Catherine McLennon - A U.S. 7th Infantry Family Member on the Frontier (1858 - 1876) by Robert Luppi


A Gravestone, a Poem, and Her Story



Catherine "Katie" McLennon Gravesite Custer Nt. Cem

􀀁"Do not judge a biography􀀂by its length, nor by the number of pages in it. Judge it by the richness of its contents" - Unknown



A Fragmented Name and a Number



Custer National Cemetery at the Little Big Horn Battlefield National Monument in Montana, outside Hardin, holds the burial places of many who lived the frontier life of the 19th century-among others, soldiers and civilians who braved the threats of mortality by disease without advanced medicines, the territory's often harsh weather and the existential risks brought on by years of American-Indian conflict prevalent in the territory's remote expanses.

A Journey through the cemetery tends to draw one's eyes and mind toward gravestones more descriptive than others, toward those with epitaphs deemed more personal than others and toward a certain name, some still readable after decades of weathering, and recognized perhaps as a name familiar, crafted in a style and words by an artisan on blocks of stone.

But present there also stands a simple, plain gravestone, marked only with the name, "K. McLennon" and a grave number assigned to it, "834".

A tombstone that gravesite explorers could easily pass by unnoticed or view with only so much as a casual glance, without pause, in their travel through quiet surroundings . There are no dates of birth or death, no words of adieu, nothing of the noble or the sacred, nor of any other expressions about "K. McLennon", a person who bears that name, chiseled in the stone standing above her gravesite. Just plain "K.McLennon". Cold, impersonal, irreverent---lacking. Thereshould be more.But there was a life to "K. McLennon", short as it was. She is Katie McLennon, and her first name known formally was "Catherine". And she left this world on March 21, 1876, to be exact, young, her Journey in life curtailed far too early . Departing without chance to marry, or to have children or to fufill any other dreams or ambitions of a longer life.



The Family


Catherine McLennon was born in either 1858 or 1860( the information is contradictory) outside Denver City, then Kansas Territory ( later known as Colorado Territory) to Irish immigrants, Michael and Mary( Ryan) McLennon. The couple had joined themselves in marriage earlier, in 1849, in the town of Graignamanagh( commonly referred to as "Graig"), County Kilkenny, Ireland and thereafter sailed their way across the Atlantic to the world of America during Ireland's deadly potato famine, where an estimated one million of the country's estimated eight and one half million people succumbed. In addition to Catherine, the McLennons shared in the birth of four other children: Margaret, born about 1854; John and Annie, twins, born in 1855; and Sarah, born in 1863. All the children were raised in the tradition of their parents Roman Catholic faith. Scantly anything is to be found about Catherine in any writings, nor are there any known photos of her. An examination of her person and short life and conclusions and opinions about her can be drawn in the context of a young female member of an extended and close military family whose members lived on America's frontier, including at and near lonely military outposts throughout the country during America's 19th century, while subjected to myriads of influences in their lives. But beyond such, and available as added clarity, an understanding of Catherine can be greatly interpreted through the examination of a touching farewell-a poem -devoted to her and penned at her end by a friend. Driving young Catherine's and her family's multiple relocations were the soldiers in her family who were called to serve and live at those outposts and, with them, often went her and other family members. Catherine McLennon, like those civilian family members with her, had her life shaped by her family upbringing, her faith, her schooling, and the physical and social environments of her places of residences, the people in those communities, and by the various other cultural influences and events impacting her habits, psychology, character and other features as they did also by her interaction with the soldiers within her family circle and beyond who served in the U.S military in the tumultuous times of our Civil War and on the Western frontier. Michael McLennon, Catherine's father, served as a U.S. 7th Infantry Regiment career soldier who joined the regiment in 1852. He later rose to the rank of sergeant. He knew the ferocity, and the horror and death of battle well. Serving with the Union Army during the Civil War, Michael fought at Fredericksburg( Total casualties, both armies: 17,500) and Chancellorsville ( Total: 29,000) in Virginia and later on July 2, 1863 in their fight in the Wheatfield area at Gettysburg, he and his regiment took galling fire from Southern soldiers. Michael McLennon was struck by a rebel bullet, and though seriously wounded, he survived. The "Bloody Wheatfield", as the sanguine farm land of George Rose has been described, gained its dreadful name deservedly. It was one of the bloodiest battle grounds at Gettysburg. McLennon's 7th Infantry Regiment suffered a 50% casualty rate alone After the War, McLennon and his regiment were ordered to Tallahassee, FL where they served as members of the army of occupation during Reconstruction. He would come to meet his future son-in-law, Patrick Rogan, another Irish immigrant, after the latter joined the 7th after his discharge from service as a Union soldier in the Civil War, the two thereafter serving together in Company "A" of the unit. Patrick would later become united in marriage with McLennon's daughter, Margaret, then still in her teens. While still serving in Florida, death would come to Michael McLennon. On March 26, 1867, at age 37, his life was shortened by disease, the probable cause, malaria. The malady was prevalent in the greater area around Tallahassee at the time, its affliction permeating northern Florida where later the locale became defined as the "malaria belt".


