The Observations and Experiences of a 7th U.S. Infantryman at the Battle of Big Hole

Sgt. Charles N. Loynes in his letters to Lucullus V. McWhorter

By: Robert Luppi, Friends President


Charles N. Loynes was an U.S. Army soldier who served with the 7TH U.S. Infantry Regiment from 1875 to 1880. He was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts on July 15, 1853 and had been employed as a painter before his enlistment in the service. Loynes’ military duty took him to the Little Big Horn in June 1876 as a member of the Montana Column where, at age twenty-two, he witnessed the brutal and disastrous outcome of Custer’s ill-fated campaign. The next year, on August 9-10, 1877, as a corporal with Company “I” of the 7th, under the command of Colonel John Gibbon, he participated in the Battle of Big Hole where about twenty- five of his fellow soldiers died and thirty-six were wounded, and where an estimated ninety Nez Perce lost their lives. At the Big Hole, Loynes served his company under the direct command of Captain Charles C. Rawn. He was later promoted to sergeant in the 7th Infantry and advanced to the position of Post Sergeant Major, and also held the position of Drum Major of the regimental band at Ft. Snelling, Minnesota, where he was later discharged.

Charles N. Loynes

Loynes then returned to Pittsfield, married Elizabeth M. Cattin, and had one child. He worked as an engraver with the General Electric Company until his retirement.

The former infantryman recounted his memories of the events at the Big Hole, as well as of the Nez Perce and his fellow soldiers and army life, in his letters to Lucullus V. McWhorter, a researcher, writer and Indian rights advocate, beginning in the 1920’s and ending at McWhorter’s death in 1944.


Loynes was also for many years a contributor on those subjects to the publication, Winners of the West, a monthly and sometimes bi-monthly newspaper which ran from 1923 to 1944. The publication gave a voice to the soldiers who fought on the frontier during the Indian Wars before and after the Civil War. Loynes provided information, commentary and analysis to the newspaper well into the 1940’s.

Loynes’ letters and writings to McWhorter are shown to be a valuable contribution in augmenting the historical record of a significant Indian War’s battle and its participants, and of army life, during the time of his military service.


Living to age


ninety three, Loynes died on December 6, 1946, in Miami Springs, Florida. At his death, he may have been the last surviving member of the Montana Column of 1876 and the last surviving military participant at the Battle of Big Hole.


Lucullus V. McWhorter was one of twelve children of John M. McWhorter and Rosetta Marple McWhorter and was born in Harrison County, Virginia (later part of West Virginia) in 1860. He had a history of involvement in cattle ranching, archaeology and Indian affairs.

Highly involved in Indian history and culture in the Pacific Northwest, McWhorter, after moving to Washington State, researched and built his archives of materials relating to the conflicts between the Federal Government and the Nez Perce and Yakama tribes.


Lucullus V. McWhorter

At the same time, he gathered materials relating to Indian culture and the legal status of various tribes after the conclusion of the Indian Wars in the 1870’s. His interest

in regional history, Indian culture, folklore, and archaeology had originated with youthful forays into the woods and countryside of West Virginia where he hunted for archaeological remains of Indians and early settlers.

McWhorter also worked to advance and secure Indian rights locally and nationally during his time in Washington, but his years there were especially important in terms of his labors as an amateur historian, linguist and anthropologist.


A chance meeting with the prominent Nez Perce warrior, Yellow Wolf, in 1907 assisted McWhorter in his further investigation of the 1877 Nez Perce War and of the Nez Perce generally. He recorded first hand Indian oral history, maintained an extensive correspondence and made direct assessments of battle sites in an effort to establish an accurate and comprehensive account of the 1877 conflict between the Nez Perce and the Federal Government. Significantly, McWhorter’s research also pertained to survivors from the armies of Generals Howard, Sturgis, Gibbon and Miles, including that of Charles N. Loynes of the 7th U.S. Infantry.

