plain thickly covered with snow, which screeched and creaked terribly under the coach wheels. We entered the celebrated Salt Bottom at dark, and did not leave it until just before camping time. It is a low wet bottom, of great extent and thickly covered with tall, coarse grass. Wherever the ground was bare of snow, it was whitened with alkaline efflorescences. . . . [They made camp for the night.]

     Just before day-break this morning the western bound coach came up, and there was a transfer of baggage and change of drivers, upon completing which, we set out for this post [Fort Aubrey] for breakfast. It was eleven o'clock when we arrived, and just twelve before we got breakfast or dinner. The day has been dark, foggy, cloudy, and threatening snow. We lay by for an evening start, but the night promised so dark that it was postponed until the moon rises -- midnight -- and now it is further put off until daylight. It is one hundred and twenty miles [19] to the next post; Fort Dodge, and will make two full days' travel if no more snow falls.

     We are now forty-five [i. e., 20] miles east of the Colorado and Kansas line. This post [Fort Aubrey] was established late in the fall, and the work arrested by a heavy snow storm in the first days of December. It is intended to check the Indians in their frequent raids upon the road, and is at present garrisoned by two companies of the 48th Wisconsin, -- infantry -- and one company of the 2nd U. S. cavalry. [20] The men are quartered in half underground caves, dug and built in the bank of a little spring branch about three hundred yards from the Arkansas river. The only other building[s] put up are of adobe, or sod, covered with earth. They are quite comfortable but not very stylish in appearance. Timber is scarce; only a little green cottonwood upon the islands and sand bars in the river. Lumber is brought from Leavenworth after first coming there from the pineries of Wisconsin.

     The snow here is six to eight inches deep, and has been a foot and a half. The weather has been excessively cold for more than a month. The river is frozen up tight all the way down, and the ice is double the thickness of the heaviest on the Platte about Denver. The severe weather and deep snow has been terribly destructive to the stock of freighters. Trains are laying up for the winter all along the valley, and also along the Aubrey and Cimarron roads to Fort Union and Santa Fe. Some trains have lost half, and others two-thirds of their cattle. . . . There is hardly a freighter whose losses will not be heavy, and to some it will be almost or quite ruinous. Many large trains are corraled in places that will prove very dangerous when moderate weather again allows the Indians to take the war path. They are usually guarded by less than a half dozen men and massacres need be no matter of surprise. Many teamsters have been frozen more or less severely and a few fatally. All who could, have returned to the States. . . .

     Antelope are very plenty and a few deer are seen. Wild turkeys are found along the larger streams and jack rabbits in the sage brush. Wolves follow and hang about the buffalo herds in incredible numbers. . . . [21]

     Fort Aubrey's aggregate troop strength in January, 1866, was 130, according to the post return. On February 19, the arrival of Company C, 18th U. S. infantry enlarged the garrison. The February return listed these officers: Bvt. Maj. Anson Mills (commanding post), Cpt. William P. McCleery (Company C, 18th infantry), 1Lt. Axel S. Adams (Company M, 2d cavalry), and Act. Asst. Surg. Joseph Kugler. In March (with Mills on leave) McCleery became the commanding officer; and he was in charge when General Order No. 45, District of Kansas, declared Fort Aubrey abandoned April 15, 1866. [22]

     In the last week of its existence a number of troops deserted the post. At Fort Dodge on April 12, Bvt. Ltc. G. A. Gordon wrote Fort Larned's commanding officer that three deserters from Fort Aubrey, on foot (two of them armed with rifles), had passed Fort Dodge "night before last"; and that he had been informed eight men deserted Fort Aubrey on the evening of April 9, "who have probably not passed this Post as yet." On April 16 Gordon wrote Cpt. William P. McCleery that the body of Pvt. Maurice Hernback, "H" Company, 18th U. S. infantry, had been found some 25 miles east of Fort Aubrey, near the Arkansas river, on the evening of April 14. Apparently he had been murdered and robbed by his "confederate" -- a deserter "represented" to have left Fort Aubrey on the evening of the 13th. [23]

     Although no longer a military post, Fort Aubrey continued as a stage station. (Robert M. Wright occupied the ranch till the autumn of 1866 -- see p. 190.) In a November 5, 1866, letter Fort Dodge's commanding officer, Bvt. Maj. Andrew Sheridan, reported on a ruckus which had taken place at "Fort Aubry" on October 20. Jean Baptiste Hert, workman for a lumber train bound from Fort Lyon to Fort Dodge, had shot (wounded) a stage driver. Hert, brought as a prisoner to Fort Dodge, claimed self-defense. [24]