Michael at his death left his wife Mary and their five young children, including Catherine. Patrick Rogan, Michael McLennon's friend and fellow infantry comrade, would continue to serve with Company "A" of the 7th Infantry in Florida and advance to the rank of sergeant. During that time also, Patrick would remain close to the McLennon family and, as history would demonstrate, he later became a member of the family and while such, maintained a strong and loyal presence with them in the years thereafter.


In 1869, the 7th Infantry was ordered to leave Florida for duty on the Western frontier and the McLennon family would follow Patrick there. While enroute to Omaha, NE in April, Patrick Rogan, then age twenty two, and Margaret McLennon, would join themselves in marriage, the union resulting in him also becoming brother- in-laws to the younger McLennon children, including Catherine, and also the son-in-law to their mother, Mary


There would be duty stations for Patrick Rogan while out West at various frontier posts, beginning at Fort Douglas, Utah, and then at Fort Ellis, M.T. before arriving and settling with the family, including Catherine, at Fort Shaw, M.T. in 1874 while continuing to serve with the 7th Infantry. Fort Shaw was the headquarters of the 7th back then under the command of Colonel John Gibbon, a distinguished Union Civil War veteran.


Before arrival, Mary McLennon's son, John, would enlist with Company "A" of the regiment at Fort Ellis in 1871 at age sixteen, as a musician /drummer. Since he was underage his mother had to approve the enlistment. John McLennon had obviously decided to follow in the footsteps of his father, Michael, as a member of the unit and no doubt his brother-in-law, Patrick Rogan, had some influence in that decision. They would both serve together in the same company as well, Company "A".


Fort Shaw


Fort Shaw was founded in 1867 on the Sun River and located west of Great Falls in the Sun River Valley. Originally known as Camp Reynolds( A Union Civil War general who died early at the battle of Gettysburg), it was renamed in honor of Col. Robert Gould Shaw, the commander of the all black 54th Regiment of the Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War and who died in battle in the unit's attack at Fort

Wagner. Shaw and his regiment would later be portrayed in the acclaimed 1989 theater film titled, "Glory".

The post was established to protect the burgeoning mining population and other settlers and to protect travelers on the Mullan Road from American Indian attacks in central and southwestern Montana. Because the fort was laid out so well and was beautifully constructed, it was called the "Queen of Montana's military posts." Today, only few of its buildings remain.


Ft Shaw Military Post - Credit Sun River Valley Hist. So.

􀀬􀀨􀀠􀀎􀀛􀀔􀀁􀀱􀀓

Fort Shaw Barracks (1905)

Officers Row, Ft Shaw - Credit Sun River Valley Hist. Soc

􀀎􀀘􀀝􀀑􀀓􀀙􀀁􀀬􀀛􀀗􀀛􀀎􀀛􀀔􀀕􀀁􀀓􀀎􀀁􀀎􀀏􀀛􀀁􀀧􀀘􀀎􀀎􀀙􀀛􀀁􀀥􀀘􀀵􀀁􀀤􀀝􀀔􀀑􀀁􀀥􀀓􀀎􀀎􀀙􀀛􀀒􀀘􀀛􀀙􀀣􀀁􀀱􀀓􀀎􀀘􀀝􀀑􀀓􀀙􀀁􀀚􀀝􀀑􀀨􀀗􀀛􀀑􀀎􀀁􀀘􀀑􀀁􀀚􀀝􀀑􀀎􀀓􀀑􀀓􀀡􀀁􀀝􀀨􀀎􀀠􀀘􀀣􀀛􀀁 􀀤􀀓􀀔

View across Parade Ground, Ft Shaw - Credit Sun Valley Historical Soc.