His historical efforts had the signal value of providing a fresh version of those events based on primary source materials and his books supplemented, supported, or contradicted previously published accounts and interpretations of the same events.


Working with Yellow Wolf, and by utilizing the extensive mass of materials, including photographs, accumulated during years of research, McWhorter published Yellow Wolf: His Own Story in 1940.

After McWhorter’s death, Mrs. Ruth Bordin and Professor Herman Deutsch edited and completed his larger account of the Nez


Perce War of 1877. McWhorter was married twice, the first to Ardelia Adaline Swisher in 1883. The couple had three children. Following Ardelia’s death, McWhorter was joined in marriage to one C. Annie Bowman in 1895.


The records of Charles Loynes at Big Hole National Battlefield in Wisdom, Montana reveal that the correspondence between him and Lucullus V. McWhorter was written as early as 1926 and continued into 1944. Some interesting and salient excerpts from Loynes letters to McWhorter regarding the Battle of Big Hole and its participants, are as follows, with misspellings, some changes in punctuation, and a few minor ones in grammar, made to improve readability:


On Taking Prisoners


Some question has been raised as to whether the soldiers were given orders before the Battle of Big Hole to not take any prisoners. Loynes answered that question in his letter to McWhorter of November 12, 1932, in clear fashion, as follows:

1st there were no orders given to us to take no prisoners--I am greatly surprised that anyone would make such a statement—furthermore there is no one that would have a better opportunity to have heard such an order as myself. Anyone that heard such an order given by their company commander I know not of--I don’t believe any company got such an order--my Captain (Rawn) was second in command--If he received such an order from General Gibbon he would have transmitted it to his company. I was a non-commissioned officer in his company on the right of the company. Captain Rawn was with us. I never heard of such an order and never after heard that such an order was given. And finally, I do not believe any one received such an order. Of course, as already stated in the past we received orders to give three volleys then charge--we did, so that act would hit anyone old as well as young but what any individual did while in camp did so as a brute, and not because he had any orders to commit such acts.

Well friend McWhorter I don’t believe there is a survivor of that conflict who will under oath say he heard of the order above stated. I would truthfully acknowledge it if it were so.



The Rice Trowel Bayonet


The question of whether the infantrymen charged the Indian village during the early morning hours of August 9, 1877 with bayonets fixed is addressed by Loynes in his letters to McWhorter of June 6, 1926 and January 25, 1932, along with his description of their intended use:


There was no order to fix bayonets, and none fixed for the charge on the camp. Whether at a later time some soldier fixed his bayonet-I don’t know, if he did, he showed poor judgment--for our bayonets were not of the ordinary kind. The 7th Infantry and as I remember one other regiment were issued it for an experiment what was then known as the ‘Rice Trowel Bayonet’. It was not as long as bayonets usually are--and with a broad surface at the base --with one edge sharp, to cut wood-or anything else-and it could be used to dig with-as it had a wooden short handle to place in the socket for that purpose…. I believe that they were issued to us at Fort Shaw…they were not a dressy bayonet—but they did a great service to us.

Capt. Charles C. Rawn

Colonel John Gibbon also wrote of the importance of the Rice Trowel bayonet in the battle after the soldiers retreated to the high ground and used them to dig pits for cover, calling them “invaluable.” Gibbon explained further their significance to a Major Clark of a relief party that came out from Butte:

I tell you, Major Clark, that we hadn’t been in that fight but a short time when I thought it would

be another Custer massacre, and to tell the truth there is only one reason, in my mind, why it was not. When we left Missoula we had trowel bayonets issued to us; they were used……to dig holes into which we got for protection. If it hadn’t been for them, none of us, in my opinion, would have lived to tell the tale.


And Captain Richard Comba of “D” Company of the 7th also expressed his positive view of the instrument when he later wrote to an army equipment board in favor of keeping the device in service, stating that “They were…used by my company as entrenching tools, giving great satisfaction.”



