ITEMS FROM LARRY RHODES.
It Happened in Kansas
Calvary Comes to Rescue.
Rescues Two From Indians.
Wichita Eagle, April 6, 1969.
By Forrest Hintz, Eagle Staff Writer.
The most common Western story plot should be labeled “Made in Kansas.”
With minor variations, the story goes like this:
A band of renegade Indians jumps the reservation and attacks the old homestead. They shoot most of the men, burn the barn, drive off the stock, and kidnap two young women.
The Cavalry is sent out to drive the Indians back to the reservation. The hero, brother of one of the women, vows eternal vengeance. He joins the Cavalry to search for his sister and her companion.
After severe hardships, he finds the women. There is a big battle and he shoots 1,284 Indians without once reloading his rifle. The women are rescued and everyone except the Indians lives happily ever after.
AND THAT’S ALMOST the way it happened near Concordia just a century ago.
Rev. Richard E. Taylor, Jr., pastor of Wichita’s University Methodist Church, uncovered the story during an eight-year pastorate at Concordia.
Among his parishioners were Steven White and his son and daughter-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Martin White.
According to the family history, the elder White’s aunt had been kidnaped by Indians in 1868. She was rescued several months later in extreme southwest Oklahoma.
Rev. Taylor got the story on tape, and it was better than the movie version. It involved Custer and the 7th Cavalry.
Gov. Samuel J. Crawford resigned as Kansas’ chief executive to raise and lead a regiment in the search. It became one of the major campaigns against the Indians.
“It was a fascinating thing,” Rev. Taylor said, “but there were gaps in it, as there always are in family histories.
“In 1967, we were vacationing in Wyoming. At Ft. Laramie, I bought a little-known book—Custer’s ‘My Life on the Plains.’ In it was the story of Miss White and her companion. It developed that the kidnaping was the major reason for the campaign against the southern Plains Indians.”
FREQUENT EDITORIAL notes in the Custer story refer to “the Spotts account.” After much hunting, Rev. Taylor found the book in the Wichita State University library.
David Spotts, a 20-year-old farmhand near Olathe, was a remarkable diarist. He “told it like it was,” but the title is formidable—“Campaigning With Custer and the Nineteenth Kansas Volunteer Cavalry on the Washita Campaign, 1868-1869, by David L. Spotts, comprising his Daily Diary of Thrilling Events on the Winter Campaign against the Hostile Cheyennes, Kiowas, and Comanches.”
In 1868, the government was trying to keep the Indians on the reservation established by the Medicine Lodge Peace Treaty of 1867. The majority of the Indians honored the treaty.
BUT A RELATIVE few “Dog Soldiers”—renegades driven from their own tribes—cut a path of death and destruction through the new settlements. The 7th Cavalry was ordered to round up the strays.
This is how Custer paints the background:
“So long had the thrifty and enterprising settlers upon the frontier of Kansas, particularly those who had selected homes in the fertile valleys of the Saline, Solomon, and Republican rivers, been subjected to the depredations of the Cheyennes, Arapahos, Apaches, Kiowas, and Sioux, and so frequent had the murder and capture of settlers by these Indians become, that the citizens and officials of the State felt forced to take measures for their own defense, and for the purpose of uniting with the forces of the General Government in the attempt to give quiet and protection to life and property to the inhabitants of the border settlements.
“THE LAST NEEDED impulse to this movement on the part of the people of Kansas was given when the Indians late in the preceding summer made two raids upon the settlements in the Saline, Solomon, and Republican valleys, and, after murdering many of the men and children, burning houses and destroying or capturing a vast amount of stock, carried off into captivity two young women or girls, both belonging to high respected families residing on the exposed border of the State.
“Although one of the captives was married, her marriage to a farmer having been celebrated less than one month prior to the day of her unfortunate capture by the Indians, yet neither of them could scarcely be said to have passed the line which separates girlhood from womanhood.
“Mrs. Morgan, the bride, was but nineteen, while her companion in misfortune, Miss White, was still her junior by a year or more.”
Custer adds that “. . . they played no unimportant part in subsequent operations against the Indians . . .”
ACCORDING TO Spotts, Sarah C. White was kidnaped August 13, 1868, from the family homestead near Concordia. White and three of his sons were six miles away, stacking hay. Sarah, her mother, and three younger children were left at home.
About 10 a.m., six Indians entered the house, took what they wanted, and destroyed the rest.
“Two of them seized the daughter,” Spotts says, “and, despite her cries for help and the resistance of her frenzied mother, tied her hands and bound her on a pony . . . and left.”
The other Indians followed the wagon trail to the hay field and killed White. The three boys escaped, one by hiding in tall grass.
About 20 men went after the war party, but had to abandon the chase. The Indians were headed for their main camp on the headwaters of the Republican River in Colorado.
SPOTTS SAYS the kidnappers “ . . . were what was known as the ‘Dog Soldiers’ and consisted of the outcasts, those banished from the tribes for crimes committed on their own people. They were the thieves and robbers of their tribes and murderers of the white people of the frontier.”
News of the kidnaping angered Gov. Crawford. On August 17, he wrote President Andrew Johnson.
“How long must we submit to such atrocities?” he asked. “Need we look to the Government for protection or must the people of Kansas protect themselves? If the Government cannot control these uncivilized barbarians, while they are under its fostering care and protection, it certainly can put a stop to the unbearable policy of supplying them with arms and ammunition. . . .”
On October 9, Governor Crawford was authorized to raise a regiment of volunteers. Within 20 days, he had 1,200 men. He resigned as governor on November 4 and was named colonel of the unit, the 19th Kansas Volunteer Cavalry.
SIMULTANEOUSLY another act was being played in the drama.
Anna Belle Brewster married James Morgan on September 13 and settled on his claim along the Solomon River near Delphos.
On October 13, Morgan was husking corn a couple of miles from home when a small band of Indians caught him. He was shot in the hip, but escaped by hiding in some willows along the river.
The team bolted and ran home. Mrs. Morgan rode out to see what happened. The Indians rode her down and clubbed her out of the saddle, taking her with them.
Several days later, the band arrived at their camp on Colorado. Miss White and Mrs. Morgan met there for the first time.
BOTH NARRATIVES say the women were badly mistreated.
Custer, writing of Miss White, says: “She realized that if her life had been spared by her savage captors, it was due to no sentiment of mercy or kindness on their part, but simply that she might be reserved for a doom far more fearful and more to be dreaded than death.” He left no doubt what he meant.
Both women were beaten by the squaws, starved, forced to serve as pack animals, and were traded from one Indian to another.
As the weather grew colder, the Indians drifted southeast to the Texas-Oklahoma border.
The 7th Cavalry took off from Fort Dodge to intercept them, with orders to wait for reinforcements at Camp Supply, about 15 miles northwest of Woodward, Oklahoma.
Custer tells of meeting “a young man of 21 or 22" who wanted to join the expedition, without pay. He was searching for a sister kidnaped by Indians.
“THE NAME OF this young man was Brewster,” Custer says, “and the lost sister in whose search he was so earnestly engaged was Mrs. Morgan, whose capture has already been described.”
The 19th Kansas was on the way from Topeka. Spotts’ map indicates that they followed almost exactly the turnpike route to “Post Wichita.”