At Fort Shaw, Patrick Rogan would continue to serve as a sergeant and later as 1st sergeant in Company "A" of his regiment while undertaking his soldierly duties, including training and drilling with his fellow soldiers and officers, and engaging in short assignments away from the fort, while also tending to his marriage with his young wife, Margaret. The couple would become parents of at least one child during their stay there and coincidentally at or about the time Rogan arrived at Fort Shaw or sometime earlier in 1874 , Margaret gave birth to another child, a daughter hey named, "Catherine". Whether she was named such by her parents in honor or in recognition of Catherine McLennon is unknown. Meanwhile, Mary McLennon undertook the responsibilities of Company "A" s laundress. In her position, she performed the laundry-the clothes washing and their pressing for the soldiers, and was provided her own quarters at the encampment, a monthly stipend and she also received food, medical care and other services at the post and a supply of wood to boil the hot water for the cleaning, together with a supply of lye as its cleaning agent . Her quarters were always to be found at the fort by a search for the clothes lines hanging nearby. That area of the post was known as "Suds Row" where all the post's laundresses resided. Mary McLennon duties extended also to managing the household and to raising and caring for her young children, including Catherine. The children would be schooled at the fort, and probably at the school room maintained at the post where teachers could be enlisted men, wives, or women hired for that purpose. Reading, writing and arithmetic were basic skills taught and the teachers usually stressed manners and good behavior. The children were also expected to help with chores at home and their younger siblings. They were taught to respect others, never to interrupt soldiers at work or to walk across the parade grounds where soldiers practiced their drills. The family, including Catherine, would likely have participated in many of the dances, picnics, holiday feasts, variety shows, singing events, clog dancing and other social events conducted at the fort for the soldiers and families' entertainment . Some children at the fort also went horse back riding and even hunting with an adult outside the grounds of the post. They would not venture too far off because of the risk of Indian attack from the Blackfeet Indians present in the surrounding area.


The weather conditions in the Sun River Valley and at Fort Shaw could be harsh. Winter temperatures would customarily be very cold and commonly descend below freezing and often as low as below zero. The summers temperatures would be moderate to very hot. The very cold temperatures would inhibit or restrict the outside activities of the families and children and appropriate clothing would be needed to ameliorate its effects in those conditions.


The Passing of Catherine McLennon


It is likely, though not certain, that sometime after her family relocated to Fort Shaw, Catherine McLennon contracted the disease, then commonly described as "consumption." The name was used to refer to a generalized wasting of body tissues that is common with tuberculosis, an infection caused almost exclusively through aerial transmission between people. The post's cemetery records show that another civilian at Fort Shaw was experiencing the same illness at about the same time as Catherine and one can speculate that either he or Catherine could have inadvertently transmitted the highly infectious disease to the other. Pulmonary tuberculosis is the most commonly seen form of the disease and is characterized by a severe cough with sputum that is sometimes accompanied with blood. It is a sickness that can last weeks or years before recovery or death. Tuberlosis was a prevalent disease on the Western frontier at the time, as was such illnesses as scarlet fever, pneumonia, measles and influenza, taking the lives of soldiers, civilians and American Indians alike. Medicines and treatments of those conditions were often lacking and futile for survival.


As to the nature of the diseases contracted at the fort, a viewing of Fort Shaw cemetery records, for instance, show thedeaths of severalcivilians over the years with consumption as the cause, including merely days apart, that of Catherine McLennonand the other civilian at the post who was suffering the same, as identified previously. That same year, the records report another civilian death by scarlet fever. The records reviewed also show lives being taken by pneumonia and the review shows soldiers also suffering some of the same fates.

