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Title: Hermann Stieffel, Soldier Artist of the West
Author: Howell, Edgar M.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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_Edgar M. Howell_

[Illustration: Figure 1.--Area in which Hermann Stieffel served with
Company K, 5th U.S. Infantry, 1858-1882.]

By Edgar M. Howell

Hermann Stieffel,

Soldier Artist
of the West

     _A number of gifted artists painted the West and the colorful
     Indian-fighting army of the post-Civil-War period, but since none
     of these were military men their work lacked the viewpoint that
     only a soldier could provide._

     _German-born Hermann Stieffel, for 24 years a private in the U.S.
     Infantry, painted a series of water colors while serving in the
     Indian country in the 1860's and 1870's. Although Stieffel could
     never be called talented, and certainly was untutored as an artist,
     his unusually canny eye for the colorful and graphic and his
     meticulous attention to detail have given us valuable pictorial
     documentaries on the West during the Indian wars._

     _The Author: Edgar M. Howell is curator of military history in the
     United States National Museum, Smithsonian Institution._

The American West has never wanted for artists with a high sense of the
documentary. Through the talented hands of men like George Catlin, Carl
Bodmer and Alfred Jacob Miller, Frederick Remington, and the cowboy
painter Charles M. Russell the trans-Mississippi regions have been
pictured as have few other areas on earth.[1] From historical and
ethnological standpoints these men made tremendous and timeless
contributions to our American heritage. But the West held an esthetic
fascination for the untutored and less talented as well, and not a few
soldiers, miners, stage drivers, and just plain adventurers recorded
their impressions on paper and canvas. Crude though many of these works
are, they are nonetheless significant, for they are a graphic record of
what these men saw, where they lived, and what they did, in many cases
the only record of particular places and events, for the camera of L. A.
Huffman and his colleagues did not come into its own until the late
1870's.[2] Without them we would have no description, graphic or
otherwise, of much of the West both before and after the Civil War--the
early trading posts and forts, the Oregon, Santa Fe, and Overland
Trails, the Bozeman Trail, the stage stations, all of which played a
part in the opening and development of the West.[3]

[Illustration: Figure 2.--Attack on General Marcy's train near Pawnee
Fort, Kansas, September 23, 1867. The train was escorted by Company K,
5th U.S. Infantry, Brevet Major D. H. Brotherton commanding. (_USNM
384185; Smithsonian photo 38986-A._)]

In 1946 the heirs of Lt. Col. David H. Brotherton, U.S. Army, an
Indian-fighting officer of many years experience on the frontier,
donated to the United States National Museum a collection[4] comprising
a number of Sioux Indian specimens, including a Model 1866 Winchester
carbine said to have been surrendered in 1881 to Colonel Brotherton by
the Sioux chief, Sitting Bull, and ten water colors by a German-born
private soldier, Hermann Stieffel of Company K, 5th U.S. Infantry. Nine
of these paintings (the tenth being a view of Rattenberg in the Tyrol
Alps) are photographically reproduced herein. They constitute an
unusually graphic and colorful, if somewhat unartistic, series of
documentaries on the West of the post-Civil-War Indian fighting period.

It can be surmised that Brotherton obtained the paintings from Stieffel,
for from 1861 to 1879 he commanded the infantry company in which the
latter spent the entire 24 years of his Army career. Brotherton's career
itself is an interesting sidelight on the West of the period and an
excellent if somewhat sad commentary on the promotion system in the Army
during a period when the development of the West was so heavily
dependent on the Army's curbing Indian depredations.

Brotherton was graduated from the U.S. Military Academy with the class
of 1854 along with several officers who later distinguished themselves
in the Confederate States Army, including George Washington Custis Lee,
son of Robert E. Lee, John Pegram, J. E. B. Stuart, Stephen D. Lee, and
William Dorsey Pender.[5] Assigned to the 5th Infantry, Brotherton by
1861 had risen to the rank of captain and had acquired considerable
experience against the Comanches and Apaches in the Southwest, the
Seminoles in Florida, and the Mormons in Utah. Electing to remain with
his regiment at the outbreak of the Civil War rather than resign and
enter a volunteer or militia unit where he easily might have risen to
general rank as did so many of his contemporaries, he remained a captain
in the Army until 1879 when a vacancy occurred and he was promoted to
major. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel in 1883 after 29 years of
service, but only at the expense of transferring from his old regiment
to the 7th Infantry, where there was a vacancy at that rank. He retired
for disability in 1885 after 30 years of almost constant service in the

