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Other Sources -- Phillips Feb 1864 Expedition

I don't know why I didn't look earlier at Whit Edward's The Prairie was on Fire -- one of my favorite books since it is a collection of 'primary sources'. Below is what this book includes regarding Phillips Feb 1864 Expedition. The source citations are at the end. I have added some of my own comments in brackets [ ].


8 February 1864

Maj. Gen. Samuel R. Curtis
Commanding, Department of Kansas USA
Col. Phillips, drove the rebels beyond the Canadian. Some skirmishing, in which we had 1 man severely wounded (Andy Murrell), and the rebels lost 7. The enemy, under Cooper, is in force beyond the Canadian fortified at Boggy Bayou .[4] -- [I assume "Boggy Bayou" to mean Boggy River aka Clear Boggy or South Boggy]

Pvt. George W. Ross
Company I, Third Indian Home Guard USA
Col. Phillips proceeded on the first with all of the force except 300 men on an expedition towards Boggy or “Pike’s Ditches”. He took a force of 1500 men, all infantry with the exception of 2 companies of Cavalry (100 men). By express of him he is 25 miles south east of Hilobe. Has had some severe skirmishing with squads of the enemy reports 7 of the enemy killed and as many taken prisoners. Andrew Murrell who is a scout was severely wounded, the only injury done to our side. Gen. Cooper is said to have 6000 men in his command at Boggy. A regiment of Kansas Cavalry was promised and ordered to join Col. Phillips on the route from Ft. Smith.[5] -- [Ross's info is second hand, he wasn't in the expedition, so his reliability is uncertain. I assume 'Pike's Ditches' to be a reference to Fort McCulloch on Blue River near Nail's Crossing of the Texas Road. Phillip's also uses this term in one of his reports. Pike was responsible for the construction of Fort McCulloch in early 1862 but was 'relieved of command', to put it mildly, within a few months. Pvt Ross says the force was all infantry except 100 cavalrymen, however, Phillips reports would indicate about 450 of his men were mounted including artillery (3rd IHG, Co. L). Pvt Ross further states he (Phillips) is 25 miles southeast of Hillobee. Old maps show a "Hillorby Square" on North Fork so this may mean Phillips or some part of his command was in the vicinity of North Fork Town. The town of Hillobee or Hilloby was on the north side of the Canadian and "25 miles south east" would be across the river in the northwestern Choctaw Nation, however, per Phillips' reports, he was not yet south of the Canadian. If Ross meant "southwest", this would match Phillips' reports as that would be up the Canadian near Little River.]

11 February 1864

Col. William A. Phillips
Commanding, Indian Brigade USA
Three expeditions as advanced columns to Little River, which the whole command reached the 11th. The enemy was broken up into little companies, and had not time to recover. In one affair 30 were killed by Maj. [Charles] Willett’s command, 10 by Capt. [Maxwell] Phillips’, 9 by Maj. [John A.] Foreman’s, and 6 by Capt. [Ferdinand R.] Jacob’s; 20 prisoners taken.[6] -- [This is from one of Phillips official reports. He is scouring the Creek Nation of 'rebels'. About 90% of the Indian Troops were on furlough or AWOL, according to Maxey's reports in January.]

Col. D. N. McIntosh
First Creek Mounted Rifles CSA
The raid by the Federals was made at the mouth of the Little River. I was on my way to the Grand Council when the intelligence of which caused me to return from Boggy Depot. When I reached my command, they had left that place and had been gone too long for me to over take them. I had gotten information that the Federals had returned in the direction of Ft. Gibson. They took no prisoners but killed all without mercy, what number I am not able to learn, but shall learn when we return. How brutal the actions of the enemy! The much savage tribe of Indian who never heard of Civilization would shudder at such barbarity. I am starting back to that place with a few wagons to help the dispatched families running. The Feds numbered more than 200 and had 2 pieces of artillery.[7] -- [McIntosh is referring to the Grand Council at Chata Tamaha (Choctaw City) as Armstrong Acadmeny was called. I believe he is saying he was at Boggy Depot on his way to Armstrong Academy and was returning to mouth of Little River to find his command. The Creek's had apparently scatterred to the west or southwest which is consistent with Cooper's report. He may be referring to an event other than the Middle Boggy engagement.]