Credit: Getty Images

There is no record as to how long Catherine McLennon suffered her disease before the date of March 21, 1876 when it took her life. Her mother, Mary, would be present with her upon her death and it would have been expected that at least some of her sisters were there also. Her brother, John, would not have been present, as just days earlier he and his Company "A" of the 7th Infantry and other soldiers of the regiment had left the post as members of Col. Gibbon's Montana Column in an expedition to find the Sioux and Cheyenne who defied the U.S. Government's order to return to their reservations.


A memorial service would likely have been conducted for Catherine, and likely at the post chapel. As the forts in Montana at the time rarely had a chaplain in residence, and by virtue of Fort Shaw's remote location, a Catholic cleric residing in another town likely would have been unavailable to perform the ceremony, unless by happenstance an itinerant priest was present at the fort or in the area while on circuit. Catherine's immediate family and friends including Sgt. Patrick Rogan, and others would have attended her service and burial, and possibly Patrick, and perhaps an officer at the fort and others assisted in the service. As to why Patrick Rogan remained at the post when his regiment, embarking on its long campaign, departed eastward with Col. Gibbon's column, it is entirely possible that at least one reason he stayed behind was because he was needed to console, comfort and support Catherine's stricken mother, Mary, and Catherine's sisters in their time of grief in advance of her young daughter's probable death and during its aftermath, including addressing his mother-in-laws other needs. Patrick,a person of strength and family commitment, represented the remaining adult male family member at the fort, after young John McLennon left with his company. Rogan's stay would have been supported by his superior officer's orders. Catherine McLennon would be interred at Fort Shaw's post cemetery, a 7.5 acre plot located just west of the fort's parade grounds. It became the resting place of post soldiers and its civilians and of civilians who resided in the Sun River Valley during the time of Fort Shaw's active presence from its inception until its closure in 1891. Burials of others, though, continued thereafter well into the 20th century. A wooden grave marker was placed above Catherine's grave as a closure to her life and burial, just as similar markers, with few exceptions, would be placed on the gravesites of others during the dates before and after her death.

A Friend's Farewell

Fort Benton, M.T., a U.S. Army outpost and steamboat navigable trading town nestled on the banks of the Missouri River in 1876, holds the distinction of being Montana's oldest settlement. It published its own newspaper back then, The Benton Record, which reported on the happenings and events within its own locale and also that of the Sun River Valley, including Fort Shaw, its distance being sixty seven miles southwest of the river town. On April 1, 1876, the Record came out with another edition. And the death of Catherine "Katie" McLennon, eleven days earlier, made the news. In the newspaper's reportage, the story was relegated away from the center of its publication about the lives and times of its broad community on one of its pages, but it still found a place.


In the center of that printing was a letter to the Editor from a 7th Inf. soldier accompanying the Yellowstone Expedition, expressing his words on the hardships of the Montana Column's journey in search of the Sioux and Cheyenne, reporting about, among other things, the bitter cold and the frostbite to the soldier's comrades, the poor food away from Fort Shaw and ending finally with the wish, "Oh, Sitting Bull, won't we have satisfaction when we catch you!" And then there was a letter by a local expressing alarm about the trading of "war supplies"(arms and ammunition) to the Sioux, signed appropriately by the pseudonym, "Anxious"; and then of less news import, at a distance further away in the newsprint, an ad by one J.W. Toohy promoting his services as a "TONSARIAL ARTIST and Capillary Rejuvenator"; and also a report that a Mr. M. Strong had cut his foot while chopping wood and was still feeling pain, though his condition was not considered "dangerous"; and also further away, an ad of great import to one Major Guido Ilges of the 7th Inf.---his reward of $15 for the return of the silver watch stolen from his quarters. But most importantly to the family and friends of Catherine McLennon, and to Catherine herself, was a poem situated next to Maj. Ilges's appeal---one of farewell, of memoriam, one evoking the strong, heartfelt emotions of its author-by her friend--- through the beauty of its prose. It was printed and reads as follows( italics added): DIED At Fort Shaw, M.T. March 21, 1876 Miss Katie McLennon, aged 18 years IN MEMORIAM Katie has Gone to Meet the Angels, In Bright Purity in Love She has Crossed the Dark, Deep River, To Dwell with Her God Above. Angels Crown her as they Meet Her, Not Long for her did They Wait, Seraphs Bright with Graces Greet Her, She’s Now Within the Golden Gate. Stricken Mother, Absent Brother, Lonely Sisters, do not Weep, For Our Darling One is Happy, Watching O’er You as You Sleep. FRIEND


