1st Battalion 22nd Infantry

 

 

Early Frontier Service of the 22nd Infantry

1866 - 1873

 

Cap insignia for the 22nd Infantry Regiment authorized for wear 1872-1875
----Left, metal pin-on for enlisted------Right, bullion sew-on for officer

 

( Ed. note: in 1815, after the War of 1812, the 22nd Infantry Regiment was inactivated.
It was not reactivated until 1866, when the 2nd Battalion of the 13th Infantry was re-designated
as the US 22nd Regiment of Infantry.)

 

RE-ACTIVATION OF THE TWENTY-SECOND INFANTRY

The organization of the Second Battalion, Thirteenth Infantry, did not commence until 1863;
Companies A and B being organized at Camp Dennison, Ohio, in May of that year,
while Companies C, D, E, F, G and H did not appear as units until July, 1865.
A month later the entire battalion left Camp Dennison for Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, where it arrived on September 5.
In November of the same year the battalion went to Fort Larned by way of Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
In May, 1866, the Second Battalion was concentrated at Fort Leavenworth,
and proceeded thence to the District of the Upper Missouri.
In this District stations were taken by units of the battalion as follows:
Headquarters and Companies A and B, Fort Randall;
Companies C, E and H, Fort Sully;
Company G, Fort Thompson ;
Company F. Fort James;
Company D, Fort Dakota.

 

Organization of the Twenty-second Infantry

September 21, 1866, in pursuance of the Act of Congress of July 28, 1866,
the designation of the Second Battalion, Thirteenth Infantry, was changed to the Twenty-second Regiment of Infantry,
which title the regiment has borne to the present day.
The first Colonel of the Twenty-second was David S. Stanley, who commanded the regiment for eighteen years,
until he was appointed a Brigadier-General in 1884. Colonel Stanley died March 13, 1902.
Other field officers of the original command were Elwell S. Otis and Hiram Dryer;
the former eventually became the first American Governor-General of thePhilippine Islands,
and Major Dryer died while holding that rank in the regiment in 1867.
The regiment at this time consisted of eight letter companies, this having been the prescribed organization of infantry regiments
prior to 1866. On October 2, 1866, Companies I and K were organized at Bedloes Island, New York,
and left the same day to take station at Fort Randall.

 

 

The Field Grade Officers of the 22nd Infantry in 1866:

 

Colonel D.S. Stanley
First Commander of the 22nd Infantry Regiment after its reactivation in 1866
Portrait done after he attained the rank of Major General.

Illustration from the 1922 Regimental History

 

Lieutenant Colonel Elwell S. Otis

Photo from the New York
Public Library Digital Gallery

 

--------------------------

 

Major Hiram Dryer

Photo from the Company K Fourth Regiment
United States Infantry website

 

 

Consolidation of the Twenty-second and Thirty-first Regiments

May 15, 1869, the Thirty-first Infantry was consolidated with the Twenty-second,
the former regiment having been originally the Third Battalion of the Thirteenth.
On this occasion one-half the officers of the Thirty-first and all the enlisted personnel were transferred to the Twenty-second Infantry.
The consolidation of the two regiments was effected by first combining the companies of the Twenty-second;
Companies A and I becoming Company A;
B and K Company B;
C and F Company C;
D and E Company D;
H retaining its letter designation.
In the same manner Companies B and E of the Thirty-first became Company E of the Twenty-second;
F and H Company F;
C and G Company G;
D and I Company I;
A and K Company K.

Forty-two years following this consolidation the Twenty-second Infantry was continuously engaged
in the construction of buildings for small posts in the Indian country of the West.
In 1870, Regimental Headquarters and Companies A, E, F, and H occupied Fort Sully;
while Companies B, C, D, and G took station at Fort Randall under the Lieutenant Colonel.
At the same time Company I was sent to the Crow Creek Indian Agency,
and K to Lower Brule Agency, these two posts being on opposite sides of the Missouri River,
about eight miles apart, and midway between Forts Sully and Randall.
Company I remained at Crow Creek only nine months, after which it was transferred to Sully
and the Crow Creek buildings were turned over to the Indians to be used as school houses.

