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Kansas Historical Quarterly - Freighting: A Big Business on the Santa Fe Trail

by Walker Wyman

November 1931 (Vol. 1, No. 1), pages 17 to 27
Transcribed by Lynn H. Nelson; HTML editing by Tod Roberts
digitized with permission of the Kansas Historical Society.


"Kearny's baggage train started a new era in plains freighting . . . . It became a matter of business, running smoothly along familiar channels . . . . Between the Mexican and the Civil Wars was its new period of life. . ." [1]

IN THE fifties overland freighting became a great business, employing a vast outlay of capital and great numbers of men and animals. Like a tide it rose through that decade, reaching its flood in the sixties. Then came the Kansas Pacific railroad, stretching westward from Kansas City. Overland freighting with ox teams receded as the railroad advanced. With this ebb tide went the big business of freighting.

During the last half of the decade of the forties, Independence, Missouri, became the best market west of St. Louis for cattle, mules, and wagons. Overland freighting gradually fell into fewer hands. St. Louis, Philadelphia, and other eastern cities continued to be purchasing places for goods. As the years of the fifties came, steamers ascended the Missouri beyond Independence to Westport, Kansas City, Ft. Leavenworth, and Atchison with goods destined for the New Mexican trade. From these towns caravans of prairie schooners pulled by ox and mule teams made the monotonous journey across the plains on a trail which became a wide, hard-beaten road.

Before the fifties cargoes of calico, groceries, and leather goods were exchanged for specie, furs, and mules. Much of the goods went to Chihuahua, Mexico, some five hundred miles south of Santa Fe. A high ad valorem tax on goods entering Mexico as well as the flourishing market in the territory of New Mexico in which no duties were charged after 1852, discouraged the Chihuahua trade. The development of gold fields in the territories of Arizona and New Mexico, the flow of Americans to these areas, and the rapid Americanization of the natives created demands for a diversified supply of goods. There was an "uncommonly large demand" for calicoes, bleached domestics, and small white hosiery. A contemporary, in giving a survey of the trade, commented upon the diminutive char-



acter of the Mexican women's feet which made small sizes necessary. [2] Dealers of shoes also had to meet this requirement. But flour, whisky, hardware, and ammunition-packed in boxes, sacks, and barrels-formed the bulk of the freight. By 1860, reported this writer, a greater part of the specie had been drained from New Mexico by the demands of commerce, and mules had long since ceased to be of any importance as an article of exchange. [3] After about 1858 enormous quantities of wool began to flow to Missouri in wagon trains many of which had heretofore returned empty. [4] Goat and sheep skins were additional articles of import. In the year of 1859 nearly 30,000 skins were imported into Missouri, selling at twenty-five cents each. Dry hides, some tallow, and a few furs continued to come. Total imports in 1859 were valued at $500,000. [5]

Until 1850 Independence was the principal outfitting place. In the first few months in 1849 traders were arriving from New Mexico. The frozen snow and jagged ice along the trail lacerated the feet of same of the mules. One train had been snowbound for three days. For five days the men had existed on nothing but "an ear or two of corn." These instances were rare merely because the overland trains were few until June. At that time an observer said that there was a Mexican invasion. "These swarthy teamsters . . .," he said, "were having a great life in breaking 'mulos'. Many who had never seen a mule professed to understand 'all about them'-, and it is quite amusing to see these gentlemen undertake the taming of these animals." Good mules were scarce after May, and cholera was bad. Traders hurried out of town. Adjutant Hart, with the purpose of settling in Chihuahua, took machinery with him. Carriages for Mexican senators were dragged through the streets along with the caravans. The Expositor mused: "How they [the carriages] will delight the belles of Mexico." [6]

The extent of trade in 1849 is difficult to explain. Many merchants were reported to have failed in Santa Fe during the winter of 1848. The whole country, according to one merchant, was completely glutted and every town overstocked with goods. He believed there were sufficient supplies for several years to come. This


condition was unchanged after the arrival of the caravan in the summer of that year. William Messervy, a merchant of Santa Fe, warned "introducers of new goods" that they were bound to lose money. Calico sold in New Mexico for the cost price in St. Louis. The high duties levied on goods imported into Chihuahua, ranging from sixty per cent to thirty-three and one-third per cent, made freighting for that market hazardous as a profit-making enterprise. It was alleged that merchants lost approximately eight cents on every yard of cloth imported from Missouri. [7]

