This Week in Little Bighorn History

May 5, 1877Sitting Bull (left) led his people into Canada.

John C. Wagoner died on May 5, 1899, in St. Paul, Minnesota. He was Chief Packer with the pack train and was wounded in the hilltop fight during the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

Frederick William Myers died in Washington, D.C. on May 5, 1900, and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. He was a Private in Company I who was not present at the battle due to detached service.

James E. Moore was born on May 6, 1849, in Hebron, Ohio. He was a Farrier with Company B who was with the pack train and later participated in the hilltop fight.

Charles Clinton Barnett was born on May 7, 1857, in Camden, Ohio. He was a Private in Company G who was not present at the battle due to detached service.

May 7, 1868 – The Treaty of Fort Laramie with the Crow was concluded.

John Fitzgerald died in New York City on May 7, 1900, and was buried in Calvary Cemetery in Woodside, Queens County, New York. He was the Farrier for Company C who participated in the hilltop fight.

Soldier, an Arikara Scout, died on May 7, 1921, and was buried in the Indian Scout Cemetery in McLean County, North Dakota. His gravestone states, “Served his country as an Indian Scout.” He was with Reno’s Column, but he did not cross the river.

Good Elk (Wah-nee), an Arikara Scout who was also known as Red Bear, died in Nishu, North Dakota, on May 7, 1934, and was buried in the Indian Scout Cemetery in McLean County, North Dakota, where he is listed as Handsome Elk. He participated in the valley fight.

Charles Sanders was born on May 8, 1842, in Altenberg, Germany. He was a Private in Company D who served as the Orderly for Lt. Edgerly and participated in the hilltop fight.

Edward Garlick was born in Chertsey, England, on May 8, 1846. He was the First Sergeant for Company G who was on furlough at the time of the battle.

Jeremiah Campbell died on May 8, 1884, in Decatur, Illinois, and was buried in Westside Cemetery in Moweaqua, Shelby County, Illinois. He was a Sergeant in Company K who participated in the hilltop fight.

Thomas Wellesley Causby (left) was born on May 9, 1848, in Liverpool, England. He was the Staff Quartermaster Sergeant, but he was not present at the battle due to detached service.

May 9, 1887 – Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show opened in London.

Jasper R. Marshall died in Pleasant Hill, Ohio, on May 9, 1920, and was buried in the Pleasant Hill Cemetery. He was a Private with Company L who was with the pack train and participated in the hilltop fight.

Charles Varnum at the University of Wyoming, 1898

Thanks to Philip Sheldon and his family for sharing the program for the 1898 Cadet Officers Dance held at the University of Wyoming in 1898 when Captain Charles A. Varnum was there.

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Cadets signed up to dance with the young women (above). Charles Varnum and his wife were on the Reception Committee (below).

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This item belonged to Philip’s grandmother Bessie, who was the daughter of George C. Crager, a well-known scout during the Indian Wars period. Bessie was born in May 1882, so she would have been almost sixteen at the time of the dance.

Bessie attended the dance with her mother, Mary Elizabeth Lee (“Mollie”) Willoughby Crager Schalk, whose marriage to Crager had ended in 1882. She married C. F. Schalk in 1888. However, she reverted to the name Crager in the mid-1920s and, upon her death in 1939, she was buried as Crager.

Mollie was the younger sister of Jim “Kid” Willoughby who was a headline performer with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. Jim Kid probably made at least one show tour with his brother-in-law, George Crager.