[Fort Sill was built in 1868 by General Grierson, of the Tenth United States Cavalry.]
Excerpt from lengthy letter...
Emporia News, September 10, 1869.
LETTER FROM FRIEND STANLEY.
KIOWA AND COMANCHE AGENCY, NEAR FORT SILL, 8th Mo., 23rd, 1869.
RESPECTED FRIEND, JACOB STOTLER:
I arrived here eight days ago, after a rather tedious journey. Just after getting into the northern part of this Territory, we crossed Salt Fork, which is quite a wide stream, with a very sandy bottom; but when we crossed it, the water was low. The water is said to be quite salty. After traveling ten miles we crossed a small creek called Shawnee, and sixteen miles further on we came to Shelton [Skeleton] Creek, where a number of Shawnees had died with the cholera two years ago. From there to Read Fork we crossed some small streams and passed about twenty-three hundred head of Texas cattle. While we were stopping near the drovers, they caught a grey wolf with a lasso and brought it into camp. It is about sixty miles from Salt Fork to Read Fork. We tasted the water of Read Fork and found it to be quite salty. The Texas cattle trail comes in on the north side of Read Fork, and from here to Washita the Texas cattle have been driven along the road that is traveled by the trains hauling goods and provisions to this place and Fort Arbuckle. Some of them have been heavy losers by the Texas fever getting among their oxen. In one case, nearly all the oxen in the train, about one hundred and fifty head, died, and the teamsters had to get the mule teams from the Fort to haul their goods the rest of the way. From Read Fork to North Canadian, it is thirty-two miles. The latter stream is about four rods wide. The country from the south line of Kansas to the North Canadian, I think, is rather poor; but from this point south, through the Canadian bottoms, and also the Washita, the land is pretty good. I think, notwithstanding, we might let the Indians have the country if we can get them to settle down here and be contented.
A new post has lately been established here, which is called Fort Sill, about thirty miles from Texas, near the Wichita Mountains, and ten miles east of a point called Mt. Scott. There are several sutler stores at Fort Sill. General Grierson has a pretty good house, but most of the buildings are poles about ten feet in length, set in the ground and covered with dirt. There are also many living in tents. There is said to be about four hundred colored soldiers here. The tents make quite a show on the banks of Medicine Bluff Creek. They are on a raise of about sixty feet above the creek bottom on nicely rolling ground. Most of the Comanche Indians—nearly 2,500—have come in, and appear inclined to settle down and be peaceable with the whites. Their principal chiefs, Asahava, and Tosa, say that they are going to travel the white man’s road. Asahava has been a great war chief and has fought the whites; but he has changed his course, appears well inclined, and tells the Kiowas, who appear not so well inclined, that he will take sides with the whites against them if they should be hostile. They all know he is a brave man and warrior. We feel hopeful that by judicious management and care, there will not be much more hostility towards the whites. It is, however, a very critical time, and we much desire wisdom from above to enable us to act in such a way as to promote glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and good will to all men. I have often felt a desire to use my little influence in obliterating all hostile feelings both among whites and Indians, and encouraging a feeling of charity amongst all. I hope we will all bear in mind that like begets like, and therefore if we act harshly toward the Indians, they will in like manner act harshly towards us. On the contrary, if we act kindly and respectfully towards them, it will encourage the same feeling and action towards us.
The Kiowas, numbering nearly 2,000, are somewhat inclined to commit depredations in Texas, as there have existed, for several years, hostile feelings between them and the settlers. But we are hopeful of getting these troubles settled.
The agent at this place is our friend Lowry Tatum, of Iowa, who superseded Col. A. G. Brown, late of Colorado, who has exerted great influence amongst the Indians of the Plains. He still remains here as a clerk in one of the stores.
Agent Tatum has gained the respect and esteem of all whom I hear speak of him. The General in charge of this post has great confidence in the agent’s ability, and Gen. Grierson is equally appreciated. I have mingled with them both and think they are just the men for their respective posts.
The President’s Commission has lately been here, and also our friends, John Butler and Achilles Pugh. They all had a satisfactory council with the Indians. The agent accompanied our friends, who expected to go directly to Emporia, and from there to Topeka and Lawrence. The agent is going directly to Iowa Yearly Meeting, where he will meet with many of his friends, from whom he is desirous of selecting suitable persons to come with him to this place to instruct the Indians in farming, school learning, etc. I am expected to remain here during his absence.
THOMAS H. STANLEY.
[Note: “Read Fork” might have been correct at this time. Later, it was “Red Fork.”]
Walnut Valley Times, April 22, 1870. Front Page.
A Quartermaster’s train en route from Fort Sill, Indian Territory, to Fort Harker, Kansas, while encamped on Bluff creek, on the night of March 6th, was attacked and 139 animals stampeded. The attacking party were dressed like Indians, but it is believed by military authorities they were disguised whites. Measures have been taken to recover the animals and captured stampeders.
Walnut Valley Times, May 27, 1870. Front Page.
FROM THE SOUTHWEST.
A dispatch from the Chicago Republican’s correspondent in the Indian Territory, dated April 29th, states that a few days previously, 127 government mules, captured by horse thieves from a train camped at Bluff creek, Kansas, were retaken in Texas by an officer from Fort Arbuckle, Indian Territory. The officer and two citizens, by remarkable coolness and daring, captured nine of the thieves and killed one. The event created much excitement. The mules were taken to Fort Arbuckle. The commanding officer there at once started the horse thieves for Kansas, in charge of a detachment from the Tenth (colored) Cavalry. The thieves attempted to escape, and five of the nine were shot without unnecessary ceremony. They received christian burial at Fort Arbuckle.
Another dispatch, from the same source, dated May 4th, says that the Comanches and Kiowas are very much angered at the alleged unequal distribution of rations and annuity goods by the Quaker agent, Friend Tatum, and have left the neighborhood of Fort Sill in high dudgeon. They were warned not to go beyond the limits of their reservation, and were told that if they did, the militia would pursue and force them back. They laughed the threat to scorn and have gone, the last one of them. War is anticipated. Old Col. Boone, for fifty years a frontiersman, says they mean fight, and declared he would not go the direct overland route to Fort Harker, Kansas, for the sum of $50,000, unless protected by a large military escort.
[INDIANS: CORRESPONDENCE FROM J. H. SCRIBNER - FORT SILL.]
Walnut Valley Times, September 9, 1870. Front Page.
[Correspondence of the Times.]
INDIANS! INDIANS! INDIANS!
FORT SILL, Indian Territory, Aug. 8, 1870.
MR. EDITOR: Having lived on the northwestern frontier of Texas for upwards of four years, and having had considerable experience of Indian depredations, also being fully satisfied that the majority of the northern people do not receive true reports of the Indian raids into Texas, their depredations in stealing horses, killing people, and capturing women and children, I will attempt to give you a short sketch of the last raid of the savages into Texas.
After waiting several days for the excitement to abate, on the morning of the 25th of July, myself, Perry Cook, Samuel Kilgore (father of the boy captured at the Peak), Edward Koozer—a boy of fourteen years, who made his escape by hiding in the brush on the morning of the murder of his father—left for Fort Sill, riding the distance of 90 miles in the night, as we deemed it more safe from Indians than daylight, hoping we might get back the women and children, or at least hearing something from them.
On arriving at Fort Sill, we called on our friend, L. Tatum, Quaker, U. S. Indian Agent, who received us very kindly, and seemed to feel much sympathy. We next called on Gen. Grierson, Commander at Fort Sill, who received us very cordially, and said he would do all in his power to help us in this sad affair, giving us permits to remain ten days longer if we wished, furnishing us rations, and voluntarily offering us an escort on our return. Gen. Grierson told us that the Indians about two months ago stole seventy-three head of Government mules out of his corral, and had killed five men in the immediate vicinity—one at the Indian agency, one at Shirley’s mill, one at the Gov. Slaughter house, one cattle herder, and two men camped within two miles of the Fort—then all left on the warpath except a few old men and squaws. Said he had heard from them lately, and they wanted to come in and make peace. He stated that he sent them word they could do so, but did not tell them on what terms. He told us he expected some in daily, when no doubt we would get news of the captives. The next day there was a party of 40 or 50, who pretended they had not been on the warpath, who came in and said that the warriors were in camp about fifty miles from Fort Sill, and they had the Kilgore boy and the Koozer family. Agent Tatum issued them some rations. General Grierson told them to tell the others to come in and bring the mules that were stolen, and the women and children they held as captives, and make peace, and all would be right.
We waited patiently, hearing nothing more definite until Saturday evening, August 6, when nearly 200 of the leading chiefs and representatives of the Kiowa, Comanche, Cheyennes, and Apache tribes arrived, saying they had come to make peace; consequently a council was arranged for Sunday morning between the Indian Agent Tatum and General Grierson.
The hour having arrived, our little Texas party repaired to the Indian Commissary, where we found the Council in session, Gen. Grierson and Agent Tatum occupying chairs on the north side of the building, the Indians sitting in front on the floor.
The Indians said they would hear from the war chief first. Gen. Grierson, in quite a lengthy speech, welcomed the savages back to Sill, and hoped they had come with their hearts full of peace. He was glad to see them, etc. Agent Tatum followed in a short, pointed speech, to which the Indians responded with a long grunt. Then the chiefs by turns made speeches, telling how good they were going to be (at any rate until they got their grub), and that it was not the old ones, but the young warriors who had been depredating, and they could not control them, but had now promised to be peaceable. They wished to know on what terms Gen. Grierson would receive them. The General, in somewhat of a spirited speech, told them they must bring in the balance of the mules (they only bringing in 25 head) and also the captives, seven in all, before he would receive them or issue them rations.
About half the Indians left the house, and all seemed more or less angry. This broke up the council, but a few of the chiefs agreed to give an answer in the morning.
The next day we went to the council, found plenty of Indians there, but no General or council. But we did find Agent Tatum there, issuing ten days’ rations to all the tribes left behind. At the sight of this our hearts leaped for joy, as we supposed the Indians had agreed to bring in the captives. But alas! We were sadly disappointed, for we were told the Indians would not give them up without pay, and General Grierson refused on the ground that there were no appropriations made for that purpose. We proposed to pay for them ourselves, but were told by General Grierson that we must not do it. Agent Tatum told us that as soon as he issued rations, General Grierson would arrest seven of the leading men, and hold them as hostages for the captives. . . .
The Commonwealth, Sunday, May 21, 1871.
A New Trail.
H. B. N. [Communication from Prof. H. B. Norton.]
ARKANSAS CITY, May 16.
The new “Johnson Trail” to Fort Sill and the Arapaho and Cheyenne agency is fully open for all teams coming from Cottonwood Falls and points further east. This route saves at least fifty miles over the old one down the Chisholm trail through Wichita. There is an excellent ferry here, and the route is an air line over level plains, abounding in grass, water, and timber. Numerous trains have already passed over, and all travelers are delighted with the trail.
Emporia News, January 20, 1871.
Enoch Hoag, superintendent of Indian affairs, advertises in this paper for proposals for the transportation of government stores from Emporia and Fort Harker, Kansas, to Fort Sill, Indian Territory. Upwards of three hundred tons are to be delivered in each of the five succeeding months. See advertisement.
WILL be received at the office of the Superintendent of Indian Affairs, Lawrence, for the transportation of Government stores from Emporia and Fort Harker, Kansas, to the Cheyenne, Wichita, and Kiowa Indian Agencies, over the most direct road from the town of Wichita, Kansas, to Fort Sill, Indian Territory. Amount of freight, three hundred tons and upwards, to be delivered in good condition, at said Agencies, in nearly equal amounts, each, for the five succeeding months. Proposals to state amount per hundred pounds per hundred miles. ENOCH HOAG, Sup’t Indian Affairs.
Emporia News, February 24, 1871.
FORT SILL. Mr. H. Simpson, who brought a load of hides, furs, etc., through from Fort Sill, Indian Territory, for M. G. Mead, called at the office, last Friday, and reports that the Comanches and Kiowas have buried the tomahawk, and are desirous to remove to a new reservation, and that these tribes have borne the blame for many outrages that were committed by other tribes. He says that Indian Agent Tatum is one of the most reliable and efficient employees in the Indian Department, that Wm. Mathison is doing a good business down there, etc. He is going to take a load of goods back with him for Mr. Mathison.
Emporia News, April 21, 1871.
INDIAN SUPPLIES. Our old friend, Moses Neal, of Humboldt, has been spending most of his time here for some weeks. He has the contract for delivering Indian supplies for the Government at Fort Sill, and is having them brought here over the A. T. & S. F. railroad. He has already sent down 100,000 lbs. of freight, and will load another 100,000 lbs. tomorrow; 150,000 more will be loaded about the first of next month. Mr. Neal is one of the old settlers of Kansas, and we hope he will make a good thing on this contract. He has had much trouble in getting teams to haul the goods to Fort Sill.
Emporia News, April 28, 1871.
A LARGE GOVERNMENT CONTRACT.
The government, through its officers at Fort Leavenworth, has just completed a contract with the Missouri, Kansas & Texas railway company for the transportation of a very large amount of supplies and stores to the forts in the Indian Territory and to Forts Richardson and Griffin in Texas, the supplies to be taken from Fort Leavenworth and St. Louis, Mo. The supplies for Fort Sill, Indian Territory, will consist of Indian goods and stores for troops stationed at that post. At this post there will be shipped between three and four thousand tons, and to the other forts probably an equal supply. The contract was made with the M., K. & T. company in consequence of the superior advantages afforded by them for the shipment of supplies to posts. The goods will be transported by this road to the end of the track, and will thence be conveyed in wagons to the fort named, requiring an overland transportation to Forts Richardson and Griffin of about 400 miles, and of only about 250 miles to Fort Sill. Messrs. Maurice & Graham, of St. Louis, have charge of the overland transportation, and their high character as reliable businessmen and excellent reputation for promptness and efficiency in the transaction of this kind give every assurance that the work will be done in a manner creditable to themselves and satisfactory to all parties.
