March to Fort Larnard

On the afternoon of December the tenth, 1864, the day after the fight, the command was ordered out to follow the Indians of Little Raven’s band down on the Arkansas.

The soldiers broke camp and started down Sand Creek until reaching the Arkansas, then they followed down it on forced march.

Flynn Loogstrum’s horse gave out, so he waited for Captain Cree to come along, “Say, Captain, my horse has played out, got another one?”

“No, we haven’t, and can’t get one now; you will have to fall in behind.”

“Gosh! Believe I can walk and keep up with this outfit.”

He shouldered his gun and started down the road tugging along behind the command, when they stopped Flynn was with them.

When the soldiers saw the camp fires of the Indians several miles down the river, they thought they would be able to rush down on the Indians and take them by surprise, but the night, just before the break of day, was so cold and still that a sound traveled a great distance. The rattling of the artillery as it was taken so fast over the frozen ground, warned the Indians, who mounted their ponies and dashed off toward the bluffs just before the command arrived.

The cavalry started in pursuit, but their horses were hungry and weak, having had but very little feed for several days and they had been on the battle field all the day before and marching all night on forced march. For a time they gave the Indians a lively chase, but before long the horses began to fail, and finally they were all left behind except Shaw and Captain Cree, they kept on racing to see which of them had the best horse and could follow the Indians the farthest. Before long Shaw was riding by himself and Cree acknowledged that Shaw had the best horse and asked to borrow it to ride up to Boone’s ranch to see his girl. He did, but Shaw never got the five dollars the Captain promised him.

The command, after resting and feeding their horses, started back to Fort Lyons. They met the transportation wagons on the way coming with fresh supplies. The wagons turned back and went into Fort Lyons with the command, where they waited a few days to rest the horses and repair the wagons before undertaking the march up the Fountain and over the divide down into Denver.

Before leaving Fort Lyons, Alston Shaw was made U. S. deputy marshal to take charge of the seven hundred head of horses and deliver them in to Denver. He left Fort Lyons a day ahead of the command.

Other US Forts

Some of the Pioneers of Colorado

Source: True History of some of the Pioneers of Colorado, by Miss Luella Shaw, Press of Carson Harper Co, Denver, Colorado, 1909

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