.: Federal Troops on the Niagara Frontier :.         
  The Buffalo Barracks              .: 1837-1846 :.
   Sparse Information in Chronological Order

Oct. 1828 - Capt. James M. Bankhead, and his family, are stationed at the Pikesville Arsenal, Baltimore, MD.

Mid 1832 - The Federal Government rents part of the Ebenezer Walden property in Buffalo, NY and begins construction of a barracks for the Regular Army.

Jan. 1838 - General Winfield Scott visits the site of the Buffalo Barracks.

March 22, 1838 - James M. Bankhead, (now a full Colonel) and a detachment of soldiers drive the Seminoles from an island encampment in the Everglades. This is one of the first times U.S. Forces have penetrated the great swamp.

Sept. 15, 1838 - Colonel William Lindsay, the first commanding officer of the post, dies; cause is unknown. Lt. Col. Ichabod B. Crane assumes temporary command of the post.

Fall, 1838 - Colonel James Monroe Bankhead and his 2nd Regiment of Artillery are sent here from Fort Monroe, VA. Bankhead is now the Commandant in charge of every aspect of the Buffalo Barracks.

Dec. 1838 - Assistant Quartermaster, Capt. E. A. Ogden, makes the trip to Rochester, NY for the purpose of acquiring goods for the sutler's store. He returns to the post via Ft. Niagara.

Mar. 28, 1839 - Roswell R. Brooks enlists into the 2nd Artillery Regiment and is assigned to Company "K" as artificer for Capt. Charles F. Smith. He is sworn in by the Regimental Recruitment Adjutant, Lt. Edward Davis Townsend.

May 6, 1839 - The Buffalo Barracks is officially established and a dedication is held there, by President Martin VanBuren.

June 26, 1839 - CO-"A" of the 2nd Artillery departs for Fort George, via the Watervliet Arsenal at West Troy, NY. The journey takes 6 days by canal boat.

Oct. 12, 1839 - The 4th Artillery regiment is transported to Detroit aboard the steamship CLEVELAND.

Dec. 1839 - Bennett Riley is promoted to Lieutenant Colonel of the 2nd Regiment of Infantry. He his temporarily housed, along with several other officers, in one of the Company Quarters near where Allen St. and Pearl St. now meet. Additional proper Officers' Quarters are planned.

Early 1840 - President Zachary Taylor visits the post, and his daughter. She is the wife of the Post Surgeon, Major Robert C. Wood. Old Zach would later write several letters to his son-in-law from his encampments in Mexico.

Mid 1840 - Inspector General John E. Wool informs Bankhead that he is indeed "pleased with the condition, instruction, and discipline of his regiment. Col. Bankhead applies to Major General Alexander MaComb for about 100 recruits from the General Depot to fill present and future vacancies. He also informs Washington that "the barracks are on Main Street within city limits, on an elevated site called "Walden Hill." "They can accommodate 10 companies." He also states, "At this time, the quarters for one company are used as officer's mess room." Bankhead suggests that $1,500 be used to construct a mess room. He desires to "draw together all of the companies of his regiment as soon as possible!" The 1840 Census for the City of Buffalo lists Col. James Bankhead; and indicates that a total of 671 individuals reside at the barracks post.

July 17, 1840 - Official drawings of the "Poinsett Barracks", prepared by Lieutenants Gibson and Brooks, are presented to the Secretary of War, Joel R. Poinsett, by the governor of New York State, the Hon. William L. Marcy. The governor would soon become the Secretary of War under the Polk Administration.

Nov. 3, 1840 - Lt. Samuel Bransford is accidently killed. (The details of his death are not known at this time.)

June, 1841 - Due to Bankheads upcoming transfer to New England, Lt. Col. Bennett Riley is promoted to full Colonel, and becomes the fourth, and last, Commandant of the Buffalo Barracks.

Aug. 1841 - Col. Bankhead, and two Companies (I and K) of his 2nd Regiment of Artillery are ordered to Fort Adams, near Newport, RI via the Erie Canal, and Fort Columbus on Governor's Island (at the tip of Manhattan). They are to curb the actions of the movement created by the rabble-rouser Thomas Dorr, and remain there until the situation is calmed.

July, 1842 - Samuel Harrison, at the age of 21, is enlisted into the U. S. Army, by Lt. Anderson at the Buffalo Barracks. He is assigned to the 2nd Infantry, CO "C" under the command of Capt. Silas Casey.

Aug. 9, 1842 - A treaty between the United States and Great Britain settles the long-standing controversy over disputed territories on the Canadian-American frontier.

Oct. 30, 1844 - The Buffalo Barracks receives 30 inches of snow from a 3-Day New York Storm. Fredonia gets 21 inches.

1844 - The Buffalo City Directory states that there are now only 4 Companies of Infantry quartered here, comprised of 218 men.

Mid 1845 - Col. Riley and his 2nd Infantry are ordered to the Mexican Border!

1845 - The Federal Government breaks it's lease of the property and begins to abandon the post.

Nov. 18, 1846 - Sergeant N. W. Kentons sends the last known communique` from this installation. He reports on the status of ordnance to Col. Henry Stanton, Quartermaster in Washington, City.

Dec. 21, 1846 - The property is sold for $2,250 and the buildings are demolished; all except one, the structure which housed the Commandant and the Post Surgeon. This is now the front portion of the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site.

1847 - Franklin Street is cut through the center of the property where the Buffalo Barracks Army Post once proudly stood.

Copyright © 2006-2014 BUFFALONET.org. All rights reserved.