27 June 1997

Day 14 - Parkman, WY to Arno [near Sheridan], WY

Distance travelled: 46 miles
Winds: None
Grades: Up and down
Weather: Fair
Condition of roads: Bad
Delays: Bicycles – 1h 30m/Tires – 0/Lunch – 5h 30m /Other – 0
Actual travel time: 7h 30m
Rate per hour: 6.3 mph
- Lt. J.A. Moss Report to the Adjutant Synopsis of the Trip

Places & times mentioned: Parkman WY; Dayton; Sheridan [lunch]; Arno WY [7 PM]

Sheridan, Wyoming in the 1890s - The Sheridan Inn was built by Buffalo Bill in 1883. Boos tells us that he, Moss and Kennedy ate lunch there. Boos tattles that Moss had "three pieces of pie." The Inn is the multi-gabled building to the right in the photo. It has recently been restored.
“Sunday morning, June 27, the corps left Parkman, a small town three or four miles from the Montana line. The ride for ten or fifteen miles was, indeed, novel, as we bounded along the mountains so high that we were actually in the clouds and could see the mist below. Noon found us at Sheridan, thirty miles from Parkman. The journey for the next 200 miles, through northeastern Wyoming and southwestern South Dakota, was very dreary—the landscape was a monotonous series of hills, with now and then an alkali flat, while the water was abominable. Yet the dreariness of the country possessed a weird kind of fascination.”
- Lt. Moss, Los Angeles Times The Army A-Wheel, Nov. 21, 1897

"The usefulness of the bicycle for moving troops is being tested by Lieut. Moss, of Fort Missoula, who in company with Lieut. Dr. Kennedy and Eddie Booth [sic- Eddie Boos], correspondant for the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, left Ft. Missoula on June 13th [sic - they left the 14th] with one sergeant, two corporals and seventeen private soldiers for St. Louis. The wheels are built for the purpose having an extra number of spokes in the wheels, and otherwise strengthened. Each man is to carry 55 pounds and carbine. The frame contains a sheet iron box fitted in the diamond in which the provisions are stored, and each man carries a section of tent pole and his share of everything used in camp. The company arrived here last Sunday afternoon looking as fresh as if just out for a few hours run. The encountered a severe snow storm near Bozeman and had to walk across the divide from Ft. Ellis to the Yellowstone, a distance of 23 miles.
The wheelmen think they will have no trouble in making the run to St. Louis in six weeks, and if they continue the speed made so far they will have several days to spare.
- The Sheridan Post [Sheridan, WY], pg. 8, Thursday, July 1, 1897

“CUSTER MASSACRE
--------------------
AN INTERESTING LETTER FROM
E.H. BOOS, REPORTER U.S.
BICYCLE CORPS
----------------------
ON the Custer Battle Field on the Twenty-first Anniversary of
That Event
---------------------
The following letter has been received by the relatives of Edwin H. Boos, which will prove of interest to his friends in Missoula:
We arrived here [Boos is writing from "Buffalo Bills" hotel, the Sheridan Inn, in Sheridan, Wyoming] shortly after 11 o’clock, a.m. traveling a distance of 28 miles thus far today, the first 13 miles were simply awful, on account of mud and rain, but the balance was mostly down hill and on a road as smooth as a pavement. Some of the soldiers’ wheels ran away and one of them was badly damaged, fortunately Lieut. Moss had a frame here and we will soon be fixed up. The weather looks bad and the chances are that we will not start this evening. Our average run up to date and including two days on which we did no riding at all is 41 miles per day or over 60 miles per day for days actually traveled. This is “Buffalo Bills" hotel. The Sheridan and it is pretty good.
The doctor, Lieutenant Moss, and myself ate dinner here, the first square meal we have had for some time. At Fort Custer had a good board but too dainty for our appetites. We will be out two weeks tonight and have one-third of our journey accomplished. The roads through the alkali districts of this state are as hard to travel over as are the sand hills of western Nebraska, but after that our way will be smoother sailing.

[At this point in his letter, Boos digresses, relating what happened days before]
June 25th was the 21st anniversary of the Custer massacre. By good fortune we were right on the historic spot at that time. I was never more interested in anything, and followed Custer’s line of march from where the first man fell to the place where Custer and his noble men made their last stand. It is too long a story to tell as a great deal is only supposition. The corps camped at the foot of the hill below the battle field and nearly all the boys took in a little of the sights. The relics have all been picked up, even the stone which marked the fall of Custer has been carried away until absolutely nothing remains. A wooden cross now marks the place where Custer and his noble men made their last stand. It is too long a story to tell, as a great deal is only supposition.
The corps camped a the foot of the hill below the battle field and nearly all the boys took in a little of the sights. The relics have all been picked up, even the stone which marked the fall of Custer has been carried away until absolutely nothing remains. A wooden cross now markes the place.

[Boos returns to telling about the trip out of Montana and to Sheridan, Wyoming]
Our road across the Crow reservation was a hard one, and we are glad we are over it, and out of the state of Montana as well. We have not had a whole day of good weather on our trip, rain is always sure to mar the day's run. You can reach me with letters and wire for a few days to Edgemont, S.D. and then at Crawford, Nebraska.
The flowers in this part of the country are much prettier and more varied than are to be seen at home. Red, pink and white wild roses are to be seen on all sides. A flower much like the Montana Arnica flower, having pink leaves, are to be seen in abundance. They are pretty and have a nice odor.
The enclosed bill of fare will give you an idea of what we filled up on.
Moss had three pieces of pie. Will have to get at my article now, so good bye, Your son and brother.
E.H. BOOS.
Official Reporter 25th, U.S. Infantry
Bicycle Corps.
- Daily Missoulian Custer Massacre June 29, 1897
[The Sheridan Inn, built by Buffalo Bill, where Moss, Boos and Dr. Kennedy ate lunch, is still standing and has recently undergone restoration work]

“Leaving Parkman the following day the prospect for good weather was anything but encouraging, nevertheless we started, taking a cutoff to Sheridan by way of Dayton. The roads were muddy and hard to travel on but a big shower was behind us and our efforts were doubled to stay to stay ahead of the rain; we were successful and after a hard half day’s work through mud, and up and down hill we reached Sheridan at noon. The last eight miles was over good, hard roads and mostly down hill, being by far the best road encountered on the trip.
Four o’clock again found the corps on the road, and at 7 o’clock the boys were in camp at Arno, having had fair roads. Nearly 60 miles were covered that day.”
- E.H. Boos Daily Missoulian Nebraska is Reached[Missoula, MT] July 17, 1897

[This article was also published in the St. Louis Daily Globe Democrat, July 18, 1897. The head line for that paper was THE MILITARY BICYCLISTS.----- They Find a Hard Road to Travel in Wyoming.]


SOLDIERS AWHEEL. Sheridan, Wy., June 27 – Lieutenant Moss and his Twenty-fifth infantry bicycle corps pass through here this afternoon. The corps is making good time in spite of bad roads and bad weather. The corps passed out of Montana last night at 7 o-clock after a hard ride across the Crow Indian reservation”
- Idaho Daily Statesman, Monday June 28, 1897

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Earl Jensen comments about -
"The flowers in this part of the country are much prettier and more varied than are to be seen at home. Red, pink and white wild roses are to be seen on all sides. A flower much like the Montana Arnica flower, having pink leaves, are to be seen in abundance. They are pretty and have a nice odor."