Route Between Fort Laramie and Horse Creek

“That day we marched thirty-seven miles, passing the ranch of Beauvais, five miles from Fort Laramie ; Bordeaux ranch, ten miles from Fort Laramie; the ‘First Ruins,” so called, eighteen miles; and the Woc-a-pom-any agency, twenty-eight miles. We camped at the mouth of Horse Creek, which was thirty-seven miles from Fort Laramie. This Horse Creek was the scene of a celebrated ancient treaty with the Indians [Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851], but which was no longer observed or recognized. But there had been heretofore many provisions in it which were referred to as the provisions of the ‘Horse Creek Treaty.”

“The ruins, first and second, were ruins of stone stations which had been put up by ranchmen for the overland express company running through to Salt Lake; but the express company, for the time being, was knocked out of existence, so that there was at the time of which I speak no mail, stage or express carried over the road except by soldiers. There was also a pile of stone about two feet high and ten feet square, where the celebrated Gratton massacre had taken place. This has been written of so often that I will not refer to it, except to say that a lieutenant with a few men was sent to deal with some Indians, several years before, and make them surrender some property, and having a piece of artillery, the Indians being obstinate, he fired over the heads of the Indians to scare them, and the Indians immediately massacred the whole detachment. . . .

“The road from Fort Laramie to Horse Creek, almost the entire distance, was sandhills and deep dust. The dust was almost insufferable. There was but little air stirring, and the long line of horsemen kept the dust in the air so that it was very difficult to breathe.”