He describes the post as “ . . . one building, a long adobe with a wood lean-to” and said, “The Little Arkansas empties into the main river a mile above the post.” This would place it somewhere between Kellogg and Harry streets.
The 19th Kansas and the 7th Cavalry joined forces November 28 and moved south December 7. Custer had a total of 21 companies of cavalry in his command.
It was a tough march. Spotts and Custer both tell of bitter cold, constant blizzards, and short rations. Horses were reduced to eating cottonwood bark for forage—and the men ate the horses that had to be destroyed.
Most of the time was spent hunting Indians where they weren’t—near the Wichita mountains west of present Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
FINALLY, THE troopers found the Cheyenne camp somewhere near the Salt Fork of the Red River in the Texas panhandle country and captured three chiefs.
It was learned the Cheyennes had two white women captives. From the descriptions given, Brewster said one undoubtedly was his sister, Mrs. Morgan.
Says Custer: “Having resolved to obtain the release of the captives, all other purposes were necessarily laid aside.”
He delivered an ultimatum—return the girls or he would hang the chiefs forthwith. The Kansas troopers went so far as to string nooses on a convenient tree.
After three days of palaver, word was passed that the women were being brought in. It was March 19, 1869.
Spotts’ diary notes, “Gen. Custer said to Col. Moore, ‘As these are Kansas women, I detail you and your officers to receive them.’”
BREWSTER was determined to get the women and had to be forcibly held back.
Custer explains it by saying, “ . . . fearing that should one of the two now approaching us prove to be his sister, seeing her in the forlorn condition in which she must be, might provoke young Brewster beyond control and induce him to attempt to obtain revenge. . . .”
Here, the story varies considerably from the standard script.
In the movies, the captives are dressed as Indians, but look as beautiful and polished as ever. It wasn’t quite that way in 1869.
Says Spotts: “The larger one (19-year-old Mrs. Morgan) appeared to be 50 years old. She was quite tall, with light hair that was bleached on top until it was dirty brown from exposure. Her clothes were made of three or four kinds of material, pieces of tents and blankets, all worn out and sewed together with strings.
“THE OTHER . . . also was pale and dressed pretty much the same. The Indians did not even allow them a blanket to cover their ragged clothing.
“I heard that Brewster recognized the larger one as his sister and said to her, ‘Oh, sister, how you must suffer.’”
Custer says that “Their joy at their deliverance, however, could not hide the evidences of privation and suffering to which they had been subjected by their cruel captors. They were clothed in dresses made of flour sacks, the brand of the mills being plainly seen on each dress; showing that the Indians who had held them in captivity had obtained their provisions from the Government at some agency.”
Spotts adds that “ . . . the chiefs are not so sullen now, but the ropes still hang from the limbs and some of the boys are hoping they will be hung yet.”
The next day, the Spotts’ diary states: “It is said Mrs. Morgan has not even smiled since she has been released from captivity, while Miss White is becoming quite cheerful.
“When they were taken to see the chiefs, Mrs. Morgan tried to get Col. Moore’s revolver to shoot Big Head, and said he was the worst Indian in the whole tribe.
“DAN BREWSTER has sworn vengeance on the Indians for the rough treatment of his sister. He looks as though he would do what he made up his mind to do. He is not very talkative. . . .”
Keeping the chiefs as hostages until the Cheyennes returned to the reservation, Custer swing hus command north toward Fort Hays. The campaign was over.
FROM THE NEWSPAPERS.
Emporia News, December 4, 1868.
IMPORTANT INDIAN NEWS.
Battle between Custer’s Seventh Cavalry and Cheyenne.
A dispatch from a special correspondent of the Leavenworth Conservative, dated “in the field, Indian Territory, November 28, 1868,” gives an account of a considerable battle between the Cheyenne Indians under Black Kettle, and the Seventh Cavalry under command of General Custer, on the north fork of the Washita River, on the day before Black Kettle’s village was captured.
One hundred and fifty Indians were killed, and the bodies left in our possession, and fifty-three taken prisoners.
An immense amount of property was captured and destroyed, consisting of fifty-one lodges, nearly 1,000 horses and mules, arrows, ammunition, horse equipments, robes, provisions, etc.
Capt. Louis Hamilton was killed in the first charge. Major Elliott is missing.
One man of the Seventh was killed and fourteen wounded.
The tribe is badly crippled. The Indians, including women and boys, fought with great desperation from the cover of bushes and grass, when driven out of the village.
Many of the wounded effected their escape.
The victory was complete, and will be a wholesome lesson to the Cheyennes.
Black Kettle, the principal Chief, was killed.
Brevet Lieut. Col. Barnitz was seriously, if not mortally, wounded.
It is reported here that Col. Crawford’s regiment, the 19th Kansas, has been defeated by the Indians. It is only a war rumor.
Excerpt from a lengthy report by Sheridan...
Emporia News, December 11, 1868.
THE INDIAN WAR!
Gen. Sheridan’s Report—The Work Done and To Be Done.
On Sept. 29 seven companies of the Fifth Cavalry arrived at Fort Harker. They were at once equipped and sent north of the railroad from here on Beaver Creek, under command of Brevet Col. W. B. Royall, Major Fifth Cavalry, but as yet have not succeeded in finding the Indians. On Oct. 12, Gen. Sully ordered Custer’s command from Chalk Bluff Creek to scour the country on Medicine Lodge Creek and the Big Bend of the Arkansas, pending the accumulation of supplies at Dodge for an expedition to the Canadian River and Wichita Mountains. Only small parties of Indians who had been depredating on the line from Harker to Dodge were found, and who drew south to watch the movements of Custer. Two Indians were reported as probably killed in some small dashes made by them at sundry times, but no families or villages were found.
Emporia News, December 25, 1868.
IMPORTANT LETTER FROM GENERAL SHERIDAN.
ST. LOUIS, Dec. 19. A letter from Gen. Sheridan, dated at the depot on North Canadian River, December 3rd, was received at Gen. Sherman’s headquarters today.
It gives information derived from Black Kettle’s sister, by Gen. Sheridan himself, in substance as follows.
The Indians were encamped—first Black Kettle and other chiefs of the Cheyennes and a small party of Sioux, in all thirty-seven lodges—eight miles down the Wichita were all the Arapahos and seventy additional lodges of Cheyennes, also the Kiowas, Apaches, and Comanches. While thus encamped three war parties were sent out; one composed of Cheyennes, Kiowas, and Arapahos, went in the direction of Fort Larned, and were still out. Another party was composed of Cheyennes and Arapahos, and returned, the trail of which led Gen. Custer into Black Kettle’s village. This party brought back three scalps, one of which was that of the express man killed and horribly mutilated between Dodge and Larned, just before Gen. Sheridan left the former fort. The mail he was carrying was found in Black Kettle’s camp. The other party was a mixed one and went in the direction of Fort Lyon and is still out.
About the time the first of these parties started, Black Kettle and one sub-chief from each band went to Ft. Cobb and brought back provisions given them at that fort, and while they were gone, or about the time of their return, the last war party referred to was sent out.
The women are of the opinion that they will all sue for peace at Fort Cobb as the result of the battle with Custer. They would have gone to Gen. Sheridan’s camp had not the opening at Cobb been held out to them.
