1st Battalion 22nd Infantry

 

 

The 22nd Infantry at Fort Keogh

1888-1896

 

 

Uncredited photo taken at Ft. Keogh
The caption on the back of this photo reads:
"C company 22nd Infantry prepairing (sic) to depart to Lame Deer Indian Agency
to watch Indian veterans of Custer Massacre."
The Soldiers have been issued with the .30-40 "Krag" rifles, indicating this photo
was taken at Ft Keogh during the time frame 1893-1896.

 

 

In December of 1983, Josef James Warhank presented his Thesis
"Fort Keogh: Cutting Edge of a Culture", as requirement for his
Master of Arts degree to the University of Southern California.

Warhank's narrative covers every aspect of Fort Keogh's military history, from its establishment
in 1876 to its closing down by the Army in 1908. He recounts not only the campaigns fought
by Soldiers from the post, but details their everyday life at the post, both in war and peace.
His coverage is complete, including training and routine duty, transportation and communication,
social life both on and off post, families of the Soldiers, the fort's impact on the surrounding area,
and the legacy left behind, for successive generations, of Fort Keogh's role in the westward
expansion of the country.

His work remains as possibly the best chronicle of military life at a frontier Army post
during the latter part of the nineteenth century, a period known in Army history
as the Indian Wars.

As early as 1876 detachments of the 22nd Infantry Regiment were stationed at Fort Keogh.
In 1888 the Regiment officially took over the Fort and was the principal unit there until June of 1896,
when the Regiment was transferred to Fort Crook, Nebraska.

The following passages dealing with the 22nd Infantry are taken from "Fort Keogh: Cutting Edge of a Culture",
and though taken out of context, give a remarkable glimpse of what life was like
for the 22nd Infantry Soldier stationed there.

The website editor has added certain photos, illustrations and comments.

 

 

( Ed., From May through September of 1873 Colonel David S. Stanley, commanding officer of the 22nd Infantry Regiment
led the third expedition into the Yellowstone country. It was a large force, consisting of twenty companies of infantry,
which included the Regimental Headquarters and five other companies of the 22nd Infantry, ten troops of cavalry
and a detachment of Indian Scouts. The expedition traveled from Fort Rice, North Dakota, deep into Montana
to the Musselshell River, and then back to Fort Lincoln, North Dakota. )

"Colonel D. S. Stanley in 1873 led an expedition past the site that was to become Fort Keogh, Montana. He reported on the condition
of the Indians about supply and ordnance. Due to these reported conditions Stanley recommended that a post be built
at the mouth of the Tongue River, as it was located in the middle of the Indian country and could supply smaller posts in the area.
Colonel Stanley's choice of a site was a good distance up the Yellowstone."
1p6

"After Lieutenant Colonel George A. Custer and a large part of the Seventh Cavalry lost to the Sioux in June of 1876,
the conditions were right for a post at the site that Colonel Stanley recommended."
p6

( Ed., The 5th Infantry under Colonel Nelson Miles built the fort and were stationed at it from 1876 until 1888,
when they were transferred to Texas, and the 22nd Infantry took over the fort. At that time
the 22nd Infantry Regiment was commanded by Colonel Peter T. Swaine.)

"Colonel Peter T. Swaine was the last of the significant commanders at Fort Keogh. Colonel Swaine brought
the Twenty-second Infantry, his regiment, from Colorado to Fort Keogh in 1888 and was well received by the townspeople.
Due to Swaine's sickness, caused in part by his advanced age, temporary commanders often led Fort Keogh,
but the Colonel still had a considerable impact on the Post. It was in large part his efforts that stopped Coxey's Army
on its march to Washington after it had taken over a train. Colonel Swaine commanded the Post during the buildup
in preparation for the campaign against the Sioux uprising of late 1890. The command of the Department of Dakota
was sometimes entrusted to Colonel Swaine as the ranking colonel. Colonel Swaine retired from the service
while at Fort Keogh. He had a full-grown family with a daughter (who had a close relationship with Lieutenant Edward Wanton
Casey of Indian troop fame), and a son who was a young officer in the Twenty-second Infantry as well.
When age caught up with Colonel Swaine in 1894, he was put on the retired list and other less colorful men took over."
p77

 

   

General Order Number 12, 22nd Infantry,
dated February 1, 1891
at Fort Keogh, Montana

The first order signed by Lt. M.C. Martin
as Regimental Adjutant,
which, of course, was the order
appointing him as Adjutant.