We know little of Stieffel the man. He was born in Wiesbaden, Germany,
in 1826, and became a printer by trade, indicating a fair amount of
education. He emigrated to this country at an unknown date and in
December 1857 at New York City enlisted in the Army as a private of
infantry. He was 31 years old at the time, and was described as being
five feet five and one-half inches tall with blue eyes, sandy hair, and
a fair complexion.[6] He remained a private for the entire time of his
military service. After recruit training at a general depot, he was
assigned to Company K, 5th Infantry, joining that unit late in August
1858 at Camp Floyd (later Fort Crittenden), Utah Territory, where the
regiment was an element of Col. Albert Sidney Johnston's "Army of Utah"
sent westward to police the recalcitrant Mormons.[7]

Stieffel's record shows nothing of note until December 1859 when he was
court-martialed and fined.[8] This court-martial seemed to set the pace
for him. Although the precise charge on which he was tried is not
stated, in view of his later record it can be surmised that it was for
drunkenness--a very common offense in the frontier army--for in October
1861 Stieffel owed a sutler $27.95, a heavy debt for a day when a
private's net pay was less than $11.00 a month.[9] The debt remained
unpaid through 1862 and even increasing an additional $15.00. During
this period Stieffel also was in confinement on a number of occasions
for crimes or misdemeanors unspecified.[10]

In 1860 the 5th Infantry was transferred from Utah southward to the
Department of New Mexico. It was here in 1862 that Stieffel saw his
first combat in Col. E. R. S. Canby's[11] Union force, which frustrated
the wild Confederate attempt under Brig. Gen. H. H. Sibley to invade the
present states of New Mexico and Arizona and conquer California.[12]
Captain Brotherton, Private Stieffel, and the remainder of Company K
fought in the sharp action at Valverde, New Mexico, on February 21,
1862, and evidently with some distinction as Brotherton was breveted
major for gallantry as a result of his unit's performance.[13]
Unfortunately for posterity, Stieffel did not record his impressions of
this little-known sideshow of the Civil War.

[Illustration: Figure 3.--Satanta addressing the peace commissioners at
Council Grove, Medicine Lodge Creek, Kansas. (_USNM 384183; Smithsonian
photo 38298._)]

The Battle of Valverde was Stieffel's only experience in formal combat
so far as the record shows. After the final withdrawal of Sibley's force
into Texas whence it had come, the 5th Infantry turned its hand to
policing the Indians and was almost constantly in the field during the
period 1863-1866.[14] Stieffel, however, was seldom with his unit during
this time. When not on one of his frequent stays in the stockade, he was
on extra duty at the closest army hospital.[15] He continued on such
duty for most of the remainder of his service,[16] except for
confinements, a period of desertion, and necessary changes of station.

Stieffel's exact unofficial status in Company K over the years is
difficult to account for. It is possible, though hardly probable, that
Captain Brotherton had developed a friendship with the German, which
might account for both his acquisition of the paintings and Stieffel's
extra-duty tours. But such is doubtful. Brotherton was a hardened
professional officer in an era when there was a far wider gap between
officer and enlisted man than exists today. There is no evidence that
Stieffel was a shirker. At the end of each enlistment he reenlisted and
always in Company K, and such reenlistment was subject to the company
commander's veto. It is probable that he was not a particularly good
soldier. But after the Civil War an army career in the ranks held little
glamor for the average young man and recruiting officers were hard put
to keep the ranks even partially filled, too often being forced to take
what they could get. The most plausible explanation is that since every
unit in the Army, then as today, was constantly called on for extra-duty
men, the company first sergeant just as constantly selected the
apparently agreeable Stieffel as the person whose absence was least
likely to weaken the combat readiness of the company. The arrangement
must have suited Brotherton, for he allowed it to continue for years. It
obviously suited Stieffel, for once he was placed more or less
permanently on such detail his periods of confinement ceased. Hospital
duty in that day and age was hardly arduous, and the discipline was
light. Also, it provided 25 cents a day extra pay. Thus, this duty gave
Stieffel time to paint and, if our surmise is correct, both the time and
the money for him to indulge his thirst. In any case, we are indebted to
this light duty that gave him the opportunity to paint.