McLennon Poem, The Benton Record April 1, 1876

Catherine McLennon's remains were not to permanently reside at Fort Shaw's cemetery. Three years after the fort's closure in 1891, the remains of many of those buried there, soldiers and their family members, including those of Catherine, were disinterred and transported to and reburied at Custer National Cemetery. Those living family members who could be identified and located for this purpose were offered the choice to have their deceased loved ones stay at Fort Shaw or be re-buried at a cemetery of their choice or at a national cemetery.

The manner of the decision made to inter Catherine at the Custer Cemetery is unknown, whether by choice made by the family or by the U.S. Government after some failure of communication with them, but the cemetery became Catherine's final resting place. The Government paid for all the reburials and her family would certainly not have consented to the inscription that was to be carved on Catherine's gravestone.

Fort Shaw Cemetery Signage

Overview, Custer National Cemetery


Fort Shaw Cemetery Burial Sites

THE FAMILY LEAVES MONTANA The McLennon family would leave Fort Shaw in 1879 when 1st Sgt. Patrick Rogan and Catherine's brother, Musician John McLennon, along with their Company "A" and other companies of the 7th Regiment were ordered to Fort Snelling near St.Paul, MN to assume new duties. Before leaving , Rogan and McLennon, and his future brother-in-law, Sgt Milden H. Wilson of Co."I" of the 7th, would leave Fort Shaw and participate in the Nez Perce War of 1877, together with other members of their regiment and soldiers from Fort Ellis, and all three would receive the Medal of Honor for gallantry at the Battle of Big Hole, M.T. on August9-10, 1877. Milden Wilson would later unite himself in marriage with Catherine's sister, brother John McLennon's twin sister, Annie,in 1880 while he, Patrick and John were in service at Fort Snelling . Witnesses to Annie's wedding at a local church were John and her sister, Sarah, then age 17. The U.S.7th Infantry, would later relocate to other frontier posts in the ensuing years, and in 1887, at least Co. "A" of the 7th would be sent to Camp Pilot Butte, Rock Springs, WY, including that of Patrick Rogan and John McLennon, and at least family members, the mother, Mary McLennon, and Catherine's sister / Patrick's wife, Margaret, would join them. John McLennon, a bachelor, would live to age 33 when a kidney disorder took his life while serving with the 7th at Camp Pilot Butte in 1888. Milden H. Wilson would serve with the 7th for 30 years and would reach death in Erie, PA in 1924. Annie McLennon, Catherine's sister, and Milden's wife, would precede him in death at age 52 in 1912 in Lake County, IL. Mary McLennon, the family matriarch, lived until 1898 and died in Rock Springs, WY as did her son-in-law, Patrick Rogan, in 1912, after nearly 30 years service with the 7th Infantry. Margaret McLennonRogan, Catherine's sister, preceded her husband Patrick'sdeath in 1904, also in Rock Springs, at age about 50. This author has no information as to the history of Catherine McLennon's sister, Sarah, beyond the time she witnessed Annie McLennon's wedding , but her later whereabouts remain the subject of future investigation.


Gravestones at Custer National Cemetery














COMPLETING THE PORTRAIT


So who was young Catherine McLennon? With almost the absence of any writings about her and with no known photos depicting her, we are open to conjectures, suggestions and inferences and the use of simple deductive reasoning that can be reasonably drawn and applied from her and her family's history to paint her picture, but, very importantly, there must also be added to the evaluation, significant revelations that can be interpreted from the one available writing concerning her person--- the poem penned by her devoted friend. We do know that Catherine was a girl of the frontier, who was raised by and with a military family in the era of military conflict between the North and South and with the American Indian, some as soldiers in battle, and with siblings joining her in the same journey. She was also raised in Christian faith values and in frontier schools, and was taught discipline and self-reliance, and respect for others and to honor her family. It can be asserted reasonably that she would have held those values herself and practiced such. Physically, as her father possessed blue eyes, perhaps she did too.