 

Map of the Northern Plains, from Combat Diary by A.B. Feuer*

 

1866

Company C was sent to Fort Buford—which at that time was nothing more than a tent camp with seventy enlisted men and two officers.
Captain W. G. Rankin's orders were to 'build a post.' The army was unconcerned that the only tools the men had to work with were hand-axes,
but that was the least of Rankin's troubles—hostile Indians attacked the campsite practically every day.
Squads of soldiers, cutting and rafting logs from the mouth of the Yellowstone River, were often pounced upon and driven back to camp.
The ensuing battles would last from two to six hours.
Captain Robert Lee Hamilton wrote: "These were trying times for the small detachment of soldiers at Fort Buford.
The Sioux had been heavily reinforced, and boldly boasted that they intended to annihilate the soldiers.
Throughout the harsh winter, the post was continually besieged. The troops were virtually cut off from water [Missouri River]
and were forced to sink wells near their quarters.
Until spring, only two mails managed to leave the fort, and rumors spread east that the garrison had been massacred.
Captain Rankin's wife spent the winter in camp with her husband—bravely enduring the hardship and danger."
By the summer of 1867, two more posts were under construction— Fort Stevenson and Fort Totten.
Working squads carried their guns with them, and, when surprised by Indians, they would form a battle line and fight off the warriors.
Large building logs were scarce—at times many miles from the fort site. Armed escorts were sent with the wagons that carried the logging parties.
However, they were often attacked by the Sioux—both sides suffering heavy casualties.
Captain Hamilton stated: "The troops lived in tents until late in the winter of 1867.
The snow was waist deep before they were able to move into warm quarters.
"It was none too soon at Stevenson and Totten, as a furious snow-storm lashed the forts for several days with savage winds,
followed by bitter cold. Officers and men remained inside their quarters until the storm abated.
At Stevenson, fuel ran out and the soldiers burned furniture to keep from freezing.

"A wagon train, loaded with lumber and canned goods, en route from Fort Abercrombie to Totten,
was forced to halt at the Cheyenne River. In order to keep from freezing and starving, the men burned the lumber and ate most of the canned food."
Official correspondence and mail arrived at the forts every two weeks during the winter—once a month at more distant posts.
The mail was carried by dog sled, and half-breeds were employed as drivers.
Captain Hamilton narrated: "Communication between Stevenson and Buford—and between Totten and Stevenson was difficult.
This section of territory was infested with hostile Indians—who would attack the mail parties and wipe them out to the man.
"In the Spring of 1868, a squad of soldiers left Totten with dispatches for Stevenson. About midway between the two posts,
the troops were ambushed by a large number of Sioux. A rescue party later found the soldiers' bodies—stripped of clothing and mutilated."*

On June 10, the same year, Captain Albert M. Powell, a brave and accomplished officer of the regiment,
who rendered good service during the war as chief of artillery of the 7th army corps, was killed by being thrown from a vicious horse.
In the meantime the 22nd was building Forts Sully and Rice and repairing and adding new buildings to Fort Randall under difficulties similar
to those above recited. Detachments also occupied Indian agencies, where they had to build shelter. All of the posts were from time to time
attacked by Indians. In the summer of 1868, a large number of Sioux Indians attacked the guard with the cattle herd at Buford.
The guard, including two or three officers who joined it on horseback, fought desperately, but were overpowered,
Lieutenant Cusick being wounded and several men killed or wounded, and the cattle stampeded and driven off.
This was so sudden and the work so quickly done that the infantry could not get on the ground in time to take part in it.
Lieutenant Hogan followed the Indians with men in wagons (there were only enough horses at the post for a small detachment),
and had some skirmishing with them, but could not recapture the cattle.

On September 26, 1868, detachments from companies A, B, I and K are recorded as having fought
in an engagement with Sioux Indians, near Ft. Rice, Dakota.