In September 1867 Company K left New Mexico for Fort Harker, Kansas, in
the Department of the Missouri, as escort for Brig. Gen. R. B. Marcy, an
old member of the 5th Infantry who was acting as inspector general for
troop units west of the Mississippi. On that march of something more
than 500 miles the column was sharply attacked near Fort Dodge on the
Arkansas River by a large force of Cheyenne believed led by Black
Kettle, and Stieffel had his second and last taste of combat. The action
must have impressed him, for it furnished the subject of the first of
his paintings (fig. 2). From Fort Harker, Company K escorted the Indian
peace commissioners to Council Grove on Big Medicine Lodge Creek for
their treaty meeting with the Kiowas, Apaches, Comanches, Cheyenne, and
Arapahoes in October. This historic meeting Stieffel witnessed and
depicted with considerable color and attention to detail (figs. 3, 4).

[Illustration: Figure 4.--Camp of the peace commissioners at Medicine
Lodge Creek, Kansas. (_USNM 384184; Smithsonian photo 38298-A._)]

After another period of hospital duty at Fort Harker (figs. 6, 7),
Stieffel went in the field, for what appears to have been the last time,
as a member of a wagon-train escort to Medicine Bluff, Indian Territory
(present day Oklahoma), where General Sheridan was establishing Fort
Sill on the southern edge of the Wichita Mountains.[17] This picturesque
overhang of Medicine Bluff Creek, a small tributary of the Red River,
was the subject of one of Stieffel's landscapes and perhaps his finest
single work (fig. 5).

[Illustration: Figure 5.--The Wichita Mountains from Medicine Bluffs,
Indian Territory. (_USNM 384188; Smithsonian photo 42880._)]

After this brief interlude in the wilderness, Stieffel went back to his
hospital work. Then in September 1873, following a change of station
for Company K from Harker to Fort Leavenworth, he went in desertion
until the following May, being restored to duty upon his return, rather
strangely, without trial but with loss of pay for the period of his
absence.[18] The only possible explanation for this leniency in a period
when court-martial sentences tended to severity could be that since
extra-duty men had to be furnished, Stieffel was worth more to the
company out of the stockade than in. With Indian unrest increasing every
man counted.[19]

[Illustration: Figure 6.--Fort Harker, Kansas; east side. (_USNM 384187;
Smithsonian photo 42895._)]

Following the Custer massacre on June 25, 1876, all posts in the
Department of the Missouri were virtually stripped of troops, among them
the 5th Infantry, and dispatched to the Department of Dakota in an
all-out attempt to bring the rampaging Sioux under control. But Stieffel
saw no action in the campaigns that followed. He was sick[20] and was
left behind on July 12 when Company K left Leavenworth for the northwest
for five years of almost continuous campaigning including numerous
actions with the Sioux and the campaign against the gifted Indian
tactician, Chief Joseph, and his Nez Percé. We could wish that Stieffel
had been present during the Nez Percé campaign, for he might have
pictured for us Nelson Miles and the 5th Infantry taking the surrender
of Joseph in the Bear Paw Mountains at the end of his epochal 1,600-mile
running fight.[21]

Stieffel remained at Fort Leavenworth until 1877 when he rejoined his
regiment at Cantonment Tongue River, Montana Territory, renamed Fort
Keogh in 1879. At Keogh he was again placed on hospital extra-duty and
so remained until he was discharged June 23, 1882,[22] on a surgeon's
certificate of disability. After his discharge he retired to the
Soldier's Home in Washington where he died on December 14, 1886, at the
age of 60. He was buried in the National Cemetery on the Soldiers' Home

Stieffel painted three scenes of Fort Keogh and vicinity--one of the
fort itself, one of Miles City across the Tongue River, and a landscape
of the Yellowstone River near Miles City (figs. 8-10).

The Paintings

Chronologically, the first of the paintings (fig. 2) is that of the
Indian attack on General Marcy's train escorted by Company K on
September 23, 1867. This attack took place on the Arkansas River about
nine miles west of Cimarron Crossing, Kansas. It was an insignificant
action as such, similar to hundreds of other such fights in the West,
but, in the days of wet-plate photography and low-speed camera shutters,
the painting is significant as a rare eye-witness drawing and tells us
far more than might any written description. General Marcy's report is
somewhat cursory:

     Yesterday at about 9 o'clock a.m. as we were approaching a bluff
     near the Arkansas River thirty-five miles above here we suddenly
     discovered a great many Indians approaching us from various
     different directions. I immediately halted our train and after
     arranging our escort in proper order for action went forward. The
     Indians circled around us at full speed firing as they ran but did
     not come very near us. I would not allow our men to fire at the
     long range, believing that the Indians would come nearer but they
     did not. Some of the men fired and it is believed that two were
     wounded as groups collected around them. They wounded Lt. Williams
     severely in the leg and one soldier who has since died.

