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Frank West papers
mssHM 81548-81554  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Frank West Papers
    Dates: 1873-1913
    Collection Number: mssHM 81548-81554
    Creator: West, Frank, 1850-1923
    Extent: 94 items in 3 boxes
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Manuscripts Department
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2191
    Email: reference@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: This collection consists of five volumes of reports, accounts, notes, and logs, two unbound texts, and eighty-seven photographs associated with United States Army Colonel Frank West (1850-1923), chiefly during his service during the Indian Wars in the 1870s, including in Texas and from Camp Verde, Arizona.
    Language of Material: The records are in English.

    Access

    Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

    Administrative Information

    Publication Rights

    The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item]. Frank West Papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

    Provenance

    Gift from Marion V. Filippone, November 2014.

    Biographical Note

    Frank West (September 26, 1850-August 26, 1923) was a United States Army Colonel who was a recipient of the Medal of Honor for actions in fighting Indians at the Battle of Big Dry Wash, Arizona. West is an 1872 graduate of West Point.

    Scope and Content

    This collection consists of five volumes of reports, accounts, notes, and logs, two unbound texts, and eighty-seven photographs associated with United States Army Colonel Frank West (1850-1923), chiefly during his service during the American Indian Wars in the 1870s, including in Texas and Arizona.
    HM 81548: The first volume, written in ink, consists of miscellaneous reports prepared by Frank West. The volume begins with a report about a transportation march from Camp Supply, Indian Territory to Fort Clark, Texas in 1873. West meticulously details the journey of the cavalry including length of travel, rivers crossed, and personal remarks. "Our wagon was [?] in the quick sand at the crossing of the Red River men were disseminated and applied to ropes attached to the wagon and it was drawn out" (p. 2). The total distance of their march was 1,371 miles, which took 74 days. The next two reports are about the murder of Jacob Dilsey in 1873. Other reports include number of utility poles erected in Arizona and confidential statements and endorsements about various Army personnel. Also included are briefs from Fort Niobrara, Nebraska and Fort Myer, Virginia. The last portion of the volume appears to be excerpts from a history book concerning Europe, Asia, and the Middle East during the 19th century. The endpapers have miscellaneous notes and account information written on them.
    HM 81549: The second volume, written in pencil, begins on October 31, 1875, at Camp Verde, Arizona. West logs his journey to various camps in Arizona including Fort Apache, Camp Grant, Fort Bowie and back to Camp Verde. West's brief entries present his observations of his surroundings including condition of the trail, type of woods, weather, and availability of water. In addition to recording the length of distance marched, West also creates a map of the route for almost every entry. Some of the maps drawn include the Mazatzal Mountains, Apache Mountains, Chiricahua Mounatins, and Verde River. There is a list at the back of the volume, which includes the date, location, and possibly the number of miles traveled by West. The endpapers have miscellaneous notes and account information written on them.
    HM 81550: The third volume, written in pencil, begins in 1877. The first part of the volume is an account book. He records clothing, food, and supplies expended and accounted. The second part of the volume is a notebook, which begins on October 31, 1878 at Camp Verde, Arizona and ends in June 1879. Similar to HM 81549, West's records his route along with maps. Here is an example of a typical entry: "Nov. 3rd 1878. 3 mi. to old ruin 7 mi. to Boy Creek 14 mi. to Big Cottonwood 3 mi. to settlement 1 mi. to camp 18 miles." One of the final pages of the volume is a list of invoices received from various Army officers. Also, similar to HM 81549, there is a list with dates, locations, and number of miles traveled by West at the back of the volume. The endpapers have miscellaneous notes and account information written on them.
    HM 81551: The fourth volume, written in pencil, begins in 1877. The first part of the volume appears to be an account book with a list of Indian words and definitions. The next section of the volume begins on June 3, 1881, where West is leaving Camp Verde, Arizona. The brief entries in this notebook include more details about the events of his journey. Concerning the assassination of President James Garfield, West simply writes "News came that President Garfield was killed" (July 3, 1881). He also mentions repairing roads, building bridges, and going fishing. After another section with account information, West's entries pick up in March 1883 at Fort McDowell, Arizona. In addition to the usual marching logs, West details the "1883 Mexican Campaign." He writes about scouting missions, squalling children, incidents with chicanas, and the capture of Mexicans. The endpapers have miscellaneous notes and account information written on them.
    HM 81552: The fifth volume, written in pencil and ink, begins sometime around 1893. This notebook consists of miscellaneous entries such as account information, diary of events, military drills, and what appears to be a list of military personnel. Near the beginning of the volume, there is a list of mostly drunk incidents. "Murray. March 4, 94. Became helplessly drunk on Mtd pass-knocked off his horse...Corp. Brown, Drunk and disorderly cursing loud..." There is section entitled "Memorandum of Spanish War 1898." In this section, he recollects an event that killed 23 and wounded 104 officers. "...was shelled for an hour or more during which-Private Ross was killed, Private Earle shot in side, badly-Corp. Myers, badly wounded thigh-Pander in the fingers." The diary of events begins on March 6, 1900 near Three Rivers, California. He writes about transporting cattle, a visit to Sequoia National Park, and an incident with a sheep herd. Next, there is a section about various accounts and directions around Sequoia National Park. The last section of the volume consists of a list of names (approximately 200), along with information about the individual's family, address, occupation, and education.
    HM 81553-81554: There are also two extracts in this collection. The first extract is about Lieutenant General Adna Romanza Chaffee (1842-1914) and his role during the American Indian Wars. The second extract is entitled "Diary of F. West 2nd Lt. 6 ‘Cavalry on Indian Territory Expedition, 1874." West begins his thirty-mile expedition to Red River, Texas on August 30, 1874. During his lengthy march, he talks about undrinkable salty water, lack of food, and his instinctive horse. The second part of this extract begins on September 5, 1874. West writes about an intense battle against 400 Indians. According to West, the actual loss of lives was never ascertained. In another expedition, on the night of June 26, 1874, West writes, "There were 28 men and 1 woman at the adobe walls in the Panhandle, when the ranch was attacked by about 700 Indians-Cheyenne, Comanches, and Kiowas. The fight lasted all day, resulting in a loss of 3 killed of White man" (p. 9).
    The photographs are arranged alphabetically by the caption, if provided. Images include the 6th Cavalry and the 2nd Cavalry Regiment of the United States Army during the Indian Wars. Campaign photographs include the Wounded Knee Massacre and General George Crook's campaign against the Apaches in 1883. There are also photographs of various military forts including Fort Wingate, New Mexico, Fort Huachuca, Arizona, and Fort Niobrara, Nebraska. There are also personal photographs, mainly of Arthur K. West, (possibly Frank West's son) and photographs taken in the Philippines.

    Indexing Terms

    Personal Names

    West, Frank, 1850-1923

    Subjects

    United States. Army. Cavalry, 6th--History
    United States. Army. Cavalry, 6th--Photographs
    United States. Army. Supplies and stores
    Indians of North America--Photographs
    Indians of North America--Wars
    Military bases--West (U.S.)
    Red River War, 1874-1875

    Geographic Areas

    Arizona, History, Military--Description and travel
    Arizona--History, Military--Maps
    Indian Territory
    West (U.S.)--History, Military

    Genre

    Journals (accounts)--United States--19th century
    Logs (records)--United States--19th century
    Photographs--United States--19th century