Martin served as Adjutant from
February 1, 1891 to November 7, 1891.
He had also served
as Regimental Quartermaster
from May 22, 1888 to February 1, 1891.

He replaced Lt. W.H. Kell,
who was Adjutant from
February 1, 1887 to February 1, 1891.

The order also appoints Lt. R.N. Getty
to the position of Regimental Quartermaster.

Getty served as Quartermaster from
February 1, 1891 to February 1, 1895.

 

 

 

( Ed., The following excerpts concern Casey's Cheyenne Scouts. Organized as an official part of the US Army, they were given the title
of Troop L 8th Cavalry. They were formed and led however, by an Infantry Lieutenant, Edward Wanton Casey,
of the Twenty Second Infantry. Indian Scouts had been used by the Army for a number of years, but Casey was the first
to insist that his Scouts follow Army discipline in matters of dress, conduct and operations. )

"Indian scouts took part in all the major battles and most of the small encounters that the troops at Fort Keogh had.
Authority to enlist Cheyenne scouts came from higher headquarters, but their enlistment was not on the same basis as the non-Indian
enlistees. The scouts did not have to adhere to the same discipline. This situation was changed when the Twenty-second Infantry
with Lieutenant E. W. Casey returned to Fort Keogh in 1888. Colonel Peter J. Swaine read a report on efforts at using Indians as soldiers.
As commander of the Twenty-second Infantry, Swaine decided to form a troop made up of Cheyenne Indians. After permission was received
from the commissioner of Indian affairs, Swaine directed Lieutenant E. W. Casey to proceed. Casey believed that
Cheyenne Indians could be subject to military discipline and dedicated himself to this project of forming the troop. "Big Red Nose"
as Casey was known, had little trouble in finding Cheyenne willing to enlist. Artist Frederic Remington attested to the success of
his efforts at training the troop. Just before the Sioux outbreak of 1890, Remington had come to Fort Keogh along with General Miles
who was in charge of a peace commission. Remington commented on the Indians that Lieutenant Casey led by saying
that they "fill the eye of a military man until nothing is lacking." p37

"Casey scouts," so named, in honor of Lieutenant Edward Wanton Casey, were the end
of a long tradition of Indians assisting the Army at Fort Keogh. While the Fort was still
a group of log huts, and the Sioux and Cheyenne ruled the surrounding country, Crow
Indians were being enlisted for three month tours.216 Lieutenant Edward W. Casey was
the first officer to drill the Crow scouts." p36

"Lieutenant M. C. Martin related one story in 1889. Lieut Martin was sitting on the MacQueen veranda (Hotel in Miles City)
yesterday, musing upon the condition of Indian affairs in the west of body of Indians, said the Lieutenant, may be counted on as played out.
Not only are the Indians becoming dwarfed into insignificance, but they are experiencing the occasional domestic grievances of civilization
and when that begins, savagery departs. It was only yesterday that White Wolf, one of our Cheyenne scouts, came to me with his countenance
expressing a mind deeply troubled and said: 'Heap hell!' 'What's the matter?' I asked. 'Issue, you know Issue, like White Wolf,
is one of our scouts.' Then continuing, 'Issue,' said the Indian, 'he squaw she got mother; she come to camp--she talk much;
she make heap trouble with my squaw; I no stay in camp while she stay.' 'Well,' I replied, 'you must tell her that if she don't stop her talk
she must leave the camp, and you put her out if she don't stop.' This seemed to please him greatly; he brightened up instantly
and said to me: 'you say, she not stop me put he out?' 'Yes' I replied again. 'All right,' he answered, and he strode off in direction
of the camp, apparently satisfied he had found a solution to the difficulty.' 'No, Sir,' continued the Lieutenant; 'Indian difficulties with the whites
are past and done for. When you see a mother-in-law come in among a band of bucks and run the camp, it's an evidence
that all the fight has been taken out of them." p41-42

