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Incredible "In the field" Indian War letter- Comanches "to kill off the Tonkawas"
Incredible "In the field" Indian War letter from 10th US Cavalry officer John B. Vande Wiele.
Written from "Camp Brazos, Texas" on "May 23, 1874." Wiele informs the wife of the colonel, Alice Grierson, that he has sent another check to her. He continues in the next paragraph to tell her about what his command is up to. Here is an excerpt:
"My Company is stationed at this point scouting towards Fort Griffin. We have been out from Fort Sill since March 10, 74. The Indians have made no raids yet in this section of country, though the Commanches say openly they intend coming in June to kill off the Tonkawas, to avenge those killed last winter...."
Excellent "in the field" letter from a Buffalo Soldier officer during the height of the Red River War. Written on the back of a Treasury Department letter, obviously due to the scarcity of paper.

$375.00 plus shipping

Van De Wiele enlisted at the outbreak of the Civil War and rose in rank to brevet major with the 4th New York Heavy Artillery Regiment. His early enlistment records show his name as "John B. Vande Wile" and that he fought at the Battle of Petersburg.

Joined the 10th Cavalry "Buffalo Soldiers" as a Captain & company commander of Company "B", in August of 1867.

During the Indian Wars on the Western Plains, he was stationed at Camp Hoffman, KS, Ft. Wallace, KS, Camp Wichita and Ft. Sill, Indian Territory (Oklahoma), Ft. Griffin, TX, and Ft. Duncan, TX. According to author Shirley Ann Leckie in "The Colonel's Lady on the Western Frontier - The Correspondence of Alice Kirk Grierson", Van de Wiele was " able officer, he was accused of brutality towards his enlisted men. He failed to achieve promotion and retired as a captain in 1879". Van de Wiele is briefly mentioned by Grierson in one of her letters to her son Charley wherein she writes from Ft. Sill, Indian Territory that "Maj Van De Wiele will take men prisoners, and the wagons (of contraband whiskey) to Van Buren, Arkansas and turn them over to the U.S. Authorities there..."

OBITUARY from the New Your Times

"Capt. John B. Van De Wiele, who died last night at his residence, 21 East One Hundred and Thirty-third-street, was a native of New York, and was well known in army circles. He began his services in the war of the rebellion as a Corporal in the Eighth New-York Militia, Nov. 1, 1861, he was appointed a First Lieutenant in the 4th New York Heavy Artillery. He was made a Captain August 29, 1862, and March 13th 1863 for gallant and meritorious service he was brevetted Major of Volunteers. In the same year he reached First Lieutenant in the First Veterans Volunteers, being soon promoted to the rank of Captain. He was mustered out in 1866. A year later he was made a Captain in the 10th Cavalry, and a little later he was brevetted Major for gallant service at the Battle of Ream's Station, VA. He retired March 20th, 1879."