Gen. Sheridan says: “I shall start for Fort Scott as soon as the trains from Fort Dodge arrive. Had it not been for the misfortune of the Kansas regiment getting lost and the heavy snow which rendered their horses unfit for duty, we would have closed up this job before this time. As it is, I think the fight is pretty well knocked out of the Cheyennes.
The Government makes a great mistake in giving these Indians any considerable amount of food under the supposition of necessity. The whole country is covered with game, and there are more buffalo than will last the Indians for twenty years, and the turkeys are so numerous that flocks of from one to two thousand have been seen; the country is full of grouse, quails, and rabbits; herds of antelope and deer are seen everywhere, and even run through Gen. Custer’s train while on the march. The reservations laid for the Cheyennes and Arapahos are full of game and the most luxuriant grass.
Black Kettle’s sister reports three white women in the lodges below Black Kettle’s camp.
Another letter from Gen. Sheridan says the mules belonging to Clark’s train, also photographs and other articles taken from the houses robbed on the Salina and Solomon Rivers in Kansas, last fall, were found in the Indian camp.
The Indian women prisoners say that most of the depredations along the line of the Arkansas were committed by the Cheyennes and Arapahos.
Emporia News, January 22, 1869.
Additional information from the Indian country leads several Senators, who have canvassed the subject, to form the belief that the battle of Washita was in all its main features a repetition of the Sand Creek massacre. It appears that Custer left his dead on the field for fifteen days till he could ride with his command to carry the news of a great victory, and on returning, the bodies of Manner, Elliot, and sixteen others were found torn by wolves and birds, and the mutilation charged to the Indians.
Emporia News, January 22, 1869.
INTERESTING NEWS FROM GENERAL SHERIDAN.
CHICAGO, Jan. 16. Gen. Sheridan informs Gen. Sherman that the destruction of the Comanche village by Col. Evans gave the final blow to the backbone of the Indian rebellion. At midnight on the 31st of December a delegation of the chief men of the Arapahos and Cheyennes, twenty-one in number, arrived at Fort Cobb, begging peace. They report the tribes in mourning for their losses, their people starving, ponies dying, dogs all eaten up, no buffalo.
Gen. Sheridan further says: We had forced them into the canyons, on the eastern edge of the staked plains, where there was no small game or buffalo. They are in a bad fix, and surrender unconditionally. I acceded to their terms, and will punish them justly. I can scarcely make error in any punishment awarded, for all have blood upon their hands.”
In the same dispatch Sheridan repels the charge of Col. Wynkoop that Black Kettle’s band were peaceable Indians. He says the band were outside of their reservation, and some of Black Kettle’s young men were out depredating when the village was captured. Much plunder from trains and from murdered couriers was found in the village, and other indubitable evidence that the band had been engaged in murders and outrages upon the whites.
Emporia News, February 12, 1869.
THE INDIAN WAR.
Latest advices from the Indian country state that Gen. G. A. Custer is just bringing the Indian difficulties to a close, not by pow-wows nor by treaties, but by holding Lone Wolf and Satanta, both chiefs of the Kiowas, as hostages, and telling them that unless the Kiowas are all in by a certain date they are to be hung; that they may be hung anyway, but their chances are better if the entire tribe comes in. He tells the Arapahos and Cheyennes, through some of their principal Chiefs, whom these tribes sent in yesterday under a flag of truce, that unless their people come in and give themselves up within two weeks, he will go to their camps and whip thunder out of them; that when they do come in (which they seem anxious to do) they must stay on their reservation, for if he has to come again after them, he will kill them all.
A letter to the Leavenworth Times & Conservative, contains the following:
“So far as I can learn, there is to be no treaty; they are told that they will be whipped if they do not do as they are told, and in my opinion the first issue to be made when the Indians are all in will be made by Gen. Custer, and that issue to the principals of the outrages committed on our frontier last fall; this will be a life annuity in the shape of “hemp,” which you know was often used with great success during the early days of Kansas as a preventive against theft, robbery, and murder.
“Gen. Custer has the cue to the whole affair. The Indians have used all the treachery and cunning that they are masters of to effect the release of Satanta and Lone Wolf, yet they have not been able to flank the General in any of his plans. There is a permanency attached to every move he makes in the matter. No bragging, no lying has been resorted to, but a strong solution of powder and lead. Why, Mr. Editor, those who came in here yesterday to beg to be received were a lot of poor, half-starved creatures, their ponies were also starving, for the reason that since Gen. Custer took the field they have not had time to graze their ponies nor to kill meat for themselves. Their ponies are dying by the hundreds, and they are living on their dogs. They have been able to make but few robes; consequently, they are poorly clad. They have learned that the way of the transgressor is hard.”
Emporia News, February 12, 1869.
The number of troops now engaged in the Indian war and doing frontier service is reported by the Secretary of War to be 21,814.
Emporia News, March 5, 1869.
FIGHT WITH INDIANS.
A letter from General Sheridan, received at General Sherman’s headquarters, dated “In the Field, January 31st,” states that the Cheyennes and Arapahos report that another engagement between the forces under command of Colonel Evans, of the Third Regular Cavalry, and the Indians, took place between the 15th and 20th of January, at a point ten days’ travel west of the Wichita mountains, in which the troops were successful, totally destroying an Indian village and killing eight of the savages. General Custer, in a communication to General Sheridan from his camp on the North Fork of the Red River, corroborates the report as having come through Indian sources. It was Colonel Evan’s command which gave the redskins such a drubbing on Christmas day. When last heard from General Custer was on the North Fork.
Emporia News, April 23, 1869.
GENERAL CUSTER’S REPORT.
A long report has been received at military headquarters, St.. Louis, from Gen. Custer, detailing his operations in the field. After breaking camp at Medicine Bluff Creek, the first signs of Indians were discovered on the 13th of March, and the whole command, numbering 1,500 men, moved rapidly, making daily marches two or three times as long as those of the Indians. Tents were burned, and all blankets, except one per man, and all surplus clothing shared the same fate. On the 15th, they reached a camp-ground which had been abandoned only two days before. About the same time a herd of ponies, in charge of two Indians, was discovered. Custer determined to capture the herd, but after proceeding some two miles, saw in the distance partially concealed behind the Sand Hills, a body of Indians. After a good deal of signaling, eight of them came out, from whom Custer learned that 260 Cheyenne lodges were encamped within ten or twelve miles, 200 of which were directly in front of a small stream. Medicine Arrow, Chief of the Cheyenne, and several other noted Chiefs, then rode up. Among the 200 lodges were those of the “Dog Soldiers,” the most mischievous, bloodthirsty, and barbarous bands of Indians that infest the Plains. Gen. Custer first intended to attack this villainous lot, when he discovered that the Cheyennes held two white female captives, Mrs. Morgan and Miss White. He concluded not to do so, at least until he had those women out of the hands of savages. He therefore went with “Medicine Arrow” to his lodge in the center of the village. Before entering the village he perceived the greatest excitement and noticed that everything was prepared for fight. The General thinks that had he then been compelled to attack them with his fatigued troops, he could not have effected more than the capture of their lodge. He ordered the arrests of the chiefs, “Big Head” and “Dull Knife,” intending to hold them under guard as hostages for the women captives. After considerable parleying, and only when the rope and tree were chosen to hang the imprisoned chiefs, did the Indians deliver up their captives. The story of their treatment, told by the captives, is of such barbarous cruelties and enormous indignities that it is surprising that civilized beings could have endured it and survived. The Indians express themselves heartily sick of war, and are willing to go to that part of the country which has been designated for them. The General did not lose a single man of his command. He concludes his report with the following words: “I now hold captive Cheyenne chiefs as hostages for the good behavior of their tribes, and for the fulfillment of the promise of the latter to come in and conform to the demands of the Government. This I consider is the end of the Indian war.”