"Compensation given to the Cheyenne soldiers was equivalent for the most part to that given to other soldiers, twenty-five dollars
each month along with full Army issue. Enlisted Indians did not have the same required length of service, their tour only lasting
six months. Housing for the Cheyenne soldiers was quite different in that tents and tepees were used, rather than barracks.
Lieutenant Casey changed this by requesting funds and directing the Cheyenne in logging operations. The Cheyenne soldiers were
constructing a cantonment of their own when the Pine Ridge trouble started. These quarters, once construction was restarted,
were only occupied for a short time." p38

"While the Cheyenne soldiers were located some distance south of the main garrison,
interpersonal conflicts between Whites and Indians still arose. Lieutenant Casey felt it his duty to his troops to defend them
in these encounters and this he did. In one instance, Casey reported to the commander that the son of Mrs. Foley,
the hospital matron cut off the braids of an Indian boy as he and his mother passed the hospital on their way to the canteen store.
Casey pointed out what this act meant to the Indians and mentioned other trouble that Mrs. Foley caused by letting her cattle, horses,
and hogs have the run of the Post against orders. Casey hoped that the commander would also consider the good service given by
the Indian boy's father, Scout Dog, and the feelings of all the Indians under Casey's command when the commander decided
what action to take on this conflict." p38

"Supplying his troops was another struggle that Lieutenant Casey had to face. On May 7, 1890, he had to justify the amount of money
he requested for the construction of quarters for his troops. The quarters that were built could not even compare with what
the rest of the Twenty-second Infantry stayed in. The Cheyenne had little or no construction experience and the Department of Dakota
wanted as much of their labor used as was possible. Casey and the Cheyenne soldiers made do." p38

"Lieutenant Casey's troops were outside the normal command and control of the Twenty-second Infantry. As with the money matters
just mentioned, Casey corresponded with the Department of Dakota through the commander of the District of
the Yellowstone. Orders for Casey would flow back through the same channels. Authority to increase the size of his troop
was at the Secretary of War level, and a promotion selection within his troop of noncommissioned officers was sent up to the
Department level. The Secretary of War set the size of Casey's troop at one hundred. Rank structure of the unit was set at six sergeants,
four corporals, two trumpeters and one teamster. Casey was authorized to appoint them and the names were then sent to
the Department of Dakota." p38

      ---------

"Frederic Remington sketched this member
of Casey's Cheyenne scouts when he
visited Fort Keogh in 1890.
(Anne S.K. Brown Military collection,
Brown University Library)"

From the book
US Army Frontier Scouts 1840-1921
Osprey Elite 91

By Ron Field, Osprey Publishing Ltd. 2003

www.ospreypublishing.com

-----

       

 

"A few Indian horse stealing forays during 1889 foreshadowed the major Ghost Dance trouble that hit the Northern Plains
in 1890 and concluded in 1891. A basic tenet of the Ghost Dance belief was that a White man with scars on his hands and feet
would come among them. He would counsel them that the Indians should use bow and arrow against the Whites
and that dead Indians would return to life and “the world would roll over on the White men.”
This belief caused some Indians to start hostilities against settlers. White Buffalo and Black Medicine were accused
of killing Mr. Furguson and after being located at Fort Keogh were ordered arrested. This action excited the Indians at Lame Deer
which in turn excited the citizens of the area. Nothing came of this because troops under the command of Captain Mott Hooton
of the Twenty-second Infantry were sent, preventing any serious conflict."
p27