The plains Indians caused no great trouble during the summer although a band of them camped on the Arkansas during most of the freighting season. The government gave them $1,000 worth of presents which, perhaps, kept them in a friendly mood. Hard weather conditions were the most distracting elements with which freighters hart to contend. James Browne, enroute to Santa Fe in the fall, experienced a three-day snowstorm in the middle of November. A newspaper reported that the weather "was so intensely cold as to freeze all the oxen attached to the train, leaving the wagons standing in the jornada . . . [the Cimarron desert south of the Arkansas in the present state of Kansas]." A few men went for aid while ten or fifteen stayed with the goods all winter. In March, 1850, they were seen by a passing trader. Two wagons had been burned for fuel in the struggle for life during the winter. [8]

The greatest tragedy of the year was the murder of J. M. White, his family, and a few of his employees. In the latter part of the freighting season he started to Santa Fe with thirteen wagons. Various reports say that when some of his mules became exhausted, he cached a part of his goods, and pushed ahead. About 150 miles from Santa Fe, in the area where the Apache and Comanche had attacked many trains and were to attack many more, the bodies, with the exception of Mrs. White and her youngest child, were found in a mutilated condition. Merchants of Santa Fe were sufficiently aroused to offer $1,000 reward for the recovery of Mrs. White. The troops later found her, but not before her life had been taken. [9]

The following year, 1850, passed without great change. Trade was brisk, without doubt. A fatal disease, "dry murrain," caused from drinking unwholesome water, left many oxen along the trail to


die. The Missouri Republican believed that nearly all trains had lost animals. The dry season threw many wagons out of service. It may have been local pride that caused the Republican to remark that "of all the wagons taken to and from Santa Fe this year, those only that were manufactured in this city [St. Louis], by Mr. J. Murphy, have withstood all the injurious effects of the heat." [10] The Arkansas river was believed to have been the lowest it had ever been in that particular season. The Indians south of the Arkansas were extremely hostile. One train of Browne's was attacked and ten teamsters killed. Others were robbed and pillaged. One journalist spoke of the "imbecility of our government [which] excites the pity of our own people and the contempt of our poor Indians." [11] Ft. Mann and an encampment on the upper Arkansas gave some protection to the Trail north of the Arkansas.

The removal of the army depot in 1851, from Santa Fe to Fort Union, caused the report that business was dull in Santa Fe. When one hundred and twenty-nine wagons had arrived it was believed that there were enough goods to last two years. A few traders went on south to Chihuahua. The postmaster of Santa Fe, one Mr. McKnight, said that 549 wagons constituted the total trade for the year. These wagons were in trains ranging from seven to forty. [12]

Since the days of the Kearny military government, merchants of Santa Fe had paid a license for transacting business. Much of the time an ad valorem tax on imports had been paid in spite of great protest. In 1852 the latter restriction was removed, thereby permitting free trade for practically the first time since overland commerce began in 1822. [13] Trade with Mexico decreased because of the high duties levied at Paso del Norte (El Paso). The failure of crops along the Rio Grande prostrated trade in that region until 1854.

Independence continued to share the overland trade with Westport in the early fifties. [14] The Republican testified in 1851 that a "great many wagons still depart from Independence, particularly the trains for New Mexico, but the town is not advancing . . . ." [15]


The heyday of this river town was over. Westport Landing, a good dock a few miles west of Independence, became a popular shipping point. A settlement grew up around the landing. Kansas City, located south of the Kansas (or Kaw) river, grew up as an auxiliary to Westport. As late as 1859 a correspondent wrote that "nearly all" the trade came first to Westport and was from thence distributed. [16]

The treaty of Fort Atkinson was signed with the Comanche, Kiowa, and Apache in 1853. Good behavior, the inviolability of the plains traffic, and the right to establish military posts and railroad depots was pledged in exchange for an annual payment of $18,000 for ten years in "strips of red calico, red blankets, red beads, copper kettles, butcher knives, and hatchets [but no guns]." But "irresponsible Indians and evil white men soon violated every pledge made." [17]

Smallpox and Indians made freighting hazardous in 1854. Insolent Indians accosted many trains begging for whisky and tobacco. They were inveterate thieves, and this often led to casualties, but some traders formed bands to oppose them effectively. In some cases the Indians were quite as eager to trade. One old freighter believed that bright silks attracted them as strongly as scalps.