     Near the point where the affair occurred was a large train of
     wagons en route to New Mexico with valuable freight. The train had
     two hundred mules driven off by the Indians about twelve days ago,
     and it had been guarded by twenty-five men since, and it is
     probable that the Indians were there for the purpose of capturing
     the train as they had been firing into it previous to our

Stieffel tells us much more in his painting. Upon being attacked the
train has pulled off the road, visible in the left foreground, and
corralled. The horses remain hitched, witness to the suddenness of the
attack. That the Indians did not venture overly close, as stated by
Marcy, is indicated by the fact that Brotherton's men have not been
forced to take cover behind the wagons. That the Indians appear closer
than Marcy indicates is due to the artist's lack of perspective. They
are firing muzzle-loading rifles, several men being in the act of
ramming home charges. Stieffel is doubtless correct in this detail. The
Chief of Ordnance reported in October 1867 that nearly all the infantry
in the Departments of the Missouri and the Platte had been issued
breech-loaders.[25] It seems more than probable that Company K, in
transit as it was from the distant Department of New Mexico, had never
seen the new weapons.

In the matter of uniform, Stieffel may have been indulging his fancy
somewhat when he pictured the men as wearing the long frock coat and
black campaign hat. A miscellany of dress with the short fatigue jacket
and kepi predominating would seem far more reasonable for an outfit
which had just finished six rough years in the desert Southwest and was
even then nearing the end of a 500-mile march. The artist, as did most
observers of the period, has patently overestimated the number of
Indians who must have carried firearms in the attack. Fully 50 percent
or more of the Indians are pictured as so armed, a point
which--understandable as it may be in the case of an observer
participating in what may well have been his first Indian fight--is not
borne out by the record. In the Fetterman Massacre of the previous
December, of the 81 white men killed only six bore gunshot wounds,[26]
and the best evidence indicates that the force which overwhelmed Custer
on the Little Big Horn River in 1876 was at least 50 percent armed with
bow and arrow.[27] Then again, General Marcy's report would seem to bear
this out. Had the Indians been well armed, the freight wagon train,
which Stieffel pictures corralled in the right background, could hardly
have held out for twelve days against a force estimated at 300 or more
warriors defended by only 25 men, at least a part of whom were Mexicans
described by Marcy as badly frightened.[28] The soldier in the center
background making a dash for the corralled wagons is probably a flanker
cut off by the sudden attack, possibly the Lt. Williams who was wounded,
since only officers in the infantry were mounted. The group of Indians
around the fire (in the right centerground) cannot be accounted for.

[Illustration: Figure 7.--Fort Harker, Kansas; south side. (_USNM
384186; Smithsonian photo 38986._)]

Stieffel's two pictures of the meeting of the Government's peace
commissioners with the Indians at the general tribal rendezvous on Big
Medicine Lodge Creek in October 1867 (figs. 3, 4) are his most important
from a historical standpoint, especially the one of Satanta, the Kiowa
chief, addressing the meeting.[29]

Indian unrest during and immediately after the Civil War caused by the
ever-increasing white migration to the West had grown to such
proportions that in 1867 the Congress launched an all-out effort to
establish a lasting peace on the frontier. The plan was to persuade the
warring tribes to sign treaties whereby they would move onto
reservations where they would be undisturbed by the whites and, in turn,
would cease to molest the frontier settlements.[30] The Indians
concerned with the Medicine Lodge treaty were the Kiowa, Comanche,
Apache, Cheyenne, and Arapahoe. This treaty is unusually important, as
it changed the entire status of these tribes from that of independence
with free and unrestricted range over the entire plains area to that of
dependence on the Government with confinement to the limits of a
reservation with constant civilian and military supervision. For the
Indians it was the beginning of the end.

[Illustration: Figure 8.--Fort Keogh, Montana. (_USNM 384189;
Smithsonian photo 37925._)]

Upon its arrival at Fort Harker following the action of September 23,
Company K had been assigned as escort for the commissioners, thus
Stieffel's presence at Council Grove. It was a colorful gathering, with
some 5,000 Indians on hand. First came a series of speeches. Then the
treaty was drawn up and explained to the Indians. They were to retire to
assigned reservations, cease attacking the whites, and permit railroads
to be built across the plains. In return the reservations were to be
closed to the white buffalo hunters and the tribes were to be issued
certain annuities and provided with farming implements, seeds, churches,
and schools. In short, the Indians were to be forced to "walk the white
man's road."