"Troops started to move east in late November. Lieutenant Edward Wanton Casey took his scouts to the area around Pine Ridge Dakota
on November 27, 1890. Orders were received by Captain H. H. Ketchum about November 29, 1890 to move his company of
the Twenty-second Infantry to Fort Abraham Lincoln when transportation was available. The people of Miles City did not like the idea
that most of the troops at Fort Keogh were headed east, because of their fears of Indian trouble in the Yellowstone valley,
but none really materialized. The element that had the most eventful time in Dakota was Lieutenant Casey and his Cheyenne scouts.
They first traveled to Belle Fourche, South Dakota and from there headed for Hermosa via the railroad. At Hermosa they again
mounted their ponies and rode to Pine Ridge. The trip took from December 7 to December 24, 1890. Different elements of Infantry
and Cavalry were being sent in various directions as Indians were reported moving all over the region, but Lieutenant Casey
was in a difficult spot. Captain John A. Adams was ordered to join Lieutenant Casey's scouts with his troops of the First Cavalry.
Both Lieutenant Casey and Captain Adams were to join Colonel Summers' camp while keeping an eye on Sitting Bull and his band
who were reported heading up Grand River and then south towards Cheyenne River and Pine Ridge." p28

Lieutenant Casey's scouts found it uncomfortably cold as they had packed no stoves but only Sibley tents. This did not dampen
the spirit of Lieutenant Casey's Cheyenne scouts nor their willingness to fight, as shown by Wolf Voice concerning the Sioux position.
Frederic Remington in Pony Tracks quotes Wolf Voice stating the following:
'De big guns he knock ''em rifle pit, den de calvary lum pas 'in column
Injun no stop calavy-kill 'em heap but no stop 'em - den de walk-a-heap
dey come too, and de Sioux dey go over de bluffs.' and with wild
enthusiasm he added, 'De Sioux dey go to hell!'
That prospect seemed to delight Mr. Wolf-Voice immensely." p28

"Lieutenant Casey's scouts did not understand that he was under orders not to fight. This puzzled them because they were fired on,
but they held their ranks. All that Casey was doing was staying off the Sioux's flanks and keeping General Miles informed of their movements.
This task was not enough to make Casey believe that he was doing all he could for peace. The day before he was killed,
some hostile forces were at his camp, and he was led to believe that if he could but talk with the Indian leaders, the hostilities could be
peacefully terminated. In his enthusiasm for peace, he went on January 7, 1891 towards the hostile camp, accompanied by White Moon,
one of his Cheyenne scouts. Bear-Lying-Down was sent by Lieutenant Casey to inform Red Cloud that Casey was coming. Bear-Lying-Down, accompanied by Pete Richards, a halfbreed, returned from Red Cloud's camp to tell Casey not to advance further as he was in danger
so near the hostile camp. Casey was found by these two messengers in the company of his scout and two other Indians, Broken Arm,
an Oglala Sioux and Plenty Horses, a Brule Sioux. The message was delivered and most of the party turned to mount their horses.
As Lieutenant Casey started to mount his horse, Plenty Horses shot him in the back of his neck. Bear-Lying-Down rode to tell Red Cloud.
White Moon and Pete Richards rode to General Brookes' camp and the other two Sioux disappeared to their camp.
Brooke sent Lieutenant R. N. Getty, a subordinate of Casey, with a detachment of his scouts after his body. They found the body stripped
but not mutilated and recovered it. Casey's remains were sent back east where he was buried on his family's estate.
Lieutenant Getty took charge of Casey's scouts and led them back to Fort Keogh. At the trial of Plenty Horses, Captain Frank Baldwin,
ordered to testify by General Miles, stated that Lieutenant Casey had gone beyond his authority in asking to talk with the
hostile forces. Baldwin also stated that a state of war existed and so Plenty Horses was acquitted. The reason for Plenty Horses' action
was to regain respect among his people as he had been sent east to the White man's school and felt that he no longer
was accepted in Indian society." p28-29

"A great deal of Lieutenant Casey's time was spent in defending his troops. In June 1890, he and other officers at Fort Keogh
retained a lawyer for some Cheyenne Indians who had been accused of killing Mr. Furguson. In answer to a question
regarding his reasons for taking this action, Casey stated something to the effect that having by special orders of the Secretary of War
been placed in charge of the Indian recruits, of whom these four Indians were a part, he felt it his duty to see that they received
simple justice, nothing more. To insure that his troops were protected against the winter weather, Casey requested that his troops be dismissed
from Quarter Master duty in order that construction of their quarters might be finished before it got real cold. He pointed out
that with an interpreter, the planned class in packing would take up a great deal of valuable time." p38-39

