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No. 6 JUNE 2002
GENERAL GEORGE A. CROOK AND THE LAST HUNT, 1889


Women from the Pine Ridge Agency
dressing game at the hunting party's camp
on Salt Creek.

Lt. Henry Wright and General George
Crook




At least once each year from 1879 to 1889, Webb C. Hayes, second son of President Rutherford B. Hayes, joined General George A. Crook to hunt wild game in the West. Hayes met Crook, Fort Laramie post trader John S. Collins, and A. E. Tonzalin of Chicago at Fort Robinson, Nebraska, on September 10, 1889. The general's death less than a year later made this the final western hunt for Hayes and Crook. Hayes and Lieutenant Henry Wright of the 9th U. S. Cavalry, who acted as quartermaster for the party, documented the trip with a hand-held Kodak camera. They took several dozen photographs that are today part of the Webb C. Hayes Photograph Collection (Hayes Ph-3).

Little Bat (Baptiste Garnier), Fort Robinson's chief scout and renowned hunter of Rocky Mountain game, led the hunting party. Red Bear, Red Sack, and Singing Bear, Sioux from the Rosebud Agency, served as guides and trackers while four women and three children dressed the game. Corporal Hawkins and five troopers from the 9th Cavalry, five privates from the 21st Infantry, mule drivers from Fort Robinson, and four packers from Cheyenne completed the party. Supply wagons were loaded on flatbed rail cars and taken to the end of the rail line at Casper, Wyoming. The party proceeded north west from Casper, camping along Salt Creek.

Webb Hayes recorded a list of the game in his diary: five grizzly, five Rocky Mountain sheep, a magnificent bull elk, eighty black-tailed deer, one antelope, one wildcat, and one pole cat. Despite their success, the trip was marred by tragedy. Private Monohan
was accidentally shot by Private Stephens, bringing the hunt to an abrupt end on October 3rd. Hayes left his Kodak behind. Collins instructed Lt. Wright to "fill it full, if you have to take sagebrush,." Wright photographed the Sioux contingent, the campsite, mules, snakes, deer, and antelope. He mailed the photographs to Hayes from Fort Robinson on October 16, explaining that "the accidental killing of one of the [soldiers] prevented my obtaining some more pictures."


Sioux riding in the supply wagons as they
were being transported by rail to the end
of the line at Casper, Wyoming.


Red Sack (left) and Red Bear (center) admire
the elk shot by Little Bat (right).

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