Mark Kellogg (reporter)

Mark Kellogg (March 31, 1831 – June 25, 1876) was a newspaper reporter killed at the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Kellogg rode with George Armstrong Custer during the battle and was evidently one of the first men killed by the Sioux and Cheyenne.[1] His dispatches were the only press coverage of Custer and his men in the days leading up to the battle. As a newspaper stringer whose reports were picked up around the country, Kellogg is considered the first Associated Press correspondent to die in the line of duty.[2]

Mark Kellogg
Date and photographer unknown.
Marcus Henry Kellogg

March 31, 1831
DiedJune 25, 1876 (aged 45)
Near the Little Bighorn River in the eastern Montana Territory
OccupationNewspaper reporter


Born Marcus Henry Kellogg on March 31, 1831, in Brighton, Ontario, Canada, Kellogg was the third of ten children. Kellogg's family moved a number of times in his youth before they eventually settled in La Crosse, Wisconsin.[3] While there Kellogg learned to operate a telegraph and went to work for both the Northwestern Telegraph Company and the Atlantic and Pacific Telegraph Company.

He married Martha J. Robinson in 1861 and they had two daughters. During the years of the American Civil War, Kellogg became the assistant editor for the La Crosse Democrat newspaper. He also unsuccessfully ran for the office of city clerk in 1867 and played shortstop on one of the town's baseball teams.[4]

In 1867 Kellogg's wife died.[5] Leaving his daughters to be raised by an aunt,[6] Kellogg began drifting around the upper Midwest, working as a reporter and editorial assistant in places such as Council Bluffs, Iowa, and Brainerd, Minnesota. While living in Brainerd he ran for election to the Minnesota Legislature, but was defeated. He also worked as a string correspondent for the St. Paul Dispatch, with his articles often published under the pen name of "Frontier."[7]

In the early 1870s, he moved to Bismarck, North Dakota, where in 1873 he helped editor Clement A. Lounsberry found The Bismarck Tribune. Even though Kellogg was only an editorial assistant for the paper, he substituted for Lounsberry as editor of the Tribune's second, third and fourth issues.[8]

Battle of the Little Bighorn

When Lounsberry learned that a military column (including the 7th U.S. Cavalry Regiment commanded by Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer) would soon leave Fort Abraham Lincoln for the Montana Territory, he agreed to accompany Custer and provide news coverage. However, at the last minute Lounsberry's wife fell ill, so the editor asked Kellogg to take his place.[3] Lounsberry expected Kellogg would cover nothing more than a sensational military victory.[9]

Kellogg sent three dispatches back to Lounsberry, the last one four days before the battle when they were near the mouth of the Rosebud River. His last dispatch read, "By the time this reaches you we would have met and fought the red devils, with what result remains to be seen. I go with Custer and will be at the death."[10][11] Kellogg was not predicting his own death or Custer's defeat;[9] instead, "at the death" is a phrase borrowed from fox hunting meaning "present at the kill" (viz., of the pursued).[12]

Four days after that dispatch, the Battle of the Little Bighorn was fought, resulting in the deaths of Custer and the 208 soldiers, scouts, and civilians riding with him, including Kellogg.


Colonel John Gibbon, whose men arrived at the battle on Tuesday, June 27, and also helped bury the dead, said he found Kellogg's body in a ravine where a number of men from Company E died.[3] Kellogg's body was scalped and missing an ear; he was identified by the boots he wore.[13]

When Clement Lounsberry learned of the defeat of Custer's force and Kellogg's death, he "worked tirelessly throughout the night" to produce a special edition of The Bismarck Tribune.[14] Published on July 6, 1876, the article was the battle's first full account. Lounsberry also telegraphed the news, including Kellogg's correspondence, to a number of eastern newspapers, including the New York Herald. Two letters written by Kellogg were published posthumously by the Herald on July 11, 1876.[1]

As a newspaper stringer whose reports were picked up around the country, Kellogg is considered the first Associated Press correspondent to die in the line of duty.[2]