"With all the work and training that had to be done, it was still hard to keep one hundred men out of trouble. Casey's scouts had money
after pay day which could not all be spent at Fort Keogh, so their officer had to deal with disturbances in town,
but the worst problem was AWOL (absent without leave). It was hard to make soldiers from any group understand
that family contact had to be given up for some periods of time. In the case of one Cheyenne soldier who went AWOL,
the family reaction was worth noting. One of Casey's men went AWOL, in November of 1890, and when his parents
brought him back they said that he had disgraced his people. For the disgrace that this soldier felt he later shot himself to death." p39

"Later a major turning point for Casey's scouts came during the Sioux trouble at the Pine Ridge Agency when Casey was shot.
It was not only his troops that took his death hard, but most of the Cheyenne nation felt the loss. On January 17, 1891,
the Yellowstone Journal reported that after they heard of Casey's death, "the squaws were moaning and crying and the bucks –
walked around with sullen faces. Casey's death and the end of Indian hostilities marked the beginning of the end for the Cheyenne

soldiers as a unit. The attitude of the Cheyenne people towards military service changed, and where as before parents would turn their sons in
after they had gone AWOL, later they would protect their sons against capture. Recruiting became very hard as well
because a council of warriors was called when recruiters would come to Lame Deer. These councils would tell the young men not to go,
as it was 'heap bad medicine to be with the Whites.'" p39

"Lieutenant R. N. Getty and Lieutenant F. C. Marshall were the officers that had to preside over the decline of the Cheyenne soldiers.
On March 7, 1891, their return from Pine Ridge was reported. It was a sad procession that Lieutenant Getty led into Fort Keogh
on that cold March day after the death of their leader and a hard two months traveling. Getty probably saw the large task that faced him.
He would have to fill Casey's shoes, and with the changing attitudes among both Whites and Indians, his job
would be even harder than the one Casey had. In honor of what Lieutenant E. W. Casey had done for, the Cheyenne soldiers,
Troop L of the Eighth Cavalry was renamed and officially became known as 'Casey's scouts.'" p39

"A few years after the death of Lieutenant Casey, Lieutenant F. C. Marshall replaced Getty as commander of Casey's scouts.
It was pointed out in an interview with Lieutenant Sturgis given by the Stock Growers Journal, January 14, 1893,
that Casey's scouts were still in top form. It also mentioned that a statue would be erected at the Worlds Fair of a member of Casey's scouts.
Although Casey's scouts were getting recognition in high places, life around the garrison still had all the normal little problems.
On April 28, 1894, the Stock Growers Journal reported on an invasion of sorts of Casey's scouts' company area. The report read:
The peace and dignity of the Indian company at Fort Keogh were invaded by a tramp who took up quarters
in the immediate vicinity of theirs, and was so obnoxious that Lieutenant Marshall assigned one of the sergeants, ( Lo )
whose knowledge of the English language is quite limited, to invite the stranger to leave. Lo adjourned to his quarters, buckled on
a belt full of cartridges, revolver and saber. Approaching the visitor with all the military dignity he could command,
he spoke more forcibly than eloquent: 'Ugh! John; Go home G__ d___. 'Next instant the tramp was touching
only the high places on the prairie in his endeavor to reach the railroad track." p40

"The days of Cheyenne prisoners of war were not yet over at Fort Keogh, when eleven of what were known as
"Casey scouts" were sent out in January 1892 to capture Walks-in-the-Night and a few of his followers.
This mission was accomplished and he was held for trial at Fort Keogh in the charge of L Troop, also known as "Casey scouts."
In August 1897, Walks-in-the-Night escaped from "Casey scouts." This brought to an end days when Fort Keogh
was a prison for some Indians and a home for others. "Casey scouts" were disbanded a short time later." p36

"Casey's scouts had one more mission of importance. During the unemployment problem with the attending march on Washington, D.C.,
and the train takeover by the followers of Coxey, Troop L, Eighth Cavalry was sent to Forsyth; this was one time
when Indian troops were used against Whites. The leadership of Casey's scouts did not wane, nor did the soldiering ability of the Cheyenne,
but the need for their services closed the book on a great effort." p40

