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Maj. Cuvier Grover & Capt. Henry Asbury
During the spring and summer of 1866 there was a quick turnover of post commanders at Fort Larned. Maj. Hiram Dryer left in April, turning command over to Lt. James Cahill, 2nd U.S. Cavalry. Lt. Cahill assumed command on April 26th, only to be relieved on May 6th by Maj. Cuvier Grover. For the rest of the year, the command of Fort Larned would alternate between Maj. Grover and Capt. Henry Asbury.
Although the government had succeeded in making peace with the area Indians, the Army was apparently not taking any chances. In May, the Department of Missouri Headquarters issued General Order No. 27, instructing post commanders to make certain that defensive measures were carried out before allowing wagon trains to proceed. The traders were not waiting on the Army, though, and by July 20th a total of 582 wagons had passed by Fort Larned accompanied by 634 armed men.
By June 15, Capt. Asbury replaced Maj. Grover as post commander. Turning his attention to Fort Zarah, Asbury instructed Lt. J.P. Thompson, 3rd Infantry to forbid the sale of whiskey there, as well as to keep everyone off the grounds except anyone with official business. This order unfortunately kept out the workers who had come to re-roof the round house. According to H.M. Stanley, noted journalist for Harper’s Weekly, Asbury commanded the fort with orderliness and precision and all activities were carried out strictly to military code. He also noted that the officers were “affable to their equals and gracious towards their subordinates.”
Last updated: May 21, 2019