The year of 1855 was one of the wettest seasons in the memory of the oldest inhabitants. Business was poor, and money was scarce. Kansas was in a state of turmoil. In 1856 the passion aroused over the status of Kansas territory played havoc with the Santa Fe freighting. Trade on the Missouri river was reported dead. Some of the steamers went elsewhere since "passengers were few and freights comparatively unknown." Westport merchants complained that they had no business. There was no demand for horses, cattle, or wagons. By the latter part of April only Mexican trains had departed for Santa Fe. A special correspondent of the New York Tribune wrote that the warehouse of Russell, Majors & Waddell in Leavenworth, was a reselling shop for rifles, stores, and agricultural implements which had been stolen from free-state immigrants. [18] Abolitionists attacked trains starting from Kansas City or


Westport, the two cities presumed to be proslavery in sentiment. [19] Colonel S. L. McKinney lost about sixty cattle and ten wagons, including the contents, to a band under a Captain Cutter. [20] According to the Evening News, the men were well treated and upon release were given a wagon and six oxen. [21]

A dry season and begging Indians caused difficulties of a nature slightly less dangerous than the Abolitionists. Many wagons had to turn off the trail for miles to find grass for the oxen. The Republican (August 26, 1856) believed that there was "scarcely a wagon train . . . but which . . . has to pay tribute for the sake of passing through [the Indian country] without . . . being killed." This paper stated that each train had been compelled to give $200 or $300 worth of goods as bribes to the Indians.

The Kansas Weekly Herald (Leavenworth, Kansas), proudly stated on August 8, 1857, that the Santa Fe trade was not "pining" away, but instead the trail was one great bustle for nearly 800 miles, "almost lined with wagons, stock, and horsemen." Indians above the Arkansas were harassing beggars, demanding "ox," "shug," and "tobac" as frequently as ever before. Some traders, to show a complete lack of suspicion, did not arm their trains. [22] Kansas troops were recalled from the frontier posts. When a great number of Indians surrounded J. C. Hall and his train, demanding "ox," he pointed to Fort Larned in the distance. They showed their insolence, according to Hall, by replying "Fort! Dam! Forty men." One of them stayed for a meal with the train, and was a guest of eight different messes without serious injury to himself. [23]

The character of the trade changed in 1857. [24] Machinery for gold mines, such as crushing machines, was sent from the States. In that year the first American caravan loaded with wool arrived in Missouri. The previous year Mexicans had tried that business on a limited scale. Wool was a resource undiscovered until this year. Beck and Giddings, New Mexican ranchers, had driven 1,100 sheep overland in 1853 to make the first attempt to improve the sheep of


the territory. Great herds had been driven to Chihuahua, and some to California, to be marketed for the carcasses. Now this source of wealth could be utilized, and empty wagons could be filled in returning from New Mexico. The importation of wool rose to unparalleled volume. Sheep, in being driven from the mountain valleys to the haciendas of the proprietors in the spring, lost much wool on the prickly bushes and branches through which they passed. The Kansas City Journal believed that one large herd often lost from 1,000 to 2,000 pounds in a single drive. Shearing was unknown, but peons, eager to earn an extra penny, armed themselves with sacks and picked the wool as if it were cotton, and sold it for a trifling sum to freighters. Some of the proprietors offered the fleeces to the freighters if they would shear the sheep. The Journal estimated that fleeces could be sheared for two cents per pound, freighted to Kansas City for three or four cents per pound, and shipped to St. Louis for less than one cent. Thus it argued that the wool business gave indication of a profitable future. [25]

S. M. Hayes & Company, located on the trail at Council Grove, Kansas, kept a registry of those engaged in the Santa Fe trade. In 1858 they recorded 2,440 men, 1,827 wagons, 429 horses, 15,714 oxen, 5,316 mules, 67 carriages, and 9,608 tons of goods. They estimated the total capital invested at $2,627,300. If wagons were included the astounding sum of $3,500,000 was spent in this trade in that year, or enough, they said, to build 350 miles of railroad at $10,000 per mile. The cash record of this firm showed receipts in gold and silver for $1,600 in one day of that busy season. Proud citizens believed that" 'C. G.' has a future that no other town off the Missouri river can ever hope to have in Kansas." [26]

