Back to top

General W.S. Hancock arrives in force at Fort Larned to negotiate with Kansas native American tribes.

General W.S. Hancock in an evening meeting with Cheyenne leaders, Fort Larned, Kansas, April 12, 1867, artist's impression, detail.

In order to keep open the Santa Fe Trail, rumored to be under threat from Kiowa tribes, Department of the Missouri commander General Winfield Scott Hancock marched 1,400 men, including George Armstrong Custer's recently organized Seventh Cavalry, to Fort Larned in Kansas.  His orders were to negotiate with the tribal leaders but heavy-handed attempts at this led to worsening relations with the Kiowa, Arapaho, and Cheyenne tribes.  Hancock's burning of an abandoned Cheyenne village on April 19, 1867 summed up this failure.  (By John Osborne)

Source Citation: 

Randy Smith, Heroes of the Santa Fe Trail (Raliegh, NC: Boson Books, 2006), 77.