Cimarron Crossing

Michael has a BA in History & American Studies and an MSc in American History from the University of Edinburgh. He comes from a proud military family and has spent most of his career as an educator in the Middle East and Asia. His passion is travel, and he seizes any opportunity to share his experiences in the most immersive way possible, whether at sea or on the land.

Part of our in-depth series exploring the forts of Comancheria

Story 1

19 April 1867; Cimarron, Kansas: When Gen. Winfield Scott Hancock and his command approached a large Cheyenne and Lakota village on the Pawnee Fork, a party of six Cheyennes from Black Kettle's village, south of the Arkansas River, had the misfortune to be visiting at the time. The six fled south on foot. One Bear suggested they steal some horses at Anthony's Stage Ranch, near the Cimarron crossing of the Arkansas.

Meanwhile, Lt. Matthew Berry with Company C, 7th Cavalry, from Fort Lyon, and Maj. Wycliffe Cooper with Company B, from Fort Dodge, had been scouting along the Arkansas. As the Cheyennes approached Anthony's Stage Ranch, they ran into Cooper and Berry's companies. They ran for the river, the soldiers on both sides of them. Reaching the cottonwoods on the bank, the Indians split up. Two slipped away along the cutbanks, and the other four crossed to an island and tried to hold off the soldiers, who had dismounted and were peppering them with gunfire. Finally the Indians splashed across to the south bank, but the soldiers followed close behind.

One Bear was shot and killed as he climbed the bank, and Plenty of Horses was wounded. Eagle Nest ran off in another direction but was pursued into the sand hills and killed. One enlisted man was wounded. Lt. Berry took One Bear's beaded belt, pistol, and quiver as souvenirs.

Story 2

22 May 1872; Ashland, Kansas: Cheyenne warriors jumped two couriers of Company E, 6th Cavalry, on the Camp Supply to Fort Dodge road about eight miles north of the Cimarron River. The Cheyennes took the soldiers' mail, horses, and equipment, killing one of the men, Pvt. Alexander Christopher. Pvt. Henry Weusserman, mortally wounded, died at Camp Supply on 1 June.

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