Indian Fighter Captain Frank Baldwin's Copy of A Remarkable Northwest Rarity
The single most advanced and detailed map of the Northwest, published by the Army Corps of Engineers in 1885.
The present map is the most detailed and complete map of the region published to date. It was printed specifically for use in the field by military officers and not available for sale or civilian use. Carl Wheat recognized this map as the single most noteworthy Military map of the 1880s, closing out his discussion of the Warren / Freyhold maps with a 2 paragraph discussion of the map.
The present example was used by Captain F. D. Baldwin, 5th Infantry, whose name appears on the verso. The map was almost certainly issued to Baldwin in the short window of time between its issuance (about June 1, 1885) and Baldwin's relocation to Montana, in November 1885.
A decorated officer whose career spanned nearly 50 years, Baldwin is perhaps best known for his involvement in the pursuit of Sitting Bull and his involvement in helping to relocate the Nez Perce Indians back from Indian Territory to Washington state, after previously participating in 1887 in the Nez Perce's forced relocation to Indian Territory. The present map was almost certainly in Baldwin's possession at the time of perhaps his greatest diplomatic triumph, the completion of his role in relocating the Nez Perce back to the region.
Baldwin had previously been appointed as acting judge advocate and aide to now-General Miles, in the army's Department of the Columbia in the Pacific Northwest. In this capacity, he helped negotiate treaties with Sinkiuse-Salish, chief Moses and leaders of other tribes of the Columbia River region.
As noted in Personal Reollections and Observations of Nelson A. Miles . . . (Baldwin's commanding officer)
In 1885, I at last succeeded in having the remnants of Chief Joseph's band of Nez Perce Indians brought back from Indian Territory to the vicinity of their own home . . . The Nez Perces entered the Department of the Columbia in June by way of the Union Pacific and Oregon Short Line Railways, and were met at Pocatello by Captain Frank Baldwin, who was then acting as judge advocate of that department.
As noted in John Gibbon's Report to the Adjutant-General, Division of the Pacific dated September 17, 1885.
Probably the most important event of the year [in the Department of the Columbia], certainly the most important to the Indians themselves, has been the return to this department of the remnant of Chief Joseph's band of the Nez Perces-now principally composed of old men, women, and children, widows and orphans-from the Indian Territory, where they had been living, virtually prisoners of war, since the close of the Nez Perce" hostilities and their capture in 1877. Popular feeling in Idaho Territory unquestionably was decidedly opposed to their return. Rumors of threats of violence on the part of disaffected whites had come to the knowledge of the Interior Department. Several of the Nez Perce' warriors were under indictment in Idaho Territory for the murders perpetrated in 1877. Anticipating there might be danger on their passage through Idaho, the Interior Department had requested that every precaution be taken to prevent difficulty between the white settlers and these Indians.
They came into the department by the Union Pacific and Oregon Short Line Railways, and were met by Capt. Frank D. Baldwin, Fifth Infantry, acting judgeadvocate, at Pocatello, and escorted thence by troops to Wallula Junction, on the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company's Railroad, where they were divided into two parties-one proceeding, under military escort, by rail and river, via Walla Walla and Lewiston, to the Lapwai Agency in Idaho, and the other, including Joseph, likewise escorted, by rail and wagons, via Spokane Falls, to the Colville Reservation.
The present map includes several Indian Reservations, which have been specially highlighted in pink. These include the Colville and Nez Perce Indian Reservations.
Several places are circled in Blue and likely represent places visited, including:
- Fort Townsend, Washington
- Fort Canby, Washington
- Vancouver Barracks (north of Portland)
- Fort Klamath
- Boise City / Boise Barracks
- Fort Coeur d'Alene
The key in the title block notes that the sources of the map, along with a key showing the symbols representing Military Stations Occupied and Abandoned, Railroads (existing and proposed), Wagon Roads, Trails and Light Houses. The map also notes Indian Reservations, towns, mountains, rivers, and a host of others details.
The present map was apparently a separately issued map prepared for military use and was almost certainly not available to the public, which would explain its rarity. These maps were typically circulated only to high ranking military officers and surveyors operating in the region, for the express purpose of working with a compilation of the best available information and, in turn, periodically supplmenting and updating the information with field observations.
The present map was first issued in 1881. This is the second edition, revised June 1st, 1885, by Captain J.W. MacMurray. Maps utilized to compile this map include:
- Map of the United States West of the Mississippi . . . 1879
- US Land Office Map of Oregon Washington and Idaho . . . 1879
- Land Office Surveys in Oregon and Washington for 1879 & 1880
- Lt. Robert H. Fletchers Map of the Department of the Columbia . . . 1877
- Surveys in the Field in 1878-1879-80 by Lieut. T.W. Symons . . .