In 1869 the following engagements with Sioux were recorded by the 22nd Regiment:

March 16, near Ft. Randall, Dakota. Detachments of C and F Companies.
August 3, Ft. Stevenson, Dakota. - Companies E and F, Capt. S.A. Wainwright in command. Attack on herd.
August 5, Ft. Stevenson, Dakota. - Garrison of post and Detachment of scouts. Lieut. F.E. Parsons in command. Co. R of the Scouts. Attack on herd.

 

During this period, on the frontier, there was not one mile of railway in the Dakotas and Montana—
and not more than three stage lines operated in the two territories. Captain Hamilton wrote how difficult it was to travel from one post
to another without a military escort: "In 1870, three officers of the Twenty-second Infantry were ordered from Fort Sully to Fort Totten—
a distance, as the crow flies, of 250 miles. They were required to travel by way of Sioux City, Chicago, and St. Paul—
more than 1,600 miles to reach their destination."*

 

On June 14, 1871 detachments of Companies B, D, G, H and K fought an engagement with Sioux
near the Ponca Agency, Dakota.

 

 

EARLY FRONTIER SERVICE

 

 

 

Pay voucher for 1st Lieutenant Thomas H. Fisher, 22nd Infantry,
for the month of April 1871. His pay included his regular salary of $125.00 per month.
plus 10 % for 5 years service, giving a final amount of $137.50 pay for the month of April.

 

 

 

 

The First Yellowstone Expedition

In the Autumn of 1871 the first expedition to the Yellowstone River was organized at Fort Rice
as an escort to General T. J. Rosser's surveying party along the projected Northern Pacific Railway.
The expedition consisted of Companies A, C, H and I, Twenty-second Infantry; D and H of the Seventeenth ;
B of the Twentieth; two Gatling guns, 26 Indian Scouts and 104 wagons.
The column left Fort Rice September 9, 1871; reached the Yellowstone River at the mouth of Glendive Creek October 2,
and returned to Fort Rice on October 16, after marching over six hundred miles.

( Ed. note: on the return trip to Fort Rice, the expedition covered the 300 miles distance in 14 days, 4 days of which were spent resting at campsites.)*

Upon arrival at Fort Rice the units of the expedition were returned to their various posts by steamer.

Special Orders No. 206, dated September 4, 1872
directing 2nd LT Gustav von Blücher of the 22nd Infantry to report to New York City
to bring a detachment of recruits to join the 22nd Infantry Regiment
in the Dakota Territory

 

 

Second Yellowstone Expedition

In July, 1872, a second expedition was organized at Fort Rice under the command of Colonel Stanley of the Twenty-second.
This expedition was composed of Regimental Headquarters and Campanies D, F and G, 22nd Infantry;
Companies A, B, C, F, H and K, 8th Infantry; Companies A and F, 17th Infantry, and a small detachment of Indian Scouts.

This force left Fort Rice July 26, 1872, and reached the mouth of Powder River August 18.
On that day Colonel Stanley and a party of his officers were fired upon by Indians said to have been led by a chief named Gaul.
Fortunately there were no casualties, and the Indians were quickly driven off by troops of the expedition.

Captain Hamilton stated: "The expedition marched from Fort Rice on July 26, arriving at the mouth of the Powder River
on August 18. During the afternoon, General Stanley, accompanied by several officers, parleyed with a group of Indians headed by Gaul.
The Indians stood on the opposite side of the river. Suddenly, one of Gaul's braves opened fire.
Our troops rallied to the spot, and the Indians beat a retreat.
We then returned back to Rice, skirmishing with hostiles twice on the return march."*

On the way back to Cabin Creek skirmishes were fought with the Indians at O'Fallon's Creek, August 21-22.
The command, less one company of Infantry and a detachment of Engineers, returned to Fort Rice October 15, 1872.
On October 5, 1872, 1st Lieutenant Lewis D. Adair, 22nd Infantry, died of wounds received in action with the Indians,
the first recorded battle casualty among officers of the regiment.