     In 1867, when the Plains tribes renewed their warfare with the whites, Maj. Henry Douglass, commanding Fort Dodge, wrote Bvt. Brig. Gen. W. H. Penrose, Fort Lyon's commandant, on May 4, asking that a noncommissioned officer and nine men of Company G, 37th U. S. infantry, be placed at each of three stations -- Sand Creek, Pretty Encampment, and Fort Aubrey -- to provide escort for coaches of the Overland Stage Company. On May 23 the mail station at Pretty Encampment was attacked, and the stock run off. Two men of Company I, 37th U. S. infantry were killed near Fort Aubrey on May 31, while hunting. In June there were attacks on Fort Dodge, also at the lower (Mulberry) and Cimarron Crossings of the Arkansas. Major Douglass wrote on June 18: "The country in this vicinity is alive with Indians. . . . The road is very, unsafe. . . ." He noted that the stage stations had guards of 11 men from the 37th U. S. infantry; and that every ranch between Fort Aubrey and Sand Creek had been attacked. Nothing more relating to Fort Aubrey ranch and the Indians, in the 1860's, has been found. [25]

     Writing from "Fort Aubrey," in the late summer of 1872, a member of the surveying party working on township lines in what is now Hamilton county, made these observations: "Fort Aubrey, is not a post now, but is used as a ranch by the men who expect to take homesteads here next spring. Where the fort stands is a beautiful spring branch, with a splendid spring within twenty feet of the door. The branch is about a rod wide and about three feet deep. The soil is excellent and they think they have got the garden spot of Kansas. Upon inspection, however, it was found that section was not government land but belonged to the A. T. & S. F. R. R. company. . . . They are determined though and say that they will have the land if they have to buy it of the company. . . ." The writer also commented: ". . . in another year the railroad will be completed through the valley and settlers will begin to flock in and then will this valley -- the Great American Desert of geographies -- begin to bloom and to bear fruit. . . ." [26]

     In 1874 Hamilton county still was not a particularly safe place for travelers, or settlers. Near the west boundary of Kansas -- within three miles of Sargent (now Coolidge) -- on July 4, 1874, a young herder was killed, scalped, and otherwise mutilated by Indians; and on the same day, on Butte creek in Colorado territory (about 12 miles west of Sargent) one man was killed, and a second, chased by Indians, was missing, and perhaps another victim. [21] On August 15, along the line of the Santa Fe railroad, within one to three miles east of Aubrey station, four bodies were picked up -- two had been scalped, horribly mutilated, and burned. They were all unarmed men returning from the Colorado mines; three (John Doyle, John McDonald, William Graham) were on foot, and an old man named Snyder was mounted. There was a fifth victim ("Murphy") according to the Kansas adjutant general's report. The Cheyennes(?) also burned a railroad bridge. [28] So far as known these were the last Indian depredations in the area.

Louise Barry is a member of the staff of the Kansas State Historical Society. She is author of many articles on Kansas and Western history and of the recently published The Beginning of the West (Topeka, Kansas State Historical Society, 1972).
  1. It was named for Francis X. Aubry (1824-1854), a Santa Fe trader whose trail explorations in 1851 and 1852 resulted in the finding of an improved route from Cold Spring, on the Cimarron, to the Arkansas -- a route which avoided the "Cimarron desert" on the old trail. Fort Aubrey was some five miles upriver from the point where his route struck the Arkansas. Aubry, whose name was misspelled by most of his contemporaries, had gained fame in 1848 for swift horseback rides from Santa Fe, N. M., to Independence, Mo. He made one trip in eight days and 10 hours; then surpassed that record by traveling the route in five days and 16 hours. See The Kansas Historical Quarterly (KHQ), v. 31 (1965), pp. 160, 161, 182; or, Louise Barry, The Beginning of the West (1972), pp. 753, 754, 775, 776. For his trail explorations, see ibid., pp. 999, 1042, 1046, 1064, 1089; or, KHQ, v. 32 (1966), pp. 230, 266, 431, 456, 488. Aubry, aged 30, was killed by Richard H. Weightman in 1854.

  2. Fort Aubrey was about 300 yards from the Arkansas river (see Byers's statement on pp. 195-196 of this article), not "about two and one-half miles" as stated in Kansas Historical Collections (KHC), v. 9, p. 568, and in F. W. Blackmar, ed., Kansas, a Cyclopedia of State History . . . (Chicago, c1912), v. 1, p. 657.