The Rice Trowel Bayonet



The Fight in the Indian Village


Loynes also wrote to McWhorter about the attack on the Indian village and the fighting among the combatants. In one letter, he presented this dramatic description:


Now as to the Indian youth you mention, the incident happened when we first entered the camp, and the surprise was so great and sudden, no doubt he grabbed up the hatchet to defend himself. I don’t know whether he was killed or not--as we were at that instant in the midst of bucks and squaws all fighting for our lives. Our guns were empty--for we were armed with the Springfield one shot breech loader. We rushed across the camp to where you will find the river makes a bend, and partly sheltered by the bank--(where there) were a great many bucks and squaws armed with Winchesters and that did great execution among us. Directly in front of me not more than two yards, a squaw was pulling down the lever of her Winchester--I suppose for my benefit, my own rifle very empty at the time, when an officer on my left dropped her—thereby saving my life. Now at this period, it was not yet light--but light enough to distinguish human beings as we rushed across, a soldier a few feet to my left, leaped into the air giving the most awful yell and dropped dead—no doubt shot through the heart. His name was Montz--no doubt you will find his name on the Monument.


A Private Gottlieb Mantz of Company ‘G” is identified in the narrative, An Elusive Victory-The Battle of the Big Hole, by Aubrey L. Haines, as a soldier killed in the battle, but no soldier by the spelling of “Montz” is listed in the soldier rolls there as participants. Pvt. Mantz, a native of Germany, is likely the soldier Loynes is referring to.

The Retreat to the Timber


It wasn’t too long after the attack on the village--within about an hour after the soldiers had overrun the upper two thirds of the encampment--that the Nez Perce rallied and began to initiate and maintain fire onto the soldiers from the higher ground and from the willows along the river. The firing was from various directions. Due to their untenable position, orders were given to the soldiers to withdraw to a wooded area above the village. Charles Loynes in correspondence to McWhorter, remembers some of the events in that retreat:


My company--what was left had already gone--probably two minutes before my captain and one soldier passed by me and entered the creek. The captain telling us, Sgt. Hogan, Corporal McCafferey and myself, to get right out of here. The captain had not gone a rod before McCafferey was shot. He fell forward, and with his right hand on the ground, his left on his chest where he was hit saying ‘don’t leave me here’. We tried to hold him up, one of us on each side, when instantly Sgt. Hogan was hit and then I found myself alone. The command had gone--I did not know where. Then I entered the creek--and as I crossed I could hear the sing of bullets about me.

In about ten minutes I was with the rest—and there we remained until relieved by Gen. Howard.


Hogan and McCafferey were both members of Loynes’ Company “I”, the former soldier, an immigrant from Ireland; the other from Canada.

Loynes provides a further recollection of events after the felling of Sgt. Hogan and Cpl. McCafferey, in his letter to McWhorter of March 1940:


(When) I was alone the only one of the soldiers, it was then that I looked across the river, saw a few old stumps of trees--and behind us were the Indians with their Winchesters and they were the ones who had already killed the Sgt. and the Corporal--it was then I felt a pull on my shirt--that afterward found two bullets had gone through, so as one of the Indians looked from behind a tree I shot at him. He dodged back. It was then I realized my danger for the bullets were singing by my ears, so I leaped into the river—got across into the alders, and started to find the command. I did not know where they had gone—but I heard the firing—I had gone about 250 yards, and there they were (on) the side of the hill….


A Corporal “commands” the Retreat


Charles Loynes in one letter recounts an incident of wry comedy in the soldiers’ retreat as generated by a corporal seeking safety, as follows:


How well I remember Corporal Coakly calling out, ‘To the hill, to the hill! or we are lost!,’ and how, when he was reprimanded by Colonel Gibbon, the boys laughed even under such trying circumstances. The corporal never heard the last of it. The ‘Hill’ he meant was not where we were entrenched, but the low, distant ridge to the south, and across the stream and valley, which course would have been signally fatal to the command, although the stretch of open ground in that direction was practically free of Indians, for they had flanked us and were in the brush and between us and the woods where we finally entrenched.


