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George Henneberg: Immigrant Bugler and Deserter

October 16, 2011

Kearny to Adj. Gen. Jones, January 27, 1839, Letter Book 410 Sir By the last mail received your instruction of the 8th Inst. to send George Henneburg one of the Principal Musicians of the 2d Dragoons, to Jefferson Barracks that he may be sent over there to join his Regiment in Florida, & for the […]

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Beall’s 1849 Expedition

October 15, 2011

  Maj. Ben Beall to Lt. John Dickerson, 2d Arty., AAAG, Head Quarters, 9th Military Dist. Don Fernando de Taos, NM, March 12, 1849 Sir, Agreeably to a letter of instructions from Head Quarters 9th Mily Department, dated 27th January 1849, directing me to “proceed as soon as possible to the country inhabited by the […]

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A Gold Rush Officer’s Card Game Feud

November 28, 2010

Born and reared in Tennessee, Lt. Cave Couts frequently placed personal integrity above all else and a willingness to chastise those opponents threatening his honor. This became evident after an army officer, Major Justus McKinstry, verbally maligned Couts’ new-found novia, Ysidora Bandini. Incensed, Couts sent Lieutenant George Evans, with a note challenging McKinstry to a […]

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Old Four O’Clock: Sumner Takes Command of the Mounted Rifles

October 18, 2010

Armstrong to Love: Letter from Brazos Santiago, 1847. (A special guest contribution) This  breezy  communication was written by  2nd Lt. Bezaleel Armstrong, USMA 1845. He had recently returned from the occupation of New Mexico with a small party of 1st Dragoons, arriving at Fort Leavenworth on November 20, 1846.  Armstrong was one of several young […]

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Gossip from Ft. Leavenworth 1845 & 1846

September 3, 2010

McLean to Love Fort Leavenworth Mo. Nov 26th 1845 Dear John Had you not said in your first letter, that you would write to me on arriving at Dayton, I suppose I would be obliged to commence this with an apology; but as you were so rash as to give one that piece of information […]

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Where the Regiment Was Scattered During the Mexican War

July 25, 2010

A lack of Mexican War records has vexed historians as they’ve tried to pin down where the ten companies of the 1st Dragoons operated between 1845 and 1848. It wasn’t until 1851, three years after the treaty with Mexico, that the army comprehensively recorded where the units were during the war. Except for five companies […]

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Quake That Shook The Army’s Adobe

July 19, 2010

The army established Fort Tejon, California, in 1854. In January of 1857, the post was struck by a series of powerful earthquakes. These quakes were, possibly, the worst earthquakes to take place in California in the past 200 years. Inspector General Edward Mansfield noted in his 1859 inspection report that the post, built almost entirely […]

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From the Wide Missouri to the Pacific Shore: Rufus Ingall’s Report of the Steptoe Expedition

July 19, 2010

In 1854-55, an expedition of dragoon and artillery recruits, under the command of Major Steptoe, left Fort Leavenworth for the Pacific Coast. Steptoe carried with him orders to spend the winter in Salt Lake City and, while there, investigate the murder of Captain John Gunnison and his party. Capt. and Assistant Quartermaster Rufus Ingalls, a […]

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What Flogging Was Like In 1854

July 9, 2010

From a 1854 entry in the previously unpublished journal of soldier James Stevenson, 1st Dragoons: That winter a court martial was convened at the barracks to try a number of deserters, who were under guard, with ball and chains attached to their ankles.  They are found guilty and sentenced to receive fifty lashes each upon […]

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REPORT: Dragoon Expedition 1839

June 27, 2010

ARMY AND NAVY CHRONICLE, Vol. IX, No. 18, October 31, 1839 (Whole Number 263) DRAGOON EXPEDITION. Fort Leavenworth, Oct. 3, 1839. Mr. Editor: During that portion of the year in which the prairie grass will sustain horses, it has been customary at this post to detach squadrons or troops, monthly, on a march of reconnaissance […]

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