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|Title||Mark Kellogg diary|
|Date of Original||1876|
|Creator||Kellogg, Mark, 1833-1876|
|Description||The diary is composed of 37 sheets of copy paper and documents Kellogg's time reporting on the Big Horn-Yellowstone Expedition of 1876 when he accompanied George Armstrong Custer and the 7th Cavalry during the events that ultimately led to the Battle of the Little Bighorn.|
Indians of North America
Campaigns & battles
Indians of North America - War
Little Bighorn, Battle of the, Mont., 1876
Custer, George Armstrong, 1839-1876
Terry, Alfred Howe, 1827-1890
Bloody Knife, ca. 1840-1876
Custer, Thomas Ward, 1845-1876
Reynolds, Charley, 1842-1876
United States. Army. Cavalry, 7th.
Bismarck Tribune (Bismarck, N.D.)
Little Missouri River (Wyo.-N.D.)
Fort Abraham Lincoln (N.D.)
Tongue River (Wyo. and Mont.)
Powder River (Wyo. and Mont.)
Broke camp May 17th Early morning foggy, heavy roads. Formed in marching order 2 miles West Ft. L. Camped at 3 P.M. on the Big Heart 13 miles out. 13.2 miles travelled. Splendid camp, wood, grass & water plenty.
May 18th Revielle 3 A.M. Under march 5 P.M. Halted at noon on Sweet Brier-- 10 5/8 miles travelled. Slight rains near camp, heavy rains all around. In camp at 4 P.M. Custer in person suffusin [with?] energy.
May 19th Revielle 3 A.M. Broke camp 5 A.M> and under way. Passed through Prairie Dog villages [end of page 1] saw some Antelope and Reynolds, the guide, shot one. Custer, pioneering ahead with scouts & two Co's. Cs [Custer] with them all day. Quite a novel excitement. Rains of last night makes traveling heavy for forage and camp teams. Took lunch today noon hard tack & bacon. Greyhounds after Jack Rabbit. Nogo Rabbit won the race. Terrific hail & rain storm as went into camp, cold, etc. Last of teams in at dark roads growing heavier. Scout reached us this A.M. with mail & news of B. Hillers being massacred. Traveled 14 miles. Grazing very light, wood scarce & Game 5 miles away. [end of page 2]
May 20th--Reveille at 5 A.M. Broke camp at 8. Marched four miles to crossing of [word not deciphered] the Muddy, found little trouble at this crossing & wood was procured for tonight & tomorrow mornings uses. Gen. Terry in advance as well as Gen. Custer this A.M. Teams standing the rough, heavy work well. Arty [artillery] team stampeded, ran mile, broken pole only damage. March 9.2 miles. Went into camp W. side of Big Muddy on heights. Slight showers through P.M. & roads soft; but Big Muddy was an easy crossing, grazing better, weather raw with West wind.
May 21 Reveille 3 A.M. Broke Camp 6 A.M. Weather [end of page 3] misty, dark, heavy coulds threatening rain, Indian scouts brought in 7 Antelope. At noon the coulds broke, arose & Passed away leaving a cleary sky & strong West wind. Column moving along nicely. Antelope more plenty. Several been killed through the day. Went into camp at 5 P.M. Marched 13.3 miles. Terry & Custer to the front, Roads better, getting West of the water shed. 1 mule shot diseased with Glanders. 1 mule left behind, played out. Plenty water no wood had to haul as come on. 3 Invalids in ambulance one from accidental shot in the heels. On the [end of page 4] South nearly all day very rough, cone formation Mauvais first appearance of Mauvais de terre [Bad Lands]. General Country rolling but many high buttes with peculiar names give by Indians viz. Rattlesnake Den, Wolfs Den Cherry Ridge Maidens Breasts. Veteniary [sic] USA Vetsinary [sic] surgeon Dr. C.A. Stein duties begin when get into camp. Reynolds, our guide out at 2 A.M. found an excellent route. Struck Stanley trail at noon toda, left it Tuesday Friday last.[end of page 5].
