During the fall of 1860, Sedgwick oversaw the construction of Fort Wise, Colorado Territory with some disgruntlement, complaining to his sister about inadequate supplies for the project.
Sedgwick’s experiences in the Colorado territory left him disgruntled and ready for retirement.
It will be impossible for me to come home this winter, or even to tell you when I can come. I have thought sometimes, I would put off asking for a leave till I had determined to leave the service, and then ask for a year’s leave, which they cannot refuse.
~ John Sedgwick, letter to his sister Emily, September 12, 1860
I hope there never was a viler set of men in the world than is congregated about these mines; no man’s life is safe, and certainly not if he has fifty dollars to tempt one with. They have established a vigilance committee, and it may get rid of some of the scoundrels, but it would depopulate the country to kill them all. Half the murders that are committed on the plains, and laid to the Indians, are committed by white men. I am convinced of this.
~ John Sedgwick, letter to his sister Emily, September 25, 1860
I intend now to leave the service, and live a quiet and I hope a happy life at my old house.
~ John Sedgwick, letter to his sister Emily, January 26, 1861