Unit: M Co, 2d Cavalry
Enlisted: May 8, 1866 in Boston, Massachusetts. He was 19.
Date of birth: 1847
Hometown: Cork, Ireland
Occupation prior to enlistment: Laborer
Campaign: Plains Indian War (post Civil War)
Died: 1 July 1867
Age at death: 19 or 20
Cause of death: Killed in action by Indians
Location of fatality: Beaver Creek, Kansas (Shermanville, Kansas)
Place of interment: Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas
Notes: Kidder Massacre
ONE HUNDRED YEARS WITH THE SECOND CAVALRY By Joseph I. Lambert, Major, Second Cavalry
Copyright 1939 Commanding Officer, Second Cavalry, Fort Riley, Kansas Capper Printing Company, Inc.
The most prominent affair in point of losses to the regiment during the year 1867 was the massacre of Second Lieutenant Lyman S. Kidder and ten men of Troop M. While en route to join Troop F at Fort Laramie, this officer was sent with ten men and a guide to carry dispatches to Colonel Custer, who was operating between the Platte and the Smoky Hill Rivers. On July 22, the party was surrounded by a large body of Indians near Beaver Creek Kansas, and all the detachment killed. Colonel Custer decided to look for Lieutenant Kidder’s party, and, leaving the forks of the Republican River, turned south, and soon found a broad trail in the uplands. First, coming upon a dead horse, they traveled along a ravine for a short distance, where they discovered a dead soldier and his horse. Turning to the left and crossing a valley, they found where Lieutenant Kidder’s party had camped for the night. Following the trail into the tall grass of the bottom land, one mile from the river, they found the massacred soldiers, the bodies having been scalped, burned, and pierced with arrows. Colonel Custer buried the men on the spot.