Loynes, in another correspondence added that after the soldiers returned to Fort Shaw, he and his fellow soldiers demonstrated that “if you wanted to create a laugh -- in the corporal’s presence--(one would) just say, ‘to the hills, to the hills!’”

Colonel Gibbon expressed his own view of the incident with wit and perspicacity:


As we reached the foot of the bluff and commenced to rise toward the timber, a young corporal called out, in a loud voice, ‘To the top of the hill--to the top of the hill, or we’re lost!’ I have never witnessed a more striking instance of the value of discipline than was now presented. To the top of the hill was the last place I wanted to go, or could go, and I called out to the corporal to remind him that he was not in command of the party. The men about him burst into laughter. Among regular soldiers the height of absurdity is reached when a corporal attempts to take command of his colonel, and the incident had a good effect by calling attention to the fact that the commanding officer was still alive.



Col. John Gibbon




The Attackers become the Attacked in the Siege Area


After the soldiers retreated to the timber above the river, they built pits and makeshift barricades, with the aid of the trowel bayonet, as well as their hands and knives and even with their mess gear.

Charles Loynes recounts his unsuccessful effort to add to the fortifications during the evening of the battle in his letter written in 1942:


Now we were short of limbs and such for our dirt entrenchment—we had first picked up all there was, so that …I was told to crawl out and try to get any sticks and Corporal Heide (Cpl. Levi Heider) of “A” Co. was to go with me. I did not find any---there were a few small trees I tried to cut with the ‘Rice Trowel Bayonet’ that was on one side a sharp edge. I was about a rod from the entrenchment hacking away---I could be heard alright when those in the entrenchment called to me to come in, they are crawling on you---it was light enough for me to see four or five creeping toward where I was, then some officer called and he (ordered me) to get back---I did and as I leaped over into the entrenchment the Indians fired as well as the soldiers, when the night came the Indians closed in on us, which they did not dare when it was more light.


The gathered soldiers were fired at from different directions, including from the hillside and swamp below, with several casualties being taken. Lieutenant William L. English of “I” Company, and a native of Illinois, was one of those casualties, wounded at the time while standing near Col. Gibbon, and dying several days later after his evacuation to Deer Lodge.

Lt. English was a graduate of Illinois College, an institution affiliated with the United Church of Christ and the Presbyterian Church, and was admitted to the Illinois Bar in 1861. He entered military service with the 101st Illinois Volunteer Regiment of the Union Army during the Civil War and served with that unit, participating in such operations, engagements and battles as those at or near Chattanooga, New Hope Church, Peachtree Creek, Kennesaw Mountain, Chattahoochee Bridge, and Atlanta, until the war’s end, with an interruption of duty for several months while being held as a Confederate prisoner. English rose from the rank of an enlisted man to first lieutenant in his unit and in 1868, he was appointed Second Lieutenant in the Regular Army, and in 1874, First Lieutenant, the rank he held at his death.


An officer, under whose command English served during the Civil War, once praised him as a “thorough scholar (and) tactician,” a “finished soldier,” and a “gentleman”; and family tradition also held him in high esteem as a “brilliant orator,” with recognition as the “best debater in his college,” and as a “man loved and admired by hundreds of friends, cultured and genial.”

The infantrymen, while subjected to the Indian rifle fire under siege, inflicted casualties on their adversaries as well including the warrior, Five Wounds, who bravely charged the bluff after learning of the death of his war mate, Rainbow. Both had vowed to die on the same day, in the same battle, as their fathers had in another battle. Five Wounds honored the solemn pact in his charge and was cut down in a fusillade of bullets.

