Friday, September 21, 2012

Military Camps Of Kansas.

Camp Alert (See Fort Larned.)

Camp Bateman, a temporary military encampment, was established in Oct., 1857, by Lieut.-Col. George Andrews, of the Sixth United States infantry, with a detachment of his regiment. The camp was located at a place called Cincinnati, not far from Fort Leavenworth, and was occupied until May 8, 1858, when it was abandoned.

Camp Beecher. Hamersly's "Armj- and Navy Register" says this camp was "on the Little Arkansas river a short distance from its mouth, where it joins the Arkansas river, about one mile from Wichita." The camp was established in June, 1868, on or near the site where J. R. Mead founded his trading post in the fall of 1863, and was at first called Camp Davidson. In Oct., 1868, the name was changed to Camp Butterfield. and the following month to Camp Beecher. It was abandoned as a military camp in Oct., 1869.

Camp Butterfield.  (See Camp Beecher.)

Camp Davidson.  (See Camp Beecher.)

Camp Leedy, a temporary military encampment at Topeka, was established as a mobilizing point for Kansas troops at the time of the Spanish-American war (q. v.), and was named for John W. Leedy, at that time governor of the state. It was located about half a mile south of the state-house, on what was known as the "Douthitt tract," not far from the fair grounds.

Camp MacKay. (See Fort Atchison.)

Camp Magruder, near Fort Leavenworth, was a sort of stopping place for recruits en route to L'tah in July and August, i860, under command of Lieut. -Col. George B. Crittenden of the mounted riflemen. No permanent fortifications nor quarters were ever erected on the site.

Camp Supply, In the fall of 1868, at the time of the Black Kettle raid. Gen. Philip H. Sheridan, whose headquarters were at Fort Hays, ordered Gen. George A. Custer to locate a camp at some convenient point in the Indian Territory. Custer selected the rising ground between W'olf and Beaver creeks, about a mile and a half above where they unite to form the north fork of the Canadian river, in what is now the north-west corner of Woodward county, Okla., and here on Nov. 18 he established Camp Supply. Although some 30 miles south of the southern boundary of Kansas, it is intimately connected with the state's military history, as the Nineteenth Kansas reached this post on Nov. 28, 1868, after a trying march of fourteen days from Camp Beecher, the wagon train belonging to the regiment not arriving until the afternoon of Dec. I. After the Indians were compelled to make terms, they received rations at Camp Supply.

Camp Thompson.On April 29, 1858, Lieut.-Col. George Andrews of ^he Sixth United States infantry established a camp near Forf Leavenworth and nametl it Camp Thompson. It was not intended for more than temporary uccupany. and was abandoned on May 7, 1858, less than ten days after it was established.

Fort Laraed.

Fort Larned In the fall of 1859 Capt. George H. Steuart, command- ing Company K, First United States cavalry, was sent out with his company to establish a mail escort station on the line of the Santa Fe trail. On Oct. 22 he selected a site on the south bank of Pawnee Fork, 8 miles from the mouth, and his camp was known as "Camp on Pawnee Fork" until Feb.1, 1860, when it was named "Camp Alert." On May 29, i860, pursuant to General Order No. 14, the post was named Fort Larned, in honor of Col. B. F. Larned, at that time paymaster- general of the United States army. The reservation included a tract of land four miles square, but the extent was not officially declared until the issuing of General Order No. 22, from the headquarters of the Department of Missouri, dated Nov. 25, 1867. The first buildings were of adobe, but in 1867, when the reservation was officially estab- lished, sandstone buildings were erected. In the early part of 1870 frame additions to the subalterns' quarters were built, and further im- provements were made in 1872, when the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe railroad was completed to the fort. The agency for the Arapahoe and Cheyenne Indians was maintained at Fort Larned for several years, but it was discontinued in 1868. Late in the '70s it became apparent that the necessity for a military post at this place no longer existed, and in Jan., 1880. Senator Plumb, from the committee on military affairs, recommended the passage of a bill to provide for the sale of the reservation to actual settlers. The bill did not pass at that time, but by the act of Congress, approved Aug. 4, 1882. the secretary of war was directed "to relinquish and turn over to the department of the interior, to the public domain, the Fort Larned reservation, to be sold to actual settlers at the appraised price, not more than a quarter-section to any one purchaser."

Fort Atchison.

Fort Atkinson, one of the early military posts erected along the line of the Santa Fe trail, was located on the Arkansas river, about 26 miles below "The Crossing." The place known as "The Crossing" was not far from the present town of Cimarron, the county seat of Gray county, hence the location of Fort Atkinson was in what is now Ford county, some 6 or 8 miles up the river from Dodge City. On Aug. 8, 1850, Col. E. V. Sumner established "Camp Mackay" on the site, after a "treaty talk" had been held there with the Indians. Col. Sumner notified the war department on Sept. 10. 1850, that the spot was a suitable location for a permanent post. It was approved by General Order No. 44. dated Dec. 16, 1850, and Maj. HofTman, with Company D, Sixth United States infantry, was ordered to begin the erection of the fort as soon as the weather will permit." The fort was built of sod, covered with poles, brush, sod and canvas, and when completed was garrisoned by a detachment of the Sixth infantry commanded by Capt. Buckner.  The post continued to be known as Camp Mackay until June 25, 1851, when the name was changed to Fort Atkinson. The soldiers quartered there gave it the name of "Fort Sod," and later "Fort Sodom," the latter no doubt having been inspired by the unsanitary conditions of the place and the fact that it was infested with vermin. While it was occupied by Capt. Buckner and his men, the fort was besieged by a large body of Comanches and Kiowas, who surrounded the fort and endeavored to cut off supplies. The garrison was relieved by the timely arrival of Maj. Chilton with a detachment of the First dragoons. Fort Atkinson was occupied by garrison until Sept. 22, 1853, when it was abandoned. It was temporarily reoccupied in June, 1854, by Companies F and H of the Sixth infantry, but on Oct. 2, 1854, the post was abandoned and the buildings destroyed to prevent their occupancy by the Indians. On Aug. 4, 1855, a postofifice was established at Fort Atkinson, with Pitcairn Morrison as postmaster, but it was discontinued on June 5, 1857.

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