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"Journey Through the Wilderness: Lieutenant Henry" Topic


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©1994-2020 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP20 May 2020 11:14 p.m. PST

…. T. Allen's 1885 Exploration of Interior Alsaka

"In January 1885, three soldiers departed from Portland, Oregon, beginning a journey of discovery into the interior of Alaska. Major General Nelson Miles, commanding the Department of the Columbia, of which Alaska was part, had tasked a young second lieutenant of the 2d U.S. Cavalry to organize and lead an expedition into the wilderness of Alaska's interior, the purpose being to gather ethnic and geographic data within the vast area of the Copper and the Tanana River drainages.

While Lieutenant Henry Tureman Allen's orders stipulated the Copper and Tanana Rivers as the primary areas of concern and suggested, but did not require, completion in one season, the extent of the area and the unknown character of so much of it called for a great deal of flexibility. On this point Allen's orders contained the following statement: "…much must be left to your discretion and judgment and therefore regarding your movement after leaving Copper River no definite directions can be given you." This was an enormous vote of confidence for a young officer with only three years service under his belt…"

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