And then there is the poem written at the time of her demise--an epitaph made for her, by one identified as her "friend" in language describing some of Catherine's virtues and beliefs directly, and, in addition, her virtues can be shown inferentially, and by extension, from the virtues being shown of the author itself through his or her writing. The poem mentions Catherine's departure in "bright purity in love" to dwell with "HER GOD above" and that the Angels crown her as they meet her, thereby attributing characteristics to Catherine as one of Christian virtue and beliefs. By her writing, Catherine McLennon's friend demonstrates her loyalty to Catherine and the virtues of kindness, devotion, caring and affection toward her and so too it can be reasonably inferred that Catherine also held similar virtues. One who is the recipient of actions demonstrating those virtues from one who knows him or her well throughfriendship commonly holds the same virtues and demonstrates the same as well to others . And as her friend also demonstrates the belief that upon Catherine's death, she was delivered to an afterlife, by salvation, with God, it can be logically inferred through Catherine's Christian faith upbringing that she too held that such a destiny, through salvation, could be reached and likely the hopeful expectation in her dying days that she could achieve it herself. Still further, as Catherine was considered by the writer as her friend, so too Catherine reciprocally would also have held the former as her friend. Friends are bound to each other also by actions of reliability, commitment, giving, honesty, sharing ,support -- traits that Catherine must also have held herself. ********************************* The departure of young Catherine McLennon from her mother and four young siblings must have provoked great sorrow and loss among them. The emotional effects of their loss had to be compounded by the death of Mary McLennon's young husband and the father to those children years earlier. Mary had been married to Michael before his passing for close to twenty years.



Catherine’s short life and death on the Western frontier exemplies the stories of the many civilians, without exception for age, associated with the soldiers serving in the remote and lonely military outposts in the 19th century who suffered the consequences of disease while present with them in that era of unrest and vulnerability to the prevalent illnesses, including death. Frontier life for them was not easy. The threats of death by terminal disease were ever present to family members and friends, including their soldier relatives. Transmission of many of the sicknesses to others was easy. Beyond illness, the family members commonly resided in remote areas and their socialization was restricted to associating with those residing at the forts and away from locales offering a diversity of activities and peoples to broaden their life’s experiences and education. They did commonly bond though with themselves and others at the post, offering mutual support and companionship. And then, of course, there was the continuing risk that a soldier loved one would suffer injury or death in conflict with Indians when called into military action. In this regard, the civilians could suffer the loss of a brother or a son or a father with great personal deprivation to them individually and as a family—emotionally, and as their support for a myriad of their needs. Separation of the family from their military members while the latter were away on expeditions and campaigns and other assigned tasks involving physical risk was alone a source of deprivation and also of anxiety and fears to the civilians left behind regarding the safety and welfare of those loved ones on duty.

Far away from the burial sites of her family members, Catherine McLennon rests alone today in a remote Montana cemetery under that simple gravestone bearing no more than an abbreviated name and its marker number. Her mother and her sisters and her brother, John, and his fellow career soldiers of the 7th U.S. Infantry , Catherine and John’s brother-in-laws, Patrick Rogan and Milden Wilson, were to be later interred elsewhere—some in a shared plot in Wyoming, and others interred as far away as Pennsylvania and Illinois. Catherine’s father, Michael McLennon’s remains would stay in Florida.


In her dying moments, “Katie”, Catherine McLennon, may have pondered much about the lost hopes and dreams and aspirations of a much longer life and her departure from her beloved family members, left to grieve and to hopefully remember her well during their remaining years. Of course, also, her mind and emotions of anxiety and fear must have been drawn toward the safety and health of her diminutive 21 year old brother, who just days before her death, left Fort Shaw on the scheduled campaign against the Indians.

Yet the memory of this frontier girl, though lost after the passing of the last family member she left behind, is now resurrected and restored, and after nearly a century of absence, is being introduced to you and other readers through the writing of this author.