The M. K. & T. company have information that large quantities of cotton in northern Texas are awaiting shipment over their line. The rapid construction of the road through the Indian Territory and its substantial equipment, give promise of a large business in this line at an early day. We congratulate our Texas friends and the shippers of that great State upon having at an early day such excellent facilities for shipment by rail to northern and eastern cities. The completion of the road cannot fail to open up a very large trade between Texas and our own state.
The road will be completed across the Arkansas by July 1st, and by September 1st will be on the south of the Canadian. This will enable the M., K. & T. company to afford extra inducements for the shipment of Texas cattle. Texas cattle drovers estimate the losses arising from the difficulties in crossing the Arkansas River, one of the most treacherous of our western rivers, at from one to three percent. At this rate the loss in each drove of from three to five thousand, the usual size of the droves, would be from $600 to $1,000. It is estimated that there will be not less than half a million steers driven from Texas to Kansas this season. Upon this estimate the loss of from one to three percent, in crossing the Arkansas foots up, it will be seen, to no inconsiderable sum. Provided as the road is with ample equipments, for shipment, the M., K. & T. company cannot fail to do a very large business this season in the Texas cattle trade. Lawrence Tribune.
Emporia News, May 5, 1871.
FREIGHTING. A train of wagons and oxen arrived here Friday morning to be loaded for Fort Sill, Washita, and other points, with goods for the Indians. The train consisted of some twenty-five wagons and three hundred and fifty cattle. They belong to Bernard, Irwin & Co., of Westport, and are under the charge of Mr. Irwin. This firm have a contract to take to the Indian country, from this place, 500,000 lbs. of freight. Over 1,000,000 lbs. of Indian goods have already been delivered here destined for the Indian country. the purchase of outfits here will be quite a little item for our businessmen.
Emporia News, May 12, 1871.
Arkansas City, May 1, 1871.
EDITOR NEWS: About one week since, a strong working force stated from this point for Fort Sill, accompanying a train sent out by Neal & Co., of Humboldt, to the Cheyenne and Wichita Agencies. Col. O. P. Johnson commands the party.
The object is to completely open a road to a point near the crossing of Red Fork, just above where the “Jackson Trail” diverges. This will give us an air line to Fort Sill, through a most magnificent country, and over a road made as perfect as a strong working force can make it in one season.
We have an excellent ferry at this point. Only 50 cents ferryage across the Arkansas, and freighters from Emporia will save 50 to 75 miles by taking this instead of the Wichita route.
Very respectively, H. B. NORTON.
Emporia News, May 19, 1871.
RAILROAD EXCURSION. A party of thirty-eight persons, railroad men and others, passed through here last Friday to the Southwest. The leading persons were the directors of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad, who are going Southwest to look at the route of the road. They assembled at Atchison several days ago, and came down the line of the road. Among the party were Hon. G. Twitchell, the president of the road; Thos. Shirlock, of Cincinnati; Aldin Spear, Thos. Nickerson, and J. T. Burr, of Boston, Directors; D. L. Lakin, of Topeka, Land Commissioner; W. B. Peabody & Brother, and Mr. Hart, of Cincinnati, and T. C. Hill, of Cambridge City, Indiana. The party was accompanied by Col. L. N. Robinson, of the Robinson house, in this city, who furnished the outfit and provisions for the trip. We know the party will fare well in Col. Robinson’s hands. They will go to the Arkansas River, and from thence to Fort Dodge, and if the weather is favorable will also visit Fort Sill. The visit of these distinguished railroad men and capitalists to the Southwest will result in the favorable development of railroad interests for that country. The party expects to return in about two weeks.
Emporia News, May 19, 1871.
We met Friend Mahlon Stubbs, Agent of the Kaws, yesterday. He was returning home from a four weeks trip to Fort Sill. He was present at the grand Indian council near Fort Sill, and had conferred with delegations of all tribes of the Plains Indians nearby. He reports all peaceful in that direction. Having been absent so long he of course had not received any official information in relation to the sale of the Kaw lands, and knew nothing concerning such sale save what he had gathered from the newspapers. His interpretation of that is, that the Trust Land only is to be sold. The allotments spoken of in the published dispatches, he says, will consume nearly all of the diminished reserve.
Walnut Valley Times, June 9, 1871.
The people of Arkansas City are putting a pontoon bridge across the Arkansas River at this place. They propose making their town the initial point for the Fort Sill mail and stage route.
Emporia News, July 28, 1871.
WASHINGTON, July 2. A letter from Fort Sill says that Kiowa Indians have made efforts to induce the Cheyennes and Sioux to join them in a war against the whites, but thus far they have failed.
Emporia News, August 18, 1871.
BIG THINGS. Arkansas City, says the Traveler, is to become the headquarters of the southwestern transportation. All goods for Fort Sill and the agencies will henceforth be carried in two-horse wagons hither from Thayer, and stored in a warehouse; and will thence be re-shipped on “bull-trains.” All the hands will be paid off here.
As we predicted, Arkansas City is to be the big town of the border. Immense quantities of freight for the Territory are now passing through, and still greater quantities are yet to come.
Emporia News, September 15, 1871.
The contract for the transportation of government stores to posts in the Indian Territory was let at Fort Leavenworth on the 18th, to Graham & Co., of the M. K. & T. road, at the following figures: Leavenworth to Fort Sill, $4.10 per hundred; St. Louis to Fort Sill, $4.15 per hundred.
The Commonwealth, December 29, 1872.
Service will be put upon the new mail route between Wichita and Fort Sill about the middle of January.
THE INDIANS AND SETTLERS.
The Commonwealth, Wednesday Morning, July 8, 1874.
Major H. T. Beman returned from Sedgwick and Wichita yesterday, whither he had gone to make inquiry as to the extent and character of the reported Indian depredations, and to distribute arms to settlers at Sedgwick and Medicine Lodge. From him we gather the following, which may be accepted as reflecting the true condition of affairs up to the latest returns. At Sedgwick City, which is between Newton and Wichita, Major Beman saw several men directly from the scene of the reported Indian outrages. Mr. Spooner, from the Wichita agency, reports the Indians as apparently restless and uneasy, though not as yet making any open demonstrations of hostility to the whites. There are a number of Quaker families settled around Wichita Agency and a few have been so influenced by their fears that they have removed. Mr. Ford from the Cheyenne and Arapaho Agency, whence the Indians guilty of the recent murders and scalpings are believed to have come, says the young Cheyenne braves are seemingly affected by an irrepressible impulse of deviltry. They have most of them left the agency, ostensibly on hunting expeditions, and are roaming along the Kansas border in small parties. Mr. Ford has no idea that a united and preconcerted raid is contemplated or will be attempted in which the Indians will mass themselves and throw their force on the unprotected settlements to scalp and rob indiscriminately. What killing has been done is, according to his notion, in the way of casual and wanton cruelty, rather than that they are seeking opportunities to kill.
Major Beman talked also with Mr. James Fay, an express messenger on the Southwestern stage company’s line, running from Wichita to Fort Sill. Mr. Fay says that the settlers about the agencies are apprehensive of a general massacre. They are few in number, and unless under the very eye of the agency, are without protection. The Indians have killed four of the horses of the Southwestern stage company within the last few days, and Mr. Fay has witnessed one murder and scalping committed by them. The facts of the latest occurrence were as follows: Last Thursday on the way in from Fort Sill, when the stage was a short distance from Red Fork station in the Seminole nation, he saw from his stage a party of Indians ride up on to a defenseless man, murder him, and sweep on out of sight. Hastening to the spot he found the man killed and scalped lying in the road. His name was William Watkins, and he was brought to Red Fork station and buried. The feeling through the country which his stage traverses is, that the Indians are liable at any moment to break out into a general war. Mr. Cole, from Medicine Lodge, a man of cool judgment and reliable, told Major Beman that the rumor as to the burning of towns and murder of settlers at Medicine Lodge was unfounded and purely sensational. It is true that the settlers have been thoroughly frightened, and apprehensive of an Indian massacre, have abandoned their farms, and come in to Medicine Lodge, where they have built themselves a stockade, and are waiting for a supply of arms wherewith to protect themselves. They are afraid to venture out of their retreat until they have the means of defense, which will be forwarded to them in abundance tomorrow.
Mr. Beman talked with a score or more of Texas cattle owners and herders about the Indian excitement. They affect to despise the whole business, and express their disbelief of any general Indian outbreak. They do not think that it is any more than the usual outrages, common enough on the frontier, done by small hunting parties on whatever defenseless white men they meet on their path.
What causes special alarm just now is that they have extended their bloodthirsty enterprise over the confines of civilization. Greater outrages are committed in Texas every month of the year, without attracting particular attention. The Texans think that the Indian is one of the contingencies to calculate on like the Spanish fever or the green-headed fly, but nothing to be unusually frightened about. Where they have been encamped, there have not lately been any signs of disturbance, and they do not think any need be apprehended. Finally, Major Beman is of the opinion that more injury is to be feared from the settlers becoming frightened and abandoning their homes than from Indians. It is with a view, therefore, to bring about a restoration of confidence and sense of safety that the governor is transmitting arms to the frontiersmen. He will provide them with guns and ammunition sufficient to equip companies from amongst themselves, when he hopes and believes they will find no opposing force to try their mettle on. The bad feeling towards the whites expressed in these recent murders and scalpings originates, beyond question, in the gradual extinction of the buffalo herds through the deadly enterprise of white hunters.
[Note: Mike Meagher is mentioned in the following article.]
FROM THE BORDER.
The Kansas Militia March Into the Indian Territory.
An Indian Pow-Wow on Pond Creek.
Organizing Companies For the Protection of the Border.
The Commonwealth, July 23, 1874.
Editorial Correspondence of the Commonwealth.
With a view to completing the military history of Kansas to the latest date we continue our recital of the marches and adventures of the mounted militia along the southern border with the notes of a short scout into the interior of the Indian Territory with all other happenings of interest in the brief but important campaign. My last letter left the militia in camp at Caldwell, and contained some account of the origin and scope of the Indian troubles, and made cursory mention of a grand council of all the nomadic tribes of the Territory in the region of the Red Hills, which supposedly resulted in decisions on the part of the Indians of the highest importance to the white settlers on the border and to the government. It is my purpose in this letter to continue the relation of the occurrences of the campaign up to the return of the militia to Wichita and the stacking of arms at that place, for a time at least. I may then conclude the series by a brief general consideration of the Indian question, as I had opportunity to study and learn it during my sojourn in the southwest.
On Tuesday, the 14th, Agent Miles, of the Cheyenne and Arapahos, the gentleman who has since become famous as the martyr to the Quaker policy of concealing the truth concerning the Indians, came into Major Upham’s cavalry camp, on Bluff creek, to inquire as to the intentions of the military department respecting escorts for Laflin’s and other transportation trains containing Indian supplies going down the Fort Sill cattle trail. Major Upham informed Mr. Miles that he had ordered Capt. Carter with a company of infantry to march to Sewell’s ranch, where the train was then lying waiting for safe conduct, and to escort it to the agencies where the goods were destined. In that connection, the Major said that he was going to take a scout into the Territory the next day and would visit Sewell’s Ranch and consult with Mr. Laflin and find out what apprehensions caused his delay. As to other trains Mr. Miles was informed that if he would mass them into large trains, he would furnish escorts, but could not spare the men to take two or three wagon loads at a time. Mr. Miles promised to bring his wagons all together at Caldwell for a large quantity of supplies that were then being shipped from Kansas City, and then took his leave, returning to Lawrence to attend the yearly meeting of the Society of Friends. From our brief conversation with him, we judged him to be a man of superior intelligence, of practical notions and sound judgment, and by far the most creditable representative of the Quaker policy in the Territory.
Learning of Major Upham’s intention to scout down the trail, Adjutant General Morris expressed a desire to accompany him, which was readily acceded to, and the militia were ordered to improvise pack-saddles and prepare three days’ rations to be packed on mules. Rising early the cavalry column, supplemented and fortified by the mounted militia, who barring the uniform, looked and bore themselves like old soldiers, was got under motion and marched into the Territory just as the sun was rising. The only accident that happened to enliven and diversify the day’s march was the breaking away of one of the mules belonging to the militia. His hind foot caught in a prairie dog’s hole, and in recovering himself, he started full speed across the prairie, kicking at imaginary dash boards and barn doors every ten feet. He finally succeeded in relieving himself of his pack, in doing which his heels came in contact with a box of hard tack, which he turned into kindling in the shortest possible order, scattering the bread over an area of an acre or more.