May 22d Column took line of March at 5 A.M. Weather clear, cool, pleasant. Getting beyond Watershed, roads harder, drier. Was at front with Gen. Terry & Custer all day; but little scouting done today. The guide Reynolds & Blood Knife ahead. Plenty of Antelope seen today. Reynolds, killed 3 & 14 in all were brought in. Struck Custers return Black Hills trail of 74 at 10 A.M. Marched 15.4 miles today, crossed the Thin Faced Creek, a tributary of Knife River at 12:15 P.M. and went [end of page 6] into a camp near the Young Mans Buttes. A wagon upset today and the driver was injured considerably. The country is dry here, no rain since prairie fires of two 2 weeks ago; but grazing is best we have had. Sufficient water, but not plenty & poor quality. An abundance of timber. Health of column continues good. Found first Grouse, & plenty here. Some Curlew, & large flo flocks of Jack Snipe. [end of page 7]
May 23d--Broke camp at 5A.M. Weather cool clear, Southerly winds. Marched 8 miles and went into camp at Young Mens Buttes. Plenty timber best grazing we have had, & a spring of clear, cold water. Gen C. While run Chasing Elk ahead of Advance, & when ver near an Elk came onto a freshly fresh burning camp fire left by hostiles. He about faced & returned to colummn. First Elk seen, Antelope [end of page 6] [error in numbering page] plenty. Arickarees some years ago had firt on & about Young Mens Buttes. We are camped within 40 miles of Berthold North course. Scouts say could reach in one day easy on ponies. Abt 10 miles W. is Lost Waters Butte Stream water 16 to 18 inches diameter rushes out side of Butte. Makes considerable stream & disappears after running 100 yards. Gen C. visits Scouts much at home amongst them. [end of page 7] Cause of short march today to give stock chance to rest, have long march tomorrow. Sergt Stempker, Co. L 7th buried at this point Aug 26th 1873 head board undisturbed. Just at dusk Indians seen about 3 miles away, moving along on top of Coteau.
May 24th Camp broken and under March at usual hour. Weather clear cool, bright. Antelope [end of page 8] plenty. Gen. C. Capt Tom C. & party miles away on right flank hunting. Nearly most of day killed Elk & Lynx. Crossed line of survey of N.P.R.R. at 9 A.M. Travelled on Custers return Yellowstone trail of 73 today. Reached camp on fork of Big Heart at 3 P.M. travelled 19 1/8 miles, roads hard, dry, crossings easy. Health of column continues good. Most beautiful and convenient camp yet struck. Plenty wood, excellent grazing. Stream clear. Cool & swift running, plenty small fish. Men bathing. Gen Terry, continually in the advance. 1st issue rations. [end of page 9] Face of Country past 2 days high rolling prairie very beautiful in its green carpet. ON cut bank of stream opposite camp is a plainly defined strata of lignite 5 to 6 ft in depth. Large pieces of lignite in bed of river all along drifted in.
May 25th Broke camp 5 A.M. Marched 19.4 miles 153/4 miles out had to use bridge at a drain crossing. Went into camp on tributary of N. of B. Heart since left Ca Big Heart at 3 P.M. Plenty grass, water & wood. Grazing improving rapidly. Grass [end of page 10] here evidently 2 or 3 weeks in advance of that on Mo. River. Weather beautiful. Country passed over today very handsome. Gen Terry in advance at head 4 men on sick list. Only 2 govt mules played out as yet, bot Govt. Stock generally improving. Since we Past 3 days discovered the grass containing millions of infinitesimally infinitisimal sized of locusts. Too small to hurt grass now.
