Mr. Ralph W. Donnelly 18 Kennedy Street Alexandria, Virginia 22305
Dear Mr. Donnelly:

I am most grateful to you for your generous efforts in looking for certain documents related to the Order of the Indian Wars of the United States. I value highly the documents you sent. They will be filed in my Historical Manuscripts Collection at the University of Missouri. I already have some valuable letters from General Godfrey, Major Lemly, and various others. A long handwritten Godfrey letter turned up just day before yesterday when a friend of mine and I were scouting in the Collection. This letter has a good deal to say about Reno and his conduct at the Little Big Horn. It also quotes some intimate comment by Benteen.

What I had in mind when I began to make this search was the original of the first petition and nomination submitted in 1923 with the signatures of General Miles, and, as near as I can remember, ten or twelve others. This petition was sent to me by Major Lemly, in 1924 I believe, and I valued it highly, taking the greatest care of it. That list of autograph signatures, beginning with General Miles, then Commander of the Order, seemed priceless to me. When I was returning from St. Louis to Branson in 1938, our furniture truck was wrecked on a mountain road and I have not seen the petition since then. I had hoped that my inquiry in Washington would turn up a copy of that petition with the list of signatures. It is the list of signatures that interests me most, since I know the content of the petition.

Please believe that I am deeply grateful to you.

With all kind thoughts,

John G. Neihardt