Historical records matching 2LT Lyman Kidder, 2nd US Cavalry
About Lyman Stockwell Kidder
Second Lieutenant, 2nd US Cavalry. Killed by Indians while delivering a message to Lt. Col. George A. Custer, 7th US Cavalry. His father, Jefferson Parish Kidder, was a judge in the Minnesota Supreme Court. Born in Vermont, he moved to St. Paul, Minnesota in 1858 with his parents, and 1861-1865, fought in the Union Army during the Civil War. After the Civil War, on 18 May 1867, he was appointed 2nd Lieutenant, 2nd Cavalry. On 29 June 1867, at Fort Sedgwick, Kansas, he was given a message to take to Lt. Col. George A. Custer, who was patrolling about 50 miles south of the fort. He never arrived. On 12 July, Custer's patrol found a dead horse with US Army markings.
They soon found another dead Army horse, and then the bodies of Kidder and his 10 men - scalped and decomposing. The men had been ambushed by Sioux and Cheyenne, and fought a running battle south, until forced to make a last stand in a small ravine, where they were killed. The Indians stripped the bodies, scalped them, and filled their bodies with arrows. Kidder's body was identified by a scrap of black and white flannel shirt which his mother had sent him. The incident became known as the Kidder Massacre.
Originally buried in a mass grave at the site, the soldier's bodies were reburied in 1886 at Fort Leavenworth's Cemetery, while Lt. Kidder's body was taken back to Minnesota by his father.