Emporia News, April 23, 1869.
THE LATE CAPTIVES.
The two women, Mrs. Morgan and Miss White, recently rescued from the Indians by Gen. Custer, came down the road on Thursday morning’s train. Mrs. Morgan stopped at Salina. Miss White came down to Junction City, from which place she started to her home on the Republican River. The Union says Miss White was taken away from home on the 14th of last August, by six Indians, at which time her father was killed. She is about seventeen years old. Her family live on a tributary of Buffalo Creek, about ten miles west of Lake Sibley.
Emporia News, May 14, 1869.
A correspondent of the Topeka Record, writing from Hays, under date of May 9th, says: “The Indians imprisoned at Fort Hays made a desperate effort to escape this afternoon. One of the sergeants was stabbed, and upon the moment they rushed to the entrance in a body. The guard fired into them, killing two of the chiefs lately captured by Custer, and two squaws. Town quiet since the Negro riot.”
Emporia News, June 11, 1869.
THE INDIAN WAR.
Notwithstanding the announcement of Generals Sheridan and Custer a few weeks ago that the Indian war was ended, it is now raging on our northwestern border with renewed ferocity. It is a little strange that our border cannot be protected by the Government. The Indians have been treated in a way to make them more bold and impudent than ever. We are not in the habit of crying “blood,” but it does seem to us that the only plan to stop the Indian depredations at this stage of their warfare is “war to the knife.” They will respect no other treatment. It is of no benefit now to talk about what might have been done years ago to prevent the present trouble. The Government, it seems to us, ought to wake to the realization that it has a merciless Indian war on its hands which is not going to be stopped by boys’ play, or prattling of peace. Everybody knows that the only way to get peace from a treacherous Indian, is to whip him into it. The sooner the Government commences to act on this principle, the better for all parties. Our settlers have been and are being murdered by the score in the northwest. Something must be done at once to stop these outrages. Governor Harvey is doing all in his power. He is comparatively helpless, as the Government will neither furnish him troops or permit him to raise regiments in Kansas. It looks now as though the people of Kansas must take the matter in their own hands and defend their own homes. Indeed, considerable numbers are already on the “war path.” If that foolish and do-nothing policy which characterized the Government in the first stages of the recent rebellion, and which has so far characterized its treatment of these Indian difficulties is continued, nothing can check the indignation of the people of our border, and there will be some precious (?) Indian blood spilt. Sympathy for the redskins is worn threadbare in Kansas.
Emporia News, June 11, 1869.
THE INDIAN NEWS.
Another Bloody Massacre—Important Details of Indian Outrages.
A dispatch received last evening from Waterville states that an attack had been made upon the settlers on the Republican by a large body of Sioux, Cheyenne, and Kiowa Indians. The settlers were driven across the river. Seventeen settlers who had recently come into the country were killed—among them a Mr. Winkefiel, late a prominent citizen of Atchison. The larger number of these were killed while crossing the river.
Topeka Commonwealth, June 6.
Geo. W. Crowther, of the Irving Recorder, writes the following particulars of late Indian murders to Governor Harvey, dated Waterville June 2nd.
“The reports of Indian massacre and pillage I find upon examination have not been exaggerated. In fact, they have committed more depredations than have been reported.
“Representative Smith, of Marshall County, has just arrived from the country west of the Solomon. He was one of the party of ten that went out for the purpose of hunting and looking up locations. On last Saturday evening about four o’clock five of the party, while hunting near the forks of the Solomon, were set upon by about 100 Sioux and Cheyennes; the party were separated, and they took to the brush, eluding the Indians until dark, at which time they singly struck for the settlements. Four of them, after being chased two days, and suffering untold hardships for the want of food, water, and sleep, have arrived—the most terribly dilapidated mortals I have ever seen. The fifth man, John Wilson, Smith says, was headed by the Indians and was compelled to run through their camp; since then nothing has been seen or heard of him. It is thought he was tomahawked in the camp.
“Six of a hunting party of seven from this place were massacred at the mouth of White Rock. They made a gallant fight of two days duration, but their ammunition giving out, they fell easy victims to the merciless tomahawk. The following are the names of those killed belonging to the Waterville party: R. Wendlefleck, E. Wendlefleck, and two persons named Cole, just from Michigan. It is truly heart-rending to learn that those killed are not the only sufferers. Mr. Burke, well known, I believe, to your Excellency, leaves a family consisting of a wife and eight children—all girls, in all but destitute circumstances. Mr. Wendlefleck, a much honored citizen of this place, leaves a family of a wife and six children, who were entirely dependent upon him for their daily bread.
“Four citizens of Rose Creek, Nebraska, near the Kansas line, were at the head of White Rock, in this State, looking up farms, and were ruthlessly set upon by the savages, on Thursday last, and brutally murdered and mutilated. Two Swede farmers were massacred on Thursday, on White Rock.
“Mr. Pillsbury, of Smith’s party, in his wanderings, found the body of a Dr. Rose, on the Solomon, terribly mutilated. It is feared that the remainder of a party of four, of which he was the head, are murdered, as they have not been heard from.
“Mr. Smith says that he knows of seven squads of hunters, averaging five to the squad, who were about twenty miles west of him when he was attacked, and it is fear that, owing to the fact that they have not been heard from, they have fallen victims to the scalping knife.
“Mr. Smith stopped at Lake Sibley, where Capt. B. C. Saunders, who commanded a company of the Indian militia last year, was very busily employed organizing the settlers who had flocked there for protection.
“. . . Mr. Smith intends raising an independent company of men, and calculates to go up on White Rock to protect the settlers. [He left with his command yesterday. ED.]
“The Excelsior Colony have deserted their locations, and are scattered all along the Republican, from Scandinavia to Lake Sibley.
“Mr. Smith says that the Indians who attacked his party wore broad brimmed hats, and were armed with new Colt’s revolvers.”
From Capt. Brunswick, of Junction City, who arrived in the city yesterday, we have learned the names of the parties who were murdered by the Indians on Spillman’s Creek, ten miles from Ellsworth. Mr. Brunswick saw the bodies on Saturday last. He says they presented the most shocking sight he ever beheld or conceived of. The brains of the children were beaten out and their teeth driven into their mouths. The bodies of the adults were mangled, bruised, and tortured. The names of the killed were A. C. Lovington and wife, Mrs. Alderdyce and four children aged respectively eight, five, and two years, and a babe of seven months; Christopher Peterson, John Wetzel, and Hermann Mayhoff. George Smietz and Wm. Alderdyce were wounded. Topeka Commonwealth.
Emporia News, June 18, 1869.
THE INDIAN NEWS.
A special dispatch to the Conservative from Ellsworth, dated June 14th, gives the latest and the only Indian news of the week.
The Indians are again at their murderous work, this time about thirty-five miles north of Solomon City.
Two men are reported killed. A party of men followed the Indians, but on discovering a large force in reserve, did not attack.