Writing to Lucullus McWhorter on July 8, 1943, the former soldier remarked about the need for water by the wounded in the siege area and a failed effort to procure it:

Lt. William L. English


It was when we were in the entrenchment--the first night--the wounded wanted water--that Lockwood (Alvin Lockwood, a civilian volunteer with the soldiers) and one or two soldiers with canteens, went down the embankment to the creek to get water. Lockwood was killed, the soldiers got back safe—they got no water, no doubt the Indians heard our wounded crying for water--there was very little shooting at the time for it was dark.


The author, Aubrey L. Haines, in his account of the battle, disputes Loynes assertion that Lockwood’s death was a result of his involvement in the water detail and he also cites the words of a Private Homer Coon (also identified as “Holmes L. Coon”) who related later that it was not entirely because of the wounded that water was sought, as other soldiers were “nearly famished” for water themselves and adding that a night time water detail comprising three privates, including Coon, was successful in retrieving water from the river.

In one letter to McWhorter of April 19, 1941, Loynes describes the tactic of the Nez Perce to subdue the hunkered down soldiers through the use of fire, in this recollection:


It came night and Pete (Pete Matt, a half-breed interpreter with the military) lay there with a number of the officers. It was at that time when one of the Indian chief’s voices (who Pete identified as White Bird) was heard--first on one side of us then on the other, and that was when Pete comes in. He of course understood what the chief said, I was only a short distance from there and I heard all that was said. He say-‘you kill our braves-you kill our squaws we make fire-make smoke’, and some other talk, but we got the sense of it to know they were to make a smudge fire or smoke—and then under its cover jump on to us--perhaps you noticed while there on the side where Corporal Sale’s body was found with a horse collar about his neck--He was in charge of the howitzer well on that side there was a small ravine, it was there they got dry brush and such, to make the smudge--so we got prepared for the assault--the most of us lay there--It was near the coming of early dawn--we saw smoke a little at first--then there was a small breeze and the smoke blew from us towards where the Indians were supposed to be ready to jump on us as I remember Pete said it was the voice of White Bird.


The tribesmen’s attempt failed because of a combination of the grass being too green and the good fortune in the change of the wind. The soldiers were to be rescued upon the later arrival of General O.O. Howard and his soldiers after the Indians withdrew from the battlefield and headed south in their continuing journey in seeking refuge and safety.

Chief White Bird


On the Suffering by the Wounded Soldiers


While the soldiers were clustered in the wooded hillside area southwest of the village while under siege, and while being fired upon, Charles Loynes in this letter describes the plight of some of the wounded infantrymen at the time:


There was suffering for want of water by those wounded when we were surrounded, but I don’t know of but one whose voice could be heard at any distance, and that was a young musician by the name of Steinbaker (Stinebaker), who had only joined our Reg’t a short time previous. He lay where my feet were resting in the trench as we fired over our low breastworks…,mortally wounded, he would be delirious at times...He would be quiet at times, and then speak of his mother (who, Loyne mentions in another letter, he had left “some few months previous”), and cried for water, for gunshot wounds create thirst…When daylight came, he was dead. The only (other) cries I heard were the wounded down in the camp as the Indians found them and put them to death. Those cries were heart rendering. I will never forget it.


The young musician who Loynes was referring to was Thomas P. Stinebaker, a native of Manhattan, New York City, and a member of Company “K” under the direct command of Captain James M. Sanno. A mere five feet, one inch in height, he lied about his age when he entered the Army in 1875 at age 16 and was assigned to the U.S. 7th Infantry, assuming the duties as a drummer. He would have been but age 17 at his death.

The records of Thomas P. Stinebaker at Big Hole National Battlefield show that Thomas’s father, John Stinebaker, was a German immigrant who married an Irish woman, Elizabeth Brownfield. When the father learned that the oldest of his three sons, John Jr., married a Catholic, he ordered all three children from his house--John Jr., George and Thomas.

Ten months after Thomas’s enlistment, his brother, George, also enlisted with the 7th Infantry. He too was a musician and he too lied about his age. George was assigned to Company “G” and was also present with his company during the battle and in the siege area. George survived the fight, and as later told by a descendant family member, went on to become a prominent attorney in St. Louis.

