Ridgeway Glover Death Notice

Ridgeway Glover Death Notice
Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper
10/27/1866 No. 578 vol. XXIII pg. 94
Kansas State Historical Society
Film Number LM131


As is well known, FRANK LESLIE'S ILLUSTRATED NEWSPAPER has made one of its attractive specialties, the scenery and incident of the great West; and scarcely any of our readers need to be told that, while the sketches which we have published have been invariably authentic and prepared with care, the pursuit of the data from which they have been prepared has been by no means free from danger as well as persistent toil. The career of a "special" attached to an illustrated publication, intending and determined to keep up with the times, is no child's play, as it is no sinecure; and sometimes—alas! that we should be compelled to say so—sometimes life is periled in the pursuit, quite as seriously as in the more deadly occupation of war. The following two letters explain themselves, in the record of the sad fate of one of our specials in Dacotah Territory, in September; and they at the same time vividly illustrate the truth of which we have been speaking—that human life as well as human comfort is the price sometimes paid for that luxury of illustration of current events and peculiar scenery which has now become an absolute necessity with the American people. Incidentally it may be mentioned, the first of the two appended letters conveys a graphic but rather threatening picture of the situation of the Plains, with reference to our present and future relations with the more warlike and predatory Indian tribes:

Ft. Philip Kearney, D.T.
Sept. 18, 1866.

Publisher of Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper:

Sir—I take this method of informing you of the death of a Mr. Ridgeway Glover, said to be under your and the Smithsonian's patronage.

I became acquainted with him in the fore part of July last, at Fort Laramie, traveled with him from that place here. He was in an engagement with the Sioux Indians on the 20th of July, on Crazy Woman Fork of Powder River, and behaved with great coolness and bravery for a non-combatant.

He was very careless of life, traveling frequently by himself—one time to the snow range of Big Horn mountains—with nothing but a butcher knife, though the country abounds with wolves, black, grizzly and cinnamon bears, and ferocious savages.

Yesterday morning he was coming from a cabin, some six miles from this place, by himself, when he was killed by Arapahoe [sic] Indians (supposed to be) and scalped. His body was recovered and brought in, and will be buried in the Post burying-ground. He was shot with a ball and instantly killed, the ball passing through his heart. I mention this fact that his friends may be relieved of the horrors of savage torture. I do not know his address, and so the publication of this seems the more necessary for the information of any relatives or near friends.

We are in a state of Indian War, and have been since about the middle of July. They appeared in number, as near as I could guess 200, dashed up close to the fort, and made a bold dash to cut off one or two of our outposts yesterday, but we opened on them with a twelve-pound brass piece, and an introduction to two or three shells seemed very distasteful. They left, with no loss to us but the loss of glory.

I learned from the commanding officer of this place that they had captured near 500 head of horses, mules and oxen, and, as near as I can judge, have killed forty soldiers and civilians.

I have but little doubt that we are doomed to a formidable Indian war.


David White
Post Chaplain.

Fort Laramie, D.T.
September 25th, 1866.

Publisher Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper:

It devolves upon me to convey to you the sad intelligence that Mr. Rengaild [sic] or Ridgeway Glover, your "special artist" for these plains, was murdered on Monday last, the 17th inst. He was out sketching for you—his long absence occasioned no little anxiety—and a party went out (members of the 18th Infantry), and found his body. The head was found a few yards off, completely severed from the trunk, scalped. The body was disemboweled, and then fire placed in the cavity. His remains, horribly mutilated, were decently interred, and search made for his apparatus, but it could not be found. Mr. Glover, though an eccentric and peculiar being, was generally respected by all who knew him. He requested me, as a parting injunction, in July, in case he was killed, to notify you. I do so sorrowfully; this occurred near Fort Philip Kearney.

Very respectfully yours,

Samuel L. Peters,
18th U.S. Infantry.