Gov. Harvey arrived at Salina yesterday afternoon, on a special locomotive, and this morning left for the scene of the outrages.
A quantity of arms were received at Solomon City and Salina this afternoon, for the protection of the settlers.
A force of armed men left Salina yesterday, and another detachment today. Captain Whitney leaves here tomorrow morning, by direction of Adjutant General Moorehouse, for Spillman Creek with his company of scouts. Most of the settlers are armed and on their guard.
The President has directed Gens. Sheridan and Schofield to send troops to protect settlers all along the Kansas frontier.
On the 12th Senator Ross had another interview with General Sherman, and asked that troops might be concentrated more rapidly in Western Kansas, for the protection of the white settlers from the incursions and depredations of Indians.
General Sherman said that the proper military force was already moving in the territory of the depredations. Should the present military force on the frontier be inadequate to quell promptly the existing difficulties with the Indians, authority will be conferred upon General Schofield to raise volunteers for this purpose, and secure peace and tranquility to the border.
Orders will be issued to Gens. Sheridan and Schofield to treat all the Indians off of the four great reservations as hostile, and to proceed against them accordingly, with a view to the protection of the citizens of Kansas and elsewhere on the frontier.
ANOTHER NEWS ITEM UNCOVERED BY LARRY RHODES.
The Arkansas City (Kansas) Daily Traveler, January 8, 1969.
KANSAS 100 YEARS AGO.
LIFE IN HAYS BOTH VIOLENT AND PEACEFUL.
This story of Western violence, transmitted in a letter from Hays, appeared in the Leavenworth Daily Commercial, January 12, 1869.
“Our town . . . has been the scene of intense excitement, owing to the violent death of one of its citizens, James Hayes. . . . Having on the night of January 5th, about 11:30, Hayes came over by the saloon of Thomas Drunos, to ascertain the time of night, he being the Government watchman. . . . Having warmed himself, he started to the bunk house to awake his comrade, who was to relieve him. As he stepped from the door, a shot was fired at him. . . . He jumped back to the door and at the same time another shot was fired, which took effect in his stomach, passed out through his back, splintering the spinal column. . . .
“He fell against the door and called for help. Joseph Mason, bartender, and Drunos . . . ran to the door and carried him in. He could only say, ‘I’m shot. . . .’ And thus the affair stood shrouded in mystery. . . . Our sheriff, Isaac Thayer, and the deputy U. S. Marshal, Joseph N. Weiss, took the matter in hand and by 10 o’clock of the 6th, thanks to their talent and untiring efforts, three soldiers, belonging to the 38th U. S. Infantry . . . were brought before our efficient magistrate, M. W. Soule, charged with having committed the deed. They were placed under a guard of citizens, and Justice Soule proceeded with the inquest. . . . After the case was given to the jury . . . they returned with a verdict that James Hayes came to his death by a gun-shot wound from a gun in the hands of either Len Watkins or James Sponder, and that Luke Barnes was concerned in the deed of violence and death.’
“The parties were then arraigned for trial. . . . After some talk with the court, Mr. Irwin [defense attorney] asked for and obtained a continuance until the 7th inst., at 9 a.m. They were taken to the jail and a guard placed over them.
“During the night a vigilance committee visited the jail, took them out, and hung them to the trestle work of the Union Pacific Railroad, where they were found this morning by the railroad workmen. . . .”
There was another side to life in Hays and business progressed in both the civilian and military communities. These items are from a letter to the Leavenworth Daily Times and Conservative, published on January 16, 1869.
“Samuel E. Hoffman, the active and energetic trader at Fort Hays, has been here for the last few days. It does a man good to see Sam’s genial countenance at this place. In fact, it puts us in mind of civilization. He has added two large buildings to the one already established at the fort, at a cost of about $2,000. Hill P. Wilson, the partner of Mr. Hoffman, is a genial, whole-souled, wide awake gentleman, thoroughly conversant with frontier life, and sells out ‘at about cost.’ . . . In all, I think it is the best arranged, as well as the most satisfactory to all parties I have ever seen in the shape of a sutler’s store. All seem perfectly satisfied with the purchases made. . . .
“The Commercial Hotel at this place is about fitted up in style for the accommodation of the traveling public by Dean W. Hutchinson. . . . Mr. Hutchinson will and can keep a hotel worthy of our county.”
ANOTHER NEWS ITEM UNCOVERED BY LARRY RHODES.
The Arkansas City (Kansas) Daily Traveler, April 14, 1969.
KANSAS 100 YEARS AGO.
KANSAS NEWS MISCELLANY, APRIL, 1869.
The Kansas City (Missouri) Journal’s report of Ohio immigrants was quoted in the Lawrence Weekly Tribune, April 8, 1869.
“A party of one hundred and thirty immigrants, including men, women, and children, from the neighborhood of Cleveland and Plainesville, Ohio, on the Western Reserve, came in on the Cameron train on Sunday morning last, and during the day were transferred to the city by ferry boat. Their outfit, including horses, cattle, wagons, agricultural implements, etc., filled twelve freight cars. They have secured lands in Bavaria, near Salina, in Saline County, on the Kansas Pacific Railroad, and leave this city today for their future home in the West. . . .
“We learned from one of their number that this party will be followed in the course of another month by a still greater party. One individual informed us that there were, in all, three hundred families preparing to pitch their tents in their neighborhood. Another gentlemen put the number as high as six hundred families. We trust the highest and brightest anticipations of these Buckeyes may be fully realized.”
George Custer’s return to Fort Leavenworth after the Washita campaign was noted by the Leavenworth Daily Times and Conservative on April 10, 1869.
“Gen. Custer has had a very hard campaign of it, and the results of his vigorous war upon the murderous savages will not be soon forgotten among the Indians. If they are made to believe that a similar raid will be made upon them whenever they commit depredations upon the settlers, we believe they will be behave themselves with tolerable decency.
“The many personal friends of Gen. Custer will be pleased to learn that he is in the enjoyment of good health after his long and fatiguing marches and almost constant exposure to all sorts of weather.”
ANOTHER NEWS ITEM UNCOVERED BY LARRY RHODES.
Date: April 13, 1969.
Photo with caption: “Students walk to class at Haskell Institute. . . . Only post-high school Indian educational facility.
Today in KANSAS/OKLAHOMA.
Indian Students Show Little History Interest.
By DON REEDER, Associated Press Writer.
LAWRENCE, Kan. Most students at Haskell Institute show little interest in studying Indian history—a somewhat surprising attitude in view of the fact all the students are Indians.
The young people at Haskell are more concerned with computers and air conditioners than with tomahawks and buffalo robes.
They don’t forget their heritage, but the goal is not a wigwam beside a babbling brook but a factory assembly line or the executive suite.
“We want people to know we’re Indians,” explained one student, “but successful Indians.”
Haskell has come a long way since the day in 1884 when 14 bewildered Pawnees were enrolled to “learn the joys of honest labor, the methods of a democratic government, be converted to the Christian religion, and taught to use leisure time worthily.”
GONE ARE the days when the school—named for Rep. Dudley C. Haskell of Kansas—was run along military lines and when many students arrived knowing scarcely a word of English.
Also in the past, but proudly remembered, are Haskell’s days as one of the nation’s football powers.