- Surveys West of the 100th Meridian . . . Geo. M. Wheeler . . . 1878
- Official records and maps in the Engineers Dept. of the Columbia
- Information furnished by Railroad Companies of the Dept.
In addition, the following Army Officers in the Department of the Columbia supplied information:
- Lt. W.C. Brown 1st Cavalry
- Lt. E.F. Webster, 2nd Infantry
- Lt. Col Merriaxx, 2nd Infantry
- Lt. F.J. Patten, 1st Intantry
The map reference key identifies Military Stations occupied June 1885 and abandoned. Railroad, Projected Railroads Wagon Roads, Trails and Light houses.
The present example was issued to Captain F.D. Baldwin 5th Infy., during his time serving in the Department of the Columbia.
Francis Leonard Dwight Baldwin
Francis Leonard Dwight Baldwin (1842-1923) enlisted as a first lieutenant in the Nineteenth Michigan Infantry in 1862. He was captured at the battle of Thompson's Station, Tennessee (March 4-5, 1863), confined briefly at Libby Prison in Richmond, and then exchanged. In March 1864, Baldwin, now a Captain, joined William T. Sherman's campaign against Atlanta and the March to the Sea. He earned a Medal of Honor at the battle of Peachtree Creek, Georgia, on July 20, 1864. He entered the postwar regular army as a second lieutenant early in 1866, was promoted to first lieutenant in the Nineteenth United States Infantry, and was then reassigned to the Thirty-seventh United States Infantry, stationed in Kansas.
In 1869, Baldwin was assigned to Col. Nelson A. Miles's Fifth United States Infantry. During the Red River War in the Panhandle (1874-75) he served as chief of scouts and fought in the first battle of Palo Duro Canyon against the Comanche, where he earned a captain's brevet on August 30, 1874. After the battle he commanded a group of four who rode to Fort Supply carrying dispatches, a journey known as Baldwin's Ride (September 7-10). On November 8, 1874, in leading an attack against a Cheyenne camp on McClellan Creek in Gray County in which he rescued two of the German sisters from captivity, he earned a second Medal of Honor.
After the massacre of George A. Custer and his troops at the Little Bighorn in 1876, Baldwin was transferred with Miles's regiment to Montana, where they established Fort Keogh, near Miles City. On December 18, 1876, Baldwin commanded a detachment that dispersed Sitting Bull's camp at the head of Redwater Creek. At the battle of the Wolf Mountains on January 8, 1877, Baldwin rallied the troops in an assault against Crazy Horse and earned a brevet to Major. He also participated in the Lame Deer expedition and the campaign against Chief Joseph's Nez Percés later that year. In 1879 he was promoted to captain.
From 1881 to November 1885 Baldwin served on General Miles's staff as judge advocate of the Department of the Columbia. In 1884 he negotiated a solution to unrest on the Moses and Coleville reservations in Washington Territory.
From November 1885 to 1890 he served with his regiment in Montana, North Dakota, Texas, and New Mexico. He joined Miles again in December 1890, and served in the campaign against the Sioux until the spring of 1891. He investigated the Wounded Knee tragedy of December 1890. From 1891 to October 1894, Baldwin was inspector of small arms practice for the Department of the Missouri, headquartered at Chicago. From October 1894 to May 1898, he served as agent at the Anadarko Agency in Indian Territory. In 1898 he was promoted to major and subsequently to lieutenant colonel of volunteers.
Early in 1900 Baldwin was promoted to lieutenant colonel of the regular army and assigned to the Fourth United States Infantry stationed in the province of Cavite on the Philippine Island of Luzon, where his troops captured hundreds of insurrectos, including Lt. Gen. Mariano Trias. Baldwin was promoted to colonel in the summer of 1901 and received his own regiment, the Twenty-seventh United States Infantry. He sailed to Mindanao, where his troops defeated the Moros at Bayan on May 2, 1902. Baldwin was promoted to brigadier general in June 1902. In February 1903 he was appointed commander of the Department of the Colorado, a post he held until his retirement in 1906. He was promoted to major general (retired) in 1915, but left retirement briefly to serve as Colorado's World War I adjutant general.
Baldwin died on April 22, 1923, and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery. In 1929 his wife published her memoirs of his career and of her life as an army officer's wife on the frontier.