Fort Laramie - The First Commander

I have not been very active on this site the past few months. But, with this blog in its 13th year, I am not giving up, only taking a break. Today’s post will be number 297, meaning through the blogs 12-year run I have been posting, on average, twice each month. That now will be my goal to post twice each month, maybe I will get on a good run and post three sometime.
From a recent hike in Guernsey, Wyoming State Park

I have been spending most of my writing time, researching and writing a nonfiction book about Fort Laramie. What follows is a selection from one of the tales of Fort Laramie Commanders that found its way into my new book.
Sitting in a dead Cottonwood

Major Winslow F. Sanderson had the honor of being the first to command Fort Laramie. Major Sanderson received the commission of Brevet-Major, August 20, 1847, for meritorious conduct in the Mexican War. Sanderson was part of the mounted rifles who prided in being part cavalry, and part infantry, a specialty group of mobile infantry. 

Major Sanderson reached Fort Laramie on June 16, 1849, the date now recognized as the opening of Fort Laramie as a military fort. Sanderson arrived at the fort after traveling more than 600 miles from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and remained in command until September 4, 1850.[i]

After his time at Fort Laramie, Winslow Sanderson never returned to the west and died under mysterious circumstances three years after leaving Fort Laramie. Officially the cause of his death, in Galveston, Texas was listed as a recurrence of Yellow Fever, but his family and friends suspected he was poisoned.[ii] After Sanderson’s death, his family accused several household servants from the Palmetto House in Galveston where he died, of stealing his money. Nothing came of the murder or theft claims. The claims were based on the fact that although Sanderson was traveling no money was found on him or in his possessions after his death. Meanwhile, one household servant made a small purchase with a $100, Bank of Alabama bill, and two other similar bills were found. No evidence ever connected the bills to Sanderson, and the case quietly went away.[iii] 
Drink time from the river

In Other News

On Turning 70 – My newest book and my shortest is out. It is a story of reflection on turning 70 years of age. The book is not only reflective but full of humor and nostalgia. If you are getting, as we used to hear, “up there in years,” give it a try, it’s a quick hour or hour and a half read. This one, like all of my books, is available in soft cover or as an eBook. Here is the link to the $1.99 eBook.

[i] John Dishon McDermott & Gordon Chappell, Annals of Wyoming, Vol 38, No 1, 5-48
[ii] Daniel, C. (n.d.). Letter from Charles Daniel to Thomas Daniel on the death of Major Sanderson of yellow fever. Retrieved April 15, 2017, from
(1853) Rice University
[iii] Ibid

New Post on My Writing Site

Click here to read my new western writing post