This collection contains photostat copies of 36 letters written by William S. Dutt (1836-1866) to his family,
writing about his life and people he encountered in Missouri and Colorado in 1859-1860,
and his military experiences in various Southwestern towns following his enlistment in the New Mexico Volunteers in 1862,
as well as his experiences with Native Americans.
William S. Dutt (1836-1866) was born in 1836. He left Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in April 1859 on a steamboat, first to Cincinnati,
Ohio, and then to St. Louis, Missouri.
From there, he moved to “Shoal Creek Prairie,” close to Aviston, Illinois. After farming for three months, he moved again
to Gasconade County, Missouri, where he taught
grade school until March 1860. Dutt continued to make his way West, first to Leavenworth, Kansas, in May 1860, and then to
Denver, Colorado, by July. When the Civil War started,
Dutt was mining in Colorado. He planned to return to his family in the East but instead was recruited in October 1862 by the
New Mexico Volunteers to serve in Company M, 1st Cavalry.
Dutt worked his way up to sergeant and remained in the military until his death.
Dutt allegedly died at the age of 30 in a battle with Native Americans on December 25, 1866, at Tetterman’s Gap near Butte,
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.