From the category archives:


Lt. Ben Allston leaves Ft. Leavenworth for Utah in 1854

May 20, 2015

Fort Leavenworth I.T. May 19, 1854 Mt dear Mother, Here I am at the jumping off place. I wrote to you some time since today that I had applied for this duty. I wrote also a few days ago to inform you that I had got my request and then was making every preparation for […]

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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From a 1854 entry in the previously unpublished journal of soldier James Stevenson, 1st Dragoons: That winter a court martial was convened at the barracks to try a number of deserters, who were under guard,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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Lt. David Bell’s Letter

December 2, 2007

Lt. David Bell, of the 2d Dragoons had engaged in several skirmishes with the Utes and Jicarilla Apaches. When he heard of the attempts to cover up Lt. John Davidson’s defeat at Cieneguilla in 1854, Bell could not contain himself¬† and wrote the following letter to a West Point classmate condemning Davidson’s action. In 1855, […]

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