 

Muster Roll of Company G, 22nd Infantry,
dated December 31st, 1871,
at Fort Randall, DT (Dakota Territory)
signed by1st Lieut. Lewis D. Adair,
Commanding Officer G Company.

Lewis Adair would die a little over 9 months later,
from wounds he received in action
with Sioux Indians near Heart River Crossing,
Dakota Territory.

The account read:
1872: Lieutenant Eben Crosby, 17th Infantry,
Lieutenant L.D. Adair, 22nd Infantry, and a citizen
are hunting near the Heart River, in Dakota,
when they are attacked by Sioux Indians.
In a fight which lasts until tomorrow,
all three are killed.

LT Adair was the first Officer of the Regiment
killed in action since the re-activation
of the 22nd Infantry in 1866.

The muster roll was approved and signed
by LT Colonel Elwell S. Otis,
second in command of the Regiment.

Third Yellowstone Expedition

In May, 1873, the third Yellowstone expedition was organized at Fort Rice under Colonel Stanley.
The force was composed of ten troops of the 7th Cavalry; Company C, 6th Infantry; Companies B, C, F and H, 8th Infantry;
Companies A, D, E, F, H and I, 9th Infantry; Companies A, B and H, 17th Infantry;
and Regimental Headquarters and Companies B, E, H, I and K, 22nd Infantry.
As on the previous expedition, a detachment of Indian Scouts was attached.

June 20, 1873, the column left Fort Rice, and on July 31 reached the Yellowstone River about fifteen miles from the present town of Glendive,
proceeding to Pompey's Pillar on the left bank of the river. On August 4, the advance guard, furnished by the 7th Cavalry,
was attacked by Indians and three casualties were inflicted, including the Regimental Veterinarian, who was killed.
August 11 the 7th Cavalry again engaged the Indians opposite the mouth of the Big Horn River, where Lieutenant Charles Braden, 7th Cavalry,
was severely wounded, and Lieutenant H. H. Ketchum, Adjutant of the 22nd Infantry, had his horse shot under him.
During the night of August 11, the battalion of the 22nd kept up a desultory fire on the Indians, who persisted in harassing the outposts.
The Indians were finally driven to cover by the artillery detachment under Lieutenant Webster, 22nd Infantry, composed of men of that regiment.

Captain Hamilton described the journey: "On June 20, we departed Fort Rice with a large wagon train—
arriving July 31 at the crossing of the Yellowstone about fifteen miles above Glendive.
We advanced up the left bank of the river as far as Pompey's Pillar—but not without opposition from the Indians.
They evidently had concluded that our surveying had gone far enough.
"On August 4, just opposite where Fort Keogh now stands, a band of Indians ambushed our advance guard, killing three men.
The Seventh Cavalry dashed to the attack—driving the enemy off with heavy losses.
"A few days later, the cavalry encountered a large force of Indians near the mouth of the Bighorn River.
A desperate fight ensued with loss of life on both sides. However, upon approach of the infantry, the hostiles dispersed.
"That evening, the Twenty-second Regiment occupied the advance posts. Shots were exchanged with the Indians throughout the night
as they tried to approach the camp—probably to stampede our horses and cattle herd.
"The following day, our artillery shelled the timber along the banks of the Yellowstone—in order to dislodge a band of Indians
who were evidently preparing to impede the next day's journey.*

From Pompey's Pillar the expedition marched to the Mussel Shell River, thence to the Great Porcupine,
following the latter until the Yellowstone was again reached. Much hardship was encountered in this unexplored country,
water was scarce, and even when found was usually filled with impurities.

"This was entirely new and unexplored country—and it was very difficult to transport a large military force and wagon train
across unmapped territory. Water was the most pressing problem—it was either alkaline, or none at all."*

Finally, on September 22, the column reached Fort Lincoln and the companies proceeded to their respective stations.
During this expedition a total of over twelve hundred miles was covered by marching,
yet the command as a whole returned in the best possible physical condition.

