The Cavalry Barracks
Fort Laramie Furnishing Study
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1. Major Joseph I. Lornbert, One Hundred Years With the 2nd Cavalry (Ft. Riley, Kansas, 1939).

2. Pvt. Michael Himmelsback, enlisted Feb. 19, 1870, at Harrisburg, Pa.; born Alleghany Co., Pa.; age 21; occupation — painter; black eyes, black hair, dark complexion, 5'6-1/2". Register of Enlistments, Regular Army, Microfilm Room, National Archives.

The Indian combat for which Private Himmelsbach was awarded the Medal of Honor is described by Captain E.J. Spaulding, 2nd U.S. Cavalry, in R. C. 94, Office of the Adjutant General, "Letters Received," 758—19—70, Microfilm M—619, Roll 106, National Archives.

3. J.W. Vaughn, The Reynolds Campaign on Powder River (Norman, 1961), p. 220.

4. Don Rickey, Jr., Forty Miles A Day On Beans and Hay (Norman, 1963), p. 240.

5. ". . . sentinel in charge of two prisoners did take such prisoners to the quarters of Co. K, 2nd Cav., leaving one of his prisoners downstairs in the company saddler's shop." Post Orders, July 20, 1876, Ft. Laramie, R. G. 393, National Archives.

6. Army and Navy Journal, 5 (1867), p. 233.

7. "Co. F, 5th U.S. Inf. in account with Captain Simon Snyder, 5th U.S. Inf., on account of Company Funds During the months of Jan., 1874 — Aug., 1882," MS. Snyder—Ronayne Collection, Custer Battlefield National Monument. Copy in Library, Office of Archeology and Historic Preservation.

8. Specifications for Means of Transportation, Paulins, Stoves & Ranges, and Lampe & Fixtures for Use in the U. S. Army (Washington, 1882), pp. 89.

9. "Quartermaster Contracts," Office of the Quartermaster General, Inventory Entry No, 1242, Record Group 92, National Archives.

10. Ft. Laramie Post Orders, General Orders No. 58, Dec. 7, 1875.

11. Report on Lighting Company Quarters . . ., Office of the Quartermaster General, Nov. 20, 1879. Special Files, Box 2, Record Group 92, National Archives, p. 12.

12. Ibid., pp. 15-16.

13. Army and Navy Journal, 10 (1873), p. 474.

14. "[The quartermaster may] upon request of any . . . officer, approved by the commanding officer of the Post, cause plain wooden furniture, such as bedsteads, tables, desks, benches, wardrobes, etc. to be made by their own—or company mechanics, if detailed for the purpose (to the quartermaster), for the quarters of officers, or barracks of the enlisted men, out of any government lumber not required for some other special purpose, or boxes in which quartermaster or subsistence stores have been transported. Such furniture will not be removed from the post, but . . . carried on the quartermaster returns as public property [and signed for, in the case of barracks furniture, by the company commander]." Regulations of the United States Army (Washington, 1871).

15."Quartermaster Contracts," 1871, National Archives.

16. General Orders No. 21, Adjutant General's Office, Washington, D. C., March 20, 1876. Each company to be issued 3 brooms and 2 scrub brushes each month, regardless of company strength.

17. Interview, John O'Brian, who lived at the post as a small boy, by Sally J. Ketchum, July 5, 1960. Ft. Laramie Research Files, Office of Archeology and Historic Preservation.

18. Other than a period photograph, "Schneider's" forage cap (with insignia), or some other bit of military personalia could be used in the "memorial." George Schneider was born in Wurttemburg, Germany, and was 38 or 39 years old when he died. He had been in the army at least ten years as of his last enlistment, at Omaha, in Sept. 1872, indicating service in the Civil War, as he was due $3.00 extra pay per month for more than ten years' continuous service. He was described as 5' 11-3/4" tall: "Killed by Indians, from gun-shot wounds while holding the Indian Village of Crazy Horse, a Sioux Chief, on Powder River, Mont. Territory, on the 17th day of March, 1876." (Muster Roll, Co. K, 2nd Cavalry, 29 February . . . 30 April, 1876, Record Group 94, National Archives). Lieutenant Bourke, in his "Diary," characterized Schneider as "a very brave soldier." He was shot through the neck, and died soon after (Vaughn, The Reynolds Campaign On Powder River, p. 103). It is likely that his body was abandoned in the confused withdrawal from the Indian village.

19. The 1874-82 Company Fund Book of F Co., 5th Infantry, is in the Snyder—Ronayne Collection at Custer Battlefield and a xerox copy is in the Office of Archeology & Historic Preservation library. It should be used as a model in "mocking-up" a company fund book for Company K, 2nd Cavalry.

20. The list of manuals is taken from the list of books on the Muster Roll of Company K, 2nd Cavalry, 30 June 1876 to 31 August 1876, National Archives. Examples of these books are believed located in the Military History Research Collection, U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pa.