13 February 1864

Sgt. Jacob Perryman
First Indian Home Guard USA
We took a trip south on the 9th day of February and returned on the 22nd. On route we killed 110 Rebels mostly Indians. Most of them were killed at their homes because Col. Phillips instructed his men not to take any prisoners for they have had all the chances to come in if they wanted to do so. We went to Little River and crossed Canadian and went on near to Boggy and returned brought good many prisoners that the 14th Kansas Cav, had taken.[8]

Brig. Gen. John Milton Mayer
Commanding, Army of the Frontier USA
I have the honor to report a sharp engagement yesterday in which the enemy were completely routed, with the loss of 47 killed; their wounded not known. The attack was made by my advance under Maj. Wiletts, 14th Kansas. The Rebel force was Seminoles, Choctaws and Texans.[9] -- [This is from the ORs. Mayer passing a report he got from Phillips.]

Pvt. Warren Day
Company E, First Indian Home Guard,
Detached from Company C, Thirteenth Kansas Cavalry USA
We brought out of the Creek Nation about 1000 head of cattle about 250 ponies, 30 yokes of work cattle about 800 bushels of corn, between 130 and 200 refugee Indians and about 30 or 40 Negroes and killed 90 bushwhackers. I think that the Rebels will clear out for Texas.[10]

2nd Lt. Riley Perryman
Company H, First Creek Mounted Volunteers CSA
The Federals had all gone back in the direction of Ft. Gibson. They came out in a force of about two thousand as far as Mill Creek in the Chickasaw Nation and went back from there taking all the women and children who were left back on the Canadian back with them. It has not yet been assertained how many of the Creeks they killed as they were scattered when the raid was made, but the general supposition is that there is thirty to fourty killed. Ab Lott and Colbert Lowe were killed near Wewoka and their families taken back to Ft. Gibson. There are several others that are supposed killed who have not yet been heard of.[11]-- [This must be the Mill Creek just west of Pennington Creek and north-northwest of Tishomingo. This is the vicinity of Colbert's Mill and the Rock Academy mentioned in other reports.]

[The perponderance of evidence from the Official Records and the above would indicate that Phillips was not on the Texas Road south of the Canadian. The secondary sources make some rather curious manipulations and omissions to try and reconcile with the Atoka location. Cunningham substitutes "Old Fort Armstrong" in place of (I assume) Old Fort Arbuckle. I further assume he is referring to Armstrong Academy which is southeast of Boggy Depot. I have no value for Cunningham's book as he does not cite his sources and contains too many inaccuracies. Knight's book, which I rather like, also tries to reconcile with the Atoka location and cites various reports in the ORs, none of which support his version of the story. Rampp's book also tries to put the site near Atoka and, like Knight, has to selectively omit statements in the ORs. Rampp places Camp Kagi/Kahi on Blue River at Nail's Crossing -- a rather ridiculous error but I suppose the only way he could get to the Chickasaw Nation by going south from Atoka. None of the secondary sources mention Colbert's Mill or the Rock Academy. Britton and Abel are vague and don't suggest any locations.

[4] Samuel R. Curtis, Report, February 9, 1864, OR, Ser. 1, Vol. 34, Pt. 2:281—282.

[5] George W. Ross, Letter, February 7, 1864, Grant Foreman Collection, OHS/AD.

[6] U S. War Department, Company Returns, Indian Home Guard, February, 1864, OR, Ser. 1,Vol. 34, Pt. 1: 112.

[7] D. N. McIntosh, Letter, February 9, 1864, MS378, Microfilm Division, UAL.

[8] Jacob Perryman, Letter, March 3, 1864, Alice Robertson Collection,OHS/AD.

[9] JohnM.Thayer, Report, February 224, 1864, OR, Ser. 1,Vol. 34, Pt. 1:108.

[10] Warren Day, Letter, February 23, 1864, Day Letters, M175, Manuscript Division, KSHS.

[11] Riley Perryman, Letter, February 15, 1864, Richard J. Ross Letters, Private Collection, Patsy Mann, Checotah, Oklahoma.

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Other Sources -- Phillips Feb 1864 Expedition
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