 

**********************

 

The following documents pertain to Charles A. Fagan,
who served in the 22nd Infantry at least from 1868 to 1873.

Fagan was born in Cambria County, Pennsylvania in 1841.

He served as a Sergeant in the 11th Pennsylvania Reserve Infantry during the Civil War.

In 1868 he was a Lance Sergeant in Company A 22nd Infantry at Fort Sully, Dakota Territory.

Fagan served as Sergeant Major of the 22nd Infantry in Company F and later Company I
and then as Commissary Sergeant at Fort Sully and Fort Yates, Dakota Territory.

His enlistment records indicated that he stood 5 feet 10 inches tall, had brown hair,
blue eyes and a light complexion.

Charles A. Fagan retired as a Commissary Sergeant on February 15, 1892. He died October 31, 1916.

 

General Orders No. 49, Fort Sully, Dakota Territory, dated July 18, 1868,
promoting Lance Sergeant Charles A. Fagan to Sergeant Major of the Regiment.
Signing the order was 1st Lieutenant William S. McCaskey, the Regimental Quartermaster (R.Q.M.) from
Feb 1, 1868 to July 14, 1869, in his dual role as acting Adjutant of the Regiment.

 

 

Discharge of Sgt Major Fagan, dated August 8, 1868 at Fort Sully, D.T.
Signed by Colonel David S. Stanley (giving his rank as Colonel of the 22nd Infantry and also as
Brevet Major General of Infantry.) Also signed by 1st LT McCaskey as Acting Adjutant.

 

 

General Order No. 54, Fort Sully, D.T. dated August 8, 1868 renewing Charles Fagan's appointment
as Sergeant Major of the Regiment upon occasion of his re-enlistment on that date.
Signed by 1st Lieutenant William S. McCaskey.

 

 

Discharge of Sgt Major Fagan, dated August 8, 1871, at Fort Sully, D.T.
Signed by Colonel Stanley and 1st Lieutenant P.M. Thorne, who signed as acting Adjutant.
Thorne also noted in his signature that he was the Commanding Officer of the Regimental Band.

 

Captain Platt M. Thorne

     

Platt M. Thorne

1LT Thorne's signature is in the above document.

Thorne was appointed Captain in the 150th New York Infantry
on October 10, 1862, and received the brevet rank of Lt. Colonel
in that unit on March 13, 1865. He was detailed as Assistant
Inspector General from May 26 to August 1, 1865.

He was commissioned a 1st Lieutenant in the 13th Infantry
on February 23, 1866 and transferred to the 31st Infantry
on September 21, 1866. When the 31st Infantry was
consolidated into the 22nd Infantry on May 15, 1869,
Thorne thus became a 1LT in the 22nd Infantry.

He served as the Regimental Quartermaster
of the 22nd Infantry from July 1, 1872 to March 4, 1879.

On March 4, 1879 he was promoted to the rank of Captain.
On March 17, 1896 he retired from service, after spending
34 years in the Army, 27 of those years in the 22nd Infantry.

 

Appointment of Sgt Major Fagan of the Twenty second Regiment of Infantry to Commissary Sergeant,
dated June 21, 1873 and signed by William W. Belknap Secretary of War.

 

 

Order to Charles Fagan as Commissary Sergeant directing him to assume his post at Fort Sully, D.T. dated June 25, 1873.
Note Commissary Sergeant Fagan is indicated as late Sergeant Major of the 22nd Infantry.

 

**********************

 

Period sketch of Fort Sully, Dakota Territory

 

**********************

 

Much of the above text was transcribed from the official Regimental History, written in 1904 and updated in 1922.

Additional information taken from:

Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army
from its organization September 29, 1789 to March 2, 1903

by Francis B. Heitman

 

Passages marked by * were taken from:

Combat Diary EPISODES FROM THE HISTORY OF THE
TWENTY-SECOND REGIMENT, 1866-1905 by A. B. Feuer,
Praeger Publishers, One Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10010

From:

GREENWOOD PUBLISHING

All material used with permission of the author.

 

 

 

 

 


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