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Valentine McGillycuddy diary

 File — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS SC 139
Image of Valentine McGillycuddy diary
Image of Valentine McGillycuddy diary

Scope and Contents

Materials contain handwritten record of McGillycuddy's duties as a surgeon with General George Crook during the Big Horn and Yellowstone Expedition of 1876. They also include a description of the Battle of Slim Buttes on September 9, 1876, and the death of the Oglala chief, American Horse. The diary continues, beginning December 14, 1876, in the hand of McGillycuddy's wife, Fanny, and describes garrison life at Camp Robinson, Nebraska. Also contains a transcription of the diary. Dated from 1876 to 1877.


  • 1876-1877


Conditions Governing Access

Open for public research.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to use material from this collection must be obtained from Reference Services at

Biographical / Historical

Valentine McGillycuddy (1849-1939) was a surgeon in the U.S. Army and was an Indian Agent at Pine Ridge Reservation.

Valentine Trant McGillycuddy was born on February 14, 1849 in Racine, Wisconsin. He graduated from the Detroit Medical College in a degree of Doctor of Medicine in 1869. In 1871, he served on the U.S. Boundary Survey Commission for the U.S. government as a topographer, and was in this position until 1874. He was assigned as the topographical engineer and physician to the Jenney Black Hills expedition in 1875, and then in 1876, he was appointed surgeon of the 2nd U.S. Calvary. In this position, he oversaw service in South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, and Montana, and was the attending physician when Crazy Horse, the Indian chief, was fatally wounded.

In 1879, McGillycuddy was appointed Indian Agent at the Pine Ridge Reservation. While trying to bridge relationships between the whites and Indians, he received criticism, but establised an Indian police force and a boarding school for the Native American children. He left the position in 1886, and helped in the business affairs of several companies in Rapid City, South Dakota. After 1912, he moved to California and practiced medicine until he retired. McGillycuddy died in Berkeley, California on June 06, 1939.


2 folders (0.1 linear ft.)

Language of Materials


Custodial History

Purchased from Fred A. Rosenstock in 1974.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased; Fred A. Rosenstock; 1974.


Utah and Western American cultural, family, social, intellectual, and religious history (19th Century Mormon and Western Manuscripts collection development policy, V, b, v, 4; March 2020)

Existence and Location of Copies

Transcription available in folder 2.

Processing Information

Processed; Meghan Hoesch; March 2020.

Register of Valentine McGillycuddy diary
Elisa Visick
2010 June 14
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English in Latin script.

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States