Custer Lives!

The Kidder Massacre

 

In July 2009 I visited the site of what is called The Kidder Massacre in Kansas. It was in a pretty isolated location and I had to drive across two counties of dirt and loose gravel roads. The roads were not rutted or in bad shape, just incredibly dusty. When a semi or large truck passed by it was nearly blinding. I had to slow way down from the posted speed limit. If you are worried about your vehicle getting dinged by gravel or being heavily coated in thick coarse dust, don't go here. There is a much shorter route to the battlefield if you come in from the highway to the south but I was coming from Nebraska and didn't know the roads were dirt and gravel. I'm not easily deterred so I drove on.

Once you get to the roadside marker, get a copy of the paperwork in the mailbox next to it. It will explain how to locate the site where the fight finished up with the US Army being wiped out. Follow the road behind the marker to get to the battlefield which is about one mile away. A stone marker designates the spot. The stone marker is on private property.

Lt. Lyman S. Kidder, ten 2nd Cavalry Troopers, and Indian Scout Red Bead were carrying orders from Fort Sedgwick, Colorado to General George Armstrong Custer's camp near Benkelman, Nebraska. Lt. Kidder missed General Custer's camp and set out for Fort Wallace, Kansas. On about July 1, 1867 Indians attacked the doomed US Cavalry contingent near Beaver Creek. Lt. Kidder's command was wiped out. On July 12 General George Custer and the 7th Cavalry found Lt. Kidder's last command. Each dead man was horribly mutilated. General Custer had the US Army dead buried in a common grave at the death site. In March 1868 the dead were dug up and moved to Fort Wallace with the exception of Lt. Lyman Kidder who's remains were taken to St. Paul, Minnesota. In 1868 the Fort Wallace bodies were moved to Fort Leavenworth.

The Kidder Massacre roadside marker.

Some of the terrain where the doomed Troopers traveled.

More of the terrain where the doomed Troopers traveled.

The stone marker. This is not my photo. For some reason I forgot to take one!

 

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