Thomas Stinebaker was not the only musician casualty in the battle. The others were Mus. Michael Gallagher of Co. “D” killed; Mus. Timothy Cronan, also of Co. “D”, wounded, and Mus. John Erickson of Co. “F”, wounded.


One Crack Shooter


In his correspondence of January 30, 1927, Loynes describes the capability of a U.S. Cavalry marksman in the battle:


The soldier doing the most execution to the Indians was a member of the 2nd Cavalry. I think his name was Clark--at one time he had a position behind a tree--or Norway Pine, which hardly covered him, on the side of us where the Indian herd of ponies was at the time of the attack. He used a carbine--such as all cavalry-men are equipped with.

His clothes were full of bullet holes--he was considered one of the best marksmen-- and combined with courage he was some fighter, often we hear the remark, ‘You got him Clark.’ He shifted his position at times and perhaps he was the one that got the Indian whom Brady writes of. We had other good marksmen, but none compared to him.


That sharpshooter was Private Wilfred Clark of Company “L” of the 2nd U.S. Cavalry. In his book about the battle, the writer, Aubrey L. Haines, lists the names, the regiment and the company of all military participants in the battle. All were members of the 7th U.S. Infantry, except for eight soldiers, all except one, privates, and who, as members of the 2nd Cavalry, were attached to the 7th Infantry at the time of the battle. One was Pvt. Clark. By his actions as a marksman at the Big Hole and his later gallantry at the Battle of Camas Meadows against the Nez Perce later in August 1877, Clark was awarded the Medal of Honor. At Camas Meadows, his actions drew the praiseworthy mention in support of his gallantry that “though wounded in the shoulder and chin, (he) continued at his post”. The Medal of Honor citation states: Conspicuous gallantry, especial skill as a sharpshooter.

Clark was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, according to at least his army records, and his last known location was that of Cascade, Montana. A search for his grave, including by the Medal of Honor Historical Society, has, to date, been unsuccessful. Due to his last whereabouts being unknown, including that of his burial site, he has been recorded as “Being Lost to History”.


On the Indian Dead at the Big Hole


Continuing on in his correspondence, Loynes recalled the following:


As I believe that the custom among Indians is to leave none of their own to the enemy, but at Big Hole there was some so near us they could not carry them away. Those were the ones the Bannocks with General Howard scalped. I saw them (the Bannocks) washing the scalps as a detachment of us passed by them at the creek on our way down into the camp to pick up our dead; some of our soldiers found in the bushes a few of the Indian dead, a soldier by the name of King of “G” Co. found a dead squaw, and he gave part of a string of blue-beads, he found on her--which I have now. I was told that she was the daughter of Looking Glass. I don’t know whether she was or not. I don’t know whether he lost a daughter, at that time, as I recollect there were some found in the bushes, at this time I don’t remember.


The Bannocks then were a semi-nomadic tribe who occupied territory that is now in western Wyoming and southeastern Idaho, though they ranged over a wider area in pursuit of buffalo, including in Montana. They were traditional enemies of the Nez Perce. The Bannocks served as scouts with General O.O. Howard and seventeen of them, along with cavalrymen, as escorts, arrived with him on the day after the battle.


On Meeting General Howard Years Later


General Howard arrived on the battlefield on the morning of August 11, 1877, together with his escort force, and the others of his force followed the next day. Medical help, in the form of two surgeons, tended to the wounded and they were prepared for evacuation, while other assistance was provided to the beleaguered infantrymen. On the following day, Gen. Howard and members of his column pulled out on the Nez Perce trail in pursuit of the fleeing Indians, with fifty-three of Col. Gibbon’s men, ordered to go as far as Bannack City, joining in the effort.