"In December of 1894, plans were made to disband Casey's scouts when their enlistment ran out. For sentimental reasons
the breakup was very sad for soldier and civilian alike, as many friendships had been formed. On May 4,1895,
twenty-seven Cheyenne were discharged and a month later the troop was skeletonized.
Lieutenant Marshall turned in all the property and the officers were sent to Fort Meade, South Dakota." p40

 

" Figure 3. Members of Company G, Twenty-second Infantry taken probably in 1892 or 1893.
Note the small variance in the wearing of the uniform, three different types of hats, some with
brass. Some coats were open, and one soldier is wearing an old buffalo coat. (Courtesy of
Christian Barthelmess collection, Montana Historical Society.) "

Photo from:
FORT KEOGH: CUTTING EDGE OF A CULTURE
By
Josef James Warhank

(Ed., note that the Soldiers in the above photo are still armed with the Model 1873 .45-70 "Trapdoor" Springfield rifles.
The following excerpts deal with marksmanship at Fort Keogh. )

"Various Army weapons were used at Fort Keogh during the life of more than thirty years. Every soldier had some contact with a rifle,
and of necessity this piece of equipment played a large role in the daily life at the Post. The primary rifle in use at Fort Keogh
from its beginning until 1893 was the Springfield. Standard length this weapon was 41.313 inches for those built between 1873 and 1888.
Barrel length was 21.875 inches. A walnut stock was used and the gross rifle's weight was about seven pounds. Empty casings would often stick
in the chamber after firing, but the rifle was accurate at up to 900 yards. The soldiers at Fort Keogh during hard times reloaded
used cartridges, as was done at other posts in an effort to save money. The Springfield was discontinued in 1893 and replaced
with the bolt-action Krag-Springfield .30/40 rifle. If a soldier lost the Springfield model in 1877, he had to pay $16.25,
and this rose as different models were introduced." p73

Model 1873 Springfield rifle

 

"While the troops were campaigning, very little rifle practice was required. In March 1885 about 2,000 rounds were fired in practice.
The following month about 9,000 rounds were fired and about 2,000 per month for the months that followed. In 1890
Company H, Twenty-second Infantry fired 15,000 rounds during their practice season. This reflected the Army's ever increasing interest
in target practice. The companies were rotated to the range about one per month and the results were reported to the commander." p73

"When the Twenty-second Infantry replaced the Fifth Infantry at Fort Keogh, the emphasis changed from who won the department competition
to where it would be held. Colonel Swaine asked for studies of costs to improve the Fort Keogh range and
the local press started to count the money that the City would make from all the visitors. Fort Keogh, with the Twenty-second Infantry,
lost both the competition and the bid to hold it at the Post." p94

"Interest in marksmanship did not wane at the Post in spite of losses.
The Miles City team accepted a challenge from officers at Keogh in 1891, and during the same month of August, the Department Cavalry
competition was held making the Post and the city both busy places. The next year the Department Rifle matches were moved
from Fort Snelling to Fort Keogh. In 1893 not only were the matches held at Keogh, but Sergeant Chapias of Company A,
Twenty-second Infantry won the gold medal and left for Chicago and the Division competition." p94

(Ed., Desertions did not seem to be as big a problem at Fort Keogh as they were at other frontier posts,
but the harsh and rough existence of Soldiers on the frontier did give some cause to desert.)

"Private Edward Murray of Captain Thorne's Company C, Twenty-second Infantry, had a drinking problem that led to his reduction in rank
and subsequent indebtedness to other soldiers. Murray escaped. Private Edwin Berry of the same company was said to have been a tramp
before he entered and wished to continue in that life style. Berry used a great deal of vulgar and obscene language and was not missed
by his fellow soldiers. Captains Hooton and S. W. Fountain did not attempt, much understanding of the men
which deserted from their companies. Hooton wrote of two deserters; both were '... worthless, drunkards and the kind of recruits
that might be expected from a great city.' Fountain described deserter Martin Kristensen as a '... lazy worthless man.'
Fountain went on to say that he had never been anywhere that an enlisted man could serve with less reason for complaint than at Fort Keogh." p78

(Ed., The following passages deal with duties and examples of everyday life and society at the Fort.)