An old pioneer remembered some years later that on a certain day in May, 1858, the entire quarter section of land at Lone Elm, Kansas, was covered with wagons. The wagons commenced to pull out at twelve o'clock at night and the last train did not pass him before four o'clock in the afternoon. [27] These wagons distributed goods in Chihuahua and the territories of New Mexico, Arizona, and Colorado.[28] The legislature of New Mexico raised the license fee re-


quired for merchants, which was the only source of revenue, hoping to liquidate a debt of nearly $10,000 in a year or so! But this did not materially discourage traffic on the trail, nor did the abolitionists who surrounded wagon trains that fall. [29]

Before the grass in 1858 was at any height, Westport bustled with business. The Westport Border Star proudly wrote that the "Mexican trains and traders are arriving daily with gold, silver, furs, pelts, wool. At Bernard & Co's we see a pile of silver rocks . . . At the same place a piece of pure gold (from Mexican mines, not from Pike's Peak) as large as an apple dumpling . . . ." [30] The streets were crowded with wagon trains. "Sometimes it was difficult to tread one's way across the streets on account of the blockade of wagons, mules, cattle, bales, boxes, etc.," wrote a correspondent of the Republican. [31] Among the exports he noticed a "patent reaper, and mower, a steam engine and boiler, together with all the machinery necessary for a new flouring mill at Albuquerque." By July 15 the streets were again quiet, "the merchant trains having all departed, and the last hunter, peon, and greaser have left. . . ." [32]

The trade in 1859, believed one contemporary writer, had risen to $10,000,000 annually. Between March 1 and July 31, the Missouri Republican, perhaps quoting S. M. Hayes & Company, reported that 2,300 men, 1,970 wagons, 840 horses, 4,000 mules, 15,000 oxen, 73 carriages, and over 1,900 tons of freight left for New Mexico. These figures were exclusive of gold seekers who "were too numerous to count." [33]

The Civil War affected the trade to some extent. Trade from Kansas City and Westport practically ceased, according to W. R. Bernard, a merchant of Westport. Cities farther north on the river became safer starting places. The suspected slavery sentiment of Kansas City brought upon wagon trains starting from there the wrath of Kansas abolitionists. Wallace Law, a contemporary, said that trains starting from Ft. Leavenworth were never molested. [34]


The State Record (Topeka) reported the largest return train of the season: Thirty-seven wagons extending for over a mile, bringing 50,000 pounds of wool from New Mexico. S. M. Hayes and Company gave the total of the season: 2,984 men, 2,170 wagons, 464 horses, 5,933 mules, 17,836 oxen, 76 carriages, and 80,000 tons of freight." [35]

The wool crop of 1860 was unprecedented. One firm in Tecolati, New Mexico, had contracted for 150,000 fleeces. Shearing sheep had become quite common. Provisions were scarce in Santa Fe-flour sold for $14 per hundred pounds, and other articles sold in proportion. Indian hostilities continued in spite of the great hordes of men and beasts which poured across the continent. The race of Governor William Gilpin of Colorado, with a force of infantry and cavalry, aided in driving the Confederates out of northern New Mexico before the arrival of the annual caravan. R. L. Duffus says that the Cimarron route, or the short cut across the headwaters of the Cimarron river was abandoned entirely during the war because of the fear of Confederates and the ever present Apache. [36] S. M. Hayes & Company reported that business was paralyzed during the last of the year, but the Mexican teamsters going eastward the following spring had been "thick as locusts." [37]

In 1862 the Council Grove Press reported that more than 3,000 wagons, 618 horses, 20,812 oxen, 6,406 mules, 96 carriages, and 3,720 men made their way over the old trail to the Southwest. The business had grown to amazing proportions, for now over 10,000 tons of freight valued at $40,000,000 constituted the cargo. [38]

It was "flush times" in Council Grove in 1864. S. M. Simcox of that village registered the traffic of the season: 3,000 wagons, 618 horses, 20,812 oxen, 8,046 mules, 98 carriages, 3,012 men and 15,000 tons of merchandise. [39]

The Kansas Tribune (Lawrence) complained of a great amount of pillaging and robbery on the trail in that year. "Bushwhackers and


thieves have joined themselves in trains in disguise, palming themselves off as belonging to these trains, for the purpose of spying out a good show for stealing. Then they saunter back in small squads and commit their depredations." [40] Colonel Milton Moore, who had been a Santa Fe freighter in his youth, said that after the commencement of the Indian war on the upper Arkansas in 1864, caravans were not permitted to proceed west of Fort Larned unless they were in groups of one hundred men or more. [41]

