Murray State University
200 Pogue Library
Murray, Kentucky 42071
Collection Title: Joseph D. Pulford Papers
Series Number: MS10-51
Processed and Cataloged by: Processed by Keith Heim in June of 1987. Reprocessed by Dieter C. Ullrich on June 22, 2010
Date Listed: June 22, 2010
Date Span: 1874-1882
Size of Collection: 0.10 linear feet.
Number of Boxes: 1 legal size file folder; 15 items.
Type of Material: Correspondence.
Condition of Material: Good.
Arrangement: Chronological arrangement.
Biographical / Historical Information: Joseph D. Pulford served as a private in Company F, 1st Infantry Regiment, United States Army from 1874 to 1882. He was born at Delphi Falls, New York on June 28, 1852. He enlisted in the United States Army under the name of Charles Taphner at Cleveland, Ohio in June of 1874 as a blacksmith. He was initially sent to a recruiting depot at Newport, Kentucky and then west to Fort Sully, Dakota Territory. He remained at Fort Sully until February of 1879 when he was ordered to Fort Meade, Dakota Territory. By 1882, Pulford was stationed at Fort Davis, Texas. He departed the Army in 1882 and joined a party of gold miners prospecting in Mexico. He later returned to Delphi and died on November 20, 1886 at age 34.
Scope and Content: Collection contains photocopied transcripts of fifteen letters written by Joseph D. Pulford, also known as Charles Taphner, from June 24, 1874 to January 29, 1882. The correspondence describes his travels in the American west and his service in the United States Army. Most of the letters are written from Fort Sully and Fort Meade in South Dakota during the Great Sioux War of 1876 and 1877. His letter mentions gold miners entering the Black Hills, growing hostilities amongst the Indians and an expedition led by Colonel George Custer to the Yellowstone River.
Subject Headings / Descriptors:
Pulford, Joseph D., 1852-1886
Dakota Indians – Wars, 1876.
Fort Sully (S.D.) – History.
Fort Meade (S.D.)
Fort Davis (Tex.)
Delphi Falls (N.Y.)
Black Hills (S.D. and Wyo.) – History – 19th century.