  3. War of the Rebellion, Series I, v. 34, pt. 3, pp. 565, 712.

  4. Ibid., v. 41, pt. 1, pp. 231, 237, 238.

  5. Ibid., v. 41, pt. 2, p. 981, pt. 4, p. 379.

  6. In 1901 Robert M. Wright, in an address, gave his "Personal Reminiscences of Frontier Life in Southwest Kansas," subsequently published in KHC, v. 7, pp. 47-83. In 1907 he dictated two pages of reminiscences on the subject of the "Overland Stage Road between Fort Larned and Santa Fe" (filed in KHi ms. division). Wright's book Dodge City the Cowboy Capital . . ., published in 1913, recounted more recollections. A sketch of Robert M. Wright's life in Hill P. Wilson's A Biographical History of Eminent Men of the State of Kansas (Topeka, 1901), p. 633, states that he married "Alice J. Wright" in 1859. Wright (born September 2, 1840) left his native state of Maryland when aged 16 and settled in Missouri where he worked on a farm near St. Louis till 1859, when he made his first overland trip to Denver.

  7. In his Dodge City . . ., p. 34, Wright stated: "This is the way we built these stations. We first hunted a steep bank facing the south and the river -- as the Arkansas ran east and west -- and dug straight into this bank a suitable distance, wide enough to suit out convenience, and ten or twelve feet deep at the deepest place, with a gradual slope to the south of seven or eight feet. Now this formed three sides with an excavation . . . and only left the south opening exposed. This we built up with sod or adobes. The top we covered with poles laid across, and on the poles we placed hay, covering the whole business with dirt, and sloping it down with the natural fall of the ground. . . ."

  8. KHC, v. 7, pp. 64-67.

  9. War of the Rebellion, Series I, v. 28, pt. 2, pp. 1038, 1079.

  10. D. Alexander Brown, The Galvanized Yankees (Urbana, Ill., 1963), pp. 206-208. Company H, Fifth U. S. volunteer infantry had arrived at Fort Leavenworth April 28, from Camp Douglas prison. Lt. Charles H. Hoyt was given command on May 1. On May 28 Company H reached Fort Riley. On June 5 "H" and "I" companies got orders to escort a New Mexico-bound wagon train. From Fort Dodge, Company H served as escort west to Fort Lyon, C. T. From that point Hoyt detached a few men to continue with the train; and marched back to Fort Dodge with the rest of his company.

  11. War of the Rebellion, Series I, v. 48, pt. 2, p. 1203.

  12. Fort Aubrey post returns (microfilm from National Archives). Lacking the first (September) return, which would supply an answer, it can only be assumed that Parker and his men relieved the U. S. volunteers, rather than arriving after their departure.

  13. Both KHC, v. 9, p. 568, and Blackmar, Kansas, a Cyclopedia . . ., v. 1, p. 657, have this error, So does the summary item on Fort Aubrey's history filled with the post returns -- a typed statement.

  14. Annual Report of the Adjutant General of Missouri for the Year Ending Dec. 31, 1865 (Jefferson City, Mo., 1866), pp. 386-387.

  15. W. D. Love, Wisconsin in the War of the Rebellion . . . (Chicago, 1866), p. 872.

  16. Parker is listed as "Wilson L." in the Official Army Register of the Volunteer Force of the United States Army for the Years 1861, '62, '63, '64, '65 (1867), pt. 7, p. 43.

  17. "George H. Browne Collection" in KHi ms. division.

  18. Part of the 48th Wisconsin infantry left Kansas in 1865. The junction City Union of December 23, 1865, noted: "The 48th Wisconsin infantry passed through this town last Sunday on way to Fort Leavenworth to be mustered out. Col. Uri B. Pearsall of said regiment had his face badly frozen on the trip in. He, and some others of the regiment plan to return to settle in the spring."

  19. The tables of distances which accompany this article show the Fort Aubrey-Fort Dodge distance to be just over 100 miles.

  20. Byers failed to include Company H, 18th U. S. infantry, as part of the garrison.

  21. Daily Rocky Mountain News, Denver, C. T., January 22, 1866.

  22. Fort Aubrey post returns (microfilm from National Archives). A post office at Fort Aubrey (established January 24, 1866; George Pool, postmaster) continued in operation till October 3, 1866.

  23. "Fort Dodge, Kansas, Letters Sent, 1866-1882 (microfilm from National Archives).

  24. Ibid.

  25. Ibid.

  26. Topeka Daily Commonwealth, September 3, 1872.

  27. Ibid., July 10, 1874.

  28. Ibid., August 18, 1874; Leavenworth Daily Commercial, August 18, 1874; Wichita Eagle, August 20, 1874; Kansas Adjutant General's Report, 1873-1874 (see pp. 16, 34) lists the fifth victim. The newspaper accounts give only four.

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