When the turn came for the Indians to reply, several chiefs responded,
the most notable being the Kiowa chief, Satanta, or "White Bear" (fig.
11), one of the most remarkable individuals in his tribe's history.
Speaking for all, Satanta made an unusually strong impression on most of
those present, Stieffel among them, for this is the incident which he
chose to depict[31] (fig. 3).

Satanta is pictured in the act of speaking to the commissioners, three
of whom can be identified as the military members, Generals Terry,
Augur, and Harney from left to right,[32] plus one of the civilian
commissioners, possibly N. G. Taylor, Commissioner of Indian Affairs. A
daring and successful warrior, Satanta's eloquence and vigor of
expression had already won for him the title "Orator of the Plains."
Every feature on his strong face, every line, showed his character--a
forceful, untamable savage of a tribe as well known for its lack of
honor, gratitude, and general reliability as for its bravery.[33] With
great dignity and impact he first denounced bitterly and scornfully the
killing for mere sport of a number of buffalo near the council site by
some troopers of the 7th Cavalry:

     Has the white man become a child, that he should recklessly kill
     and not eat? When the red men slay game, they do so that they may
     live and not starve.

In direct relation to the treaty, he continued with obvious sincerity:

     I love the land and the buffalo.... I don't want any of the
     medicine lodges [schools and churches] within the country. I want
     the children raised as I was.... I have heard that you intend to
     settle us on a reservation near the mountains. I don't want to
     settle. I love to roam over the prairies. There I am free and
     happy, but when we settle down we grow pale and die.... A long
     time ago this land belonged to our fathers; but when I go up to the
     river I see camps of soldiers on its banks. These soldiers cut down
     my timber; they kill my buffalo; and when I see that my heart feels
     like busting.

Little wonder Stieffel and all those present were impressed. It is
appropriate to add that neither the Indians nor the Government of the
United States observed the provisions of this treaty.

[Illustration: Figure 9.--Miles City, Montana. (_USNM 384190;
Smithsonian photo 37925-B._)]

The remainder of Stieffel's paintings have no such impact as the earlier
ones, but nonetheless they are important, especially for their almost
meticulous detail of camp and post life and terrain in the West. In that
of the camp of peace commissioners he accurately depicts the various
types of tentage of the Army at the time--the small slanting wall tents
of the enlisted men, the wall tents of the individual officers, the
large wall headquarters and officers' mess tents, and the familiar
Sibleys, one of which is obviously being used for the guard. The escort
wagons and ambulances are regulation transport of the period. The artist
has even included a sentry walking post at the ration dump with fixed
bayonet, a sound precaution against sticky red fingers. Two Indian
camps are shown in the background, and the Indians, as would befit the
atmosphere of a treaty council, are moving freely through the military
camp to the apparent unconcern of the military.

[Illustration: Figure 10.--The Yellowstone River near Fort Keogh,
Montana. (_USNM 384191; Smithsonian photo 37925-A._)]

The landscape of the Wichita Mountains from Medicine Bluffs (fig. 5) on
the present-day Fort Sill reservation is noteworthy as a terrain sketch
to anyone who has served at that post. I have ridden over this country
many times, and the undulating prairie, the meandering of Medicine
Creek, the Bluffs themselves--over the highest of which (left
centerground) the Apache Geronimo did _not_ ride his horse with the 7th
Cavalry in full cry behind--Mount Hinds and lofty Mount Scott are
remarkable in their accuracy when one considers that the painting must
have been done from sketches made when Stieffel was on escort detail to
the Indian Territory in 1869.[34]

The two views of Fort Harker, Kansas (figs. 6, 7), now Ellsworth, must
have been painted during 1870 and 1871 while Stieffel was on extra duty
as a hospital attendant there. From an artistic standpoint they are the
poorest of his work. His detail, however, more than compensates for any
deficiencies as a draftsman and gives us an excellent concept of the
physical layout and daily routine of a small post in the Southern
Plains. The two views are from the east and south, and complement one
another nicely. Headquarters, officers' quarters, and barracks, all of
typical clapboard construction, are readily discernible, as are the
stables, the latter being the long unfenestrated buildings. Even the
barrack privies, an outdoor bake oven alongside a mess hall, and
earth-covered powder magazines can be easily identified. The long rows
of cordwood for cooking and heating were to be seen on any post of the
period. In the view from the east (fig. 6) may be seen a detail of
cavalrymen with led horses moving out for animal exercise past the camp
of a transient unit with its standard tentage and transport. The high
white paling fence is difficult to place, being either an animal
corral, in which case it would be much too high, or a forage yard, since
no hay piles are visible elsewhere. Stieffel seems to have been
considerably fascinated by the railroad (fig. 7) with its accompanying
telegraph line running southwest of the fort, for again he paints in
some detail, although this time with an almost childish conception. The
"U.P.R.W.E.D." which he so carefully letters in identifies the line as
the Union Pacific Railway, Eastern Division.[35] The naming of the
engine "Osage" was as typical of the period as the naming of individual
commercial aircraft is today.