( Catherine McLennon Story) ACKNOWLEDGMENTS: I express my thanks to Gayle Alvarez, former board member of the Idaho Military History Museum, and current (and long-time) president of the Medal of Honor Historical Society of the United States for skillfully locating Catherine(Katie) McLennon's devoted friend's poem to her and The Benton Record newspaper page within which it is printed, and delivering them to me, along with the photo of Katie's gravesite, and the Fort Shaw post cemetery records. I thank also Burnette Batista and Sue Williams, officers of the Sun River Valley Historical Society, for information concerning Fort Shaw, its cemetery and the Sun River Valley, including the Sun River Valley weather. I thank also the Sun River Valley Historical Society for photos I utilized from their website. Further gratitude is expressed to Professor Lawrence James Estrada, of Western Washington University, my college chum and good friend, for his encouragement to me to write this story and for his guidance during my writing; and, finally I thank Katie, my ancestor, for overseeing my work throughout its preparation, as I did humbly seek and hopefully gained her approval as I carried on to write this story. SOURCES: Wikipedia: Fort Benton, MT. ; Wikipedia: Fort Shaw, MT. ; Fort Shaw post cemetery records; The Benton Record newspaper page, published April 1, 1876; transcript of summary of military service and service dates and deaths of 7th Inf. soldiers, John McLennon and Patrick Rogan, prepared by Mark Nelson, former curator of Sweetwater County Museum, Green River, WY; Article: by Friends President, Robert Luppi, “ Ceremony Honors Medal of Honor Recipient Sgt. Milden H. Wilson" printed in Friends newsletter, Fall 2015/Winter 2016;State of MN official record of marriage license/wedding of Annie McLennon and Milden H. Wilson in Ramsey County, MN, respectively dated May 6-7, 1880; Article:"The ‘Cottonbalers’ Regiment: 7th U.S.Infantry", by Jennifer D. Swain, published in American Battlefield Trust; Custer National Cemetery photos of burial sites at Little Bighorn Battlefield, MT; "Soldiers with Families on the Western Frontier", Encyclopedia of MilitaryScience, edited by G. Kurt Piehler, (2013), Sage Publications; "Part 5: The Frontier Army, Section 8: Frontier Army Life", North Dakota Studies, State Historical Society of North Dakota,www.Ndstudies.gov; Rickey, Don Jr., "Forty Miles a Day on Beans and Hay. The EnlistedMan Fighting the Indian Wars", (published originally 1963), University of Oklahoma Press; Article: "Those Who Served: The U.S. Army on the Frontier",www.NationalCowboyMuseum.org; Haines, Aubrey L. "An Elusive Victory—The Battle of the Big Hole—“ ( 1991), Glacier National History Assn; "Diseases in the Western Frontier:During the California Gold Rush" ( 1850-1900), by Shannon Clinkinbeard as thesis presented to faculty, Calif. State U, Chico (2014); Article: “Cemetery Restoration Brings to Life 150 years of History at Fort Shaw" by David Murray, Great Falls Tribune( July 6, 2017); McChristian, Douglas C. "Regular Army O! Soldiering on the WesternFrontier 1865-1891", University of OklahomaPress( 2017); Texan Culture: "Send in the Cavalry: Life and Conflict on the Texas Frontier" preparedby the Institute of Texan Culture, Fort Educators Guide, www.texanculture.com; Marriage certificate in the Register of Marriages at the Church of the Assumption, Graig, County of Kilkenny, Ireland showing the marriage at that church between Mary Ryan and Michael McLennonon May 4, 1849, as attested to in writing by the church's parish priest on March 13,1874; Correspondence from the National Archives and Office of the Adjutant General regarding Michael's McLennon's military service and death; Office of the Adjutant General official record, dated November 18, 1873, regarding Michael McLennon's cause of death; Article: " History of Mosquito Control in Florida" found at www.manateemosquito.com/history; Mary McLennon's "Widows Pension" application/declaration filed with the U.S. Government, dated August 25, 1873; Find A Grave memorial regarding Annie (McLennon) Wilson at findagrave.com; "Climate Sun River-Montana" www.usclimatedata.com; Find A Grave memorials regarding Mary McLennon and Margaret (McLennon) Rogan at findagrave.com; other photos and Fort Shaw map located on website of the Sun River Valley Historical Society( www.srvhs.info). Copyright( 2020): Robert Luppi


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