May 26th Broke camp 5:30 A.M. crossed run on bridge. Marched 4.2 miles to another feeder of Big Heart, put in [end of page 11] bridge, thence to another feeder of Big Heart, going into camp at 2:30 P.M. marching 12 4/10 miles. Scouts from Lincoln on road at 3 A.M. with a mail. Weather hot and dry, first day of real heat yet experienced. Good grass, and water, no wood. Marched over considerable cactus growth today & some red gravel beds seen, first indications of approach to Bad Lands. Gen Custer, pioneering at front all day. Lays all the camps, & attends in person to much of detail of march. Energy un [end of page 12] Antelope plenty, no signs of other game - No Indian signs for past three days. Mail brought news by telegraph to Gen Terry , of Cabinet changes. Some astonishment expressed because of appointment of Don. Cameron, as Secy of War. Hardly expected in military circles. Past 2 days we have marched between the Stanley trail west of 73. It is an excellent route thus far. Sent. Should properly be called Terrys Trail [end of page 13]
May 27th Broke camp at 5 A.M. Weather clear and warm with pleasant wind from west. Gentle rain last night makes marching very pleasant. Marched 10 miles, and struck entrance of Bad Lands & went into camp, grass on a feeder the head of Davis Creek. Grass excellent. Water slightly aklalied [sic]. Valley narrow, camp stretches out lengthwise & it is the most pic- [end of page 14] turesuque imaginable. Red, cone topped Buttes in all directions. Column enduring march finely. Men and stock hardening & improving. Band plays on set out for march and during evening daily. Actual distances marched today 17 1/2 miles. Owing to having crossed Stanleys trail at some point where it was obliterated the column marched about 3 miles too far South, and now it was that Gen Custers [end of page 15] fine memory came into play. What is known as Sentinel Buttes, anglicized, by the Indians as "Two Buttes Facing Each Other' which are seen approaching the Bad Lands from the Eastward, & were pronounced so at once and emphatically by Gen Custer. Scouts were sent Northward and in the course of an hour found the trail. A counter march was ordered and [end of page 16] the column about faced and were soon on the trail and winding their its way down the sides of a steep Butte whose base is at the East entrance to the Bad lnds. Gen Custer and a few scouts made a march down the valley from camp an hour or so after reaching camp & found the route very feasible only as regarded the crossings. Gen Terry issued orders for 3 Co's Cav. to advance in the morning armed [end of page 17] with picks & shovels.
May 28th Broke camp 5 A.M. Pioneers ahead. Marched today 7 3/4 miles. Made 8 crossings of Davis Creek & went into camp at 12.30. Creek very tortuous, crossing dep. Made ascent of highest Buttes, viewed surrounding country a sea of cone & ugly formation. Expecte Grass excellent, water alkalied plenty wood. Expected reach Little Mo. this evening; but found [end of page 18] [pages 19 and 20 lost] pranks [?] Waters unexpectedly quite clear in L. Mo. & very low. Will probabably [sic] lay here one or two days as a considerable work corduroying, &c is necessary to make crossing feasible. Man rattlesnake bitten yesterday all right. Says whiskey is a "big thing." Anticipated Indian trouble in bad lands, or going up defile and Butte west of Mo. L. Mo., but no signs of their being in this vicinity. [end of page 21]
May 30th Main column lie in camp today, Gen Custer, with battalion and Lt. Varnum with 12 scouts moved out of camp at 5 A.M. on a reconnoitering & scouting expedition. Expected in tonight. No incident today. Considerable quanty [sic] fish caught in L. Mo., such as Skip Jacks Graylings, and a few Silver Cat. No shooting allowed today. [end of page 22] Gen Custer & battallion returned 6 P.M. scouted 45 miles up L. Mo Valley. Its average mile wide, good grass. Crossed stream 34 times. No Indian signs except those a year old. 5 pack mules along with forage. Heavey [sic] shower early part of night.
May 31st Early morning gloomy, dark, misty threatening rain. Broke camp 8 A.M. clouds lifted and [end of page 23] Weather pleasanter, Crossing of L. Mo, not bad, hauling heavy, and beyond westward the trail was over very broken coutnry up, up & down, zig zagging up the high steep Buttes. Trail very tortuous clear through to tonights camp wich was reached at 2 P.M. after a march of 12 9/10 miles. Reynolds going down a steep Butte on Whistlers "cut off" into valley where camped. Sufficient wood, & water. Grass very fine. [end of page 24] later of poor quality. Reynolds, & I off on a scout miles away from head of column, shot 3 Rocky Mountain sheep, dressed them, packed on our horses and tramped over 4 miles into camp. Went down very long steep Buttes, twisted down clay formations where if have stumbled would have gone down pricipice [sic] hundreds of feet. Stock Men & stock all right. had splendid panoramic view from Battlement Butte about 8 miles [end of page 25] in all directions. Red topped to North more than any other direction. Rose Bud Butte on L. Mo. about 8 or 10 miles, in S.E. direction. 12 miles fr Camp. Saw column winding its way along. Carland found while "marching on" well shaped hole with ice in it, hot day, very refreshing. Commenced pouring rain at 7 P.M.