Some of Kellogg's diary and notes survived the battle and these, along with his news accounts, are one of the primary historical sources for information on the days preceding the battle. His notes are now in the possession of the State Historical Society of North Dakota.[3] His satchel, pencil, and eyeglasses are on display in the Newseum in Washington, DC.[15]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Mark Kellogg's Prequil to the Battle: A reporter's account of riding with Custer into the Battle of the Little Bighorn," The New York Herald, July 11, 1876. Accessed February 10, 2007.
  2. ^ a b Associated Press history archives Archived 2011-07-29 at the Wayback Machine, accessed Feb. 10, 2007.
  3. ^ a b c d The Custer Companion: A Comprehensive Guide to the Life of George Armstrong Custer and the Plains by Thom Hatch, Stackpole Books, 2002, pages 203-204.
  4. ^ I Go With Custer: The Life & Death of Reporter Mark Kellogg by Mark Kellogg, AST Press, 1996, page 30.
  5. ^ The Mark Kellogg Historical Plaque, Oak Grove Cemetery, La Crosse, Wisconsin, walking tour of Oak Grove Cemetery, accessed Nov. 11, 2008.
  6. ^ 'La Crosse scribe victim of Custer's Last Charge', Milwaukee Sentinel, August 21, 1921, The Wisconsin State Historical Society
  7. ^ I Go With Custer: The Life & Death of Reporter Mark Kellogg by Mark Kellogg, AST Press, 1996, page 56.
  8. ^ Clement A. Lounsberry Colonel, United States Army, Arlington National Cemetery website, accessed Feb. 10, 2007
  9. ^ a b I Go With Custer: The Life & Death of Reporter Mark Kellogg by Mark Kellogg, AST Press, 1996.
  10. ^ Marlane A. Liddell. "The AP Looks Back: 150 Years of Capturing the Moment". Smithsonian Magazine, May 1998.
  11. ^ John Connolly. "150th Anniversary of the AP". Archived 2006-11-07 at the Wayback Machine The Irish Times, September 1998. Accessed February 10, 2007.
  12. ^ "Entry for death, sense 15". Unabridged Based on the Random House Dictionary. 2009. Retrieved 2010-01-12. Fox Hunting. present at the kill.
  13. ^ Little Bighorn: Custer and the Battle of the Little Bighorn Archived 2008-07-20 at the Wayback Machine, From Wyoming Tales and Trails, The Aftermath, Tom Custer, Rain-in-the-Face, accessed Nov. 11, 2008.
  14. ^ Clement A. Lounsberry Colonel, United States Army, Arlington National Cemetery website, accessed Feb. 10, 2007.
  15. ^ Shafer, Jack (Feb 7, 2008). "Down With the Newseum! We don't need a gilded home for 6,214 journalism artifacts". Retrieved June 25, 2011.

Further reading

  • Barnard, Sandy. I Go With Custer: The Life & Death of Reporter Mark Kellogg. Bismark, ND: Bismarck Tribune Publishing Co., 1996. Includes a reprint of Kellogg's diary.
  • Hixon, John C. "Custer's 'Mysterious Mr. Kellogg' and the Diary of Mark Kellogg". North Dakota History, vol. 17, no.3 (1950).
  • Kellogg, Mark. "Notes on the Little Big Horn Expedition Under General Custer, 1876" in Contributions to the Historical Society of Montana, vol. 9. Helena, Mont.: Rocky Mountain Pub. Co., 1923.
  • Knight, Oliver. "Mark Kellogg Telegraphed for Custer’s Rescue". North Dakota Historical Society Quarterly, vol. 27, no. 2 (Spring 1960).
  • Saum, Lewis O. "Colonel Custer's Copperhead: The Mysterious Mark Kellogg". Montana: The Magazine of Western History, vol. 28, no. 4 (Autumn 1978).
  • Watson, Elmo Scott. "The 'Custer Campaign Diary' of Mark Kellogg" in The Westerners Brand Book 1945-46. Chicago: The Westerners, 1947.
Battle of the Little Bighorn

The Battle of the Little Bighorn, known to the Lakota and other Plains Indians as the Battle of the Greasy Grass and also commonly referred to as Custer's Last Stand, was an armed engagement between combined forces of the Lakota, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho tribes and the 7th Cavalry Regiment of the United States Army. The battle, which resulted in the defeat of US forces, was the most significant action of the Great Sioux War of 1876. It took place on June 25–26, 1876, along the Little Bighorn River in the Crow Indian Reservation in southeastern Montana Territory.The fight was an overwhelming victory for the Lakota, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho, who were led by several major war leaders, including Crazy Horse and Chief Gall, and had been inspired by the visions of Sitting Bull (Tȟatȟáŋka Íyotake). The US 7th Cavalry, a force of 700 men, suffered a major defeat while under the command of Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer (formerly a brevetted major general during the American Civil War). Five of the 7th Cavalry's twelve companies were annihilated and Custer was killed, as were two of his brothers, a nephew and a brother-in-law. The total US casualty count included 268 dead and 55 severely wounded (six died later from their wounds), including four Crow Indian scouts and at least two Arikara Indian scouts.

