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Scouting for the Ninth Kansas


Scouting for the Ninth Kansas


Excerpt from The Life of Hon. William F. Cody Known As Buffalo Bill The Famous Hunter, Scout and Guide An Autobiography, Chapter 11, A Soldier, pages 134-135.


William F. Cody


Frank E. Bliss






In the fall of 1861 I made a trip to Fort Larned, Kansas, carrying military dispatches, and in the winter I accompanied George Long through the country, and assisted him in buying horses for the government.

The next spring, 1862, an expedition against the Indians was organized, consisting of a volunteer regiment, the Ninth Kansas, under Colonel Clark. This expedition, which I had joined in the capacity of guide and scout, proceeded to the Kiowa and Comanche country, on the Arkansas river, along which stream we scouted all summer between Fort Lyon and Fort Larned, on the old Santa Fe trail. We had several engagements with the Indians, but they were of no great importance.

In the winter of 1862, I became one of the "Red Legged Scouts," —a company of scouts commanded by Captain Tuff. Among its members were some of the most noted Kansas Rangers, such as Red Clark, the St. Clair brothers, Jack Harvey, an old pony express-rider named Johnny Fry, and many other well known frontiersmen. Our field of operations was confined mostly to the Arkansas country and southwestern Missouri. We had many a lively skirmish with the bushwhackers and Younger brothers, and when we were not hunting them, we were generally employed in carrying dispatches between Forts Dodge, Gibson, Leavenworth, and other posts. Whenever we were in Leavenworth we had a very festive time. We usually attended all the balls in full force, and "ran things" to suit ourselves. Thus I passed the winter of 1862 and the spring of 1863.