Many years after the battle, Loynes had the occasion to meet General Howard personally, to Loynes’ pleasure. He explained that meeting in a letter to Lucullus McWhorter, dated June 3, 1942, as follows:


I retain a vivid recollection of the time General Howard came to our relief….Did I ever tell you of later years after his retirement he General Howard came to Pittsfield and spoke to the G.A.R. and we of the ‘Army and Navy Vets’ a few Indian veterans but mostly Spanish War boys for they had just returned home. So after General Howard completed his address we all crossed the platform, where he shook hands with all--so when he took my hand, I said, ‘General I wish to thank you for coming to our aid at Big Hole.’ Well if you could have seen the change in that man. ‘You are a Regular I am very glad to meet you’ and some other remarks--we passed across the platform and out a side entrance, when outside they said to me, ‘Well you got the greatest greeting of all.’ I think I woke up memories of the General .It surely did in me.


On a few occasions Loynes deviated a bit in his writings from his memories of the Big Hole and its participants and of Army life on the western frontier to demonstrate his patriotic fervor against America’s Axis enemies during World War II (“Who is he this Hitler of ‘World Domination’ ideas, thinking he could whip this great and powerful Nation!,” and months before America’s entry into the War, he related, “ I would like to see a big war, and no one hurt but the Japs and Hitler.”); and Loynes would on occasions, in endearing and admiring fashion, describe some of the wartime experiences of his grandson, Willard A. Fountain, including recounting that while serving with the Army, Fountain fought as an aviator, and rose rapidly in the ranks from lieutenant to lieutenant colonel during that service.

The old former sergeant also proudly declared once in passing that his great grandmother witnessed the Battle of Bunker Hill and that his great grandfather fought in the Revolutionary War, serving with whom he described as the “Berkshire contingent.”

Gen. O.O. Howard


Charles N. Loynes’ life was a witness to the time of the Civil War as a boy; a witness to the Custer dead at Little Big Horn and a participant in the Nez Perce War of 1877 while living during his twenties; a witness to the time of the Spanish-American War in his forties; of the time through the era of World War I, in his sixties; and through World War II in his eighties and nineties; and at age ninety-two, the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima in August 1945---a time frame encompassing tremendous technological advances in warfare, in the comforts of life, and in modern infrastructure, which in his youth, would have greatly marveled Charles N. Loynes ---as it also certainly would have had for others of his generation, including Lucullus V. McWhorter, seven years Loynes’ junior.

A convergence of timeliness, mutual interests and their experiences, coupled with their meeting one day, brought Loynes and McWhorter together. The historical record has been rewarded and enriched by their united effort---the former, as the narrator of his important observations and experiences while a soldier at the Big Hole and on the western frontier; the other, the willing recipient and inquirer---and to their good fortune as well, the historians, students, and other interested persons who have turned to their writings in their exploration of America’s frontier history and, especially, the singular August 1877 battle at the Big Hole.


Sources: Records and correspondence of Charles N. Loynes at Big Hole National Battlefield, Wisdom, Montana; Website: Wikipedia.org Lucullus Virgil McWhorter( with eighteen references listed as source materials);Website of National Geographic-Bannock Indians; Aubrey L. Haines, An Elusive Victory, The Battle of the Big Hole (West Glacier, Montana: Glacier National History Association, Publishers, 1991); G. O. Shields, The Battle of the Big Hole, (Chicago and New York: Rand McNally & Company, Publishers, 1889); Major General John Gibbon, Adventures on the Western Frontier, Edited by Alan and Maureen Gaff( Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1994); Jerome A. Greene, Nez Perce Summer 1877 (Helena, Montana: Montana Historical Society Press, 2000); Records of Mus. Thomas P. Stinebaker at Big Hole National Battlefield, Wisdom, Montana; Records of Lt. William L. English at Big Hole National Battlefield, Wisdom, Montana; Jerome A. Greene, Indian War Veterans (New York City: Savas Beatie LLC, 2007); Website: Library of Congress, Chronicling America, Winners of the West; Wikipedia.org: Chief White Bird, (photo, as so identified) Copyright, 2017 Robert Luppi

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