Today in History:

99 Series I Volume XLVIII-I Serial 101 - Powder River Expedition Part I


FEBRUARY 3-8, 1865. - Scouts in La Fayette County, Mo.

Report of Colonel John F. Philips, Seventh Missouri State Militia Cavalry, commanding District of Central Missouri.

WARRENSBURG, February 8, 1865-10. 20 a. m.

Have had heavy scouts through La Fayette County for five days. They killed bushwhacker N. B. Mitchell and wounded 4 or 5 others; captured 8 of their horses equipments and 2 Sharps carbines and 1 revolver. They scoured the country thoroughly and broke up two important guerrilla haunts. Families who harbored bushmen were discovered. A special report will be made in their case.


Colonel, Commanding District.

Major-General DODGE.

FEBRUARY 3-8, 1865. - Scout from Fort Larned to South Fork of Pawnee Creek and Buckner's Branch, Kans.

Report of Sergt. David C. Nettleton, Second Colorado Cavalry.

FORT LARNED, February 13, 1865.

SIR: In obedience to instructions received to scout in the direction of the Cimarron, I proceeded on the 3rd of February, crossed the Arkansas River near the mouth of Coon Creek, twelve miles south of this post. Struck the trail of a party of about twelve Indians immediately on crossing the river. The Indians were traveling up the river, and had to all appearances passed about twenty-four hours ahead of us. We followed their trail on the 4th, and passed where they had camped about noon. On the 5th we crossed back to the north side of the river, and on the 6th traveled west a distance of about thirty-five miles. Struck the South Fork of Pawnee. On the 7th we traveled down the South Fork; passed the mouth of the middle branch, called Buckner's Branch, and camped at the junction with the North Fork. On the 8th we traveled down Pawnee Fork, and reached Fort Larned in twenty-five miles. The crossing of the river is very bad. In crossing back on the 8th we were obliged to cut the ice across the river, and several of the men had to wade the river and lead the animals. We followed the trail of the Indians fifty miles southwest of this post, where we crossed the river and struck the South Fork of Pawnee fifty miles above this post. No signs of Indians on Pawnee. The party of Indians were undoubtedly the same who fired upon our men at Fort Zarah; had been watching the fort from the sand hills on the opposite side of the river. They made no effort to conceal their trail; camped in the sand hills and turned their ponies loose to graze. Mulberry Creek runs into the Arkansas fifty or sixty miles above this post. Thirty miles south of the mouth of Mulberry is Crooked Creek, with plenty of timber and water. It is my opinion that the Indians turned up Mulberry and crossed over to Crooked Creek, or continued on south to the Cimarron. I would call your attention to the fact that all recent depredations have the appearance of being committed by Kiowas and Comanches.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Sergeant, Commanding Independent Scouts.

Lieutenant J. E. TAPPAN,

Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, District of Upper Arkansas.