Map 7. Attack on Thomas' Patrol, April 26, 1873.
1. April 26, 7:00 a.m., Thomas' patrol left Gillem's
Camp enroute to Sand (Hardin) Butte to determine feasibility of moving
artillery into lava beds. Total strength: 5 officers, 1 assistant
surgeon, 59 enlisted men, 1 civilian guide, 1 civilian packer.
2. During march, Company E, 12th Infantry, failed to
extend skirmishers far enough to left and right to cover ridges. Both
artillery batteries tended to close on skirmishers, rather than keeping
their distance as a march column, thus making one mass of troops.
3. Donald McKay and 12 Warm Springs traveled
separately; they were supposed to meet main patrol at destination.
4. Twenty-four Modocs under Scarfaced Charley
shadowed patrol to Sand Butte.
5. Patrol reached foot of butte at noon. Batteries A
and K rested. Company E remained as skirmishers but probably rested
rather than acted as a guard. Captain Thomas prepared to climb butte.
6. Lieutenant Wright ordered 4 men to advance toward
Schonchin ridge to northeast. Modocs attacked them. Lieutenant Cranston
took five men to clear rocks to north. Disappeared.
7. Captain Thomas ordered Company E to move to ridge
to west, away from the butte. Modocs attacked Company E. Lieutenant
Wright wounded; large part of company panicked.
8. Thomas then led 25-30 men from the artillery
batteries (rest had fled) after Wright and Company E. Modocs attacked,
inflicting great casualties.
Inset map no. 1 reflects the above, which is based on
original, but fragmentary, sources. The writer considers it to be as
accurate as is possible to recreate at this time. Inset map no 2 shows
alternate possibilities and is based on secondary, traditional, and
Inset map, "Site Today" shows a "Photo Site." This
marks the location shown in a recently discovered photograph that
contains a number of "bodies." The photograph, not included in this
report, is considered to be a post-war reenactment.