We marched about eight miles west of the cattle trail in a southerly direction, expecting that we might encounter a rendezvous of horse thieves supposed to be in that direction. Maj. Upham sent out two flankers to reconnoiter on the right, and Capt. Tucker, of the militia, sent out two to prospect the left horizon for moving and suspicious objects. In this order we marched all day over a dry, arid prairie, covered with short brown grass, seeing antelope now and then in the distance, and buffalo once or twice, but apart from these no moving object or sign of habitation. We rested at noon on Osage creek, whose banks were of red clay, and whose tepid water was tinged with the same hue. Hard by were a few old poles and the debris of a tepee, where Osage Indians had been jerking buffalo meat. We passed the mouth of the Pole Cat about two miles and a half, to our left, crossed another branch of the Osage, and reached camp at the confluence of Osage and Pond creek, about a mile from Sewell’s Ranch, at half-past four in the afternoon, having marched about thirty-five miles. Shortly after our arrival in camp, we heard that the flankers to the right sent out by Major Upham from his troop, Sergeant Marshall and Corporal Desch by name, had captured an Indian riding alone over the prairie and were bringing him into camp. Shortly afterwards they arrived, bringing in a large, square-built, stolid specimen of the Osage, tricked out in red blanket and ear-rings, carrying an old muzzle-loading rifle and wearing a military hat. He answered to the name of Buffalo John, spoke English with tolerable fluency, and no doubt understood it much better than he spoke it. While Major Upham was endeavoring to get some talk out of him, a small man with thin face covered with a thick beard, coatless but otherwise habited as to color in drab even to his hat, and wearing a standing collar of said cut, stepped officiously forward, and took up the thread of aboriginal conversation. When Buffalo John betrayed an intention of saying something, this newcomer would take the words out of his mouth and pervert what he had said or prevent him from saying anything at all. We found out that this personage was a Quaker by the name of Witherill, who held the office of trail agent of the Osages, a well paid sinecure. His duties as far as we could learn about them were for the most part to act as quasi arbitrator with the Osages in all cases where petitions for damages are filed against the tribe, in such a matter, for instance, as the “cutting out” of twenty head of Texas cattle and the killing of a cowboy in performing the maneuver. In all cases, Mr. Witherill finds it not only to his pecuniary interest but largely subservient to his personal safety to stand in with the Indians, which he is universally charged with doing by people on the trail. He was sent out some days before to call in the Osages, who were off their reservation killing buffalo, but knowing them as well as he did and setting high store by his fine head of hair, got no farther than Sewell’s Ranche, fearing that even his valuable services as special attorney might not be proof against the temptation offered by his scalp.
Before this colloquy had gone far, it was interrupted by an announcement that a number of Indians were coming from the direction of the ranch towards the camp. A detail of cavalry was sent out to bring them in, and presently there rode towards the officers’ camp “Sassy (Saucy) Chief,” a chieftain of the Osages, followed by a number of his band. Alighting from their ponies, they passed around the circle, offering their hands to shake to each in turn. Major Upham refused to perform this ceremony after he had shaken hands with three, and the savages seated themselves cross-legged, a la grand seigneur, on the grass. Major Upham looked around for an interpreter, when Mr. Witherill stepped forward with the air of one who proposed to boss the job. Major Upham firmly and plainly intimated to the trail agent that he proposed talking with these Indians himself, and in his own way, and invited Mr. Witherill to adorn the remote background with his person and hold his tongue. Buffalo John was then brought into requisition as an interpreter, and something like the following big talk ensued in due and ample form. “Tell Sassy Chief,” said Upham, “that the white man has grown tired shaking hands.”
This was conveyed to Sassy Chief, and produced a slight glimmer of sensation on the stolid countenances of the Osages. “Tell him that the great chief at Washington is angry because the Indians have killed his white children on the frontier, and that the great chief of Kansas is very angry and has sent his second chief down here with warriors to find out who killed his white friends and punish them.” This was duly translated by Buffalo John into the halting gutturals of the Osage tongue. In reply to a question why he was off his reservation, Sassy Chief said that they had been out hunting and jerking buffalo, but had been called in, and they were on their way to their agency. Forty lodges of Osages were encamped on the Salt Fork a few miles away.
Major Upham in a few well chosen words adapted to the aboriginal vocabulary and understanding, told them that the young men of the Osages had been out on the war parties with the Kiowas and Comanches and other wild Indians; that the murder of the four teamsters near Baker’s Ranche was committed in part by Osages; and that a mourning party of nineteen Osages had murdered three white settlers at Medicine Lodge. Of all this Sassy Chief avowed his ignorance. Major Upham asked Sassy Chief if he did not know that a council of all the wild tribes had been held in the Red Hills? (No answer.) Major Upham asked if Sassy Chief was not aware that Chetopah’s band, Black Dog’s band, and Big Hill’s band of Little Osages were represented in this council? (No answer.) Major Upham asked Sassy Chief if he did not know that young braves of the Osages had gone in with these other Indians to raid transportation trains bound for the lower agencies for sugar and coffee? (No answer.) All these question were duly interpreted to Sassy Chief, who made no response. “If I were to ask the Kiowa, the Cheyenne, or the Comanche the same questions,” said Major Upham, “I would receive the same reply.” Sassy Chief was offended; he threw himself on the grass with an air of inexpressible hauteur and said nothing, but looked the picture of wounded dignity. Major Upham continued: “Tell Sassy Chief that the white man is on the warpath, and that when he goes out, he won’t know an Osage from a Cheyenne if he finds him off his reservation. The Indians have had plenty of time to jerk their buffalo and dry their plums; and if they do not at once go on their reservations, the white man will deem them hostile Indians and treat them as such.” This he emphasized, telling the Osages present that the white men were not hunting for friendly Indians and the only way they could tell an unfriendly one was to find him off his reservation. He turned to Witherill, who listened skeptically, and told him he meant it, and impressed upon that worthy the necessity of making it plain, and pointed to the Indians. Witherill began his excuses for the Osages, which were cut short, and he promised to see that they all moved without delay. The next day a large band of Indians, with squaws, ponies, and other impediments, moved across the prairie on their way to their sanctuary, showing that the big talk was as Sassy Chief said at its conclusion, “Good,” and had taken early and active effect. At the conclusion of the pow-wow, an Indian advanced with a present of choice jerked buffalo for Adjutant General Morris, to whom the Osages paid the greatest deference. The compliment was returned in the shape of a small quantity of coffee, sugar, and cigars; which were received with all dignity, and duly bestowed in that omnium gatherum of all aboriginal portable property, the blanket. After a brief interchange of courtesies with Delany, Upham’s Italian chef de cuisine, they mounted their ponies with a farewell, “How,” and rode out of camp. Laflin came into camp towards evening and announced his train ready to move whenever an escort should be furnished him. He said that “four long-haired” Indians, supposed to be Cheyennes, had been seen lurking in the vicinity the day before, evidently employed in reconnoitering the movements of the train. Major Upham told him of the coming of the infantry company and told him to be ready to start as soon as arrived on Sunday morning.
The cavalry and militia slept on their arms that night in readiness for an attack. About 3 o’clock in the morning the camp was aroused by a brisk fall of rain. Everyone crawled out of his moist blanket, shook himself into his clothing, prepared a hasty cup of coffee, and began the return march up the cattle trail. On the way up, and about six miles out, we met Capt. Carter’s company marching towards Sewell’s Ranch.
Major Upham had devised an ambuscade, which he gave Capt. Carter verbal orders to carry out. He was to conceal his men in the wagons, which could be easily done, and to keep them as much concealed as possible. The Cheyennes, Kiowas, and the rest may catch a tartar if they should attempt to molest this train. Camp was reached at nightfall, and the next day was given to rest. The militia were ordered to break camp at about 4 o’clock and marched ten miles out towards Arkansas City, and encamped. In the morning we bid farewell to Major Upham and his associate officers of Company E, Lieutenants J. B. Kerr and Sebree Smith. They placed us under infinite obligations by their generous hospitality and courtesy. In this connection we cannot refrain a few words more in reference to the admirable system of signal stations devised by Major Upham, and which the topography of the country marvelously favors. By this means he has perfect reconnaissance of twenty miles on either side of the cattle trail along the border, covering in point of fact all settlements that are in any sort of danger of molestation. The country west in Harper County is utterly uninhabited, the nearest settlements westward being on Medicine Lodge in Barbour County, a district which will soon be well protected by military, as it is by militia organizations. Major Upham proposes to extend his pickets further out shortly, placing at the outposts gatling guns, which will enable a handful of men to protect the signal station against a legion of savages. Two of these gatling guns passed through Wichita on the day of our return. On Monday last Major Upham went on a scout up through Harper County to Medicine Lodge. In this connection we would strongly suggest that another company of cavalry is necessary on this line to scout up through the Medicine Lodge in connection with Major Upham’s company, which has enough to do to police the cattle trail and scout through the Territory.
I forgot to mention that before leaving Caldwell, Adjutant General Morris organized a picked company of men, enrolled and armed them with Sharp’s improved carbines.
We arrived at South Haven at 10 o’clock on Saturday, where we were met by Mr. J. R. Musgrove and Col. Hunter, who had organized a company of seventy-five men. These were enrolled by Capt. Morris, and they were promised arms at the earliest moment. At Arkansas City, where we camped that evening, we were met by Prof. H. B. Norton and Captain Norton, his brother, the latter a thorough frontiersman. Here another company of picked men was organized and enrolled. Everywhere on our march we saw the signs of the panic and conversed with scores of settlers. We informed them all of the preparations for defense that had been made, and left confidence restored in great measure behind us. The next day we marched by way of the towns of Belle Plaine and Oxford to Bitter Creek, where we encamped, twenty-three miles from Wichita, and a brisk march the next day brought us into Wichita, none the worse “even in the estimation of a hair.” The expedition was in the largest sense an important one. It had the most salutary effect on the settlers of the border, impressing them with the comforting assurance that the state of their adoption was concerned for their well-being and safety, and would use every means at its command to protect their lives and property. It resulted in saving at least one thousand settlers to the state of Kansas who, disturbed by constant rumors all the more alarming by reason of their vagueness, were impelled to seek safety in removal. It was by no means a causeless scare, nor has the danger of a general Indian outbreak at all subsided. The Quaker agents of the Territory and their associates are sleeping on a volcano. We will, in a subsequent letter, tell what we learned from old frontiersmen, residents on the cattle trail, and from Major Upham, who, though used to Indian fighting, shares their apprehensions for good reasons of his own. Suffice it in this to say that Capt. Tucker’s company of militia, as good a body of men as ever sat astride a horse, may yet be called upon to make forced marches to the border to find the fight they missed on this trip. Capt. Morris issued a special order at Wichita highly complimenting Capt. Tucker and Lieutenants Mike Meagher and Cash Henderson and the men under them for their services to the state. We were out ten days from Wichita during which time we marched 249 miles, an average of over twenty-four miles per day, which is much better than the regular cavalry are accustomed to do. W. H. R.
The Commonwealth, Thursday, September 18, 1873.
QUAPAW AGENCY, INDIAN TERRITORY, September 13th, 1873.
To the Editor of the Commonwealth.
The commissioner of Indian affairs, E. P. Smith, will be in Kansas about the 25th of the present month, on his way to Fort Sill, to be present at the release of Satanta and Big Tree. It is to be regretted that these men were not released at the time the government promised to release them. The Kiowas had performed their part of the contract in perfect good faith; but it seems that the Modoc outrage, thousands of miles away, was made the pretext of holding these chiefs in custody for nearly six months after the time agreed upon for their release. The government ought to set a better example.
The Commonwealth, Friday, September 19, 1873.
Satanta and Big Tree, under guard, arrived at Fort Sill on the 4th, and were turned over to Gen. Davidson’s command. Their relatives were permitted to see them. The captives were informed that they would be kept in confinement till the end of the month, when Governor Davis and the Indian commissioner would treat with the tribe for their release. They were warned that any attempt to escape would meet with summary punishment. Satanta replied he was used to being in jail. Both are looking well, but reduced in flesh since their confinement. The night after their arrival, signal fires were seen blazing at various points on the Wichita mountains, indicating to the various camps that the great chiefs had arrived.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, November 20, 1873.
Mr. A. C. Williams, of Leavenworth County, Kansas, has been appointed special agent for the Mexican Kickapoo Indians, to be located at the junction of Bitter Creek and the Sha-kas-ka River, twenty-five miles southwest of this place. A portion of the tribe, consisting of one man, fourteen women, and twenty-two children, passed through here last Monday, accompanied by the agent, teamsters, and O. P. Johnson—the guide. The people were all looking hearty and in good spirits, although they really are prisoners of the United States, having been captured by Gen. Mackenzie last spring, while raiding into Mexico, and held as prisoners at Fort Gibson, until the 6th of this month, when they were placed under charge of the agent and started for their reserve. One hundred Kickapoo warriors are on the road to their reserve, and will arrive in about three weeks. Mr. Williams leaves for Fort Sill today, to meet them. They are mounted, and own a number of ponies, although they are poorly clad. The balance of the tribe, numbering some six or seven hundred, will come up in the spring. Their supplies will be purchased at this place, as far as possible. O. P. Johnson has the contract for building two log houses—a commissary store and a dwelling house. The remainder of the buildings will not be commenced until next summer.
Arkansas City Traveler.
The Commonwealth, January 9, 1874.
Lawrence, Kan., Jan. 2. “A surveyor arrived in this city on yesterday from the vicinity of Fort Sill. He says that surveying parties have been called back by order of the authorities on account of the hostile demonstrations by the Indians.”
Walnut Valley Times, February 20, 1874.
On Tuesday last, Senator Ingalls introduced a bill of great importance to this State. It directs the Secretary of the Interior to appoint commissioners to locate and open a road for military, postal, and commercial purposes, across the Indian Territory, from the mouth of the main Cache River, in Texas, via Fort Cobb, Fort Sill, and the Wichita Agency, to the mouth of the Walnut River, in Kansas, the said road including a belt of country one and a half miles in breadth; to be kept open to driving and transit of merchandise free from any charge forever. The bill was referred to the appropriate committee.
Winfield Courier, February 20, 1874.
Mr. Ingalls introduced a bill directing the Secretary of the Interior to appoint commissioners to locate and open a road for military, postal, and commercial purposes across the Indian Territory from the mouth of the main Cache River, in Texas, via Fort Cobb, Fort Sill, and the Wichita Agency to the mouth of Walnut River in Kansas, the said road including the belt of country one and a half miles in breadth, to be kept open to driving stock and the transit of merchandise free from any charge forever.