June 1st Reveille at 3 A.M., looked out found 2 inches on ground & snowing hard. Has snowed nearly all day. Have not moved. 7 P.M. snowing harder than ever wind blowing fr N.W. growing colder. Stock feeling the storm [end of page 26] Very dull in camp, some card playing, no incident wood plenty, & fires kept burning all around, but few Sibley stoves, at HD Qrs & 3 or 4 officers tent. Yesterday 8 miles W.L. Mo. camp. Saw a coal strata on fire, looked like whole side mountain on fire vein about 4 ft thick. Lignite cropping out all along.
June 2d Layed in camp all day, weather cold, snowing at intervals all day, very disagreeable. During P.M. forage and supply wagons hauled across crossing & up hill to start in early morning. [end of page 27] Gen Terry impatient of delay. Will try to reach Beaver Creek tomorrow.
June 3d Camp broke & column in motion 5 A.M. Weather clear, & cold raw N.W. wind. Marched 25 miles camped on Beaver Creek, beautiful stream & valley. Grass sward luxuriant, wood sufficient. 10 AM 2 white & I Ind. scouts from Gibbons command met head column. Gib with despatches from Gibbons command. They left on Rose Bud, between powder & B. Horn. The [end of page 28] left camp on 24th Gibbons command on half rations, expected supplies from Ft Ellis June 1st 3 soldiers & 1 citizen while hunting killed by hostiles. Saw 20 to 50 in bands frequently through the day. Antelope plenty today. This camp is 35 miles from yellowstone via Stanleys route to stockade. Gen T- will change course of march, & go direct to Gibbons command on the RoseBud. Str Josephine md 2d trip to stockade left her cargo and left [end of page 28] [error in numbering page] the river. Str Star of the West at stockade at 10 AM.
June 2d Will stay there until this column reaches unless otherwise ordered. 7 P.M. Weather warmer, clear, & no wind. Country passed over today except 1st 6 miles, handsome grass par excellence, basins [?] splendid grass for stock but think of 8 inches of snow on ground June 2d. Snow fell to foot or more depfh on Y Stone, drifts 3 ft deep same storm & time. Scouts had trouble find or keep trail. [end of page 29]
June 4th Under march 5 A.M. Weather clear, cool, pleasant marching marched 18 miles camped on Stanleys return trail of 72 on his camping grounds on Beaver Creek grass plenty not so good as has been water clear, cold, & swift running wood plenty. Indian signs week old saw today. Antelope plentier than at anytime on this march. Terry tired out, took ambulance 4 miles from camp- 1 of Clarks team played out. The [end of page 30] roads good but country very rolling. "Vet" said to Recruit climb our hill, when on top see another (his experience) "Boys" Joshing "Capt Michailes" chf ordnance, Indians call him "4 eyed battle ass" Health of column good. Carland & Chance hunting. Dismounted to shoot Antelope, Horses ran away, in rear & flank of column, exhausted themselves chasing stock then gave $5.00 each to have horses caught. Chance shot 1 Antelope. Passed through P. Dog Village today. [end of page 31]
June 5th Broke camp usual time Marched mostly a South Course 10.4 miles, struck Stanleys return 72 trail again descended into Bad Lands crossed Cabine Creek at 11 AM, Marched 20.2 miles & camped, grass fair, water ditto, no wood, used dried sagebrush for cooking. Worse road have had & worst country. Chief products sagebrush, cactus & rattlesnakes. Antelope very plenty. No Indian signs today. Been ahead [end of page 32] with Reynolds. Killed 2 Black tailed deer & 2 Antelope. Tonights camp on open plains. Hd Qrs on hill top, handsome and convenient camp, but for lack of wood. 2 mules died last night. Saw 1st Buf. signs today, tracks fresh, since snow.