[Illustration: Figure 11.--Kiowa Chief Satanta, or White Bear.
(_Smithsonian photo BAE 1380-A._)]

The last three paintings (figs. 8-10) fall in the period of Stieffel's
service at Fort Keogh in the Department of Dakota. The fort, named for
Captain Miles Keogh (who died with Custer in the Little Big Horn
massacre) and originally called Cantonment Tongue River, was located at
the confluence of the Tongue and Yellowstone Rivers near present-day
Miles City, Montana.

The pictures of both the fort (fig. 8) and Miles City (fig. 9) are
subject to check against extant photographs; they are amazing in their
detail and accuracy. The over-all layout of the fort conforms, and such
minute details as the gable windows and chimneys of the officers'
quarters on the left of the parade ground and the two-story verandas on
the enlisted barracks opposite are absolutely correct.[36] The familiar
stables, corral, wood piles, and hay piles--the latter surrounded by a
stone wall as protection against grass fire in the dry months--are
readily discernible (fig. 8). The low stone buildings and corral in the
right centerground probably are part of the original structures of
Cantonment Tongue River. The small shacks to the left of them probably
are the homes of the civilian hangers-on who founded Miles City in 1876
after being ejected from the post by Col. Nelson Miles, the commander of
the 5th Infantry. The first site of Miles City can be seen in the upper
right corner on the banks of the Tongue. The town was moved across the
river in 1877. The mounted drill in the foreground is difficult to
explain in a period when and in an area where the troops were almost
constantly in the field under combat conditions. Perhaps it is mere
window dressing by the artist. It is entirely possible, however, that
Stieffel has pictured elements of his own regiment, which was mounted
from 1877 until after the surrender of Sitting Bull in 1881. Being
basically infantry they would be most in need of training in mounted
tactics. Then again, these could be legitimate cavalry whose commander
thought had wandered too far from regulation movements during the
unorthodox winter warfare they had been waging against the Indians.

The view of Miles City (fig. 9) has little importance in a military
sense, but it is a fine contemporary view of a frontier town of the
period. It is probably the product of a spring afternoon Stieffel spent
along the banks of the Tongue. It was painted before 1880--a wooden
bridge had replaced the ferry by that year[37]--and probably as early as
1878, for the town grew rapidly and Stieffel pictures only two streets,
Main and Park, running at right angles. The town is correctly placed in
a grove of cottonwoods, and low to the river as evidenced by the almost
annual flooding of the streets.[38] Structures which can be readily
identified, reading from left to right on Main Street, are the Diamond D
corral visible near the ferry landing; the town stockade which Stieffel
has either misplaced or which was later moved; Major Bochardt's store,
the white two-story building; Broadwater, Hubbel and Co., the brown
two-story structure next right; the Cottage Saloon at the corner of Main
and Park Streets, just to the right of the flag pole; and Morris Cahn's
drygoods emporium on Park Street, in the right centerground, that can be
identified by Cahn's name on the false front.[39]

A Note on Stieffel's Indians

In seven of his nine paintings Stieffel has executed his Indian subjects
in colorful detail and with some care. Although he apparently did not
know his subjects well enough to distinguish them by tribe, he does
depict them in typical dress of the period. Many of them are wearing
German silver ornaments of various designs about their necks, on strips
of flannel attached to their hair pigtail-like, or as arm bands. At
least four are wearing hair-pipe breast plates, a fact of interest to
ethnologists,[40] and several wear the comical, Puritan style, tall
black hats issued as annuity goods. The red and blue robes are of
trades-good flannel, as probably are the leggings. Two wear buffalo
robes with the skin side out and the hair side rolled over at the
shoulder.[41] Two, in the Fort Keogh picture (fig. 8) and the
Yellowstone River landscape (fig. 10), wear robes of the familiar,
colorfully striped Hudson Bay blanketing material. Arms are
conventional--bows, quivered arrows, and pipe tomahawks, with a
scattering of firearms. In the Yellowstone River landscape one
discrepancy should be pointed out--the canoe; the Northern Plains
Indians seldom used water transport, and then generally only in the form
of rafts.