This has long been a pet project with our people and Mr. Ingalls deserves our thanks for his attention to this matter. The bill however should be amended so as to make the right of way five miles instead of one and a half. By all means let us have this route, it is just what our people want, and just what drovers want.
Winfield Courier, February 20, 1874.
Every farmer in Cowley County should take the COURIER. Many times one copy will pay, and more than pay, the price of subscription. For instance, the following item will pay any man who has corn to sell.
The Government has contracted for two million pounds of corn to be delivered at Fort Dodge and as much more at Fort Sill, and other places in the Indian Territory, and Colorado. This is bound to make corn higher. No doubt it will be 75 cents per bushel before midsummer. Those who have corn to sell, or buy either (for it affects both alike only in opposite pockets) should know this and govern themselves accordingly.
Winfield Courier, July 31, 1874.
Item from the Traveler.
A very sad accident occurred Tuesday, July 21, on the Chisholm Trail, near Big Wild Horse Creek, some forty miles from Caldwell. It would appear that the unfortunate man, whose name was Alic Adams, was riding on a sulky, and carrying a carbine, which he very carelessly kept full cocked. By some means he let the weapon fall and the hammer, striking some part of the vehicle, the carbine was discharged, the bullet from which entered his thigh and ranged upward, coming out near the heart, killing him almost instantly. He had been at work for some time at Fort Sill and was on his way to commence work for the new stage line when he so suddenly met his death. He was about 22 years of age.
Winfield Courier, September 4, 1874.
The Indians attacked Col. Davidson, U. S. Commander at Ft. Sill, but at last accounts were repulsed.
Winfield Courier, September 18, 1874.
De Bois’ surveying party left Wichita yesterday en route for the Indian Territory. Their work lies southwest of Ft. Sill. Several citizens of this county go with them, among whom is Tell Walton, taking the chances on losing their scalps for forty dollars per month.
Winfield Courier, October 22, 1874.
Three coaches and six span of horses belonging to the stage line of Vale [Vaile] & Co. passed through this city last Friday, en route for Caldwell, to be put on the line between that place and Ft. Sill.
Winfield Courier, October 29, 1874.
FT. SILL, INDIAN TERRITORY, Oct. 21st, 1874.
DEAR BECKETT: After a long and tedious trip our party arrived here last night.
We saw plenty of Indians at a distance but lost no scalps however, and in consequence the Cowley boys are in good spirits. Part of our outfit leave for the “field” today. Gen. Sheridan arrived here last Saturday and took command of the forces and immediately dispatched nine companies to reinforce Gen. Miles on the Staked Plains. A lively time may now be anticipated.
Satanta, Big Tree, Lone Wolf, and ten or twelve other chiefs are here in the guard house, all heavily ironed. Kicking Bird, chief of the Kiowas, also wears the same kind of “jewels.”
This is a beautiful country, well timbered, plenty of water, and an abundance of stone. The Wichita Mountain range, fifteen miles wide by fifty in length, a very rough broken plateau, treads in a northwesterly direction from here. From the U. S. Signal station on their summit, a distance of sixty miles can be seen in any direction.
We are all well armed with Remington rifles, but since Sheridan’s appearance at the front, we apprehend no immediate danger from the Indians.
When we reach the field of work, I may write to you again; till then, I am
Very Respectfully, TELL W. WALTON.
Winfield Courier, November 19, 1874.
SURVEYOR’S CAMP, CACHE CREEK,
25 Miles Northwest of Ft. Sill.
November 5th, 1874.
ED. COURIER: Thinking a few words from this post might be of some interest to your readers, I thought I would write a little in regard to matters in general on this part of the frontier. The health of the party is good. There are twenty-six men of us in all. We are running west on latitude 35 north, and expect to run west to the Pan Handle if we are not molested by the Indians. We have had no trouble with them yet and see but few. The Kiowas and Comanches are all out on the warpath, with the exception of a part of Kicking Bird’s band (Kiowas) which are at their agency and continue to draw rations.
General Davidson has about 170 of the “noble red men” under heavy guard at the post, Big Tree, Satanta, and White Horse among them, with about 1,400 ponies; the ponies are being shot according to orders at the rate of one hundred per day. General Davidson is out with an expedition against the Indians and on the 29th of October captured about 75 warriors, 100 squaws, and papooses, and 500 ponies.
I saw a scout on the 30th ult., just from the command. He said the expedition was within two day’s ride of 1,800 warriors, which they expected to take or kill at all hazards. Sheridan left this post on the 25th of last month for Camp Supply. He says the government has fooled with the Indians long enough, that he will make the white man and his property safe in this country, if he is let alone.
Nearly every stage ranche between this post and the Kansas line has been burned, and the occupants killed or run off. A greater part of the stock taken from the Indians rightfully belongs to Texans, as the Indians have been in the habit of raiding into Texas, and stealing stock for years, and the owners dare not follow them further than Red River, the boundary line between Texas and the Comanche and Kiowa reservations; if they did, the Peace Policy interfered, smoothed it over for poor Lo, and say they don’t believe the Indians will steal, and the same Indians drawing rations of the government twice a month.
How do the taxpayers that are a little tender-footed on the Indian question, like such proceedings. The two tribes above named have one of the best and largest reservations in the Indian Territory; plenty of good land for farming purposes; good water; plenty of timber; a much better chance to make a living than the average Southern Kansas settler; no taxes to pay; a good school at the Post for all that choose to go.
It is high time that they be compelled to come in on their reservations and stay there. Some will say that they don’t know how to farm it. The trouble is they don’t want to know. Their agent at this post has time and again built houses, fenced, and broke up small farms, furnished them with seed, instructed them in planting, furnished them with rations, and today they are all going to ruin, use the fence for firewood, stick up their lodges near the house, and let the ponies use the house for shade. Yours truly, CHARLIE MANN.
The Commonwealth, July 31, 1874.
In the COMMONWEALTH correspondence from the Indian Territory during the late Indian excitement, mention was made of the cattle train of nineteen wagons lying at Sewell’s Ranch, on the Fort Sill cattle trail; waiting for an escort to conduct it to the Cheyenne and Arapaho Indian agency. It will be remembered that Major Upham ordered Captain Carter’s company of the fifth infantry to conceal themselves in the wagons and thus proceed with the train to its destination. From a private letter received yesterday from the headquarters of the battalion, near Caldwell, we learn that the train had been heard from within ten miles of the agency, where it no doubt arrived safely. They report that they were watched by and saw Indians from the time they crossed Salt Fork till they reached Kingfisher’s. The Indians sent up signals with smokes constantly and were plainly waiting for a favorable opportunity to attack. They doubtless discovered the presence of the escort and scented the ambuscade. Major Upham left Caldwell on Wednesday, 29th, with his company of cavalry, to scout down through the Territory to the Cheyenne and Arapaho agency, and may encounter the Indians seen by Capt. Carter. His orders are to consider every Indian hostile found wandering off his reservation.
[Note: This appears in Volume II, The Indians, on page 262. I got the news from the Winfield Courier, August 28, 1874. The only difference was that they showed “Hampton” as the name of the conductor. Their article was printed ten days later.]
Arrival of a Post Trader.
Latest Intelligence from the Indian Reservations.
The Commonwealth, Tuesday Morning, August 18, 1874.
From the St. Louis Republican, Aug. 16.
Mr. L. Spencer, the Indian trader at the Wichita agency in the Indian Territory, thirty-five miles north of Fort Sill, arrived in the city yesterday. He left the agency on Friday last, and came round by old Cherokee town to Caddo, on the Missouri, Kansas and Texas railroad, where he took the cars. He brings the latest intelligence from the Indian reservation.
There has been no white man killed in the Territory within a month. The United States mail is sent round by Caddo and Ft. Sill since the Indians committed their raids on the Wichita, Kansas, route.
The Wichitas and afflicted bands are all at home near the agency. Old Whitehead, a Kiowa, visited the Wichita agency a short time since, and was quite sulky and insolent. He is the same one who came there two years ago, and armed with a knife, jumped over the counter of the trader’s store and helped himself to all the goods he wanted. A strong guard was placed on his movements this time, and he did not commit any depredations, although Mr. Spooner had some sharp words with him. He wanted “heap goods,” but rather assumed the role of a beggar, and said he never was an advocate for war on that agency. He has since gone out to join the discontented Indians, several days’ journey to the westward. It seems that a portion of the Kiowas and Comanches, and most of the Cheyennes, are congregated out on the headwaters of the Red River. They went out to make medicine and have not been in since. It is not known whether they mean peace or war—good or bad medicine. Big Tree and Big Bow are out there.
It is the general talk among the military that troops are about moving on these Indians from four different points—from Fort Dodge on the Arkansas, from Fort Sill in the Indian Territory; from Fort Richardson in Texas; and from some point in New Mexico. A few of the Kiowas, Comanches, and Cheyennes have remained on the reservation all the time, and the Arapahos are determined to remain there quiet. Satanta is sick at Fort Sill. He has given up all ideas of fighting, and instead of being looked upon, as formerly, among one of the worst Indians on the plains, he has calmed down spirit-broken into a serene old sage.
Mr. Spooner goes to Detroit to spend a month.
The Commonwealth, Thursday Morning, October 8, 1874.
HEADQUARTERS INDIAN EXPEDITION.
CAMP ON THE WASHITA, TEXAS.
September 26th, 1874.
From Our Regular Correspondent.
The Indians, having been beaten and routed at every point, have disappeared. None have been seen since the attack on Capt. Lyman’s train, although the troops have been moving in every direction in search of them. Those lately operating in Gen. Miles’ rear have gone towards the Staked Plains.
Gen. Davidson, with six companies of the Tenth cavalry and three of the Eleventh infantry, made a junction with Gen. Miles on the 20th. He marched from Fort Sill up the Washita and North Fork of Red river. They report seeing no Indians on the route. This command is now moving towards the head of North Fork.
Three of the columns operating against the hostile Indians, namely, Gen. Miles, Gen. Davidson, and Col. Price, are within supporting distance of each other. Nothing has been heard from McKenzie, who is advancing from the south. He is supposed to be somewhere on the Staked Plains. Buell is also said to be moving on the enemy from New Mexico.
The Commonwealth, Tuesday Morning, October 27, 1874.
HEADQUARTERS INDIAN EXPEDITION,
Camp on the Washita, Texas, October 12, 1874.
A letter received at General Miles’ headquarters from Col. Neil, commanding at the Cheyenne agency, states that one hundred and four lodges of Kiowas and Comanches have gone into Fort Sill. Satanta, Big Tree, and Woman’s Heart, the same authority states, with twenty-four lodges of Kiowas, have gone into the Cheyenne agency and given themselves up. A party of twelve Cheyenne warriors, under White Horse’s son, have also gone into the agency and surrendered to Col. Neil. They started out, so they say, to join the northern Cheyennes, and got as far as Sand creek, Colorado, when finding the troops scattered all over the country in hostile array, they concluded to retrace their steps, taking with them a number of horses and mules they had stolen on the route. This is probably the “large” force that were reported as coming from the north to join the hostile tribes of the south.
The Commonwealth, Sunday Morning, November 15, 1874.
Satanta, the Kiowa chieftain who was released from the Huntsville, Texas, penitentiary by Gov. Davis at the time of the Fort Sill council, about eighteen months ago, on condition that he keep the peace, has been remanded to his old quarters under a lifetime sentence. The old chief played false and lead his people on the warpath, and now he has been taken from them forever.
The Commonwealth, Wednesday Morning, November 18, 1874.
“On November 5th, Lieut. Thompson, with nine scouts and several mules from the command, killed two Indians and captured twenty-six horses and mules. The women say that the bands of these two warriors are with eight lodges of Cheyennes on the Staked Plains. They say that many of their people have gone to the reservations with the intention of leaving there in a few days to try and slip around the troops and send in a party to get authority to go into Fort Sill. Some of the women were among those captured on the north fork of Red river two years ago. I shall try one trip on the plains, after which there will be no use in looking for Indians there this winter. I intend going to the northwest, between the headwaters of the Brazos and Red rivers. (Signed) GEN. C. C. AUGAR.”
The Commonwealth, Thursday Morning, November 19, 1874.
HEADQUARTERS INDIAN EXPEDITION,
Camp on the Washita, Texas, November 12, 1874.
Gen. McKenzie has gone to Fort Sill for supplies, and will soon be on his way to the field of operations.
CAMP SUPPLY, I. T., Nov. 15, 1874.
Late arrivals from Fort Sill and the Cheyenne agency report the Indians yet out as heartily tired of the war and anxious to come in. They now regret having gone to war at all, and would surrender on almost any terms. The Cheyennes yet out are in the bands of Grey Beard, Stone Calf (who also has thirty lodges of Staked Plains Comanches), Bull Bear, Heap-of-Birds, Old Whirlwind, Sand Hill, Manimick, and several under chiefs. Big Horse, who recently surrendered with twenty families, says these chiefs would come in, but are afraid of the troops. He left them south of Adobe Walls, where Gen. Miles found them on his late trip to the Staked Plains. They are now scattered in every direction. Meanwhile, preparations are being made for a winter campaign and a vigorous prosecution of the war. If the Indians come in and give themselves up, this necessity will be obviated, but the troops will not be withdrawn as long as they maintain a hostile attitude. Couriers are now on the way to the camps of the hostile tribes in the capacity of peace-makers. Whatever effect their visits may have on the minds of the war chiefs, it is certain there will be no patched-up treaty with the savages who have been carrying on their work of murder and robbery for the past six months. The blood of slaughtered innocents demands that the perpetrators of these deeds be brought to justice and made to pay the penalty of their crimes.