By the 1920s players like John Levi, Louis “Rabbit” Weller, and Tiny Roebuck led the Indians on a gridiron warpath all across the country. They placed such teams as Notre Dame and Michigan State—and beat most of them.
Today the 10,000-seat stadium with its massive arch entrance—built with $165,000 in Indian donations in 1926—serves for games against junior college competition.
For the last three years Haskell has been the federal government’s only institution devoted solely to educating Indians past the high school level.
The approximately 1,000 students from more than 30 states are all high school graduates and must have at least one-quarter Indian blood. They take two years of training in skills ranging from business education to welding, refrigeration, and printing—almost all of it at government expense.
“WE KNOW our kids will have to compete for jobs, and we try to give them as many skills as possible,” explained Wallace E. Galluzzi, superintendent of the school.
Galluzzi, 42-year-old portly son of an Italian immigrant who went to work in the Pennsylvania coals mines, has been teaching Indians for 20 years. His wife is a member of the Chippewa tribe from the Turtle Mountain reservation in North Dakota.
Galluzzi noted proudly that more than 95 per cent of Haskell’s graduates have jobs waiting for them, and most have more than one offer to consider. The dropout rate is only about 15 per cent, which is low for a post-high school institution.
The school puts out a calendar carrying small photographs of last year’s graduates along with listings of their jobs and starting salaries ranging up to more than $10,000.
Only about 15 per cent of Haskell alumni return to their tribal reservations.
THE CLASS on Indian history is taught by J. L. Rogers, a crewcut 34-year-old white expert in business law, who acquired a thirst for Indian lore while growing up among the Osage tribe in Oklahoma.
He explained one reason why only about 30 Indians enrolled in this class as an elective subject is that Haskell already requires students to carry a heavy work load—about 50 per cent more than the class hours normally taken by a college freshman.
“As a general rule,” Rogers said, “they don’t know much about the history of their own tribes. They may know some legends, but the stories often are not supported by historical fact.”
A SHOSHONE COED who delivered a class paper denouncing the whites for mistreating Negroes was shocked to learn that before the Civil War many Indians also owned Negro slaves.
“Strangely enough,” Rogers reported, “the subject which interests Indian students the most about their own history is not the epic battles and struggles against the white. They are intrigued most by the fact Indians are such a diverse people with tribes—more than 100 of which are represented in the student body—that differ sharply in background and tradition.
“They tend to think of Indians as all alike, and most of them are surprised to learn the Onondaga is so far apart from the Crow,” the instructor said.
Rogers described Indians as excellent students, sometimes handicapped by skimpy academic backgrounds but quick learners who listen intently although seldom volunteering answers.
“Pride is the basis for their whole being,” he said. “That and hospitality. You won’t find any of them trying to make an impression on the teacher. In fact, they go out of their way to avoid it.”
CAMPUS demonstrations not only are unknown at Haskell, but the very idea of creating an uproar seems alien to the students’ nature.
“Why should we demonstrate?” asked Eugene Makarin, an Aleute from Tacoma, Washington, and a member of the student council.
“If we want something, the council just talks to the administration. We wanted to drop dormitory check-in hours on weekends. So we talked to them, and now we won’t have weekend check-ins. All we have to do is talk.”
Students at Haskell are too busy anyway learning how to make a living to spend much time fretting over other matters.
Said one student, who admitted he can’t speak his tribal language and knows little of his people’s culture: “Indian history? Heck, we’re too busy making our own history.”
ANOTHER NEWS ITEM UNCOVERED BY LARRY RHODES.
The Arkansas City (Kansas) Daily Traveler, March 10, 1969.
KANSAS 100 YEARS AGO.
A VISIT TO THE STATE PENITENTIARY.
The following account of a tour through the Kansas Penitentiary at Lansing appeared in the Leavenworth Daily Commercial, March 11, 1869.
“On the whole we were agreeably surprised at the condition of affairs about the Institution. Considering the limited time for construction and arrangement, the resources of our young state, and the lack, for quite a time, of funds in the hands of the Warden, very much has been accomplished. . . .
“The building, a large, brown stone structure . . . is about 250 feet long, 52 wide, and 35 high. There are corner towers rising above the main building, adding much to the appearance. Within the main building . . . there runs a solid stone structure with the greatest length, into which are built the cells for the convicts. This building . . . is at present finished to two stories, giving about 170 complete cells. . . . You can pass all around this inside structure, and see the cells facing out from each side, and the striped prisoners looking like animals caged in a menageries. . . . The place is clean, well lighted, and airy.
“The prisoners are mostly hearty young men. . . . While the men are in the main healthy and hearty, they look pale, and deport themselves, perforce very gravely. No needless talk or laughter breaks the silence. They come and go to work, or to mess, in orderly, silent ranks, watched and guarded by the vigilant keepers. . . .
“Supper has been set out for the prisoners just before we entered. There was to each one a piece of good white bread (we thought the piece might in some cases have been a little larger), an ordinary tin cup full of tea, and a tin plate of mush with some molasses in it. At dinner likely there are meat and vegetables.
“We passed next through the work shops. Here tailors, shoemakers, carpenters, stone cutters, and blacksmiths were at work, in their respective shops, under the direction of suitable foremen. These shops were apparently well conducted. The carpenter work, stone cutting, shoes and clothing needed for the place, were mostly done in these shops. In some cases, as in the shoe shop, there was something above the prison wants. Over $6,000 was made last year and it is estimated that $12,000 will be this year. . . .
“The building yet lacks hospital and chapel. They will, of course, be furnished in time.
“In conversing with Mr. Brown, the Warden stated that individual prisoners could have the services of ministers of any particular denomination desired, but he was unwilling to let anyone except the regularly appointed chaplain hold public services. . . .
“There are now in the prison 175 convicts—123 white males, 36 colored, 5 Indians, 3 Mexicans, and 4 women. These, with their guards, foremen, and warden, make quite an interesting community. . . . We were very favorably impressed by the officers.”
ANOTHER NEWS ITEM UNCOVERED BY LARRY RHODES.
The Arkansas City (Kansas) Daily Traveler, November 11, 1968.
KANSAS 100 YEARS AGO.
COMMENTARY ON INDIANS, BOTH PEACEFUL AND WARLIKE.
Stories of Indian depredations on the Plains, reported in the Eastern press, may have acted as slight deterrents to westward emigration from time to time. Apparently the editor of the Kansas Weekly Tribune, Lawrence, was concerned about such a possibility since he published this article on November 26, 1868.
“Don’t be alarmed, Eastern reader. There are no signs of Indians near Lawrence, and never were.
“We have been frequently surprised, not by Indians, but at the ignorance prevailing in the East among otherwise intelligent people as to the locality of Kansas Indian troubles. When on our travels East, we have been inquired of whether we didn’t have apprehensions of Indian difficulties; and letters come to persons here from Eastern friends, with fearful forebodings that the next telegram or letter may contain horrible accounts of their friends being scalped.
“It ought to be known that Kansas is over four hundred miles from east to west and that the Indian difficulties have never been within one hundred and fifty miles of Lawrence. The outrages have been terrible on our frontier—women have been cruelly maltreated and murdered, and worse than murdered, by being taken captive; children, as well as men, scalped—and all within the limits of Kansas.
