By Mark E. Miller
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Additional info for Hollow Victory: The White River Expedition of 1879 and the Battle of Milk Creek
Thornburgh was sent to arrest insurgent Ute Indian leaders at the White River Agency, Colorado. The expedition marched over one hundred fifty miles in nine days, September 21 to September 29, 1879, before it reached Milk Creek, twenty-two miles short of its destination on the Ute Reservation. There, just inside the northern border of the reservation, troops met armed resistance from a Ute force; a quiet valley erupted in prolonged and bloody conflict. On the same day that engagement began, Utes killed all of the male employees at the agency and took women and children hostage.
For example, when Colorado became a state in 1876, many citizens mounted a campaign to urge the federal government to remove the tribe to Indian Territory, the region that later became Oklahoma. 9 Residents even tried to expedite removal by discrediting the Utes by blaming them for unsolved crimes and for crimes that had never occurred. Northwestern Colorado was becoming a political maelstrom in which the White River Utes struggled to survive. Adding fuel to the growing turmoil was the arrival of an inexperienced Indian agent at White River in the spring of 1878, a replacement for the Reverend E.
Mark E. Miller Laramie, Wyoming April 16, 1997 Page xv Acknowledgments Dozens of people and organizations deserve special acknowledgment for their assistance in helping me to prepare this manuscript. Many benefactors are mentioned here, but for those whom I may have missed, you have an equal share of my gratitude for all that you have done. Several individuals and agencies provided photographs and illustrations to accompany the text. Their courtesy is acknowledged in each figure caption. The research could not have been completed without the assistance of many individuals.