"An example of delivery duty was the case of Lieutenant E. W. Casey's horse. Sergeant Christian Barthelmess a member
of the Twenty-second Infantry band was assigned to deliver to Miss Sophia Swaine, the daughter of Colonel Swaine,
a horse from Casey's estate (see figure 3, Barthelmess photo of the Twenty-second Infantry). Sophia Swaine, who lived in California,
had counted Casey among her suitors and after the Lieutenant died, Colonel Swaine bought her his horse." p85

"The Twenty-second Infantry band, which followed that of the Fifth Infantry, was said to be just as good and gave of their talent
just as much. Equipment of the Twenty-second Infantry band included such instruments as the cornet, bass, alto horn, French horn,
clarinet, piccolo, baritone, trombone, tambourine and both the bass and snare drum. In addition to playing an important official function,
the band was the main form of entertainment at the Post for its entire existence." p87

"Although some causes of mental illness were vaguely understood, the treatment varied greatly. While the Fifth Infantry
was at the Post, a mentally ill soldier would be confined to the hospital, and if no improvement came he would be shipped east.
In the case of Private Frank Fitzsimmons, the Twenty-second Infantry had to take a different approach. Fitzsimmons, a well-known
ballplayer in the area of the Post, went insane and because of his violence was put in the guardhouse, since the hospital could
not control him. While there waiting to go to a government insane asylum, Fitzsimmons gouged out both of his eyes with his right thumb;
one eye ball landed on the floor and the other hung from the socket. Fortunately, according to Dr. Harvey, the
insanity suffered by Fitzsimmons was of a character that the brain was not susceptible to sensing of physical pain.
After a few months, in August 1889, Dr. Harvey sent Fitzsimmons to St. Paul, Minnesota. He was still bedridden, and was chained down
to the bed with his feet bound together and four-ounce boxing gloves were placed on his hands." p100

Fort Keogh, Montana, July 12, 1893. Post Hall, audience and
members of the 22nd Infantry band. Christian Barthelmess, photographer.
PAc 95-68.B-278.
Montana Historical Society
http://www.his.state.mt.us/research/photo/barthol.html

 

"When the Twenty-second Infantry replaced the Fifth Infantry at Fort Keogh, it was reported that most of the young officers
were not married. Some would find out how easy it was to get married at a large post like Fort Keogh, as the case of Lieutenant
Alvin H. Sydenham illustrates. The Lieutenant received a "Dear John" letter from his fiancée six months after he graduated from West Point.
Five months after he got the letter he married the sister of Lieutenant Joseph A. Gaston at Fort Keogh." p102

"In the second part of the decade of 1880 some citizens of Miles City felt that there was profit in ambushing soldiers as they returned
to Fort Keogh. Usually the robbers were out of luck, because the soldiers had little money but on a few occasions money was taken or
the soldiers badly beaten. Most of the attacks took place at the west end of the railroad bridge.
Three years after this first rash of attacks in 1889, assaults were in the news again. They became so bad that Colonel Swaine
of the Twenty-second Infantry directed that all suspicious looking characters on the reservation be arrested. Those seized were
brought before an officer and examined for specific charges. This strictly enforced policy was quickly effective." p112-113

"Almost the entire garrison left the Post for a practice march in 1888 and 1889. In 1888 only two troops of the Eighth Cavalry
stayed at the Post. Even the hospital staff joined in this six day, sixty-mile march. The next year two troops and eight companies left the Post
toward the little Missouri. Grain for the horses was deposited three days march apart, as logistical support was also being tested.
These long marches became an annual occurrence, as in April 1890 the entire infantry command numbering five hundred men
covered the area west of the Tongue River." p89

"The soldiers during these training marches covered various military subjects. The Keogh soldiers were instructed in pitching camp,
outpost duty, camping in enemy territory, attack and defense convoying, hasty entrenchment and breaking camp.
Although these subjects were closely related to combat, the band was still sent to the field with the other troops." p90