The Commonwealth, Wednesday Morning, December 2, 1874.
From Our Own Correspondent.
CAMP SUPPLY, I. T., November 25, 1874.
A severe snow storm visited this section last week. Several soldiers were frozen and a number of horses died during prevalence of the storm. Gen. Davidson, who was moving toward Fort Sill, was losing from ten to fifteen a night.
The Commonwealth, Thursday Morning, December 17, 1874.
From Our Own Correspondent.
HEADQUARTERS INDIAN EXPEDITION,
CAMP ON THE WASHITA, TEXAS, December 9, 1874.
Captain C. A. Hartwell, commanding a battalion of the 8th U. S. cavalry, left camp, on the Canadian, five miles above Adobe Walls, on the 28th ult., with detachments of companies C, H, K, and L, going in a westerly direction some twelve or fifteen miles, then crossing to the south side of that river, proceeded southwest, traveling all night, to within a few miles of Muster Creek. At this point his scouts, who were moving in the advance, discovered moving on this stream what proved to be a Mexican bull train, consisting of nineteen wagons and seventy men, and one hundred head of loose cattle. The Mexicans stated that they were hunting buffalo, and had come together for protection, but it is the opinion of the officers in charge that they had been trading with the Indians. They had been in the camps of the Cheyennes, and the Cheyennes had been in their camps. The information obtained from them is important, as tending to show the present temper of the hostile savages. The Indians who were under White Bird and Maumuck were anxious to make some terms, looking toward a cessation of hostilities and the establishment of friendly relations with the government; and, that with this object in view, three of the principal chiefs had gone to Fort Sill.
The Commonwealth, Thursday Morning, December 17, 1874.
CAMP SUPPLY, INDIAN TERRITORY, December 12, 1874.
The Indians lately encountered by Capt. Hartwell, south of the Canadian, and who are represented as tired of fighting and desirous of making peace, are, it has been ascertained, some of the same bands of Cheyennes that General Miles drove south over a month ago. The fact of their return so soon to the same locality and the sending of three principal chiefs to Fort Sill is evidence of their willingness to discontinue further resistance and place themselves under the sheltering wings of the government.
Winfield Courier, January 21, 1875.
From the Territory.
SURVEYOR’S CAMP, ELK CREEK,
Kiowa and Comanche Reservation,
Indian Territory, Dec. 31st, 1874.
EDITOR COURIER: Dear Sir: Since writing my last I have made one more trip to Fort Sill with pack ponies, for provisions. Found everything quiet there. There are about 2,500 Kiowas and Comanches camped at the agency drawing rations. There were about 500 ponies that were taken from the Indians shot according to orders, and about fifteen hundred sold at auction. The greater part of these were bought by Texans at an average price of $5 per head. That will probably cripple the Indians on the warpath to some extent. It is generally supposed that the Indian war is about at a close; as near as I can learn there have been 16 Indians killed during the whole campaign, and nine of them were killed in a party by buffalo hunters at the Doby Wells, up on the Canadian, leaving 7 killed by the troops. The different commands have about all come in, on account of not being able to carry on a winter’s campaign. All of the Indians on the warpath have fled to the Guadalupe mountains for protection. The government is starting a supply camp about 150 miles west of Fort Sill, as the Fort is too far from the seat of war to haul supplies. As I write we are having another terrible sleet; everything is literally covered. Our stock are suffering for the want of grass that the sleet has covered.
No more at present; I may write again at some future time. Yours truly,
The Commonwealth, January 29, 1875.
From Our Own Correspondent.
FORT SILL, January 23, 1875.
Gen. Miles, with a portion of his command, reached this post yesterday, after a hard march of twenty-five days. The object in coming here is to obtain supplies. On the 28th of December, he left camp on the Canadian, west of Adobe Walls, with Co. K of the 6th cavalry, Co. D of the 5th infantry, one Gatling gun, and twenty-five wagons, with the view of inflicting one more blow upon the hostile Indians, and make a final effort to secure those innocent captives the German sisters, now in their possession. The route from the Canadian was almost due south, to the Tule, the north branch of Red river, and across the Staked Plains, a distance of over one hundred miles. Here the course was changed eastward, a part of the command going down the Tule to the mouth, and a portion following Canon Blanco, another tributary of Red river, and down that to the old crossing of August, where the forces again united, camping on Gen. Miles’ old battle ground. To make a thorough search of the country and find the Indians, if they could be found, the command again split, Lieut. Baldwin, with Co. D, 5th infantry, and his invincible scouts, being ordered to go to the head of Salt fork and scour that stream, while Gen. Miles, with the balance of the command, proceeded down Battle creek, scouting the country to the right and left for fifty miles. After making a careful examination of the country passed over, the troops again came together at Elm fork, the command being reinforced at this point by Co. I, 6th cavalry, and Co. C., 5th infantry, one howitzer and twenty-five wagons loaded with supplies, the whole in charge of Col. Compton.
By this time some trails of Indians were discovered, and Gen. Miles determined to follow them so long as he had a man or a hoof left. The trains all led in the direction of Fort Sill, so taking one himself and ordering Compton to take another, they were pursued to this post, reaching here one day in advance of the troops. The Indians driven in by Gen. Miles were Comanches and Kiowas, and numbered four or five hundred men, women, and children. They were in a terribly demoralized state, almost destitute of clothing and food. They say they have been run so hard by the soldiers that they have had not chance to kill any meat for their families. They are now at their agency, where they are likely to remain for an indefinite period, and content themselves with government rations.
This march, made in the dead of winter, and over a country never ventured upon by whites at this season, will be put down as one of the most remarkable on record as illustrating the hardships and privations men are capable of enduring. The distance traveled is over five hundred miles, and when the command returns to the cantonment on the North Fork, even if it goes by the most direct route, the entire distance traveled will be more than seven hundred miles. The weather was cold and stormy throughout—small parties were often compelled to sleep on the bald prairie with no shelter save the broad canopy of heaven, yet there was no murmuring and no casualties. Such patient endurance of hardships and such cheerful compliance with orders are worthy of the highest commendation.
The command will remain here for a few days to get supplies, and then return to the cantonment on the North Fork, going by way of the Washita, when Gen. Miles will perhaps take leave of the field, and this at a time when his services would be rendered most useful. I am not acquainted with the reasons that have produced the change, but I know that Gen. Miles’ highest ambition was and is to remain in the field as long as there is a hostile Indian off his reservation. In this patriotic and philanthropic desire, Gen. Miles has not been seconded by those over him, and he will therefore retire from the field when his experience and knowledge of the country could be used most advantageously in the entire subjection of the hostile tribes, and the freeing for all time of this vast country to civil settlement.
This is one of the largest and finest forts west of the Missouri. It is built of stone, and is made to accommodate ten companies. It was established in January, 1869, by Gen. Sheridan. It is garrisoned at present by six companies of the Tenth cavalry, colored, and three companies of the Twenty-fifth infantry. Col. Davidson, better known on the frontier as Black Jack, is in command. The Tenth is soon to be relieved by Col. McKenzie’s regiment, the Fourth cavalry, now at Fort Concho, Texas.
The Commonwealth, January 29, 1875.
FORT SILL, INDIAN TERRITORY, January 24, 1875.
Correspondence of the Commonwealth.
The present has been an uncommonly severe winter, but I am told that the climate generally is mild and equable, and free from malaria. When this vast domain is opened to settlement, as it will be sooner or later, I know of no better place to locate a claim than in the vicinity of Fort Sill.
The post is located on Cache creek, near the eastern base of the Wichita mountains. The nearest railroad station is Caddo, 180 miles, on the M. K. & T. It is 75 miles south of the Cheyenne Agency. Two tri-weekly stage lines run to Caddo and one to Wichita via Cheyenne Agency.
The Commonwealth, March 3, 1875.
AN UNCONDITIONAL SURRENDER.
St. Louis, March 2. A dispatch from Gen. Augur, dated San Antonio, Texas, today, to Gen. Sherman, says: The balance of the Kiowa Indians, numbering 140, among whom were Lone Wolf, Red Otter, and other prominent chiefs, surrendered unconditionally to a scouting party on Salt Fork, on February 22, gave up their arms and ponies, and were expected to arrive at Fort Sill February 26. There are only 12 Kiowas now out.
GENERAL MILES’ EXPEDITION.
The Commonwealth, Saturday Morning, March 27, 1875.
To the Editor of the Army and Navy Journal.
SIR: In the Journal of February 27 appears an article credited to the Topeka COMMONWEALTH regarding the last movement of General Miles’ expedition. It is in most respects excellent and accurate, but the writer has given an impression that at one time prevailed in the command, and seemed to be correct, as to the number of hostile Indians driven into Fort Sill by this movement. When the trail was first found, near the western end of the Wichita mountains, as the command had been several times on the trail of a hostile party from the canon of the Tule moving in the same direction, and as the larger trail indicated rapid movement, it was presumed to be that of a hostile party driven in and going to surrender. Of a certain portion, the exact number I do not know, this presumption was correct, as they were coming in without the knowledge of the authorities, under cover of the others, who were friendly Indians, out from Fort Sill by permission to hunt and were returning. The writer of the article in question was of course unaware of these facts, and I have to request that you please make this correction, there being no desire and as little need to claim any but legitimate honors for the expedition. That movement was intended by General Miles to be the last of the active operations of the expedition, and its scope was such that he could subsequently leave it to a portion of his command in the camp established under his orders on the North of the Red River, to deal with any of the enemy who might return from the remote south-west beyond the Pecas, wither those that had not already been forced to surrender had been driven. How complete the work of the campaign has been is partly seen in the fact that of the Indians who have come in to surrender at the agency, many of them are dismounted, and at this writing they are arriving in that plight, and bringing in and delivering up the two white captives, sisters of the two who were rescued by General Miles’ command in November.
As the scouts and guides under First Lieutenant F. D. Baldwin, Fifth Infantry, are not a permanent organization, and so cannot, as a regiment or company, reap the lasting reward of good opinion which attaches to them, I think it is not unfitting to single them out, and say that so much of the article taken from the COMMONWEALTH as commends them would receive the hearty approval of every one in the expedition who was cognizant of the valuable, incessant, and perilous duties that they so cheerfully performed.
Two of them, with a detachment of four equally intrepid soldiers, have made “A new Thermopylae” on the commonplace Texas prairie. And though they are justly first in honor, they would, I believe, with the modesty of genuine courage, agree that a like occasion and necessity would have found many others of the band equally courageous and self-sacrificing.
G. W. B.
Winfield Courier, April 22, 1875.
News up from Cheyenne Agency last Thursday brought reliable intelligence of the escape of the Cheyenne prisoners, three hundred in number, arrested and held as hostages for the murder of a part of the German family, and the torture and outrages perpetrated upon the German girls, reserved for a worse fate than the tomahawk.
The outbreak occurred at 2 o’clock p.m., Tuesday, April 6th, and upon the very afternoon the thirty Indian prisoners in irons, en route from Sill to Wichita, were due at the agency. The previous day the Indian prisoners had all been searched for arms and nothing was found except a few old guns. These were taken by the guard, it being a precautionary measure against trouble during the next day’s ironing process. The object failed, as the very next afternoon, upon the outbreak, nearly every Indian had side arms and plenty of ammunition.
There is still something strange in the fact that the thirty prisoners due from Fort Sill, in charge of two companies of cavalry and one of infantry, have not yet arrived at Cheyenne, for this point, thence to Leavenworth, though due last Friday. That the rise was preconcerted and the arms concealed by others of the tribe, there is no room for doubt. That it was the intent, after self-liberation, to rescue the Indian prisoners due that afternoon, as a part of the general plan, is alike apparent.
The Commonwealth, April 30, 1875.
WICHITA, April 29th, 1875.
Special Dispatch to the Commonwealth.
We have just received a letter from the Cheyenne Agency, dated the 24th inst., stating that thirty-two Cheyenne Indians had left there in chains, via Fort Sill. The balance of the hostile Cheyennes now at the Agency moved the same day. They were turned over to the Indian Agent by the military.
We also had reliable information that a small band of Osages were out with a party of hostile Cheyennes above the Salt Plains on the Cimarron. The Osages are preparing to go on a buffalo hunt. BEACON.
The Commonwealth, May 5, 1875.
THE INDIAN HUNGER BUSINESS.
Washington, May 4. The Indian bureau has information today from Special Commissioner Shanks [?], and also from unofficial sources, that the supplies so greatly needed for the Indians near Fort Sill, and at Wichita Agency, have all gone forward from Caddo station. Within the past few days the insufficiency of provisions, and consequent suffering among the Indians there, have been caused by the failure of the contractor to convey supplies from Caddo to the reservations. He claims that their transportation, heretofore, has been rendered impossible by the extraordinary state of the roads and by bad weather.
The Commonwealth, May 7, 1875.
The Republican’s special from Kansas City says that Gen. Neil, commander of the troops at the Cheyenne Indian agency, passed through there today en route for Fort Riley, where he will preside over the court martial. He reports that a large number of Cheyennes, who revolted and escaped from the agency last month, had returned, and are now receiving Government supplies and accommodations as though they never had fired a shot or provoked a fight, in which two soldiers were killed. He also reports that fifty-seven of the Indians that were tried at Fort Sill had been convicted and sentenced to the Dry Tortugas.
The Commonwealth, June 8, 1875.
QUAHADA AND APACHES.
Louisville, May 7. The Courier Journal’s letter from Fort Sill, Indian Territory, under date of May 21st, says the Quahada tribe of wild Comanches are expected at Fort Sill today, to surrender, agreeing to turn over to the military authorities all their arms, horses, and mules. The horses number about 4,000 head and 200 mules. The band has been raiding Texas for the past five years.