June 6th Broke camp and under march at 4.30 A.M. Weather clear, cool, breezy. March 10.4 miles to near head O. Fallons Creek crossed and marched 22.3 miles where we [end of page 33] crossed fork again and went into camp at 4.45 P.M. having marched miles. Had some difficulty in finding crossing Country along creek flat, very broken, and soil soft. Are making new trail entirely.l Marching been generally excellent today. Reynolds guiding discretionanly [sic] Timber heavy all cottonwood, plenty fair water, grazing not good. Sage brush & cactus principal growth today. [end of page 34] First Buffalo Killed today. Two privates Troop H, out hunting yesterday not returning last night, fears they had been captured by nostiles; but they reached column about 10 A.M. all night got lost, & belated in bad land region, which we are yet in. Priv. McWilliams Troop H, accidentally shot himself with a revolver today; ball took effect calf leg ran down tendon, and lodged just under skin top of foot, flesh wound lay him up a month. Marched [end of page 35] through Prairie dog village containing 700 or 800 acres. Little fellows surprised & barked top of voices. Saw while with advance today deserted wood hovel, evidently put together without use of axe, Rough, dry logs piled together with broken limbs and stick placed in then mudded. A mere hovel. Some white men wintered there evidences of horse, & well beaten path in front extending some distance each side of structure. Saw 1st wind puff today. [end of page 36]
June 7th Under March 4:45 A.M. Weather misty, clouds heavy threatening rain. Marched today 32 miles & camped on Powder River. Cavalry Gen Custer, at 3.30. Gen T. and head of column 5 P.M. & the rear of Col. at 8 P.M. Terribly rough country. Gen C- with Col Weirs troops, used as videttes, scouted ahead & succeeded finding a passable trav route over a country would seem impractical, up, up, down, down, zig zag, twisting turning &c Gen C. rode 50 miles, fresh when arrived. Told Terry [end of page 37] last eve, would succeed finding trail & water horse in P. River. 43 P.M. today, succeeded at 3.30 P.M. Most attractive scenery yet. Spruce & Cedar on Buttes, marched on "hogs back" highest Buttes in country for mile or two, if teams went either side roll down hundreds feet. Only trail route an could be found made in this direction. Saw, what seemed like Ancient ruins. Buffalo seen today, none taken, order no firing. This camp excellent, wood, water, grass plenty. Timber all Cottonwood of smallish or medium size. Every one tired out, & stock completely so. Several mules & few horses [end of page 38] played dropped out today of teams today. Some breakage to wagons slight damages. Remarkable march. We are 26 miles in direct line from camp on. OFallon Creek last night. Have marched thus fire 32.3 miles. Its 20 miles from here to mouth P. River. Fish
June 8th In camp all day. Gen. Terry, with 2 Co's Cav, left after noon for mouth Powder River intercept steamer. Preparations being made for an 8 days Cavalry Scout in full force. Wagoners pack train carrying [end of page 39] forage, and rations. Indians Killed a buffalo today & had a pow-wow over it. Yesterdays march hard on stock; but a 2 days halt here will recuperated them. The scouts sent last night be Genn. T. to mouth of P. Riv. returned today, bringing letter mail Str Far West brought up. Report scouts from Gibbon, which met this column some days ago & were sent back with despatches, were unable to go to Gibbon, driven back to stockade by hostiles. They saw 4 Sioux who [end of page 40] ran away when seeing them. Hostiles probably, enear mouth P. Riv. & in neighborhood Tongue Riv.
May 9th The returned scouts killed buffalo enroute, & had pow-wow over it 1st one killed.
May June 9th Lay in camp today. Scouts came in from mouth P. River, with mail brought up by Str Far West & information Ge. T. gone up Y. Riv. 30 miles on Str meet Gibbon who marching down Y. River valley from Junction [end of page 41] with Terry. Organization for scouting completed & only awaits Gen. T. return. It is probably the bulk hostiles on Tongue Riv. & between tr. & Powder Riv. Scouts saw 4 mounted Sioux who ran when saw scouts.
Q.M. Horses 32
Gov. Horses 695
Batty. Horses 26
Pvt. Horses 95
Hired Horses 74
|Notes||Entries in the diary after June 9 are missing from the notbook found beside Kellogg's body on the battlefield. Some matter deleted by Kellogg in the original diary.|
|Biography/History||Mark Kellogg was born in Ontario, Canada in 1831. His family eventually settled in LaCrosse, Wisc. Kellogg became a telegraphist, married in 1861, and became the assistant editor for the La Cross Democrat. After his wife died in 1867, Kellogg lived in many cities in the Midwest working as a reporter. He moved to Bismarck, Dakota Territory in the 1870s, and worked with Clement Lounsberry at the Bismarck Tribune. Kellogg accompanied George Armstrong Custer and the rest of the 7th Cavalry to the Little Big Horn, and sent dispatches back to the Bismarck Tribune. Kellogg died with many other members of the 7th Cavalry during fighting between June 25 and June 26, 1876.|
State Historical Society of North Dakota
|Repository Collection||State Historical Society of North Dakota State Archives|
|Credit Line||State Historical Society of North Dakota (Mss 20017)|