The plains Indians were on the warpath in 1865. H. W. Jones says that they attacked every train that crossed the plains. His train proceeded through the Indian country in two columns side by side. When they started from Fort Larned 1,000 wagons made up the enormous train. An escort of troops accompanied them from Fort Dodge to Bent's Fort, but did not prevent Indian attacks. C. H. Whittington wrote to the Emporia News that the following had crossed the Osage bridge at 142 creek between May 12 and July 12, 1865: 1,188 wagons, 2,692 men, 736 horses, 2,904 mules, 15,855 oxen, 56 carriages, and 10,489,200 pounds of freight. [42]

On February 28, 1856, Fort Riley and Fort Larned were designated by the military department of Missouri as the rendezvous for trains for New Mexico. Trains were compelled to organize for defense, arm themselves properly, and submit to the regulations laid down by the captain of the train, before they would be permitted to enter the Indian country. No train consisting of less than twenty wagons and thirty armed men was allowed to leave the forts. [43]

Colonel J. F. Meline toured the plains with a troop of cavalry in 1866. His journal records that he passed great numbers of ox teams. For the season he estimated that between 5,000 and 6,000 would pass over the trail. "The trains are remarkable," he wrote, "each wagon team consisting of ten yokes of fine oxen, selected and arranged not only for drawing but for pictorial effect, in sets of twenty, either all black, all white, all spotted or otherwise marked uniformly."

In that eventful year the Kansas Pacific railroad pushed westward. Where ox teams were once counted by the thousands, regretfully said the Junction City Union (August, 1867), "the shriek of


the iron horse has silenced the lowing of the panting ox and the old trail looks desolate." Hordes of cattle began to pour from the ranges of Texas to be shipped eastward over the Kansas Pacific. Trade continued from the end of the rails. In 1873 Las Animas, Colorado, was the "Kansas City" of a decade before. The old and the new were in a death conflict. Destiny settled down on the Old Trail. The ox team made way for the iron horse, and with the ox team went a big business. In the decade of 1860-1870, the number of oxen decreased forty-one per cent in the United States. This industry of supplying the traders with cattle had enriched the country adjacent to the Missouri. Before the Mexican War, and hence before the rise of the big business of freighting, the people of New Mexico could buy but a few articles for consumption. Sugar and coffee to them were practically unknown. Calico had sold for fifty cents per yard, which was more than most women could earn in a week. A cloth of hairy wool had been used but "even this could not conceal the grace that had survived the wreck of so many noble gifts." Indians gave way to white men as had the Mexicans. The commissioner of Indian affairs said that it was of no regret that so much of the United States had been wrested from the original inhabitants and "made the happy abode of an enlightened and Christian people." The Indian and the "bullwhacker," soldiers of a receding and an advancing frontier, were but the workers at a "vast roaring loom on which was woven the fabric of modern America."