Public response to the Great Sioux War varied in the immediate aftermath of the battle. Custer's widow (Libbie Custer) soon worked to burnish her husband's memory, and during the following decades Custer and his troops came to be considered iconic, even heroic, figures in American history. The battle, and Custer's actions in particular, have been studied extensively by historians. Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument honors those who fought on both sides.

Kellogg (name)

Kellogg is a surname that applies to:

Albert Kellogg, American physician and botanist

Alice De Wolf Kellogg, American artist

Brainerd Kellogg, American educationalist and writer

Charles Kellogg (congressman) (1773–1842), U.S. Representative from New York

Charles Kellogg (state senator) (1839–1903), New York state legislator

Charles Kellogg (naturalist), vaudeville performer and campaigner for the protection of the giant sequoias

Clara Louise Kellogg, American singer

Clark Kellogg, sportscaster and former American basketball player

Daniel Kellogg (disambiguation), several people

David Kellogg, American director

Derek Kellogg, American basketball coach

Edward Kellogg (economist)

Edward Stanley Kellogg, 16th Governor of American Samoa

Edward W. Kellogg, inventor

Ella Eaton Kellogg (1853 - 1920), American philanthropist and pioneer in dietetics

Fay Kellogg, architect

Francis L. Kellogg, U.S. diplomat and prominent socialite

Francis William Kellogg, U.S. Representative from Michigan and Alabama

Frank B. Kellogg, United States Secretary of State from 1925–1929

Henry T. Kellogg (1869–1942), New York judge

Jeff Kellogg (born 1961), Major League Baseball umpire

J. A. Kellogg, (1871–1962), John Alonzo Kellogg, Washington politician

John Azor Kellogg, U.S. military leader and Wisconsin politician

John Harvey Kellogg, physician, brother of William Keith Kellogg

Keith Kellogg, retired general officer in the United States Army

Kendrick Bangs Kellogg (born 1934), organic architect

Louise P. Kellogg, U.S. historian

Marjorie Kellogg, American author

Mark Kellogg (reporter), first Associated Press correspondent to die in the line of duty when he was killed at the Battle of the Little Bighorn

Mark Kellogg (musician), principal trombonist of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra

Mike Kellogg (American football), American football player

Milo G. Kellogg, inventor, founder of Kellogg Switchboard & Supply Company

Nelson A. Kellogg (c. 1881–1945), American athlete, coach, and administrator

Orlando Kellogg, U.S. Representative from New York

Oliver Dimon Kellogg (1878–1932), American mathematician

Paul Kellogg (American journalist), American journalist

Peter Kellogg, Wall Street billionaire

Ray Kellogg, American film director and producer

Remington Kellogg, American naturalist and a director of the United States National Museum

Rowland C. Kellogg (1843–1911), New York politician

Samuel Kellogg (1673–1757), member of the Connecticut House of Representatives from Norwalk

Stephen Wright Kellogg, U.S. Representative from Connecticut

Stephen Kellogg of the band Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers

Steven Kellogg, American children's author and illustrator

Vernon Lyman Kellogg, American entomologist

Virginia Kellogg, film writer

Will Keith Kellogg, founder of the Kellogg Company, brother of John Harvey Kellogg

William Kellogg (Illinois), 19th-century U.S. Representative from Illinois

William P. Kellogg, 19th-century Governor of Louisiana

William Welch Kellogg, climatologist

Winthrop Kellogg (1898–1972), American comparative psychologist

La Crosse, Wisconsin

La Crosse is a city in the U.S. state of Wisconsin and the county seat of La Crosse County. Positioned alongside the Mississippi River, La Crosse is the largest city on Wisconsin's western border. La Crosse's estimated population in 2017 was 51,834. The city forms the core of and is the principal city in the La Crosse Metropolitan Area which includes all of La Crosse County and Houston County, Minnesota for a population of 135,298.A regional technology, medical, and transportation hub, companies based in the La Crosse area include Organic Valley, Logistics Health Incorporated, Kwik Trip, La Crosse Technology, City Brewing Company, and Trane. La Crosse is a college town and home to the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Viterbo University, and Western Technical College.

Mark Kellogg

Mark Kellogg may refer to:

Mark Kellogg (reporter), first Associated Press correspondent to die in the line of duty; killed at the Battle of the Little Bighorn

Mark Kellogg (musician), principal trombonist of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra

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