"War games were a prominent part of the 1889 practice march. While the troops were on the little Missouri, Lieutenant Wainwright
reported to the local press that after some drilling, the soldiers went into the hills and maneuvered to apply in practice
what they had learned. Some live fire was used as troops from Forts Keogh, Custer, and Meade joined in mock battles,
while for nearly a month only one company of men remained at Keogh." p90

"After returning to garrison, drill also awaited the troops, but by 1889 it had been cut down from the two hours a day
that General Terry had previously ordered. If a person would have stopped at Fort Keogh on any given day during its active years,
the one thing he or she would be sure to have seen was drill being conducted. On special occasions it was full dressed drill." p91

Captain John G. Ballance

     

"Orders were received at Fort Keogh on July 13, 1892,
directing that all available troops be sent to Idaho for duty against miners
who were rioting. It took two days for the troops from Fort Keogh to reach Wallace,
Idaho, where, under the direction of the Martial Law Authorities, they helped restore order
to the mines. Assistant Judge Advocate Captain John G. Ballance,
Twenty-second Infantry, was given high praise for his efforts at bringing peace
to the mines of Idaho. Captain Ballance also received a sword as a gift of thanks
from the governor of Idaho.In spite of the job that the soldiers did in Idaho,
they could only enforce the peace; they could not change the policy that caused civil unrest,
so the soldiers were compelled to repeat their efforts." p 30

"A national movement soon required more help from the soldiers at Fort Keogh........................Unemployment was high
across the nation in 1894 and the miners of Montana were affected. A militant group of miners under the leadership of William Hogan
was formed as part of a national movement. The national organization was started in Ohio by a man named Jacob S. Coxey.
It was planned that Coxey's 'Army,' as it was called, would meet in Washington, D.C. in 1894. The Montana element
of the Coxeyites was more militant than most and because of this, the U.S. Army was needed to maintain order and the
troops of Fort Keogh were given the mission. Governor John E. Richards called on President Cleveland for help
after the Coxeyites under Hogan seized a train in their effort to reach Washington. On April 25, 1894, troops left Fort Keogh via rail
for Forsythe, Montana to arrest Hogan's followers when they arrived at that place. Some of the Coxeyites headed for the hills
when they faced United States troops, but most were arrested. The troops were then ordered to escort the prisoners to Helena.
Companies A, C, and H of the Twenty-second Infantry moved the prisoners to Helena and guarded them at the fairgrounds
until civil authority could manage and on July 27, 1894 Major E. H. Liscum, who commanded the Battalion
returned with his men to Fort Keogh." p30-31

 

A rather late letter from Brig. General Wesley Merritt, Commander of the Department of the Dakotas,
to Captain Mott Hooton of the 22nd Infantry, congratulating CPT Hooton on his leadership in October of 1893,
of a Battalion consisting of three companies of the 22nd Infantry and Troop A of the 10th Cavalry.
The 10th Cavalry (Buffalo Soldiers) would again serve alongside the 22nd Infantry in the twentieth century
in Vietnam, and in the twenty-first century in Iraq.

 

 

German Singing Society, 22nd Infantry, Ft. Keogh, May 13, 1894
The conductor, in the white trousers, is Christian Barthelmess

Photo - National Archives 111-SC-9 7983

 

 

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

 

Anyone wishing to learn further about the history of Fort Keogh is highly encouraged
to read Josef James Warhank's entire work:

Fort Keogh: Cutting Edge of a Culture

To view the entire thesis, click on the following USDA banner, or use any of the links below.

 

 

Diona Austill Program Support Asst. USDA-ARS Fort Keogh LARRL 243 Fort Keogh Road Miles City, MT  59301 Phone: 406-874-8219 Fax: 406-874-8289 Email: diona.austill@ars.usda.gov  

United States Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Research Service Miles City, Montana

http://www.ars.usda.gov/Main/docs.htm?docid=6395

www.ars.usda.gov/npa/ftkeogh/history

USDA, ARS Fort Keogh Livestock and Range Research Laboratory
243 Fort Keogh Rd., Miles City, MT  59301-4016
Phone: 406-874-8200, Fax:  406-874-8289

 


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