“This is a Human Being Place”

Vol. 19-16

Minds at Work
    Ron Burns
    Edwin Dobb
    Michael Lee
    Randy Lecoq
    Oasis Montana
    John Munsell
    Lawrence Pettit
    Chris Rowland
    Dana Turvey
    Whitney Williamshttp://888couloir1.blogspot.com/http://edwindobb.blogspot.com/http://www.awelllitblackhole.com/index.htmlhttp://lecocqblog.com/http://oasismontana.com/newsltr/2013-12/index.htmlhttp://johnmunsell.com/blog/http://lawrencepettit.wordpress.com/http://www.paintingsilove.com/artist/christopherjamesrowlandhttp://www.girl-reporter.com/about/http://williamsworks.com/team/whitney-williams/shapeimage_2_link_0shapeimage_2_link_1shapeimage_2_link_2shapeimage_2_link_3shapeimage_2_link_4shapeimage_2_link_5shapeimage_2_link_6shapeimage_2_link_7shapeimage_2_link_8shapeimage_2_link_9

1867: No Gun Accountability

Telegram From Virginia City to Helena Seeks Guns

    Montana Territory, October 15, 1867- Yesterday Major A.M.S. Carpenter, Chief of Ordnance for the Montana Territorial Militia telegraphed to Helena from Virginia City for a strong provost guard to thoroughly search around Helena for secreted government property.  His Ordnance Office has advertised for bids to build a substantial territorial arsenal in Virginia City, and he seems unaware that Militia Officers from Helena have pooled gold dust, and already have had constructed a shanty for weapons, accoutrements and ammunition storage on the hill above Clore Street. Governor Smith has already ordered Captain Curtis, the de-facto Ordnance Officer in Helena, to send 100 of Helena’s guns with ammunition and accoutrements to Missoula.  Therefore the Ordinance Officer’s telegraph message may be for the purpose of publicly covering over the loss of Ordnance to mutineers on the Yellowstone, and possibly the use of guns and ammunition to settling up accounts with mustering out volunteers.

    Non-mutineers, amounting to nearly 200, from companies led by Hart, Nelson, Deasey and others, rode into Virginia City September 28.  They camped above town, as appraisers set out immediately to value their horses, saddles and equipment. Muster out rolls were ready October 2 and each man being discharged was given the choice of taking his horse or his rations in settlement of accounts owed him.  By the night of October 3 all claims by Virginia City men were settled and everyone seemed pleased.

    Helena’s volunteers arrived home September 30.  Captain Mattock kept his company camped on the Prickly Pear ten miles from town until they were fully discharged October 7.  All of Helena’s citizens wanted local militia officers to figure a way to do right by their men, and seem to think they have done so. It’s not clear how that’s been accomplished. Colonel Howie and his officers did what was necessary to sell government property in Helena to compensate their troops. Helena’s officers have not been paid. Unsold items, including much of the 750,000 rounds of .58 caliber rifle-musket ammunition, are now being stored in a Virginia City log cabin and the Helena shanty above Clore Street.

*John Brian Driscoll, “The Guns, They Hear Me,” pp. 69-73 and 262-267.      

Contact/Unsubscribe: johndriscoll@mt.net, 30 S. Davis ST. Helena, MT ###

Territorial Arsenal in Virginia City and Shanty in Helena above Clore Street