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Newspaper Archive of
The Sundance Times
Sundance, Wyoming
Lyft
December 24, 1931     The Sundance Times
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December 24, 1931
 

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THE TIMES, SUNDANCE, WYOMING, DECEMBER 24, 1931 I FINNEY OF THE FORCE 0,,. ..... ,.,,,,, Plain lish. ] Tried for an Eight bui a Seven L. CROSBY ( "E~'ES ELMO SCOTT WATSON Disaster at Phil Kearney!" (-~IIlHS'I'51AS EVIl; al ohl Fort Lar- amie on lhe Oregon Trail in Wyo- nfiag, hi "l~edlaul," the building wlmro all lhe sot'tel fun{'th}ns of the post were hehl, a great hull was go- hie oil alld ullnlin(lful of the hitter w{~{llllPr Olltsille the little garrison was forgelling for awhile l:he perils and hardshil}s of life on tile frollt|er. hPl'OS~ 111o Sllowy [)llrade grollnd u ilorse ph}(hh,d wearily, wavered and drolq}ed to the ground (lead. Its rhler reeh~d from his saddle as it foil aml sluml)led toward tile door of the huihlhlg. A momenl later the music stopped with a crush as hls gigantic figure, wral)pod from head to fool In buffalo (}ver(.(}at, leggh]gs and cap, staggered into lhe liltle ballroom. "Dlsasler at I'hll Keurney," lie gasped, "Cap(ale I~'etlel'man and 81 men nnlssacred. The Indians are all around the post. Col. onel Currington must [lave llelp." Then lie fell unconscious from over-expos- ure all(] exhuus|Jon. Imn~edlalely after the destruction of l{~ellermun's commund hy Red Ch~ud's Sioux. Colonel Carrlngton culled for volunteers to go to Fort I,aramie for help. Outside a frightful blizzard was ruglng and lhe thermoln- eter shred at 25 degrees beh)w zero. To go meunt a ride of 236 miles th roligl~ that hitter weather and through a country swarming with hoslile Indians" bh)od-luad from their recent success. None of the soldiers would offer It} make the trip. then a fr(mllersman, nanled John l'hllllps, niekzlametl "Portugee" because of Ills nulhmulily, stel)ped forward and said he weald go if given the swiftest horse In tile conlnland Tiffs was done and at midnight oI Decemher 22, 1866. wlth only a few eruckers for hhnself anti a small amount of feed for his horse, Phillips slipped out a shle gate In the stock- ude and rode awuy Into the stprm. Although the sohllera had predleted that tile messenger would he caught hefore I~e had goue a hlmdred yards, he managed to avoid the Indians and set oul for I~'orl 6aramle. After 48 hours of cold, hunger and fatigue he reached that post as previously re- luted. On New Year's day a cry of thanksgiving went up from the he- leaguered garrison at Fort ! hll Kear- hey as a line of soldiers appeared over the hlils. "Saved! Saved I Phillips got through to I, aramleP' It What We re Here For l ~"~ FVICI~]It and gentleman"--such ,~/ Is the tradition in the Amer- Ican army and none better exempli- fied il than Guy V. Henry, who has also, and Justly, been called "the typ- Ical kntghHy American soldier." A West l'ointer, and 1i~e son of another, he was horn Into the service In which he was to have such a distinguished career. Ite suw four years of tile hurdest fighting In the Civil war, was thrh.e mentioned In dlsputehes and brevetted five times for gallantry in at'lion. At the desperate fighting at Old Cold Harbor lie won the army's Idghesl dlstlncthm, thu medal of honor. lie was a brilliant Indian fighter from 1865 to 1S90 and during the Spanlsh-Am{.riean war he aecomp- fished wonders as military ruler of l'orto Rico and there he died because he would ~,ot ask to be relieved of his eomamml although he knew thai by staying he was doomed. "tlere i was sent and here I will stay until my duty Is done," he said. Yet. for all of his services, lie is bul little known, as compared to other officers whoso more speclaeular careers brought them to public notice. "Thin as a shoestring and as brave as a Ibm." the soldiers who served un- der hlm and alnmst worsldpped him, sald. What he lacked In physique, he more than nmde up for In will power. During the whiter of 1874 he was or- dered from I*~ort Robinson with a troop of soldiers to expel millers from the Black IllUs. The march, which Is a classtc In old army traditions, took them over 300 miles ot the rough- est country In America and was made In weather ranging from 20 to 40 de- grees helow zero. Only the Indomit- able perseverance of the cou|nnlnder kept the reed from lying down and be- Ing frozen to death. HIs plight was the worst of all. They had to cut the brhlle reins from his frozen hands when he returned to the fort, and slit his gloves into strips. Eael~ strip brought with It a piece of flesh and to the day of his death he could not close the fingers on his left hand. In ,the Buttle of the Rosebud dur- Ing the Sioux War of 1876 Henry was shot through the face and fell to the grou~(l. A desperate hand-to-hand con- flict raged over his body but he was rescued and carried to the rear. "Fix hie Up 8,0 that 1 can go back" were the words mumbled through bleeding lips to the surgeon, but there was no going back for him. There he lay through the h}ng hot day while the battle raged, ahnost unattended, for not a man could be spared from the firing lln~. To a fellow officer who once came and bent over him com- mlseratingly, Henry murmured, "It's all right. Jack. It's what we're here for," And a few moments later to a war correspondent who came to See hhn. Henry recommended that he Join the army l W st lrn Newspaper Unlon.) :!