1. Frederick Logan Paxson, The Last American Frontier (N. Y., 1910), p. 87.
2. This excellent article, "The Great Overland Trade with New Mexico," appeared in the Missouri Republican (date not given) and was quoted in the Topeka State Record, October 10, 1880. Author unknown.
3. Ibid.
4. Kansas City Star, April 6, 1908, found in volume 1 of Trails Clippings (Kansas Historical Society), p. 187.
5. Topeka State Record, October 18, 1800, quoting Missouri Republican.
6. Missouri Republican, June 3, 1849; St. Louis Weekly Reveille, June 22, 1849.
7. Missouri Republican, February 10, August 26, and September 8, 1849.
8. Missouri Commonwealth, quoted in the Weekly Reveille, January 21, 1860.
9. For various reports see the Weekly Reveille, December 9, 1849; February 11 and May 6, 1860.
10. Missouri Republican, September 28, 1850.
11. Independent, June 16, 1850, quoted in Missouri Republican, June 23, 1850.
12. For this account and other reports which seem to vary somewhat see the Missouri Republican, September 8, August 18, September 28, and July 8, 1850.
13. H. H. Bancroft, Arizona and New Mexico (San Francisco, 1890), 644; Senate Executive Documents, 34th Congress, 2d session, vol. VIII, part 4, p. 536, ser. No. 831.
14. A clipping from the Kansas City Journal, May 22 1905 (given in Trails Clippings, Vol. I, p. 70, Kansas Historical Society), quoting the Annals of the City of Kansas and of Great Plains of the West, says that in 1847 it was conceded that Kansas City fairly divided the trade with Independence, and since 1850 the former had exclusive benefit of all business "save a few wagons which were owned in Independence."
15. Missouri Republican, August 11, 1851.
18. Ibid., July 18, 1859. Given in a letter written from Westport, July 15, 1859.
17. An account of the activities of Thomas Fitzpatrick in negotiating this treaty is given to LeRoy R. Hafen and W. J. Ghent, Broken Hand, The Life Story of Thomas Fitzpatrick, Chief of the Mountain Men (Denver, 1981), pp. 250-255; also, see Wichita Beacon, March 11, 1928, quoted in Trails Clippings, vote II, p. 198.
18. New York Tribune, July 17, 1858.
19. History of Jackson County, Missouri (St. Louis, 1881), p. 482 ; New York Tribune, September 16, 1856 ; also, Wallace Law in Kansas City Journal, March 10, 1905, Given in Trails Clippings, p. 61.
20. Kansas Weekly Herald, September 13, 1856.
21. New York Tribune, September 16, 1856.
22. J. C. Hall in Kansas Magazine, vol. V. p. 54.
23. Ibid.
24. This statement is based upon information taken from the Kansas Tribune, April 6, 1857; Missouri Republican, March 28, 1857; History of Jackson County, Missouri, p. 434; and Charles P. Deatherage, Early History of Greater Kansas City (Kansas City, 1927), 1, p. 468.
25. This resume of the wool trade was taken from the Missouri Republican, December 17, 1888, quoted from the Kansas City Journal.
26. These statistics are pasted in front of the copy of John Maloy's History of Morris County, Kansas, 1820 to 1880, which is in the Kansas Historical Society.
27. Kansas Historical Collections, XI, p. 467 "The Santa Fe Trail in Johnson County, Kansas." A Mr. Ainsworth gave an address at the dedication of the Trail marker at Lone Elm, Kansas, November 9, 1906.
28. A correspondent of the Missouri Republican (October 21, 1868), made this statement in a letter from Santa Fe, September 22, 1868.
29. The Missouri Republican, September 8, 1858 (quoting the Independent, September 3), states that after the proslavery party had decided to cease activities for awhile the Abolitionists, "driven to extremity by hunger," surrounded returning Santa Fe trains. William McKinney's train of twenty wagons, oxen, and provisions were taken while "Bent's and one or two others" close in the rear may have shared the same. One of the outward bound trains was afraid to leave.
The Missouri Republican, September 1, 1858 (quoting the Kansas City Enterprise) says the drivers of McKinney's train were released since most were from northern states.
30. Quoted in Missouri Republican, June 1, 1859.
31. Missouri Republican, June 8, 1859.
32. Ibid., July 18, 1859.
33. Ibid., August 15, 1859.
34. Kansas City Journal, March 10, 1905, given in Trails Clippings, p. 61.
36. Topeka State Record, September 29, 1860.
36. Robert L. Duffas, The Santa Fe Trail (London, New York, and Toronto, 1930), p. 247.
37. "Innumerable small trains" had passed through Council Grove in the latter part of 1860, exclusive of the Pike's Peak immigration, which, according to S. M. Hayes, "would outfit here had we the goods to outfit them." See the Council Grove Press, July 28, 1860, and the Topeka State Record, July 28, 1860. The report of the eastbound traffic is given in Council Grove Press, April 27, 1861.
38. Council Grove Press, June 16, 1863.
39. These figures given by John Maloy in his History of Morris County, Kansas, 1820 to 1880.
40. Kansas Tribune, March 24, 1864.
41. Kansas City Journal-Post, September 6, 1926.
42. John Maloy, op. cit.
43. Raymond Welty in his Western Army Frontier, 1860-1870 (Doctor's Thesis University of Iowa, 1924), appendix IV, pp. 392-397, gives General Pope's military order No. 27, issued from the Headquarters of the Department of Missouri, St. Louis, Missouri, February 22, 1866. His reference is Senate Executive Document, No. 2, 4th Congress, 1st session, pp. 2-4, ser. No. 1308.