Home > PublicationsEncyclopedia >  Grierson, Benjamin Henry

GRIERSON, BENJAMIN HENRY (1826–1911).

Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on July 8, 1826, U.S. Army officer Benjamin H. Grierson was a music teacher and merchant in Illinois before earning national acclaim in the Civil War for a daring 1863 cavalry raid through Mississippi. Discharged as a brevet major general of volunteers, he was commissioned a colonel in the regular army on July 28, 1866, and assigned to organize the Tenth Cavalry, comprising white officers and black enlisted men.

Grierson's duties in the Indian Territory consisted largely of implementing federal policy toward the southern Plains Indians. As commander of Fort Gibson and the District of the Indian Territory, he participated in Maj. Gen. Philip H. Sheridan's 1868–69 campaign to drive the Plains tribes onto reservations set aside by the Medicine Lodge Treaty of 1867. Grierson selected the site for Camp Wichita (later Fort Sill), which would be headquarters for the Kiowa-Comanche Reservation, and supervised construction of the post. A firm believer in Pres. Ulysses S. Grant's Peace Policy, he worked closely with Quaker Indian agent Lawrie Tatum to distribute annuities and curb incursions into Texas. In May 1871 Grierson supervised the arrest of Satanta, Satank, and Big Tree for their roles in the Warren Wagon Train Raid in Texas.

Back at Fort Gibson in the spring and summer of 1872, Grierson removed intruders from the route of the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railway and mediated tribal quarrels among the Creeks. After service in West Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico, he retired in 1890 as brigadier general in command of the Department of Arizona. He died at his summer home at Omena, Michigan, on August 31, 1911.

Bruce J. Dinges

See also: MILITARY–NINETEENTH CENTURY, RED RIVER WAR, WESTWARD EXPANSION

Bibliography

Bruce J. Dinges, "Benjamin H. Grierson," in Soldiers West: Biographies from the Military Frontier, ed. Paul Andrew Hutton (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1987).

William H. Leckie and Shirley A. Leckie, Unlikely Warriors: General Benjamin Grierson and His Family (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1984).

Copyright and Terms of Use

No part of this site may be construed as in the public domain.

Copyright to all articles and other content in the online and print Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History is held by the Oklahoma Historical Society. This includes individual articles (copyright to OHS by author assignment) and corporately (as a complete body of work), including web design, graphics, searching functions, and listing/browsing methods. Copyright to all of these materials is protected under United States and International law.

Users agree not to download, copy, modify, sell, lease, rent, reprint, or otherwise distribute these materials, or to link to these materials on another web site, without authorization of the Oklahoma Historical Society. Individual users must determine if their use of the Materials falls under United States copyright law's "Fair Use" guidelines and does not infringe on the proprietary rights of the Oklahoma Historical Society as the legal copyright holder of The Encyclopedia and part or in whole.

Photo credits: All photographs presented in the published and online versions of The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture are the property of the Oklahoma Historical Society and are held in the agency's Research Division Photograph Archives (unless otherwise stated).


Citation

The following (as per The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition) is the preferred citation for articles:
Bruce J. Dinges, "Grierson, Benjamin Henry," The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, www.okhistory.org (accessed December 12, 2017).

About the Encyclopedia | Terms of Use | Using the Encyclopedia