The authorities have always failed to induce them to come on the reservation. They have been anxiously looked for, almost every year, by the Fourth United States Cavalry, on the Staked Plains, under command of General McKenzie, but seldom were they, or any portion of them, found. Texas will be rid of a troublesome enemy. But one small band of Apaches are now out, and it is rumored that they will follow the example of their Quahada friends, which would leave the Southern Staked Plains free from hostile Indians.
Winfield Courier, June 10, 1875. Front Page.
HEADQUARTERS, FORT SILL,
Indian Territory, May 19, 1875.
Capt. E. J. Strang, A. Q. M., U. S. A., Denison, Texas:
SIR: Citra, a Qua-ha-de Comanche, who came into this post a few days ago, is the son of Cynthia, or Cynthia Anne Parker, a white woman, and is very desirous of finding out the whereabouts of his mother, if still alive, who was captured by the Indians near the falls of the Brazos nearly forty years ago, while yet a girl, and captured by the United States troops eighteen years ago, since which time she has remained in Texas.
R. A. MACKENZIE, Colonel Fourth Cavalry, commanding post.
Winfield Courier, June 17, 1875.
Peter T. Walton, of Parsons, passed through here last Saturday, en route for Fort Sill and Western Texas, where he expects to buy up a herd of match ponies, and ship them East this fall. Tell Walton, his brother, went from here with him. Hope they will have success and return to the State with their “top hair” in due course of time.
Winfield Courier, July 1, 1875.
Capt. Shenneman, Frank Lutz, and C. C. Harris started to Ft. Sill last Saturday to attend the government sale of ponies to be held there on the 5th of July. Considering the number of buyers going there, we think there will be about one pony, and a half mule for each person.
Winfield Courier, July 22, 1875.
Capt. Shenneman and the boys returned from Ft. Sill. They brought up some nice ponies, but had to pay all they were worth for them.
[DISTANCES FROM ARKANSAS CITY TO VARIOUS POINTS.]
Arkansas City Traveler, February 9, 1876.
Fort Sill 327
[GUILTY OF CORRUPTION: GEN. BELKNAP, SECRETARY OF WAR.]
Winfield Courier, March 9, 1876. Editorial Page.
The country is startled by the news from Washington, announcing that a Congressional Investigating Committee has discovered that Gen. Belknap, Secretary of war, is guilty of corruption. His administration had been considered free from the “trades” and “considerations” that characterized the official action of many branches of the public service. Hence the universal astonishment of the developments. Belknap entered the army from Keokuk, Iowa, and was a brave and faithful officer. He rose to the rank of Major General, and became one of Grant’s favorites. In Nov. 1869, he was appointed Secretary of War and continued to hold the office until he resigned the first of this month on account of the discoveries below mentioned.
A few years ago he was married to a Kentucky lady of high social position, great beauty, and fine accomplishments. His terrible falls seems, from the developments made, to have originated with her. She first accepted, without his knowledge, the present of a large sum of money to procure an appointment for one Marsh as Post Trader at Fort Sill in the Indian Territory. Afterwards this corrupt transaction came to his knowledge, and he received other payments of money from this trader. The total sum was about $6,000 per annum, and the payments have been made for two years. The amounts received, first by his wife, and subsequently by himself, exceed $20,000.
The President at once accepted his resignation, and the House of Representatives have presented before the Senate articles of impeachment and judgment will be rendered against him.
Arkansas City Traveler, March 15, 1876. Front Page.
St. Louis, March 3. The Republican learns from a gentleman just arrived from Fort Sill, Indian Territory, that the developments of yesterday will create no surprise out there, because everybody at the post has for a long time been cognizant of the fact that the traders here were required to send heavy monthly contributions East, and they even urged, in order to enforce monthly collections from their patrons, the necessity for making those remittances, exclaiming that they were required to pay for the privileges they enjoyed. Lee & Reynolds, post traders at Camp Supply, make no secret of the fact that they hold their franchise as a thing purchased at large figures.
Arkansas City Traveler, March 15, 1876.
The President has revoked the appointment of Evans as post trader at Fort Sill.
Arkansas City Traveler, March 22, 1876. Front Page.
The St. Louis Times has an article in regard to one A. J. Brown, a late confidential clerk at Fort Sill, who has just been arrested in St. Louis, and tells something more about Belknap’s sutler contracts.
[Article in Indian Book.]
Winfield Courier, March 30, 1876.
LIEUT. GARDENER of the regular army stationed at Ft. Sill, in company with a deserter who had beaten and robbed a citizen, stole a horse, and made his way up as far as Tisdale, passed through here last Friday on his return to the Fort. They will make short work of this deserter down at Sill.
Arkansas City Traveler, April 5, 1876. Front Page.
An army officer, now in Philadelphia, who was stationed at Fort Sill for a number of years until quite recently, told a Philadelphia Times reporter that it is located in the southwestern tract of the Indian Territory, about forty-five miles from the Texas border and one hundred and sixty miles from Atoka, the present terminus of the Missouri, Kansas & Texas railroad. It was built in 1868 by General Grierson, of the Tenth United States Cavalry, and is situated in a beautiful country. The land is well timbered and watered, and nature has made it one of the finest posts in the southwest. The post was established for the accommodation of six companies, but at present there are twelve, ten of cavalry and two of infantry, on the ground. It is situated on a bluff two hundred feet high, overlooking Medicine Bluff Creek. It discloses the fertile plains, dotted with the tents of the soldiers and the smoke curling from the wigwams of the Indians located in large numbers but half a mile off. The fort derives its name from a romantic story told by the natives.
[Article in Indian Book.]
Arkansas City Traveler, April 5, 1876.
Indian ponies have been brought in to sell by parties who purchased them at Fort Sill.
Arkansas City Traveler, May 24, 1876.
Contracts are to be let at Fort Leavenworth, on the 10th day of June, for wagon transportation from Caddo to Fort Sill, Indian Territory; Wichita, Kansas, to Fort Reno, I. T.; Dodge City, or Fort Dodge, Kansas, to Camp Supply, I. T.; Dodge City, or Fort Dodge, Kansas, to Fort Elliot, Texas, and a number of other points farther west.
Arkansas City Traveler, June 7, 1876.
[Special Correspondence of the Price Current.]
RED FORK IND. TER., May 24, 1876.
The Hughes & Hood cattle started to drive through on the western trail, but were ordered to the old trail below this point by the commandant at Fort Sill. A. CONKLE.
Arkansas City Traveler, October 11, 1876.
J. M. JORDON started for Fort Sill last Friday with a load of flour to deliver on Newman’s contract. Silas Ward went with him. He expects to remain in the Territory to work.
Arkansas City Traveler, November 8, 1876.
FROM FT. SILL. Rev. Fleming and O. P. Houghton returned from Fort Sill last Saturday, after a journey of two weeks. The trip paid them for the time spent.
Arkansas City Traveler, December 13, 1876.
MR. NEWMAN started for Cheyenne Agency and Fort Sill this morning, in a carriage. He will be absent about two weeks.
[ITEM FROM THE INDIAN HERALD.]
Arkansas City Traveler, January 3, 1877.
Soldiers are leaving Fort Sill en route for New York.
Arkansas City Traveler, January 17, 1877.
FIFTY teams will start for Fort Sill this week, loaded with flour. They will all go together.
Arkansas City Traveler, January 24, 1877.
TO FT. SILL. JOSEPH SHERBURNE left for Fort Sill this morning. He expects to be absent two weeks.
Arkansas City Traveler, January 24, 1877.
75,000 pounds of flour left this place for Fort Sill last week, to supply the hungry Cheyennes and Arapahos.
Arkansas City Traveler, January 31, 1877.
THE PUBLISHER OF THIS PAPER started for Fort Sill, last Wednesday morning, in company with J. H. Sherburne. They purpose returning in about two weeks, no preventing providence.
Arkansas City Traveler, February 7, 1877.
On last Wednesday evening a man rode through this place on his way to Winfield, and gave the startling information that six freighters from this place had been killed by a mourning party of Osages while returning from Fort Sill. But few people gave the matter much thought that night, but the next morning, as the rumor spread and became more widely known, some of our citizens began to think there might be something in it, as it was known that the Chetopa mourning party had left the Agency.
Hank Endicott started for Caldwell in the morning, to learn more about it if possible, but meeting a man from that place who told him they had heard nothing of the rumor there, he returned, satisfied that the whole affair was a canard.
Friday evening A. A. Davis, one of the freighters, came in from the Territory, and relieved everybody by saying that all the boys were together, safe, and sound, and had seen no signs of redskins.
It is now plainly evident that the story was started by someone for a purpose of his own, and it may not be a very difficult matter to guess either the person or the purpose. The time has passed when the people along the border are to be easily frightened by plausible tales of Indian massacres, but the practice of inventing such rumors is one that cannot be too severely condemned. Rest assured the object will never be accomplished in that way.
Arkansas City Traveler, February 14, 1877.
Nearly all of the freighters have returned from Fort Sill, and not a scalp missing.
[A JOURNEY TO THE INDIAN COUNTRY: BY C. M. SCOTT.]
TRAVELER, FEBRUARY 21, 1877 - FRONT PAGE. And TRAVELER, FEBRUARY 28, 1877 - FRONT PAGE.
A JOURNEY TO THE INDIAN COUNTRY.
Fort Sill, Wichita, Cheyenne, Kiowa, and Cheyenne Agencies.
[Story told in Indian Book.]
Arkansas City Traveler, February 21, 1877.
The number of men at Fort Sill has been reduced to two companies of infantry and two of cavalry. Gen. Hatch is in command.
Arkansas City Traveler, February 21, 1877.
MR. WILKES, OF FORT SILL, owns that well imported stock farm just south of Caldwell. It is one of the best in Sumner County, having the advantage of being adjacent to the State line, with good water and plenty of stables for stock. It is for rent.
Arkansas City Traveler, February 21, 1877.
In dry weather the best route for freighters is by the “cut off,” or the regular road from this place. After a heavy rain the Caldwell route would prove best, as the ruts are not as deep as those on the Fort Sill trail from this place.
Arkansas City Traveler, March 7, 1877.
A. T. & S. F. RAILWAY.
Express and mail, arrives at Wichita daily.
Leaves daily, at 3:40 a.m.
Freight and accommodation arrives daily at 4:45 p.m.
Through freight and stock express leaves daily at 9:00 a.m.
Trains leave Newton for the west—express, 10:25 p.m., freight, 2:15 p.m., 11:45 p.m., and 1:35 p.m.
Trains connect at Wichita with Southwestern Stage Company, for Augusta, Douglass, Winfield, Arkansas City, Oxford, Belle Plaine, Sumner City, Wellington, Pond Creek, Cheyenne Agency, Wichita Agency, and Fort Sill.
Arkansas City Traveler, April 11, 1877.
Fight Between the Comanches and White Hunters.
From a gentleman who has just returned from Fort Sill, we learn that a fight took place between eight hunters and a band of 250 Quahada Comanche renegade Indians known as Mauwa’s band, who have been absent from the Agency some time, in the Pan Handle of Texas, about 200 miles west of the Kiowa and Comanche Agency, not far from Double Mountain. The whites had lost some ponies and followed the trail until they came upon them in a ravine, when one man held the horses while the seven went to fight. Finding more Indians than they expected, the man left had to tie the horses, in order to help. The Indians seeing the horses tied ran upon them and stampeded them. The hunters finally had to beat a retreat, following a creek all day, in order to keep out of sight. The Indians, thinking that there were a number of whites, did not push them, so that by several days hard travel they reached a trading post and were safe. In the fight “Spotted Jack,” a half-breed darkey, was wounded in the left thigh. D. Cairns, who came up the road with a load of buffalo meat, last week, had been with Marshall Sewell, of Missouri, who had been killed a few days before the fight took place. There are about 500 buffalo hunters in the Pan Handle, and a company of 100 men was organized and started in pursuit of the band that murdered Sewell, from Charley Rath’s ranche. Also a company of soldiers from Fort Griffin, Texas, and two from Fort Sill, Indian Territory, and two from Fort Elliot, Texas.
The above report comes direct from Mr. N. A. Haight, and we believe will be substantiated.
Arkansas City Traveler, April 11, 1877.
CORN AND OATS. Bids will be received at Fort Leavenworth, until May 8th, for corn and oats, to be delivered at Fort Gibson, Reno, and Sill, and elsewhere.
Arkansas City Traveler, April 25, 1877.
A freight wagon, bound for Fort Sill, was labeled: “C. B. & Q. R. R., 1877, B.C.”
Arkansas City Traveler, May 16, 1877.
James E. Fenlon was awarded the contract for corn and oats at Fort Sill, Gibson, and Reno.
James E. Fenlon, at Ft. Sill, corn $1.41, oats $1.97; at Fort Reno, corn $1.59, oats $1.97; at Fort Reno, corn $1.59, oats $2.47; Fort Gibson, corn $1.27, oats $2.07.
Leavenworth Items, Kansas City Journal.
Arkansas City Traveler, June 6, 1877.
FORT SILL, INDIAN TERRITORY, May 26, 1877.
The undersigned will sell at auction, to the highest bidder, for cash in hand, at Fort Sill, Indian Territory, Wednesday, June 27, 1877, at 1 o’clock, p.m., the following condemned Government property.
12 Horses, 13 Mules, 12 Army Wagons, 6 single sets Ambulance Harness, 31 single sets Wagon Harness, 8 Wagon Saddles, 1 Range, 2 Cooking and heating Stoves, 1 Water wagon, 5 monkey wrenches, 38 chisels, 3 compasses, 4 gauges, 10 carpenter’s hatchets, 4 drawing knives, 1 boring machine, 3 blacksmith’s cutting nippers, 14 planes, 28 wood rasps, 2 saddler’s cutting nippers, two wheelbarrows, 26 axes, two camp hatchets, 5 spades, and 9 shovels.