[Footnote 1: For George Catlin, Gustavus Sohon, and George Gibbs, see:
John C. Ewers, "Gustavus Sohon's Portraits of Flathead and Pend
d'Oreille Indians, 1854," _Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections_, vol.
110, no. 7, 1948; "George Catlin, Painter of Indians and the West," in
_Annual Report of the ... Smithsonian Institution ... 1955_, 1956, pp.
483-528; Marvin C. Ross, _George Catlin, Episodes from Life Among the
Indians and Last Rambles_, Norman, Okla., Univ. Oklahoma Press, 1959;
Harold McCracken, _George Catlin and the Old Frontier_, New York, Dial
Press, 1959; David I. Bushnell, Jr., "Drawings by George Gibbs in the
Far Northwest, 1849-1851," _Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections_, vol.
97, no. 8, 1938.

For Alfred Jacob Miller, see: Bernard DeVoto, _Across the Wide
Missouri_, Boston, Little, Brown and Co., 1947; Marvin C. Ross, editor,
_The West of Alfred Jacob Miller_, Norman, Okla., Univ. Oklahoma Press,

For Frederick Remington and Charles Russell, see: Harold McCracken,
_Frederick Remington, Artist of the Old West_, Philadelphia, Lippincott,
1947, and _The Charles M. Russell Book; the Life and Work of the Cowboy
Artist_, Garden City, Doubleday, 1957.]

[Footnote 2: See: Mark H. Brown and W. R. Felton, _The Frontier Years.
L. A. Huffman, Photographer of the Plains_, New York, Henry Holt and
Co., 1955; Martin F. Schmitt and Dee Brown, _Fighting Indians of the
West_, New York, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1948.]

[Footnote 3: An excellent group of these crude on-the-spot drawings and
paintings is reproduced in Grace Raymond Hebard and E. A. Brininstool,
_The Bozeman Trail_, 2 vols., Cleveland, The Arthur H. Clark Co., 1922.]

[Footnote 4: No. 173740 in the U.S. National Museum.]

[Footnote 5: The information on Brotherton's career has been culled
from: _Register of Graduates and Former Cadets United States Military
Academy, 1802-1946_, New York, The West Point Alumni Foundation, Inc.,
1946; Francis B. Heitman, _Historical Register and Dictionary of the
United States Army_, Washington, Government Printing Office, 1903, vol.
1; George W. Cullum, _Biographical Register of the Officers and
Graduates of the U.S. Military Academy_, Boston, 1891-1930, vol. 3.]

[Footnote 6: Enlistment papers of Hermann Stieffel dated December 17,
1857, Adjutant General's Records, National Archives, Washington.]

[Footnote 7: Theo F. Rodenbough and William L. Haskin, _The Army of the
United States_, New York, Maynard, Merrill & Co., 1896, pp. 471-472;
Remarks on Muster Roll, Company K, 5th Infantry (hereinafter cited as
Muster Roll, Co. K), August 31, 1858, Adjutant General's Records,
National Archives, Washington.]

[Footnote 8: Muster Roll, Co. K, _op. cit._ (footnote 7), December 31,

[Footnote 9: In 1861 a private's pay was $13.00 per month with $2.00
withheld until expiration of his enlistment and $.12-1/2 withheld for
support of the U.S. Soldiers' Home at Washington. (_U.S. Army
Regulations_, 1861.)]

[Footnote 10: Muster Roll, Co. K, _op. cit._ (footnote 7), October 31,
1861; December 31, 1861; April 30, 1862; June 30, 1862; December 31,
1862; February 28, 1863; April 30, 1863; February 28, 1864; June 30,

[Footnote 11: Canby was murdered by the Modoc Captain Jack in 1873 while
engaged in a peace conference.]

[Footnote 12: For details of these operations, see: _The War of the
Rebellion: Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies_, 130
vols., Washington, War Department, 1880-1901, ser. 1, vol. 9, pp.

[Footnote 13: _Ibid._, ser. 1, vol. 47, pt. 2, p. 1246.]

[Footnote 14: Rodenbough and Haskin, _op. cit._ (footnote 7), p. 472;
Muster Roll, Co. K, _op. cit._ (footnote 7), April 30, 1863; June 30,
1864; October 31, 1865.]