“Still there is territory enough for a large state on which hostile Indians have not set their feet. The fears of Indians by our Eastern friends doubtless arise from their knowledge that several tribes, such as the Delawares, Shawnees, Wyandottes, Pottawatomies, Kaws, Ottawas, Sacs and Foxes, Kickapoos, Quapaws, Senecas, and others are scattered over this country, without knowing these tribes are as well disposed toward the white people as one white man is toward another. The eastern two-thirds of Kansas is as free from danger as the state of Ohio or Massachusetts.
George A. Custer’s defeat of the Cheyennes on the Washita in Indian Territory November 27, 1868, prompted Sol Miller of the Kansas Chief, White Cloud, to express himself in typically unsympathetic Western fashion concerning the Indian problem. He printed this editorial on December 3, 1868.
“Gen. Custer’s command attacked a large force of Indians . . . and after a severe fight, totally routed them, killing one hundred and fifty warriors, and capturing fifty-three squaws, together with nearly a thousand ponies and an immense amount of buffalo robes, powder, and other property. The chief, Black Kettle, was killed. . . .
“We do not know how many Black Kettles there are in the field. We believed Chivington killed one when he did the Lord’s service at Sand Creek.”
ANOTHER NEWS ITEM UNCOVERED BY LARRY RHODES.
The Arkansas City (Kansas) Daily Traveler, February 29, 1969.
KANSAS 100 YEARS AGO.
A REPORT FROM ELK COUNTY.
The following letter, written from northern Howard (now Elk) County, was printed in the Lawrence Weekly Tribune, February 18, 1869.
“Leaving Fall river, near Eureka, I traveled in a southwest direction, striking the valley of Elk river near its source, crossing what is known as the twenty-mile strip, purchased of the Osages a few years ago. It is an average scope of prairie land, differing but little from all the southwest country. Some of the largest bluffs and hills are on this strip that I have yet seen in the state. . . .
“Ten miles from Eureka is Otter creek, a fine stream lined with good farms. Dr. Roe, living on this creek, told me that he raised fifteen acres of fall wheat last year that averaged twenty-one bushels per acre, selling it readily at two dollars per bushel. He has forty-five acres of wheat now, that is as green as the grass in April. He has resided here since 1865, and has over one hundred acres in cultivation. . . .
“In the valleys along my route I saw large herds of Texas cattle feeding on the partly green grass, and some, although they had not been fed a mouthful of grain or hay during the winter, were fat enough for beef. The owners tell me their cattle will not eat grain when allowed to range in the valleys.
“Elk river is about as large as Fall river, though the valleys are not so large. More timber is found here, and of better quality than on Fall river. I found a good schoolhouse there, though but few families reside in the vicinity. Good claims can be obtained in the valley, both timber and prairie. A post office is needed as there is none within twenty-five miles of the settlement.
“The settlers are averse to bachelors taking claims in the vicinity, saying that they rarely improve or open farms and sell out at the first opportunity. Some good claims that have been taken once can now be ‘jumped,’ as the claimants have neglected to comply with the provisions of the law in regard to claims. One farmer and his sons . . . hold a strip on the river four miles long and two miles wide. Some persons will pretend to be the agents of certain parties and will offer claims for sale to which they nor no one else has any right. I would warn all immigrants to not buy a claim of anyone unless living on and having a title to it.
“Mr. Daniel French, who has been living here two years, raised sixty bushels of corn to the acre last year, and as fine potatoes, vegetables, etc., as could be grown in any part of the state. Fall wheat looks well. Mr. French has thirty head of sheep that had not been fed either grain or hay during the winter but were in splendid condition. . . .
“This valley is undoubtedly destined to be one of the greatest stock and sheep-growing districts of the West.”
ANOTHER NEWS ITEM UNCOVERED BY LARRY RHODES.
The Arkansas City (Kansas) Daily Traveler, Monday, April 28, 1969.
KANSAS 100 YEARS AGO.
RAILROAD HAZARDS AND A NOTE FROM CHETOPA.
These two brief items concerning the difficulties of frontier railroad appeared in the Lawrence Weekly Tribune, April 22, 1869.
“BUFFALO ON THE TRACK.—On Thursday afternoon, while the paymaster’s train on the Kansas Pacific Railway was coming east at the rate of twenty-five miles an hour, a herd of thirteen buffalo attempted to cross the track in front of the engine, which five of the herd failed to do in proper time, and as a consequence were unceremoniously butted off by the advancing train.
“One was killed outright, and the rest were more or less disarranged anatomically. By the skillful management of the engineer, Jim Curry, the engine came out with no more damage than three slats broken out of the cow-catcher, and one or two other slight breakages.”
“INDIANS ON THE RAILROAD.—On Friday afternoon, shortly after the eastward bound train on the Kansas Pacific Railway had passed Buffalo Station [in present Gove County], six Indians tore a rail from the track, cut out a tie, and then left in a hurry. . . . As they were seen doing the mischief, the damage was repaired before another train arrived, and hence an accident was avoided. It is thought out there that the coppery devils will bear watching, at least until the Quaker agents arrive.”
This excerpt is from an article on Chetopa and the surrounding area printed by the Lawrence Weekly Tribune, April 29, 1869.
“This town and Baxter Springs are the two most southerly towns in the state. . . . Both have a share of the Texas cattle business and of the cattle trade from the Indian Territory.
“The town is situated on the right, or west bank of the Neosho, and contains about a hundred houses and some five or six hundred inhabitants. A number of fine buildings are being erected and by reason of the large immigration into the town and county, houses for rent are in great demand. The prices of town lots range from $15 to $100 each and are being bought up at these figures very rapidly although the proprietors are only selling to those who will proceed at once to improve them.
“Claims are selling in the vicinity of Chetopa as high as three thousand dollars and there are men here who would not think of taking that. . . . Some very fair claims can be obtained for $500. While there are still plenty of prairie claims seven or eight miles from town and perhaps some even nearer, that are unoccupied, men are arriving in town every day who are looking for locations either for mercantile, mechanical, or professional business, or for the purpose of agriculture. . . .”
ANOTHER NEWS ITEM UNCOVERED BY LARRY RHODES.
The Arkansas City (Kansas) Daily Traveler, May 21, 1969.
KANSAS 100 YEARS AGO.
A LYNCHING IN ELLSWORTH AND AN INDIAN RAID
IN NORTHERN KANSAS.
An Ellsworth correspondent of the Junction City Union had this letter printed on May 15, 1869, describing violence in Ellsworth.
“I presume you will have heard of another murder in our town, and of course it will be exaggerated. I will tell you just exactly what it was. During the evening of the 11th, a man by the name of Fitzpatrick kept shooting on the street, endangering the lives of people who were passing. He also stopped several persons on the street, putting his pistol against them and threatening to shoot.
“At 3 a.m. when the train from the west came in, he fired a shot through them and then went to the saloon at which for about one week past he has been employed. He there found a man sleeping by the name of William Bryson; he shook him and waked him up and asked him how he came there. The man had been in the habit of sleeping there, and replied that he came in through the window. Fitzpatrick then struck him over the head with his revolver and on his getting up and endeavoring to escape, fired at him, striking him in the groin.
“Bryson lived until about 8 a.m. and died. The coroner’s inquest found a verdict of murder in the first degree and the citizens turned out en masse, and at 1 p.m. took Fitzpatrick from the jail and proceeded to the river bank and hung him to the old historic cottonwood. Previous to being hung he gave his name, age, and place of residence and said he was ready to die, that he had stabbed a great many men. He never paled or showed the least fear but braved it through to the last. He came here about one week since from Sheridan, having been warned to leave there. . . .