At the same time and place—28 pounds Butter, 272 pounds Lard, 15 cans Plums, 10 cans Cranberry sauce, 5 pounds Green Tea.
Property to be removed at time of sale.
By order of the Department Commander: H. H. CREWS, 1st Lieut. 4th Cavalry,
A. A. Q. M. & A. C. S.
Arkansas City Traveler, July 25, 1877.
COL. J. M. HAWORTH, Indian Agent at Fort Sill, accompanied by his wife, passed through Wellington last week, en route to Olathe.
Arkansas City Traveler, December 5, 1877.
The Post Office Department pays $23.00 for carrying the mail from Caldwell by Darlington, Ft. Reno, Anadarko, to Fort Sill, 190 miles; three times a week. It used to cost nearly double.
Arkansas City Traveler, February 13, 1878.
ED. HORN returned from Fort Sill and Red River last week. While at the Fort he had the explicit pleasure of gazing on bow-legged Fred. Grant, the ex-President’s son.
Winfield Courier, February 14, 1878.
Sixteen teams from Vernon and Beaver Townships are hauling government supplies from Wichita to Fort Sill, and at last accounts were stuck in the mud below Cheyenne Agency.
Courier failed to identify where the following item came from...
Winfield Courier, February 14, 1878.
A ripple of excitement was produced on Wednesday evening of last week by the arrival of Gen. Phil. Sheridan, en route for Fort Sill and other points in the Indian territory. He was accompanied by Generals Crook and Whipple and Colonels Strong and Moore of his staff. The distinguished party was entertained at the Merchants’ hotel.
Arkansas City Traveler, May 1, 1878.
DR. HUGHES is at Denison, Texas, making arrangements with cattle men who intend to pasture cattle in the Territory. On his return he will establish his headquarters on the Cimarron River at the stage crossing, and issue permits to all who want pasture privileges, for sixty cents a year, or five cents per head each month. The cattlemen express themselves well pleased with the arrangement, and will pay the tax willingly. Operations against timber depredators will probably begin near Fort Sill, where one man is engaged hauling saw logs to fill a very large contract. It is said he has five ox teams constantly hauling logs from the Territory.
Arkansas City Traveler, June 5, 1878.
CHARLES SCHIFFBAUER returned from Kansas City last week, after an absence of three months, in charge of the Sisters of Saint Joseph and the medical fraternity of the Sisters’ Hospital. The cause of his absence was to have a ball extracted from his leg, received from the careless handling of a pistol by a soldier at Fort Sill.
The operation was a very severe and difficult one, but under the skillful management of Dr. Taylor, a man remarkably renowned, and of whom Mr. Schiffbauer formed a high respect, he has recovered sufficiently to go about on crutches. Charley never tires of speaking of the kind treatment from the Sisters of Saint Joseph, to whom he feels very grateful for their untiring efforts in attending his wants.
Arkansas City Traveler, September 18, 1878.
Frank Schiffbauer and wife returned from a trip to Ft. Sill and the several Indian Agencies last week. Mr. A. C. Williams returned with them.
Arkansas City Traveler, November 27, 1878.
An ox train of twelve wagons passed through town on Friday evening, on their way to Ft. Sill. They were loaded with flour that our enterprising townsman, A. A. Newman, had contracted to supply the Indian service. After taking on a quantity of groceries at Schiffbauer’s, they camped on the south side of town. Now is the time to strike for the Santa Fe railroad.
Arkansas City Traveler, December 4, 1878.
The opinion of Gen. Sheridan regarding the recent order for the removal of the Kiowa Indians from Ft. Sill to the Wichita Agency have been endorsed by Gen. Sherman, and the controversy between the War and Interior Departments is assuming a belligerent phase. We have yet to hear from poor Lo.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, May 22, 1879. - FRONT PAGE.
EDITOR COURIER:—Perhaps a word from the great Indian and cattle region would interest the readers of your paper. I will be brief and give as much news in as little space as possible.
The Comanches and Kiowas near Ft. Sill raided into Texas lately, and the “Rangers” dropped one of them, “Sun Boy” by name, for which the Indians made another raid and killed Joe Clarke. This took place April 12th.
Yours, C. M. [C. M. Scott]
Arkansas City Traveler, June 4, 1879.
[Report from C. M. Scott.]
EDITOR TRAVELER: I have just completed another little jog into the Territory, and will relate what I saw.
Gen. McNeil was at Ponca Agency on the 22nd, and may go down to Oklahoma to advise the settlers on the North Fork. Troops from Camp Supply and Fort Sill have already been there, and the result was settlers were strung out all along the road on their way back, cursing the country, the soldiers, and above all, the Kansas City Times, and its “pal”—Carpenter.
Arkansas City Traveler, June 4, 1879.
A. A. Newman is loading a wagon train for Ft. Sill and Wichita Agency.
Winfield Courier, July 3, 1879.
It is reported that Enoch Willett has been scalped and one of his boys killed by the Indians near Ft. Sill, Indian Territory.
Arkansas City Traveler, August 13, 1879.
Messrs. Charles and Frank Schiffbauer and wives went to Caldwell last Sunday. Frank and the two ladies returned on Monday, but Charley is now taking in all the agencies and trading posts between Caldwell and Ft. Sill. The object of this trip is to induce the contractors and traders throughout that section to freight their goods by way of Arkansas City upon the completion of the Santa Fe road to this point instead of sending it from Wichita through Sumner County. Mr. Schiffbauer is confident that if the local freight for the lower country can be started this way, it will be an easy matter to secure the government freighting business, and he will offer the parties concerned such figures as to make it an inducement for them to ship by way of our city. This trade would be a big thing for Arkansas City, and we heartily wish the firm abundant success in their undertaking. These gentlemen have paid special attention of late to forwarding supplies to points in the Territory, and are always on the alert for any scheme that will increase the business of the town.
Excerpt from a lengthy article...
Winfield Courier, Thursday, August 28, 1879 - Front Page.
A telegraph line is being made from Cantonment to Camp Supply and Fort Dodge; also to Fort Reno and Fort Sill. This has long been a “military necessity,” and will greatly facilitate matters in case of Indian troubles.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, November 27, 1879 - Front Page.
Outlaws Captured -- Territory Affairs.
ED. COURIER: Matters in the Territory have quieted down, somewhat, since Major Davis, of I Company of 4th Cavalry, stationed at Ft. Sill, made the raid on the outlaws on the Canadian and mouth of the Cimarron. One desperate, hard-looking character was caught in the brush on the Canadian, near Johnson’s store, and two others not far below. Seven were taken in at the dash at the mouth of the Cimarron, and two escaped. The whole number, giving their names as Milton M. Lukens, Newton Scrimpshire, Andrew W. Woffard, Clay Collins, Lindsey Collins, James Arcena, Eck Ross, Samuel Ryder, and John W. Wilson, were taken to Fort Sill to await identification.
Lieutenant Patch had his leg crushed by his horse shying against a tree, and it had to be amputated. He is now at Pawnee Agency under treatment of the company surgeon.
Hereintofore these men have terrified the residents of the Territory, and as they represented a strong force, no one man cared to interfere with them, but now that they have been routed, the citizens declare that they shall not come back, and have organized and armed a vigilant committee to see that they do not.
The early burns have sprouted up with fresh green grass in the southern part of the Territory, and stock is doing well on it. King’s herd of 1,200 ponies are wintering on Pond Creek, near the stage “ranche.” They will be driven to the Nebraska and Iowa market in the spring. It is a mistake about there being no ponies to be driven from Texas next summer, on account of the low prices in the Kansas market. They have to go. Almost all the water privileges in the state are being fenced up and the stock will have to be thinned out. The Trinity, Brazos, and other streams are almost entirely fenced, as well as all the smaller streams. A good rain fell about Oct. 1st, but not enough to swell the streams to last during the winter. C. M. Scott
Arkansas City Traveler, Wednesday, December 10, 1879.
Now that the railroad is completed, it is the part of wisdom to open avenues and make tributary to this point every part that can bring trade to our city. A practical route for freight and mail service should be opened in the most direct line from this place to Fort Sill as well as Osage Agency. Much of the road, as now traveled to the Agency, is rough and rocky and several miles indirect. This can be measurably avoided by leaving the line road about ten miles east of Grouse and crossing Beaver creek at a point where the cattle trail crosses the same. From there to Samuel Beveniew’s in a southwest direction is an excellent road.
The road the remainder of the way to the Agency could be greatly improved with very little work, and convenience and comfort secured for the outlay. The supplies that go to the Osage are large and are now mostly freighted via Coffeyville. It is to the interest of this town to turn this travel and freight in this direction and we believe, that with a proper showing, it can be done.
Then again take the route to Ft. Sill. A good road should be opened from this place direct to Jones’ ranche on the Cimarron. This would intersect the road running south from Caldwell. The surface of the country on this route is smooth; in fact, it can be made a dry divide road, while wood and water is plenty.
This is a subject worth not only discussion, but prompt action.
With the line of railroad to our town we ought to be able to influence the trade and shipment of most of the supplies that reach Ft. Sill.
There is no reason why other towns should come in and take the lions share in this trade while we possess better advantages than they. If our merchants, mechanics, freighters, and businessmen will come together and discuss these questions, we are sure practical work will come of it. Now is the time to awake from the old Rip Van Winkle slumber and take advantage of opportunities. What say you gentlemen, will you do it?
Arkansas City Traveler, May 12, 1880.
OPENING OF BIDS.
The following is a list of the bids that were opened in the Chief Quartermaster’s Department at Ft. Leavenworth on Tuesday, May 4, for supplying the following articles to the government stations in this part of the State and the Indian Territory.
Ft. Sill. Corn—T. M. Green, $1.97 per cwt.; H. L. Bickford, $2.16 per cwt.; Joseph Walker $2.12 per cwt.; R. C. Haywood $2.18 per cwt.
The awards will be made known soon. Leavenworth Times.
Arkansas City Traveler, May 4, 1881.
APPROACHING A CRISIS.
The situation in the Chickasaw Nation is approaching a crisis. The Indian agent at Muskogee has promulgated the following.
To whom it may concern:
In compliance with a command from B. F. Overton, that stock belonging to persons not citizens of the Chickasaw or Choctaw Nations be removed from the Chickasaw country, the Hon. Commissioner of Indian Affairs has issued the following instructions to this office.
“Notify cattle men that they must remove their stock from the Chickasaw country on or before the first day of June next, unless permitted to remain longer by the authorities of the Nation. E. M. MARBLE,
COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS.”
Parties interested will take notice, and govern themselves accordingly.
J. Q. TUFTS,
U. S. Indian Agent,
Union Agency, Muskogee, Indian Territory.
April 8, 1881.
A squad of United States soldiers have been ordered from Fort Sill to proceed to the Nation to be used in the enforcement of Overton’s edicts. Caldwell Post.
Arkansas City Traveler, June 29, 1881.
FROM THE INDIAN TERRITORY.
Little Rock, June 25. Intelligence from the Indian Nation states that affairs have reached a crisis. The United States cavalry at Fort Sill have been ordered to report to U. S. Agent Tufts, at Muskogee, to cooperate with the Choctaw militia, under Governor McCurtain, in driving white intruders from the country.
All those not Indians, or intermarried with Indians, are classed as intruders under the law. Although many of them have permits to dwell in the Nation, it is asserted that their papers were illegally issued, and they will be forced to leave.
The Indian militia are in camp near Scuddyvill, three or four hundred strong, and are under orders to effect a junction with the United States troops at Fort McCollister. The greatest terror and distress exists. More than three hundred families are said to have crossed the border in the past ten days, having abandoned their cabins to the flames, their growing crops to destruction, and their stock on the range.
Some of the whites decline to leave, claiming that they hold genuine permits, and will protect themselves if force is used to eject them.
A number of Texans, who have big herds of cattle in the Cherokee Nation, have compromised with Gov. Overton, paying him $15,000 for the privilege of grazing stock until July 15th.
An appeal has been made to the Secretary of the Interior to interfere and protect the whites.
Arkansas City Traveler, July 6, 1881.
Another military trader has been appointed at Fort Sill, making two at that place.
Arkansas City Traveler, August 24, 1881.
The latest reports of mineral discoveries comes from the Indian Territory, near Fort Sill. They are silver mines, and are located on the Kiowa, Comanche, and Wichita reservations.
Arkansas City Traveler, September 28, 1881. Editorial Page.
In an interview with Mr. Williamson, one of the proprietors of the stage line between Caldwell and Fort Sill, and who returned from the latter place on Saturday, we learn that there can be no doubt of the discovery of silver ore in the Wichita mountains.
The discovery was made on Sill reservation some time ago, and specimens of the ore sent to Denver to be assayed. The assayer returned a certificate showing over $13 worth of silver to the ton. Upon the receipt of the certificate several companies were organized and a good portion of the reservation staked out into claims. Further prospecting showed large bodies of ore, evidently richer than the specimens sent to Denver, and for a time there was considerable excitement over the matter. In the meantime a gentleman was sent to Washing-ton regarding the discovery, when orders at once came back instructing the military to put a stop to any further work and drive out all persons not having proper authority to remain in the country, which orders have been carried out, and the silver excitement is dead for the time being.
Many persons claim that there is gold in those mountains, but so far none has been found. But that the silver is there, and in paying quantities, seems to be without a doubt. As silver mining is an enterprise requiring capital, it is not likely that the Wichita mountains will be worked at a very early day, even if the government should give full permission.