[Footnote 15: The first note of such duty is in Muster Roll, Co. K, _op.
cit._ (footnote 7), February 28, 1863.]

[Footnote 16: See Muster Roll, Co. K, _op. cit._ (footnote 7),
1863-1882. The muster rolls were submitted bimonthly.]

[Footnote 17: _Ibid._, June 30, 1868; February 28, 1869; April 30,

[Footnote 18: _Ibid._, December 31, 1869; September 30, 1873; June 30,

[Footnote 19: Company K was almost at full strength at the time,
mustering 58 enlisted men of the 60 authorized. _Ibid._, September 30,
1873; _Official Army Register for January 1874_, Washington, Adjutant
General's Office, 1874, p. 260B.]

[Footnote 20: Muster Roll, Co. K, _op. cit._ (footnote 7), August 31,

[Footnote 21: Frederick Remington has pictured this surrender for us,
but he was not an eye witness.]

[Footnote 22: Muster Roll, Co. K, _op. cit._ (footnote 7), August 31,
1878, to June 30, 1882; Certificate of Disability for Discharge, Private
Hermann Stieffel, April 8, 1882, Adjutant General's Records, National
Archives. The date of June 23, given on the Muster Roll, was apparently
that on which the discharge received final approval in Washington.]

[Footnote 23: There is no record of Stieffel's ever having been a member
of the Soldiers' Home, but the Home's records for the 1880's are very
incomplete. However, his discharge gives his forwarding address as that
institution, and there is definite record of the date of his death and
interment there.]

[Footnote 24: Report of Brig. Gen. R. B. Marcy, September 24, 1867,
document no. 1,000, AGO, Department of Missouri, vol. 4, 1867, Civil War
Branch, National Archives.]

[Footnote 25: _Report of Chief of Ordnance, 1867_, Washington, War
Department, 1868.]

[Footnote 26: George Bird Grinnell, _The Fighting Cheyenne_, New York,
Charles Scribner's Sons, 1915, p. 235.]

[Footnote 27: Frazier and Robert Hunt, _I Fought With Custer: The Story
of Sergeant Windolph_, New York, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1947, p. 92.
For an excellent discussion of Indian armament at this period, see John
E. Parsons and John S. DuMont, _Firearms in the Custer Battle_,
Harrisburg, The Stackpole Company, 1953.]

[Footnote 28: Marcy's report, _op. cit._ (footnote 24).]

[Footnote 29: Jack Howland, artist for _Harper's Weekly_, also pictured
Satanta speaking to the commissioners, and with more accuracy in that
all the civilian commissioners are visible, but his pictures lack the
color and drama of Stieffel's work. See: _Harper's Weekly_, November 16,

[Footnote 30: The records of this treaty meeting are contained in the
Office of Indian Affairs, Record Group 75, National Archives. The final
treaties are reproduced in _Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties_, vol. 2,
Washington, Government Printing Office, 1903, pp. 754-764.]

[Footnote 31: There are several accounts of this. The best, in the
opinion of the writer, is in James Mooney's "Calendar History of the
Kiowa Indians," _17th Annual Report of the Bureau of American
Ethnology_, Washington, Government Printing Office, 1898, pp. 181-186,

[Footnote 32: See photo taken at later date by Alexander Gardner, Still
Picture Branch, National Archives.]

[Footnote 33: An interesting sidelight on Satanta: In the spring of 1867
he accepted a complete general officer's uniform from General Hancock at
Fort Dodge and reciprocated shortly afterwards by attacking the post
while decked out in his new dress.]

[Footnote 34: Detail and orientation check closely with map of Fort
Sill, Oklahoma, sheet 6353 III NW, scale 1:25,000, Army Map Service.]

[Footnote 35: This was identified in Engineer Files, Cartographic
Branch, National Archives.]

[Footnote 36: An over-all photographic view of the post is in Still
Picture Branch, National Archives. For photos of the officers' quarters
and barracks, see Brown and Felton, _op. cit._ (footnote 2), pp. 98,

[Footnote 37: See photo in Brown and Felton _op. cit._ (footnote 2), p

[Footnote 38: _Ibid._, pp. 137, 140.]

[Footnote 39: _Ibid._, pp. 157, 163, and end paper map.]

[Footnote 40: Ewers, _op. cit._ (footnote 1), pp. 58-61, 1948.]

[Footnote 41: Lower right in the Council Grove scene and in the
foreground of the Fort Keogh picture.]

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