57 [Indian Wars] Palmer, H. E. The Powder River Indian Expedition, 1865. A Paper Read
Before the Nebraska Commandery of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United
States. February 2, 1887. Omaha: The Republican Company, 1887. 8vo, wrappers lacking and rusting to staples, 59 pp., housed in custom blue library cloth folding case. With numerous pencil corrections and additions, most probably by the author.
First edition of a very unusual regimental; Palmer was in command of a group of captured
Confederates (who had served with John Morgan) who formed the 11th Ohio, with the pledge they would fight only against Indians and not the South. Captain Palmer set out with his troops in August, 1864, and most of this pamphlet is taken from his diary of the
expedition. He describes the Indian attacks on settlers and wagon trains in Thayer county,
Nebraska, which he attributed to Cheyenne under the leadership of Black Kettle. Interestingly, Palmer also relates details about Col. Chivington’s attack (massacre) on the
Cheyenne and Black Kettle at Sand Creek, “He attacked them just after daylight after a 40 mile ride in the dark by the troops. The Indians were surprised, and according to the very best estimates, fiver or six hundred were killed – men, women and children.” Howes P46. Graff 3170. This account was reprinted in the Nebraska State Historical Society Transactions, but the last 15 pages of this pamphlet (an addenda containing an early expedition to the Big Horn country) were omitted from that journal. Only one record of sale in the trade in the last 100 years; Peter Decker in 1946; all other records, including the Braislin Sale in 1927, are for the reprint in the Nebraska Historical Society Transactions. Not in Eberstadt or Streeter. A great, early and rare Wyoming narrative.