21. Sgt. Reginald A. Bradley, C Troop, 4th Cavalry, 1889-94, stated that the troop (company) library collection was shelved in the orderly room in his clay, as there was no separate space available for them. Aside from manuals, the only book title he distinctly recalled was that of a copy of Boccaccio's Decameron.

22. "The veteran of the 'old army' (1860-70) was always the library's steadiest patron. He was often found . . . stretched at full length on his bunk, intent upon a book relating to that part of the Civil War in which he was an actor. Regardless of the voice and movements all around him (in the dormitory), he lived over again that glorious time . . . . If one listened to these old fellows talking to the youngsters, or questioned them, he found that they had a knowledge of that great conflict wide enough and minute enough to humble many a one who plumed himself upon his information. They had not lived beyond it and were completely enveloped in its memories." George A. Forsyth, The Story of the Soldier (New York, 1900), p. 130.

23. It is doubtful, however, that a company orderly room would qualify in the army of the 1860s and 1870s as an "office," especially since the 1872 Barracks Plan does not officially designate any of the rooms specifically as an office. The room size though is such as to have likely accommodated two tables. Six chairs were also due each "office" in the 1863 Regulations, but, again, it is not likely the orderly room would qualify.

24. Muster Roll, Co. K, 2nd Cavalry, Record Group 94, National Archives. Examples could be reproduced by xerox for use in exhibiting furnishings.

25. Bull's-eye lanterns, of the best quality, were often presented to sergeants, upon appointment as first sergeant, as a mark of esteem. They were used in taking the evening roll-call at tattoo.

26. So many of these then-new Colt .45's were "liberated," stolen, and otherwise "converted" into cash by being sold to civilians by soldiers, that they were very often kept locked up and under the watchful eye of the first sergeant in barracks. This was several years before adoption of the circular gun racks that could be locked to secure both carbines and revolvers.

27. These noncommissioned officers' warrants were large (about 12 x 20) impressive parchment documents, signed by the company commander and the colonel commanding the regiment. One or more could be reproduced and used to good advantage as exhibit material.

28. George A. Forsyth, The Story of the Soldier (New York, 1900), pp. 129-30. This was usually company property, checked out to unit members as requested.

29. Regulations for the Uniform and Dress of the Army of the United States, July, 1872 (Washington, 1872), p. 16.

30. Carbines known to have been issued to, or charged against K Company at Ft. Laramie in 1877 were: "Springfield carbine, cal. 45, No. 33303," July 24, 1877, and "Springfield carbine, cal. 45, No. 15537," Sept. 2, 1877, from Ft. Laramie, Letters Sent, May—Dec., 1877, R.G. 98, National Archives. From the serial numbers, both carbines were manufactured before March 1876.

31. The stout wooden boxes, holding 1,000 rounds each of carbine cartridges (copper or "gilding metal" case, inside primed, without headstamps until after 1876, with 405-grain round-nosed lead bullet), were prepared and shipped from the Frankford Arsenal, Pa., and lettered about as follows:

"Frankford Arsenal, 1,000 Rounds, Caliber .45 Carbine, Ball (or Blank) Ammunition (or Cartridges), 1874 ('75, '76)."

"One paper package—with (20) carbine cartridges weighs 1 pound 13-1/2 ounces. One box with 50 paper packages, containing 1,000 . . . carbine cartridges weighs 105 pounds. The cartridge for the carbine contains only 55 grains of powder (instead of 70 for the rifle); the remaining space in the case is filled with wads of pasteboard. The size of the bullet and of the (copper) shell are alike in the rifle and carbine." Description and Rules for the Management of the Spring field Rifle, Carbine, and Army Revolvers, Caliber .45 (Springfield, Mass., 1882), p. 41.

32. The foregoing list of ordnance stores and extra arms is from the April 20, 1876, (last) entry for K Company 2nd Cavalry, Fort Laramie, in "Summary of Ordnance and Ordnance Stores in the Hands of Troops . . . (to) March 31, 1876," MS, Office of the Chief of Ordnance, Record Group 156, National Archives.

33. Description . . . Springfield Rifle, Carbine, and Army Revolvers, Caliber .45 (Springfield, Mass., 1882), p. 24.

34. Ordnance Memorandum No. 19 (Washington, 1875).

35. Ordnance Memorandum No. 22 (Washington, 1878), p. 159.

36. General Orders No. 55, Adjutant General of the Army, Washington, D. C., April 29, 1875.

37. Description . . . Springfield Rifle, Carbine, and Army Revolvers, Caliber .45, p. 27.

38. The "material" was to have been 3 balls of shoe thread, 1 ball of patent linen thread, 1 oz. beeswax, 1/4 lb of black wax, 1 roll of 3/8" strap, 1 roll of 7/8" strap, 1 roll of 1-3/8" strap, and one roll of 2" strap. A bag of tacks, Nos. 6 and 12, was also to be included.

39. Ordnance Memorandum No. 18 (Washington, 1874), p. 17.

40. General Orders and Circulars, G. O. No. 56, Adjutant General's Office, April 30, 1875 (Washington, 1876).

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Last Updated: 30-Nov-2009