Notes from the Past

Western Mail - Part IV

Our hero, Demas Barnes, wrote from Fort Halleck, Dakota Territory [Wyoming], enroute from Denver to Salt Lake City, of an ugly encounter with Indians in which three were killed.  He continued his narrative:
. . . There is not force enough here to guard the [stage] stations, let alone hunting Indians.  It will require sixty days to march from the [Missouri] river, and I do not believe things will be safe or in shape until one year from this time.  Ten thousand troops are needed in this country.  Allow no one who sees this to start one inch beyond Denver until things are changed.  It is impossible to guess how long it will be before we can get a wagon, horses, or escort, to send us on.  Were this a through letter, you would not get it this summer; but I shall watch my chance to forward it to Denver, and you may receive it.  Tons of mail are abandoned at the different stations.  I have seen it, Mr. Halliday [sic], and my name is at your service.
To be continued.

Posted June 17, 2000

Editor's Note:  I am indebted to Wells Fargo in Colorado Territory by W. Turrentine Jackson published by the Colorado Historical Society, 1982 for the source material contained herein.

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