“The same night some fiend in human form fired a shot through the residence of Judge Westover and wounded a Mrs. Brown in the arm, the same shot grazing the arm of Mr. Westover’s little boy, who was asleep in his bed. The citizens are on the lookout for the scoundrel or scoundrels and will make an example of them if found. Having an assurance of the cattle trade, we are determined to have peace and order instead of rowdyism and bloodshed, if we have to ‘fight it on this line all summer.’”
Plains Indian were once more harassing settlers in Kansas in the spring of 1869. This report on a raid in the present Jewell-Republic County region appeared in the Junction City Union, May 29, 1869.
“On Friday of last week four Scandinavians were killed on White Rock creek. One of them had his head almost severed from his body. We understand that five or six weeks previously a squaw and an Indian child, while quietly passing through the country, were shot by settlers at a distance, in mistake for Indian men.
“Frontiersmen say that the Swedish colony on the Republican should have protection, for the reason that they are nearly all direct from Sweden and Norway, and have the slightest possible conception of frontier life. This catastrophe occurred thirty miles beyond their settlement.”
WORLD ALMANAC FACTS.
[Copyright 1969, Newspaper Enterprise Assn.]
Man’s impulse to domesticate extends even to the artifacts and ravages of war, The World Almanac notes. France’s famed, but militarily useless, Maginot Line is being sold to civilians looking for a cool summer home with a good view of the Rhine. And in Germany, two mountains of rubble from the wartime destruction of 132,000 of West Berlin’s 149,960 buildings are now ski and toboggan runs.
ANOTHER NEWS ITEM UNCOVERED BY LARRY RHODES.
The Arkansas City (Kansas) Daily Traveler, June 20, 1969.
KANSAS 100 YEARS AGO.
SURVEYORS PURSUED BY INDIANS.
On June 19, 1869, a surveying party and Indians engaged in a fight west of Sheridan, then end of track on the Kansas (now the Union Pacific) in what is now Logan County. Two of the surveyors, Howard and James Schuyler, were from Burlingame so their hometown paper, the Osage Chronicle, carried a story on June 26, 1869, from which the following is taken.
“Thrilling and dangerous in the extreme as was the position of these brothers, yet they displayed such coolness and bravery that their courage can only be described as heroic. Alone upon the prairie, 20 miles from aid, surrounded by yelling blood thirsty demons, we find nothing but admiration in our minds for the conduct of our friends.
“The fight became a running one in which the Dog Soldiers discharged their deadly missiles from gun and bow so thick that the ‘fortune that favors the brave’ could only have preserved their lives. No lines of romance could be more thrilling than the description we heard of Howard’s race for life. Having left his revolver in camp he had only an eight-shooting rifle and as they pressed upon his fleeing and wounded horse, he would turn in his saddle and fire and at each successive pull of the trigger a brave would bite the dust. . . .
“One ball was lodged in the stock of Howard’s carbine, another in the heel of his boot, and wonderful as it may seem, he received but two or three slight flesh wounds. . . . Jimmie was taken into Sheridan where his wounds were properly cared for, from whence he will come home as soon as able, when our citizens may hear from his own lips the recounting of the perils of that morning. . . .
“It appears that Howard was alone, some three miles in advance of his party. Seeing a large number of ponies in the distance, which he took to be wild, he rode toward them, when from fifty to sixty Indians sprang up all around him. Believing that there remained no show for his life, he instantly resolved to make it a costly prize to his enemies, and before they were able to discern his resolve, he had shot two of them dead in their tracks. In the precipitate flight and fight of three miles back to his party, he killed two more.
“The surveying party were afoot and still some three miles from their wagons. James Schuyler received his wound in the retreat to camp. After reaching the wagons Howard again turned, laid his gun across a wagon wheel, and brought down the fifth Indian. The Indians followed the whole party fifteen miles back to Sheridan. James Schuyler is now at Topeka and doing well.”
FROM THE NEWSPAPERS.
Emporia News, June 25, 1869.
PARTICULARS OF THE LATE INDIAN FIGHT.
Sunday morning we gave the fact that a party of Cheyenne Indians had attacked Col. Greenwood’s party of surveyors, and that four Indians had been killed. We yesterday received further particulars of the fight. Our information from Sheridan is that Col. Greenwood’s surveying party, who are engaged in surveying the route of the railroad (Kansas Pacific) from Sheridan to Denver City, were attacked Saturday morning, about fifteen miles west of Sheridan, by a party of some fifty Cheyennes. The attack of the Indians was sudden and unexpected, but the surveyors being well armed, succeeded in killing four, wounding several others, and compelling the rest to seek safety in a precipitate retreat. In Col. Greenwood’s party were two brothers named Schuyler, both of whom were wounded. One of the brothers received three balls in the thigh, and his condition is regarded as critical. The other brother was shot in the foot, and his wound is regarded as slight. The brother who was so badly hurt had his horse shot from under him, the animal receiving four balls. The other Schuyler was at one time so close to the Indians that he put his gun close to the side of a savage and shot him dead, at the same time receiving several slight lance wounds himself. Persons on the mail train going West, Friday, report having seen some forty or fifty Indians about twenty miles west of Hays City.
Still another account comes to us from the West, that Howard and James Schuyler had a hand to hand fight with the Indians as above stated; that James Schuyler was badly wounded in the thigh, but not dangerously. His brother, Howard, was some twenty miles in advance of the party of surveyors, when he was set upon by the red devils, with whom he had a running fight, until he met the party of surveyors, of which he was one. He succeeded in killing four of the Indians himself in his run—firing only eight shots, and escaped with a slight wound. His horse received four wounds during the chase. One ball passed through the stock of his carbine. It was in this chase the Indians pressed him so closely that he put his gun to the Indian’s side and killed him. James Schuyler has been taken to Sheridan and is receiving every care and attention.
The race for life of Mr. Howard Schuyler is thrilling, and would furnish an excellent chapter to the writer of romance or of daring adventure. Alone upon the broad prairie, twenty miles from any civilized human being, he finds himself attacked by about fifty yelling, bloodthirsty red demons, and with a courage and presence of mind which cannot but inspire the reader with admiration for him, he resolves to sell his life as dearly as possible, if all avenues of escape are not cut off. But fortune favors the brave. Turning his horse, he dashes for the camp of his friends. Yelling and howling follow his insatiate enemies, fifty to one. Onward dashes the bold rider, and as each Indian approaches him, a well directed shot brings him to the earth. The race is kept up until he reaches his companions, and he is saved after having killed four of the pursuing fiends, when his horse sinks under him, exhausted and pierced with four bullets.
The same party of Indians that made the attack above described, stampeded a wagon train on Saturday evening, eight miles west of Sheridan. They succeeded in capturing two mules and wounded a teamster. They lost a pony. Five of the miscreants approached the outskirts of Sheridan, but did no damage.
It seems from the above facts that the Cheyennes are well supplied with firearms, and also with ammunition. We should decidedly favor the plan of sending powder and ball to the savages, from a well directed rifle, to that of issuing it to them as annuities or presents. It would teach them a wholesome lesson, and be far more effective than “moral suasion.”