could be Buffalo's crossing the platte

 Research Papers

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Ft. Kearny

Lyle E. Mantor, The History of Fort Kearney, doctoral thesis for PhD earned in Dept. of History at Iowa State University, June 1934

From Chapter II,” The Fort During the Fifties”
pp. 76-77 – (In October, 1850) “During the same month Major Chilton was succeeded in the command of the post by Captain Henry W. Wharton, of the Sixth Infantry. Captain Wharton served in this capacity for five and one-half years, first from October 19, 1850 to June 18, 1854 and again from October 19, 185 to April 6, 1857. His term of service was the longest of any of the forty-four commanding officers at the fort, the average being but six months. (Mantor’s source – Post Returns which were in the files of the Adjutant Generals’ office, State, War and Navy Building Washington D.C. when he wrote the paper. He examined these files in Feb. 1933.)

pp. 87-89 – “Not only were fresh vegetables difficult to furnish to the frontier posts, but everything sold there was very expensive. Both officers and men found it difficult to purchase needed articles because of the high prices. As a result of this condition the officers and men at Fort Kearney, through their commanding officer, Captain Wharton, petitioned the ‘honorable Senate and House of Representatives in Congress assembled: Your petitioner respectfully submits the following petition, viz: That the benefit of the two acts granting extra pay to the officers and soldiers serving in California, Oregon and New Mexico consequence of the high prices of provisions, etc., may be extended to the officers and soldiers then stationed at this post for the same reason as induced this consideration of those stationed at the above named places. This extra was also allowed the officers and men stationed at Fort Laramie, which is situated on the same route as this post, and articles were quite as exorbitant here as they were there, or at any of the posts for which it was given. We are 300 mi. beyond civilization, and dependent entirely upon the commissary store and the settlers for articles of subsistence, clothing, etc., and he necessarily charges 100% and on some things more than this; transportation on everything brought here is from five to six cents per pound. In this wilderness exile, removed from most of the appliances of civilized life, it therefore costs more for the actual necessaries of live than it does for luxuries at posts situated nearer civilization. All of which is respectfully submitted for the favorable consideration of Congress.’ The document was dated November 24, 1856 and was signed by Captain Wharton.”

When troops were being organized to be sent to Utah in the summer of 1857 under General Harney, no troops went from Ft. Kearny because there were only 75 men stationed there at that time. This was after Capt. Wharton had been replaced as commander at Ft. Kearny.

D. Ray Wilson, Fort Kearny on the Platte, 1980

Page 58 – “Capt. Henry W. Wharton, of the 6th Infantry, relieved Major Chilton as post commander October 19, 1850. He served until June 1854 during this tour. He would serve two other times as commanding officer of Fort Kearny.”

Page 61 – “Capt. Henry W. Wharton of the 6th Infantry, assigned to command the fort October 19, 1850, held the post until June 18, 1854 when he was replaced by 1st Lt. Henry ‘Hurry’ Heth.”

Page 62 – “Capt. Wharton relieved Lt. Heth as commander of the fort June 1, 1855, for 13 days – to June 14, when Major Albermarle Cady assumed command….Capt. Thomas Hendrickson, of Co. H, succeeded Cady as the post commander and served in the position until October 19 when Capt. Wharton returned to assume command for the third time in five years.”

Page 64 – The next change in command at Fort Kearny come April 6, 1857 when Capt. Wharton was relieved by 1st Lt. William D. Smith of the 2nd Dragoons.”


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