If, however, the Atlantic & Pacific railroad company should extend their line west from Vinita, no power will be able to keep the adventuresome spirits of the West from overrunning the mountains of the Territory, in search of metals of all kinds. Until that time everybody must wait with all patience for the opportunity to develop the hidden wealth of that now tightly corked up country. Caldwell Commercial.
Arkansas City Traveler, October 26, 1881.
Advertisements for bids for oats for the military at Forts Leavenworth, Sill, Reno, and Cantonment have appeared. Bids will be received until July 22nd, 1882.
Arkansas City Traveler, March 8, 1882.
The Southwestern Stage and Mail Company, of which Mr. H. A. Todd is manager, was awarded the contract for carrying the mails on the Caldwell and Ft. Sill, Caldwell and Cantonement [Cantonment], Supply and Mobeetie, and Harper and Medicine Lodge routes, and several others we do not know the names of. The contracts run from July 1st, 1882, four years. Some of the routes were taken at surprisingly low rates, while others were away up yonder. Caldwell Post.
Arkansas City Traveler, April 5, 1882.
Proposals for Wood, Coal, Charcoal, Hay, Corn and Oats.
Headquarters Department of Mo.,
OFFICE OF CHIEF QUARTERMASTER.
FORT LEAVENWORTH, Ks., March 31, 1882.
SEALED PROPOSALS, in triplicate subject to the usual conditions, will be received at this office, or at the offices of the Quartermasters at the following named posts until 12 o’clock noon, Leavenworth time, on Monday, May 1, 1882, at which time and places they will be opened in the presence of bidders, for furnishing and delivery of Wood, Coal, Charcoal, Hay and Straw during the fiscal year commencing July 1, 1882, and ending June 30, 1883, and of Corn and Oats for the period beginning July 1, 1882, and ending Nov. 15, 1882, at Forts Leavenworth, Riley, Hays, Wallace, and Dodge, Dodge City, Junction City, and Caldwell, Kansas; Forts Supply, Sill, Reno, and Gibson, and the Cantonment, Indian Territory; Fort Elliott and Gainesville, Texas; Forts Lyon and Garland, and Camps on Uncompangre and White Rivers, Colorado, and Camp on Snake River, Wyoming Territory.
Blank proposals and printed circulars stating the kinds of supplies, and estimated quantities thereof, required at each post or station, and giving full instructions as to the manner of bidding, amount of bond to accompany proposals, conditions to be observed by bidders, and terms of contract and payment, will be furnished on application to this office, or to the Quartermaster at the posts named.
A preference will be given to articles of domestic production, conditions of price and quality being equal, and such preference will be given to articles of domestic production, produced on the Pacific Coast to the extent of their use required by the public service there.
The Government reserves the right to reject any or all proposals. Proposals for a less quantity than the whole required, will be received.
Envelopes containing proposals should be marked: “Proposals for at “ and addressed to the undersigned, or to the respective Post Quartermasters.
J. D. BINGHAM, Deputy Q. M. Gen., U. S. A.
Arkansas City Traveler, May 17, 1882.
Death in the Air.
Caddo, Indian Territory, May 14.
The United States mail stage, just in from Fort Sill, brings the news of a destructive cyclone at ex-Governor Cyrus Harris’, sixty miles west from Caddo, on the stage road to Fort Sill. The storm struck the little town about 4 o’clock Monday evening, destroyed the large two-story residence of Governor Harris, the residence of Capt. Ben Carter, and that of Mr. Hobert Heal, all good residences. The United States mail stage had just driven up to the door of Gov. Harris’, which was the Post Office and stage stand, when the storm struck it, blew the driver, George Taylor, 100 yards, and killed him instantly, entirely demolished the coach, killed the horses, and blew the United States mail pouches away. The pouches have not yet been found.
Arkansas City Traveler, June 28, 1882.
Charles Schiffbauer is making a trip to Fort Sill and other points in the beautiful Indian Territory.
The following article concerns an individual and not “Fort Sill.”
Arkansas City Traveler, August 30, 1882.
“Fort Sill,” who keeps a saloon in Hunnewell, was accidently shot on Monday night. The story as given to us is to the effect that the boys were feeling gay and happy, and while scuffling, Sill among the rest, the City Marshal came in, and the party began to pull him around. In doing so, his revolver was pulled from the waist of his pants, and as it fell to the floor, was discharged, the ball striking the shin bone of Sill’s left leg. Word was sent to Dr. Noble, who went over about one o’clock, and, we understand, had to amputate the limb below the knee. Caldwell Commercial.
Caldwell Commercial, Thursday, October 19, 1882.
The first copy of the Cheyenne Transporter our eyes have beheld for two months arrived yesterday, and is dated the 13th inst. We see by it that Agent Miles has placed Bob Bent in charge of the abandoned post at Cantonment and that the teams and wagons taken from Payne’s party have been sent north to be delivered to the owners. It strikes us that the last operation is a queer one to say the least. The Transporter also announces the death at Fort Sill, of Mrs. Capt. Leggett, of diphtheria. Her death has occasioned the deepest sorrow among an extensive acquaintance of admiring friends.
Arkansas City Traveler, April 11, 1883.
PROPOSALS FOR WOOD, COAL, CHARCOAL, HAY, STRAW, CORN, AND OATS. HEADQUARTERS, DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI,
Office of the Chief Quartermaster, Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, March 31, 1883.
SEALED PROPOSALS, in triplicate, subject to the usual conditions, will be received at the office, or at the offices of the Quartermasters at the Posts named below, until 12 o’clock noon, Leavenworth time, on Tuesday, May 1, 1883, at which time and places they will be opened in the presence of bidders for furnishing and delivery of Wood, Coal, Charcoal, Hay, and Straw during the period beginning July 1, 1883, and ending June 30, 1884; and of Corn and Oats for the period beginning July 1, 1883, and ending November 15, 1883, at Forts Leavenworth, Riley, and Hays, and Dodge City, Junction City and Caldwell, Kansas; Forts Supply, Sill, Reno, and Gibson, Indian Territory; Forts Elliott and Henrietta, Texas; Forts Lyon, and Garland, and Camps on the Uncompangre and White River, Colorado; and Camp on Snake River, Wyoming Territory.
Blank proposals and printed circulars stating the kinds of supplies, and estimated quantities thereof required at each post or station, and giving full information as to the manner of bidding, amount of bond to accompany proposals, conditions to be observed by bidders, and terms of contract and payment, will be furnished on application to this office, or to the Quartermasters of the posts named.
A preference will be given to articles of domestic production, conditions of price and quality being equal, and such preference will be given to articles of domestic production produced on the Pacific coast to the extent of their use required by the public service there.
The Government reserves the right to reject any or all proposals.
Proposals for a less quantity than the whole required will be reserved.
Envelopes containing proposals should be marked “proposals for ______ at _______,” and addressed to the undersigned or to the respective Post Quartermasters.
J. H. BINGHAM, Deputy Quartermaster General U. S. A.
Caldwell Journal, August 30, 1883.
Phil. McCusker came up from the Territory last Friday, on his way to Wichita to attend a term of the U. S. District Court next week. Phil. placed us under obligations for the following items.
Three children of Mrs. Richardson, wife of the late hospital steward at Fort Sill, died of diphtheria the week pervious.
An effort on the part of Shirley to lease a portion of the Wichita reservation to the Bickford Bros., failed because the Indians would not agree to it.
Crops are unusually good on the Washita and South Canadian.
All the streams in the Territory have been very high this season. The main Canadian has been higher than before known in the memory of man. One entire mail was recently lost in it.
Indian Agent Hunt, at the Wichita Agency, is doing all he can to discourage the driving of through cattle from Texas across the Wichita reservation.
The wife of Little Robe, a Cheyenne Chief, died recently.
Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, June 14, 1884.
General Augur has organized a new military district, to consist of that portion of the Indian Territory included between the Cimarron River and the southern boundary of Kansas, and west of the ninety-sixth meridian, including Ft. Reno, and is to be known as the district of Oklahoma. Col. Edward Hatch, ninth cavalry, has been designated as the commander. In order to enable him to carry out President Hayes’ proclamation of February 12, 1880, and all existing orders found thereon, in relation to arrest and removal of all unauthorized persons from the Indian country, and the prevention of threatened invasions thereof, there will be assigned to him, in addition to the troops already in the district, two troops of the ninth cavalry from Fort Riley, Kansas, one from Fort Elliott, Texas, and one from Fort Supply, Indian Territory. He is also authorized to call for troops, when necessary, from Forts Sill, Elliott, and Supply.
Arkansas City Traveler, Wednesday, August 6, 1884.
It is anticipated that there will be very lively times in Indian Territory in a few days. For some weeks past Capt. Payne, who has led a number of invasions towards Oklahoma, has been mustering his forces in Kansas. When his party numbered about 3,000 men, a good part of whom desired to become actual settlers in the Territory, he moved south into the Cherokee Strip, from Kansas. The Cherokee Indian Agent complained to the Indian department, and orders were sent by the war department to Gen. Augur, commanding the department of the Missouri, to prepare to head them off, and to remove them. Gen. Hatch was then sent to watch the movements and stop a move on Oklahoma with a part of the Ninth cavalry from Forts Sills and Supply, in addition to the four troops now in the temporary district of Oklahoma. The balance of the command were also held in reserve. Since that time final orders have been desired and some definite instructions as to when the military should remove them from the Territory. While these were being waited for, Payne’s band has been greatly increased, and he is taking steps for an advance. The order of the interior department directing that a land agent accompany the military, which was issued on Thursday, has settled matters, and the work of removal will commence at once. It is not thought Gen. Augur will wait for the land agent to arrive, but will proceed in the matter or is even doing so now. The plan that will probably be used will be the posting of proclamations in the parts of the Territory invaded, directing the invaders to be out of its limits by a certain day, and if they are not out at that time, they will be removed by force. Payne’s party talks of resistance, and a small internal war is likely to follow. Payne’s former offenses have been so little regarded by the interior department heretofore, that his men think that the department is inclined to believe that Payne is in the right. Inter-Ocean, 25th.
Arkansas City Traveler, Wednesday, August 6, 1884.
The Colonists at Rockwell Falls to be Removed by Troops.
TOPEKA, KANSAS, August 1. It is believed that the body of Oklahoma settlers will be removed by the United States troops on Monday. Gen. Hatch, of the United States army, and A. R. Greene, of the interior department, are now at Caldwell, Kansas, in consultation concerning the orders from Washington. Gen. Hatch has 900 soldiers in his command. The first move will be made on the town of Rock Falls, a few miles south of Hunnewell, Kansas. Rock Falls is a sort of general headquarters for the settlers, and contains the office of the Oklahoma War Chief newspaper. The town and newspaper will be moved outside the Indian Territory. The officers say that the orders given them shall be strictly obeyed, and that in expelling the settlers, the utmost kindness will be used consistent with the circumstances. The estimates concerning the number of people to be removed varied greatly, some putting it as low as 400. The true number will probably be about 1,500 boomers and about twenty stock ranch outfits. Some of the latter are pretty extensive. The highest estimate heard came from military sources, and raises 3,000 in all. The last issue of the War Chief is full of defiance. Force will be required to remove these people, but the position taken by the leaders of the boomers in their organ would indicate they desire this to be exercised. It is said that some 18,000, including servant girls in hotels and the easily influenced everywhere, have paid their $2.50 fee for claims, and another $2.00 fee as members of the colony. Of course, the men who have received these moneys want something more than constructive force for their own justification, but at the same time no violent opposition to the military is anticipated.
[See Fort Reno for many of the next entries.]
Arkansas City Traveler, January 21, 1885.
Companies C and G, 9th cavalry, under command of Captains Cusack and Humphreys, arrived here on Friday, from Ft. Sill en route for Oklahoma. Other companies will join them here from Ft. Supply. Cheyenne Transporter.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, February 19, 1885.
A resolution was adopted requesting our Representatives of Congress to secure an appropriation for a road from Caldwell across the Indian Territory to the government forts.
Senate concurrent resolution asking the general Government to improve the Military road from Caldwell, Kansas, to Fort Sill, was concurred in.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, June 11, 1885.
Capt. N. A. Haight lost one of his best friends the other day—an old member of the family—“Black Warrior,” a horse captured by the Captain from the Quahada Comanches in the Texas Panhandle eleven years ago. He rode him with a surveying party and, in company with three other surveyors, went with “Asahabel,” a Comanche chief, and band, and captured “Lone Wolf” and his band of hostile Kiowas, taking them to Fort Sill. “Warrior” has been a close friend of the family, and in the nineteenth year of his age, A. D. 1885, turned up his toes very suddenly, the effect of an old epizootic. It was like losing a relative.
Arkansas City Republican, February 20, 1886.
The Burlington Toronto Road.
Letters from Mayor Falker of Fall River City and Mr. Hatcher, postmaster of Grenola, were received by Col. Stockton this week, saying that their towns were wide to the importance of this air-line road to Kansas City and that they will vote the full limit allowed in bonds for its construction. Information from Liberty Township and also from Coffey County show that the citizens there are also up and doing. So far, we are informed, aid to the amount of $300,000 is offered on this route, which is the shortest route from the Indian Territory west of the Arkansas River to Kansas City; and when extended from Arkansas City to Ft. Sill, it will undoubtedly command the entire cattle transportation for that part of the territory. An immense corporation like the Santa Fe cannot afford to allow any other road to come in and occupy this air-line route, and we do not believe they will; but at the same time it behooves every citizen along this route to make a long pull, a strong pull, and a pull altogether, and secure this trunk line road. Toronto Township will do their full share. The people all along the line seem to be alive to the great importance of this road and the earnest effort of the various localities will secure its being built without a doubt. Globe-Democrat.